Bhagavad Gita – Chitraratha Mystery Solved ! (Post No.10,882)

WRITTEN BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN

Post No. 10,882

Date uploaded in London – –    23 APRIL  2022         

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‘AMONG THE GANDHARVAS, I AM CHITRA RATHA’ – 10-26 B.G.

A lot of mysteries are there in the Bhagavad Gita. But nobody bothered about them because they were considered out of place in a spiritual and philosophical book like Gita . Lord Krishna said that he was Usanas among the poets. Usanas became a mystery even during the days of the Rigveda. The great Tami l grammarian Tolkappiar also belonged to that clan and he had very ancient Kavya/Kappia in his name. At least about Usanas we read something interesting in the research articles. His son Sukra became the subject of many feature films in India under the title Kacha Devayani. He was Asura Guru. Asura is a good term in the older parts of the Rig Veda.

But another interesting word in Tamil and Sanskrit literature is not at all explored. The word Chitra is in thousands of places in the name of river, mountain, poems, genres and personal names. Chitra is mostly used by women nowadays in personal names. But the most interesting thing is there are poets in the Rigveda and Sangam Tamil literature with that name. There are kings with the name Chitra in Tamil and Sanskrit. Very interesting to note is a poet by name Maha Chitra in both the Rigveda and Purananuru of Sangam period.

Perunchittiranar was a poet who composed over ten poems in Purananuru. His name in Sanskrit is Maha Chitra. His first word Perum is also a cognate word of Brhat in Sanskrit. We have the oldest and largest Upanishad Brhat Aranyaka Upanishad. It is Big Forest Philosophical Treatise . And the same Maha Chitra is in the Rigveda too.

Chitra maha Vasishta is the author of hymn 10-122 in the Rigveda.

But one must be careful when one explores this word Chitra. There are over 50 entries for Chitra in the 150 year old Tamil encyclopaedia called Abhidana Chintamani. Under Chitra Ratha there are 15 entries in Tamil. It was the most popular personal name. We know there were at least 23 Popes with the name John. We know there were 11 pharaohs with the name Rameses in Egypt . We know there were at least six Dasarathas including my friend Dasaratha Nadar in Virudunagar in Tamil Nadu. But Ramayana Dasaratha and Mitanni king Dasaratha dated 1400 BCE are well known. Egyptian  and Vatican historians serialised the pharaohs and Popes with numbers. Hindus did not do it. So there’s a big confusion.

‘Dates and Dynasties in Earliest India’ by R Mortan Smith named at least 8 kings and queens with the prefix Chitra . He gave the date 1540 BCE for the king Chiraratha Yadava. His dates were not accurate but it gives us some idea who is first who is second etc.

Very interesting information comes from Bhagwan Singhs book ‘Vedic Harappans’.

Here is what he says,

Of all the kings on the river Sarasvati, Chitra is alone the real king, others are kings in name only —RV 8-21-18

Chitra ida raja rajaka idanyake yake Sarasvati manu.

We find similar statements in Sangam literature as well.

Now we have got two clues from Rig Veda and Morton smith. Though I don’t agree with his dating his chronological order for kings is somewhat meaningful. He placed Chitraratha mentioned by Lord Krishna, five hundred years before Yadava Krishna. Both of them were Yadavas. But we read in Bhagavad Gita that Chitra Ratha was the most famous Gandharva. Here comes a problem. Yadhavas were not Gandharvas. But any one who is a master of fine arts is called a Gandharva. We had famous musicians with that title in modern India. Gandhrava knowledge means expertise in dance and art. This gandharva clan lived in Indus Valley areas which is confirmed by the danseuse idol from Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro areas.

Now we will look at the stories and anecdotes about Gandharva Chitraratha.

In Bhagavad Gita we read,

Among the Gandharvas I am Chitraratha, (10-26) says Lord Krishna.

What is he famous for?

Rigveda, the oldest book in the world says (8-21),

17.Indra or blest Sarasvati alone bestows such wealth, treasure so great , or thou,

O Citra, on the worshipper

18.Citra is king, and only kinglings are the rest, who dwell beside Sarasvati

He, like Parjanya with his rain, hath spread himself with thousand,

Yea, with myself gifts.

—RigVeda

In 2000 year old Tamil Pura nanuru, Maha Chitran also praised Seven Great Tamil Philanthropists and compared them with Parjanya/ rain god for their munificence.

Who are the Gandharvas and Chitrratha ?

To be continued……………………………..

Gandharva, Chitraratha, Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Gita, 10-26, Rigveda

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