Sam_Geppi wrote:Thanks Ernst.
Exactly my points.
And yes, I agree that Yavana Jataka is a fascinating little text. I like it a lot more than the Jyotish texts that follow.
By the time of Varahamahira (and later Bhattopala) it seems BPHS was but a distant memory - but its influence is clear.
The Yavana jataka is a fascinating look into the astrology being practiced in India at that time.. but it is not the source of "Horoscopic Astrology" in India as many seem to opine now. Linguistic history notwithstanding, the astrology taught in Yavana Jataka is feeble in comparison to BPHS - which has every calculation the astrologer needs.
This successioin of BPHS to Yavana Jataka (not the reverse) would be obvious to anyone who studies / practices Vedic astrology from the ancient texts (BPHS and jaimini Sutras)
BTW - Ernst what do you make of these references from Yavana Jataka that both indicate knowledge of Precession AND using Sidereal Zodiac?
Ch.79 v.31 "The Sun increases between the two ayanas" ** (Knowledge of Precession)
Ch.79 v.51 "Hence the creator placed Ashwini at the head in the circle of signs which is the body of Kala ** (The rasis start with Ashwini, not the vernal equinox)
There are several other references to the Ayanas (solstices) so they clearly knew about the Seasonal Zodiac.
One could easily make a case that at the time of Yavana Jataka they were using Sidereal Zodiac AND knew of the precession.
actually, the sun increasing between the two ayanas means that the sun moves north and that daylight increases to the northern hemisphere. Here is the full sutra as per pinagree translation:
31. The Sun, in its own measure, traverses the signs; because of this motion
it is regarded as the cause of the day. The length of daylight in a nychthemeron
(increases) and decreases in the two ayanas (i.e., while the Sun is between the
two solstices) by a third part.
The ayanas are the soltsice points and have nothing to do with ayanamsa, so from the winter ayana the sun increases to the summer ayana.
And yes, yavana jataka states 59. By terrible feats of asceticism the two Asvins learned this science from
Prajapati, and the Sun learned it from them; hence the Creator placed the
pair of horses (Asvini) at the beginning of his head in the circle of signs which is
the body of Kala.
Which by itself would confirm sidereal, however, Yavana Jataka also states:
30. One should find that the northern course of the Sun begins at the beginning
of Capricorn, and the southern course at the beginning of the fourth
sign (Cancer); the first equator(-crossing) in the year is at the beginning of
Aries, the second at the beginning of Libra.
This is a fully tropical statement and combined with a fully sidereal statement confirms that the author of yavana jataka simply did not know of precession adn that they actually thought that aswini nakshatras was at the vernal equinox for all time. We find the same ideas in Varahamihira's texts and even the Mahabharata.
Since the hindus had lost the knowledge of precession during the time of the writing of all these texts, it is impossible to know if they intended to follow tropical or sidereal.
The interesting thing is that this debate has been going on since the written word was common almost, since at least 300 BC! YOu would think people could agree after 2300 years. It seems religious beliefs are not the longest lasting form of disagreement after all... A wise man said that when two people disagree the truth is always in the middle. Maybe one day man will discover that the correct zodiac is neither the tropical or sidereal model that man is currently aware of. Ancient texts are still being discovered. Jaimini's second half was discovered not even 100 years ago. 100 years ago Varahahira's panchasiddhantika was thought to be lost. 150 years ago there was no BPHS available. What will we find next? There are texts that even hint of two other possible 12 fold divisions...