Deluge of Atlantis

Deluge of Atlantis
Deluge of Atlantis

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Vedic Astrology Debate Continues, Message from Jayasree Saranathan

Dear Mr Dieter,
I thought you have closed the debate in public. But now that you have addressed this mail to me, I am replying to you.
You said,
// On Sat, May 25, 2013 at 2:31 PM, Dieter Koch <artizarrak@yahoo.com> wrote:
Dear Dr. Kalyanaraman, Ms Jayasree and all,
I read the following message by Dr. Kalyanaraman:
http://bharatkalyan97.blogspot.in/2013/05/akokera-or-makara-maybe-there-was.html
and of course also Ms Jayasree's messages concerning Yavanas and Hora.//

My own analysis of Yavana is yet to be posted. It will show the origin of Yavanas even before the Ganges started flowing down. Were there any Greeks at that time in Greece? Well this question will be treated as 'garbage" by you or 'mad' by your friend Mr Koenraad Elst, obviously because you won’t accept that Ganges flowed at such and such a time - obviously because you believe that spotting a word in Vedas or Varahamira’s is enough to decide the historical chronology, whereas none engaged in historical research would think like you or agree with you. On hora, I am honoured that you have read it at least now inspite of your demanding schedule for making your living. Well there are many other topics written by me which are waiting to be rubbished by you either as garbage or rebuked by a threat of Swiss Chauvinism. Mt Dieter, please come out with your Swiss Chauvinism. You can add the golden Lion-man (40,000 yrs BP) also in the list. I will reply to them.

//It seems necessary that I provide some more information to those who want to hear.//
Surprised to see you come out in the open for public debate. Welcome.

//I am glad to see that, finally, somebody accepts the obvious fact that the strange rashi-names mentioned by Varahamihira (i. e. kriya, tavuri, etc.) are Greek. I think, Dr. Kalyanaraman, you witnessed the bizarre quarrels about it that have taken place in this mailing list. Some of its members would have rather died than accepted Geek words in a Sanskrit text.//
Did Dr Kalyanraman say so?
Now on this subject I am asking you like this:-
The particular verse under controversy (BJ – 1-8) does not say anywhere that the names Kriya, Thavuri etc are Greek names. Those 12 names are there in Sanskrit. Compare this verse with verse no 3 of the 2ndchapter of BJ where Varahamihira gives the other names of planets. In the last line, he says,
"Paryayam Anyat upalabhya Vadeet cha lokat".
It means
Paryayam :-Alternative, various
Anyat :- other
Upalabhya : Obtainable, perceived
Vadet : Other sources or sayings
Cha: and
Lokat: in/from the world

This means: find the other alternatives from other sources/authorities in the world.
(Translation by Sri Ramanathan, who is a Veda Adhyayin and also teaches Vyakarana to others)

This shows that alternate names of the planets (and as an extension of this, the names of rashis also) were prevalent in VM’s times. VM (Varaha Mihira) would have definitely made a mention of them if he had used those words in his book. But he had asked the reader to look for them from other sources in the world. He had not spoon –fed those terms in his book. This holds good for whatever he had written until this verse. Because one can find that with this verse, the introduction of terminologies is over. This follows the Samgya padathi of how a literary work must be written.
The entire first chapter was about the basic terminologies. The left over ones were continued in the second chapter in the first 3 verses. These verses are on grahas and he could have as well added them in the first chapter itself. But he didn’t do that obviously because the entire 2ndchapter is devoted to planets. So he had thought it correct to start the 2ndchapter with terminologies of the planets. The notable part is that once after introducing the terminology for planets, he had concluded with a note that people can look for other terms for the same words he had introduced, from anywhere in the world. If Kriya etc terms were of Greek origin or found or borrowed from Greece, he would have definitely mentioned it then and there.
Contrast this with the names of Nabhasa yogas which he openly declared as having been given by the yavanas!! (BJ – Chapter 12). In that chapter, at the outset VM declares that Yavanas had described not just one but 1800 varieties of Nabhasa yogas and that he is going to describe them in that chapter. Take a look at the names of all the Nabhasa yogas he has described in that chapter. What are they? Are they Greek words? Can you find any link to any Greek word in any one of the 32 names of Nabhasa yogas? This is the chapter which is supposed to be only about the yogas described by the Yavanas. Why is there no slightest inkling of a Greek word or sound in those names?
Now I am asking you like this: Your friend Mr Koenraad Elst says that we Indians have ‘ hindu nationalist lack of logic’. Let it be so. We don’t have any logic, we are dull-heads and we are fools. But you are all clever and possess enormous logic. Use that logic and tell me, how would you interpret the complete lack of any trace of Greek in the names of Nabhasa yogas which have been declared openly by VM as having been given by the Yavanas, but claim ( as you do) Greek sounds in the 12 rashi names (Kriya etc) mentioned in 1-8 where VM did not say that they were Greek or from somewhere in the world? What does your logical mind say?
You don’t have any Greek names for Yavana words of Nabhasa yogas, but you have Greek names for Sanskrit words of rashi. That means only one thing. The Sanskrit names of the 12 rashis had influenced the Greeks whereas the Nabhasa yogas of Yavanas had not. So who were influenced by whom?

//Now, what are the ramifications concerning the Yavanas referred to by Varahamihira? Once we agree that those terms are Greek, is it really so unlikely that his Yavanas are Greeks? Especially, when the term Yavana was used, at least in some cases, for people of Greek language (see Ashoka Edicts)?//
Ashokan edicts! So you are coming to the historical part. That’s good. At the same breadth, I expect you to respect the explanation of who were Yavanas given by Raja tarangini and their location in the Indus region as shown by Cheran’s expedition to the Himalayas . What is more, the Yavanas, who were the descendants of Turvasu were originally in the south east region of Aryavartha (Bengal) soon the after Pancha manava war. The Yavanas and Kiratas were always mentioned together in Mahabharata with Kiratas occupying North east India, but their location was separated in course of time as per Vishnu purana accounts. Further on, some of the Yavanas and Kiratas shifted to the Indus region and later on some of them moved to Central Europe and came to be called as Greeks and Cretes which I will write as a separate article. I know you of the 3-K (Koch, Koenraad and Kaul) would not be able to accept them as is the case with MK (M. Karunanidhi) we have in Tamilnadu. But be assured that none of you can match MK.
Those who approach Vedic works with contempt like MK, would find their fall like in Paramapada game (snake and ladder). Tamil people are watching in the fall of MK how the adage that Time would stamp its foot at the right moment is coming true.
People who approach Vedic works for spiritual enlightenment, they would get that anyway. ‘Dadami Buddhi yogam’ so declared Krishna (BG 10-10). This knowledge is not what we possess or what we gained, it is what He gives us. The Divya Prabhandam that you admired in one of the earlier mails says that the knowledge that one gets is as per his destiny. How-much-ever we try to enlighten you, not a shred of it can be understood by you as long as you approach Vedic and allied works with an intention other than spiritual.
People who approach Vedic works for writing their thesis, getting their PhD and writing books to make name and money, they would not be able to see the inner import of what the Vedas and Epics convey. Mr Elst rightly said in a recent mail, that vedic rishis walked upright, but we crawl. True. If a Vedic rishi is present now and is approached by you or any of the 3-K with the claims that you are making, he would give you a cow and ask you to graze it and come back after it multiplies into 1000 numbers. But we the ordinary folks are trying to answer all your questions that come from superfluous reading.

