What ist he book about
The tentative title of the book is


The book is primarily about the history of Calendrical Astronomy in the Indian subcontinent and other civilizations of Antiquity. However since most astronomical activity in the ancient worlda was related to the calendar, it could for all practical purposes serve as a history of astronomy as well as the calendar. Since the concept of time and cosmogony is intimately related to these topics, the book can also be regarded as a history of time. The focus of the book is the contribution of the Indian subcontinent over the millennia to this topic. We plan the content to include the relevant episteme from the other ancient civilization to , so that it will become clearer that the ancients of the Indic world did not merely construct a pale replica of earlier efforts by the Greeks and the Babylonians. In fact we will demonstrate that the Greeks were nowhere in the picture when the first results started pouring out of the Vedanga Jyotish Brief Description
In a few paragraphs, describe the work. Be sure to include what you consider to be the outstanding, distinctive, or unique features of the work. This narrative description should explain the proposed book's purpose, themes, arguments, scope contribution to scholarship, and place in the literature. Please state your argument concisely and clearly.


Why I wrote this book
As I was researching the history of mathematics, it dawned on me that a lot of the numerical techniques used in Engineering had their antecedents in the work of ancient Indic mathematicians. Till then I was focusing on Greek mathematics. But apart from the work of pseudo Euclid (who used little or no Algebra) and the work on conic sections by Apollonius, I did not find the Greek effort particularly rich in algorithms. It took many years for me to realize that most of the Algebra, Analytical geometry and Trigonometry, we deal with in High school and even at an undergraduate level, did not have its roots in the Occident. My desire to learn more about the Indic contribution continued to be hampered by lack of adequate texts on history of ancient Mathematics in the English language. While the situation was slightly better in French and German, the trail was very cold by the time you went back beyond 1400 CE and could not pick up any of the threads in the work of the Greeks. I came to the realization that there was very little extant of the Greek work in mathematics and this is even more true in the case of Astronomy. No European text could explain in a satisfactory manner why there was no progress in the sciences in Europe between the beginning of the common era and 1400 CE other than saying that the Church played a big part in structuring the content and extent of education. What is particularly galling is that the Occidental admits that all Greek work was lost to Europe, but he credits the Indic with getting their hands on the Greek work, even though these works were presumably lost at a very early time. It seems even more likely that whatever Greek texts that existed at that time became rapidly obsolete and were no longer reproduced because there was no longer any need for them. The stonewalling of the Indic contribution is of relatively recent origin and has strong parallels in the effort to emasculate the Indic tradition, and it is only after I read extensively in the Indology literature , did I realize that the whole pattern of denigration of the Indic past was a concerted effort to reduce the Indic civilization to an also ran category. Typical of recent books is one by Glen Van Brummelen on the Mathematics of the Heavens and the Earth. This book is better than most since it mentions India and devotes a full chapter to India. But it makes the obligatory bow to the notion that India is a secondary source of developments when he titles the very first section in this chapter Transmission from Babylon and Greece . There is absolutely no evidence given of this vaunted transmission and yet we are asked to accept this statement unquestioningly. He then goes on to say that much of the origin is controversial and is marred by national pride. This is indeed a strange remark to make. It is accepted that the English should have pride in the achievements of Sir Isaac Newton but this would hardly be regarded as an issue in evaluating the work of Newton. Then he goes on to say that There seems little doubt that the spark for Trigonometry came from importing of some Pre-Ptolemaic version of Greek mathematical astronomy . The casual manner with which he makes this categorical assertion, and which denies the Indic civilization the originality of its contribution in Trigonometry is stunning in its certitude and hubris. He then goes on to cite Pingree as a starting point. All I can say is that, the Indics have a proverb that translates In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is King . There is one final point to be made. Nowhere does he mention that there is an equal likelihood (and in my opinion a far greater one that it was the Greeks who learnt Mathematics and Geometry from the Indics). I amplify on the possibilities of this in the chapter on transmissions. The refusal to entertain such a possibility is a telling commentary on the lack of objectivity and I would go so far as to say that there is not even an attempt at such objectivity.


