Does the celestial phenomenon of a triple eclipse warn of a natural disaster or manmade one as it did in ancient history? That is the essence of a new book being published by the Art of Living Foundation.
The book, Will History Repeat Itself? Triple Eclipse Of July 2009. Ominous? Promising? takes a look at the possibilities that could follow the astronomical event of a lunar eclipse on July 7, 2009, followed by a solar eclipse on July 22, 2009, and another lunar eclipse on August 6, 2009.
Talking to reporters, the authors, DK Hari and D Hema Hari, founders of Bharath Gyan (which attempts to collate and disseminate information on India over the ages), said: "The first recorded triple eclipse in 3067 BCE (Before the Common Era) coincided with the Kurukshetra war.
"Another triple eclipse in 3031 BCE coincided with the destruction of the ancient city of Dwarka. More recently, the first half of the 20th century saw the occurrence of a series of triple eclipse between 1910 and 1945, which coincided with World War I and II, the Holocaust, and the nuclear bombings in Japan," said Hari.
The book raises questions whether the triple eclipse that begins in July 2009 followed by six sets of such triple eclipses, which will continue till 2020, could be a forewarning of anything. But he clarifies that the book is not a "doomsday prediction. We are not prediciting anything. We are only raising questions based on events that happened in the past following such astronomical events."
"The idea is not to be an alarmist, but to see if there are parallels," said Hema. "This is not an exercise in astrological prediction, but it is an exercise to see if there indeed was a correlation between the astronomical events as they occurred in the sky and the experience of civilization on the ground."
Using planetarium software, which has been developed to precisely date the movements of various astral bodies for many thousands of years in the past and the future, the couple has tried to collate data from ancient texts about the observation of eclipses and to juxtapose them with actual events.
Hari noted that as per the vedas, Rishi Atri is probably the earliest astronomer who speaks about an eclipse. The Ramayana, too, mentions a solar eclipse that occurred on the day of the fight between Rama and the demons Khar and Dushan. In Mahabharata, an eclipse is described by Ved Vyasa, chronicler of the text.
"The concern for India is that it is surrounded by nations facing internal political strife. The potential of this strife overflowing into India is high, coinciding with the beginning of the triple eclipse," Hema said.
The predicted path of the forthcoming eclipse and recently observed pattern of earthquakes seem to hint at certain areas being more susceptible to earthquakes, says the book.
History reveals that any major event, natural or manmade, had resulted in the migration of people. The question is, today, with tight borders, would such migration be possible, Hari said.
The book aims at raising awareness globally and creating a "collective mindset", he said. It attempts to make people "pause, think, and act", he added.