How science discovered the historical Krishna

  • This article refers to Archaeology,  astronomy and literary sources have been used to establish the fact that Lord  Krishna was definitely a historical character.

"The  sea, which had been beating against the shores, suddenly broke the boundary  that was imposed on it by nature. The sea rushed into the city. It coursed  through the streets of the beautiful city. The sea covered up everything in the  city. Arjuna saw the beautiful buildings becoming submerged one by one. He took  a last look at the mansion of Krishna. In a matter of a few moments it was all  over. The sea had now become as placid as a lake. There was no trace of the  beautiful city which had been the favourite haunt of all the Pandavas. Dwarka  was just a name; just a memory." – Mausala Parva, Mahabharata.

Does this account from the ancient Indian epic have a true  historical core? Did Lord Krishna, the youthful, playful God, indeed the  favourite Indian deity, walk the streets of ancient Dwarka? Did Krishna,  considered the Lord of the universe by a billion Hindus, rule the Yaduvanshi  clan thousands of years ago?

The reason why some doubt Krishna’s existence at all is  because of the web of lies spun by European Indologists who first appeared on  the scene in the 19th century. These scholars, some of who had never set foot  in India and did not even bother to study Sanskrit, questioned every belief the  Hindus had held for millennia. They concluded – and their traitorous Indian  followers faithfully accepted – that Krishna was a myth.

There are two reasons why the Europeans, mostly British,  debunked Indian history.

One, these Indologists were not Indophiles; they did  not come to seek the truth. They were in fact racists and imperialists,  convinced of the need to invade India and create a class of people willing to  serve the British loyally. So the British wanted to destroy everything Indians  took pride in.

Two, these so-called scholars were also fired by the zeal of  spreading Christianity. When the Europeans first came into contact with learned  Indians and their historical texts, they were shocked to learn that Indian  history pre-dated their world by thousands of years. It clashed with their  religious belief that (their) God had created the earth 4000 years ago! For the  missionaries, destroying the historicity of Krishna was imperative if they had  any chance of establishing their religion in India. By labelling as myth the  Indian historical sources like the Vedas, Mahabharata, Upanishads, and  especially the Puranas, which give exact chronologies of Indian kings including  Krishna, the missionaries ensured that Indian history and tradition facilitated  the process of colonising the Indian mind. 

However, the truth is always difficult to suppress. Using  archaeological, scriptural, literary and astronomical data, scholars and  scientists are coming round to the view that Krishna was definitely a  historical character.

Archaeological  Evidence
The Rosetta stone, or the key, to the Krishna story is  Dwarka. The strongest archaeological support comes from the structures  discovered in the late 1980's under the seabed off the coast of modern Dwarka  in Gujarat by a team of archaeologists and divers led by Dr S.R. Rao. An  emeritus scientist at the marine archaeology unit of the National Institute of  Oceanography, Goa, Rao has excavated a large number of Harappan sites,  including the port city of Lothal in Gujarat.

In his book The Lost City of Dwarka, published in 1999, he  writes about his undersea finds: “The discovery is an important landmark in the  history of India. It has set to rest the doubts expressed by historians about  the historicity of Mahabharata and the very existence of Dwarka city.”

Conducting 12 expeditions during 1983-1990, Rao identified  two underwater settlements, one near the present-day Dwarka and the other in  the nearby island of Bet Dwarka. This tallies with the two Dwarkas mentioned in  the epic. The underwater expeditions won Rao the first World Ship Trust Award  for Individual Achievement.

Another important find by our divers was a seal that  establishes the submerged township's connection with the Dwarka of the  Mahabharata. The seal corroborates the reference made in the ancient text, the  Harivamsa, that every citizen of Dwarka should carry such a seal for  identification purposes. Krishna had ruled that none without the seal should  enter it. A similar seal has been found onshore as well.

