New Delhi: Vaishakha Purnima, a sacred day for Hindus annually commemorated on 26 May, coincides with the lunar eclipse this year.
Vaishakh is the second month of the Hindu calendar and is considered to be one of the most sacred months. On this day, devotees offer prayers to the Hindu deity Vishnu and observe a fast from sunrise to moonrise.
Typically, devotees also take a bath in a holy river at sunrise to seek salvation.
However, with the lunar eclipse also coinciding with the commencement of the holy month, the day has become even more special.
A similar coincidence occurred over 1,400 years ago in 619 CE as well. On that day, Pulakeshin II, ruler of the Chalukya dynasty, asked for a copperplate inscription that would eulogise his victory over Emperor Harshvardhana, ruler of the Vardhana dynasty.
Today a total lunar eclipse is occurring on Vaishakh Purnima.
1402 years ago in 619 CE, a lunar eclipse occurred on Vaishakh Purnima as well.
On that day, Chalukya king Pulkeshin commissioned a copperplate inscription that eulogized his victory over Emperor Harshwardhan
— Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune (@BhandarkarI) May 26, 2021
War between Emperor Harshvardhan and King Pulakeshin
Researchers from the Bhadharkhar Oriental Research Institute in Pune found a copper plate and were able to ascertain the date of Emperor Harshvardhan’s defeat to the Chalukya King Pulakeshin.
The institute has a repository of South Asia’s largest collection of manuscripts and rare texts.
The timeline of the battle was decoded to be somewhere between 610 CE to 634 CE.
“However, it was the discovery and the study of this inscription, and the mention of a lunar eclipse on Vaishakh purnima in it, which helped ascertain the exact year of the battle, i.e., 619 CE,” the institute said in a tweet.
Pulakeshin, who ruled from Chalukya dynasty’s capital Badami, was at odds with Emperor Harshvardhan. Pulakeshin saw himself as the ‘lord paramount’ of the south, while Harshvardhan considered himself the leader of the north. Harshvardhan marched with his force to defeat Pulakeshin but he was defeated.
A report in The Hindu quotes Dr Bapat, a noted coin collector from Mumbai, as saying: “It was believed that the battle occurred sometime between 612 AD and 634 AD. But now, thanks to this copper plate, it can be ascertained definitively to have taken place in the winter of 618-619 AD.”