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Reinventing the Indian (Hindu) Calendar
by Dr. Rajen Barua Bookmark and Share
 

Summary:

Following the Indian (Hindu) calendar, we Indians are celebrating the seasonal festivals on wrong dates. It is because in the Indian calendars, the seasons are out of phase with the real tropical phenomenon of the earth. This article analyses how and why we are doing that and what to do about it.

In the Indian calendars, the Makar Sankranti which marks the transition of the Sun into Makar Rasi (Capricorn), generally falls around 14th or 15th January of the Gregorian calendar. Makar Sankranti also is said to mark many of the Indian harvest festivals such as the Pongal of the Tamils, the Bhogali Bihu of the Assamese, the Maghi (Lohri) of the Punabis, Bhogi in Andhra Pradesh etc. Many communities start their new years on this date. Astronomically, Makar Sankranti is the winter solstice. It is the shortest day marking the beginning of the Uttarayan (the northern journey) of the Sun with gradual increase of the duration of the day. The Bhagavad Gita mentions great importance of the Uttarayan. This was the reason why Bhishma, when wounded in Mahabharata war, chose to await for the Makar Sankranti, before choosing to die. In the Jagannath temple at Puri the Uttarayana Yatra is celebrated on this Makar Sankranti day. If one goes to the Internet and search, this is what one gets for Makara Sankranti: “Makara Sankranti is a Hindu festival celebrated in almost all parts of India. Makara Sankranti marks the transition of the Sun into the zodiac sign of Makara rashi (Capricorn) on its celestial path. The day is also believed to mark the arrival of spring in India and is a traditional. Makara Sankranti is a solar event making one of the few Indian festivals which fall on the same date in the Gregorian calendarevery year: 14 January.”

Like the Makar Sankranti, three other sankrantis mark the cardinal poles of equinoxes and solstices of the Indian calendar. The Mesha Sankranti marks the spring equinox, the Karkat sankranti marks the summer solstice and the Tula sankranti marks the autumnal equinox. Like the solstice, an equinox (equi=equal, nox=night) occurs twice a year. According to the Indian calendar, the spring equinox (Mesha Sankranti) falls around April 14th-15th when the Assamese celebrates the Rongali Bihu, their springtime festival, when they also usher in their New Year. Like the Assamese, the Bengalis celebrate Baishagi and the people of Kerala also celebrate Vishu on this Mesha Sankranti day as their new year.

However, there is a fallacy in all these celebrations because if we follow the Indian calendar, you will notice that the dates of these festivals do not fall either on correct dates of the seasons nor these fall on correct dates of the equinoxes and solstices. To make the point clear, let us take the case of Makar Sakranti which is celebrated around January 14th at present time. However, as we all know, the winter solstice falls not on January 14th but it actually falls on Dec 21st which is the shortest day of the year and also denotes the end of winter and marks the official start of the harvest season. Thus to be correct with the seasons and with the solstices, the Makar Sankranti should fall on 21st Dec and not on 14th Jan. It is apparent that something is wrong with the Indian (Hindu) calendar. As a matter of fact, in the Indian calendar system, the tropical seasons (and the solstices and the equinoxes along with it) are out of phase by 24 days with the correct seasonal phenomenon as marked by the Gregorian calendar. To make matters worse, it is not only out of phase, but that this out of phase is also increasing every year.

We will try to analyze how and why the Indian calendar is out of phase with the seasons and what to do about it. First, the reason why it is out of phase is very simple. We are measuring the solar year by a different method than being measured by the Gregorian calendar. Basically, we are measuring what is called a ‘sidereal’ (Sans. sayana) solar year while the scientific community is measuring a ‘tropical’ (Sans. nirayana) solar year. This brings us to the question how differently we measure a solar year.

