Indian Epics ,Ramayana and Mahabharata stand the test of Astronomy.
I have written on the Dating tools of Ramayana and the dates of the various incidents in Lord Rama’s Life.
Also on Mahabharata.
Mr.Pushkar Bhatnagar of Indian Revenue Service, with the help of a software named ‘Planetarium Gold’ (of Fogware Publishing) has made a detailed study.
This is used to predict the solar/lunar eclipses and distance and location of other planets from earth by the scientists and astronomers. He entered the relevant details about the planetary positions vis-a-vis zodiac constellations narrated by Maharishi Valmiki and obtained very interesting and convincing results, which almost determine the important dates starting from the birth of Shri Rama to the date of his coming back to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile.
Mr. Pushkar Bhatnagar written a Book in his book ‘Dating the Era of Lord Rama’ published by Rupa & Co.
He made use of this software to date the Ramayana in detail.
I am referring here about the Flight of Hanuman from Lanka to Rameswaram.
‘Only six of the twelve constellations remain above the horizon at the same time. Valmiki’s Ramayan contains graphic and poetic details of eight constellations during Hanuman’s return journey from Sri Lanka to Sunaabh Hill in the middle of the sea which apparently took about four and a half hours from 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. All these details of planets and nakshtras with reference to eight constellations described in Sarga 57(1,2,3) of chapter 5 tally exactly with the sky view generated by the software for the morning of 14th September 5076 BC.”
But since Hanuman was flying across, and it must have taken him approximately four hours to get there (Lanka to Rameswaram), he could see eight constellations— in two hours one constellation would have moved out of sight and another become visible. So in a period of four hours he saw eight constellations. Following is the excerpt from Chapter 57 of Sundara Kanda:
“ Like a winged mountain Hanuman sailed over the airy sea; Yakshas looked like the lotus flowers, Gandharvas moon, the sun its water fowl, Tishya and Sravana Nakshatras its swans and the clouds its reeds and moss. Punarvasu was the whale and Lohitanga (Mars) the crocodile, Airavata the spacious island, Swati, its decoration in the form of a swan; the breezes were its billows and the rays of the moon its cool and peaceful waves”.
The above passage is a metaphor and refers to the stars Shravana (Capricorn), Tishya (Gemini), Punarvasu (Gemini/ Cancer), Lohitanga ( Mars or red star Jyeshta)(Scorpio) and Swati (Libra). Lohitanga in Sanskrit means planet Mars. But he might have meant red star Jyeshta (Kettai in Tamil). Airavata is Indra’s heavenly elephant Vahana/vehicle. But here it means a star.’
sacandra kumudam ramyam saarka kaaraNDavam shubham |
tiShya shravaNa kadambam abhra shaivala shaadvalam || 5-57-1
punarvasu mahaamiinam lohita anga mahaagraham |
airaavata mahaadviipam svaatii hamsa viloDitam || 5-57-2
vaata samghaata jaata uurmim candra amshu shishira ambumat |
bhujamga yakSha gandharva prabuddha kamala utpalam || 5-57-3
hanumaan maarutagatirmahaanauriva saagaram |
apaaramaparishraantaH pupluve gaganaarNavam || 5-57-4
1, 2, 3, 4. hanumaan= Hanuma; maarutagatiH= with a rush equal to that of wind; aparishraantaH= without a fatigue; pupluve= leapt across; apaaram= the boundless; gaganaarNavam= sea analogous to sky; mahaanauH iva= like a large ship; saagaram= crossing the ocean; ramyam= pleasant; sachandra kumudam= having the moon for a white water-lily; saarkakaaraN^Davam= the sun for a water-fowl; shubham= auspicious; tiSyashravaNakaadambam= having the constellations known by the names of Pushya and Shravana for swans; abhrashaiVaalashaadvalam= the clouds for its duck-weeds; punarvasumahaamiinam= the twin constellations, the Punarvasus, for its large fish; lohitaaN^ga mahaagraham= the planet Mars for its large alligator; airaavata mahaadviipam= Airavata (Indra’s elephant) for a large island; svaatihamsaviloLitam= graced with a swan in the form of the constellation Sati; vaata samghaatajaatormi= having gales for its waves; chandraamshushishiraambumat= and the moonbeams for its cool water; bhujaN^ga yakSa gandharva prabuddha kamalotpalam= with the Nagas, Yakshas and Gandharvas for its full-blown lotuses and water-lilies.
Hanuma, with a rush equal to that of wind, without a fatigue, leapt across the boundless sea looking analogous to sky, like a large ship crossing the ocean. In that pleasant and auspicious sky-like sea, shone the moon as a white water-like sea, shone having the constellations known by the names of Pushya and Shravana as swans, the clouds as its duck-weeds; the twin constellations the Punarvasus as its large fish, the planet Mars as its large alligator, a large island as Airavata (Indra’s elephant), graced with a swan in the form of the constellation, Swati, having gales as its waves, the moon beams as its cool water and with the Nagas, yakshas and Gandharvas as its full blown lotuses and water-lilies.
- There is variation in the dates of Rama.some date it to 7000 BC.I have written on this as well.
- As I have explained in a separate Post dating based on Astronomical events has this problem of the Celestial events recurring at fixed intervals.This makes it difficult to assign a date to a specific incident as the Astronomical events recur.