2nd April 2013
1. Meticulous in detail. A narrative that spares no superlative in detailing individual characters; heroic exploits on the battlefield; deaths of prominent heroes; daily military formations and strategies employed by opposing armies; ad verbatim discussions in meetings and gauntlets thrown down by heroes in day-to-day challenges... wins and losses. Even the weapons used, and how, are described in minute detail and with a great deal of literary license and enthusiasm. Not only is the spoken word recorded with grammatical punctuation and emphasis but we are also given deep insight into the minds and magical capabilities of key individuals...like (god) Krishna in his now famously (interpolated?) discussion with a strife torn Arjuna. Yet, for all its crafted detail, the narrator missed the vitae in documentation. When we consider that omission,* the account for what it's worth, falls in with the dateless genre, i.e. Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, War of the Worlds, Harry Potter and Anything Goes. Difference being, where the mentioned narratives admit fiction, the Mahabharata (MB) alleges historical fact...in toto.
2. Further still, MB is an epic so conspicuously analogous to the Iliad of ancient Greece that it would be disingenuous not to ask how one did not ape the other. Albeit akin on many levels of depiction, the Iliad differs from the MB significantly in one stretch, i.e. whereas all historians agree the Greek epic settles in at 8th BCE, the dating* of a notably particularized MB was uncharacteristically consigned to oblivion by the author/s. Dates are considered the fruit of history and manuscripts the jars that preserve it for posterity. Both are missing and quizzically so when researchers are confronted with rhyme rhythm and confounding razzamatazz to which the 'historical MB' lays claim. What that leaves us is four groups of opinion - 1) Unbiased researchers who disregard the subject matter based on a lack of evidence. 2) Those who believe the MB to be a dramatized adaption of the "Ten Kings" war (mentioned in the Rg Veda) with a generous helping of artistic license and added Iliad flavors. 3) Ruthless cultists who exploit such elusive accounts to turn a profit. 4) Academics and Indologists who find themselves clutching at stars and dusting every itty bitty piece of archeological clay as they flounder under the onus of proof. The best of what they give the world is listed below. Please note the variance in estimated dates (5'500 years) and process used to arrive at conclusion:
a) The Kurukshetra War is believed to date variously from 6000 BCE to 500 BCE based on the astronomical and literary information from Mahabharata. The history of the Kurukshetra War is also trace to the Battle of the Ten Kings mentioned in Rigveda.
b) P. V. Holey states a date of November 13, 3143 BCE using planetary positions and calendar systems.
c) P. V. Vartak calculates a date of October 16, 5561 BCE using planetary positions.
d) Based on translation work by K. Sadananda, on November 22 3067 BCE, Kurukshetra War started.
e) The findings in Dwarka and archeological evidence found are compatible with the Mahabharata tradition and removes the lingering doubt about the historicity and positions the Mahabharata war date to around 1500 BCE.
f) According to When Did The Mahabharata War Happen?: The Mystery of Arundhati, written by Nilesh Nilkanth Oak, the Kurukshetra War occurred about 7,500 years ago in 7573 Year before present, as per astronomy observations mentioned in Mahabharata.
g) Some historians like A. L. Basham estimate the date of the Kurukshetra war to Iron Age India of the 10th century BCE.
h) According to the most popular later tradition the Mahabharata War took place in 3102 BCE.
i) Probably the war took place around the beginning of the 9th century BCE; such a date seems to fit well with the scanty archaeological remains of the period.
j) B.B Lal used the same approach with a more conservative assumption of the average reign to estimate a date of 836 BCE, and correlated this with archaeological evidence from Painted Grey Wares sites, the association being strong between PGW artifacts and places mentioned in the epic.
k) Most widely accepted date is 10th century BCE or 950 BCE, according to archeological evidences.
l) S. Balakrishna concluded a date of 2559 BCE using consecutive lunar eclipses.
m) R. N. Iyengar concluded a date of 1478 BCE using double eclipses and Saturn+Jupiter conjunctions.
n) B. N. Achar states a date of 3067 BCE using planetary positions listed in the Mahabharata.
3. We could simply leave it there and walk away with anti-bonhomie sentiments from our readership. Instead we will press the issue a little further, not to antagonize or sensationalize, but because the MB is an epic directly connected to the birthing of cults and belief systems that define India: her academics, leaders and representatives at the General Assembly. Ignoring the unequalled superhuman accomplishments (if indeed human at all) and free-ranging allegories/antidotes readers are asked to accept (tongue-in-cheek) as indomitable truths, we cannot help but trip over numbers. Let's do a quick count and comparison:
World War 1 lasted four years and had a total loss (civilian and military) approx. twenty million lives.
