Identifying “Udagayana” with Sun’s course in “Northern Hemisphere”; An evidence from Āpastamba-gṛhya-sūtra

Identifying Udagayana

To understand sanskrit words is highly critical when it poise polysemous nature. A wrong conjecture in Astronomical sense can shift the epochs by drastic time gap which requires a speacial attention and gathering of textual evidence as much as possible.

Identifying Udagayana-Praśna 1, Section 1; अथ कर्माण्याचाराद्यानि गृह्यन्ते १; 1. Now (follow) the ceremonies (the knowledge of) which is derived from practice (and not from the Śruti). 2. उदगयनपूर्वपक्षाहःपुण्याहेषु कार्याणि २; They should be performed during the northern course of the sun, on days of the first fortnight (of the month), on auspicious days,

Praśna 1, Section 2; सर्वऋतवो विवाहस्य शैशिरौ मासौ परिहाप्योत्तमं च नैदाघम् १२; 12. All seasons are fit for marriage with the exception of the two months of the śiśira season, and of the last summer month.

Praśna 1, Section 2; 16.[8] Under the Invakās (Nakṣatra), (the wooers who go to the girl’s father) are sent out: such wooers are welcome. footnote>On the Nakṣatra Invakās, comp. Section 3, Sūtra 4. This Sūtra forms a Śloka-hemistich, on which Haradatta observes, ‘This verse has not been made by the Sūtrakāra.'< Such editing, addition and alterations happen due to change in season and precession of equinoxes which points to different Nakshatra at different epoch.

The above reading clears all the doubt on the word “Udagayana”. For the the auspicious ceremonies, like marriage, has to begin in Udagayana but with an exception of the śiśira season.

The above reading clears all the doubts on the word “Udagayana”. For the auspicious ceremonies, like marriage, has to begin in Udagayana but with an exception of the śiśira season. If Northern course Udagayana has to be from Wintersolstice in Āpastamba-gṛhya-sūtra then the exception of the śiśira season should not have been mentioned neither this would corroborate “northern course of the sun, on days of the first fortnight (of the month), on auspicious days,”, i.e., it would not have mentioned the first fortnight after śiśira since śiśira begins with winter solstice, which is prohibited. The two statements become contradictory. We have a long tradition of reading about marriages, copulation, Rati-Kāmadeva Mahotsava in the Vasanta season in Indic texts and poetries.

The takeaway of this study

Thus, if Northern course, i.e., Udagayana has to be from Wintersolstice in Āpastamba-gṛhya-sūtra then the exception of the śiśira season should not have been mentioned.

This also clears the fog from the words like Udagayana and Uttarāyana. Udagayana means Sun in “Northern Hemisphere” and not “the northern course of the sun”. The northern course of the sun is clearly stated as Uttarāyana in Jyotiṣa texts like Sūryasiddhānta. Sūryasiddhānta has differentiated between Deva-Ayana/Devayāna and Uttarāyana. All the Indic texts compliment each other.

This study will have implications on dating of Vedāṅga Jyotiṣa.

10 thoughts on “Identifying “Udagayana” with Sun’s course in “Northern Hemisphere”; An evidence from Āpastamba-gṛhya-sūtra

  1. Hi Rupa ji – I was your fellow student in Professor Jha’s Nyaya Darshana Samskruta class early this year.

    are you aware of the Badami/Vatapi rock/cave temples of Karnataka. There is a story that goes to following effect “There were 2 rakshasas Vatapi and Gilvala. They used to bring people from around the area in the guise of treating them/feeding them. Vatapi used to take the form of goat. Gilvala used to cut the goat and prepare food and feed the people. Once the food has been consumed, Gilvala used to utter/order Vatapi to come out. Vatapi used to come out and the rakshasas would eat the people once they are dead due to Vatapi coming out of stomach. One day Maharshi Agastya was passing by and both Rakshasas offered him to be their guest and feed. Same trick of Vatapi Turing to goat, but before Gilvala could order Vatapi to come out, Mahamuni Agastya would say let Vatapi be digested”

    What astronomical event would this allegory mean? Also, the world famous 18 hand Nataraja is famous from this temple.

    Thought of sharing this that would bring some more remembrance or help solidify some of your hypothesis..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In other parts of India, It is Vatapi and Ilvala. Rest details are same. Rishi Agastya was going to South & did subdue Vindhya Parvat to allow Sun to cross Vindhya.

      Agastya is also a star and it may have been invisible from south part of India. I believe Dr. Jayasree Saranathan argued that the Vindhya episode indicates that tropic of Cancer shifted and crossed Vindhya Parvat during that time due to change in axial tilt of earth.

      But yes, Rupa-ji is probably in a position to provide a better explanation for that, especially regarding Vatapi & Ilvla which may indicate some stars or some cosmological observation that may have disappeared at that time.

      regards

      Chakraborty

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Namaste Kiran ji,
      Sorry for the late reply. I had to go through chaotic times. Yes, I remember this version of story and if I am not wrong it happens to be in Mahabharata also apart from ethnographic memories of Southern India. I have recorded a little here…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVBdRx0sLTk&t=309s. I will take up this as one separate session. Time constraints are there so unable to hatch time to do so. I have identified Invaka and ilvalosur from Amarakosha also and have written in one of my blog. Kindly do read.
      Regards

      Like

  2. Respected Rupa ji
    Such a subtle yet candid treatment to an age old confusion prevailing among Indic students. May I suggest a simple Peer Review of this analyses be got admitted. This will go a long way to resolve a II debate on social media along this misunderstanding @ beginning of year also.
    Kind regards
    Ashok Tyagi

    Liked by 1 person

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