In the Veda texts, the noble men were called Devas,(IT IS NOT USED FOR GOD as many sites tell you)And bad people were namedd Asuras and Melicha. The Sun, comets, the sky, dawn, and the horizon were all deified based on their attributes. A beautiful verse from a Veda mentioning about SUN is here-
'Thou art a blessing when thou art near
Raise up wealth to the worshipper, thou mighty Dawn
Shine for us with thy best rays, thou bright Dawn
Thou daughter of the sky, thou high-born Dawn.'
The earliest Veda text mentioning astronomy is called the Rig Veda, and was written millions of years ago not 2000-5000 BC as historians misguide it.
Indian astronomers recognized like Aryabhata,Varahamihira, Brahmagupta , that the stars are the same as the Sun, only farther away. Verses mention that the night sky has uncountable suns. This is an incredible scientific leap which Vedas knew millions of years ago before westernes found out and still struggling to say that. Rigvedas refer that Sun not Earth was center of our Sun Universe. Ypu all know how christian evengelist blinded eyess of Galleo when he quoted that just few hundred years ago.
The Rigveda shows that the Indians divided the year into 360 days, and the year was subdivided into 12 months of 30 days. Every 5 years, two intercalary periods were added to bring the calendar back in line with the solar year, ensuring that years averaged 366 days. However, the Indian year still migrated four days in every five years, and Indian astronomers constantly tweaked and adjusted their calendars over the millennia. The text also shows that the Indians used four cardinal points for ensuring the correct orientation of altars.
The Jyotisa Vedanga, the first Vedic text to mention astronomical data, records events going back as far as 4000 BCE, although many archaeoastronomers believe that this text may include observations from as early as 11 000 BCE. They point out that some of the records may have been copied from earlier manuscripts, but this is an area where more research is needed, as many of the references are unclear and couched in religious terminology.
In the 5th century, a great Indian astronomer and mathematician named Aryabhatta advanced this heliocentric theory and also discussed his idea that the Sun is the source of moonlight. He also studied how to forecast eclipses. His books and others were translated into Latin in the 13th century, and profoundly influenced European mathematicians and astronomers, who stole Indian astronomy and put their nameLINK.
Several Indian scientists of the 6th century also were the first to advance the idea of gravity. They noticed that a special force keeps objects stuck to the earth, and hypothesized that the same force might be responsible for holding heavenly bodies in their place. The idea pre-dates Newton's conception of gravity by about 1100 years. GRAVITY WAS DISCOVERED BY INDIANS NOT NEWTON.
Following is summary of Indian ASTRONOMY-
There are astronomical references of chronological significance in the Vedas. Some Vedic notices mark the beginning of the year and that of the vernal equinox in Orion; this was the case around 4500 BC. Fire altars, with astronomical basis, have been found in the third millennium cities of India. The texts that describe their designs are conservatively dated to the first millennium BC, but their contents appear to be much older.
Some scholars have claimed that the Babylonians invented the zodiac of 360 degrees around 700 BCE, perhaps even earlier. Many claim that India received the knowledge of the zodiac from Babylonia or even later from Greece. However, as old as the Rig Veda, the oldest Vedic text, there are clear references to a chakra or wheel of 360 spokes placed in the sky. The number 360 and its related numbers like 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 108, 432 and 720 occur commonly in Vedic symbolism. It is in the hymns of the great Rishi Dirghatamas (RV I.140 – 164) that we have the clearest such references.The earliest concept of a heliocentric model of the solar system, in which the Sun that is at the centre of the solar system and the Earth that is orbiting it, is found in several Vedic Sanskrit texts written in ancient India.
The Aitareya Brahmana (2.7) (c. 9th–8th century BC) states: "The Sun never sets nor rises. When people think the sun is setting, it is not so; they are mistaken." This indicates that the Sun is stationery (hence the Earth is moving around it), which is elaborated in a later commentary Vishnu Purana (2.8) (c. 1st century), which states: "The sun is stationed for all time, in the middle of the day. [...] Of the sun, which is always in one and the same place, there is neither setting nor rising."
