Jyotisha Shastra, the science of Vedic astrology, is not limited to casting the natal chart or individual reading, but also encompasses many realms of universal interest. It is thus that the Samhita, or Mundane astrology as it is called, gains significance.
Pro. Johan Hendrik Casper Kern, working (1869 AD) in the Govt. Sanskrit College, Banaras (now known as Sampurnanand Sanskrit University) named this section of astrology as Natural Astrology.
Varaha Mihira insists that no one can be considered a full-fledged astrologer without sufficient knowledge of the Samhita. He states:
In this book, viz., Essentials of Mundane Astrology, we intended to discuss some important aspects of the Samhita briefly. It is our prime intention to provide an exemplified description of the domains of common interest useful for modern-age students.
Amongst the three Skandhas (Sectors) of the Vedic astrology, Samhita covers all those areas too that are not covered by the other two Skandhas, i.e., Hora or natal astrology and Siddhanta or astronomy.
The Sanskrit word `Samhita' itself means- a compact and collective study of any subject or an encyclopedia or manual. Thus it comprises of exhaustive, informative, systematic and collective presentation of all relevant topics of astrology. This does not need mention that the Samhita solely bases upon astrology as well as astronomy. The Siddhanta Skandha (astronomy) is the life-line of the Samhita.
The Brihat Samhita of Varah Mihira is the most important, exhaustive, full-fledged and highly reliable compendium on Samhita. Other Samhita classics are not available in full, however, those are mentioned in a piece-meal manner and are scattered in the vast literature of astrology. Some of those are:
1. Parashara Samhita, 2. Badrayana Samhita, 3. Lomash Sarnhita, 4. Narad Samhita, 5. Garg Samhita, etc.
The Brihat Samhita also mentions the following authorities in the Samhita branch, many a times with their original quotes:
1. Parashar, 2. Garga, 3. Kashyap, 4. Vridha Garga, 5. Narada, 6. Vishnu Gupta, 7. Asit, 8. Deval, 9. Rishiputra, 10. Shukra, 11. Ushna, 12. Maya, 13. Brihaspati, 14. Shakra, 15. Garutmat, 16. Badarayana, 17. Nagnajit, 18.Sarasvata, 19. Savitra, 20.Manu, 21.Vishwakarma, 22.Vajra, 23.Vaatsya, 24.Bharadwaj, 25. Kapila, 26, Kanabhuja 26. Manitha, 27. Satyacharya, 28. Devaswamin, 29.Siddhasena, 30. Jeevasharma, 31.Lata acharya, 32.Simha acharya, 33.AaryaBhata.
In the era of Varah Mihira, the Samhita remained not only confined to the study of planetary motions and phenomena, but also comprised many other areas of common interest like Vaastu, construction of Mandirs, palmistry, geology, gemology, botany, chemistry etc., which over the passage of years, now have evolved into other independent branches.
In this book, we are going to provide some fundamentals of Mundane astrology in a practical manner. The students themselves can apply the rules mentioned here and are able to arrive at a reliable conclusion easily. On the same subject, our other book, i.e., Samvatsar Samhita (in Hindi) has already been published. Nor must I omit to say:
`Imbibe the true knowledge by all means and distribute the same in manifold manner.'
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