Revati

Revati is Zeta Piscium. It is the “star” under which my daughter was born. So, I seem to have a mental filter that catches that phrase in Twitter’s flowing timeline. Emily Lakdawalla of the Planetary Society had posted there on the International Astronomical Union (IAU) naming a few surface features on Charon, Pluto’s moon. She had also linked to the IAU press release on the same.

They had named a crater on Charon, Revati. The press release mentioned that the feature Revati was named after a character in the epic, Mahabharata where she was a time traveller. The excerpt is below:

Revati Crater

I immediately searched on Google for the story of Revati. Emily, meanwhile, emailed one of the contacts mentioned in the press release to ask the source story of the name. My Google search led to the interesting story of Revati.

The story of Revati seems to be straight out of science fiction. She is the daughter of Kakudmi who seems to have ruled a kingdom half under the sea. Her father travels to meet Brahma to seek advice on a suitable husband for his daughter. While there, they listen to a small musical performance. At the end as Kakudmi asks Brahma to choose from a list Brahma states that most of the people suggested would be dead as as they waited there, 27 mahayugas have passed and suggested that she marry Balarama, Krishna’s brother when they return. Does this reference time dilation? When they return, humans are much smaller than them. Does this reference the evolutionary process?

I found the best narrative of the same on another blog, along with an interesting after comment. The comment is below:

Revati Time Traveller

In the meanwhile, Emily got the references and this is more fascinating reading. The book is Vedic Cosmography and Astronomy by Richard L Thompson.

I am a skeptic of the reinterpretations of past treatises using modern astronomy but am equally fascinated by these comparative studies of astronomical treatises of the present and the past and enriched by myths with science fiction elements involved.

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