Saturday, May 18, 2013

Re: Is Vedic astrology derived from Greek astrology ? –Part 6 (Calling off the debate with Mr Dieter Koch)

Dear Mr Dieter,

On Sat, May 18, 2013 at 12:48 AM, Dieter Koch wrote:
Dear Ms. Jayasree,

You say:
<I understand that you want to hold further conversation in private. However since the topic is of public interest and is in danger of getting marketed in the West in a way different from how it is viewed in the Vedic society, I, as an avowed Sanatana Dharmist must conduct further discourse in public only.>

Seeing your mission, I do not see any use in a debate with you. I prefer to withdraw and focus on other projects. Truth is global. There is a very subtle, but essential, difference between the quest for truth on the one hand and fighting for the views of some community or tradition on the other. (This difference may be even crucial for attaining spiritual liberation.)

So you have sensed my "mission" and it is Sanatana Dharma. And therefore you don't see any use in a debate with a Sanatana Dharmist. This itself is the proof of how less you know of Vedic tradition and Vedic scriptures which you scurry through a Google search for "rashi"!!!
In contrast to this deficiency of knowledge of Vedic tradition, you speak about truth in the next line where you concede that the  difference between the quest for Truth and fighting for THAT Truth - which is where Sanatana Dharma comes into the picture - is crucial for attaining spiritual liberation!
Where on earth is this (Spiritual Liberation) possible?
In Bharat or Greece or some x,y, or z country?
How in astrology do we talk about it?
In Mina rashi of Moksha house which points to the direction of Deva yana - opposite to Kanya rashi which points to Pitru yana.

The entire life of a sanatana Dharmist is based on Dharma, Arttha, Kaama and Moksha Purushartha. You want us to tell you that these divisions of the Rashi (I hope you are aware of this classification in groups of 4 and the related significances attained by a rashi in Vedic astrology) were borrowed from Mleccha Greeks who have not known what is Karma - leave alone Moksha.

I am planning to update my article in the next few weeks. To show my appreciation of your work and because I am an adherent of pluralism and tolerance, I will add a reference to your counterstatement. Otherwise I am of the opinion that all my points remain valid, with a few minor changes to be made. Among other additions, I might add an appendix about Yavanas and Greek impact on Indian astrology. I might post it in this mailing list as soon as I will release it.

No, I don't need  your appreciation - appreciation from someone who has no basic grasp of Vedas. After reading your  responses to me and others, I understand how much less you know of Vedic tradition and how the Vedic texts are treated like specimen for dissection by you and your ilk.

After reading  your other mail on Ramayana I spoke to a couple of  teachers at Mysore Veda pata shala who are also traditional readers of Valmiki Ramayana. (I hope you are aware of Ramayana Patanam done by Brahmins which comes as a tradition in the family)
From their wisdom transferred down the generations, I say that NO ONE ever dared to touch or manipulate Valmiki Ramayana. It is because, Ramayana was considered as Veda Maatha.  Veda vedhye pare pumsi jathe dasaradhathmaje,Veda prachethasa daseeth sakshath Ramayanathmana.

The sarga of Rama janana is something that used to be recited when someone is pregnant at home. Also know that Rama Jataka was the first thing that they used to teach in astrology in olden days. Unless Rama Jataka was a fact, these traditions would not have come in place.

If you can not believe Rama jataka, test it in your software, but before that test the Uttarayana- sankaranthi dates found in the inscriptions I have given in one of the articles. That will give a clue about whether your computations were correct or the same as what they used in those days.
You said that I (we) talk from the point of view of a particular community. The specialty of our community is that whatever we do by way of thought, word and action had been guided by the sages or acharys or Gurus or asaans or siddha purushas of this Vedic tradition. None of them went out of India nor got their wisdom from some one outside India. They owe their wisdom to their communion with the Almighty and to their yogic powers. For some one like you who do not want to understand or acknowledge our point of you, but take the views of people such as  Bhat or Pingree or Kuppanna sastry whose thoughts align with your pre-determined thought process, whatever I (we) say are like words that fall into a ear that is closed with molten lead.