The solar year is measured by counting the time period of the successive return of the earth to the same reference point on the ecliptic. However, we can measure it two ways. We may take one reference point by taking a fixed background star on the ecliptic. In this system, the solar year measured, is the actual time taken for the earth to revolve once around the Sun with respect to a fixed star. This is known as the sidereal year. However, another reference point may be taken as the ‘equinox point’. That is, you measure the time from (say) one spring equinox to the next spring equinox. The year you measure thus is known as the tropical year.

Tropically, the harvest season starts when the winter ends on the Winter Solstice which is, as we all know, on 21st Dec. Thus to be correct with the season and with the solstice, the Makar Sankranti should fall on 31st Dec and not on 14th Jan. Thus the Hindu calendar system, the tropical seasons are out of phase by about 24 days with the actual seasonal phenomenon and with the actual tropical calendar of as practiced by the world that follows the Gregorian calendar. So are the solstices and the equinoxes along with it.

Let us now see how the discrepancy of 24 days has crept into the present Indian calendars. According to Surya Siddhanta, an ancient astronomical treaties, the Indian sidereal (sayana) year apparently coincided with the tropical (nirayana) year in KY (Kali Yugo) 3600, which has now been standardized as the as 285 AD. It means that in 285 AD, the solstices and the equinoxes were per the present Gregorian calendar; Makar Sankranti fell on 21st Dec and the Mesha Sankranti on 21st March etc. Since then however the equinoxes are precessing in the Hindu calendar at the rate of 20 minutes a year for total (2013-285)=1728 years, and this accounts for the (1728*20)/60/24 = 24 days discrepancy that we have today. To bring the matter home, we may note that at the present rate, we find that 500 years ago, the Hindus were celebrating the Makar sankranti around 7th January and that in another 500 years from now, we will be celebrating it on 21st January instead of the 14th January as we do today.

It is not that we Indians did not try to reform the calendar in modern times. The Indian Calendar Reform Committee tried to reform the Hindu calendar, and a unified calendar was introduced in 1957 creating a National tropical calendar which also tried to incorporate the Hindu religious calendars. This effort however failed mainly due to the orthodox schools of Vedic astrology which simply rejected modern astronomy. As a result, today, we have about four major regional Hindu calendars: Tamil, Orissa, Bengali and the North Indian, all following the traditional old Vedic treaties. And hence the discrepancy of the ‘precision of the equinoxes’ with the seasons remain.

Till the issue is scientifically analyzed and resolved, it is suggested that Indian public need to be aware of the situation. In the meantime, it is suggested that we may use the Gregorian calendar to celebrate these seasonal festivals which falls on correct astronomical dates. Thus, all Indian festivals connected with Makar sankranti (i.e. the Assamese Bhogali Bihu, the Tamil Pongal, the Punjabi Lohri, the Andhara Bhogi etc) may be celebrated not on a flexible January 14th as being done now, but these should be celebrated on fixed day of December 21st per the Gregorian calendar which is the correct winter solstice day astronomically. The same thing may be done for the other festivals too; festivals connected with the Mesha Sakranti (Assamese Rongali Bihu, Bengali Baishagi, Kerala Vishu etc) be celebrated on the fixed date of Mach 21st which is the correct vernal equinox day and not on flexible date of April 14th etc. That would at least restore the dates of the seasons back to the original dates of KY (Kali Yugo) 3600 which has now been standardized as the as 285 A.D.

Note: The Indian (Hindu) calendar does not synchronize with the tropical calendar due to ‘precession of the equinox’. The actual equinox and solstice days as well as the days of the seasons are about 24 days ahead of the Hindu calendar days

