Commercialization of Legal Profession in Apex Court:

 

                                      Speaking at the Thirteenth National Conference of Akhil Bhartiya Adhivakta Parishad, at KIIT University Bhubaneshwar on Dec 26th, Hon’able Justice Shri A.K.Patnaik of Supreme Court of India, in his inaugural speech focused on the commercialization of legal profession in the highest court in the country.

Justice Patnaik shared from his vast experience as a Judge that legal profession is doing very well in trial courts and in the high courts. Lawyers in such courts are very disciplined, laborious, they argue to the points and they stick to the ethical practice.

In Delhi, in the Supreme Court, he feels that legal profession has been effected by commercialization. Exorbitant fees are being charged to the clients.

Advocates don’t give much thought that whether the SLP (Special Leave Petition) filed is worth filing or not. In criminal cases the party most of the times has no option, they would want to exercise all options.

But in other matters where there is no case whatsoever, the cases are filed. Advocates know that such cases can never be admitted, there is no chance of them being admitted, still they are being filed for purely commercial gain.

This is a very commercial approach by the advocates and at what cost, they take the very precious time of a Supreme Court Judge because he has to study the brief nonetheless and time of court is being used which is public time. Result is that the parties who are in queue for justice in the court have to wait much longer for justice and this cause pain and agony.

This unnecessary and frivolous litigation can and should be avoided under all circumstances. State Bar councils and Bar Council of India are the only bodies under Advocates Act that has power to take the disciplinary action against the advocates.

Speaking further on the theme topic, Justice Patnaik mentioned that Parliamentarians and the ministers should implement the constitutional obligations and objectives enshrined in part IV of the constitution. Parliamentarian and the ministers should take national interest at the forefront qua their personal interest or party interest.

Justice Patnaik appreciated the objectives of the Akhil Bhartiya Adhivakta Parishad especially to inculcate professional ethics amongst the advocates through the country and take steps to reform the basic working and incorporate the Bhartiya values.

हिंदू धर्म में वापस लौटे 1021 ईसाई परिवार

हिंदू धर्म में वापस लौटे 1021 ईसाई परिवार आगरा : कोठी मीना बाजार में मंगलवार को जुदा माहौल था। मैदान में भगवा पताकाएं फहरा रही थीं। मंत्रों की आवाज वातावरण में गूंज रही थी। दरअसल यहां क्रिसमस के दिन आगरा-अलीगढ़ के 1021 ईसाई परिवारों ने हिंदू धर्म में वापसी की। धर्म जागरण समिति की ओर से यह कार्यक्रम आयोजित किया गया। कार्यक्रम में आगरा, फीरोजाबाद, मैनपुरी, अलीगढ़, हाथरस, एटा और कासगंज जिलों से बड़ी संख्या में वाल्मीकि समाज के लोग पहुंचे। यहां हवन के लिए 21 कुंड बनाए गए थे। ईसाई धर्म छोड़कर हिंदू धर्म में लौटने वाले परिवारों से हवन कराया गया, फिर मंत्रोच्चार का साथ इन परिवारों को हिंदू धर्म में शामिल किया गया। करीब दो घंटे तक यह कार्यक्रम चला। धर्म जागरण समिति 31 दिसंबर, 2021 तक उत्तर प्रदेश के सभी परिवर्तित ईसाई व मुस्लिमों को हिंदू धर्म में वापस लाने की योजना बनाए हुए है।

Now temple and monastery are More insecure – After amendment in the Odisha Hindu Religious Endowments Act, 1951

After three-day marathon debate, the state assembly on Saturday passed the Odisha Hindu Religious Endowments (Amendment) Bill 2012, which gives first preference to the state government to buy immovable properties from Hindu religious institutions.

As per the amendment in the Odisha Hindu Religious Endowments Act, 1951, any proposal to dispose of immovable property of any Hindu religious institutions, the first sale offer will go to the State government. If the State Government refused to buy the endowment property, the property will be put to public sale with permission from the Endowments Commissioner, Law Minister Raghunath Mohanty told the Assembly.

Opposition BJP and Congress had sought withdrawal of the Bill saying it was hastily introduced keeping in mind some ulterior motive. Allaying any apprehension, law minister Raghunath Mohanty said it would help government buy such land in important places for larger public good. Currently, land of these institutions is being purchased by private parties, preventing the government from using those for public purpose such as expansion of office, court building and roads.
The amendment to the original Act was required as the power to grant permission for sale of immovable property, mostly land of Hindu religious institutions, was vested with the Endowments Commissioner. The State Government has little scope to know about sale or mortgage of endowments property except when dispute arises over the property and the parties involved in the dispute went for appeal. Secretary of Law Department is the first appellate authority for hearing the appeal.

The Minister said there are many religious institutions, managed by either hereditary trustee or non-hereditary Trust Board constituted under the provisions of the Endowments Act, are not financially sound. In many cases, immovable properties of such institutions are located in areas where development is taking place at a rapid pace.

In view of the huge price rise of real estate, the middle class, lower middle class and economically weaker sections are not able to participate in the auction of endowments land in important localities. Only higher income groups and people in real estate business are taking advantage of the sale of endowments properties.