Glen van Brummelen, 2009, Mathematics of the Heavens and the Earth, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. 2

I regard this book to be primarily a pedagogical text, despite the fact that I have glossed over important derivations I believe like the Commentators of Indic antiquity in the proper understanding of what we already know. The choice of material to include in the book always presents a dilemma. The scope of Ancient Indic Mathematics and Astronomy is so large that it would need several volumes to provide an exhaustive encyclopedic coverage. The alarming increase in the size of the book forced me to make difficult choices. However, we are planning a sequel to this text which will contain many of the missing topics as well as amplify on the main principles of the astronomy of the solar system as practiced by the ancients. The time line for this study is a rather large one dating from the compositions of the Veda (6000 BCE), through the S tra period, the Pre-siddh ntic period, the Jaina contributions up to the Siddh ntic era, and finally ending with the Keplerian Newtonian formulations (17th century CE). I would like to think that the book would be of interest to a wide range of people. It should be of interest to the layman, as it provides a lot of reference material on History and the Calendar. It could serve as a textbook in a course on the history of Astronomy. It would serve as an excellent introduction for amateur astronomers and last but not least it could serve as a reference for graduate level research. Part of the reason I wrote this book is to influence all my readers, regardless of their ethnicity, ideology, or geography to adopt a more global perspective on matters relating to History and philosophy of the sciences. Under such a perspective, few would feel compelled to defend or attack a viewpoint if the extent of the antiquity was the sole issue at stake. But the yearning for a competitive antiquity is not restricted to those of a particular ethnicity. It appears to be a predominant factor when a more aggressive and authoritarian civilization subjugates a people with a more advanced episteme. Time and again, this pattern of behavior has been the norm, where the aggressor has adopted the Epistemes of the subjugated people, after devoting a massive effort to absorb the knowledge, and once he is fairly confident that he has been successful in this endeavor, he will turn around and assert precisely the opposite, that in fact it is the subjugated civilization that has borrowed the episteme and the resulting knowledge.

Keep in mind that antiquity affects many factors that have a bearing on the sense of uniqueness that a people have of them and a sense that continuity and longevity of a civilization bestows a modicum of a sense of wellbeing. A loss of epistemic continuity that is now being experienced in the Indian subcontinent has long term consequences for the manner in which the Indics will look upon themselves. Civilization is a fragile thing, if I may paraphrase Will Durant, the great historian who compiled the monumental Story of Civilization over a thirty year period, and it does not take much to obliterate a civilization. All it takes is an utterly ruthless individual who by the force of his personality, ideas and incredible energy, can compel a sufficiently large populace to do his bidding and you may rest assured that such an Individual will raise again. So how will the Indics handle such a situation in the future? Well for one thing, defeat under such circumstances is not an option and surely, the Indics will not get a third chance, when the patient was in comatose condition after the last 2 rounds. A decay of a civilization can also occur through sheer apathy and ignorance, when large sections of the populace remain happily oblivious of the past in a massive exhibition of epistemic amnesia. This is all the more sad when it occurs as a consequence of public policy adopted by the democratic representatives of an elected government and legislature. This book is not about the glories of a bygone era, where one bemoans the ephemeral nature of an enlightened past. It is a recounting of the irreversible nature of the changes that take place when a civilization is subjugated. Its traditions are ridiculed. Its history is rewritten, its language is driven into oblivion and any attempt to combat this assault albeit in a non-violent and scholarly manner marks the individual as a fundamentalist. The calendar, astronomy, and the story of time combine to make a fascinating chapter in the story of the Homo Sapiens, but it is the larger Civilizational canvas that I hope the reader will focus on.


What do I take away from the writing of this book? My faith in the universality of the human spirit. If there is one thing above all that I treasure from this experience is that the love of science and mathematics does not recognize man made geographies, boundaries, ethnic classifications, language, social strata or economics. It is for this reason I find that the current Eurocentric emphasis in the Occident which persists among authors even to this day to be a anathema and to be of a particularly egregious nature with which I have little sympathy and have no tolerance whatsoever.

