Rupa Bhaty
4 min readMay 24, 2022

The puzzles of numbers in Rg-veda

If one recounts on how Hima and Indava were dominating words in Rg Veda then apperantly there were periods when there had been severe colder periods and intermediate moist periods or cold and moist periods together as well. There then comes a very strange word Tri-yuga. Yaska renders it as three Ṛtus-seasons in a year. This also is correct in the microlevel sense.

But what if a macrolevel rendering is done by the Rg Vedins.

With the help of nakshatra system (28 and 27 systems) we understand that our ancients were able to divide the ecliptic into Nakshatra division and had experienced at least more than one cycle of precession of equinoxes. A pure Solar system was undergoing Luni Solar in Rg veda itself. The 34/35 stomas (lights), in which one attendant was Agastya, also gives us a vivid imagery of Stars instead of Grahas-planets. Some researchers have taken 34/35 stomas as 27 nakshatras and 5 grahas and 2 sun & moon itself. The distinction of Graha ( Ekam chakre sapta yunjate) and Nakshatras (Adityas) got bifurcated in the Rg veda itself. Why I bring this to notice, it appears to me that our ancients were reducing number of nakshatra probably due to the decreasing of visible stars on the ecliptic.

With the help of King Kaṇḍu’s 987 years and the division 21600 min divided by 800 min (13º-20') making 27 division, and by Sūryasiddhānta calculations and by 1000 years long Somayāga we understand that our ancients knew precession of equinoxes roughly of 987~1000 years.

With the help of Riksha and Saptarishi analysis we understand that at least one or more precession cycle was experienced by our ancients.

With the help of Hanuman’s reference to Niṣṭyā and Svātī we again come to conclusion that our ancients had experienced more than one cycle of precession.

With the help of King Bṛhadratha and his timing we reach to the same conclusion that the last Mandala of Rg veda experienced precession of vernal equinox in Arjuni/Phalguni too.

All these above facts points to a phase when the birth of Oṣadhī was experienced and perhaps became a staple of food apart from the animal meat which was also known as anna.

Hima gives a vivid imagery of Pleistocene times, that too of extreme cold climate in the Himalayas which began much earlier to Last Glacial Maximum.

Indava gives a vivid imagery of the moist phase in Rg veda.

Triyuga of Devas

This would mean that the same deva appeared thrice and the Oṣadhī appeared three yugas earlier. If the last mandala is roughly 34000 to 26000 years old then three such yugas of 26,000 years must have had passed. Adding 26,000X3 + 34500= 112500 BCE. If one remembers Oṣadhī is also used for Mṛgaśīrṣa Nakshatra. If this is so then from 112500 we go back to 4000 years more.

Just a speculation?

The sudden rise of global C mass during 120 ka ( kilo years before present) till 110 ka gives a fair idea of similar atmospheric CO₂ concentration. It appears that the Rg veda has this memory well preserved.

Takeaway —

If this is true then it can be one of the incredible memory preserved by the Rg- Vedins.

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Lexicon —

Tri-yuga, neut., is an expression occurring in the RgVeda x. 97, 1 where it is said that the plants (oṣadhi) were born ‘three ages’ before the gods (devebhyas triyugaṃ purā). The commentator on the Niruktai (x. 28) thinks that the ages here meant are the Yugas of the later Indian chronology, the sense of the passage being that the plants were born in the first Yuga.

The author of the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa (vii. 2, 4, 26) understands three seasons — spring, the rains, and autumn — to be meant in the verse, taking the two words triyugaṃ purā separately as ‘formerly, in the three seasons.’ The vague sense ‘three ages’ is quite adequate: the use of ‘three’ in such cases is a favourite feature in folklore.

Precession of Equinoxes —

It takes roughly 26,000 years for the same Nakshatra to become background of the Sun on vernal equinox day.



Rupa Bhaty

Architect and Adjunct Assistant Professor at School of Indic studies, Institute of Advanced Sciences, MA, USA