Yajnavalkya (c. 9th–8th century BC) recognized that the Earth was round and believed that the Sun was "the centre of the spheres" as described in the Vedas at the time. His astronomical text Shatapatha Brahmana (126.96.36.199) stated: "The sun strings these worlds - the earth, the planets, the atmosphere - to himself on a thread." He recognized that the Sun was much larger than the Earth, which would have influenced this early heliocentric concept. He also accurately measured the relative distances of the Sun and the Moon from the Earth as 108 times the diameters of these heavenly bodies, almost close to the modern measurements of 107.6 for the Sun and 110.6 for the Moon.
Based on his heliocentric model, Yajnavalkya proposed a 95-year cycle to synchronize the motions of the Sun and the Moon, which gives the average length of the tropical year as 365.24675 days, which is only 6 minutes longer than the modern value of 365.24220 days. This estimate for the length of the tropical year remained the most accurate anywhere in the world for over a thousand years. The distances of the Moon and the Sun from the Earth was accurately measured as 108 times the diameters of these heavenly bodies. These are very close to the modern values of 110.6 for the Moon and 107.6 for the Sun, which were obtained using modern instruments.
There is an old Sanskrit shloka (couplet) which also states "Sarva Dishanaam, Suryaha, Suryaha, Suryaha" which means that there are suns in all directions. This couplet which describes the night sky as full of suns, indicates that in ancient times Indian astronomers had arrived at the important discovery that the stars visible at night are similar to the Sun visible during day time. In other words, it was recognized that the sun is also a star, though the nearest one. This understanding is demonstrated in another Sloka which says that when one sun sinks below the horizon, a thousand suns take its place.
Many Indian astronomers had later formulated ideas about gravity and gravitation in the early middle ages.
The cosmological time cycles explained in the Surya Siddhanta, which was copied from an earlier work, gives:
Later Indian astronomer-mathematicians such as Aryabhata made references to this text, while later Arabic and Latin translations were very influential in Europe and the Middle East.
The Indian astronomer-mathematician Aryabhata (476–550), in his magnum opus Aryabhatiya, propounded a mathematical heliocentric model in which the Earth was taken to be spinning on its axis and the periods of the planets were given with respect to a stationary Sun. He was also the first to discover that the light from the Moon and the planets were reflected from the Sun, and that the planets follow an elliptical orbit around the Sun, and thus propunded an eccentric elliptical model of the planets, on which he accurately calculated many astronomical constants, such as the times of the solar and lunar eclipses, and the instantaneous motion of the Moon (expressed as a differential equation). Bhaskara (1114-1185) expanded on Aryabhata's heliocentric model in his treatise Siddhanta-Shiromani, where he mentioned the law of gravity, discovered that the planets don't orbit the Sun at a uniform velocity, and accurately calculated many astronomical constants based on this model, such as the solar and lunar eclipses, and the velocities and instantaneous motions of the planets. Arabic translations of Aryabhata's Aryabhatiya were available from the 8th century, while Latin translations were available from the 13th century, before Copernicus had written De revolutionibus orbium coelestium, so it's quite likely that Aryabhata's work had an influence on Copernicus' ideas.
Aryabhata wrote that 1,582,237,500 rotations of the Earth equal 57,753,336 lunar orbits. This is an extremely accurate ratio of a fundamental astronomical ratio (1,582,237,500/57,753,336 = 27.3964693572), and is perhaps the oldest astronomical constant calculated to such accuracy.
Brahmagupta (598-668) was the head of the astronomical observatory at Ujjain and during his tenure there wrote a text on astronomy, the Brahmasphutasiddhanta in 628.
Bhaskara (1114-1185) was the head of the astronomical observatory at Ujjain, continuing the mathematical tradition of Brahmagupta. He wrote the Siddhanta-Shiromani which consists of two parts: Goladhyaya (sphere) and Grahaganita (mathematics of the planets)."In India I found a race of mortals
living upon the Earth. but not adhering to it.
