Fascinating Evidence of Beginning of Lengthier Monsoons and Winters from Suśruta Saṃhitā.

Suśruta Saṃhitā

One of the Āyurvedic text, Suśruta Saṃhitā, is a well known text which describes surgery with the help of instruments. The names of surgical instruments itself are very peculiar and perhaps have retained the earliest memories of different anthropological taxa’s body parts as the names of these instruments. Probably, as it appears to me, the beaks or bones of the birds and animals would had been used by the ancients for the surgery of the fatal wounds, ailments, etc., and eventually these got converted into metals at the advent of its discovery with the method of casting. I am giving here an imagery of its ancientness which cannot be avoided due to their names. Indeed we have seen the stone hand axe swadhiti and hafted axe turning into metal axe with similar size and shapes.

Historicity of Suśruta

Suśruta stands before Charaka in the history of Āyurveda and usually is dated from 1st millennium to 5th century BC. Suśruta’s Historians accept the ambiguity in ascertaining the exact period of Suśruta. Hass accept it in 12th century, Jones Wilson in 9–10th century, Macdonal in 4th Cent.B.C, Hoernle accepts 6 century before Vikrama Samvata, Hessler and Shriyut Girindranath Mukhopadhyaya accept 1000 B.C. On the basis of all these views Suśruta Saṃhitā, Part-1 has been ascertained to be 2600 years old. Acharya P.V. Sharma considers two Suśruta i.e. Vṛddha Suśruta Saṃhitā and Suśruta. He accepts Vṛddha Suśruta in the time period of Kāśirāja Divodāsa Dhanvantari*. We do not know if the Vṛddha Suśruta had internal edits from time to time, or which one has come to us. But interestingly we find trepanned skull from approximately 2,350– 2,050 BC (4,300–4,000 BP) found in Burzahom, in Kashmir valley and also trepanation evidence found from 10,000 BCE from outside Indian peninsula. This method of treatement is mentioned in Suśruta. But why do Indian peninsula so deficient of human bones, we do not find skulls or any human bones, not even of the times of Toba explosion when the humans almost had got extinct, in Indian peninsula. Whereas, continuation of stone implements suggests continuity of human activities post Toba also. It appears to me, from Antyeshti Sukta, that cremation could be one of the earliest tradition in India, for if it hadn’t been so we would had many evidence to such surgeries to understand the anthropological advances made during deeper antiquitied time. (read here)

Dating the text has been a nightmare to many, but genealogically it can safely be said that it belongs to before Mahabharata times. This has been critically analyzed and dealt by Shri Nilesh Oak in his talks.

Yet lets see what complications the text contains within.

Historical background

“Once upon a time, when the holy Dhanvantari, the greatest of the mighty celestials, incarnated in the form of Divodāsa, king of Kāśī….”, In short, if someone wants to grab on this subject then one can read in English here. I will take an account of Divodāsa later on how he has an historical impact in understanding the deep antiquity of Suśruta itself. To understand the text’s name, it itself apparent that Suśruta himself composed the Saṃhitā. He was one of the pupil of Divodāsa, King of Kāśī.

Divodāsa, king of Kāśī and his relation to Dhanvantari is mentioned in Ṛg-Veda 10.179.2 (wiki say, lets dwell upon wiki for a while), he is deemed the founder of the Indian school of medicine called Ayurveda. This name finds mention in 1st Maṇḍala of Ṛg-Veda also.

The Problematic Passages on Dating of Suśruta

Firstly, one has to understand how to see for the various evidence and contradictory evidence and for why they are mentioned in such a peculiar way. Secondly, if required, we will have to see the commentator’s remark and his use of other textual evidence to counter the original verse’s problems.

The description

इह तु वर्षाशरद्धेमन्तवसन्तग्रीष्मप्रावृषः षडृतवो भवन्ति दोषोपचयप्रकोपोपशमनिमित्त ते तु भाद्रपदाद्येन द्विमासिकेन व्याख्याताः तद्यथा भाद्रपदाश्वयुजौ वर्षाः कार्तिकमार्गशीर्षौ शरत् पौषमाघौ हेमन्तः फाल्गुनचैत्रौ वसन्तः वैशाखज्येष्ठौ ग्रीष्मः आषाढश्रावणौ प्रावृडिति. (9th of Adhyāya 6-SuśrutaDivodāsa conversation)

According to some, the rainy season consists of two months known as Bhādra and Āśvina; Autumn consists of the two months of Kārtika & Mārgaśīrṣya. Hemanta consists of the two months of Pouṣa & Māgha; spring consists of the two months of Phālguna & Chaitra; summer, of Vaiśākha & Jyeṣṭha; and Prāvṛṭa, of Āshādha & Śrāvaṇa.

