Brihat Samhita

by N. Chidambaram Iyer | 1884 | 135,584 words | ISBN-13: 9788171104215

This page describes kurma vibhaga which is the fourteenth Chapter of the English translation of the Brihat-samhita. This work, written by Varahamihira in the 6th century, is classified as jyotisha literature, also known as Indian astronomy. It contains however, also content regarding astrology, palmistry, agriculture, gardening, perfumes, medicines and various other encyclopedic topics.

Chapter 14 - On Kūrma Vibhāga

Note on kūrma-vibhāga: The geographical divisions of the Earth and of India particularly, corresponding to the various stellar divisions along the ecliptic. The object is to discover which of the countries of the earth will suffer when planetary and the like celestial phenomena occur. The chapter, therefore, is a useful one, though it may not be found to be a interesting study to the general reader. It may be used as geographical dictionary of reference when necessary. A few more geographical terms occur in chapters 16 and 17. For convenience of reference, it is proposed to give an alphabetical list of the more important terms occuring in the three chapters at the end of Chapter 17 with the modern names given opposite to each.

1. The countries of the Earth beginning from the centre of Bhāratavarṣa and going round the east, south-east, south, etc., are divided into 9 divisions corresponding to the 27 lunar asterisms at the rate of 3 for each division and beginning from Kṛttikā.

2. The constellations of Kṛttikā, Rohiṇī and Mṛgaśīrṣa represent the Madhyadeśa or central division consisting of the countries of Bhadrā, Arimeda, Māṇḍavya, Sālva, Nīpa, Ujjihāna, Maru, Vatsa, Ghoṣa, the countries bordering on the Yamunā and the Sarasvatī, the countries of Matsya, Mādhyamika, Māthuraka (Mathura), Upajyotiṣaka, Dharmaraṇi, Śūrasena, Gauragrīva, Uddehika, Pāṇḍu, Guḍā, Aśvattha, Pāñcāla, Sāketa, Kaṅka, Kura, Kālakoṭi, Kukura, the Pāriyatra mountains, Audumbara, Kapiṣṭhala and Gajāhvaya.

5-7. The constellations of Ārdrā, Punarvasu and Puṣya represent the eastern division consisting of the mountain of Añjana, of Vṛṣabha, of Dhvaja, of Padma and of Mālyavān; the countries of Vyāghramukha, Suhma, Karvaṭa, Cāndrapura, Śūrpakarṇa, Khasa, Magadha, Śibiragiri, Mithilā, Samataṭa, Uḍra, Aśvavadana, Danturaka and farther-east Jyotiṣa, Lauhitya, Kṣīrasamudra, Puruṣāda (land of the Cannibals), the Udayagiri, the countries of Bhadragauḍaka, Pauṇḍra, Utkala, Kāśī, Mekalā, Ambaṣṭha, Ekapada, Tāmralipta, Kosalaka and Vardhamān.

8-10. The constellation of Āśleṣā, Maghā and Pūrvaphālguni represent south-eastern division consisting of the countries of Kosala, Kaliṅga, Vaṅga, Upavaṅga, Jaṭharāṅga, Śaulika, Vidarbha, Vatsa, Āṇḍhra, Cedika, Ūrdhvakaṇṭha, the island of Vṛśa, of Nālikera and of Carma; the countries in the Vindhya mountains of Tripuri, Śmaśrudhara, Hemakuṭa, Vyālagrīva, Mahāgrīva, Kiṣkindha, Kaṇṭakasthala, Niṣāda, Purika, Dāśārṇa, Nagna, Parṇa and Śabara.

11-16. The constellations of Uttaraphālguni, Hasta and Citrā represent the southern division consisting of the countries of Laṅkā (Ceylon), Kālājina, Saurikīrṇa, Tālikaṭā, the mountains of Giri, Nagara, Malaya, Dardura, Mahendra, Mālindya and the countries of Bharukacchā (Bhroach), Kaṅkaṭa, Ṭakaṅkaṇa, Vanavāsi, Śibi, Phaṇikara, Koṅkaṇa, Abhīra, Ākara, the river Veṇa, the countries of Avantī, Daśapura, Gonarda, Kerala, Karṇāṭa; the forest of Mahāṭavi, the mountain of Citrakūṭa, the countries of Nāsikya, Kolla, Giri, Colā, Krauñcadvīpa and Jaṭādhara, the river Kāverī and the mountain of Ṛṣyamūka, the islands of Vaidūryadvīpa, Śaṅkhadvīpa, Muktādvīpa, Trivāricaradvīpa and Dharmapaṭṭanadvīpa; the countries of Gaṇarājya, of Kṛṣṇa, Vellara, the Śika, Śūrpa and Kusumanagā mountains, the forest of Tumbavana, the country of Kārmaṇeyaka, Yāmyodadhi (the south sea), the countries of Tāpasāśramā, Ṛṣikā, Kāñcī, Marucī, Paṭṭa, Ceryā, Āryaka, Siṃhala, Ṛṣabha, the town of Baladeva, the forest of Daṇḍaka, the countries of Timiṅgilāśana, Bhadra, Kaccha, Kuñjaradarī and Tāmraparṇī.

