Refutation of Nilesh Oak’s dating of ancient texts

Refutation of Nilesh Oak’s Astronomical Dating of the Ramayana to 12209 BCE

Part 8 of 10 — Bluffing and the Game of Numbers

In the previous seven articles of this series, Oak’s dating of the Rāmāyaṇa to 12209 BCE has been refuted. There are four Astronomy Poison Pills for the dating of the Rāmāyaṇa according to Oak [1]. The first Astronomy Poison Pill of “Caitra being in the Śarad season” was refuted in Part 2 [2]. I pointed out that according to the evidence in the Rāmāyaṇa, Caitra was in the Vasanta season. I refuted the second Astronomy Poison Pill — that of “Āśvina month being part of the Vasanta season” in Part 4 [3]. I pointed out that Caitra, not Āśvina month, was part of the Vasanta season based on clear evidence in the Rāmāyaṇa. I refuted the third Astronomy Poison Pill — that of the “Sun setting near pushya during Hemant season” in Part 3 [4]. I pointed out that Araṇyakāṇḍa 16.12 in the Rāmāyaṇa does not specify the position of the Sun. I refuted the fourth Astronomy Poison Pill — that of “the description of Brahmarāśi/Vega/Abhijit as pole star” in Part 5 [5]. I showed that Brahmarāśi cannot be the Abhijit (Vega) star because Mars can never be near Vega. I refuted the assertion by Oak that a unique event involving a comet took place in 12209 BCE in Part 6 [6]. I pointed out that a comet’s trajectory and magnitude cannot be predicted for even 100 years and Oak’s date is based on software-generated illusion. I refuted Oak’s claim that Rāvaṇa’s Laṅkā was located on the Equator in Part 7 [7]. I pointed out that Laṅkā on the Equator was an astronomical concept and a hypothetical city. I argued that there is only one Rama Setu and it connects India with Sri Lanka.

The seven articles in this series of ten articles make it clear that the Rāmāyaṇa did not take place in 12209 BCE as proposed by Oak. If that is so, then there can be no corroboration for this date in the Rāmāyaṇa. However, Oak claims over 575 corroborations for the 12209 BCE date in the Rāmāyaṇa [8]. How is that possible? In this article I will refute Oak’s claim and show that Oak does not have even one corroboration instead of the over 575 corroborations he claims.

1. The Numbers Game

I had stated the following in Part 1 [9]:

Oak has then used the date of 12209 BCE to claim that there are 600 corroborations for it in the Rāmāyaṇa, and he has used this bogus claim to discard the unequivocal evidence in the Rāmāyaṇa.

Claiming hundreds of collaborations is part of the game that Oak plays to discredit other claims. Here are some examples of how this game is played by Oak [10]:

Only when you examine Oak’s claims in detail, will you find out how unreliable these claims are. I will explain this now for the case of the Rāmāyaṇa.

2. Oak’s Claim of over 575 Corroborations

Oak’s statement of over 575 corroborations is shown below along with the figure illustrating his claim [8]:

Ramayana has more than 500 astronomy observations. And like we did previously, we can split them into two categories. This category is ‘near earth phenomena’ which repeats frequently; the position of moons, eclipses, planetary positions and so on. And the other side is driven by the phenomenon known as ‘the precession of equinoxes’.

Figure 1: Oak’s claim of over 575 corroborations from the Rāmāyaṇa [8]

Oak divides his claim of over 575 corroborations in two categories: 1. Effects due to precession of equinoxes and 2. Effects due to near earth phenomena. Looking at Figure 1, there are claims of over 236 corroborations for effects due to precession of equinoxes and over 30 corroborations for effects due to near earth phenomena. As you can see, Oak uses “+” sign liberally and it is not clear how many claims are buried under the “+” sign. Without the “+” sign there are only 266 claims, which is more than 300 claims less than the claim of over 575 corroborations. Let us examine these claims in detail. I will examine the second claim first as it is straightforward to dismiss these claims.

