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The Brihat Samhita (Varaha Mihira)

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Item Code: UBA954
Author: Chidambaram iyer
Publisher: Alpha Publications
Language: Sanskrit Text with English Translation
Edition: 2019
Pages: 808
Other Details 8.50 X 5.50 inch
Weight 910 gm
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Book Description

The name of Varaha-mihira must be familiar to every Sanskrit scholar from the writings of Colebrooke, Davis, Sir William Jones, Weber, Lassen, and, not least, from the writings of Albirunl, brought to public notice by Reinaud. BUl, however well known the name of the Hindu astronomer and astrologer may be, his works are disproportionally less generally known, because with one exception they existed only In Manuscripts and were consequently accessible to comparatively few. It is with the desire of propounding that knowledge that I have undertaken the editing of the most celebrated of Varaha- rnihira's works, the Brhat-Samhita.

Varaha-mihira was a native of Avanti and the son and pupil of Adityadasa, likewise an astronomer¹. The statement of U pala that he was a Magadha Brahmin must most likely be understood in this sense that his family derived its origin from Magadha.

No information is to be found in the works of our author about the year of his birth, nor could we expect to find it but in his astronomical treatise Paficasiddhantika, which unhappily seems to be worn beyond hope of recovery. There is every reason to believe that we should find the author's date in that treatise, because it is the all but universal practice of the scientific Hindu astronomers to give their own date. In one way or the other the Hindu astronomers at Ujjayani must have had means to know the date of Varaha-mihira, for in a list furnished by them to Dr. Hunter and published by Colebrooke,' the date assigned to him is the year 427 of the Saka-era, corresponding to 505 A.D.

It is not clear that to what period of his life this date refers. The trustworthiness of the Ujjayani list is not only exemplified, by the fact that others of its dates admit of verification, but also in a striking manner by the information we get from Albiruni. This Arabian astronomer gives precisely the same date as Dr. Hunter's list eight centuries afterwards, from which it is evident that the records of the Hindu astronomers have remained unchanged during the lapse of more centuries than there had elapsed from Varaha-mihira to Albiruni. The latter adds, what is not stated distinctly in the Ujjayani list, that 505 A.D. refers to the author's Panicasiddhantika. This statement would, on ground of analogy, seem to be corroborated by Dr. Hunter's list, for two other dates at least, those of Bhatta-Utpala and Bhaskara-acarya admit of being verified, and as they refer to some works of these authors, not to the year of their birth, it is but natural to suppose that the same holds good in reference to Varaha-mihira.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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