Knowledge , in my opinion, is, jumping from one uncertainty to another.
The consoling factor is that the latest information is less uncertain than the earlier one.
( Hindu Texts say Knowledge is nothing but removal of ignorance, by stages)
Planetary Alignment At The Time of Rama’s Birth.
Lord Rama’s Date has been determined by various tools.
Please read my posts on Dating Tools of Ramayana, Mahabharata.
Image,Work in progress on the four-tusked elephant Stegotetrabelodon syrticus.
Some of them are,
Literary, both Indian and Foreign.
Etymology from Sanskrit and Tamil.
Each one of these has its strength and weaknesses.
When we speak of archeology, it has to be borne in mind that when one digs he hits the top available layer of the site.
If the events had taken place over thousands of years, then the layers one finds may not reflect them as we would have it the first layer available, because the deposits of the earth would have covered the earlier ones.
In the case of Astronomy, by far the best tool, which none can tamper-with, has its peculiar problem.
When one dates with the help of Astronomy, one must remember that astronomical events repeat themselves at regular intervals.
Which one has to be taken into account ?
The issue is very much relevant in dating the Indian Puranas and Ithihasa.
They cover vast stretches of Time.
Lord Rama Has been dated at 5114 BC.
Please read my Post.
But the event verified by planetary positions indicate, as I observed earlier, that there have been similar Planetary configurations.
So to determine the date, one has to seek the help of the other tools.
In this case, it is Valmiki’s Ramayana.
In the Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara-Kanda (or Book 5), Chapter 4, verse 27, [Gita Press, Gorakhpur, India] it explains that when Hanuman first approached Ravana’s palace, he saw the doorways surrounded by horses and chariots, palanquins and aerial cars, beautiful horses and elephants, nay, with four-tusked elephants decked with jewels resembling masses of white clouds.
Elsewhere in the Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara-Kanda (or Book 5), Chapter 27, verses12, an ogress named Trijata has a dream of Lord Rama, which she describes to the other demoniac ogresses upon awakening. In that dream she sees Rama, scion of Raghu, united again with Sita. Sri Rama was mounted on a huge elephant, closely resembling a hill, with four tusks.
(The question is how could there be a mention of the elephants with four tusks unless Valmiki and the people of his era were familiar with such creatures? A quick search on the Encarta Encyclopedia will let us know that these four-tusked elephants were known as Mastodontoidea, which are said to have evolved around 38 million years ago and became extinct about 15 million years ago when the shaggy and two tusked Mastodons increased in population.”)
Valmiki does not lie.
His facts check out in Geographical descriptions and astronomical events.
Wherever he has used Hyperbole, it is easily distinguishable.
Those who know Sanskrit know how to identify them.
triviSTapa nibham divyam divya naada vinaaditam |
vaaji heSita samghuSTam naaditam bhuuSaNaiH tathaa || 5-4-26
rathaiH yaanaiH vimaanaiH ca tathaa gaja hayaiH shubhaiH |
vaaraNaiH ca catuH dantaiH shveta abhra nicaya upamaiH || 5-4-27
bhuuSitam rucira dvaaram mattaiH ca mR^iga pakSibhiH |
raakSasa adhipateH guptam aavivesha gR^iham kapiH || 5-4-28
26,27,28.. mahaakapiH= The great Hanuma; aavivesha= entered; guptam= secretly; raakshasaadhipateeH= Ravana’s inner city; trivishhTapaHnibham= (which was like a) paradise; divyam= best one; vaajighoshhitasangushhTam= resonating with neighing of horses; tadhaa= and; naaditam= made noisy; bhuushhanaiH= with ornaments; radhaiH= by chariots; yaanaiH= by vehicles; vimaanaishca= and by aerial-cars; tadhaa= and; bhuushhitam= decorated by;; subhaiHhayagajaiH= by auspicious horses and elephants; swetaabranicayopamaiH= equalling a group of white clouds; vaaraNaishca= by great elephants; caturdantaiH= with four tusks; mR^igapakshibhiH= by animals and birds; mattaiH= in heat; ruciradvaaram= with a beautiful entrance; rakshitam= protected; yaatudhaanaiH= by raksasas; sumahaaviiraiH= with great strength; shahasrasheH= in thousands.
The great Hanuma entered secretly Ravana’s inner city which was equal to paradise, rendered noisy by neighing of horses and tinkling of ornaments, by chariots, vehicles and aerial-cars and decorated by auspicious elephants and horses and great elephants with four tusks and by birds and animals in heat. It had beautiful entrances and was protected by thousands of rakshasas with great strength..
