Thursday, 22 March 2012

Chronology of Rishis

Happy Gudi Padva and Hindu Navavarsh to all..
On this auspicious occasion I am uploading the excel file for the chronology of our ancient rishis.

 The Excel sheet consists of 2 sheets, one is of the chronology of kings and sheet 2 is of the chronology of rishis. The third sheet contains the arrangement of rishis according to the Mandalas in Rigveda. On purpose i have given both the lists because the chronology of kings is quite absolute and easy and hence it was fixed first and then was fixed the chronology of rishis which is a bit difficult and unclear.So while having a glance at the chronology of rishis, please compare both the chronological lists of kings and rishis since both the lists contain the same number. for eg- if king Trayyaruna is a contemporary of rishi Vishvamitra, and if Trayyaruna is placed at Sr no.55 in the list of kings, then vishvamitra is also placed at 55 in the list of rishis.
One special feature of this list of rishis is that I have also mapped the various composers of Rigveda which can give us the idea of which mandala of rigveda was composed first since Rigveda was not composed by a single person in one sitting. In the chronological list of kings, some cells have been given the green colour which means there is a certain synchronism between certain kings due to which they are placed there.For the list of rishis, certain cells have been painted yellow which means that those rishis are the composers of certain hymns in the Rigveda.By pointing the mouse pointer at that cell, comments of that cell will be shown, in which that particular synchronism is written. Besides, many other non-coloured cells also contain comments which can be read in the same fashion.

Also, there is a subdivision in both the lists. The first part of both the lists contain the names of kings/rishis from Swayambhuva manu to Vaivasvata manu & the second part contain the names of kings/rishis from Vaivasvata manu to Mahabharata war. These two divisions have been separated by a blue line.
Talking more about the list of rishis, there are certain families of rishis under which the names have been placed. Most of these families are well known. Certain families have been present right from Swayambhuva manu's time like Angiras, Atri, Bhrigu, Vasishtha, Kashyapa, Pulastya, Kratu while certain families were started in the Vaivasvata manvantar like Kanva, Vishvamitra, Bharadvajas. Also, there is a separate column for royal seers i.e kings who turned to being rishis. There is separate column for seers who can be placed in chronology but whose family is unknown. As I have explained earlier, the rishis in the same family can carry the same patronymic name and hence we find tonnes of vasishtha and vishvamitras in history. But these people were different but just carrying the same name.

On this note, a brief introduction of Rigveda is in place.
Rigveda is the most important veda. It's divided into Mandalas, Hymns and Verses. Rigveda consists of 10 mandalas, 1028 hymns and 10552 verses. for eg- If one writes RV(8.23.5) it means he is talking of the 8th mandala, 23rd hymn and 5th verse. One or more than one rishi is the composer of a single hymns due to which we have almost 150-200 different composers of Rigveda who are mapped in the chronological list. Some rishis cannot be mapped whose names I will give later. The same Rigveda has many versions in itself but the most used is the Shakalya version which I have used. There are scriptures called as Anukramanis which literally tell us about the composers of different hymns. These scriptures are Sarvanukramani by sage Katyayana, Arshanukramani by sage Shaunaka, Brihad-Devata, Vedarth Deepika,etc. Most of them tally with each other. I have used them to know the list of composers. One thing to specify that there are certain hymns in the 8th mandala called as Valakhilyas which mean hymns which were added later. They are RV(8.49-59). The seven mandalas of Rigveda ( 2-8) are called family mandalas because they have hymns composed by rishis belonging to a particular family.

2nd mandala- Gritsamadas ( Bhargava Family)
3rd mandala- Vishvamitras
4th mandala- Vamdevas ( Gautamas or Angirases in general)
5th mandala- Atris
6th mandala- Bharadvajas ( Angirases in general)
7th mandala- Vasisthas
8th mandala- Kanvas ( Angirases in general)
9th mandala is a special mandala since it contains hymns only in the praise of god Soma and the composers belong to the first 8 mandalas which means that after the first 8 mandalas were composed, the soma hymns were separated from these and a separate 9th mandala was formed. 10th mandala was compiled after th 9th mandala.

