Girish Beeharry gkb at
Wed May 15 08:31:40 UTC 1996


>>Narahari Achar writes:
>>Part of the reason, in my opinion, is that there are many people who believe
>>(like David Pingree) that many fundamental ideas of astronomy in India were
>>borrowed from out side.

> L.S.Cousins writes:
>Surely this is beyond serious doubt. We have a least one text still extant
>which is essentially a translation from Greek and there is no evidence for
>most later Indian astronomical ideas earlier than the period of major Greek

The verses of the vedas have to be recited at specific times, dates and proper
conjunctions of the grahas for them to be most effective. This is done even
nowadays.  Are you saying that the period of major Greek influence occured 
before the R^igveda was composed (not the time of writing it down), say? Was 
there a Greek astrology as developed as that in India? The tantrikas determine
the timing of their various aasanas/puujaas etc in a similar fashion. What do
the tankrika paNDitas have to say about how timing is determined in the various

Even if all the ideas were borrowed from the Greeks, it still does not answer
my original question. Why do people not look into the whole business of dating
texts etc using astronomy when records of eclipses must be extant for a long
period of time? It is an 'objective' way to go about dating and one even gets
an idea of the error inherent in the method. 

Of course, the views held by Pingree et al might be just a cultural bias. What
do the knowledgeable people have to say on this? 

I have always found it very hard to understand how non mathematical and 
physical disciplines function. However, they are fascinating! :-) 


Girish Beeharry

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