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Tropical Vedic Astrology
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Pierre Touchard



Joined: 24 Jul 2015
Posts: 56

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Pier wrote:
Quote:
If I am allowed to quote Vinay Jha..


What source are you actually quoting from? Please provide a follow up reference for forum members.

Mark


Here is the link to the whole article, Mark :

http://vedicastrology.wikidot.com/physical-astronomy-and-surya-siddhanta#toc0
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Vic DiCara



Joined: 20 Jul 2017
Posts: 19

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin Gansten wrote:
It is rather like those little sects springing up around a handful of isolated and over-interpreted scriptural passages.


These are the only classical definitions of the zodiac that I know of. If you know of others please share. I have heard that there are one or two others but they also use equinoxes and solstices as the anchors of the zodiac.

Quote:

A note of warning: DiCara claims to know Sanskrit and to read the texts in the original, but his translations are incorrect, sometimes a great deal so. I hope this is due to ignorance rather than a wish to deceive, but the result is the same. To give just one example, he translates māndya-śaighrya-samānābhir gatibhir as 'in a cardinal, fixed, and dual manner'. What the phrase really means is 'by slow, fast and middling motions'.


Slow = fixed
Fast = cardinal
equal = dual

If there are other things you consider mistakes please share.
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pankajdubey



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Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Middling and mutable .

I think equal is more related to ascension and dual to bodies.

PD
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Martin Gansten
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Joined: 05 Jul 2008
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Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to Skyscript, Vic. But I haven't the time or inclination to play the opinions game (especially popular on Internet forums): your translations are wrong in several places -- it's not a matter of my (or anyone's) 'considering' them to be so. The text you quote from the BhP (which, incidentally, and as you know, is not a work on jyotiḥśāstra) speaks of the sun's varying motion during a year. This is tied in with the seasons, but has nothing to do with the quadruplicities (or else all the fixed signs would have to be at one end of the zodiac, and all the movable/cardinal ones at the other end).

A little learning really is a dangerous thing. I don't know why you have embarked on this 'Protestant jyotiṣa' endeavour of trying to divorce the textual tradition from the practice tradition (near-impossible, I should have said, considering that the authors of the texts and commentaries were also typically practitioners), but you seem to have done so without first acquiring an overview of that textual tradition, and without a proper grounding in its language. I can't give you a crash course in Sanskrit, but for the most important works on astronomy and astrology in India, I'd recommend Pingree's Jyotiḥśāstra: Astral and Mathematical Literature (Wiesbaden 1981).

I would also strongly advise you to take a step further back and look at the greater history of horoscopic astrology. This would help you see the extreme unlikeliness of the Indian zodiac being 'originally' tropical, when the Babylonian and Hellenistic traditions on which the Indian one depended were so obviously sidereal. (I am speaking here of zodiacal measurements used for judicial astrology: casting horoscopes, as opposed to calendar-making.)
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Vic DiCara



Joined: 20 Jul 2017
Posts: 19

Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin Gansten wrote:
The text you quote from the BhP (which, incidentally, and as you know, is not a work on jyotiḥśāstra) speaks of the sun's varying motion during a year. This is tied in with the seasons, but has nothing to do with the quadruplicities (or else all the fixed signs would have to be at one end of the zodiac, and all the movable/cardinal ones at the other end).


Please explain.

Every mahāpuruana has among its ten subjects "sthiti" which is cosmology, including astronomy. Astronomy is relevant to the jñānika portion of Astrology.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vic DiCara wrote:
Martin Gansten wrote:
Please explain.

LMGTFY:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equation_of_time
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Vic DiCara



Joined: 20 Jul 2017
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Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Martin. Now I understand your opinion.

Now I would like to know why you feel that "slow", "fast" and "equal" must refer to the sun's apparent speed and not to the three modalities?

Please note that in the entire chapter of BhP 5.21 the Sun is described with mean motion. So,if "slow", "fast" and "equal" refers to its apparent speed, the rest of the chapter contradicts the statement in the 3rd text by consistently describing the mean motion, without again mentioning changes in speed.