3. Claims Related to Effects due to Near Earth Phenomena

Oak claims over 10 corroborations for the phases of the moon, over nine for planetary positions, over 10 for eclipses and lunar nodes, and one for the comet near Mūla nakshatra. The corroboration for the comet near Mūla nakshatra was refuted in Part 6 of the series [6]. Rest of the corroborations can be dismissed due to the periodic nature of these observations. Oak’s claims are based on the 12209 BCE date of the Rāma-Rāvaṇa yuddha. This date has been refuted in Part 6 of the series [6]. Since that date is no longer valid, these observations have no unique solution. These observations are periodic in nature and can be satisfied every few centuries. Sule and Vahia write [11]:

Secondly, astronomical events do have a margin of error and are repetitive in nature. When one says ‘Saturn in Kanyaa Raashi’, we should realise that Saturn spends an average of 2.5 years in each zodiac sign. In that period Mars, Venus, Mercury, and the Sun would have visited each of the Raashis, and the Moon would have done so more than 25 times. By rough estimate, a typical planetary combination is due for repetition once every few centuries. The 13-day pair of eclipses described above — even at the latitude of Kurukshetra — is not as rare as one imagines and it happens typically every few hundred years.

Thus, the corroborations under the category “effects due to near earth phenomena” are refuted based on their periodic nature as the 12209 BCE date of the Rāma-Rāvaṇa yuddha has been refuted and the four astronomy poison pills which placed this event between 17500 BCE and 10000 BCE according to Oak have also been refuted [2–6]. Let us analyze the rest of the claims which fall under the category of the effects due to precession of equinoxes.

4. Claims Related to Effects due to Precession of Equinoxes

As shown in Figure 1, Oak claims over 236 corroborations under this category. Oak claims one corroboration for “Sun sets at Pushya during Hemanta”, over eight corroborations for “Sharad and Caitra”, one corroboration for “Vasanta and Āśvina”, two corroborations for “Brahmarāśi as Pole star”, and over 225 corroborations for seasons. Oak’s claim of “Sun sets at Pushya during Hemanta” was refuted in Part 3 [4]. Oak’s eight corroborations for “Sharad and Caitra” were refuted in Part 2 [2]. Oak’s corroboration for “Vasanta and Āśvina” was refuted in Part 4 [3]. Oak’s claim of “Brahmarāśi as Pole star” was refuted in Part 5 [5]. This leaves us with the over 225 corroborations for seasons claimed by Oak.

I wanted to evaluate each of these 225+ claimed corroborations. The problem is that Oak has not made them public. I have requested him three times in the BVP mailing list and he has not responded at all. Here is a copy of the email. (Please note that the email correspondences in BVP mailing list are archived and made public every few days and show up in Google search. Hence, there are no ethical issues involved in making my email to BVP public.)

On Sat, May 22, 2021 at 7:41 PM Raja Roy <rajarammohanroy108@gmail.com> wrote:

Mr. Oak,

Instead of bombarding the readers with your videos, please provide following information:

1. You claim that seasons and months were off by 2 months from standard configuration during Mahabharata times. Provide a single direct evidence of this assertion. Direct evidence means that seasons and months must be specified by name.

2. You claim that seasons and months were off by 6 months from standard configuration during Ramayan times. Provide a single direct evidence of this assertion. Direct evidence means that seasons and months must be specified by name.

3. You claim more than 225+ corroborations of seasons from Ramayana (The Historic Rama, page 229). The table on this page has only 15 rows. Row 1 says Bala 22.22–33. Is that 12 corroborations in your count? Row 6 says Kishkindha 1.1–10. Is that 10 corroborations in your count? Row 9 says Kishkindha 30.1–63. Is that 63 corroborations in your count? Even counting all rows, the data does not sum up to 225+. Where is the rest of the data? Since you proclaim these corroborations all the time, research transparency demands that this data be made public. So kindly tell me where researchers can find this data so that your claim can be scrutinized.

