Historical Krishna Talk

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Click Here To Access eBook : Proving The Historicity Of Krishna

The people of this country never had any doubts about the historicity of Krishna until the colonial historians projected Krishna as a mythical figure cooked up by wonderful stories.

The story of Krishna is deeply embedded in the cultural fabric of India and the people of this land revere Him as a Divinity. The colonial hangover has however left a doubt on the historicity of this highly adored Divinity.

The science of Archaeo-Astronomy has enabled us to go beyond the boundaries of conventional archaeology in tracing the historicity of some well known personages of this land, such as Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Mahavira and Shankara. Planetary configurations mentioned in the ancient scriptures pertaining to major events and personages connected, help us date events that happened around these personages, centuries and millennia ago, either manually or with more ease and accuracy, using Planetarium software.

As per the Purana, Lord Krishna was born around midnight. That night was the eight phase of the moon known as Ashtami Tithi. The moon was near Vrshabha, the bull, i.e the Taurus constellation that houses the star Rohini. The star Rohini is known as Aldeberan in modern astronomy. The month was Shravana, one of the 12 months in the Indian calendar.

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Krishna’s Birth in Prison

These details are clearly mentioned in the 10thSkanda, 3rd chapter of the Bhagavata Purana. The relevant sloka is,

Shravana vada ashtami, Rohini Nakshtra, uditam Lagnam

This detail combined with details of sky configurations for events that happened around Krishna’s lifetimes, namely the Mahabharata, leads us to the exact birth date for Krishna.

Sky Chart of Krishna's birth

Krishna’s Birth Chart

 Courtesy Prof.Narahari Achar, Memphis University, USA

Such a search leads us to 27th July, 3112 BCE as Krishna’s date of birth in the Gregorian Calendar.

In Indian tradition, Krishna’s birth is also called as “Sri Jayanthi”. The word “Jayanthi” has an interesting connotation in Indian Astronomy. Indian astronomers have accorded special names to lunar phases occurring at certain stars.

The lunar phase occurring at Punarvasu star in Gemini constellation is called Jaya. The lunar phase occurring at Pushya star in the Gemini constellation is called Nasini. The lunar phase seen at Shravana star in the Capricorn zodiac is called Vijaya. Similarly, the phase of the moon occurring at Rohini star is called Jayanthi.

Krishna’s birth which happened when the moon was at Rohini star is called SriJayanthi.

Jayanthi also means celebrations and the word has thus come to be used to indicate birthday celebrations. Thus, the word “Jayanthi, over time, has also come to be used for the birthday celebrations of other great personages and we today celebrate Buddha Jayanthi, Mahaveer Jayanthi, Shankara Jayanthi, Shivaji Jayanthi, Gandhi Jayanthi, Ambedkar Jayanthi etc.

 “Jayanthi” became popular because of association with Krishna.

Every year, for millennia, Indians have been celebrating Krishna’s birthday in the Shravana month, on Rohini NakshatraKrishna Paksha Ashtami (8th phase of the waning moon) based on these details in scriptures.

It is the year of birth however, which has been the missing piece in common knowledge.

Not only from Archaeo-astronomy, but also from a wholistic analysis of data across various disciplines, today we can conclude that Lord Krishna was born in 3112 BCE.

So, this year, 2017 CE, makes it the 5129th year since His birth, Sri Jayanthi. Let us celebrate this 5129th birthday of Lord Krishna, keeping in mind that India’s most beloved Divinity was indeed also a historical figure who had walked this planet about 5100 years ago.

While Divinity is a matter of faith, historicity is a matter of existence. With the unravelling of the dates for Krishna, what comes out for all to see is the beautiful blend of Divinity and Historicity in Krishna. One does not preclude the other.

More on this in our book, Historical Krishna.

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Malabar Tsunami – 2018 – eBook

Intense rains have lashed Kerala and Kodagu district of Karnataka in August 2018, causing unprecedented floods and misery across the state. In August until the 16th, the rainfall was 619.5mm, when usually it is 244.1 mm, during this period. Almost all the 14 districts of the state have been effected, by huge waves of flood, on the opening of the over-loaded dams, and has been nothing short of a Tsunami.

Know More: Malabar Tsunami – 2018 – eBook :

Malabar Tsunami

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Dhyan Chaand

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Legendary Hockey Player

Dhyan Chaand, the legendary Indian hockey player is counted among the greatest sportsmen this country has every seen.

