Art of Living Wisdom.

Krishna’s historicity

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

Colonial Hangover

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.

Archeo-Astronomy

The science of Archeo-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 millenia ago, either manually or with more ease and accuracy, using Planetarium software.

Tracing Krishna’s Birth Date

As per the scriptures, 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.

Krishna 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.

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.

 

Sri Jayanthi

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 calledNasini. The lunar phase seen at Shravana star in the Capricorn zodiac is calledVijaya. 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 Sri Jayanthi.

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, ShivajiJayanthi, 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.

5126th Birthday of Krishna

So, this year, 2014 CE, makes it the 5126th year since His birth, Sri Jayanthi. Let us celebrate this 5126th 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 5000 years ago.

While Divinity is a matter of faith, historicity is a matter of existence. With the unraveling 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.

Bharath Gyan

 

Art of Living Wisdom.

Swatantrata

We have all heard this word, being mentioned frequently in connection with the freedom struggle of India against the British. The word Swatantrata is easily understood to connote independence.

flag

Meaning

If you break the word Swatantra, it has two components to it, swa and tantra.

Swa denotes self and tantra stands for sciences, techniques, practices of a land, the way we live, in consonance with our surroundings and nature in a sustainable manner. Tantrayukti is a discipline of studies where the word tantra stands for scientific. Tantrayukti is a work of scientific reasoning or scientific debates.

From this meaning, we realize that swatantrata is more than independence, not just political independence. When one fights for swatantrata, it is not just for political independence. It is not just for governance independence. It stands for a higher level of freedom, a higher dimension of independence.

It is the freedom, the right to practise one’s own sciences and techniques. It is the independence to practise one’s own indigenous way of living, that which is sustainable and in consonance with nature – the nature of the land, the nature of the people and the nature of Nature itself.  It is to maintain oneself free from all influences and act under one’s own will. It thus stands for the notion of Independence, freedom.

Against British

So when our immediate forefathers fought for Swarajya, freedom, independence, it was not a call only for Swa rajya, meaning self rule or primarily, political freedom of India. But the overall call was for Swatantrata too.

Swaraj is my Birthright

Rajya is to rule. Swa rajya is self rule. This slogan of Swarajya was made popular by one of India’s early freedom fighter, Lokamanya Balganagadhar Tilak, when he raised the clarion call,

Swarajya is my birth right and I shall have it.” 

bal-gangadhar-tilak

This uprising, due to the rising yearning for Swarajya, Swatantrata, from the British, in every common man’s mind as well as collectively in the entire population of the land, was not a one off event. It has been the turning point of our history. Many personal uprisings have occurred many a times over, at many a crucial juncture, in the long history of this civilization.

Chandragupta

One of the other prominent, better known examples of such an uprising, is when the king, Raja Chandragupta, with the help of master tactician, Chanakya, successfully threw off the yoke of repression, of the Nanda tyranny, so that people could practise “their practices” freely.

chanakya

Knowledge of tantra

For a group of people to be called a civilization or society, it is essential that they have their own set of indigenous practices. For a society or civilization to follow their own practices, what is essential, is the knowledge of what their practices are? How did these practices come about? How have these practices evolved and got refined through the ages? Are these practices in consonance with Nature? And how can these practices help them lead a sustainable, prosperous and happy life?

It is only when one is aware of these habits, practices, culture and ethos, does one begin to understand one’s society, civilization and culture.

It is only then, will one also know if one is practicing the tantra, scientific practices of one’s civilization.

Science is not just theory alone or laboratory experiments.

Science is the principle of the functioning of Nature, the cosmos, which includes man and his society. In short, science stretches right from the subtle rules that govern the creation of the cosmos to the conduct of every entity in the cosmos, whether living or non living, in its own sphere of existence. A vast domain indeed!

When a society or entity, either out of repression or out of choice, does not practice its own tantra, set of indigenous practices or a sustainable way of living, the urge for swatantrata will eventually arise in that society, in the minds of the common man of that society.

Such a call for swatantrata could also finally result in the desired power to the society or group, to practice its own set of ways.