Mohanty said in many cases properties of such institutions were located in important urban localities where development was fast taking place. But whenever the institutions decide to sell those, only rich people were able to but those. The state has over 16000 temples and over 450 mutts.

The State Government will intimate its decision whether to purchase the land or not to the Trustee or the person-in-charge of the endowments property within 45 days which may be extended by another 30 days, the Minister said

Jagannath temple Puri

Jagannath temple Puri

Blind-men-and-elephant like probe

S Gurumurthy
14th December 2012

Sideshow: Prologue

A prologue to the sideshow: As Purti’s loans to IREDA and banks had become NPA, a sick Purti began working from early 2009 for One- Time Settlement [OTS] of their dues. Purti had approached Global Safety Vision P Ltd [belonging to the D P Mahiskar family, Nagpur] for loan of Rs 164 cr for OTS. A willing Global asked, besides charge on Purti’s assets, pledge of promoter shares and guarantees of directors of the 14 shareholding companies. But Global obviously had unexpressed reservations about accepting pledge and guarantee from Mehta group. Result, the loan proposal got stuck for months.

Therefore, Mehtas decided to transfer the equity [`47.34cr] held by the 12 operating companies to the 17 [14+3] companies and to substitute non-Mehta nominees in place of theirs on the latter’s boards. Why? To facilitate the pledge of Mehta group holdings of Rs 54.79cr in Purti and promoter guarantees to Global without involving Mehtas in either. The decision forced Mehtas to scramble for new directors to stand substitute for their nominees in the companies. The choice inevitably, but perhaps unfortunately, fell on some Gadkari associates. They were co-opted briefly as directors to help achieve the OTS. See how things move at breakneck sequence.

2009-2011 Changes and OTS

First, on July 24 2009, four persons associated with Gadkari–K Zade, M Panse, N Agnihotri and S Kotwaliwale–were co-opted as directors in one or the other of the 14 companies. Second, on September11 2009, the Mehta nominees–J Pahade and J K Verma–quit their boards. Third, by October 2009, the Rs 47.34cr equity in Purti held by 12 Mehta companies was transferred to the 17 companies. By now, the 17 companies, with Gadkari associates as directors, held the group holdings of Purti [`54.79cr]. Fourth, immediately, on 22.10.2009, Purti filed loan application with Global, corroborating the earlier steps as necessary preparations for the Global loan. Fifth, Global forthwith disbursed the loan–Rs 28.82cr in November; Rs 53.51cr in December; and Rs 24.61cr in January 2010 and by 26.2.2010, the entire Rs 164cr. Sixth, Purti got Global to drop guarantees of Gadkari associates on the boards of the 17 companies, substantiating that their presence on the boards was for secretarial need, not by proprietorial right. Seventh, Purti completed OTS with banks by March 2010. Eighth, with Purti out of NPA issues, after a decent interval, Manish Mehta rejoined–yes rejoined–Purti Board on 27.12.2010 as additional director. He had quit Purti’s Board in December 2002 to protect Purti when other Mehta companies’ had NPA issues and, later, to protect his other companies, he deferred rejoining Purti till its NPA issue was sorted out. On 29.9.2011, he became a regular director of Purti. He remains so now. [The ‘investigation’ was wrong in saying that he is now not a Director in Purti.] Ninth, most importantly, on 15.2.2011, within two months of Mehta re-entering the Purti Board, Gadkari associates quit the boards of all 17 companies, proving that the understanding was that they would quit once Mehta re-entered. Now, is it not self-evident that Mehtas’ withdrawal from the 17 companies and the entry and brief stay of Gadkari associates on their boards was only to help sort out Purti’s NPA issues? Now, the story of the three companies.

3 Cos Genuine

The ‘investigation’ had relied on the three “shell” companies [Jainaam,Jasika and Neelay] with Gadkari family members as shareholders to insinuate him with money laundering. Now look at the facts. The three companies, included in the 17, were acquired in January-February 2009 as Mehta investment vehicles. On 18.3.2009, Gadkari’s associates [not family members] became their directors. When the 12 Mehta companies transferred their Purti holdings, they transferred three lakh Purti shares on 14.9.2009 to Jasika and Neelay. On 17.11.2009, Gadkari’s wife, two sons and nephew paid and acquired at par value 10,000 shares in each [totally 14 per cent ownership]. This gave them the pleasure of [just] 0.6 per cent indirect ownership of Purti that lasted for a year only!

On 1.12.2010, Gadkari’s wife and sons transferred their holdings to Gadkari’s associates, at purchase price, though Purti share value had gone up because of OTS. This showed that their holding was temporary and for no gain.

The three companies had valid registered offices and directors when, and till, Gadkari family members were shareholders. Like in the 14 companies, Gadkari associates quit the boards of the three companies on 15.2.2011. It is obvious that the changes in the three, like in the 14, were in the context of the OTS. Anyway, the insinuation that Gadkari family held shares in three “fictitious” companies was clearly false.

