Alan Thew Alan.Thew at
Thu Oct 21 13:47:52 UTC 1993

In the last mail, Peter Claus wrote:
> You will need a lot more than the "Help" provided by LISTSERV to search 
> the archives.  You also need to study the "LISTDB MEMO" from "info 
> DATABase" and the "Commands-Jobs" memo.  Even then, you will need to 
> learn how to create and execute acceptable "jobs".
> Also, if a person is no longer (or never was) on the list, then REVIEW 
> will not have a listing.  Sometimes asking others on the list is the 
> most efficient way to get the information.  There are other ways, though:
> some of the internet menu-driven search systems, such as Vironica, have
> means to search globally for a person if you know the name and the location.
Please note that the above features (apart from review) are NOT available
with the listprocessor software that we run.

Hopefully archive searching will be available when we upgrade but since we
do not run the BITNET LISTSERV software, the powerful search facilities are
not available. We hope to offer extended search but until announced, they
are not available.

Alan Thew

> From mehta at 22 1993 Oct U 13:14:08
Date: 22 Oct 1993 13:14:08 U
From: "Mehta, Shailendra" <mehta at>
Subject: Jai Singh's observatories

Not long ago someone had posted a reference to an article on Jai Singh's
observatories, which appeared in the June issue of the magazine "Natural
History". I read that article today and was perplexed but intrigued. I was
hoping that someone on the net with a good knowledge o of the history of Indian
mathematics might be able to help.

The author, Peter Engel, says "these structures are now counted among the
world's great works of architecture and are regarded as one of the highest
achievements of Indian astronomy." Why ? Has such a claim been made in the
scholarly literature, and if so are there any references available? (Peter
Engel provides none.) As one who grew up within a stone's throw of the
observatory in Delhi and played around it a lot, I would like to know a little
bit more about the criteria used to make this statement. In my childhood
ingnorance I barely noticed this odd shaped structure. 

Secondly, he says that "Jai Singh like the emperor (Mohammed Shah) and his
subjects believed that the sun orbited the earth". I was under the (perhaps
mistaken) impression that since the time of Aryabhata (5th century AD ?) Indian
astronomy was uniformly heliocentric. Even one of the ten principal Upanishads
has a clear reference to heliocentricity which Nehru plays up in his Discovery
of India. Did there continue to be pockets of geocentric thought? Or was it
true that heliocentric thought vanished completely from view by the time of Jai

Third, I have heard that among some meditators, the observatories have a status
akin to that of Stonehenge, that is as special mystical places. Was this Jai
Singh's intent ?

I would be grateful if someone provided any leads on these puzzles.

Shailendra Raj Mehta.
mehta at

> From KHARE at 22 93 Oct EST 17:08:00
Date: 22 Oct 93 17:08:00 EST
From: Jitendra Khare <KHARE at>
Subject: Konkanasth Brahmins

Does anybody here know about the history of Konkanasth Brahmins of Maharashtra?
Jitendra Khare


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