Comments Posted By Vraja Kishor
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As you know: The Sun moves north and south of the equator. The northern tropic is called “Cancer” because the Sun enters Cancer Rasi when it reaches that northernmost latitude. The southern tropic is called “Capricorn” because the Sun enters Capricorn Rasi when it reaches that southernmost latitude. When the Sun is over the equator it can either be in Libra or Aries. If it is northward bound it is entering Aries. If southward bound it enters Libra. Thus all the four cardinal points and signs are mapped.
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Nov 2, 2012 @ 1:35 am
Your point is that in parts of the earth that are between the two tropics, the Sun can go directly overhead at some time of the year and therefore those parts of the earth are “bright.” And outside that tropical region the Sun cannot come to the sky’s zenith, and therefore those parts of earth are “dark.” Therefore the land situated on a tropic line (Cancer or Capricorn) are bordering / bridging / blending the light and dark?
Very interesting and a novel way to discuss Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!
Do you have any thoughts as to why that particular LATITUDE?
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Nov 1, 2012 @ 6:41 am
Here is rather surprising hard evidence that Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, Gaudiya Math members including Sridhara Swami (and even Srila Prabhupada) used the Tropical Zodiac for rashi calculations:
PS: SS 1.28 says that the circle is made of 12 signs, each of 30 degrees, each of 60 minutes, each of 60 seconds. I think it is silly that anyone will accept this as a sidereal definition of the zodiac. Sidereal means in reference to a star. There is no mention of a star in SS 1.28. On the other hand my quotes from Bhagavatam and Surya Siddhanta explicitly show the 12 signs achored to equinoxes and solstices (the definition of “tropical”). The tropical definitions I have quoted are very clear and thorough and straightforward. The SS 1.28 this article quotes does not make a sidereal reference at all.
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Dec 7, 2012 @ 8:25 am
In your original article you argued that the previous text (27) sets a sidereal context. I do not see why you say that, except that in the translation presented by Danavir Goswāmī the word “Revatī” is used. Even then it has a footnote admitting that “Revatī” is not literally in the text itself. The text itself only says, “antebhagaṇa” – the end of the orbit / circle.
It seems straightforward that SS 1.28 shows how to measure the speed of the planets by dividing their orbit into units of seconds, minutes, degrees, and “groups” / rāśi. This is the context set by the verses immediately proceeding and following 1.28. Thus there is nothing inherently sidereal or tropical about SS 1.28, except that it demonstrates that rāśi are mathematical constructs, not literal stars or constellations; which detracts from the motivation to consider the rāśi stellar phenomena.
On to another topic:
You want to demonstrate the 22nd chapter to conclude that the rāśi and nakṣatra are fixed to one another. If so how will you avoid contradicting the principle of ayanāṁśa based on SS 3.9: “In one age (yuga) the circle of stars lags behind 600 revolutions towards the east.”?
Glad to have the blessing of your association in this discussion,
Vraja Kishor das
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Oct 30, 2012 @ 1:23 am
Honestly, let’s compare the statements up for election as the definition of “rāśi”…
SS 14.7-10 says they are tropical:
“It is well-known that the circle of signs is split by two diameters. One is the line from equinox to equinox. The other is the line from solstice to solstice. Between each solstice and equinox are two other markers. Each solstice /equinox and the two following markers represent the three strides of Vishnu.
“The Sun has entered Capricorn when it begins moving north for six months. It has entered Cancer when it begins moving south for six months. Seasons last for two signs each, beginning from Capricorn with the frozen season. The twelve signs named Aries, etc. are the months which altogether comprise the year.”
SB 5.21.3-5 (mirroring Viṣṇu, Matsya and perhaps other Puranas) says they are tropical:
“Outer space is measured by relation of heaven and earth. The Sun is the king of all the planets, in the center of everything, keeping everything together. It moves to the north, crosses the equator, and moves to the south. When it goes north of the equator days get longer. When it crosses the equator days and nights are equal. When it goes south of the equator days get shorter. On this basis the Sun moves through the twelve divisions called Capricorn and so forth.
“The Sun is at Aries and Libra when the days and nights are equal. Passing through Taurus, etc. the days become longer and then decrease until again equal with the night. Passing through Scorpio, etc. the night becomes longer and then decrease to again become equal with the days.”
I think these are very explicit and straightforward definitions of what the rāśi are. You want to dismiss these are being secondary to SS 1.28:
“60 seconds (vikāla) make a minute. 60 minutes (kāla) make a degree. 30 degrees (bhaga) make a sign. 12 signs (rāśi) complete the circle/orbit (bhagaṇa).”
This is obviously a lot less explicit and complete a definition than the previous two statements. But even if we accept this as another definition of rāśi, I find nothing in it stipulating that the seconds, minutes and degrees of the rāśi are relative to a specific star [sidereal] and not to the equinoxes and solstices [tropical].
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Oct 30, 2012 @ 1:22 am
Dear Antardwip Prabhu,
Your devotion in responding, and the clarity and honesty with which you did so, has moved me to respond. Thank you very much for your clear statements, I deeply appreciate your effort.
I enjoy discussing this topic with you. Clearly your heart and mind are pure. It is a pleasure to be in your association.
Some notes, please respond to them if needed:
You rest your argument on Sanskrit declinations, saying that SB 5.21.3-5 cannot be a “definition” of the rāśi because the declination used there is locative, but that SS 1.28 is a “definition” of the rasis because the declination used there is nominative.
First, is there a grammatical rule or principle that nominative case must be used in a definition and locative case cannot? If so, what if we are defining a location – how shall we word the definition? The rashi’s are locations through which the planets move. Naturally when being defined the locative case must be used.
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Oct 30, 2012 @ 1:20 am
Your previous post has completely ignored that Srimad Bhagavatam and Surya Siddhanta (not Vic DiCara / Vraja Kishor) define the zodiac tropically.
All things must be understood in context. We have clear, undeniable definitions from absolutely essential shastra stating that the zodiac is tropical. Other statements must be understood within that context. The statement of Varahamihira was a true statement at the time it was made. To insist that it is a true statement today requires that you devalue the definitions of the zodiac in Srimad Bhagavatam and Surya Siddhanta. I therefore don’t accept that opinion.
Yes, I talk about “my opinion”, “my understanding”, and “my belief” because thanks to the hard work of the Vaishnavas I have come to admit that I can always be wrong, and that everyone has their own opinion. Even Krishna acknowledges this and speaks in this manner.
I should not engage in controversy and argument with anyone, especially not great souls such as yourselves. Therefore I purify myself with the dust left behind from your exalted footsteps. I aspire that it is in the humble spirit of service that I do not wish to allow this point to go undefended. However I must now acknowledge that I have said everything I have to say on the subject – between my original article (http://www.dandavats.com/?p=10661) and the comments here. I will now beg your permission to allow my departure from this conversation.
If anyone wishes to know my opinion on any new facet of this discussion, please contact me personally. It is easy to find me on the internet.
It has been an honor to discuss the subject with devotees of Sri Hari. I hope that after all, in some way you will be pleased with me and give your blessings to me for the cultivation of Sri Krishna prema.
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama,
Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Vanca kalpa tarubhyas ca
Krpa sindhubya eva ca
Vaishnavebhyo namo namah
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Oct 26, 2012 @ 12:45 am
Dear Antardwipa Prabhu,
Thank you for participating directly! It is kind of you.
No, in my opinion you have certainly not demonstrated a sidereal definition of the 12 signs in Vedic literature. You have, however, demonstrated the use of an application of 12 rashi segments in circular geometry applied to the sidereal ecliptic.
What I mean: Shastra defines the rashis as segments of the Sun’s travel from solstice to equinox. That is what the rashis inherently are. The same system of mathematics dividing the 360 degrees of a circle into 30 degree segments, and dividing each degree into 60 minutes and each minute into 60 seconds, which derives from the 12 segments of the Sun’s travel from equinox to solstice, etc., is used to calculate / describe sidereal positions. That is not what the rashi are, it is just one application of their principle.