Mehta to ‘Shell’ to Mehta

After 15.2.2011 when Gadkari associates quit the boards of 17 companies, the sideshow started in which the media, perhaps rightly, saw red. On 15.2.2011, questionable directors replaced Gadkari associates on their boards. Two days later on 17.2.2011, the registered offices of 13 of them were shifted from genuine addresses to fake addresses. Why? It needs an initiation into the corporate world. It is normal practice for promoter families to hold shares through hierarchy of companies with cross holdings and with personal secretaries, assistants, clerks, and other reliable persons chosen by the corporate secretariat, as nominee directors. Mehtas did the same differently, but shabbily. Sometime in 2010, Mehtas appear to have outsourced the secretarial work of the 17 companies to C S Sarda, a Chartered Accountant and investment consultant, based in Kolkata. His brother, D P Sarda, also a Chartered Accountant practising in Nagpur, had introduced the Mehtas to the former.

Sarda was engaged by Mehtas as investment consultant to manage the secretarial work of the 17 companies. When tax authorities examined him he seems to have testified that he had suggested new directors and new offices. This is the story of the ‘fake’ offices and directors. After this sideshow climaxed as the main show on TV screens, Manish Mehta seems to have got the holding of 17 companies transferred to himself or his family and put his own men on the boards of the 17 companies!

When Gadkari’s second term as BJP president became a possibility, some media began targeting him, but with no luck. But when they saw companies with fake addresses and directors as Purti’s owners, they thought and declared in haste, that they had caught Gadkari red-handed. And without probing further, they convicted and sentenced (him) to resign as BJP president! An apt comparison of the quality of such ‘investigation’ is the famous probe of the six blind men who perceived an elephant in parts as wall, rope, pillar etc. In Gadkari’s case, seeing companies with fake directors and offices holding Puti shares, the investigators alleged money laundering; seeing Gadkari associates as their directors, involved him in the charge; and seeing Gadkari family members holding shares in some as proof of his guilt.

Competitive sensationalism made them blind to what changes took place on 24.7.2009 and why; what changes took place on 27.12.2010 and 15.2.2011 and why; when and why ‘fake’ offices and directors emerged; how when the 17 companies invested Purti equity or when Gadkari family members were directors or his associates were directors, they had genuine offices and boards; and finally how its story was just a glib sideshow that did not make the investment in Purti spurious. Media’s disjointed probe on Gadkari is the like the six blind men’s on the elephant which led them to bizarre conclusions.

PS: A saying in Tamil goes “What is true is not you see or hear, but what you find on deeper probe”. That is the lesson. Pen is mightier than the sword.

And camera is deadlier than AK-47. It needs great skill, responsibility and, most important, wisdom, to handle both.
http://newindianexpress.com/opinion/article1378515.ece#

Raped Hindu girl in Sindh finds support

ANITA JOSHUA

Civil society activists of Pakistan are rallying to secure justice for the six-year-old Hindu girl from the Meghwar community who was raped in the Umerkot district of Sindh last week.

The girl was found raped and tortured on a street. Her case did not get much media attention after two local journalists who reported about it were threatened by the alleged perpetrators. The Class I student was shifted from the local hospital to a larger one in Lyari on the intervention of the Deputy Speaker of Sindh Assembly.

Meanwhile, activists have started an online petition to draw attention to her case in particular and the condition of the Hindu community in general.

In a related development, a Hindu doctor was shot dead in the Mastung area of Balochistan while on his way home.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-international/raped-hindu-girl-in-sindh-finds-support/article4198111.ece

Karnataka Govt passes ‘Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Preservation Bill-2012′

December 13th, 2012, 2:13 pm

Belgaum/Bangalore December 13, 2012: Amid high opposition by Congress and Janata Dal MLA’s, in what can be termed as an extremely decisive movement, the Karnataka legislative assembly has passed an anti-cow slaughter bill. The bill known as ‘Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Preservation Bill-2012‘, has been introduced today, the last day of the assembly session. This means that any animal falling under the category of bovines, will not be slaughtered withing the state.

‘High punishment will be given for those who slaughter Cow and Bull.  Up to an age of 15 years slaughtering of Buffalo also offensive according to the new bill. Karnataka govt already passed a bill a year ago, which  included several cattle breeds of cow, buffalo, goat, sheep and few other animals. That bill is still under consideration of President of India. The new bill passes today will focus only on Cow, Bull and Buffalo up to 15 years by age.’ said a senior official of Animal Husbandry department to VSK-Karnataka.

The bill was introduced in the legislative assembly by Minister for Animal Husbandry Revu Naik Belmagi. The Bill proposes to amend the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Prevention Act, 1964, to expand the definition of cow and include bull and bullock in the category. (Inputs from Indiawires)

The bill will be passed at Legislative council soon, where the ruling BJP govt has enough number to pass the bill.

(VSK-Karnataka)

Why is Syed Shahabuddin writing to Modi?

MJ Akbar 

02 December 2012, 12:30 AM ISTImage 

One swallow, famously, does not make a summer, but when an ideological bird peeps out from the bush, it is time to check the thermometer for possible signs of climate change. Nor was this bird plumed in saffron. When more than three decades ago Syed Shahabuddin left a commendable career in the Indian Foreign Service to enter politics, he chose an attire in Islamic green. That hue has not changed. So when he writes a letter to Narendra Modi, the one contemporary politician Muslims love to hate, it is news. 

 

Which is more relevant: the letter, or the controversy that ensued? No-brainer. Protest is a familiar story; the communication is new. In any case, the “clarification” that Shahabuddin issued was about the letterhead, not the letter. He merely acknowledged that he should not have used institutional notepaper; he did not deny the contents. 

