- Brahmarshi Vasishtha lived from the time of Satyavrata Manu, to the time of Sri Rama. In “How long did Ancient Indians live?” we worked out that it was reasonable to suppose that the long lived people of ancient India lived for about 120 years. It is possible, that they lived longer, but it is not necessary to assume it, if you look at the brahman lineages instead of the kingly lineages.
- We know that Vasishtha’s son Sakthi, had a son called Parasara and that Parasara had a son called Veda Vyasa. So we know that Vasishtha was the great grandfather of Vyasa.
- Veda Vyasa was the great grandson of Vasishtha and Sri Rama was Vasistha’s very young student.
- Sri Krishna was the cousin of the Pandavas, younger than Yudhisthira and Bhima, but older than the Arjuna. So Sri Krishna was of the age of Vyasa’s grandsons.
- Sri Krishna was named by Garga, the son of Bharadwaja, who was quoted by Parasara in the 21st chapter of the Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra. So Garga was at least of Sri Krishna’s great grandfather’s generation if not older.
- Viswamitra was Sri Rama’s teacher and taught him all about the weapons of the Devas. Viswamitra’s sister, Satyavati, was the grandmother of Parasurama. So Viswamitra was the grand-uncle of Parasurama.
- Viswamitra and Vasishtha were contemporaries, they lived at the same time and fought each other and became friends. Of the two, Viswamitra is younger. When Parasurama fought a lot of kings, he spared Dasaratha, the father of Sri Rama. So Parasurama was one generation earlier to Sri Rama. At Sri Rama’s wedding, Parasurama challenged him to hold the Vishnu Chapam – the bow of Sri Vishnu. Parasurama killed Karthavirya Arjuna, who had previously defeated the mighty Ravana.
- Parasurama’s student was Agnivesha and Agnivesha’s student was Drona. Parasurama gave his axe to Drona. Drona was the teacher of Vyasa’s grandchildren, the Kauravas and the Pandavas. Drona’s father was the sage Bharadwaja, and Bharadawaja was the student of Valmiki. Drona’s son Ashwathhama was a friend of the Kauravas. Drona was like an uncle’s age to the Pandavas, Kauravas and Sri Krishna and Bharadwaja was of a grandfather’s age to them, like Vyasa. Though Bharadwaja was Valmiki’s disciple, he may have been older than Valmiki. Bharadwaja’s daughter was Visravas’s wife, the mother of Kubera, the elder half-brother of Ravana, so she must have been much older to Dronacharya. Drona was born late to Bharadwaja.
- Valmiki was a friend of Sri Rama. He not only wrote the Ramayanam, but he also looked after Rama’s wife Sita and raised Rama’s children. The Uttarakanda of the Valmiki ramayana also tells us that Valmiki was a friend of Dasaratha.
- So far, we have worked out that Vyasa, Sri Rama and Valmiki were of the same generation, which makes Sri Rama of the grandfather generation of Sri Krishna. We also know that Vyasa was senior to Sri Rama.
- Bhishma’s father Santanu, married Vyasa’s mother Satyavati after both of them were born. Vyasa’s parents were Parasara and Satyavati., and Bhishma’s parents were Santanu and Ganga Devi. So Bhishma was a brother to Vyasa and of the same generation as Sri Rama.
- Ravana’s grandfather Pulastya, explained the story of creation to Bhishma at Gangadwar. (Padma Puranam). Since Sri Rama and Ravana were of the same generation, and as Bhishma was of the same generation as Sri Rama, Pulastya was of a grandfather’s generation to Bhishma!
- Bhishma fought the older Parasurama, over Amba’s marriage issue.
- Sahadeva, the youngest Pandava, went on a victorious campaign of the South after Yudhisthira’s campaign. When he came up to Rameswaram, he sent a respectful message to Vibhishana of Sri Lanka, asking about his welfare and paying his respects. Vibhishana, Ravana’s brother was Sri Rama’s generation and of a grandfather generation to Sahadeva and the Pandavas.
- Dhaumya who was the priest of the Pandavas, visited Sri Rama at the time of his coronation. (Uttarakanda, Valmiki Ramayana)
- Many Rig Vedic Rishis, the authors of the Rig Veda, were Sri Rama’s elders. They were Vasishtha, Viswamitra, Kanva (who raised Viswamitra’s daughter), Agastya (who gave Sri Rama, weapons from Indra and directed him southward), Atri (whose wife Anasuya, gave Sita ornaments and advice), Bhardwaja (grandfather of Ravana’s half brother and Valmiki’s disciple), Kasyapa, (Indra’s father), Bhrigu (Parasurama’s great grandfather (Parasurama-Jamadagni-Richika-Bhrgu)), and Gauthama (Sri Rama redeemed his wife Ahalya).
