“Science advances whereas superstition goes around in circles.”
– Dr. Koenraad Elst
When multiple findings from multiple disciplines are combined, they lead to robust understanding of the phenomenon (nature, history, etc.)
[Readers will able to see the demonstration of this in my upcoming work on ‘The year of Mahabharata War’ which combines evidences from Astronomy, geology and anthropology to corroborate 5561 BCE as the year of Mahabharata war]
What follows is a brilliant and wonderful demonstration by my good friend, who combined my ‘theory of visual astronomy observations’ with my advancement of ‘theory of Omen’ (in the light of objections to AV observation inference by Shri Shrikant Talageri), to advance this science (of history) further by his ‘theory of Canon’.
Indeed, science advances whereas……
Nilesh Oak ji,
The “Theory of Omen” can only be understood in terms of “Theory of Canon”
As I see it, in Indian Civilization, two relevant processes have contributed to the creation of canon
1) Observation (Astronomical, Historical, Anthropological)
2) Interweaving into the Mythological Canon leading to its growth
Now “Canon” is something Indians have plenty to show even surviving to the modern day – from Surya Siddhanta to Puranas to Brahmanas etc. So it is not too hard to claim the existence of canon and its development over time.
So based on the availability of canon today, what we are required to do is to hypothesize the availability of a similar form of canon at that time as well, and I presume that this canon is available within the text of Mahabharata itself, where the knowledge of various Rishis has been interwoven into the story-line.
The issue of canon is that because of it history becomes somewhat “ahistorical”. At any point of time, knowledge of previous history continues to tug at a society’s consciousness. There is no escape.
An Omen can only be discussed in terms of an already existing benchmark established due to an observation initially being interwoven into the mythological canon or in terms of an already existing tradition of similar observations and interpretations either bearing positive or negative association(s).
So for anything to be deemed as an Omen, there has to be a benchmark. The benchmark consists of an observation with either a positive association or an observation with a negative association which is accompanied with a corresponding positive association framed either as its negation or its absence.
Taking up the second case, can one say, that the ancient Indians (pre-Mahabharata) never saw Vashishta walking in front of Arundhati, but only saw Arundhati walking in front of Vashishta and from the starting itself used to consider it as evil, and proposed a time when Vashishta would start walking in front of Arundhati and it would imply some beneficent age. In that case the Indian astronomers were either exceptionally brilliant to have foreknowledge of a change in the order of rising of Vashishta and Arundhati and had proposed that time as the corresponding positive association, which turned out to be 4508 BCE. Secondly the pre-Mahabharata ancient Indians would have established a tradition of cursing their age simply due to the Arundhati-Vashishta rising order which they themselves defined out of the blue for no understandable reason to be a negative association. Looks unlikely to be the case, because this flies against the concept of Ṛta.
In fact it is worth pondering whether an initial benchmark with a negative association is at all possible.
The more likely scenario is that the pre-Mahabharata ancient Indians had set up a benchmark of what constitutes Ṛta and thus Dharma, which would be an observation aligned with a positive association in mythology.
The thinking of ancient Indians is intrinsically positive. The natural order is seen as Ṛta, as how it should be. This is unlike the Christian doctrine where the natural order of birth is seen as sinful due to the original sin but even there there exists a fore-story and the beginning is considered as ideal.
So the benchmark would have been established based on a previous observation given a positive twist, as Ṛta, as how it should be. At some time Vashishta would have been observed as rising before Arundhati and it would have been termed as a form of Ṛta and this observation due to its interweaving with the mythological canon would have been available as a benchmark as long as the canon would have been available.
Once something is canon, it really does not matter how much time has flown. When we are talking about Mahabharata, basically one does not even know how long ago it was. All one knows is that it was in the past. The age stops having any proportional psychological bearing.
So if the observation of Vashishta walking in front of Arundhati was available in 5561 BCE, it does not really matter whether it was included in the canon 100 years earlier or 10,000 years earlier.
One can safely assume that throughout the Epoch of Arundhati, the learned Indians would have always brought up this anomaly and called it a bad omen, because at all these times, the canon would have been available for comparative purposes. Once an observation is integrated into the mythological canon it stays there frozen. One can expand on the related story but one would normally not twiddle with the initial premises. Here we are assuming a faithful preservation of the canon has been possible and the recorders of history are motivated to preserve.
What I am trying to say is simply that it doesn’t really matter whether Arundhati started walking before Vashishta in 11091 BCE or in 5571 BCE because in year 5561 BCE, the learned would have considered both the cases similarly, as a deviation from established canon, as a bad omen due to the break of established order, Ṛta.
1) Once something is canon and fidelity is ensured, passage of time stops having relevance.
2) Only an observation with a positive mythological association makes sense, and hence an observation that Vashishta preceded Arundhati would both have been made as well as integrated into the canon, and the time for this would have been before 11091 BCE.