That is my understanding. How do you feel about it?
Vraja Kishor das
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Oct 24, 2012 @ 10:17 am
Why should we assume anything? We know from Atharva and Rg that the Vedics had 27 ecliptic constellations, into which Vega (Abhijit) was also often included.
This very simply and obviously illustrates my point that the sidereal chakra has 27 divisions [not 13, or 14, and certainly not 12].
Vraja Kishor das
PS. Regarding the quote from Brhat Jataka, you are repeating that from the article itself and I have already stated my opinion of your use of that quote.
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Oct 23, 2012 @ 12:33 am
Your article was well written and researched. Thank you for the excellent effort. In it you have clearly demonstrated that 30 degree units called rashis can also be used to make sidereal measurements. However you failed to counter-argue the fact that rashis by definition are inherently tropical, as presented in my argument (http://vicdicara.com/12-signs-of-the-zodiac-1.php).
If this discussion of the zodiac helps us remember Krishna it is useful. Since you are both, Syamasundar and Antardwipa, dear servant of the servant of Krishna, my hope is that the dust of your feet will always be falling towards my lowered head. Please forgive the academic nature of discussion in which this person speaks up with an equal voice in a spirit of healthy debate.
Vraja Kishor das
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Oct 22, 2012 @ 3:25 am
I agree that calculations of planetary revolutions per Surya Siddhānta are done with reference to Revatī, and that these reference points are observably fixed and stable. As you noted, this data is calculated first (in chapter 2), and then the lagna is calculated tropically (in chapter 3). If one wants planetary positions in reference to the nakṣatra, there is no further work to be done. If one wants the sidereal location of the lagna, the ayana must be subtracted from it. If one wants planetary positions in reference to the rashi (not as mathematical sections, but as actual rāśi themselves, divisions of space relative to the equinox), one must add the ayana to the previous calculations.
You quoted Bhāgavatam 5.22.2, but I feel you have misrepresented. It does define the planets moving differently than the signs and nakshatras. However, it does not state that the signs and nakshatras do not move with respect to one another. This is an implication which you infer, it is not in the text itself.
It is misleading in the extreme to say that 5.22.2 gives a sidereal “definition” of the zodiac signs. A definition has already been given in 5.21.2-6 (and that definition is tropical). Definitions are explicit. They are not analogies. Furthermore, your inference from the analogy certainly does not qualify as a “definition.”
5.22.5 explains that a solar month is equivalent [not identical] to 2.25 nakshatras. Sripad Vijayadhvaj Tirtha is from the 15th century and explained this according to the prevalent custom of his time.
Varaha Mihira also spoke accurately of the correlation of stars and signs extant at his time. As he pointed out, the size of a navāmśa and the size of a nakṣatra pada are identical, and therefore the size of a rashi equals 9 nakṣatra pada.
I agree that Varaha Mihira was aware of the distinction between the tropical and sidereal chakra. I believe the confusion amongst Indian astrologers gradually arose over the several following centuries.
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Oct 22, 2012 @ 3:24 am
Dear Antardwipa Dasa and Shyamasundara Dasa,
Respectful thanks a well written and knowledgeable article. I will reply to a few points.
You expressed uncertainty about my phrase “center of space.” I use that phrase to refer to the point at which the ecliptic intersects the equator, providing a “center” for observational space.
The fact that there are not 12 equal-sized constellations among the stars is only one of several observations depreciating the concept that the 12 signs are intrinsically stellar. But even so, you proceeded on with your article without offering any specific counterpoint to this particular observation.
I agree that the rashi system (12 sections of 30 degrees) can be, and often is, abstracted to a mathematical principle of circular geometry, including the measure of sidereal phenomenon. However, the actual rashi themselves are intrinsically tropical (i.e. defined with reference to solstice and equinox) as per Surya Siddhānta 14.7-10 and the Puranas viz. Bhāgavatam 5.21.2-6.
