Mani Varadarajan mani at
Thu May 16 22:02:13 UTC 1996

Girish Beeharry writes:
> This again brings the matter back to my original query; have people in
> Indological studies done work on dating using astronomy? If not, can
> someone please tell me whether work is currently being done in this area?

Yes, many works have been written which purport to
date texts and events based on astronomy.  The ones
that I have read, however, are extremely far-fetched
and directly contradict other evidence, including 
those that can be directly read in the text itself.

One author went through a great deal of effort to
prove through astronomical evidence (eclipses, etc.)
that the Mahabharata war took place in 30,000 B.C.
Other authors have argued based on internal astronomical
evidence that the Ramayana took place in 2000 B.C., etc. 

All these works fail to take into account the fact
that most of these texts, particularly the epics, were
collated incrementally, and that because various authors
have rather haphazardly added data concerning comets,
eclipses, etc., over the evolution of the text, dating
based on such a random assortment of astronomical 
events is all but worthless.



More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list