In his book, Search for the Historical Krishna, N.S.  Rajaram, a mathematician and former NASA scientist, writes that names of people  and places contemporaneous to Krishna are found on some Harappan seals. For  example, words like Paila (Ved Vyasa's pupil), Akrura (Krishna's friend),  Vrishni (Krishna's clan), Yadu (Krishna's ancestor), Sritirtha (old name for  Dwaraka) are found on seals, some of which go back 5000 years.

Literary  Evidence
The west coast of Gujarat was the traditional land of the  Yadavs, or Yadus. According to the Bhagavad Puran, Krishna led the Yadavs  thousands of kilometres west to establish Dwarka, so they could start a new  life, safe from their many enemies in the Gangetic Valley.

The Mahabharata says, Dwarka was reclaimed from the sea.  Rao’s divers discovered that the submerged city's walls were erected on a  foundation of boulders, suggesting that land indeed was reclaimed from the sea.

Of course, there are thousands of references to Krishna in  other Hindu as well as Buddhist texts but Dwarka is the key. For, one cannot  separate Dwarka from Krishna. If the city existed, then it is true that Krishna  ruled over it. See pictures of Dwarka and Bet Dwarka

Astronomical  Evidence
Dr Narhari Achar, professor of physics at the University of  Memphis, Tennessee, has dated the Mahabharata war using astronomy, using  regular planetarium software. According to his research conducted in 2004-05,  the titanic clash between the Pandavas and the Kauravas took place in 3067 BC.  Using the same software, Dr Achar places the year of Krishna’s birth at 3112  BC.

Dr Manish Pandit, a nuclear medicine physician in the UK,  after examining the astronomical, archaeological and linguistic evidence,  agrees with Dr Achar’s conclusions. Dr Pandit, who is also a distinguished  astrologer and has written several books on the subject, traced the route of  Krishna’s journeys to shoot the documentary, “Krishna: History or Myth?”

Dr Pandit says there are more than 140 astronomy references  in the Mahabharata. Simulations of the night sky on the planetarium software  show the stars as they would align over the Saraswati river in northern India.  These simulations have been combined with geographical descriptions to arrive  at various dates. According to historian S.M. Ali, the author of Geography of  Puranas, “The geographical matter contained in the Mahabharata is immense. It  is perhaps the only great work which deals with geographic details and not  incidentally, as other works.”

Travel to Kurukshetra where the Great War between the  Pandavas and Kauravas took place. To see pictures of Kurushetra

Vandalising  History
Of course, none of the evidence is good enough for the  ossified historians that lord over India’s academia, regurgitating the lies  written by the Christian missionaries. Disregarding all new research, academics  like Romilla Thapar, R.S. Sharma and Irfan Habib have consigned Krishna to  mythology.

In his textbook for Class X, Sharma writes, “Although Lord  Krishna plays an important role in the Mahabharata, the earliest inscriptions  and sculpture pieces found in Mathura between 200 BC and 300 AD do not attest  his presence.” What brilliant deduction. Going by Sharma’s logic, any fool can  dig at a random site, and upon failing to discover an artefact, declare Krishna  never existed. Sadly, millions of Indian school children are being taught such  lies. Thapar, in fact, says the Mahabharata is a glorified account of a  skirmish between two “Aryan” tribes, with Krishna merely playing the role of an agent provocateur.

And what do they do when confronted with the new evidence?  They withdraw into their parallel dystopian world and argue it is not clinching  evidence. But, of course, they will accept as truth the myths of other  religions.

Dr Rao says further digging and diving, in tandem with  India’s vast treasure trove of historical facts will further corroborate key  dates of our eventful and glorious past.

As the Upanishads say, pratnakirtim apavirnu – know thy  past.

Author is a features writer at Fairfax New Zealand. He has previously worked with Businessworld, India Today and Hindustan Times, and was news editor with the Financial Express.

Also  travel to places associated with Lord Krishna and read -
1. Vrindavan on Janmastami Day
2. Bhalka Tirth
3. Perennial  Psychology Of The Bhagwad Geeta
4. Travelogue Vrindavan

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