Sage Valmiki, a contemporary of Lord Ram, mentioned in his magnum opus Ramayana that when Lord Ram was born, the sun was located in Aries, Saturn was in Libra, Jupiter and the moon were shining 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.
The two illustrations on the cover display, with the help of a powerful software, that these unique astral conditions were present in the sky on January 10, 5114 BC. This path-breaking book employs the scientific advancement of the West to prove the antiquity of the East. Not only the date of birth, the book also discovers the dates of a number of events in the life of Lord Ram by using the Planetarium software.
REMEMBER THE month of October 1991 when was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Within a week, my ailing right kidney was removed under a major surgery. Contrary to normal expectations, that was just the beginning of the agony. Nobody could promise even five years of life to me. Doctors wrote me off on the basis of the biopsy report, which showed that I suffered from a very fast spreading tumor. In those painful and excruciating times, I took refuge at the benign feet of Lord Ram.
Ever since my childhood, I had a lot of interest in the life of Lord Ram. I used to read the Ram chairman’s with great devotion and rapt attention. The morel read, the more my curiosity grew about Lord Ram’s actual life. The turmoil of 1991 in my life brought me closer to him. Time passed at its own slow pace. In 1993, one
of my colleagues presented me with a copy of a Hindi translation of the Ramayana written by Sage Valmiki. I would, perhaps, never be able to thank that friend enough for that invaluable gift.
Repeated readings of the Ramayana led to the creation of a highly realistic picture of Lord Ram in my mind. The reason was that the book provides the minutest of details about his personality, physique, conversations, surroundings etc. At the same time, another passion of my life - understanding more about astronomy, got a big impetus because of the advent of Internet in India. I kept browsing the web to learn more and more about the celestial phenomenon. Soon I downloaded a number of software that were capable of displaying the positions of planets and stars on the monitor of my PC at the time of making the observation.
A broader knowledge of astronomy and finer readings of the Ramayana soon made me notice that the text of the book is replete with a number of astronomical references, which were comprehensive enough to suggest the exact date when they were actually seen in the sky. I started searching the software that was capable of generating the sky view on the computer monitor for any given point of time in history. My hunt ended with the purchase of the Planetarium Gold software.
By the year 1999, I had arrived at the date of the birth of Lord Ram and I was thrilled to find that every detail of the planetary configuration given by Valmiki in this regard tallied with the view of the sky generated for that date by the software. The puzzle of finding the nakshatra of King Dashrath took another six months and at least one fresh reading of the Ramayana. The confirmation of the occurrence of the solar eclipse described in the Ramayana to mark the battle between Lord Ram and Khar made me ecstatic. It proved, independently, the accuracy of the findings. Despite being certain that I had discovered the precise dates for the actual lifetime of Lord Ram, I refrained from writing any book on the findings as the motive behind this investigation was contentment and self- satisfaction rather than publicity or business. However, after about three years, the interest generated by a few articles on this subject in some newspapers, persuaded me to get the matter published with a view to share my findings with all those who are interested in it.
Every finding discussed in the book has been arrived at after putting in a lot of effort and spending considerable time. On a number of occasions, I remained stuck for long periods and the solution was nowhere in sight. However, every time intuition, sixth sense or as I believe, divine help, prompted the answer in my mind. I would like to describe one such instance in some detail.
The Ramayana clearly mentions that a lunar eclipse had occurred on the day Hanuman visited Lanka in search of Sita. On examination of the sequence of events narrated in the book, I had concluded that it was the full moon day of either the month of Margshirsh or Paush of the last year of exile (5076 BC). However, I had no means to verify whether a lunar eclipse had actually occurred about 7,000 years or not. My belief and understanding was that the software I was using did not have the capability of showing the occurrence of a lunar eclipse. I browsed the web for any other software, searched the data banks and even enquired from some experts whether there was any algebraic equation or mathematical formula by which the occurrence of a lunar eclipse, about 7,000 years o. could be ascertained. These efforts bore r fruit. For almost five years I had desperately wished and prayed that somehow I could verify and demonstrate the occurrence of a lunar adipose so that my findings become complete in
Since no solution could be found to this puzzle and being completely helpless in this regard, I submitted the manuscript to my publishers for publication in the month of October 2003. It contained a paragraph mentioning that though it was clear that a lunar eclipse took place on the evening when Hanuman visited Lanka and met Sita, there were no means available to prove or demonstrate that such an eclipse had actually occurred. I also mentioned that as per the sequence of events, the lunar eclipse should have occurred on the full moon day of either the lunar month of Marshiest or Paush of that year.
