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The Orion: Or, Researches Into the Antiquity of the Vedas

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Pages: 132

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/4/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Bál Gangádhar Tilak

Excerpt from book: THE KEITTIKAS. Nakshatras in old Vedic times generally mean asterisms and not aodiacal portions—The present and the older position of the solstices —In later works—In Vcdanga Jyotiaha—An objection against its antiquity examined—Passages in the Taittiriya Sanhita and Brabamana— The Kfittikas head the Nakshatras—Deva and Yama Nakshatras—Their real meaning—Taittiriya Sanhitft vii. 4, 8. discussed—Jaimini's and Sbabara's interpretation of the same— Conclusions deducible therefrom—Winter solstice in Magha—Vernal equinox in the Krittikas—The age of the Sanhiti—2350 B. C.— Bentley's arguments and views criticised. We Have seen that the ancient Aryas originally commenced their year, which was luni-solar and siderial, with the vernal equinox, and that when the beginning was changed to the winter solstice both the reckonings were kept up, the one for sacrificial and the other for civil purposes. Let us now examine if there is any reliable evidence to show that the Vedic priests made any corrections in the calendar when by the precession of the equinoxes the cycle of seasons gradually fell back. All our present calendars are prepared on the supposition that the vernal equinox still coincides with the end of Revali and our enumeration of the Nakshatras begins with Ashvint, though the equinox has now receded about 18 from Revati. It has been shown by Prof. Whitney (Surya Siddhanta, viii"., 9 note, p. 211) that the above position of the vernal equinox may be assumed to be true at about 490 A. 0 Taking this as the probable date of the introduction of the present system, we have now to see if we can trace back the position of the vernal equinox amongst the fixed circle of stars. The question, so far, as one antecedent stage is concerned, has been thoroughly discussed by Colebi ooke, Bent...  

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