‘Hockey ka Jadugar’

The greatest hockey player the world has known. Known for his great ability to score goals, he was nicknamed ‘Hockey ka Jadugar’.

‘The Wizard’

Internationally, he was called “The Wizard” for his great ability to control the ball. His name was verily synonymous with hockey.

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Dhyan Chaand, the Hockey Wizard

Dhyan Singh was born on August 29th, 1905 in Jodhpur.

Practicing under Moon light

He later got the name “Chaand” as he used to practice hockey under moon light, Moon in Hindi is Chaand. We should remember that there were no flood lights in those days.Thus came about his name Dhyan Chaand.

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Dhayanchand practicing under moonlight

From Moonlight to Limelight

From being under ‘moon light’, Dhyan Chaand soon came under international limelight.

1927-Folkstone Festival

He displayed his skills against the British Hockey team at the London Folkstone festival, scoring 36 of India’s 72 goals in 10 matches.

1928-Summer Olympics in Amsterdam

In 1928, the Indian Hockey Team participated in the Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, Netherlands. In this tornament, Chaand helped India gain a victory score 3-0, by scoring 2 goals.

Dhyan Chaand 3Gold Medal of Amsterdam Olympics                      Dhyanchand in action during the Amsterdam Festival          

Wizard of Hockey

Dhyan Chaand’s impeccable control over the ball was such that, people soon started having doubts as to whether he had hidden a magnet in his hockey stick. The ball always seemed to stick to his hockey stick when he was playing. Once, during Indian hockey team’s sojourn to Japan, the Tokyo hockey officials had a similar doubt. They broke open his stick to see whether there was a hidden magnet within. Such was his magic!

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Dhyan Chaand scoring a goal

Playing with Walking Stick

In another amusing incident, a lady from the audience asked Chaand to play with her her walking stick. He was able to score goals even with that walking stick.

1932 Olympics in USA

In this Olympics, the Indian hockey team defeated the United States 24-1. Dhyan Chaand scored 8 of these goals and made it a one sided contest.

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1933 The most memorable moment

Interestingly, the most memorable moment for Dhyan Chaand according to him was in a match in which he did not score a goal. This was the Beighton Cup final of 1933. The contest was between Calcutta Customs and Jhansi Heroes. In this closely fought match, Dhyan Chand provided a crucial pass for the only goal of the match won by Jhansi Heroes.

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Jhansi Team with the Beighton Cup

1935 Tour of New Zealand and Australia

This was another memorable tour for Dhyan Chaand as he scored 201 of the total 584 goals by the Indian team in 43 matches. Needless to say, the Indian team crushed their opponents.

Meeting Don Bradman

During this tour of Australia, Dhyan Chaand met Don Bradman, the legendary Australian cricketer. After seeing Dhyan displaying his skills, Bradman paid his tributes to the Indian hockey magician remarking, “He scores goals just like we score runs in cricket.” That was the consistency and ease with which Dhyan Chaand scored goals.

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                 Don Bradman                                                Dhyan Chaand   

1936 Olympics – Hitler impressed

Even the Nazi dictator Adolph Hitler, who was a prejudiced person and a supremacist, was impressed by Dhyan Chaand’s skills. In the 1936 Olympics held in Berlin, Dhyan Chaand led the Indian Hockey Team. In the first round of the final, Indians lead German 1-0. In the second round, the Indian team managed 6 consecutive goals.

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Dhyan Chaand displaying his magic during the Berlin Olympics

At this moment, the Germans resorted to body play, trying to win by foul means. Dhyan Chaand was injured as he broke one of his teeth. He however continued to play.

Hitler who was in the audience couldn’t see his team being crushed. He left midway.

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Adolph Hitler at Olympics, 1936

During the course of the match, the Germans sensed a foul play at the ease with which Dhyan Chaand was scoring, inspite of his breaking his teeth. He was ordered to change his stick. The magic however continued and Indians won the final 8-1.

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Dhayan Chand, the hero of Berlin Olympics

An invitation to become German

The next day Hitler called Dhyan Chaand for a meeting. Hitler offered him German citizenship for his scintillating performance in 1936 Berlin Olympics. He was also offered a senior position in the German military. Dhyan Chaand however refused saying, “India is my India”.

