A seeker wrote…
“I seriously doubt whether the month names, Chaitra Vaishakh etc were actually in use in the days of Mahabharata or Ramayana events. Also, when did the nakshatras themselves get the names they now have? Is there any definitive time established for it? Mere mention of the month names is no proof. Maybe the month names were far later added by latter day editors to suit the seasons described in the original texts, according to month/season co-ordination then prevailing. But this is all conjecture.”
Conjectures are good. They are like seeds or nets. Seeds may or may not germinate. And nets may or may not catch fish. But sow (the seeds) we must and throw (the net) we must.
It is ok to doubt, too.
We do not exactly know when Nakshatras themselves got the names they have now. We do know that the names have indeed changed over a period of time (Tishya & Pushya, Prosthapada and Bhadrapada, Mularbarhi and Mula, Bhaga and Phalguni and Arjuni,etc.)
It is also true that mere mention of the month names (Chaitra, Vaishakha, etc.) is no proof.
Still, it is amazing how much we can learn about our past history if we put our mind to it.
This seekers also wondered…
“What about the possibility that “months names were added far later by latter day editors to suit the seasons described in the original text, according to month/seaons co-ordination them prevailing?”
Interpolation is always a possibility. Translation, transliteration and transposition errors are also trivially true things about all ancient writings.
Even then it is critical that one does not jump to ‘ready excuse’ of these errors or ‘hide behind’ these errors.
The seeker was proposing the above conjecture in the context of trying to solve a problem, in his own way. This is all welcome. All I would say is that there is no need for such a conjecture, at least in this case, since it would not solve the very problem this seeker is/was trying to solve. At least I do not see how it can be solved.
Frankly even if references to Indian lunar months are removed, the problem would still not go away. Of course I do not see a problem here, in fact what I see is a wonderful corroboration of Mahabharata references of seasons with that of my proposal (5561 BCE)….originally proposed by Dr. P V Vartak. Thanks to the precession of Equinoxes!
I would love to be wrong.
Indian lunar months are mentioned in Ramayana (12209 BCE) and Mahabharata (5561 BCE). Indian Solar months are also mentioned (e.g. Taittiriya Samhita).