Guwahati: Assam government has lately approved Bhaskarabda, a period counted from the date of ascension by the great Kamrup king Kumar Bhaskar Varma as an official calendar and the Saka and Gregorian charts. State chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, after meeting with the officials of the General Administration Department (GAD), informed that the government is planning to include Bhaskarabda in all official works from now onwards.
The term calendar (roughly translated into Assamese as Panjika) has its origin from the first month of the ancient Roman graph, Kalendea. The present-day Gregorian calendar commences from the year of grace, the birth year of Jesus, that begins the Christian Era. The year is followed by the initials AD meaning Anno Domini (in the year of our Lord).
However, the Indus valley civilisation, identified as the oldest and largest progression, was more advanced and sophisticated in terms of chronological and astronomical acumen. The Indian calendar is based on both the phases of the Moon and Sun. While the chart uses a solar year, it is divided into 12 lunar months. A lunar month is specified as the time required for the moon to move one full round of the earth in its orbit, which is 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 3 seconds.
The lunar month is divided into 30 lunar days (known as Thithi in the Indian calendar). Moreover, each month is divided into two parts (known as Paksha with 15 Thithis), where Shukla Paksha (light lunar fortnight) starts with the new moon shining to full moon (Purnima) and Krishna Paksha (dark lunar fortnight) begins when the moon continues fading to no moon (Amavasya). The 12 lunar months of a solar year are also divided into six seasons (Reetu), namely Basanta (spring), Grishma (summer), Barsha (monsoon), Sharat (autumn), Hemanta (pre-winter) and Sheet (winter).
Belonged to the Varman dynasty, Bhaskar Varma (600–650 AD) is known as a powerful and intellectual leader. Buddhist pilgrim Hiuen Tsang (from China) visited Kamrup in 640 AD and attended the Bhaskar Varma court, a spirited patron of Vedic culture and Sanskrit studies.
Kamrup, which was also known as Pragjyotish in the mythological era, has been recognised as the first historical kingdom of Assam and was the most advanced territory under his reign. Bhaskar Varma was a contemporary to the north Indian emperor Harshavardhan, another celebrated ruler of Bharatvarsa. Both enjoyed political ties with mutual respect.
Appreciating the decision, Patriotic People’s Front Assam (PPFA) opines that the initiative will be proved as an unparalleled tribute to Kumar Bhaskar Varma, the illustrious ruler of Kamrup kingdom (or ancient Assam) in the 7th century AD.
“Honouring the prodigious Kamrup monarch Bhaskar Varma (also known as Bhaskar Varman), we can actually illuminate the history of eastern India (as most of its part was under the territory Kamrup kingdom),” said the forum of nationalist citizens in a statement adding that the official recognition to Bhaskarabda indicates the beginning of a much-needed pursuit of yesteryears.