What are its main aims & themes
It is rare to find amongst the plethora of books on Astronomy and in particular the General history of astronomy, much mention of the Indic contribution. Let us take 2 examples , The history and practice of ancient astronomy by James Evans, Oxford University Press and the Cambridge Concise history of Astronomy by Michael Hoskin published by the Cambridge university Press. Neither of these books makes mention of India although the Cambridge history does mention the Jundishapur school in ancient Persia. This is truly astonishing when we juxtapose the contents of the Census of the Exact Sciences in Sanskrit(CESS) compiled by the late David Pingree of Brown University in 5 volumes and try to reconcile the studied indifference on the part of Occidental historians of science and astronomy with the voluminous literature that exists in India on the sciences of antiquity in ancient India . So extensive was the literature that Davis Pingree found it necessary to catalogue all the thousands of books that he was familiar with. Our aim therefore is to bring to the attention of the reader not only in India but throughout the world a small fraction of the results contained in this vast literature. But the story is more than just a recounting of discoveries . It is now clear that there has been a massive theft of intellectual property beginning in the 16th century when Christopher Clavius, the Principal of the Collegio Romano, sent a posse of 60 to 70 Jesuits to Malabar in 1560 CE to learn the intricacies of the Indian calendar and associated episteme including accurate trigonometric tables. So successful were they that the Gregorian calendar was fixed shortly thereafter during the calendar reform of 1582 CE . What causes us to label this as theft of intellectual property ? It is in our opinion a valid inference when all reference to the source of a particular episteme has been carefully expunged from the record. It is interesting that the renaissance and the enlightenment in Europe occurred after the Reconquista in Spain and the discovery of Sanskrit We will tell the story of the Indic contribution much of it from the mouths of Occidentals , a small band of whom has kept the flame of truth and integrity alive. It is a fact that their pronouncements are rarely quoted in the conventional accounts of the History of Astronomy. In most accounts of the History of Astronomy there is little or no mention of the Indic contribution.

Distinguishing Features and Rationale for the book
There are several features that make the book unique. There is our scrupulous adherence to the notion that a particular school of Astronomy should not be excluded because it does not belong to the favored club of Astronomers in Antiquity, namely the Greeks and the Babylonians. While we have focused on Hindu astronomy, we have made mention of other contributions and explicate the differences between them The book is profusely illustrated because Astronomy involves visualization of objects and their motions on a celestial sphere and the pictures help facilitate the process of visualization . There is an extensive discussion of the Nakshatra system , a system of enumerating the signposts in the sky to determine the location of the sun and the moon . We have included a table of dates which shows the date at which an astronomical event (Vernal Equinox, Autumnal equinox, Summer solstice, Winter solstice ) occurs in a particular nakshatra. This is an extremely good reference table which gives us the 4

date of the actual event that was mentioned in the Rig Veda and other ancient texts .

A Synopsis of the Book

PREFACE PROLOGUE CHAPTER I THE CELESTIAL SPHERE While astronomy is one of the oldest sciences in antiquity it does not necessarily mean that the concepts are easily grasped, When we talk about the history of Astronomy, we need to be fully cognizant of the vocabulary and the fundamental precepts of the geometry of the skies. This is what this chapter sets out to do. It is essentially Astronomy 101. What makes this introduction unique is that it lays out this vocabulary in both English and Sanskrit,the language in which most texts were written in antiquity CHAPTER II THE NAK ATRA SYSTEM THE VEDIC LUNAR MANSIONS (MANZIL) This chapter is decription of the nak atra system. The origin of the Indian Nak atra system has been a subject of much speculation amongst Indologists in the west. Such has been the case since Sir William Jones discovered the treasures hidden in the vast literature of the ancient Indic in the Sanskrit language. The main ingredients used by the ancient Indic in developing an episteme for positional astronomy are the motions of the Sun and the Moon relative to the Nak atras. Ever since the occidental belatedly recognized the central role of Sanskrit amongst the IE family of languages, thanks to the insatiable curiosity of Sir William Jones, there has also been the recognition that the Nak atra system was a unique contribution of the Indians and it is the same Sir William who recognized immediately the significance of the Nak atra system not merely because of their Astronomic utility but also because they provided a clue to the antiquity of the astronomical data that the Indic had amassed. CHAPTER III A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE OF INDIAN ASTRONOMY The approach to determining the antiquity of the texts uses astronomical observations of the sky. This has not been adequately pursued in the Occident, even though the initial work was done over a hundred years ago by Jacobi and Tilak CHAPTER IV JAINA ASTRONOMY AND THE SIDDH NTIC ERA More work needs to be done in the area of Jaina astonomy CHAPTER V KERALA SCHOOL OF ASTRONOMY CHAPTER VI THE INDIAN NATIONAL CALENDAR (INC) Error! Bookmark not defined. 5

