Vikramaarka and Vikramaaditya are synonyms since arka and aaditya both mean surya. The legends concerning Vikarmaarka abd Vikramaaditya are about the same great king and not two different people of two different dynasties as suggested by some people. The famous philosopher poet Bhartuhari is the elder brother of King Vikramaditya, by another wife of his father. When Bhartuhari renounced the kingdom, Vikramaditya became the king.
Vikramaditya was born in 101 BCE and his Vikarama Saka started in 58 BCE and he died in CE 19. (You may refer Thiru Venkatacharya, “Ganitha Khagola Sastramulu”, Vgnyaana Sarvasvamu, Samputi 9, Telugu Bhaashaa Samiti, Madras, Hyderabad, 1965 and Kavana Sarma and Satya Sarada “Mana praacheena saahityam charitra” 8 th article, Rachana Monthly Magazine, page 26, March 2011).
Salivahana Sakam started in 78 CE (AD). The rule for becoming a Saka kartha (ie having a saka in your name) is that you have to either defeat a previous Saka kartha or the kings of Saka jathi (race of invaders form the north west). (You may refer How many kinds of Sakas (Eras) are there?)
Since there is a difference of 136 years between the two sakas, we accept that Salivahana was a grandson of Vikramaditya and defeated the Saka King of his time. This is supported by Kalahana.
“etasmin antare tatra salivahana bhupatih, vikramaaditya poutrascha pitru rajyam gruheetavaan jitvaa sakaan duraadarascheena taittiree desajaan” : Kalahana’s Rajatarnagini 3.3-2-17-18 : Salivahana, the grandson of Vikramaditya, inherited his father’s kingdom and won the sakaas and tartars and chinese.
During the reign of Vikramaditya’s son ie Salivahana’s father, the kingdom was weakened and subjected to several attacks by the saka jathi kings. These saka kings were defeated by Salivahana when he came to the throne.
During this period following Vikramaaditya’s death, another king Raja Bhoja of Dhaaraa (present day Dhaar), attempted to recover Vikramaditya’s famous throne and the navaratnas (nine gems) of his court. He succeeded in inviting Kalidasa, who by now was shattered by Vikramaditya’s death and had taken to drink (vyasana para). He still retained his brilliant literary grace.
From the map below you can see that Dhar (Bhoja’s capital) is 150 km south-west of Ujjain (Vikramaditya’s Capital) and 100 km of north of Narmada river (about which Kalidasa has been poetic).
eg..”ratrou tarati narmadaa”..
Date of Kalidasa’s Jyotirvidaabharana :
Kalidasa said that he started writing Jyotirvidaabharana in Vaisakha Maasa of Kali 3068 which corresponds t0 34 BCE (taking 3102 BCE as the start date of Kaliyuga). We also know that Varahamihira was a contemporary of Kalidasa. We have worked out absolutely that Varahamihira was not earlier than 185 BCE in this article : http://ancientindians.net/2010/01/01/varahamihira-really-427-of-saka-era-pancha-siddhantika/ . So there is no conflict in taking 34 BCE as the date for Jyotirvidaabharana of Kalidasa.
Varahamihira – Really 427 of Saka Era? : Pancha Siddhantika
Varahamihira was one of the 9 gems of Vikramaditya’s court. There is a famous shlokam which says this. Kalidasa was one of the other nine. Kalidasa’s Megha Sandesam demonstrates a clear knowledge of Varahamihira’s observations on meteorology. So to get Varahamihira’s date is also to fix the date of Kalidasa and Vikramaditya.
The date assigned to Varahamihira is based on these verses of the PanchaSiddhanthika. Chapter 1, Verse 8 to 10. (Page 288 in the Reference : The Text and Translation of The PanchaSiddhantha by Mahamohopadhyaya Sudhakara Dwivedi and G. Thibaut, 1889. available at the Digital Library of India).
Varahamihira gives a way to calculate the ahargana, or the “count of days” from the beginning of the relevant epoch to the present day. For that he says that 427 must be subtracted from the present Saka Era. This merely implies that 427 Saka Era was the start of the Karanagrantha in use at the time. It does not specify Varahamihira’s birth, death or the date of the pancha siddhanthika.
Alberuni made two Assumptions both are possibly wrong: Based on those 2 assumptions, he computed that the date for Varahamihira’s Panchasiddhantika was 526 years before his time. And based on this statement, Varahamihira is assigned a date in the 6th century CE (AD).
- Alberuni’s Wrong Assumption 1 : 427 Saka Era is the date of the Panchasiddhanthika
- Alberuni’s Wrong Assumption 2 : The saka era of kalahana is the same as the saka era of Varahamihira.
- Year 427 of the Saka Era referred to by Varahamihira in the Panchasiddhanthika is the year of the Karanagrantha.
- 2526 years separate the Bharata War and the start point of this Saka Era (Brhat Samhita)
- Kalahana and AlBeruni wrongly assumed that Varahamihira’s Sakam was the same as Kalahana’s sakam. Thus, Al Beruni wrongly calculated that 526 years separated him from Varahamihira and Kalahana calculated that Bharata War was in 653 Kaliyugam.
- Taking 3138 BCE (36 before kaliyuga) as the Date of the Bharata war, we conclude that the Saka referred to by Varahamihira started in 612 BCE.
- Karana Granthas have astronomical significance and the various Saka Eras have historical significance.
- So we must look for an important astronomical event in 612-427=185 BCE and an important kingly victory in 612 BCE.
- We know that Varahamihira could not have lived prior to 185 BCE. This gives us an upper bound for Varahamihira’s time.
- Since Varahamihira and Kalidasa and Vikramaditya were contemporaries, we place them all around 58 BCE.
- Travel : A Banglorean in Magical Ujjain, Mahakal, Vikram and Bhetal, Paataala Bhairavi : (Part 1)
- Travel : Magical, Spiritual Ujjain (2) : Kalidasa’s Kali Temple, Sri Krishna’s School, Vikramaditya Temple, Janthar Manthar and Hari Siddhi mandir
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