On April 27, 1976, Srila Prabhupada wrote Bhakti Svarupa Damodara Maharaja, "So now all you must carefully study the details of the Fifth Canto and make a working model of the universe. If we can explain the passing seasons, eclipses, phases of the moon, passing of day and night, etc., then it will be very powerful propaganda."
At first glance, the 5th Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam deals only with a picturesque vision of the universe. While working with Danavir Gosvami Maharaja and his team in India on deciphering this valuable text, I became convinced that there had to be a mathematical formula to unlock the 5th Canto's mystery. If you will take a few minutes to read this article you will begin to understand the thrill of discovering what is contained in these cryptic verses.
Sun, Moon and Rahu
Part One – Rahu
At the official website for NASA you may scroll down and find a section labeled Orbital Parameters. Scroll down to Inclination to the Equator (deg).
You will find here 18.28-28.58. This is called declination. If you have a globe and you draw a line around its circumference that is 0 degrees.
Either side of that line, any point you make will be on some degree of the ball. On this website NASA says that the degree of the Moon's travel is from 18.28 degrees to 28.58 degrees. And sometimes he goes as much as 28.58 degrees. The Sun goes only to approx. 23.5 degrees.
The meaning of this is that as the Moon travels back and forth across the equator it never goes to less than 18.28 degrees. In the Srimad Bhagavatam 5th Canto, Chapter 24, text 2 we find the following:
The sun globe, which is a source of heat, extends for 10,000 yojanas [80,000 miles]. The moon extends for 20,000 yojanas [160,000 miles], and Rahu extends for 30,000 yojanas [240,000 miles]…
Before we proceed to show the incredible accuracy of the Srimad Bhagavatam we must know something about the size of the Earth. The modern calculation of the Earth is 24,902 miles in circumference. Divide this number by 360 to know what each degree would be separately.
24902 divided by 360 = 69.172222 We must also know that there are 60 minutes in an hour and 60 seconds in a minute and 24 hours in a day.
The Bhagavatam verse gives the timing of the eclipses down to the second. The Vedas also divide the day into 86400 seconds, into minutes of sixty seconds.
It all works out the same whether you use minutes or muhutas (forty-eight minutes is a muhuta) or hour. The seconds are exactly identical because the unit of 86400 seconds a day is the same.
These particular calculations are for measuring three different things which science (modern) agrees with. 86400 divided by 60 divided by 60 equals 24. 24 hours of sixty minutes containing sixty seconds.
And we must know similarly that degrees on a circle also can be measured in this way. We shall begin with Rahu. This means in this case the lowest degree to the equator. (The moon travels from zero to 18.28 at its lowest and 0 to 28.58 at its highest.)
The figure of the size of Dhruvaloka is 512157669. Dhruvaloka is said to be a planet at the extreme north of the universe. How we derive the figure for Dhruvaloka we shall show later. The 5th Canto is a precise mathematical puzzle with interlocking parts.
The last number mentioned in the Bhagavatam in a previous chapter was for Dhruvaloka. So we utilize Dhruvaloka for our next mathematical problem.
512157669 divided by 240000 =2133.990288. Square this (multiply number by itself) = 4553914.547. Now divide by 60, divide by 60 again. And divide by a single degree of the earth 69.172=18.28734458.
What did the NASA website say? It said 18.28 Moon Fact Sheet
Part Two – Length of Sun's eclipse
Utilizing again data which can be found by googling eclipse or googling length of eclipses, we learn that there are two main eclipses. There is a lunar eclipse, and there is a solar eclipse. Both of these eclipses have been timed by modern science. Would you be surprised to learn that their exact times are found in the 5th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam?
Again we begin with the number of miles around Dhruvaloka. (We shall show how to get this number later.) And we follow the instructions found in Canto 5, Ch. 24, text 2 of Srimad Bhagavatam.
512157669 divide by 80000 = 6401.970863. Square this number (multiply it by itself) = 40985230.92. Now divide by the minutes of an eclipse of the sun which if you google it, you will find is 25214.
25214 is 7 minutes and 14 seconds or 7 times 60 times 60 plus 14. So again we divide 40985230.92 by 25214=1625.495. Now divide that by a single degree of the earth 1625.495, divide by 69.172=23.499.
The length of the longest possible solar eclipse then is approx. 7 minutes 14 seconds. At least the Srimad Bhagavatam and modern science think so.
Part Three – The length of a lunar eclipse
We are showing that ancient astronomers were far from ignorant about the most modern calculations of the Sun and Moon.
The longest lunar eclipse is estimated on various sites you can google. Here is how we derive this figure from Srimad Bhagavatam 5th Canto, Ch. 24, text 2:
First we take the number of miles circumference of the planet Dhruvaloka and begin – 512157669 divide by 160000 = 3200.985431. Now we square that number (multiply the number by itself) = 10246307.73. Now divide this number by the minutes in a lunar eclipse, which is 359496.
This number 359496 is 99.86 minutes. Or 98.86 times 60 times 60 = 359496. So we divide 10246307.73 by 359496 = 28.5.
Of course my number for Dhruva could be off a fraction or my number for the circumference of the earth, but we see how so very accurate the Srimad Bhagavatam is. We have an accurate measurement of the Moon's lowest declination.
We have an accurate time of solar eclipse. And we have an accurate time of lunar eclipse. At first, it may escape us how much has been revealed in this one verse.
We have learned the movement of the Moon without spending a moment surveying the stars. We have learned the size and shape of the earth without experiment. We have learned the length of lunar and solar eclipses without timing them. And how did the ancients time these things without watches?
It appears such revelations as these put a hole in the theory that mankind is descended from primitive men. Modern Science has not improved a fraction on these conclusions. One wonders what other amazing information is to be found in the 5th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam.
Compiled by Mayesa dasa, edited by Gauragopala dasa.
Photo credits: Gourkeshava das