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On the Authenticity of the Brhat Parasara Hora Sastra
by Shyamasundara Dasa
Copyright 2009

[This article first appeared in the July and August, 2009, issues of The Astrological eMagazine, Bangalore.]

How Brhat Parasara Hora Sastra became Gospel
Ever since 1984 with the publication of the first volume of Brhat Parasara Hora Sastra (Parasara, 1984) with translation and commentary by R. Santanam, Brhat Parasara Hora Sastra (henceforth BPHS) has been successfully marketed to Vedic astrologers in India and abroad as the preeminent text on Vedic astrology. Ranjan, the publishers, described it as: "The Gospel Book of Hindu Astrology with Master Key to Divination" (I coined the term "Vedic Astrology" but had not yet popularized it until 1988). This reputation was further cemented when Sagar published their superior edition of the same work with translation and commentary by Sriman Girish Chand Sharma (Parasara, 1994). The idea that one gets, especially for followers of Lord Krsna's Vedic culture, is that the modern edition of BPHS is a very ancient text dating back to the beginning of Kali-yuga (3102 B.C.). Hence, the views set forth in the BPHS are seen by many as sacrosanct, infallible and on par with sacred scriptures like the Vedas or Srimad Bhagavatam. And, hence BPHS is often quoted as pramana -authoritative evidence -- in Vedic astrological discourse. But what is the real status of BPHS and the implications to Vedic astrology? When I first started studying jyotish in India in 1977-1983 there were

another excellent translation was by Swami Vijnananda.S. Indeed Brhat Jataka and its author Varaha Mihira were so famous and adored by the Jyotish Pandits that when it came to . This is not a complete list of translators and titles. Jaimini Sutras and Sarvartha Cintamani. The main authors to have translated texts were V. In The Astrological Magazine we read that in South India. one was not considered a scholar of jyotish unless he had memorized both Brhat Jataka and Prasna Marga not BPHS.V. Suryanarayana Rao. Subrahmanya Sastri to whom we owe translations of: y y y y y y y y y y y y y Brhat Jataka Brhat Samhita Jataka Parijata Sripatipaddhati Phaladipika Uttarakalamrita Shatpanchasika Prasnajnana Jataka Tattva Jatakadesamarga Jatakalankara Sanketanidhi Horasara (Most of which have been pirated after his demise. Iyer which was later pirated and repackaged as authoured by Usha and Shashi. Raman though a prolific author did not translate many books but the ones he did were important in particular Prasna Marga. I remember from my early days of study that the "big five" main classical texts that the scholars in The Astrological Magazine eulogized and encouraged one to read and study were: y y y y y Brhat Jataka Saravali Sarvartha Cintamani Jataka Parijata Phaladipika We note the absence of BPHS. A less valuable translation (in my opinion) was that of N. Suryanarayana Rao translated and commented on several important classics including Brhat Jataka. I have already mentioned the translations of V. Much later P.) B. His grandfather B. Brhat Jataka was considered to be the jewel among astrological literatures and indeed in my early days of study there were many translations and commentaries on Varaha Mihira's Brhat Jataka. especially Kerala. Subrahmanya Sastri and B.very few classic texts easily available in English. Sastri also did a translation of Brhat Jataka.

B.eul i e Dr. The book was a translation of some important chapters (not a complete translation) by N. I recall I was especially happy because for the first time I could read an explanation of how the shodasavargas were to be used. It was not well printed but the content mattered more to me than the form it was in.N. T B I i V i. I had been trying to use shodasavargas since 1977 and had even written a computer program to calculate them but was not really sure how to use them as no texts up to that time gave instructions on how to use them.V. I came across it by accident when I spotted it in the card catalogs. Choudhuri published in 1962. Fi E i B Whereas today B would be one of the first books a new student would be recommended to purchase I had barely heard of it what to speak of seen it. B as one can see from my narrati e so far was hardly mentioned or popular.B. I was also . Krishna Rau and V. It was not until my third year of intense study did I stumble upon B in a uni ersity library in Kolkata in 1980. When the clerk returned with the book I was enthralled and spent a long time looking through it and taking notes. R he was honored by calling hi the modern Varaha Mihira.