Regards,

Dr. Raja Roy

I followed this up with another email shown below.

On Wed, Jun 2, 2021 at 6:14 AM Raja Roy <rajarammohanroy108@gmail.com> wrote:

Thanks Prof. Rao. Since I started refuting Oak’s claims, Oak has not refuted a single point raised by me. …

He has not provided any proof that a comet’s trajectory and magnitude can be predicted for 14000 years back, which I have asked. Hence, 12209 BCE date of Ramayana is debunked.

As learned members will recall, I had asked Oak to provide following information in this forum: (earlier email copied)

Oak has not responded. Do you see the magnitude of the problem? Oak does not have a single direct proof of his hypothesis of decoupling of months and seasons from either Ramayana or Mahabharata. Still, he claims hundreds of corroborations and he has not made this data public for scrutiny. All his work on Ramayana and Mahabharata rests on bogus unverified assertions. What is this learned forum going to do about this?

What is AICTE going to do about it which has given him validation by hosting him?

Best regards,

Raja

Oak did not respond to this email as well. As I indicated above, I hope you understand the magnitude of the problem. Oak has zero corroboration for his claim, and he has made up 600 corroborations. He has not made the full list public as research transparency demands even after multiple requests. In the absence of the complete list, let us go over the partial list that Oak has given on page 229 of his book, “The Historic Rama” [12].

5. Analysis of 225+ claims of Corroborations of Seasons

Oak writes [12]:

Analysis of these 225+ descriptions/analogies of seasons from Valmiki Ramayana text shows excellent corroboration with my proposed timeline. The table below shows illustration of how this data was analyzed and compared against my proposed timeline.

The table that Oak refers to has 15 rows. Let us go through each row.

Row 1: Bala 22:22–33, Ramayana — Sharad, My proposal — Sharad, Agreement — yes.

Check it here: IIT Kanpur Vāmīki Rāmāyaṇa site: Bālakāṇḍa Sarga 22

Verse 22 is an analogy, which does not count as corroboration. Verse 23 has no mention of season. There are only 23 verses in this Sarga. So, 33 is either a typo or misleading.

Conclusion: claims 12, actual: 0

Row 2: Ayodhya 3:36–37, Ramayana — Sharad, My proposal — Sharad, Agreement — yes.

Check it here: IIT Kanpur Vāmīki Rāmāyaṇa site: Ayodhyākāṇḍa Sarga 3

Verse 36 is an analogy, which does not count as corroboration. Verse 37 has no mention of season.

Conclusion: claims 2, actual: 0

Row 3: Ayodhya 93:10, Ramayana — end of summer, My proposal — Sharad, Agreement –no.

Check it here: IIT Kanpur Vāmīki Rāmāyaṇa site: Ayodhyākāṇḍa Sarga 93

Verse 10 is an analogy, which does not count either as proof of corroboration or proof of no corroboration. It is absurd to count analogies as astronomical observations.

Conclusion: claims 0, actual: 0

Row 4: Aranya 42:31, Ramayana — Vasanta, My proposal — Vasanta, Agreement –yes.

Check it here: IIT Kanpur Vāmīki Rāmāyaṇa site: Araṇyakāṇḍa Sarga 42

Verse 31 says Sita was plucking flowers. There is no mention of season. Oak himself has claimed flowering as proof of Śarad season on page 59 of his book “The Historic Rama” [13]. So, he cannot claim this as proof of Vasanta season.

Conclusion: claims 1, actual: 0

Row 5: Aranya 44:7, Ramayana — Sharad, My proposal — Vasanta, Agreement –no.

Check it here: IIT Kanpur Vāmīki Rāmāyaṇa site: Araṇyakāṇḍa Sarga 44

It is verse 6 at IIT Kanpur site. It is an analogy, which does not count either as proof of corroboration or proof of no corroboration. It is absurd to count analogies as astronomical observations.

Conclusion: claims 0, actual: 0

Row 6: Kishkindha 1:1–10, Ramayana — Vasanta, My proposal — Vasanta, Agreement –yes.

