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The Brahmasutra on the Siva Lingas and the Orion’s Path : Theoretical and
Astronomical Study

Article  in  Journal of the Asiatic Society · January 2012


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Deepak Bhattacharya
Oddisi Research Laboratory


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Submitted to JAS – Feb-2011, Revised on 04-07-2011. Published 2012.

The BraïhaÐÚtªa on the Ïiva LiÆgas and the Orion’s Path :

Theoretical and Astronomical Study.


Ïiva-LiÆgas are anicons (symbols). Specimens of various types have been traced at
various levels of the archaeological strata all across Asia (Mediterranean rim included);
mostly from the Indian sub-continent. The Hindus worship it as the apex anicon and
know them as religion related members of the archaeology (some of great antiquity).
Numerous types of liÆgas have been reported. Many specimens have on them a line
drawn in an angled\circular format called BraïhaÐÚtªa. The Brahmins (scholars) among
the Hindu as hereditary practice, also wear a body appendage made of cotton thread(s)
called PavitÁ alias BraïhaÐÚtªa. Etiology of either has remained unexplained. This study
presents a unique pillar device that is considered as Ïahasªa-liÆga (millennia indicator)
and the common Ïiva-liÆga (fact indicator) which have the BraïhaÐÚtªa etched on them.
The (possible) scientific connotation of all such art forms are discussed. The Ïahasªa-
liÆga; the Ïiva-liÆga and the BraïhaÐÚtªa jointly/severally posits as extraordinary
archaeological members, that embeds ancient engineering, mathematics, elements of
astronomy (versatile & secular). The BraïhaÐÚtªa (particularly) is associated with the
Orion constellation’s trajectory; epochal precession of the earth (Orion aligned); each
device being a variant, marks time in space. The ÐÚtªa (thread\maxim) is the signature of
knowledge about the Cosmos. The ethos of the rudrÁksa mÁlÁ (aelocarpus garland), and
internal evidence based datum (based on ancient Hindu astronomy) are also discussed.
Few interesting transpirations (pertaining to History of Sciences) efflux off this nascent
multi-disciplinary approach. All this, for the first time on pan global basis.

Key Words :

Ïiva-LiÆga; Ïahasªa-liÆga; BraïhaÐÚtªa; ÏiddhÁÆtiï (Astronomy); Time in Space;

Precession; Bªahïaña (scholar).

Journal of The Asiatic Society, Vol.LIV (2), 2012, pp.9-24.

Submitted to JAS – Feb-2011, Revised on 04-07-2011. Published 2012.


The erstwhile mighty and nebulous historical entity called KaliÆga, in the Indian
national psyche, is identified with present day O±iÐÁ, which is a constituent province of
India along her eastern sea board. Historians have however indicated that the domain
of KaliÆga has had a shifting geography with the march of the historical process1. There
was even more than one term in usage to denote KaliÆga such as Tªi- KaliÆga (three
kaliÆgas) and Ïakala-KaliÆga (the whole of the kaliÆga)2. In the pre Christian, and
immediate post thereafter, KaliÆga had its capital some where around present
Bhubaneswar (20.15 N / 85.52 E). Such capital seat also had shifted in tune with the
historical process. The greatest of her sovereigns, starting with KhÁrvela’s che±i
dynasty (2nd B.C.) are mentioned with the prefix of ‘KaliÆgadhipati’ (the sovereign of
KaliÆga)3. The same race, within the continent of Asia, to the exclusion of all others,
have numerously and variously been acknowledged as master mariners and that
(erstwhile) KaliÆga’s prime assets constituted her maritime ports, sea and ocean going
vessels4,5. World wide, mariners are exposed to the stars in a more intimate manner than
non mariners. Epigraphists and Linguists have not indicated any separate dialect or script
as/for that of the erstwhile KaliÆgans other than PrÁkªit (naturale) and BrÁhïi.
Historians and Anthropologists have also so far not indicated any exodus or mass
migration of the erstwhile KaliÆgans. Therefore, linguistic history and anthropology,
silently vet the fact, that, the Oriyas (pronounced as o±iÁs in local lingua) are the
KaliÆgans. Archaeoastronomers6 have indicated that a learned segment from among the
ancient KaliÆgans were ÐiddhÁÆtiïs of the PasupÁt school who all had a robust practice
of traditional astronomy, which they prized much. Among the astral bodies, they had
concentrated the most on the KÁlpurÚsa ïaƱala alias the Orion, which was also known
as RÚdªa ïaƱala. RÚdªa is reported to have eleven rÚpa(s) (incarnations)7. RÚdªa
ïaƱala has ekÁdas rÚdras i.e. eleven stars, each of which are identified with an aspect
of RÚdªa alias Ïiva → MÁhÁdeva of the later period. The constellation of Orion, alone
has eleven stars. Eleven monuments form an identical ground Orion, marking the ekÁdas
rÚdra(s) or the ground Orion8. From no other civilisation has such an form of built
heritage has so far been reported. From c.7th A.D., up till the first quarter of the c.11 th
A.D., liÆga worship had state patronage in KaliÆga; preceded during the NÁga occupancy
period (c.1stB.C-2nd A.D.). State patronage and a robust popular practice led to the
evolution of the single largest intact array of Ïiva temples, which enshrine liÆga(s) ,
termed as Ïiva liÆgas by the commoner (muktÁÆgana included). The liÆga is a anicon
of Ïiva mÁhÁdeva. Most of these sites\shrines are in the vicinity of present Bhubaneswar
which was the capital seat during emperor KhÁrvela and again during the reign of
emperor Kapilendradeva (2nd B.C. & 14th A.D.). Both these sovereigns had most part of

Journal of The Asiatic Society, Vol.LIV (2), 2012, pp.9-24.

