History and Historicity in Veda – Itihāsa – Purāṇas

History and Historicity in Veda – Itihāsa – Purāṇas

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Editor’s note: We Hindus are constantly told that we have nothing like historical consciousness, that we do not have any detailed and clear accounts of our historical past, that whatever history we do have is through the accounts of foreign travelers in medieval India and later, and that therefore the accounts of our past in our epics and other texts are unreliable, a mixture of myth and hagiography or worse yet a reflection of the discriminatory, hierarchical, patriarchic, misogynist practices created and curated by crafty Brahmins. The contentious claims about our past therefore has shaped our sense of self, or lack of it, our present-day quarrels about Arya and Dravida, oppressors and oppressed, Brahmins and Shudras, who wrote what, when, why, and whether anything transferred to us over millennia has any worth at all except as a millstone showcasing our hollow or misshapen past, and what we should tell our children about the Indian and Hindu past, and what our contributions to human civilization are.

There is a new historical consciousness, and authors, who might not be trained as “historians” but who bring their skills, talents, and rigor of logic to bear upon their efforts to delve into the Indian past have begun “recovering” some of that for us, getting past the barriers of the establishment historians who are wedded to their Marxist, anti-Hindu, syncretic “idea of India” and who have “sold” the Hindu/Indian past to their western audiences couched in Marxist, sub-altern, feminist, secular gobbledygook. In this context, the works of scholars like Shrikant Talageri, Michel Danino, Jijith Nadumuri Ravi, and others make us more informed readers, helping us sort out original texts from interpolations, tracking data that enables us to map the geographic ambit in the epics, and so on. There is also the work of scholars like Vishwa Adluri and Joydeep Bagchi who are offering directions in the manner in which the epics should be read and understood.

But this delving into the past, even by the most talented of researchers, pose unique challenges in the Indian/Hindu context, demanding us to ask questions like “What is history?”, “What is myth?”, “What is itihaasa?”, and how we sift the “real” from the “myth,” etc.

In this third article in the series of articles we offer readers the thoughts of Jijith Nadumuri Ravi in response to the first, by Pankaj Seth, and the second, by Koenraad Elst.

There is a lot of misconceptions and mistrust among a section of Indian intellectuals who deal with ancient texts of Bhāratīya civilization like the Vedas, Itihāsas, and Purāṇas. This stems from a wider misconception and mistrust regarding what is today ordinarily and popularly understood as “Science,” “Religion,” and “Dharma”.

The term dharma gained popularity since the Aitihāsic Period. Dharma is “that which holds”. The Earth (Dhara) holds everything living and nonliving that resides on it.  Similarly, dharma holds and sustains culture, civilization, and societies. Dharma can do this on Earth as well as on any extra-terrestrial bodies where there are sentient beings like humans. Dharma is thus universal and not confined to planet Earth.

Dharma is an aspect of another deeper and older universal concept called Ṛta. It is discussed in the Ṛgvedic Period that predates the Aitihāsic Period.

The Vedic Ṛṣis discovered Ṛta as they observed the seasons (Ṛtu) which arrive one after the other, repeating in turns. They saw Ṛta in the cyclic motions of the planets, the sun, and the moon.  Ṛta is the underlying order in the universe, discovered by the Ṛṣis. It is the basis of predictability and patterns in the cosmos. It reveals to us as the scientific laws of planetary motion, as gravitation, and as the probabilistic patterns of an electron cloud or quarks in the Quantum World. Thus, we can clearly see that what we call science is an aspect of Ṛta. Science is also universal and not just confined to the Earth.

Every element in the Periodic Table is an expression of Brahman. There is divinity in all materials, be it metals, concrete, or rock. Thus, there is “divinity” in the “material” too, and therefore science and its application, viz. technology, is also divine, like our traditions, dance, music, art, culture, poetry, and literature.

Thus, dharma and science share a kinship. Both derive from Ṛta. Both are universal.

Once we understand this, we can rectify a common error many Indians make, viz. treating dharma as an enemy of science. They indulge in a wasteful exercise of creating “Dharma vs Science” memes on social media and in the dharmic discourse. It is only in the Abrahamic religions (casually and popularly termed as “religion”), we see a conflict between Dharma and Science. It is the Abrahamic religions which are in the opposite camp. If we understand this, the mistrust and misconception about history and historicity of the “Veda-Itihāsa-Purāṇas” will automatically disappear.

