Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Should DD (Doordarshan) promote mis-interpretations of Valmiki Ramayana?

Today the resurgent youth of India, convinced about the dubious nature of the Aryan Invasion / migration theory promoted by western Indologists and Left leaning Indian Indologists, are craving to see the Vedic past as old as possible with Ramayana and Mahabharata at any olden time, preferably much anterior to the Biblical 5000 year- mark of creation. When marketed with ‘scientific’ and ‘software’ approach, those who have no exposure to Indic (Vedic) way of life, never had the patience to read or study the Itihasas and never bothered to know the basics in the subjects needed for understanding or dating the Itihasas are found to fall a prey to what is being marketed. The Government funded DD News seems to be the recent victim of this market trend!

This thought was upper most in my mind when I watched a video of an interview with Mr Nilesh Nilkanth Oak by DD News on the date of Ramayana. He is quoting three pieces of information from Valmiki Ramayana all of which are wrongly interpreted by him.  The last two are Sanskrit verses which one can read and know why he is wrong.

To get a quick idea of all the three, watch the video from 1-05 to 2-50 minutes.

Was Rama born in Sharad ritu?

The first mis-information and mis-interpretation by Mr Oak is about the season (ritu) of Rama’s birth. Rama was born in Caitra month when five planets were in own or exalted houses. Mesha being the exalted house for the Sun, it is an obvious reference for the Sun in Mesha and not in any other sign. That is the time of Vasanta ritu.

Contrary to this, Mr Oak claims that the description of the Valmiki Ramayana of the time of Rama was that of Sharad Ritu!!  In support of this he quotes in the video rainfall and dance of peacocks of which the latter comes in the context of coronation and not at Rama’s birth. But then that was a comparison and not a real situation. 

This is the peacock verse:

इति ब्रुवन्तं मुदिताः प्रत्यनन्दन् नृपा नृपम् |
वृष्टिमन्तं महामेघं नर्दन्त इव बर्हिणः || --१७

(Meaning: Those delighted kings complimented king Dasharatha so speaking with a loud applause as the peacocks cry in delight when they see the raining great cloud.)

Can anyone take this to mean that the event took place in the rainy season? But Mr Oak thinks so. He has a penchant to treat analogies as actual astronomy references that I have already revealed in my video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gp5nKmvIRWM&t=584s) and it is up to us to hold on to our common sense.

Coming to the other reference in the video, at the time of Rama’s birth there is no reference to rainfall or sharad season. Mr Oak has mistaken the shower of flowers from the heavens as referring to real rainfall (पुष्पवृष्टिश्च खात्पतत्  1-18-17 = heaven) and flowering season. Such rain of flowers appears in the context of celebration of any event. For example there was a rain of flowers at the time of Ram-Sita marriage (पुष्पवर्षो महानभूत् 1-73- 29 and पुष्पवृष्टिर्महत्यासीदन्तरिक्षात्सुभास्वरा 1-73-37). Such rain of flowers happened when Rama killed Ravana (निपपातान्तरिक्षाच्च पुष्पवृष्टिस्तदा भुवि 1-108-28).

The same expression reported at the time of Rama’s birth is mis-interpreted by Mr Oak to suit his date. That date is what he sees in his software designed to deduce the tropical zodiac whereas the Vedic calendar follows the sidereal zodiac. With least thought and application about this feature Mr Oak passes on wrong information in the name of research and that is being aired by Doordarshan funded by our money. Why didn’t anyone there in the DD do a minimal research on whether Mr Oak’s claims are true to what Valmiki says before calling him for the interview?

Valmiki on Vasanta ritu as the time of Rama’s birth.

Coming to what Valmiki says about the season of birth of Rama, there is a sequence of events starting at Vasanta ritu three years before Rama was born. The sage Rishyasringa was brought to the kingdom by Dasharatha. When the Vasanta ritu started the preparation for the Asvamedha yajna was also started.

ततः काले बहुतिथे कस्मिंश्चित्सुमनोहरे |
वसन्ते समनुप्राप्ते राज्ञो यष्टुं मनोऽभवत् ||-१२-

{Meaning: After a lapse some time when spring season has come the king Dasharatha desired to perform the Vedic ritual(1-12-1)}

The preparation went on for a year at the end of which the ritual of the Asvamedha was started. This also happened in the Vasanta ritu, says Ramayana.

