9 Oct 2011

Leroy is a bit late to the plate. He is currently pushing the Ravindra Godbole web site www.themeaningofvedas.com, something that SIS did some months ago (also featured on In the News). Actually, Leroy has provided something of a prod as the web site pages are actually the chapters of a book with the same name - and full of information. Cheers, Leroy. He may not be everybody's favourite bunnie but he does keep promoting the Clube and Napier hypothesis - when most people out there have forgotten all about it. Godbole's references include one of the best catastrophic papers out there, that is Mike Baillie's 'The Case for Significant Numbers of Extra Terrestrial Impacts through the Late Holocene' published in the Journal of Quaternary Science (2007) 22, pages 101-109. They also reference Clube and Napiers two books, The Cosmic Serpent (1982) and The Cosmic Winter (1990).

In their 'Statement of Hypothesis', the author says his book is based on the theory of coherent catastrophism as put forth by Clube, Napier, Asher etc (and we might add Steele, Bailey, and Baillie etc.) It was originally thought the comet arrived in the solar system around 20,000 years ago and was responsible for the Late Glacial Maximum. Napier has since said it arrived much earlier - possibly as early as 70,000BC. As far as we are concerned the comet broke up in a major way in the 7th millennium BC and was responsible for a series of catastrophic events around the world at that time - craters, trenching, flooding etc. However, as the theory is a hypothesis devised by astronomers we should note that geologists are not onboard - and therefore guesswork is involved on what might have been the effects experienced on the surface of the earth. There was a notable geological worldwide event around 6200-6000BC (which was dated slightly earlier when the theory of coherent catastrophism was first outlined) so in that respect, neither Clube and Napier, or Godbole, are up to date - but neither are a lot of archaeologists. For example, prior to this event the Orkneys were part of the mainland and the North Sea did not exist much further south than the Humber. Next, a further disintegration occurred around 3000BC, and for several centuries thereafter there were five to seven bright comet fragments visible periodically in the night sky. Hence, for a long time there was prominent meteor showers associated with the Taurid complex - continuing into fairly modern times, the appearance of comets, connected or unconnected with the phenomena, were looked on with fear, and the earlier comets were deified as a result of abject terror of the mayhem associated with their passage, and that of their meteoric offspring. Hymns and songs were composed to pacify them, prayers made for self protection and that of communities and malevolent prayers in the hope of casting destruction upon their enemies. Ritual and legends kept the memory alive for generations afterwards, eventually superceded by religious reforms and new ideas (once the cosmic terror had subsided).

This is the basic means by which the author interprets the Vedas. However, the weak part of the story might be his view on what Soma may have been - usually thought to be a drink with an origin in plants, or fungi. According to the author this is a later extrapolation as the original substance of Soma was not available in later times. Soma, in his view, was the glassy material formed by impact (or by electro-magnetic activity it might be added). Hence, Soma had an origin in sand, was crushed and an elementary electrical charge added, and became the base of a liquid that was consumed in a ritual. However, other aspects seem much stronger such as his view that the Maruts were meteor showers associated with the Taurid complex, especially in the autumn (the Hindu equivalent of the Halloween phenomena of western Europe) and Rudra, the deity in command of the Maruts, was the comet that gave birth to the meteors. This is reminiscent, for example with Finn and his companion warband, and other legendary tales of daring do involving larger than life heroes. 

The chapters can be read or downloaded on an individual basis - to be read at your leasure (possibly in the coming long winter evenings). They are in pdf format so simply save each page (chapter) of the web site, as you wish, then print them out from the saved copies - which can then be deleted as you see fit.