//And there is more evidence. I mentioned many times that there are Greek astrological terms also in Yavanajataka. However, none of my opponents seems to care about it or veryfy it and see what is really written there. In fact, if they had done so, they would have found that Yavanajataka not only mentions Greek words, but also explicitly states that those words are from the language of the Yavanas. //
You look at the words of Yavana Jataka, but what about the concepts. I am asking you why you are not verifying the concepts. Take for example chapter 22 of Yavana Jataka on Pravrajitas. It tells about planetary combination for sanyasis, ascetics, pravrajitas, Dikshitas and what more ajivikas having one linga! The chapter also talks about the varna of the one who is indicated to become an ascetic. Don’t you think that this holds good to the Yavana description of Raja tarangini and not Greeks that you want us to believe? If you refuse to accept it, tell me who were the Greeks who carried a linga or a danda or formed a religious order. Tell me what this chapter talks about and how relevant it is to the Greeks.
On the other hand, the same topic covered by VM and others carry meaning to the Vedic society.
//So, let me look up those places in Yavanajataka for you. I quote the Sanskrit text from Pingree and give my translation, which is slightly different, although it does not make a big difference:

horeti yatprāgbhavanaṃvilagnaṃ / tataścaturthaṃ hipakākhyamāhuḥ
rasātalaṃ tadvijalaṃ ca vindyād / gṛhāśrayaṃ vṛddhipadaṃ tadeva (YJ 1.48)
"The first sign, which is rising, is called horā (= ὧρα); the forth from which they call hipaka(= hypogeion/ὑπόγειον). ..."

The Greek word hora means "spring, season, period of time, time of the day, hour". The meaning "hour" is attested since Aristotle (4th cty BCE) and also became a loanword in Latin. Even today, most Latin languages, and also English language, still use this word to denote an "hour". The alleged derivation of Sanskrit horā from ahorātra is not very likely, nor does it follow common rules of Sanskrit word formation. And it is totally unlikely that the Greeks took over this word from Indian astrology, because in ancient Greek, this word was part of common language since old times whereas in Sanskrit it is only a technical term in astrology. The examples that follow should remove even the last doubts about it.//

So there is no use for you to have read my article on Hora. How does verses 1 and 9 of Chapter 77 of Yavana jataka fit with the Greeks? The order of planetary lords for week days cannot occur in Greece or anywhere in Europe. Does your Sunday start with Sun hora and Monday with Moon hora and so on? Do you have deities as Vahni, Jala and so on for Sunday, Monday etc?
If you say that Greek hora means spring or something, then I would accept that it is perhaps how it is in Greek. But you say it means an hour! That concept is the basis for naming of weeks. That concept is very old in Tamil. I can quote old poems in Tamil on Horas and hora lords. But I won’t call it as Tamil chauvinism because I can explain it with ‘logic’ from multiple sources in sankrit, Tamil and culture. But you offer no explanation or derivation for it and yet claim that since because it is in Greek language, the word originated there! But you refuse to look at the multiple explanations in our society. How I wish we have a Vedic rishi with us today to gift you a cow!!


//hipaka/hypogeion
means literally "below (hypo) the earth ()"and is the common word for the lower midheaven in ancient Greek astrology.


lagnādgṛhaṃ saptamamastagaṃtu / jāmitrasaṃjñaṃ yavanābhidhānam
vilagnabhāvāttu nabhastalasthaṃ / me<ṣūra>ṇākhyaṃ daśamaṃ vadanti (1.49)
"The seventh house from the ascendant, which is setting, is called jāmitra (= diametros/διάμετρος)in Greek (yavanābhidhānam!). From the rising house the tenth, which stands in the sky, they call meṣūraṇa (= mesouranema/μεσουράνημα)."

jāmitra/diametros
means "diameter" (that is where the English word comes from).

meṣūraṇa/mesouranema means "middle (meson) of the sky (ouranos)", i. e. "mid-heaven", again the common term for "midheaven" in Greek astrology.
Note, this verse proves that the Yavanas speak Greek.

etaccaturlagnamudāharanti / horāvido lagnacatuṣṭayaṃ ca
sthānaṃ tu candrasya catuṣṭayākhyaṃ/ meṇyaivsaṃjñaṃ yavaneṣu vindyāt (1.50)
"Those who know horoscopy call this the "four pivot points" and "pivot point square". The position of the Moon that is called "square" is called meṇyaiva (= meniaios/μηνιαῖος) among the Yavanas. ..."

meniaios
means "monthly".

Note, this verse again proves that the Yavanas speak Greek//.
Very good, you have given a good list of similar words. For this only Dr Kalyanaramanreacted that the meluhha terms of Indian Sprachbund are there which must be researched based on the interactions that existed between India and Europe due to various reasons in the past. But you treated him like Bhatt and Pingree and embraced him as your saviour! Atleast now you know that any world class researcher into the past would look into scores of other possibilities for such similarities to take place. I have a researcher friend from Hungary who talks about a Hungarian linguist by name SZENTKATOLNAI BÁLINT. He identified 2500 Hungarian words which bear similarity to Tamil words, in sound or by grammar. Should I then say that Tamil was borrowed from Hungarian or Hungarian from Tamil?

//caturvilagnaṃpravadanti kendraṃ / tataḥ paraṃ pāṇapharaṃ tu yogam
āpoklimākhyaṃ tu tṛtīyamāhur / lagnāśrayaiṣā trividhaiva saṃjñā (53)
"They call the four angular houses kendra (= kentra/κέντρα). From there the next square (yoga) is called pāṇaphara (= epanaphora/ἐπαναφορά),and the third one they call apoklima (= ἀπόκλιμα). This is the threefold designation based on the ascendant."

The three terms can be translated as: "pivot/angle –post-ascension/succession – decline". Again, these words are common Greek astrological terminology.


ṣaṭṣaḍguṇā rāśitṛtīyabhāgā/ drekāṇasaṃjñā yavanākhyayā ye
nānāvidhacchādanacitrarūpās / tān sarvaliṅgādiguṇairvidhāsye (3.1)
"Thirty-six are the thirds of the zodiac signs, which are called drekāṇa (dekanoi/δεκανοί)by the Yavanas. ..."

The word dekanos is derived from Greek deka, "10", which makes perfect sense.

Note, this verse again proves that the Yavanas speak Greek.

candrātkuṭumbopagate grahe tu / yogāgrahāste sunaphāṃ vadanti
candrapramukte ’naphareti yogaṃ / tathobhayordaurudhuraṃ vadanti. (10.1)
"When a planet follows the Moon by house, then they call this sunaphā (= sunaphe/συναφή),because it (the planet) is thrown towards exactness of conjunction. When (the planet) is let go by the Moon, they call the conjunction anapharā (= anaphora/ἀναφορά).And in both cases, they call it daurudhura (= doruphoria/δορυφορία)."

sunaphe means "contact", in astrology "application".
anaphora means "moving away/back" (= separation)
doruphoria means "the having of spear-bearers". This term, although pure Greek, is a Persian heritage. Persian kings used to be always accompanied by spear-bearers.

candre tu yogā yadi na syurete / catuṣṭayaṃ ca grahavarjitaṃ syāt
kemadrumetyantyaphalasya yogaḥ / sarvagrahāvekṣaṇaviprayuktaḥ (2)
"However, when the Moon has none of these conjunctions, and when the squares are also deprived of planets, then this is the aspect of weakest influence called kemadruma(= kenodromia/κενοδρομία), which is devoid of aspects with all planets."
kenodromia means "the having an empty course".

