Monday, March 11, 2013

Meteor-hit in Russia – some thoughts.


This is a belated post on the meteor –hit in Russia, but better late than never.

On 22nd February, 2013, a meteor / asteroid of 17 metres in diameter and weighing 10,000 metric tons entered the atmosphere at a speed of 40,000 mph and broke apart about 12 to 15 miles above the Earth's surface and landed at Chelyabinsk in Russia as a fireball around 9:20 am local time.


This was an unexpected event from space at that time, while the world was actually waiting to watch another asteroid to pass across the earth from the near the sky off Sumatra on the same day 16 hours after this event. Fortunately both of them did not cause any grave havoc. Though the Russian meteor was found to be 30 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb, the extent of damage was much less. Compared to this the asteroid-hit that struck Russia at Tunguska in 1908 was more serious as it was supposed to have been 1000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb. Though that event continues to be a matter of scientific investigation, the fact remains that not much damage happened to the people and the world as a whole. In comparison the Fukushima earthquake was supposed to have disturbed the earth's tilt by some micro units.

Usually events like this used to fascinate me and I used to dabble something by picking out something from astrology or mythology. But this time I couldn't catch up anything other than thinking that the world is safe! The first thought was that my daily prayer paid well – "Loka samstha sukhino bhavanthu" (Let the whole world / everyone be happy). I never want to hear any suffering for anyone around me. Particularly if it pertains to Space I can never bear the thought of some bolt from the blue hitting someone on the earth. It is because Space and the objects in Space continue to give me an indescribable sense of calmness, compassion and happiness. Anyone who had gone to Space had experienced it. Michael Collins, the first ever man to have circled the earth all alone had expressed how alone and fragile that the earth is going in Space. Sitting here on earth I have experienced it many times just by looking at the sky and the stars. How alone we are in space, but still going safely with Brahman protecting us (the earth) like a cocoon! The image of the  magnetic field around the earth that deflects solar radiation gives me this thought of Brahman and the earth as a cocoon.

 As a lover of space and an avid sky-watcher, I cannot bear the thought of some object from space smashing on earth and causing havoc. The first ever such incident in my memory was the fall of the Skylab.

I was a teen then, much engrossed in space entities and didn't wish to hear anything bad to happen to space programmes or a space programme to fail and fall down as hell on someone's head. I was keenly following the broadcasts of how the falling skylab was handled so that it would not cause harm to life. Like how I am doing blogging nowadays, I was habituated to writing poetry in my teens on anything that affected me.  The hype created on the fall of the Skylab was such that I was worried that it would fall on someone and wrote an "Anthem for an unknown victim" before the skylab-fall. But nothing untoward happened which made me write a "Realisation" (after the skylab fell on the ocean near Australia) that God is near and He would never allow the rhythm of the world go astray because He is Duty-bound to protect this world.

This love of Space and Space objects was one of the things I transferred to my kids. On hearing about the meteor-fall in Russia, they kept asking me what I think about these events and why I didn't blog on these events.  I could not think of any astrological connection but what kept appearing in my mind was TIME! Everything has its root in Time. If something were to happen, Time must be conducive for it. So many meteors have gone past the earth or crashed on the earth, but for them to become menacing, Time must be supportive of such a menace. On that Friday, two asteroids had come closer to earth. One of them fell on earth while the other just whizzed past. But nothing grievous happened because it was not Time for a grievous happening to mankind.

Thinking of it, Mahabharata talks about Time as the cause for events at many places. The very first chapter of Mahabharata narrates the importance of TIME as the causative factor for whatever happened as Mahabharata! When Dhritharashtra was aggrieved at the death of his sons, his charioteer Sanjaya consoled him by pointing out that it is TIME that does everything. 

"No one can leave the way marked out for him by Providence. Existence and non-existence, pleasure and pain all have Time for their root. Time createth all things and Time destroyeth all creatures. It is Time that burneth creatures and it is Time that extinguisheth the fire. All states, the good and the evil, in the three worlds, are caused by Time.

Time cutteth short all things and createth them anew. Time alone is awake when all things are asleep: indeed, Time is incapable of being overcome. Time passeth over all things without being retarded. Knowing, as thou dost, that all things past and future and all that exist at the present moment, are the offspring of Time, it behoveth thee not to throw away thy reason."

A similar sentiment was narrated by Ved Vyasa when Arjuna reached him after the exit of Krishna. Exactly a week after Krishna ascended to his Abode, sea water entered Dwaraka. Arjuna was evacuating the remaining population mostly of women and children to safer places. But alas, on the way they were attacked by Mlecchas in the land of five rivers who abducted many women of Vrishni clan. They included married, unmarried and pregnant women. There is every reason to believe that the so-called Aryan presence in Iran or the claim of Darius, as the Aryan of the Aryans originated from these women of Royal and excellent calibre of Dwaraka of Krishna. It is Time that had pushed them into the hands of Mlecchas!

It's Time that didn't come to the help of Arjuna when they were abducted. Arjun's military prowess had no match until then. But he found himself thoroughly helpless and weak at that moment. He could not raise his Gandeepa to fight to stop the abduction of these women. It was as though he lost his power when Krishna was not with him. Already they were distressed at the exit of Krishna, at the loss of Vrishni men who killed one another and the loss of their land to the oceans. Life was indeed terrible at that moment. When he lamented this to Vyasa, Vyasa said as follows:

"All this has Time for its root. Time is, indeed, the seed of the universe, O Dhananjaya. It is Time again, that withdraws everything at its pleasure. One becomes mighty, and, again, losing that might, becomes weak. One becomes a master and rules others, and, again, losing that position, becomes a servant for obeying the behests of others. Thy weapons, having achieved success, have gone away to the place they came from. They will, again, come into thy hands when the Time for their coming approaches."

Thinking on these lines, our world is indeed sailing in space alone and against all odds. It is ramming through much of space debris many a times. But if nothing happens to it, it is because the TIME favours it to move safely. The two asteroids passing the earth on that Friday very much had the potential to create a global havoc, but nothing of that sort happened. It is because Time did not favour such havoc at that moment.

But Time had not been favourable at all times in the past. Thinking specifically of meteor or asteroid hits of the past, I can quote 2 instances, one just before the onset of Mahabharata war and another a week after Krishna's exit from this earth.

Just before the start of the Mahabharata war, Vyasa was narrating to Dhritharashtra the unusual events noted in the sky and on the terrestrial plane. It seemed as though the sky had tilted a little, because the planets seemed to have shifted back from their earlier positions. Even Arundhathi, the twin star of Vasishta in the Sapta rishi mandala (Ursa Major), seemed to have gone ahead of Vasishta, said Vyasa. This could not have happened in the celestial spheres, but could have been perceived so for the observer on earth if the earth's position had changed from the usual alignment. This is supported by another observation of Vyasa of the lunar cycle ending in 13 days. The only probable reason for this to happen is to have some asteroid or comet hitting the earth somewhere, thereby changing the tilt or speed of the earth to some extent.

The terrestrial happenings mentioned by Vyasa concur with the kind of after-effects of a meteor or asteroid hit. There were fierce winds, showers of dust, trembling of earth, roaring noises, high waves at the seas, strange behaviour of animals etc narrated by Vyasa as terrestrial happenings. All these portend the crashing of a meteor with high velocity in some place of the earth.

Interestingly, scientists have come up with a theory of a comet-hit in Austria around the time of Mahabharata war. Their theory has been supported by the Cuneiform tablet prepared in 700 BC but which explains a meteor-fall 5000 years ago.

This tablet has been deciphered as follows.