bsp astrology ancient_indian_astrologers an review 11 6 2013

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  • 7/28/2019 BSP Astrology Ancient_indian_astrologers an Review 11 6 2013


    ancient_indian_astrology : Message: The 18 family non ... - Yahoo!

    The 18 family non-vedic and 8 family vedic traditions of astrology:

    The 18 family non-vedic and 8 family vedic traditions of astrology

    - Written By Sreenadh OG

    As all of you may know the name of Jaimini as a Jyotisastra pravartaka (propagators of

    ancient indian astrological wisdom) is not available in any of the popular lists of Jyotisastra

    pravartakas. Many used to wonder why the name of Jaimini is not mentioned in any of

    those lists, if Jaimini is an ancient sage who wrote books on astrology. This write-up is an

    effort to answer this question.

    It is wrong to say that the name of Jaimini is not mentioned in any of the lists; but it would

    be rather correct to state that, Jaimini's name is not mentioned in any of the lists that refer

    to the 18 families of `propagators of astrology'. Jaimini is not part of the non-vedic 18

    family tradition of astrology, but of the vedic 8 family tradition of astrology. But when I say

    so, I am supposed to provide some references as well, regarding the 8 family tradition and

    also about the families included on that list. Here it goes -

    Chamatkara Chintamani is a texts that builds up and provides the results for planets in all

    the 12 houses based on the ancient 18 family tradition of astrology. But while speaking

    about the propagators of astrology Chamatkara Chintamani states "Vadantashta

    deemantamanye muneendraH" (Sloka 63.) [It is told that there are 8 other sages as well

    (popular as propagators of astrology)]. This statement kindles our curiosity. From the

    wording "other sages" it is evident that the author of Chamatkara Chintamani does not

    consider himself as a follower of this 8 sages (or 8 family) tradition. But the question is who

    are these 8 ancient sages, the kula acharyas of 8 families who contributed to astrology? The

    following quote answers our curiosity

    Atreyaschasmarathyopi choudulomeeti samjitaH

    Karshnalini tathacharyaH kasakrintana eva cha

    Jaimini Badari Badarayanascha muneeswaraH

  • 7/28/2019 BSP Astrology Ancient_indian_astrologers an Review 11 6 2013


    Ete chashtau samakhyata jyotiH sastra vidhayakaH

    [Atreya, Asmarathya, Audulomi, Karshnalini (Karsnajini), Kasakrintana (Kasakrtsna),

    Jaimini, Badari, Badarayana (Parasari) - these 8 sages are known as teachers provides us

    with the rules regarding astrology (they too are the propagators of astrology)]

    This is interesting! These 8 names are not popular in current astrology, and p o s s ib l y t h i s

    i s t h e o n l y l i s t a v a i la b l e t h a t m e n t i o n s t h e n am e s o f Ja i m i n i a s a n a n c i e n t

    p r o p a g a t o r o f a s t r o l o g y . The system propagated by the Badarayana mentioned above is

    the one popular with the name Parasari now a days and is the base of BPHS. Among those

    mentioned above Parasari and Jaimini systems are popular today, but we have no news

    about the astrological contribution of Atreya, Asmarathya, Audulomi, Karshnalini

    (Karsnajini), Kasakrintana (Kasakrtsna) and Badari mentioned in the above list. It is

    interesting to note that this 8 family teacher list is primarily available in Brahma Sutras

    written by Badrayana. They are all Vedic ritual teachers and reformists. Is it possible that

    the above quote and list is a made up one where after taking the list of 8 vedic scholars

    mentioned Brahma Sutra someone added the word "jyotiH sastra vidhayakaH" into it? Till

    we know more about the authenticity of the above quote this doubt too should be kept

    alive. (I got the above sloka from a Malayalam commentary to Phaladeepika as quoted by

    Brahmasri Cheruvalli Narayanan Nambootiri, and he does not give any reference regarding

    where this quote is taken from). But as of now, let us assume that the above quote is

    authentic and that it points to an ancient astrological tradition an alternate school of


    None of the popular ancient astrological classics mentions their names or refers to their

    astrological contribution! Why? The answer to this question possibly lies in the fact that

    most of the astrological classics available today is a continuation of one or other of 18

    family tradition and not of the not known 8 family tradition. Let us have a brief

    understanding about both these traditions.

