The Idea of God (Part-II)

– Dr. Koenraad Elst

Continued from Part-I

Mono- versus polytheism

The Sumerian ideogram Dingir was read as ElIn neighbouring Akkadian, a Mesopotamian dialect of Semitic. We know this word very well through Hebrew, a northwestern (Levantine) dialect of Semitic. Thus the names Uriel, “my light is God”; Gabriel, “my strength is God”; Michael, “who is like God?” But as we shall presently see, these names now carry a meaning of “God” that has resulted from a revolution, viz. from poly- to monotheism.

A derivative of El is Eloha, “a deity”, “a god”. We know it mainly through the plural form Elohim, “gods”, “pantheon”. Strangely, this form has survived the theological revolution described in the Bible book Exodus under the leadership of Moses, ca. 1250 BCE. Here, the many gods were replaced with a single jealous god, yet the plural form Elohim remained but with a singular meaning: God. Thus, the Bible, which received its definitive form only under the Persian empire ca. 500 BCE, when this usage was well-established, starts with the sentence: “Berešit bara Elohim et ha-šamaim ve-etha-aretz”, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The connection with the stars was severed, at least for the Israelites, not all the other nations: “Pay attention lest ye lift your eyes up to the sky for seeing sun, moon and stars, that ye be led astray and adore and serve them, those whom the Lord your God hath assigned to all the nations under heaven.” (Deut. 4:19)

A synonym of Elohim, referring to the same jealous God, is Yahweh. Moses himself introduced this god-name into Biblical tradition. Though new to the Israelites after centuries in Egypt, it must have existed earlier among the Arab (South-Semitic) Beduins as well as among the Northwest-Semitic people of Mari. Moses, when a fugitive from Egyptian law after he was found out to have committed murder, stayed with a Beduin tribe. They had a storm-god Yahweh, best translated as a causative participle of a verb meaning “to move in the sky”, whether “to blow” or “to stoop like a bird of prey”, from an Arab root HWY later attested in the Quran (22:32), but not in the Bible. This meaning is confirmed by the fixed expression Yahweh Sabaoth, “he who causes the motion of the heavenly hosts”, i.e. of the majestic procession of the stars across heaven. Here again we find a stellar meaning associated with a god-name.

Moses saw an apparition of this god in the burning bush. When Moses asks the god who he is, the god expresses his total sovereignty: “I am who I am”, ehyeh ašer ehyeh. Theologians and translators have contemplated this sentence profusely, until in ca. 1900, the German Orientalist Julius Wellhausen hit upon its probable original meaning: it elaborates a pun on the name Yahweh, which the Hebrews misinterpreted folk-etymologically as a causative participle of the verb HYY, “to be”, hence “the being one”, “he who is”, or more philosophically, “he whose essence is existence” “he who necessarily exists”, “he who causes existence to exist”. This edifice of profundities is entirely built on a folk-etymological pun, nothing more. Or to put it more positively: a new conception of the divine was grafted onto an old god.

The Arab form of the originally polytheistic term ha-eloha, “the deity”, is al-Ilāha, also “the deity”. A contracted form is Allāh, “thé deity”, “the god par excellence”, hence “God”. Originally it could refer to any earlier-mentioned god. Thus, Mohammed’s Pagan father was called Abdallāh, “servant of the deity”. Mohammed, in a bid to establish monotheism among the Arabs, reinterpreted Allāhas a synonym of Yahweh. He saw himself as the latest (and even last) one of the line of the prophets of Yahweh, renamed Allāh in Arabia. This way, the star-god El, the Semitic form of Sumerian Dingir, ended up shedding his connection with the stars and becoming the disembodied extra-cosmic Creator-god Yahweh/Allāh. The Quran (6:78, 22:18, 41:37) simply and strictly prohibits star worship.

In the footsteps of the reform movements Brahmo Samaj and Aryan Samaj, many anglicized Hindus claim that “Hinduism too is monotheistic”. This is a very defensive stand, and it is simply not correct. If the Hindu wealth of gods and of ways of worship were not polytheistic, what other religion would be? It seems to us that they are using a word they don’t understand. Monos does not mean “one”, it means “alone”, “one and no other”. Monotheism accepts only Yahweh or Allah, and considers all others as false gods, only good to be destroyed and discarded: Marduk, Ba’al, Osiris, Ahura Mazda, Śiva, Buddha. By contrast, Hinduism is inclusive. The Vedic verse: “The wise call the one essence by many names”, means that the different gods are not false but are essentially the same as your chosen god. There are no “false gods” in Hinduism. Reality is both one and manifold, and Hinduism is not bothered with the question whether the divine is single or many.

This also counts for other Pagan civilizations. When Protestant missionaries set up shop in China, they discovered that a native term roughly meaning “God” was Shangdi, so they appropriated this term as name of the Christian God. (Catholics preferred Tianzhu, the “Heavenly Boss”.) What they did not know, is that the Chinese language mostly does without the separate category of a plural, so the same word can be both plural and singular. Shangdi does not so much mean “the Sovereign on High”, as rather “the Powers on High”. In Chinese, even the grammar militates against the contrast between one and many. To monotheists this numerical matter is all-important, worthy of the iconoclastic destruction of all the “false gods”; but to regular people such as Hindus or Confucians and Daoists, it is just not an issue.

Širk

Heaven-worship is truly the universal religion, rivalled only by ancestor-worship. And even then, these two are intertwined. Deceased ancestors are deemed to be in heaven, often actually associated with a specific star. When your father has died, you take your child on an evening walk, and when the stars appear, you point out one of them and say: “There is grandpa, watching over us.” In a Vedic ritual, a zone in the sky, in the Scorpio-Sagittarius area, is designated as the destination of the dead.

For famous people, who had become part of the collective consciousness, the procedure could be to “elevate them to godhood” (Greek: Apotheōsis) by associating them with a specific star or constellation.A case in point from antiquity is Antinoös, the lover-boy of the Roman emperor Hadrian, who drowned himself and was given a star in Aquarius, still named after him. When in the 17th century the southern sky was mapped, one constellation was named after the protection given to Vienna by Jan Sobieski against the Ottoman siege: Scutum Sobieskii, “Sobieski’s shield”, now simply Scutum.

This practice was first attested in writing in Ugarit, Syria, where in ca. 2000 BC famous people upon their deaths were identified or “associated” with a star. In the native Semitic, this practice was named Širk, “association”. The term ought to be well-known today, but with an evolved meaning. When Islam imposed monotheism, it denounced polytheism and idolatry as Širk, i.e. the “association” of a mortal, a creature, with the Supreme Being, the Creator.

