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|Eye of the Vedapurusa||
Of the fourteen branches of learning basic to our Vedic religion, I have so far dealt with siksa, Vyakarana, Chandas and Nirukta. These four form part of Sadanga (the six limbs of the Vedas). I will now speak about Jyotisa, it being the first of the remaining two of the Sadanga. Jyotisa, which is the science of the celestial bodies and the ...
|Astronomy and Astrology||
Astronomy examines the position of the planets and other heavenly bodies. It does not concern itself with how they affect the life of the world or the individual. It is not its function to find out how far the celestial bodies are beneficial to us or how they may be made favourable to us. Such functions belong to astrology. Jyotisa includes both astronomy and astrology. Telling us about the results of ...
|Ancient Mathematical Treatises||
Jyotisa, as we have seen, consists of three sections. There was a scholarly man in the Matha who was particularly learned in this science. We wished to honour him with a title and decided upon 'Triskandha-Bhaskara'. 'Skandha' literally means a big branch springing from the trunk of a tree. The three ...
|Planets and Stars||
How do the planets differ from the stars? The planets revolve round the sun; the stars do not belong to the sun's 'mandala' [they are not part of the solar system]. If you hold a diamond in your hand and keep shaking it about, it will glitter. The stars glitter in the same way and twinkle, but the planets do not twinkle. The sun and the stars are self-luminous. The stars dazzle like polished ...
|The Grahas and Human Life||
The conditions of man corresponds to the changes in the position of the nine grahas. A human being does not enjoy happiness all the time nor does he always suffer hardships-- that is he experiences a mixture of happiness and sorrow. While he may be pushed up to a high position today, he may be thrust down to the depths tomorrow. It is not ...
Where can you discover water? Where does ground water occur? Or where do streams flow inside the earth? By what signs on the surface do you make out the presence of water underground? How are perfumes manufactured? What are the right measurements for a house? These questions are discussed in the samhita-skandha of Jyotisa. Also omens and signs. 'Sakuna' is one thing, 'nimitta' quite ...
|Modern Discoveries in Ancient Works||
There are a few scientific discoveries that are not found mentioned in Varahamihira's Brhat-Samhita. How do heavenly bodies remain in the skies? How is it that they do not fall? Everybody thinks that it was Newton who found the answer to such questions. The very first stanza in the Suryasiddhanta, which is a very ancient treatise, states that it is the force of attraction that keeps the earth from falling. ...
|Not Blind Belief||
'Hindu sastras are all nonsensical, ' exclaim critics of our religion. 'They say that north of the earth is the Meru mountain, that our one year is one day for the celestials residing there, and that the sun revolves round it. They believe that, besides the ocean of salt, there are oceans of sugarcane juice and milk, in fact several kinds of oceans. They describe the earth with its five continents as consisting of seven islands. ...
A ray of light pouring through an opening in the roof of a building falls on a particular spot. Normally, we shall not be able to tell where the same ray of light will fall next year. But a prediction can be made with the help of Jyotisa. This is how it was done in the olden days. A pearl attached to a thread was hung from the roof. If a man was able to indicate correctly in advance where its shadow would fall on a particular day, he received ...
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