    1 8 f a m i ly a g a m a ( n o n - v e d i c ) t r a d i t io n

    The ancient indian astrology mainly depends on the teachings of 18 families possibly of non-

    vedic or early vedic stream. Skanda, Vasishta, Kausika, Surya, Sounaka, Manu, Chayavana,

    Yavana, Brigu, Garga are all among these 18 ancient masters of astrology. Not only the

    available ancient texts and quotes of these 18 acharyas and their followers, but also even

  • 7/28/2019 BSP Astrology Ancient_indian_astrologers an Review 11 6 2013


    the medieval scholars like Mihira (Brihat Jataka 6th century), Gunakara (Hora Makaranda

    6th century), Balabhadra (Hora Ratna), Acharya Narasimha (Hora Sara 16th century),

    Kalyana Varma (Saravali 10th century), Bhattolpala (commentry of Brihat Jataka

    9th century), Talakkulattu Govinda Bhattatiri (Dasadhyayi commentary of Brihat Jataka


    century), Kaikulangara (Hridyapatha commentary of Brihat Jataka 19th

    century),Ballala Sena (Adbhuta Samhita 12th century) are all texts that belong to this tradition

    initiated by this ancient 18 families; the ancient. But please note that the Jaimini sutra text

    available today, the Tajik jyotisha texts, the lal kitab texts, the Ramala Jyotish texts and the

    current BPHS with too much Jaimini methods interpolation DOES NOT belong to this

    tradition (but of course many of ancient methods and info that is not part of Jaimini

    system present in current BPHS does belong to this tradition).

    8 f a m i ly n i g a m a ( v e d i c ) t r a d i t i o n

    But then we find a possibly later day stream of the teachings of 8 families possibly of vedic

    or later vedic stream. Among them only the astrological teachings of Jaimini and

    Badarayana (Parasari) are popular as of now possibly the version of astrological teaching

    introduced by some vedic reformists of the 8 family order. Let us see who they are

    Atreya, Asmarathya, Audulomi, Karsnajini,Kasakrtsna, Jaimini, Badari, Parasari (B

    adarayana). Karmandi-bhiksu and Alekhana etc are other personalities mentioned along

    with them. They were all reformists and ritual teachers but of non-conventional vedic order.

    The absence of early commentaries for the texts written by the above masters indicate that

    these texts might be of much later origin possibly between 10th to 17th century texts

    written by some notable individuals from the above family order. Let us remember that the

    first commentary that refers to Jaimini Sutram named Phala Ratnamala by Krishna Mishra

    (1050-1070) and Kalpalatha by his son Somanath Mishra appeared only in 11 thcentury AD.

    From texts like Jaimin Sutra, Badarayana sutras etc we may assume that the texts by the

    above 8 generally written in a sutra style and are devoid of any reference to their place,

    period of creation etc depicting a confusing and made-up nature in general. Their woks

    can be better treated as efforts of later day Vedic ritualists to adopt and improve upon the

    non-vedic astrological foundation in a vedic way. Since there is no evidence that the

    scholars of the above 8 families who lived during the ancient vedic period talked much on

    astrology anywhere (in Brahmanas, Aranyakas, discussions on Brahma sutra, Meemamsa

    texts etc) it is doubtful that the astrological literature ascribed to these families belongs to

  • 7/28/2019 BSP Astrology Ancient_indian_astrologers an Review 11 6 2013


    the vedic past. Most possibly (as indicated by the absence of commentaries to their

    astrological texts, or references to them or their astrological texts in ancient astrological

    classics) it can concluded that the astrological texts ascribed to these families must have

    been created by later day scholars of these families in their effort to create the vedic

    (nigama) version of the non-vedic (agama) branch of knowledge astrology; an effort by the8 vedic families to counter or extend the foundation provided by the ancient 18 family

    tradition. Possibly the astrological texts ascribed to this 8 ancient vedic families do not

    belong to the ancient vedic past but originated only after or around 10 th century AD it


    Till more evidence surfaces in favor or against the ancient 8 family origin and association of

    astrological Jaimini, Badarayana etc, it can only be assumed that, may be it was all part of

    an effort by the 10th century vedic brahmins to accept and assimilate this ancient agama

    branch of knowledge into their knowledge base, after seeming the revival that happened toastrology after Meenaraja and Sphujidwaja (3rd Century Tantirc Yamala followers?),

    Vararuchi (4th century north indian scholar who got settled in Kerala), Mihira (6 th century

    indian settled Iranian of Avanti who learned astrology from Srilanka?), Aryabhata

    (5th century Kerala Jain scholar) etc who adopted and developed this ancient Aganama

    branch of knowledge that was adored by Agama Tantric tradition of Skanda hora, Brihat

    Prajapatya, Brahma Yamala, Adi ya


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