The problem

Dvividha ṛtuvibhāga is being explained for the identification and rectification of ailment. The above table creates a problem in identifying the exact cardinal point. Cardinal point comprises of two equinoxes, namely Vernal and Autumnal, and two Solstices means Summer and Winter solstice. They all are 90° apart.

saṃśodhanamadhikṛtya has yet another complications, in the proper understanding of, from where (Location? or Time?) the seasons are being observed, to serve the ailment. Read the red and yellow highlighted lines in the Pic 3. Here, two types of ṛtuvibhāga are being explained on the basis of two types of, either geography or time. Kaśyapa is in favor of geography but Cakrapāṇīdatta insist on time, and dismisses Kaśyapa’s statement of change of geography. Probably, and likely, the writer had been experiencing the abrupt change in seasons or has taken the the two types of accounts from his predecessors.

Lets see the two types of accounts namely varṣapradhāna and śītapradhāna.

  1. इदंञ्चात्रावधेयम्। द्विविधः खल्विः दृश्यते प्राचामृतुविभागो वर्षप्रधानः शीतप्रधानश्चेति। तत्र षदृतवो वर्षा-शरद्-हेमन्त-वसन्त-ग्रीष्म-प्रावृशः इति वर्षप्रधानो विभागः।
  2. वर्षा-शरद्-हेमन्त-शिशिर-वसन्त-ग्रीष्मा इति शीतप्रधानः।
    तयोराद्यस्य प्राधान्यं सुश्रुतेऽभिहितं द्वितीयस्य चरके।

Cakrapāṇī, defends that this is not due to the observation made for the change of geography with his quote above in the ṭīkā (commentary) for Caraka samhita, and says,

एतञ्च न, अत्र “संशोधनमधिकृत्य’ इति वचनात्। यदि देशकृतो’यम् भेदः स्यात्, तदा तमेव भेदकं ब्रूयात्, न संशोधनम्। तेन काश्यपोक्त-देशभेदेन प्रावृडादिक्रमो तावदिहाभिमतः.  Cakrapāṇīdatta-ṭīkā of Caraka (Vimānasthāna adhyāya 8)

Cakrapāṇī explains that if geographies were to be concerned then the geography will be stated. 

Pic. 3 Courtesy Shri Nityanand Mishra

Now lets understand the verse number 9

If we map the above information then lets see how it will look like while corroborating to the above verse number 9 and we find that the commentary table and verse no. 9 are contradictory.

Dvividha ṛtuvibhāga is being explained for the identification and rectification of ailment. The above table creates a problem in identifying the exact cardinal point.

If Māghādaya is understood from Winter solstice point then Tapa-Māgha will have to begin from Winter solstice but it doesn’t justify Phālguna and Chaitra to Vasanta. Taking VE at the junction of Phālguna and Chaitra the time period would be 500 CE and Pauṣa will be at WS. (see Figure 1)

इह तु वर्षाशरद्धेमन्तवसन्तग्रीष्मप्रावृषः षडृतवो भवन्ति दोषोपचयप्रकोपोपशमनिमित्त ते तु भाद्रपदाद्येन द्विमासिकेन व्याख्याताः तद्यथा भाद्रपदाश्वयुजौ वर्षाः कार्तिकमार्गशीर्षौ शरत् पौषमाघौ हेमन्तः फाल्गुनचैत्रौ वसन्तः वैशाखज्येष्ठौ ग्रीष्मः आषाढश्रावणौ प्रावृडिति. 9th of Adhyāya 6

According to some, the rainy season consists of two months known as Bhādra and Āśvina; Autumn consists of the two months of Kārtika and Mārgaśīrṣya. Hemanta consists of the two months of Pouṣa and Māgha; spring consists of the two months of Phālguna and Chaitra; summer, of Vaiśākha and Jyeṣṭha; and Prāvṛṭa, of Āshādha and Śrāvaṇa.

Now dwividha, i.e., dilemma as described by commentator looks like

and if we map the above information then lets see how it will look like while corroborating to the above verse number 9 and we find that the commentary table and verse no. 9 are contradictory.