Submitted to JAS – Feb-2011, Revised on 04-07-2011. Published 2012.

India under their command and had remained unbeaten on the Indian subcontinent. Such
paramountcy surely must have catalised or facilitated repeat inter-exchange of the then
Ðaiva cintÁ-O-cetanÁ (thought & awareness) between KaliÆga and the rest of India or
beyond. The practice of liÆga enshrinement is noted to have gained momentum post
KhÁravela (a non-Ðaiva) and almost seized with the termination of the reign of
Kapilendradeva (c.1435-67 A.D.) who was Ðaiva and, who it is often said was a khaƱÁit
(swords man) from Kapileswara of Old Bhubaneswar, O±iÐÁ. The term liÆga means
sign and indication9, while in colloquial domain it denotes Ïiva (joy/fact). So, Ïiva
LiÆga = fact/joy indicator. Therefore, the liÆga is a anicon. Hence, fundamentally, is


In this study, our focus is on such abstract art forms; on the ritual related pavitÁ cum
phone (either being) colloquially
known as ‘BraïhaÐÚtªa’. We take
the indo-archaeological member
called Ðahasªa-liÆga as a secular pillar
device and try to apply known aspects
of siddhÁÆta (Hindu astronomy).
Who identified and brought the
archaeology and the terms of
Ðahasªa-liÆga attired braïhaÐÚtªa
(for the modern scholars of history of
sciences)? It was the doyen of Hindu
Iconography, T.A.G Rao10 (M.A.,
Chemistry). He has indicated, that the
etched line on the liÆgas is the
‘BraïhaÐÚtªa’. He exhibited few
differing specimens of Ðahasªa-liÆga anicons (dated to pre c.8th A.D.) having the
BraïhaÐÚtªa drawn variously, only from the ®rÁvi±a territories (±rÁvi±a
=literate/scripting). Therefore, pre c.8h A.D., the term BraïhaÐÚtªa; the Ðiva-liÆga and
their various art forms was and since has remained associated with the Hindu scholarly
domain in continuum. However, Rao specially excluded visiting east India. The
Ðahasªa-liÆga is a pre-dated variant of the Ðakti-liÆga alias Ðiva-liÆga. The entire Ganga
belt and the coastal O±iÐÁ have numerous specimens of varieties of the Ðahasªa-liÆga.
Almost all lingas alias the indicator (in such geographical domain) have a circular line
Journal of The Asiatic Society, Vol.LIV (2), 2012, pp.9-24.
Submitted to JAS – Feb-2011, Revised on 04-07-2011. Published 2012.

(etched on them) having a peaked pyramidal form, which either faces the east or the west,
also known as BraïhaÐÚtªa. Few of the constituent Ðiva-liÆgas of the ekÁdas rÚdras at
Bhubaneswar also have the BraïhaÐÚtªa. Few not.

The early temples of O±iÐÁ incorporate the dual mode duality methodology. The term
dual mode duality means that a particular term, or the phrase as a whole or a pictograph
can be interpreted in more than one way, alike steganography technique. Similarly,
location and placement of a pictograph or an independent archaeological member (as in
this study the liÆga is) allows additional avenues of interpretation. Dual mode duality is
also noted in the great literary works of GÚnÁdhya (Bªhata KathÁ/Vows Tale); KÁli DÁs;
Àdi kavi SÁralÁ DÁs and Kavi ÏaïrÁt ÙpeÆdra BhaÆja (c.15th–17thA.D.). In Sanskrit
epigraphs of O±iyÁn etiology, duality has been in vogue since the BhaÚma-Kara period
(9th A.D.)11. Archaeologically, dual-mode-duality is not noted in the Asokan BªÁhïi
inscriptions and in AvadÁna literature. The term ‘dual mode duality’ was not used in
modern historical research domain to articulate the ethos of our candidate archaeology.
World wide, every anicon is abstract in nature, form and content. Prima facie, the
BraïhaÐÚtªa is a signature of abstract meaning, etched upon the abstract liÆga. The
presence of the BraïhaÐÚtªa (on a liÆga) can be interpreted as an indication
superimposed on another indication. It may signify a sect, a cast or a school of thought.
So, this is a case of dual mode duality and is also alike modern Steganogrphy. The term
KaliÆga means clever and cunning12. So, a clever & cunning race may have embedded
for posterity some data ? The author, in this study attempts to apply fuzzy logic to
generate a theory (perspective), which may help in throwing some light on the possible
meaning and the import of this art form. We examine.

