The memory of “60,000 and 11,000 number of years” in Rāmāyaṇa
A memory of an unremebered “Daśaratha” from post Toba volcanic eruption time — 72000 BCE
After writing an essay about Hanuman’s memory of Swati nakshatra (see it here), I pondered whether humans could recall such a painstaking recollection of a distant event that occurred when some nakshatra was in a different location. Since in oral tradition, it is possible. Numerous words have histories of potential diachronism, as shown by onomastic investigations, in addition to their semantic meaning of Sanskrit verb roots. The same verbroots can have different meanings. Some words potentially contain history( like river names). Similar to how onomastic analyses of words indicate a significant period of time and their historical nature, it appears that some mathematical expressions are not just philosophical but may also include the history of specific numbers of years.
We come accross two phrases that Daśaratha has lived for 60000 years and for Rāma who will live for 11000 years. What do they mean or what are these verses trying to say?
The Phrases — just phraseology or brief assessment of time
ष्टिर्वर्षसहस्राणि जातस्य मम कौशिक।।1.20.10।।
दु:खेनोत्पादितश्चायं न रामं नेतुमर्हसि।
ṣṭirvarṣasahasrāṇi jātasya mama kauśika।।1.20.10।।
du:khenotpāditaścāyaṃ na rāmaṃ netumarhasi।
O scion of of Kusika family, sixty thousand years have passed since I was born. Rama was born to me after a great deal of suffering. It is not proper to take him with you.
daśa varṣa sahasrāṇi daśa varṣa śatāni ca ।
rāmo rājyam upāsitvā brahma lokam prayāsyati।।1.1.97।।
दशवर्षसहस्राणि दशवर्षशतानि च ।
रामो राज्यमुपासित्वा ब्रह्मलोकं प्रयास्यति ।।
Rama, reigning the kingdom for eleven thousand years, will attain Brahmaloka.
Lets understand the 60,000 year phrase. Do you remember Phantom series? Such narratives come from the memories and histories by themselves.
These stories come alive due to the similar name bearings in the monarchial system. Something like Rāma Kings of Thailand. All the kings of Chakri dynasty call themselves Rāma.
I don’t say that all were called Rāma for 11,000 years post Rāmāyaṇa, or may be probably they were called. Just like for a long time Ikṣvākus were called Rāghava (a long distant predecessor). A king who was remembered so eminently for his deeds. Such becomes the case for non rememberance of other kings who may have been significant but yet insignificant compared to Raghu. If Rāma is remembered then due to him his father and grandfather are remembered, other predecessors go into the list of unremembered members.
Now why 11,000 and not 60,000 years for Rāma.
After understanding the geographical and geomorphological condition mapping of rivers in Rg-Veda the narratives were written after some incedent already happened. Thus, Nairuktas had assigned Rg-Veda as āitihāsika. But the condition had already been a past phenomena. Similarly uttering 11,000 years will be attained can only mean that those many years have past from the uprooting of Ikṣvāku’s main branch from this earth. This was done by Mahāpadmananda.
When the 11,000 years were attained?
Now we come to a valid question. lets understand Mahapadma and Maurya times. If Kautilya is the same Chanakaya who supervised Chandragupta Maurya then the timing is very accurately recorded by Chanakya in Arthashastra.
21st Feb to 21st March = Vasanta’s first month.
Chaitra in that month would mean Chandragupta Maurya going back to 1500 BCE ± 500 years.
Now by going with the evidence of timing given by Shri Nilesh Oak of Rāma- Rāvana yuddha-12209 BCE, just minus 11000 years to it and you get 1209 BCE. This is pretty close to Kautilya-Arthashastra reference. And if 11,000 years is a truth then the mention of 60,000 years was not just a phrase.
This time is pretty close to Toba explosion. There had been an Ikṣvāku Daśaratha just post Toba times.
- The numbers of years mentioned appears to be genuine.
- There had been many kings who were remembered in the name of their distant predecessors. Such a case is ruled in regard to Daśaratha.