Monday, May 13, 2013

"Hora" - indigenous concept of India. (Part -7)

Previous article HERE

The two contentious issues of the opponents are 'Rashi' and 'planets' which they claim are not in Vedas and are not indigenous to Vedic astrology. I explained in the previous article the use of the term "rashi" in various contexts and showed that it means any group that is made up of constituents arrived at by some numbering or mathematical calculation. Any such rashi will be expressed with a number. If the opponents do not agree, they must bring out the definition of rashi and justify why the term rashi is found in different contexts in the Indian and Vedic sources. Their second contention is that Vedic astrology did not know about the planets and that the knowledge of planets was borrowed from the Greeks . In this article let me contest it on the basis of "hora".

People think that Hora is a Greek word, but Varahamihira clarified that it was derived from Ahorathra. People also think that Hora has application in the signs as sun and moon hora. The division of 12 signs into 24 horas is based on the 24 hour duration of a day. But what these 24 horas signify is a question for which one can get an answer from the way Kala bala is derived (among shadbalas) in the system of Vedic astrology. One can refer to Chapter 2-21 of Brihad Jataka where it is written that the strength of lord of the year, the day, the hora and the Masa are judged in deciding the Kala bala.

The foremost meaning of this is that the lord of the Hora carries power. In actual calculation of Kala bala, the lord of year gets 0.25 rupa, the lord of the month gets 0.50 rupa, the lord of the week day gets 0.75 rupa whereas the lord of the Hora gets one rupa strength. This implies that the lord of the month is stronger than the lord of year. The lord of the week day is stronger than the lord of the month. Ahead of all of them, the lord of the Hora (1 hour or 2 and a half Ghatis) is the strongest of all.

This concept of Horas takes into account 7 lordships – that of the 7 planets. The seven planets, their horas and the seven week days together form a concept which is found in written form in Sangam Tamil texts but given in rough form in Yavana Jataka which could be easily mis interpreted as a Yavana (not Greek) creation.

Let me first tell how this is not a Greek creation. In 77th chapter of Yavana Jataka the first 9 verses speak about the week days, their nature and their Lords (Gods of the planets!). These Gods are Vedic Gods such as Jala for Moon, Vahni for Sun, Vishnu for Mercury, Prajapati for Saturn, Skanda for Mars, Mahendra for Jupiter and Devi (IndraNi) for Venus. (YJ verses are given at the end of this article). 

The week days lorded by the 7 planets (such as Sunday, Monday …) exhibit certain qualities of their own which YJ explains in verses 2 to 8. In the 9th verse, it is said that what holds good for a particular week day also holds good for the hora, lorded by that planet of the week day. It means, Hora, the basic unit of a day exhibits certain characteristics which if done in that hora would make the doer succeed in that act. The nature and characteristics of a particular hora are known from the nature and characteristics of the corresponding planet.

What is not told in YJ is how these 7 horas are distributed in a day.

They are distributed in the order as Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars but getting repeated in this order continuously and endlessly for ever, for ages!! As such, in a day they keep moving one after another for 24 horas. The naming of the week days were done on the basis of moving horas only. For example if the sun hora is there at the time of sunrise, then the day is called as Sun's day – Sunday. If moon hora is there at the time of sunrise, the day is called as Mon day. Like this other week days have been named.

 Day time Horas – From Sunrise to Sunset
1st hr
2nd hr
3rd hr
4th hr
5th hr
6th hr
7th hr
8th hr
9th hr
10th hr
11th hr
12th hr
Night time Horas – From Sunset to Sunrise

To put it in simple terms, if a day begins with Sun hora it makes it Sun day. From then onwards, the 25th hora that comes in the next rise is Moon hora which makes the next day Monday! Similarly the next 25th hora that comes with next sunrise makes Tuesday and like this other week days have been named.

