“Good Vedic Astronomy” (SB 3.15.2)
Are the Puranic histories mythological narrations, or do they suggest a valid, albeit alternate, view of a palpable reality? In this presentation of Vedic astronomy, Thompson describes how the rings of the Bhu-mandala described in the Bhagavata Purana compare surprising well with mathematical calculations of the planetary orbits, considered from a geocentric perspective. Next he demonstrates how the planetary diameters offered in a second text, the Surya-siddhanta, also appears impressively close to modern calculations. Thompson concludes that some of contemporary scholarship’s dismissive attitudes toward ancient cultural accounts invite a reassessment.