The basis of history is chronology. It deals with the linear flow of time. This linear flow of time is an expression of Ṛta. Thus, there is nothing unholy or adhārmic in history or historicity. It is the structured study of past events. History is thus categorized as a scientific study of the past. Hence, it is a part of science, which is an aspect of Ṛta!

“Divine vs. human” is an Abrahamic idea. In Bhāratīya tradition, we worship and see the divine in rocks, rivers, trees, mountains, planets, sun, moon, stars, and the sky. We no doubt then consider human individuals as divine too. That is why Rāma, Kṛṣṇa, and the Pāṇḍavas are divine even though they are human. We do have temples for Pāṇḍavas and Draupadī like we have temples for Kṛṣṇa and Rāma, as well as for Śiva, Viṣṇu, and Durga! Thus, history, which is the chronological enquiry into human-life events too is divine — like poetry, literature, and philosophy are divine.

Why do then some Indian intellectuals object to science and history or consider them apart?

This is because, during the formative days of science in the West, it was influenced by Protestant theologians. Due to this, some Indian intellectuals classify history (and science as a whole) as part of Abrahamic religion! They think that science, and hence history, is tainted by this association. This is the first and foremost mistake. Recognizing that science (and hence history) stems from Ṛta and aligned with dharma brings us to the right path. Dharma vs Science is a wrong division, notion; dharma and science vs. Abrahamic religions — offers the right understanding.

The second wrong notion is the following: while the rest of the world experienced a linear flow of time, we Indians alone experienced a cyclic flow of time! How is it even possible? How can Indian geography alone experience cyclic time, with Kali, Dvāpara, Treta, and Kṛta (Ṛta) yugas repeating, with Kṛṣṇa and Rāma reborn again and again in each repeating Dvāpara and Treta Yuga, while the rest of the world experiences a linear time? If the rest of the world also experiences this cyclic time, will the kings of England be reborn in every repeating Kali Yuga? This wrong notion emerged in Indian thought when we wrongly assumed that human life-events will repeat again and again exactly like the planets repeat their position in the sky or like the repeat of the seasons. The reality is that everyone on Earth, including Indians, experience a linear flow of time. This will make them more acceptable to history and historicity, which is the study of the linear flow of time.

The third wrong notion which acts as a mental block in accepting the historicity of Veda, Itihāsa, and Purāṇas is the currently known huge durations (4,320,000 years) of the four yugas. They should understand that this current claim of a 4,320,000 years- long Chatur-Yuga is not an ancient claim. During the lifetime of the Pāṇḍavas, people used a yuga which was only five years long (Pañcavarṣiya Yuga). This is referenced in a dialog between Bhīṣma and Duryodhana in Virāṭa Parva of Mahābhārata where they debated whether the Pāṇḍavas really completed thirteen years of banishment or not. A lunar year had 348 days (12 months x 29 days per lunar month) and a solar year had 360 days (12 months x 30 days per solar month).

Hence, lunar and solar calendars can be synchronized every five years (5 x 348 + 30 + 30 = 5 x 360). This was the basis of the five-year yuga that was used during the Pāṇḍava era. Four such yugas resulted into a twenty-year Chatur-Yuga which coincided with a Saturn-Jupiter cycle of twenty years. This was later expanded into another Saturn-Jupiter cycle of 60 years, then 120 years, 1,200 years, 12,000 years (termed as Mārkaṇḍeya Chatur Yuga) and finally to the present, popular 4,320,000- years-long Chatur Yuga. This last number is obtained by multiplying Mārkaṇḍeya Chatur Yuga of 12,000 years with 360 (the length of a solar year in days).

There is no indication in the Rāmāyaṇa or in the Ṛgveda that the people during Rāma Era and Ṛgvedic Period used a different Yuga System than the five-year yuga. Certainly, there was no unit of time mentioned in them, which is larger than a human lifetime of 100 to 120 years. Knowing that Kṛṣṇa, the Pāṇḍavas, Rāma. and the Ṛgvedic Ṛṣis did not use any 4,320,000 years-long Yuga System, Bhāratīyas will be more receptive to the historical analysis of the Vedas, Itihāsa, and Purāṇas.

