Astrology | Miscellanea | Biographies
There have been many astrologers in our Indian history. Here are given some names of them...
Gunaakar's disciple was Kaalakaachaarya (599-527 BC - 72 yrs)
This also gives some indications about the period of Kaalakaachaarya. Kaalakaachaarya
has written a Sanhitaa text as well. [The text known as Ramal Vidyaa written by Bhojsaagar
Gani, mentions the name of Kaalakaachaarya as the originator of this system] His period
was before, Varaah Mihir. Mihir mentions "Kaalakaachaaryaa Sanhitaa in Brihat
Kaalakaachaarya (599-527 BC) revived Jain Aagam, that is why he was called Veer, an image of Mahaaveer, the 24th Teerthankar. His death time is rightly observed as Veer Nirvaan Samvat, but under British influence, it is mistook as Nirvaan of Mahaaveer.
Kumaaril Bhatt (557-493 BC) learnt Jain Aagam and possibly Ved from Kaalakaachaarya and used that to re-establish Vaidik system. Much after the death of Kaalakaachaarya, it was projected as treachery with Guru, though Kaalakaachaarya never thought that learning Ved means attack on Jainism knowledge is always one for real scholar. At the age of 63, Kumaaril Bhatt burnt himself in straw-fire at Prayaag, when Shankaracharya at the age of 15 met him after he had completed his Bhaashya on Brahm Sootra - already read and appreciated by Kumaaril Bhatt.
As per this date, the date of Shankaraachaarya is 509-476 BC. All the 4 Peeth of Shankaraachaarya were set up in 483 BC as per their inscriptions and order of king Sudhanvaa (his Patta about authority of 4 Peeth).
Varaah Mihir and Brahmgupt - both were contemporaries of Vikramaaditya of Ujjain (82 BC-19 AD). Jishnugupt was also of the same age as Varaah Mihir, He was the son of Avantivarman, the Nepal king from 103 BC to 33 BC during whose reign Vikramaaditya started Vikram Samvat in 57 BC at Pashupati Naath. Brahmgupt was always called the son of Jishnugupt. Times of Varaah Mihir and Brahmgupt cannot be calculated in Shaalivaahan Shak of 78 AD started by the grandson of Vikramaaditya which was after the death of these 2 astronomers. Varaah Mihir has indicated the Shak used by him as 612 BC in his Brihat Sanhtaa. Samvat is Luni-solar calendar for festivals and fastings etc. Shak Samvat is used for calculation of planetary position from an epoch for which Solar months are convenient. So, Varaah Mihir was using Chaahamaan Shak of 612 BC for calculation even after Vikramaaditya started his Shak in 57 BC. Later on, Shaalivaahan Shak of 78 AD was used by astronomy texts for calculation.
All inscriptions of Avantivarman use Chahaman Shak before Vikram Samvat and his later
inscriptions use Vikram Samvat.
Ujjayinee And Kaalakaachaarya
Ujjayinee, however, was the scene of an important event which is said to have occurred in the 1st century BC This legend is connected with the Shak conquest of Ujjayinee and the origin of the Vikram era. The legend mentions about Gardabhilla, a king of Ujjayinee. He had abducted the sister of Kaalakaachaarya, a celebrated Jain teacher (Kaalakaa was a king's son and had later become Jain. His sister whose name was Saravatee was herself a Jain nun). Kaalakaachaaryaa approached one of the Scythian Kings, the Shahis, in Shak Sthaan for help. But that king was afraid of attacking Gardabhilla, a powerful ruler enjoying the protection of the goddess Rasabhi, who by the spell of her voice made it impossible for an enemy to approach within 24 kilometers of the King. On his part, Kaalakaa also had magic powers and could produce wealth at will. He persuaded the Shak King to raise an army and march against Ujjayinee. When he encamped at a distance of 24 kilometers from Ujjayinee, the goddess began to raise her voice for the protection of Gardbhilla, but the Shak army stopped her mouth with their arrows, and she became unable to utter a sound. The Gardabhilla was easily made captive and Kaalakaa's sister was recovered. When he was later forgiven and released, Gardabhilla retired to a forest where he was devoured by a tiger.
Some years afterwards, the son of Gardabhilla, according to some accounts the glorious Vikramaaditya, came up from Pratishthaan with an army, expelled the invaders from Ujjayinee, and ruled there for many years in great splendor and established the era that goes by his name (58-57 BC).
Though the exact historical foundation for this legend cannot easily be ascertained, its setting fits the 1st century BC very well, as it was clearly a period of Shak inroads into India and of the attempts of Indian rulers, particularly the Satavaahan to resists them. The Hindu Puraan which describe the Saatvaahan as Aandhra, count Gardabhilla among the feudatories (Bhritya) of the Aandhra. Thus the Jain story is partly corroborated. There might thus be some historical truth in this legend of Kaalakaachaarya.
It is possible that the legend existed in some form since the 1st century but its first recorded form is found in Kaalakaachaarya Kathaanak, a work by Mahesara Suri who probably existed at the time of Hemachandra Suri (12th century). Thus the legend or history of Kaalakaachaaryaa was put down in writing about 1200 years after the alleged event.
Created and Maintained by Sushma Gupta
Created on 05/18/2008 and Updated on 01/13/2013