The mano-dharma to be followed in such occasions is to shun such people. I therefore ask you not to quote my name or whatever I wrote, in any of your write-ups or books either as counter-view or as a view that you don't agree with. Let none of the ideas I wrote be quoted by you anywhere. Go ahead with whatever you want to write. Truth will stand the test of time but your work will not!

I think, that will be sufficient.

Just one more note on VJ:

With regard to the verse about parvanam rashi, you say:
<Define a Rashi first and then we will see whether it is zodiac rashi or nakshatra Rashi or parva rashi, or Perumal rashi or Marut Rashi and so on. >

My answer to this is:
Whatever definition of rashi you find in other ancient works or in dictionaries, it will not be valid for parvanam rashi as long as you cannot translate and explain the whole verse in a way that makes sense. Not only this. Your solution must be better and more convincing than the solution given by Kuppanna Sastry (and explained by myself). Otherwise it will not be mandatory.

You have not answered any of my questions and justifications raised in the many articles written in 8 parts so far. You have not bothered to respond to the explanation of Mr Ramanathan who is an example of how a Vedic Brahmin must live. You can not take the definition given by Adi Shankara but stick to Kuppanna sastry who had written with a presumption that Rashis were derived from the Greeks. Who is the authority to decide what these terms mean?  You or Kuppanna sastry or some x,y and z writers of the West or  the one who is coming in Vedic tradition and teaches Vedas or the Acharya purushas?
This is a philological principle that I am not willing to give up. The best text interpretation is always text-immanent, because ideas and terminology are often not exactly the same in different texts.

Do you agree with that? No, of course you don't, because you start from the dogma that Indian astrology as we know it today is Vedic. Everything else must be reconciled with this dogma. It is obvious that you will never give up Vedic rashis, whereas in my view it is totally obvious from the sources that they are nothing but a phantom.

With regard to the verse mentioning mina rashi, I listed five arguments that raise doubts about its authenticity. Don't you think, there is at least some logic in them and that better evidence would be required for zodiac signs in Vedas? Unfortunately, there is no better evidence, and this in itself should make you suspicious that something must be wrong with the adjective "Vedic" in the term "Vedic astrology". I think I would not have written my article if Jyotish gurus had not used this adjective for propaganda.

On VJ, I have written the rationale in that article itself. It is obvious from your write-ups that you have not read my articles fully, nor do you attempt to interface the views from other texts. VJ concept is redundant in the absence of Jupiter cycle. Read the same article where I have given the justification drawing parallel from Brihad Samhita, Chapter 8. Also be informed that VJ was the basis of Panchanga system and Javadi series of VJ is the basis for calculation of Nadike for which Surtas are there in Siddha texts. These systems have no use for Rashis but refer to Maasa. It is only depending upon the prayogam, you find a word such as rashi or maasa in a text. To think that absence of one of them in a text means non existence of  that concept, shows lack of perception. If your research methodology of the West follows this principle, I am sorry to say this, it is a fit example for " garbage" .

To fellow scholars in the mail-chain, I planned some more articles, one of which will be on the identity of Mesha animal which is found in Tamil texts and continues to live in South India as an endangered species. This and its parental species in the Himalayas are indigenous to India and have no connection to Krios or whatever they call in Greek. I will start writing them in a couple of days and am not intending to send a copy to Dieter. Let no sat vishayam reach the people who dissect and destroy Vedas.
Good bye Mr Dieter.
- Jayasree Saranathan

From: Jayasree Saranathan
To: Dieter Koch
Sent: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 5:54 PM
Subject: Re: Is Vedic astrology derived from Greek astrology ? –Part 6