Overall, more than two types of timing can be ascertained with the above observations. one may correspond to the range of years from 500 CE for Phalguna and Chaitra at vasanta, but if Pausha and Māgha had to be in hemanta, then in that case Winter solstice has to be at the end of Māgha and beginning of Shishir has to be Phalguna, in that case the timing will be going much more back in time during 2600 BCE. and if we align further other cardinal points then …..

“If we align the timing of Kartika/Margashirsha with the Sharad season to mean the point of fall equinox was at the intersection of Karitka/Margashirsha, it lead us to the time of ~3000 BCE.”

Nilesh Oak

“Sushruta Samhita states the following lunar months for the specific seasons of the year. If we understand lunar month of Bhadrapada as the beginning of the Varsha season, i.e. lunar month of Bhadrapada coinciding with the time of summer solstice, it leads us to the time of ~4000 BCE.”

Nilesh Oak

“If we perform sensitivity analysis by taking into account various sources of variations (Adhika masa, delaying of corrections to seasons/lunar months shifts, etc.) we may thus define this time interval to be a broad time interval of 5000 BCE…” read here

Nilesh Oak

….all of the above are possible.

The original verse says

तत्र माघादयो द्वादश मासाः द्विमासिकमृतुं कृत्वा षडृतवो भवन्ति ते शिशिरवसन्तग्रीष्मवर्षाशरद्धेमन्ताः तेषां तपस्तपस्यौ शिशिरः मधुमाधवौ वसन्तः शुचिशुक्रौ ग्रीष्मः नभोनभस्यौ वर्षाः इषोर्जौ शरत्...10-17

There are twelve months, beginning with Magha, making a bimonthly seasons, and there are six seasons. They are winter, spring, summer, rain, autumn and winter.

In this verse it states that māghādayo dvādaśa māsā dvimāsikaṃ ṛtu means 12 months of six seasons each. But original verse doesn’t mention any lunar name, like chaitra vaiśākha etc, of the solar counterparts tapa-tapasya, madhu-mādhava etc. It was commentator’s evaluation. But the commentor himself is puzzled so he brings in the rāṣī names given by Shāraṅgadhara for more correct observation.

Final passage with correction taken from śārṅgadharasaṃhitā

My observation is that if we stick to verse no. 9 alone where māghādayo dvādaśa māsāḥ is given then it has to strictly begin from Vernal Equinox as per the previous blog where I explained how and probably when the head of the seasons and new year beginning separated, until it is further explained with specific month names with the season the 12 months have to be taken from vasanta. Because we have many passages with śiśirādayaḥ and two ayana makes a year but the same has been explained in Sūryasiddhānta where the year beginning has been assigned to Vernal Equinox alone. Yet this can also fall prey to adhikamāsa, kṣayamāsa etc. Lets see if we have any clue to it further.

Fig 4. Observations recorded in Śāraṅgadhara samhita; the seasons were made in sync with solar – rashi based year.

ऋतुभेदेन वातादीनां संचयकोपोपशमाः
चयकोपशमा यस्मिन्दोषाणां सम्भवन्ति हि
ऋतुषट्कं तदाख्यातं रवे राशिषु संक्रमात् २५
राशिक्रमेण ऋतुषट्कनिर्देशः
ग्रीष्मो मेषवृषौ प्रोक्तः प्रावृण्मिथुनकर्कयोः
सिंहकन्ये स्मृता वर्षास्तुलावृश्चिकयोः शरत्
धनुर्ग्राहौ च हेमन्तो वसन्तः कुम्भमीनयोः २६ (read here)

Here it should be noted that śārṅgadharasaṃhitā is recalling by saying “स्मृता“, and its not saying that its happening in his times. These Sūrya-saṃkrāntis were the simplification given to verse no. 9. by the writer above which he had recalled. It is said that śārṅgadharasaṃhitā has been followed from the medieval period (12th cent–wiki). Sharangdhara Samhita is a compilation of ancient texts of Charaka, Sushruta, Vagbhatta, Chakradrapta and Soudhal and ancient texts of Rasa Shastra.

Lets see how the verse looks like when plotted…

Fig. The epoch of Shāraṅgadhara’s observation

Lets see how the śārṅgadharasaṃhitā’s time looks like when plotted…

Here Śāraṅgadhara time suggests that first month of vasanta started in Mesha itself. So when he says “स्मृता” then he is apparently speaking of a time which he has observed in any of the prior texts, like Charaka, Sushruta, Vagbhatta, Chakradrapta and Soudhal and ancient texts of Rasa Shastra, he had reffered to.

