Friday, September 25, 2009

Alexander's contemporary wrongly identified

The Greek historians who accompanied the army of Alexander the Great during his invasion of Western Bharat have mentioned the names of three successive kings of the country at about the time, in their writings. The names recorded by them clearly were Xandrames, Sandrocottus and Sandrocyptus. But European orientalists of recent times have been able to reduce the antiquity of the history and culture of Bharat by a wrong identification of the kings. They have wrongly identified the three names with those of Mahapadmananda, Chandragupta and Bindusara, successive kings of Magadha and hence determined (wrongly) the time of Chandragupta Maurya, held he was the actual contemporary of Alexander in 326 B.C., and his coronation to have taken place in 324 B.C. From this date thus arrived at as the basis, counting forward and backward for the times of the kings of the Royal dynasties of Magadha mentioned in our puranas, reducing the periods of the reigns of kings and, dynasties mentioned therein arbitrarily to suit their own convenience, constructed a false history and chronology of ancient Bharat. The Puranas definitely and specifically date the Mahabbarata War in 3138 B. C., and record the names of kings, and the periods of their reigns, from that time onwards, in unbroken succession; and according to their version the coronation of Chandragupta should have taken place in 1534 B.C. By assigning it to 324 B.C. instead, and making this the basic date for their chronology, the entire chronology of ancient Bharat has been shifted forwards by 1210 years. On the other hand, if the name referred to as Xandrames were to be identified as the Greek version of Chandramas in Sanscrit or Chandrasri, the last of the Andhra dynasty, and the other two, Sandracottus and Sandrocyptus, with Chandragupta and Samudragupta of the Gupta dynasty of the kings of Magadha, that succeeded the Andhra dynasty, and locating Chandragupta I of the Gupta dynasty as the contemporary of Alexander in 326 B.C., and counting back along the dynastic lists of the puranas the date of the Mahabharata War should work out to 3138 B.C., tallying with the independent determinations of its time on the basis of astronomical calculations and the Kali era, the calamity of shifting forward the ancient chronology and reducing the antiquity of Indian culture could not have occurred. But the European orientalists deliberately rejected the more plausible and correct alternative and fastened upon the less plausible and incorrect alternative for their own reasons. Sandrocottus is the 2nd name of the three. The last king of the Andhra dynasty was Chandramas (note the close correspondence of it to the Greek Xandrames). His minor son, who came to the throne after him, was killed and succeeded by Chandragupta, the founder of the Gupta dynasty. His son and successor on the throne was Samudragupta (note again the closer similarity of this name to Sandrocyptus than of the altogether different word Bindusara, the successor of Chandragupta in the Maurya dynasty. So Chandragupta of the Gupta dynasty was, it is clear the contemporary of Alexander the great and not Chandragupta of the Maurya dynasty. By the wrong identification of the European orientalists of this basic figure (of Alexander’s contemporary in India), all the chronology built upon it has been vitiated. How can the chronology built upon such untenable foundations tally with the chronology in thc Puranas? If there is no agreement between the two, it is the chronology of the Europian orientalists, and the current accepted history of ancient Bharat that should be held wrong and rejected and not the chronology of tho Puranas. For the reconstruction of the true history of ancient Bharat the current history and the chronology in it has to be revised into conformity with the information available in the puranas. The starting point in the ancient literature of Bharat, of the ancient history of India, is the Mahabharata war of 3138 B.C. The starting point of the socalled ancient history of Bharat of the European orientalists and their Indian disciples now current and accepted uncritically is the date of Alexander’s invasion 324 B. C. The difference between the two is 2810 years.

1. Modern historians assign the Mahabharata war variously, some to 1500 B.C., others to 1900 B.C. They have not been able to show any direct inscriptional evidence for their determinations which is completely contrary to the evidence of indigenous tradition and historical and scientific writings of ancient times, annual calenders and daily repeated measure and progress of time.

2. They (the modern historians) are not able to show any direct inscriptional evidence for their hypothesis that Alexander and Chandragapta Maurya were contemporaries much less have they advanced any evidence of ancient historical records. The Greek historians who accompanied Alexander in his invasion of Bharat noted only the Greek (version of a) name Sandrocottus. The identification of this Sandrocottus with Maurya Chandragupta is entirely the inference and conjecture of recent European historians of ancient India. How can we accept it as a historical fact to serve as a basis and starting point ?.