25-Apr-2010
More by :  Dr. Rajen Barua
 
Views: 6878
Article Comment We work with the Capricorn not the equator hence different dates. Its all in Sanskrit though if you don't, Good luck as they say in English.
Sam
12/20/2016
Article Comment Many people are drawing wrong conclusions because they are not aware of the difference between Indian and Western Zodiacs. The difference of 24 days comes from accounting of precession in Indian Zodiacs based on actual visual observations of the constellations. While Western Zodiacs are fixed based on tropical year. However, even the reference stars which were supposed to fixed have moved over long period. For example the pole star will no longer point to north in a few hundred years. The total rotation period of earth's axis is approximately 27,000 years and therefore it was not possible for any civilization to accumulate that much observational experience to understand this phenomenon correctly. Hence, different types of errors have crept into both Indian and Western zodiac system.
Ashish Jog
09/28/2016
Article Comment The article is well-written and to the point. But the only thing I would like to add is that the author forgot to add a discussion which would have answered a lot of nonsense that has been posted in the comments section. Not just December Solstice, but the date of Makar Sankranti also does not coincide with the date of the Sun's actual entry to the constellation Capricornus ( Makar Rashi ). This year, the actual date is January 20, 2016 ( 5 days after Makar Sankranti as per the Hindu Calender this year ).
Swarnendu Sil
01/15/2016
Article Comment The first point of Aries was set on 14 April 500 AD or around 500 AD in India, which is being observed in India by the astrologers. The first point of Aries date was considered as new year, but after 1500 years the first point of Aries , the first point of Aries now is 21 March. On 14 April the sun still transits that spot which used to be Vernal equinox around 500 AD. In this way spring will traverse through all the constellations. In the year 13460 AD , vernal equinox will fall on 23 September and the pole star will be Vega.
shashi
12/03/2014
Article Comment Dear Mr Barua,

I understand the following from your comment.
a) Uttarayan starts on 21st December(winters solistice). This is not disputed by present day Astrologers also, as far as I know.

b) Makara Sankranti(sun into capricorn) is shifting due to the precession. The knowledge of this was was not available to Ancient Indian astronomers probably and therefore was not used in calculations or they knew about the precession and did not account for it in the calculation for whatever reasons which are yet unknown to us. The passage of 4 yugas actually refer to the precession. Makara Sankranti will eventually start coming closer to the Winter solistice and one day coincide.

c) But to claim Makara Sankranti is connected to any "Seasonal" Festival on Jan14 is wrong because the Date of Makara Sankranti has shifted over last many 1000 years. However, the seasons themselves have not changed the beginning and ending time. Winter always starts on the same date and then spring then summer and autumn. The Gregorian Calender date(approximately +-2days) on which these seasons start is more or less constant.

Winter Solstice December 21
and Summer Solstice June 21
Vernal Equinox March 20 and
Autumnal Equinox September 23

d) There are no MARKERS in Indian Vedic Astrology/Astronomy for these dates in terms of FESTIVALS or Auspiciousness of the dates.(Please correct me if I am wrong here)
----

Questions arising are
1) (Question) Why the Solistice and Equinox are not marked as important?
The answer may be that the Sankrantis were coinciding or close to the dates of solstice and 5000years ago they found it was a easier way to read the date by looking at the constellations. At that time the precession was not significant. (like when computers were made, y2k problem was not significant)

Secondly the lunar calendar is more significant in terms of predicting natural phenomenon and easier to read since you can see star constellations even when the moon is in the sky. This calendar became more popular. Solar calendar lost in the competition. All sorts of anomalies in the dates that crept in due to lunar calendar were corrected. (Like Adhik Maas to correct the year every 2.5years.) Precession correction and movement away from Solar cycle was lost in this popularity of lunar calendar.

Solutions

We cannot shift Makara Sankranti. Its natural phenomenon.

WE CAN MARK THE Solstices and Equinox in the existing calendar and create new Festival if needed. We can all it Uttarayan Divas or Dakshinayan Divas.

2) (Question) Does the shift of Makara Sankranti away from Uttarayan day(dec 21) affect ASTROLOGY? What happens to Vedic Astrology if everything is corrected for 24days?

