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A book I read recently says that the only firm date is the history of ancient India is the invasion of Alexander (327-326 B.C.).

Can anything more be said about this?

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Yes, if the events in scriptures are described with planetary positions at that time then exact dates can be calculated. And this is exactly what happened in case of Ramayana.

In Valmiki Ramayana, planetary positions are mentioned when events took place. Based on those positions, the dates calculated are:

  • Sri Rama Navami - Birth day 10th January 5114 BCE

  • Birth of Bharatha - 11th January 5114 BCE

  • Pre coronation eve - 4th January 5089 BCE Khar

  • Dushan episode - 7th October 5077 BCE

  • Vali Vadham - 3rd April 5076 BCE

  • Hanuman's Visit to Lanka - 12th September 5076 BCE

  • Hanuman's Return from Lanka - 14th September 5076 BCE

  • Army March to Lanka - 12th September 5076 BCE

You can also see that dates calculated are quite consistent. More details have been shared by those who did this research like Valmiki Ramayana says Rama was 25 years of age when he went to exile and based on the planetary positions they fed into the software and found out the difference of years between positions at his birth and at exile and the result was 25 years! Perfect match with Valmiki Ramayana!

  • 'with planetary positions at that time then exact dates can be calculated' - how can we be sure the planetary positions are from the same period the original events took place? E.g., Vyasa or Valmiki could have written accounts of the stories they heard from others several decades/centuries later. – sv. Feb 21 at 19:29
  • @sv. It doesn't matter when Valmiki wrote it but what does matter is that planetary positions or configurations are mentioned in detail so the researchers fed that information in software and everytime it was a perfect match with Valmiki Ramayana. For example - VR says in 13th year of exile, there was solar eclipse, software proved that it indeed was the case. One more reason for me to believe this research is that I believe in Sri Yukteswar Yuga Theory and you can read in my other answer that the above dates fall in Treta Yuga. – Chinmay Sarupria Feb 22 at 4:54

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