World War 2 lasted six years and had a total loss (civilian and military) approx. fifty-three million lives.
Russian Civil War lasted six years and had a total loss....................... approx. twenty million lives.
Summary: We have taken three major wars which together lasted SIXTEEN YEARS and totaled a death count of- NINETY-THREE MILLION. Comparatively, we are asked to believe that the MB's Kurukshetra War lasted EIGHTEEN DAYS (24 hrs x 18 days= 432 hrs) and totaled a death count of - ONE BILLION, SIX HUNDRED and SIXTY MILLION and TWENTY THOUSAND... A staggering approx. of TWENTY- FIVE THOUSAND DEATHS PER MINUTE. Astonishing even more so when we bear in mind... the armies rested at night. So really, if believed, there was only NINE DAYS or 216 hrs. of action.
?1 billion, 660 million, and 20 thousand men perished in the war. Only 240,165 heroes survived?. (Mbh 11.26)
4. Staggering? Mind-blowing? Unbelievable? But wait!....Have you been to Kurukshetra? Its area, pillar to post, including dwellings agriculture and stock allocation is no more than 48 x 128 km. How can that village/town/city.. that district.. that State.. INDIA... afford to host (food, drink and sanitation) a war consisting of armies (including elephants, horses, squires, servants etc.,) that size?
5. Why are there no relics/artiFACTS on exhibit? Why, in spite of what historians define as a war between north Indian rulers, is it sold by cultists as a World War, and when no nation outside Bharat (Maha or not) can produce (or ever had) a shred of evidence to corroborate the claim? "The first world war, that this earth has endured, was not fought in the twentieth century. What we refer to as the first world war was, in fact, the second one. The first world war was fought in India, more than five thousand years ago. It is known as The Mahabharata war. This war changed the course of Indian History. It was a catastrophic war not only for India but the whole world." A bit gung-ho wouldn't you say... if not fundamentally cultic.
6. Lastly, in no way the least, is the 'Sri Krishna Param Bhagavan' cult promotion that evolved (No! Not immediately but) thousands of years after the conclusion to that fantastic war; a title not realized by the Haryanavi authority that administers Kurukshetra but by southerners who had no geographical idea of the north. The very same yawners who gave cultists the eighty-eight-mile-high mountain in Mathura from which Krishna and Balaram made that incredible jump; Maharaja Nanda's 900'000 cows and Krishna stealing butter and yogurt from others if only to make himself a mischievous little darling, and Govardhan Hill as the pasteurizing location for the massive herd... and cult nerd.
param bhagavan concept
7. Gluing the Aryan prince of MB fame to an incarnation of Vishnu first came to prominence in southern India around 7-9 AD... only a few THOUSAND YEARS after the MB War (and in sync with Odishyan Adavasi brothers- Bopadeva and Jayadeva). The earliest gummings of the 'Alvar' dreamers, or Tamil 'Vama Margis and Nambudiris' can be found in works like Divya Prabandham, and the Alvar Andal collection of bhakti arias in which the songstress conceives of herself as a gopi at the point of ..... let's leave it there. Another notable cult archaic oxytocin oozer is the Kulasekaraazhavaar Mukundamala. From these earlier springboards and profitable results, southerners took command of propaganda against the 'impersonal' teachings (as they claim) of the ancient Vedas. Interpolation of existing historical records with 'personal' concoctions was the adopted strategy and puranas were the result. The MB quickly grew (with True Writing) from oral to ten thousand verses and on to a hundred thousand. With the gods looking like a Greek line up of who's who, and the idea that images could be housed to attract and extort god money, it was a no holds barred wrestle to oust all opposition...and that is the true MB war that continues, even today.
8. In conclusion: What was it all about if not what history and sanity would agree to? Why so many deaths? What did it achieve? If the answer is that the war was a fratricidal dispute over a kingdom in which death was inevitable, and finally did achieve its ends even at great cost, the richness of Indian moral; the dedication of its rulers to a warrior ethos: the kshatriya's commitment to his codes of justice would remain unchallenged and enshrined (even if literally fabled). However, that is not what we are led to believe. Everywhere we look and every incident connected to the MB War leads us to 'param bhagavan Krishna' as the divine cause reason and circumstance for what is already a war out of proportion to time and place.