The truth behind this series is that this works ONLY near the Equator or within the tropical zone (in close degrees to the equator) where every subsequent sun rise comes methodically at the 25th hora! In other words this concept of Hora could have been conceived by someone who lived on or near the Equator and seen specific characteristics changing hour-wise (hora-wise) for full 24 hours of the day and also seeing that with the 25th hora, a new sunrise begins every day for all round the year. It also shows that the naming of the week days as Sunday, Monday, Tuesday etc can happen only if the day begins with (the 25th hora) Sun hora, Moon hora, Mars hora, Mercury hora, Jupiter hora, Venus hora and Saturn hora respectively for the 7 days and get repeated endlessly.

The identification of the hora and the use of hora to name a week day had happened only near the equator and NOT IN HIGHER latitudes like in GREECE where the subsequent sun rise does not come with the order of the hora lord –cum- week lord around the year. (The hora lord at sun rise becomes the week –day lord).

Another truth behind this is that the horas had been named after the planets!!  Their lords – all Vedic lords - to be worshiped has been told in the favourite book of Mr Dieter – the Yavana Jataka! To whom should we then attribute the knowledge of the planetary lords of Horas and therefore the week days? To Vedic sages!

Not only horas, the very invention of the week days which is followed throughout the world must be attributed to the Vedic sages!

Now let me establish that those who invented this system of horas with its planetary lords and the week days were indeed part of the present Indian population who shared a common Vedic history and a common genetic history with rest of India which has been established by the genetic studies.
I can establish this by means of Tamil sources.

The first proof that I am quoting is from the Tamil sangam text of Purananuru, Verse no 358
It was written by none other than Valmiki!!
For more information of how this Valmiki was the Valmiki of Ramayana, read this post

The verse says
"பரிதி சூழ்ந்த விப்பயன்கேழு மாநிலம்
ஒரு பகல் எழுவர் எய்தியற்றே"
The commentary by old commentator as recovered in the manuscript:-
"இந்த உலகம் எல்லாப்பக்கங்களிலும் சூரியனால் சூழப்பட்டு, அதாவது அதன் ஒளியால் சூழப்பட்டு, அந்த சூரியன் பொருட்டு கொடுக்கப்படும் அவிப்பயனையும் பெற்று, ஒரு பகலில் ஏழு பேர்களால் (ஏழு ஓரைகள்) அடையப்படுகிறது."
 "This World surrounded on all sides by the brilliance of Sun that accepts the offerings made to the Sun (god) as Havis, is attained by Seven persons (seven horas) in a day time"

The commentary stipulates that the seven horas reach the world every day.

(Hora is pronounced as "Orai" in Tamil -'H' sound is usually not used in Tamil).

The second proof is a Sutra in the Grammar work of Sangam period namely Tholkappiyam.
  சூ. 137 : மறைந்த ஒழுக்கத்து ஓரையும் நாளும் 

துறந்த ஒழுக்கம் கிழவோற் கில்லை  
Meaning:- "The one who is engaged in "KaLavu" (dating a girl without the knowledge of the family and against the wishes of the family), would not stop seeing the girl just because the DAY and HORA are not favourable."

This is a crucial verse that tells about the behavior of ordinary folks who are in love. Tholkappiyam lists down many such habits and happenings that were coming down for ages in the Tamil society. Bringing Hora and Day together in that context tells that (1) hora and weekday go together and (2) people relied on hora for anything and everything and even for seeing a girl. It does continue even today. By talking about it in the above context context, the sutra makes out how integral it was in the society – only that lovers were prepared to ignore it for love-sake.

Till today the Hora-phalan is popular among Tamils. There is an adage in Tamil "Orai paarkin vErE vENdAm" (nothing else is needed if one does as per the Hora). Even if there is RAhu kAlam, if the running hOra at that time is a benefic and in consistent with the work to be done, one can overrule Rahu kalam and go ahead with the work on the sheer power of the said Hora for the planned work. Most Tamil Panchangas have a separate table of Horas for 24 X7 with tips on what can be done in the horas. One must remember that the characteristics are deduced on the basis of planets that lord the Horas. This practice of seeing Hora continues from sangam age.

