Monday, November 27, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 121


Question – 121

Mahabharata says that the Uttarayana was delayed; but is there any evidence in support of it other than what is stated in the Mahabharata?


The delayed Uttarayana is remembered as ‘Ratha Saptami’. We do celebrate Ratha Saptami even today as the day the Sun turned north. Every year, the Sun turns north once. Why is that Saptami in Magha month alone remembered as Uttarayana?

The reply lies in the change of Time that occurred then. It was not the usual time of Uttarayana. Bheeshma decided to lay down expecting the Uttarayana to come within a few days. But an Adhika Masa occurred in Magha when it should not have been. Since the Uttarayana dates were decided on the basis of tithi-s in the 5- year yuga, they had to wait for Nija Masa. Even then the regular tithi could not be picked out as Uttarayana started on a different tithi which was Saptami. This was already discussed in Question 42

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 120


Question – 120

Did the disturbance caused by the comet-hit on the earth- moon system result in the late arrival of Uttarayana, making Bheeshma to wait on the arrow bed for a prolonged time?


Yes. An important impact of the collision of cometary fragments on the earth and the moon was that the earth had taken longer path to reach the Uttarāyaṇa. This can be compared with the flight of a plane from A to B, when struck with wind currents. It would drift away from the regular path but would reach the destination B, a little later. The earth had taken longer time to come back to the ecliptic while the impacted moon had made faster revolutions. This caused the Adhika māsa to occur in the improbable month of Māgha when the earth seemed to have moved slowly due to the longer span of space to pass through. This explains why Uttarāyaṇa didn’t arrive at the expected time, causing Bhīṣma to wait on the arrow bed.

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 119


Question – 119

Did the earth-moon system suffer a terrible cosmic impact, given the fact that Vyāsa referred to Amāvāsyā (no-moon) on the 13th tithi and a change in the mark on the face of the waning moon?


Scientifically speaking, simultaneous collision on the earth and the moon has a probability ratio of 23:1. The disturbance to the earth is noticed from the disturbance to the EOO (Earth Orbital Oscillation) boundary line, and the dates of the cyclic EOO amplitudes are compared with the temperature variations seen in GISP2 graphs. The variation in the GISP2 map was already shown in Question 115.

The temperature drop in the GISP2 graphs needs an impact push of the Earth-Moon system. That should match with EOO oscillation to know the disturbance in the earth’s orbital movement. In the recent past, the odd event of the shaking of the moon with fire columns seen on the path of observation in the recorded version of the five monks of Canterbury in England in the year 1178 CE was the focus of research of the international community.

Lemke et al. demonstrated the disturbance to the earth- moon system by the orbital stabilization of EOO boundary line. “Moon and Earth form a joint gravitational unit in its course around the Sun. Both, Moon and Earth have a common “Earth-Moon Barycenter” on the ecliptic orbital plane. Now the impact event occurred: The Moon was severely hit and was pushed into the 3-D space Z-dimension (to above - in spring - and to below - in autumn - of the ecliptic plane).  This Z-dimension is ruled by only small Sun and Earth gravitational forces. The impact event dragged both the barycenter and Earth out of the ecliptic plane, but only a certain distance into this Z-dimension at both ends of the minor axis, leaving the major axis - from Perihelion to Aphelion - unchanged. In order to regress to the initial position, the Earth-Moon barycenter carried out four shrinking spiral loops to approach and occupy again the regular barycenter orbit around the Sun.”


The earth- moon barycenter spiralled back to original position in 500 years

The above Figure shows the restoration of the original position of the earth-moon system in 500 odd years. Similar mechanism was observable in 3136 BCE event in which the moon took a month to gain the initial stability, but apsidal time differences were noticed in the extended tithi-s on the 19th day of the war and at the time of Krishna’s exit. The impossible-to-happen Adhika māsa in the month of Māgha was due to the longer path taken by the earth because of the disturbance. It caused Bheeshma to wait for the Uttarāyaṇa. These events recorded textually offer further authentication of the disturbance caused to the earth-moon system in the case of an impact.

Friday, November 24, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 118


Question – 118

What kind of impact was felt in the atmospheric region as described in the Mahabharata of the comet-fall?


In any cosmic impact, the sun will appear dim and surrounded by an aura due to the presence of particulate matter in the atmosphere. This was explained in Question 12 in another context.

The verse runs as follows:

"kṛttikāsu grahastīvro nakṣatreprathame jvalan

vapūṃṣy apaharan bhāsā dhūmaketur iva sthita" (6-3-26)

Krittikasu Graha is the Sun.

The meaning of the verse:

"Krittikā’s graha, the sun at first blazing in Jyeṣṭha, the tīvro star, got sheared off and stayed appearing like a Dhūmaketu, a comet.”

