ARCHAEOLOGISTS CONVINCED NEW FINDS DEPICT KRISHNA
Bhama Devi Ravi/TNN
Chennai: The Conch and the Sudarsana Chakra are unmistakable. Although the figures doesn't match popular images of Krishna, archaegologists are convinced that the coins depict Krishna, revered as an avatar of Vishnu.
"These square coins, dating back to 180-BC, with Krishna on one side and Balram on the other, were unearthed recently in Al Khanoun in Afghanistan and are the earliest proof that Krishna was venerated as a god, and that the worship had spread beyond the Mathura region," says T K V Rajan, archaeologist and founder-director, Indian Science Monitor, who is holding a five day exhibition, 'In search of Lord Krishna,' in the city from Saturday.
Having done extensive research in Brindavan, Rajan is convinced that a lot of the spiritual history of ancient India lies buried. "Close to 10,000 Greeks, who came in the wake of Alexander the Great, were Krishna's devotees. There is an inscription by Helidorus, the Greek ambassador at Takshila, which reads 'Deva, deva, Vasudeva. Krishna is my god and I have installed this Garuda Pillar at Bes Nagar (now in Bihar),' says Rajan.
According to him, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has unearthed many sites that throw fresh light on the era of Krishna. "ASI is expected to release the full findings next year: The findings may show that Krishna's life was the dividing line between India's spiritual history and the society's gradual shift towards a materialistic one," says Rajan.
Interestingly, a lot of what has been uncovered closely resemble the narration in the texts of Mahabharatha and the Bhagavatham, " he adds.
The advent of thermoluminous study (TL) has helped dating of artifacts. Tholavira near Dwaraka, from were many artifact were unearthed, is mentioned as the capital city in the opening chapters of Bhagavatham. Rajan points to an image of a plough, made of wood, which is mentioned in the Bhagavatham.
The findings could lay a trail to understanding Krishna's life (said to be 5,000 years ago) and times, a a historical fact, says Rajan. The exhibition will be open till Dec 31 at Sri Parvathy Gallery, Eldams Road.
-Times of India (Chennai Edition), on Saturday the 27th December 2008