Kindly note, all these terms are very common in Greek astrological texts, and their meanings make perfect sense. And there are more of them.//

You say that these are the words found in Greek and in Yavana Jataka but they are also in Vedic astrology. You claim that it cannot be so unless Vedic astrology borrowed them from Greece - you forgot to add ‘from Yavanas who were in India earlier’. This is your main issue. And you find VM mentioning Yavanas as those from whom he got the ideas and therefore conclude that these words entered India after Alexander’s invasion. Now let me answer you as follows with a cow as a gift to you:
Let us see what VM actually says. Open Brihat Samhita chapter 1 (attaching a copy of BS for everyone to check the verses).
In verse 1, expectedly VM glorifies Sun God.
In verse 2, he declares his credentials and intention. His credential is that he had correctly examined the voluminous works of the sages of past. That means his source of knowledge is the works of the sages and not others. His next verse reiterates that he indeed relied on the works of sages and not ordinary men.
In verse 3, he creates a veiled controversy of whose is the best – the works of sages or the works of non-sages (ordinary men)? He asks“what means the notion that the works of the rishis are sound and not so the works of men?” This shows the trend in his times. The trend was that people listened only to the words and works of the rishis and not to the words and works of non-rishis. That is why he continues to say in the same verse, that when the matter does NOT involve any MANTRA, why make a fuss about who gave it as long as the meaning remains the same. “In cases where the matter refers to no mantra, what is there to choose between, when the meaning is the same because the works are different?”
In verse 4, he reveals the actual controversy. He gives a statement which means “ Tuesday is inauspicious”. He goes to say how Brahma ( a rishi) would say it and how a man (non-rishi) would say it. Brahma would say“Kshititanaya divasa varo nashubhakrit”. A man would say, “Kuja dinam arishtam”. Then he asks “what is there to choose between the work of man and that of a Deva?” meaning to say, that when the meaning is the same, is it important whether it is told by a rishi or Deva and a man? If a man says what the rishi has said, should his word not be accepted, he asks. He conveys in the next verse that he followed only the rishis and wrote only what was told by the rishis, so that (he implies) that though he is only a man and not a rishi, his work can be accepted on par with the work of a rishi.
In verse 5, he says, “having examined the vast works that have proceeded from writers from Brahma downwards, I propose to write a brief work embodying the substance of the same.”
And then he starts his narration from Creation onwards, as is the practice.
What is conveyed in these 5 verses is that
1. VM did not write anything that was not written by rishis starting from Brahma deva downwards.
2. If there is any word or concept in his work that resembles a word or work of another country, know then that it was told by the rishis also and therefore handled by him in his work.
To substantiate this further, let me bring to the notice of readers, the verse he has written in Chapter 2 of the same book (BS) where he quotes Vishnu Gupta (Chanakya).
There VM says “Vishnu Gupta says “ flying with the speed of wind, one might find it possible to cross to the ocean’s opposite shore; but a NON-RISHI can never even mentally reach the opposite shore of vast ocean of Jyothisha sastra””
VM strongly conveys in the beginning and then again in the next chapter on qualities of the astrologer, that only a rishi can understand and convey astrology! This goes to show that whatever he had written was already written by the sages – the Vedic sages starting from Brahma. He did not say anything that did not have the authority of the Vedic sages. We can find this exhibited in Ayurdaya chapter in BJ where he makes a statement that “Jeeva sarma, on his own responsibility’ made such and such a statement. (Svamatena kilah jIvasarma – BJ 7-9) He continued to say that he stood by Satyacharya’s statement which was approved by many other astrologers.
A question may come here as to why then VM quote Jeevasarma, if his views are not in line with that of the rishis. He did quote any man, not just Jeeva sarma, but any man – even a Mleccha as long as the view was the SAME AS the one held by a RISHI. This solves the whole controversy!
Therefore if any word or concept or idea is there in Greek or any other language and is also found in VM’s work, know that VM has said them only because they were also told by the Vedic Rishis. No Vedic rishi came after or lived during VM’s period. They all lived long ago which our 3-K friends can never fathom until and unless they were destined to know. Even the quotes on Yavanas are valid as long as they were the same as what were told by the Vedic rishis – this is known from the pledge like statement that he made in the initial 5 verses of BS. This explains why all the 32 nabhasa yogas have Sanskrit names.
On Nabhasa yogas, though VM conceded that Yavanas had given 1800 Nabhasa yogas, he listed down only 32, because those were the ones givens by Vedic Rishis of yore. For example take a look at chapter 12 of BJ on Nabhasa yogas. Though he had said in the first verse that Yavans had given the Nabhasa yogas, he started writing in the next verse (2nd verse) on the Nabhasa yogas given by Satyacharya and Parasara.
The choice of words in the 3rd, 4th and 5th verses, are such that he was looking at how the combinations fit with the yogas. A person will do this when he has a pile of yogas from which he has to choose only those yogas which tally with what Vedic rishis also said. Mr Deiter, please don’t say that I am speculating, this is what VM told in the first 5 verses of BS – that whatever he is going to say is the same as whatever the rishis have said.
In verse 6, he reiterates that the Vajra yogas that he had given were in accordance with Purva sastras. But he found an absurdity there in the yoga – as seen from what he continued to write in that verse – “ how Buddha and Sukra be in the 4th from the Sun?” If he is actually reproducing the works of Yavanas, he would have skipped the absurd looking ones, but his desire is to produce as many yogas of Yavanas that also look similar to what Vedic rishis have told. Only under such conditions, one would reproduce it even while wondering how it could be so.
From verses 7 to 11, he finishes giving the rest of the Nabhasa yogas – all of which are Sanskrit words. I leave it to the ‘logical’sense of the readers to deduce what it conveys. In the same vein, it must also be understood that the Kriya etc words are all Sanskrit ones and had been used by Vedic rishis. They may appear in works of others. But VM is committed to using only those words and concepts that were given by Vedic rishis.

//But this is not all yet. In the beginning of ch. 79, which is to do with astronomical calculations, we find the following introductory statement:

sarvasya< horā>vidhisaṅgrahasya / cakṣuḥ paraṃ yadvibudhā vadanti
samāsatastadyavanopadeśād / vakṣye pradṛṣṭaṃ caritaṃ grahāṇām (79.1)
"I want to explain concisely according to the teaching of the Greeks (Yavanas) the visible course of the planets. The wise call it the supreme eye of the whole collection of rules of horoscopy."

And in the end of the chapter it says (Text according to Bill Mak’s recent article):
sūryaprasādāgatatattvadṛṣṭir / lokānubhāvāya vacobhirādyaiḥ
idaṃ babhāṣe niravadyavākyo / horārthaśāstraṃ yavaneśvaraḥ prāk (79.61)
"This science of horoscopy was originally spoken by Yavaneśvara (the lord of the Greeks), whose words are flawless and who saw the truth that came from the grace of the Sun god, as a teaching for the world with excellent words//."


