I have been very carefully and simply , over many previous posts, developing all the terms and concepts needed to understand this post completely. It may be worth revising those concepts. This post comes under the category of Archaeoastronomy.
The points quoted below are from Vedanga Jyotisha of Lagadha : T.S. Kuppanna Sastry, K.V. Sarma : Introduction Chapter. Please look at the images attached.
- mRgaśira was called agrahāyaNa, and was at that time the beginning of the year.
- There is a röhiNi legend in the vEdA: (I have to find this) which indicates that beginning of the year was in rOhiNi.
- The Atri family knew about predicting eclipses. candra, the moon, is thus called AtrEya or the son of atri and budha, the son of candra would thus be his grandson. (The discoverer or researcher about a subject was labelled the father. As dakSa prajApati was called the father of the nakSatrAni.)
- 13.5 nakSatrANi from kRttikA to viśAkha were called dEvanakSatrANi amd the 13.5 from anurAdha to bharaNi were called yamanakSatrANi, in the taittiriya braAhmaNa (126.96.36.199).
- The śatapatha brAhmaNa (188.8.131.52) says that kRttika does not move from the East though the other nakSatrANi do. This indicates clearly that kRttika was at the spring equinox star.
- The maitrAyaNIya brAhmana upaniSad, 6.14 says that the winter solstice was at the mid-point of śrAviSThA (dhaniSTa) and that the summer solstice was at the beginning of maghA nakSatram.
- Astronomy was called nakSatra-vidyA and was mentioned in the chAndOgya upaniSad. (7.1.24, 2.1,7.1).
Thus even before the vEdAnga jyOtiSa of lagada, there is plenty of evidence of the knowledge of nakSatrAni in the vEdA: .
Prof. K.V. Sarma has also been quoted as follows by Sen and Shukla in an INSA publication: as I had collected here previously : https://oldthoughts.wordpress.com/ancient-indian-calendars/date-of-veda-mantras/ Reproduced below for easy reference.
“Reference 1: History of Astronomy in India: Sen and Shukla : Indian National Science Academy : National Commission for the Compilation of the history of sciences in India 1985
1. A survey of source materials : Prof. K.V. Sarma, Formerly Director, Visvesvarananda Vedic Research Institute, Hoshiarpur, Punjab.
The harbingers of the autumnal equinox are given in different mantras of the Rig Veda as,
- Aditi (Punarvasu, Pollux 113 long) : ~ 6200 BC/BCE
- Daksha (Abhijit, Vega, 284 long) : ~ 5400 BC/BCE
- Rudra (Ardra, Betelguese, 88 long) : ~ 4350 BC/BCE
- Rohini (Aldebran, long 69 deg) : ~ 3070 BC/BCE
(* Rough calculations done by Sri Sarma using 72 years per degree approximately : 27 Nakashatras – 360 degrees ~ 13.33 deg per nakshatra ~ 960 years: Depending on which point of the star, beginning, end or middle was meant there can be an offset not exceeding 500 – 1000 years in the dates given. So based on other data such as the date of the Bharata War , we have to fine tune the offset error.)
R.V : 3.99 : Krittika is the autmn star c 2350 BCE (assuming a 1000 year offset error, we are looking at 3350 BCE – which better correlates with the date calculated for the Bharata War). Viswamitra RSi.
R.V. 1.164 Autumn Star Agni (Krittika, Alcyon 59.5 long) : Dirgha tamas RSi.
R.V. 5.40-49, the total eclipse of the sun determined by P.C. Sen Gupta as 3298 BCE.
(The RV references do not seem to be mandala.suktha.mantra but some other numbering.)