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The Latitude depends on the value of that element adopted for Kalianpoor Station = 24° 7' 11”.262.
The Longitude is referrible to the old value for the Madras Observatory
ble to reduce to the value adopted by the Admiralty and Royal Astronomical Society or -— 3’ 1".8 to reduce to the result of Taylor’s observations up to 181.5.
The Heights originate from the mean sea level, observed in Kyd<1’s Dock-yard, Calcutta.
A Letter fi-om. ARCHDEACON Pnarr on Cor.nnRooKn’s determination of the date of the Vedas. Calcutta, March 21st, 1862.
MY DEAR Pnornsson Cowisnn,-In reply to your question, How did Colebrooke deduce the age of the Vedas from the passage which he quotes from the Jyotish or Vedic Calendar in his Essays (vol. i. p. 1l0) F I beg to send you the following remarks.
In that passage it is stated that the Winter Solstice was, at the time the Vedas were written, at the beginning of S'ravishth:i or Dhanishtha, and the Summer Solstice at the middle of As'lesha.
Now the Hindoos divided the Zodiac into 27 equal parts called Lunar Marlsions, qf13° 20' each. Their names are
The position of these Lunar Mansions among the stars is determined by the stars themselves and not by the sun, and is therefore unaffected by the precession of the equinoxes. If, therefore, we can determine their position at any one epoch, We know their position for all time. The I-Iindoo books furnish us with the requisite information. In the translation of the Surya Siddhanta published in the Bibliotheca Indica, Chap. VIII. p. 62, you \vill find that the conspicuous star Regulus, or a Leonis, is placed by the Hindoo Astronomers at 4 signs,9 degrees from the beginning of these Lunar Mansions (or Asterisms, as they are there called). As 4 signs equal onethird of the whole zodiac, they equal 9 lunar mansions. Hence the position of Regulus is 9' in Magha the 10th lunar mansion.
But by the J yotish, the Summer Solstice was in the middle of As'lesha, the 9th lunar mansion, at the epoch of the Vedas : therefore Regulus was half a lunar mansion + 9°, that is, 15° 40', east of By the Nautical Almanac for 1859, _thc position of Regulus is given as follows :—
the Summer Solstice at that time. R
Right ascension, January 1st, 1859, 10h. Om. 53.9.
North declination, ditto, ... 12° 39’ 12.”7.
From this I obtain, by spherical trigonometry, the following result :—
Longitude of Regulus, January 1st, 1859, ]¢L7° 52’ 30".
Hence Regulus was east of the Summer Solstice at that date by 57° 52’ 30". The Summer Solstice had, therefore, retrograded through &2° 12’ 30" = 412'.2O8 since the epoch of the Vedas. As the equinoxes and solstices move backward on the ecliptic at the rate of 1° in 72 years, it must have occupied 72 X 4¢2°.208 = 3039 years to effect this change.
Hence the age of the Vedas was 3039 on 1st January, 1859; or their date is 1181 B. C., that is, the early part of the twelfth century before the Christian era.
This differs from Mr. Colebrooke’s result; he niakes it the 14th century. Two more degrees of precessional ‘motion would lead to this; but where he gets these from, I do not know, unless it be by taking the constellations loosely, instead of the exact lunar mansions. Thus Dhanishthé. being taken to be the lunar mansion above which the Dolphin occurs, it is possible that he may have considered the first star in the constellation Dolphin to be the “beginning of Dhanishtha” alluded to in the Jyotish; and similarly he may have taken a star in the middle of I-Iydra’s head to represent the “middle of A'slesh'a.” But even this supposition will not carry us into the 14.-th century. If we take the first star e in Dolphin and the opposite star I in I-lydra’s Head to be the solstitial points, the precessional motion will only be about 410’ more than above, and the date will be B. C. 1229 or late in the 13th century. But then § is not in the middle of Hydra/s head; it is about 2° east of it; and therefore I have no doubt the lunar mansion, and not the constellation, is what the Jyotish refers to, and the early part of the 12th century is the
Jo11N H. PRATT. To Professor CQWELL,
Secretary of the Asiatic Society of Bengal.
