|Vedic Astronomical Lore
Vedic texts contain interesting astronomical lore. The Vedic
calendar was based upon astronomical sightings of the
equinoxes and solstices which change periodically owing to the
precession of the earth on its axis.
Such texts as Vedanga
Jyotish(*38) speak of a time when the vernal
equinox was in the middle of the constellation (Nakshatra) Aslesha (a
point about 23 degrees 20 minutes Cancer). This would have occurred
around 1400 BC. Many Brahmanas, and the Yajur and Atharva Vedas
speak of the vernal equinox in the Krittikas (Pleiades; early Taurus) and the summer solstice (ayana) in
Magha (early Leo).(*39) This yields a date of around 2500 BC.
JYOTISH OF LAGADHA (New Delhi, India: Indian National Science
Academy, 1985), pp. 12-13.
39. For example,
Atharva Veda XIX.7.2