9. Fanatical cultists impose on anyone, seeking truth, the interpolations of predecessors as fact. And nowhere are interpolations more concentrated than in the MB and accompanying insert- Bhagavad Gita. The most active cult promoting an American translation of the Gita and waving previously unheard of logoisms like- "Krishna the Supreme Personality of Godhead," is the Hare Krishna movement (ISKCON). Their literature comes pronounced and packaged with a right to interpretation unlike any other. The only commonality is that they, like the Vama Magis before them, feel whatever dream passing through their heads, with eyes open or shut, is a direct revelation from god. Additionally, Iskcon's Gita falls in line with other bhakti factions in telling us what every cult interpolated Gita attempts to impose as divine knowledge i.e. the MB War was initiated by god-Krishna:- "To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium." (Bg. as it is 4.8)
yeah.. god-K told me...
10. From a believable historical perspective, Sri Krishna's role in the MB War is of undeniable importance. His interaction with both families and final resolve to war, is of utmost essence to cause and effect: the final annihilation of both warring factions Notwithstanding, to then corkscrew that historical role only to assert and promote him as "param bhagavan," contradicts the truth; his glorious achievements and teachings. How is that? you may ask. The answer is- Simply because, while he achieved his goals as an advisor and ally, the pious were never delivered (just ask the Tamils who wrote the nonsense,) nor were the miscreants annihilated, not even for a moment.... Villains, scoundrels, blackguards, rascals, rogues and knaves are eternally present, pre and post MB. They flourish unrestricted within the tabernacles of the bhakti cult itself. As for reestablishing the principles of religion- the law struggles on a daily basis to enforce morals and ethics... and not least among cultists who exhibit little or no regard for national legislation or enforcement, women, children, elderly or families outside cult values... doctrine and dogma. So the conclusion that Krishna is god falls flat when we note that he failed to achieve anything outside the wholesale slaughter of two warring families in a fratricidal war.
ssssh....don't tell K
In a previous posting we pointed out how the 'acarya' of Iskcon, A.C. De, aka. Prabhupada (acBSp) spoke English like fish-and-chips but wrote the language like filet mignon. The rat smells for newbies who watch audio/videos of the man speaking vis-a-vis reading 'his' books. It remains an enigma for thinkers who read the Iskcon Bhagavad Gita As It Is (BGaii) without knowing it was in fact written by an English scholar (Howard Wheeler aka. Hayagriva Swami) who had fallen under the acBSp 'exotic Indian swami' bus (he left the society when the exotica wore off).
By signing work with names of bygone saints, gaudiya vaisnavas published bogus literature to delude the world into accepting their 'personalist' philosophy.... a fraudulent maneuver that made cult converts and gave god-given rights to donations, slaves, women, children, properties and tax fraud. In the revelation below we see how acBSp reverses the tactic by plagiarizing the works of other scholars and then inserts Wheeler's worded 'English purports' to claim the work as his own. It confirms what we have always suspected ... the man was uneducated; just another 'personalist' petty pick-pocket. Considering the history of gaudiya vaisnava story-telling and means to an end, we should not be surprised to read Wheeler's account of how acBSp put together his BGaii. What the excerpt below reveals is what the world should know, not only about the Iskcon BGaii but all acBSp books, which has netted the society millions of dollars.
On pages 210-211 "Hare Krishna Explosion" Hayagriva Swami (Howard Wheeler) informs us how Iskcon's Bhagavad Gita As It Is took shape under instruction by Prabhupada (acBSp) to plagiarize :
Then, in the introduction to his BGaii, acBSp sanctioned this baloney:
"His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is uniquely qualified to present this English translation and commentary on Bhagavad-gita. He is the world's foremost Vedic scholar and teacher, and he is also the current representative of an unbroken chain of fully self-realized spiritual masters begining with Lord Krishna Himself. Thus, unlike other editions of the Gita, this one is presented as it is--without the slightest taint of adulteration or personal motivation. This edition is certain to stimulate and enlighten with its ancient yet thoroughly timely message."
Later, when seated on his good-as-god chair surrounded by starry eyed followers, acBSp made statements like the one below. We are putting it on record so our readers will understand how ruthless and conniving the man was in his ambition to be recognized for what he was not:
acBSp: "He (god-Krishna) asked me to come here and I said that I did not want to go because it was such a dirty place. He told me if you go I will arrange so many nice palaces for you to live in. I said but I do not want to go. He said you just go and write these books and I will make it comfortable for you. So because He asked me to write these books I came."