Check it here: IIT Kanpur Vāmīki Rāmāyaṇa site: Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa Sarga 1

Verses 1–10 describe the Vasanta season with flowers blooming. Can it be counted as 10 independent pieces of evidence when they are connected to each other? I have discussed in Part 4 that Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa 1:34–35 clearly says that month was Caitra [3]. This verse is not found in the list of corroborations in the Table provided by Oak [12]. Why was this crucial evidence omitted by Oak which is in the same Sarga? According to Oak, Caitra was in Śarad season [13]. Thus, according to his date, the season should be Śarad. This is in clear contradiction of the evidence.

Conclusion: claims 10, actual: 0

Row 7: Kishkindha 1:91, Ramayana — Vasanta, My proposal — Vasanta, Agreement –yes

Check it here: IIT Kanpur Vāmīki Rāmāyaṇa site: Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa Sarga 1

Verses 91 describe the season as that of flowers after the end of winter. So, it is clearly Vasanta season. By the argument presented above, the month was Caitra, and Oak’s corroboration is refuted.

Conclusion: claims 1, actual: 0

Row 8: Kishkindha 28:66, Ramayana — Varsha, My proposal — Varsha, Agreement –yes

Check it here: IIT Kanpur Vāmīki Rāmāyaṇa site: Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa Sarga 28

This verse says to bear with the rains. It is strange that Oak claims this verse as corroboration. He has accepted on page 161 of his book “The Historic Rama” that evidence of Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa Sarga 26:14 contradicts his timeline [14]. It clearly shows that Oak’s claims are mere assertions which cannot be believed.

Conclusion: claims 1, actual: 0

Row 9: Kishkindha 30:1–63, Ramayana — Sharad, My proposal — Sharad, Agreement –yes

Check it here: IIT Kanpur Vāmīki Rāmāyaṇa site: Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa Sarga 30

Verses 1–63 describe the Śarad season. Can it be counted as 63 independent pieces of evidence when they are connected to each other? Furthermore, verse 64 describes that the preceding four months were of Varṣā season. This verse is not found in the list of corroborations in the Table provided by Oak [12]. Why was this crucial evidence omitted by Oak which is right after the verse 63 quoted by Oak? Sarga 26, Śloka 14 of the Kiṣkindhākāṇḍa has explicit mention that four months of the Varṣā season started with the month of Śrāvaṇa. I have discussed this in Part 2 [2]. This is in clear contradiction of Śrāvaṇa being in Śiśira according to Oak. Thus, Oak has zero corroboration from these 63 verses.

Conclusion: claims 63, actual: 0

Row 10: Sundara 2:2, Ramayana — Vasanta, My proposal — Vasanta, Agreement –yes

Check it here: IIT Kanpur Vāmīki Rāmāyaṇa site: Sundarakāṇḍa Sarga 2

Verses 2 describes Hanuman as covered with flowers. It cannot be counted as corroboration of Oak’s date as it is consistent with standard combination of seasons and months.

Conclusion: claim 1, actual: 0

Row 11: Sundara 66:13, Ramayana — Sharad, My proposal — Vasanta, Agreement –no

Check it here: IIT Kanpur Vāmīki Rāmāyaṇa site: Sundarakāṇḍa Sarga 66

Verse 13 is an analogy, which does not count either as proof of corroboration or proof of no corroboration. It is absurd to count analogies as astronomical observations.

Conclusion: claim 1, actual: 0

Row 12: Yuddha 12:14, Ramayana — Sharad, My proposal — Sharad, Agreement — yes

Check it here: valmikiramayan.net site: Yuddhakāṇḍa Sarga 12

Verse 14 is an analogy, which does not count either as proof of corroboration or proof of no corroboration. It is absurd to count analogies as astronomical observations.