This is very debatable. Astrology effects are based on Star Constellations and movement of 9 astrological planets in them. First we need to significantly prove that astrological predictions are statistically correct. If there is mistake, then check whether the 24day error between Makara Sankranti and Dec 21 can help to improve astrology predictions. All this is easier said than done. The period during which Invention or discovery of astrology has to be decided. That Makara Sankranti date in that period will be the reference and the difference between that date and todays date will be the correction required (lets say Dcorrection)

The correction will be to shift the zodiac dial by those many days. To explain better, the present dial is demarkated such that each of the 12 sectors has a constellation (to put is simply). Now Makara (capricorn) is in the degree 270 to 300. When planet enters this degree where the constellation is, we say it is in makara rashi. (Hope I am right!) We can shift the dial back by Dcorrection days(say 24days) or by the degrees equal to {Dcorrection*360/365.25days{ (23.65degrees approximatelyfor 24days, someone do the more correct calculation). So when planet enter in the degree 246.35 it will be same as the sky was when Makara Sankranti coincided with Winter Solstice.

Each sector of this dial will have partial constellations of each side of the the Original Zodiac.

3) (question) Does the Vedic astrology have significance to Agriculture in India or atleast where the Indus Valley civilization existed (Saraswati civilization as it should be called actually).

Answering this question is more important and helpful. And it there is significance then any correction in dates will help the farmers have better yield or help to sell after the harvest during the festival.

Awaiting curiosly
Pramod Kamath
Pramod Kamath
11/08/2014
Article Comment My point is Makar Sankranti has an astrological significance, as the sun enters the Capricorn (Sanskrit: Makara) zodiac constellation on that day. This date not remains with respect to the Gregorian calendar. A thousand years ago, Makara Sankranti was on 31 December and is now on 14 January. According to calculations, from 2050 Makar Sankranti will fall on 15 January.

Thus it is wrong to say that Makara Sankranti is a harvest festival or a Kite Flying day, because these are seasonal.

We cannot says both.
Rajen Barua
11/03/2014
Article Comment Dear Mr Barua,

This is a good Topic of discussion. However your prejudices have put the main issues aside. I appreciate your concern. But instead of being objective you have put in subjective criticism and judged the people in India who lived 1000 years ago or more. This had caused emotional outrage, and it should.

I AGREE WITH YOU ON THE FACT THAT THE CALENDER SHOULD MATCH WITH THE SEASON. I myself have been trying to find the match in the calender and agriculture season. The logic is simple. More than 500years ago or 5000years ago, the ECONOMY was AGRICULTURE. So calender was the cutting edge technology. Whoever was able to predict Nature had booming crop like in the example of Nile and Egypt. Such accurate calendars were found in Mayan civilization and other old civilizations too, all for purpose of agriculture.

Now the question is "Does present day sidereal calendar help agriculture or not?"
If it does not, then as you have presented a case, we need to make corrections.
Or may be introduce a new calendar to showcase the need to do so.


But it is necessary to find out whether the LUNAR cycles in the sidereal calendar have any Agricultural implications.

I always believed that there is a change in the wind direction on MAKARA SANKRANTI and hence the kite flying tradition. I have experienced mild rain showers on this day indicating some weather phenomena. I have been trying to collect evidence that this is true. I am not yet successful.

Lunar cycle is most important and necessary for the agriculture. It predicts the tides at the simplest level. But the Moon has great affect on the Animal and Insect behaviour and many superstition spring from the Actual Observed Facts relevant to agriculture during the lunar cycle.

This article shared by GRB is most educational.(http://web.nickshanks.com/history/sixthousandyears/#content)

The above article clearly shows the knowledge of the calendar and the precession was well known. May be there was a system to correct the calendar if at all there is a necessity. It may have been kept secret for the Kings eyes only. Knowledge was power in those days as it is now. So the knowledge to predict Weather made the Ruler almost Divine for his subjects. In which case he would not have made it public.

Hope someone can throw some LOGICAL FACTUAL light on this.

