T.V. Sivaraman on the Reformed Sanatan Calendar

[The following is a response from T.V. Sivaraman, regarding Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet's comments on 'THE REFORMED SANATAN CALENDAR compiled and edited by Acharya Darshaney Lokesh'.]

Dear Dr. Patrizia Madam:

I thank you for your treatment on the Reformed Sanatan Calendar and for all your points of agreement.

First of all I would like to make it clear that I am not a follower of any school like that of AKK as you presume on page 4. I do believe that the original knowledge has emanated from the ancient Rishis of an extended land known as “Bharata Varsha”. You will note from page 15 of the original Hindi Patrak , “the calendrical dream”, which is copy of my message sent to the Hindu calendar forum , wherein I have made it clear that I do not support the theory of import of this knowledge from elsewhere. At the same time I am an admirer of the profound knowledge and relentless fighting spirit of AKK in correcting the Hindu calendar. I do assert that there is no other champion like him, to my ken. I sincerely feel that he is allergic only to predictive astrology.

Since Darshaney Lokeshji has now actually produced a truly Vedic (Luni-Solar) Calendar in black and white, and as I was eager to bring the benefit of this before a larger Hindu public , I only translated and rendered it into a calendar format for the use in South where people are not comfortable with Hindi. I have neither gone into the nitty- gritty of his calculations, whether he used the elliptical longitudes or constellation ones for measuring the peregrinations of the moon over the stars, nor have I really the deeper knowledge about such calculations. He has not claimed it as a Universal calendar perhaps because he knew that a universal calendar which is definitely possible can only be either purely Solar or purely Lunar. The Vedic calendar which is Hindu culture-oriented can only be luni-solar.

You seem to feel that the new calendar is rather cluttered because of the use of Sanskrit nomenclature like Madhu, Madhava. “The six pairs of twins seeking to unite with the one at the centre” (RV) is the very core of the cosmology of Rig Veda just like the “Brahmanaspathi “ stanza ( or many other Brahmanaspathi lines in RV ) you quote. And the pairs represent Madhu and Madhava, Sukra and Suchi, etc. Many Puranas like Vishnudharmottara and Sindhantas also talk about them and when they begin.

All the Hindu festivals are based on the seasons (Ritus) and the months. (In the Athirathra Yajna which is being held in Panjal Village in Kerala from April 4, 2011 for 12 days, you will note that there is specific Ritu Yajnas.) So this is an essential component of a truly Vedic religious calendar. We have also mentioned the corresponding month names in Tamil, English and Sanskrit/Malayalam like Mesha, Rishaba (take the last as zodiac names if you insist). But Mesha samkramam is in the middle of Madhu - Madhava and therefore how can the pair be pared off? It is the middle of the “dwai sheersha” of Agni ( or the two horns of the ram of Aries). or the Purusha suktha’s “vasantho asyasid ajyam, greeshma idhma Sharad havi” -- the ‘Y” axis of Yajna ( the first two ritus forming the top hands and shard of the bottom.

The number of days for each month suggested by the Calendar Reforms Committee has been followed in the SMKATP and accordingly, Mesha sankranti falls on the last day of Madhu this year.

You will appreciate that for every Hindu religious function a sankalpa is most important and the panchanga or calendar has a key role in giving the inputs. From the infinity , Maha Kala’s power is distilled to the very moment of the ritual, just like a magnifying glass focusing the power of the Sun god and concentrating it into a dot and producing a fire ‘Yajnasya devam rityujam – The fire god of yajna born out of the ritus (if I can quote the meaning in a different way ) . In this process the kalpa, manvantara, yuga, and its components, the year, the ayana, the ritu, the month, the paksha, the thithi, vara and nakshatra, and the very place of action on the earth deduced from macrocosm are uttered elaborately. So a Calendar should give out all these details and it should not be considered as cluttering.

Universal calendars like the Georgian perhaps need only the year, month, day and date. Moreover, in a multi-tongue, pluralistic society like India, should not a calendar for the use of the common people be understandable to the maximum sections of them? I agree that Madhu, Madhava are not familiar terms even among most religious priests. But then they are also ignorant today about the real starting of Makara Sankranti on 22nd December. To the majority of them their profession is only a means to existence and making the best possible for their pockets.

I think perhaps what you desire is the symbols of the Zodiac against each of Brahmanaspathi’s gateways. But how many people again will read these glyphs? And remember here we are just giving the calendar with inputs for choosing appropriate time or muhurta for the auspicious functions and not any astrological advice. We do not have any quarrel with astrology nor object to their using the new calendar if it serves their purpose. But surely you will agree there is no predictive business in the Vedas.

SMKATP’s purpose is to see that Hindus celebrate all their festivals on the correct dates as per shastras and a true (driktulya) sankranti based panchang (to suit this sense, it is named as ‘tithi patrak’) is followed throughout the country.

I am sure the Editor will keep in mind the points raised by you in your treatment while preparing his oncoming editions. Since he has a practical experience of Panchanga computing he can highlight the points I have not touched here.

However I would welcome if you could give us an “model Vedic calendar” of your concept for just one month. You may use any month in the SMKTP for your corrections and concepts and that will help us to formulate future editions.

I thank you for your “Time & Imperishability “book and I will go through it thoroughly.

“Above time is set a brimful vessel.

Simultaneously we see Time here, there, everywhere.

Set face to face with all existence,

Time is throned, men say, in the loftiest realm.” (AV 19.53.3)

“Time created the creatures. Time

Created in the beginning the Lord of creatures.

From time comes the Self-Existent

Energy likewise from Time derives.” ( AV.19.53.10)

Best Regards – T.V.Sivaraman

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