Conclusion: claim 1, actual: 0

Row 13: Yuddha 24:37, Ramayana — Vasanta, My proposal — Sharad, Agreement — no

Check it here: valmikiramayan.net site: Yuddhakāṇḍa Sarga 24

It is verse 38 at valmikiramayan.net site. Verse 38 is an analogy, which does not count either as proof of corroboration or proof of no corroboration. It is absurd to count analogies as astronomical observations.

Conclusion: claim 0, actual: 0

Row 14: Uttara 39:26–30, Ramayana — Shishir, My proposal — Shishir, Agreement — yes

Whether Uttarakāṇḍa was part of the original Rāmāyaṇa written by Vālmīki is debated. It is not available on valmikiramayan.net site. You need to have access to Gita Press version to check it. One of the verses describes that it was Śiśira season. Can it be counted as five independent pieces of evidence when they are connected to each other? There is no reason to believe that it is in contradiction to the standard combination of seasons and months described in the first six Kāṇḍas of the Rāmāyaṇa. Since Oak has provided no evidence how it only fits his proposed combination, this claim cannot be accepted.

Conclusion: claim 5, actual: 0

Row 15: Uttara 42:1–15, Ramayana — Vasanta, My proposal — Vasanta, Agreement –yes

These 15 verses describe the garden of Rama. Can it be counted as 15 independent pieces of evidence when they are connected to each other? Again, there is no reason to believe that it is in contradiction to the standard combination of seasons and months described in first six Kāṇḍas of the Rāmāyaṇa. Since Oak has provided no evidence how it only fits his proposed combination, this claim cannot be accepted. It is clear that Oak has counted these verses to artificially inflate the count of corroborations he claims.

Conclusion: claim 15, actual: 0

Thus, it is clear that Oak has ZERO corroboration for the 12209 BCE date of the Rāmāyaṇa, while he claims 575+. He has not provided full details of these corroborations. The partial list provided includes analogies which cannot count as astronomical observations. Furthermore, he has counted interconnected evidence as independent evidence. None of the evidence cited can be claimed as exclusively supporting Oak’s proposed combination of seasons and months. As I have shown in Part 2 [2] and Part 4 [3], there is extensive evidence in the Rāmāyaṇa for standard seasons and months. Oak’s claim of 225+ corroboration for seasons in the Rāmāyaṇa is bogus.

Oak also claims support for events related to the Rāmāyaṇa using astronomy software. However, no astronomy software is reliable for 12209 BCE and thereabouts.

6. Limitations of Astronomy Software

Astronomy software can give you positions for any date you want. The question is does it have any meaning? Figure 2 shows the position of the Moon given in 100,000 BCE by Stellarium software. It is meaningless. It is impossible to figure out the position of the Moon in 100,000 BCE. It is not possible for even 10,000 BCE.

Figure 2: The position of the Moon in 100,000 BCE, according to Stellarium

It is important to understand that the positions of the Sun, Moon and planets shown in astronomy software are simulations. They are approximate solutions of a very complex set of equations. Here are more details about the simulation [15]:

Each ephemeris was produced by numerical integration of the equations of motion, starting from a set of initial conditions. Due to the precision of modern observational data, the analytical method of general perturbations could no longer be applied to a high enough accuracy to adequately reproduce the observations. The method of special perturbations was applied, using numerical integration to solve the n-body problem, in effect putting the entire Solar System into motion in the computer’s memory, accounting for all relevant physical laws. The initial conditions were both constants such as planetary masses, from outside sources, and parameters such as initial positions and velocities, adjusted to produce output which was a “best fit” to a large set of observations. A least-squares technique was used to perform the fitting.

This is the accuracy of planetary positions according to Project Pluto, maker of the astronomy software [16]:

Accuracy of planetary and lunar positions in Guide

Between the years 1800 to 2200, planetary and lunar positions in Guide are calculated using the JPL DE-406 ephemeris. One cannot get much better than this. The accuracy is stated to be of the order of milliarcseconds, and I’ve no good reason to doubt this.

