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Tropical Vedic Astrology
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Vic DiCara



Joined: 20 Jul 2017
Posts: 19

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Martin Tongue Out

From my point of view, I am not challenging anyone, I am looking for answers and knowledge. That is why I ask questions.

It takes a lot of time to research a book, so I ask questions to those who have already researched it. In the event that you had the answer readily available, it would have been handy, but I understand that you don't, and so I will do the work since I am the one looking for the information. That is understandable and fair.

Thank you for the reference to Śrīdhara Swāmī. I will read it.

I understand your point to be that tropical zodiac is defined in these texts because it is used for some things, but not for everything. Specifically it is to be used for "calendrics" while the sidereal zodiac is to be used for prognostication. I have questions (please don't berate me for having questions).

Where is this stated?

If it is true, why are sidereal factors utilized in calendrics? (Tithis, Nakshatra yogas, etc). So far as I have understood, both Sidereal and Tropical factors are to be used in both calendrics and prognostications. My only contentious point is that the sidereal factors are 27 in number, not 12.

If there is a second (or first, or other) 12-fold zodiac, which is sidereal (and to be used for certain purposes), where is that one defined? What is it's "nabhi" for example? And if it is clearly defined, why is there argument about ayanāṁśa?

Please let me know your thoughts on these points when you have the time and inclination. Please do not berate me for asking for "your thoughts" rather than the "absolute truth". I am confident that you have your thoughts, and I would like to know what they are. I am not confident that your thoughts are absolutely synonymous with perfect truth. Forgive me for that if you must.
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pankajdubey



Joined: 17 Nov 2006
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Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It takes a lot of time to research a book, so I ask questions to those who have already researched it.


Why did I not think of that before crying
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Martin Gansten
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Joined: 05 Jul 2008
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Location: Malm÷, Sweden

Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vic DiCara wrote:
It takes a lot of time to research a book, so I ask questions to those who have already researched it.

Fair enough, but a certain background knowledge is required to assimilate the answers, and even to ask the right questions. In short, one has to do some of the reading for oneself.

Quote:
Where is this stated?

I'm not entirely sure what kind of statement you are looking for, but again, my best bet is to look at the early systematic Sanskrit works on astrology (especially Varāhamihira) and their commentarial traditions (especially Bhaṭṭotpala). There should be discussions of the use of sāyana ('with precession') and nirayaṇa ('without precession') there. The encyclopaedist Balabhadra touches on the subject several times in his Horāratna and Hāyanaratna, but he comes late in the tradition (mid-17th century). I happen to be editing the latter work right now, which is why I have those references relatively fresh in my mind.

But I still wonder why it is so important to you to find a particular textual statement supporting what is a living tradition. It must be that you suspect that somewhere along the line, a pristine tropical doctrine was misinterpreted, and now you want to return to the sources to correct the mistake; but what would make you think that? It doesn't look like searching for knowledge to me; it looks like searching for evidence for a pet theory.

Quote:
If it is true, why are sidereal factors utilized in calendrics? (Tithis, Nakshatra yogas, etc).

Why not? Nobody said that only tropical measurements could be used in the calendar. But if you want a calendar that is anchored to the seasons (a must in an agrarian society), you do need some tropical measurements. (Incidentally, tithis aren't zodiac-dependent.)

Quote:
So far as I have understood, both Sidereal and Tropical factors are to be used in both calendrics and prognostications. My only contentious point is that the sidereal factors are 27 in number, not 12.

As a matter of historical fact, that is simply wrong.

Quote:
If there is a second (or first, or other) 12-fold zodiac, which is sidereal (and to be used for certain purposes), where is that one defined? What is it's "nabhi" for example? And if it is clearly defined, why is there argument about ayanāṁśa?

This is the sort of question that I find difficult to answer because we are speaking from within separate reference systems. You seem to be looking at Indian astrology as a self-contained unit and a 'Vedic science' or whatever, as if you were doing astrological Mīmāṃsā (theological exegesis). But astrology wasn't invented in India, and it had a long history before reaching the subcontinent.

I don't know if any Sanskrit author defines the 'nave' of the sidereal zodiac, and I don't really care. Sidereal definitions of the zodiac were used in Mesopotamia and the Hellenistic world long before the concept reached India. (And so were tropical definitions, but not, typically, for casting horoscopes.) As for the exact amount and rate of precession, why shouldn't there be differences of opinion? This only becomes a problem if you start from an idea of a perfect system of knowledge handed down by gods and ṛṣis (sages).

Quote:
Please do not berate me for asking for "your thoughts" rather than the "absolute truth".

I don't use the phrase 'absolute truth' much, and certainly don't claim to possess it. But there are degrees of knowledge (j˝ānatāratamya, if you want it in Sanskrit). We may all be fallible, but that doesn't mean we know or understand the same amount.
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 491
Location: Switzerland

Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Vic,

In case that this is of interest to you, here are two articles by the great researcher Asko Parpola on the origin of Indian calendrical astronomy:

http://www.academia.edu/5564641/Parpola_Asko_2013._Beginnings_of_Indian_astronomy_with_reference_to_a_parallel_development_in_China._History_of_Science_in_South_Asia_1_21-78

http://www.academia.edu/7372931/Parpola_Asko_2014._Beginnings_of_Indian_and_Chinese_Calendrical_Astronomy._Journal_of_the_American_Oriental_Society_134_1_107-112

Best,
Michael
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