I explained above how none of what Yavanas said that was not said by Vedic rishis was reproduced by VM. To substantiate this further let me draw the attention of readers to Ayurdaya chapter of BJ (chapter 7) where we find liberal sprinkling of many Mleccha names.
The first verse gives longevity given by the 7 planets and attribute that knowledge to Maya, Yavana and Manittha along with Shaktipurva who was the son of Parasara. 3- K would raise doubts about Shaktipurva as they don’t believe that Parasara ever lived! But VM mentions his name along with 3 others whose names sound as Mlecchas. First of all, why he should mention the names of authors for a notion which is fundamental to longevity calculation? The answer lies in 2nd verse of 1st chapter, that he is only helping to sift the vast body of astrology given many persons in the past. By naming 4 authors, he is giving credence to that particular idea of longevity – perhaps to the exclusion to other notions that the Mleccha authors may have mentioned in their works and by mentioning a Vedic rishi, he gives credence to the notion that he is not stating something which is not told by a Vedic rishi.
Thereafter in 7th verse he makes a mention of Vishnu Gupta, Devaswami and Siddhasena. What should be noted here is that Vishnu Gupta (Chanakya) belonged to the same period of Alexander and the Ayurdaya calculation that he is attributed with takes into consideration rashis, planets and their exalted degrees in rashis. What is more, this longevity calculation is done on the natal horoscope. The mention of Vishnu Gupta in this verse itself is proof of knowledge of rashis, horoscopy and planets in India even as early as 3nd century BC.
Then in verse 9, he refers to Jeevasarma’s notion and regards it as his (Jeeva sarma’s) own perception. This is in tune with his stated notion that he will give only those notions given by rishis. In the same verse he contrasts Jeevasarma’s version with Satyacharya version and glorifies Satyacharya’s as having majority approval. He goes on to say that Satyacharya’s is the best in verse 13. Please note that though he began the chapter on longevity by mentioning Maya, Yavana etc, he concludes that Satyacharya’s was the best. Suppose Yavana and Maya had shared the same idea of satyacharya, VM would have mentioned their names along with Satyacharya. That he did not do that goes to show that he had picked out only those notions of Mlecchas which fall in line with notions of Vedic rishis. It wrong to conclude that Yavana astrology had influenced VM or even Vedic astrology. A person of ‘logical’ mind will appreciate this thread that is found throughout BJ and BS, but others will not.
//Whether this is 100% true, can be doubted, of course, because the work is rather a mixture of Indian and Greek material. However, this is what Yavanajataka itself says, and from all this it should be obvious why this whole work is called Yavanjataka. Because the Yavanas or Greeks were considered a high authority in this matter. Varahamihira explicitly states that they were "honoured like Rishis"://
Not at all. Not for that reason. I will explain why below your next point.

// mlecchā hi yavanās teṣu samyak śāstram idaṃ sthitam

ṛṣivat te 'pi pūjyante kiṃpunar daivavid dvijaḥ (BS 2.14)
"The Yavanas are mlecchas. Among them this science is correctly established.
Even they are honoured like Rishis. How much more a Brahmin who knows fate."

In Brhajjataka, Varahamihira explicitly mentions Yavanas and refers to their teachings several times. (BJ 7.1; 8.9; 11.1; 12.1; 21.3; 27.1, 19, 21)//


This “Mleccha hi yavana..” is quoted out of context. This is part of a discourse presumably stated by Garga Maharishi. The context shows that there was a controversy for which VM is giving his opinion. I request the readers to open BS chapter 2 and start reading from verse 7 onwards under the caption “Bhagawan Garga says”.
The verses that start from here are similar to the first 5 verses of chapter 1 as they convey a dilemma or a hidden controversy. In the first chapter, VM had to demolish the existing notion that only the work of a rishi is acceptable. He settled that issue by saying that if what he says is same as what a Vedic rishi had said, then there is no problem in accepting his work. (There is a historical background to this trend in the first millennium after the Common Era which is out of context in the present debate. But I have to state this here as people like 3-K have absolutely no historical knowledge of Indian past. Kumarila Bhatta’s specific argument in Tantra varthika where he quotes some Tamil words calling them as Dravidian words and the rise of Alwar’s works in that millennium having been given equal status as Vedas is part of historical struggle to promote works of highly evolved persons as equal in validity to the works of Vedic rishis. Those who can read Tamil can read my article and subsequent discussion on this in my blog : http://thamizhan-thiravidana.blogspot.in/2011/05/54.html)
In the 2nd chapter of BS, VM is demolishing the notions that Brahmins who study astrology lose their status. From 9th to 12th verse, he tells how important an astrologer is that a prince must certainly keep an astrologer with him. In 13th verse he says how such an astrologer goes to Brahma loka. In the 14th verse comes the real intention of why VM was giving such a ‘build-up’ to the astrologer, for here he says that an astrologer deserves to partake the food offered in the‘Shraddha’ ceremony. This holds good only to a Brahmin. Those were the times when varna dharma was intact. A Brahmin was supposed to do Vedic studies as part of the 6 duties. That means he was not supposed to stray out of his traditional learning. Suppose a Brahmin moves out of Vedic studies and learns astrology, he loses the right to sit in the Shraddha ceremonies – this as the then prevailing condition is implied in this verse.
When we are reading verse by verse like this, we get the import of the Mleccha hi yavana verse. For, after saying that a Brahmin astrologer deserves to be respected and fed first on shraddha ceremony, VM goes to say that after all the Yavanas who have mastered this sastra (of astrology) are revered as rishis, what prevents people from respecting a Brahmin, who has mastered this sastra? So the sharddha ceremony issue in the previous verse refers to Brahmins only. After asking why he cannot be fed in the shraddha ceremony, he asks if a Mleccha could be considered as a rishi, why not this Brahmin, who also studied astrology.

The same verse is reproduced by Neelakanta, a Nambhoodri Brahmin of Edakad, Kerala in AD 1649, in his book, Prasna Marga. After introducing what astrology says, there is a definite plan in writing other verses. He harps on Vedangas and how astrology is considered as the eye of Vedas and then makes a crucial statement in verse 13 of chapter 1 (of Prasna marga) that the exalted science of astrology must be studied only by Brahmins. It is after this verse he has reproduced the ‘Mleccha hi yavana’ verse of VM verbatim. The context shows that he has drawn authority from VM to justify his stature as a Brahmin who has mastered astrology. Thus we find the use of Yavana- name in this verse – by both VM and Neelakanta to remove the stigma on Brahmins of their times for having learnt astrology. There is no exclusive appreciation for or glorification of Mlecchas in this verse. Note the verse and its translation given by Dr BV Raman in Neelakanta’s work.
Mlechchahi Yavanasteshu Samyak Sastramidam Sthitham /
Rishivattepi Poojyanthe Kimpunar Daivavit Dwojaha //
(Prasan Marga – 1- 14)
“When even Mlechchas and Yavanas well versed in astrology are held in the same esteem as Rishis, who would deny respect to an astrologer who happens to be a Brahmin?” (Dr BV Raman)
In BS, VM continues after this verse by stating the need to reject those astrologers who are less knowledgeable and pretentious of knowing the science. From verse 16 to 20, he states the kind of astrologers who must be rejected. From there after till the end of the chapter (21 to 24) he stresses the importance of an able astrologer shoes services must be employed by the King. The sequence of ideas shows that he is promoting the notion that a Brahmin who has mastered this science needs to be kept in service by the king. Such a Brahmin enjoys equal status as a Brahmin who has mastered Vedas. It is not known whether these ideas were VM’s own or given by Garga rishi. It looks probable that Garga rishi has said this. Rather than glorifying the yavanas, the focus was on justifying Brahmins taking up astrology. This also replies to the obsession of Mr Deiter that he could not accept people calling this as “Vedic”astrology. Whether he accepts it or not, the notion held by people from Garga to VM was that adherence to the notions spelt by Vedic rishis make one’s work Vedic and equal in respect. By bringing Yavanas here, it is also shown the Yavanas that they referred, followed the path and notion of Vedic rishsis and not vice versa.

