HINDU ENCYCLOPEDIA

सनातन धर्म भूमिका

Meaning of "astronomy"

Word

Astronomy

Sanskrit

hi

In General

Indian Astronomy is part of Jyothisa which include astrology also. Jyothisa is one of the vedanga, an ancilliary subject to study Veda. By astronomy we mean to examine the position of planets and other heavenly bodies. It does not concern itself with how they affect the life of the world or the individual. Such functions belong to astrology. Vedanga jyothisha is the earliest text available. Later Aryabatta, Bhaskarajarya, Varahamihira developed or codified the findings.

There are seven grahas, celestial bodies that influence us. They are Sun, Moon and five planets namely, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn. Two more celestial bodies as Rahu and Ketu were also mentioned in Jyothisa sastra. They are chayagrahas or shadow planets. And their orbits are opposite to that of sun and moon.

Rahu and Ketu as planet in the Indian planetary system is a fallacy and critics usually make fun of it. Since the solar and lunar eclipse make shadow on sun and moon, the early Indians might have thought that a huge planet in the movement make the shadow on sun and moon and thus came to the wrong conclusion. Ancient scripture shows that, the early Indians never under stood the fact that it is by the shadow cast by moon or earth in its motion makes eclipse. However for the astrological calculations these two grahas play a very important role

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Word Sanskrit IAST In General Veda Purana