Dear Mr Dieter,
Criticism is part of any writer's life whenever he comes up with an idea that challenges the existing idea. Particularly if that idea pertains to the undated Vedic society which has taken enough onslaughts from the people of the West whose ideas have caused unimaginable social and political ramifications in this country, even a novice will question your views. You will have to face it as long as you cling to your views.    
I understand that you want to hold further conversation in private. However since the topic is of public interest and is in danger of getting marketed in the West in a way different from how it is viewed in the Vedic society, I, as an avowed Sanatana Dharmist must conduct further discourse in public only. I came into this mail-chain anguished by the distortions spelt by your side and started the articles after being asked by you to state my views and hence these articles are meant for you only. If there are any issues of private nature, I will write them in private mails, otherwise I will have to write in public. Hope you respect my stance – and understand the pain behind all the mails – be they garbage or sensible – that are questioning you and your friends.  
I will post my next article tomorrow.
Jayasree Saranathan

On Wed, May 15, 2013 at 1:44 AM, Dieter Koch wrote:
Dear Ms. Jayasree,

I am sorry, I was not fully aware that your articles were so directly addressed to me. I got the impression that they were quite useful even without me. But as you are asking me, yes, I would like to see the rest of your articles, too.

I am a bit in a dilemma now. Honestly, I do not see much use in public discussions, because by far the greatest part of my writing here consists in correcting people who misunderstand or distort my mails or interject with wrong information or distract with unrelated matters. Today, Arun Upadhyay, who is also on the mailing list, even called me a fraud, referring to the invention of the sine in ancient India, which I never had denied, let alone assigned to the Greeks! Why should I waste my energy and time reading garbage and trying to control my anger? What makes it even worse is that people's mail boxes are filled with that garbage, and a number of the recepients apparently do not want to be on the list at all.

I prefer a private discussion, if you can agree with that, or a very reduced list of reasonable persons, who are interested in it and do not produce nonsense all the time. But I would like to avoid public forums. If you find it necessary, you could send our exchange to a forum later.

Most importantly, I have to ask you for some patience. I need time to study some of your arguments and to react in an appropriate way. And, as I said, my time is limited because I need to earn my living, too. But you must be prepared that I will send you some serious criticism.

Best regards


From: Jayasree Saranathan &
To: Dieter Koch 
Sent: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 10:44 AM

Subject: Re: Is Vedic astrology derived from Greek astrology ? –Part 6

Dear Mr Dieter,

I am disappointed that you want to end the discussion. I planned minimum three more parts -on Indus features, identification of a real animal which was considered as Mesha and the Tamil sources + a short note on Bhrihad Jataka  and Yabana Jataka on what Varahamira implied and how Vasishta aided in the development of YJ. Tell me, should I continue to finish them or not.


On Tue, May 14, 2013 at 3:20 AM, Dieter Koch  wrote:
Dear Ms. Jayasree,

you are right, I did not read very carefully your long mails, because my time is very limited. I am sorry for that. In fact, there is plenty of interesting material in your mails, and I want to study them more carefully later. I also agree that your explanations about the word rashi make sense, in particular your explanation, referring to Varahamihira, that the meaning "zodiac sign" comes from the fact that it consists of a "group of 9 padas of nakshatras". However, in the current verse in RVJ 4 and YVJ 13, it does not have this meaning, as is really obvious from Kuppanna Sastry's translation. And it does not mean "zodiac sign", as some people here want to believe. The best translation of "rashi" in this verse is just "number",
and it is in agreement with dictionaries. And the meaning of parva-rashi is "number of parvas", where parva means syzygy, i. e. full moon or new moon or lunar fortnight. Nobody has provided a better translation and interpretation of the verse.
You say:

<For, this verse shows that the word "rashi" was there in use at the time of Rig Jyothisha itself. If the opponents claim that Rashi as zodiacal sign was a Greek invention, this verse proves that the word Rashi was present with a specific meaning which is applicable to rashi as a zodiacal sign as well.  This idea is indigenous to Vedic society and we would say that it had been lifted by the Greeks.>

Well, the word rashi was certainly there in the sense of "number, group, heap". And certainly this term did not come from Greece and was not even Greek-inspired, because the Greeks used a completely different word for "zodiac sign", namely zodion, which is a diminuitive of zoon, which means "animal". Hence, the idea of "group" is not contained in the Greek word. However, this also means that Greek zodion is not inspired by Sanskrit rashi.