On a star chart13, the constellation of Orion is located central to the equator. At

present, it appears overhead between +20 0 and –20 0 latitudes. Fig. 1 is drawn using
standard software on the basis of Red shift14. It shows, that, 12000 years before present,
alpha Orionis which is the northern most star of that constellation, had a location
somewhere around –50 latitude. Alpha Orionis precesses only up to +70 latitude. So, at
present, it is at its maximum declination. The apparent (naked eye) coverage includes
+200 latitude (due parallax effect). After around 160 years, it will start precessing
towards the south and will go beyond the equator. It will then, again rise back in
the next epoch. In doing so, it maintains an N- S axis. Such epochal precession of the
Orion constellation or only of the alpha Orionis can be drawn on a graph as an inclined
line as in Fig.1 or as a as a circle having a peaked form as in Fig. 2, 3 & 4. Similarly,
between the spring and autumnal equinox, the view from +20 0 latitude indicates that
Journal of The Asiatic Society, Vol.LIV (2), 2012, pp.9-24.
Submitted to JAS – Feb-2011, Revised on 04-07-2011. Published 2012.

alpha Orionis rises in the NE quadrant of the horizon, it then gains altitude up to the
local zenith and then again dips downwards in the SW quadrant of the horizon. Such a
trajectory can also be drawn in a circular form with a peak at a given point. The
architecture of the BraïhaÐÚtªa (on the liÆga) is similar. If the Ðahasªa-liÆga
(materially the zenith pointing pillar) was conceived as the signature of Rudra
naksatra of the siddhÁÆta philosophy (which is the variable red hot giant star, alpha
Orionis of magnitude 1, also known as star Betelgeuse of the Occidental schools) or if the
liÆga be conceived as the signature of the constellation of Orion/KÁlapurÚÐa as a
whole, the BraïhaÐÚtªa possibly then may represent the diurnal pass and its epochal
precession as the combined art signature.

Fig.2a Fig.2b Fig.2c

In Fig. 2, the BraïhaÐÚtªa faces the western side of the RÚdra bhÁga of the Ðahasªa-
liÆga (thousand\millennia indicator). It is located in the premises of ParaÐurÁmevara
temple, at Bhubaneswar. Fig-2a is the field photograph, and Fig-2b is its mechanical
parameters in centimeters done via ZW-CAD-2010. It has 20 rings, each ring has 51
liÆgas, which works out to (20 x 51) 1020 indications/ liÆgas. The Ðahasªa-liÆga is
therefore a millennium counter/indicator (abacus). We know that the KÁlapurÚsa marks
time. This is apparently a time marking devise. It also symbolizes that the KÁlapurusa
and the liÆga are synonymous. The BraïhaÐÚtªa Fig.2c is not indicated on all Ðahasªa-
liÆgas or Ðiva-liÆgas. The term ParaÐurÁm denotes the rudra aspect of Ïiva and
etiologically can be related to the term RÚdªa bhÁga, which forms the upper portion of
Journal of The Asiatic Society, Vol.LIV (2), 2012, pp.9-24.
Submitted to JAS – Feb-2011, Revised on 04-07-2011. Published 2012.

the liÆga devise. The temple’s art also prominently displays the Úªdha liÆga aspect of
Ïiva mÁhÁdeva. Some early temples (including ParaÐurÁmevara) have the ÁkÁs- liÆga as
the Áyudha (crowning signature). The terms, liÆga, Ðahasªa-liÆga, Úªdha liÆga, ÁkÁs
liÆga, rÚdªa, rÚdªa bhÁga, kÁlapurusa, alongwith the terms BraïhaÐÚtªa, ÐiddhÁÆtiïs,
etc., form a series. Such a series, kaleidoscopically can also be connected for retro
appreciation. The ParaÐurÁmevara shrine has been dated to c.650 A.D., and is ascribed
to the PaÐupÁt ÐiddhÁÆtiïs. Our candidate Ðahasªa-liÆga has no Ðakti-piÔha. It stands
out in the open as a pillar. The Ðakti-piÔha is a later evolutionary addition (to few
Ðahasªa-liÆga). VirajÁ khetra in JÁjpur district (O±iÐÁ), has the highest concentration of
Ðahasªa-liÆga(s) with and without piÔha(s).

Let us consider the Ðahasªa-liÆga pillar as a device. For the purpose of empirical
calculation (which also adds levity to the topic from the perspective of popular
presentation and appreciation) if we take the date c.650 A.D., as also to be the date of
the Ðahasªa-liÆga, it then works out to be almost 1355 years old. If we add 1020 years
(as per the indicators), it then works out to 2375 years before present (1355 + 1020) i.e.
375 B.C. We can then aver (i) that possibly, the Ðahasªa-liÆga was set up in that
year, and/or (ii) it celebrates the date of apparent coincidence of alpha Orionis with
+ 200 latitude (naked eye visual).