At that time while I was living in Kolkata (1980. I recall having a discussion with my astrology teacher Sriman B. I made arrangements to stop in Varanasi on my way to Vrndavana in August 1980 and acquired the book which I still have to this day.intrigued by the idea that the author. I also followed this trend. Sriman B. had indicated that each of the planets was an expansion of a different incarnation of Lord Krsna. from Varanasi who said he had a copy of the same book and would give it to me. The thing that I remember was that I was wondering how these two texts could give different views. Sashikanta Jain.4. many of which had been on my list. Sashikanta Jain regarding which system of house division should be used. about the lack of classical works translated into English. Pandit Dvivedi.G. BPHS became the "bible of astrology" replacing Brhat Jataka as a primary authority on the premise that BPHS was the older text.May 1981) I was studying Vedic astrology with Sriman Harihara Majumdhar. I remember that he startled me by saying that unlike other well known texts BPHS started appearing only recently in the 1930-40s and that there was no standard version in Bengali. Parasara Muni. I asked him what his opinion was of BPHS. Goel one of the owners of Ranjan Publications in Delhi submitting my desideratum. I then I wrote a letter to Mr. later Santanam translated and published a steady stream of texts. I never got a reply but I was more than pleasantly surprised when Santanam's translation and commentary on Hora Sara came out later that year and 2 years later they came out with Santanam's translation of the first volume of BPHS. From this point onward. We made up a list of desired texts including BPHS. . I was determined to get a copy of this book. And. However I was somehow disturbed by what I perceived to be a focus only on BPHS and the demise of the tradition of studying other classics especially Brhat Jataka among the younger astrologers especially those who got into astrology via the internet and had never visited India. By my good fortune I was introduced by a friend to an old brahmana. I studied the book diligently especially the use of the different vargas. one choice was for unequal house division based on statements of BPHS another was for Bhava = Rasi based on Brhat Jataka 1. Later in 1982 I was discussing with my jyotish guru. In 1982 I was living and studying jyotish in Bangalore and Thiruvanantampuram. It was not till much later that I understood the significance of his statement. Unfortunately only about a thousand had been made by mimeograph copying almost 20 years earlier so it would be very hard to come by and no book sellers had heard of it.G.

17-19). many of which we only know about because he quotes them in his commentaries (Mihira. Yet despite his living before the general destruction in the wake of the Islamic invasion and having access to a vast quantity of jyotish literature he was unable to see let alone acquire Parasara Hora quoted by Varaha Mihira. How then is it that we are able to get it 1000 years later with all the difficulties and loss associated with the passage of so much time? Therefore there is great doubt as to the authenticity of the modern BPHS. Rao's annotated translation of Brhat Jataka with commentary of Bhattotpala (Mihira.Doubts about Brhat Parasara Hora Sastra In the summer of 1999 while reading B. places of learning. 1649 A. . 68). 1986. 449) also doubted the authenticity of Laghu Parasari and BPHS. In Brhat Jataka 7. Visnu Nambudiri (fl. p. Why is this significant? Bhattotpala lived in North India on the same latitude as Ujjain (Mihira. It seems that he had access to various royal libraries in North India particularly Ujjain which was the native place of Varaha Mihira. pp. This was before the Islamic invasion of India with attendant destruction of libraries. 1986.1. 1969.D.560).1 Varaha Mihira directly refers to Parasara Muni by the name of Saktipurva (son of Sakti). 1986) I came across an interesting point in his commentary to the 7th chapter. His writings indicate that he had at his access many ancient works of jyotish. p. mportance of Brhat Jataka In South India Brhat Jataka (and its commentaries) is held in the highest esteem.9. This struck Rao as significant because it now made him doubt the authenticity of Jataka Candrika which is supposedly an abstract of Parasara Hora but much later than the time of Bhattotpala. Later in Brhat Jataka 7. Bhattotpala finished his commentary on Brhat Jataka on 888 Saka which is either 833 AD (Vikram) or 968 AD (Shalivahan) (Mihira. p. decline of scholarship and general decline of Krsna's Vedic civilization in North India. On this basis Ajay Mitra Sastri (Shastri. Rao mentions that the learned commentator Bhattotpala laments that while he has a copy of Parasara Samhita he was unable to acquire a copy of Parasara Hora which Mihira refers to in Brhat Jataka 7. S. Why? Because of its many ancient commentaries by Bhattopala and others especially the Dasadhyayi of Talakkulathur Govindam Bhattathiri.) the author of Prasna Marga. not BPHS. 1986.