//Kalyāṇavarman writes in the introduction to his Sārāvalī (1.2-4):
vistarakṛtāni munibhiḥparigṛhya (var. parihṛtya) purātanāni śāstrāṇi
horātantraṃ racitaṃ varāhamihireṇa saṃkṣepāt (2)
rāśidaśavargabhūpatiyogāyurdāyato daśādīnām
viṣayavibhāgaṃ spaṣṭaṃ kartuṃ na tu śakyate yatastena (3)
ata eva vistarebhyo yavananarendrādiracitaśāstrebhyaḥ

sakalamasāraṃ tyaktvātebhyaḥ sāraṃ samuddhriyate (4)
"Varahamihira summarised the old teachings that were written down in detail by the sages, and he composed the textbook of horoscopy as a summary.
However, as he could not explain in detail the part about the dashas etc. according to rashi, dashavarga, rajayoga and duration of life,
therefore we will describe everything important, omitting what is not important, from the detailed teachings that were composed by the Yavana king (yavananaren­draḥ)and others."

Besides, the Greek terms mentioned in Yavanajataka (e.g. in the passages quoted above) are also mentioned a lot of times in Saravali. Also, Kalyanavarman often refers to the "king of the yavanas" (yavanarājā, yavanādhipatiḥ,yavanādhirājā, yavanendraḥ, yavanedrāḥ (!), yavanapatiḥ;4.38; 10.32; 14.2; 20.21; 34.13; 35.3, 54, 94; 46.20 (plural); 51.16). Moreover he refers to the "teachings of the Yavanas" or "Yavana-acharyas" (yavanācāryāḥ) oder „Yavana-vriddhas“ (yavanavṛddhāḥ),in Sārāvalī 3.39; 5.16; 9.8; 10.11, 42; 15.1; 21.1; 24.24; 34.68; 41.10; 47.45; 52.1; 54.11. //

Please identify the Yavana acharya, yavanarājā, yavanādhipatiḥ,yavanādhirājā, yavanendraḥ etc with their Greek names or accept that they were the yavanas who sprang in the Indian sub continent from the people of the sub-continent.

// After taking into account all this, there really cannot be any doubt that Greeks influenced Hindu astrology. Can there?

Are there any Greek astrological texts using Sanskrit terms and referring to Indian teachers of astrology? There aren't.

Now, dear Dr. Kalyanaraman, what are the ramifications concerning rashis? From the comparison of the Greek and Sanskrit rashi names, as given by Varahamihira, you conclude:


< One
thing is clear from the equivalent names. Neither Greek nor Samskrtam seem to have influenced each other in finding names for the 12 names for the zodiac.>
From a mere linguistic point of view, you are
right of course. However, the two sets of names obviously are translations of each other, and therefore an influence from one to the other must be assumed. A comparable case: Hindi words for "computer" are अभिकलित्र, संगणक, परिकलक. So, it seems that Indians translated the term into their own language (as also did the French and Spanish etc. etc.). However, this does not necessarily indicate that the Computer was invented in India. Or that it was invented in each country independently.//

Exactly. You can also compare this with how AIT was demolished. As per AIT, Aryans came from Europe but had all their imprints in India which continue till today. The so-called Aryan roots in Europe are justified by some linguistic similarities in names and words, while not a single shred of culture of Aryans can be traced there. Similar is the current controversy. Vedic astrology was developed by scores of rishis – to be specific , 18 in all were identified as Jyothish Pravarthakas in three different texts of astrology. One among them is a Yavana whose race can be traced to ancient Indians themselves. But you keep harping on them as Greeks.
None of what is found in the enormous body of Vedic astrology is found there in Greece. For example can you identify the Krios goat in your land? I can and I did in my latest article.
You talk about planets as original discoveries of the Greeks. Can you identify the satellites of these planets, the upagrahas which you find only in vedic society? MB(VI. 3. 15) mentions them as,
“yamagraha is luminous and together with dhooma and parivesha has crossed over to jyeshta the bright asterism ruled by Indra.”
Have any idea how Dhooma and Parivesha are located? You cannot locate them without knowing the rashis. For example the location of Dhooma, the upagraha of Mars can be obtained by adding 4 rashis – 13 degrees and 20 minutes to the true rashi- degree-minute position of the Sun in a given day.
Parivesha, the upagraha of Moon can be obtained by adding 6 rashis to Vyatipada (the upagraha of rahu) which is already obtained by deducting 12 rashis from Dhooma! Like this without the knowledge of rashi, the location of 5 Dhoomadhi upagrahas can not be obtained.
In your own style you would say that MB is an interpolation and a post - CE work. If so, how quickly and in a short time after receiving the knowledge of planets and rashis from Greece, these Indians – all ordinary men as there were no rishis in that period – made so many theories and concepts that were based on rashis and planets! Isn’t that a great feat! This brings a question – how could such brilliant people who calculated Upagrahas remained ignorant of the grahas until they were imported from Greece? And who went to Greece to collect the knowledge of planets and rashis? Like Heliodorus who set up a pillar for Vasudeva in India, any Indian who went to Greece to collect the Rashi – planets information set up any memorial for any Greek God? In the absence of any of them doesn’t this controversy sound like going the AIT way?
Just a sample concept from Eswara nadi I will fling at you. Try to decipher it. It is the first aphorism in Kuja khanda, Gemini ascendant. When the Gemini ascendant is occupied by a lonely Mars, not receiving any aspect and the 9th house is occupied by Saturn with its aspect falling on the 3rd house of siblings, there will be 4 brothers and 2 sisters having long life. The native will be in a high profile job from his 18th to 48th year of his age. He will enjoy great popularity and Raja yoga in the period of the 6thand 11th lord Mars.”
Try to decipher how with the position of 2 planets the sage was able to tell the number of siblings and also the success of the native within specific years of his life. This is not fictitious, as we find Gary Sobers, the famous cricketer of West Indies having the same planetary combination of Mars and Saturn. He was the 5th child out of 6. He was at the peak of his career between 1954 and 1974 (18th - 38th year when he ended his cricketing career ) but continued to enjoy popularity during the said period of Nadi. How great the Indians must have been in making such concepts with one or two planets in the short time after they received the knowledge from the Greeks! Praise be to Indians instead of calling them mad.
To the notice of Mr Elst, the local saying in Tamil is that only a mad person would call others mad. So be a Roman in Rome, Greek in Greece and Tamil in Tamilnadu or else/t people would laugh at you for your ‘mad’ talk! This also means celebrate your Sankaranthi in your date at your place – don’t bring it here. We have our own rationale for all dates of our calendar. Within my own sect, Krishna Jayanthi, Rama navami, Karthikai Deepam and Upakarma come at the most on 3 different dates depending on whether I am inclined on kaamya phalan, kainkarya phalan and Moksha phalan. You must have had Guru or Bhagawad sambhandam to understand the rationale of this knowledge. What we are clear about is that not all people who grow beard are rishis – not all people who know cosmology can know Hindu calendar.

//You continue:
<Varahamihira just mentioned the Greek names. This does not
mean that Varahamihira borrowed the zodiac concept from the Greeks.>
Strictly speaking, you are right. However,
nobody asserted that Varahamihira himself borrowed the zodiac concept from the Greeks, because it obviously appears in earlier texts, like e. g. Yavanajataka. I think your conclusion is really hair-splitting. After all the evidence mentioned above, there can be little doubt where the zodiac signs came from.