 

What did he say? “Muslim voters see some signs of change in your attitude,” Shahabuddin wrote to Modi, noting the special attention that Modi had been paying to Muslim voters on the eve of the Gujarat assembly polls. Then followed a 10-point demarche demanding apology, compensation and justice as the last mile towards absolution. 

 

Two significant points emerge. A recognised leader from the radical spectrum of Indian Muslim politics has publicly accepted, for the first time, that Modi is stretching a hand towards Muslims instead of giving them the finger. The demarche confirms that as far as Shahabuddin is concerned the relationship with Modi has moved from non-negotiable to negotiable. 

 

Sir James Bevan, the British high commissioner who called on Modi in October to signal a truce after a decade of hostility, should be pleased. This is precisely what he was trying to suggest.

 

Why is Modi’s reach slowly seeping into demographic regions once considered beyond the pale? He has three assets that cut across traditional political parameters. He is synonymous with decisive governance at a time when people are tired of dither and confusion. Indian voters want soft power in Bollywood, not Delhi. (If Mrs Indira Gandhi were seeking re-election today, she would win 400 seats.) Second, Modi is not tainted by accusations of personal corruption despite his excellent working equation with industrialists. Third, the young believe that he will give them jobs. Shahabuddin ends his letter with mention of development, education and employment for Muslims. 

 

Why is he writing to Modi about employment rather than to Dr Manmohan Singh? Muslims helped elect Dr Singh, not Modi. But they have waited eight years for Congress to deliver on jobs and got nothing apart from that meaningless promise of reservations which was such a staple of election speeches written for Rahul Gandhi during this year’s UP campaign. The percentage of Muslims employed by the Gujarat government, in contrast, is close to the population share of the community in the state. There are, in addition, private sector jobs to choose from. Gujarat also has more Muslim constables in police stations than any other state. This is the kind of decision which boosts confidence; and no one needs reassurance more than Muslims in Gujarat who went through hell ten years ago. 

 

Were it not for those riots, Shahabuddin just might have urged Muslims to vote for Modi by this time. The riots remain Modi’s Achilles’ heel, and he recognises this dangerous vulnerability. India wants a leader who can deliver jobs, price stability and 10% growth, but none of these is possible without social peace. As long as Modi cannot convince Muslims that they will be safe under his watch, he will only be a claimant to the throne, not an occupant. His task is set.

 

Is it impossible? Congress ruled Delhi in 1984 when police looked the other way while around 5,000 Sikhs were massacred by mobs in the capital. The count across the country was much higher. Congress leaders who led the mobs and held back the police were rewarded with high office, which continues to this day; and Delhi’s magnificent police still cannot frame a convincing case to send Sajjan Kumar to jail. In comparison, the judicial process in Gujarat has sent some of the guilty to prison. But Sikhs have moved on.

 

As the proverb about the swallow indicates, nature is a cycle of seasons. Political nature is seasonal as well. In 1992, 20 years ago this week, Muslim anger soared when Congress slept while the Babri mosque was being demolished, and snored through the subsequent riots. In 2004, Muslims mobilised to ensure a Congress victory; and gave it a second chance in 2009. Today’s mood seems more reminiscent of 1967, when Muslims spurned Congress and shifted to third parties even though there was no clear alternative anchor. 

 

 

Any thaw demands the sunshine of spring. There is certainly a spring in Modi’s step, but he needs much more warmth to melt the Muslim mood. 

Nepal girls in mass Hindu Kanya Puja prayer ceremony

Organisers say that the aim of the ceremony was to bring about social revolution by ensuring a more inclusive society

More than 11,000 girls have taken part in a mass Hindu prayer ceremony in western Nepal, which organisers say is one of the biggest of its kind ever to be held in the country.

The traditional Kanya Puja ceremony honours girls as incarnations of the Goddess Bhagawati.

It included girls from different ethnic communities and castes.

Organisers say the aim is to dismantle the caste system and spread a message of equality and social harmony.

Many girls taking part in the ceremony at Ramnagar in Nawalparasi district wore school uniforms and performed Hindu devotions and chants.

“It is our Vedic tradition to offer Puja [Hindu devotions] to kanya [girls] who are regarded as incarnations of Goddess Bhagawati,” festival organising chief Bharat Raj Poudel said.

Demarcation call

He added that the Puja was being done in a manner to bring about “social revolution” by ensuring a more inclusive society and discarding discriminatory caste traditions such as “untouchability”.

Ethnic minorities want their rights respected in a new constitution

“We want to do away with ethnic discord,” Mr Poudel said.

Nepal has recently witnessed ethnic unrest amid heated debate over the composition of a new constitution. Members of parliament remain divided over the issue.

Some ethnic communities, mostly from indigenous groups called Janajati, have called for the country’s provinces to be demarcated along on ethnic lines.

They have also opposed what they have described as the integration of high-caste Hindus – such as Brahmins and Chhetris – into “the body politic”.

The Kanya Puja is to be followed by the two-week-long Mahayagya – another Hindu ritual which is typically performed by priests using fires to carry out symbolic sacrifices.

The main objective of the Mahayagya, according to organisers, is to preserve Hindu traditions, philosophy and values of life.

Priests from neighbouring India have been invited to this programme.

