Friday, August 28, 2020

Three orbital cycles of the Siddhantic concept (Part 2 of my paper on Siddhantic concept of precession)


This is Part 2 of my paper on the Siddhantic concept of the equinoxes offering newer insights to emerging trends in Science on Precession.

My blog on the emerging trends in science leading to an evolving change in the perception of precession can be read here .

Part 1 of my paper can be read in August 2020 issue of

In Part 1, I presented the western concept followed by the Indic concept of precession of the equinoxes, taking inputs from Surya Siddhanta and supported by Aryabhatiya. Contrary to the continuous precession of the western concept, the Indic concept proposes oscillating equinoxes of to and fro motion covering 108˚ within a span of 7200 years.

This concept is found endorsed by Aryabhata while expressing his age that 3600 years had elapsed since the beginning of Kali Yuga when he was 23 years old. This valuable hint will locate the beginning of Kali Yuga at 20˚ Taurus in the western model of precession, but at zero degree Aries in Indic or Siddhantic model. The following illustration expresses the difference between the two.

Kali Yuga started when the tropical vernal equinox coincided with the sidereal vernal equinox at zero-degree Aries. The last time this conjunction happened was in the year 499 CE that Aryabhata was referring to as his age in Aryabhatiya.  As per the western concept of the continuous precession of the equinoxes, similar conjunction could not have happened anytime in the western precession cycle for 26,000 years before 499 CE; so the conjunction at the beginning of Aries is not possible 3600 years before Aryabhata’s time, i.e. in 3101 BCE (3600 -499 = 3101 BCE).

This conflict can be resolved only if continuous precession is rejected. Aryabhata’s version reveals zero-degree Aries as the mid-point suggested by Surya Siddhanta! 3600 years after it crossed the zero-degree Aries when Kali Yuga began, it had come back to the same position in 499 CE when he was living.

In the 2nd part of my paper, a similar version from other ancient texts is presented to show that the Indic society had followed (through observation for ages) the 7200 year cycle of the equinoxes. There is a common pattern found in expressing trepidation by means of number of revolutions in a Kalpa that works out to an average of 7200 years. The data shows that the rate of precession is not constant and it is reducing since the time of Aryabhata.

The constantly changing rate of precession throws up a challenge to dating the past events, for, unless the equinoctial location at the time of an event, say for example, Mahabharata war was known it is not possible to corroborate the planetary positions given in the Mahabharata text. Any attempt by scholars in Siddhanta to corroborate the planetary positions by using the derivations given by the astronomers of the past cannot give the exact date, for the reason that those astronomers had given the planetary longitudes from the equinoctial point of their time.

The continuous change in the trepidation is the cause for the slightly different values for the overall cycle, given by different Indic texts of different times of the past, but all of them hovering around 7200 years. For the data available since the time of Aryabhata we find the span of the equinoctial cycle varying between 7380 to 7471.9 years. At the current rate of precession, it is 7776 years.

With current science having detected an increase in the rate of precession, we are going to see the rise for the next 1500 to 1800 years – a kind of reversal of the decreasing rate noticed since 499 CE for which we have data. This will result in reduction in the span of the cycle at times going below 7200 years. On an average the cycle runs for 7200 years is the Indic wisdom handed down to us.

The current part of the paper also deciphers the supposedly “difficult passage” of Siddhanta Shiromani of Bhaskara II citing two hitherto unresolved versions, one from Surya Siddhanta and another from Munjala to establish that they are about the eccentricity of the earth’s orbit and the Yuga of Ayana (the overall cycle of oscillating equinoxes) respectively.

The eccentricity is found to be of a cycle of 1,44,000 years in contrast to Milankovitch’s  1,00,000 years. Munjala’s version is repeated by Vishnuchandra, giving credence to the derivation that there exists another cycle of the equinoxes consisting of three cycles of 7200 year oscillation discussed earlier. All the derivations are given in the following Table.

The ‘difficult passage’ in effect stands out to be the outstanding contribution of the Indic society in understanding the earth’s Orbital movement long before the recently conceived theory of Milankovitch. Further details can be read in the link given above.

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