And you continue:

<The
sources for the Hindu rāśi (mathematics) names have to be found in the Vedic astronomical/mathematical traditions.>

I do not see the premises that lead you to this conclusion. What are the logical reasons behind it?

There are two strong clues that Aries, Taurus, etc. were invented in the West, not in India:
//

Is it? I identified the Mesha animal in my country with proof in my last article. Can you identify Krios in Greece and for what purpose they had that animal?
//
1. The first clue has been discussed in this mailing list in all detail. It is the fact that the evidence for the zodiac signs in Vedic texts is extremely poor. "Vedic astrologers" have pointed to a few doubtful instances, but they did not respond to my and others' arguments against them. In fact they only ignored these arguments without disproving them. //
Methodology of research in Vedic and Vedanthic passages has something called “Anupalabdhi” according to Acharya Ramanuja. It is one among the 6 steps of research. It means ‘non apprehension of something does not mean non-existence of a thing’. What you do is the google-search of the word, but what is used by Vedic scholars is Anupalabdhi. Do you think that you, with your perceptions fit in the system of research in Vedic concepts? Our upright Vedic rishis would increase the stakes from from 1000 to one lakh cows!

2. //Lalit's and Ms. Jayasree's reaction to the critical edition of Ramayana, where Rama's horoscope is missing, provide a fine example. Instead of catching up on textual criticism and studying the case, they took refuge to some authority who obviously was not informed either in this matter. //
What is that critical edition? Any Tom, Dick and Harry would write a critical edition and we have to be analysing it or accepting it. If you want to prove to disprove Rama, Ramayana, Valmiki or the Rama janana horoscope, there are scientific ways to do it. Take up archaeology, epigraphy, astronomy etc. Why you want to depend on a book written by men of the current age?
//Besides, they accused me of destroying or distorting Vedic literature, while the contrary is true. //
Any doubts? Time will tell who is right. I say keep writing what you want to write. No objections at least from me.
3. //Another nice example was the 12-spoked wheel in Rigveda and MBh. I had pointed out, that this does not automatically refer to the known zodiac circle. As an example I had mentioned that ancient Mesopotamia in the 2nd millennium BCE knew an ideal celestial year of 12 months or 360 days but did not know the twelve equal signs of the zodiac, even though they knew some of the constellations that later gave their names to equal zodiac signs. This argument was never countered, only ignored. Everything I said was ignored, without any valid rebuttal. All that counts for these people are authorities, not primary evidence like texts. (E. g. with the rashi verses in VJ, Ms. Jayasree did not find it necessary to provide sensible translations that would have supported her interpretations. Instead she referred to the authority of Adi Shankara in a very obscure manner.)//
The verses that come after that 12-spoked verse of Rig Veda, have some secrets in them that would give the clue for Yavana Jataka! Try finding out!
Sensible translations? I will get the translation done by Vediks. My next mail will be on Mina Rashi verse. On your note on authority of Adi Shankara – I have nothing except to say “God save you”.
Well, I just asked you to define rashi. Do it first and justify your meaning wherever the word rashi appears in Rig Vedas and Upanishad.


//2. However, there is another point that I have not mentioned so far in these discussions and that clearly proves the origin of the zodiac signs in Mesopotamia and Greece. In Mesopotamian and Hellenistic sources, we have testimony of the history of the zodiac, its origin and the stages of its development, whereas in India the zodiac appears only in its final form. The stages of its development are the following://
Why go to Mesopotamia? Near your place in Coligny, France, the Coligny calendar has been found out. It has 5 year Yuga with adhik masa as in Vedanga Jyothisha. What is your explanation for it? I read it in this link:-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coligny_calendar


//(a) Since the fourth millennium (cylindar seals, cuneiform texts) there is knowledge of celestial constellations, among which the "Bull of Heaven", the "Great Twins", the "Crab", the "Lion", etc. However, this was not a 12-part equal zodiac yet. Rather, there were 17 constellations of different size along the ecliptic. (cuneiform text mul.apin)

(b) In Neo-Assyrian sources, the twelve equal zodiac signs are found. They were sidereal and were located roughly in the regions of the constellations of the same names. The definition of this zodiac, i. e. its zero point was found by Kugler and Huber via statistical evaluation of cuneiform almanacs and ephemerides. It coincides very well with the Western sidereal zodiac according to Fagan/Bradley and differs from Lahiri by about one degree.
This zodiac, which was used in ephemeris calculation, was also used by astrologers, even later in Hellenistic astrology. The vernal point was assumed at 8° Aries, although for many centuries nobody cared much whether this was really its true place or where exactly it really was.

(c) Besides this astrological tradition, there was another one, originating from Euctemon and Eudoxos. They used the Babylonian zodiac for their astronomical calendars (parapegmata). They chose a different definition, though, assuming the Vernal point at 0 Aries (Euctemon) or 15 Aries (Eudoxos). Even hundreds of years before the discovery of precession, the idea of a tropical zodiac (i. e. season-bound zodiac) is found here.

(d) After the discovery of precession, at the latest with Ptolemy, the tropical zodiac was introduced in astrology.

This is roughly my view of the history of the zodiac in the West. Now, let us look what we have in India. There is no such history of the zodiac there. It suddenly appears in its final form as the 12-part equal zodiac, and all ancient sources assume the vernal point at 0 Aries. So where did the Indian zodiac come from, if not from the west, where we can observe how it developed? //


Why do you ignore the 3 Veethi concept I showed in my article? Why do you ignore how Milakovitch theory fits with that concept? Or is that all beyond your comprehension? Why don’t you take up Milakovitch’ sway of axis and measure the change in equinox and in the poles? Your expertise in your field must make you do that. Why test the Vedic waters that is beyond your comprehension?

//But as Koenraad Elst pointed out in his other mail, this does not mean that the complete system of Hindu astrology comes from the Greeks. Rather it means that Hindu astrology, as we know it is a mixture between two systems, an older genuine Indian (Vedic) system and the Greek system. So, if you are really looking for "Vedic astrology", you will find that it was quite a bit different from Jyotish as we know it today.

Regards

Dieter//


All pet theories. It is clear you have not read nor imbibed any of the views I had written so far. And your knowledge of Vedic astrology seems to be not even 10%. You have absolutely no idea of many of the theories and the rationale of them – which is made known from your questions and notions expressed so far in your mails. You don’t even know the very basic karmic connection to astrology. What more to talk then?

Regards,
Jayasree


Brihat Jataka can be accessed here:
http://archive.org/stream/brihatjataka00varaiala#page/16/mode/2up
Brihat Samhita is attached.






On Sat, May 25, 2013 at 2:31 PM, Dieter Koch <artizarrak@yahoo.com> wrote:
Dear Dr. Kalyanaraman, Ms Jayasree and all,

I read the following message by Dr. Kalyanaraman:
and of course also Ms Jayasree's messages concerning Yavanas and Hora.

It seems necessary that I provide some more information to those who want to hear.
I am glad to see that, finally, somebody accepts the obvious fact that the strange rashi-names mentioned by Varahamihira (i. e. kriya, tavuri, etc.) are Greek. I think, Dr. Kalyanaraman, you witnessed the bizarre quarrels about it that have taken place in this mailing list. Some of its members would have rather died than accepted Geek words in a Sanskrit text.

