According to a report (Times of India, 27-02-2007) man appeared on earth nearly 4.1 million years ago. Scientists, who believe in Darwin'sTheory of Evolution, are convinced that man has ascended from apes, most probably form chimpanzees who they consider closest to human being. According to their conviction men and chimpanzees had a common ancestor and at a certain stage of evolution they got separated from each other.
These scientists are trying hard to ascertain the date when man and chimpanzee began to split as separate species by examining the fossils and skeletal remains of man like apes. Even a couple of years ago, the most accurate estimate was nearly 2.8 to 3.0 million years. Recently Shri Asger Hobolth, a researcher of North Carolina State University, has claimed that the separation began nearly 4.1 million years ago, much earlier than previous estimates. Shri Hobolth came to the above conclusion after studying the DNA of man, chimpanzee and gorilla.
Hindu tradition, on the contrary, says that man lived on earth much earlier than all the above mentioned estimates. It also discards the view that man has ascended from apes. According to the Hindu system of time reckoning, 4.32 million years make one mahayuga and thousand mahayugas, or 4.32 billion years make one kalpa. One kalpa is the day of creator Brahma and the following kalpa is his night. During the day of Brahma, the formless unmanifest Brahma assumes form and the universe with its contingent beings manifests itself. In short, the cosmic consciousness Brahma, which was so far beyond the perception of our senses, becomes perceptible. The period is therefore called srishti or creation. During the night of Brahma, the entire universe returns to the subtle and non-perceptible state again and the period is therefore called pralaya or dissolution. So the Bhagavadgita says:
For a thousand ages last
One day of (creator) Brahma,
And for a thousand ages one such night;
This knowing, men will know (what is meant by) day and night (8,17).
At the day'sdawning all things manifest
Spring forth from the unmanifest;
And at nightfall they dissolve again
In (that same mystery) surnamed ?unmanifest? (8,18).
Yes, this whole host of beings
Comes ever anew to be; at the fall of night
It dissolves away all helpless;
At dawn of day it rises up (again) (8,19).
Furthermore, the Hindu system of time reckoning divides a kalpa of 4.32 billion years into 14 manvantaras and hence one manvantara becomes 30,84,48,000 years or 308.448 million years. Hindu tradition also says that we are now passing through the Svetavaraha Kalpa and after the beginning of this Svetavaraha Kalpa, six manvantaras have gone and the seventh Vaivasvata Manvantara is in currency. The name of the first manvantara, after the beginning of the Svetavaraha Kalpa, is called the Svayambhuva Manvantara and our Bhagavat Purana says that Maharaja Uttanapata, the father of Bhaktaraj Dhruva, used to rule the earth in the said Svayambhuva Manvantara. A simple calculation leads us to the conclusion that the reign of Maharaja Uttanapata occurred 1,97,12,21,106 years or nearly 1.97122 billion years ago.
So far, the scientists of the Darwinian school used to pooh-pooh all these conclusions of our history as written in our 18 Puranas and turn everything down declaring them myths. But very recently an American researcher has conclusively proved that the narrations of our Puranas are true. Shri Michael Cremo, who is a devotee of Lord Krishna and a member of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), being inspired by the descriptions of the Bhagvat Purana, started investigating these matters and unearthed a deep conspiracy of the Western scientists. In fact archaeologists had discovered fossilised human remains of much older date and many of them were more than a billion years old. But the scientists intentionally suppressed all theses discoveries as they could not be explained by the Darwin'sTheory of Evolution. Michael Cremo has compiled all these discoveries in his book Forbidden Archaeology. Later on he wrote another book Devolution of Man. In this later work, he conclusively proved that man lived on the earth nearly two billion years ago. He also discarded the notion of the Darwin'sTheory that man is an ascended ape. Or rather, he believes that the ancestors of today'sman were angels and hence man is a fallen angel, not an ascended ape.
It should not escape one'snotice that the discrepancy between the narration of the Bhagvat Purana and the conclusion of Michael Cermo are very close. While the Bhagvat Purana tells that man existed 1.97 billion years ago, Dr. Cremo'sestimate is two billion years. And hence the difference between these two conclusions is 0.03 billion (or the error is only1.5 per cent). So in the introduction of his later work, Michael Cremo writes, ?My book Forbidden Archaeology, co-authored with Richard L. Thompson, documents archaeological evidence for extreme human antiquity, consistent with the Puranas, the historical writings of ancient India. The evidence places a human presence so far back in time as to call into question the Darwinian account of human beings.?
During the Vietnam War, the young Cremo became dissatisfied with life and started travelling and reading various texts and during his wild travels, he happened to be got in touch with the Vedas and it was the Vedic philosophy that changed his life. In 1984, he began to study the correlation between modern science and the narration in ancient Hindu texts and in mid-1990s, he wrote his first book, Forbidden Archaeology. In October, last year, Dr. Cremo came to Kolkata to initiate a campaign for his books and delivered a lecture at the Anthropology Department of the University of Kolkata. While speaking about his work, Dr. Cremo said, ?I had no idea that there was so much evidence. That'sone of the reasons it took me a long time to write the book.? He also said, ?Humans did not evolve up from matter; instead we have devolved, or came down, from the realm of pure consciousness spirit.? But the book received bitter criticism from the scientific community in the West. So, Dr. Cremo said, ?The book had to face a storm of scathing criticism from the scientific community.? He is now working hard for his third book. ?The extra evidence I have gathered is sufficient for a third book. It will take another two years to finish the book?, Dr Cremo told the audience.
From the above developments it is not difficult to understand that, time has arrived for the Western scholars to accept our Puranas as historical texts and not mythologies. It will not be irrelevant to recall the comments of a few renowned Western scholars regarding our historical texts. Famous German scholar Max Muller, in his History of Sanskrit Literature, wrote, ?No wonder that a nation like India cared so little about history.? Another Western scholar M. Winternitz, in his History of Indian Literature, wrote, ?History is one weak spot in Indian literature. It is, in fact, nonexistent. The total lack of historical sense is so characteristic that the whole course of Sanskrit literature is darkened by the defect.? Another Western scholar, Major Wilford, once said, ?With regard to history, the Hindus have done really nothing but romances from which some truth may occasionally be extracted.? Now the time has come for these scholars to swallow the bitter pill.
(The author, a professor, can be contacted at Department of Applied Physics, University of Kolkata, 92 Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road, Kolkata-700 009.)