From the Jacket
The experiences and knowledge from our past are recorded in manuscripts which have been handed down to us over several thousand years. The Government of India, through the Department of Culture, took note of the importance of this vast tangible heritage and, in order to preserve and conserve as well as to make access to this wealth easy, established the National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM). In order to disseminate the knowledge content of manuscripts, the Mission has taken up several programmes such as lectures, seminars, and workshops. The Mission publishes the proceedings of the above-said programmes under the following series: "Samrakṣikā" (on conservation). "Tattvabodha" (comprising lectures based on manuscripts delivered by eminent scholars). "Samikshika" (research oriented papers presented in the seminars). and "Kritibodha" (transcribed and edited texts prepared at advanced level manuscriptology workshops conducted by NMM).
NMM has taken up a project for publishing rare and unpublished manuscripts in three forms: (a) facsimile, (b) critical edition with annotation, and (c) critical edition with translation. This series has been named "Prakašikā".
This book 'Siddhantasundarah' an astronomical text is getting published by the Mission, under its Prakashika series along with explanation in English.
About the Book
Siddhantasundarah of Jnanaraja is an astronomical text of early 16 century. It contains two main sections: Grahaganitädhyayab and Goladhyayah. Grahaganitädhyayah consists of 11 chapters and Goladhyayah of 6 chapters. The original author follows the Brahmasiddhantah in Sakalyasamhita and traditional method of Indian astronom tra astronomy. His innovative work on astronomical instruments is noteworthy. Though it is an astronomical text but one cannot but appreciate the poetic presentation regarding Seasons in the chapter Rtuvarnanam" in the Siddhantasundarah text.
About the Author
Sri Somenath Chatterjee is an independent researcher of Indian astronomy and science. He has worked with Indian National Science Academy (INSA) as Project Investigator. He is currently associated with International Astronomical Union (Office of Astronomy for Development) Pt. Somenath Chatterjee and Development) as the Project Coordinator. many articles ces in reputed Indian and journals. Some of his important works are Brahmasiddhäntah in Sakalyasamhita' and Somasiddhantah' which have already been published by National Mission for Manuscripts. The scholar is presently working on Yantracintamani and some Siddhantic as well as Karaga (astronomical) texts.
For technical questions relating to this book, readers may contact the scholar directly through mail-Somenath email@example.com <79093>
A master of arts in Sanskrit with special paper on Epigraphy from the University of Burdwan, Dr. Jagatpati Sarkar received his Ph.D from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. He has also specialized in Library and Information Science from the Rabindrabharti University, Kolkata. He is presently working in the Asiatic Society, Kolkata. Dr. Sarkar has edited some books on Manuscriptology and has published a number of articles in the leading journals of India. He is also associated with the Rabindrabharti University as a Guest Faculty in the Department of Library and Information Science.
The knowledge of Astronomy in ancient India had reached to a remarkable height by Aryabhat, Bhaskara-1, Brahmagupta, Bhaskarācārya, Jñanaraja and many others. Vedanga Jyotisa (1370) B.C.) is considered to be the first astronomical text where we found five-year Yuga system. This Yuga-system was continued to be fol lowed till Paitāmahasiddhänta (80 C.E). After Paitāmahasiddhänta, Indian astronomy had started taking turn into a new Era. In the old Süryasiddhänta (200 C.E.), the drastic change is noticeable - (i) five-year Yuga-system was no longer followed (ii) mathematical astronomy was linked with observational astronomy. Eventually, mathematical astronomy got prominence in Aryabhatyam (499 A.D.). The primary source materials of ancient astronomy were coined in Sanskrit Language whereas medieval source materials are taken from Arabic and Persian manuscripts.
The present publication Siddhäntasundará (1503 A.D.) is a later astronomical work composed by Jñanaraja, who followed Brahmasiddhäntah in Šakalyamsahitä. Indian astronomical works are divided into different schools like brahmapakşa, äryapaksa, ardharātrikāpakṣa and saurapakşa. Siddhantasundarah belongs to the last category. The text has two major sections-(i) grahaganitädhyāya (ii) goladhyāya. Grahaganitädhyaya focuses on mathematical aspect of astronomy and Goladhyaya deals with cosmology and allied matters. Here, he explained cosmology related myths found in the Puranas.
Siddhantasundarah is a significant work of Jñanarāja, son of great scholar Näganätha, containing all the previous knowledge of astronomy. The epochal positions which Jñanaraja has given in his work, Siddhantasundara, are true for saka 1425 or 1503 CE. This was evidently his date. Jnanaraja has written the astronomical book having two main parts Goladhyaya and Ganitädhyāya. Verses which are found in different manuscripts are different in number like mad chapter etc. Chintamani, the son of Jnanraja, made a commentary on his book in detail and that commentary is available.
The Siddhantasundarah follows Brahmasiddhäntah in Sakalyasamhita which follows the Süryasiddhänta. It gives the epochal positions of planets and annual rates of motion for finding the places of different planets. These positions and the rate of yearly motion of planets, completely follow the modern Süryasiddhänta. The compiler explained an important term "ayanamśa' as the difference between the sun's position calculated from the shadow cast by the noon sun and that obtained from calculation based on a Karana work".
Siddhantasundarah is a work having explanations of theory in different view from Bhaskarācharya. The yantramālā chapter describes one new instrument. Vedanga Jyotisa is the first astronomical work compiled by Lagadha in 14th century BCE. But we get instances of the astronomical knowledge in Vedic texts and Purānas.
**Contents and Sample Pages**