Are there any references to Halley's Comet in the Hindu scriptures? If there are, then in what perspective is the comet depicted as?


Certainly there is no direct reference to it because in ancient times Halley's comet was not known by that name. But there is mention of a big comet that was seen in the sky during the Mahabharata war:

धूमकेतुर महाघॊरः पुष्यम आक्रम्य तिष्ठति [MB - 6.3.12]
-A fierce comet rises, afflicting the constellation Pusya.

Because Mahabhrata mentions the position of starts and planets in the sky during certain events, researchers are able to find out the dates of the event by analyzing the planetary positions. So they say that the comet that has been mentioned in the Mahabharata as being seen during the war was Halley's comet. For example, consider the below statement from this web source written by Dr.P.V.Vartak:

Vyasa has mentioned that at the time of Mahabharat war a big comet was seen just beyond Pushya Nakshtra. There are many comets. Indian Astro- nomical works refer to more than 500 comets, but big comets are very few. Haley's comet is one of the big comets which comes at the regu- lar intervals of 77 years. It was seen in 1910 and 1987. If we add 1910+5561 = 7271. 7271 is divisible completely by 77. Evidently it seems that it was Haley's comet was seen at the Mahabharat War.

  • Also, was the comet viewed as a bad/good omen? Or was it just a natural phenomenon of no literal consequence? – KharoBangdo Jul 29 '14 at 5:43
  • @KharoBangdo yes, the comet was mentioned while describing other bad omens. To suggest that something terrible is going to happen. – Be Happy Jul 29 '14 at 5:47

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