One can safely say that Hindu astrology took its birth through the teachings of Parasara, the sage of sages. The sage laid down the various principles in his Hora Sastra through his divine knowledge while instructing his disciple, the illustrious Maitreya. All later authors like Varaha Mihira, Prithu Yasas, Kalyana Varma etc. thoroughly digested the sage’s principles before they compiled their works.
The present translation in English is the first ever attempt in the press. To speak briefly of the work: - it deals with all the required basic aphorisms of Predictive astrology and advanced principles as well. Some highlights of the work are: Sixteen Vargas of Rasis, their use, Aspects of Rasis, Infant evils, Results of 12 bhavas, Longevity, Results of Bhava Lord’s positions in other Bhavas, Effects of Upagrahas, padas, Karakamsa, Rajayogas, combinations causing poverty. Effects of various Planetary Avasthas, Chara Dasa, Sookshma Dasa, detailed effects of Nakshatra Dasa, Kala Chakra Dasa etc. Ashtaka Varga Scheme, Female Horoscopy, Lost Horoscopy, Planetary Rays and various afflictions like Solar Ingression, Eclipses, Mole Nakshatra etc.
The present English translation is fully supported by enlightening explanations and quotations from various rare authoritative classic texts so that even an average student can usefully and clearly understand the principles to be applied to a practical horoscope.
A unique work by India’s greatest astronomer-astrologer Vcirahamihirci: The author has materials from various authorities of India, Egypt, and Greece. More than PARASARA’S treatises, this work aid the solid foundations of Indian astrology.
It is the source book that shows the parting of ways from the earlier Yavona (Sphujidhvaja) teachers by nationalizing the theories of Satyakirfi and others. The author has awarded the earlier theories on the basis of his own vast experience.
The translation of this greatest work is by a scholar who has done research in Indian and western astrology for nearby six decades, No one can be a good student or practitioner of astrology without mastering this great work.
Varahamihira was born in Kapittha in the region of modem Ujjain. The town Ujjain was made famous by Vikrarnaditya and by Kalidasa’s reference to Mahakalanatha. cording to some scholars Varahamihira belonged to the first :ntury before Christ, while others place his time in fifth century A.D.
Grantha Samuchchaya, Yatra Patala, and Vivaha Patala were his last works. Pancha Siddhantika, Laghu Jataka, Bri hat Jataka and Brihat Samhita are his most famous works. Written in a highly cryptic style, Brihat Jataka is a difficult text, although commentary by Bhatta Utpala has made these works distinct to us.
Varahamihira refers to Maya, Yavana, Manittha, Parasara, Satyakirti, Saktipurva, Jivantha, Vishnugupta, Devaswamai and others referred to their texts.
Satyakirti is referred to many times. He is called Bhadanta in 7.12. This is a word applied to a Buddhist monk. Manittha is an Egyptian astrologer. The Yavanas are the natives of and settlers in the Greek island of Ion. The lonians were taught Astronomy and Astrology by Indian Scholars. The famous ones were Sphujidhvaja and Mina Raja whose works are Vridhayavana Jataka, and Yavana Jataka. They were Saura Brahamanas.
In Brihat Sarnhita he calls the Yavanas (natives of Ion) Mlechchhas and states that this science of Astrology was well preserved by them. Here they are being worshipped as our Rishis. The Greek words appearing in the text and the references to the Egyptian Manatha (Manittha) show that Varahamihfra traveled widely and collected his material from various sources. He was truly eclectic.
Parasara’s text refers to various dasa systems of which Vimshottari and Ashtottari have become popular. There is no mention of these dasas in Varahamihira’s text. His emphasis on the dasa obtained through the calculation of Amsa and Paida Ayurdayas. This is a departure from Parasara. In many ways Varahamihira has given a new direction to Predictive Astrology. He has set aside Yavana Jataka a crucial problem. Indirectly he has at some places set aside even Parasara. Rahu and Ketu do not figure here.
Brihat Jataka has over 407 Shiokas. The text, as per the author, is in twenty five chapters. Bhattotpala split the sixteenth chapter into three. We have followed this division since it is more convenient.
The first chapter explains the technical terms and concepts. The second explains the characteristics, positions, relations, metals, qualities, places and natures of the planets. The third chapter deals with the births of birds, animals, insects and trees. This deserves an elaborate treatment and long research.
The fourth chapter dealing with Nisheka refers to women’s conception, and other factors. Peculiarities of birth and Balarishta are taken up in the next two chapters.
The seventh and eighth chapters explain Amsa and Pinda Ayurdayas. These have greater validity than the popularly used dasa systems in determining longevity.
The ninth gives a brief account of Ashtakavarga. The tenth is about Profession. This has to be amended to suit modern conditions. This is followed by Rajayogas, Nabhasa yogas, and Bhandra yogas. The results of the conjuncitions of planets are explained in chapter 14th.
The next one is about Renunciation. Influences of the constellations, lunar effects in the different signs, results of the planets in various signs, effects of the planetary aspects, and effects of the planets in various Bhavas (houses) are dealt with in the next five chapters.
Some special combinations are given in the twenty first chapters. Miscellaneous items are taken up in the next chapter. T1 23rd chapter deals with misfortune. 24th chapter is about Female Horoscopy which finds elbow-age treatment in Caravel. The 25th chapter is about death. -:w to erect lost or unknown horoscopes is given a fairly good treatment in chapter 26. The 27th is about Decimates. The last: numerates the contents of the text.
The text is of great value to the scholars and students of Astrology. Many rare insights are offered. Parasara’s work moves in one valuable direction, and Varahamihira’s in an:cher important direction.
Brihat Jataka is a classic and one who does not master this at can never grasp the fundamentals of the science of Astral. There are many translations of this text, and we have try to offer a useful and valuable commentary.
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Original Texts (291)
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