Saturday, September 13, 2008

Deivathin Kural # 69 of (Vol 2) of 08 Jan 2008.

Om Namah Sivaya.

Deivathin Kural # 69 of (Vol 2) of 08 Jan 2008.

(Note 1. We are to remind the readers that herein, 'he' as a word stands for 'she' as well. When Tamil or Sanskrit words are transliterated in English, the single vowel will indicate a short utterance and a double vowel will indicate a longer pronounciation. Words in Sanskrit script not being available, the transliteration spellings and thereby the pronounciation, especially of names may be at variance from what it should be! Note 2. It may please be noted that the talk is dated some time in the late 1950's and early 60's.

Jyotisham: Vedas Eyes

1. Amongst the basic 14 Vidya Sthanas (ie., Education Centers), we were discussing the first six, known as Shadangam, in which we have already seen four, namely, Seeksha, Vyakaranam, Chandas and Niruktam. Next is 'Jyotisham' known as Astrology in English. For the Veda Purusha, Jyotisham holds the position of the Eyes. The Jyotisha Saastram has three Skandas or Chapters. So, it is also called the 'Skanda Thrayatmakam'. Rishis, Garga, Narada and Parasara, are some of the many who have authored many of the Samhitas on this subject. There is a Grantham by the name of 'Surya Siddhantam', as per which the Sun God is said to have taught this subject to Mayan, the carpenter of the Asuras. There are many more by Devatas, Rishis and subsequently by mortal human beings too. (The subject seems to be that much popular!) There are also books by, Varaha Mihira, Arya Bhatta, Baskara Acharya, etc. In recent times, one Sri Sundareswara Srouthi has written a book on Jyotisham, by the name of 'Siddhanta Kousthubam'. In the direct Veda Anga Jyotisham, of Rik, Yajus and Sama Vedas, what we have is only talking about the Muhurthams (ie., the blocks of periods), to be avoided.

2. The person without eyesight is said to be blind. Things nearby could be known or identified by touching, ie., tactile probing. But for things at a distance in Space, you need the eyes. Exactly as the eyes give you the power to see things at a distance, Jyotisham enables you to see in to the past and future. That is, Jyotisham enables us to see things and events far away in Time. Jyotisham enables us to locate the relative positions of the celestial bodies, as they would have been years back or as they would be years later. Even when we get to know things by touching, we cannot know the colours. For that we need the eyes once again. Similarly, even when we know the relative positions of the nearby planets and far away galaxies, we cannot know the good and bad effects they can have on our lives, without reference to Jyotisham. That is why, Jyotisham is known as the 'Eyes' of the Veda Purusha. To carry out Vaidika karyas of yaagas and yagnas, like say, Navagraha Homam; there is an appropriate time of suitable celestial combination as well as timings when they are not-so-suitable. This has to be taken into consideration, while fixing the suitable dates and timings.

3. There is another rason why, Jyotisham gets the position of the Eyes of the Veda Purusha. Jyotisham has a name of 'Nayanam'. You might have noticed that, in processions, the Nadaswaram vidwans lead. They are also called the 'Nayanam', because 'Naya' is to lead. The person who leads is 'Nayakar' or Leader. The blind have to be led by someone with eyes. So the job of 'ushering' is always given to some one with good eye-sight even for not otherwise blind guests. So, for Veda Karmas too, the job of fixing the date and time and to lead the way, is given to Jyotisham.

Astronomy and Astrology.

4. Astronomy as a discipline of science, stops at study and analysis of planets and stars and their relative positions in the cosmos and their physical and environmental properties. It is not concerned with how it affects life on earth. Naturally, neither does it concern itself with ways and means of the 'good and bad' relative positions of planets and star systems. Astrology on the other hand accepts and recognises their 'inter se' influence on life on earth. So it goes beyond just computing their relative positions in Space, as well as in Time (that is, in the past, present and the future). It goes into their relative effect on life on earth and tries and identifies the suitable timings in the future, for intended actions. Jyotisham came into being to predict and forecast the future; and suggest ways and means of off-setting the bad influence of planetary transit and concourse. Since the Planets and Star Galaxies (as well as the Earth, Sun and Moon), are all the time on the move, in different orbits in different speeds, these calculations, led to highly complicated Mathematics called 'Ganitam' in Sanskrit.

5. The place where the Yagam is to be conducted, that is the 'Yagnavedi, Sayanam, and the whole area where all the people have to assemble; were as per specifications! You could not do all this in any place of your convenience, at your whim and fancy! Otherwise this whole effort could prove to be an exercise in futility! Thus too, much engineering and mathematical calculations were involved. It all meant that 'Ganitam', as a discipline developed concurrently with Jyotisham, as a part of it!

The Ancient Books on Maths

6. Earlier I had said that, in Jyotisham, there are three Skandams. There was one Sastrigal in our Matam, (Kanchi Kamakoti Matam), who was highly qualified in Jyotisham. We wanted to honour him. We gave him a title as, 'Thriskanda Bhaskara'. Skandam means the main branches of a tree. Not any small tiny twig of a branch, but the main, thick branches of the tree, at the lowest point in the tree trunk! Normally they will not be many. In Jyotisham, the main branches are, Siddhanta, Hora and Samhita, Skandams. Arithmatic, Trignometry, Geometry, Algebra; are all to be found in Siddhanta Skandam. What the western world developed many hundreds of years later, (if not thousands!), as higher mathematics, were all part of Jyotisham, eons back, in India!

