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Vedic Calendar

PostPosted: Sat 22 Sep 2018 7:32 pm
by dragonsteeth
The Vedic traditions as noted by Velikovsky spoke of a calendar year of 360 days with 12 months each of 30 days. Similar 360 day calendars were adopted around the World and found in the records and traditions of ancient Greece, Egypt, China. and Mesopotamia.

Modern astronomers and Assyriologists are keen to claim that such calendars were just schematic and that the 360 day year failed to reflect the true celestial cycles. Writers such as R K Englund and Helen Jacobus carefully repeat their claims that the 360 day calendar was just some sort of model developed to make bureaucratic record keeping easier. They even propose that the 30 day month simply originated from a thirty day pig rationing schemes used by farmers in ancient Ur around 3,000 BCE

On this Forum (24th Jan 2017) I posted a note suggesting that in the ancient China and Vedic India the Zodiac was originally divided into 28 Nakshatras or Lunar Mansions, and this came about because the Sidereal Lunar cycle calculated on the bases of a Vedic year would have taken 27.7 days. The 365 day year which was not recognised until later in the 1st Millennium BCE.

It was not only the Sidereal cycle which was calculated on the bases of a 360 day Vedic year. In India the Vedic seasonal calendar of exactly 12 months of 30 days was also used as the foundation for their method that they used for naming the Indian months. In parts of ancient India the months were named in accordance with the name of the Nakshatra in which the Full Moon stood for successive seasonal months. If the Full Moon stood in the Nakshatra Krittika in the first month of the year it was presumed that the Full Moon would be seen standing in the same position and the same Nakshatra in the first month of each succeeding year. These assumptions would only hold good to provide a system for naming the Months calendars and seasonal years in which the 12 lunar months were synchronised with the annual solar cycle.

Today we do not have seasonal months in which the Full Moon stands mid month within the same Nakshatra year after year. If it is Full Moon in one Lunar Mansion at the Summer Solstice in the first year it will not be Full Moon in the same Lunar Mansion at the next Summer Solstice. In Vedic times Indian astronomers and astrologers were treating their 360 day year as if it was a real year or as if it represented some sort of complicated representation of virtual reality.

It is difficult to understand how this early system for naming the months could have been adopted in Vedic times unless their seasonal months were synchronised exactly with a 360 day Solar seasonal cycle.

The 'Indian Journal of History Science' on 'The Origin of the 28 Naksatras...' has kindly included a paper in the recent September 2018 issue in which I note additional aspects of the early Indian calendar which seem to be better suited to use with a 360 day seasonal calendar rather than a 365 day year. The manner in which early Indian calendars appears to have been founded on a 360 day seasonal year give support to Velikovsky's claim Worlds in Collision p.318, regarding the Tithis of the modern Indian calendars that the divisions of the month into 30 Tithis of '12 degrees' are a relic of an older and earlier division of a 30 day month into 30 daily divisions. For I.J.H.S. see:

Re: Vedic Calendar

PostPosted: Mon 01 Oct 2018 2:22 pm
by dragonsteeth
When Velikovsky published Worlds in Collision he was accused of failing to acknowledge earlier work by others who had previously believed a 360 day year had existed in antiquity. As long ago as 1696 William Whiston discussed The New Theory of the Earth how many ancient civilisations from China to South America had adopted 360 day annual calendars. If critics had read Velikovsky's work they would have noticed he did credit and reference Whiston's work but in his description of Whiston's theories he could have over simplifed certain arguments.

Velikosky wrote that Whiston proposed a year of 360 days existed before the Flood but Whiston also proposed that many ancient cultures around the World continued to follow a civil 360 day year long after changes to the spin of the Earth had produced new celestial cycles. Whiston noted that this 'Civil 360 day' calendar was not abandoned until the time of Numa, around 700 BCE.

Whiston was one of many writers to attempt to validate the story of the Deluge by establishing that a real 360 day astronomical year had existed at the time of Noah's Flood. In 1694 two years before Whiston published, Halley presented a paper to the Royal Society proposing that the Biblical story of the Flood could have been linked to a catastrophic impact from an astronomical body impacting planet Earth. Modern astronomers have never properly acknowledged these proposals by Halley regarding catastrophic impacts.

Whiston following Bishop Ussher's scriptural dating for the Flood of 2349 BCE argued that it was caused by the close passage of a comet three times the size of the Moon! Whatever the nature of the event which gave rise to the story of the Flood in Mesopotamian traditions, a date nearer 3,300 BCE seems more appropriate. Only the story of Noah provides evidence for a calendar of 360 days at such a remote age. All other references to the 360 day year fall between 2,200 and 700 BCE, and these had not appeared until at least 1,000 years after the events described in Gilgamesh and the story of Noah in Genesis.

I suspect the link between the Flood and a 360 day year is a red herring resulting from the insertion of calendar dates taken from later Bronze Age traditions. But this doesn't altogether invalidate the tradition of a catastrophic event described in the Mesopotamian stories.
The appearance of the Bow in the skies might prove to be a more important element of the tradition than the 360 day year. This Bow of the Covenant may have been a Bow of the celestial night skies and an element of the Zodiacal Lights, rather than being the rainbow produced by our daytime sunshine and showers.

In The Cosmic Serpent the authors Clube and Napier considered if light scattered and reflected along an enhanced Zodiacal Band might have given rise to the Bifrost, the rainbow bridge of Norse mythology. Alternatively a spectral bow might have appeared as a series of coloured arches standing amidst the 'Zodiacal Peaks' at dusk and dawn. Such enhanced zodiacal peaks might also be part of the symbolism in the story of the Myth of Er the astronomical treatise with which Plato concluded The Republic.