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            Hitler                                  Dhyan Chaand

After World War

In the subsequent years from 1939, no matches could be played as the World War-2 was on. After the Word War, Dhyan Chaand continued to display his magic. He hit 61 goals in 22 matches against East Africa.

Post Retirement

In 1948, Dhyan Chaand retired from the sport. The glory of Dhyan Chaand did not fade. Many statues were erected in his honour. The citizens of Austria erected his statue with four hand and four sticks, displaying his control over the ball.

The astro-turf hockey pitch at the Indian Gynkhana Club in London has been named after Dhyan Chand.

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The Dhyan Chaand astro turf hockey pitch, London

In his own country, a statue of his can be found near India Gate, Delhi. Many such statues in honour of Dhyan Chaand can be found all across the country.

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  Dhyan Chaand Statue, India Gate     

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                                                Dhyan Chaand Statue, Jhansi         Dhyan Chaand Statue, Vishakapatnam

The Indian Government has issued a stamp in his honour in 1980.

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Stamp on Dhyan Chaand

National Sports Day

Dhyan Chaand’s birthday is also observed as National Sports Day India. The Dhyan Chaand Award has been institued by the government in his memory.

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Dhyan Chaand Award

Gold

A movie by name Gold, staring Akshay Kumar has been made on this great sportsman.

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The Gentleman – Good husband

Inspite of his greatness, Dhyan Chaand was simple at heart. An incident with a fan shows his strong roots in Indian culture. In an exibition match that he played at Prague, a lady fan who was impressed at his game, came upto him and requested to allow her to kiss him. Dhyan Chaand politely refused saying, “I am a married man”.

Rush of Pakistani fans at Lahore station

Sometime after 1947, Dhyan Chaand was in Lahore railway station as part of the Indian on their way to Peshawar, to travel from thereon to take part in Joshan celebrations, Afghanistan. Hundreds of Pakistani fans rushed to have a glimpse of Dhyan Chaand. There was much rush at all stations as many trains arrived late by 4 hours at Peshawar.

A forgotten hero

It is sad that we have forgotten such a hero. A fitting way to remember and honour him would be confer Bharat Ratna on him. That will an apt tribute to this great sportsman.

Dronacharya

On this day Dronacharya awards, which was instituted in 1985, are given away to those achievers in the field of sports.

Great Acharya

Dronacharya was the acharya, teacher of the Pandava and Kaurava.

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Dronacharya

Parasurama as Guru

He had Parasurama as his Guru, from whom he obtained all great weapons, as also the art of using them. Dronacharya soon became one of the foremost teachers in military strategies warfare of his times. He was called to train the royal princes of Hastinapura, the Pandava and Kaurava.

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Parasurama

Guru Grama

He had his teaching centre, between Indraprashtha and Kurusketra. This place through the ages was called Guru Grama, the village where the Guru had set up his training academy. Even in the times of Takshashila, this place was famous in warfare training. Later through times, the word grama was referred to a gaon. This place is today’s Gurugaon, in North India.

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Dronacharya training the royal princes

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Gurugaon

Dronacharya, etymology

How did this acharya get the name ‘Drona’?

Dronam means a pot and Dronar is the one born from a pot. He was called Drona as he was born from a pot, which in modern parlance, can be viewed as a test tube.

Test Tube baby?

Probably he was a test tube baby. His birth, in this land, is counted among those Vichitra Janana, extraordinary birth.

Dehradun, house of Drona

Dronacharya married Kripi, sister of Kripacharya, the royal preceptor of Hastinapura.

Dehradun, etymology

Dronacharya used to live with his wife near a cave in Dehradun, Uttarkhand. The word Dehra is derived from the word Griha, meaning house. Dun, Doon, Dron, refers to Drona, who lived here. Dehradun thus literally means, “the house of Drona”.

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Dehradun

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Dronacharya cave, also known as Tapkeshwar Cave

Tapkeshwar temple

At the cave, also known as Drona Gufa, is located the Tapkeshwar temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva.

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Idol of Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple in a natural, Dehradun

Ashwathama

Horse voiced

Ashwathama was born to Drona and Kripi near this cave. When Ashwathama was born, he cried like an Ashwa, horse and so he was named Ashwathama, meaning horse voiced.

Chiranjivi, physically immortal

Ashwathama propitiated Lord Shiva and secured many powers, including the boon of Chiranjivi, immortality, from the Lord. It is believed that, Ashwathama lives even today.