Sundara Kanda Sarga 4, Verse 26, 27 and 28)
raameNa saMgataa siitaa bhaaskareNa prabhaa yathaa |
raaghavashcha mayaa dR^iSTashcha turdaMSTraM mahaagajam || 5-27-12
aaruuDhaH shailasaMkaashaM chachaara sahalakShmaNaH |
12. siitaa = Seetha; saMgataa = came together; raameNa = with Rama; prabhaa yathaa = like the light; bhaaskareNa = with the Sun; raamashcha = Rama also; mayaa dR^ishhTaH = was seen by me; aaruuDhaH = (to be) mounted; mahaagajam = on a great elephant; chaturdraShhTram = with four tusks; shailasaMkaasham = equalling a mountain; chachaara = (and) wandered; saha lakshmanaH = together with Lakshmana.
Seetha came together with Rama like the light with the Sun. Rama also was seen by me to be mounted on a great elephant with four tusks and equalling a mountain and Rama wandered together with Lakshmana.”
(Sundara Kanda Sarga 27 , Verse 12)
त्रिविष्टप निभम् दिव्यम् दिव्य नाद विनादितम् |
वाजि हेषित सम्घुष्टम् नादितम् भूषणैः तथा ||
रथैः यानैः विमानैः च तथा गज हयैः शुभैः |
वारणैः च चतुः दन्तैः श्वेत अभ्र निचय उपमैः ||
भूषितम् रुचिर द्वारम् मत्तैः च मृग पक्षिभिः |
राक्षस अधिपतेः गुप्तम् आविवेश गृहम् कपिः ||
The great Hanuma entered secretly Ravana’s inner city which was equal to paradise, rendered noisy by neighing of horses and tinkling of ornaments, by chariots, vehicles and aerial-cars and decorated by auspicious elephants and horses and great elephants with four tusks and by birds and animals in heat. It had beautiful entrances and was protected by thousands of rakshasas with great strength.
(Sundara Kanda 4th Sarga 26 – 28 Slokas)
उत्तमम् राक्षसावासम् हनुमानवलोकयन् |
आससादाथ लक्ष्मीवान् राक्षसेन्द्रनिवेशनम् ||
चतुर् विषाणैर् द्विरदैः त्रिविषाणैः तथैव च |
परिक्षिप्तम् असम्बाधम् रक्ष्यमाणम् उदायुधैः ||
Thereafter, Hanuma the glorious one neared and observed the best residence of Rakshasas and the house of Ravana, containing elephants with four tusks and also those with three tusks, those with two tusks and still not crowded. It was protected by soldiers bearing raised weapons.
(Sundara Kanda 9th Sarga 4 – 5 Slokas)
Here, Sage Valmiki describes elephants with four tusks and also those with three tusks and those with two tusks.
Now History of Biology proves that,
“The Gomphotheriidae were a diverse taxonomic family of extinct elephant-like animals (proboscideans). Referred to as gomphotheres, they were widespread in North America during the Miocene and Pliocene epochs, 12–1.6 million years ago. Some lived in parts of Eurasia,Beringia and, following the Great American Interchange, South America. Beginning about 5 million years ago, they were gradually replaced by modern elephants, but the last two South American species, in the genus Cuvieronius, did not finally become extinct until possibly as recently as 9,100 BP, and Stegomastodon remains have been dated as recently as 6,060 BP in the Valle del Magdalena, Colombia. Gomphotheres also survived in Mexico and Central America until the end of the Pleistocene
Ramayana took place in the Treta Yuga, according to Valmiki and other Puranas.
Treta Yuga was about ,
“The duration of the Tretā-yuga is 3,600 x 360, or 1,296,000 years. The duration of the Dvāpara-yuga is 2,400 x 360, or 864,000 years. And the last, the Kali-yuga, is 1,200 x 360, or 432,000 years in total.” (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 3.11.19) . These 4 yugas follow a timeline ratio of (4:3:2:1).
That’s about a Million Years ago.
(Please read my Post Million Year Old Tamil Quotes Vedas)
Hence the astronomical calculation being cited to date Rama at 5114 BC can be revised to the same astronomical Event around one Million ago.
So Lord Rama can be dated around One Million years ago, considering this evidence and the dates of Dwaraka(Dated 32 000 years ago), the earliest dwelling Tamil Site in Chennai which is a Million Years old.( and Tamil quotes Ramayana)
Stephen-Knapp.com – http://www.stephen-knapp.com/lord_rama_fact_or_fiction.htm)