If Rama was born on 10th January, why is Rama Navami celebrated in March – April in the month of Chaithra?

If Rama was born on 10th January, why is Rama Navami celebrated in April in the month of Chaithra?

Closing the Gap

Sri Rama Navami – The Birthday of Rama now occurs around the 21st of April, in the month of Chaithra. During the days of Rama, i.e., in 5114 BCE, the Navami (9th day of the lunar cycle) of Chaithra month had occurred on the 10th of January. Here, between the years 5114 BCE and 2020 CE, we see a difference of 100 days between the occurrence of Navami in the Chaithra month.

How does one account for this difference of 100 days?

To answer this question we need to understand an astronomical concept now known as Precession of Equinox. While this is a relatively new term, used in modern astronomy, this concept was not unknown to the ancient astronomers of India.

Infact, they had understood the concept of Precession of Equinox, discussed it in their books on astronomy and even suggested correction factors that needed to be applied so that the calendar does not create such wide gaps over years. Among the many such astronomers, Varahamihira, the noted astronomer and mathematician too, has mentioned about it.

Varahamihira’s Brihad Samhita

The Brihad Samhita compiled by Varahamihira around 530 CE states

that, the Retrograde Motion of the Vernal Equinox (Vasant Sampat) is

1° in 72 years – i.e., there is a slide of 1 day for every 72 years.



Precession of Equinox

Modern day astronomers have termed this slide as Precession of equinox and state that it is 1 day in every 72 years.


Precession of Equinox

Taking cue from Varahamihira, as well as the modern concept of precession of equinox, if a slide of 1 day occurs in 72 years, then a slide of 100 days would need 7200 years of elapse time.

The difference between 5114 BCE and 2020 CE is 7134 years which is indeed very close to 7200 years. This proves that 10th January, 5114 BCE is a highly probable date for the birth of Rama.

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