CHAPTER VII ARCHEO-ASTRONOMY AND ASTRO-CHRONOLOGY CHAPTER VIII ASTRONOMY OF THE ANCIENTS CHAPTER IX THE REALITY OF KNOWLEDGE TRANSMISSION The main reason for writing this book is that the real story of the Indic contribution to Astronomy has yet to be told in the text books of the west. Few books give a coherent account of the Indic odyssey as it unfolds from the mists of antiquity to the pioneering work of Astrophysicist Chandrasekhar on the nature of the universe. If they do mention it at all, it is merely to say that they borrowed everything from Greece or Babylon. When challenged, the mathematician in the west will quote one of the 3 or 4 Occidental historians of Mathematics (e.g. Toomer, Van der Waerden or David Pingree) as their authoritative source. Rarely will they mention a Primary source in Sanskrit, because they are not familiar with the literature in Sanskrit and they do not trust the Indics to tell the true story. They prefer to get the story from an Occidental who may not have read a single book in its Sanskrit original rather than get it from an Indic2 . The net result is a book filled with clichés where the content is already degraded from multiple levels of interpretation and inadvertent filtering of the original source CHAPTER X A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE ON CALENDARS This chapter strives to emphasize that Astronomy was not merely a playground for the Greeks and Babylonians, but was a major object of study for most of the civilizations of antiquity CHAPTER XI BIOGRAPHIES OF SELECTED INDIC SAVANTS This is self explanatory but we wish to point out that the number and scholarship of indic savants is staggering and that the chioice of savants to elaborate on was extremely difficult CHAPTER XII EPILOGUE These are the conclusions of the book APPENDICES APPENDIX A GLO-PEDIA A comprehensive glossary of several hundred words is included APPENDIX B MAPS APPENDIX C SANSKRIT ALPHABET AND PRONOUNCIATION APPENDIX D THE VEDIC EPISTEME


I am reminded of the Parable of the Lost Coin. This is the story of the man looking for a lost coin in a well lighted area, when he knows he has lost it in a darker area of the garden. When asked why he was looking for it where he certainly couldn t find it, the man replied But it is better lighted here and I can see what i am looking for. -,. Clearly the Parable of the lost coin is entirely apropos here 6



The Target Market
The book will have appeal in the following markets As a text book on Ancient astronomy or A History of Astronomy As a general purpose coffee table book for those curious about the subject As a reference work for researches on the history of astronomy.


The book does not assume a prior level of expertise in the field of mathematics and astronomy, although it does require a mind capable of absorbing new concepts and an advanced Level high school proficiency in Mathematics We plan to provide supplementary material to facilitate the adoption of the book as a text

What courses would the book be used on?
Ancient Astronomy, History of Astronomy. Archaeo Astronomy, History of Mathematics

Is it a research monograph that will sell primarily to academic libraries?
I have tried to avoid making it solely a research monograph and have tried to make it accessible to the general reader who has knowledge of high school algebra and trigonometry. There is no question that the book will be very valuable to researchers in the history and Philosophy of mathematics

Is the subject area of the proposal widely taught, or researched?
I believe it is widely taught. The history of astronomy has a special place in the evolution of the species, since astronomy is the oldest of the sciences that the homo sapien tackled. The vast laboratory that was available in the skies afforded the patient observer with ample rewards in devising a clock and a calendar that in turn permitted the planning o f crops for agriculture. Astronomy has benefited from the long gestation period of several millennia to attain its present position as one of the most mature f the sciences. Our goal in writing this book is to wean the Occidental away from the notion that the legacy of the Ancients is one that is solely restricted to the Greeks and the Babylonians and that the Indic had a major role in the development of this episteme along with the Babylonians , the Chinese , the Egyptians and the Persians almost all of whom can claim precedence over the Greeks. This is in stark contrast to the treatment f the subject today, where the Occidental not only has given undue precedence to Greek contributions but has taken a proprietary interest in Greek civilization as the one that is most closely related to the modern European civilization despite the fact that most scientific discoveries were made either in Asia minor in present day Turkey in what was then called Ionia or in Alexandria during the Grecian colonization of Pharonic Egypt. There were few if any savants in Hellenic Greece. But regardless of the area of Greece whence the discoveries originated, it is a stretch to assume that the Pagan Greece of antiquity had much in common with the monolithic Christian culture that permeates the occidental world today.

