Girish Beeharry gkb at
Fri May 17 17:35:48 UTC 1996


>The point here, however, is that Greek astronomy is more advanced than
>earlier Mesopotamian astronomy (but perhaps not that of Babylonia
>contemporary with the Greeks or at least not certainly so). Later Indian
>astronomy contains those advances and includes even a number of Greek loan

Yes, I know a bit about the borrowed Greeks words. 

In a lighter vein and to continue on another trend, I have been told that 
Pythagoras was known as 'pitha(pita?) guru' in India! :-) I have no clue as to
what the word pitha stands for. 

Another astronomy related question that is intriguing is the following: 
consider the words bhaaskara, bhaanu, shani, guru, jagata.

bhaaskara & bhaanu probably just mean that the sun shines.
I think 'shani' means slow, no? In this case, this is striking, in an 
astronomical context. Saturn is the slowest of all the planets visible to the 
naked eye (if one discounts Uranus which is at the limit of naked eye 
observability and which was discovered using a telescope).
guru means heavy and Jupiter is the heaviest of all the planets.
jagata is formed by the reduplication of gam, I think, and so could mean 'that
which is moving or rotating'.

Another interesting, but non astronomical word, is hR^idaya. To take and to 
give is exactly what the heart does to blood, no? 

What I would like to know is whether this is just a fanciful idea and if its 
not, then do the above words appear, in Sanskrit literature, before or after 
the relevant discovery in Europe? This could give a clue as to the 'absorbing
nature' of paNDitas! :-)

Many thanks beforehand for your comments.


Girish Beeharry

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list