Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Jyotisa - Indian Astronomy

Historical Indian astronomy (Jyotiṣa) develops as a discipline of Vedanga or one of the "auxiliary disciplines" associated with the study of the Vedas. The oldest extant text of astronomy is the treatise by Lagadha, dated to the Mauryan era (final centuries BCE).
As with other traditions, the original application of astronomy was thus religious, and would be considered astrology in modern terminology. Hindu astrologywas heavily influenced by Hellenistic astrology during the early centuries of the Common Era, notably by the Yavanajataka, a Sanskrit translation of a Greek text disseminated from the 2nd century.
Indian astronomy flowered in the 6th century, with Aryabhata, whose Aryabhatiya represented the pinnacle of astronomical knowledge at the time, and significantly influenced medieval Muslim astronomy. Other astronomers of the classical era who further elaborated on Aryabhata's work include Brahmagupta,Varahamihira and Lalla. But an identifiable native Indian astronomical tradition remains active throughout the medieval period and into the 16th or 17th century, especially within the Kerala school of astronomy and mathematics.

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