Astronomical Dating of the Vedic Age

If you want to get something that you never had before, do something that you had never done before!

Let us try to do a simple and straightforward astronomical dating of the actual vedic period.

In the ancient vedic culture, people used to consider the beginning of a new year on the day of the vernal equinox.

Now a bit of equinox.

Earth’s axis of rotation is not perpendicular to that of sun’s equatorial plane and instead is tilted at an angle of about 23 degrees. So, as earth moves around the sun it appears as though the sun is rising slightly north of due east for half of the year, and then slightly south of due east during the other half of the year.

Thus there are two points where as observed from earth Sun makes a transition from north to south and south to north, and at these two points, sun rises exactly due east, and these points are called equinoxes. One is the spring equinox and the other is the vernal equinox.

Astronomical dating of the vedic period

It is to be observed that in northern hemisphere what looks like a transition of sun from south to north i.e vernal equinox, actually looks like a transition from north to south when observed in the souther hemisphere.

There are also two other points of extremes of north and south which sun touches and comes back as it rises everyday, and these are called summer and winter solstices. So over a period of time it looks as though sun is oscillating on either side of the due east during sun rise (or either side of due west on sunset)!

Note that what we consider as summer solstice in northern hemisphere is winter solstice in southern hemisphere. Seasons on earth are due to the tilting of earth’s axis, and hence when there is summer in the northern hemisphere its winter in south and vice versa.

Now coming back to the equinoxes. During the vedic ages, new year began on vernal equinox and was called Agrahayana. Agrahayana means beginning of the year. The new year then was celebrated in the vedic month of Margashira (named after a star lambda orionis in the constellation of Orion).

Since there is also a precession of the earth’s axis, the equinox dates keep changing every year, and when seen from a stellar background the constellation in which the sun rises on the vernal equinox also keeps changing over a period of time.

In our times today, the sun rises in the background of Pisces (Meena Rashi) on the vernal equinox. Whereas in the vedic period it used to rise in the background of Gemini (Margasira/Orion is in Gemini).

The earth’s precession takes about 25,800 years for one complete cycle. Since there are in total 12 constellations for the sun to make its journey, it means sun stays in every constellation for about 2150 years on the day of the vernal equinox!

Now let us see as to approximately how many years would sun require to move from Gemini to Pisces. This can be achieved by simply calculating the number of constellations in between and multiplying it by 2150. From Gemini we have Taurus, Aries and then Pisces, which means some where between three to four constellations (four including the place of stay)

In other words, we can assume that the vedic age might have been somewhere between 8600 years ago till about 6450 ago. This approximation is also supported by the geological data of the now extinct mighty Saraswati river !

In modern calendar system this would translate to somewhere between 6600 BCE to 4450 BCE, and thats definitely a long long time ago! If modern science can achieve so much in a span of millenia or so, its not surprising that the vedic people would have achieved much more over a period of thousands of years!

Please note that in the above mentioned approach, we can also go back to earlier multiples of 25800 years like (n x 25800)+8600 years ago to (n x 25800)+6450 years ago, by visiting back to all the previous Gemini ages of vernal equinox!

So using some simple astronomy and arithmetics, and a simple clue, we tried to do a simple calculation of the approximate vedic period.

If this calculation sounded complicated to you, well, we have to keep things as simple as possible, but not any simpler

Vedas also talk about vega being the pole star, and this happened the last time at about 12000 BC! Looks like what we read as known history in the text books is just the first line of a huge epic consisting of thousands of pages!

What is history? An echo of past heard in the future, A reflex from the future acted upon the past

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  • Balasubramanian S

    Hi Gurudev,

    I have a question here. As we know according to the west, this year is 2013 as per western calender. Similarly do we have a specific year according to Vedic age for the present? Or atleast do we have a specific Kaliyuga year which is running? How to we find that?

  • Soorya

    That was so simple and wonderful explanation and calculation.   

    But I have also read somewhere that the Yuga has started in the Rohini Star which means that the Yuga started at 40 degrees from Mesha.  This means that the span is between 70 degrees to 40 degrees. This is therefore as per your calculation, 25800 x 70 / 360 and 25800 x 40 / 360.   Thus the Vedic Era could have been 5016.67 and 2866.67 years ago.  ie. between 3004.67 yrs to 854.67 yrs.