In Kurukshetra battle

Dronacharya fought the Kurukshetra battle which commences 22nd Nov 3067 BCE. from the side of the Kaurava army headed by Duryodhana. He was made the commander-in-chief of the army after Bhishma was mortally wounded.

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Dronacharya as commander-in-chief of the Kaurava Army

Img courtesy: Wikipedia

Dronacharya was killed in this battle by Dhrishtadhyuma of the Pandava army.

Dronacharya Award

As he was a great teacher in the field of archery, the government of India, department of sports has instituted the sports award in the name of Dronacharya.

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Dronacharya Award

Even today, when the names of ancient acharya of this land are recalled, the name of Dronacharya is taken with reverence.

More on Dronacharya in our book, Historical Krishna.

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Ayyankali – Birthday

Ayyankali birth

Leader of socially downtrodden

Ayyankali was one of the foremost leaders of the socially downtrodden community who fought for their rights. He undertook many reforms to end the injustice that this community was facing in the society then.

Birth

Ayyankali was born at Venganoor, the present day part of Trivandrum, Kerala in 1863. He was born in a family called Cheramar.

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Ayyankali

Discrimination against the socially downtrodden

At that time, the socially downtrodden were forbidden from walking freely on roads. They were not allowed to take part in normal activities of life as society considered them untouchable.

Fighting against untouchability

Ayyankali began his revolt against the evil of untouchability by bringing together the socially downtrodden to fight against these discriminatory practices in the society.

Meeting Guru

Ayyankali soon met his Guru Ayyavu Swami who was against the caste system. Ayyankali was inspired by his Guru to further spearhead his movement against social discriminations.

Fighting for Education

Fighting for the cause of education for the neglected socially downtrodden children who were not allowed to study in school, Ayyankali started a school at Venganoor for socially downtrodden children.

Raising demands for equal rights

Stepping up his voice for equal rights for the socially downtrodden, Ayyankali called for the boycott of agriculture and farming by the socially downtrodden until certain demand were met. These demands were:

  1. Right to Education for socially downtrodden children
  2. Allowing socially downtrodden to have tea in tea stalls
  3. Resting hours for labourers during their work
  4. Abolishing the in-kind wage system and bringing in cash system.

Inspite of being illiterate

It is noteworthy that Ayyankali carried out all these activities inspite of being an illiterate. It was his impeccable organizing skills that made this possible.

Support from Narayana Guru

As his efforts for bringing the socially downtrodden on an equal platform gathered steam, he received support from many prominent leaders. One of them who assisted Ayyankali in his endeavours on social reforms was Sri Narayana Guru.

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Narayana Guru

Efforts bearing fruits

Ayyankali’s efforts soon began to fructify. In the year 1900, socially downtrodden were allowed to travel freely on public places. In 1914, the educational restriction on the socially downtrodden children was lifted and they were allowed to join schools. The many social restriction on socially downtrodden women also disappeared as people began to accept the socially downtrodden into mainstream society.

Starting Sadhujana Paripalana Sangam

In 1907, Ayyankali started a new association called Sadhujana Paripalana Sangam for the cause of human rights and social justice. Many projects were undertaken by this association for economic and educational growth of the socially downtrodden.

Nominated to Assembly

Ayyankali was nominated to the Travancore assembly in the year 1910.

As a leader known for his great leadership qualities, Ayyankali continued to play a major role in the development of the socially downtrodden in the next three decades of his life.

Ayyankali passed away on June 18th, 1941.

After life Impact

Ayyankali had a great impact on various sections of the society even after his life time. In Kerala, he is considered on the same league as Sri Narayana Guru.

The government of India has released a stamp in his name.

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Legacy still stands tall

In 1980, the then prime minister Indira Gandhi unveiled a statue of Ayyankali in Trivandrum.

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Statue of Ayyankali, Trivandrum                             Indira Gandhi                                           

Just as his statue, the legacy of Ayyankali continues to stand tall among various sects of the society, especially the socially downtrodden community.

The Significance of the Sacred Thread, Yagnopavitham

An interview by – Siddharth Swamy,
Student of Maths & Economics, Trinity College, Dublin

Today, Full Moon, Purnima in the Shravan month is the day when many Indians perform the thread changing ceremony. This is period when the monsoon rain is at its peak. There is a natural Bandhan, Bond between the Sky, which is liked to Father, and the Earth, which is the Mother. The Full Moon brings in fullness.