19-21) No Ancient Commentaries on Brhat Parasara Hora Sastra Another reason that casts doubt on the veracity of the modern BPHS is the complete lack of any ancient commentary on the text. For example we know that the Bhagavad Gita has 18 chapters and 700 verses because all the commentaries from ancient to modern have the same number." Stanza 29. Stanza 31. it is possible to understand the book. pp. [sic] NOTES : Brhat Jataka deals with horoscopy and Krishneeya with Prasna. meaning that his work is "concise.. .V.28-32 (Nambudiri. "Brhat Jataka by Varahamihira. it would be difficult to make correct predictions. safely claim good scholarship. Why are commentaries important from a historical perspective? Commentaries ensure that the corpus of the material in the text stays intact and allows us to track changes in the text.. states the following. is a very suggestive treatise pregnant with ideas. One well acquainted with these two books can.considered the master piece on Prasna literature. Stanza 30. "Without a thorough study of the Dasadhyayi. NOTES: Compare Varaha Mihira's own admission. The oldest commentary known to me is that of Devacandra Jha's Hindi commentary from the first half of the 20th century. 1991. So say the learned. less than 100 years old. yet with the aid of the commentaries of Bhattotpala and others. If someone were to publish an edition of more or less than 700 verses . though short. Stanza 32. according to the author. "One. Prasna Marga 1. would be like a man trying to cross an ocean without a boat. who attempts to predict without studying the Dasadhyayi. More recently are the previously mentioned English translations and commentaries of Santanam and Sharma. "An astrologer who wants to make predictions should specially study Dasadhyayi carefully. Though difficult to be comprehended by even intelligent persons. of a variety of meter and full of meaning. that is. with notes by B. Raman: Stanza 28. "One wearing the garland of Varahamihira in his neck along with the necklace of Krishneeya can win laurels in any astrological assembly.

Bhatttopalavritti. Sripatiyam. besides. p. Perhaps next prominent one is Vivaranam of Rudra. These commentaries preserve the text and its structure in a way that is hard to do without commentaries.. Brhat Jataka commentaries We can have reasonable faith and trust in the authenticity of the present version of Brhat Jataka because there are a number of commentaries on this text some of them very ancient.it would be immediately detected as spurious." Shastri then goes on to mention seven other commentaries some without the name of the authors. Subhodhini.. 2007. by Talakkulathur Govindam Bhattathiri. like Mudrakshari. y y y y y y Jagaccandrika aka Cintamani aka Vivrti by Bhattotapal Jataka-vivarana by Mahidhara Nilotpaliya -. those in other languages.158) informs us that the Brihajjataka was commented upon by Balabhadra who flourished sometime before Utpala (Bhatattopala). Shastri (Shastri. Srinivasaraghava Aiyangar. is stated to have more than twenty commentaries in Sanskrit itself. 203) A recent Sanskrit commentary on Brhat Jataka is Apurarthapradarsika by A. p." (Kalyanraman. 1969. published .not certain of the author Prakasa by Nityaprakasa Suri Dasadhyayi [Talakkulathur Govindam Bhattathiri] Nauka aka Hora-vivarana aka Varahamihira-hora-tatparyasagara Subodhini y Kalyanraman adds: "Brhat Jataka . Dasadhyayi is one of such commentaries in Sanskrit. But if a work has no commentaries then we can not know if there have been any changes to the text unless there is some other system (such as ghanapata) of keeping the text from changing.N. 26) gives the following information about commentaries on Brhat Jataka: "Alberuni (1.