Below we have posted yet another account, as related by an acBSp teddy bear. When the Wheeler excerpt, along with the one below, are taken into analysis we find ourselves dealing with a Ballygunge baakwas... a two-finger-touch artist .... a man who uses an English speaking disciple to plagiarize someone else's work over which he imposes purports and then, as revealed in the statement below, claims that the books are actually the work of god-Krishna. By employing these cheap tactics of deception while dressed in the clothes of a monk acBSp achieved a psychotic desire to have his name and picture flashed worldwide by getting dupes to peddle his litterature on city streets.
go forth and plagiarize
"Then he (acBSp) asked Do you know why I learn something every time I read these books? Now I was completely bewildered Because I have not written these books. What transpired next was simply amazing. He looked me very intently making strong direct eye contact. He spoke with great authority but with a mystical mood bordering on the ecstatic as he began to describe how His books are written. Everyday He said When I sit down here to write these books He was now looking into space waving His hands in the air His voice filled with Transcendental emotion Krishna personally comes and dictates every word. I got the sense that Krishna was present in the room at that moment but I was too blind to see Him. Now Prabhupada returned His eyes to mine Therefore He said Whenever I read these books even I learn something and if you read my books everyday you will also learn something every time you read them."
Liar...I'm gonna fry ya!
Meanwhile Iskcon's Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, the publishing arm of the cult, is in a tizz. The acarya (acBSp) made far too many incredible and outrageous statements. Editors have decided to remove material that was easily accepted by drugged hippies of the '60's era but inconceivable to modern, educated targets. Following the decision, and from the first editing, the cult split into three groups of opinion 1) Those who need to make the changes to facilitate more sales and secure more educated converts, i.e. management (who also know that the books were not written by acBSp). 2) Those who use the editing as yet another political axe to grind. 3) Those who are residue cult hippies... who still believe everything acBSp said is godspeak.
Here is an e.g., of an edited statement from an acBSp purport- "There is also a planet of trees presided over by Aryama, who represents Krsna." -Bhagavad-gita As It Is, first edition, purport to 10.29
What acBSp left in his wake is a society of smiling psychos like himself. No! This is not an allegation. It is a fact. In closing this post, allow us to present a pertinent example. Keep in mind- iskcon is the biggest seller of Bhagavad Gita on the planet. acBSp claims in his BGaii (intro) the knowledge was first spoken by god-Krishna to the sun-god- "Here the Lord informs Arjuna that this system of yoga, the Bhagavad-gita, was first spoken to the sun-god, and the sun-god explained it to Manu, and Manu explained it to Iksvaku, and in that way by disciplic succession, one speaker after another, this yoga system has been coming down." By this acBSp implied that he was the current holder of that knowledge which, we presume, he passed on to his disciples... by disciplic succession. Of his disciples, the top-shelf preachers, or those whom he personally identified as having grasped the sacred knowledge are his anointed sannyasi elite. So let us share with readers a snippet of this knowledge given by god-Krishna which somehow ended up in iskcon. To do this we will look at it through the eyes of an iskcon sannyasi. Hell, why just any sannyasi, why not go to the leader of the Sunnyasi Ministry in iskcon...the one to whom all other sannyasis turn for confirmation.... His Holiness Prahladananda Swami. The excerpt below is taken from a 'fresh off the press' publication entitled- "The Life and Times of Bhakta Jim." Amazon.com
"Prahladananda (Swami) is hard for me to figure out. I know the man has a brain - his ability to recite the most obscure passages of scripture would impress anyone. Yet when I started my argument against scriptural astronomy, he began saying the craziest things, he believed on the basis of scripture that the world was flat. He even took a napkin and drew concentric circles on it to show me what the earth was shaped like, pointing out things of interest like mountains of gold ..."
"on that note the interview with Srila goswami (tamal krishna) was completed. Prahlada took me into
Sivarama?s office and the three of us discussed how I would qualify for initiation ... I had a horrid thought. A year earlier I had argued with these two about whether or not the earth was flat, with Prahlada drawing diagrams on a paper napkin to show how the outermost edges of the planet touched the walls of the Universe. Now I was turning my life over to them."
Told you the Hare Krishnas are nuts, didn't we? Now you also know they grow on an Aryama tree sprung from a flat earth concept in a hard boiled egg created by Brahma.
Please look out for our upcoming article- "Rethink the Shrink". It promises to be a humdinger.
Thanks for spending time with us