Formerly a Hindu kingdom, Nepal was transformed into a secular republic six years ago

Time Line of Lord Krishna Supported by Science

(An Excerpt from “Advancements of Ancient India’s Vedic Culture”)
By Stephen Knapp

As devotees and followers of the Vedic path, we already accept the premise that Lord Krishna appeared 5,000 years ago and spoke the Bhagavad-gita in the Mahabharata war. But it is always nice when scholars, other researchers and science can add support to what we already propose. So let’s take a look at this.
One aspect that can show us the early nature of Vedic society, and with a little more reliability, is highlighting the time when Lord Krishna was present. This is another point that has generated many opinions, but is now much clearer than ever with more recent research and findings.

Astrophysicist Dr. Narahari Achar, a physicist from the University of Memphis, clearly showed with astronomical analysis that the Mahabharata war took place in 3067 BCE. Examining the Mahabharata, books 3, 5, and 18, his sky map software showed that all these descriptions converge in the year 3067. Achar also acknowledged that some 30 years earlier, in 1969, S. Raghavan had arrived at the same date.
In determining the date of the Mahabharata war at Kurukshetra, astronomical references in the epic can be used, of which there are more than one hundred and fifty. Most of these that pertain to the war, though there are many scattered throughout the texts, is in the Udyoga and Bhisma Parvas. Those in the Bhisma Parva are especially systematic and are also in accordance with the astrological omens described in the Atharva Veda and its Parishishtas, referring mostly to comets. When these are put together with the retrograde motion of Mars before reaching Jyestha, this leads to the unique date of 3067 BCE for the date of the war, which was previously proposed by Professor Raghavan. 1
This corroborates with the view that the age of Kali-yuga started in 3102 BCE, according to Dr. Achar. As stated in the Puranas, Kali-yuga had already begun, but its full influence was held back because of the presence of Lord Krishna. Then when Lord Krishna departed from this world, which is said to have occurred 35 years after the war of Kurukshetra in 3067, making it the year of 3032 BCE, then Kali-yuga began to show more of its effects. 2
In the time line for the passing away of Grandfather Bhisma, for example, it is said that Bhisma passed away on the Magha (January-February) shukla ashtami, after the winter solstice, which leads to the date

