CONUNDRUM OF DISTANCES between VIDARBHA and DWARAKA
The protagonists of mahAbhAgavata are Lord VishNu and Goddess Lakshmi. The theme of mahAbhAgavata revolves around the ten incarnations on Earth, which VishNu adorned, to protect demiGods from demons. Among these ten incarnations, incarnation Nos. 6 to 10 (paraSu rAma to kalki) have human form. So far, nine incarnations have taken place, according to scriptures. The tenth incarnation, kalki is yet to come.
Among the No.6 to No.9 incarnations, paraSurAma was subjugated and sidelined after dasaratha rAma's marriage with SIta. So much so, most temples of rAma, working in India today, pertain to daSaratha rAmA, and whenever we refer to the word rAma without prefixing it with daSaratha or paraSu (axe-carrying), people take it as referring to daSaratha rAma (also known as kOdanDa rAma (rAma wielding the kOdanDa bow).
Even between the two incarnations (daSaratha) rAma and krishNa, mahAbhagavata gives greater prominence to krishNa (also known by several names like gOvinda, nArAyaNa, vAsudEva et al). A great part of the 10th canto of mahAbhAgavata depicts krishNas glories and victories.
If krishNa is Lord vishNu, his first wife rukmiNi is regarded as the incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. rukmiNi was the princess of vidarbha kingdom. vidarbha is, now, geographically in mahArAshTra State of India. vidarbha's latitude is 20°N circa. vidarbha's longitude is 79°E, approx. nAgpur, is at present, the central city of vidarbha.
krishNa's abode is dvAraka (also spelt dwArka). krishNa was said to have shifted his city from Central India to Arabian Sea-side dvAraka, to overcome repeated invasions from magadha jarAsandha. dvAraka's approx. latitude is 23°N. Its longitude is 69°E.
Arial distance between nAgpur and dvAraka is approx. 690 miles or 1100 kms. or 600 Nautical miles. Modern Road distance between dvAraka and nAgpur is approx. 1400km. Rail distance may range between 1100 km. to 1400 km. approx. These distances are very important, as you will see from the following discussion.
According to mahAbhAgavata, rukmiNi loved krishNa and longed to marry him. But her brother rukmi insisted that she should marry his friend and cEdi ruler SiSupAla. He imposed his dictat on the aged king and rukmiNi's father bhIshmaka.
Unable to bear this forced marriage, rukmiNi sent a priest by name agnidyOtana (mahAbhAgavata does not mention this name).
vyAsa's mahAbhAgavata. Volume 10 (skandha 10). Chapter 52. Verse 26.
tad avetyAsitApAngI vaidarbhI durmanA bhriSam vicintyAptam dvijam kancit krishNAya prAhiNOd drutam.
rukmini understood the plan. She promptly sent a trusted brAhmin to krishNa.
vyAsa's mahAbhAgavata. Volume 10 (skandha 10). Chapter 52. Verse 26.
dvArakAm sa samabhyetya pratIhAraih praveSitah apaAyad Adyam purusham AsInam kAncanAsanE.
The Priest entered dvAraka. Janitors presented him before KrishNa. RukmiNi's emissary found krishNa on a throne of gold.
According to mahAbhAgavata, dvAraka can be reached only by crossing an IMPASSABLE SEA. See this verse:
krishNa was asking the priest.
Vol. 10. Chapter 52. Verse 35.
yatas tvam Agato durgam nistIryEha yad-icchayA sarvaṁ no brUhh- aguhyam cEt kim kAryam karavAma tE.
Gist Wherefrom have you come, crossing impassable (nistIryEha) Sea. For what purpose? Kindly reveal, if it is not a secret. What can we do for you?
Verse 41 first line, ibid. Svo bhAvini tvam ajitodvahane vidarbhAn
Here rukmiNi's letter said that her marriage was scheduled for the next day.