This also reiterates the Sangam revelation that early Tamils lived in regions in the Indian ocean – which were closer to the Equator. I don't want to claim that Hora was an invention of Tamils, but would say that sages conceived it as they played a crucial role in the lives of people. The sages who appear in Puranas and Epics - say, Markandeya, Agasthya, Gauthama, Gargi, Sandilya, Valmiki etc have rendered verses and works in Tamil Sangam literature which stand as irrefutable proofs of an all India presence of these sages.

Let me quote the 3rd proof of Hora in another Sutra of the same Tholkappiyam when an auspicious time had to be fixed at a short notice. In that case, the suitable Hora of the day was used to do that auspicious work
69 குடையும் வாளும் நாள்கோள் அன்றி

The term is NaaL – kOL = dayplanet.
This is another way of saying Hora. This word means the planetary lord of a hora in particular week day. Even kings followed the horas in their activities. When the auspicious Muhurtha was decided for going on war, the verse says, the king would first move his Royal canopy and Sword on an auspicious hora of the day, suitable for his venture.

These kings and ordinary folks of Tamil lands knew no Greek, no Varahamihira (Varahamihira was unknown in Tamil lands, what was followed in Tamil lands was Parashara's  and not even that of the Kerala astrologers of the last few centuries), but their day to day life was governed by Horas lorded by planets! The period that early Tamils of Pandyan kingdom were confined to Indian ocean much closer to the equator - was before the last deluge that took place 3500 years before present. (This takes the knowledge of Hora of Tamils to 3500 years BP) That was when Byt Dwaraka was submerged. Ocean floor tectonic movements, asteroid hits near Madagascar are some of the issues calling for modern research that can help us in dating the Indian past – not these researches of a shallow understanding of Vedic corpus.

In the next article, I will bring out some of the Indus features that show the knowledge of Rashis at that time.
(To be continued)

CHAPTER 77 (Yavana Jataka)

1. One should always sacrifice to the gods of the planets – namely, Jala (Water), Vahni (Fire), Visnu, Prajapati, Skanda, Mahendra, and Devi – in signs which belong respectively to the Moon, the Sun, Mercury, Saturn, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus.

2. On Sunday that act is praised which is connected with the palaces of kings, weapons, battles, soldiers, gold, fire, cows, spells (mantra), and herbs; such things as the tormenting of forest deer; and acts which cause fear in one's foe.
3. On Monday one should make compensation for having sexual intercourse with a woman, for ornaments, and for clothes; one should do what pertains to joy and happiness; and one should make gifts, sacrifices, festivals, jewels, and anointing with juices.

4. On Tuesday one should murder, obstruct, lie, riot, divide, rob, fight, and use weapons, fire, and poison; one should make encampments for armies, and perform actions involving gold, goats, or cattle.

5. On Wednesday one should undertake sacred studies, service, writing, the crafts, drawing, gymnastics, cleverness, and the fine arts, and one should make arrows and alloys (yukti) of gold and (other) minerals, and do things involving the union of speech and intellect.

6. On Thursday are desirable such actions as are righteous (dhHrmika) and beneficial, paying homage, intelligible deeds, giving names, (learning) the traditions, (sruti), and auspicious acts, or actions involving grain, gold, houses, things pertaining to bodies, missiles, hones, and chariots.

7. On Friday are praised actions involving music, knowledge, gems, jewels, perfumes, cows, lands, beds, clothes, ornaments, women, auspicious things, treasures, festivals, and joy.

8 . On Saturday (one should do things involving) poison, boulders, swords, tin (trapu), lead (sisa), metals (loha), fences, bondage, lies, and death, every evil act, and actions such as drinking and going into exile.

9. The rule concerning the actions of people which was described by the foremost (astrologers) of the Greeks with respect to the planetary week-days is to be established in a similar rule with respect to the hours (hora) which pass through the days

No comments: