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Connecting Science and Scriptures : Satya Sarada Kandula : All Rights Reserved

Daksha’s head: Goat! Aries, Mesha!


Siva Puranam is full of astronomical significance.

This post talks about the astronomical significance of  Daksha’s story.

 In Sanskrit, Daksha means 2 things – right, and south. This is because we are an east-facing people and not a north-facing people.

  1. Siva is also called Vama Deva, Vama also means left in Sanskrit.
  2. Siva (Arudra – first star of Gemini-mithuna) Rides Vrishabha (Taurus – the Bull).
  3. Margasira Nakshatran, associated with Parvathi follows ‘prati patthaye’ Arudra, associated with Siva.

Siva replaced Daksha’s head with a goat’s head.

quick astronomy primer:

  • The 27 nakshatrams are called fixed stars. It is with reference to them that the zodiac is defined. That is the sidereal zodiac.
  • The closest star to the earth – our life-giver – is the sun!
  • We move around the sun in an elliptical orbit, our earth’s axis is at an angle to the plane of orbit and it ‘wobbles’. This gives us the seasons and it also gives us the precession of equinoxes. That means that our seasonal changes the solstices and the equinoxes, shift slightly wrt the fixed stars.
  • Since the sun is important to us – we say that it is the stars that are slipping by!
  • We have fixed the tropical zodiac based on the sun.
  • That means, the rasi or zodiac sign, that occurs from march 21 to april 19th, is Aries.
  • That means that whatever rasi the sun is in during that time, that we define as Aries.
  • Because of the slip due to precession, over a thousand years, different stars will form the ‘Tropical Aries’.
  • There fore the shape of the rasis change over time.
  • Each rasi always has 2 and 1/4 stars, the first star of the first rasi changes continually.

The rasi that looked like a man’s head?, started looking like a goat’s head, because of different stars were around the sun at spring. That is the time of the Daksha Yajna nasanam.

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Written by Satya Sarada Kandula

December 10, 2008 at 5:35 am

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