The colour of the sky, of the twilights, of clouds and the celestial sphere is how it would appear in an intense meteor shower.

The clouds showered dust and flesh (Heavy air currents triggered by the crashing meteors carry smaller animals and fish and pour them as rains. Dust storms too occur)

Even though the sky is cloudless, a terrible roar is heard there. (Sonic boom even if the crash has taken miles away)

 In both twilights, the cardinal quarters seemed to be ablaze. (Heat increases for several days in the immediate aftermath of comet-hit, before the earth cools down due to obstruction of the sun rays by the atmospheric haze kicked off by the crash. When that happened the Sun appeared like a comet, mentioned in the beginning of this answer.)

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 117

 Click here for the previous question

Question – 117

In what ways the comic impact is expressed in the Mahabharata? Does it say anything about NOx?


The cosmic impact and the release of NOx by the falling meteor showers are expressed by Vyasa by way of the effect on the terrestrial life, waterways and in atmospheric changes. He noted them as nimitta-s. In all 48 nimitta-s pertaining to terrestrial observations and 12 atmospheric nimitta-s were mentioned by him to Dhritarashtra. He referred to 20 planetary nimitta-s of which four were related to odd appearances when the earth had swung suddenly. They were discussed in the previous questions and listed in Question No 101.

The most common feature found in many of the nimitta-s pertain to the pollution caused by NOx, that include many oxides of Nitrogen, responsible for air pollution, acid rain and smog. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) produced abundantly by the object entering the earth’s stratosphere is reddish-brown in colour that it causes red clouds, bloody rains and makes the waters appear blood-red in colour. The pollution is equal to what happens when one is exposed to cigarette smoke, burning fossil fuels, butane, smoke from combustion engines etc., that cause lung diseases and asphyxiation. These features can be seen in many of the nimitta-s about animals and birds.

All these nimitta-s with the description of how they were the result of the comet impact is discussed in my book. To name a few of them:

Ø  The hue of the weapons and the water, as also of coats of mail and standards, is like that of fire.

Reason: Fire signifies reddishness. NOx contamination.

Ø  The waters of rivers have become bloody.

Reason: NOx contamination. A sure sign associated with meteor-impacts.

Ø  The wells, foaming up, are bellowing like bulls.

Reason: Seismicity induced by the crash of the meteor.

Ø  Meteors, effulgent like Indra's thunderbolt, fall with loud hisses. 

Reason: Explicit statement of a shower of meteors

Ø  People, for meeting together, coming out of their houses with lighted brands, have still to encounter a thick gloom all round.

Reason: The haze in the atmosphere continues for days and months in the case of meteor-impacts only.

Ø  From the mountains of Kailāsa and Mandara and Himavat thousands of explosions are heard, and thousands of summits are tumbling down.

Reason: Obvious reference to the fragments having landed on the Himalayan range. Also due to induced seismicity by the crash of the meteors. Langtang as the likely region of impact was already discussed in Question 96

And many more like this.



Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 116


Question – 116

Were all the proxy features for identifying a cosmic impact mentioned in the Mahabharata?


There are about 8 major proxy features for identifying a cosmic impact. Of them the three must-be-present proxies are,

1. the loss of iron oxide from the meteor (normally shrinks by 90%) and the rest only hits the floor.

2. the loss of titanium from the meteor. Both can be best identified in time series of peat moss (because of exact dating of horizons with 14-C)

3. abundant release of NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) in the atmosphere. The reddish-brown color of this gas causes the water bodies and the rainwater to turn red. This is recognized as ‘rain of blood’ or ‘rivers flowing with blood’ by the people.

All these are detected in the data available for the impact of 3136 BCE. Any object entering from space produces NOx. For example, a falling satellite back onto the earth produces 7 tons of NOx. The Hastinapura event also produced NOx, expressed in many ways as rain of blood, river of blood, vomit of blood, blood in the mouth, in the body etc., explained as nimitta-s.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 115


Question – 115

What is the scientific proof for the comet-hit in 3136 BCE (before the Mahabharata war)?


A cosmic impact must/will/is always FOLLOWED by a sharp decrease in global temperatures, and then the rebound to higher temperatures compared to the impact date. All meteor impacts have three common features. All these are present in the year 3136 BCE when an extra-terrestrial impact is indicated through several ways in the Mahabharata. If one of those major features is missing, then the impact is in doubt and needs further study. The must-be-present features are listed as follows:

·       To recognize a hint of the occurrence, there should be documentation; Hastinapura event is documented.

·       Next step is to check the proxy "rapid temperature drop in GISP2” There is the small peak and temperature drop at 3136 BC, after the Piora-Andaman event at 3210 BCE.