Lord krishna

of January 13, 3066 BCE for the winter solstice. 3
So, in considering the chronology according Professor Raghavan, we have:
Lord Krishna’s departure from Upaplavya nagara on the mission for peace–September 26, 3067 BCE
Krishna reaches Hastinapura–September 28, 3067 BCE
Lunar eclipse–September 29, 3067 BCE
Krishna rides with Karna–October 8, 3067 BCE
Solar eclipse–October 14, 3067 BCE
The war begins–November 22, 3067 BCE
Fourteenth day of the war, continued into the wee hours of the morning–December 8, 3067 BCE
Balarama returns–December 12, 3067 BCE
Winter solstice–January 13, 3066 BCE
Bhisma’s passing away–January 17, 3066 BCE 4
Departure of Lord Krishna– 3031 BCE.
About when Vedavyasa composed the main Vedic texts– 3000 BCE
About when the Sarasvati had dried up or disappeared–1900 BCE
The above accounts for 48 days from the time of Bhisma’s fall to the time of his passing. However, it is generally accepted that Grandfather Bhisma had 58 sleepless nights between the time of his fall and the time of his passing. Yet, if you count the 10 days that he lead the armies into war in which he may also have not been able to sleep, that would give the full 58 sleepless nights that are described.5
The famous astronomical text known as the Surya Siddhanta also states that the sun was 54 degrees away from the vernal equinox when Kali-yuga began on a new moon day, which corresponds to February 17/18, 3102 at Ujjain (75deg47minE 23deg 15 min N). [Also found in Surya Siddhanta: Translation of an Ancient Indian Astronomical Text, Translation by Bapu Deva, Benares, 1860]
From the internal evidence in the Mahabharata text, the coronation of Maharaja Yudhisthir can be determined to be 36 years before the beginning of Kali-yuga, or about 3138 BCE. One scholar, Dr. Patnaik, had calculated the date of the starting of the Mahabharata war to be October 16, 3138 BCE from references available in the epic itself.
Of course, different scholars may arrive at variations in their calculations, and there have been a few different versions of the Mahabharata, and over the many centuries since it was written, additions and accretions are found. For example, verses 2.28.48-9 mention roma and antakhi in Sanskrit, which some scholars interpret to mean Rome and Antioch. This places these mentions not earlier than 300 BCE since Antioch was founded in 301. 6 However, this does not limit the age of the earlier form of the Mahabharata, which is known to have been written shortly after the war of Kurukshetra.
Nonetheless, as B. N. Narahari Achar explains, other scholars have proposed varying years for the Mahabharata war, from 3102 BCE to 3139 BCE. However, none of these dates can produce the astronomical configurations described in the Mahabharata.
Another point of consideration is that it is generally accepted by most Vedic scholars that the age of Kali-yuga began in February 17-18 of 3102 BCE, which also coincides with the astronomical configurations. This also is given credence from the Aryabhatta Tradition in which Aryabhatta, who lived 476-550 CE, explains that when he was 23 years old, 3600 years of Kali-yuga had elapsed. Aryabhatta, one of the great mathematicians and astronomers of India in the 5th century CE, examined the astronomical positions recorded in the Mahabharata. In his work, the Aryabhattiya, he calculated that the approximate date to be 3100 BCE, justifying the date of the Kurukshetra war to have been fought about 5000 years ago, as the tradition itself and most Hindus have always said.
This again identifies the year of 3102 BCE. However, the Mahabharata itself does not describe when Kali-yuga began. All it says is that the war took place some time during the interval of Dvapara and Kali-yugas, and it certainly took place before Lord Krishna left this world. But there is evidence that Kali-yuga had already begun before Lord Krishna disappeared.
In the Bhagavata Purana (1.15.36) it is explained, “When the Personality of Godhead Lord Krishna left this earthly planet in His selfsame form, from that very day Kali, who had appeared partially before, became fully manifest to create inauspicious conditions for those who are endowed with a poor fund of knowledge.”
Therefore, Kali-yuga had already appeared, but it was only due to the presence of Lord Krishna who was holding back its influence. But after He left this world, Kali’s full potency took effect, which is also stated in the Kali-raja Vrittanta. Thus, the war is most likely to have been in 3067 BCE and the beginning of Kali-yuga accepted as 3102 BCE.
Some people, such as Max Muller and others, have had trouble accepting this date as the time of the Mahabharata, because they felt that the descriptions of the planetary positions of the Saptarishis (Ursa Major) were not real. However, a similar description is also given in the second chapter of the twelfth canto of the Bhagavata Purana, which helps verify the time of the Mahabharata.
One particular point to consider is that it has been shown that the positions of the Saptarishis, as explained in the work of Anthony Aveni, noted author of The Empire of Time: Calendars, Clocks and Cultures, that in many cultures, even in Africa and American Indian cultures, it is believed that the entire solar system revolves through the galaxy of the Milky Way, around the brightest star of the Pleiades, in the Taurus constellation. These are known as the Seven Sisters or Krittikas in the Vedic tradition. The brightest star in the Pleiades is Alcyone, and the sun completes one revolution around this star in approximately 3000 years. This has made the Pleiades a sacred object in the sky in many cultures. But the point is that it is this periodic revolution that is why the Saptarishis repeat their positions described in the Bhagavata Purana every 2700 years. Thus, when calculations are based on the position of these stars, we have to realize that the Vedic texts, including the Ramayana and the descriptions therein, could be relating to time periods much earlier than we think.
Additional evidence that can help establish the time of Lord Krishna was in Mohenjodaro, where a tablet dated to 2600 BCE was found which depicts Lord Krishna in His childhood days. This shows that Lord Krishna was popular at least prior to this date. 7
We also have records from Greek travelers who came to India following Alexander’s invasion which have left references to Krishna. Authors like Pliny referred to Krishna as Heracles, based on Hari Krishna. They record that Heracles (Krishna) was held in special honor by the Sourseni tribe (Shuraseni, based on Shura the father of Vasudeva and grandfather of Lord Krishna) in such places as the major city of Methora (Mathura).
The Greek records go on to record that Heracles (Krishna) lived 138 generations before the time of Alexander and Sandrocottas, which was about 330 BCE. This then calculates, based on about 20 years per generation, to roughly 3090 BCE, which is about the right time considering 3102 BCE is the date when Kali-yuga began. Thus, Lord Krishna was a genuinely historical figure who lived about the time of 3200-3100 BCE, having lived to 125 years of age.

WHEN LORD KRISHNA LEFT THIS WORLD
The above information leads us to the approximate date when Lord Krishna left this world. As B. N. Narahari Achar again describes: “According to the epic Mahabharata, Krishna first appears [in the epic] at the time of Draupadi’s wedding, and His departure is exactly 36 years after the war. No information about His birth is available in the epic itself, although there is information about His departure. Krishna observes omens (Mahabharata 14.3.17), similar to the ones seen at the time of the war, now indicating the total destruction of the Yadavas. [Astrological] Simulations show that in the year 3031 BCE, thirty-six years later than 3067 BCE, there was an eclipse season with three eclipses. A lunar eclipse on 20 October was followed by an annular solar eclipse on 5 November, followed by a penumbral lunar eclipse on 19 November, within an interval of 14 days and at an aparvani time. Thus the date of departure of Lord Krishna is consistent with the popular tradition that He passed away 36 years after the war. The information about His birth can be gathered from the Harivamsha and the Bhagavata Purana…. It should be understood, however, that the date of His departure from this world is established on the information in the epic and on the basis of [astronomical] simulations, and it turns out to be 3031 BCE.” 8