Outside that range, Guide defaults to use of analytic series solutions such as VSOP. These are good to within a fraction of an arcsecond within the years 1000 to 3000, and an arcsecond or two within -2000 to +6000. Outside that range, though, they start to diverge badly and are not to be trusted. (Actually, they might be good to within, say, a degree for many more millennia, sufficient for some uses; but I’ve no way of verifying that. They might be complete garbage at such a range.)

There is one object for which the accuracy may be worse even a few millennia ago or hence: the Moon. That is because the moon’s motion is somewhat irregular (the “delta-T” problem). We’ve a decent handle on it through historical records of ancient eclipses, but these were not measured using accurate clocks or with sophisticated instruments. And beyond a couple of millennia, there are no eclipse records available.

According to the makers of astronomy software Stellarium, this is the accuracy of the position of the Sun and the equinoxes [17]:

The positions of the Sun and the equinoxes in the year 7500 BC calculated by Stellarium may be off by several degrees.

If the position of the Sun is off by many degrees in 7500 BCE, imagine the accuracy in the position of the planets and the moon. There are very serious issues in accepting the position of planets and the moon given by astronomy software in 12209 BCE and thereabouts, which is over 14,000 years ago. Here are more details on the inaccuracy of the simulations by Sule and Vahia [11]:

But there are several issues with this approach. Firstly, positions of the Moon (to a large extent) and planets (to a smaller extent) cannot be modelled accurately beyond a couple of Millennia. The position calculations have some large terms and numerous smaller corrections. Most commercial sky simulators only incorporate major variables and ignore smaller corrections altogether. Few better ones use present values of minor variables and simply assume that those values remain unchanged even if you extrapolate 5000 years back.

In fact, several researchers, including one of us (MNV), use the discrepancies between the predicted path of the eclipse using NASA ephemeris — which is the best simulator publicly available — and real path as determined from written records of the last 1500 years to better model earth-moon interactions. Thus, if someone says they put in the data in software and got such and such date, it just reveals a limited understanding of positional calculations and eclipse paths and dates.

Though astronomy software can give you planetary positions for any time you want, they are not reliable for a period earlier than 2000 BCE. So, all the corroborations claimed by Oak for year 12209 BCE and thereabouts using planetary and moon position are unreliable. There is also another major problem with Oak’s dating of the events related to the Rāmāyaṇa.

7. Calendar in 12209 BCE and thereabouts

In his book, “The Historic Rama,” Oak provides a calendar of important events of the Rāmāyaṇa. All these dates are based on Oak’s determination of the date of sighting of a comet by Lakshmana. I have shown in Part 6 that this date is based on a software-generated illusion [6]. Thus, his calendar of events is meaningless. Not only that, but this calendar of events is also a result of incompetency. Oak writes the following about the date on which rest of the dates are based [18]:

The comet was in apparition during the month of September and was brightest around 9–10 September 12209 BCE. The corresponding lunar month was Margashirsha/Pausha and the time of summer solstice.

Since Ramayana text stated that Rama did return to Ayodhya at the end of the 14th year of his ‘forest stay’ and since he had left for the forest on his birthday — Chaitra Shuddha Navami, we can calculate the timing for the month of Chaitra occurring after 9–10 September 12209 BCE. Chaitra Shuddha Navami occurred on 17 December, 12209 BCE and we can mark it as the approximate (and tentative) time of Rama’s return to Ayodhya from Lanka.

How can Oak know that Chaitra Shuddha Navami occurred on 17 December, 12209 BCE if he does not even know whether it was Margashirsha or Pausha on 9–10 September? There is no way to know the moon’s position in 12209 BCE. How can Oak know it was Navami? He can not even know the month as he has himself accepted uncertainty of one month either way as shown below [19]:

How does Oak know there was no adhikamasa or kshayamasa during that year? How would Oak know whether Pūrṇimānta or Amānta months were being used that time? There is no way of knowing. Accordingly, Oak’s calendar of events is speculative and shows a lack of understanding of the Vedic/Hindu calendar. With the information from this and previous section, we can examine Oak’s numerous claims of corroboration of 12209 BCE date of the Rāmāyaṇa using “Error Elimination Experiments”.