After a few days, I read in the newspapers that a lunar eclipse was to occur on the morning of 9 November2003 and it would be visible from India. Late in the evening of the 8th, without any specific hope of finding a solution, intuitively I felt like examining the position of the sun and the moon during the eclipse due to occur the next day, through the software. My intention was to compare the positions of the sun and the moon during the eclipse on 9 November 2003, with those on the probable dates on which I believed that the lunar eclipse had occurred when Hanumari visited Sita. I thought of reaching a conclusion directly or indirectly in this manner.
However, as soon as I entered the time of the occurrence of the lunar eclipse on 9 November 2003 in the software (since it was known through the newspaper), I was surprised to find that the software was displaying the occurrence of the lunar eclipse very precisely. Without wasting a moment, I entered the date 12 September 5076 BC, (full-moon day of lunar month of Margshirsh), which according to me, was the day Hanuman visited Lanka and the day on which a lunar eclipse must have occurred. With a pounding heart, I started examining the position of the Moon. And then came the stamp of divine confirmation! The software demonstrated that a lunar eclipse had indeed occurred that evening — exactly at the time when it has been described in the Ramayana. I could not believe that a five-year-long hopelessness was transformed into triumph in just a matter of five minutes. Filled with a sense of blissful delight and gratitude, I bowed before the picture of Lord Ram. This issue had been a quagmire to me for years. Resigned to the fate, I had submitted the manuscript fully aware of this deficiency. If the lunar eclipse had not occurred on 9 November and if someone had not prompted me to examine the position of the sun and the moon on that day, the study would have contained a grave ambiguity forever. This, I believe, is the difference between “our efforts” of five years and ‘God’s wish” of five minutes. Needless to mention, I revised the manuscript by adding a fresh chapter and resubmitted it for publication.
On the completion of this study, I look back at the fading memories of the trauma and despair I suffered about fifteen years ago. What can be a better example of the benign benevolence of Lord Ram? Many well wishers have pointed out that I could do the astronomical dating of Ramayana because of the unique combination of interests I nurture — an incessant quest about the life of Lord Ram and an understanding of astronomy. I, however, believe that I could do it after surviving a bout with cancer because Lord Ram desired me to accomplish this task. Forever indebted, I place this book at the feet of Lord Ram, without whose wish I would not have seen the light of this day.
LORD RAM IS aptly worshipped as a legend — timeless, ageless, endless and eternal. Ever since his times, eras have come and gone, epochs have begun and ended, empires have ‘even built and destroyed, yet Ram continues to kindle the lives of millions. No evidence is needed to prove the historical existence of someone who survives in the hearts of masses, but in this age of reasoning and arguments, mere belief does not command any great respect.
Till now, the archaeological findings are considered to be the most convincing evidence in support of any historical fact. It is, perhaps, stifled on the grounds that an artifact or a monument of archaeological value is something factually existent, real and available for physical verification. On the contrary, the archaeological evidences suffer from a big shortcoming — the approximations. A broken wall or remains of a building or a dancing figurine can at best be dated to the nearest century. It lacks the preciseness one expects in terms of the year or month or the date. Imagine, even with the best of equipment and technologies available today, if archeology cannot conclusively prove whether a temple existed at Ayodhya or a mosque, just 500 years ago, what help can it render in establishing the historical events, which happened more than 7,000 years ago! The time has come to deliberate whether it is reasonable to be confined to only these kinds of evidences for the purposes of proving the antiquity of an event and construct history. Is it justified to dismiss the historical existence of Ram because of the absence of such ‘archaeological evidences’? If the masons of the times of Lord Ram failed to construct such buildings, which could survive seven millennia, an inference should not be drawn that this country had no inhabitants at that time or Lord Ram was just a myth!
The progress and advancement of science is opening new vistas of exploration everyday. What looked like an impossible calculation, just two decades ago, can now be accurately done in seconds with the help of computers. This study employs the most unconventional, yet most scientific method to fix the dates for the lifetime of Lord Ram by picking up the explicit and unambiguous evidences available in the Ramayana written by his contemporary Maharishi Valmiki. Like any archaeological discovery, the eternal existence and cyclical movement of the astronomical bodies in the sky is a matter of factual existence. Their movements have been unswerving, unchanging and consistent for millions of years. Such systematic and consistent cyclical movements permit us to ascertain when exactly any particular planetary configuration was in existence in history. The biggest hesitation in accepting the dates found on the basis of astronomical dating, so far, was the inaccuracy involved in manually computing the positions of the planets in the historical past. The inaccuracy was inevitable because of the highly complex nature of calculations involved in the process and thus, the dates worked out remained somewhat speculative in nature. However, the advancement of computer technology of the recent past has not only made it possible, but also very convenient, to make such intricate and complicated computations by merely pressing a key on the keyboard. This study uses one of the latest computer software, developed in the western world, which can produce the sky view on the
desktop for any given date and time in the history of man. This software is used to find the date and time of the occurrence of those planetary configurations, which are recorded by Valmiki to have occurred at the time of happening of certain specific events during the life of Lord Ram. The most important virtue of the entire study is the objectivity of the investigation and the results. Since the text of Valmiki Ramayana is easily available and the computer software is also available freely, at least in the western countries, the manipulation of any of these two independent objects is just not possible.
