Are there mention of Zodiac signs by name, in Mahabharata?

If yes please cite the verses.

2 Answers 2


Yes, there is mention of Zodiac signs in Mahabharata.

One such reference is present in Mahabharata: Vana Parva: Markandeya-Samasya Parva:

A gift also that is made while the Sun is on the solstitial points, one again that is made on the last day of the Sun's path through Libra, Aries, Gemini, Virgo, and Pisces, a gift again during eclipses of the Moon and the Sun, produce merit that is inexhaustible.

Here is the Sanskrit verse and Hindi translation from Volume 2 (page #1393) of Unabridged Mahabharata by Gitapress:

Volume 2 (page #1393) of Unabridged Mahabharata by Gitapress

  • Can you please give the verse number of Mahabharata??
    – user22253
    Oct 10, 2021 at 8:16
  • hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/49239/22253
    – user22253
    Oct 10, 2021 at 13:03
  • Added Sanskrit verse.. @MrGreenGold
    – YDS
    Oct 11, 2021 at 8:31
  • no where does it mention the rashis.
    – user22253
    Oct 11, 2021 at 15:16
  • It says Uttarayana and Dakshinayana. It has no direct reference to Rashis. This is the problem with translations they add their own things and interpret it in their own ways
    – user22253
    Oct 11, 2021 at 15:23

Whilst a numder of sites that I've looked at online attests to a vedic astrology that uses the Zodiac, and which appears to be affirmed by this article, stating:

Some western scholars believe that the horoscopic astrology practiced in the Indian subcontinent came from Hellenistic influences, post-dating the Vedic period and the Vedanga Jyotishya, one of the earliest texts about astronomy within the Vedas, dates from the last centuries BCE.

It also adds:

However, this is a point of intense debate and many Indian scholars believe that Jyotisha developed independently although it may have interacted with Greek astronomy and Vedanga Jyotishya was compiled by 1200 BCE.

For example, we know of the cultural contact between the Hellenistic empire of Alexander the Great and India. For example, Gandhara, is attested in the Rigveda (RV 1.126.7) and the Gandhāris are also mentioned in the Atharvaveda (AV 5.22.14), and the Aitareya Brahmana refers to King Nagnajit of Gandhara. However, we know from excavations of Gandhara that a fusion of Greek & Buddhist sculpture - and hence culture - thrived there after Alexander the Great.

As to astrology, this site explains:

the ancient seers gave to this sign not only the name Meena (Pisces), which means fish, but also Antyaya, which means the end, and Yasha, which means glory.


Dhanu (Sagittarius) is the centaur — a horse-like beast with a human upper part holding a bow and shooting an arrow toward the sky. The Sanskrit name for the sign refers merely to the bow, the arrow, and the shooting.


Yavanacharya called Vrshchika (Scorpio) a deep opening in the earth


Mesha (Aries) is the name given to the first sign of the zodiac. The Sanskrit word Mesha means a ram or sheep, but other synonyms given to it are more connotative. Aja means the unborn, Vishwa refers to the whole or the universe, Kriya stands for motion and activity, and Tambura is a musical instrument, while Adya implies the first primeval cause of the manifest universe. Though Aja means the unborn, it refers to the "unborn-but-existing-in-eternity."

Given the variant meanings and synonyms attached with the signs, it seems that an earlier Vedic astology was fused with that of the Greeks in terms of names, if not meaning.

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