7. Arithmatic is called, 'Vyakta Ganitam' or 'overt maths', in which you had, additions, subtractions, multiplication, division, fractions and percentages, etc. 'Avyakta Ganitam' or 'covert maths', is one in which some letters and combination of letters and figures, represented real numbers, as in Algebra and you had to find the answers by the process of Equation. This is known as, 'Samee karanam'. Kshetra Ganitam, is Geometry. 'Geo' is Bhumi or Earth and 'Mithi', is the measurement. It is this 'Geo + Mithi' which has become Geometry. This evolved for the purpose of constructing the various spaces of Yagna Kundam and all the other areas of Yagna Vedi, Sayanam, individual areas for visitors and spectators and so on. Vedas' sixth part is 'Kalpa' Sastram, about which I will be talking to you later. It is in this 'Kalpa Sastram', that these measurements are given in detail, right down to the measurements of each brick, it's shape, size, and the numbers required to make a Yagna Sayanam of the form to look like an Eagle, let us say! For these elaborate constructions, one had to take help of the 'Siddhanta Skandam' of the Jyitisham.

8. In Apasthamba Kalpa Suthram, there is an Equation, which was beyond the capabilities of modern day mathematicians to solve, for quite some time. It was even thought to be a riddle for which there was no solution! It was solved only after much research and analysis by the experts. That, Indians were capable of such extremely complicated Algebraic Equations, that too thousands of years before Euclid, was an eye-opener. There are many more Suthras yet to be investigated and researched in Vedic Mathematics! Our Sastras contain details of, Rekha Ganitam which was Geometry, Kuttagam and Angapadam may be some thing to do with Fractions and Bija Ganitam is Decimals. (KTSV adds:- My co-brother-in-law, Mr K Vijaya Raghavan of Hyderabad, says that, there are many equations in the Sutras, which are unsolved still. For example he quotes, " 'a' (raised to n) + 'b' (raised to n) = 'c' (raised to n); cannot be proved for any 'integer' values of a, b and c, if n is above 2!")

9. Now let me tell you an interesting story about the fact that, however clever we may be, we cannot undo the fate! Some 800 years back, in India there was a Jyotisha scholor, by the name of Baskaracharya. He had a daughter, by the name of Leelavathy. As per her horoscope, she was supposed to be unlucky enough to become a widow, soon after the marriage. By his knowledge in Astrology Baskaracharya, searched and identified a suitable time in which the position of the planets and stars would be most auspicious for long and happy married life. He fixed his daughter's marriage in that 'Subha-muhurtham' and arranged to conduct the girl's marriage. As was the custom those days, the girl was too young to know anything about such things. Those days clocks were not yet a common household item. They used to know the time by a device known as 'Ghatika'. It was even before the 'Hour-Glass' became popular. They used to have a pot from which water was dripping through a hole. The level of water indicated the time. This girl Leelavathy, went to the Gatika and was playing as children do. One of the pearl beads from one of her ornaments detatched and fell in to the Gatika. This made a change in the calculation of time. There was a delay, resulting in her marriage being conducted at a not so suitable time. The net result was that Leelavathy anyhow became a widow! The inevitability of fate was proved.

10. In later years, Baskaracharya wrote a book on Ganita Sastram. He trained his child widow Leelavathy in Mathematics and made her a great scholor too. The book was named 'Leelavathy Ganitam'. Like children are named after the Grand Father's or Grand Mother's names, he made his childless daughter's name famous, by naming his book after her. The book has Vyaktha Ganitam, Bija Ganitam and many interesting stories ending in , puzzles and poetical riddles, known as Leelvathy Conundrums! Baskaracharya also wrote a book known as 'Siddhanta Siromani, for computing planetary orbits. There is a book by the name of 'Pracheena Lekha Malai', published from Bombay, containing details of olden 'Saasanams' by Kings of yore, (which I had mentioned in one of my earlier talks). From this, we have information that a King by the name of Singanan of Koorjara (present day Gujarat), had left land as Manyam, in recognition of Baskaracharya's mathematical genius!

11. They say that in the modern times, from the books of 'Euclidian Geometry' some parts are missing. In Sanskrit, all the parts of these books on Jyotisham, are still available. Only we are stupid enough not to be aware of our own past glory and present ignorance! We do not even know that 'multiplication is only adding so many times and division is subtracting so many times'! Much before Baskaracharya, that is some 1500 years earlier, there was one Varaha Mihirar. He has written Brihad Samhitai, Brihad Jatakam and many more such books. This Brihad Samhitai, is like a Science Digest. If you go through that book you will be flabbergasted to note the level of sophistication, so many centuries back in time! In Brihad Jatakam all the matters regarding Jyotisham are there. Aryabhattar is another Mathematician of that period. While other great Rishis of the past are not so easily recognised by the present intelligentia for some mistaken notions of loyalty to secularism, Varaha Mihirar and Arya Bhattar are quite popular, in the modern day India!

(More about Varaha Mihirar and Arya Bhattar, in the e-mail on Jyotisham, to be continued!)




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