From another perspective it can also be said, that, since the ancient mind identified alpha
Orionis with RÚdªa MÁhÁdeva, the astronomical position when alpha Orionis became
(to naked eye) apparently coincident with the equator, may (also) have become
momentous for the faithful on the ground. We can then further work out, that the1020
figure indicates a time period that had lapsed since alpha Orionis became coincident
with the equator. We know that 7000 years before present alpha Orionis was coincident
with the equator (see Fig.1). It then works out to (7000-1020) 5980 years before present,
say c.4th millennia B.C. This can also be (iii) taken as another possible date of set up for
the Ðahasªa-liÆga and/or (iv) as the commemoration of such celestial phenomena at a
later date. The question then arises as to why a post date to 7000 years before
present be considered and not the very date of 7000 years before present ? This is
because (from onwards 4th millennia B.C.), from + 200 latitude the view of the diurnal
trajectory of the Orion is apparently circular and can be graphically compared with
the architecture of the BraïhaÐÚtªa (F-2c) that is drawn on the west facing Ðahasªa-
liÆga (Fig.2a). The view of the diurnal transit of the Orion from +200 latitude pre c.4th

Journal of The Asiatic Society, Vol.LIV (2), 2012, pp.9-24.

Submitted to JAS – Feb-2011, Revised on 04-07-2011. Published 2012.

millennia B.C., will be sans the characteristic peak as in Fig.2. This is internal

In all such perspectives, Fig. 1 is a relevant tool for topical appreciation of the
architecture of the composite form of the BraïhaÐÚtªa attired Ðahasªa-liÆga as in Fig.
2. Historically, either of the above two dates are also relevant. 4th millennia B.C., is the
lower date of the Harappan strata and the terminus of the Vedic civilization (in general).
And, the date c. 375B.C., is pre to the {Brahmin} Nanda’s dynasty rule over Kalinga
{historically unraveled period}. While 115yrs later following the battle of Dhauli,
emperor Asoka had taken control over such territories and had introduced the concept of
state sponsored Buddhism. Buddhism, we know, has self clarified, that it was antithetic
to ÐiddhÁÆta, and was the way of life of the pedant. That it was antithetic to the worship
and enshrinement of the abstract as much it was opposed to iconography, penance,
extreme penitence, and also to spiritual idealism. Adi Sankaracharya15 has lucidly
clarified this point in his magnum opus BraïhaÐÚtªa BhÁsya (Commentary on Scholarly
Maxims). The date of SaÆkara has been variably fixed by scholars to between c.7th & 9th
A.D. So, pre c.8h A.D., the terms Ðahasªa-liÆga and BraïhaÐÚtªa were known to pan-
indo Hindu scholars. The whole of
India, alias the ÐiddhÁÆta territories
being overrun by the wave of
Buddha philosophy, the scope,
content, meaning and the loaded
practice of setting up of
BraïhaÐÚtªa attired Ðahasªa-
liÆga(s) may have lost patronage
and currency. Which is why, it has
remained unexplained.

Fig. 3 shows another variant of the

BraïhaÐÚtªa. It is a case of a
east facing liÆga, that is enshrined
in a lesser known monument
{DaiteÐvara\PabakeÐvara}, located
to the east of the ParaÐurÁmesvara
deÚla. The structure is datable to post c.10 A.D. The Ðakti-piÔha and the liÆga are
made of two separate stones which as a set, rests on the floor. It is a variant. In this case,

Journal of The Asiatic Society, Vol.LIV (2), 2012, pp.9-24.

Submitted to JAS – Feb-2011, Revised on 04-07-2011. Published 2012.

the BraïhaÐÚtªa is drawn at a lower level and rises vertically, then traverses
horizontally for a short distance and then again dips downward vertically. It gives to the
beholder an impression, that, the symbolic ÁkÁÐ liÆga alias RÚdra moves along a
plateaued elevation when at zenithal position. The pitha alias the Ðakti in this case is
circular, bounded within a square. It signifies another school of Saiva cinta-O-cetanÁ
(fact/joy thought-expression). Square Ðakti-piÔhas are also noted in some shrines at
Bhubaneswar and in the VaÆsadhÁrÁ basin. In the district head quarter town of Boudh,
star shaped liÆgas and star shaped Ðakti-piÔhas have been enshrined in star shaped
temples. The liÆgas and the Ðakti-piÔhas of the constituent shrines of the ekÁdas rÚdras
of Bhubaneswar are circular. We know that the KÁlapurÚsa marks time and goes around
diurnally. This study indicates that the KÁlapurÚsa and the liÆga are eminently

Fig. 4, provides a sketched outline at a scale of 1 : 1 of the Ðakti-liÆga as in Fig. 3.

