The Amazing Science of Jyotisha
The ancient lore of India is unique, for many braches, its attempt was to probe the mysteries of life death. Of its lore, the most amazing has been the science of Jyotisha, Astrology.
The lore is doubtless fascinating. From very early days, I have taken interest in friends and astrologers trying their skill on the planetary chart of the heavens at the moment of my birth, for that is what a horoscope is. I have never closed my mind to the science.
In condemning astrology, we shut our face against a science, with a predetermined vision. If explored with patience, honesty and skill, it might perhaps break through the barrier which separates life from death, the present from the future; it might give an insight into man's endeavour and his ultimate destiny.
In a typed volume of 440 pages (half fools'cap sheets) the author has fully explained all about astrology in Ancient Indian and has given a description of the various constellations of stars-on which the Science of Astrology is based. The volume is divided into eight chapters. The first chapter gives an account of the antiquity of the Science of Astrology. Chapters 11, III and IV give an account of the movements of the Sun, the Moon and the Earth. Chapter V gives a number of tables pertaining to dates, latitudes and longitudes, etc. From these tables, the necessary calculations are to be made in framing the horoscopes.
Chapters VI and VII, as mentioned in his preface by the author, deal with his special contribution and cover about 200 pages. In these two chapters, the author has examined numerous horoscopes to prove the authenticity of his predictions regarding death and marriage. Chapter VIII is an appendix giving further information to help the calculations.
The Science of Astronomy is an exact science based on the location and movements of planets and stars which can be verified by actual observations. The part played by astrology, on the other hand, is based on certain empirical assumptions giving the influence of distant planets on lives of individuals on this earth which are to be verified by actual happenings in the lives of individuals – as predicted by horoscopes. In this regard, the results are to be confirmed by actual results. In chapters VI and VII the author has given number of cases of marriages and deaths as examined by him. He has based his observations and calculations on old Rig Vedic Mantras and Vedang Jyotish which he has studied carefully. This part of the volume is of practical values and should be of interest to those who do not have much faith in the practical side of astrology. A critical study of these two chapters shows that in his examination of 37 horoscopes he has predicted the life period of different individuals which have come true. In chapter VII the author has studied me influence of planets on the marriage days of different men and women, 36 in number, which have verified his predications. It should be remembered that in the life of an individual, marriage and death 'are events of outstanding importance. It may be observed that even if 50% of these predictions based on mathematical calculations were found to be correct the Science of Astrology deserves a careful study. Very often the correctness of the. birth-date and- time of birth are in doubt. In such cases, the astrologer cannot be held responsible for the inferences drawn. It is, therefore, necessary that both astronomers and astrologers should come together with an open mind and discuss the scientific aspects of the laws enunciated and the inferences to be drawn. As such, the laborious work done by the present author, single handed, is commendable and deserves encouragement at higher levels, It is obviously beyond the scope of a single individual to handle such a problem of great magnitude and importance.
I am happy to note that the author has consulted a number of specialists in astronomy and astrology and has got their approval and appreciation in writing to enable him to go ahead with his great literary work. These views he has included in the 'last few pages of his book.
The object of this book is to give a clear and concise view of the principal results of Astrology, and of the revolution which they have effected in Modern Thought. I do not pretend to discover fresh facts or propound new theories, but simply to discharge the humbler, though still useful, task of presenting what has become the common property of thinking minds, in popular shape, which may interest those who lack time and opportunity for studying the special subject of Astology in more complete and technical treatises.
I have endeavoured also to give unity to the subjects treated of, by connecting them with leading ideas, in the case of Astronomy (Science), that of the gradual progress from human standards to those of almost infinite space and duration, and the prevalence of law throughout the universe to the exclusion of supernatural interference; in the case of Thought, the brings of these discoveries on old Rig Vedic Mantras and Vedang Jyotisha, and on the practical conduct of life. The endeavour to show how much of religion can be saved from the ship wreck of theology has been the main object of the sixth and the seventh chapter.
The sixth and seventh chapters contain more of my own reflections on the important subjects discussed, and must stand or fall on its own merits rather than on authority. I can only say that I have endeavoured to treat these subjects in a reverential spirit, and that the conclusions arrived at are the result of a conscientious and dispassionate endeavour to arrive at "the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth".
It is remarkable that in this country the rigour of originam astronomical orientation was never loosened. It is unfortunate that departments of oriental learning in' our universities ignored Jyotish-shashtra. But the ancient Hindu view of cosmology was surprisingly modern and was vastly daring in its depth and sweep. It took the great strides made by modern science to realise the comprehensive nature of achievements of the ancient Hindus.
General tendency of the Western scholars and Western-minded Indians is to underestimate the antiquity of Indian culture and to trace every great Indian achievements to ancient Greeks or Chaldeans. The West was baffled by the vast time-scale in which Indian thought and culture had crystallised, restricted as the West was by the Hebrew theoretic world-view and geological time-scale.
The great antiquity of Hindu astronomy was realised by clear thinkers like Viscount Cheiro, Count Bjrostjerne, Mons, Baily, concluded that the Hindu science was co-eval with the Hebrew scriptures.
The famous Western Numerologist late Viscount Cheerio who converted all the verses of Bhishmaparva from Mahabharata and maintained in his famous book "Cheiro's Numerology", for example, he had quoted conversion of the verses for no. 13 as follows:
Rohinim Pidayannesha Sthito Rajan Sanischara
Vyavrittam Lakshma Somasya Bhavishyati mahadbhayam.
O King, the planet 'Sani' oppresses Rohini. The sign of the deer in the moon has shifted from its position. A great evil is foreboded by all this.
Alakshe Prabhaya Hinam Paumamaslmch Kartikim.
Chandro Bhudognivamascha Padmavarne-Nabhastale.
Even in the night of the Kartika full moon, the moon having lost all its splendour become invisible (or looked like fire), the sky looking like red lotus.
In his first book Cheiro said, "We must not forget that it was the Hindus who discovered what is known as the precession of the Equinoxes, and in their calculation such an occurrence takes place every 25,827 years. Our modem science, after labours of hundreds of years has simply proved them to be correct." (Cheiro Book of Numbers" page 19)
Elphinstone held that certain principles underlying the Hindus thought was only comprehended by the West in the last two centuries, contrary to the general European view.
The evolution of Indian astronomy is in three distinct stages-the Vedic period with its astronomical truths and cosmological revelations like Dirghatamasa, the Siddhantic period which crystallised the astronomical knowledge in the form of Siddhantas, and the Post Siddhantic period covering astronomers like Aryabhatta, Varahamihira, Bhaskaracharya.
Aryabhatta, long before Copernicus, held that the Earth moved round the Sun. The 'Aitareya Brahmana' pin-points the fact about the apparent rising and setting of the Sun. Saunaka gave the distance of the Sun from the earth surprisingly close to the modern estimate."Bhoutika Sutras" speak of Sun's spots and their effect on solar radiation. Bhaskaracharya regards the earth as suspended in the space centuries before Newton. Dirghatamasa who wrote 'Asyavamasya' hymn-discovered the time and space-continuum, was incredibly modern, it is on periodically adjustabluni-solar side-real computation 5000 years before Einstein.
Many learned scholars who have contribution to the manuscript have welcomed it as an outstanding originam contribution to the study of the classical Indian lores deserving the attention of the University students and the patronage of the State. I must mention her that the Government of Maharashtra has been pleased to sanction the sum of Rs. 8000/- (rupees eight thousand) as a grant-in-aid for the publication of the first volume. The Executive Council of the University of Poona has been pleased to sanction a grant of Rs. 500/- from their "Award of Publication Grant" for this book.
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