·       The age calibration known as IntCal13 must be checked. The meteor/fragments entering the Earth atmosphere, at 2000-3000 C, produce different radioactive substances, such as 10-B (radioactive Beryllium) and 14-C with the longest life for detection, in plant uptake of CO2 through trees. The increased 14-C-content in the air is demonstrated in IntCal13, by sharp descent from peaks. IntCal13 covers tree trunk 14-C on a global scale.

The IntCal13 shows four Piora 14-C peaks, all with a sharp drop. The sharp drop indicates that the 14-C from the impact event still lingers on. Of the four peaks of Piora Oscillation, only 3136 BCE event has not been historically identified so far. The Hastinapura event fills the unidentified location in the year 3136 BCE. The four dates and the locations are,

1.         Andaman Sea 3210 BC

2.         Hastinapura 3136 BC

3.         Morasko 3040 BC

4.         Burckle 2920 BC

As far as the Hastinapura events is concerned,

1. The historical narrative clearly shows typical impact features.

2. The temperature drop in the GISP2 graph starts with the exact date 3,136 BC.

3. The IntCal13 has the typical 14-C peak with a calibration drop steeper than the regular diagonal.

Concerning 3136 BCE event identified in the GISP2 graph, no alternate theory is convincing. For example, the solar blast event as the cause for high 14-C at 3136 BC cannot explain why there was a temperature drop. A solar event increases the temperature and does not reduce the temperature. Only meteor showers produce both high 14-C and a temperature drop together.

Rapid temperature-drop in 3136 BCE

This event written in the Mahabharata is going become the focus of attention of climate and meteor scientists of the world. The 13th tithi Amavasya and the delayed Uttarayaṇa offer fresh insights on orbital disturbance of the moon and the earth besides the change in the appearance of the sky. Mahabharata is the only documented evidence of a meteor-hit in a remote past. 

Monday, November 20, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 114


Question – 114

Two planets rising with coppery red crust is also an abnormal feature because the rising planets will appear with bluish tint on top. How could this be scientifically explained?


Vyasa mentions two grahas (planets) appearing with blazing top that obscured the luster of the rising Saptarishi-s. (MB: 6.3.24)

The two planets mentioned by him were Venus and Mars on the western horizon. In the same part of the sky (west), Karṇa had seen Mars make a retrograde movement as though it was going towards the star Anurādha.

The reddish hue on the two planets appearing simultaneously along with haze descending on the northern direction where he was watching the seven sages resolves the issue of rightward movement of Mars, Dhruva and Arundhati. That moment was exactly when a fragment had fallen somewhere in his vicinity. Perhaps Vyasa was on the outside facing the north to offer oblations to the seven sages at the evening twilight.

It is also likely he rushed out on hearing the thunderous noise in cloudless sky (sonic boom), to see what was happening. He had looked up at Dhruva and Arundhati and they appeared tilted from normal. The two planets on his left (west) caught his attention.  In the enveloping darkness at that time, a reddish hue was palpable on the two shining objects - Venus and Mars - on his left. The crash kicked off atmospheric turbulence immediately which blurred the Saptarishi constellation right in front of his eyes.

The abundant production of NO2 by the burning object gives rise to the reddish hue around. This was seen by Vyasa as the reddish śikha of the two planets. Around the same time, three movements - Dhruva, Arundhati and Mars - must have been detected.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 113

 Click here for the previous question

Question – 113

Mars positioned in Scorpio along with the Sun was seen to have made retrograde movement which is impossible to happen. Was that appearance also the result of the sway of the earth caused by the comet-hit?


Yes. Mars was present in Scorpio in the month of Karthika says the text. This means the Sun was in Scorpio. Mars, the outer planet, cannot retrograde while seen on the side of the sun. It will regress only when it is on the opposite side of the sun.

The exact verse spoken by Karna can be translated as follows:

“The planet Angaāraka (Mars), wheeling, O slayer of Madhu, towards the constellation Jyeṣṭha, approacheth towards Anurādha, indicating a great slaughter of friends.” (MB: 5.141.8).

Scorpio appears as follows. Venus and Mars were also present close to that constellation at that time in Karthika.

After sunset, the constellation was on the western horizon, about to disappear soon. Mars was near Jyeshtha, but it appeared to move backwards towards Anuradha which cannot happen in real terms in the month of Karthika with the Sun present close by.

But Karna reporting this to Krishna before Krishna departed Hastinapur after the failed peace mission shows that this was witnessed because of the sudden sway in the earth.

Such sway was not physically felt but palpable by the way the closely placed celestial entities appeared tilted. Scorpio in the western sky must have been visible for more than a month in a particular fashion. On that day it appeared tilted giving an impression the Mars descended lower than normal by which it was said to have moved towards Anuradha.

Indeed, these observations are unique indicating how the sky with its stars and planets will appear differently when the earth is rattled by a heavy impact.