Hence, this verse is completely irrelevant to the question whether the zodiac came from Greece to India or the other way round.

I am afraid, I got a lot of bad feedback today. You have had your second "deja vu" of me as a second Max Muller (= would-be destroyer of Vedas and Vedic religion). Somebody else said that I had "demonic and atheistic views". And a third one considers me a "non-believer in reincarnation", wherefore I should be ignored. It seems that people are beginning to use me as a screen for strong negative projections, and I think this is a good moment to withdraw from public discussions. The situation cannot improve, only worsen if we continue. Anyway I must be mad to have fought until now, because people like Lalit Mishra or Shobhan Ganji believe they can win the debate by just ignoring my arguments and confirming to each other and repeating again and again that I am wrong. In my opinion I have won in each and every point.

So, I am sorry, Ms Jayasree, I feel I must end the public discussion about Vedic rashis now. I might contact you in private for some questions, or you are welcome to do so, too.

to my opponents for the debates, which did give me some insights, although not exactly the ones that they had intended.


From: Jayasree Saranathan
To: Dieter Koch ;
Sent: Monday, May 13, 2013 12:53 PM

Subject: Re: Is Vedic astrology derived from Greek astrology ? –Part 6

Dear Mr Dieter,

I wonder how you skipped everything I wrote on what a Rashi is all about!!
It is obvious that you have not read the whole article or not willing to accept the meaning of Rashi.

Define a Rashi first and then we will see whether it is zodiac rashi or nakshatra Rashi or parva rashi, or Perumal rashi or Marut Rashi and so on.

Don't  say that Rashi is merely a "sign" - define it and justify why that word rashi appears in so many other places - say in RJ too.

Who is prejudiced? It is the one who thinks that Rashi means only the zodiac Rashi.

It is not that "by all means" we are saying - it is that people like you  ( I detest coming down to the level of people like this - but I have to say) who are not aware whatsoever of any proof of Indian antiquity and our texts can not see reason by any means. It seems you can not be saved from becoming another Max Muller. Any work that you will write with the claim on rashi and planets as Greek inventions and that Vedic sages borrowed from them,  is bound to fall and bring discredit to you.


On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 3:42 PM, Dieter Koch wrote:
Dear Ms. Jayasree,

You say:
<Yes, the word "rashi" is there in Rig Jyothisha which gets repeated in Yajusha Jyothisha.
Verse 4 in Rig Jyothisha and 13 in Yajusha Jyothisha do mention rashi in the context of Parva- Rashi.>

I replace your second scan by explicit text, to be sure that it will not get lost:
nirekaṃ dvādaśābhyastaṃ dviguṇaṃ gatasaṃyutam
ṣaṣṭyā ṣaṣṭyā yutaṃ dvābhyāṃ parvaṇāṃ rāśir ucyate
Kupanna Sastry's translation (also quoted by you):
"Take the ordinal number of the year in the yuga. Lessen this by 1, multiply by 12, again multiply by 2, add the parvas gone in the year, for every 60 of the total parvas add 2, and the number obtained is the parva-rāśi (i. e. the total number of parvas gone at the time for which the calculations are to be made)."

Your comment:
<The number of parvas for any given time period in the 5 year yuga was calculated as ParvaNam Rashi - the Rashi of the Parvas. If someone says that this is not the 'Rashi' they meant, then it is ridiculous.>

Mere rhetoric! Did you look into the text or translation at all? Here I am giving my explanation. After that it is your turn to give yours!
Assume, we are at the beginning of the 5th year of the yuga.
a. (Lessen by 1:)   5 - 1 = 4.
   These are the complete years past since beginning of 5-year yuga.
b. (Multiply by 12:)   4 x 12 = 48.
   Number of months in these 4 years, without leap months.
c. (Multiply by 2:)   48 x 2 = 96.
    Now, we have the number of fortnights in these 4 years (without leap months).
d. (Add the parvas gone in that year: as we are at the beginning of the 5th year, the number of parvas to be added is 0.
e. (For every 60 of total parvas add 2:)   96 + 2 = 98.
    Two fortnights are added for the first leap month of the 5-year yuga. The second leap month will be added at the end of the fifth year, after 120 regular fortnights.

