Bīrūnī, Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad, Alberuni's India (v. 1)

(London :  Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co.,  1910.)



Jump to page:

Table of Contents

  Page 391  

CHAPTER XLV.                            391

The words of Garga are without any foundation ; they
only show how little he knew of that which every
one must know who wants to fix the places of the
stars, either by eyesight or by means of astronomical
observation on certain degrees of the signs of the

I have read in the almanacs for the year 951 of the Note from a
Sakakala which came from Kashmir the statement aimamc"^"
that the Seven Rishis stand since seventy-seven years
in the lunar station Anuradha. This station occupies
the space between 3|-° and the end of i6f ° of Scorpio.
However, the Seven Rishis precede this place by about
a whole zodiacal sign and 20 degrees, i.e. by if signs
(v. p. 390). But what man would be able to learn all
the different theories of the Hindus, if he does not dwell
among them !

Let us now first suppose that Garga is right, that he Examina-
has not stated the precise place in Magha which the statement^
Seven Rishis occupy, and let us suppose that this place thl'^positfon
was 0° of Magha, which would correspond to 0° of Leo Bear!" ^''^""^
for our time.    Further, between the time of Yudhish¬
thira and the present year, i.e. the year 1340 of Alex¬
ander, there is an interval of 3479 years.    And lastly,
let us suppose that Varahamihira is right in saying that
the Seven Rishis dwell 600 years in each lunar station.
Accordingly, they ought in the present year to stand in
17° 18' of Libra, which is identical with 10° 38' of Svati.
However, if we suppose that they stood in the midst of
Magha (not in the beginning), they ought at present
to stand in 3° 58' of Visakha.    And if we suppose that
they stood in the end of Magha, they ought at present
to stand in 10° 38' of Visakha.

Hence it is evident that the statement of the Kash¬
mirian calendar does not agree with the statement in the
Samhitd. Likewise, if we adopt the rule of the said
calendar regarding the precession of the equinoxes, and
reckon with this measure backward, we do by no means
  Page 391