Vedic number systems - was 3 Vedic seasons or 6?

Dean Michael Anderson eastwestcultural at YAHOO.COM
Sat Apr 21 09:45:07 UTC 2012

Thanks, George! I found it. Their index isn't always the best. Rtu (seasons) was buried under another topic.

A 3-season schema of hot, rainy, cold makes sense in that part of the world. But I wonder if they had any sort of ideological framework that caused them to prefer that organization rather than another number? The Brahmanas seem to hint at that but they often give the impression that they are working backwards to try and make older concepts fit (then-)current frameworks.

Has there been any work on Vedic numbering systems as organizing principles?



--- On Sat, 4/21/12, George Thompson <gthomgt at GMAIL.COM> wrote:

From: George Thompson <gthomgt at GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY]
 3 Vedic seasons or 6?
Date: Saturday, April 21, 2012, 12:12 AM

Hello Dean,

The Rigveda mentions three seasons [Rtus] several times.  In later Vedic there is mention of five or six and perhaps seven seasons.  The six season year was adopted in order to conform to the model of the twelve month year.  For details, see the *Vedic Index* of Macdonell & Keith, on Rtu, season.  

Best wishes, as always,


On Fri, Apr 20, 2012 at 12:02 PM, Dean Michael Anderson <eastwestcultural at> wrote:

I ran across a reference in Upender Singh's A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India that refers to only 3 seasons in the Vedic ritual. I was only aware of the standard 6 season schema. In researching this I found a reference in the Jaiminiya Braahmana (III.I) that spoke of Prajapati creating 3 seasons associated with the 3 worlds. He then divided each of them in two to make 6 seasons.

Did the Vedic people ever actually recognize only 3 seasons or is this theological reasoning to link the 6 seasons back to a 3-fold order? Is this discussed in greater depth anywhere?


Dean Anderson

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