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The mountain-range that lies most to the north * (in Bharata - varsha) is called Śringavat (the horned), from its having three principal elevations (horns or peaks), one to the north, one to the south, and one in the centre. The last is called the equinoctial; for the sun arrives there in the middle of the two seasons of spring and autumn, entering the equinoctial points in the first degree of Aries and of Libra, and making day and night of equal duration, or fifteen Muhúrtas each. When the sun, most excellent sage, is in the first degree of the lunar mansion Krittiká, and the moon is in the fourth of Viśákhá; or when the sun is in the third degree of Viśákhá, and the moon is in the head of Křittiká, (these positions being contemporary with the equinoxes), that equinoctial season is holy (and is styled
of calculation for larger cycles. Asiatic Researches, Vol. VIII., pp. 470, 471.1
Reference is here made, apparently, though indistinctly, to those positions of the planets which indicate, according to Bentley, the formation of the lunar mansions, by Hindu astronomers, about 1424 B. C. Historical View of the Hindu Astronomy, pp. 3, 4. The Váyu and Linga: Puranas specify the positions of the
* Literally, 'to the north of Śweta':
यः श्वेतस्योत्तरः शैलः शुङ्गवानिति विश्रुतः ।
एतेष्वेव ग्रहाः सर्वे नक्षत्रेषु समुत्थिताः ।
the Mahávishuva or the great equinox).* At this time,
other planets at the same time, or the end, according to the former, t
शीतरश्मिः समुत्पन्नः कृत्तिकासु निशाकरः।
आश्लेषासु समुत्पन्न: सर्वहारी महाग्रहः ।
भरणीषु समुत्पन्नो ग्रहश्चन्द्रार्कमर्दनः ॥ A various reading of प्रवरस्तिष्ये क्षेत्र समुत्थितः, in the first half of the fourth stanza, is प्रवरः पुष्यनक्षत्रसंभवः. The word kshetra, for nakshatra or riksha, is rare, at least in non-scientific Sanskrit writings. ___As will be seen, Professor Wilson took the positions, about to be enumerated, from the Linga-purāna, which is, here, fuller than the Vayu. In the same chapter with this quotation we read, sl. 16—20:
अस्मिन्मन्वन्तरे चैव ग्रहा वैमानिकाः स्मृताः। विवस्वानदितेः पुत्रः सूर्यो वैवस्वते ऽन्तर॥ युतिमान्धर्मपुत्रस्तु सोमो देवो वसुः स्मृतः। शुक्रो देवस्तु विज्ञेयो भार्गवो ऽसुरयाजकः ॥ बृहत्तेजाः स्मृतो देवो देवाचार्यो ऽङ्गिरःसुतः । बुधो मनोहरश्चैव ऋषिपुत्रस्तु स स्मृतः॥ शनैश्चरो विरूपस्तु संज्ञापुत्रो वैवस्वतः। अग्निर्विकेश्यां जज्ञे तु युवासौ लोहितार्चिषः ॥ नक्षत्रऋक्षगामिन्यो दाक्षायण्यः स्मृतास्तु ताः।
स्वभीनुः सिंहिकापुत्रो भूतसंतापनो ऽसुरः॥ The substance of these lines I shall recur to presently. * This parenthesis is taken from the commentaries. I have corrected the Translator's “Mahávishubha”. ____ + एतेष्वेव ग्रहाः पूर्व नक्षत्रेषु समुत्थिताः।
विवस्वानदितेः पुत्रः सूर्यो वै चाक्षुषे ऽन्तरे। ... विशाखासु समुत्पन्नो ग्रहाणां प्रथमो ग्रहः ॥
offerings are to be presented to the gods and to the
of the Chákshusha Manwantara.
At that time the sun was in
विषिमान्धर्मपुत्रस्तु सोमो विश्वावसुस्तथा।
रेवतीष समत्पन्नो ग्रहश्चन्द्रार्कमर्दनः॥ So read, concurrently, all the five MSS. of the Váyu-purána within my reach, except as to the latter half of the third stanza. No mention is here made of the positions of Budha and Ketu; and Ráhu, rightly or wrongly, is placed in Revati. Furthermore, it may be that Tishya is corrupted from some other name. Not one of my MSS. gives प्रवरस्तिष्ये क्षेत्रे clearly; and yet, on collation, they appear to point to this reading, that of some copies of the Linga-puráňa. One would have expected Magha or Pitrya, and in the plural.
I may add, that I do not find it stated in the Váyu-puráňa, as Professor Wilson alleges, that the positions laid down in the preceding passage are referred to the “end” of the Chákshusha Patriarchate. Did this "end" originate from a hasty glance at the words चाक्षषे अन्तरे?