Curiously awaiting,
Pramod Kamath









Pramod Kamath
11/02/2014
Article Comment I am reposting my comments with some corrections:

I know that my article needs some revision which I will do. However, in the meantime, for the crtics, I am copying below the following naratives published in the Wikipedia under Makar Sankranti which tells the world what Makar Sankranti is. Please note that it tells very clearly that Makar Sankranti is also a harvest festival. . Similar writngs are found in all other refereces for Makar Sankranti, If that is so, please tell me where I am wrong. Sometimes, we Indians like to have the cake and eat it too. I think this is such as case.

Makar Sankranti has an astrological significance, as the sun enters the Capricorn (Sanskrit: Makara) zodiac constellation on that day. This date remains almost constant with respect to the Gregorian calendar. However, precession of the Earth's axis (called ayanamsa) causes Makara Sankranti to move over the ages. A thousand years ago, Makara Sankranti was on 31 December and is now on 14 January. According to calculations, from 2050 Makar Sankranti will fall on January 15.

Makara Sankranti is a major harvest festival celebrated in various parts of India. Many Indians also conflate this festival with the Winter Solstice, and believe that the sun ends its southward journey (Sanskrit: Dakshinayana) at the Tropic of Capricorn, and starts moving northward (Sanskrit: Uttarayaana) towards the Tropic of Cancer, in the month of Pausha on this day in mid-January. There is no observance of Winter Solstice in the Hindu religion. Makara Sankranti commemorates the beginning of the harvest season and cessation of the northeast monsoon in South India. The movement of the Sun from one zodiac sign into another is called Sankranti and as the Sun moves into the Capricorn zodiac known as Makara in Sanskrit, this occasion is named as Makara Sankranti in the Indian context. It is one of the few Hindu Indian festivals which are celebrated on a fixed date i.e. 14 January every year (or may be sometimes on 15 January (leap year)).

Makara Sankranti, apart from a harvest festival is also regarded as the beginning of an auspicious phase in Indian culture. It is said as the 'holy phase of transition'. It marks the end of an inauspicious phase which according to the Hindu calendar begins around mid-December. It is believed that any auspicious and sacred ritual can be sanctified in any Hindu family, this day onwards. Scientifically, this day marks the beginning of warmer and longer days compared to the nights. In other words, Sankranti marks the termination of winter season and beginning of a new harvest or spring season.

All over the country, Makara Sankranti is observed with great fanfare. However, it is celebrated with distinct names and rituals in different parts of the country. In the states of northern and western India, the festival is celebrated as the Sankranti day with special zeal and fervour. The importance of this day has been signified in the ancient epics like Mahabharata also. So, apart from socio-geographical importance, this day also holds a historical and religious significance. As it is the festival of Sun God, and he is regarded as the symbol divinity and wisdom, the festival also holds an eternal meaning to it. - See more at: http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Articles&ArticleID=8002#sthash.ruyhixxE.dpuf
Rajen Barua
05/05/2014
Article Comment I know that my article need some revision. However, from the crtics, I am copying the following from the Wikipedia which describes what is Makar Sankranti is. It tells that Makar Sankranti is a harvest festival. Similar writngs are found in all other refereces for Makar Sankranti, If that is so, please tell me where I am wrong. Sometimes, we Indians like to have the cake and eat it too. I think this is such as case.

Makar Sankranti has an astrological significance, as the sun enters the Capricorn (Sanskrit: Makara) zodiac constellation on that day. This date remains almost constant with respect to the Gregorian calendar. However, precession of the Earth's axis (called ayanamsa) causes Makara Sankranti to move over the ages. A thousand years ago, Makara Sankranti was on 31 December and is now on 14 January. According to calculations, from 2050 Makar Sankranti will fall on January 15.