India too has known this practice. The stars of the Great Bear are named after the Seven Sages who composed most of the Ŗg-Veda. There are different variations of this list of seven, but one of the Sages who returns in all of them is Vasiṣṭha. He and his wife Arundhātī are associated with the twin stars Mizar and Alcor. In a moderate way, they did graduate to godhood, with a few temples in Himachal and Uttarakhand dedicated to them. Another sage who made it to heaven is Agastya, the Sage who went to the South, and therefore has the southern star Canopus named after him.

 Conclusion

At the dawn of history, and practically since the birth of mankind, star worship, partly overlapping with ancestor worship, was the main religion worldwide. With the development of civilization, conceptions of the divine grew away from their referents in nature. India generated a spirituality implying renunciation, and the gods followed suit. The Upanishads signalled a break with the Vedic focus on the gods and reoriented mankind’s attention to the spiritual path. A kind of relation with a kind of gods was restored, but adopting the new focus on Liberation.

Star worship remained alive, as “nothing ever dies in India” (in the words of the late Girilal jain), but that old layer was overlaid with new levels of abstraction. The highest of these was the abstract concept of the Absolute (Brahmaṇ) that appeared in the Upaniṣads and remained, in various guises, in the mai sects of Hinduism. But the lower levels, including the naturalistic, star-related levels did not disappear; it was an organic evolution.

A roughly similar evolution took place in the Greek world and then in the Roman empire. The elites outgrew the colourful pantheon and, mainly through Stoicism, accepted a more abstract and more unitary concept of the divine. In Neoplatonism, which may have been influenced by Indian developments, everything was thought to emanate from “the One”. In China too, “the One” was the name of a unifying abstract concept transcending the many natural gods of everyday religion.

Unfortunately, in the Roman empire, this natural evolution was interrupted and forcibly driven in a particular direction by the imposition of Christianity. However, at the same time, to better insinuate itself in the Greco-Roman culture, Christianity also took over much from Stoicism and Neoplatonism, which appear mainly in Christian morals c.q. theology.The breakthrough of monotheism followed the same pattern as the conceptual development in Hinduism to a some extent, but was unnecessarily brutal and destructive regarding the earlier religion. The same scenario repeated itself even more abruptly with the advent of Islam.

The resulting concept of divine unity (in Islam: tawḥīd) was also much cruder than a what gradual development would have made possible. While superseding the colourful old gods, Yahweh or Allah were much like them in their negative aspects: all too human, too personal, not nirguṇa, “beyond qualities”. As India has shown, it was perfectly possible to move from a naturalistic to a more abstract conception of the divine without destroying the earlier conception.

 

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The Idea of God (Part-I)

– Dr. Koenraad Elst

koenraadMarxDr. Elst, born in 1959 in Leuven, Belgium, studied Sinology, Indology and Philosophy and did his Ph.D. on the ideological development of Hindu Revivalism. He worked as a political journalist and as a foreign-policy assistent in the Belgian Senate, but mainly as a independent writer. He became fairly well-known in India with his argumentation in favour of the Ayodhya temple, now vindicated, and with his work on the Aryan homeland question, still controversial.

All known civilizations have a thing called “god”, plural or singular. They are a category of beings deemed endowed with far more power and a vastly larger longevity than us human beings. For the rest, their characters and functions may vary.

In writing, the idea of “a god” is first attested in the Sumerian ideogram Dingir, which has the physical form of a radiant star. It certainly has the meaning “god”, for it is used as the common determinative for a whole class of names signifying gods. That, indeed, was anciently how a divine being was conceived: as a radiant heaven-dweller. In Babylon and in Harran, each planet was worshipped in a temple of its own.

The pre-Islamic religion was also largely star worship (next to ancestor worship and the worship of special stones like the Black Stone in Mecca’s Ka’ba). Thus, the three Meccan goddesses of Satanic Verses fame, al-Lāt, al-Uzza and al-Manāt, are roughly the Sun, Venus and the Moon. The Ka’ba was dedicated to the moon-god Hubal, and housed a stone fallen from heaven.

Stars were explicitly recognized as gods by prominent philosophers like Socrates and Plato. Some dissident freethinkers however, like the philosopher Anaxagoras and the playwright Aristophanes, thought stars were only burning rocks. After Christianization, when all divinity was invested in an extra-cosmic Supreme Being, the planets were desacralized and reduced to cogwheels in a cosmic machinery set in motion by the Creator and operated by his angels. Though numerically, a large part of humanity now espouses this desacralizing view, it is rather exceptional in the history of religions. The association of gods with stars was pretty universal.

Other properties of a god

Because a star is radiant and stands in heaven, near-permanently visible to all, it is a part of our collective consciousness, our shared frame of reference. This, then, is the operative meaning of “a god” in human life: the personification of an important collective factor difficult to negotiate, and which you have to take into account in the things you plan to do. Thus, Dyaus = heaven, Agni = fire, Indra (“the rainer”) = storm; Vayu = wind, Pṛthivī (“the broad one”) = earth. This principle is then generalized, and gods can be personifications of any category of beings. Thus, Śiva is the personification of the renunciants, unkempt and living in the mountains.

A god is powerful in that he can impact your life. But he is not all-powerful, because he has to share his power with other gods. Rarely if ever is he seen as “the Creator” who stood outside the universe and fashioned it from nothing. Rather, he himself is a part of the universe. Creation is normally seen as only a transformation from formless matter to the present world of form, and in that process, gods may play their part. In that limited sense, the Vedas and Puranas have plenty of “creation” stories. Yet they also assume that the universe as a whole has always been there, though it cyclically becomes unmanifest, only to reappear again. It is an exclusively Biblical-Quranic belief, further propagated by thinkers who elaborate the Biblical or Quranic assumptions, that a single Supreme Being, in a single moment never to be repeated, created the whole universe from nothing.

Gods are imagined to be endowed with personalities befitting the element of which they are the personification. As such, they are also sensitive to gifts and flattery, and may thus be influenced into exercising their power in a partisan, friendly way. That is why people who would never think of appeasing the stormy sea, do devise rituals to appease the sea god, hoping that he will guarantee smooth sailing.

