Astronomy Lynchpins: Ramayana & Mahabharata


A researcher asked….

This question is for Nilesh Oak. There is a bit of a preamble to the question.

The Ashokan inscriptions are dated via the mention of four rulers – Ptolemy, Alexander, Antigonus and Magas.

I’m no expert on dynasties, but the situation seems to me to be the following:

If the Ashokan inscriptions had only mentioned one of Ptolemy, Alexander, Antigonus, or even any two of them, we’d be hard pressed to date them, because there are quite a few Ptolemies, Alexanders and Antigonuses. My guess is that even all three of them were mentioned, there would be more than one era that can be found where there were a contemporaneous Ptolemy, Alexander and Antigonus.

Magas however seems to be rare or perhaps even unique.

Thus Magas fixes the date of the Ashokan inscription, and Ptolemy, Alexander, Antigonus provide confirmation by the circumstance of one of each being contemporary to Magas. Magas is the lynchpin, the other three are support.

Similarly, I imagine in the astronomical information in the Mahabharata and Ramayana, there are some lynchpins and others are supporting. Of course, the analysis is much more difficult, because there are a lot of observations.

My question is – has this type of analysis already been done? or if not, is there enough information in your publications to do that analysis?

Thanks in advance!

My Response…

Yes, the very objective, intent, content and core of my both books is precisely dedicated to this type of analysis.
There is enough information in my books (and blogs…spread out in bits and pieces)and also youtube videos for anyone to do this analysis.
Sticking to only astronomy relevant evidence, for now….
Both epics have linchpins.

The linchpins come from what I call ‘astronomy observations’ due to long term phenomenon of ‘Precession of Equinoxes’.

(of course these are simplifications. reality is far more interesting and on a much more firmer footing than Ashoka inscription might be)


(1) Arundhati-Vasistha observation – linchpin par excellence. Shows that (mathematical certainty, scientific triangulation of explanation-prediction-testing- etc.) Mahabharata war not possible anytime after 4508 BCE or anytime before 11091 BCE.

This is a unique event (na bhuto, except one time shown above) (Bhavishyati – yes, 11,000 years from now)

(2) Set of Bhishma Nirvana observations – not a unique phenomenon because the descriptions by themselves will repeat once every ~26000 years for about 3500 year time interval, in every cycle of precession of equinoxes.

Then why is this also a linchpin?

This is a linchpin, because the phenomenon was only possible during ~7000 BCE through 3700 BCE, in the last 30,000 years!

So, unless someone is claiming Mahabharata war more than 30,000 year ago, this set of evidence is a linchpin

(3) 30+ observaions/analogies/descriptions of the season/sky during the war lead us to the conjecture that war occurred during the Sharad season

30+ observations/analogies/descriptions of the phases of the moon corroborate that war was occurred during the bright phase/Shukla paksha of the month (i.e. beginning with around Amawasya and ending just after full moon)

~5+ specific references/observations – positions of moon lead to the conclusion that Margashirsha was the month (lunar month) of the war

This means war occurred during the shukla paksha of Margashirsha and during the season of Sharad.

This by itself puts a lower limit of ~4000 BCE on the plausible timing of Mahabharata war

(4) Combine evidence of (3) with (2) and, again , we have another support for war not anytime after ~4500 BCE

The rest of the astronomy evidence (200+) goes in ‘supporting’ these inferences and assist in identifying specific year (5561 BCE) for the timing of MBH war.


Ramayana does not have ‘UNIQUE’ evidence like AV observation

It has 4 specific and independent astronomy observations (or set of them) that all point to 10,000 BCE or before


(1) Chaitra as the lunar month that occurred during Sharad season (10500 BCE – 15000 BCE)

(2) Ashwin as the lunar month that occurred during Vasanta seasong (11800 BCE – 16500 BCE)

(3) Sun setting near pushya during Hemant season (11500 BCE – 17500 BCE)

(4) Brahmarashi/Vega/Abhijit as pole star during Ramayana times ( 10,000 BCE – 14000 BCE)

These are linchpins.