Śāraṅgadhara solves myriad problems by introducing the sūryasankrāntī with Kumbha and Mīna in Vasanta appended to dvividha ṛtuvibhāga which can possess the problems of identifying saṃvatsara with adhikamāsa, kṣayamāsa, if identified through lunar months, and thus identifying the cardinal points w.r.t sūryasankrāntī and synced in with five year yuga system which was prevalent in vedic as well as saiddhāntic times. We already saw that saṃvatsara beginning always happens from Vasanta-viṣuva whether in vedic texts or saiddhāntic text. Thus, to locate Vernal Equinox is the most important thing while observing any text. Rest of the seasons are experiential, sometimes with prolonged rains or prolonged winters if we see the climatology of the past. We will see later how prolonged rains had to introduce Prāvṛṭa and how feel of Hemanta was felt till Vasanta beginning. Since Meṣa, etc., were measured from Chitra star thus Vernal Equinox, observed in between Meṣa and Mīna, cannot be faulty. Thus Vernal Equinox is at -30 deg from the beginning of the Aries (diametrically opposite of Chitra star) points between Kumbha and Mīna. Timing for this event, when calculated, is yet to arrive during ~2450 CE or it goes back to ~23000 BCE.

But what about Māghādi

One must not forget that the ambiguity in reading Māghādi can happen due to adhimāsa. Sūryasiddhānta gives how to subtract chāndramāsa from ravimāsa which gives the adhimāsa. Even the change of 11 days of chāndramāsa the readings for the Sun in Phālguna can appear like Māghādi.

भवन्ति शशिनो मासाः सूर्येन्दुभगणान्तरम् । 
रविमासोनितास्ते तु शेषाः स्युरधिमासकाः ॥ १.३५ ॥ –madhyamādhikāra sūryasiddhānta

This solves that Māghādi was not at winter solstice point as it is always being assumed to be at Uttarāyaṇa point when Saṃvatsara comes into question. I have solved this with all the evidence that Saṃvatsara began from spring season and that too from vernal equinoctial point. Read here and here for more information as to how Vedic and Saidhāntic texts are consistent with the new year beginning from Vasanta — Viṣuva alone.

I had shown in one of my research paper presented in Vedānta conference held in JNU that the most of the ethnographic memory of year beginning also endorses the same.

But whats the new observation in Suśruta Saṃhitā

We see a clear and stark observation that Suśruta is making. It is not including Śiśira in the verse 9 in particular but certainly has included Prāvṛṭa and the feel of winter is also reduced. The difference between Prāvṛṭa and Varṣā has been explained in the Charaka-vibhāga a।8 as

prāvṛḍiti prathamaḥ pravṛṣṭaḥ kālaḥ। tasyānubandho varṣāḥ। Charaka

Tilak’s observation

“The second paragraph then begins with the words ‘But here’ and continues to state ‘But here the six seasons are, — Varshā, Sharad, Hemanta, Vasanta, Grīshma and Prāvṛiṣh,’ thus altogether dropping Shishira and dividing the rainy period into two seasons Varshā and Prāvṛiṣh. The paragraph then proceeds to assign the months to the seasons as follows:- Bhādrapada and Āshvina is Varshā, Kārtika and Mārgashīrsha is Sharad, Pauṣha and Māgha is Hemanta, and Phālguna and Chaitra is Vasanta; and so on until all the months are assigned to their respective seasons. The second paragraph, however, makes no mention of the ayanas, the year, or the lustrum described in the previous paragraph–all points to the conclusion that the second paragraph is of the later origin and inserted with a view only to note the changes in the occurrence of the events described in the paragraph next preceding it….


Tilak observed it very well that the rains are now getting 4 months and Śiśira is conspicuously absent. There is no ambiguity in dividing all these new seasons into the Rāśī pattern of 12 divisions. There are no overlaps of any season here. Lets understand what longer rainy season and absence of Śiśira could mean.

From the above Charaka’s notification of prāvṛḍiti prathamaḥ pravṛṣṭaḥ kālaḥ makes us understand Prāvṛṭa and Varṣā were different. We see in the later texts and lexicons that both have become almost synonyms (why? did the difference disappear?).