Also, I wonder if this really matters much to the discussion at hand, except that you would like to insult and discredit me?
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pankajdubey



Joined: 17 Nov 2006
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Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vic DiCara wrote:
Martin Gansten wrote:
The text you quote from the BhP (which, incidentally, and as you know, is not a work on jyotiḥśāstra) speaks of the sun's varying motion during a year. This is tied in with the seasons, but has nothing to do with the quadruplicities (or else all the fixed signs would have to be at one end of the zodiac, and all the movable/cardinal ones at the other end).


Please explain.

Every mahāpuruana has among its ten subjects "sthiti" which is cosmology, including astronomy. Astronomy is relevant to the jñānika portion of Astrology.


In my limited knowledge of anything that is a few feet above my head:

It is a bit like going to a faith healer rather than a physician for an illness.

The Siddhantic and Puranic systems are not the same, the origin of the Puranic system may have been the vedas but the systems are different.

https://ia601000.us.archive.org/34/items/arxiv-physics0101012/physics0101012.pdf
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Vic DiCara



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Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pankajdubey wrote:
It is a bit like going to a faith healer rather than a physician for an illness.


Purāṇas are not "religious texts" or "faith texts." Purāṇa are the explanation of the Veda, and the record of an entire ancient culture. As I explained, one of their 10 topics is astronomy. The siddhanta is much more developed and mathematical, but based on fundamental definitions of things from the Veda, explained in the Purāṇa.

To claim the Purāṇas irrelevant is to misunderstand them and the Vedas.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’m sorry if you feel insulted, Vic. That was not my intention, though it is perhaps unavoidable, since I am indeed trying to ‘discredit’ you in the etymological sense of making people not believe you. The reason is that you are obviously speaking from a position of very imperfect knowledge, and within the limits of this forum, for which I happen to have some responsibility, I feel obliged to point that out – not out of personal animosity, but out of respect for real learning.

You continue to try and make this a matter different opinions and to demand explanations, but, as I said already, I am not interested in playing that game. Your translations tell me both that your grasp of Sanskrit is uncertain and that you do not understand basic technical terms of this śāstra or discipline (such as śīghra-gati and manda-gati). That matters a great deal, and can only make debating a frustrating experience. As the Sanskrit adage says, vivāhaś ca vivādaś ca samayor eva śobhate: a marriage and a debate are beautiful only between equals.

What I said about ‘a little learning’ wasn’t just a put-down. When you start learning any subject, there will naturally be major gaps in your knowledge – not just room for minor adjustments and additions, for I admit that learning is a life-long business, but the sort of gaps that distort your overall understanding and make you draw the wrong conclusions about fundamental matters. It is important to close those gaps by extensive reading rather than filling in the blanks by extrapolating from insufficient data. Whether you take the academic route (as I suggested in recommending Pingree’s work) or the route of traditional scholarship (learning the śāstra from Indian paṇḍitas), I am certain that you will reach conclusions that are different from the ones you are espousing now.

Pankaj is right that the Bhāgavata and other Purāṇas are religious and even mythological texts, and that there are great differences between the Siddhāntic and Purāṇic cosmologies. Again, this is absolutely clear in the tradition, if only you would read the texts. (Try, for instance, Jñānarāja’s Siddhāntasundara, recently translated by Toke Knudsen.) Some astronomers go to great lengths to reconciliate the two perspectives – reinterpreting Mount Meru as the polar axis, etc. – but the very need for reconciliation shows that their views were not the same.

If you or anyone, after studying the texts and the history of Indian astronomy-astrology, would like to discuss the various uses to which the tropical and sidereal zodiacs have been put in the tradition, that could be an interesting and instructive exercise. Even better, you could try to find some historical Indian horoscopes and determine empirically in what zodiac(s) they were cast. But at the moment you are trying to redefine the fundamentals of a whole astrological tradition on the basis of some isolated passages from a handful of disparate texts in a language which you do not seem to read very fluently, and challenging critics to ‘explain’ their ‘opinions’. That just isn’t good enough.