Here, A marks the stone liÆga which is a item of three dimensions, B marks another
symbolic liÆga that is etched on A, C marks the BraïhaÐÚtªa. We can see, that in this
case, the architecture of the BraïhaÐÚtªa is much different from that of the
BraïhaÐÚtªa as in Fig. 2 (no characteristic peak). D marks the circular Ðakti curved
inside a square piÔha marked E. F indicates that the whole devise is on a raised
platform. The triangle part is the pÁdÚkÁ nalÁ (wash water drain out path). It points to
the north, which is the direction of the ascendant order. This device is a member of

In Fig. 5 we see a well dressed faithful has

steadied himself with a kamarabaÆdha
(waist band) type device, in a seated
posture, so that he can for long concentrate
on the liÆga, while marking time with the
rosary. This piece too is dated to c.650
A.D. (ParaÐurÁmesvara deÚla - east wall).
He is perched upon a gaddi (mattress), kept
on the floor for comfort, and uses a
kamara-baÆdha (waist girdle) to remain
steady. This is ïaÆ-dhira mudrÁ (steady
mind pose). The other name of Deula
(god’s abode) is ïaÆ-dhira intonated as

Journal of The Asiatic Society, Vol.LIV (2), 2012, pp.9-24.

Submitted to JAS – Feb-2011, Revised on 04-07-2011. Published 2012.


The citra kathÁ emphasises the point, that

such form of worship is not penance. It is a
yoga (controlled exercise). It is a practice of
the upper class of the then society. These are
typical nikhÚna nidarsans (fine print
indications) in kaliÆgiya Ðaili (clever &
intelligent technique). These constitute an
evolutionary series. Each is also a case of dual
mode duality.

The rudrÁksa mÁlÁ (rosary) we know is made

of 108 beads of rudrÁksa (aeleocarpus
genitrus), that it is rotated 101 times. The
rudrÁksa is synonymous with Rudra alias α
Fig.6 Orionis which in turn is related to KÁla
purÚsa (time embodier i.e. Orion
constellation, see Ref. No.2). In Fig. 5 the rosary is held around a Ðiva-linga (fact-
indicator). So (for our purposes) time and space is being subtly alluded to, may we aver.
Fig.-6 is a variant of phallus type with the BraïhaÐÚtªa as in Fig.2. It espouses the case
of progeny – for continuity of the collegiums.

Fig.7 In the aforesaid, we have come across two

values, namely 101 and 108, respectively,
which are also held as auspicious by the
Hindu. 101 x 108 = 10908. Now, 1 gha±i =
10800 seconds (180 x 60sec). So, 10908
(being a very close number by linear
arithmetic) is excess by an order of 108 to
that of the period that makes a gha±i in
modern units of seconds (muhÚrta?). A
view point is that, 10908 relates to the
calculations pertaining to the speed of the
sun. So, the Cosmos is alluded to once
again. So, oral repetition over 108 beads,
101 times in a rotary manner, accounting to 10908, with full concentration of body and
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mind = 1 bead/second (muhÚªta) over a period of 1 gha±i. All these tantamount to an (i)
conscious attempt (with good preparation to (mentally) get into an galactic cadence (ii)
break away from the immediate environment (pÁripÁrsika vevasthÁ). The Ðiva liÆga
clearly emerges as a period related device, being also used in time marking. The related
human exercise connects with astronomy.

Fig. 7 is the graphical presentation of the (outer) plan of the ParaÐurÁmeswar deula
(shrine) and the garbha gruha (womb room) at the base line (c.650A.D.). Here, A marks
the outline of the deula. It is a polygon. B is the vestibule that connects the garbha
gruha with the out side. It is rectangular. C marks the inner wall it is plain and is
square. D marks the Ðakti. It is circular and is laid low on the floor (unlike the device in
Fig. 4 & 5, this devise does not have a high platform). E is the pÁdukÁ nalÁ and it is a
triangle oriented towards True North. F marks the liÆga, which is cyllindrico-conical in
shape. G marks the biÆdÚ alias the center point. Thus we see, a polygon, a square,
a circle, a triangle, a cylinder, a cone and a center point. These are abstract items
enmeshed one into the other forming a composite and set up in the womb room alias
garbha gruha, the interior of which is plain. They are relevant in engineering and in
compassing. Thus, secular components make up the Ðakti-liÆga.

In Fig. 2 we can see, the

sunlight forming a light and
shade zone on the top ring of
the Ðahasªa-liÆga, which is a
circular pillar devise. Again
the maximum declination of α
Orion gets to be 70. Ancient
time marking devices
(Gnomons) have often taken
the form of a pillar. The
Fig.8 Ðahasªa-liÆga has 51
indications known as liÆgas.
Fig.9 gives the top view and the cross section, with 51 indentures. 3600 of the azimuth if
be divided by 51, works out to an approximate 70. The rotation of the shadow (on the
top ring) can then be read by a unit of 70. So our candidate Ðahasªa-liÆga can also be

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interpreted as a 70 indicator devise. Sunlight takes 1 gha±i time to pass each liÆga
(decade long field observation in situ).