The peculiar problem of seasons in Suśruta; Is this peculiarity really a problem or does it contain memory of transition into greater monsoons…

The quaternary and the last glacial maximum gives a view of environmental change from colder to warmer and again colder and wetter in the tropics.

The observation suggests that monsoons is not yet in its optimum the effect of Vapor and elongation of the period of rains had begun during 23,500 BCE (Phaalguni months with Vasanta)~21,500 BCE(MAgha months with Vasanta). Prāvṛṭa and Varṣā were different till probably 16 Kyrs ago, but after that, it appears, these two words became almost synonyms.

Figure 5 observation suggests that monsoons is not yet in its optimum, the effect of Vapor and elongation of the period of rains had begun during 23,500 BCE (Phālguna months with Vasanta)~21,500 BCE(Māgha months with Vasanta). Prāvṛṭa and Varṣā were different till probably 16~18 Kyrs ago, but after that, it appears, these two words became almost synonyms.

Now lets see what various seasons appears in various Indian narratives and texts and monsoon data from the past in sync with quaternary environment change in tropics

Ṛg-Veda knows 12 spokes of the year so when it says about 5 seasons one among which definitely is the prolonged one and that would be Hemanta before Vasanta. This gives away that Snowy conditions prolonged and the end of snow was experienced before Vasanta which goes well with northern Vedic lands during pleistocene times and especially during LGM times. During the past 25,000 years, the Earth system has undergone a series of dramatic transitions. The most recent glacial period peaked during that time. The whole of the Pleistocene had temperature less than the Holocene times. This gives away our understanding of Ṛgvedic seasons a bit. The environment in the north were cooler and wetter during 50–24 Kyr with a warmer and wetter spell around 40 kyr, cool and dry during 24 (22 K BCE) kyr — 18 kyr. Post LGM after 18 Kyr we see that the monsoons had started gearing up — probably the time when Prāvṛṭa and Varṣā became synonyms. Our evidence is of 23,000 BCE and this period appears to be a transition period indeed. Thus Suśruta has two types of memories of ṛtuvibhāga as Varṣapradhāna and Śiśirapradhāna. Should there be any ambiguity in understanding this?

Fig 1. Domination of Seasons in Ṛg-Veda, Shishir is absent in Ṛg-Veda, but 12 spokes in a year known.

Seasons in Ṛg-Veda are particularly peculiar just like the Suśruta’s. Thus I take Season as experiential and observational. Lexicon says Ṛtu, ‘season,’ is a term repeatedly mentioned from the Ṛg-Veda onwards, Three seasons of the year are often alluded to, but the names are not usually specified. In one passage of the Ṛgveda spring (vasanta), summer (grīṣma), and autumn (śarad) are given. The Ṛg-Veda knows also the rainy season as prāvṛṣ and the winter (himā, hemanta). Hemanta, ‘winter,’ occurs only once in the Ṛg-Veda in 10. 161, 4. …श॒तम् । हे॒म॒न्तान् । श॒तम् । ऊँ॒ इति॑ ।otherwise the word for hemanta has been हिमाः in Ṛg-Veda. Quite a conditions of long Pleistocene times.

Fig. 3 Six seasons as received in many Indian narratives.

A more usual division (not found in the Ṛg-Veda) is into five seasons, vasanta, grīṣma, varṣā, śarad, hemanta-śiśira, but occasionally the five are otherwise divided, varṣā-śarad being made one season. Sometimes six ( उ॒तो इति॑ । सः । मह्य॑म् । इन्दु॑ऽभिः । षट् । यु॒क्तान् । अ॒नु॒ऽसेसि॑धत् । गोभिः॑ । यव॑म् । न । च॒र्कृ॒ष॒त् ॥ 1. 23, 15 RV) seasons are reckoned, which one being the sixth remains a question since śiśira word doesn’t appear in Ṛg-Veda, so that the six seasons can be made parallel to the twelve months of the year. Twelve months of the year is definitely known to Ṛgvedic people. द्वाद॑शारंन॒हितज्जरा॑य॒वर्व॑र्तिच॒क्रंपरि॒द्यामृ॒तस्य॑।आपु॒त्राअ॑ग्नेमिथु॒नासो॒अत्र॑स॒प्तश॒तानि॑विंश॒तिश्च॑तस्थुः॥(द्वादशारम्) द्वादश अरा मासा अवयवा यस्य तं संवत्सरम्…

Seasons are experiential in Suśruta Saṃhitā.