  • http://none. Renju

    My take is some thing else : In the Surya Vansha ; there were approximateky 30 kings before the last King who took part in Maha bharatha war to Rama. Now considering the fact that, during Dwapara yuga the average life span  of a person was 1000 years, this should lead us to (12+4)*2150 years – 5000 which is approximately 30000 BC which is during which Ramayana took place; which means to say that Ramayan did not take place in this precession cycle, but the previous one.  We have to count everything for consistency. :) Well folks, it is pretty hard to digest but, thats the theory, according to the available docs. Evidence is some thing which  needs to be figured out.

  • http://nil ana

    i want the details about the family of the vedas i am not getting it

  • Vinutha

    Gurudev, your way of thinking and knowledge is simply amazing and I am totally impressed by your writings and thoughts. Keep it up :)
    By the way, knowing so much at a very early age also means that you probably have very little time for other normal things in life! either that or you are very good time manager. Please take it as a compliment :)

  • http://www.hitxp.com/ Gurudev

    Prasanna / Vishu
    Thank you very much for liking the article :)

    Ramya
    Thanks for the comments.
    Since the wobbling of earth’s axis is a repetitive cycle, the dating can be anything that is a multiple of (n x 25800)+8600 years ago to (n x 25800)+6450 years ago where n>=0!
    I am not an expert either, just write down my thoughts :)

    Ruchi / Raja / Bah
    Thanks for liking the article :)

  • bah

    This is too much FUNDA man !
    :-)

  • Raja

    Hi
    This one is a beauty relating history, culture and astronomy. Well done Gurudev.

  • Ruchi

    Hi Guru

    Nice article… with all amazing information..

    keep it up

    wishes
    Ruchi

  • Ramya

    I am impressed by your posting.At your age ,you are too far
    matured.You are really a blessed person .you made it so clear understanding of astronomical dating.Is vedic existence
    not from Pre Ramayana four yugas Vedic was very oldest as anyone would have thought.Probably you are giving the refined vedic system dating.I am not expert like you but can pass on some clues for your verification. if you want.

    Congratulations and best wishes for new postings

  • Vishu

    Excellent Gurudev!
    Simple still powerful analysis. How on earth do you get such thoughts buddy?
    I had to read other material to first understand the terms you were talking about in this article. Robert is right, your thoughts are a lot unlike others!

  • faithseed

    You may be interested in my interpretation of the Book of Revelation and how it relates to the Precession of the Equinoxes. The four Quadrants are Represented as the four horses and horseman. Certain Pole stars make up the seven stars that Jesus(G’s-us) holds in his right hand. See Gisus.org for more insights. Please leave a comment in my guestbook!

  • http://prasannalm.blogspot.com Prasanna L.M

    hi gurudev, Thanks for your good words on my blog. BTW, i am one of the regular reader of your blog. I really appreciate your work.. Keep blogging..

  • http://www.hitxp.com/ Gurudev

    Thanks Robert for your comments and wishes.

    Someone once asked me “”why do you always insist on taking the less traversed road?”" I replied “”Why do you assume that I see two roads?”" :)

  • Robert

    Very interesting article! In fact, I have been reading your articles for couple of days now and every bit of it is informative and interesting.
    Your way of thinking is quite rare and very few people have such a wide variety of interests and know how.

    All the best.

    • shrikumar

      According to National Geography Book , Earth Life span is till date is 4,600 million Years = 4.6 BILLION YEARS = 460 Crores Years . So far there are 7 Ice Eras on Earth , Each lasting 50 million Years =5 Crores Years . In which cooler and wetter climates have predominated . ( = 35 crores Years ) . Most recent of these Ice Era began around 65 million years ago( = 6.5 crores years ) and marked by six ice epochs .Each Epoch spans roughly 2.5 million years = 0.25 crores years = 25 lakhs years . Last Ice age started around 1,25,000 years ago peaked at some 50,000 years ago. and ended in about 10,000 years ago ie in /about 8,000 BC . It is possible that as because of wobbling of earth ‘s axis ( 25,800 Years = preceission Circle )and because of above earth, s Geographical History dating of Ramayana , Mahabharta and other events described in Vedas and Rig Vedas may be anything that is a multiple of (n x 25800)+8600 years ago to (n x 25800)+6450 years ago where n>=0! .