Inhabiting cities, but not being fixed to them,
possessing everything but possessed by nothing". - Apollonius Tyanaeus
- Greek Thinker and Traveller 1st Century AD
Mayan Astronomy- Mayanas used astronomy for agriculture purpose, although they did not invent any clock but their mayan calender has many animlas, celestial events and they go by that. What it means is that they were well worsed with universe of stars,probably learned from Indian, their roots. If you look at Indian and Mayan calender- they look a like.
Mayan cosmology is well described in this article Mesoamerican astronomy (see references). Earth is in layer one of upper world in the center of universe. And there is underworld(PATAL LOKA as in Indian scriptures) .It is shown a large wheel surrounded by the teoatl,(divine water), -or ocean that extends to the horizon. Layer 2 is Ilhuicatl metzli,,place for moon and clouds. Layer 3 is Citlalco, associated with deity Citlallicue ("She of the Starry Skirts"). Layer 4 is called Ilhuicatl Tonatiuh is SUN.Fifth layer is Venus, the "Great Star. 6 th layer is is Ilhuicatl Mamalhuazocan, ("Heaven of the Fire Drill,)" a constellation ? Orion's .Comets("Smoking Stars come in to this layer ,as they say "fire serpents attend to their duty of bringing the sun from the east to west". 7 th layer is called Blue or Black Heavens. with winds / storms. 8 th layer is is blue heaven, covered with dusts. 8th layer is , Itztapal Nanatzcayan(home of thunder) - "Where Stone Slabs Crash Together." 10 th layer is white ,.Layer 11 is yellow.Layer12 is red. Layer 13 is Omeyocan, is a place for a dual male-female god(ARDHNARISWAR AS IN INDIAN SCRIPTURE), that created space and time,lives (matter).
The Milky Way was seen as umbilical cord ,to connect soul to underworld. Michael Coe states, "The Mesoamerican cosmos was one in constant flux, in which space and time were co-terminous, in which the heavenly bodies moved in fixed layers, and which was in constant peril of cataclysm".
Tonatiuh, a red eagle with a large and all-seeing eye, was the god associated with the sun. Mayan knew that tilt of the Earth's axis, is reason for sun's appearance at different positions in the sky depending on the time of year and responsible for seasons. The Maya accurately calculated times when the sun would rise and set, and even more amazing, they determined the length of the solar year to be 365 days. A tropical year is 365.2422 days ,small error though. This was updated
continuously throughout the generations.
The moon was represented by a female deity with effect on terrestrial events. A Mayan astronomer calculated that there were exactly 149 moons over a period of 4400 days, which works out to an average lunation of 29.53 days. In the city of Palenque, it was found that there are 405 moons in 11,960 days, which means that an average lunation is 29.53086 days. This is remarkable accuracy, given that the actual average lunation is 29.53059 days.
Venus was connected with the major deity Quetzalcoatl.,called Xux Ek, the "Great Star,".Mayans knew that it is the same object seen both in morning and the evening at different times of the year. The priest-astronomers determined the synodic period of Venus (how long it takes to orbit the sun) to be 584 days, which is again incredibly close to the actual period of 583.92 days. When Venus rose in the mornings, it was considered bad luck, and everyone would stay inside their homes and block their chimneys so that the evil light from Venus could not enter.
The Mayans also calculated the synodic periods of Mars as 780 days (actual = 779.936 days) and Mercury as 117 days (actual = 116 days).
Mayans did not have interest in Jupiter and Saturn.
Pleiades star cluster was known as tianquiztli, (marketplace), that appears in the morning sky around planting time, in late April. This helped for sowing season ahead . Polaris, or Xaman Ek, was used by travelers to orient themselves on land.
Comets were believed to be an even more direct link to the human world. If a comet, or "star that smokes," appeared in the sky, it foretold the death of a noble person.