In dvividha understanding, we see that sushruta is making considerable efforts to understand the vaata conditions.

Interfusion of Prāvṛṭa elongation to Varṣā in Suśruta, an imagery of early fluctuation of monsoon in the midst of late Pleistocene and early LGM probably occurring during ~23,000 BCE

Where to place Dhanvantari Divodāsa?

Now lets come to Pratardana ( प्रतर्दनः काशिराजः) who appears as a ṛṣi and mantradraṣṭā of a mantra RV 10.179.002, son of Divodāsa (not to be confused with Divodāsa atithigva whose son was Sudās). Tenth maṇḍala is the last and the latest maṇḍala. Daivodāsi Pratardana is known to Kauṣītaki Upaniṣad also. There he has not been described as king of Kāśi in vedic literature and is being shown doing yāg in Naimiṣāraṇya.

Pratardana of Kāśi is the son of Divodāsa or bears patronymic name of Divodāsa. Divodāsa‘s pupil is Suśruta as is stated from shruti in the beginning of . Suśruta thus appears to be from Ṛgvedic times and either is contemporary of Pratardana or predecessor to Pratardana.

From many of my blogs we are observing that the timing of the end of addition in Ṛg-Veda is getting stuck in and around 22~23,000 BCE. It amazes me that the moon in Phālguni of Gopatha remembers this time, as if the time has stopped there. This was the time when the north completely was hit with glaciation. Cold and Dry period must have made people to move out. The memory during Māghādi was more cruel.


1. Seasons are experiential and are factual observation in Vedas as well as in Suśruta Saṃhitā.

2. The timing of event is 23,000 BCE, the epoch of Vernal Equinox between Kumbha and Mīna, It also solves the Māghādi months (11 day short to Phālgunādi each year in five year yuga system) name in sync with Kumbha and Mīna with Vasanta.

3. In the fascinating observation of King Bṛhadratha we have found the receding of ocean levels with Magha at vernal equinox which has already given us the clue to the dating of newest mandalas since king Bṛhadratha is present in the 1st and 10th mandala as well as in MAU to 34,500 BCE. Now we are encountering king Divodasa whose pupil is Suśruta at 23,000 BCE. It is though strange and interesting to note here that Suśruta samhita is silent about the river names like Ganga, Jahnavi, Bhagirathi although Suśruta is said to be the pupil of kāśīrāja**. Probably, out of few, Māgha month or Maghā nakṣatras have experienced very drastic change in the seasonal patters that it is remembered as one of the cruel nakṣatras…krūrāṇi tu maghāḥ VJ 36. Our sages just didn’t assign such words abruptly, they were observing.

4. One can’t place Dhanvantari-Divodāsa in recent times and it has been clearly shown with the help of genealogy also by Shri Nilesh Oak.

Foot note


** Hari S Sharma, Sushruta-samhitA – A critical Review Part-1 : Historical Glimpse

Lexicon on Ṛtu,‘season in vedic texts.

Ṛtu, ‘season,’ is a term repeatedly mentioned from the 
Rigveda1 onwards, Three seasons of the year are often 
alluded to,2 but the names are not usually specified. In one 
passage of the Rigveda3 spring (vasanta), summer (grīṣma), and 
autumn (śarad) are given. The Rigveda knows also the rainy 
season (prā-vṛṣ) and the winter (himā, hemanta). A more 
usual4 division (not found in the Rigveda) is into five seasons, 
[Page1-111+ 57]

vasanta, grīṣma, varṣā, śarad, hemama-siśira, but occasionally 
the five are otherwise divided, varṣā-śarad being made one 
season.5 Sometimes six6 seasons are reckoned, hemanta and 
śiśira being divided, so that the six seasons can be made 
parallel to the twelve months of the year. A still more 
artificial arrangement7 makes the seasons seven, possibly by 
reckoning the intercalary month as a season, as Weber and 
Zimmer8 hold, or more probably because of the predilection 
for the number seven, as Roth9 suggests. Occasionally the 
word ṛtu is applied to the months.10 The last season, 
according to the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa,11 is hemanta. 
The growth of the division of the seasons from three to five 
is rightly explained by Zimmer12 as indicating the advance of 
the Vedic Indians towards the east. It is not Rigvedic, but 
dominates the later Saṃhitās. Traces of an earlier division of 
the year into winter and summer do not appear clearly in the 
Rigveda, where the appropriate words himā and samā are 
merely general appellations of the year, and where śarad13 is 
commoner than either as a designation of the year, because it 
denotes the harvest, a time of overwhelming importance to a 
young agricultural people. The division of the year in one 
passage of the Atharvaveda14 into two periods of six months 
is merely formal, and in no way an indication of old 
[Footnote: 1) i. 49, 3; 84, 18, etc.] 

