The Astronomical Code of the Rigveda

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The Astronomical Code of the Rigveda is a book by Subhash Kak (Munshiram Manoharlal, New Delhi, 2000) that presents long-forgotten regularities in the organization of the Rigveda, connecting the structure to certain numbers in the astronomy-based ritual of the five-layered brick altars of the Vedic times.

Table 1: The altar of books

Book 10 Book 9
Book 7 Book 8
Book 5 Book 6
Book 3 Book 4
Book 2 Book 1

When the hymn numbers are used in this altar of books we obtain Table 2.

Table 2: Hymns in the altar of books

191 114
104 92
87 75
62 58
43 191

The hymn count separations diagonally across the two columns are 29 each for Book 4 to Book 5 and Book 6 to Book 7 and they are 17 each for the second column for Book 4 to Book 6 and Book 6 to Book 8. Books 5 and 7 in the first column are also separated by 17; Books 5 and 7 also add up to the total for either Book 1 or Book 10. Furthermore, the middle three layers are indexed by order from left to right whereas the bottom and the top layers are in the opposite sequence. Furthermore, Books [4+6+8+9] = 339, and these books may be taken to represent the spine of the altar. The underside of the altar now consists of the Books [2+3+5+7] = 296, and the feet and the head Books [1+10] = 382. The numbers 296 and 382 are each 43 removed from the fundamental number of 339, which is one-third the number of hymns (1,017) in the Rigveda.

The book connects the number 339 to the assumed distance from the earth of the sun and the moon, which is 108 times their respective diameters.

The book describes additional connections with Vedic astronomy, not all of which can be considered to be validated at this time.

Reference[edit]

  • S. Kak, "Birth and early development of Indian astronomy." In Astronomy Across Cultures: The History of Non-Western Astronomy, Helaine Selin (ed), Kluwer, 2000, pp. 303-340. http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0101063