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Revati’s father and Revati lost 27 chaturyugas (108 yugas), during a visit to Brahma:
.”abhiyātaḥ — have passed; tri — three; nava — nine; catur-yuga — four yugas; vikalpitaḥ — thus measured. http://bhagavata.org/canto9/chapter3.html
‘for many successions of ages have passed away whilst you were listening to our songsters: now upon earth the twenty-eighth great age of the present Manu is nearly finished, and the Kali period is at hand. http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/vp/vp093.htm
How traditionalists explain this:
- To explain this, we can go into the Time-Dilation story told in the Bhagavatam. About how Revati’s father and Revati lost 27 chaturyugas (108 yugas), during a visit to Brahma, because Brahma is on a different time-scale.
- Or we can go into another puranic theory which says that each of these stories took place in different kalpas, or different manvantaras. According to this the main events of the stories take place in every kalpa and there are finite variations in any specific kalpa. That way everyone gets to be right in some parallel universe or some time cycle.
I propose that an astronomical story has been overlaid with a legend. It is my thinking that Revati, here refers to the star and not to the woman.
Revati is the name of the star 99h Psc, which is the brightest star of Meena Raashi. There are 27 stars, in the Hindu zodiac. The story is one of Revati ‘returning’ to a place after 27 units of time, 27 Mahayugas or Chaturyugas. It demonstrates a knowledge of the precession of equinoxes.
Some background and calculations:
- The fixed or the sidereal zodiac considers the nakshatras as its basis. Its first degree begins as the first degree of Mesha (Aries) from a particular point in the Revati group of stars.
- There is another zodiac, however, which is reckoned from the Vernal equinox point; here the first point of Aries begins from the Vernal equinox. This is called the movable or the tropical zodiac.
- The movable zodiac continues to recede westward along the stars, which characterise the fixed zodiac.
- This point, the first point of Aries or the vernal equinox, goes on receding westward at a rate of approximately 50.26 seconds of arc each year. This is called the precession of the equinoxes.
- 360 degrees = 360*60 minutes = 360*60*60 seconds of arc = 1296000 seconds of arc
- 1296000 seconds of arc/50.26 seconds of arc/year = 25785.91 years
- So it takes 25785.91 years for 1 full circle – ‘ for Revati to ‘return”., (or for the original alignments to be viewed.)
- If the technology of measurement at that time gave a figure of 48 seconds of arc per year for the westward recession of Aries, then it would take 1296000/48 = 27000 years for Revati to return. 27000 years is the figure you normally find in many articles. (This would mean a 4.5% relative error in measurement in seconds of arc. Which is very small).
- If 27000 years give us 27 caturyugas, and if the ratio of the individual Yuga lengths in each caturyuga is 4:3:2:1 with the Kaliyuga being a 100 years long, then Each caturyuga is 1000 years long.
For Details See Also: http://www.aryabhatt.com/vediclessons/vediclesson5.htm