I have spent time I can’t really afford at present writing this, and I don’t expect to write at such length on this topic again – perhaps not at all, unless something new emerges on which it seems meaningful to comment.
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Vic DiCara



Joined: 20 Jul 2017
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Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin,

Your time would have better better spent if you actually addressed my question, or perhaps took sometime to even hear the question to understand what I am asking.

I would like to know why you feel that "slow", "fast" and "equal" must refer to the sun's apparent speed and not to the three modalities?

Please note that in the entire chapter of BhP 5.21 the Sun is described with mean motion. So,if "slow", "fast" and "equal" refers to its apparent speed, the rest of the chapter contradicts the statement in the 3rd text by consistently describing the mean motion, without again mentioning changes in speed.

Instead of answering this you say that my sanskrit is lousy and that I'm just a little boy. Fine, I accept that. Now please answer my question.

PS - Your opinion of the Purāṇas astronomical contribution is understandable. They do not often seem to speak of the conventional world as we know it. But when they speak of something like zodiac signs, we are not at liberty to ignore it - unless we forfeit the right to call our stuff "Vedic."

In any case, the Sūrya Siddhānta is clearly a mathematical astrolonomical text and says "bha-cakranabhau-viṣuvat dvitiyam samasūtragam."
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I already did address both these points, albeit briefly. First, the Sanskrit words used are technical terms, with fixed meanings in astronomical contexts. It is not that I 'feel' that they should mean one thing and not another: I know what they mean. You apparently don't. Second, the text speaks of the sun's motion, which doesn't vary with the quadruplicities (what you call 'modalities') but with the seasons. It does not speak of the motions of the signs, whatever that would mean. (Rising times? But they don't vary with the quadruplicities either.)

There is nothing Vedic about Indian horoscopic astrology, and the term Vedic was never used by Indian astrologers (at least as far as I have been able to find out) prior to the 1980s, when it first came into use in North America. You will notice that the name of this forum is not 'Vedic astrology'.
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Vic DiCara



Joined: 20 Jul 2017
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Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please point me to a reference where the terms are astronomically defined, and that would be the end of the argument. I would accept my mistake, correct it, and you wouldn't have to make such a drama out of it.

The point however, is that the Siddhāntas and Purāṇas define the zodiac based on solstices and equinoxes. If you would like to say that these are irrelevant to Indian astronomy (or whatever name you want to use), then our discussion is done. I would simply completely disagree with you and leave it at that. If, however, you want to say that they DON'T define the zodiac based on solstices and equinoxes, please get on with it and explain yourself.
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Martin, for the precious time and energy you expended to write your posts. They are highly appreciated and helpful to those of us who are aware of your knowledge and expertise.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I almost have to admire your chutzpah, Vic, in challenging a tradition of nearly two millennia and then shifting the burden of proof to those who question you ('get on with it and explain yourself', indeed!). It's not my job to spend time sifting the texts to find the precise type of quotation that you are looking for, but I have recommended two works already -- one modern, academic source (Pingree), one traditional (Jñānarāja). Why not read them and get a proper overview, instead of quote-mining? I'll throw in two more: try Varāhamihira's Bṛhatsaṃhitā and/or Bṛhajjātaka with Bhaṭṭotpala's commentary. There's a very good chance you'll find a discussion of the relevant questions there, and they have the advantage of actually being foundational texts of Indian astrology, unlike the works you have cited.

While I'm recommending books: have a look at Śrīdhara's commentary on BhP 5.21.3-4, and you will see that he understood what the author was talking about. The Sanskrit text is available here.

As I have said already, both kinds of measurement (tropical and sidereal) are used in India, and have been for many centuries. One is used for calendric purposes, the other for judicial astrology. There is no mystery about this; you just happen(ed) not to know it, which has led you to draw erroneous conclusions.
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