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Comments Posted By Antardwip

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A Tale of Two Zodiacs

Hare Krsna,

One thing in particular that I really appreciate in Sudhikant Bharadwaj’s text is the analysis he gives in Chapter 1 (p. 24) wherein he rejects the idea of a modern Surya Siddhanta and older Surya Siddhanta that differ significantly from each other. Though his exposition may not be complete, it is the best that I have read.

Your servant,
Antardwip das

» Posted By Antardwip On Nov 17, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

Dear Amala Guru Prabhu,
Thank you for your question, and yes it is a more important topic.

The Temple of the Vedic Planetarium will depict the cosmology of the Bhagavatam. You can’t really say it is earth centred or sun centred. Rather, the earth is the large plane of Bhu-mandala, and the sun, moon, stars and other planets are deities in their chariots who are circumambulating the central axis in their orbits above Bhu-mandala. The central axis is the ‘line’ connecting Dhruvaloka and Mount Meru.

There was a small representation of what has been done that was presented in a video that was shown to the GBC and assembled devotees at the Mayapur Festival this year. The layout of the planetary model is complete, and we are now about to make a physical model. When that is done, there will be more to show to the devotees.

Your servant,
Antardwip das

» Posted By Antardwip On Oct 31, 2012 @ 3:03 am

Part 4

Thus, for the analogy to be accurate, both the rasis and naksatras must be fixed to the wheel of time. And we certainly accept that Srila Sukadeva Gosvami’s analogy is both perfect and accurate. Therefore, both rasis and naksatras being fixed in relation to the same object, the kala-cakra, it follows that they must also be fixed in relation to each other. Hence, the rasis being described are definitely sidereal. This is not some conjecture on my part, but the direct meaning of the verse.

Indeed, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, in his commentary to this verse, states that the kala-cakra is deduced from the rasis and nakshatras. Thus, there should be understood to be no movement between any of them, and therefore, the rasis being described are stellar.

Anyway, I did not expect to write this much, and may have gotten carried away. The subject is certainly fascinating, and has absorbed my thought for some time now. Nonetheless, I respect your need to withdraw from this discussion and fully understand if you choose not to respond further.

Your servant,
Antardwip das

» Posted By Antardwip On Oct 26, 2012 @ 4:35 pm

Part 3

Please don’t let the fact that this verse is providing an analogy throw you off. Analogies are used for taking an unknown point and explaining it with reference to a known situation. The unknown here is how the sun has two opposite movements. The known is how small insects move on the potter’s wheel. Within the analogy, the rasis, naksatras and kala-cakra are all taken together as being compared to the potter’s wheel. Thus, like the potter’s wheel, they form a consistent and uniform platform upon which the movement of other objects can be compared. Thus, the verse is specifying that the naksatras and rasis are fixed to the wheel of time. Hence, the stellar zodiac consists of twelve rasis, as they must be fixed in relation to each other.

You have expressed the concern that I have inferred that the rasis and naksatras are fixed with respect to one another. Therefore, let us consider further. Both the rasis and naksatras are said to move with the wheel of time, and the appearance of planets in different rasis and naksatras indicates that the planets themselves have their own separate movement. This is the analogy.

Taking the naksatras first, if we assume that they were moving on the wheel of time, then the appearance of a planet in a different naksatra would not indicate that the planet had moved on the wheel of time; for such positioning could be a result of the movement of the naksatras themselves whilst the planet remained stationary. Thus, the movement of naksatras on the wheel of time is precluded by the analogy, for if they did move, then the analogy would be faulty; ie. the presence of the planet in a different naksatra would not indicate the planet has its own, second motion. Hence, the naksatras are fixed.

Similarly, it also states that the presence of the planets in different rasis indicates that the planets have their own movement on the wheel of time. If the rasis moved on the wheel of time, then the presence of a planet in a different rasi would not necessarily indicate that the planet had moved on the kala-cakra; for it could have been the rasis that moved while the planet stayed stationary. Thus, for the analogy to hold true, it must be that the rasis are also fixed to the wheel of time; for if they were not, then the proper conclusion could not be reached.


» Posted By Antardwip On Oct 26, 2012 @ 4:32 pm

Part 2

Though you have minimized SS 1.28 to a mere mathematical abstraction, it is actually the genuine definition of a rasi. Therefore, we should all understand that, “Rasis are thirty degree arcs beginning with Mesa.”