MORE PROOF OF THE EXISTENCE OF LORD KRISHNA
Sometimes there are comments and even controversies amongst those who are less informed regarding whether Christianity or Vedic culture came first. Some people point out that the devotional elements within the Vedic tradition, especially in regard to the Bhakti movements, must have come from Christianity first and then appeared in the Vedic Vaishnava tradition, the followers of which exhibit much love and devotion to Lord Krishna and Vishnu and His other avataras. But this idea, that Vedic culture came from Christianity, which some Christian preachers in India still try to use in their attempts to convert people, could not be further from the truth. The fact is that there is archeological proof that the Vaishnava tradition of devotion to Lord Vishnu existed many years prior to the appearance of Christianity.
Not far from the Buddhist site of Sanchi in Central India, we take a 45-minute ride on the very bumpy road to Vidisha or Besnagar where we find the Heliodorus column, locally known as the Khamb Baba pillar. This was erected by Heliodorus, the Greek ambassador to India in 113 BCE. Heliodorus was sent to the court of King Bhagabhadra by Antialkidas, the Greek king of Taxila. The kingdom of Taxila was part of the Bactrian region in northwest India, which had been conquered by Alexander the Great in 325 BCE. By the time of Antialkidas, the area under Greek rule included what is now Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Punjab.
Heliodorus writes on the stone pillar the time it was erected and the fact that he had converted to Vaishnavism, or the worship of Lord Vishnu. The inscription on the column, as published in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, says:
“This Garuda column of Vasudeva (Vishnu), the god of gods, was erected here by Heliodorus, a worshiper of Vishnu, the son of Dion, and an inhabitant of Taxila, who came as Greek ambassador from the Great King Antialkidas to King Kasiputra Bhagabhadra, the Savior, then reigning prosperously in the fourteenth year of his kingship. Three important precepts when practiced lead to heaven: self-restraint, charity, conscientiousness.”
This shows that Heliodorus had become a worshiper of Vishnu and was well versed in the texts and ways pertaining to this religion. It can only be guessed how many other Greeks became converted to Vaishnavism if such a notable ambassador did. This conclusively shows the Greek appreciation for India and its philosophy.
It was General Alexander Cunningham who was doing an archeological survey in 1877 who first took notice of the significance of the column. However, he did not attend to the inscription that was on it because it was covered with vermilion. This was because the pilgrims who worshiped had a custom to smear the column with vermilion.
It was only in January of 1901 when a Mr. Lake uncovered the paint from what he thought was some lettering. Once the ancient Brahmi text was translated, the historical significance of the column became ever more apparent.
The British Sanskritists, due to their superior views of themselves, had developed the idea that much of the Vedic traditions and legends of Lord Krishna had to have been incorporated from the Bible and the stories of Jesus. However, this Heliodorus column was the archeological discovery that proved to the disappointed British that knowledge of Krishna and the Vaishnava tradition predated Christianity by at least 200 years. The column indicated that the Indians did not adopt legends of Christ to put in their Puranas to be used for the stories of Krishna as the British had hypothesized since this gave proof that knowledge of Krishna predated Jesus by almost 200 years.
Another point to consider is that if a Greek official was so impressed with the philosophy of Vaishnavism that he converted to it in 200 BCE, then it means that Vaishnavism and the element of spiritual devotion to God, as found in the Bhakti tradition, had to have originated several hundred years if not several thousand years earlier in order for it to have developed to a stage wherein the Greeks were so much impressed by it. So this is a serious historical site to see.
The Heliodorus column also indicates that the Vedic tradition accepted converts at that time. Only after the difficulties between Hindus and Muslims was there a hesitancy on the part of Hindus to accept converts to the Vedic tradition. The Vedic religion saw itself as universal and welcomed all people into its embrace. As Raychaudhari writes: “The Beshnagar record testifies to the proselytizing zeal of the Bhagavatas [Vaishnavas] in the pre-Christian centuries, and shows that their religion was excellent enough to capture the hearts of cultured Greeks, and catholic enough to admit them into its fold.”
This evidence further shows that Greece was but a part of Vedic culture and repeated what it and its philosophers had learned from the Vedic sages rather than being a source of the higher levels of philosophy as some people think. Furthermore, this evidence bears witness to the fact that the Christian tradition and its main element of devotion or bhakti to God was found in Vedic culture long before it appeared within the confines of Christianity. In fact, much of the deeper spiritual philosophy in Christianity is but a repeat of what had been previously established and much more deeply developed in the older Vedic tradition. So to fathom the deeper aspects of the different levels of devotion to God, one can investigate the Vedic and Vaishnava tradition to learn the finer details.
Additional archeological finds include the Mora Well and Ghosundi Inscriptions, which tell us that the rich and complex Vaishnava conception of God and full expansions of the Godhead into the material universes were already well established in the first two centuries before Christ. Seven miles west of Mathura in the small and unimposing village of Mora, General Cunningham made another vital find regarding the historicity of Vaishnavism. In 1882, on the terrace of an ancient well, he discovered a large stone slab filled with inscriptions. Although more than half of the writing had already peeled away on the right side, the remainder was legible. It was transcribed, and a facsimile of the inscription was published in the Archaeological Survey of India’s Annual Report. The message was clear. Not only was Krishna worshiped in the centuries before Christ, but also His expansions or associates, especially “the five heroes of the Vrishni Clan.” Scholarly research makes evident that these five are Krishna (Vasudeva), Balarama (Sankarshana), Pradyumna, Samba, and Aniruddha.
This was the proof that the complex theology, metaphysics, and cosmology of Sanatana-dharma and Vaishnavism definitely existed in an advanced state centuries before Christ. The Mora Well inscription is an important archeological proof of this historical fact.
Furthermore, in the village of Ghosundi in the Chitor district of Rajasthan is found the Ghosundi Inscription, which largely duplicates the message of the Mora Well Inscription. Kaviraja Shyamala Dasa first brought this evidence to light in The Journal of the Bengal Asiatic Society. Today, the inscription can be inspected in the Victoria Hall Museum in Udaipur.
The surviving part of this inscription relevant to this chapter reads as follows: “[this] railing of stone for the purposes of worship is [caused to be made] in the Narayana-compound, [dedicated] to the Blessed Ones [bhagavabhyam] Samkarshana and Vasudeva, the gods…”
The inscription is in a form of Sanskrit script called Northern Brahmi script, which dates the inscription as being from the second century BCE in either the late Maurya or early Sunga periods. An almost identical inscription also was uncovered nearby and is called the Hathi-vada Inscription. According to K. P. Jayaswal of the Archaeological Survey of India, these inscriptions demonstrate that not only the Kshatriyas but also the Brahmanas or priestly and intellectual class worshiped Krishna as the “Lord of all,” and, thus, Vaishnavism was entrenched in the entire Indian society.
The same point is made in the famous Nanaghat Cave Inscription in the state of Maharashtra, where Vasudeva and Sankarshana (or Krishna and Balarama) are included in an invocation of a Brahmana. On epigraphical grounds, this inscription is dated conclusively as coming from the second half of the first century BCE. Additionally, Raychaudhuri reports:
The Nanaghat Inscription shows further that the Bhagavata [Vaishnava] religion was no longer confined to Northern India, but had spread to the south and had captured the hearts of the sturdy people of Maharashtra. From Maharashtra it was destined to spread to the Tamil country and then flow back with renewed vigor to the remotest corners of the Hindu Vedic world.
There is also much numismatic evidence that corroborates the antiquity of Krishna. For instance, excavations at Al-Khanum, along the border of Afghanistan and the Soviet Union, conducted by P. Bernard and a French archeological expedition, unearthed six rectangular bronze coins issued by the Indo-Greek ruler Agathocles (180?-?165 BCE). The coins had script written in both Greek and Brahmi and, most interestingly, show an image of Vishnu, or Vasudeva, carrying a Chakra and a pear-shaped vase, or conchshell, which are two of the four main sacred symbols of God in Vaishnavism.

