[INDOLOGY] Eras and Dates

Donald R Davis drdj at austin.utexas.edu
Mon May 23 20:00:23 UTC 2016

Dear Colleagues,

In the Mitākṣarā commentary on Yājñavalkysmṛti 1.319, royal edicts should include a date given in two ways:

[lekhyam…] yuktaṃ kālena ca dvividhena śakanṛpātītarūpeṇa saṃvatsararūpeṇa ca kālena

The first scheme is clear era to me, namely the Śaka era (78 CE), but the date "according to Saṃvatsara" is not. A little digging suggested that it might refer to the Vikrama era or, more likely it seemed, to one of the cyclical years of the 60-year Bārhaspatya saṃvatsara of Jupiter (per Sewell and Dikshit’s Indian Calendar).

I figured someone could quickly set me straight.

Thanks in advance,

Don Davis
Dept of Asian Studies
University of Texas at Austin

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