How to tell what is authentic in Brhat Parasara Hora Sastra? How to tell what is authentic in BPHS and what has been interpolated by later authors? The first thing to consider is that Varaha Mihira refers to many previous and contemporary authors: "Varaha Mihira was an encyclopedic writer and naturally he refers to a host of earlier or contemporary authors not only on astronomy and astrology but on various other subjects also. pp.7. As "the redactor of the entire Jyotihsastra" it would necessitate Varaha Mihira's extensive familiarity with the works of the authors he names. We should also like to say that while a study of the Brhat Jataka will prove helpful in our search for the real BPHS it should not be our sole . 424) In the same chapter Shastri gives a list of all authors consulted by Varaha Mihira for composing Brhat Samhita pointing out that Varaha Mihira quoted Parasara many times (Shastri. and his works form a valuable treasure-house of information about works and authors he consulted. He declares. Manitha. 1969. 447-449). And. in Brhat Jataka (particularly chapter 7) Varaha Mihira names many previous scholars whose works he is familiar with these include but are not limited to: Maya. Varaha Mihira has extracted from these works the essence of what is important in Jyotish (Brhat Jataka 1. Parasara. 1969. it would not be proper on my part to put forward my view only. Satyacarya. Chennai. state the majority view.by Adyar Library. Siddhasena and Jivasharma." (Shastri. Devasvami. p. might have irrecoverably been lost to us. His equally learned scholiast Bhattotpala persistently styled him as 'the redactor of the entire Jyotihsastra. but for these references. in1951. should there be any difference of opinion (among ancient writers). His works assume still greater importance from the fact that they are the sole source of our knowledge about many works and their authors. Yavana. Since he extensively quotes from the works of Parasara including his Parasara Hora Sastra we can presume his familiarity with its contents. I shall. 'astronomy and astrology are the sciences based on Agama. Visnugupta.2) hence a comparison of the contents of Brhat Jataka and the modern BPHS may give us some clues as to what has been interpolated into the later.' The result is excellent. however.' and the author himself makes his position clear in [Brhat Samhita] 9.

Remedial Measures Chapters 88-97 of BPHS appear to be interpolations. This is completely contrary to what is known of the character and life of Parasara Muni who is known as a great devotee of Lord Krsna and His avataras. Srimad Bahgavatam 1.8. And Hora Sara and Saravali will also be very helpful. Why? The chapters deal with remedial measures for various problems. Some works of the Yavana writers who also predated Mihira are still extant.3. After his era I would suggest that we can also gain insight into the real BPHS from Sarvartha Cintamani and Jataka Parijata which were written relatively shortly after the era of Bhattotpala and in a region of India that had yet to experience the disruptions of the Islamic invasion and attendant destruction of libraries. There is Satyajatakam by Satyacarya which is still extant and was held in esteem by Varaha Mihira. nakshatra devas and other devas such as Siva and Varuna. Srimad Bhagavatam 3. the next Rasi is the 2nd Bhava. However in Brhat Jataka 1. So it is possible that these scholars had access to the real BPHS. Strict Vaisnavas initiated into Vaisnava mantras do not worship anyone other than Lord Krsna or His avataras as explained by Lord Krsna in Bhagavada Gita 18. In this system which ever Rasi the lagna appears is the 1st Bhava.8-9. These texts were all before the era of Bhattotpala.21. Parasara was the father of an incarnation of Krsna (Vedavyasa). Maitreya states that Parasara learned the Srimad Bhagavatam from Sankhyayana and then he taught it to Maitreya. It is also the method used in Jaimini system. the next Rasi the 3rd Bhava etc. Parasara is also the speaker of the Visnu Purana.66 sarva-dharman parityajya . Both Srimad Bhagavatam and Visnu Purana are considered Vaisnava texts. Obvious anomalies House Systems In the modern BPHS 5.20-24 we are taught how to calculate the unequal house system commonly known as the Sripati house system.4 and Saravali 3.8 a different house system is taught where Rasi and Bhava are synonymous. (Jaimini. At some future date we will write an essay describing the faults of the unequal house system.guide. The remedial measures that are recommended include the worship of various planets. This is still followed by many traditional astrologers especially in the matter of Astamangala Prasna in Kerala. p. 2006. ii) It is very obvious that this unequal house system was a much later interpolation into the modern BPHS.