Maya priest-astronomers knew that sun and moon crosses each other' path every 173.31 days. and eclipses may occur within 18 days this period. Look at this eclipse table resides in the Dresden Codex, which was written in the eleventh century in the northern Yucatan. The codex is made of ficus tree bark, and the pages are covered with lime for a glossy finish. The glyphs are painted in red and black with a very fine brush. In the eclipse section of the Dresden Codex, two numbers appear quite frequently. The numbers 177, which is approximately the length of six lunations, and 148, or five lunations, are representative of times when eclipses were predicted. The astronomers periodically corrected the eclipse tables, learning from their small mistakes and adjusting the calendars, and so on several occasions we see that the number 178 appears in place of 177. In effect, the eclipse tables consist of columns and rows of the numbers explained above, and in some cases, the eclipse glyph is presented instead. This symbolizes days when an eclipse could be expected, and if one did occur, the number was replaced by the eclipse glyph.
The Maya mathematical system were a copy of Indian math system with numbers and while Europe had dark age Mayan system were playing with numbers,vigesimal, or base 20, number system. Mayan numbers consist of a series of dots and bars, where dots have a value of one and bars represent five. The numbers one through nineteen, and a series of glyphs representing the number zero, are shown in the picture below. Remember ZERO was used by Aryabhatta in India >2000-5000 yrs BC.
The Mayan system operated on exactly the same principles,what is used now a decimel using 1o while Mayans were using 20's in place of 10's. i.e. 1; 20; 400; 8000; 160000. An example of simple addition of a large number is shown in the figure below . The Maya also COPIED the concept of zero, FROM INDIANS which had immense benefit as a place-holder and vastly simplified basic arithmetic, along with making it possible to do more complex calculations. Western archeologist and mathmatecian still will say That Mayan used Zero before Indians but it is again a history they want to hide from all and trying to proove Indians as sheep dwellers,which is debunked now.
Modified from starteachastronomy with following references-
J. Norman Lockyer, The Dawn of Astronomy, MIT Press, 1894.
History of Indian Astronomy. http://www.stormpages.com/swadhwa/hofa/ia.html.
Anthony Aveni. Ancient Astronomers. Smithsonian Books, 1993.
Anthony Aveni. "Astronomy in Ancient Mesoamerica." In In Search of Ancient Astronomies, edited by E.C. Krupp. Doubleday and Company, 1977. 165-202.
Anthony Aveni. "Possible Astronomical Orientations in Ancient Mesoamerica." In Archaeoastronomy in Pre-Columbian America, edited by Anthony Aveni. U. of Texas Press, 1975. 163-190.
Anthony Aveni. Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico. U. of Texas Press, 1980.
Michael Coe. "Native Astronomy in Mesoamerica." In Archaeoastronomy in Pre-Columbian America, edited by Anthony Aveni. U. of Texas Press 1975. 3-31.
Evan Hadingham. Early Man and the Cosmos. Walker and Company, 1984.
Guillermo Hinojosa. Personal interview. April 25, 2000.
E.C. Krupp, Echoes of the Ancient Skies: The Astronomy of Lost Civilizations. Harper and Row, 1983.
The Maya Astronomy Page. http://www.michielb.nl/maya/.
Colin A. Ronan. Changing Views of the Universe. MacMillan, 1961.
Clive Ruggles. Mesoamerican Images. http://www.le.ac.uk/archaeology/rug/image_collection/hier/am/r2.html.
Clive Ruggles. Peruvian Images. http://www.le.ac.uk/archaeology/rug/image_collection/hier/am/r3.html.
Anthony Aveni, Stairways to the Stars, John Wiley & Sons, 1997.
Inca Civilization. http://www.crystalinks.com/inca.html.
J. Norman Lockyer, The Dawn of Astronomy, MIT Press, 1894.
Egyptian Papyrus. http://www.anthonykosky.com/Egypt/papyrus.html.
Medinet Habu. http://www.museumphotography.com/mhabu.htm.
Chinese Astronomy. http://www.chinapage.com/astronomy/syho.html.
China in Space. http://www.spacetoday.org/China/ChinaAstronomy.html.
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