The results of the study are, to say the least, startling. Leave aside the series of planetary configurations that tally exactly the way they are described in the Ramayana, the most amazing finding is the tallying of three eclipses — two solar eclipses and one lunar eclipse that Sage Valmiki has stated to have occurred within a span of just eleven months during the thirteenth and fourteenth year of the exile period of Lord Ram. The software demonstrates that all the eclipses had actually taken place, precisely on the days specified in the book. Not can the eclipses per Se, their timings in terms of the part of the day also match with the scrimptions. In a remarkable finding, the sky ‘blew generated by the software owns that during the occurrence of the first scalar eclipse, even the positions of seven visible planets tally exactly with their description in the book. In unequivocal terms, it can be mentioned that reverse calculations of such eclipses is impossible, even by the scientists of today, without the help of computers, particularly when the period involved is about 7,000 years old. Thus, the only inference one can draw is that someone was actually present to witness the actual happening of these events (eclipses, and the planetary configurations) and these got recorded in the story of Lord Ram. Such confirmations independently demonstrate the authenticity of the recorded observations, antiquity of those events and accuracy of the findings of this study. What else remains to be proved to establish and demonstrate the existence and antiquity of Lord Ram as well as the Indian civilization, is difficult to argue. The dating of events has been provided in terms of day, month and year, if not hours, in all the results. Every finding of this book is illustrated with the help of slides generated on the computer, so that the readers can see for themselves the position of planetary bodies in the sky and match them with the verses in the Ramayana.
The pioneering method of employing computer software to date the history on the basis of astronomical references should throw fresh ideas and occasions to discover the precise dates and time of composition of the vast ancient literature of our civilization, which contain plenty of such planetary observations. No doubt that the Valmiki Ramayana is an exception, so far as the availability of systematic astronomical evidence in ancient literature is concerned. In other compilations, the references to the astronomical bodies are not so systematic and prolific. In my opinion, this itself is a very strong argument in support of the truthfulness and reliability of the contents of Vedic literature. It indicates that the sages of ancient times were composing hymns with the pure intent of praising and worshipping the Gods rather than planting some evidences to backdate the literature, as is alleged by some western historians. The astronomical references, which got recorded were purely incidental and ancillary to the main subject matter. One may argue that, if the intention of the authors of these compositions was to leave evidences and back date the literature, nothing prevented them from incorporating false statements about the time of composition of the text. They were also free to incorporate specific, overt but manipulated planetary positions at as many places as they desired in such literature, to give them a back date.
After obtaining the results, it was realized that indeed there were a few archaeological evidences available in the shape of the flowing Saraswati River mentioned in the Ramayana as well as the depth of the ‘remains of the bridge’ built by Lord Ram under the present sea level. The fact that about 7,000 years ago, the sea level was almost at the level where the ‘remains of the bridge’ are available today, cannot be discarded as a mere ‘coincidence’. While examining the planetary configuration specified to reckon the beginning of the Kali Yuga in the Yuga system, an interesting linkage is found with the dating of the Ramayana. This is discussed at length in a separate chapter. Though the findings or the suggestions made in this book about the counting of Yuga system cannot be the final word on the subject, yet these linkages are worth a consideration. The purpose of highlighting these archaeological evidences and demonstrating the relationship between the dates of the era of Lord Ram with the Yuga system is an attempt to provide the independent interlocking confirmations to the findings of the study. The reader would appreciate that the kind of preciseness and accuracy we obtain through astronomical dating of any historical event cannot, under any circumstances, be obtained through any other method of dating. In fact, looking for such conventional evidences, to support the findings obtained through the astronomical dating, would be as silly as lighting a candle in the day to show the existence of the sun.
This study should supply the answers to all the inquisitive minds, who struggle to comprehend whether Lord Ram was just a mythological character or a historical entity. For the followers and devotees of Lord Ram, the findings would only reinforce their ardent belief in the eternal god. For historians and enologists, the findings provide, perhaps, the most compelling reason, hitherto advanced to rewrite the history of our civilization.
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