3. Mr. E. J. Rapson is of opinion that Chandramas would be the equivalent in Sanskrit of the Greek appellative Xandrames. (Vide his Ancient India pp. 469, 470)
To identify the Greek word Xandrames as the equivalent of Dhanananda or Mahapadma nanda is inconceivably absurd.
The last of the kings of Magadha of the Andhra dynasty was named Chandramas or Chandrasri. His minister was Chandragupta of the Gupta dynasty. His son Samudragupta was a commander in the Magadha army and led the forces in battle. The last Andhra king Chandrasri and his son Puloma who succeeded him to the throne were incompetent, and Chandragupta who was already the virtual ruler of the kingdom, seized the throne for himself, putting the minor Puloma to death.
If we work out the times of the reigns of the successive rulers of the different dynasties of Magadha according to the Puranas from the time of the Mahabharata War of 3138 B.C., the Andhra dynasty comes to a close in 327 B.C., and the rule of the Gupta dynasty commences. Then, in 327 B.C, the Andhra Empire of Magadha expired and the Gupta Empire began. At this juncture occurred the invasion of Alexander. The Greek historians who visited the land in the company of Alexander noted the names of the three successive princes on the throne of Magadha, Chandrasri, the last of the Andhra dynasty, Chandragupta the first of the Gupta dynasty that succeeded and Samudragupta, his son, a renowned warrior who extended his empire to the farthest limits. That, according to the Puranas, Chandragupta Maurya came to the throne in 1534 B.C., is admitted even by Sir William Jones. (Vide the fourth volume of his writings - in the chapter on the chronology of the Hindus)
In these circumstances, to identify Xandrames as Mahapadmananda and Sandrocyptus as Bindusara, with no conceivable similarity or correspondence to justify an identification is outrageous. With such identifications at the basis, the entire current history of ancient Bharat has been vitiated and its antiquity reduced. The king mentioned by the Greek historians could be only Chandramas, the last Andhra king and Chandragupta and Samudragupta of the Gupta dynasty and not Nanda and the Maurya kings.

4.There is clear proof available in the Puranas for the determination of the date of the Mahahharata war in B.C. 3138. The puranas date the commencement of the Kali era, 36 years after the Mahabharata war. The Kali era began in 3102 B.C. And hence the time of the Mahabharata war is fixed as 3138 B.C. Another era, the Saptarshi era, is mentioned, beginning 26 years after Kali i.e., in 3076 B.C. at the time of the ascent to heaven of Yudhishtira; it is otherwise known as the Laukikabda. Dr. Buhler, the European Orientalist says of this Saptarshi era:-
"I do not doubt for a moment that the calculation which throws the beginning of the Saptarshi era back to 3076 B.C., is worth no more than that which fixes the beginning of the Kaliyuga in 3101 B.C. But it seems to me certain that it is much older than Kalhana’s time because his equation 24=1070 agrees with it. It may therefore be safely used for reducing with exactness the Saptarshi years, months and days, mentioned in his work to years of the Christian era. etc. (Vide pp. 264-268 of the Indian Antiquary Vol. VI}.
Most of the wel-known European Orientalists, Sir William Jones, Dr. Buhler, General Cunningham, Dr. Fleet. Dr. Hultzsch, Dr. Wilson and others admit the first year of the Kali era in 3101 B.C., and of the Saptarshi era in 3076 B.C. The Kali era actually commenced at 2-27’-30" on the 20th of Feb. 3102 B.C., and has been used for reckoning time in all the indigenous calenders published from year to year and current in the different regions of the country.

(a) All ancient Indian historical writings vouch definitely that the Kali era begins in 3102, the Saptarshi era in 3076 B.C. and the date of the Mahabharata war is 36 years before Kali

(b) Some of the prominent among the European orientalists also have expressed their approval of this determination.

(c) According to the native calenders of the country prepared annually from year to year of the Kali era, the current year 1956 A.D. is the 5058th of Kali or 36+5058=5094 years after the Mahabharata war. So the Mahabharata war must have occurred in 5094-1956=3138 B.C.

(d) The Puranas give us the dynastic lists of kings and the duration of their reigns, from the time of the Mahabharata war, i.e., the chronology of the ancient history of Bharat from the year 3138 B. C.

(e) Nepal Rajavamsavali: The dynastic lists of the kings of Nepal begins with 3102 B.C., and gives us lists of kings before and after it?