Thus SS 1.28 states that such a system of seconds, degrees, signs, etc. can be used to measure sidereal space. But SS 14.7-10 makes it explicitly clear that the 12 signs themselves (not as mathematical abstractions, but the signs themselves) are tropical. SS 1.28 does not say that the signs are sidereal, merely it states that 12 divisions of 30 degrees is used to measure sidereal space. Thus I agree that both tropical and sidereal space can be measured in 12 30 degree sections. However, the origin of the 30 degree system is tropical – and thus the 12 30 degree signs are inherently tropical, although they have sidereal mathematical application.
I agree with and appreciate your statement that certain calculations (declination, rising signs, etc) are impossible to make without a tropical zodiac.
You make an interesting statement that planetary longitude is not included among the tropical calculations indicated in Surya Siddhānta. My reply: (a) As you noted, the Siddhānta uses the word “etcetera” (adhikam) in its list of this to be tropically figured. (b) Planetary positions amongst the sidereal nakṣatra is very important, in fact far more important to the original indigenous Vedic astrology, than planetary positions among the 12 signs.
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Oct 22, 2012 @ 3:23 am
Dear Vaishnav Das,
Thank you for an interesting article. I like the 14th chapter of the 1st canto for a rich description of omens, given by King Yudhisthira. You may enjoy re-reading that section.
Essentially, whenever something unexpected happens, it’s a bad omen. The majority of omens fall into this category. (Wolves howling at the sun instead of the moon. Dogs being arrogant instead of humble.) This is quite practical, really, because when you see something not going right, it means things are going wrong. Stars, for example, are supposed to be fixed in the sky. They are not supposed to fall out of the sky. “Ketu” although the name for a quasi-planet, is also a generic term for falling stars, which include meteors, commets, and all that sort of stuff.
If it was so simple that whenever there was a comet there was a war – (a) we would have a LOT more wars, and (b) we would know exactly when the next one would come. So, obviously it’s not that simple.
Another portion of omens is practical and symbolic: for example if you see scarey birds flourishing and peaceful birds dying – that is a bad omen.
Omens are fascinating, and are a useful way to listen more closely to Paramatma.
I hope this information is useful.
Vraja Kishor das
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Oct 5, 2012 @ 3:01 am
There is so much discussion, but it would be better to be quiet and wait for the article. The position I present is extremely simple:
(1) Shastra defines a tropical zodiac and does not define a sidereal zodiac (for rashis).
Anyone is welcome to counter this point with quotation from Shastra that does define the zodiacs 12 rashi in a sidereal manner – and then discussion can proceed.
No one is doing that. Instead everyone veers the discussion towards their idea of what Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati thinks of my argument. Sarasvati Prabhupada is not here to state his opinion. I feel that on this matter I at least represent his fidelity to scripture and willingness to defy social custom in the process. If you feel so strongly that he would disagree with me, that take what you feel would be his position and explain his arguments.
My article that we are commenting on may be used as my response to previous publications by HG Shyama Sundar Prabhu and others.
If anyone wishes more information on me and my background pertinent to astrology, here it is: http://vicdicara.com/about.php
The calendar topic is also largely a diversion, since my own argument is that nakshatras are unequivocally sidereal, and the vaishnava calendar is almost entirely based upon nakshatra and tithi.
Wishing to serve you in anyway possible, and praying for your patience.
Vraja Kishor das
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Oct 21, 2012 @ 2:46 am
Dear Sitalatma Ji,
Hare Krishna. Please accept my respects.
I believe that Guru and Shastra are not independent of one another. A guru who teaches what is not in shastra is not a guru. A guru can claim “Only I can really understand the shastra” but that is fishy, and therefore we have sadhus as the third check and balance.
However, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the idea that there are astrological “gurus” with bona-fide astrological “parampara” is just a dream, a fantasy. There are people out there who think they have a “guru” – and in a sense they do. But this guru is not divinely ordained by a spiritual parampara. Such a thing simply does not exist in the astrological world.