"Padma Purana These later interpolations also contradict what Parasara says in BPHS chapter 2 wherein he describes the planets as being manifestations of different avataras of Lord Krsna. 9 . 1994). The absence of any reference to Jaimini's system of astrology in Brhat Jataka could mean one of the following: y y Varaha Mihira didn't think Jaimini astrology to be useful. Hence to find several chapters in which we supposedly find Parasara Muni recommending practices totally at variance with his own teachings that he spoke in Srimad Bhagavatam and Visnu Purana naturally make us question their inclusion in any work he authored. giving up Lord Hari. similarly an unintelligent man desires to deliver himself from the material bondage by worshipping others. 41-42. 31-35 (and sprinkled in chapters 8. and 44) in the modern BPHS (Parasara. Jaimini's system was not found in the version of BPHS available to Varaha Mihira and was a later interpolation. Do not fear. The following texts on Jataka are Jaimini free: y y y Narada Purana Yavana Jataka Satyajataka (these three were before Varaha Mihira) . Absence of Jaimini One thing that is obvious is the complete absence of any reference to Jaimini astrology in Brhat Jataka which covers chapters 6.mam ekam saranam vraja aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah "Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions." This is explained in more detail by Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami in the introduction of his Sat Kriya Sara Dipika wherein he quotes various sastras to support his claim such as: "As a person desires to cross the ocean by holding the tail of a dog. (This section is consistent with the known teachings of Parasara. Or.) If he understands the planets to be manifestations of Bhagavan Sri Krsna then it would be superfluous to take shelter elsewhere than at the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of God Sri Krsna. It should also be noted that there is no mention of Jaimini system in the vast majority of the classic texts.

4. It appears to be a blending of what the authors thought most useful in Jaimini added to Parasara in such a way as to not jar the axiomatic system of Parasara as would be the case if Jaimini aspects were also introduced. Sriman Iranganti Rangacarya.S. Jataka Tattva. We will comment why he was not an expert later. This also strongly suggests that the chapters on Jaimini were inserted into the modern BPHS sometime after Nilakantha (17th century AD) by someone who was not an expert on Jaimini. 1941). to have flourished in the 17th century AD (Jaimini. The best known commentary on Jaimini Sutras is that of Nilakantha who is estimated by my Jaimini guru.y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y Brhat Jataka Hora Sara Saravali Brghu Sutra (date unknown) Mana Sagari Sarvartha Cintamani Jataka Parijata Phala Dipika Hora Ratnam Jataka Sara Dhipa Shambu Hora Prakasha Hora Makaranda Bhavartha Ratnakara Sanketa Nidhi Jatakadesa Marga It should also be noted that all the authors up to the time of Saravali lived before Bhattotapala and from an inspection of their works evidently had access to Parasara Hora and were much influenced by him yet they have no trace of Jaimini in them. What one notices about these two texts is that though Jaimini concepts such as arudha and atmakaraka are used the framework is that of Parasara. .34-45 which has some elements of a simplified Jaimini.66 (Mahadeva. P. The fact that Jaimini astrology is absent in all ancient classical works and only made its appearance after the commentaries of Nilakantha in the 17th AD raises certain doubts about the Jaimini system. iv). Sastri estimates that Uttara Kalamrta is a fairly modern work written sometime after the 16th or 17th century AD (Kalidasa. i). p. We note that both Uttara Kalamrta and Jataka Tattva are contemporary or later than Nilakantha suggesting that he is their source on Jaimini in their works. Jaimini aspects are not used. also uses some concepts of Jaimini such as atmakaraka -Jataka Tattva 1. 2005. (allegedly) authored in 1871 by Mahadeva. And. The only texts that I could find that had any trace of Jaimini were Uttara Kalamrta 1. 1995 p.

