Vedā Chronological Dating
How to date the Vedas based on the references to rulers and people, geography, and language? No, we are not going to assume something and go, we are just looking for a possible scenario that does not upset the Hindu mythology (except for nonsense myths) as well as the modern proponents of a mild OIT. The whole thing has continuity if we check it deeply. But many do not like to believe many things. But the following is entirely based on references from Indian texts.
Bhagavata 11th Skandha mentions that ParikSit’s death was 1115 years (or 1050 according to other Puranas depending upon the difference in ascension date) before the rule of Mahapadma Nanda of the Nanda dynasty. Surely, it is very unlikely that this information is wrong since the portion of its mention is in 11th Skandha which mentions the whole of Indian history till Mughal Period in a justified manner.(And it also does not exaggerate the dates; it gives a very satisfying picture) And from archaeology and correspondence with Alexander’s arrival and Mauryans, we know that Mahapadma Nanda came to rule about 382 BCE. Now that should tell at what date ParikSit died: 1115 + 382 = 1497 BCE; ie; around 1500 BCE. It is to be noted that one of the latest hymns of Atharvaveda, in the last chapter mentions ParikSit, his kingdom, and Kuru subjects. That means that Vedic Samhita literature has almost STOPPED around 1500 BCE entirely contradicting Aryan Migration Theory which proposes that Vedic literature starts at 1500 BCE. Janamejaya and PArikSit are also mentioned in Brahmanas, and “Krishna the son of Devaki” is mentioned in Upanishad. (Chhandogya) This also upsets the neo-Hindu historiography of Krishna dying around 3102 BCE.
All this should put Krishna’s date around 1600 BCE, if not late. Luckily, we see that the Dvaraka settlement of Indus Valley Civilisation had been around the same period.
On the whole, the advent of astronomical Kaliyuga should have no connection with Krishna, or the astronomical Kaliyuga is different from mythical Kaliyuga. (Astronomical Kaliyuga starts from Feb 17–18 3102 BCE, verified by Aryabhatta)
The strong correspondence is noted by the fact that Rigveda mentions Rama, Vena, and another Prithu’s descendant (Duhsima Prithavana) in its youngest portion. (This means it is at least around a thousand years earlier than Atharvaveda that mentions PArikSit). And Middle Rigvedic period (at least 500 years earlier) saw the rise of different political confederations of tribes, Sudas and the Battle of Ten Kings, thereby the separation of Indo European tribes and Indo Iranian separation, perhaps the rise of Indus civilization, Indian ritualistic religion and perhaps early Brahmanic religion. Late Rigvedic period marks Indo Iranian soma cult and the rise of horse sacrifice among Brahmanic ritualists. Middle RV period should fall around 4000 BCE – 3000 BCE. (Putting 3000 BCE as the latest date for Indo Iranian separation; Indo European tribes should have started to separate from 4000 BCE)
Early Rigvedic period could span a thousand years earlier, making it start from a convenient date of 5000 BCE. (Latest) perhaps even retaining prayers and memories of a lifestyle starting from 7000 BCE at least. So, that’s the deal. I guess this would be the most possible dating. (we can also connect the migration from the Indian subcontinent with the advent of the wheel around 3800 – 3500 BCE)
Now, the only problem left is that of horses. Here, we can note that the early “ashva” of Rigveda may not be a horse, but may even be an ass. Rigveda talks about tawny ashvas more than white horses, and the “horses” mentioned as ashvas could well have been onagers. A more accurate horse description comes in Rigveda only at 1.161 where Ashvamedha is described. Even here, the people only know of horses as imported from elsewhere through secret means. It is still viewed in wonder, and Rigveda makes an interesting error – it records no. of ribs of a horse as 34 instead of 36, latter is the expected number for a Ferrus Caballus, the “Aryan horse”. And the earliest evidence of horse, thus shrinks to the time of Late Rigvedic period, matching with Rama’s period, around 2700–2500 BCE when the first disputed horse remains are dated. Sudas could have been the Puranic “sudama” described as a friend of Indra whose son is said to be in Puranas rightly as “saudasa”. In such a case, the Puranas mention some 10 kings in the genealogy. Putting a period of 40 years in the genealogy, the Sudas should be 400 years earlier than Rama. Thus the Indo Iranian separation and migrations should have STOPPED by 3000 BCE at least, from the mainland. The horse was domesticated around 3000 BCE, and this reflects in the replacing of Indian onager/donkey with the new imported horse for draught purposes. (?) The custom of horse sacrifice was probably a borrow, along with the horse, from Central Asian Steppe culture. However, it should be noted that Indo Aryans never ate horses though it was cooked. This is also seen in Harappan culture where there is a significant dearth of horse bones as people did not hunt or eat them up. Now, the dating of Yajurveda is later than Late Rigveda and is contemporary to Brahmanic religion, which as we see, has got its power from at least 3000 BCE after the Bharatas, in Late Rigvedic period, mentioning about soma and Horse sacrifices. So, it is convenient to date Yajurvedic period from 3000 BCE to perhaps 2000 BCE, since Yajurveda does not mention iron or Kurus. Atharvaveda spans the whole period later than Indo Iranian separation up to the usage of iron that starts from around 1900 BCE. Clearly, Atharvaveda’s latest portion that describes Kuru kingdom should be around 1500 BCE. There is no other Samhita reference to Kuru kings.
Now, that means an initial guess of:-
Early Rigvedic period : (memories from 7000 BCE) c.5000 BCE – c.3500 BCE
Initial Indo European Migration: 4000 BCE – 3500 BCE
Middle Rigvedic period and Samavedic period: c.3500 BCE – c.2900 BCE
Battle of Ten kings: c. 3000 BCE
Indo Iranian separation: c. 3000 BCE
Historical Rama: c. 2600 BCE
Late Rigvedic period: c. 3000 BCE – c. 2500 BCE
Yajurvedic period: c. 3000 BCE – c. 2000 BCE
Atharvaveda period : c. 3000 BCE – c. 1500 BCE
Avesta : 2500 BCE – 1200 BCE.
Brahmanas: 2500 BCE – 1000 BCE
Upanishads: c. 1900 BCE – ….
Kuru kingdom: c. 2000 BCE
Historical Krishna: c. 1600 BCE
ParikSit: c.1500 BCE.
Mythical Kaliyuga advances in c. 1500 BCE
Iron Age: c. 1500 BCE