So let us not run for smoke and mirrors: “You have not asked the question correctly , that’s why we refuse to explain why we are not wrong.” Or “You do not have a guru, that’s why you cannot understand why we are never wrong.”
Let us be practical and honest. All the Purana’s, including Bhagavat, define the 12 signs tropically (ie. anchored to tropical events – the solstices and equinoxes). The Surya Siddhanta also does. None of them do so with any vagueness, all are very direct, straightforward and unequivocal. There is not a sidereal definition of zodiac signs to be found. Therefore where is the “guru” who has the bile to say that it is “Vedic” to use a sidereal zodiac.
I am sorry to argue with you – you are a Vaishnava so I take the dust of your feet upon my head if ever I get blessed with the opportunity. It is merely in this academic matter that I debate you. Please forgive.
Vraja Kishor das
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Oct 19, 2012 @ 2:29 am
Dear Shyamasundar Ji,
I am looking forward to reading your “Tale of Two Zodiacs.” Please refrain from misrepresenting me as someone who does not follow authorities. I have presented my argument based on the authority of Bhagavatam and Surya Siddhanta. There is no better authority. If you can prove your point with similarly excellent authoritative statements I will be happy and satisfied, and well-educated by your good self.
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Oct 15, 2012 @ 1:14 am
The thread of comments has come to paint a “Vraja Kishor vs. Bhaktisiddhanta” marquee. This is unfair because no one has shown that Bhaktisiddhanta ever even expressed an opinion on this issue. For my part I know that Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja was faithful first and foremost to Sastra. My argument is my own small attempt to be faithful to Sastra. Therefore I will not accept the role of being the opponent of His Divine Grace. We are most certainly on the same side, I under the protection of the shade of his lotus feet.
The comments have become very long and I hope that the good readers will refer again to the original article so as not to lose the scope.
I would like to stop replying to comments now, to preserve my time and energy. But if someone kindly posts something of great merit I will reply. I am looking forward to see what new article come forward, as promised by Sriman Shyamasundar Prabhu and Sriman Antardvip Prabhu. I look forward to the content being logical and based on shastra, and the arguments being written out clearly.
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Sep 17, 2012 @ 3:19 am
Please allow me to make a few new statements:
It is not accurate to depict me as a lone maverick championing an oddball cause. I am merely doing my part and carrying the torch. Many, many important personalities before me have discovered and advocated the same reform I am championing. Similarly there are many others who currently share this opinion with me.
In fact, even the very committee who recommended the Lahiri sidereal ayanamsha as the Indian standard in the 1950s expressly stated that it was only a partial reform, and that further reform was required to return the zodiac to proper alignment with tropical seasons. Here are their words, and background, copied from research published by Dieter Koch.
Lahiri was inspired by the astronomy historian S. B. Dikshita, who in the late 19th century wrote an important book on the history of Indian astronomy [History of Indian Astronomy, Part II]. Dikshita came to the conclusion that, given the prominence that Vedic religion gave to the cardinal points of the tropical year, the Indian calendar should be reformed and no longer be based on the sidereal, but on the tropical zodiac. However, if such a reform could not be brought about due to the rigid conservatism of contemporary Vedic culture, one should choose the Ayanāṃśa in such a way that the sidereal zero point was in opposition to Spica, because this would be in accordance with the zodiac of the 16th century astronomer Ganeśa Daivajña.
A similar point of view was maintained by the Calendar Reform Committee, when it recommended the Lahiri Ayanāṃśa: “This recommendation is to be regarded only as a measure of compromise, so that we avoid a violent break with the established custom. But it does not make our present seasons in the various months as they were in the days of Varahamihira or Kalidasa. It is hoped that at not a distant date, further reforms for locating the lunar and solar festivals in the seasons in which they were originally observed will be adopted.” (Calendar Reform Committee Report, p. 5)
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Sep 17, 2012 @ 3:18 am
You asked me to explain how others discredit the shastra in an attempt to refute the argument I (and others) present. The response is to say, “Śrīmad Bhāgavatam and Surya Siddhanta are not relevant to Jyotish.”
