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Clearing the mists of time

Establishing a timeline to the life of Lord Rama, Bhatnagar’s Dating the Era of Lord Rama is a step in the right direction of pulling our ancient history out from the ambivalent realm of mythologies

Clearing the mists of time
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In the epic Ramayana, Sage Valmiki mentioned that when Lord Rama was born, the sun was located in Aries, Saturn was in Libra, Jupiter and the moon were in Cancer, Venus was seen in Pisces while Mars was located in Capricorn. Moreover, it was the ninth day of the increasing phase of the moon in the lunar month of Chaitra. These unique astral conditions were present in the sky on 10 January 5114 BC writes Pushkar Bhatnagar in his book Dating the Era of Lord Rama.

As an author of Ramayana in spoken colloquial Telugu sourcing from the great poet Vavilikolanu Subba Rau's Andhra Valmiki Ramayana, I evinced keen interest in knowing the birth date of Lord Rama. The findings of Pushkar Bhatnagar enthused me and the result is this write-up. This is an excerpt from his investigative, exploratory and analytical findings.

The story of Sri Ram's life was first narrated by Maharishi (Sage) Valmiki in the Ramayana. Valmiki was a great astronomer as he has made sequential astronomical references on important dates related to the life of Sri Ram indicating the location of planets vis-a-vis zodiac constellations and the other stars (nakshatras).

Pushkar Bhatnagar, in the course of his employment at the Indian Revenue Service, had acquired a unique software known as 'Planetarium' from the USA. He entered the relevant details about the planetary positions narrated by Maharishi Valmiki and obtained very interesting and convincing results, which determined the important dates starting from the birth of Sri Ram to the date of his coming back to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile.

The astronomic data recorded by Valmiki was fed into the software. The results indicated that this was exactly the location of planets and stars at noontime of January 10, 5114 BC. Thus, Sri Ram was born on January 10, 5114 BC (7123 years back). As per the Indian calendar, it was the ninth day of Shukla Paksha in Chaitra month.

It is mentioned in Valmiki Ramayana's Ayodhya Kanda that King Dashrath wanted to make Sri Ram the king because Sun, Mars and Rahu surrounded his nakshatra and normally under such a planetary configuration, the king dies or becomes a victim of conspiracies. Dashrath's zodiac sign was Pisces and his nakshatra was Revati. This planetary configuration was prevailing on the January 5, 5089 BC, and it was on this day that Sri Ram left Ayodhya for 14 years of exile. He was 25 years old at that time.

Valmiki's Ramayana refers to the solar eclipse at the time of war with Khara Dushan in later half of the 13th year of Sri Ram's exile. On the basis of planetary configurations described in various other chapters, the date on which Ravana was killed works out to be December 4, 5076 BC, and Sri Ram completed 14 years of exile on January 2, 5075 BC. Incidentally, that day was also Navami of Shukla Paksha in Chaitra month. Thus, Sri Ram came back to Ayodhya at the age of 39.

In Valmiki's Ramayana, it is mentioned that Sri Ram's army constructed a bridge over the sea between Rameswaram and Lanka. After crossing this bridge, Sri Ram's army defeated Ravana. Recently, NASA put pictures on the Internet of a man-made bridge, the ruins of which are lying submerged in Palk Strait between Rameswaram and Sri Lanka. Recently the Sri Lankan Government had expressed the desire to develop Sita Vatika as a tourist spot. Sri Lankans believe this was Ashok Vatika where Ravana had kept Sita as a prisoner in 5076 BC.

The Astronomical Code of the Rig Veda listed 63 ancestors of Sri Ram who ruled over Ayodhya. Sri Ram's ancestors have been traced out as Sri Ram, King Dashrath, King Aja, King Raghu, King Dilip and so on. The events and places related to the life of Sri Ram and Sita are the true cultural and social heritage.

During Ram Rajya, the evils of caste system based on birth were non-existent. Maharishi Valmiki is stated to be of 'shudra' class and yet, Sita lived with him as his adopted daughter after she was banished from Ayodhya. Luv and Kush grew in his ashram as his disciples. We need to be proud of the fact that Valmiki was perhaps the first great astronomer and that his study of planetary configurations has stood the test of times.

Let us all take pride in the fact that the Indian civilisation is the most ancient civilisation today. It is certainly more than 10,000 years old. Therefore, let us reject the story of Aryan invasion in India in 1,500 BC as motivated implantation. Max Mueller, who was the creator of this theory had himself rejected it. Let us admit that during the British Rule, we were educated in the schools based on Macaulay school of thinking which believed that everything Indian was inferior.

Historians to stop reducing history to myth. There is a need to gather, dig out, search, unearth and analyse all available evidence which would throw more light on ancient Indian civilisation and culture.

The writer is the Chief

Public Relations Officer to the Chief Minister of Telangana

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