Hindu critiques of astrology / jyotiSa

Jean Fezas jean.fezas at WANADOO.FR
Fri Apr 13 08:10:40 UTC 2007

For a critic of court astrologers, see daNDin's dazakumAracarita (8th) [DKC
8] (providing a sarcastic commentary on the time schedule of the king as
established by the artha-zAstra [AZ])

AZ 1.19.23 : aSTame Rtvig-AcArya-purohita-svastyayanAni pratigRhNIyAc
cikitsaka-mAhAnasika-mauhUrtikAMz ca pazyet.

aSTame purohitAdayo'bhyetyainam AhuH -- adya dRSTo duHsvapnaH|  duHsthA
grahAH| zakunAni cAzubhAni| zAntayaH kriyantAm| sarvam astu sauvarNam eva
homa-sAdhanam| evaM sati karma guNavad bhavati| brahmakalpA ime brAhmaNAH|
kRtam ebhiH svastyayanaM kalyANataraM bhavati| te cAmI kaSTadAridryA
bahvapatyA yajvAno vIryavantaz cAdyApy aprAptapratigrahAH| dattaM caibhyaH
svargyam AyuSyam ariSTanAzanaM ca bhavati| iti|bahu bahu dApayitvA
tanmukhena svayam upAMzu bhakSayanti|

1.19.23 	During the eighth, he should receive blessings from priests,
preceptors and chaplain, and see his physician, chief cook and astrologer.

Translation (Kangle [AZ]; Kale [DKC]) In the eighth, the Purohita and
others, assembling relate to the king — Last night we saw a bad dream; the
planets are not favourably situated; besides the omens are evil; so let
propitiatory rites be performed. Let all the sacrificial implements be made
of gold; when this is done, the rites are prolific in their effect. Here are
these Brâhmans, each like Brahma himself; the benedictory rites performed by
these lead to a blissful result; they are in distressful poverty, have large
families, are constantly engaged in devotional rites, are endowed with
brahmanical lustre and yet have not received any donation; whatever is given
to them will be rewarded by long life accompanied by heavenly happiness and
good fortune. And thus having convinced the king to confer rich donations
upon them, they secretly enrich themselves through these.

J. Fezas, Langue et littérature sanskrite Université Paris 3 - Sorbonne

-----Message d'origine-----
De : Indology [mailto:INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk] De la part de Timothy C.
Envoyé : vendredi 13 avril 2007 05:26
À : INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk
Objet : Hindu critiques of astrology / jyotiSa

     One of my students is interested in researching Hindu perspectives on 
astrology. He is especially concerned with finding critiques of astrology, 
astrologers or astronomy.  We've assembled a basic set of readings that 
will allow him to learn the basics of Indian astronomy/astrology, but I'm 
not confident that those sources (by D. Pingree, M. Yano, Defouw & 
Svoboda, D. Knipe, et al) will provide 'insider' perspectives critical of 
astrology. About the only thing I could think of was Stietencron's article 
("Religious Configurations in Pre-Muslim India...) in the *Representing 
Hinduism* volume, where Somasambhu gives them brief mention.  C. 
Minkowski's "The Pandit as Public Intellectual" is also on the reading 
list, and a colleague has pointed me to an article by Judy Pugh in 
Contributions to Indian Sociology. However, I feel that I've yet to supply 
my student with a source that documents the type of critique that we get 
from someone like Martin Luther in Europe.

     This seems like an excellent topic, but I'm a bit stymied! Any help 
would be much appreciated!  (And apologies for the cross-posting.)

Tim Cahill

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