Sunday, January 17, 2010

Vikramaditya of First Century B.C.--Kalidasa's Jyotirvidabharana

Contemporary Evidence. 2. Jyotirvidabharana. By Kalidasa.

It is a wonder that while there is definite evidence from ancient records regarding the date of Vikrama and Kalidasa, historians have unnecessarily made this a matter of controversy and have established wrong theories. Jyotirvidabharana is an astrological work by Kalidasa. In that work the great poet says that he was writing it to enhance the fame of Vikramaditya of the Paramara dynasty (Panwar dynasty), his patron king. This work was commented upon by Bhavamuni in Vikrama Samvat 1768 year or 1711 A.D. In the following sloka Vikrama is mentioned as a great donor and as a patron of scholars.

Jyotirvidabharana. Sloka No. 4—89

In this book Kalidasa defines the much disputed word "Saka". He says that whoever kills the Sakas in large numbers would be called a Sakakaraka, i.e., the founder of an era and that he would be an emperor and a founder of a new Era, ousting the previous era.

Sloka No. 10-109

The poet further says that there were six founders of eras in every Kaliyuga, namely, 1. Yudhishtira, 2. Vikrama, 3. Salivahana, 4. Vijayabhinandana, 5. Emperor Nagarjuna, 6. Bali.

Sloka No. 10-110,111

The lengths of the periods of these eras is respectively as follows:
S.No. Era Period of Era From To
1 Yudhistira Era 3044 Kali 1 Kali 3044 (57 B.C.)
2 Vikrama Era 135 3044 3179 (78 A.D.)
3 Salivahana Era 18000 3179 21,179 (21,257 A,D.)
4 Vijayabhinanda Era 10000 21179 31179 (31,257 A.D.)
5 Nagarjuna Era 400000 31179 431179 (4,31,257 A.D.)
6 Bali Era 821 431179 432000 (4,32,078 A.D)
With regard to Yudhistira Saka it should be remembered that 3044 does not include the 36 year's rule of Yudhistira in Dwapara yuga. When we add up the figures given above we get the total figure of 4,32,000, which is exactly the duration of Kaliyuga.
After Kali yuga, Krita yuga will begin.
( The above Eras will rotate with the same name and duration in every Kali yuga )

The capitals of the above mentioned Emperors who were Era founders in Kali are mentioned in Slokas 10-112,113.
Emperor and Era founder Capital
Yudhistira Hastinapura
Vikrama Ujjain
Salivahana Dhara on the Salera Molera hills
Vijayabhinandana Chitrakuta
Nagarjuna Rohitaka
Bali Bhrigukachcha
In his commentary on the sloka 10—113 the commentator gives some particulars of the dynasties of these emperors from other books.

Yudhistira was born of the Lunar family, Vikrama (the Rajaput king) of the Paramara (or Panwar) family. Salivahana of the same family. Vijayabhinandana of Gohilla family, Nagarjuna of Sisodara family, Bali of the family of the Avatar Kalki (in the end of Kaliyuga).

Thereafter begins the Kritayuga of the 29th Mahayuga. Then, there will be kings of the Solar dynasty. (10-113).

From the 43rd sloka in the 17th chapter the following particulars are known about Vikrama. 1. He constructed Several temples. 2. He established an era (aaptasakah) after driving away the Sakas. 3. He established several Deities according to the Vedic ritual. ( Sloka no. 17-43.)

The Poet says that as Vikrama observed and made others observe the Varna-Dharma in entirety, there was full-blown prosperity and that others who took up "Neeti" for a limited purpose would get only the fruit to that limited extent. (Sloka 20-45)

The following countries are said to have been included in his Empire. The people of these countries are said to sing the praise of Vikrama for protecting the Varnasrama Dharma in his empire.

