Astronomy and its Role in Vedic Culture

Subhash Kak


This essay describes the place and role of astronomy in Vedic times and its importance in regulating customs and rituals (especially those based on Vedic altars). It also describes the concept and use of the Nakshatra system and its chronological implications, the symbolism of the planets, the Yuga system, the early calendar, and other notions essential to our understanding of early Indian astronomy.

Dr. Subhash Kak is a professor of computer science at Oklahoma State University (USA), a historian of science and a well-known Indologist. This paper, reproduced with his permission, was published in The Dawn of Indian Civilization (vol. 1, part 1 in History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization, ed. G. C. Pande, Centre for Studies in Civilizations, New Delhi, 2000).

It is available here for download as a PDF file (200 kB) so as to preserve the diacritics.

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