8. Verification of Error Elimination Experiments

The book, “The Historic Rama,” has 71 so-called “Error Elimination Experiments”. Oak does not define what he means by the words “Error Elimination Experiment”. It is not clear why it is called experiment and what this “error elimination” involves. Here are two examples of these so-called “Error Elimination Experiments”:

Error Elimination — Experiment 23 [20]

Foreboding danger, buzzards, jackals and vultures uttered shrill notes; and female jackals invariably bringing disaster in war and presenting a terrible aspect shrieked with their mouths vomiting flames. A headless human figure resembling an iron club appeared near the sun. The great graha Rahu (node) obscured the sun, the wind blew violently and the sun became lusterless. Stars flashing like fireflies appeared when there was no night.

Error Elimination — Experiment 64 [21]

Kusha and Lava were born during a rainy night on nakshatra Shravana. They were born sometime during September-October 12208 BCE.

Clearly no “error elimination” has been done in these examples. I have gone through each of these so called “Error Elimination Experiments” and my comments are shown in the Appendix to this article. These “Error Elimination — Experiments” are simply a diary of events in the Rāmāyaṇa in which dates have been derived from the supposed date of Rāma-Rāvaṇa yuddha described above. Since that date has been refuted in Part 6 [6], all these supposed corroborations are refuted. It is important to note that these “Error Elimination — Experiments” are not independent corroborations. Why they are called “experiments” is something of a mystery. Sure, “experiments” have a powerful, scientific ring to them, but just because we use the word does not mean that an assertion or a claim can suddenly become an experiment.

9. Conclusions

Oak claims over 575 corroborations for the 12209 BCE date of the Rāmāyaṇa. He divides these corroborations in two categories: 1. Effects due to precession of equinoxes and 2. Effects due to near earth phenomena. The corroborations under “Effects due to near earth phenomena” are periodic in nature and can be satisfied every few centuries. Since the 12209 BCE date of the Rāmāyaṇa has been refuted [6], these corroborations are invalidated.

Oak claims 225+ corroborations for seasons. He has not provided full details of these corroborations. The partial list provided includes analogies which cannot count as astronomical observations. Furthermore, he has counted interconnected evidence as independent evidence. None of the evidence cited can be claimed as exclusively supporting Oak’s proposed combination of seasons and months. As shown in Part 2 [2] and Part 4 [3], there is extensive evidence in the Rāmāyaṇa for standard seasons and months. Oak’s claim of 225+ corroboration for seasons in the Rāmāyaṇa is completely bogus and he has exactly ZERO corroborations.

Furthermore, astronomy software are not reliable for a period earlier than 2000 BCE. So, all the corroborations claimed by Oak for year 12209 BCE and thereabouts using planetary and moon positions are unreliable. In addition, Oak’s calendar of events for the Rāmāyaṇa is speculative and shows lack of understanding of Vedic/Hindu calendar.

The supposed “Error Elimination — Experiments” are simply a diary of events in the Rāmāyaṇa in which dates have been derived from the supposed date of Rāma-Rāvaṇa yuddha. Since that date has been refuted in Part 6 [6], all these supposed corroborations are refuted.

Oak claims that seasons and months were off by six months during the Rāmāyaṇa time from the standard combination. I have challenged Oak to produce a single direct evidence for this from the Rāmāyaṇa and he has failed to respond. This proves beyond doubt that there is ZERO evidence for the 12209 BCE date of the Rāmāyaṇa.

References:

1. https://nileshoak.wordpress.com/2017/08/02/astronomy-lynchpins-ramayana-mahabharata/.

2. Refutation of Nilesh Oak’s astronomical dating of Ramayana to 12209 BCE | by Dr. Raja Ram Mohan Roy | May, 2021 | Medium.

3. Refutation of Nilesh Oak’s Astronomical Dating of Ramayana to 12209 BCE | by Dr. Raja Ram Mohan Roy | May, 2021 | Medium.