Finally, a star or god is also, as far as a mortal can tell, eternal: it existed before we were born and goes on existing after we have died. As suggested by the extreme longevity of the physical stars, gods are proverbially deemed immortal. Hence the binary: us mortal earthlings versus the immortal heaven-dwellers.

star1

Deva

The same meaning of “star”, “radiant heaven-dweller”, is present in Vedic Sanskrit Deva, “the shining one”, hence “a god”. It is also etymologically present in cognate words like Latin Deus, “a god”. One of the Sanskrit terms for “astrologer”, at least since its mention in a 4th-century dictionary, is Daiva-jña, “knower of the gods”, or in practice, “knower of destiny”. Another is Daiva-lekhaka, “gods-writer”, “destiny-writer”, i.e. horoscope-maker. Obviously, the stars here were seen as gods regulating man’s destiny.

A parallel development, but omitting (or only implying) the original link with the stars, is found in Slavic Bog, “the share-giver”, “the apportioner”, “the destiny-decider”, related to Sanskrit Bhaga, and hence to the derivative Bhagavān. Other god-names are more derived from the practice of worshipping, such as the Germanic counterpart God, “the worshipped one”, Sanskrit Huta; or the Greek counterpart Theos, “god”, related to Latin festus, “festive”; feriae, “holiday”, i.e, “religious feast”; and to Sanskrit dhiṣā, “daring, enthusiastic”, dhiṣaṇā, “goddess”, dhiṣṇya, “devout”. But even here, a stellar connection reappears, for the latter word is also a name of Śukra / ”Venus”.

More examples of the personification of heavenly phenomena as gods are found throughout the Vedas. The deities Mitra and Varuṇa represent the day sky (hence the sun, here remarkably called “the friend”) c.q. the night sky, with its stable sphere of the fixed stars, with its regular cycles representative of the world order. The Nāsatyas or Aśvins (“horse-riders”) are thought to represent the two morning- and evening stars, Mercury and Venus, who “ride” the sun, often likened to a horse. Uśa (related elsewhere to Eōs, Aurora, Ostara, and hence to “east” and “Easter”) represents the sunrise.

The Vedic gods were personifications of natural forces, with whom you could do business: do ut des, “I give to you” through sacrifice, “so that you give to me” the desire-fulfilment I want. That type of relation between man and god is pretty universal. That was the ancient worldwide conception of gods. But in auspicious circumstances, religion was to graduate from this stage, and the gods would go beyond the stars.

Transcending the stars

Hindus often react to the above-mentioned view as insufficiently respectful to Hinduism. They insist that it is a Western “Orientalist” fabrication to see the gods as mere personifications of natural forces. In foreign countries, perhaps, but not in India. They think it treats religion as essentially childish, for in children’s talk, or in that by mothers towards children, there is a lot of personification. Yet, we insist that in the Vedic stage of civilization, this conception of gods still prevailed; perhaps already as a rhetorical device built on top of an earlier more primitive stage, but still sufficiently present to leave numerous traces. It shows a deficient sense of history to project the newest insights of Hinduism back onto its past, and to deny the amount of change that has taken place in the conceptual history of Hinduism.

But then two things happened. The first is that from the Upanishads onwards, in a distinctively Indian development, the notion of Self-Realization or Liberation arose. The way to this goal, the Sādhana or what is nowadays called “the spiritual path”, is not about the fulfilment of desires; instead, the point is to decrease your desires, to renounce, to abandon. This was initially conceived as a process in which no god or other being played any role (whether they were deemed to exist or not), making way for a focus on the Self (ātman), equal to the Absolute of pure consciousness (brahman). This Absolute was conceived as being above the pairs of opposites, as devoid of characteristics (nirguṇa). Gods were relegated to the background, to the world of desire-fulfilment through rituals. Self-Realization implied renunciation from desire-fulfilment, and hence a distance from the gods and their favours.

The second development is that the gods persisted or were revived, but in a transformed role. Stellar references are explicit in the case of Sūrya, the sun, and of Soma Candra, the moon; but less so in the case of Viṣṇu, “the all-pervader” (like the sun’s rays), though he has a solar quality; and Śiva (“the auspicious one”, an apotropaeic flattery of the terrible Vedic god Rudra, “the screamer”), the Candradhāra or “moon-bearer”, the Somanātha or “lord of the moon”, has a lunar, nightly quality. The classical Hindu gods Viṣṇu and Śiva represent a revolution vis-à-vis the Vedic worldview. You don’t bring sacrifices “for Liberation” to the Vedic gods, a notion presupposing renunciation from those desires. By contrast, the later “Puranic” gods of classical Hinduism take some distance from the naturalist meaning in which they originate, and do integrate Liberation. Very soon, devotional-theistic movements adapted this new notion to their cult of Viṣṇu, Śiva or Śakti (or elsewhere, Amitābha Buddha or Avalokiteśvara), gods with a distinct personality (saguṇa) but more spiritual. In Kashmiri Shaivism, Śiva gets abstracted as pure consciousness, Śakti as pure energy. With these gods, you could “unite” so as to terminate your susceptibility to worldly suffering, to delusion, to the karmic cycle. They would grant you Liberation, just like the Vedic gods would grant you wish-fulfilment.

But that doesn’t mean Hindus have given up on wish-fulfilment. They still perform rituals to help them get what they want, and often this involves explicitly stellar gods, but conceived as lower gods or “demi-gods”. Astrologers instruct their clients to say prayers before the planet that disturbs their horoscope. The client will get advice on what ritual to practise, when and how and for which god, to ward off the negative influences of the stellar configurations indicated in his horoscope. This will remove the obstacles to his well-being and the fulfilment of his desires. The navagraha or “nine planets” (sun, moon, their two eclipse nodes, and the five visible planets) as a whole are a normal object of worship.

To be continued….

वैदिक ज्योतिष, अपने आप में एक पूर्ण विवादित प्रश्न !!

-Mr. Kanuj Bishnoi, General Secretary, Advanced Research Organisation of Micro Astrology (AROMA)

KBMr. Bishnoi did Vedic Acharya as Guru-Shishya Parampara in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. He worked towards expanding his knowledge in divine science of Vedic Astrology, formulated a five-rule theory of Vedic Astrology, conducted workshops on understanding the various important aspects in life through Vedic astrology and also on ancient Bhrigu-Nandi Nadi Samhita. Honored by many organizations as a Vedic healer & Vedic Vaastu expert. He is visiting professor of many Astrological institutions in major Indian cities and has published several articles in Jyotish magazines & journals.