Confusion created by "Jaimini" material in modern Brhat Parasara Hora Sastra We previously mentioned that the Jaimini material inserted into the modern BPHS was done by someone who didn't properly understand Jaimini Sutras. Sriman Iranganti Rangacarya. and Vanchhanathiyam as well as other lesser known commentators such as Krsna Misra (Phalaratnamala) and Somanatha Misra (Kalpalata ) who are considered earlier than Nilakantha but exactly how much earlier is open to speculation (guessing). works such as Jaimini Padyamritam. others such as Raghava Bhatta (Jataka Sara Sangraha) and Nrisimha Suri (Sutrartha Prakasika) are also from 17th century. Jaimini Sutras are of the same antiquity as Parasara but it was not included in the original BPHS. pp. My guru for Jaimini Sutra. translator and commentator of Jaimini Sutramritam with more than 40 years . there are the Vriddhakarikas. Therefore Jaimini sutras are not from remote antiquity like the original (not modern) BPHS. We do not consider option 3 likely since we see that soon after the publication of Nilakantha's commentary on Jaimini sutras the authors of Uttara Kalamrta and Jataka Tattva used elements of this system in their work. This suggests the following possible scenarios: 1. It was not popular with later astrologers and hence never included in their redactions of astrological texts. Whereas.Whereas. 1972. 3. Jaimini Sutras are of the same antiquity as Parasara but it was not included in the original BPHS. have not had their dates ascertained yet but seem to be no earlier than 18th century AD. Nilakantha only had access to the first two chapters of Jaimini with others missing suggests that the work is much older than Nilakantha since part of it is already lost. Krsna Misra and Somanatha Misra.236-238). We would now like to briefly take up this subject. And other authors in last century before the modern "revival" of Jaimini have used Jaimini system of ayurdaya (Ojha. 2. Rather it was hidden for a very long time until they were brought to public notice by the commentary of Nilakantha in 17th century. Jaimini system is perhaps at most 1000 years old if we are very liberal with the dates of the earliest commentators Vanchhanatha. Whereas. Whereas.

One example should suffice to see what quagmire one can end up in. by that I mean it must not be mixed together such as 5th in Rasi and 9th in Navamsa." Whereas. Thus according to classical Jaimini School argala is only to be applied to what Sriman Iranganti Rangacarya calls the "aspecting planet. The lord of the sign occupied by the Moon aspecting Janma lagna and Moon sign. 4. he lamented that: "I have wasted 20 years of my life studying Jaimini. To mix the two is to simply court disaster. In 1. Argala as defined in the Jaimini School according to ancient commentaries can only be applied to a specific planet which has achieved a certain status by virtue of very clear criteria. 3. argala is applied indiscriminately to all planets and houses alike. The lord of the sign occupied by the Moon aspecting Janma lagna or Moon sign. 6. 2.12): 1. Aspects are strictly according to Jaimini system. A planet who aspects both Janma lagna and its 7th house. A planet aspecting Janma Lagna in Rasi chart and Navamsa lagna in Navamsa chart or Drekkana Lagna in Derkanna chart. in the so-called "Jaimini system" found in BPHS. He is called Yogada.experience in Jaimini system. Rahu and Ketu can not be aspecting planets in this scheme. I list them in increasing order of importance (Jaimini. 5. It has to be 5th or 9th in both. It would be beyond the scope of this essay to go into further comparison between the actual Jaimini system and what is found in the modern BPHS. 1995 p. A planet aspecting Janma Lagna in Rasi chart and Navamsa lagna in Navamsa chart and Drekkana Lagna in Derkanna chart. Also called Yogada. directly told me to strictly ignore whatever so-called Jaimini material is found in BPHS because it will simply lead to confusion and contradictions. A planet who aspects Janma Lagna." What to speak of the confusion that arises if you mix the real Jaimini system with what is represented as Jaimini system in BPHS even . 5 and 6 instead of Janma Lagna it can be 5th or 9th but it must be applied consistently. One very senior astrologer who had mixed the two sources confidentially told me that he had been studying Jaimini system for more than 20 years and found it full of contradictions and confusions. He is called Kevala. Also called Yogada.