Makara Sankranti is a major harvest festival celebrated in various parts of India. Many Indians also conflate this festival with the Winter Solstice, and believe that the sun ends its southward journey (Sanskrit: Dakshinayana) at the Tropic of Capricorn, and starts moving northward (Sanskrit: Uttarayaana) towards the Tropic of Cancer, in the month of Pausha on this day in mid-January. There is no observance of Winter Solstice in the Hindu religion. Makara Sankranti commemorates the beginning of the harvest season and cessation of the northeast monsoon in South India. The movement of the Sun from one zodiac sign into another is called Sankranti and as the Sun moves into the Capricorn zodiac known as Makara in Sanskrit, this occasion is named as Makara Sankranti in the Indian context. It is one of the few Hindu Indian festivals which are celebrated on a fixed date i.e. 14 January every year (or may be sometimes on 15 January (leap year)).

Makara Sankranti, apart from a harvest festival is also regarded as the beginning of an auspicious phase in Indian culture. It is said as the 'holy phase of transition'. It marks the end of an inauspicious phase which according to the Hindu calendar begins around mid-December. It is believed that any auspicious and sacred ritual can be sanctified in any Hindu family, this day onwards. Scientifically, this day marks the beginning of warmer and longer days compared to the nights. In other words, Sankranti marks the termination of winter season and beginning of a new harvest or spring season.

All over the country, Makara Sankranti is observed with great fanfare. However, it is celebrated with distinct names and rituals in different parts of the country. In the states of northern and western India, the festival is celebrated as the Sankranti day with special zeal and fervour. The importance of this day has been signified in the ancient epics like Mahabharata also. So, apart from socio-geographical importance, this day also holds a historical and religious significance. As it is the festival of Sun God, and he is regarded as the symbol divinity and wisdom, the festival also holds an eternal meaning to it.
Rajen Barua
05/05/2014
Article Comment Dear Rajen Ji,

Which Indian festival you are talking about ? You are missing the point here ,Indian festivals majorly based on Lunar calendar and not Solar colendar. We give more important to move of Sun or Moon on Fixed Star system (Sidereal ) .
If you want to celebrate the festivals just based on seasonal changes , you can , but Indian festivals are based on Nakshatra system . Correct me if I am wrong , now I will ask you to do one thing. On Jan 14 , use a vedic system of astrology and cast the prasna chart. Sun will be exactly in Makara aka Capricorn . Same Sun will be already moved ahead of capricorn if you use without ayanamsa that is tropical zodiac.

I agree with you that Equinox does not coincide with the Sankranti . There is a reason for that and if you would like to move Makara Sankranti to Dec21st . You are ultimately fooling the entire system neglecting the wobling of earth .

Now coming to conclusion , Equinox has only physical relavence with regard to seasonal changes , but if you want to look at the mystical and spiritual effect of a Sun moving into Rashi which is Fixed Star of Sravana or Ashwini for example -- you need to consider the Indian calendar system .

Sun is considered as the soul of the universe , being the planet of significant importance , Suns entry into Ashwini nakshtra is considered as one complete revolution of sun aroudn zodiac signs which is the kala purusha . Hence , all the jeeva rashi in the planets gets rejuvenated and hence we call this as New year across the india in different languages and regions.

We can discuss this in depth to understand your point and my point.

Better it would be wise to all of us not out and right say Indian calendar system is false.

Everything has a strong reason behind it .
Sridhar Sairam
05/05/2014
Article Comment Thanks for the last comment by Ashish for seeing the main theme of the article which was that the Hindu festivals are currently being celebrated 23 days later than they should be. And as years pass, this lag will increase more. I understand that in my article I put lot of stuff which has undermined the main issue. However I am surprised that all the other critics have simply ignored the main issue and had been trying to show that Hindu astronomy is superior to the western astronomy. May be it is for their love of Hinduism. But we must see things objectively. I had been planning to revise the article cleaning up other things but had not have the time yet. Will however do. Thanks again to Ashish for his objective comments.
Rajen Barua
The Author
Rajen Barua
04/29/2014
Article Comment This article raises very important point, which many, as evident from comments, missed totally.

