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The main question is right below, if you want to avoid the scriptural reference in the middle. also below we are following Amanta calendar (similar to South India)

Valmiki Ramayana

Shri Rama was supposed to be crowned as the heir in the month of Chaitra when the moon was in Pushya constellation (VR 2.3). It is very clear that the very next day in the morning Shri Rama is compelled to go for his fourteen year exile.

Shri Rama met Bharadwaja on the fifth tithi on the completion of fourteen years (VR 6.124.1) and Bharata was informed that Ramaji will meet him the next day (VR 6.126.54). (i.e. 6th tithi)

This means as per Ramayana, the fourteen year period is completed on the 5th tithi and since it started in Chaitra, the ending also should fall on the 5th tithi of Chaitra Shukla (In order for him to return on the 6th tithi).


Padma Purana

As per this answer, quoting from the Padma Purana, the Ramayana war lasted till Chaitra Krishna Chaturdashi.

The Padma Purāṇa and Skanda Purāṇa (containing almost the exact same Sanskrit verses) do mention Shri Rama meeting Bharadwaja on the 5th tithi and entering Ayodhya on the 6th tithi, but instead of Chaitra, the month is stated as Vaishakha, (i.e. same tithi as Valmiki but of another month) which is clearly one month beyond the exile period mentioned in Ramayana. (Refer this answer)


Jyotisha Perspective

If we consider Pushya Nakshatra (the nakshatra when Shri Rama left for the forest as well as when he returned to Ayodhya) to occur on the 6th tithi as mentioned in the Ramayana, then as per basic Jyotisha principles, the month must be Vaishakha (i.e. in line with the Padma Purāṇa). Yet the discrepancy is created because before leaving for the forest the Ramayana mentions the month as Chaitra (as referenced above), which is not accurate, speaking from the Jyotisha perspective (i.e. Pushya Nakshatra on 6th tithi of Chaitra is not accurate).

In further support of the inaccuracy of 6th tithi of Chaitra and Pushya Nakshatra, it would be pertinent to note that Bharata’s birth occurs in Pushya Nakshatra but on the 10th tithi of Chaitra (VR 1.18.15), which is absolutely correct from the Jyotisha perspective. (The 10th tithi of Chaitra and Pushya Nakshatra is correct but the 6th tithi of Chaitra and Pushya Nakshatra is inaccurate)


In the event of such an extension, Bharata would have entered the fire (VR 2.112.25-26). The dates in the Purana look very convincing but yet the Ramayana and Purana apparently don’t match.

Question: Which is the correct date of the above two on which Shri Rama alongwith Devi Sita and Lakshmana returned to Ayodhya? Is it Chaitra Shukla Shashthi or Vaishakha Shukla Shashthi?


Kindly note: this is not a duplicate of Did Lord Rama reach Ayodhya after 20 days from Dusshera? as this seeks a clarification regarding the dispute between two scriptures rather than focusing on disproving Kartika Amavasya (Purnimanta calendar, Diwali) as the return to Ayodhya.

