This monograph is a research-based disquisition on the historicity of Rima and Krsna. Their historicity has been proved on the combined testimony of literature, history, archaeology and science. The work is largely based on original sources. It deals with all relevant aspects of the subject. It provides new insights into the history of India of the epic age. The author has brought to light many new facts relating to the subject. They will enlighten the inquisitive readers. The work is of immense value not only for the historians and archaeologists but also for those who are genuinely interested to know truth about the subject.
The author, G.P. Singh, is currently Professor Emeritus of History, Manipur University, Imphal. He has produced a number of books and papers. Some of his prominent works include The Kiratas in Ancient India: A Historical Study of their Life, Culture and Civilization; Early Indian Historical Tradition and Archaeology; Political Thought in Ancient India; Facets of Ancient Indian History and Culture: New Perception; Ancient Indian Historiography: Sources and Interpretations; Republics, Kingdoms, Towns and Cities in Ancient India; and Kingship in Ancient India: Genesis and Growth.
This work aims at proving the historicity of Rama and Krsna on the basis of the literary, historical, archaeological and scientific evidence. It also proposes to dispel the hitherto existing impression of some historians and politicians that they were mythical and not historical personages.
The data available to us relating to the subject has been critically and objectively examined to discover the truth.
In historical reconstruction of the past, the antiquity of a place or person also matters. But we do not have any concrete evidence to determine the antiquity of Rama and Krsna, the places they originally belonged to, and the texts, particularly the Ramavan« (of Valmiki) and the Mahabharata, they are respectively described in, with absolute certainty. The dates suggested by the historians and archaeologists about them are not conclusive. Their antiquity is more higher than what is generally believed. As a matter of fact, they cannot be placed within any chronological framework. Whatever may be their antiquity, the historicity of Rama and Krsna remains.
I am thankful to Shri Susheel K. Mittal, D.K. Printworld (P) Ltd, New Delhi, for his consent to publish it.
This monograph, I believe, will be useful to historians, archaeologists, politicians, and all others, interested in the study of the subject.
THE historicity of Rama and Krsna has long been a controversial
subject. The controversy over the subject has been sparked
off by the contradictory statements of some historians and
A fresh disquisition has been made into this subject on the
basis of the evidence available in the early Vedic text, the
Valmiki-Ramayana, the Mahabharata, Puranas, some of the
Buddhist and Jain works and other literary sources. All
possible attempts have been made to examine the historical
authenticity of the information culled from them. The evidence
recorded in some of the Greek and Chinese sources relating
to the subject are also of some use for our purpose. Some of
the archaeological evidence directly related to the subject are
of exceptional value. We have also placed our reliance on some
of the available scientific data. Besides, there are some other
reliable sources bearing on the subject. The data collected from
the relevant sources have been harmonized together and
interpreted scientifically so as to present a real picture of the
subject. On the weight of the evidence one can prove the
historicity of Rama and Krsna without an iota of doubt.
The statements of some historians and politicians that there
was no epic age as such; the epics have no historical value and
they are not for any historical purpose; Rama and Krsna have
no place in the ancient history of India, they are imaginary
characters and that there is no historical proof of their
existence, can be dismissed as fanciful notions. The statements
that Ayodhya was not the birth place of Rama and it shot into
prominence not in his age but in the age of the Buddha, are
also not worthy of credence. On the basis of the evidence
recorded in the Ramayana of Valmiki and Puranas it can
irrefutably be proved that Ayodhya was the earliest capital
of Kosala kingdom and Rama was one of its rulers.
In a deliberate attempt to deny the existence of Rama this
argument is often put forward by some historians of ancient
India that no signs of habitation of his period were found in
the course of archaeological excavations carried out by B.B.
Lal (former Director-General, Archaeological Survey of India,
Delhi) at 14 different places in Ayodhya and archaeological
exploration of 17 sites and excavations of two sites there by
RC. Singh (former Director of Deptt. of Archaeology, Uttar
Pradesh). In defence of such an argument it is also said that
there is no carbon date for the earliest period of settlement in
Ayodhya. This fact should not be lost sight of that archaeology
is not the only source of our knowledge of history and culture
of India. It may also be noted here that despite the
archaeological discovery of Krsna's Dvaraka, his historicity is
doubted and the validity of the archaeological findings of the
discoverer, S.R. Rao, is questioned by a section of historians.
The genealogy of Iksvaku dynasty given in the Ramayana
of Valmiki and Puranas has great historical value. The
genealogy contains the names of kings of both pre- and post-
Rama periods who ruled the Kosala kingdom with its capital
at Ayodhya. The historicity of a number of kings who
belonged to the said dynasty is proven. The historical details
provided in the Ramayana and Puranas about them have also
been archaeologically confirmed. It is only the historicity of
Rama which is debated.
There is no substance in the statements of some scholars
that Krsna did not play any historical role. History records
that Mathura, the earliest capital of Surasena kingdom, was
the seat of the republican government of the Yadavas headed
by Krsna himself. The shifting of the capital from Mathura to
Dvaraka, the next seat of government in Krsna's time, is also
a historical fact. These are some of the facts which can fairly
be attested to by the evidence recorded in the Mahabharata,
Puranas and other reliable sources.
Rama and Krsna do find mention in some of the standard
historical works. Some of the historians of ancient India have
accorded them the place they deserve.
Nothing would be more absurd than to say that Rama
and Krsna were mythical and not historical personages. We
have literary, historical, archaeological and scientific evidence
to prove their historicity.
This subject is to be treated without any bias, pride or
prejudice and not to be brought within the domain of politics
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