The fourth reason why Indians today are averse to historicity is that there are now several competing claims about the chronology of the Vedas, Itihāsa, and Purāṇas. Some researchers date the Kurukṣetra War to 5561 BCE, others date it to 3067 BCE, yet others to 1793 BCE, and even others to 900 or 800 BCE. The time of Rāma is dated by some to 12209 BCE, others to 5114 BCE, yet others to 1920 BCE, and even others to 600 BCE. This confuses ordinary people. Many cannot distinguish a genuine claim from an exaggerated claim. Currently, we are in the claim phase for the dating of the Vedic, Aitihāsic, and Purāṇic events and their text-composition. Different daters claim different dates for Veda-Itihāsa-Puranas, and the quarrels and differences have not been sorted out. The consolidation phase of these differences may be five or seven more years away, somewhere close to 2030. If we understand this, we will not impatiently run to conclusions advocating non-historicity. All we need is patience.

The fifth reason why some dislike a historical analysis of our texts is that it eliminates the magical narratives present in them. This divides the opposers into two camps, with one camp wanting researchers to declare the magical events too as historic. They insist that Kṛṣṇa indeed lifted the Govardhana Mountain using his finger! They insist that Hanumān indeed flew several thousand kilometers in the sky with a huge mountain peak lifted from the Himalayas to Srilanka! Others, in the second camp, outright reject the historical analysis of the Itihāsas, as this would require us to dismiss these magical narratives as non-historic and pure imagination. Pankaj Seth belongs to this second category.

This attitude is like match-fixing, like trying to pre-determine a research outcome, based on some emotional needs, ignoring the bitter truths for the sake of sweet lies. Both the camps are unable to understand that these poetic layers are later additions. They are the poetic outgrowth emerging from the historical core. They are added as new layers onto the core historical narrative, like Kṛṣṇa worshipping Govardhana and Hanumān visiting Laṅkā.

The sixth reason why Indians are unable to appreciate historicity in the Vedas, Itihāsas, and Purāṇas is their sheer inability to recognize the continuous lineage of ascetics and kings that can be seen in these ancient texts. These lineage threads chronologically connect the historical kings like Mahāpadma Nanda and Chandragupta Maurya with the Aitihāsic events like the Kurukṣetra War and also with Aitihāsic kings like Parikṣit, Yudhisthira, Rāma, Kuru, Bharata, and the most ancient Manu mentioned in the Ṛgveda.

The Ṛgveda mentions Manu, his daughter Ilā, her son Purūravas, and his descendants like Āyus, Nahuṣa, and Yayāti. It mentions Bharata and his descendants like Devavāta, Sṛñjaya, Divodāsa, Pratardana, Sudās, Sahadeva, and Somaka — who were described in the Mahābhārata as the ancestors of the Pāñcālas. It mentions Māndhāta — the ancestor of the Ikṣvākus like Daśaratha and Rāma. It mentions Rāma himself in the tenth maṇḍala. It mentions Śaṃtanu, the ancestor of the Pāṇḍavas in the tenth maṇḍala.

The Mahābhārata mentions the ancestors of the Pāṇḍavas from Manu to Śaṃtanu, Vicitravīrya and Pāṇḍu, and also their descendants like Abhimanyu, Parikṣit, Janamejaya, Śatānīka, and Aśvamedhadatta. The Viṣṇu Purāṇa mentions the descendants of Parikṣit like Nṛcakṣu and Kṣemaka who lived contemporary to historical Magadha kings like Mahāpadma Nanda.  The Viṣṇu Purāṇa mentions that Parikṣit lived 1,015 years before the coronation of Mahāpadma Nanda. As per Vāyu and Matsya Purāṇas this gap is variably mentioned as 1,050 years and as 1,500 years.

The coronation of Nanda is varyingly dated to 345 BCE, 364 BCE, and 382 BCE. This means that Parikṣit must be dated between 1360-1882 BCE. Parikshit is mentioned as born one year after the Kurukṣetra War. Within this range of 1360-1882 BCE, the professional astronomer Dr Ashok Bhatnagar has zeroed on to a strong date of 1793 BCE for the Kurukṣetra War. He did this by complying with 95 percent of the astronomy observations mentioned in the Mahābhārata and corroborating with the computed ancient planetary configurations and sky charts. Dr Ashok Bhatnagar’s date of 1793 BCE also falls squarely in the independently arrived date range of 1700-1800 BCE proposed for the Kurukṣetra War by professional archaeologist Dr Sanjay Manjul. I have described this rare agreement of astronomy and archaeology, regarding the Kurukṣetra War, as the Dyaus-Dhara Consensus.

