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Today (21-8-2011, Sunday) is JANMASHTAMI --- the birthday of Lord Krishna. On this day we remember the celestial and immortal message of Lord Krishna given by him to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Bhagavad Gita contains the guiding principles for every Hindu, nay every human being regardless of his religion, every day for every moment of his life. Lord Krishna told Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra: ‘All paths lead to ME’. It is because of this universality that it has found favour with all Classes and Schools for centuries. Nowhere perhaps, with the possible exception of Mathura, Vrindavan, in UP is Janmashtami celebrated with that kind of elemental passion which it arouses in the State of Gujarat. The ancient and timeless Krishna Temples at Dakore in Kheda District and Dwaraka in Jamnagar District of Gujarat have attracted throngs of devotees of Lord Krishna for thousands of years. In these 2 temples in Gujarat, Janmashatami is the most important and sacred day of the year,
Lord Krishna is better known in India’s cultural and religious history as the King and Emperor of Dwaraka. According to ancient Hindu mythology, Dwaraka was a new country founded by the Yadava clan of chiefs who fled from the Surasena Kingdom due to fear from the king Jarasandha of Magadha.
F.E. PARGITER’S TABLES OF GENEALOGY OF LORD KRISHNA AND HIS RELATIONS
Another interesting aspect about the life and times of Lord Krishna and which is often forgotten by most scholars and historians is that Lord Krishna was a Royal Kshatriya Prince belonging to the YADAVA CLAN. To the best of my knowledge, the only scholar who has delved deep into this aspect is F.E.Pargiter I.C.S. who was Chief Secretary to the Government of The United Provinces of Agra and Oudh at the turn of the 20th Century. He was a great Sanskrit scholar and wrote a remarkably original and seminal work on Ancient India titled ‘Ancient Indian Historical Tradition’ which is published by the Oxford University Press in England in 1922.Pargiter also wrote a brilliant translation in English of the ‘Markandeya Purana’, in order to elucidate its geographical chapters. In 1922 Pargiter described how his detailed study of the Geographical Chapters of the Markandeya Purana invetibly led him to dive deep into the sources of the ‘Ancient Indian Historical Tradition’: “Geography included political divisions, and led to an examination of Ancient Kingdoms, and so on to their dynastic genealogies and traditions---subjects that were generally regarded as of little value or no historical value, and were practically neglected by all serious historians. With no views about Ancient Indian Historical Tradition, and the desire merely to see whether there was any substance in it, it was collected, compared, and studied, and inferences were drawn therefrom, revised continually with fresh material, and discarded freely if they proved untenable---which is simply the scientific process of collecting and testing facts copiously before forming any opinion or theory. At length some substance and order seemed to manifest themselves, and certain results gradually took shape; and some of them have been published in the JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL ASIATIC SOCIETY during the last 14 years….the outcome of all these inquiries is set out here.” I am presenting below the Front Cover of Pargiter’s book on Ancient India published in 1922.
Pargiter declares with authority that OUR KNOWLEDGE of the most ancient times in India rests mainly on TRADITION. The PURANAS, the MAHABHRATA, and in a minor degree the RAMAYANA profess to give an account from TRADITION about the earliest occurrences. The RIG VEDA contains historical allusions, of which some record contemporary persons and events, but more refer to bygone times and persons and are obviously based on tradition. Almost all the information therefore comes from TRADITION. Pargiter says “The results I have obtained from an examination of PURANIC and EPIC TRADITION as well as of the RIG VEDA and VEDIC LITERATURE have been set forth in my book on ‘Ancient Indian Historical Tradition’. I am presenting below the Geneological Tables relating to the ancestors and forbears of Lord Krishna as detailed by Pargiter.
Lord Krishna was the King of Dwaraka. Dwaraka was the brainchild of Vasudeva Krishna, the great personality of the Dwapara Yuga. The territory of Dwaraka includes the Dwaraka Island, many neighbouring islands like the Antar Dwipa and the mainland area neighbouring the Anarta Kingdom, making it similar to Greece having many islands and a mainland forming its territory. The kingdom was situated roughly in the north-western region of Gujrat state. Its capital was Dwaravati (near Dwarka, Gujarat). The Mahabharata does not mention Dwaraka as a kingdom but rather as the capital city of Yadavas who ruled the Anarta Kingdom. It was also known as Dwaravati. It was also a portcity, having trade relations with many sea-faring nations. The name Dwaraka, in Sanskrit means a gate or a gateway. It could be that this ancient port-city was a gateway for foreign sea-faring kingdoms into the Indian mainland and vice versa. Dwaraka is one of the seven Holy Cities. Ayodhya, Mathura, Haridwar, Benares, Kanchi, Ujjain and Dwaraka. Dwaraka’s majesty and beauty have been described by many poets and writers, saints and sages of ancient India. It is referred to as Golden City in Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Skanda Purana, Vishnu Purana, Harivansha and Mahabharata. It was the capital of Lord Krishna’s Kingdom. All the Islam-embracing, Christianity-coveting and Hindu-hating perverted pseudo secularists in the Government of India and all the political parties would be shocked to know that Dwaraka is not just a legend or the product of a figment of imagination but a real, concrete and terrestrial truth. Dwaraka was a well-planned city with a modern and technologically advanced harbour suitably designed to deal with the marine traffic of large ships entering the port.