i) And.) The following is not an exhaustive treatment of the matter but only an introduction to further research. 8. he will mix up the two systems and get himself in contradictions and confusions. Vimshopaka. Sastri warns "If the student of Parasara's text is not careful. So Iranganti Rangacarya told me this is the result of mixing Parasara and Jaimini. 7.S. What is actually from the original Brhat Parasara Hora Sastra? (For this we have used the Sagar edition as the reference text. 5. chapters 3. The opening chapters (1-2) dealing with the creation of the universe and the incarnations of Lord Krsna. chapter 47. The portions in the modern BPHS that appear to be from the original text are: 1. etc. Once there was a Telegu speaking man who also knew Sanskrit." (Jaimini. chapter 28-30." The man was so excited that when he answered the question he mixed up the Sanskrit word for horse asva with the Telegu word for horse gurru and his answer came out as gasva which was neither Telegu or Sanskrit and he lost the debate. p. Sriman Iranganti Rangacarya jokingly illustrated to me the effect of mixing Jaimini and Parasara. At one point the proper answer to a question was "horse. The effects of each house lord in different houses. Ishta and Kashta. We again note that those texts like Uttara Kalamrta and Jataka Tattva that did try to blend the two system took a very conservative approach and only took from Jaimini (arudha and atmakaraka) what could be easily assimilated into Parasara system and nothing (like Jaimini aspects) that would clearly contradict the tenets of Parasara. what follows will have to be adjusted and refined by more intense scrutiny. We have only touched on the more obvious interpolations there are more but it is beyond the scope of this article to go into further detail.. 2006. Hence.more confusion will arise if the student of Parasara system mixes in Jaimini methods indiscriminately. 13-25 3. chapter 26. Rasis. 2. 4. Bhavas and Shodasavargas. P. . The intricate mathematical analysis of planetary positions yielding the diagnostic techniques of Shadbala. The sections dealing with basic descriptions of the Grahas. 4. Various classes of Avasthas for determining the effect of the planets. A debate was going on.

Others like Venkatesa Dikshita author of Sarvartha Cintamani and Vaidyanatha Dikshita author of Jataka Parijata could also be useful. But see my later comment on this topic. Also there may be other techniques such as Sudarshan Chakra which may or may not be in the original BPHS but may still be valuable. Udu Dasa system (based on the nakshatras). whom Varaha Mihira admired and quoted from extensively. On closer inspection I . However. they just need to be tested but not accepted blindly. one must be very careful to separate the interpolations from the real thing. chapters 68-74. Although Varaha Mihira and Kalyana Varma both espouse Mula Dasa rather than Udu Dasa this is not an issue since they confine themselves to only one Dasa system while Parasara gives many. There are millions of un-cataloged palm leaf manuscripts in India rotting in different venues. chapters 37-44 may have some original material from Parasara but there also seems to be additions.6. Marakas. Varaha Mihira. And. There was a real BPHS but we don't know exactly what it contained and can only guess and try to reconstruct its contents by examining the works of later authors like Satyacarya. There I came across a rather large room under lock and key whose walls were made of thick wire mesh containing what looked like mounds of refuse. Ayurdaya. the Rasi based Dasa systems in BPHS appear to be interpolations from Jaimini system. Yoga Karakas. 7. Also we know that Udu Dasa system is older than Varaha Mihira because Satyacarya. covered by the accretion of foreign material not in the original or hidden somewhere in some manuscript library. used Vimshottari Mahadasa and Prithuyasasha the son of Varaha Mihira though writing on Mula Dasa also includes a short chapter on Udu dasa in Hora Sara. chapter 46. s the modern Brhat Parasara Hora Sastra useless? Does the fact that there are interpolations in the modern BPHS mean that it is useless? No it doesn't mean that at all. 8. Astakavarga. 10. Yavanas. The section on Yogas. The real BPHS is either lost. chapter 36. 9. chapter 45. Prithuyashas and Kalyana Varma who had actually seen it. notably the addition of Jaimini methods which bring into doubt the source of this material. Once while I was driving in Tamil Nadu from Sri Rangam to Tiru-kottiyur we stopped at one of the many almost deserted ancient temples. However.

