Pink moon, meteor shower and Indian astronomy

There a very old book named as “The theogony of the Hindoos”, this book is published by J Murrary, London. This book is published in the year 1844, talks about the cosmology of Hindus.

Francis Baily

Francis Baily

On page number 34, this book gives an account of an astronomer named as Francis Baily. Baily after doing all the necessary computations of astronomical events happened over past 3000 years, concluded, very authoritatively that

“Hindoos preceded all other nations in the application of higher astronomy!”


See, the same Political Europeans, labelled Indians as the country of snake charmers.

My point here is to make us all aware of the great heritage, lineage of cosmology, India had in the past. Realizing the facts that we Indians were highly elite and had great interest developed in all walks of life. And it was not only about interest, but also about the application of matters under study.

For me, Hindu/Hindoo is a GEO-CULTURAL identity. Nothing to do with Sampradaya or religion.


Astronomy is one such area, in which we, in true sense, are the pioneers. Let’s understand different facts about Hindu cosmology and the way forward for Indians to lead in astronomy.

I am going to start with some very basic traditions and the reasons of such traditions.

Baily states that, Indian calendar started exactly 3102 years ago. He even calculated hours, mins and seconds. He precisely emphasised on the fact that Indians knew even smaller units of time even before any western nation did. So the current ERA, as per Indians started 3102 years (BC) ago on the day of Feb 20th, at 2:27:30 (hr:mins:seconds).

He further adds that Hindus even knew that all the planets in our solar system were in the same constellation, when the said ERA (i.e. Kaliyug) started. He also certifies the planetary positioning of Indians against that of their tables. Accordingly to him, Indians could predict and apply cosmology not just by any co-incidence, but they knew the art and science of stargazing. Observation of thousands of years, made Indians so perfect.

We can count on Baily as he was the president of Royal astronomical Society. He was elected to be president, four times.

Why I am writing this today?

We have got many reasons to re-invent our glorious history of science and technology. And today the occasion is, the INDIAN NEW YEAR, that commenced on GudheePadwa. According to Indian science, we are in first month of 5121st year of the current Yuga, i.e. Kaliyuga.

I will share insight into our calendar system and it’s scientific approach, in coming articles.

A very wonderful astronomical event is on its way this week. This is the Full moon of Chaitra month of Indian Calender. We call it, Chaitra Poornima.

Why our ancestors did name this full moon as Chaitra Poornina? Is there any reason? And does that reason hold any scientific logic?

The answer is YES.

Would love to hear from you all what the scientific reason is behind naming Indian calendar months after full moons of respective month!

Let’s change our perception of looking at Indian festivals. Let us not look at them not only as religious or cultural events. We must learn and teach our next generations to look for science in our traditions. This practice will sure, make us lead from the front in global science and technology platform. Let us put India again at the center stage, to innovate, collaborate and create life changing solutions to the whole humanity.

There are namely two events which we should look at this month.

  1. Full Pink moon – on 19th April, 2019.

This full moon makes a wonderful spectacle in the evening sky. From Pune the moon rise can be seen by 7 pm in the evening. And the best time to watch the full moon is by 08:30 pm. This makes an amazing visual to look at the moon by our naked eyes. If you have any binocular or scope, you should try watching full moon in the early hours of the evening. We have organised a camping event for this wonderful sky event. Connect with us, to know more.

  1. Lyrid Meteor shower – on 22ndApril 2019

This meteor shower is also called as April Meteor Shower. The Lyrid Meteor Shower is usually active between April 16 and 25 every year. It tends to peak around April 22 or 23. To know more about this meteor shower, please click here.

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Hemant S Vavale

Nisargshala, Pune

We organize camping events in nature in order to create a platform for city dwellers to connect with mother nature. Our campsite is near Pune about 70 kms. Such events are organised every weekend.


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