The provinces included in his empire are :- Kambhoja, Gauda, Andhra, Malava, Anarta, Surashtra, Gurjara etc. (Sloka 20-46)

From the Rajatarangini and Nepala Raja Vamsavali it is known that Vikrama ruled over Kashmir and Nepal. Thus it is clear that the whole of India was brought under the empire of Vikrama.

This work Jyotirvidabharana, says Kalidasa, he began to write in the month Vysakha of 3068 Kali Era (or 33 B.C.) and was completed in the month Kartika of the same year. This is the clearest evidence of the contemporaneity of Kalidasa and Vikrama in the first century before Christ. At the end of several chapters Kalidasa extols Vikramaditya to whom the work is dedicated. In the beginning of the 22nd chapter Kalidasa described, to some extent, the Emperor Vikrama and in the 6th sloka he says that this book of 22 chapters and 1474 slokas is written with the purpose of invoking good to Vikramaditya, the Emperor of Bharat.

In sloka (22-1), Kalidasa mentions one important trait of Vikramaditya. He uses the adjective "abhiprajaanandakara" to Emperor Vikramaditya which means "he who pleases the people devoted to him."

In the 7th sloka of Chapter 22 Kalidasa gives some particulars of Vikrama's empire, which are as follows:-
1. It extended over the whole of Bharata-Varsha of 180 Big jyotisha yojanas (approximately 1800 miles)in length and breadth. ( 1 Big yojana = 9 5/6 English miles )
2. The Bharata-Varsha shines forth with the culture of the Vedas and Dharma Sastras. This book is dedicated for the good of Vikramaditya, the emporer of Malwa, by me ( Kalidasa ).

In the 8th and 9th slokas of Chapter 22 Kalidasa gives a list of poets and pundits adorning the court of Vikrama.
1. Sanku, 2. Vararuchi, 3. Mani, 4. Angudatta, 5. Jishnu, 6. Trilochana, 7. Hari (Hariswamy, the commentator of Sukla Yajurveda and the head of the departments of Dana and Dharma (Daanaadhyakshaa and Dharmaadhyakshaa), 8. Ghata karpara, 9. Amarasimha, 10. Satyacharya, 11.Varahamihira, 12. Srutasena, 13. Badarayana, 14. Manittha, 15. Kumara Simha and astrologers like 16. Myself (Kalidasa), and others. (Slokas 22-8,9)

In his commentary on sloka 9 of Chapter 22, the commentator quotes the famous slokas, which perhaps have come down traditionally, which mean as follows :-
These slokas say:- Even a sanyasi desirous of seeing Vikrama is prevented by the door-keeper. But he who has four slokas in his hand may freely pass through the gate. May he be given 10 lakh coins and 14 Sasanas of gifts.

A poet humourously says to Vikrama like this: "'O! king! Saraswati resides in your mouth and Lakshmi in your hand. Yet, why is your fame angry? For she is wandering in other countries. Scholars praise you as a donor of everything at all times; it is a false praise. Because your enemies are never given the back, (You never turn back in the battle-field) and others’ wives are not given your chest.

In 22-10 Kalidasa mentions the nine Gems of scholars
adorning the court of Vikrama. viz.
1. Dhanvantari. 2. Kshapanaka 3. Amarasimha. 4. Sanku.
5. Vetalabhatta. 6. Ghatakarpara. 7. Kalidasa. 8. the renownd
Varahamihira and 9. Vararuchi.

In 22-11 Kalidasa gives a further accountg of the court of Vikrama.
There were 800 Vassal kings, one crore of good soldiers, 16 great scholars, 16 astrologers, 16 efficient doctors, 16 bhattas and 16 scholars of Vedik lore; Vikrama sitting on his throne was illuminated by these scholarly courtiers.
In 22-12 the following particulars are given about the army of Vikramaditya :-
His army continuously spread over 18 yojanas (small jyotisha yojanas, 1 small jyotisha yojana= 4 11/12 english miles) and consisted of the following:—
1. There were 3 crores of soldiers.
2. Ten crores of various vehicles.
3. 24,300 elephants.
4. 4,00,000 (four lakhs) of ships,
This was the army that accompanied him in his expeditions. In this respect there was no emperor to be compared to Vikrama in those days, says Kalidasa.

