Posted on: 4 June 2016

Digital Rare Book:
Panchasiddhantika - The astronomical work of Varaha Mihira
Translated to English from the original Sanskrit by George Frederick Thibaut and Mahamahopadhyaya Sudhakara Dvivedi
Published by E. J. Lazarus & Co., Benares - 1882

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Var?hamihira About this sound pronunciation (help·info) (505–587 CE), also called Varaha or Mihir, was an Indian astronomer, mathematician, and astrologer who lived in Ujjain. He was born in Avanti (India) region, roughly corresponding to modern-day Malwa, to Adityadasa, who was himself an astronomer. According to one of his own works, he was educated at Kapitthaka. He is considered to be one of the nine jewels (Navaratnas) of the court of legendary ruler Yashodharman Vikramaditya of Malwa.

Varahamihira's main work is the book Pańcasiddh?ntik? (or Pancha-Siddhantika, "[Treatise] on the Five [Astronomical] Canons) dated ca. 575 CE gives us information about older Indian texts which are now lost. The work is a treatise on mathematical astronomy and it summarises five earlier astronomical treatises, namely the Surya Siddhanta, Romaka Siddhanta, Paulisa Siddhanta, Vasishtha Siddhanta and Paitamaha Siddhanta. It is a compendium of Vedanga Jyotisha as well as Hellenistic astronomy (including Greek, Egyptian and Roman elements). Varahamihira was the first one to mention that the ayanamsa, or the shifting of the equinox is 50.32 seconds.[clarification needed]

The 11th century Iranian scholar Alberuni also described the details of "The Five Astronomical Canons":

"They [the Indians] have 5 Siddh?ntas:

S?rya-Siddh?nta, ie. the Siddh?nta of the Sun, thought to be composed by L??adeva,but actually composed by Mayasura also known as Mamuni Mayan as stated in the text itself.

Vasishtha-siddh?nta, so called from one of the stars of the Great Bear, composed by Vishnucandra,

Paulisa-siddh?nta, so called from Pulisa, the Greek, from the city of Saintra, which is supposed to be Alexandria, composed by Pulisa.

Romaka-siddh?nta, so called from the R?m, ie. the subjects of the Roman Empire, composed by ?r?she?a.


Source: Wiki

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The link is for only a 29-page introduction to the treatise.... it's not the complete book...!

'Pańcasiddh?ntik?' incomplete Upto 'Introduction XXIX' only

Yes Swamiji. Unable to find the complete book.

G.Thibaut had access to two versions of fragmentary manuscripts of the Pancha Siddhantika without commentaries. Working with Pandit Mahamohopadhyaya Sudhakara Dvivedi, he is credited with this 1889 edition of the English translation and commentaries. Thibaut notes that Varahamihira had called out the high accuracy of the Surya Siddhanta, after which he placed the Romaka and Paulisa Siddhantas. Given the controversies raised by John Bentley who suspected a Surya Siddhanta revision/authorship as late as 1400s, calling it a "modern forgery", it will be very interesting if a scholar can study the differences between the Varahamihara version of Surya Siddhanta and the extant versions of the same - perhaps enough work for a Ph.D here! Interested readers can download the entire 330-page Pancha Siddhantika - with original text and English translation by G.Thibaut here:

Also, more research is needed on the Romaka and Pulisa siddhantas to find the truth behind the colonial-era assertion that these texts showed inflow of Egyptian and Hellenistic influences. The existence of a 19-year cycle in the Romaka siddhanta has been used to link it with the Babylon/Greek Metonic cycle, as also the longitude of Ujjain and Benares which is given with respect to Alexandria in Pulisa siddhanta. To my limited knowledge, the assertion of Greek/Egypt/Babylon knowledge inflow into India is based on these two data-points. Would love to read more from informed readers if there is more to support such assertions.

Thank you Raj Vedam for the link and your thoughts. These points did cross my mind when I read the Britannica entry on Varaha Mihira.

Full book:

? Thanx a lot ! :)