पुनः प्राप्ते वसन्ते तु पूर्णः संवत्सरोऽभवत् |
प्रसवार्थं गतो यष्टुं हयमेधेन वीर्यवान् || -१३-

{Meaning: On completion of one full year another springtime arrived, and then Dasharatha a determined one to beget progeny by performing Horse Ritual entered the ritual hall. (1-13-1)}
The ritual of letting out the horse went on for a year at the end of which the horse returned to the ritual hall.

अथ संवत्सरे पूर्णे तस्मिन् प्राप्ते तुरंगमे |
सरय्वाश्चोत्तरे तीरे राज्ञो यज्ञोऽभ्यवर्तत || -१४-

{Meaning: Then after completion of one year and on regaining the ritual horse, the Emperor Dasharatha commenced his Vedic Ritual on the northern banks of River Sarayu. (1-14-1)}

By now the next Vasanta season had commenced when the final Yajna was done for three days. By that yajna Dasharatha got rid of his sins (1-14-58) and commenced the Putrakameshtai yajna performed by Rishyasringa. The Yajna Purusha appeared from that yajna and offered a vessel of “PAyasam”.

It was here there is a description of jubilation in the ‘antahpura’ (inner chambers or chambers of the queens) that was compared with the sharad sky illuminated with moon-rays.

हर्षरश्मिभिरुद्द्योतं तस्यान्तःपुरमाबभौ |
शारदस्याभिरामस्य चंद्रस्येव नभोंशुभिः || -१६-२५

harSarashmibhiH uddyotam = lit up with beams of happiness; tasya antaHpuram = his, palace chambers; abhiraamasya shaaradasya = heart pleasing, of autumn; chandrasya amshubhiH = with moon's, rays; nabhaH iva = sky, like; babhuuva = became.

{Meaning: Lit up with beams of happiness Dasharatha's palace chambers shone forth like the autumnal sky brightened with moonbeams. (1-16-25)}

The link word ‘iva’ (like) says what this is about. This is not a reference to the actual sharad season.
The narration further continues with how the PAyasam was distributed among the three queens of Dasharatha. All these had happened in immediate succession in the vasanta ritu (The 3 day Asvamedha, Putrakameshti and drinking of pAyasam).

Upon the completion of the yajna (Putrakameshti) six ritus passed by and in the twelfth month which happened to be Caitra month Rama was born. From the previous Vasanta ritu when the yajna was done and pAyasam was drunk, six ritus had gone by. Once again it was the time of Vasanta ritu. That is the deduction from Ramayana.

ततो यज्ञे समाप्ते तु ऋतूनां षट् समत्ययुः |
ततश्च द्वादशे मासे चैत्रे नावमिके तिथौ || -१८-

{Meaning: On completion of the ritual, six seasons have passed by; then in the twelfth month, i.e., in chaitra-mAsa, and on the ninth tithi of that chaitra month (1-18-8)}

The deduction of the ritu running at the time of Rama’s birth must be done in this way from the text of Valmiki Ramayana. There is corroboratory support from other texts of yore for Vasanata ritu in Caitra month. “Madhus ca mAdhavs ca vAsantikAv ritu” is the pramana from Taittriya samhita ( and Vajasaneyi Samhita (13.25), where Madhu refers to the solar month of caitra. That this was applicable to Rama’s times is ascertained from the fact that the rules of performance of the Asvamedha yajna done by Dasharatha as a prelude to Putrakameshti yajna are detailed in Taittirya samhita. Valmiki says that the rules are as per Kalpa sutras. But all these rules contain one important element namely, Time! The time was Vasanata ritu.

The preparations started in Vasanta ritu, the Asvamedha yajna started in the next Vasanta ritu, the regaining of the horse and sacrifice of the same happened in the subsequent Vasanta ritu, the Putrakameshti yajna done in the Vasanta ritu and the birth of Rama occurred in the next Vasanta ritu.

Rejecting all these, or perhaps unaware of all these Mr Oak claims that Valmiki Ramayana referred to Sharad season at Rama’s birth. Then only he can ‘corroborate’ it ‘scientifically’ using his western astronomy based software.

Was Abhijit the Pole star in Ramayana times?