Śaṃtanu, who is five generations away in the past of Parikṣit, can thus be dated to around 1920 BCE. Since both Rāma and Śaṃtanu are mentioned as contemporary to the tenth maṇḍala of the Ṛgveda, Rāma too can be dated to the around 1920 BCE. This aligns with the fact that both the Mahābhārata and the Rāmāyaṇa describe the same kind of technology for chariots, cities, buildings, roads, and bridges. Paraśu Rāma defeated by Rāma became the preceptor of Bhīṣma, the son of Śaṃtanu.  Correspondingly, the Ṛgvedic Period, with its early, mid, and late phases is dated to 3300-1900 BCE, with its tenth maṇḍala dated to 2000-1900 BCE.

This Ṛgvedic Period has some synchrony with the Harappan Archaeology Phases whose Early Phase starts at 3300 BCE, Mid Phase at 2600 BCE and the Late Phase at 1900 BCE. Sarasvatī River is partially dried up by around 1900 BCE. Correspondingly, in the Mahābhārata which records events later to 1900 BCE, Sarasvatī is described as a partially dried-up river — in the Sarasvatī Tīrtha Yātra of Balarāma mentioned in Śalya Parva of Mahābhārata. However, the Sarasvatī River is mentioned as an abundant, life-sustaining, overflowing rain-fed river in Early Ṛgveda (in a hymn of Vasiṣṭha) which reflects its condition around 3000 BCE.

Manu, Ila, Purūravas, Āyus, Nahuṣa, Yayāti, and even King Bharata, are described as ancient personalities in the earliest maṇḍala (sixth) of the Ṛgveda. They can be thus dated to 4000 BCE or beyond. Even otherwise, by counting the number of generations listed in the various Purāṇic and Aitihāsic kings-lists from Parikṣit backwards to Manu, the dating of Manu tallies to around 4000-4500 BCE, if we place the birth of Parikṣit at 1792 BCE, an year after the Kurukṣetra War. If we account for missing kings, (which is more probable as we go deeper into the past, i.e., in the generations closer to Manu than in the generations closer to Parikṣit) the dating of Manu can be extended to around 6700 to 7900 BCE, without changing the dating of Parikṣit at 1792 BCE. These dates in the seventh and eighth millennium BCE corresponds to the oldest settlements at Bhirrana, near the banks of Sarasvatī in Haryana. These regions, close to the Himalayas, is mentioned as the regions where Manu and his people settled after a major flood event.

Now, let us come to the other questions. When a researcher does the historical analysis of the Vedas, Itihāsas, and Purāṇas by exploring the chronological and geographical data inside them, is this act affecting the poetry or philosophy contained in them?

A biologist studies biological phenomena. Tissues and biomolecules are fundamental to biology. A biologist never ventures into the inner details of a tissue or a biomolecule made of thousands of hydrocarbons, and take them as a black box or as a fundamental building block of biology, biological systems, and biological phenomena. But a chemist would go deeper and study the tissues and biomolecules at a deeper atomic level. That is the domain of chemistry. Can the work of a chemist be considered as disruptive to the biologist? Certainly not. A physicist will go a step further and study the inner structure of the atom and reach the quantum level. Is the physicist disrupting the work of a chemist? Certainly not.

Similarly, the study of details and data in the Vedas, the Itihāsas, and the Purāṇas, with its derivative works like analyzing its historicity, chronology, and geography is complementary and not disruptive to their study as poetry and philosophy. It is totally adhārmic to suggest that entire fields of studies into “Veda-Itihāsa-Purāṇas” is unacceptable or useless, just because one is focused on other fields of studyin them, such as its poetry and philosophy.

It is a common tendency among those who focus on the poetry and philosophy of “Veda-Itihāsa-Purāṇas” to dismiss the data analyses. However, the data analysts are never seen as similarly dismissing the work of those who focus on the poetry and philosophy of “Veda-Itihāsa-Purāṇas”.

Most people who assume that the Rāmāyaṇa and the Mahābhārata are some imaginative works (ordinarily and popularly called “myths” or as “mythology”) with no historical basis, created by single authors like Vālmīki and Vyāsa, mostly do this by reading some abridged versions of these texts. Anyone who has read the 606 sargas and the 18,670 verses of the Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa Critical Edition (VRM CE) or the 1,995 adhyāyas and the 73,784 verses of the Mahābhārata Critical Edition (MBH CE) in Saṃskṛtam will not harbor such a view: one, because the amount of data inside it is huge; and two because the layered growth of these texts by multiple authors living at different time periods, after the original authors authored its core, is so obvious!

