Hindu critiques of astrology / jyotiSa

mkapstei at UCHICAGO.EDU mkapstei at UCHICAGO.EDU
Fri Apr 13 15:25:36 UTC 2007

There is a brief (6 verse) kuga.nakanindaa section
in the subhaa.sita-ratna-bhaa.n.d.aagaaraa (ed.
Naaraaya.n Raam Aacaarya, Nirnaya Sagara Press 1952
and subsequent reprint editions), p. 44. Perhaps
similar material may be found in other subhaa.sita
collections as well. As a matter of curiosity,
the first verse given there--
ga.nayati gagane ga.nakaz candre.na samaagama.m vizaakhaayaa.h/
vividhabhuja.mgakrii.daasaktaa.m g.rhi.nii.m na jaanaati// --

has a close parallel in an 18th c. Tibetan geography
I've been working on: “if you have not seen, have not heard
and do not know at least roughly the features of the continent
on which you were born ... then, no matter how much you have
heard, seen or come to know of religious and worldly things …
you are not better than, as the proverb states, ‘the
astrologer who knew the paths of the moon and stars, but
failed to perceive the infidelity and carryings-on of his own

If, as I imagine, the verse above, or one closely resembling
it, was transmitted in some source or other that I've not
yet located, it would suggest that a measure of derision
was fairly widespread, despite the normative culture
of astrology.

Matthew T. Kapstein
Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies
The University of Chicago Divinity School

Directeur d'études
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris

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