Thus, all the three changed appearances of stars and planets were abut closely placed ones –Arundhati and Vasishtha, Dhruva aligned to the Saptarishi Mandala and Mars near Jyeshtha, the red star which is quite bright to be visible clearly.


Saturday, November 18, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 112

 Click here for the previous question

Question – 112

It was possible to observe the change in the appearance of Arundhati – Vasishtha due to their proximity to each other. But how did Vyasa detect the change in Dhruva by stating that it made apasavyaṃ movement?


Vyasa did say that Dhruva made apasavyaṃ (clockwise) movement in the same context of nimitta-s. There are two issues involved: (1) whether he meant the pole star of his time (2) was there another star in proximity of Dhruva (as a marker for comparison) that enabled him to detect that Dhruva moved in wrong direction.

Taking up the second point first, detection of change in the alignment of Arundhati and Vasishtha shows that it was possible with stars close to each other – when one acted as a marker for the other. So, the change in the direction of Dhruva could be possible if it was aligned to another star.

Dhruva was the name of a star and not just a pole star. The Saptarishi Mandala in which Arundhati- Vasishtha are located point towards Polaris which is known as Dhruva. Texts speak of only three pole stars – Dhruva, Agni and Kashyapa of which Dhruva is the brightest. All the three are in a constellation called Shishumara which is nothing but the Ursa Minor (Little Dipper). In the 3600 years long to or fro oscillation of the equinox, only three stars of the small constellation of Ursa Minor become northern pole stars. In the Mahabharata period which occurred close to zero-degree ayanamsa at the middle of the path, Dhruva was not the pole star, but Agni was.

Since Dhruva is always aligned to the first two stars of the Sapta rishi Mandala (Ursa Major), a tilted appearance of the Saptarishi Mandala due to the swinging of the earth by comet-hit, would have caused the Dhruva (Polaris) also appear to have moved. The shift can be shown as follows. This was similar to the hand drawn shift shown in the previous question.

The major impact having taken place in the twilight hour, Vyasa must have been in the river side to offer his evening prayers. He must have worshiped Sapta rishis. As he looked towards the Saptarishi Mandala, he would have noticed the change in the appearance of Arundhati and Vasishtha and also Dhruva.

Friday, November 17, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 111

 Click here for the previous question

Question – 111

What caused the variation in Arundhati- Vasishtha alignment for a short time as reported by Vyasa?


The comet-hit on the earth over several days, with the major hit felt on Pushya day caused the variation in the appearance. The impact coming from Southwest – west which caused the east flowing rivers to turn towards west - gives the planet earth a spin push forward and sideward, depending on the impact angle. The forward push towards the east moves the earth where it is colder as in the North, swings back where it is warmer, moister in the South, and moves back to the North. One up – down and up movement. As a result, the latitudes move to newer highs before they come back to their regular position.

Similar impacts were seen in the Burckle impact which went on for two weeks. In the Kaali impact 1490 BC, observations described the swing into North, causing to experience sudden cold by which the ducks were frozen in the water.

Suppose a person is standing in a specific latitude, he will suddenly find himself in a different latitude (without his knowledge) because of the earth swinging up as happened in the Mahabharata event.

The shift in latitudes gives a different appearance of the celestial stars – particularly those which are close to each other.  This can be best explained by the observation of Venus and Moon a few years ago when they were seen side by side from Chennai (13-degree latitude N). At the same time, the two were seen in a different alignment from Malaysia (4-degree latitude N)

In the figure in the left, the smaller looking Venus and the bigger crescent moon were seen side by side at 13-degree N. In the figure in the right, the same was seen at the same time, at 4-degree N as though the Moon was behind Venus.

A similar change in the appearance of Arundhati is caused by the observation from a different latitude with the sudden swing of the earth northward. As a result, the pair seemed upside down with Vasishtha behind Arundhati just like the above illustrated image of Moon looking behind Venus in a lower latitude.

In the above figure, O is the observer who sees V (Vasishtha) and A (Arundhati) in a particular alignment. When the earth had swung by the impact, the observer’s location is shifted. From the new location he will see A and V appearing tilted as the tilted Venus- Moon appearance from 4 degrees in the previous illustration.

Such appearance of A-V lasted until the swinging regained its original position. This happened within 2 days according to Mr. Seifert who is working on impact theories. That is why this appearance is a nimitta – a temporary phenomenon which foretold that something terrible happened.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

My interview in Pesu Tamihzha Pesu on political talks about Deepavali

 தீபாவளி வந்தாலே சகிக்க முடியாத உளறல் பேச்சுகள் கிளம்பிவிடும்

சீமான் - நரகாசுரன் தன் முப்பாட்டன்
அ. ராஜா - தீபாவளி பகுத்தறிவுக்கு ஒவ்வாத பண்டிகை
கி. வீரமணி - சுற்றுப்புறச் சூழலை மாசுபடுத்தும் பண்டிகை தீபாவளி.