One of the verses in the Bhagavada says: ‘The yellow glitter of the golden fort of the Dwaraka City in the sea throwing yellow light all round looked as if the flames of Vadavagni came out tearing asunder the sea’. Then came the deluge and Dwaraka ‘A City of Gold’ vanished under water. Around 1500 BC, the whole Western course of India disappeared along with Lord Krishna’s Capital City of Dwaraka. This is how it was described by Vedavyasa in the Mahabharata: ‘The sea, which had been beating against the shore, suddenly broke the boundary that was imposed on it by nature. The sea rushed into the City of Dwaraka. It coursed through the streets of the beautiful city. The sea covered up everything in the city. I saw the beautiful buildings becoming submerged one by one. In a matter of a few moments it was all over. The sea had now become as placid as a lake. There was no trace of the city. Dwaraka became just a name; just a memory’. The ruins of ancient Dwaraka city have been found under the sea following recent oceanographic studies conducted near the modern temple-city of Dwaraka. The first Archaeological excavations at Dwaraka were done by the Deccan College, Pune and the Department of Archaeology, Government of Gujarat in 1963 under the direction of an outstanding Archeologist of Ancient India H.D. Sankalia. It revealed the existence of many artefacts, hundreds of centuries old. Almost 20 years later, The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), conducted a second round of excavations under the direction of Dr S R Rao, a world renowned Underwater Archeologist. Dr S R Rao is to the discovery of the ancient town of Dwaraka, what Isaac Newton is to the Law of Gravitation or Albert Einstein to the Theory of Relativity. Excavations at Dwaraka helped add credence to the legend of Krishna and the Mahabharata war, as well as provide ample evidence of the advanced societies that lived in these areas such as the Harappan settlements.
Dwarakadhish Temple at night I am presenting below a brilliant summary by Hari Prasad Das of the historic results of the excavations carried out by Dr.S.R.Rao at Dwaraka between 1983 and 1990. “The Dwarakadhisa Temple prompted the setting up of a Marine Archaeology Unit (MAU) jointly by the National Institute of Oceanography and the Archaeological Survey of India. Under the guidance of Dr. Rao, a great marine archaeologist, a team consisting of expert underwater explorers, trained diverphotographers and archaeologists was formed. The technique of geophysical survey was combined with the use of echo-sounders, mud-penetrators, subbottom profilers and underwater metal detectors. This team carried out 12 marine archaeological expeditions between 1983 to 1992 and articles and antiquities recovered were sent to Physical Research Laboratory for dating. By using thermo-luminescence, carbon dating and other modern scientific techniques, the artifacts were found to belong to the period between 15th to 18th century B.C. In his great work, The Lost City of Dwaraka, Dr. Rao has given scientific details of these discoveries and artifacts.” “Between1983 to 1992, the well-fortified township of Dwaraka was discovered, extending more than half mile from the shore. The township was built in six sectors along the banks of a river. The foundation of boulders on which the city's walls were erected proves that the land was reclaimed from the sea. The general layout of the city of Dwaraka described in ancient texts agrees with that of the submerged city discovered by the MAU.” “According to the discoveries, Dwaraka was a prosperous city in ancient times, which was destroyed and reconstructed several times. The work of great excavators like Z.D. Ansari and M.S. Mate allowed chance discovery of temples of the 9th century A.D. and 1st century A.D. buried near the present Dwaraka.” “Conclusions arrived at after carrying out these underwater archaeological explorations support and validate the dates arrived at through astronomical calculations. They also prove that the reconstructed city was a prosperous port town, and that it was in existence for about 60-70 years in the 15th century B.C. before being submerged under the sea in the year 1443 B.C.”