If you will read the comments on certain composers of Rigveda, you will find sentences like " Exact position is not known" ,etc. That is a fact since in Rigveda, a rishi just mentions some rishis who have existed prior to him due to which we can just say that the first rishi is present after the mentioned rishi. Exactness is not possible. The method of placing is that if rishi A mentions rishi B in his hymn, then rishi B existed earlier than rishi A.But just knowing the approximate position of the rishi is enough for us to tell which mandala was composed when since THAT is my real motive. If we are able to map the mandalas,we can tell about the movement of people in rigvedic era which can be instrumental in disproving the Aryan Invasion Theory.

Certain important things to be noted are that in the family line of Kashyapas, there are 2 kashyapas who have existed at Sr no.4 & 22. the earlier Kashyapa is the son of Marichi while the other is the grand father of Vaivasvata manu. The scriputres are quite confused in these two kashyapas and blatantly call the later kashyapa as 'Kashyapa Maricha' . The earlier kashyapa is the actual Kashyapa Maricha while the later kashyapa is the composer of rigveda.

Another big confusion is that of Soma and Chandra in the list of Chandravanshi kings. Many purans confuse both of these names and call them to the same person. Chandra/soma is called as the father of Budha. In reality, Chandra is the father of Budha while Soma existed some generations before Chandra. Soma is placed 1 generation before Prachetas, the Uttanpada king since Soma had married off his daughter Pramlocha to him.Whereas Chandra is said to have got 27 wives who were the daughters of Daksha Praachetasa who is the son of Prachetas. So surely Chandra is after Soma and both are not to be confused.
In the Rigveda, Agni is a god who is praised whereas there are composers who attach the patronymic Agneya to them denoting that they are descendants of agni. One must remember that god Agni is different whereas the composers Agneyas are human beings.

Looking at the list of rishis, one thing can be concluded that the names of rishis are very rarely mentioned in Swayambhuva manvantara whereas after Vaivasvat manu, we find a host of names of rishis which also tells us about the lack of significance of preserving history which was improved in the Vaivasvata manvantar. The earliest composer of Rigveda whom I have been able to map is Bhishag Atharvana , composer of RV(10.97) who is placed at 5. Maximum of composers of Rigveda lie after Vaivasvata manu proving that the golden era of composition of Rigveda was somewhere between 50 to 90. The most recent composer of Rigveda is Asita and Devala Kashyapa who were present during the Mahabharata era. After the Mahabahrata era, the Rigveda was compiled and finalized.
Certain specialties include composers like Satyadhruti Varuni who is the son of Varuna, the Aditya or son of Kashyapa and Aditi. He is hence placed at Sr no. 24 contemporaneous with Vaivasvata manu. Kashyapa had another wife called Kadru. From her, the Nagas were born. One composer from the Nagas is there called Arbuda Kadraveya Sarpa, the compsoer of RV(10.94) and his son Urdhvagrava Arbuda, the composer of RV(10.175). Another specialty is that we find women composers too which include Yami Vaivasvati RV(10.154), sister of Vaivasvata manu placed at 27, Ghosha Kakshivati (RV 10.39-40), daughter of Kakshivan Dairghatamas placed at 59 and Shashvati Angiras, wife of king Asanga and composer of RV(8.2).

The most important thing to tell is that conventionally, it is thought that the eponymous Vishvamitra Gathina and Vasishtha Maitravaruni were present during the reign of Sudas, king of N panchal. But I have placed them earlier than Sudas and have assumed that their remote descendant were present during the war of 10 kings of sudas. But the Anukramanis directly ascribe a name Vishvamitra Gathin and Vasishtha Maitravaruni  to the composers of 3rd and 7th mandala respectively. So it can be that the eponymous Vishvamitra Gathin and Vasishtha Maitravaruni were the composers of some verses and their descendants of them during sudas' time were also the composers but their names have been confused so it is quite impossible to tell which hymn is composed by whom.

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