Our oriental readers will recollect that, in the October Meeting, the Society accepted Dr. Fitz-Edward Hall’s offer to publish in the Bibliotheca Indica, a fragment of the very rare Natya S'astra of Bharata,—a work, which, though frequently quoted by medieeval scholiasts, had never before been met with by any European, and of which Professor Wilson had even doubted the very existence. “As far as has been ascertained, the work of Bharata has no existence in an entire shape, and it may be sometimes doubted whether the rules attributed to him are not fabricated for the occasion/’* Dr. Hall, however, had been fortunate enough to discover a fragment of this singular production, containing the first seven adhyayas, and as many of the quotations in the scholiasts could be verified in them, any
doubts as to the existence of the original work were of course at once set at rest.
Unfortunately ‘this fragment was very corrupt and it abounded with hiatuses and doubtful readings. Dr. Hall has just written to us, previous to his departure via Bombay to England, the following interesting intelligence from Bhelsa:
“Going into the city to-day (Feb. 21) to read an old inscription, I was accosted by a very intelligent looking pundit. We chatted on for an hour or so, and I discovered that he had a MS. of Bharata. He has given it to me. It contains 277 leave-s,—the entire work in 36 adhyéyas, and was written in Samvat 1575.”
Bharata appears to have written a complete Ars Poetica, and he has discussed at great length the theory of the poetical sentiments, &c., as well as the various parts of the dramatic art. On the whole, we consider Dr. Hall’s discovery one of the most curious made of late in old Indian literature.
The following is an extract from a letter dated 31st May last addressed to Babu Rajendra Lal Mitra by Professor Holmboe of Christiana.
“ J e vous envoie avee cette lettre quatre mémoires, qui ont été lus clans notre société de sciences, dont j’ai 1’honneur d’étre le president
* Hindu Drama, Vol. 1. p. xx.
actuel. Dans celui sur Krodo j'ai démontré, que Pancien idol, qu’ adoraient les anciens Saxons sous ce nom, n’est autre chose que fie des Indiens, un des noms de Saturne, avec lequel le Krodo des Saxons est aussi assimilé. J’y ai trouvé aussi, que Hain, un des noms tropiques de la. mort en Saxe, est identique avec le Sanscrit ‘Jtfi. Le mémoire sur quelques monuments cruciformes touchent àpeine l’Orient. I’ai néanmoins y hasarde la supposition, qu’ elles puissent avoir quelque rapport a un des symboles, qui apparaissent sur les monnaies asiennes, à savoir un aerole (l’où sortent quatre lignes en forme d’une croix. Dans le mémoire, qui traite des sculptures sur les rocs de Scandinavie, j’ai démontré, qu’elles sont analogues à quelques sculptures sur les topes de Sanchi près de Bhilsa, représentant la mort de Buddha, et j’ai taché de prouver, que les navires ou bateaux et les roues, qui se trouvent en grand nombre sur nos rocs, sont des monuments sur les morts. Dans le quatriéme mémoire, traitant du pouvoir d’amulette, qui a été attribué aux armes et instrumens pointus et escarpés et même au métal et â la pierre, j’ai rassemblé un certain nombre (Panalogies de l’Asie centrale, (les exemples analogues de l’Inde m’étant inconnus. Je ne doute pas, que la même superstition a regné et regne peut-être encore en l’lnde. Voudriez VÜÏIS mïgdiquer quelque livres, où on en a. traité, je vous serai très obligé. I
“Vous voyez, que mes recherches découvrent de temps en temps quelques nouveaux liens entre les Germains-Scandinaves et les Ariens,-—découvertes, qui rehaussent mon zêle pour la continuation de telles recherches."