The Krishna Key
The two questions that haunt historians, theologians and believers and atheists are ‘Is Krishna an incarnation or historical personality?’ The answer to this is based on traditional literature and in recent times excavations and archaeological digs are unearthing proof of the existence of Dwaraka and Krishna. The argument still out there is whether Krishna lived 3000 + years ago or 5000+ years.
Sanghi uses this anomaly brilliantly to build up a whodunit interweaving the past and the present, the myth and the real, the times of Krishna and the events in the life of his protagonist Ravi Mohan Saini.
In the history of the world, the two countries of India and China have had a continuous historical tradition that is still in existence. In spite of the hoary traditions of India, we are unable to unearth straightforward evidences to prove the historicity of our two great epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Our heritage for the greater part of our civilization is aural and passed on by word of mouth.
If you take Greek and Roman civilizations, the antiquity and cultural remnants of these ancient civilizations can be found only in museums. The lack of ancient structures, artefacts and other material and concrete evidences of ancient India has clothed this antiquity in mystery and myth. In India a visit to traditional cities like Kancheepuram, Ayodhya or Ujjain would reveal the existence of vibrant cultural and ancient traditional practices like reciting the Vedas, the retelling of the epics and customs and beliefs being kept alive as it was thousands of years ago.
One important factor about lack of artefacts is linked to the philosophical attitude of Indians. Material attachment to symbols of wealth has always been discounted. Gold and silver were investments that were a safety net for a rainy day. It was melted, remade, redesigned and discarded many times in a lifetime with very little thought to preserving things. It was also given away not only to family members, but also as gifts and awards in appreciation of excelling in arts. Invaders came into India and carried away the wealth. Natural materials like wood and textiles were used in habitats that naturally would not have lasted centuries of habitation.
Indians have always been migrants and have moved from place to place seeking better pastures, living and changing lifestyles. Cities came up on banks of rivers and abandoned with the changes in the flow of the water bodies. Old people also gave up the trappings of wealth and took to austere living. Layers of settlements have been built over and over until artefacts have been lost in the layers of civilization.
Krishna’s authenticity as a historical personality or an Avatar has gained momentum only in the last two centuries. This too is based on prejudiced research done by western scholars who have been unwilling to accept that India had a much older history and existence as a nation with a developed civilisation than their own 2000 year old history.
The story of The Krishna Key is based on four seals and its recipients each one an expert in the life and times of Krishna.
The story is a roller-coaster ride that meanders all over North India with a cat and mouse game being played by a ‘Mataji’ and historian Ravi. Krishna’s life is presented in italics at the beginning of each chapter. The modern interpretations of history, science, archaeology, astronomy and the human body and genomes and linking it to traditional theories from the Vedas and Puranas is brilliantly depicted and makes for riveting reading.
I bought and wanted to read ‘Rozabal Line’ and ‘Chanakya’s Chant’. Both the books font was abysmally small and I gave up. The third book of Ashwin Sanghi has got me hooked on to his writing, thanks to Blogadda and Westland. I will search for a larger print and go back to these two books. One glaring mistake in the editing is mixing up Priya and Radhika at one point.
The time has come to map all the Mahabharata sites, to do serious excavations and research and to unearth the secrets of past civilizations that have been spoken about in traditional folklore, scriptures, itihaasas and literature. Sanghi has used references from classical sources and scientific explorations to validate the strong belief that yes, a man called Krishna walked and lived on this land and achieved greatness through his acts, deeds and teachings. ‘The Krishna Key’ reiterates that Krishna attained Godliness in the minds of many Indians and others with his wisdom and desire to establish Dharma on earth.
As our country is mired in corruption and depravity, many people are looking forward to the emergence of Lord Vishnu as Kalki Avatar to end this adharmic situation. Many charlatans and godmen are claiming to be Kalki. This novel too has a Pretender who is manipulated and tailor made to take on the aspects of Kalki. The ending is superbly built up and leaves the reader with a wonderful premise of an answer to India’s problems, with the hope that the real Kalki will arise.