वैदिक ज्योतिष जैसे गूढ़ विषय पर लाखों लोगों की अपनी-अपनी विवादित राय है कई लोगों की दृष्टि में ज्योतिष सिर्फ भ्रम फैलाने का कार्य है, कई लोगों की दृष्टि में लोगों को ठगने का माध्यम तो कई लोगों की राय में यह कोई विद्या ही नहीं है, सिर्फ भ्रामकता है, तो कई लागों की राय में यह एक परिपक्व एवं शास्त्रोक्त विद्या एवं कुछ लोगो की दृष्टि में समय व्यतीत करने का एक सशक्त माध्यम लेकिन वास्तविकता यह है कि यह एक परिपूर्ण एवं शास्त्र सम्मत विधा है और पूर्ण रूप से नक्षत्रों एव ग्रहों पर आधारित ज्ञान है, जो हजारों वर्षों से विद्यमान है।
सम्पूर्ण जगत के सजीव जीव-जन्तु, प्राणी मात्र एवं समस्त जल, थल, अग्नि, वायु एवं आकाश ये पंच तत्व भी नक्षत्रों एवं ग्रहों द्वारा संचालित होते हैं। इन नक्षत्रों एवं ग्रहों, राशियों का ज्ञान ही ज्योतिष विज्ञान है। हमारे पुरातन वेदों में इसे वेदों के नेत्र कहा गया है न सिर्फ भारतवर्ष में अपितु अन्य कई देशों में वहां के संतों एवं दार्शनिकों ने ग्रहों और नक्षत्रों का अध्ययन कर भविष्य के प्रति अपनी भविष्यवाणियां की हैं। यूनान के प्रसिद्ध भविष्यवक्ता नास्त्रोदोनोमस एवं कीरो के नाम से शायद ही कोई अनभिज्ञ होगा, उन्होंने भी ग्रहों एवं नक्षत्रों का अध्ययन कर भविष्य के प्रति लोगों को सचेत किया है। लंकापति रावण ज्योतिष विद्या का महान ज्ञाता था और ग्रहों की चाल एवं नक्षत्रों के ज्ञान से वह भली-भांति परिचित था एवं जानता कि उसका और उसके परिवार का क्या हश्र होना है। आदरणीय पराशर होरा शास्त्र, भृगु संहिता,रावण संहिता, लाल किताब, ताड़ पत्रों पर लिखा नाड़ी सूत्र इसके जीवंत उदाहरण हैं। इन सबकी सत्यता एवं वर्तमान में होने वाले मानवीय जीवन पर इनके प्रभाव को झुठलाया नहीं जा सकता है। हां, ये बात जरूर है कि वर्तमान भौतिक युग में कई पाखंडियों ने इसे धन कमाने का माध्यम बना लिया है और वो येन-केन-प्रकारेण लोगों को मूर्ख बनाने में कोई कसर नहीं छोड़ते। इस कारण लोगों का इस पर से विश्वास उठता जा रहा है यहाँ हमें जरूरत है इस प्रकार के पाखंडियों से बचने की, न कि हजारों वर्षों से चली आ रही हमारी पुरातन शास्त्रोक्त विद्या से किनारा करने की।
ज्योतिष एक सशक्त माध्यम है जीवन जीने का। एक अच्छे ज्योतिषी की अच्छी राय से हम न सिर्फ भविष्य के प्रति सचेत हो सकते हैं, बल्कि हमारे जीवन की आगामी रूपरेखा भी तय कर सकते हैं। आज वर्तमान समय में दुनिया बहुत तरक्की कर चुकी है, व्यापार, अध्ययन एवं धन कमाने के कई नये द्वार खुल चुके हैं। एक अच्छे ज्योतिष की सलाह से हम उचित एवं हमारे ग्रह-नक्षत्रों के हिसाब से अनुकूल व्यापार, विद्या या नौकरी का चयन कर सकते हैं। यहां पर नकारात्मक विचारधारा एवं ज्योतिष को संदेह की दृष्टि से देखने वाले यह कह सकते हैं कि जो होना है वही होगा, चाहे कितना ही प्रयास कर लीजिये, भाग्य से अतिरिक्त कुछ नहीं होगा। मुझे उनकी उक्त बात से नाइत्तफाकी नहीं है अपितु मैं भी इस बात का समर्थन करता हूं कि जो होना है वही होगा। भाग्य का लिखा टल नहीं सकता है, लेकिन मैं ये भी कहना चाहता हूं कि मात्र भाग्य के सहारे तो हाथ पर हाथ रख कर बैठा नहीं जा सकता है। “कर्म तो प्रधान है ही” महाभारत में श्री कृष्ण ने भी यही कहा है कि कर्म प्रधान है, इसीलिए हम अपना प्रयास, अपना कर्म करते रहे।
planets
जब हम रोग-ग्रस्त हो जाते हैं तो डाक्टर के पास जाते हैं, किसी कानूनी झमेले में फंस जाते हैं तो वकील के पास जाते हैं लेकिन मात्र ये सोच कर कि जो होना है होगा, बैठे तो नहीं रहते। एक डाक्टर भी अपने मरते हुए रोगी को जिसके बारे में वह अच्छी तरह से जानता है कि वो बच नहीं सकता, फिर भी उसकी आखिरी सांस तक वह अपना प्रयास जारी रखता है। एक वकील कमजोर से कमजोर मुकदमे में भी अपने पक्षकार को बचाने हेतु अपनी पूरी ताकत झोंक देता है। जब हम उन पर विश्वास कर सकते हैं तो एक अच्छे ज्योतिषी और ज्योतिष विद्या पर क्यों नहीं? एक अच्छा डाक्टर भी लम्बी-चौड़ी मेडिकल जांचों के बाद ही इस निश्चय पर पहुंच पाता है कि मरीज को क्या एवं किस अंग से सम्बन्धित रोग हो सकता है। लेकिन एक अच्छा ज्योतिषी मात्र आपका जन्मांग  (जन्म समय पर भचक्र में ग्रहों की स्थिति का विवरण) अर्थात जन्म-कुंडली से यह बता सकता है कि व्यक्ति को क्या तथा किस अंग से सम्बन्धित रोग कब होगा तथा वह कब तक एवं किस तरह पूर्ण रूप से ठीक होगा या नहीं होगा। यह भी एक अच्छा ज्योतिषी ही बता सकता है कि मुकदमे में आपकी जीत होगी या हार, वकील साहब सिर्फ मेहनत कर सकते हैं, मुकदमा लड़ सकते हैं, लेकिन हार-जीत का फैसला मुवक्किल की स्वंय की किस्मत पर है, जो आपको सिर्फ एक अच्छा ज्योतिषी ही आपका जन्मांग देख कर बतला सकता है।