திராவிட ஸ்டாக் யூ ட்யூப் அறிவு ஜீவிகள் - சுரா என்னும் மதுவைக் குடிக்காத அசுரனான, தமிழனான நரகாசுரனை கொன்றதைக் கொண்டாடும் மோசமான பண்டிகை. இது ஆரியப் பண்டிகை. தமிழர் பண்டிகை அல்ல,
தமிழர் பண்டிகையான பொங்கல் பண்டிகையின் முக்கியத்துவத்தைக் குறைக்கும் பண்டிகை.
இதற்குப் போய் வாழ்த்து சொல்ல வேண்டுமா? வாங்க பதில் சொல்கிறேன் உங்கள் அனைவருக்கும்...

Deepavali, not a Tamil festival? (my talk in Mediyaan News)

In the series of 4 short videos to Mediyaan News Channel, I addressed some questions often raised by Dravidian enthusiasts of Tamilnadu. 

1. Is there any truth in the claim that Deepavali is not a Tamil festival? Or is it an Aryan festival?

2. Are crackers are a must in the celebration of Deepavali?
What is the purpose of bursting crackers as per scriptures?

3. Is Deepavali a glorification of death?
Was Narakasura a Tamilian as claimed by Dravidian politicians?

4. * Who was Narakasura?
* Where did he live? * Why was his mother Aditi happy at his death? * What were her earings kept by Narakasura? * How were all these related to Dhanteras? * How Satyabhama got Parijata in that episode?

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 110

 Click here for the previous question

Question – 110

Agreeing that the Arundhati -Vasishtha verse contains two conflicting natures of Arundhati, why can’t we take both as Shabda Pramana and accept that Arundhati could have gone in front of Vasishtha for many years?


When two contradictory statements are given by no less a person than Vyasa in the context of an important observation of the surroundings around him, there is a way out to handle such paradoxical statements.

When two Pramanas with contradictory connotations are observed for the same frame of inference, the logical way to solve it is to apply Mimamsa axiom of Gunapradhana wherein Guna means subordinate and Pradhana means principal. This axiom has been used by the Indian judiciary in interpreting contentious clauses.

Gunapradhana axiom states that “if a word or sentence purporting to express a subordinate idea clashes with the principal idea, the former must be adjusted to the latter, or must be disregarded altogether.”

In the verse by Vyasa, Arundhati praised in all the three worlds by the righteous people is the Pradhana statement. The applause was for not obstructing the path of her husband by crossing his way or moving in front of him. The same Arundhati perceived as having put her husband at her back is Guna statement as that was reported only at that time or seen only at that time. Never before or never after anywhere in the text or by Vyasa himself, the second feature of Arundhati had ever been reported or recorded.

So, the second statement being Guna in nature has to be read as not disrupting the former (Pradhana)– meaning to say that Arundhati was not seen putting her husband at her prishṭha by others, but only by Vyasa – which is possible if it happened for a short period of time – not long enough to get to be noticed by others.

Secondly, when Guna does not match with Pradhana, such an observation (Guna) is fit to be discarded as an aberration. It can be said, that as per the logic of Purva Mimamsa, the reference to Arundhati keeping her husband at her Prishṭha is not factual.

That is why Vyasa qualified it as a ‘nimitta’!

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 109

 Click here for the previous question

Question – 109

It is claimed that everything told in the Mahabharata falls under Shabda Pramana and as such the deviation in Arundhati’s position must be treated as Shabda Pramana – as something that did take place. Then how can that be denied?


It is already said in the previous answer that two views on Arundhati were given by Vyasa in the same verse. We must first know which of them is qualified as Shabda. To understand this, we must know what Shabda Pramana is.

The pramanas are three – Pratyaksha, Anumana and Shabda and all these three fundamental pramanas must be applied to get the right knowledge. To give an example,

I see smoke in a faraway place. This is Pratyaksha.

I guess that there is a fire there. This is Anumana. But I cannot know anything more than the fact that there is fire - whether it is accidental or deliberately made for disposing of junk. Only Shabda will let me know what kind of fire it is.

I read the news the next day that an accidental fire had happened. This news report is about the Shabda.

So, Pratyaksha may be dubious (the smoke may be from a kiln or a homa); Anumana can be many; but only Shabda is factual.

Only by referring to Shabda can we know the right status of knowledge even though the Pratyaksha may have been done by us.

In the case of Arundhati, Vyasa says, (MB: 6-9-9)

yā caiṣā viśrutā rājaṃs trailokye sādhu saṃmatā

     arundhatī tayāpy eṣa vasiṣṭhaḥ pṛṣṭhataḥ kṛtaḥ

This means,

“She, O king, who is celebrated over the three worlds and is applauded by the righteous, even that (constellation) Arundhati keepeth (her lord) Vasistha on her back.”(Ganguli’s translation)

The first line gives a Universal truth about Arundhati that she is praised by one and all for not obstructing the path of her husband. Had she changed her position, she would not have been praised by the sages of all the three worlds. So, this is the firm truth about her which qualifies as Shabda.

