- Jun 2014
- New Delhi, India
I too did not understand how above reference connects with vernal equinox being in Punarvasu (Castor and Pollux). Request kindly elaborate for ur benefit.
2. It should be clear from 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 (or the asterism of Punarvasu) at this time must have also separated the Devayana from the Pitriyana (end of the year and beginning of the new) and thus may have been appropriately called the mother of the Devas (Rig. x.72,5). It 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.
3. Taittiriya Brahmana (126.96.36.199): Tilk has already given the translation. I give below the image of the page.
"The asterism of Chitra is here said to be the head of this Prajapati, Svati the heart, Hastha the hand, Vishakha the thighs, and Anuradha the foot." If Chitra is the head of Prajapati, then the New Year must have started at the time when sun arose on the day of vernal equinox in the asterism of Punarvasu.
Tilk further says: "But the traces of such period which we can discover in the sacrificial literature and especially the express mention in Taittiriya Sanhita that the Chitra full-moon once commenced the year are, in my opinion, sufficient to prove the existence of such a calendar in the primitive days. We cannot otherwise account why the first and last offerings in every sacrifice should be made to Aditi and why Abhijit day should precede the Vishuvan by four days.", and
"The asterism of Abhijit marked the approach of Vishuvun or the central day, while Punarvasu, which soon after came to be called Yamakau, perhaps Yama and Yami, indicated the beginning of the year. Sometime after this and before the vernal equinox had receded to Orion, the lunar months and tithis or days appear to have come in use; and, in fact, the whole calendar seems to have been rearranged, the year being made to commence from the winter solstice in the Chitra full-moon. But this did not alter the sacrificial system, which, so far as the procedure is concerned, still Continues to be what it was in the oldest days."
I acknowledge that the reasoning is not straight-forward and a bit difficult to understand.