ज्योतिष एक महान विधा तो है ही, बल्कि इसे जीवन जीने का एक प्रबल सहारा भी जानना चाइये । यह इन्सान को जीने का सहारा प्रदान करता है उसे भविष्य के प्रति सचेत करता है, उसको जीने के प्रति एक आस बंधाता है। जब हम किसी परेशानी में होते है या जीवन के बुरे समय से गुजर रहे होते हैं तो किसी ज्योतिषी की शरण में जाते हैं और ज्योतिषी हमारा जन्मांग देखकर बताता है कि इतना समय आपका खराब है, उसके बाद यह परेशानी खत्म हो जायेगी तो उसके इतना कहने और इस आस एवं उम्मीद में कि कुछ समय की बात है, यह समय भी सत्कर्म करते हुए निकल जायेगा और इसके बाद हमारा अच्छा समय आयेगा, यही आस से हमारे में जीने की और उस समस्या से रूबरू होने की शक्ति एकत्रित करने लगती है और हम चाह कर भी कोई गलत कदम या गलत फैसला नहीं लेते। अब बताईये इससे अच्छा और जीवन जीने का सहारा क्या हो सकता है? एक विद्वान ज्योतिषी की अच्छी राय से हम हमारे भविष्य की रूपरेखा बना सकते हैं।हमारे बच्चों को उनके ग्रह अनुकूल क्षेत्र में भेजकर उनका भविष्य उज्जवल बना सकते हैं। अल्प समय के लिए आयी हुई परेशानियों को टाल कर पारिवारिक विघटन से बच सकते हैं तो फिर इस विद्या या इसके जानकारों पर भरोसा क्यों नहीं कर सकते?
आज बड़े से बड़े क्षेत्र और अनेको राष्ट्रों में ग्रहों और उनसे मानव जीवन पर पडऩे वाले प्रभाव और सृष्टि के विकास में उनके योगदान पर अनवरत अध्ययन एवं अनुसंधान जारी है। अमेरिका के नासा तक में हजारों वैज्ञानिक रात-दिन खगोल शास्त्र अर्थात एस्ट्रोनोमी के अन्तर्गत ग्रहों एवं नक्षत्रों के प्रभावों का अध्ययन एवं अनुसंधान कर रहे हैं। स्वंय हमारे देश के माननीय उच्चतम न्यायालय ने अपने एक फैसले में इसे विज्ञान माना है और उसी की बदौलत आज हमारे देश में कई यूनिर्वसिटीज ने इसे अपने पाठ्यक्रमों में शामिल किया है। आज कई विश्वविद्यालयों में इसके कोर्स एवं उपाधी कार्यक्रम चल रहे हैं। अत: ज्योतिष को पूर्णतया विज्ञान सम्मत वैदिक विधा जानना चाइये । इसमें किसी प्रकार की शंका की कोई आवश्यकता नहीं है बल्कि मैं तो यहां तक कहना चाहूंगा कि प्रत्येक इंसान का प्रत्येक परिवार का जिस प्रकार पारिवारिक डाक्टर, पारिवारिक वकील, पारिवारिक कर सलाहकार होता है, उसी प्रकार एक पारिवारिक ज्योतिषी भी होना चाहिये, जिससे कि समय-समय पर हम जानकारी लेकर भविष्य के प्रति हमारा मार्ग प्रशस्त कर सकें ।
आज अधिकतर सोशल साइट्स जैसे फेसबुक, ट्विटर, व्हाट्सअप आदि पर कॉपी-पेस्ट करके अपने को बड़ा ज्योतिषी सिद्ध करने वालो की बाढ़ आई हुई है और ये पोस्ट्स जन-सामान्य तक पहुंचती है इनमे वर्णित ज्योतिष की ऊंटपटांग व्याख्या एवं उपायों से समाज को गलत सन्देश जाता है । इस कारण समाज और ज्योतिष को जो हानि पहुंच रहीं है उसका कोई हिसाब रखने वाला ही नहीं है । ये सही है कि “ज्योतिषी भी शिक्षक, चिकित्सक और वकील जैसा और सही कहूँ तो जनसामान्य के लिए इन सबसे अधिक उपयोगी है” लेकिन कोई भी चिकित्सक, वकील, टीचर यदि फर्जी डिग्री लेकर इसको अपना व्यवसाय बनाता है तो वो अपने क्लाइंट के जीवन से खिलवाड़ के साथ-साथ उस से बेईमानी तो करता ही है लेकिन व्यवसाय को भी बदनाम करवा कर उसके साथ “नकली” शब्द और जुड़वा देता है। अन्य तीनो व्यवसायों की नियमन संस्थाएं जैसे मेडिकल काउन्सिल, बार काउन्सिल, शिक्षा परिषद आदि है जो सरकार की निगरानी में चलती है एवं उनमे जालसाजी करने पर दंड का प्रावधान है। उसी प्रकार क्या ज्योतिषी को समाज में आ कर अपने उपाय बताने से पहले किसी नियमन संस्था के अंतर्गत नहीं आना चाहिए ? और यदि कोई इसमें फर्जीवाड़ा के द्वारा प्रवेश कर जनसामान्य के जीवन से खिलवाड़ करता है (जो कि इस समय नब्बे प्रतिशत से अधिक कथित ज्योतिषी कर रहे है) तो उसको क़ानून के अंतर्गत लाकर कठोर दंड का विधान क्या नहीं होना चाहिए ?
आज वैदिक ज्योतिष को अधिकतर “कथित ज्योतिषी” धार्मिकता और पाखंड से जोड़कर एवं इससे भयभीत करके अपनी दुकानदारी चला रहे है । यदि वैदिक ज्योतिष को उसका उचित सम्मान दिलवाना है और उस से जन-सामान्य अधिकाधिक लाभ प्राप्त कर सके इसके लिए अत्यन्त आवश्यक है कि ज्योतिष को व्यवसाय बनाने से पहले एक नियामक संस्था हो जो प्रमाणित करे कि ज्योतिषी नियमानुसार व्यवसाय के लिए उपयुक्त है एवं यहाँ पंजीकृत किये बिना कोई भी ज्योतिष को व्यवसाय ना बन सके इसके लिए एक नियामक संस्था के गठन हेतु सरकार से मांग की जानी चाहिए।

