nak.satras

Luis Gonzalez-Reimann reimann at uclink.berkeley.edu
Tue Mar 18 16:22:34 EST 1997


At 06:12 PM 3/18/97 Edwin Bryant wrote:
>
>Yes, the sun is the crucial issue.  I have just finished editing a
>critique of various arguments using astronomy to date the Vedas.  One of
>B.G. Tilak's more peripheral proposals was that the pit.rpak.sa, which
>occurs during the two weeks after the
>full moon of Bhaadrapadaa,  would more logically take place at the
>beginning of the dak.si.naayana (the beginning of the sun's course
>southward in the sky)--that is, immediately after the summer solstice-- 
>since this half of the year is sacred to the pit.rs.  The dark half of
>Bhaadrapadaa would have coincided with the summer solstice in the 4th
>millennium BCE (it no longer does due to precession).  Tilak argued that
>there was no logical explanation for the pit.rpak.sa currently being
>observed in September sometime.  I don't think Whitney and Thibaut
>(who opposed Tilak's and Jacobi's interpretations) responded to this
>particular point.


But wasn't it Tilak's opinion that the ayanas were defined by the equinoxes
instead of the solstices?   I don't have Tilak's book with me, but,
according to Macdonell $ Keith (Vedic Index 1:529-539; 2:467,n.21) that was
his interpretation.
This interpretation, by the way, has no support in Vedic literature.
Nevertheless, there are translators who seem to have accepted it, such as
Ganguly/Roy (Mbh. vol.9:167-168) and Pargiter (the Markandeya Purana, p. 226).

Luis Gonzalez-Reimann
UC Berkeley






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