Again, if we reduce the earth’s inclination by 160 the ecliptic would then bisect the
equator at 70 and the viewer at 200+ latitude can
only see alpha Orionis at star rise and be able
to view the whole of the Orion constellation
only during the first quarter of the night, which
is only a east view position. Locations that are
on the Equator can only see alpha Orionis pre
midnight. Locations to its south will able to
view the whole of the Orion constellation even
during the last quarter of the night i.e., well
post zenith pass which is only a west view position. So at a given time the viewers
located on various latitudes will have the Orion at a different celestial position and have
different duration of viewing periods. Fig. 8 seeks to graphically explain this (co-
related with Fig.1). Here the two arrows indicate a shift of the True North (TN) by a
arc shift of 160 towards the west. A is the equator, B is the ecliptic at 70, C is the
ecliptic at 23.50. Z marks the point of Z ecliptic. Therefore, it may be theorised that
Fig. 2 which is a west facing device was possibly set up at a time (or commemorates a
time) when the ecliptic bisected the +200 parallel at 70 (see Fig. 1 & 8). In such a case
the c.4th millennia B.C., date may be relevant. Since alpha Ori. has (at present) reached
its highest declination, the earth, is likely to incline no further. Two centuries later the
axis of the earth will start wobbling back towards the west.


Fig. 10 shows the lie of the BraïhaÐÚtªa also

known as the pavitÁ, as is worn by a Hindu
BrÁhïana (scholar). As the wearer faces true
east, it lies oriented from across his left
shoulder towards his right hip (in an angled
manner), much as alike the orientation of the
ecliptic in relation to NE quadrant of the earth
(Indo-geospatial domain). It has got 6 + 3
strands. The 6 strand are for the six
organs/types of scholastic pursuits and (we
guess) they also possibly represent the 4

Journal of The Asiatic Society, Vol.LIV (2), 2012, pp.9-24.

Submitted to JAS – Feb-2011, Revised on 04-07-2011. Published 2012.

epochs which are vouchsafed for in the Vedic and PurÁnic genealogy + 2 precession
cycles of the Orion (also vouchsafed in the PurÁnas, See TÁrÁka paper, same author). The
other three is only added when a Hindu scholar gets to become the head of his family
(post father’s demise). It represents three generations of accumulated scholarship and his
Head of family/dept./collegium’s status. Whence the family represents a school or a unit

Fig.11 is that of a
ÏiddhÁÆta BrÁhïani.
She has been bestowed
with the BraïhaÐÚtªa.
She flashes the
CiÆtÁmañi (wish
fulfilling jewel) in her
right lower arm. The
knife represents that she
is a peerless dissector of
issues and or items (lady
Vesaka-surgeon ?). The vase represents gñÁnaïªta (ambrosia of knowledge or of life –
well being), the rosary represents TapastÁpaï (conscientious practice), her breast
retainers and widened pelvic indicates an age of post motherhood. She is mid aged. Is an
apex scholar, a teacher, elevated to the status of God-head, indicated by a pravÁïaƱala
(halo). So pedigree is rescinded and professional excellence becauses the wearing of the
pavitÁ (the apex signature of knowledge and mental abilities), is the embedded ethos
being held out to the beholder ? This picture is in the north wall of the Jagamohana of
Sri ParasurÁmeÐvara temple and is datable to c.11th A.D., a century whence in the locale
lived and worked the famous naked eye positional astronomer cum mathematician Sri
Satananda16. Right to the BraïhaÐÚtªa was not barred by gender consideration. Author’s
ancestors have also left behind works on astronomy17-20. Do Fig.11 reminiscences /
celebrates the erudite wife of Sri MaƱana Misra the apex ÐiddhÁÆta scholar ?

Discussion cum Conclusion

In India, the Harrapan ring stones have been identified with the female organ, the circle
and with the Ðakti-piÔha of the Ðiva-liÆga combo. In OdiÐÁn art, the stone make human
phallus are shown being concentrated upon as in Fig.6, which is from the north wall of
Journal of The Asiatic Society, Vol.LIV (2), 2012, pp.9-24.
Submitted to JAS – Feb-2011, Revised on 04-07-2011. Published 2012.

ÏwarnajaleÐwar temple, Kotiteertha road, Bhubaneswar (dt.c.8thA.D.). This is a case of 2-

in-1, i.e., it represents both the types of sciences (the evolutionary and the dynamic).
Large sized phallus is noted as the principal enshrined icon as at GuddimÁllaï, AP-
Tirupati district (c.2nd B.C), and at MadhyameÐwara east of Lewis Road, Bhubaneswar
(dt. to c. 4-5th A.D.). No doubt, these are signatures of Ðiva-Ðakti-liÆga (fact-energy
indicators). They also no doubt represent the progenation cycle, cause of biological
evolution and maintenance, the schools of scholarships of biological and evolutionary
sciences. Further more, in the art of OdiÐÁ, starting from c.650 A.D., the erect human
phallus in the form of Úªdha liÆga is clearly and solely identified with the icon of Ïiva
MÁhÁdeva21-23. Thus, the non phallus liÆga gets to be an anicon and solely gets to be
identified with Ïiva, the icon and in turn with non biological sciences. The architecture
of the liÆga(s) as are enshrined in the early cognate group of Ïiva temples at
Bhubaneswar do not suggest any homology with the human phallus, neither does the
Ðakti piÔha even resembles anything remotely akin to the feminine organ. Fig. 2, 4 & 5
are representative modules (in this regard).