You asked me to explain loka-praman. Loka-pramana is “hearsay” and “word-of-mouth.” It is, essentially “public opinion.” Śrīla Jīva Goswāmī Prabhupāda lists it as one of 10 types of Pramana in his Tattva-Sandarbha, but counts it among those which are subservient and unimportant in comparison to the three main pranama (methods of knowing): Sastra / Sabdha (hearing from authority), Anuman (logic), and Pratyaksha (experience). Out of those main three, Sastra is paramount, according to Śrī Jīva.
The difference between hearing from authority and hearing public opinion is clear. Thus if the sastra contradicts a local custom or tradition, it is the custom or tradition which requires correction. In this case Śrīmad –Bhāgavatam, Surya-Siddhanta, and other Puranas contradict, explicitly, the current Indian custom / tradition of considering the 12 signs to be sidereally rooted. So this custom needs to be corrected.
People have attempted to put me at odds with Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, whose feet I am not qualified to keep even on my head, though I do hope to carry them within my heart. However, no one has yet demonstrated that Sarasvatī Prabhupāda expressed any clear opposition to the tropical zodiac. I am indebted to those who have brought Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava to my attention, a most excellent book. I have not finished reading it yet, but so far it does not say anything conclusive about Prabhupāda having a firm stance on this issue.
If it has been demonstrated that Bhaktisiddhanta took a specific stance on this issue, I have missed it. Please bring it again to my attention.
Regarding Siddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupāda’s stance against Śrī Bapudev Sastri, et. al.: It is not clear from the book what topic the debate was over. It could very likely have nothing to do with tropical vs. sidereal. It seems more likely that it had to do with astronomical calculations, whether it was feasible to stick with the formulas given in Surya Siddhanta, or if those should be abandoned in favor of modern Western techniques. (This was recently a small debate in the Jyotish world as well, “SSS vs. Drik.”)
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Sep 17, 2012 @ 3:17 am
It is not perplexing at all, it is a mistake. I make mistakes. If you point them out to me, as you have kindly done, I admit them and try to correct them and/or not make them again.
Kindly stay on point and see if there are any mistakes in my presentation of Shastric Tropical Zodiac definitions from Srimad Bhagavatam and Surya Siddhanta. If there are, kindly point these out in a logical manner, if possible without unnecessary scathe. Please do not be diverted into tangential analysis of my grammar and spelling, etc.
Hare Krishna. Please forgive my bluntness.
Vraja Kishor das
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Sep 10, 2012 @ 1:49 am
It is an excellent book. I have not yet finished reading it. In this consideration we need access to exact details before we can know Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati’s stance on this issue, or, second best, can very confidently extrapolate what his stance would be.
The book itself repeats a well known fact that Bhaktisiddhanta was not a Jataka, ever. The topic under discussion here is Jataka Jyotisha. Therefore even once we know confidently what Bhaktisiddhanta’s opinion on the definition of the zodiac starting point; still we have to take that point into careful consideration.
For my part, the Srimad Bhagavatam is exceedingly clear. As is the 14th chapter of Surya Siddhanta. As are other Purana’s such as the Vishnu Purana. And there is even scope to bring in Rg Veda showing the importance of the equinox in defining the 12 divisions.
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Aug 22, 2012 @ 6:12 pm
PS – still it is perplexing how one could argue that the equinox is fixed in relation to the stars. HH Bhakti Vaibhava’s wording in this part of the presentation is very ambiguous. It could very well mean that the equinox is the point which fixes the zodiac – that the zodiac does not move in relation to the equinox – i.e. that the zodiac is anchored to the equinoxes. This would make the statement conform to Surya Siddhanta 14.7-10, etc. and is a tropical zodiac.
Is there another interpretation? “the matter rested on the precision of the equinox, which in Vedic astronomy is made from a fixed point of the zodiac.” There seems to be no astronomically feasible way in which the equinox is fixed to a sidereal zodiac.
So, still we are hungry for source material and more detail.