Would this subject have international appeal outside your home country? If so, where?

It will have wide appeal because there are several references to the work of the Greeks and the Babylonians

A list of the main competing books
There is currently no book that competes with this book in its totality. Some books contain some of the material but there is no book that covers the range of material that this book covers James Evans,History and practice of ancient astronomy Oxford University Press , 1998 Cambridge Concise history of Astronomy by Michael Hoskin published by the Cambridge university Press, 1999 B V Subbarayappa The tradition o f Astronomy in India Jyotishastra, Centre for the study of civilizations, 2008 Kim Plofker , Mathematics in India, 2009 Outline - A detailed outline of the book will be prepared, including the chapters being submitted for review. The entire manuscript is available for review

What portion or percentage of the material is now complete?
The Book is completed

Roughly how many thousand words in length will your book be?
I am currently estimating that the book will be 258,000 words long.

Does this include references and footnotes? Yes
Will the book include photographs, line drawings, cases, questions, problems, glossaries, bibliography, references, appendices, etc.? all the bold categories will be included

How many tables, diagrams or illustrations will there be (roughly)?

40 tables, 40

Approximately how many photographs do you plan to include? 20 Approximately how many line drawings (charts, graphs, diagrams, etc. ) will you need
20 9

Do you plan to include material requiring permission (text, music, lyrics, illustrations)? To what extent? Have you started the permissions request process?yes, maybe 5 Do you plan to class-test the material in your own or other sections of the course? (Any material distributed to students should be protected by copyright notice on the material.) at present this is not in plan , but we are considering a 5 day short

When do you expect to have a complete manuscript?
4Q2010 It is ready now


Kosla Vepa is a member of the Global Indic Diaspora, originally a native of Andhra Pradesh state in India and has had the good fortune to have been brought up and have had his education in various parts of India including, Bihar, Maharashtra, and Karnataka. He matriculated from Andhra University in 1955. Among the schools which he has attended are St.Xaviers College, Bombay, Karnatak University, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. His highest degree is a PhD in the area of Engineering Mechanics. His professional and technical interests include successful research and development engineering experience in the Information technology, aero-engine and energy industries across the globe and an abiding interest in the history of the Mathematical sciences in antiquity. Currently Dr. Vepa has significant interests in a wide variety of subjects including ontological principles in science and philosophy, Ancient Indian history, Vedas and Vedanta, Mathematical Sciences in India during antiquity, the growth and evolution of civilizations, Geopolitics of the Indian subcontinent, to name a few. His major activity is to further the aims and objectives of the Indic Studies Foundation, stated in the link below and to further the progress towards an accurate rendering of the narrative of the Story of the Civilization of the Indic peoples. When he finds time he pursues his hobbies of photography and astronomy, Dr. Vepa resides in the

San Francisco Bay Area


Indic Studies Foundation Astronomical Dating of Events & Select Vignettes from Indian history, The Societal Stockholm Syndrome India and the Great Game What s in a name the indian Identity Debate on the origin of the Vedics India US Missile defense Indo-US relations (circa 1999) A prolegomena to A History of the Indic Civilization Vedic Mathematicians in ancient India PartI Vedic Mathematicians in ancient India PartII Vedic Mathematicians in ancient India PartIII The South Asia File , Published by Low Price Publications, Delhi Book The Dhaarmik Traditions , Souvenir Volume of ICIH 2009, Low Price Publications The Pernicious Effects of The Misinterpreted Greek Synchronism, Presented at ICIH 2009 The Colonial paradigm of Indian history, Presented at Waves, 2008, Orlando, Florida Why are History and chronology important , presented at HEC 2007 Book Indology and Indologists a study of people and their motives Ancient Indic contributions to the Exact Sciences manuscript in preparation PhD Thesis The Indic Mathematical tradition, The Hindu Renaissance, Vol.IV no. IV, pp 19 Paper presented at the HEC 2006 in Los Angeles, Ca , Nov.2006 Source Book (Anthology) of Mathematics and Astronomy from Indic Antiquity (under construction) The story of the 3 periodicities,Astronomy, the Indian Calendar and Time, a Historical perspective More at websites , , ,




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