Post No. 10,707

Date uploaded in London – –    2 MARCH   2022         

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Most of the Hindu Panchangas (almanacks) show the beginning of Kaliyuga as 3102 BCE. We have at least two inscriptions to show this date is correct. But the famous astronomer Varaha Mihira and his follower Kalhana of Kashmir used a later date. There is nearly a difference of about 700 years. Why?

Varahamihira (505 -587 CE) was the author of Brhat Samhita and Brhat Jataka. Astronomers and astrologers use both the books. They are like encyclopedias with lot of information. Kalhana (around 1150 CE) was a  Kashmiri Brahmin and author of Raja Tarangini (River of Kings). Foreigners consider him as the first Indian historian (I think they are wrong).



John E.Mitchiner, explains the reason for this Two Kaliyuga calculation in his book ‘Traditions of the Seven Rsis’.

Now we begin the list of 27 stars with Asvini. Previously they begin the list with the star Krittika . Surya Siddhanta (4th Century CE)  was the first book to give us Asvini as first star.  It was accepted by all after 5th century CE. So we have been following this for about 1500 years. In between there was another calculation starting with Dhanista (Sravishata Nakhatra).

The confusion or the difference arose out of using 27 and 28 Nakshatras/stars. We say moon (Chandra) has 27 wives meaning that it goes around that path of 27 stars. But one more Nakshatra called Abhijit was introduced in some calculations.

Another confusion arose out of Sapta Rishi Mandala, the Seven Stars in the northern sky called Ursa Major (Great Bear) by the Greeks.

Children play with Tops. It revolves very fast and falls on the ground when it finishes. At that time of finishing, it slowly revolves. If you put a nail on its top and watches, it makes a circle. Our earth also has a pole which revolves like a top, but very slowly. It takes 27,000 years to make one circle. Hindus knew this from Vedic times. They used it for calculating time. They used it for calculation with regard to 27 stars.

There are some remarks in the Mahabharata about the Sapta Rishi stars and the 27 stars.

We see Sapta Rishi Era in Puranas. Kashmiris use it until this day.

They say Seven Rishis remain “in” one of the 27 stars. That means it is conjoined with one of the 27 stars. It changes every 100 years. One cycle takes 27,000 years.

Era of the Seven Rishis (Saptarishi) commenced with Krittika in 6676 BCE. The people who calculated this way said Kali Yuga began in 3102 BCE. Greek and Roman writers also mentioned it indirectly.

Vrddha garga was an astronomer mentioned in the book of Varahamihira.

Vrddha garga said that the Saptarishis were in Magha nakhsatra when the Kali Yuga began

But two group of people have different dates for this.

In John Mitchiner’s words-

“It would seem clear that there are two originally quite separate traditions-

One which places the Seven Rishis in Magha in 3102 BCE, the other placing it in 2448 corresponding to the different start of the Kali Yuga. We see a difference of 653 years.

The tradition says Kaliyuga began 35 years after the Mahabharata war. But Varahamihira says that the Mahabharata war happened Dwapara Yuga but the Kaliyuga started 653 years after that.

Who is right and who is wrong must be decided by scholars?

There is lot of confusion regarding other points as well. Linking Parasurama with Mahabharata character Karna also brings Rama and Krishna too close. Parsurama lived in Rama’s period; he cant be teaching archery to Karna. Vasistha and Visvamitra are seen in different periods too. So it is not one individual who lived in different Yugas. Same name was used by several people, probably Gotra name. One would understand it if they read History books. We see scores of Popes with the name John; we see 13 Ramesses in Egypt, we see scores of Shankaracharyas holding posts in 4 or 5 different Shankara Mutts.

Scholars must sit together to sort out these issues.


Tags – Vrddha Garga, Varaha Mihira, Kali yuga, Kalhana

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