Vyāsa’s original work was only 24,000 verses long. He started authoring it soon after the death of Vidura and Dhṛtarāṣtra. He completed it in three years. Today, the Mahābhārata has grown more than three times that size – a clear case of multiple authorship and layered growth of the Mahābhārata. It was developed further by Vyāsa’s disciple Vaiśampāyana, Ugraśrava Sauti (the son of another of Vyāsa’s disciple Lomaharṣaṇa), and numerous others. Similarly, many portions in the Bāla Kāṇḍa and Uttara Kāṇḍa of Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa are authored by Vālmīki’s disciples and their disciples.

The Ṛgveda mentions about 41 hydronyms, 32 rivers, around 424 Ṛṣis, 213 kings, apart from discussing around 76 devatas. This is discussed in my book Rivers of Ṛgveda (January, 2022).  The Rāmāyaṇa mentions 43 hydronyms, 37 rivers, numerous lakes, mountains, forests, 60 plus janapadas and 80 plus place names – among them many cities, towns, and villages. This is discussed in my book Geography of Rāmāyaṇa (January, 2023). The Mahābhārata mentions around 540 janapadas, more than 100 cities, towns, and villages, more than 230 rivers and lakes, more than 100 mountain ranges and peaks, around 20 forests, 59 regions, and 280 holy spots. It mentions hundreds of individuals, kings, queens, warriors, sages and ordinary people by name! This is discussed in my book Geography of Mahābhārata to be released by January 2024.

No poet needs to infuse his or her works with such huge data if all they wanted was to express their poetic imagination or give some examples of some philosophical concepts. This huge wealth of data in itself points to the fact that the core of the Vedas, Itihāsas, and Purāṇas describe historical events. Poetry and philosophy emerged from this core historical events, like branches and leaves of a tree emerge from its roots. Vālmīki and Vyāsa did not author the entirety of the Rāmāyaṇa and the Mahābhārata, as if they were novelists of today! Whatever poetry and philosophy that is found in these texts are the contribution of multiple authors spanning multiple generations.

Since historical events are at the core of the Rāmāyaṇa and the Mahābhārata, the claim that a data analyst focusing on the chronology, geography or historicity of these texts, is a reductionist reducing these poetic and philosophical works into mere history is a false claim. The analysis of a data analyst is comparable to the x-ray analysis of a human body revealing the inner skeletal structure of the body. This act cannot be compared with removing the skin and flesh of a body. The act of doing an x-ray is not comparable to the act of reducing the body into skeletons. In other words, data analysis (including historical analysis) of ancient texts does not take away poetry or philosophy from it. Hence, there is no reductionism here.

Dismissing the data analyses of “Veda-Itihāsa-Purāṇas” also result in dismissing some of the brilliant scholarship that modern India has produced – such as the Out of India Theory (OIT) produced by Shrikant Talageri. He did it by analyzing the chronological data in the Ṛgveda, the Avesta, and the Mitanni records. I have also similarly engaged in the data analysis of several texts like the Ṛgveda, the Rāmāyaṇa, the Mahābhārata, and the Viṣṇu Purāṇa for more than two decades. Some of these are consolidated and offered on websites with more than 35,000 heavily hyperlinked web pages, around seven research papers and two books, with another book along the way.

Often, many Indian philosophers interpret the Kurukṣetra War as a mere war inside the human mind. This takes away the real context of the Bhagavat Gīta. MK Gandhi had similarly misinterpreted the Gīta. He interpreted it merely as an inner conflict of the human mind. He did not regard the Mahābhārata as a historical work, and thought Vyāsa was only using it to propagate a religious theme and there was no physical warfare! Gandhi took it away from the real historical Kuru-Pāṇḍava war-context, and thus failed to recognize the real Kurukṣetra of his lifetime and the real enemies.

These real enemies tortured, raped, and killed many thousands in the Malabar-Moplah riots and millions more during the Partition of India! Millions of Draupadis were raped due to this gross error of MK Gandhi, and millions of Abhimanyus and Arjunas were tortured and killed! Gandhi’s understanding of the Gīta never crossed beyond Arjuna Viṣāda, Chapter One of the Bhagavat Gīta. This also led to the menace of appeasement politics in India — which is inherited by almost all the political parties of India. No wonder, today’s youth cannot understand the Gīta and use it for a real battle against today’s enemies of Dharma — the Arabian and West Asian religious ideologies, Communism, etc.

In contrast, our great civilizational leaders like Śankara, Śivaji, Vivekānanda, and Aurobindo have understood the real context of the Gīta and its true essence.

