Astronomical observations recorded in Vedic Literature & their Date

Aatreya

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
3,569
USA
The reference to the herdsman in the hymn is to Surya. The cattle with go out with the rise of sun, then part from each other while grazing, make the return in the evening with the bells around their neck tinkling and rest in the night. That is what we know as 'Go-dhuli' (dust raised by cattle) in India. The cycle depended on the sun. Sun is the herdsman.

"I call upon their herdsman, him who knoweth well their coming nigh,
Their parting and their home-return, and watcheth their approach and rest."

The Home-leader is Indra, the other deities mentioned are Agni and Soma. All other deities are mentioned collectively (May all the Holy Deities pour down on us a flood of wealth)

But we are discussing why a particular asterism was named as "Punarvasu?
The reason must have been related to dwelling and riches. That is what I am pointing to, and not to the worship of this deity or that.
You agree that Punarvasu means 'dwelling/riches again'.
There is no discussion of asterism in this hymn. Why are you trying to see asterisms here?

Just as mention of Ganapati in Rig Veda does not mean the Elephant-headed God we have now, Punarvasu is not asterism in this hymn.
 

Aatreya

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
3,569
USA
Well, that is your view. Tilak differs. He is of the opinion that reference to heaven relates to asterisms. And Vishwamitra creating a new heaven for Trishanku illustrates a different way to calculate the 'Satra' (Ritual year).
Tilak is wrong. His commentary is not taken seriously at all.
 

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,739
New Delhi, India
There is no discussion of asterism in this hymn. Why are you trying to see asterisms here?
So, forget about the hymn and think only about 'Punarvasu', the asterism (Castor and Pollux). You mentioned the hymn, not I.
 

Aatreya

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
3,569
USA
So, forget about the hymn and think only about 'Punarvasu', the asterism (Castor and Pollux). You mentioned the hymn, not I.
You claimed that Punarvasu the star was mentioned hazily in Rig Veda. I quoted the hymn and showed you that Punarvasu of Rig Veda is not a star. So your first claim falls flat.
 

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,739
New Delhi, India
Kindly check, I said Vedas and not RigVeda, which will include Taittiriya Samhita, Aranyaka and Brahmana also. Are they not part of the Vedas? You can't pin me down. I generally know what I am talking about (of course, I know that I put the name of Parashurama in place of Vishwamitra recently. Sometimes, I too flip). :D
 

Aatreya

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
3,569
USA
Kindly check, I said Vedas and not RigVeda, which will include Taittiriya Samhita, Aranyaka and Brahmana also. Are they not part of the Vedas? You can't pin me down. I generally know what I am talking about (of course, I know that I put the name of Parashurama in place of Vishwamitra recently. Sometimes, I too flip). :D
Check your post #244
 

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,739
New Delhi, India
That is why I said 'hazily'. And if you can understand it, the reason is this:

"According to the sacrificial terminology the 4th day before Vishuvan or the central day of the yearly satra is called the Abhijit day. “In the sixth month,” observes Dr. Haug, “there are three Abhiplava, shalahas (six days’s periods) and one Prishthya shalaha. This makes up the first 24 days of the sixth month. The following days are thus enumerated: the Abhijit day, the three svarasaman days and the Vishuvan, or the central day which stands quite apart.” Thus if we exclude the Vishuvan day, as standing apart by itself, this gives us four days, and with the two days — Atiratra and Chaturvimsha — which are taken up by the initial ceremonies of the satra, we make up the shalaha wanted to complete the six months. The Abhijit day thus falls on the fourth day before the Vishuvan.

Now if Abhijit day be supposed to be named after the Nakshatra of that name (i.e., when the sun is in Abhijit) then the Vishuvan, or the autumnal equinox must fall four days — or as the sun travels over about 1° of the ecliptic each day, 4°— after the asterism of Abhijit; and it can be shown by astronomical calculation that, with Aditi or Punarvasu at the vernal equinox to commence the sacrifice, we get nearly the same result. In the Surya Siddhanta (viii. 3 table) the longitude of Punarvasu is said to be 93°, while that of Abhijit is 266° 40', that is in other words, Abhijit would be about 6° behind the autumnal equinox or Vishuvan, if we suppose the vernal equinox to exactly coincide with Punarvasu. With the vernal equinox in Punarvasu there is again no other Nakshatra nearer to or at the autumnal equinox to mark the Vishuvan day.

We can, therefore, now understand why Abhijit, which is so far away from the ecliptic, should have been included in the old list of the Nakshatras. It marked the approach of the Vishuvan in the primitive sacrificial calendar, but when it ceased to be used for that purpose owing to the falling back of seasons, it was naturally dropped from the list of the Nakshatras, as it was far away from the Zodiac. If Bentley's suggestion about Mula and Jyeshtha be correct, this must have been done at the time when the vernal equinox was in Orion. But be that as it may, it will, I think, be clear from the above that the position of the Abhijit day in the sacrificial literature fully supports the tradition about Aditi, the presiding deity of Punarvasu having discovered the commencement of the sacrifice. Aditi at this time must have also separated the Devayana from the Pitriyana and thus may have been appropriately called the mother of the Devas ( Rig. x. 72. 5).; If was from her that the Adityas were born (Rig. x. 72. 8; Shat, Br. iii. 1. 3. 2.), or the sun commenced his yearly course."
B.G.Tilak, "Orion or the Researches into the Antiquity of Vedas" (Page 215)​
 
May 2013
1,724
The abode of the lord of the north
@Aupmanyav
If a mention of punarvasu, out of astronomical contest, in the 10th and the latest book of RigVeda, sounded like a hazy recollection of an ancient homeland from 10,000 years ago to Tilak, he probably was smoking stuffs.
 

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,739
New Delhi, India
Apparently, you do not know much about Vedic astronomy. Immediately after Punarvasu, the Vedic calendar shifted to Mrigashiras m(around 4,000 BCE), and we have more than enough evidence of that. Tilak himself admits that the reference is not very solid. But then why was Aditi mentioned as the mother of Adityas? And the one who found the 'satra' (sacrificial calandar) for the 'devas', when they had forgotten what to do and when? Now, if you do not find a very clear mention of that old event, is that surprising? There is mention of that in later literature too (Shatapatha Brahmana, Taittiriya Aranyaka and Brahman).
 
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