Astronomical observations recorded in Vedic Literature & their Date

Oct 2015
1,047
India
#11
In my view, the idea that we are trying to date Rig Ved Samhita (RVS) or a Brahmana as it exists today as single document to antiquities like c. 5000 BCE is one of the basic reasons for resisting such dating suggestions.

RVS is a collection for many hymns which were composed by different Rishi families (families of priests) over many generations and preserved over generations. Each family had only a limited number of hymns to remember & recite - not the whole RVS.

Initially hymns may have been in form primitive to what they were finally edited to - may be half prose etc. In fact over years some - hymns may have been dropped and only a few important ones preserved.

So it is not impossible that there could be a few hymns- or sacrificial ceremony processes - which carried memories of very ancient tradition. Of course, everything is open to debate, examination, re-examination, and review of re-examination.
 
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Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,392
New Delhi, India
#12
Excellent summing up, Rajeev, I could not have done it. However, let me mention that originally there were considered to be just eight Adityas, and out of them, the eighth, Martanda, was born unformed. This is clearly mentioned in RigVeda.

अष्टौ पुत्रासो अदितेर्ये जातास्तन्वस परि | देवानुपप्रैत सप्तभिः परा मार्ताण्डमास्यत ||
सप्तभिः पुत्रैरदितिरुप प्रैत पूर्व्यं युगम | प्रजायै मृत्यवे त्वत पुनर्मार्ताण्डमाभरत ll RV 10.72.8-9

aṣṭau putrāso aditerye jātāstanvasa pari | devānupapraita saptabhiḥ parā mārtāṇḍamāsyat ||
saptabhiḥ putrairaditirupa prait pūrvyaṃ yugam | prajāyai mṛtyave tvat punarmārtāṇḍamābharat ||


(Eight are the Sons of Aditi who from her body sprang to life.With seven she went to meet the Gods she cast Martanda far away.
So with her Seven Sons Aditi went forth to meet the earlier age. She brought Martanda here to spring to life and die again.)
Rig Veda: Rig-Veda, Book 10: HYMN LXXII. The Gods, Mārtanda - Wikipedia

This is corroborated by Taittiriya Aranyaka which categorically says that "there are eight, that is mentioned in the scriptures, and that ends the discussion" (Ashtou tu vyavasita, iti).

Tilak takes it to mean that the sun remained in the sky for seven months and faded in the eighth. This fading of the power of the sun and its regaining again is corroborated by many European myths.
 
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Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,392
New Delhi, India
#13
RVS is a collection for many hymns which were composed by different Rishi families (families of priests) over many generations and preserved over generations. Each family had only a limited number of hymns to remember & recite - not the whole RVS.
While I agree to your other points, I differ on this. The whole of RigVeda was sacred to all Aryans. It was not that one family would not recite the hymns composed/revealed to other families and rishis. The compilation of the hymns according to families was done by Sage VedaVyasa's disciples at a later stage (I may say recent considering the age of RigVeda. It may have hymns composed more than 6,000 years ago, i.e., in the 'Punarvasu' age). We tend to respect Acharyas even if they do not belong to our own philosophy.
 
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Oct 2015
1,047
India
#14
The situation you describe - that whole Rig Ved Samhita was sacred to all and that every priest - irrespective of his family - could recite hymns composed by all other families; pre-supposes that a complete Samhita existed from the very beginning. Practically we have to allow some time for development of the original Samhita. In some cases 5-6 generations of Rishi-composers can be identified within the RVS. In other hymns 2-3 generations of successive kings ca be identified within the hymns. So such development would have to allow for at least five generations to exist - which would mean about 100 years.

My pet speculation is that Vedic hymns were kept secret as they could be transmitted only thru 'Guru-Shisya' lineage. Hymns allowed - in belief system of the Vedic people - direct contact with Gods, pleasing them thru fire-worship, somaras etc and then requesting for some boon / benefit. So no sage would teach his hymns to another family.

It was only after Mahabharat in which all the kshatriya kings were killed that the families of Vedic sages were left with no patron king (Yajaman) except the Pariskshit. Then all of them had to come to Vyasa for help. Vyasa in turn put hymns of all families together and arranged them - may be the task took a few generations because Pariskshit is mentoned in one or more of the Samhitas.

Request comments please on above hypothesis.
 
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Aatreya

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
3,493
USA
#15
While I agree to your other points, I differ on this. The whole of RigVeda was sacred to all Aryans. It was not that one family would not recite the hymns composed/revealed to other families and rishis. The compilation of the hymns according to families was done by Sage VedaVyasa's disciples at a later stage (I may say recent considering the age of RigVeda. It may have hymns composed more than 6,000 years ago, i.e., in the 'Punarvasu' age). We tend to respect Acharyas even if they do not belong to our own philosophy.
Did you provide the Rig Vedic hymn that either talks about Punarvasu or Rohini? And list the hymns that mention DEvayAna/PitryAna, and in what context t are they mentioned?

I have a feeling that you cannot because there is neither Punarvasu nor Rohini (the nakshtras, but the words are there) in any of the Rig Vedic hymns. So what is all your noise about?
 

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,392
New Delhi, India
#16
You did not read my post #9. You also did not read the nice summary that Rajeev posted (#10). Kindly read that again (I know, perhaps you are finding it difficult to understand. That is not surprising).
 

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,392
New Delhi, India
#17
Taittiriya Brahmana (i.5.2.2). [I am unable to understand this para]
"asterismal Prajapati given in the Taittiriya Brahmana (i.5.2.2)" - Description of Prajapati as a human body imagining the asterisms as parts of the body. Like in "Purusha Sukta" - Brahmanas were born from the head, Kshatriya from arms, Vaishyas from abdomen and Shudras from legs of this 'Purusha'.
 
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Aatreya

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
3,493
USA
#18
You did not read my post #9. You also did not read the nice summary that Rajeev posted (#10). Kindly read that again (I know, perhaps you are finding it difficult to understand. That is not surprising).
Well, whether it is difficult for me or otherwise, I asked you one simple question - whether there is a hymn in Rig Veda on Punarvasu and Rohini stars. But you don't seem to have the habit of answering straight.
 

Aatreya

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
3,493
USA
#19
"asterismal Prajapati given in the Taittiriya Brahmana (i.5.2.2)" - Description of Prajapati as a human body imagining the asterisms as parts of the body. Like in "Purusha Sukta" - Brahmanas were born from the head, Kshatriya from arms, Vaishyas from abdomen and Shudras from legs of this 'Purusha'.
What is the Taittariya description?
 

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