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Aug 13, 2012 @ 1:43 am
Thank you Vyasadeva Ji for your clarifications. It does seem from HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami’s presentation that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta took a stance against Sri Bapudev Shastri, Mahesha-candra Nyayaratna (Head of the Sanskrit college), Pandita Pancanana Sahityacarya was (Head of the astronomy department of the college, and “the greatest astronomer in Bengal”) and other luminaries who wished to reform the Indian astronomical / astrological system from the sidereal zodiac. It also seems that the matter which concerned Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati was the humiliation and public defeat of a champion of atheism. It seems that astronomy was only a tool or front to achieve that end.
I just ordered the 3 volumes of Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava and am looking forward to reading them.
Regarding my grammar. I write everything by myself, and usually publish the first drafts. If you know of anyone who would like to volunteer for proofreading, it would be a great favor to let me know.
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Aug 13, 2012 @ 1:37 am
Thank you. That is an excellent quote.
“One of his pupils” means one of Bhaktisiddhanta’s pupils? So the argument was not made directly by Bhaktisiddhanta, but by his pupil?
“The precession of the equinox, … is made from a fixed point of the zodiac [in Vedic astronomy].” Is an astronomically perplexing statement [i.e. astronomically impossible, a contradiction in terms], suggesting that HH Bhakti Vikasha Swami, due to a lack of astronomical experience, may have introduced something inaccurate in his otherwise superb presentation and effort. It would be good to get the source material and investigate.
Vraja Kishor das
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Aug 12, 2012 @ 12:39 am
Please know that I am merely glancing upward from the shadow of your feet, desiring to attain by your mercy a speck of devotion to Sri Krishna. Thank you for your affectionate attention. I welcome your corrections, and if they are good I will surely embrace them.
So far neither Sriman Syamasundar nor anyone else has ever produced a single reference from Shastra defining the zodiac in a sidereal manner. Quite the contrary many people, including even my insignificant self, have directly quoted explicit tropical definitions of the zodiac from Srimad Bhagavatam, Surya Siddhanta, Vishnu Purana, and Rg Veda. So, we have shastra-pramana.
I am asking the opposing view to present shastra-pramana, and if they cannot then I shall not heed their view. That is, I believe, exceedingly reasonable. It is not reasonable, as Syamasundara has done in the past, to discredit the validity or applicability of the sastra.
So far the opposing view only has loka-pramana. That is, they only have heresay and assumptions based on word of mouth and local customs. They try to use Srila Bhaktisiddhanta as leverage for their argument, but when I ask for proof that this great mahajana held the same opinions they do, I receive no reply.
All things considered, I beg to remain thoroughly unimpressed by the opposing view. I am openly inviting you to impress and educate me. I beg you to do it in an intellectual and rational manner.
Awaiting the opportunity to serve or assist your service to Sri Hari…
Vraja Kishor das
PS. In point of humor – I can tell if a comment will be favorable or unfavorable, so far, simply be seeing if the author addresses me as “Vic” or “Vraja Kishor” =)
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Jul 23, 2012 @ 12:13 am
In an effort to keep my schedule and avoid confrontational interactions I will try to stop commenting after this post, unless someone asks or says something that I feel is unusually insightful. I apologize.
My closing notes:
There are no constants whatsoever in any corner of the entire material universes. Brahman alone is constant. Everything else is variable.
Matter has some distant relation to Brahman, thus in matter there is perhaps a single constant: change.
Change = motion. Thus everything is moving. The Sun is moving, the Earth is moving, the solar system is moving, the universes themselves are moving; everything is moving. It is not always EXPLAINED this way, because there is little PRACTICAL use in it. It is more practical and useful to take your locus standi as the stationary constant.
For example: A brick wall is stationary relative to the ground it stands on. But it is not stationary relative to a car smashing into it at 91mph.
It is a little confusing to understand relativity or the relativity of motion, therefore I request not to try to do it on the internet where rajo-guna predominates – but in the calmness of your quiet contemplation. I apologize that I may lack the ability to fully explain the topic to everyone, but I hope that if you carefully consider what I have written it will become crystal clear.