Vol.10, Chapter 53, verse 5. sa cASvaih Saibya-sugrIva- meghapuṣhpa-balAhakaiḥ yuktam ratham upAnIya tasthau prAnjalir agrataha.
gist sa (=he, dAruka krishNa's charioteer) brought a 4-horse-carriage. Saibya, sugrIva, meghapushpa, balAhaka were the names of the horses.
Volume 10, chapter 53, verse 6 Aruhya syandanam Saurir dvijam Aropya tUrṇa-gaiḥ AnartAd Eka-rAtrEṇa vidarbhAn Agamad dhayaiḥ.
Sauri here means krishNa. AnartAd here means from the place Anarta. Eka-rAtrEna indicates, that krishNa and the brAhmin completed the journey in one night.
personal opinions of ybrao a donkey not intended to be imposed on others.
Many ancient Indian books tend to move episodes and incidents at supersonic speed and drag on at snail's speed. Owing to this, we sometimes, miss essential things. We, sometimes, find reading tedious. This criticism can also apply to my posts at this blog. In this instance of rukmini's emissary priest journeying and covering a distance of nearly 1400 km. climbing and unclimbing hills and dales, penetrating into and emerging out of forests, wading through rivers and streams, how many days he would have spent? There was the risk of wayside-robbers, if at all there was a path. Now, in this vyAsa mahAbhAgavata the priest nearly hops the 1400 kms. from verse No. 25 to verse 26. vyAsa could have devoted at least one verse to describe the travails of the learned brAhmin agnidyOtana.
We have a film by name srIkrishNa pAnDavIyam in my mother tongue telugu language, produced and directed by late N.T. rAmA rAo.
link to wedding to rukmini rukmini-kalyANam Youtube video.
The film shows the priest singing a melodious song, jogging along seashore (presumably Arabian Sea), though nothing is mentioned about his penetrating through forests of dEvgiri (aurangAbad) or nAsik or khanDwa of mahArAshTra.
vyAsa's mahAbhArata does not mention the approximate time taken by the BrAhmin to reach dvAraka. Not even a single word about, how the brAhmin crossed the impassable Sea.
Verse 10/53/005 above shows that krishNa travelled from dvAraka to vidarbha by horse-carriage. We may have to presume that he crossed the impassable Sea, using boats.
Our ancient scriptures are intended for full-pledged devotees. Hence, they may not take into account, practicalities and pragmatisms. Their main intent is to yoke the devotee's mind to the supreme-God. They are justified in not discussing trivialities.
Our object is exactly not yoking-to-God (yOgA), though it is not a taboo. We are trying to understand our scriptures through more realistic methods of perception, without endangering the main object of scriptures, which is intended for others.
In mahAbhAgavata krishNa traversed nearly 1400 km. in one night, using a carriage drawn by four horses, crossing hills and dales, penetrating through forests and wading through rivers and streams.
Compare this with vAlmiki rAmAyaNa. You can see it at my blog:click to see ramayanayb.blogspot.com. in vAlmiki rAmAyana, the demon king rAvaNa used an aircraft called pushpaka, which was driven by donkeys. He too traversed nearly 1500 km. (from river gOdAvari to Sri lanka) using the donkey-cart, but travelling in air.
All this discussion, tempts me to think of two probabilities:--
1. vidarbha must have been physically very near to dvAraka, say a distance between 30 km. and 100 km. This, I believe is the normal distance which can be travelled by a swift-horse-cart in one night.
If vidarbha is to be very near to dvAraka, a) vidarbha must be in dvAraka, near sea-shore. In other-words, this vidarbha may not be the vidarbha of nAgpur. I understand that Anarta mentioned in 10/53/6 above is kuSasthali, an under-sea submerged place in Gujarat. If this info is true, vidarbha should also be in Gujarat, some 30-100km. from Anarta's sea-shore.
b) dvAraka must be very near to nAgpur-vidarbha. It may be anywhere near akOla or wardha in Eastern mahArashTra.
For a deeper research and study, the residents of Surat, BarODa, Diu-DAman, akOla, wArdha, nAgpur, have to help by studying their village-names, ancient forts, local legends etc. (To continue.)