Posted on: 30 September 2015

Digital Rare Book:
The BRIHAT JATAKA of Varaha Mihira
Translated into English by N.Chidambaram Iyer
Published by Foster Press, Madras - 1885

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Brihat Jataka or Brihat Jatakam or Brihajjatakam (Sanskrit: बृहज्जातकम), is one of the five principal texts written by Varahamihira, the other four being Panchasiddhantika, Brihat Samhita, Laghu Jataka and Yogayatra. It is also one of the five major treatises on Hindu Predictive Astrology, the other four being Saravali of Kalyanverma, Sarvartha Chintamani of Venkatesh, Jataka Parijata of Vaidyanatha and Phaladeepika of Mantreswara. The study of this classic text makes one grasp the fundamentals of astrology.

Brihat Jataka is considered as the standard text-book on Vedic astrology, and sometimes described as "India's foremost astrological text".

Daivajna Varāhamihira (Devanagari: वराहमिहिर; 505 – 587), also called Varaha, or Mihira was an Indian astronomer, mathematician, and astrologer who lived in Ujjain. He is considered to be one of the nine jewels (Navaratnas) of the court of legendary king Vikramaditya (thought to be the Gupta emperor Chandragupta II Vikramaditya). Though little is known about his life, he supposedly hailed from South Bengal, where in the ruins of Chandraketugarh there is a mound called the mound of Khana and Mihir. Khana was the daughter-in-law of Varaha and a famous astrologer herself. Modern Shakadvipi brahmins, especially astrologers, regard Varah Mihir as their ancestor, although there is no ancient documentary proof in favour of this belief.

The Brihat Saṃhitā is a 6th century Sanskrit encyclopedia by Varahamihira of wide ranging subjects of human interest, including astrology, planetary movements, eclipses, rainfall, clouds, architecture, growth of crops, manufacture of perfume, matrimony, domestic relations, gems, pearls, and rituals. The volume expounds on gemstone evaluation criterion found in the Garuda Purana, and elaborates on the sacred Nine Pearls from the same text. It contains 106 chapters and is known as the "great compilation".

- Wiki

Page from the Prasnapradipa, a Hindu Astrology Text, c. 1700s
Western India, 18th century.

Source: Cleveland Museum of Art

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वराहमिहिर of Ujjain- Pancha-Siddhāntikā, Brihat-Samhita, Brihat Jataka - Navaratnas in the court of "Vikramaditya" - his mathematical work included the discovery of the trigonometric formulas sin^2 x + cos^2 x = 1 ;!sin x = cosleft(frac{pi} {2} - x right) frac {1 - cos 2x}{2} = sin^2x

DAY DIAMETER PANCHASIDDHANTIKA 4-23 - VARAHA MIHIRA 505 AD विषुवाजया आया मारधा वरगा विस्लेषा मूलमवलंबाका: क्रांथित्रिज्याकृत्यो रंथरपदम द्विगुनाम दिनव्यासा - Perfectly circular throughout and spherical, made of wood, marked with degrees and minutes, incorporated with lines both longitude and latitude at ends, is the golayantra. (Panchasiddhantika 14-23) Square the sine of latitude and deduct from the square of the radius. Its square root is the sine of the co-latitude (its arc being the co-latitude). Square the sine of the declination deduct from the square of the radius and find its root. Twice the result is the day diameter. PANCHASIDDHANTIKA 4-23 - VARAHA MIHIRA 505 AD

Can any “Pundit” lucidly explain what do these texts mean, if anything is still relevant and should be applied even today ?

Sanskrit Scholars in Oxford,Benares and everywhere have translated and have been published

Relevance of Sanskrit in Contemporary Society By B Mahadevan "...The first and the most important and dominant theme, in the last two to three years is that if you talk anything about Sanskrit, then it is immediately branded as the saffron agenda – saffronising the society, or that you are communalising the society – probably there is a political spectrum to that. You know, there is one dominant group, which talks about it – I suspect that the general public does not talk about it. So if you put that group into the discussion, sooner than later, you will see that that is one stream of thought and a possible direction that the discussion will go into. There is a second dimension, which I have seen...which is again found in the political mainstream, but I also see it amongst the professionals – there the discussion sways towards concluding that anything that we talk about Sanskrit, or anything that we talk about 2000 plus years there is a level of discomfort. When we make a reference to that, it is perceived as a general and sustained attempt towards mere glorification of the past – an unqualified glorification of the past. That is another prominent argument that I have seen in recent times.What is interesting is that people who make such observations and hold on to these kinds of arguments, more often than not, do not even know what Sanskrit is about and what it contains and what it does not contain. And as many of us do, they rely on secondary sources and so they even take decisions on the basis of secondary sources. That is the second perspective on what Sanskrit is all about. There is a third perspective, which is...I put it as broadly in the domain of religion. You know, if you look at religion as business, used by the merchants of religion, for them obviously Sanskrit could be viewed as a means for propagating the religion. The question is can Sanskrit be a vehicle for propogating all religions? Unfortunately, it does not appear to be so. Whether you like it or not, it appears that there is a great deal of Hindu colour to anything that has been done using Sanskrit as the vehicle...whether you like it or not, that is what it is. So the merchants of religion look at Sanskrit as a major threat. and may have vested interest in not allowing Sanskrit to regain its lost glory. So that is one perspective, which I have come across." Read more: