The Colonial British historians who came to shape our thoughts about 200 years back called Ramayana and other texts of India as mythological.
How right were they in their branding Indian Itihaasa as mythological? In the last decade or so, the scientific advancements that have taken place, have helped scientific historians revisit the text for historical proofs.
Bharath Gyan has researched information on Rama from a rational, scientific and logical perspective to try and understand if Rama has in reality been a historical person.
In the Ramayana text the family tree of Rama starts tracing his lineage right from Kashyapa Aditi to his times and after his times down to the times of Mahabaratha. This means at least 50 generations on either sides of Rama have been named and their achievements mentioned.
These names and their achievements have been cross verified in other literary texts of other periods of time when those kings who were the ancestors or successors to Rama lived. Such detailed lineage on either side along with their correlation in other texts would be possible if the persons mentioned therein are historical.
In the Tamil text Aga na nooru which belong to the Sangam literature period Rama is mentioned by name in the 70th song of Neithal Thinai. This indicates that he was not only popular in his region but was discussed by the pre-historic tamil scholars also.During the Mughal times Begum Hamida Banu, wife of Humayun and the mother of Akbar prepared the Persian version of the Ramayana as it was a historical text of her land. Akbar prepared one more Ramayana during his times as Emperor. These texts are richly painted and are today in various museums of the world. These were not prepared as religious text but as historical texts of the land they ruled.
Ramayana as a text is geographically very correct. Every site on Rama’s route is still identifiable and has continuing traditions in the form of temples to commemorate Rama’s visit.
In those remote days no author had the travel facility to concoct a geographically credible story and building it into local folklore.
Can we give a date to Rama?
The concept of describing dates astronomically has been a practice in India since days bygone and thus lot of Indian literature are embedded with such astronomical data.
This is a technique of charting the future or past sky using a scientific tool. This tool helps to arrive at planetary positions given a date in future or past and vice-versa i.e. given a set of planetary configurations, arrive at the date either in future or in the past.
Such tools are collectively called Planetarium software. There are probably over 50 such different software available. Each software can be used specifically for a particular application, like, plotting the current night sky chart, predicting eclispes and the likes. When spacecrafts are launched to visit far-off planets like Jupiter and Saturn, it would take a travel time of well over 12 years for the spacecraft to reach these planets. This software helps determine orbital positions of the planets when the spacecraft reaches their orbits. For this, a high level of precision is required in the software.
Unlike any other civilization so far, the literature of the Indian civilization is characterised for being embedded with night sky observations. Feeding the observations of the planetary configurations into the Planetarium software gives us the English calender dates when these configurations could have occured in the past. When these dates are logically arranged along with the events, it helps us to scientifically assign dates to events mentioned in Indian legends and historical texts, and validate them.
Thus the astronomical remains left behind in our literature can be analysed scientifically to arrive at historic dates for various events. This approach is parallel to archaeology where physical remains are analysed to arrive at historic dates and hence gives rise to a new branch of scientific dating which may be called Archaeo-astronomy. Various modern day researchers have made use of this software to arrive at such historic dates for various events described in the Indian literature.
They have collated the outputs of such credible work which are worthy of standing up to cross validation. In the context of the Historicity of Rama, the works of Shri. Pushkar Bhatnagar, as brought out in the book "Dating the Era of Lord Ram" form the basis of what is presented here to understand the dates of the events in Rama’s lifetime .
This particular text, Ramayana, when analysed from a scientific perspective using such Archeo-Astronomy techniques, shows tremendous internal consistency between the events described astronomically and the storyline based elapse time between those events. This method puts forth the below mentioned dates for the events that occur in the Ramanaya legend.
Sri Rama Navami - Birth day 10th January 5114 BCE
Birth of Bharatha 11th January 5114 BCE
Pre coronation eve 4th January 5089 BCE Khar
Dushan episode 7th October 5077 BCE
Vali Vadham 3rd April 5076 BCE
Hanuman's Visit to Lanka 12th September 5076 BCE
Hanuman's Return from Lanka 14th September 5076 BCE
Army March to Lanka 12th September 5076 BCE
It is indeed noteworthy to observe that these dates are internally consistent
While the purpose of this software was different, it has now thrown open a potential for a new branch of science which can be named Archeo Astronomy as just like archeology it can help date events as described in literature. This software has now become declassified and is available for public use. This modern method of – Archeo Astronomy is still not accepted or practiced by traditional historians as it requires knowledge of traditional astronomy, mathematics as well modern day sky chart reading techniques all of which go into the realm of science.
This branch of archeology requires and will create a new breed of archeologists and has the potential to date more events from our vast store of literature than traditional archeology can.