List of all Articles About the author Ask the author


The Vedas, in old Sanskrit language, are an accumulation of knowledge, over the past 4000-7000 years. They provide fascinating social, spiritual, and naked eye astronomical observations from Indian subcontinent for their period. Many hundreds of ‘Drishtrara’s or visionary composers (Rishi’s) have contributed to Vedas over many generations of time. Though much of the material has been lost, currently four Vedas and vedangas consisting of Brahmana’s, Aranayakas, Upanishads and sutras’ are available. The great epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata are intricately woven with Vedic naked eye astronomy based calendar. Vedic culture created an astronomical secular lunar / solar calendar of 28 star based day count, six seasons, four Ayana’s (Uttara, Pitru, Deva & Dakshina) based on Equinoxes/Solstices.

For nearly 150-200 years, many European and Indian Indologists have tried to understand this old body of knowledge and comment up on the material. The opinions of these writers about Vedas vary from a profound body of knowledge to trivial and some times mischievous.

This web site is dedicated to studying astronomical references contained in Veda Sanskrit material. The goal is to analyze the same using modern astronomical tools to arrive at time antiquity, uniqueness and a better understanding.

The list of Articles are:

1. Astronomy in Vedanga Jyotishya

For those interested in Vedic Astronomy, a very old and significant Vedic work is Vedanga Jyotishya by Lagadha from circa 1400 BC. This article provides a graphic picture of material in Vedanga Jyotishya based on work by Kuppanna Sastry

2. Names of Stars in the Vedas

Humans have gazed at stars for many thousands of years. Different cultures, based on their own innovation have named visible stars and star groups by native proper names. In some cultures groups of stars in the sun-moon ecliptic plane were named as zodiacs. Many of these names have died out and are dying out due to slow tendency toward unilingual-unicultural pressures, while some other name systems just survive.

This article deals with Star names from (Bharat) India. This system, which is more than 5000 years old, is based on well-developed naked eye astronomy and moon pointer calendar system from that period. The twenty-eight daily star names and six seasons are unique to India. The birthstar of many Indians, used even today, represent the moon pointed star name at the time of birth. (Unlike Western zodiacs which are sun pointed). In this article, the origins of the twenty-eight star names and their modern astronomical identity are analyzed, illustrated and tabulated, with references to their Vedic origins.

3. Comparison of Star Name Identities

The second article compares the astronomical identity proposed in first article with those indicated by R H Allen. R H Allen’s classical work is from end of 19th century and covers star name comparisons for many cultures including Chinese, Arabian, European and ‘Hindu’. While many astronomical identities between the two works with respect to Indian stars coincide, there are some significant differences also. These differences are explored.

4. Dating the Mahabharatha - Two eclipses in thirteen days

Mahabharata, by venerable Veda Vyasa, is an important epic from India. It is much larger than Homer’s Iliad. The traditional Indian ethos considers this to be a major historical event from a period nearly 5000-6000 years old. But like Homer’s Iliad (which is now considered historical based on evidence), doubts about Mahabharata’s historicity has been and is currently challenged by many. There are references to Mahabharata by Panini in circa 450 BC. The Mahabharata story is more than 100,000 verses in Sanskrit, in anushtap chandas prosody. It is rich with a large number of astronomical observations about planet positions, their retrograde motion, and eclipses in period approaching the Mahabharata war.

In the first article, one unique statement from Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Chapter) that ‘Two eclipses occurred in 13 days’ prior to war is analyzed. Can a solar-lunar eclipse pair occur in 13 days? Were these seen? In this modern computer era, we can use mathematical modeling, large and refined astronomical databases, and complex astronomical computer software to accurately back project all possible eclipses over the past 5000 years. Details of such a study is presented. The article concludes that naked eye visible solar-lunar eclipse pairs can occur in a short 332 hours occasionally, which is less than 14 days (336 hours is 14 days). These eclipses would occur through the transition of sunrise or sunset. Nearly 30 pairs of such eclipse pairs that were visible in Northern India during 700 BC to 3300 BC have been identified.

5. Atri's solar eclipse

In Rig Veda & Sankhyayana Brahmana, Atri Rishi has described a total solar eclipse that occurred three days before autumnal equinox. Is this information adequate to identify and retro date that eclipse? Famous Bal Gangadhar Tilak, in his book Orion describes unsuccessful efforts in late 1800’s to date Atri’s eclipse. This article revisits the issue of dating Atri’s solar eclipse in the present computer era with vastly superior mathematical models of heavenly body motion.

Copyright 2005-2006 . All rights reserved.
Site designed by SV3 designs