method of dating RV, III

S Krishna mahadevasiva at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Jun 4 21:42:05 UTC 1998

Jan Houben says:

(Please scroll down for my comments!)

>And what was the methodological strength of Max Mueller's guestimate
that theRgveda was pre-1000 BCE?
>No archeological parallels were sought or known to him. In a previous
posting I wrote that the date of the Buddha was his most firm starting
point. In his Physical Religion, 1891, he has a firmer starting point:
the contemproary of Alexander the Great, Candragupta. From there he goes
to Asoka and estimates the rise of Buddhism at ca. 500 B.C. Argues that
Vedic texts must be earlier. Next step is weaker, more guesswork: 200
years for sUtra-period, 200 for Brahmana,and arrives at 1000 B.C. as
date when collection of hymns has taken place (but
now we know: oldest brAhmanas do not know our saMhitAs).>>

>Alternative datings: Rgveda at 4500 BCE (Jacobi, calculated on basis of
astronomic hints in Rgveda).

>Average strength, for entire RV: 10;
>for some mythical Vedic elements: 30.

Rgveda at 8000 BCE:
>I am insufficiently familiar with the relevant arguments to be able to
judge them.
 A more positive argument in support of it would have been
>astronomical (Kak), in style similar to Jacobi's argument (please
correct me if I am wrong).

Yes, you are correct..Kak does base it on astronomical arguments as
listed in his book "The astronomical code of the Rigveda"..the
difference seems to be in the way in which the calculations for the
positions of the astral constellations were made...

  However, Kak's assumptions seem to be a little peculiar..I am no
astronomer but my gut level feeling is that his techniques of
calculating astral movements  are strange..A parallel example of where
he uses hitherto used techniques and comes to a different conclusion
from the existing is in his use of computer concordances to conclude
that the IV script is related to Brahmi..Asko Parpola who did a similar
thing in the 70s concludes that the script is Dravidian..
I.Mahadevan, summarizing both pieces, criticizes the lack of rigidity in
the shapes of letters in Kak's work...


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