[Advaita-l] Sringeri Panchanga

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu Apr 14 01:44:58 CDT 2016

On Tue, 12 Apr 2016, D.V.N.Sarma డి.వి.ఎన్.శర్మ via Advaita-l wrote:

> Astronamy is the science observable objects like Sun, Moon, stars and
> planets. Any Almanac that does not agree with observation is meaningless
> and psuedoscience.

Then let it be pseudoscience just like any other calendar.  Do you think 
there are 28 days in February and 31 days in August because of "Science"?

On Tue, 12 Apr 2016, H S Chandramouli via Advaita-l wrote:

> Panchangas have been in vogue and use well before science as we know it
> today came into existence. They are also based on observations only, but
> not using techniques using today's science. Even reputed scientists are
> amazed by the exactness with which such almanacs were compiled well before
> the scientific  instruments were available.

The problem with the siddhantic panchangas is not as you point out in 
observations but the theoretical underpinnings.  This is why I prefer 
drksiddha myself.

The siddhantas are based on the epicyclic and geocentric model developed 
by the Greek Ptolemy and his commentators.  Aside: this is why I have to 
laught at the people who go on about "Vedic Astrology"  Actually we 
abandoned the system of Lagadhacharyas Vedanga Jyotish in favor of this 
"foreign" system.  I think it speaks to the greatness of our culture that 
we were able to adapt to new and better information and this is why I 
believe we are not losing anything by abandoning the siddhantas. 
Nevertheless it has to be stated that the siddhantas are accurate enough 
for the purpose they are designed for.  When discrepencies with 
observations adjustments are made and everything is right again.  The 
drksiddha systems advantage is that is easier; very little (but not I 
might add 0) extra adjustments need to be made but the end result is the 
same in both cases.

On Tue, 12 Apr 2016, D.V.N.Sarma డి.వి.ఎన్.శర్మ via Advaita-l wrote:

> Panchangas whether they are calculated today or in yester years are always
> based on observations and nothing else.
> The only thing regrettable is some of the siddhantis have forgotten that we
> have to refine our methods of calculation
> as more accurate data comes in and continue to stick to inaccurate
> calculation. The siddhantis use the value of ayanamsa
> as given in some old book and refuse to recognise that its value has
> changed since that book was written.

I think you mean the bija value not ayanamsha.  I think they do update this 
value from time to time but again the level of accuracy needed simply does 
not require constant revision.  Compare the dates of the utssavas in this 
panchanga with any other.  Are there a huge number of differences?  No 
then whats the big deal?

On Tue, 12 Apr 2016, D.V.N.Sarma డి.వి.ఎన్.శర్మ via Advaita-l wrote:

> Muhurtas are determined on the basis of nakshatra, rasi, thidhi  etc. These
> depend on observations. The hypocracy of old siddhantis
> can easily be seen when they use correct values when calculating eclipses
> so that pubic may not loose faith in them but use their old methods in
> other things.

This is a very tendentious reading of the situation.  It makes sense to 
use observations because it is the actual astronomical even we are 
interested in.  But a tithi or rashi is cultural.  Even something like a 
day is not based on a specific observation.  Conventially we now measure a 
day from midnight to midnight.  Julian days (used by astronomers in some 
cases) are from noon to noon.  In the Jewish religion days are from sunset 
to sunset whereas for us they are from sunrise to sunrise.  None of these 
are more "scientific" than the other.

On Tue, 12 Apr 2016, D.V.N.Sarma డి.వి.ఎన్.శర్మ via Advaita-l wrote:

> I would like to point out that Kanchi Mutt uses Driksiddha Panchanga and
> Sringeri uses old method panchanga.

Yes.  In the Gujarati Janmabhumi Panchanga, they always print an adesha 
patra from Swami Jayendra Saraswati pointing out that one of his 
predecessors (not the famous Swami Chandrashekharendra Saraswati but a 
previous acharya with the same name) had convened a parishad of pandits 
from all over India specializing not only in jyotisha but nyaya, mimamsa, 
and dharmashastra to examin this question and their verdict was in favor 
of the new method.  For me this is another assurance that the drksiddha 
method is dharmically ok.

> How do the traditionalists swallow this dichotomy.

When a ekadashi is kshaya (omitted) Smartas observe the fast on dashami 
and Vaishnavas on dwadashi.  How to swallow that dichotomy?  Easy it is a 
choice that's all.  If someone asks my opinion, I will advise in favour of 
drksiddha method but thats my opinion and there's nothing "scientific" 
about it and nothing "unscientific" about taking the other side.

On Thu, 14 Apr 2016, D.V.N.Sarma డి.వి.ఎన్.శర్మ via Advaita-l wrote:

> And scientists are preeminently qualified to serve as to direct us in the
> right path than the socalled elders who just repeat what is said in some
> old text.

Now this is one of the silliest things I have read on advaita-l for a long 
time.  Your fundamental misunderstanding is that you think scientists deal 
with right and wrong.  What they actually deal with is probabilities of 
prediction.  The operation of your car can be described by principles that 
stem from the work of Isaac Newton.  However if you do enough observations 
of enough different situations you will notice anomalies in what Newtonian 
physics ought to predict.  So Relativity and related theories were 
developed to give a more accuratly ( = higher probabalistic) predictive 
model.  Yet when a mechanic fixes your car he uses Newtonian principles 
only.  The higher accuracy of the "more scientific" approach is simply 
irrelevant.  Now if someone tries to launch the next Mangalayan mission 
based on the Surya Siddhanta by all means lodge a complaint but *for the 
purposes of panchanga ganita* "more scientific" buys you nothing.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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