I agree that there are many mistakes as far as history and even terminology is concerned, but basic theme that Hindu festivals are currently being celebrated 23 days later than they should be is very important observation.

Think about a scenario after 1700 years from now. by then Nirayan Makar Sankranti will be during February End. all our festivals will shift by 46 days with respect to Sayan calculations, or equinox/solstice. Slowly and slowly they will loose their connection with seasonal changes.

I don't know anything about Phalit Jyotish, hence can't comment if kundalis etc. should be sidereal or tropical. But festivals, which have very close association with season will have to be according to Sayan (Tropical) astronomy. Otherwise soon (in next 3000-4000 years) we will be celebrating Janmashtmi during winter and Diwali in spring.
Ashish Sapre
04/29/2014
Article Comment Dear Author ,

Please the article is not as per the fact. I do not know why people behind this article anyway as I started the converstaion back in 2010. Now , I suddenly came to see the comments and I started laughing myself .

I do not want exagerate and degarde your writing or thought but , try to understand that your article is wrong .

Makar Sankrati or Mesha Sankranti by means itself movement of Sun into the Capricorn or Aries exactly. This is taken from the GeoCentric view considering the Precesion of Equinox , so Vedic system is correct as we take fixed star like Ashwini as start point of Aries. Each star has significant characteristic with each zodiac and we cannot accpet to change the dial of zodiac to movable star system.

So since we have precession of equinox , there is a difference between Vernal Equinox (Spring ) and the Start point of Aries.

Hope you understand what we mean. God bless you .
Sridhar Sairam
04/25/2014
Article Comment Colonialism happened as an aspect of the march of civilisation . Neocolonialism is colonialism by proxy. All nations including India and China are being ruled by colonialists.The Indian elites who apparently run the Indian establisment are slaves of this colonialists. One plank of the agenda of the colonialists is to destroy the indian culture . They succeeded destroying Chinese culture employing communism. As Indian culture has strong fundamentals, they are being subtle. Bollywood , CBSE , and Indian english media are some of the subtle tools they employ to destroy Indian cultures. Offcourse, they recruit talented Indians , put them through mind control programmes , and employ them to spread untruths that may help to lower the self esteem of Indians, The author should be prosecuted.
shashi
03/24/2014
Article Comment Dear,

it seems that your whole concept of the universe is wrong as per the Vedic system the earth is in the centre , all other planets go around, this is geo centric. In the Englishman system the sun is in the centre and all others go around , this helio centric method, both are relatively same, but the Vedic method gives accurate or rather precise resuls in calculation. Pls go through Srimad Bhagavatham 5th Canto. Pls don't blame the Indian text for your own in this matter
jagguramanuja
02/28/2014
Article Comment Dear Glen
Thanks for posting the article on Hindu Astrology. I will read it and hope will learn something new.
Rajen
Rajen Barua
09/19/2013
Article Comment Sir,
Kindly go through the following article to clear some of your misconceptions
http://web.nickshanks.com/history/sixthousandyears/
GRB
09/19/2013
Article Comment Dear Readers:
There has been several criticisms on my article, not basically on the facts, but apparently on the way it was presented. As such I have revised the article in a more presentable manner. Hope this will satisfy many of the critics. If anyone has any questions on the facts, please let me know.

Rajen Barua
The Author
05/26/2013
Article Comment Dear Author,

I really appreciated the beginning of the article which introduced information no matter how much incomplete. But the later criticism is totally unfounded.

I m not scholar on calendars but from a pure scientific point of view, the Indian calendar takes into account four reference points as compared to the Gregorian's two. The four reference points are the point on earth, the sun, the moon and the star which supposedly signifies the revolution of the solar system itself in the Milky Way galaxy. It may have more significance which my primitive mind cannot yet fathom.

The Gregorian calendar on the other hand, uses only two references. The point on earth and the sun. Thus, with four reference points, the Indian calendar gives more information than the Gregorian.