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    I've heard wherever Purana and Itihasa differ, Itihasa is supposed to take priority. Also IMHO, this just proves the Padma Purana account is either a different Ramayana, or an effort to map the timeline of Ramayana by an author with the given information available, and he made a miscalculation of one extra month. This also would explain the highly illogical number of days of the war.
    – Surya
    Apr 1 '21 at 8:29
  • 1. Padma purana has two version of Ramayana..not sure from which one u took this ref.. 2. Are both the scriptures referring Amanta?
    – YDS
    Apr 1 '21 at 12:26
  • @Surya it seems like that but everything matches, why would he extend it by one month? If Ramayana itself said return to Ayodhya on Chaitra shashthi then hands down one would believe that.
    – Adiyarkku
    Apr 1 '21 at 18:33
  • @YDS 1. Padma Purāṇa Pātāla Khaṇḍa Adhyāya 36, Not the Ramayana of former kalpa (I.e. chapter 116 where Ramji uses Mahadeva’s dhanush to build the Setu) 2. We can merely assume that both do since Valmiki doesn’t mention anything. But in any case, for Amanta (as per Padma Purana)—> Chaitra S, Chaitra K, Vaishakh S. If you take purnimanta also only K month will change S will remain same—-> Chaitra S, Vaishakh K, Vaishakh S. Since we talk of Shukla, and Shukla months in Amanta and Purnimanta are same, we are not in any problem.
    – Adiyarkku
    Apr 1 '21 at 18:41
  • Please excuse if I am wrong as I haven't calculated, just a guess that this discrepancy may be due to Adhik Maas. The period of exile was 14 years so there was difference of around 22 days. Some of the authors may have considered it whereas some others didn't.
    – baba
    Apr 21 '21 at 9:16
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Since the war begins against Ravana on the first day of the shraadha period during Dakshinayana, God Rama worships His pitru (forefathers) [Ref: Mahabhagavata Upapurana 40.14-26 translated by PKN Goswami].

Later, on the battlefield, Kumbhakarna kills innumerable vanara and eats many of them. God Brahma appears before God Rama and advises worship of Goddess Durga, though it is an odd time (shraadha) and dark fortnight period [Ref: Mahabhagavata Upapurana 41.13-14, 42.19-23]. God Rama does as told and goes on to kill the mighty Kumbhakarna after a fierce battle [Ref: Valmiki Ramayana 6.60-68].

Indrajit was killed 15 days after the war had started, the day before amavasya (no-moon) when the shraadha period ended [Ref: Valmiki Ramayana 6.93; Mahabhagavata Upapurana 45.20].

If Ravana is allowed to worship Goddess Durga on the coming poornima (full moon day), he cannot be killed. Therefore, God Rama starts worshipping Goddess Durga from the first day of the bright fortnight in autumn (Ashwina). He fasts during the nights and chants mantra. Devoted worship of Goddess Durga assures the devotee all the desires of the world [Ref: Mahabhagavata Upapurana 36.59-73, 42.13-17, 46.1-33; Devi Bhagavatam 3.30.19, 9.1.144-159].

God Rama had not been able to finish off Ravana after ferociously battling for 7 continuous days and nights [Ref: Valmiki Ramayana 6.109].

As per Goddess' instructions, during the seventh to ninth day ceremonies, God Rama's bow is brought before Her [Ref: Mahabhagavata Upapurana 45.27-30].

Finally, on the 10th day of the bright fortnight (in the month of Ashwina), God Rama fires the lethal Brahmastra and kills Ravana [Ref: Valmiki Ramayana 6.110]. This day is celebrated even today as Dassehra when the idol of Goddess Durga is immersed in the water [Ref: Mahabhagavata Upapurana 45.34-35]. The preceding days are celebrated as the Navaratri festival, corresponding to God Rama’s worship of the 9 avatara of Goddess Durga (Parvati).

The vanara soldiers return to their respective homes. Vibhishana, God Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Sugreeva, Angada, Jambavanta, Sushena, Shatabali, Nala, God Hanuman etc. fly back towards Ayodhya in the pushpaka-vimana. En route, they pick up Tara and Ruma from Kishkindha to accompany them towards Ayodhya.

On the fifth day, they stop at Rishi Bharadwaja's ashrama who grants God Rama a boon. He asks that all the out-of-season trees whose leaves had dried up (due to autumn) lined up to Ayodhya should bear fruits and flowers. The wish was granted [Ref: Valmiki Ramayana 6.126, 6.129].

The citizens warmly welcome them all back in Ayodhya, with beautiful flowers and lights across the entire city. This day is celebrated as Diwali by Hindus even today. Diwali symbolizes that there is always a victory of good over evil.

Source: ['Essence of the Fifth Veda' by Gaurang Damani, excerpts from pgs 43, 45, 49, 50, 52, 53, 57, 58].

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