In summary, the statements that you claim to be definitions of rasis are actually conditional definitions of something else. And based on this, you have confused the actual definition to be an application of the principle, and the application of the principle to be the definition. As a result of this mix up, you are unable to accept the proof of sidereal rasis that is presented to you.

While we are speaking of the Bhagavatam, it may also be worth noting the following. In Chapter 21 of the Fifth Canto, the movement of the sun is being described. Importantly, this chapter comes after five chapters describing the details of the earthly realm. Thus, having just heard about bhu-loka, the movements of the sun are described in chapter 21 in relation to the earth, and this description naturally involves the tropical rasis (as they begin when the sun crosses the terrestrial equator on its northward journey).

After this, in chapter 22, the sun’s movements are described with respect to the stars; which are higher than the earth and are dealt with after it. Thus, in this chapter we find there is a sidereal definition of the rasis given in relation to the movement of the sun. This is confirmed by a close reading of the verses and the commentaries of acaryas (as shown in A Tale of Two Zodiacs).

Therefore, the order of topics within the Bhagavatam provides for both definitions of the zodiac to be given, and, as stated previously, it is up to the student to understand which is being referred to in both cases. We should not claim that because tropical rasis were mentioned first, therefore the later mention of rasis must also be tropical. Rather, we must look at the context and statements and understand everything in proper order.

Also, you have claimed that I have misinterpreted and provided extremely misleading explanations of verse 5.22.2. I should address this. This verse is not providing a definition of the rasis, and I do not claim that it is. Rather it is stating, quite clearly, that the naksatras and rasis are fixed to the wheel of time.


» Posted By Antardwip On Oct 26, 2012 @ 4:29 pm

Dear Vraja Kishor Prabhu,

Although you have signaled your intention to sign off from this discussion, I should nevertheless answer your question regarding what I think of your explanation (comment 9, October 24).

The problem lies in the way that you have defined the term ‘rasi’. You are taking the tropical rasis to be the only natural meaning of this term; and any other use as merely a secondary derivation from the original. In support of this stance, you present Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.21.3-5, and Surya Siddhanta 14.7-10. In this limited space, I will only consider the Bhagavatam verses, but the same analysis equally applies to those from the Surya Siddhanta.

In the Bhagavatam verses under discussion, you will find that the rasis are always mentioned in the locative case. In verse 3 as ‘makaradisu rasisu’, in verse 4 as ‘mesa-tulayoh’ and ‘vrsabhadisu pancasu ca rasisu’, and in verse 5 as ‘vrscikadisu pancasu’. Thus, being locative, they are indicating the time at which the sun is located at these certain parts of his orbit. This indication is highlighted by the use of the word ‘yada’ (when) in verses 4 and 5.

These verses are stating, “When the sun is in such a such rasi, the lengths of days and nights etc. is… ”. As such, this is not giving the definition of what a rasi is. Rather it is a conditional definition of the lengths of days, etc. The situation of the sun in one of the rasis is the condition, and the length of days, nights, ayana, speed of movement, etc. are the items that are being defined. Having the rasis as the condition for another definition is not the same thing as a definition of those rasis. This is a very important point to grasp. We should not, therefore, take these verses as providing a definition of the rasis.

Also, as the rasis are being referred to as the conditional part of the definition, it follows that their own definition should be available elsewhere. For such a definition we should turn to the Jyotir-veda, as it is the science of time and covers this amongst its topics. The definition of a rasi given in all such texts is the same as that which is provided in Surya Siddhanta 1.28. This verse is clearly a definition as the statement is in the form of “A rasi is thirty degrees”; with ‘rasi’ being in the nominative case. It is worth noting that there are no conditions placed upon this definition. Thus, in all astronomical and astrological matters, this is the definition of a rasi.


» Posted By Antardwip On Oct 26, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

Hare Krsna,
One question for Vraja Kishor Prabhu. Previously (July 17) you mentioned:

I myself have also posted a challenge in several public forums to this effect: “Show me a single sidereal definition of the zodiac in any classical or ancient Indian literature. On the contrary I can show you several tropical definitions.”

No one could reply.

Following the above article, you have now (Oct 22) written:

Thus SS 1.28 states that such a system of seconds, degrees, signs, etc. can be used to measure sidereal space.


In [A Tale of Two Zodiacs] you have clearly demonstrated that 30 degree units called rashis can also be used to make sidereal measurements.

By these latest comments, are you indicating acceptance that your challenge has been successfully met?

Your servant,
Antardwip das

» Posted By Antardwip On Oct 23, 2012 @ 5:50 pm

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