We bring to you an interaction of an inquiring youngster with D. K. Hari and D.K. Hema Hari of Bharath Gyan, on the relevance of this practice of wearing a sacred thread.

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What is this thread I have been made to wear? It was put on during my Upanayanam. What is an upanayanam?

Upanayanam is a function celebrating the transition from childhood to youth in a boy’s life.

Let us go to the etymological meaning of Upanayanam. Upa means ‘near’ or ‘by the side of’ and nayanam means ‘by the eyes’. Therefore upanayanam denotes being by the side or supervision of a teacher.

Upanayanam is typically performed at the age of 7 years, the time when a child is ready to start schooling. At that time, parents conduct this ceremony and then take the child to the Gurukula, school.

This thread ceremony, also called Brahma Upadesham (Brahmopadesham) is to prepare the child to enter school and the schooling phase of life – Brahmacharyam, one of the 4 Ashrama. They being,

  1. Brahmacharya
  2. Grhastha
  3. Vanaprastha
  4. Sanyasa

The word Upanayanam literally means “to take a person nearer to God and open his eyes of knowledge.”

What is the procedure followed in Upanayanam?

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I have heard people using the terms Yagnopavitham or Upakarman also for this ceremony.

Yagna, besides worship, sacrifice, also denotes commitment to a focused act. So committed, that one sacrifices everything else to ensure this act is accomplished. Pavitham means to cleanse. Yagnopavitham means to cleanse, purify one’s mind as well as intention behind the Yagna, act of commitment – studying in the case of a student.

Upakarman denotes preparation or that activity that aides the start, execution of any mission, it comes from Upa, beside and karman meaning activity.

Upakarma

A group  Yagnopavitham ceremony at the Art of Living Ashram

I was told that this thread I wear will protect me. How can this thread protect me and from what?

On your Upanayanam, this thread is given to you as a sign of committing you to schooling, education. It is a way by which parents tell you that you are now entering a phase where you have to stay fully committed to learning, avoiding all distractions.

The thread you wear acts as a constant reminder and helps you to make sure that you stay committed to the cause you have taken up and also to avoid all distractions, which may come in your wake.

Also, during the upananayanam you would have received the first lesson, i.e., the Gayatri Mantra from your first guru, who is your father. This is the Brahma Upadesham, counsel on the cosmos, from the father. This Gayatri Mantra is to be recited atleast twice a day, at dawn and dusk, the time windows in a day considered to be most conducive to learning.

This mantra is powerful and the vibrations it causes in the body and in the surroundings rejuvenate the body and mind with positive energy keeping them in good health and thus protected.

Is this protection only for Brahmin boys?

No, in older times every child, irrespective of varna/jati (loosely translated as caste in present times) at the start of schooling underwent this ceremony and went to gurukula to study basic veda and other subjects in line with their family profession or aptitude. So this particular investiture is meant for all, not just Brahmins.

What about girls then? Do they not need such protection during their studying age?

Scriptures show how girls too underwent such a ceremony. Perhaps in the medieval period when India came under onslaughts, girls being physically vulnerable, were kept away from schools to protect them from the invaders. With that maybe the number of girls going to gurukula reduced, thereby reducing the practice.

So if I do already know what this stands for and have a sense of commitment to my studies, then do I still need to wear it?

This thread is like a school uniform and gives you a sense of identity. When you wear a school uniform, your mind automatically gets conditioned and constrained  from indulging in acts that do not behoove school going children such as perhaps going to a bar,  discotheque or movies with the uniform on, this thread also conditions the mind and keeps one focused in their mission.

It is not only school uniform, any uniform be it that of a soldier, a policeman or a nurse, conditions one to conduct oneself in a manner specific to the category / institution they represent, when in that uniform. This thread is like that.

In that vain of thought, this helps us to be centered to our commitment at hand.

Similarly, when one gets married, there is an additional thread that gets added to the previous set. This is to condition one to stay on the path of societal norms of a married man who has to look after his family as well as support the community.

Why should he continue with the previous set of thread, now that he is already married and out of school?

The other set is to remind him that in life one is always a student and has to seek knowledge that can help one journey through the various phases of life with ease and relish.

Why do we change this thread every year?

It is to renew our commitment every year, the way people make resolutions every New Year. Since this thread is made from cotton yarn, it needs to be changed atleast once a year from a point of hygiene.