Sunday, April 24, 2016

Bharadvaja Barhaspatya

Bharadvaja Barhaspatya (2077 BCE) / भरद्वाज बार्हस्पत्य / ভরদ্বাজ বার্হস্পত্য was an ancient Indian Vedic Brahmin Rishi who lived in the area between Sarasvati River in what is today Haryana state of India and to west of Ganga River in Uttar Pradesh[1].

He belonged to the Barhaspatya sub-family of Angiaras clan and was in fact one of the founding fathers of the Bharadvaja gotra. His father was Brihaspati.

Bharadvaja Barhaspatya is the composer of Mandala 6 of the Rig Veda[2], having composed 61 out of 75 suktas.

Period of Bharadvaja Barhaspatya

Bharadvaja Barhaspatya was 53 generations up from the time of Parikshita whose time coincides with the Mahabharata War (Kurukshetra War). The estimated date of Mahabharata War is 1053 BCE, and kingly generational gap is estimated to be 19 years [3].
  • Pargiter [4] places Divodasa II of Kashi Kingdom, 40 generations down from the beginning of properly recorded ancient Indian historical tradition (itihasa). 
  • Divodasa II was a contemporary of Brihaspati, the father of Bharadvaja Barhaspatya. 
  • Hence Bharadvaja Barhaspatya is 41 generations down from the beginning of ancient Indian historical tradition (itihasa).
  • There are 94 generations between Mahabharata War and the the beginning of remembered ancient Indian historical tradition
Based on this Bharadvaja Barhaspatya  is estimated to have flourished around 2077 BCE.

Archaeological Proof

Another important corroboration of our date comes from a combination of archaeological sources.

1. In Rig Veda 6.61 which is a hymn to Sarasvati, Bharadvaja refers to the Sarasvati river as
  • powerful - त्वं देवि सरस्वत्यवा वाजेषु वाजिनि ।
  • ever-flowing, unending, making a roaring sound - यस्या अनन्तो अह्रुतस्त्वेषश्चरिष्णुरर्णवः । अमश्चरति रोरुवत् ॥
  • seven streams - सप्तस्वसा सुजुष्टा
2. Studies indicate that the Sarasvati river dried up completely by 1900 BCE [5].

Therefore, Bharadvaja Barhaspatya definitely lived before 1900 BCE and perhaps around 2000 BCE, allowing a 100 years for the river to dry up completely.

References

  1. RV 6.45 (refers to Ganga) and 6.61 (refers to Sarasvati)
  2. ऋग्वेदः मण्डल ६
  3. Date of Mahabharata War from Literary Sources, The Tiny Man
  4. Ancient Indian Historical Tradition, Pargiter
  5. Danino, Michel. The Lost River: On the Trail of Sarasvati

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