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Panchasiddhantika: The Astronomical Work of Varaha Mihira

Panchasiddhantika: The Astronomical Work of Varaha Mihira


Item Code: IDH607

by G. Thibaut

Hardcover (Edition: 1997)

Chaukhamba Sanskrit Series Office
ISBN 8170800005

Language: [Sanskrit Commentary and English Translation]
Size: 8.8" X 5.8"
Pages: 105
Price: $22.50
Discounted: $18.00   Shipping Free
Viewed times since 15th Oct, 2011


Publisher's Note

It has been a widespread misconception that ancient Indians, though cultivated Philosophy and Literature from a very early period and excelled almost all the ancient civilized nations in respect of those two departments of knowledge, but utterly neglected the search for truth in the world of matter, and hence made no considerable progress in field of physical sciences. It is needless to say that the above misconception is partly due to ignorance, sometimes deliberate too and partly to utter negligence of India's scientific literature by modern Indologists in home and abroad. Proofs to establish the fact that Indians occupied, till the 12th century A.D. the foremost place in the field of Mathematics the exact science and its logical corollary Astronomy, are not far to seek.

In spite of very many endeavours to prove that Indians received their preliminary lessons in Mathematics and astronomy from foreign preceptors, it is now not much difficult to prove that Indian Mathematics and Astronomy had a thoroughly indigenous origin. The foregoing statement is made with no pretention to deny the foreign influences, especially that of ancient Greece on later systems, and that influence may unhesitatingly be admitted as a result of normal give and take which was quite possible when two great culture as came closer to each other.

Unfortunately very few definite and decisive records have come down to us to show the origin and development of the earlier phase of Indian Mathematics and Astronomy but the ancient tradition is conspicuously present in later works. In course of time, several schools of Astronomers rose to prominence, as early as 4th-5th Centuries A.D, a few of which were directy influenced ;by and indebted to foreign thinkers, others strictly followed the ancient tradition, Five of such schools are much as Paitamaha, Vasistha, Paulisa, Romaka and Gaura. There was, of course, much conflict of thought among the different schools and some of the eminent authors unfortunately indulged in criticizing and refuting other schools, much more than they laboured to expound their own way of calculation. Under this state of things Varahmihira, the celebrated astronomer of India commands and unique place as he was able to offer in the present work Pancasiddhantika an impartial and scientific exposition of all the more important forms of astronomical doctrines which were current in his time, and at the same time, he was quite capable of taking purely intellectual interest in examining the various more or less perfect methods which may be applied to the solution of scientific problems.

The above importance of the Pancasiddhantika in the study of Indian Astronomy led Dr. G. Thibaut to whom every educated Indian should be grateful for the strainous work he performed to restore and elucidate many technical texts of ancient Indian literature, to publish an edition of the said work. This edition containing the well-edited text, a Sanskrit Commentary by Mm. Saudhakar Dvivedi, English Translation and exhaustive Introduction embodies the products of both German Industry and the thoroughness of Indian Brain in the Field of learning and research.

The present generation of scholars is almost deprived of the opportunity of having even a cursory glance over the aforesaid beautiful edition of such important a text, due to its extreme unavailability over the half of a century, and hence, we considered it to be a part of our solemn duty i.e. service to the cause of Indian learning, to reproduce it in its accurate form before the interested reading public.

It is fervently hoped that this new publication will enjoy the same patronization in the hands of the scholars, as the previous volume in the series did.

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