The ancient faithful surely had also noted that all the astral bodies circumnavigate the
earth and yet retain trajectories. The astrals arise in the east, to rise up to the point of the
apparent local zenith and then descend towards the west. In relation to any geographical
position, such apparent local zenith appears to have a north-south axis. Again, in
relation to the latitudinal position of the Indian subcontinent, the Orion also precesses up
to the apparent local zenith and then falls back only along such line of axis. The mind of
the ancient faithful may have conceived the local zenith as the line of highest celestial
elevation and thus may have conceived such imaginary line as the cosmic axis (or
syncline-shown as two parallel lines). Hence, all BraïhaÐÚtªa rise up along the sides of
the two parallel lines. Irrespective of architectural peculiarities, the BraïhaÐÚtªa,
rises and falls in a north-south axis as does the Orion in its epochal cycle. The
BraïhaÐÚtªa, circumnavigates the rÚdra bhÁga of the liÆga and joins the parallel lines
that symbolises the precession track of the Orion. All stars and constellations move in a
circular motion. The spectacular constellation of the Orion has an additional movement
of up and down along a fixed N↔S axis. All the liÆga(s) point to the local zenith, which
is the point of apparent highest celestial altitude. Hence, the liÆga is a composite and a
wholesome indicator. Therefore, such a composite devise is abstract in form and content
and is rightly termed as a liÆga (indication). Since such phenomena is caused by the
‘wobble’ of the earth along its polar axis, half a cycle of the ‘wobble’ (which is
approximately of 13500 years duration) can cause a hemispheric shift of the Orion. Such
shift, along with the inclination of the earth to the ecliptic would effect gross change in
the diurnal trajectory of the Orion (such a view from the Earth, only). From 200N
Journal of The Asiatic Society, Vol.LIV (2), 2012, pp.9-24.
Submitted to JAS – Feb-2011, Revised on 04-07-2011. Published 2012.

latitude, the Orion, would then be visible only in the western sky, only post zenithal
pass. The local eastern sky being proximus to the shore line with a tropical moist
climate, morning meteorological conditions in May-Sep is cloudy. Therefore, west/sun
set look out is better option. This may be the cause of the west facing BraïhaÐÚtªa
attired linga24. In that case, the west facing members, either stand as witness to the
previous half of the present epoch or the human mind has remembered such a phenomena
and has reflected it, in memoriam. The art form as in Fig. 2 represent such phenomena,
thought and action. It is a view point from the northern hemisphere. The art form as in
Fig. 3 (& Fig.4), represents the view of the Orion’s trajectory from a latitude that has
central location along the Orion’s epochal precession arc (N-S axial line), with epsilon
Ori. aligned with Z ecliptic. It is then a view point from the equatorial belt. We know
that ancient KaliÆga had an extension of its empire into South East Asian archipelago
and that OdiÐÁn sailors annually sailed to the ÏÚvarnadwipa and the BÁli islands25
(present day Sumatra & Borneo) popularly known and annually celebrated as BÁli YatrÁ
(sojourn to Bali island) in the week following the full moon of November. These islands
have extant Siva shrines and are located along the equator.

The two art forms (Fig.2 & Fig.3) represent the view at two different times and from
two different latitudinal locations. Application of such fuzzy logic helps to illuminate the
topic. In relation to present astronomical positions, the Orion’s precession towards
attainment of maximum declination commenced, post the phenomena as depicted in
Fig.3. The trapezium format of the Orion constellation also has a north-south elongation.
The circular part of the BraïhaÐÚtªa, can thus be said to represent the diurnal trajectory
of the Orion. The peaked portion represents the crossing of the local point of the
zenith. The parallel lines represents the epochal ascendant order. The Úrdha linga also
represents the ethos of such cosmic phenomena (albeit for the non learned segment). It
then seems, that, no other civilisation has recorded such cosmic phenomena in such
material form. No other civilisation has made it an aspect of worship, in such continuous
form, as it is in India. The Ðahasªa-liÆga (millennium indicator), the Ðiva-liÆga (fact
indicator), the akÁsa-liÆga (sky indicator) and the Ðakti-liÆga (energy indicator) are
secular members (anicons). They are nidarsana (indication) of the cosmos and passage
of time in relation to a terrestrial location. So, this device also posits as that of a gnomon.
This is citra kathÁ (narration via art). These members, firmly vet the position that the
ancient mind was immensely influenced by positional astronomy. He either knew or
considered the cosmos to be permanent and that the cosmos was a reality \ fact.
Relatively, all others, are not. The ÏaÆskrit equivalent term for the word reality \ fact
alias the truth, is Ðiva. If thus be the signature of the level of thought, application of
the ancient mind, and the past society’s cumulative observation and indulgence, the
Journal of The Asiatic Society, Vol.LIV (2), 2012, pp.9-24.
Submitted to JAS – Feb-2011, Revised on 04-07-2011. Published 2012.

author then makes haste to bow to it in reverence and utter, Namah ÏivÁya (hail the


Mr Sharif Shakar of London , and Dr. Prahallad Chandra Naik , Ph.D., had
encouraged the author to publish these findings. They had visited few relevant sites
along with the author. Their encouragement is thankfully acknowledged. Mr. T. B. Sahoo
assisted with the graphics. This is dedicated to my forefathers who were siddhantims.
The author being the scion of the House of Siddhanta.