But the second line says that she had kept Vasishtha at her back – which is not what the very name Arundhati stands for. This revolts against the first line which is Shabda Pramana.

In the case of any doubt, we must refer to the Shabda Pramana only.

What Vyasa had seen as a change in her position is only Pratyaksha Pramana which must be compared with Shabda.

That is why he recalled her permanent position (Shabda) and made an Anumana that what he had seen could not have been universal but a temporary phenomenon. That is why he qualified it as a nimitta.

In his verse, on seeing some deviation (indeterminate perception) in the position of Arundhati, Vyasa inferred (Anumana) that Arundhati had kept her husband at her prishṭha.

This is followed by Upamana – comparing what he saw with her generic position which blends with Shabda that she is a praiseworthy person for never deviating from her path. The Upamana blended with Shabda was remembered by him in the first line followed by what he saw and inferred (Pratyaksha and Anumana). The sequence of the ideas in the verse – of Shabda coming ahead of his Pratyaksha -Anumana statement conveys that a quick analysis was done in his mind by thinking of Shabda vacana or else he would not have brought first, her unwavering position for which she is praised, before expressing what he inferred from seeing.

This can happen, i.e. cross checking with the Shabda vacana and invoking the same to clear his mind of what he perceived - if what he saw lasted for a short duration.

On the contrary if it is true that Arundhati had been going ahead of Vasishtha for thousands of years before Vyasa’s time, there is no logic in recalling her generic position which Vyasa had never seen in his lifetime. A configuration that had been in existence for more than 5000 years before Vyasa’s times would have come to be accepted as a regular position and there is no place for comparative (first) statement in that verse.

Therefore, this verse is a subtle expression of comparing what he had seen with Shabda Pramana on Arundhati and coming to a clarity that the deviation was temporary and a nimitta.


Monday, November 13, 2023

Was Taj Mahal a Hindu temple or a palace or part of a twin temple? (PGurus )

Recently the Delhi High Court directed the ASI to investigate a plea by Hindu Sena claiming that the Taj Mahal was not built by Shah Jahan. The plea was made to get the correct historical information about the age and construction of the Taj Mahal. This direction by the court generates a renewed interest in the antecedents of the Taj Mahal and a relook at the conflicting claims on its construction.

Stephan Knapp in his website has produced a list of articles by authors who claimed that the Taj Mahal was a pre-existing Hindu structure – either a palace or a temple – that was appropriated by Shah Jahan (reign 1628 to 1658) to house the last remains of his wife, Mumtaz who died during the delivery of her 14th child. It was claimed that Shah Jahan employed 20,000 men who worked continuously for 22 years to complete the Taj Mahal. It is said that Mumtaz died in the year 1631, the work to construct the Taj Mahal commenced in 1632 and it got over in the year 1653. Several details pertaining to the authenticity of this claim and counterclaims can be read on Stephan Knapp’s website while here I would like to focus on less discussed or unpublicized issues only.

In any historical analysis, contemporary literature is accepted as primary evidence. Only two such texts exist as we know. One is the travelogue of  J.B. Tavernier and another is Badshanama, an official biography written by chroniclers employed by Shah Jahan himself. Tavernier had written his work in French which was translated into English later. The English translation claims that he was present in Agra at the time of commencement of the Taj Mahal and he returned when it got over. It was his assertion that the Taj Mahal was completed in 22 years with a manpower of 20,000 men.

A reading of his original version in French however showed that he came to Agra ten years after the year of commencement of the Taj Mahal and he was not in Agra at the time of completion. Therefore, whatever he had written was not a firsthand information but something he wrote by hearsay. Hence, his version cannot be taken as primary evidence.

The only other contemporary work was Badshanama which contains vital information on the Taj Mahal. Of the total of 1600 pages, the information on Mumtaz and the Taj Mahal are found only in two pages. It says that the palace of Raja Man Singh which was in the custody of Raja Jai Singh was chosen for burying the late wife of Shah Jahan. Though Jai Singh was unwilling to part with his ancestral property he relented without expecting anything in return when the body of Mumtaz arrived. However, he was compensated with a piece of government land.

Badshanama says that in the following year the body was buried under the dome. This makes it clear that there was a pre-existing structure which was used for burial. Here we must know background information about Raja Jai Singh. He was a subsidiary of Shah Jahan and fought for him in battles. His grandfather Man Singh whose palace was asked by Shah Jahan worked as a commander in the army of Akbar. During Akbar’s reign, Man Singh renovated the Kashi Vishvanatha temple where Gyan Vapi is located. Later this temple of Bhagawan Vishvanatha was vandalized by Aurangzeb to build a mosque over it. But the temple was out of reach for the Mughals during Man Singh’s period.