Ritualistic Significance of ‘Magha-Masa’ in Hindu Calendar

– Prof. C. L. Prabhakar, President, WAVES, Bangalore Chapter

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Prof. Prabhakar obtained Ph.D. in Vedic  Studies (thesis on’ Sukla Yajurveda’) from  Poona University, Poona in 1968. He is former Professor of Sanskrit and has published many books and articles. Honored with the award ‘Veda Vaaridhi’, currently he is director of the Nada Veda Adhyayana Kendra, Bangalore. He is active to spread Vedic heritage and culture.

Magha-Masa is important among the months in Hindu calendar. This month is an opportunity to get reduced of our sins. ‘Maaghamsyaatitimaaghah’ meaning no sins more could be acquired further. Doctors know the reducing tablet to reduce pain. So like this month to reduce our sins.

Hindu calendar is invested with twelve months. Each month is covered by 30 days. Every day has the five (pancanga) elements viz. Tithi, Vara, Nakshatra, Yoga and Karanas. Everyday is important for spiritual Practices. But there is choice and special importance. We have twelve months beginning form Caitra-Masa and going upto the Phalguna-Masa. Every month has a connections of some significance and mythology to speak the importance of the month and marking auspicious days in it. Sun would be transiting every month in to one sign (rasi) to another sign. It occurs usually on the 14th day of each month called Sankramana technically. There are twelve zodiac signs to complete one year’s time.When Sun is in Makara-Rasi, from then, for six months it is called Uttarayanam and the remaining six months are known as Dakshinayanam. These indicate the direction of the Sun astronomically moving towards north and southern directions. As a result there would be effects upon the people and nature: good, bad and different due to the movement of Sun. Manasollasa of Somadeva is a source Book for us to know about the importance of days and months, festivals and more.

Magha-Masa is the eleventh Month of each Year. This year is called by name Manmatha and the next would be Durmukha year by name. Out of the cycle of sixty years, this is the 29th/30thYear of the cycle. Each month is characterized with the Nakshatra-name. For example, if Sravana-Nakshatra is there on the full moon day then it is called Sravana-Masa. Likewise the Magha-Masa is the name derived from the Magha-Nakshatra on the Purnima. Similarly the other months go by the name of a Nakshatra. Although we have many numbers of years, we have only seven days of life. One day to take birth and another some day to exit from the body and the world. However seven are the days of life beginning from Sunday to Saturday. These days too go by the names of the planets Ravi, Candra and so on. Rahus and Ketu are the two nodes who entered the count among the planets as Chayagrahas. They follow the main planets. Moreover they do not have any orbit .They are simply ascending and descending nods of ecliptic and moon orbit

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Let us know the prominent festivities in this month. At first, on 5th day of Shukla-Paksha it is called Sri Pancami or Vasanta Pancami. This is the first festival when Goddess Sarasvati is worshipped. She is known also as Sarada Devi, Syamala Devi and Vag Devi. She is called Jnanasarasvati. On this day Sarada-puja is done. She is a Goddess who blesses good knowledge and good education (sadbuddhi and vidyanaipunya). On this day many people observe the important samskara namely Aksharabhyasam to their children with a belief that the child would be good in education, learning and prosperity.The child is introduced to writing the alphabets and salutation to Lord Siva well known as Dakshinamuty, a guru to all. On this day Goddess Sarasvati is offered Payasa as food. And the child is made to write ‘Om namahsivayasiddhamnamah’. In Devi Bhagavata details of Sarasvati Aradhanaare given. We have prayer to Sarasvatiin a length of a Veda-Sukta by name Sarasvati-Sukta that could be recited on that occasion specially.The sixth day of the month namely Shashthi is festival of Lord Subrahmanya. He is born on this day and so his puja is done. Abrahmacari (unmarried Boy) is fed and worshipped symbolically on this day to get the grace of the Murugan. The next day is Rathasaptami, when Sun turns to the northern direction fully and gallops to pick up more and more heat. On this day Suryaradhana is done with offering of payasa (naivedya). Arunaprasnapurvaka Surya-namaskaras could be done to get the grace of this deity. Arunaprasna is the first section of Taittiriya Aranyaka. It contains thirty two passages reciting which 32 namaskaras are offered to Suryadeva. Surya loves prostrations (namaskarapriyobhanuh). On the Eleventh day we get Bhishma Ekadasi when Bhishamacarya gave up his body (bhautikasarira) in the presence of Sri Krishna. He is the avatar of one of the eight Vasus. This ekadasi is virtuous and people get their desires fulfilled. This day is called ‘Bhishmaikadasi’. Bhishma had the boon from his father Santanu Maharaja to leave the body whenever he desired (svacchandamarana scope). Then we get the Purnima, the full Moon day. Every month we get Full moon days (Purnimas.) But this is one of the three special Purnimas of each year. Actually Asvija Purnima, Kartika Purnima and Magha Purnima are best. Especially on this Purnima day, there would Magha Nakshatra. On this day when bath to Siva is done, it is highly fetching and beneficial. Siva Purana extols more details on this aspect. Texts like Padmapurana, Nirnayasindhu, Krityatattva elaborate on the importance of bath at early hours of the day before sunrise. Very auspicious would it be if the bath and dip is taken in the sacred river Ganges at Kasi or elsewhere where the Ganga flows. Even other sacred rivers too remain helpful for the ritual of Maghasnana with sankalpa. In Bhagavata too the merit of taking dip in Ganga is described, It is said there that no other river but ganga waters has exclusive power to undo the sins at that time. In this month not only the Devataradhana even Pitrutarpana is also recommended to be significant as it pleases the Manes (the Pitrus). Magha-Nakshatra is the constellation of Pitri-devataa (deity of ancestors).

After Purnima, New Moon days begin. On eighth day it is called ‘Anaghashtami’. Lord Dattatreya is worshipped. Anagha Devi is revered as the goddess Lakshmi herself. She is called Anagha Lakshmi. We can get the blessings of Guru as well as Goddess with this worship. He is known as Dattaguru. We recite amantram ‘Dattagurumbhaje’ simply to get his grace. Dattatreys is the avatar of three Murtis Brahma, Siva and Vishnu who are three forces and Powers creation, annihilation and maintenance of the Universe. Therefore, Dattatreya is the preceptor who blesses all the three abilities in the upasakas. Also Natya Ganapati is worshipped on this day. He provides expertise further in the performing arts and excellences in the professional career. Ganapati is known in 32 forms and therein Natya Ganapati is special.