Abhijit was never recognised as a pole star in any text of Vedic culture. It was one among the 27 stars of the zodiac in the past but was removed from the count and replaced with Krittika when Uttarayana no longer started from Abhijit. Brahma rashi was another name for Abhijit. The verse quoted by Mr Oak in the video is this. Let the interviewer whose proficiency in Sanskrit is exemplary or anyone in the know of the language tell the world whether this verse says that Abhijit was the pole star.

ब्रह्म राशिर् विशुद्धः शुद्धाः परम ऋषयः |
अर्चिष्मन्तः प्रकाशन्ते ध्रुवम् सर्वे प्रदक्षिणम् || --४९

brahmarāśir viśuddhaś ca śuddhāś ca paramarṣayaḥ
   arciṣmantaḥ prakāśante dhruvaṃ sarve pradakṣiṇam.

{Meaning: The Brahma Rashi (Abhijit) is becoming clear; the Parama rishis (Sapta rishis) also are clear. They are shining with bright light and all of them are going around the Pole star (6-4-49)}
The verse doesn’t say that Abhijit was the pole star. It only says that Abhijit and the Sapta rishis having become clear are going round the pole star. The pole star was different from Abhijit. In Mr Oak’s date of Ramayana at 12K BP Saptarishis were not circumambulating the pole star as seen from the south Indian latitude reported by Lakshmana.

The above illustration is from Stellarium simulated for Mr Oak’s Ramayana date. Abhijit was not at the polar point (NCP), it can never be as it lies outside the precession circle. At that date Abhijit was circulating the Pole point while Saptarishis were crossing the sky from east to west. Saptarishis were nowhere near the pole star at 12K BCE. This is a strong evidence to disprove Mr Oak’s date of Ramayana.

Did Sun set at Pushya in Hemanta Ritu?

The third absurdity promoted by Mr Oak is that the Sun set near Pushta star in Kataka nakshatra in Hemanta Ritu thereby theorising that Uttarayana started in Kataka! The verse doesn’t say so. And at no time any text of the Vedic culture said that Uttarayana started at Kataka.

निवृत्त आकाश शयनाः पुष्यनीता हिम अरुणाः |
शीता वृद्धतर आयामः त्रि यामा यान्ति सांप्रतम् (3-16-12)

This verse looks complex but discernible only when one knows the meteorological indicators of rainfall ingrained within. The season was Hemanta ritu and Lakshmana was going to the river in pre-dawn time with Rama and Sita. Overnight there was heavy dew enveloping the Pushya star that seemed to be in sleep in the sky. After it reappeared from the tawny dew, the chillness continued for three Yaama by which time the pre-dawn set in and the three were on their way to do morning works.

There is early night fog in Hemanta ritu hiding the rise of Pushya. Pushya rises after sunset only in Hemanta ritu. But Mr Oak has mis-interpreted this verse by assuming that अरुणाः means Sun. The verse does not say anything about the sun. It says हिम अरुणाः to mean tawny coloured fog. The explanation for this verse along with the reasons why Mr Oak is wrong can be viewed in this video from 30 to 36-30 minutes.

The DD video shows three crucial views of the Vedic culture mis-interpreted by him in the course of his research that gives an unrealistic date. Why unrealistic?  Ice Age was still going on at that time with most of North India in severe cold. The Himalaya was heavily snow-clad and glaciated at that time. There was no scope for de-glaciation of Gangotri giving rise to the river Ganga before that date. I asked Oak to give proof for Ganga running at his date of Ramayana. He has not given any till date. He can never give one, for Ganga didn’t come into existence at that date.

Setu was a thoroughfare at his date of Ramayana. At 12k BP, the ocean level around the world was 120 metre below present. The sea level rise maps clearly show that the water had not risen to the present level until 7000 years ago. Today Setu is just below 3 feet to 3 metre depth from the sea surface. There is a natural bund connecting the Indian and Lankan landmass and that was well above the sea level at 12k BP. In Oak’s date of Ramayana, Rama could have just walked across the bund. There was no need to build a bund.

How many in the DD know at least these two basic in-congruencies? Our name, our research community and our Itihasasas are at stake and will be damned and ridiculed as unscientific, unintelligent and lacking in common sense if Mr Oak’s research on Ramayana is accepted by the Indian public or media. Let not Doordarshan be in the forefront to bring such disgrace to India, Indians and their immeasurable treasure of Itihasas.

Related posts: