Dhanishtha: Identification & Implications

A reader from Canada wrote ( I am restating his comments, for brevity)…

“I am reading your blogs on ‘Fall of Abhijit’ with  great interest.  Either I missed it or you have never specifically stated what you consider as location/star of Dhanishtha.  I have read a paper by Prof. Achar where he identifies nakshatra Dhanishtha with that of ‘Delta Capricorni’.  Do you agree with this identification?  If not, what is your assumption for star of Dhanishtha?  And assuming these two are different, do you need to reassess any of your analysis for ‘Fall of Abhijit’?”

My Response…

I have requested this reader to send me specific reference/paper of Prof. Achar he is referring to.  In any case, ‘Delta Capricorni (Deneb Algiedi)’ can easily be choice for representing nakshatra Dhanishtha.  Delta Capricorni is right along the ecliptic, in comparison to star Sualocin (Alpha Delphni), a star traditionally associated with nakshatra Dhanishtha.

My thesis for ‘Fall of Abhijit’ is that all 4 verses of Vana parva (230:8-11) are referring to an astronomical instance of early 15th millennium BCE.

Specifically, Verses 230:8-10 refer to an instance around 14602 BCE (based on position of star Sualocin aligning with the point of summer solstice.  Verse 230:11, per my interpretation, would refer to the time of 14963 BCE when nakshatra Krittika  was/were rising in the ‘true‘ east direction (Declination=0).

If one assumes identification of nakshatra Dhanishtha with that of ‘Delta Capricorni’, instead of ‘Sualocin (Alpha Delphini), the timing for astronomical instance of nakshatra Dhanishtha at the point of summer solstice would move from 14602 BCE (Sualocin) to 14998 BCE!

Thus, if one insists on nakshatra Dhanishtha idenfication  with that of  ‘Delta Capricorni’, my interpretation for ‘Fall of Abhijit’ gets even more refined!

Instead of having to consider a time interval of  361 years (14602 BCE – 14963 BCE)  for the ‘Fall of Abhijit’ observation, this modified identification would lead to even shorter time interval of 35 years  (14963 BCE – 14998 BCE) for the ‘Fall of Abhijit’ observation.

If so, ‘Fall of Abhijit’ would refer to instance of astronomy observation made during the first 100 years of 15th Millennium BCE.






One thought on “Dhanishtha: Identification & Implications

  1. Shri. Achar has selected in some cases, stars different from traditional, to represent a nakshatra. (He has tabulated traditional and ‘his chosen alternative’ stars for all Nakshatras in his Paper) If the new proposed star is on or very close to Ecliptic, it may be appropriate too. However, when interpreting the shlokas, written thousands of years in the past, what was prevalent convention ‘at that time’ is clearly more relevant.

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