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Indian Calendars - Chia Daphne (Urops)

Indian Calendars - Chia Daphne (Urops)

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Published by Sunilkumar Dubey
INDIAN CALENDARS:
COMPARING THE SURYA SIDDHANTA AND
THE ASTRONOMICAL EPHEMERIS
INDIAN CALENDARS:
COMPARING THE SURYA SIDDHANTA AND
THE ASTRONOMICAL EPHEMERIS

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Published by: Sunilkumar Dubey on Jun 01, 2012
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12/09/2012

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1
Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme in Science(UROPS)
INDIAN CALENDARS:
COMPARING THE SURYA SIDDHANTA ANDTHE ASTRONOMICAL EPHEMERIS
CHIA DAPHNEASSOCIATE PROFESSOR HELMER ASLAKSEN
DEPARTMENT OF MATHEMATICSNATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORESEMESTER II 2000/2001
 
2
CONTENT Page
Introduction 31.Basic facts about astronomy 41.1The ecliptic, celestial equator and equinoxes 41.2 Precession of the equinoxes 51.3 Measuring a solar year 62. The workings of the Indian solar and lunisolar calendars 82.1 The Indian solar calendars 82.1.1 Measuring a solar year 82.1.2 Measuring a solar month 92.2 The Indian lunisolar calendars 112.2.1 The Amanta month 112.2.2 Tithi 123. The Surya Siddhanta vs the Astronomical Ephemeris 143.1 The Surya Siddhanta 143.2 The Astronomical Ephemeris 154. Computer codes: Algorithms based on ephemeric rules 164.1 Fixed day numbers 164.1.1 The fixed calendar: R.D. dates 164.1.2 Julian day number 184.2
 
Epochs 194.2.1 Hindu epoch 194.3
 
The siddhantic and ephemeric codes: A comparison 204.3.1
 
Hindu sidereal year and the Hindu epoch 214.3.2
 
Solar longitude and Hindu solar longitude 214.3.3
 
Lunar longitude and Hindu lunar longitude 284.4 Appendix 305. References 326. Acknowledgements 32
 
3
Introduction
The history of calendars in India is a remarkably complex subject, owing to thecontinuity of Indian civilization and to the diversity of cultural influences. In the mid-1950s when the Calendar Reform Committee made its survey, there were about 30calendars in use for setting religious festivals. Up till today, numerous calendars arestill used in India for different purposes: The Gregorian calendar is used by thegovernment for civil matters; the Islamic calendar is used by the Muslims; the Hindususe both the solar and the lunisolar calendars for both civil and religious purposes.The aim of this report is to briefly describe the workings of the Indian solar andlunisolar calendars, and to highlight the differences between the two methods of measuring the solar year from a fixed point on the ecliptic: the
tropical (sayana)
system and the
 sidereal (nirayana)
system. I will explain these terms later in the firstand second section. Prior to that, I will introduce some basic astronomical conceptsthat are required to understand the fundamental units of time, namely the day, monthand the year.The third section introduces the two schools of 
 panchang 
(calendar) makers who areresponsible for all Indian calendric information pertaining to celebration of festivals, performance of rituals as well as on all astronomical matters. The ‘Old’ School basetheir calculations on an ancient astronomical treatise called the
Surya Siddhanta
whilethe ‘Modern’ School uses the modern
 Astronomical Ephemeris
to obtain the true positions of the luminaries as observed in the sky. I will explain and highlight theunderlying differences between the two schools in detail.Finally, the last section comprises computer codes written to produce true longitudevalues of the Sun and the Moon, calculated based on modern methods. They aremodified from the computer codes originally written by Nachum Dershowitz andEdward M. Reingold in Lisp, but converted to Mathematica by Robert C. McNally.Their calculations are based on old Siddhantic methods
.
I will discuss the calculationsin detail.

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