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Auspicious course of Venus (1)

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05 Scientific knowledge and scholarly lore

05 Scientific knowledge and scholarly lore

05 Scientific knowledge and scholarly lore

1st century CE
Indian culture

The two theories which Gargasamhitā presents of the periods of invisibility of Venus in the East and in the West, varying with the arc of ecliptic in which the last visibility occurs, are both derived from Mesopotamian sources.

Gargasamhitā 6.101-113:
101. The auspicious and inauspicious course of Venus in the circles has been told; listen now to its duration of invisibility in the paths truthfully,
102. how long the son of Bhṛgu (= Venus) remains in invisibility in them. It is invisible for three months in the path of Vaiṣvānara;
103. in two nakṣatras it is invisible for about eighty-one days (or) seventy-five days;
104. in the northern path the son of Bhṛgu is not seen for about sixty days; then it will touch … of days.
105. This duration of invisibility is of five sorts in the East; these are the durations of invisibility of Venus when it sets in the East.
106. (Now) I will tell the periods of invisibility of the son of Bhṛgu in the West. In the (paths of) Vaiṣvānara and so on Venus is invisible in the West for fourteen, fifteen, twelve, two, and six days (respectively).
107. Other periods of invisibility are proclaimed for the son of Bhṛgu in this - three paths are counted, for how many days in each.
108. Venus’s periods of invisibility in the three beginning with the snake street are fifty, sixty, and sixty four days;
109. in the three paths in the middle and in Āśleṣā and Maghā the son of Bhṛgu is invisible for sixty-eight, eighty, and eighteen-seven (days);
110. in the southern paths whose names are deer and so on the periods of invisibility, they say, are ninety, ninety-five, and a hundred in order.
111. In the three northerns paths beginning with the snake path the son of Bhṛgu is invisible in the West for six, eight, and ten days:
112. the periods of invisibility of the son of Bhṛgu in the West in (the three paths) beginning with the bull are to be known as twelve, eighteen, and twenty days in order;
113. in the (path) called the deer twenty-two, in the goat twenty-four, and in the sheep twenty-six - (thus) the periods in the southern paths.

Source (list of abbreviations)
Gargasamhitā 6.101-113


Pingree 1987, 303, 310Pingree, David. “Venus Omens in India and Babylon.” In: F. Rochberg Halton (ed.). Language, literature, and history. Philological and historical studies presented to Erica Reiner. American Oriental Series 67. New Haven: American Oriental Society 1987, 293-315.

Amar Annus

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