It’s been a long time since I looked at how Wikipedia treats historic origins of Krishna Himself and I was pleased to see that progress has been made.
It will never catch up with writings of Stephen Knapp but they are determined not to fall too far behind. As it stands now, even with atrocious editing, mentions of Krishna are traced as far back as Rig Veda, Chandogya Upanishad and Shatapatha Brahmana which makes Him a genuinely old and ingenious Vedic personality.
Other corroborating references show that stories from His life and His worship was known at least half a thousand years BC. They missed Baudhayana Dharma Sutra that prescribes worship of various demigods every evening, includes Vishnu, of course, and mentions familiar names like Keshava, Govinda and Damodara (BDS 126.96.36.199). That’s part of Yajur Veda.
They mention Panini’s Ashtadhyayi but not Bryant’s footnote in his Krishna Sourcebook, p17, that suggests Vasudeva was to be worshiped in the mood of bhakti.
There’s probably more in various other upanishads but as far as pushing Krishna’s worship back in time it’s already a good job.
On another front Stephen Hawking recently published a new book, boldly entitled “The Grand Design: New Answers to the Ultimate Questions of Life”. I haven’t read it but, perhaps, his new answers are best encapsulated in this quote:
There is no picture- or theory-independent concept of reality. Instead we will adopt a view that we will call model-dependent realism: the idea that a physical theory or world picture is a model (generally of a mathematical nature) and a set of rules that connect the elements of the model to observations.
I don’t know if it answers any of the Ultimate Questions of Life for anybody but the gist of it is that Hawking admits that we know nothing about the world around us and instead of knowledge we promote various theoretical models that describe it.
We just create theories, one after another, some of them fit better, some worse, but they are just our mental constructions.
What he calls models we call illusion. Every time we want to examine something Krishna’s energy presents us with a unique illusion, specifically for our bewilderment, and then we go around telling people that it’s the truth, until the next illusion strikes us (SB 11.14.9).
That’s a big admission on the part of the allegedly smartest man on the planet. This is not all he says in his book but this is his central tenet. The rest are his other illusions.
Of course not everyone would agree with this interpretation of Hawking’s latest mental achievement. Richard Dawkings, the allegedly most famous atheist, happily welcomes it:
Darwinism kicked God out of biology but physics remained more uncertain. Hawking is now administering the coup de grace.
Apparently he said that before the book hit the streets. I wonder what he’s thinking now, though he’d probably twist this “model-dependent realism” to argue that since they don’t include God in their models than He can’t possibly exist or something like that.
All in all – very encouraging developments. There’s bad news, too, but I’ll keep it for another day.