Vraja Kishor das
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Jul 19, 2012 @ 12:33 am
Dear Abhirama Ji,
Thank you for your comment. 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.
I thought at least someone would try to put forward the Puranic correlations between nakshatra (stars) and rashis (signs). Even such a reply, however, is not substantial, because it always comes after the rashis are explicitly defined as solstice/equinox (tropical) phenomena.
It is very obvious that the original “Vedic” conception of the 12 zodiac signs is tropical. But getting people to admit this is difficult because of (a) habit, and (b) embarrassment – too many people will have to be humble and admit to fallibility. I am trying to show that the fallibility does not equate to uselessness, by pointing out that the zodiac is one of many parts of an astrological puzzle. But still, people, especially astrologers, don’t like to admit that they made mistakes. I myself had to admit my mistake and break my habits to embrace the obvious tropical zodiac definitions.
Vraja Kishor das
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Jul 17, 2012 @ 3:37 am
Dear Rohininandana Ji,
Hare Krishna. Thank you for your comment. It presents geocentric astronomy and heliocentric astronomy as being mutually contradictory. I would like to explain how the two types of astronomy are not mutually contradictory.
Car A drives down the street at 30 MPH. Car B moving at 20 MPH. The person in Car A observes the world is moving past her window at -30 MPH. And she observes Car B moving backwards at -10 MPH. The person in Car B, however, observes the world moving at -20 MPH and Car A moving forward at +10 MPH. Even more interesting: the people in Car A and the people in Car B both observe their interior of their own Cars to be stationary.
Car A and Car B are to real things co-existing, and their measurements and observations co-exist in reality. Relative motion is not mutually contradictory.
In the universe, time is active, therefore everything moves (time is realized by motion). [viz. Gita 13.20: prakṛtim puruṣam caiva viddhy anādī ubhāv api | vikārāmś ca guṇāmś caiva viddhi prakṛti-sambhavān "...In the material world, everything is in constant state of change."]
From whatever point we observe the universe, that point appears to be stationary. Since we stand upon the Earth, the most relevant and meaningful type of astronomy is earth-centric (“geo-centric”), in which the Sun moves around the earth, and the stars have their own motion relative to some pole.
But if you abstract your vantage point to the Sun (like switching from Car A to Car B) the Sun appears to be stationary, and everything else revolves around it. In fact nothing is really stationary, everything is in constant flux.
As the example with the Cars evidenced, relative motion co-exists without cancellation or contradiction. The person in Car A measuring Car B to have a -10MPH motion is right and accurate. And the person on the sidewalk measuring Car B to have +20MPH motion is also right and accurate. And the person in the back seat of Car B reading a book experiencing Car B to have 0MPH motion is also right and accurate – all of them relative to their locus standi. Thus Helio and geo centrism are not at all mutually-contradictory.
Hopefully this is a clear explanation and you are open to it. Thank you for your attention.
Vraja Kishor das
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Jul 13, 2012 @ 3:13 am
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Dear Shyamasundara Prabhu,
You are very welcome to discuss the issue with me first privately if you like – it may iron out many points, for both of us. You can reach me privately via this page: http://vicdicara.com/contact.php
Vraja Kishor das
Dear Atmavidya Dasa,
Your message is based on the idea that for “thousands of yugas” Indian astrology has been done with the sidereal zodiac signs. Do you have any hard evidence for this at all? Do you have hard evidence that any of the exemplary mathematicians you mentioned considered the 12 zodiac signs to be sidereal in origin?
In this article I presented clear and explicit evidence from Surya Siddhanta and Srimad Bhagavatam that just the opposite is true – that the original Indian conception of the 12 signs is tropical. I also have evidence that the same conception exists in Rg Veda. Therefore it appears that what I am presenting is faithful to the shastra. If you have evidence to the contrary please present it.
If possible please try to avoid elaborate insults, as it makes it more difficult to concentrate on the real issues.
Vraja Kishor das
» Posted By Vraja Kishor On Jul 11, 2012 @ 5:12 am
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