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.