Actually every thirteenth day (trayodasi) of each month we get Pradosha Puja when Siva is worshipped. That day is called as Masasivaratri. The next day on the caturdasi at midnight Sivaratri actually dawns. But this month alone that day is called Mahasivaratri when Siva is worshipped strongly all the time. It has three durations (yamas) of night. People worship Lord Shiva with Mahanyasapurvaka Rudrabhishekas and other pujas. They also recite many Siva stotras. All this activity provides benefit and hope for liberation and mundane prosperity. After all one of the most important is to a get masa-punya as far as possible in the given calendar of Life to everybody including gods and others. Everybody is born but never the Brahma who is Lord Purusha Narayana who is described as ‘ajayamanobahudhavijayate’ in Purushasukta of RV. It is said here that the Lord does not take birth but causes births to take place.

Besides all these festivals and vows (vratas) etc. in this month, the Sundays are auspicious and important. They are best days for Surya Anushthanas. The forms of rites and devotion like Arunaprasnaparayanam, Arunahomam and recitation of Surya Sahasranama, Adityahrudayamand more are observed these days depending on the convenience and time-scope. This is technically called as Maghabhanuvara.

All the days of this month bath before sunrise is precious. This is called as Maghasnanavratam. That itself brings merit, unknown cleansing, peace and prosperity (punya).

Thus this Magha-Masa is a month well liked by gods and more so the Goddess Saradadevi, Subrahmanyaswamy, Bhismacarya who is Vishnu Rupa only. On Purnima, Siva Parvatis, Goddess Anagha Devi, Anjaneya, Lord Narasimha, Lord Kumaraswamy etc. can be worshipped.

We have Magha Purana where we come across the super importance of this month. So let us get the special grace of the deities to smoothen our life free from hurdles and unwanted things.

Om namahsivayasivataraya ca.’

Concept of New Year (or Calendar) in Vedic System (Part- II)

Continued from Part-I

Vikram Samvat (Chaitraadi):

After winter season, agriculture starts with spring, so spring equinox is generally a starting point of another system of calculating years. It coincided with sun’s entry in Mesha (0 degree in the zodiac) in 285 AD. Now it is on 14th April. After 25 years since his coronation, Vikramaditya (82BC -19 AD), the king of Ujjayini, started Vikrama samvat in 3044 kali or 57 BC from spring equinox when the sun entered in Mesha (at the initial point of Ashwini) in the lunar month of Chaitra Krishna paksha (Dark half). But later on, the commencement of Vikrama Samvat was postponed to 15 days and celebrated from auspicious Chaitra Shukla Paksha Pratipada, the starting day of Vasant Navaratra (9 sacred autumnal days of Goddess Durga).

In present time, it falls 15 days after Holi (on Phalgun Shukla poornima or full moon). This tithi (i.e. the 1st day of Chaitra Shukla) is known as epoch and copiously termed as Kalpadi (the 1st day of Kalpa) & Yugadi (1st day of Yuga) in Hindu scriptures and astronomical texts. In ancient astronomical texts, this tithi is referred as the first day of creation. It is also celebrated as the Matsya-Jyanti since according to Puranas, it was the day when lord Vishnu reincarnated himself as Matsya to sail the ship of Manu across the Pralay (the great flood). In north-west region of India especially in Rajasthan this tithi is also celebrated as Gana gaur or Gana gauri. Couples offer their prayers to goddess Gauri (manifestation of Durga). In Maharashtra and south India this tithi is also celebrated as Gudi Padawa. Currently, Vikram Samvat 2072, known as Keelaka, is moving on the verge of its end on 7th April 2016. The New Vikram Samvat 2073 will be started from 8th April 2016. The name of New Vikram Samvat is Saumya.

Do’s & Don’ts of this month:

  • Offer prayers to the goddess Durga.
  • According to various Grihya-Sutras, oil-massage considered as an auspicious work in this month.
  • Eat Neem leaves with Gud (the condensed form of Sugar cane).
  • Milk, Curd, Ghee & Honey must be avoided in this month.

Vikram Samvat (Kartikaadi):

There is another Vikram Samvat which is being practiced in Gujarat, starts from Kartika Shukla Pratipada and thus called as Vikram Samvat Kartikadi. It is believed that keeping the suitable conditions for trading through sea voyages in mind, King Vikramaditya himself started this calendar as well for the trading purpose in Gujarat from this month. It begins from the 1st day of Kartik Shukla Paksha, just after Deepavali. Apart from Vikram Samvat there are; Srishti (creation) samvat, Parashuram-samvat, Yudhishthir Samvat and Kali Samvat.

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Parashurama Samvat (6177 BC):

Parashuram Samvat started from the time of killing of Kartveerya or Sahasraarjun by lord Parashuram.  Incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the form of Parashurama took place in the Treta of descending period which started from 9,102 BC. Since he born in 9th treat during this period, thus his period starts from 9102-8×360=6,222 BC. According to Mahabharat, in 6177 BC he killed the Kaartiveerya Arjun which is the advent of Parashuram Samvat. It is called Kollam in Kerala, starting in 6,177 BC.

Yudhishtihir Samvat(3139 BC):

According to Brihat Samhita(13/3), when Saptarshi (Ursa Major) was in Magha Nakshtra (Regulus), Yudhisthir was crowned in 3139BC. Hence the Yudhishthir Samvat started from 3139BC.

Kali Samvat (3102BC):

KaliYuga Started after 36 years of lord Sri Krishna’s demise in 3102 BC on Magh Shukla Pratipada (17/18 February). Hence, 5117 years have passed since the Beginning of Kali Samvat or Era.

Shaka and Samvatsara are 2 different Scenario:

As the word Samvat has been used in previous paragraphs, one must know that Samvatsar and Shaka; these two words are being used in same meaning because of ignorance. Even Shalivahan- shaka is frequently called as ‘shaka-samvat’ which has no meaning. It can be either ‘shaka’ or ‘samvat’. The word Shaka is used in astronomical texts for calculation. In Vedas the word Shaka is used for ‘the bundled form of kush’. A kush (straw) is a thin line shaped object and a symbol of small unit in counting. By making bundle, ‘kusha(Panini 4/108) becomes stronger, and is called shaka {powerful (Panini 5/16)}. Thus total count of days (ahargana) is called shaka, and the year system starting from a point is also called ‘shaka’. Shaka is considered related to Shaka tribe or the Shaka–dvipa (continent) which surrounds or is adjacent to Jambu-dvipa as per puranas. But no Shaka in India, was started by Shaka invaders. It is only a misconception of ignorant historians. Actually it was Shalivahana, the grandson of Vikramaditya who started the ShalivahanaShaka in 78 AD after defeating the Shaka invaders. Apart from Shalivahana, there are shakas in name of Shudraka in 756 BC, Shri Harsha shaka in 456 BC, Kalchuri or Chedi shaka in 248 AD etc.