References: Jaimini. Sastri. . I (wrongly) assumed that since the modern BPHS was older than Brhat Jataka then the values it gave for astakavarga must be the original values for that system. Jaimini. (1995). Sastri. unequal house divisions. Trans. At least being under lock and key they were not being burnt in cooking fires. Conclusion Today what passes for BPHS is definitely not the original. (2006). Who knows what treasures were contained in that mountain of palm leafs? They were probably being eaten by various insects and rats. Rangacarya. etc. Great care must be used when using this text especially when quoting it as pramana.). In 1987-88 when I was working with MATRIX Software to create the first professional Vedic Astrological software I found that there was a difference in how astakavarga was calculated in the modern BPHS and Varaha Mihira's Brhat Jataka. New Delhi: Sagar Publications. Revised ed.). were interpolated into the modern text. New Delhi: Ranjan Publications. Pramana One thing that must be carefully noted regarding the modern BPHS and that is that it can not be used as a pramana (evidence) in any debate on techniques by citing it as an ancient authority. New Delhi: Ranjan Publications. Kalidasa. Jaimini system. S. Jaimini Sutramritam A Classic in Vedic Astrology (I. If a contradiction exists then it is likely I would give more preference to the other text than to the modern BPHS. Jaimini Sutram (Complete) (P.was horrified to see that it was actually tens of thousands of palm leaf manuscripts lying loose and jumbled. Trans. Trans. Second ed. Uttara Kalamrta (P. with what is found in the modern BPHS to ascertain what is authentic and what is interpolated.D. Now I would take the views of Brhat Jataka as having precedence over modern BPHS. S. More work needs to be done by correlating what is found in jyotish texts from before 1500 A. The same principle holds for any contradiction between modern BPHS and actual ancient texts.). (2005). The point being that there are many such sites in India where treasures of ancient knowledge are lying neglected and rotting. There is an important core of material in it which seems to be part of the original text.

1984. Brihat Jataka (B. V. V. Mihira. 1941. Sharma. Ojha. Trans. V. Subramanya. Vol. Mahadeva. G. LTD.). Predictive Astrology of the Hindus. Prasna Marga (B. Indian Astrology an Appraisal (First ed. 1). New Delhi: Ranjan Publications. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Sanskrit and Other Indian Manuscripts of the Chandra Shum Shere Collection in the Bodleian Library (Jyotihsastra. Top   Copyright 2000-2011 Shyamasundara Dasa All rights Reserved Up one level . Nambudiri. Brhat Parasara Hora Sastra (G. (2007).). M. Trans. (Sastri. 1).Kalyanraman. second ed. India as Seen in The Brhatsamhita of Varahamihira (First ed. First ed. Gurgaon: Srhi Gopesh Kumar Pratishthan. New Delhi: Sagar Publications. Trans. Parasara. Nagercoil. V. Part 1): Oxford University Press. Raman. A. Jataka Tattvam. V. S. Pingree. Vol. Rao. (1984). (1972). (1991). India: CHB Publications. 1). (1994). K. Bangalore: Sastri. Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra (R. V. (1969). C. Santhanam. Shastri. Parasara. (1986). Trans). Fifth ed. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. S.). Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. First ed. Bangalore: IBH Prakashana. Trans. Vol.

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