That the passage just cited has suffered excision may be suggested by the ensuing stanzas, which precede it, in the Váyu-purána, by a short interval:
अस्मिन्मन्वन्तरे चैव ग्रहा वैमानिकाः स्मृताः। विवस्वानदितेः पुत्रः सूर्यों वैवस्वते ऽन्तरे॥ विषिमान्धर्मपुत्रस्तु सोमो देवो वसुः स्मृतः। शुक्रो देवस्तु विज्ञेयो भार्गवो ऽसुरयाजकः ॥ बृहत्तेजाः स्मृतो देवो देवाचार्यो ऽङ्गिरःसुतः । बुधो मनोहरश्चैव ऋषिपुत्रस्तु स स्मृतः ॥ अग्निर्विकल्पात्संजज्ञे युवासौ लोहिताधिपः। नक्षत्रऋक्षगामिन्यो दाक्षायण्यः स्मृतास्तु ताः।
स्वभीनुः सिंहिकापुत्रो भूतसंतापनी सुरः॥ Comparing these two extracts, we learn that the sun, &c. have the
manes, and gifts are to be made to the Brahmans, by serious persons; for such donations are productive of happiness. Liberality at the equinoxes is always advantageous to the donor; and day and night, seconds, minutes, and hours, * intercalary months, † the day of
Višákhá; the moon, in Krittiká; Venus, in Pushya ; # Jupiter, in Púrvaphálguni; Mars, in Ashábhá;ş Sani,|| in Revati; Budha, in Dhanishthá; Ketu, I in Áśleshá; and Ráhu, in Bharaní. ** There
same origin assigned them in the current Patriarchate, the Vaivaswata, as in that which came immediately before it, the Chákshusha. The Sun sprang from Aditi; the Moon, from Dharma; Sukra, from Bhřigu; Břihaspati or Břihattejas, from Angiras; Budha, from an unnamed Rishi; Lohitánga or Lobitadhipa (Angáraka), from the will of some Prajapati; and Swarbhanu (Ráhu), from Sińhika.
Budha is unnoticed in the first extract; and Saura (Sani), in the second.
Supplementarily to these particulars, the Linga-puráňa, as adduced in my third note in p. 256, specifies Soma as sire of Budha, makes Vikesi mother of Lohitárchis (Angáraka), names the Sun and Sanjná as the parents of Sauri (sani), and calls Sikhin (Ketu) son of Mrityu.
* These three terms are to represent aigtaT&TTUT:. + Adhimása. In two MSS. I find ardhamása, “half month', 'fortnight'.
# I find what looks like its older name, Tishya, save in one MS. of the Linga-purána.
§ Read Púrváshádhá. There are two Ashádhás, as there are two Bhádrapadás, and' two Phálgunis.
|| For the original Saura or Sauri of the Váyu-puráňa and the Linga, respectively.
I Substituted, by the Translator, for the less usual Śikhin, the word in the Linga-puráňa.
** Professor Whitney, premising the Chákshusha Manwantara, observes: “There is something unaccountably strange in the Puranic definition of the positions of Mercury and Venus at this important epoch. How Mercury can be, even by a Hindu cosmogonist, placed in Sravishthá when Venus is put in Pushya, at least 146° 40' distant from him; or how either can receive such location when the sun is made to stand in Viśákhá, at least 93° 20' from Venus, and at least 80° from Mercury, it is hard enough to see. The furthest distance from the sun actually attained by Venus is about 48°; by Mercury, 29°; so that they can
full moon (Paurńamási), the day of conjunction (Amávásya), when the moon rises invisible, the day when it is first seen (Siníválí), the day when it first disap
are differences between some of these and the positions cited by Bentley; but most of them are the same. He considers them to have been observations of the occultations of the moon by the planets, in the respective lunar mansions, 1424-5 B. C. According to the Váyu, these positions or origins of the planets are from the Vedas:
अषाढादिस्विह पूर्वासु समुत्पन्ना इति श्रुतिः।* The Linga, less accurately, perhaps, reads gfa za:; referring it to the works of law.t
never actually be more than 77° apart: nor are the greatest elongations of the two planets, as determined by the modern Hindu astronomy, very different from these. It looks as if the defined positions of the planets at the Great Equinox were mere guess-work, and the work, too, of a very unlearned and blundering guesser, rather than found by retrospective calculation. The putting of the moon's modes, also, in Bharańi and Áśleshá-or, at the utmost, only 106° 40' apart-is a yet grosser error of the same character.” Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. VIII., p. 90, foot-note.
* For the reading, in my MSS., of this line, - hypermetrical, and also absurd, as here presented, - see the extract, p. 258, supra, note, from the Váyu-puráňa. The position of Mars, and that only, seems to be there credited to the Sruti; as, in the Linga-puráńa, - p. 257, supra, note, to the Smriti.
† Mr. Bentley writes: "For determining the time of the formation of the Lunar Mansions, we have other observations to mention that will be found to be still more accurate, as they can be depended on to the very year; and these are of the planets. [Then follows a legend.] The observations here alluded to are supposed to have been occultations of the planets by the Moon, in the respective Lunar Mansions from which they are named: they refer us to the year 1424–5 B. C.,” &c. &c. ' A Historical View of the Hindu Astronomy, &c., pp. 3, 4.
Professor Max Müller asserts that “the coincidence between the legend quoted by Bentley and the astronomical facts determined by Mr. Hind is a real one. Bentley, it is true, does not give his authority; but Professor Wilson, in a note to his translation of the Vishnu-puráňa, speaks distinctly of the legend as occurring in the Váyu- and Linga-puráńas ; and he mentions that these Puranas appeal to the authority of reve