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Masas and Rtus Names from the Linga Puranam

  • I have not yet worked out the astronomical significance of this passage.., I am saving it for our reference. For example, there is an Aditya per month, and Vivasvan is the Aditya for the second month of the Sarad Rtu.
  • I don’t know why the seasons are listed from grishma and not from vasanta
  • Therefore I don’t know if I can map the name Chaitra Masa as used today to Tapa Masa as given in the Linga Puranam.
  • I feel somehow that Chaitra Masam should match Madhumasam., because of the meaning of madhu – sweet, honey.
  • One more area for research, interpretation and reconciliation.

Source and Reference :

  1. The sun’s chariot was built by Brahma himself. It is made completely out of gold. (I know a shloka where it is said to be made out of iron, but don’t remember which text that is from at this time)
  2. There are twelve months in a year. Their names are Madhu, Madhava, Shukra, Shuchi, Nabha, Nabhasya, Isha, Urjja, Saha, Sahasya, Tapa and Tapasya. (These names of the months are slightly unusual. More common is Vaishakha, Jyeshtha, etc.)
  3. Two months constitute a season (ritu) and there are therefore six seasons in every year. These are grishma (summer), varsha (monsoon), sharat (early autumn), hemanta (late autumn), shita (winter) and vasanta (spring).
  4. In every season, two adityas, two rshis, two gandharvas, two apsaras, two rakshasas and two nagas ride on the sun’s chariot to keep the sun company. Their names are as follows.
    1. Grishma – the adityas Dhata and Aryama; the sages Pulastya and Pulaha; the gandharvas Tumburu and Narada; the apsaras Kritasthala and Punjikasthala; the rakshasas Rakshoheti and Praheti; and the nagas Uraga and Vasuki. Madhu and Madhava are the months of grishma.
    2. Varsha – the adityas Mitra and Varuna; the sages Atri and Vasishtha; the gandharvas Haha and Huhu; the apsaras Menaka and Sahajanya; the rakshasas Pourusheya and Vadha; and the naga Takshaka. (The name of the second naga is not given.) Shukra and Shuchi are those of varsha.
    3. Sharat – the adityas Indra and Vivasvana; the sages Angira and Bhrigu; the gandharvas Vishvavasu and Ugrasena; the apsaras Pramlocha and Anumlocha; the rakshasas Sarpa and Vyaghra; and the nagas Elapatra and Shankhapala. Nabha and Nabhasya those of sharat.
    4. Hemanta – the adityas Parjanya and Pusha; the sages Bharadvaja and Gautama; the gandharvas Suruchi and Paravasu; the apsaras Ghritachi and Vishvachi; the rakshasas Apa and Vata; and the nagas Dhananjaya and Iravana. Isha and Urjja those of hemanta.
    5. Shita – the adityas Amshu and Bhaga; the sages Kashyapa and Kratu; the gandharvas Chitrasena and Urnayu; the apsaras Urvashi and Purvachitti; the rakshasas Vidyut and Diva; and the nagas Mahapadma and Karkataka. Saha and Sahasya those of shita.
    6. Vasanta – the adityas Tvashta and Vishnu; the sages Jamadagni and Vishvamitra; the gandharvas Dhritarashtra and Suryavarcha; the apsaras Tilottama and Rambha; the rakshasas Brahmopeta and Yakshopeta; and the nagas Kambana and Ashvatara. Tapa and Tapasya those of vasanta.
  5. The moon (Chandra) has a chariot that has three wheels and is drawn by three horses. The horses are competely white in colour. The sun drinks up the energy of the moon for a period of fifteen days. This period is known as krishnapaksha (the fortnight during which the moon wanes). The sun then replenishes the moon’s energy over the next fifteen days. This period is known as shuklapaksha (the fortnight during which the moon waxes).
  6. Budha (Mercury) is Chandra’s son and rides a chariot that is drawn by eight horses. The horses are yellow and the chariot is made of gold.
  7. Brihaspati (Jupiter) also has a chariot that is made of gold and is drawn by eight horses.
  8. But Shani’s (Saturn) chariot is made of iron.
  9. Just as Indra rules over the gods, the sun rules over the planets and the moon rules over the nakshatras (stars) and the herbs.
  10. But all of these revolve around Dhruva (the Pole Star).

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December 19, 2009 at 2:45 pm

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