(Editors' note: Although the adherents of western, empirical science date Dwaraka to 1443 B.C. or roughly 3,400 years ago, ancient Vedic astronomical texts and present-day practitioners of the Vedic tradition assert that the current epoch of Kali-yuga began in 3102 B.C. Lord Krishna's disappearance and the subsequent submergence of Dwaraka occured shortly before this date. Therefore, Dwaraka can be no less than 5,000 years old.) Dr.S.R. Rao, former adviser to the NIO, has described the historic significance of the excavations carried out by him between 1983 and 1990 in these words: "THE DISCOVERY OF THE LEGENDARY CITY OF DWARAKA WHICH IS SAID TO HAVE BEEN FOUNDED BY SRI KRISHNA, IS AN IMPORTANT LANDMARK IN THE HISTORY OF INDIA. IT HAS SET AT REST THE DOUBTS EXPRESSED BY HISTORIANS ABOUT THE HISTORICITY OF MAHABHARATA AND THE VERY EXISTENCE OF DWARAKA CITY. IT HAS GREATLY NARROWED THE GAP OF INDIAN HISTORY BY ESTABLISHING THE CONTINUITY OF INDIAN CIVILIZATION FROM THE VEDIC AGE TO THE PRESENT DAY." Dr. Rao has rightly lamented that if only a fraction of the funds spent on land archaeology were made available for underwater archaeology, more light could be shed on Dwaraka, which has much greater archaeological significance because it was built during the second urbanization that occurred in India after the Indus Valley civilization in north-western India. Dwaraka's existence disproves the belief held by Western archaeologists that there was no urbanization in the Indian subcontinent from the period between 1700 B.C. (Indus Valley) and 550 B.C. (advent of Buddhism). As no information was available about that period, they had labelled as the Dark Period. Among the objects unearthed that has proved Dwaraka's connection with the Mahabharata epic is a seal engraved with the image of a three headed animal. The epic mentions such a seal given to the citizens of Dwaraka as a proof of identity when the city was threatened by King Jarasandha of the powerful Magadh kingdom (now Bihar). The foundation of boulders on which the city's walls were erected proves that the land was reclaimed from the sea about 3,600 years ago. The epic has references to such reclamation activity at Dwaraka. Seven islands mentioned in it have also been discovered as having been submerged in the Arabian Sea. Pottery, which has been established by thermo-luminescence tests to be 3,528 years old and carrying inscriptions in late Indus Valley civilization script, iron stakes and triangular three-holed anchors etc. discovered by Dr.SR Rao’s Team, find mention in the Mahabharata. As Dr.SR.Rao has summed up: "The findings in Dwaraka and archaeological evidence found compatible with the Mahabharata tradition remove the lingering doubt about the historicity of the Mahabharata. We would say that Krishna definitely existed." Thus the discovery of Dwaraka by Dr S R Rao confirms that the descriptions found in the text of the Mahabharata and other important Sanskrit texts regarding Dwaraka are true.
NOT A MYTH BUT AN IMPORTANT SOURCE OF INFORMATION FOR STUDYING THE ANCIENT HISTORY OF INDIA.
It also means that the Mahabharata is
T R Gopalakrishnan has succinctly summarised the importance of the excavations and discovery of Dr S R Rao: ‘The strongest Archaeological support comes from the structures discovered under the sea- bed off the coast of Dwaraka in Gujarat by the pioneering team led by Dr S R Rao, one of India’s most respected Archaeologists. An Emeritus Scientist at the Marine Archaeology Unit of the National Institute of Oceanography, Dr Rao has excavated a large number of Harappa sites including the Port City of Lothal in Gujarat. In his book THE LOST CITY OF DWARAKA published in 1999 he writes about his undersea finds. It has set at rest all doubts expressed by historians about the historicity of Mahabharata and the very existence of Dwaraka City. It has greatly narrowed the gap in Indian history by establishing the continuity of the Indian Civilization from the Vedic Age to the present day’. Kannadasan, the great Tamil Poet, was a great devotee of Lord Krishna. I read his SRI KRISHNA KAVACHAM, composed in Divine Tamil Daily. In his introduction to this hymn to Lord Krishna, Kannadasan wrote in TAMIL as follows:
I am presenting below a few verses from Sri. Krishna Kavacham:
Let me conclude this story of LORD KRISHNA by offering my reverential salutations to HIM by citing the English Translation of a few of the Sanskrit verses from Sri Krishna Karnamrutham (Nectar to the ears of Lord Krishna). Sri Krishna Karnamrutham was composed by Sage Leela Shuka (also known as Vilwamangalathu Swamiyar, Bilwamangala Thakura). The English translation has been done by P.R.Ramachander. This great work was composed by Sage Leela shuka according to the last sloka of the first chapter. Elsewhere he mentions that he is a shaivite but attached to Lord Krishna. It is generally agreed by historians that Leela Shuka was his pseudonym and that he was known as Vilwamangalathu Swamiyar. He is also known as Bilwamangala Thakura in North India. Though his Samadhi is supposed to be in Mathura, the local legend there agrees that he is from South India. Most of the literary commentators seem to be of the view that he hailed from Kerala.
I worship that sweet child with blue colour, Who is the boundary of cleverness, Who is source of very temporal glances, Who has pretty eyes nurtured by the waves, Of the nectar like sea of prettiness, Who is honoured by the side long glances of Lakshmi, Who is interested in playing by the sandy shores of river Yamuna, And who begot a son who was the God of love. My mind is illuminated by the pretty wonderful light form, Whose shining hair is decorated by peacock feathers, Who has a face which is ebbing with sweetness, Who shines with the new youthfulness, Who plays the flute that produces the nectar like music, And who is surrounded and worshipped by Gopis, Having slightly thick breast tips. Let my mind be lit by that which has broad eyes and is beyond words and sight, Which has lotus like face, shining with the very sweet nectar like smile, Which is decorated, by the feather of a peacock, with the great zest, Which has the very prettily made up bundle of hair, And which wants to eat the piece of meat of pleasures of the world, Let the lotus like face of my Lord Krishna, Which has two eyes, similar to the lotus buds, Which is full of the honey from, the pollen of the music from his flute, And which has clear cheeks shining like glass, Shine completely in my mind.
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