- Durvasa was the son of Atri and Anasuya. He predicted Sri Rama’s separation from Sita. (Uttarakanda). He gave Kunthi the mantra for invoking the Devas to beget sons. He visited the Pandavas when they were in exile. (Mahabharata). He pronounced a curse on Sakuntala, the daughter of Viswamitra. (Abhignyana Sakuntalam).
- Vaivaswatha Manu (Satyavrata Manu) was a contemporary of Vasishtha (Matsya Avatara). His son Saryati was of Sakthi’s generation, grandson, Anarta was of Parasara’s generation, great-grandson Revata was of Vyasa’s generation. Revata’s son, Raivata Kakudmin was of Pandu’s generation. Raivata’s son-in-law Balarama and Pandu’s sons, the Pandavas were of the same generation and very close together in age as well.
- Jambavantha fought alongside Indra, when young, fought in Sri Rama’s army when he was old enough to feel his age, and had a wrestling match with Sri Krishna and gave his daugther, Jambavathi, in marriage to Sri Krishna. He was of a grandfather’s generation to Sri Krishna.
- Janamejaya, the greatgrandson of Yudhisthira, and great grand nephew of Sri Krishna was enthroned in Kishkinda. Mainda and Dwivida, Vanara heroes who fought alongside, Sri Rama, were killed by Balarama when they attacked Dwaraka. (Sri Rama had left Kishkinda with the Vanaras, Sugriva and Angada, but the Yadus/Purus took control of it).
- The Upanishadic period overlapped with the Vedic period and extended slightly beyond it. Sri Krishna gave us the Bhagavad Gita which is said to be the essence of all the Upanishads. The Katha Upanishad itself is a conversation between Gauthama’s great grand son Nachiketas and Mrtyu (the god of death). Naachiketas was of Drona’s generation, one generation before Sri Krishna.
- Maya Danava composed the Surya Siddhantam towards the end of Krta Yuga. He gave his adopted daughter Mandodari in marriage to Ravana. He built the Maya Sabha for the pandavas in IndraPrastha in the Dwapara Yuga.
- Balarama, the brother of Sri Krishna, visited Raja Janaka, Sita Devi’s father, at Mithila. It was there that he trained Duryodhana in Gada Yuddha (battle with the maces).
Brahmanas, very accurately preserved their own lineages without distortion. The father-son and the teacher-disciple relationships are consistent across the puranas. The possible causes of errors made by other historians are given below.
First cause of commonly made errors: The defenceless brahmins of the later periods may have been under a lot of pressure from the armed rulers, trying to claim kshatriya lineage, to include the names of their ancestors into important lineages. So, the Puranas put so many kings into this duration, and each purana put in a different number of kings. This is because, all kings wanted to derive their descent from Surya, the sun, and Chandra, the moon. And Everyone wanted to belong to the Ikshwaku Dynasty and everyone wanted to be the directly related to either Sri Rama or Sri Krishna. Some historians, looked at the lineage of the kings, got confused and said that Indians did not respect history. Adding lots of kings into the direct ancestry of Sri Rama and Sri Krishna, made it necessary to meaninglessly prolong the lifespan of the brahman rishis, to thousands of years.
Second Cause of Commonly Made Errors: In addition, Sri Rama was said to be of the Tretha Yuga, which can also be translated as the Third Yuga, though it generally refers to the second yuga. Sri Krishna is said to be of the Dwapara Yuga, or the yuga after the second. Actually both of them could have been of the third yuga. (Interestingly in another manner of counting, Kali is ekatha, the first, Dwapara is the second, Thretha is the third, and Krutha is the 4th, the complete or Satya yuga: please see the link below on how many kinds of Yugas are there.)
Third Cause of Commonly Made Errors: Today we use Aryabhatta‘s durations for Yuga lengths. Aryabhatta lived either 360 or 3600 years after Vyasa. So the yuga durations referred to in the Uttarakanda and the Mahabharata, are likely to be different from the yuga durations we use today. In this article on ‘how many kinds of yugas are there’ we see that there are many different kinds of yugas and durations. Vyasa Siddhantam – his astronomical treatise is not available to us, to my knowledge.
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- In Yoga Vasishtam, Valmiki reports a conversation between Viswamitra and Sri Rama, where Viswamitra narrates an incident where Suka, the son of Vyasa approaches Raja Janaka, the father of Sita Devi for a philosophical discussion. At this time Dasaratha is alive and Vyasa is sitting next to him. I am currently rejecting this incident because Sakthi, the father of Parasara was present at Sita’s oath taking ceremony, as per Uttarakanda of the Valmiki Ramayanam. Vyasa’s father, Parasara was born shortly after the death of his father Sakthi, the son of Vasishtha.)
- Lineages and Contemporaries : Uddalaka (Aruni), Dhaumya, Svetaketu, Ashtavakra, Vandin, Varuna, Pandavas, Draupadi, Jayadratha, Janaka