Now examining the claims on the Taj Mahal as the palace of Man Singh got from the custody of his grandson Jai Singh to build the mausoleum for Mumtaz, it can be theorized that Jai Singh would not have let it into the hands of Shah Jahan if it was a temple. It is reasonable to assume that it was indeed a mansion which he gave up.

However, further developments raise doubts about the nature of the structure used by Shah Jahan. There are four extant farman-s (orders) issued by Shah Jahan to Jai Singh to send stone- laborers and cartloads of marble stones from the mines of Makranna. Jai Singh was reluctant to obey, and he delayed the dispatch of marbles and prevented the manpower from going to Agra to work on the mausoleum. Why did he do so? He handed over his palace in exchange for land, knowing very well the purpose for which it was going to be used. Having known that why did he not cooperate with Shah Jahan in getting the mausoleum finished in the way he liked?  

Suppose the palace was not used for the purpose for which it was bought from him, and instead another site was used for the same purpose, there is scope to say that Raja Jai Singh was upset with the new site used for burying. Suppose the new site was a temple building, captured already by the Mughals, then Raja Jai Singh could have had no say in the way it was used. He would have been helpless. In that context we can understand his reluctance to oblige the farman-s of the Badshah.

This doubt arises from the numerous evidence cited by researchers like P.N. Oak and Dr. Godbole that Taj Mahal could have been a temple. Certainly, Jai Singh did not give a temple for burying the corpse of Mumtaz; he had given only his palace. If there was a temple, he could be expected to have to protected it or renovated it like his grandfather who renovated the temple of Bhagawan Vishvanatha. On the other hand, if a temple was already in the control of the Mughals, he had nothing to do about it. Perhaps to save the temple from becoming the mausoleum, he might have taken the difficult decision of giving up his precious ancestral property on the assurance that it would be used for housing the coffin of Mumtaz.

This looks feasible given the fact that he was hesitant to give his ancestral property. Only after the body arrived, he had reluctantly given up without expecting any returns on the assumption that the temple in the custody of the Mughals would be spared. But within a year the body was buried under the dome, says Badshahnama. Which dome? Where was the dome? Was that the dome of Man Singh’s palace or the dome of the temple?

In the latter case, there is a strong reason for the way Jai Singh was upset with the plans of Shah Jahan. He could not be expected to cooperate with him such that it required four farman-s to be issued by the Badshah – they are the only evidence for the work of marbles done by Shah Jahan.

In support of the claim that the mausoleum was constructed on a pre-existing temple, let me quote a research work on the Mughal garden in the south of Taj Mahal, called Char Bhagh. Square in shape, it occupies a larger area than the Taj Mahal area. It is crisscrossed by water channels to divide the garden into four equal squares. At the centre, there is a fountain in existence right from Shah Jahan’s time. Water for this fountain is fed by an aqueduct from the Yamuna from the western side of the Taj Mahal and Char Bhagh. The aqueduct stops at the middle of the western side of the char Bhagh where water is kept in storage tanks. An earthen pipeline goes 6 feet under the ground from the middle of the western border to the centre of the Char Bhagh to feed the fountain.

The fountain was bordered with marble slabs by Lord Curzon. Tourists and foreign dignitaries who visit the site used to sit on the marble slab to take snaps because the Taj Mahal is exactly behind this and can be captured in photographs in its entirety from this centre.

 The central fountain bordered with marble slabs

The Char Bhagh was analysed by a researcher Dr. Amelia Carolina of Itay, whose findings offered a breakthrough in understanding what exactly existed in the site. In her paper ‘The Gardens of Taj Mahal and the Sun’ published in the International Journal of Sciences, dated Dec 2013, and made public in research Gate, ( ) she checked whether the Char Bhagh is aligned to the solstices. And it was found to be aligned so!

(click the image to enlarge)

The Taj is on the south of the river Yamuna and the picture we see of the Taj Mahal is aligned to North – South direction. The entrance of the Taj Mahal is facing west (not Mecca). In the above picture the Char Bhagh region can be seen as a huge square with a central square met by the water lines in four cardinal directions, There are minarets on the four corners of the Char Bhagh.

Dr. Carolina found that the sun rays are passing through the minarets in the northern corner on the day of summer solstice and the minarets in the southern corner on the day of winter solstice. In other words, the Char Bhagh is aligned to the direction of the solstitial sun. If so, the equinoctial sun will pass exactly above the central fountain. This is like how the equinoctial sun passes through the centre of the Gopuram of the Ananta Padmanabha Swamy temple or Triplicane Parthasarathy temple and many temples of Bharat.