Hence, 98 is "the total number of parvas gone at the time for which the calculations are to be made" (Kupanna Sastry), namely after the 4th year is completed and at the beginning of the 5th year.
So, according to Kuppanna Sastry, the verse tells us how to calculate the number of fortnights completed since the beginning of the 5-year yuga. The obvious meaning of rashi here is "number" and the meaning of parva-rashi is "number of parvas". Is Kuppanna Sastry ridiculous?

Now it is your turn:
If you think that parva-rashi refers to the zodiac sign of the parvas, then please provide your translation of the verse and your detailed interpretation. If you agree with Kuppanna Sastry´s translation, and my example, then please tell me what the number 98 has to do with zodiac signs in our example.

With regard to the other verse that mentions mina rashi, you say:
<A mind untainted by the propaganda would accept this verse as original, because this says how to identify the year of Jupiter in a round of 12 years starting from Vishnu onwards (Brihad samhitha - chapter 8 on Jupiter).>

Mere rhetoric again. I would say, to an unprejudiced mind ("untainted by propaganda") the verse is doubtful for the following reasons:
- The whole theory of the VJ is based on nakshatras, and nakshatras are mentioned all the time, whereas rashis do not play any part in the text except in this one verse.
- A list of all nakshatras is given, even a list of their presiding deities, whereas no list of rashis, their rulers and exaltations are given; and this in a text called Vedanga-jyotisha!
- This verse only appears only in one of the two recensions of VJ.
- Rashis do not appear in other Vedic texts either except late Puranas. 
- Minarashi is not mentioned in any other Vedic text except Puranas.

With regard to "untainted by propaganda": Please do not tell me you are unprejudiced! Like so many other people here, you are determined to prove *by all means* that rashis were known to Vedic authors. Your rhetoric makes it obvious that you are not willing at all to consider this question with an unprejudiced mind.



From: Jayasree Saranathan
To: Dieter Koch
Sent: Saturday, May 11, 2013 7:30 PM
Subject: Is Vedic astrology derived from Greek astrology ? –Part 6

The Veethi concept described in Part -5 contains in itself the rashi divisions. Without the prior division of the zodiac into 12 Rashis, this Veethi concept could not have been formed. The 3 Veethis are named by the first 3 rashis of the Zodiac but had different rashis in them. That is, Mesha Veethi started in Rishabha. Rishabha Veethi did not have Rishabha but had the rashis  in which the spring and autumn equinoxes keep shifting. Similarly the Mithuna Veethi did not contain in itself Mithuna but had different rashis. This goes to show that the naming  was that of the order of the zodiacal names, like counting one, two, three etc or 1st street, 2nd street and 3rd street.

1 comment:

jayasree said...

From: S. Kalyanaraman

Respected Smt. Jayasree ji,
It is good that the debate with Dieter is called off. I recall this verse from Brihadaranyakopanishat 4.4.5

काममय एवायं पुरुष इति।
स यथाकामो भवति तत्क्रतुर्भवति।
यत्क्रतुर्भवति तत्कर्म कुरुते।
यत्कर्म कुरुते तदभिसंपद्यते॥

kāmamaya evāyaṃ puruṣa iti |
sa yathākāmo bhavati tatkratur bhavati |
yatkratur bhavati tat karma kurute |
yat karma kurute tad abhisaṃpadyate ||

You are what your deep, driving desire is
As your desire is, so is your will
As your will is, so is your deed
As your deed is, so is your destiny.

Methinks, Jayasree ji should compile a History of rāśi and jyotiṣa (History of Hindu Mathematics and Astronomy) for the benefit of present and future generations of scholars. That will also be a tribute to Hindu civilization destined to protect dharma.