Siddhaant Books on Astrology
It is difficult to tell
the beginning date of astrology in India. The scholars who introduced
astrology are clearly mentioned. According to Kashayp Sanhitaa there
are 18 key Jyotish scholars who have written their Siddhaant - (1)
Soorya, (2) Brahmaa (Pitaamaha), (3) Vyaas Jee, (4) Vashishth, (5) Atri,
(6) Paraashar, (7) Kashyap, (8) Naarad, (9) Garg, (10) Mareechi, (11) Manu,
(12) Angiraa, (13) Lomash, (14) Paulish (by Pulish Maharshi), (15) Chayan,
(16) Yavan, (17) Bhrigu, (18) Shaunak or Som.
Siddhaant is a Sanskrit
term, which roughly translates as the Doctrine or the Tradition, or rather
a school of thought. Out of these 18 Aachaarya, and the Siddhaantik texts
their unique astrological traditions provide, it seems that there were
only 5 names to have merited the admiration of Varaah Mihir or it is also
possible that all other Sidhaant might have got lost by the time of Varaah
Mihir,that is why he wrote only about five Siddhaant.
Commenting on Panch Siddhaantikaa
Sudhaakar Dwivedi writes on his Panch Siddhaantikaa Prakaashikaa, p 2, referring
to Soorya and Arun dialog that whatever knowledge of Garg etc Muni (1) Pulish Muni
gave in Romak city that was called Paulish Siddhaant, (2) Soorya Dev gave to Yavan
race of Romak, that was known as Romak Siddhaant; (3) Vashishth Jee gave to his son
Paraashar that was called Vashishth Siddhaant; (4) Soorya gave to Mayaasur that was
called Soorya Siddhaant; and (5) what Brahmaa Jee gave to his son Vashishth Jee that
was called Paitaamaha Siddhaant. It is not stated that from where this Soorya Arun
dialog has been taken, but it clearly shows that both Romak Siddhaant and Soorya
Siddhaant have been give by Soorya Dev - first was given to Yavan race whom Indians
consider as the Assyrians or Babylonians, in Romak city and the second one was given
to Mayaasur whose place is unknown But Brahmgupt consider only Roamak Siddhaant as a
foreign, but not the Soorya Siddhaant.
All the books written by these
scholars are not available in their complete form. The evidence are also in
fragmented part. Although some consider the Soorya Siddhaant the oldest but
some regard the Brahm Sidhaant to be the oldest. This is stated in Shambhoo
Horaa Prakaash. Among these 18 Siddhaant only 4 - Soorya, Brahm, Som and
Vashishth are only procurable, others are rare.
Aaryabhat's one work, Aarya Siddhaant, is known through the contemporaries,
Varaah Mihir and later ones -
Brahmgupt and Bhaaskar I. This work is based on Soorya Siddhaant (see
below), and uses the midnight-day reckoning, as opposed to sunrise in
Aaryabhateeya. It also contains a description
of several astronomical instruments: the gnomon (Shanku Yantra), a shadow
instrument (Chhaayaa Yantra), possibly angle-measuring devices, semicircular
and circular (Dhanur Yantra / Chakra Yantra), a cylindrical stick Yasti Yantra,
an umbrella-shaped device called the Chhatra Yantra, and water clocks of at
least two types, bow-shaped and cylindrical.
Drik siddhanta" is based on seeing planets in the sky and refining the
calculations based on practical observation. Maharshi Paraashar supported
this Siddhaant. This Siddhaant has been incorporated in
Kundalee Software for astrology. Works with Swiss Ephemeris.
Laghu Paraasharee Siddhaant
One can read it here
Laghu Parashari Sidhant
Panch Siddhaantikaa has been
written by Varaah Mihir. He has described in this book 5 Siddhaant -
"Paulish, Romak, Vashishth, Saur, Paitaamahastru Panch Siddhaantah".
From among these 5 Siddhaant, the first two Siddhaant (Paulish and Romak)
have been commented upon by Laatdev. According to Varaahmihir, all calculations
in Paulish Siddhaant are true. Romak is also like that. But Soorya Siddhaant
is clearer than these two Siddhaant. Remaining two - Paitaamaha and Vashishth
Siddhaant are not true - may be out of date by the time of Varaah Mihir. Its
two books are in publication - one by G Thibaut and another by Sudhakar Dwivedi
(Panch Siddhaantikaa Prakaashikaa, in 1988). One book has been published by
Mahaaveer Prasaad Shrivaastav (1940), but for the last 20 years this book is
This is a book on principles of mathematical theory of ancient times. It is
based on the principles of Yaman astrologer. Yaman astrology was particularly
prevalent in Greece, Egypt etc countries. Romak Siddhaant gives the data on
Sun and Moon and also describes in detail about Months, Exhausted Month, Dates
and Exhausted Dates. The citizens of Babylon worship 5 planetary gods. These
five planets are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Romak Siddhaant
mentions the worshipping of these five planets. Romak Siddhaant is a form of
Lomash Siddhaant only. Romak word was introduced in ancient scriptures for the
citizens of Rog country. The science associated with astrological calculations
is one of the major principles in the scriptures. As these principle books were
composed in Roman, so they were named Romanak after its name.
Translated by Sastri in 1861. One is written in English. If you go to
Soorya Siddhaant in
English, from Page 107 onwards you may read Siddhaant Shiromani. It contains
Soorya Siddhaant in English
A celebrated astronomical and cosmogenical
work of ancient India of enormous antiquity. This work shows marvelous mathematical
skill and comes very close to the modern time periods of astronomy that the most
skilled mathematicians and astronomers have determined. It also deals with Yug in
their various lengths, divisions of time itself into infinitesimal quantities, and
general astronomical subjects, including not only the time periods of the Sun, Moon,
and planets, but also eclipses, seasons of the year, etc.
The Soorya Siddhaant states that
it was dictated more than two million years ago, towards the end of the Krit Yug
(golden age) by the Sun himself, through a projected solar representative, to the
great Mayaasur who wrote down this revelation. From the commencement of our Kali
Yug to the end of the Satya Yug is 2,164,965 years ago. Some others
regard it written by Varaah Mihir.
Vashishth Siddhaant describes about the motion of the Sun and the Moon in
the solar system. The motion of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn , and Mercury has
been mentioned. These books are capable to tell that what was the motion
of planets in previous years, and how did these planets revolved in past
ages. Vashishth Siddhaant has been mentioned briefly in Panch Saiddhantikaa.
In this Siddhaant other than motion of the planets, planetary signs have also
been mentioned. It is similar to Pitaamaha Siddhaant , but has more pure
principles in many levels. Just like Pitaamaha Siddhaant, Vashishth Siddhaant
has also believed that when the Sun rises, it is increased equally each day.
Other than this, Vashishth
Siddhaant also describes about Ascendants which show which part of the Sun
has emerged in the eastern horizon. But the scholars of those times were
not aware of the difference between the Sun and the Moon and their apparent
motions. Presently used Vashishth Siddhaant is not related in any way with
the Vashishth Siddhaant of Varaah Mihira’s time. It is believed that Vashishth
Siddhaant was more developed than Pitaamaha Siddhaant, but was low in level as
compared to Soorya Siddhaant.