The rest of the astronomy evidence (500+) goes in ‘supporting’ these inferences and assist in identifying specific year (12209 BCE) of the timing of Rama-Ravana war.

9 thoughts on “Astronomy Lynchpins: Ramayana & Mahabharata

  1. I saw your video on Rajiv Malhotra’s youtube channel as dating of our epics have been a huge question in my mind for decades. When I first read the Valmiki Ramayana (a special edition from Kalyanan Kalpatru magazine that my grandfather subscribed to all his life from Gita Press), it was right after my 10th boards. I was reading many contradicting data points from the actual experiencing of the Ramayana text and the timeline given for its “creation” and what was taught in our school history textbooks. It seemed too disjointed. And then grandfather would tell us a different timeline in “Sanskrit” and we separated the “English” timeline taught at school and the “Sanskrit” timeline taught at home (used for every sankalpa in every puja). Sorry, am posting some questio

    Being a student of Biology and having read quite a bit of human genomic studies, could Rama be even before 15,000 years? The reason I ask is based on fossil records of early “man” and one of the characteristics of Rama given as being “aajaanubaahu”- long limbed whose arms reached his knee, could he have been Homo habilis or Homo erectus rather than Homo sapien? Then the “vanaras’ and “bears” make sense too. Is there much evidence of agriculture in Ramayana? We find a mention of “avoidance of fields” during war in the Mahabaratha, but are there mentions of “grains and granaries” in the Ramayana? My take away from that long time ago reading of the Ramayana was that it had hunting, fishing and fruit gathering and horticulture (Madhuvana of the Kishkinda desha) but little or no mention of agriculture. If that was the case, it needs to be even before 50,000 plus years. Could your astronomical data be “repeated” several thousand years ahead?
    Next, being a student of literature, and the prelude to the Ramayana where Valmiki is directed by Brahma to learn the story of Rama from Narada, could we say that it was the divine “bard” with his meticulous maintenance of historic record passed it on to Valmiki to be “written” down- moving from oral to written tradition? So, by inference, could it have been “written” at a later date but the actual events narrated may have occurred earlier? This also supports the “adi” kavya status of the Ramayana.
    I am no scholar like you, but an individual interested in the kavya of Valmiki and Vyasa. I would like to integrate my “Sanskrit” timeline with my “school-taught” timeline while making sense…

    • We should be open to new evidence and be ready to modify our theories/claims if new evidence compels us to do so.

      We do need evidence that allows us to nail down the period of Ramayana. As of now it appears to be astronomy and hydrology evidence internal to Valmiki Ramayana. Based on that the bounds I think for Ramayana are (these are very conservative i.e. wider than even required)

      Per Astronomy – 10000 BCE through 150,000 BCE

      Per Hydrology – 10,000 BCE through 50,000 BCE

      Based on objective testing of more than 500+ astronomy/chronology/seasonal observations – 12209 BCE

    • I wouldn’t say that. Look at Bimbetka cave paintings some of which are dated 30K yrs b4. At the time of Ramayana, we had a perfect civilization

  2. Archaelogical Evidence : I dont see what all the fuss is about . . . If one has read the The Arctic Home in the Vedas by Tilak (1893) it’ll become crystal clear that the Aryans lived in the Arctic and that is where the evidence will be found as well . . . The Arctic was not inhospitable ice then but what the scriptures describe it as such . . . The recently discovered Swastika City ‘Akraim’ in Russia is one of the stopovers where the Aryans stayed during their quest for a better climate southwards . . . regarding the Saraswati, it is the milky way and not anything on ground . . . The Varuna-Sarswati combine became the Indra-Ganga myth as the Aryans kept on moving southwards and re-named their cities in memory of Aryanna Vaejo i.e The Arctic Home in the Vedas . . .

    • The works of Tilak are no doubt brilliant, in spite of their conclusions are now falsified. If you still choose to be stuck in old dogma. that is your choice.

  3. Dear Nilesh, can you help to clarify the distinction between the inclusion of an astronomical phenomenon in a piece of fictional literature vs the astronomical phenomenon being proof of the factual occurrence of the event described?

    Thank you for the dedication you demonstrate towards your purpose.

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