SAPTARISHIS, MANU
AND ASTRONOMY

Hinduism is a Scientifically proven religion we can also call it as a way of life.

What you are going to read is explained in a very simple manner. I could have written in deep explaining about the sun, the degrees, other planets and a lot of things but it would complicate things and my aim is to put things in front of you in a very simple manner so that every one can understand.

Before moving further I have kept few photographs so that we can get a brief idea of our solar system.

Milky Way

Below is the Image of 27 Nakshatras :

27 Nakshatras

In astronomy there are many nakshatras which consists of 7 bright stars.

Ursa Major

This Ursa Major points towards Polaris which is in Ursa Minor.

Ursa Major pointing towards Polaris

The Ursa Major is called great bear because its stars are arranged in such a way that they also seem to form the outline of a great bear. This constellation consists of seven bright stars arranged in a pattern resembling somewhat a big bear.

Ursa Minor with Polaris

Earth's North Pole and Polaris

This constellation is also a closed group of seven stars. The arrangement of stars in Ursa Minor is similar to those in Ursa Major, the only difference being that the stars here are closer together and appear to form the outline of a little bear. The stars here are less bright than those of Ursa Major.

At the end of the tail of Ursa Minor is a very important star of average brightness, which is called the pole star. This constellation is also sometimes called the pole star constellation. It can be seen in the northern part of the sky in July during the summer season.

Orion

The arrangement of stars in the Orion constellation is as shown in the figure. Orion means hunter. The arrangement of stars here is supposed to resemble a hunter.

The major stars of Orion shown in the figure are supposed to form the body of a hunter. The head and limbs of the hunter are formed from other faint stars, which are not shown in the figure. The constellation is visible during the winter season.

Scorpio

The Scorpio constellation closely resembles a scorpion complete with tail and pincers. This constellation is usually visible in the summer season.

Pleiades

This constellation looks like a cluster of twinkling gems in the night sky. This constellation is visible in winter season.

These 7 bright stars are nothing but Saptarishis (According to Hindu and Vedic tradition, these seven wise men became practically immortal because of their penance and good deeds) and they keep on changing from time to time (Manuvantara).

Out of 7 each Rishi was assigned a star making them immortal. Just like Shukra (Venus) was assigned to Shukracharya.

The Saptarishis in the extreme north near the Dhruva / Polaris, only one star in the southern sky has been named during vedic period.

Manu (The Changing North Pole Star) :

The Changing North Pole Star (manu)

Because of the Precession of the Earth, over the period of a Great Year the north Pole Star changes. This is not because the stars are changing, but because our Viewpoint of the stars changes very slowly because of Precession.

Precession can be thought of as the slow movement of the Earth's axis with respect to the stars. Hence, as the axis is moving, with time it points to different places in the heavens. The dotted circle on the figure below shows all the places that the axis will point to over a complete Great Year. Back in 2700 BC the axis pointed to the star Thuban, the Snake; now it points to Polaris.

The Changing Pole Star How to understand this star map: Have a look bottom left, that's the date in years. It starts in 3000 BC, [the BC years have a minus sign in front] when astrology was just beginning amongst the Mesopotamian culture, and goes through to 8000 AD. As the years change the figure is showing you a picture of the night sky at the time. It stops momentarily at 2000 AD to show you the sky as it looks now.

Next, have a look at the spot marked Zenith in the center of the star map. That spot marks the point in the night sky where - over the centuries - the North Celestial Pole lies. You can see that as the centuries pass, different stars are the star at the Zenith. [A dotted circular line has been drawn on the figure so you can see which stars will become the Pole Star as the centuries pass.] Currently, the star Polaris, a Ursae Minoris is the Pole Star. Back in 2700 BC the star Thuban, a Draconis, in the constellation of the Dragon, was be the Pole Star. This is one of the faintest stars in the sky to have a name, doubtless because it was of such importance to our astrological ancestors.

Thuban, Draconis, Vega, etc is nothing but Manu. Hence, with change in Pole Star (Manu) Saptarishis also change.

Venus and Shukracharya :

Venus (Shukracharya)

All the planets rotate in anti-clockwise motion but its only Venus which rotates clockwise. This is considered unnatural and thus out of all the planets only Venus (Shukra) is named after Shukaracharya and considered as Guru of Rakshash (Demons / Daityaguru).