The limits of the solstices passing through the corners of the Char Bhagh are circled in the above picture. This alignment could not occur naturally, but measured over a year and marked. The solstices and the centre where the equinox passes must have been marked, for what? Did the Mughals ever apply archeoastronomy to determine the site? Never. Not seen in Bharat.

The centre in this scheme becomes a vital part because that is where something sacred must have been consecrated. What was there in the centre originally?

The central alignment of the Char Bhagh with the equinox also means that the central dome of the Taj Mahal is aligned with the equinoctial path of the sun because it is exactly parallel to the center of the Char Bhagh. On the solstices, the sun passes through the corner minarets of the Taj Mahal too. This was not observed so far because we are not seeing the Taj Mahal in the east- west direction.

The alignment of the Char Bhagh shows that there was something sacred in that huge land which was ultimately destroyed by Shah Jahan. In this context we have another piece of evidence too by means of a Sanskrit inscription that was supposed to have been removed from the Char Bhagh by Shah Jahan. Today it is in Lucknow Museum.

Mr. D.J. Kale, an archaeologist had written the transcript of that inscription (known as Bateshwar inscription) in Epigraphia Indica. He has written,

“The said Munj Bateswar Edict was laid by King Paramardidev of the Chandratreya dynasty on Sukla Panchami in the month of Ashwin, in the year 1212 Vikram Samvat (or A.D. 1156).    King Paramardidev built two magnificent temples with white marble, one for Lords Vishnu and the other for Lord Shiva and they were desecrated later on by the Muslim invaders. Perhaps a farsighted man took the edict to a safer place at Bateswar and buries it beneath the ground” ( )

So, there were two temples, not just one temple at the site of Taj Mahal built by King Paramardidev in the year 1156 CE. One was for Vishnu and another was for Shiva. The edict further states,

“He built a marble temple which is the abode of Lord Vishnu and the King bows down to touch His feet” (25).

The King has built another marble temple which has been dedicated to the Lord Who has the moon as His ornament on His forehead and Who, getting such a beautiful abode, has forgotten to return to Kailash (26)”

One of them was completely destroyed and the other was used to house the coffin of Mumtaz.

Paramardidev belonged to the dynasty which was known for having built the Khajuraho temples known for exquisite art and architecture. These two temples must have been exquisite with marble covering. These two temples must have been carefully aligned with the equinox and solstices. They must have been facing the western direction and the Murti-s  in the east.

They were captured soon after they were built because Paramadidev was defeated by the the Ghurid general Qutb ud-Din Aibak around 1202–03 CE. Since then, Agra and the twin temples must have come under the control of the Muslims. No worship of the deities was possible since then. As time went by the temples continued to be under the control of successive Mughal rulers of whom Shash Jahan seemed to have decided to use it for his own.  Probably, Raja Jai Singh wielded an influence to desist him from using it. In that context, Shah Jahan might have hoodwinked Jai Singh for an exchange of his ancestral property. No Rajput King would have liked to part with his precious ancestral palace. He was not willing, but the hidden intention of Shah Jahan to use the twin temples could have made him hatch a deal to offer his palace to bury the queen. But Shah Jahan faltered and used the temple to bury his wife. This angered Jai Singh who refused to cooperate with him.

This hidden scene looks plausible given the fact that the site is remarkably demarcated by archeoastronomy which is not a hallmark of Mughal architecture. Man Singh’s palace must have existed outside the Taj complex. A weak Jai Singh was duped into ceding his palace to the cunning Badsha thinking that he was saving the temple. This seems plausible because Jai Sigh was the grandson of Man Singh who protected Kashi Vishvanatha temple. Jai Singh would have wished to safeguard these temples too, but alas, they were already in the custody of the Mughals.

A fresh study of the archaeo astronomy of Char Bhagh and the Taj Mahal must be done to check the veracity of my claim. The Bateshwar inscriptions must be studied once again and the contents be published now because both these go hand in hand in proving that twin temples existed in the site. It is my understanding that the Char Bhagh housed the  Shiva temple which was demolished completely. A ground penetrating study can reveal if foundations of a temple are present underneath.

The Shiva temple was whitish in colour says the inscription such that Shiva preferred to stay here than in the snow-white Himalayas. This implies that the temple was covered with marble. The marbles were used for the other Vishnu temple which was converted into the mausoleum for Mumtaz. The image of the Sun on the underside of the dome of the Taj Mahal could mean that it was a temple of Surya Narayana.

The image of the sun on the underside of the central dome of the Taj Mahal.

When Shah Jahan ran out of enough marbles to cover the Mausoleum, he stripped some from the upper stories of the Taj Mahal and requisitioned some from Raja Jai Singh which he refused.

These revelations were spoken by me in PGurus you Tube channel which can be viewed here.