Now, what are the ramifications concerning the Yavanas referred to by Varahamihira? Once we agree that those terms are Greek, is it really so unlikely that his Yavanas are Greeks? Especially, when the term Yavana was used, at least in some cases, for people of Greek language (see Ashoka Edicts)?

And there is more evidence. I mentioned many times that there are Greek astrological terms also in Yavanajataka. However, none of my opponents seems to care about it or veryfy it and see what is really written there. In fact, if they had done so, they would have found that Yavanajataka not only mentions Greek words, but also explicitly states that those words are from the language of the Yavanas. So, let me look up those places in Yavanajataka for you. I quote the Sanskrit text from Pingree and give my translation, which is slightly different, although it does not make a big difference:

horeti yatprāgbhavanaṃ vilagnaṃ / tataścaturthaṃ hipakākhyamāhuḥ
rasātalaṃ tadvijalaṃ ca vindyād / gṛhāśrayaṃ vṛddhipadaṃ tadeva (YJ 1.48)
"The first sign, which is rising, is called horā (= ὧρα); the forth from which they call hipaka (= hypogeion/ὑπόγειον). ..."

The Greek word hora means "spring, season, period of time, time of the day, hour". The meaning "hour" is attested since Aristotle (4th cty BCE) and also became a loanword in Latin. Even today, most Latin languages, and also English language, still use this word to denote an "hour". The alleged derivation of Sanskrit horā from ahorātra is not very likely, nor does it follow common rules of Sanskrit word formation. And it is totally unlikely that the Greeks took over this word from Indian astrology, because in ancient Greek, this word was part of common language since old times whereas in Sanskrit it is only a technical term in astrology. The examples that follow should remove even the last doubts about it.

hipaka/hypogeion
means literally "below (hypo) the earth ()" and is the common word for the lower midheaven in ancient Greek astrology.
lagnādgṛhaṃsaptamamastagaṃ tu / jāmitrasaṃjñaṃ yavanābhidhānam
vilagnabhāvāttu nabhastalasthaṃ / me<ṣūra>ṇākhyaṃ daśamaṃvadanti (1.49)
"The seventh house from the ascendant, which is setting, is called jāmitra (= diametros/διάμετρος)in Greek (yavanābhidhānam!). From the rising house the tenth, which stands in the sky, they call meṣūraṇa (= mesouranema/μεσουράνημα)."

jāmitra/diametros
means "diameter" (that is where the English word comes from).
meṣūraṇa/mesouranema means "middle (meson) of the sky (ouranos)", i. e. "mid-heaven", again the common term for "midheaven" in Greek astrology.
Note, this verse proves that the Yavanas speak Greek.
etaccaturlagnamudāharanti / horāvido lagnacatuṣṭayaṃ ca
sthānaṃ tu candrasya catuṣṭayākhyaṃ / meṇyaivsaṃjñaṃ yavaneṣu vindyāt (1.50)
"Those who know horoscopy call this the "four pivot points" and "pivot point square". The position of the Moon that is called "square" is called meṇyaiva (= meniaios/μηνιαῖος) among the Yavanas. ..."

meniaios
means "monthly".
Note, this verse again proves that the Yavanas speak Greek.
caturvilagnaṃpravadanti kendraṃ / tataḥ paraṃ pāṇapharaṃ tu yogam
āpoklimākhyaṃ tu tṛtīyamāhur / lagnāśrayaiṣā trividhaiva saṃjñā (53)
"They call the four angular houses kendra (= kentra/κέντρα). From there the next square (yoga) is called pāṇaphara (= epanaphora/ἐπαναφορά), and the third one they call apoklima(= ἀπόκλιμα). This is the threefold designation based on the ascendant."

The three terms can be translated as: "pivot/angle – post-ascension/succession – decline". Again, these words are common Greek astrological terminology.
ṣaṭṣaḍguṇārāśitṛtīyabhāgā / drekāṇasaṃjñā yavanākhyayā ye
nānāvidhacchādanacitrarūpās / tān sarvaliṅgādiguṇairvidhāsye (3.1)
"Thirty-six are the thirds of the zodiac signs, which are calleddrekāṇa (dekanoi/δεκανοί) by the Yavanas. ..."

The word dekanos is derived from Greek deka, "10", which makes perfect sense.
Note, this verse again proves that the Yavanas speak Greek.
candrātkuṭumbopagate grahe tu / yogāgrahāste sunaphāṃ vadanti
candrapramukte ’naphareti yogaṃ / tathobhayordaurudhuraṃvadanti. (10.1)
"When a planet follows the Moon by house, then they call this sunaphā (= sunaphe/συναφή), because it (the planet) is thrown towards exactness of conjunction. When (the planet) is let go by the Moon, they call the conjunction anapharā (= anaphora/ἀναφορά). And in both cases, they call it daurudhura (= doruphoria/δορυφορία)."
sunaphe means "contact", in astrology "application".
anaphora means "moving away/back" (= separation)
doruphoria means "the having of spear-bearers". This term, although pure Greek, is a Persian heritage. Persian kings used to be always accompanied by spear-bearers.
candre tu yogā yadi na syurete / catuṣṭayaṃ ca grahavarjitaṃ syāt
kemadrumetyantyaphalasya yogaḥ / sarvagrahāvekṣaṇaviprayuktaḥ(2)
"However, when the Moon has none of these conjunctions, and when the squares are also deprived of planets, then this is the aspect of weakest influence called kemadruma (= kenodromia/κενοδρομία), which is devoid of aspects with all planets."
kenodromia means "the having an empty course".
Kindly note, all these terms are very common in Greek astrological texts, and their meanings make perfect sense. And there are more of them.
But this is not all yet. In the beginning of ch. 79, which is to do with astronomical calculations, we find the following introductory statement:
sarvasya< horā>vidhisaṅgrahasya / cakṣuḥ paraṃ yadvibudhā vadanti
samāsatastadyavanopadeśād / vakṣye pradṛṣṭaṃ caritaṃ grahāṇām (79.1)
"I want to explain concisely according to the teaching of the Greeks (Yavanas)the visible course of the planets. The wise call it the supreme eye of the whole collection of rules of horoscopy."
And in the end of the chapter it says (Text according to Bill Mak’s recent article):
sūryaprasādāgatatattvadṛṣṭir / lokānubhāvāya vacobhirādyaiḥ
idaṃ babhāṣe niravadyavākyo / horārthaśāstraṃyavaneśvaraḥ prāk (79.61)
"This science of horoscopy was originally spoken by Yavaneśvara (the lord of the Greeks), whose words are flawless and who saw the truth that came from the grace of the Sun god, as a teaching for the world with excellent words."
Whether this is 100% true, can be doubted, of course, because the work is rather a mixture of Indian and Greek material. However, this is what Yavanajataka itself says, and from all this it should be obvious why this whole work is called Yavanjataka. Because the Yavanas or Greeks were considered a high authority in this matter. Varahamihira explicitly states that they were "honoured like Rishis":

mlecchā hi yavanās teṣu samyak śāstram idaṃ sthitam
ṛṣivat te 'pi pūjyante kiṃ punar daivavid dvijaḥ (BS 2.14)
"The Yavanas are mlecchas. Among them this science is correctly established.
Even they are honoured like Rishis. How much more a Brahmin who knows fate."