[Footnote: 2) Cf. Rv. i. 164, 2 (tri-nābhi), 48 (trīṇi 
nabhyāni); also perhaps the Ṛbhus as 
the genii of the three seasons and the 
three dawns. Cf. Macdonell, Vedic 
Mythology, p. 133; Hillebrandt, Vedische 
Mythologie, 2, 33 et seq.: Śatapatha Brāh- 
maṇa, xiv. 1, 1, 28, and the cāturmāsyāni, 
or four-monthly sacrifices performed at 
the beginning of the seasons in the 
ritual (Weber, Naxatra, 2, 329 et seq.).] 

[Footnote: 3) x. 90, 6. Hillebrandt, op. cit., 2, 
35, finds in Rv. v. 14, 4: ix. 91, 6, 
reference to three seasons in the triad 
gāvaḥ (? spring), āpaḥ (rains), svar 
(= gharma), and in the ritual literature 
(Āpastamba Śrauta Sūtra, viii. 4, 2) in 
the threefold division into ṛta, gharma, 
and oṣadhi.] 

[Footnote: 4) Av. viii. 2, 22; 9, 15; xiii. 1, 18; 
Taittirīya Saṃhitā, i. 6, 2, 3; iv. 3, 3, 
1. 2; v. 1, 10, 3; 3, 1, 2; 4. 12, 2; 
6. 10, 1; 7, 2, 4; vii. 1, 18, 1. 2; 
Maitrāyaṇī Saṃhitā, i. 7, 3; iii. 4, 8; 
13, 1; Kāṭhaka Saṃhitā, iv. 14; ix. 16; 
Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā, x. 10-14; Śata- 
patha Brāhmaṇa, i. 3, 5, 11; vi. 2, 2, 3. 
etc.; Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa, iii. 10, 4, 1; 
11, 10, 4, etc. Cf. Rv. i, 164, 13. See 
also Weber, op. cit., 2, 352.] 

[Footnote: 5) Satapatha Brāhmaṇa, xiii. 6, 1, 
10. 11.] 

[Footnote: 6) Av. vi. 55, 2; xii. 1, 36; Taittīrīya 
Saṃhitā, v. 1, 5, 2; 7, 3; 2. 6, 1, etc.; 
Maitrāyaṇī Saṃhitā, i. 7, 3; iii. 11, 12; 
Kāṭhaka Saṃhitā, viii. 6; Vājasaneyi 
Saṃhitā, xxi. 23-28; Satapatha Brāh- 
maṇa, i. 7, 2, 21; ii. 4, 2, 24; xii. 8, 2, 
34; Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa, ii. 6, 19, etc. 
Cf. also Rv. i. 23, 15, as interpreted 
by Roth, St. Petersburg Dictionary, 
s.v. indu.] 

[Footnote: 7) Av. vi. 61, 2; viii. 9, 18; Śata- 
patha Brāhmaṇa, viii. 5, 1, 15; ix. 1, 
2, 31; 2, 3, 45; 3, 1, 19; 5, 2, 8; 
perhaps Av. iv. 11, 9, and of. Rv. 
i. 164. 1.] 

[Footnote: 8) Indische Studien, 18, 44; Altindisches 
Leben, 374.] 

[Footnote: 9) St. Petersburg Dictionary, s.v. ṛtu. 
Cf. Hopkins, Religions of India, 18, 

[Footnote: 10) Av. xv. 4; Taittirīya Saṃhitā, 
iv. 4, 11, 1; Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā, 
xiii. 25; xiv. 6. 15. 26. 27; xv. 57, 

[Footnote: 11) i. 5. 3. 13.] 

[Footnote: 12) Op. cit., 373.] 

[Footnote: 13) Hopkins, American Journal of Phil- 
ology, 15, 159, 160: Weber, Indische 
Studien, 17, 232; Bühler, Zcitschrift der 
Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, 
41, 28.] 

[Footnote: 14) viii. 9, 17. Cf. Zimmer, 372.] 

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