The Christian Era or Eesavee Samvat:

The Julian, now Gregorian calendar does not start with the exact points of sun’s entry in the zodiac signs. This is commonly called Christian calendar. It was started by Julius Caeser, emperor of Roman Empire in 45 BC after 10 years of Vikram Samvat. He wanted to start the year on winter solstice, but the practice was to start month from new moon day all over the world. So despite his order, the year started 7 days after winter solstice in Puash Krishna of 10th Vikram Samvat. The original intended day of start of year was called Christmas.

-Dr. Shyam Deo Mishra, Assistant Professor, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi

Concept of New Year (or Calendar) in Vedic System (Part- I)

-Dr. Shyam Deo Mishra, Assistant Professor, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi

mishraDr. Mishra is National Coordinator of Jyotish at Mukta-Swadhyaya-Peetham (Institute of Distance Education),  Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi

“Time never marks its beginning with a thunderstorm”, this quotation of Thomas Mann does indicate the lack of concepts of the beginning of time in western world which often termed as Epoch, Era in historical parlance. While in Bharatvarsha, numerous eras have been in practice since Vedic period. The most ancient eras like; Brahma-Samvat, Srishti-Samvat, Kartikeya Samvat etc are purely the concept of prodigious Indian mind and no such era is being mentioned in any other civilization. Such concepts not only emphatically establish the antiquity of Aryan or Indian civilization but also indicate its height of advancement in academic, social and political perspective. As mentioned before, several Samvatsaras or eras described in Vedic and Pauranic scriptures were being practiced in India and being followed by other cultures with subtle changes according to their suitability. Before defining several Samvatsaras its concept must be understood first.

Samvatsar:

In Vedas, the word Samvatsara (short form is Samvat) is used for year. The definition of Samvatsara is ‘Samvasanti ritavah yasmin’ means ‘in which Ritu or season does reside’. Hence Samvatsara is the collection or cycle of seasons. Now the question is that why the word ‘ritavah’ used to define the meaning of Samvatsara or how Ritu does related to Samvatsar? Actually the answer is in the word itself which is derived from the root verb ‘tsara(Bhwaadi-gana, 554) that means ‘to move in hiding (Chhadma or Vakra) or curve’. We know that the Earth’s curved motion in its elliptical orbit constantly changes its direction that causes seasons or Ritus. One must understand that the primary cause of life on earth lies on her constantly changing seasons. Therefore ‘Samvatsar’, the originator of seasons, also called as ‘Prajapati’.  In the space of solar system there are 6 zones of varying energy which are called as ‘Vashatkara’. Parallel to 6 Vashatkara in space, there are 6 seasons on earth, each extending to motion of sun in 2 signs (60 degrees). The word Varsha or Sharad clearly manifests its relation with Ritu (such as ‘Varsha’ & ‘Sharad’) or season. Aitreya Brahmana (7/17)  defines the Samvatsar- It means, there are 360 Ahaani (24 hours) or 720 Ahoraatraas (days & nights) in a year (Samvatsar).

Happy Chaitra Vikram Samvat 2071 and Happy Navratri 2014 by Vikrmn CA Verma 10 Alone

Synonyms of Samvatsar are Samvat, Vatsara, Varsha, Haayan, Shaka, Sharad, San etc. Each synonym ensconces different meaning, form and usage of Samvatsara in it. Another meaning of Samvatsara is Sam+vat+sarati (Sameekrirooopena saranti yasmaat kaalaat sa Samvatsara) that means the period from which everything start from the balanced state. In other words, it is a particular point of time from which all move accordingly and simultaneously. In fact, when a king wanted to start a particular Samvatsara or Samvat he tended to release his subject from all kinds of debts. Thus new financial year, and later on, the academic sessions etc did start from the commencement of Samvatsara. Hence, all our activities, financial year, academic sessions, festivals etc tends to move along with Samvatsara. It also means ‘a series of sequential years’ that started from a phenomenon like Yudhishthir Samvat, Kali Samvat, Vikram Samvat etc.

The Cause of the beginning of Samvatsara:

There must be a social, sacral, gracious or political cause behind the commencement of any Samvatsara. Several sacrifices (Shraut & Smaart Yaag) like ‘Aagraayaneshti’, ‘Navaanneshti’ ‘Chaaturmaasya’ etc tended to start at the beginning of Samvatsar.  Whenever a king wanted to introduce a new Samvat or era he had to amortize all the debts of his subject. This uniqueness of introducing a new Samvat makes Indian civilization more sublime than rest of the world.

The time of the start of Samvatsara (or Era):

In Vedic tradition, the start of any era (Samvat or Shaka) generally coincides with particular celestial phenomena. Why? It is because our ancestors had a strong belief that there is a direct relation among time, planetary motion and mundane world. Some of those copiously mentioned phenomena which used as the commencement points of any Samvatsar are:

  1. Vernal equinox (Vasanta Sampaat) – When sun comes at equator on 23rd March (Visuva-din).
  2. Summer solstice (Dakshinayana) – When sun reaches at the farthest point in his northward motion and starts southward journey on 23rd June.
  3. Autumnal equinox (Sharat Sampaat) – When sun crosses equator on 23rd September.
  4. Winter solstice (Uttarayana) – When sun reaches at the farthest point in south and starts northward journey on 22nd December.

Based on these phenomena, there are several systems (or ways) used to manifest a year or Samvatsar. For an instance, one of the calendars starts from the Uttarayana or winter solstice. It is the beginning of divyadin (day of devas). Bhishma Pitamaha waited for 58 days after falling on the bed of arrows on 10th day of Mahabharat war in 3139 BC. As it is start of ‘divya-dina’, it is commonly called as ‘Bada-dina’. As solar year starts with this month so Krishna in Gita (10/35) said that he is Margashirsha among months. It is called ‘Agrahayana’ because it is starting month (agra) of ‘Hayana’ or year. Year or hayana has two halves or ayans: Uttarayan and dakshinayan. Since equinoctial point is moving backward in about 26,000 years (300 in about 2000 years) therefore in Bhaarateeya chronological history, almost at intervals of 2 or 3 thousand years one can find the commencement of new system of calendar.

to be continued….