Saturday, May 4, 2013

Is Vedic astrology derived from Greek astrology -part 1

The following from Mr Deiter Koch caught my attention.


comparing your answer with my mail, it does not seem to have *any* connection.

I will not change anything in my article as long as my following statements are not refuted with valid arguments:
1. There is Greek terminology in Varahamihira and Yavanajataka. (no valid rebuttal has been achieved so far)
2. No rashis appear in pre-Puranic texts. (debate is still in progress)

Babylonians play no role in my article. You are looking at the wrong historical epoch.



I wrote in one of my interactions

// Surprised because none of you - particularly Mr Deiter Koch thought it fit to get his work approved by a Teacher of a Veda patashala whose minimum qualification must be expertise in his own shaka along with the respective shadangas. Instead people are depending on dictionaries  written by this or that author and the commentaries written by them.

Surprised because of the thinking that only Sanskrit works can be checked for the 'evidence' that you are looking for. Tamil Sangam texts which were composed before 2000 years convey a lot more. One can not arrive at a conclusion on anything to do with Vedas or Vedic age or any issue of Sanathan Dharma, based only on Sanskrit texts that exist today. Vedas are many and what we have today are only a fraction. To make a judgement from the available little is faulty.//

For which Mr Deiter replied

//On Wed, May 1, 2013 at 6:22 PM, Dieter Koch <> wrote:

Dear Ms Jayasree,

you say:

<Any research can not be based on semantics alone. Particularity the kind of issue / research that Mr Deiter has taken up must be supported by other branches of science and knowledge. If he wants to rely on only literary source I can quote not less than 4 literary sources from Sangam Tamil to show that rashi division was known to the people much long before the Greeks. But I would show evidence from other branches of knowledge also and write them separately addressed to Mr Deiter.>

It is true, I have not included Tamil literature in my considerations, nor do I understand or read Tamil. Your feedback will be welcome.

Best regards



I decided to write what I know from not only Tamil but other sources that include Indus evidences too. This will go for 5 + articles. I am covering all the oft repeated accusations including the one from Mr Elst on Sankaranthi - and will respond to comments to these articles only after I finish them as I will be concentrating on writing the other parts.

I also wish to introduce a Vedic scholar Mr Ramanathan, a software engineer by profession,  who has been doing adhyayanam for years in the traditional way under a competent Guru. He will be writing on the Vedic issues of this topic as a rejoinder to my articles.


Thanks for your response Mr Deiter.

This is going to be pretty long article as I have to clarify a lot of things. Let me start with a long introduction.

It is now known from archaeological researches across the world that wherever people had lived, there they had followed some level of astronomy- astrology – in particular observed the sun's movement and followed some rituals related to that. But no other society in the world except the Indian society had made astrology a part of everyday life. From dawn to next dawn and from birth to death, astrology is mixed with the life of an Indian – irrespective of his caste.

As per the 1901 census, there were 1,23,000 astrologers in India. This census report also noted in the specific context of Orissa that each astrologer served 100 families. This is only twice of the number of families served by a washer man or a barber. The village community consisted of atleast one astrologer who was engaged in astrology as a family tradition. For your information Mr Deiter, these astrologers did not charge a fee but subsisted on what was given as Dakshinai. The same census report says that the astrologer who attended the ceremonial observances of the families for whom he was the astrological consultant, shared the offerings given to the Brahmin (the priest of that occasion) "taking from a quarter to three-eighths of the total amount given" to the Brahmin.  Similar account has been written in the Census report of 1891 by Mr Stuart and by James Mill in his book "The History of British India" written in 1871.

Similar village community culture existed 1000 years ago which we deduce from the temple inscriptions of Tamilnadu. The same culture can be traced back further into the Sangam age which goes before the Common Era. The people who lived in the three lands of ancient Tamilnadu (Chera, Chola and Pandya) never had the need to move out of this region. These kings had fought against each other, but never were the people disturbed. The people were mentioned as "Pazham Kudi" or olden tribes who lived in the same place from time immemorial because (the poem says) they were not known to have moved out of their lands. It is because everything they needed was available in their own place and they had no fear of anything including war. (Silappadhikaram – chapter 1- lines 15 to 18). This long duration of existence of people in India, particularly in South India had been made out from the genetic studies too.


The Tamil sources are intact even today which is not so with North Indian sources. It is obviously because North India bore the complete devastative impact of the Muslim invasions. No single temple of the pre-Muslim era exists in North India. I mention the temples because they were the centres of every branch of culture of the Indian society. They also were the sources of inscriptions that reflect the society. However the people had bounced back to their previous life style as is evident from the census reports and also the reports presented by British Collectors to the Governor General of British India in the period between 1783 to 1788.

Dharam Pal's "The Beautiful tree" make specific mention of the rich tradition of astrological knowledge of India. It so happened that the Governor General of Bengal (between 1784-85),  John Macpherson himself studied the local culture and sent a report to his former teacher, Adam Ferguson  of the University of Edinburgh who were impressed with the state of "politics, laws, philosophies and sciences especially Indian astronomy."  In his report this John Macpherson wrote that if the British "procured these works to Europe, astronomy and antiquities and the sciences connected with them would be advanced in a still great proportion" and observed further,

"the history, the poems, the tradition, the very fables of the Hindoos might therefore throw light upon the history of the ancient world and in particular upon the institution of that celebrated people FROM WHOM MOSES RECEIVED HIS LEARNING AND GREECE HER RELIGION AND HER ARTS"

This is the opinion that existed until the 18th century. No European who actually went through the life and culture of Indians never even thought that India borrowed any of these prime subjects or a fraction of that subject knowledge from anywhere in Europe. Particularly concerning astronomy of that day, John Macpherson observed that "Banaras, the centre of all learning" was a place where "very ancient works in astronomy are still extant". This is mentioned in his Memorandum sent to Lord Cornwallis too.

People from outside came and learned in India - earlier in Thakshashila which was more close to Arab and central European people - and in Banaras where people from all over India went for Higher learning. But the local community with its composition of different sections of the society including astrologers remained intact since  TIME IMMEMORIAL. 

(to be continued)

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