(f) Rajatharangini, a history of Kashmir begins with the Saptarshi era i.e., 3076 B.C. These three eras, or standards for reckoning the passage of time and determining the chronology of the kings, have been in vogue in the country in their respective regions. We find in the Puranas, an additional clue for verification, in the observation that according to calculations based on the positions and movement of the Saptarshis or the constellation of the Great Bear, the time elapsed from the time of the Mahabharata war to the close of the reign of the Andhra dynasty in Magadha works out to 2811 years.

(g) There can be no doubt that the European orientalists were aware of these three indigenous eras. We have reproduced above the sentences relating there to, of one of them, Dr. Buhler. Similar extracts from Vol. IV of the writings of Sir William Jones assigning the Kali era to 3102 B.C., is given here-under. "Now the Hindu Astronomers agree, that the 1st January 1790 was in the year 4891 of the Kaliyuga or their fourth period, at the beginning of which, they say, the equinoctial points were in the first degree of Mesha and Tula, but they are also of opinion that the vernal equinox oscillates from the third of Mina to the twenty seventh of Mesha and back again in 7200 years, which they divide into four padas, and consequently that moves in the two intermediate Padas from the first to the twenty-seventh of Mesha and back again in 3600 years; the colure cutting their ecliptic in the first of Mesha, which coincides with the first of Aswani, at the beginning of every such Oscilatory period. (Vide "Sir William Jones works Vol. IV, page 52)

(h) With a view to reduce and discount the antiquity of the history and culture of Bharat, these European Orientalists have wilfully ignored these important indigenous eras of whose existence they were definitely aware and further initiated a false propaganda that the Hindus have no date in their ancient literature for the reconstruction of the ancient history of their country.
"No date or public event can be fixed before the invasion of Alexander. (Vide "History of India", 5th edition; p. 11 by Elphinstone; Max Muller's history of Ancient Sanskrit Literature pp 3-8 of the 1859 Ed., and p. 9 of the Allahabad edition; and Dr. Fleet's article in "Epigraphy in the Indian Empire"-—Imperial gazetteer of India —-Vol. II, pp. 3-6.)

(i) Thus the European orientalists have injured us doubly by their false propaganda (1) that we the people of Bharat have no eras of our own for reckoning time with the help of which the correct chronology of our ancient history can be evolved and (2) therefore there is no alternative to their procedure of starting with the date of Alexander’s invasion, of 326 B.C., for determining of ancient Indian history.

(j) A true account of the ancient history of our country could be evolved on the basis of any of the three above mentioned, wellknown eras and according to such an account based on any of the indigenous eras and indigenous historical writings of ancient times and the lists of kings and periods of their reigns recorded therein, Alexander's invasion in 326 B.C., occurs in the reign of Chandragupta, the founder of the Gupta dynasty of Magadha; and the coronation of Chandrugupta Maurya occurs in 1534 B.C.

(k) Obviously with a view to reduce the antiquity of the history of ancient India, the European orientalists wilfully ignored the ancient indigenous eras of the country of whose existence they were fully aware, alleged on top of that, that we had no indigenous eras to proceed upon; paid no attention to Xandrames, the first of the three names mentioned by the Greek historians who accompanied Alexander to India, identified only the second name Sandracottus but wrongly, delibarately, with Chandragupta Maurya instead of with Chandragupta of the Gupta dynasty, fully aware of the greater plausibility of the other alternative; and thus shifted the time of Cixundiaguptu Maurya from 1534 B.C. to 324B.C., and making it the basis or sheet·anchor for the determination of other reigns and events, constructed a fanciful and false history of ancient India. They have no direct evidence, inscriptional or literary (historical) for their alleged contemporaneity of Alexander and Chandragupta Maurya. It is based on no authentic or authoritative evidence but merely on the strength of their conjecture, concoction and bluff dogged iteration. While on the one hand they cry hoarse over the lack of inscriptional evidence to confirm the facts recorded in our puranas, these gentlemen, it is strange to reflect, ignore the need for such direct inscriptional evidence to substantiate their conjectures and theories.

(l) To set up their wrong doctrines and theories the western historians have been producing some alleged inscriptional evidence. Our native historical scholars have been taught to insist upon such inscriptional evidence for every historical event. So we propose to enquire. in detail, into the nature of some instances of such inscriptional evidence,to prove to our readers, the unreliability and futility of such evidence and the conclusions based on such evidence.

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