But when such a call for swatantrata is not further followed up with tantra, which are in sync with the basic sciences, tantra of the cosmos and which can sustain the society, it will not be long before it leads to a call for another swatantratra once again.

On this Independence Day, the 15th day of August, let us understand the real meaning of Independence, swatantrata, as a society’s practice of its own indigenous way of living, in line with its history, geography, geology, topology, climatology, ecology, biology, cosmology and all other sciences, which go towards shaping the society and its culture.

Swarajya vs Swatantra

What we fought for and obtained from the British is swarajya, self rule. We have a long way to go to achieve our true Swatantrata, the courage and will to practice our own, indigenous, proven, sustainable techniques.

To practise Swatantrata, Swarajya is a fundamental need. For without self governance it will not be possible to freely practise the practices of one’s land. As a corollary to the statement, if we have Swarajya it does not naturally mean that we are practising Swatantrata too. Swarajya aids, helps in practising Swatantrata. But to practise Swatantrata, Swarajya + gyana is imperative.

Let us with this knowledge, Gyana and Vigyana, march towards swatantrata, true Independence.

Bharath Gyan

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Art of Living Wisdom.

Having been raised in a Jain family, I wasn’t exposed to the Bhagavad Gita during my growing up years. Of course, I had heard of it, perhaps read a few portions of the same – but never really took an interest in it.

I heard about the Bhagavad Gita from my friends. And just before Shradh in 2006, a family friend recommended that I read it. “The blessings go straight to your ancestors,” he said.

So I started reading the text and much to my surprise, found it to be a delightful experience. The simple text, the feeling of reading the beautiful thoughts of Lord Krishna left my hair standing on end.

And I found it quite addictive. I ended up carrying a pocket-sized Gita in my bag – wherever I went. Waiting for a bus, in college, en route to dance class and yes, even coffee at Barista. Somehow I always carried the text with me.

BG

I found little influences of the Gita slipping into my daily life. Like the focus on the action and not the result. This was especially useful during the long hours of study – the rambling of my mind towards the portions to complete, how much my friends had completed, the exam date, the number of days left…those few words from the Bhagavad Gita left me sane.

The indestructible quality of the soul – imperishable by fire, by water – as expounded in chapter 2 kept me stronger when faced with the unexpected death of near ones.

The glory and magnanimity of Lord Krishna as described in chapter 11 left me wide-eyed at the realization of a Higher Power. The Brilliance of a thousand rising suns, mightier than the Himalayas, purer than the Ganges – the sheer poetry of the lines satisfied the writer in me while the beauty of the thoughts left me wondering at the power of the mind behind the words.

When faced with unexpected situations of unpleasantness, exasperation and despair – I was reminded of the karma as expounded in the Bhagavad Gita. For nobody can give you that which is not yours. Often I find myself feeling stumped – wondering why someone behaves in a certain manner, why a particular situation happened. Yet when I remember the play of karma – I feel a sense of peace, feel calmer and decide to wait some more before acting on frustrated thoughts of anger and hurt. The need to be vindictive, quit or hurt someone quells and again, I decide to wait some more. And be patient.

These are common life situations – occurring almost everyday, isn’t it?

A conflict at home, tension in the office, meeting the many demands and wondering, where is the real me in all this? Yet as you wait amidst the angry vehicles at a red signal, waiting to make the final run home; or purse your lips instead of retorting to a rude comment; while you wait for someone to gear up and see another perspective and wait patiently for yourself – don’t behave like this, it’s not you.

What makes these situations different is a perspective and that is what the Bhagavad Gita offers. A slowly growing Archimedes moment of realization until you find yourself doing something mundane and realize but I read somewhere…and can trace the source to the Gita.

I personally find the Bhagavad Gita neither religious nor preachy. It’s a guide, if you wish. A simple truth that is expounded in a universal language of love, forgiveness; a call to experience a Higher Thinking that all of us are capable of. The Bhagavd Gita is a beautiful gift to yourself. Only if you allow yourself to experience it.

Join us as we demystify this secret, book your webcast now: www.artofliving.org/bhagavad-gita

By Resha Desai Patel