Sloka 13 of the 22nd chapter says that Vikrama annihilated innumerable Sakas (who were Mlechcha Kshatriyas) and established the Era. Every day he made gifts of pearls, jems, gold, cow, horse, elepahnts to the four castes. Hence he was called "Suvarnaanana".

Sloka 15 of 22 saya that Vikrama captured the fortresses of kings and after humiliating them returned their fortresses to them. In prosperity he was "Indra", in 'Gambhirya' he was the 'Ocean'; in charitableness he was 'Kalpavriksha; in beauty he was 'Cupid'; in supporting the world he was the Meru. He was Moon to the lotuses of wicked persons ( he was a terror to the wicked).

Sloka 16 of chapter 22 says that Ujjyini, the capital of Vikrama gives salvation to the inhabitants on account of the persence of Lord "Siva" in the name of 'Mahakala'.

Sloka 17 of chapter 22 says that Vikrama of iresistable valour defeated the Saka king of the province of Rumma (Roomaka in North-West India), brought him to Ujjain, took him round the city as a captive and released him.

Sloka 18 of 22 says that while Vikrama was ruling with Avanti (Ujjain) as capital, all people were prosperous and happy and everywhere the Vedic Dharma prevailed.

Slokas 19 and 20 of chapater 22 give the following particulars :-
In the court of Vikrama, I, Kalidasa was the friend of the king, while there were many poets and scholars like Sanku and astrologers like Varahamihira.
I (Kalidasa), wrote three Kavyas of which the first was Ragahuvamsa, a treatise on Vedic ritual and Jyotirvidabharana.

Sloka 21 of chapter 22 definitely gives the date of composition of Jyotirvidabharana. It is to be noted that Kalidasa gives both the date of commencement and the date of closing of the composition of Jyotirvidabharana. As for the date of commencement he gives Vysakha 3068 of Kali Era (33 B.C.) and as the date of closing he gives the month Kartika of the same year.

Sloka 22 of chapter 22 mentions that Kalidasa is the author of Jyotirvidabharana and that Chapter 22 contains the contents of the book and the description of heroic emperor Vikrama

Jyotirvidabharana ends with this.

The commentator of Jyotirvidabharana gives the succession of his Jaina Gurus. Seven names are given which perhaps deserve mention,while many other intervening names are omitted.
1. Vardhamana Mahavira,
2. Chandraprabha,
3. Dharmaghosha,
4. Vidyaprabha,
5. Lalitaprabhu,
6. Vinayaprabha,
7. Mahimaprabhu

Bhavaratna, the commentator is the deciple of Mahimaprabhu. Hw wrote his Subodhika, the commentary on Jyotirvidabharana, for the satisfaction of the astronomers, in 1768 of Vikrama era (or 1711 A.D.), which was completed on Sunday, the 3rd day of light fort-nightof Vysakha. His father was 'Mandana' and his mother was 'Valha-Devi', and his residence was Sri-Pattana (Srinagar?).


  1. why not launch a PIL in Supreme Court to ask the Indian Government to officially research and finalize on the ancient Indian Historical facts/myths so that the kids in school are taught who their ancestors were and when they lived in history.

    Today, a school kid is taught that Rama and Krishna are heroes of popular epic stories; Vikrama is a popular hero of a series of fancy stories.

    This has to be corrected and we must demand that the Government take some action in this regard.

  2. Kalidasa's Jyotirvidhabharana is now available with the slokas in Telugu script and their meaning given in Telugu language written by Brahmashri Telakapalle Viswanatha Sarma,Hyderabad,AP,India printed in 2010.

  3. any english version for jyotirvidhabharana