« AnteriorContinuar »
The mountain-range that lies most to the north* (in Bharata-varsha) is called Sringavat (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 Muhurtas each. When the sun, most excellent sage, is in the first degree of the lunar mansion Krittika, and the moon is in the fourth of Visakha; or when the sun is in the third degree of Visakha, and the moon is in the head of Krittika, (these positions being contemporary with the equinoxes), that equinoctial season is holy1 (and is styled
of calculation for larger cycles. Asiatic Researches, Vol. VIII., pp. 470, 471. f
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 Vayu and Lingat Purarias specify the positions of the
* Literally, 'to the north of Sweta':
For SSweta and Sringavat—or Sringin—vide pp. 114, 115, supra.
offerings are to be presented to the gods and to the
of the Chakshusha Manvvantara. At that time the sun was in
*rg?«ra: ^frf ^ *rs^: 11
So read, concurrently, all the rive MSS. of the Vdyu-purdna within my reach, except as to the latter half of the third stanza. No mention is here made of the positions of Budha andKetu; and Rahu, 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 J(e( ^f*s(5| clearly; and yet, on collation, they appear to point to this reading, that of some copies of the Linga-purdna. One would have expected Magna or Pitryi, and in the plural.
I may add, that I do not find it stated in the Vdyu-purdna, as Professor Wilson alleges, that the positions laid down in the preceding passage are referred to the "end" of the Chakshusha Patriarchate. Did this "end" originate from a hasty glance at the words T^f^f £«fi^?
That the passage just cited has suffered excision may be suggested by the ensuing stanzas, which precede it, in the Vdyu-purdna, by a short interval:
^f^WTr^iir ^prwt ^f^rrrrvp*: i
T^^^WTTffT^ ^RTW: ^HT^ 7TT: I
ftiRs<*iy^V ^d<jdiM«n sgr: Ii
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, f the day of
same origin assigned them in the current Patriarchate, the Vaivaswata, as in that which came immediately before it, the Chakshusha. The Sun sprang from Aditi; the Moon, from Dharma; Sukra, from Bhrigu; Brihaspati or Brihattejas, from Angiras; Budha, from an unnamed Rishi; Lohitanga or Lohitadhipa (Angaraka), from the will of some Prajapati; and Swarbhanu (Rahu), from Simhika.
Budha is unnoticed in the first extract; and Saura (Sani), in the second.
Supplementally to these particulars, the Linga-purdna, as adduced in my third note in p. 256, specifies Soma as sire of Budha, makes Vike^i mother of Lohitarchis (Angaraka), names the Sun and Sanjna as the parents of Sauri (Sani), and calls Sikhin (Ketu) son of Mfityu.
* These three terms are to represent TOTTOTVPTOI • •
t Adhimdsa. In two MSS. I find ardhamdsa, 'half month', 'fortnight'.
X I find what looks like its older name, Tishya, save in one MS. of the Linga-purdna.
§ Read Piirvashadha. There are two Ashadhas, as there are two Bhadrapadas, and' two Phalgunis.
|| For the original Saura or Sauri of the Vdyu-purdna and the Linga, respectively.
IT Substituted, by the Translator, for the less usual Sikhin, the word in the Linga-purdna.
'* Professor Whitney, premising the Chakshusha Manwantara, obr serves: "There is something unaccountably strange in the Puranic de^ finition of the positions of Mercury and Venus at this important epoch. How Mercury can be, even by a Hindu cosmogonist, placed in Sravishtha 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 Visakha, 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 (Paurnamasi), the day of conjunction (Amavasya), when the moon rises invisible, the day when it is first seen (Sinivali), 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 Vayu, these positions or origins of the planets are from the Vedas:
The Linga, less accurately, perhaps, reads ^f?T *ffi'> referring it to the works of law. f
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 denned 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 Bharani and A^lesha—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 Vdyu-purdna. The position of Mars, and that only, seems to be there credited to the Sruti; as, in the Linga-purdna,— p. 257, supra, note,— to the Smriti.
t 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. 0.," &c. &c. A Historical View of the Hindu Astronomy, &c, pp. 3, 4.
Professor Max Mflller 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-purdna, speaks distinctly of the legend as occurring in the Vayu- and Linga-purdnas; and he mentions that these Puranas appeal to the authority of reve