4. Refutation of Nilesh Oak’s Astronomical Dating of Ramayana to 12209 BCE | by Dr. Raja Ram Mohan Roy | May, 2021 | Medium.

5. Refutation of Nilesh Oak’s Astronomical Dating of Ramayana to 12209 BCE | by Dr. Raja Ram Mohan Roy | May, 2021 | Medium.

6. Refutation of Nilesh Oak’s Astronomical Dating of Ramayana to 12209 BCE | by Dr. Raja Ram Mohan Roy | May, 2021 | Medium.

7. Refutation of Nilesh Oak’s Astronomical Dating of the Ramayana to 12209 BCE | by Dr. Raja Ram Mohan Roy | Jun, 2021 | Medium.

8. https://indictales.com/2017/02/14/dating-ramayana-nilesh-oak-srijan-talk/

9. Refutation of Nilesh Oak’s Astronomical Dating of Ramayana to 12209 BCE | by Dr. Raja Ram Mohan Roy | Apr, 2021 | Medium.

10. https://twitter.com/NileshOak/status/1362134332161277957.

11. Sule, A. and Vahia, M. (2020). “World Space Week: Applying Astronomical Dating Methods to Ancient Indian Epics Mahabharata and Ramayana”, https://weather.com/en-IN/india/space/news/2020-10-07-world-space-week-astronomical-dating-methods-ancient-indian-epics.

12. Oak, N.N. (2014). “The Historic Rama”, (Publisher not mentioned in the book), p. 229.

13. Ibid., p. 59.

14. Ibid., p. 161.

15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jet_Propulsion_Laboratory_Development_Ephemeris

16. https://www.projectpluto.com/accuracy.htm

17. https://sourceforge.net/p/stellarium/discussion/278769/thread/93d5ee1f/

18. Oak. “The Historic Rama”, pp. 71–72.

19. https://twitter.com/NileshOak/status/1206824487590727680.

20. Oak. “The Historic Rama”, p. 102.

21. Oak. “The Historic Rama”, p. 151.

Appendix: Details of Error Elimination — Experiments

Note: June 19, 2021

I had tagged Oak in my tweet announcing the publication of this article. Oak did not respond to this announcement on Twitter.

The link to this article was also posted in the Google group भारतीयविद्वत्परिषत् by me. Oak is a member of this group. There was no reply from him in this group.

I had tagged Oak in two tweets addressed to Prof. Bal Ram Singh, Director of Institute of Advanced Sciences. It is a private institute that has given Adjunct Professorship to Oak. I asked Prof. Bal Ram Singh to make public the exact details of 575+ corroborations that Oak claims from the Rāmāyaṇa. Oak has not made the list public even after multiple requests. I expected Prof. Bal Ram Singh to address this issue as manufacturing of data is a serious research ethics violation. My interactions with Prof. Bal Ram Singh show that he is not interested in making the exact details of 575+ corroborations public or confirming that Oak’s claims are fake. He just wants the issue to go away. Well, it will not, I can guarantee that.

More about the author

I am a seeker of historical truths and am deeply interested in the heritage of India. I have earned a B.Tech. in Metallurgical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from The Ohio State University, USA. I have a deep interest in ancient Indian texts. My research besides Materials Science covers several different areas: Vedic cosmology, Vedic astronomy, Jain astronomy, and ancient Indian history.

Email: rajarammohanroy108@gmail.com

Coming up:

Refutation of Nilesh Oak’s astronomical dating of Ramayana to 12209 BCE: Part 9 of 10- The grouping of seasons and lunar months from the Vedic age till now

Refutation of Nilesh Oak’s astronomical dating of Ramayana to 12209 BCE: Part 10 of 10- Fatal logical Errors in the Vartak-Oak Hypothesis (to be published on June 26, 2021)

Vedic Scholar, Materials Scientist, Author of books on Vedic Astronomy, Jain Astronomy, and Ancient Indian History