In summary, the cores of the two itihāsas are historical events. This is true for the Vedas and Purāṇas too. Poetry, literature, and philosophy grew around these historical events. Literature and philosophy abstract the historical events and convert them to immortal, eternal lessons for all humanity, for all times. That much is correct. But, this does not mean we can ignore the core historical events that started it all and led to the growth of the literature and philosophy around it. Studying these historical cores is then not reductionism — it is just stating the facts and the truths. It is Ṛta, because our tradition focuses sharply on Satyam Eva Jayate – truth alone will win.

The lineage links connect Vedic, aitihāsic, and purāṇic personalities with historical personalities. But those who oppose historical analyses of our ancient texts, and insist that they must be read only religiously, poetically, or philosophically unwittingly join the ranks of the Leftist historians in dismissing the older part of this historical lineage as pure imagination!

Everybody agrees that the foundation of Sanātana Dharma is not based in history or historicity. Logically, the fact that Sanātana Dharma is not dependent on history should rather make the study of the historicity of “Veda-Itihāsa-Purāṇas” a safe exercise. Abrahamism will be destroyed by a historical study of the Torah, Bible, or the Quran because their truth claims are dependent on history. But since Sanātana Dharma’s truth claims are NOT dependent on history, the historical analysis of “Veda-Itihāsa- Purāṇas” pose no threat to Sanātana Dharma. All those who can handle bitter truths and forgo sweet falsehoods should welcome it.

Vedas, Itihāsas and Purāṇas contain data in the form of core historical, chronological, and geographical information. They also contain poetry and philosophy. What is most sacred and valid for eternity is the philosophy – the Dhārmic philosophy. It is time invariant. That is what sustains Sanātana Dharma. As long as that is preserved, no harm will happen to Sanātana Dharma. The magical elements of poetry are secondary to philosophy. Sanātana Dharma is sustained with or without those magical elements.

Often these magical elements are added to make the Aitihāsic or Purāṇic narratives more attractive to the listener or reader. That is why the ancient poets added them as preservatives, in a period where the information needed to be transmitted by word of mouth from generation to generation. The poetic, magical-narratives are like the food-preservatives added to food, to store them for a long period. Today, we have better information preservation systems.

Additionally, the historical analysis of the Vedas, Itihāsas, and Purāṇas also reveal them as having layered growth. This allows one to separate numerous adhārmic suggestions found in the Itihāsa-Purāṇas regarding Varṇa and Jāti that developed later to the Rāma Era and the Pāṇḍava Era. These are often back projected onto the ancient periods of Pāṇḍavas, Rāma, and Manu to provide them with some stamp of authority and antiquity. Such manipulations are recognized and rejected in and through the historical analyses of ancient texts. Those who reject historical analyses would therefore have no means of rejecting these manipulations and adhārmic suggestions.

History and historical analyses of the Veda-Itihāsa-Purāṇas are thus the need of the hour to complete recording the extended history of our ancient Bhāratīya civilization that can be dated back into our Purāṇas, Itihāsas, and the Vedas. It will be the dominant quest of this decade, and the next. These analyses are not being done in reaction to any Western influence or any Western instigation. It is not done in reaction to any Western challenge, questioning our ability to define the history or chronology of our civilization. It is an original quest initiated by Ṛta, and the pure search for the truth, emerging from deep inquisitive minds of Bhāratīyas.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. IndiaFacts does not assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of any information in this article.


Jijith Nadumuri Ravi

Jijith Nadumuri Ravi, a former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientist at ISRO, is the author of the book “Rivers of Ṛgveda” (January 2022) that focuses on the geo-chronology of the Ṛgveda, with an update on the “Out of India” theory. Jijith’s new book, titled, “Geography of Rāmāyaṇa,” was released in January 2023, and the third, titled, “Geography of Mahabharata,” will be published soon. Jijith founded the website “AncientVoice” ( which now contains 25,376 pages on Mahābhārata, Rāmāyaṇa, Vedas, and Purāṇas, and has Bhāratavarṣa maps, articles, lineage charts, analysis of 16,000 plus nouns, data illustrations, and paintings. “Naalanda” and “Takshasila” are the sister sites of “AncientVoice,” focusing on the Upaniṣads and Greek, Avestan, and Tamil literature. Jijith is an artist who visualize events from Itihāsa-Purāṇas. Jijith founded the platform Dharma Digital ( with more than one hundred Metaverse ready 3-D digital holograms to promote Dharma using digital technologies like Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence.