It has come to pass that approximately two dozen temples in a district in Tamil Nadu, renowned for its Vedic studies, will be celebrating the forthcoming rituals according to the Vedic Sayana/Tropical Zodiac system. The first will be the up-coming Gokulashtami – 6 August. All the rest of the Observances will follow as per the Tropical Calendar. This occurrence is being given wide publicity throughout India. It coincides with the Tamil translation publication of our Movement’s ‘Manifesto’.
With this most important breakthrough many devotees and temple authorities will begin to ask questions – and this is what we had hoped for. The only way falsehood can be prolonged is when it succeeds in obscuring the Light, for the truth is to be found in the actual history of how and why the Nirayana system of astrological/temple calculations came to be adopted. The story is rather incredible, as the reader will now note.
As Convenor of this Movement, in various platforms I have been reporting my discoveries of the 12th Century scholar-traveller Al Biruni’s influence over Hindu Pundits in the question of shifting from the Vedic Tropical Zodiac as backdrop for the yearly Sacrifice to the un-Vedic system of measuring the passage of the year on the backdrop of the distant Constellations. The Vedic system must be balanced on the unchanging four Cardinal pillars of the Tropical Zodiac, which do not hold any prominence in the Nirayana system advocated by Al Biruni. He wrote in his famous document, India, critiquing Varamihira’s Brhad Samhita, ‘The solstice has kept its place, but the constellations have migrated, just the very opposite of what Varaha has fancied’ (India, II, p.7). In other words, an entirely different, distant ‘circle’ is proposed by the scholar, and it later found favour with Hindu Pundits. He appeared on the scene in the 12th Century, but it took many more centuries and the invention of the printing press for the final death blow to occur with the adoption of the un-Vedic Nirayana method by Hindu almanac providers.
The adoption of this un-Vedic method of calculation, binding on all Hindus throughout the world and which has brought so much confusion into Hinduism, was for purely commercial reasons. There was no great and illuminating revelation – sruti, dristi – involved in the switch to this un-Vedic system; whereas we have verses preserved in the Rig Veda and the Atharva Veda indicating specifically that it is the Tropical Zodiac ONLY that must be followed. On the other hand, when printing presses were engaged for the preparation and dissemination of the calendar of observances, the entire operation of preparing timings for temples and astrologers became one of commercial interests rather than to be at the service of the sacred. There was no VEDIC basis involved in the introduction of the current Nirayana system of calendar observances for Hindus, – a tragic state of affairs.
Today this commercially-inspired development has caused chaos to reign in matters that should be luminous and unquestionable. There is no ‘authority’ within the current Nirayana system who can defend its unillumined origins, or in any way demonstrate its superiority over the Vedic method of calculation. The Chief Pundits of the temples themselves rely entirely on almanac writers whose vested interests are served by propagating a Bija Correction to establish an exclusive Ayanamsha starting point that he or she can ‘prove’ is superior to other almanac producers. This is the way exclusivity is maintained by the different Pachangakars. If they seek to increase their popularity – and of course the sale of their Almanacs – they must simply claim that their ‘correction’ is more ‘scientifically accurate’.
The truth is that there cannot be any such accuracy in the Nirayana system. Science cannot determine any ‘accurate’ Ayanamsha in the circle of CONSTELLATIONS which is constantly shifting. That is, the various Ayanamshas proposed in the un-Vedic system float in a void, as it were. The ‘circle’ they are measured against is not prescribed in the Veda precisely because it is not FIXED. The only truly scientific and astronomically correct system is the Vedic Tropical Zodiac, the Sayana system, WHICH NEVER VARIES: each year the Ayanamsha for the correct start of the Hindu calendar of observances is the same, – the Equinox of 21 March.
The falsehood that has taken hold, the lie that must be exposed is this question of ‘scientific accuracy’ of the Nirayana system over the Vedic Sayana method, which does not in any way serve Hindus but only the vested commercial interests of Almanac Publishers. Their claims have no Vedic sanction at all.
But here is the saddest part: their adoption by different astrologers and temple pundits is similar to drug addiction. Once astrologers decide to adopt one of the numerous almanacs on the market, proffered through a particular family of astrologers, gurus or pundits, forever after they must continue to use that Almanac with its exclusive ‘bija correction’ that makes it different from the other competitors in the field. All horoscopes constructed on the basis of a particular selection will be INVALID if the astrologer were to shift allegiance to another publication. His or her whole life work would crumble. These astrologers and temple pundits are trapped forever by this falsehood that serves only the commercial interests of certain almanac publishers without any authority from the Higher Knowledge of the Veda.
With this declaration accompanied by the Tamil edition of our Manifesto and the Vedic observances in certain important temples in Tamil Nadu – precisely the land of the Preservation Guna in the trifold map of the Capricorn symbol-map of India – we start a new chapter for the benefit of the entire Hindu Samaj.
4 July 2007
Movement for the Restoration
of Vedic Wisdom
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