17-19. The constellations of Svāti, Viśākhā and Anurādhā represent the south-western division consisting of the countries of Pahlava, Kāmboja, Sindhu, Sauvīra, Vaḍavāmukha, Ārava, Ambaṣṭha, Kapila, Nārīmukha, Anarta, Pheṇagiri, Yavana, Mārgara, Karṇaprāveya, Pāraśava, Śūdra, Barbara, Kirāta, Khaṇḍa, Kravya, Ābhīra, Cañcūka, Hemagiri, Sindhukālaka, Raivataka, Saurāṣṭra, Bādara, Draviḍa and Mahārṇava.

20-21. The constellations of Jyeṣṭhā, Mūla and Pūrvāṣāḍha represent the western divisions consisting of the five mountains of Maṇimān, Meghavān, Vanaugha, Kṣurārpaṇa and Astagiri and the countries of Aparāntaka, Śāntika, Haihaya, Praśastādri, Vokkāṇa, Pañcanada (Punjab), Ramaṭha, Pārata, Tārakṣiti, Jṛṅga, Vaiśya, Kanaka, Śaka and the rude Mleccha countries in the west.

22-23. The constellations of Uttarāṣāḍha, Śravaṇa and Dhaniṣṭhā represent the north-western division consisting of the countries of Māṇḍavya, Tuṣāra, Tālahala, Madra, Aśmaka, Kulūta, Halaḍā, Strīrājya, Nṛsiṃha, Vanakha, the rivers of Veṇumatī, Phalgu and the Guluhā, and the countries of Marukuccha and Carmaraṅga whose people possess a single eye, single lock, a long neck, a long face and long hair.

24-28. The constellations of Śatabhiṣaj, Pūrvabhādrapada and Uttarabhādrapada represent the northern division consisting of the six mountains of the Kailāsa, the Himālayas, the Vasumān, the Dhanuṣmān, the Krauñca and the Meru and the countries of the Uttara (North) Kuru, Kṣudramīna, Kaikaya, Vasāti, Yāmuna, Bhogaprastha, Arjunāyana, Agnīdhra, Ādarśa, Antardvīpi, Trigarta, Turagānana, Aśvamukha, Keśadhara, Cipiṭa, Nāsika, Dāseraka, Vāṭadhāna, Śaradhāna, Takṣaśilā, Puṣkalāvata, Kailāvata, Kaṇṭhadhāna, Ambara, Madraka, Mālava, Paurava, Kacchāra, Daṇḍapiṅgala, Māṇahala, Hūṇa, Kohala, Śītaka, Māṇḍavya, Bhūtapura, Gāndhāra, Yaśovati, Hematāla, Rājanya, Khacara, Gavya, Yaudheya, Dāsameya, Śyāmākā and Kṣemadhūrta.

29-31. The constellations of Revatī, Aśvinī and Bharaṇī represent the north-eastern division consisting of the countries of Meruka, Naṣṭarājya, Paśupāla, Kīra, Kāśmīra, Abhisāra, Darada, Taṅgaṇa, Kulūta, Sairindha, Vanarāṣṭra, Brahmapura, Dārvaḍa, Amara, Vanarājya, Kirāta, Cīna (China), Kauṇinda, Bhallā, Paṭola, Jaṭāsura, Kunaṭa, Khasa, Ghoṣa, Kucikā, Ekacaraṇa, Anuviddha, Suvarṇabhū, Vasudhana, Diviṣṭhā, Paurava, Cīranivāsana, Trinetra, Muñjādri and Gāndharva.

32-33. If the nine divisions of the 27 constellations from Kṛttikā should suffer from the presence of malefic planets[1] in them, the rulers of Pāñcāla, Magadha, Kaliṅga, Avantī, Anarta, Sindhu, Sauvīra, Hārahaura, Madra and Kauṇinda will respectively suffer miseries.

Note:—The following list is from Parāśara:

The chief mountains are 7. The chief rivers are 40. The chief oceans are 4. The number of smaller rivers flowing into seas is 6,000.

The chief countries are 99. The number of peninsulas is 10; of sandy deserts is 8; of deep lakes 80; of islands 80. The number of rivers whose course is westwards is 5,000.

According to Vikrama Siṃha, the three constellations from Kṛttikā form the womb, the navel and the heart of lunar Zodiac; the three from Ārdrā form the neck, face and so forth going round as before, so that Aundh, Mithilā, Kauṣiki, Gayā, Paṭnā, Apichatra as far as Allahabad are in the womb of the lunar Zodiac; Bengal, Utkala, Kaliṅga and Magadha are in the head; Veṅgī and Kauśala are in the right foot; Siṃhala, Malaya, Kāñcī and Kiṣkindhā are in the right side; Kāśmīra is in the left side; Kuru, Nepal and China are in the left foot.

[Appendix 3: List of 28 yogatārās of the constellations]

Footnotes and references:

1.

These are Saturn, the Sun, Mars, Rāhu and Ketu according to commentator.

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