DATE OF LORD RAMA
Another point we could discuss is the approximate date of Lord Rama. Lord Rama appeared in the Solar Dynasty, but even the time frame of His appearance may shed more light on the antiquity of Vedic culture. Naturally, scholars have different views on when He may have existed. Some say He was here a few thousand years before Lord Krishna. In fact, in an April 2011 edition of the Times of India, Saurabh Kwatra writes that using the zodiac and the recorded tithis, days marked according to the phases of the moon, he calculated that the birth of Lord Rama, as related in the Valmiki Ramayana, was December 4th, 7323 BCE. While using other forms of planetary computer software, others have come up with other dates.
Though these may be some of the more recent calculations, still the tradition places the era of Lord Rama much earlier than that. For example, the Vayu Purana (70.48) says:
tretayuge chaturvinshe ravanastapasah kshayat I
ramam dasharathim prapya saganah kshayamlyavan II
This relates that the misbehaving Ravana was killed with his kiths and kins in a war with Rama in the 24th Treta-yuga. We are presently in the 28th chaturyuga (cycle of 1000 yugas) of the Vaivasvat manvantara. Furthermore, this is corroborated by Rupa Goswami in his Laghu Bhagavatamrita that Rama appeared in the Treta-yuga of the 24th yuga cycle. There are 71 cycles of the four yugas in a manvantara period, which would mean the appearance of Lord Rama would be about 18 million years ago.
Another interesting point is that in the Suderkand section of the Valmiki Ramayana (5.4.27) elephants with four tusks are mentioned as standing at the gates of Ravana’s palace. Also in 5.27.12 an ogress named Trijata sees in her dream Lord Rama mounted on a great elephant with four tusks. The fact that they knew of elephants with four tusks is very intriguing since, scientifically speaking, a quick reference to the elephant with four tusks is called a Mastondontoidea, which is calculated to have evolved around 38 million years ago, and is suspected of becoming extinct around 15 million years ago. This would help verify the ancient date of Lord Rama to be around 18 million years ago. Interesting… isn’t it?
The more we look in the right places for the right evidence, the more we see that the Vedic tradition indeed holds the universal spiritual truths.
CHAPTER NOTES
1. B. N. Narahari Achar, Origin of Indian Civilization, Edited by Bal Ram Singh, Center for Indic Studies, Dartmought, USA, 2010, p. 203.
2. Nicholas Kazanas, Origin of Indian Civilization, Edited by Bal Ram Singh, Center for Indic Studies, Dartmought, USA, 2010, p. 53.
3. B. N. Narahari Achar, Origin of Indian Civilization, Edited by Bal Ram Singh, Center for Indic Studies, Dartmought, USA, 2010, p. 225.
4. Ibid., p. 231.
5. Ibid., p. 244.
6. Nicholas Kazanas, Origin of Indian Civilization, Edited by Bal Ram Singh, Center for Indic Studies, Dartmouth, USA, 2010, p. 53.
7. V. S. Agrawal, India in the Days of Panini, 1953.
8. B. N. Narahari Achar, Origin of Indian Civilization, Edited by Bal Ram Singh, Center for Indic Studies, Dartmought, USA, 2010, p. 246-7.

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