Girish Beeharry gkb at
Sun May 12 20:55:32 UTC 1996


I have always wondered how people date the various texts, sites etc in
Indology. Last Friday, 10th of May, I went to a very interesting meeting
of the Royal Astronomical Society on 'Astroarcheology'. Astronomers are
very interested in the slowing down of the Earth's rotation rate and ways
of estimating that are by using the eclipses of the Sun and Moon. For
doing this, they need people (e.g. from this list) who have access to
documents on these phenomena as well as other astronomical 'signposts'
like calendars, solstices and the like. 

One very curious thing about the whole meeting was that no mention was
made at all of Indological sources. Everything else has been used,
Babylonians, Greeks, Mayas, Aztecs etc. I wonder why. Are there no
documents at all on all this (ecplipses etc)? If there are, how far back
in time do any data exist? 

I think that there is a good scope for cross disciplinary work on this
field. I am sure you would want to date your texts objectively with a
given uncertainty! :-)


Girish Beeharry

On Sun, 12 May 1996, George Thompson wrote:

> Re the remarks of Lance Cousins:
> "That is the problem. We do have solid evidence for the presence of notions
> of reincarnation in Greece from the early sixth century B.C. with
> Pheracydes of Syros and then Pythagoras. Given that it is now doubtful that
> the Upanishads can be dated so early, the presumption must surely be that,
> if there was influence, it was from Greece to India rather than the
> converse."
> The later dating of the UpaniSads is irrelevant if it can be shown (1) that
> notions of reincarnation existed already in the RV [and I think it can be],
> *or* (2) if it can be shown that notions of reincarnation are documented in
> widely divergent IE traditions [and it has been shown].
> In my view, reincarnation is one of those cases where borrowing or
> influence is unlikely, in either direction.
> Sincerely,
> GT

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