Notes & References.

1- S. K. Panda ; Political and Cultural History of Orissa ; New Age , N D , 1999.

2- K. C. Panigrahi , History Of Orissa , Kitab Mahal , Cuttack, 2nd Ed , 1986.
3- Ibid , p. 35.
4- R.C. Majumdar , Suvarnadwipa - Vol-I-1986, pp. 6,17,30,31,33,39-87, 180, 181.
5– Deepak Bhattacharya, The Garh-Kataka Concept, The Journal of Indian History and
Culture, No.15, Sep.2008, CPRF, Chennai, pp.117-54.
6 - Deepak Bhattacharya & P.C. Naik , Archaeoastronomy At Bhubaneswar : A
Polygonal & Mathamatical Model – Taraka, Indian Journal of History of
Science (IJHS) , Vol. 41, No. 1 , Mar.2006, Indian National Science Academy ,
New Delhi, pp. 53 – 75.
7 - Deepak Bhattacharya, Smaranika 2005, Positional Astronomy - Arcaheoastronomy
and Nataraja, Pathani samanta smruti parisad, Bhubaneswar, p. 83.
8 - Deepak Bhattacharya & P. C. Naik, Archaeastronomy at Bhubaneswar , Smaranika
2005, Samanta Chandra Sekhar Smruti Parisad , Bhubaneswar , p. 88 .
9 - K. C. Kar ; Taruna Sabda Kosa [Odia dictionary], Cuttack, 1966 , Part –II , p. 300.
10 - T.A. G. Rao, Elements of Hindu Iconography , Vol – II , Part – I , PL – VI , VII
& X, Paragon Books, NY-1968 , pp 92- 99 [Non revised & unabridged reprint of
1914 original].
11 - K. C. Panigrahi, has indicated such duality in the text of the Bhuma copper plate
12 - V. S. Apte’s, The practical Sanskrit English Dictionary, Ed. by Gode & Karve,
Prasad Prakashan, Poona , 1957, Vol – I, pp 547 .
13 - Die Sterne (German ) Star Chart, Star positions as on 2000 AD , based on Yale
catalogue of Bright Stars 1964 ; Hallwag publishers, Berne, 16th Ed , 1982.
14 - This graph is drawn on the basis of the Table provided by Dr. P. K. Misra, Soft
ware basis.
15 - Adi Sankaracharya , Brahma Sutra Bhasya ; ed. Swami Gambhirananda, Adwaita
Ashram , 1st Ed, 7th impression 2000.

Journal of The Asiatic Society, Vol.LIV (2), 2012, pp.9-24.

Submitted to JAS – Feb-2011, Revised on 04-07-2011. Published 2012.

16 - Satananda, Bhasvati, Orissa State Museum, Odisa State Museum-Palm Leaf

Manuscript , Bhubaneswar, Odisa State Museum-Palm Leaf Manuscript No.
Jy.1A, 285 & 408B.
17 - Harihara Acarya, Surya Siddhanta, Odisa State Museum-Palm Leaf Manuscript
No. Jy.391.
18 - Harihara Bhatt-acharya, Samaya Pradipa, Odisa State Museum-Palm Leaf
Manuscript No.Jy.120,124&1133.
19- Harihara Bhatt-acharya, Surya Siddhanta, Odisa State Museum-Palm Leaf
Manuscript No. Jy.396.
20 - D. Bhattacharya, IJHS, Indian National Science Academy, Vol.43.1, 2008, pp.83-
92, PP. 101-08.
21 - D. Bhattacharya, “The Chitra Katha of Siva Vivaha in the Hindu Temple Art
of c. 650 A.D., & Tradition”, Expressions In Indian Art, (Essays in Memory of
Shri, M.C. Joshi), Ed. B.R.Mani & A. Tripathy, Agam Kala Prakashan, Delhi,
2008. pp.137-42.
22 - D. Bhattacharya, “Positional Astronomy and Nataraja [c. 650AD]”,
Commemoration Volume in Respect of B. P. Sinha,‘Purabharati’ : Studies in
Early Historical Archaeology and Buddhism, vol. 1, Sharada Publishing, Delhi,
2006, pp. 219 – 222.
23 - D. Bhattacharya & P.C. Naik, “Archaeoastronomy of Nataraja”, Indian Journal of
History of Science, Indian National ScienceAcademy, Vol.43.3, 2008, pp. 411-24.
24 - The temple has undergone extensive restoration work undertaken by a British
engineer in the first decade of the last century.
25 - The Sakti-linga as in Fig. 3 is a loose member , placed on the floor . Seems to have
been brought from elsewhere. All anicons do not have the Brahmasutra. The
Orion will attain in next few centuries.

NOTE : ~ First presented orally amidst Physicts and Astronomers at Samanta

Chandrasekhar Smruti Parisad, Bhubaneswar,13-12-2005. Refined over the next
½alf decade.

Journal of The Asiatic Society, Vol.LIV (2), 2012, pp.9-24.

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