Despite knowing the difference between a sidereal and a tropical year we stuck with the sidereal year perhaps because it gives more accuracy and more details. For example, the equinox shifts and completes the cycle in 25000 years approximately. This must also have some significance perhaps on the movement of the solar system in the galaxy itself. So as yet we are only oblivious to the greater levels of science our forefathers enjoyed.

I seriously request that we are not yet in a position to understand the older systems let alone criticize them.

Varun
05/09/2013
Article Comment I wonder how this article is still in circulation with original contents.

Although he may have a point on celebrations on January 14th, the author starts with a wrong premise that ancient indians did not know the difference between tropical and sidereal calender. The very fact that the ayanamsha was defined by them proves that they knew this. The sidereal calender is actual 'universal' calender where as the tropical calender holds good for solar system at best.

Since seasons on earth depends on tropical calender, we may still use 'sayana' solar calender. But however our lunisolar (starting with newmoon with subsequent full moon in chitra nakshatra ) calender adjusts that ingeniously by correcting the lunar calender with solar attributes regularly.

Ravi
Ravishankar
04/12/2013
Article Comment This artical was written in the state of mind that I'm not sure if I should call it biased or lack of knowledge or something that I don't want to write here. This guy does not even know the difference between 'Makar sankranti' and 'Uttarayan' (or does not want to talk about it for some reason) and he is writing a big blog on this topic. He does not look to have any idea of Panchang.

I read in history that British used to award 'Rai Bahaadur' to the people who wisely and powerfully helped them looting and demolishing India. I would want to tell here that US does not have any such award, neither they or Europe offer citizenship or any other favor in return to such deeds.

I would be sorry for all I wrote above if you are a communist (Indian) because then you do not need a reason for defaming and abusing your own land and culture (even with lies and tempered / nonsense history)
Pankaj Gupta
05/11/2012
Article Comment The author is confused that calendars were made in India with the same logic as the Western calendars. Hating own land, people etc should not be a reason to forego objectivity.

Indian calendars were prepared in line with sun (solar) and in line with moon (lunar). The solar calendars were made with months broken up based on constellation the sun was in. There are actually not 4 Sankrantis BUT 12 Sankrantis my dear author.

Calendars in India had religious prevalence and not agricultural relevance as was in europe. So the passage of the sun into constellation was more important than equinox. Lunar calendars were infact prepared more for agricultural and harvesting reasons. Hence lunar tithis and months are more popular among the common masses.

Please dear sir gather more knowledge about your society before you criticism.
Indranath
04/08/2012
Article Comment Please Remove this article or ask the Author to modify it .. It actually misguides the whole concept of Vedic astrology and Astronomy .
 
Actuall differences in the Winter solstice and Makar Sankranti ( Day when Sun enters Capricorn ) itself is a proof that our Hindu calendars take Lahiri ayanamsa into account and thats why we have 24 days difference . Author is right that Tropical zodiac and Siderial zodiac concides around 285 AD . But it was the Greek astronomer Ptolemy misunderstood the concept of Presession of Equinox  and the tropical world is using the wrong dates for calculating th sankrantis.
 
The whole world know this truth ..thats why Tropical astrology fails to prove any prediction .
 
Winter solistice may be correct according to Tropical astronomy but it cannot be Makar Sankranti according the actual calculation of Sun's entry to Makar Rashi .
 
In the last paragraph, the author even criticzings indians for not following the Tropical astrology . What a shame to have this article still in this forum where we have authors like Rohini Ranjan writes such a beautiful articles .
 
Sridhar Sairam,
Sridhar sairam
02/09/2012
Article Comment This article is quite misguiding and wrong , The author of this article clearly did not undertand the actuall importance of sidereal year . The whole world is now ealising the importance of sidereal year and we clearly used ayanamsa (lahiri) which actually is the precession of equinox. How can the author criticize the vedic system ? Please inform the author or remove it.

sridhar
11/11/2010
 
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