Vedas: The Vedas are one
of the earliest literary sources available to us. The period during which they
were written is known as the Age of the Vedas.
word ‘Veda’ means knowledge. There are four Vedas- Rig Veda, Yajur Veda,
Sama Veda and Atharva Veda. They contain hymns in praise of various gods and
goddesses. These hymns were recited and passed from one generation to the next
until many centuries later, they were finally written down. Since the Vedas are
our main source of information, the period from 1500- 600 BCE is called the
Rig Veda is the oldest Veda. It was composed about 3500 years ago. It is
divided into 10 ‘mandals’ or books and contains 1028 hymns. These hymns are in
praise of different gods such as Indra, the god of rain, storm and war; Agni,
the fire-god; Varun, the sky-god and many others. The hymns were composed in
Vedica Sanskrit. Priests recited these hymns and students were expected to memorize
and Vedas: Astrology i.e. Jyotisha is
part of Vedas. In Rig- Veda there are about thirty Slokas on
astrology. In Yajura Veda forty- four and in Atharva
Veda one hundred and sixty two Slokas on Astrology.
Veda gives us reference to division of year into 12 lunar months. To adjust the
lunar year with the solar year, the Hindu sagas added one llunar month known as
Adhika Masa or Mala Masa every third year. Rigveda says that a year consists of
12 months or 360 days or 720 days and nights or 360 days plus 360 nights:
प्रधयश्चक्रमेक॑ त्रीणि नभ्यानि कउ तच्चिकेत।
द्विशता न शंकवोउर्पिता: षष्टिनं चलाचलास:॥
Atharva Veda for appeasement of blemishes on account of child’s birth in Ganda
Moola Nakshatra, Agni Deva and other Devatas are prayed to grant the child long
life. They are requested to ward off the evils and give only beneficial
जातो विचृतोर्यमस्यमूलवर्णात् परिपालयेनम्।
विश्वा दीर्घायुत्वाय शतशारदाय॥
and Puranas: Our
Sagas developed another immortal classic known as Puranas, which
also contains seeds of astrology.
Vishnu in form of monthly Aaditya is worshipped by respective sages. Gandharvas
sing the song in praise of Aasitya. Apsaras dance before AAdityas, Rakshas
follows the chariots of Aaditya. Sarpas or Nag decorate the chariots of
Aadityas. Yakshas act as charioteers of Aadityas.
मैत्रेय. वसन््येते तु सप्तका:।
सूर्य गन्धवैगीयते. पुरः।
यान्ति सूर्यस्थानु निशाचरा:॥
यक्षै क्रियते3भीषुसड ग्रह: ॥
10 second part, Vishnu puran
another part Parashar says The Sun soaks water from earth for 8 months and
pours it for remaining 4 months.
महेन्द्रश्य॒ कश्यपोउथ ततो.. श्रुव:॥
शिशुमारस्थ नास्तमेति चतुष्टयम्॥””
12 Second part,Vishnu Puran
to Vishnu Purana, Jaimini was disciple of Veda Vyasa and Parasar was the father
of Veda Vyas. Vishnu Purana prescribe a code of conduct. It says that
Chaturdasi, Ashtami, Amavasya, Purnima and Surya Sankranti are pious days. Use
of oil, woman and meat on such days was forbidden.
“”चतुर्दश्यष्टमी चैब तथा मा चाथ पूर्णिमा।
राजेन्द्र रविसंक्रान्तरिव च॥
सर्ेष्वेतेषु वै पुमान्।
नाम प्रयाति नरक॑ मृतः॥”!
11, 3rd Part of Vishnu