In Brhajjataka, Varahamihira explicitly mentions Yavanas and refers to their teachings several times. (BJ 7.1; 8.9; 11.1; 12.1; 21.3; 27.1, 19, 21)

Kalyāṇavarman writes in the introduction to his Sārāvalī (1.2-4):
vistarakṛtāni munibhiḥ parigṛhya (var. parihṛtya) purātanāni śāstrāṇi
horātantraṃ racitaṃ varāhamihireṇa saṃkṣepāt (2)

rāśidaśavargabhūpatiyogāyurdāyato daśādīnām

viṣayavibhāgaṃ spaṣṭaṃ kartuṃ na tu śakyate yatastena (3)

ata eva vistarebhyo yavananarendrādiracitaśāstrebhyaḥ
sakalamasāraṃ tyaktvā tebhyaḥ sāraṃsamuddhriyate (4)
"Varahamihira summarised the old teachings that were written down in detail by the sages, and he composed the textbook of horoscopy as a summary.
However, as he could not explain in detail the part about the dashas etc. according to rashi, dashavarga, rajayoga and duration of life,

therefore we will describe everything important, omitting what is not important, from the detailed teachings that were composed by the Yavana king
(yavananaren­draḥ) and others."

Besides, the Greek terms mentioned in Yavanajataka (e.g. in the passages quoted above) are also mentioned a lot of times in Saravali. Also, Kalyanavarman often refers to the
"king of the yavanas" (yavanarājā, yavanādhipatiḥ, yavanādhirājā, yavanendraḥ,yavanedrāḥ (!), yavanapatiḥ; 4.38; 10.32; 14.2; 20.21; 34.13; 35.3, 54, 94; 46.20 (plural); 51.16). Moreover he refers to the "teachings of the Yavanas" or "Yavana-acharyas" (yavanācāryāḥ)oder „Yavana-vriddhas“ (yavanavṛddhāḥ), in Sārāvalī 3.39; 5.16; 9.8; 10.11, 42; 15.1; 21.1; 24.24; 34.68; 41.10; 47.45; 52.1; 54.11.

After taking into account all this, there really cannot be any doubt that Greeks influenced Hindu astrology. Can there?

Are there any Greek astrological texts using Sanskrit terms and referring to Indian teachers of astrology? There aren't.
Now, dear Dr. Kalyanaraman, what are the ramifications concerning rashis? From the comparison of the Greek and Sanskrit rashi names, as given by Varahamihira, you conclude:

<One thing is clear from the equivalent names. Neither Greek nor Samskrtam seem to have influenced each other in finding names for the 12 names for the zodiac.>

From a mere linguistic point of view, you are right of course. However, the two sets of names obviously are translations of each other, and therefore an influence from one to the other must be assumed. A comparable case: Hindi words for "computer" are अभिकलित्र
, संगणक, परिकलक.So, it seems that Indians translated the term into their own language (as also did the French and Spanish etc. etc.). However, this does not necessarily indicate that the Computer was invented in India. Or that it was invented in each country independently.

You continue:
<Varahamihira just mentioned the Greek names. This does not mean that Varahamihira borrowed the zodiac concept from the Greeks.>

Strictly speaking, you are right. However,
nobody asserted that Varahamihira himself borrowed the zodiac concept from the Greeks, because it obviously appears in earlier texts, like e. g. Yavanajataka. I think your conclusion is really hair-splitting. After all the evidence mentioned above, there can be little doubt where the zodiac signs came from.

And you continue:
<The sources for the Hindu r
āśi (mathematics) names have to be found in the Vedic astronomical/mathematical traditions.
>

I do not see the premises that lead you to this conclusion. What are the logical reasons behind it?

There are two strong clues that Aries, Taurus, etc. were invented in the West, not in India:

1. The first clue has been discussed in this mailing list in all detail. It is the fact that the evidence for the zodiac signs in Vedic texts is extremely poor. "Vedic astrologers" have pointed to a few doubtful instances, but they did not respond to my and others' arguments against them. In fact they only ignored these arguments without disproving them. Lalit's and Ms. Jayasree's reaction to the critical edition of Ramayana, where Rama's horoscope is missing, provide a fine example. Instead of catching up on textual criticism and studying the case, they took refuge to some authority who obviously was not informed either in this matter. Besides, they accused me of destroying or distorting Vedic literature, while the contrary is true. Another nice example was the 12-spoked wheel in Rigveda and MBh. I had pointed out, that this does not automatically refer to the known zodiac circle. As an example I had mentioned that ancient Mesopotamia in the 2nd millennium BCE knew an ideal celestial year of 12 months or 360 days but did not know the twelve equal signs of the zodiac, even though they knew some of the constellations that later gave their names to equal zodiac signs. This argument was never countered, only ignored. Everything I said was ignored, without any valid rebuttal. All that counts for these people are authorities, not primary evidence like texts. (E. g. with the rashi verses in VJ, Ms. Jayasree did not find it necessary to provide sensible translations that would have supported her interpretations. Instead she referred to the authority of Adi Shankara in a very obscure manner.)

2. However, there is another point that I have not mentioned so far in these discussions and that clearly proves the origin of the zodiac signs in Mesopotamia and Greece. In Mesopotamian and Hellenistic sources, we have testimony of the history of the zodiac, its origin and the stages of its development, whereas in India the zodiac appears only in its final form. The stages of its development are the following:

(a) Since the fourth millennium (cylindar seals, cuneiform texts) there is knowledge of celestial constellations, among which the "Bull of Heaven", the "Great Twins", the "Crab", the "Lion", etc. However, this was not a 12-part equal zodiac yet. Rather, there were 17 constellations of different size along the ecliptic. (cuneiform text mul.apin)

(b) In Neo-Assyrian sources, the twelve equal zodiac signs are found. They were sidereal and were located roughly in the regions of the constellations of the same names. The definition of this zodiac, i. e. its zero point was found by Kugler and Huber via statistical evaluation of cuneiform almanacs and ephemerides. It coincides very well with the Western sidereal zodiac according to Fagan/Bradley and differs from Lahiri by about one degree.
This zodiac, which was used in ephemeris calculation, was also used by astrologers, even later in Hellenistic astrology. The vernal point was assumed at 8° Aries, although for many centuries nobody cared much whether this was really its true place or where exactly it really was.

(c) Besides this astrological tradition, there was another one, originating from Euctemon and Eudoxos. They used the Babylonian zodiac for their astronomical calendars (parapegmata). They chose a different definition, though, assuming the Vernal point at 0 Aries (Euctemon) or 15 Aries (Eudoxos). Even hundreds of years before the discovery of precession, the idea of a tropical zodiac (i. e. season-bound zodiac) is found here.

(d) After the discovery of precession, at the latest with Ptolemy, the tropical zodiac was introduced in astrology.

This is roughly my view of the history of the zodiac in the West. Now, let us look what we have in India. There is no such history of the zodiac there. It suddenly appears in its final form as the 12-part equal zodiac, and all ancient sources assume the vernal point at 0 Aries. So where did the Indian zodiac come from, if not from the west, where we can observe how it developed?

But as Koenraad Elst pointed out in his other mail, this does not mean that the complete system of Hindu astrology comes from the Greeks. Rather it means that Hindu astrology, as we know it is a mixture between two systems, an older genuine Indian (Vedic) system and the Greek system. So, if you are really looking for "Vedic astrology", you will find that it was quite a bit different from Jyotish as we know it today.

Regards


Dieter

[I personally cannot think that Mr Dieter Koch has any possible information which can give us any interpretation of the Yavanas we had not heard before! when the word usage in ancient times  is well attested in the Bible, well, in most Western countries that much is good enough for most people.-DD]

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