Brihat Samhita

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

This page describes planetary conjunctions (grahayuddha) which is the seventeenth 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 17 - On planetary conjunctions (grahayuddha)

1. Astronomers are able to predict by calculation beforehand the time and nature of planetary conjunctions (grahayuddha). I have treated of this subject in my astronomical work, Pañcasiddhāntikā[1] basing my theories on the Sūrya Siddhānta.

2. The planets all revolve in the sky and their orbits of motion lie one above the other. When seen from this great distance, the planets seem to move on one even surface.

3. The conjunctions of the planets are of four sorts known technically as—1. Bheda,[2]  2. Ullekha,[3] 3. Aṃśumardana,[4] 4. Asavya,[5] according as the planets are more and more distant from each other, as stated by Parāśara and other Ṛṣis.

4. If the planets should be in Bheda conjuction there will be drought in the land; friends and persons of great families will turn into enemies; if the planets should be in Ullekha conjunction there will be wars in the land and princes will quarrel with their enemies, but there will be abundance of good food.

5. If the planets should be in Aṃśumardana conjunction, kings will be at war and mankind will suffer from weapons, from disease and from hunger; if they should be in Apasavya or Asavya conjunction, rulers will be at war with one another.

6. The Sun when in mid-heaven is known as an Ākranda planet; when in the east he is known as a Paura planet and when in the west he is known as a Yāyin planet. Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn are always known as Paura planets. The Moon is always known as an Ākranda planet.

7. Ketu, Mars, Rahu and Venus are known as Yāyin planets. The planet that suffers defeat[6] in conjunction will cause suffering to the objects it represents; but if triumphant, the objects will prosper.

8. If a Paura planet should suffer defeat in conjunction with another Paura planet, citizens and rulers will suffer. Also if a Yāyin (marching to war) planet should suffer defeat in conjunction with another Yāyin planet or if an Ākranda (setting up a war cry) planet should suffer defeat in conjunction with another Ākranda planet or if either a Paura or Yāyin planet should suffer defeat in conjunction with a Yāyin or a Paura planet respectively, the objects represented by the planet which suffers defeat will suffer miseries.

9. That planet is said to suffer defeat in conjunction, which might happen to be the southern one, or of disagreeable appearance or of unsteady light or which might begin to retrograde immediately after conjunction or which might appear to be of small disc or which might be eclipsed by the other planets or which might undergo a change of nature or appear dim or of ugly appearance.

10. If the planet should appear otherwise than as described above, he is deemed to be the triumphant planet and that planet in conjunction which might appear of large, bright, shining disc, is deemed triumphant though he might be the southern planet.[7]

11. If both planets should be equallly bright, large and shining, the conjunction is known as Samāgama—mere meeting as opposed to a meeting in fight. In such cases there is a mutual liking between the planets and hence also between the persons and objects they represent; but if both planets should be otherwise, the same persons and objects will perish.

12. In cases where it might be doubtful whether the conjunction of two planets is a conjunction in fight or a mere meeting, it is also doubtful whether princes will prosper or suffer.

13. If Mars should suffer defeat in his conjunction with Jupiter, the Bāhlīkas, travellers and persons that live by fire will suffer; if he should so suffer in his conjunction with Mercury the Śūrasenas, the Kaliṅgas and the Śālvas will suffer.

14. If Mars should suffer defeat in his conjunction with Saturn, townsmen will prosper but country people will suffer; if he should so suffer in his conjunction with Venus, storehouses, the Mlecchas and the Kṣatriyas will suffer.

15. If Mercury should suffer defeat in his conjunction with Mars, trees, rivers, ascetics, the people of Aśmaka, the people of the north, sacrificial rites and the Dīkṣitas performing them will suffer much.

16. If Mercury should suffer defeat in his conjunction with Jupiter, the Mlecchas, the Śūdras, thieves, rich men, the people of Trigarta and those of mountainous countries will suffer and there will also be earthquakes.

17. If Mercury should suffer defeat in his conjunction with Saturn, boatmen, soldiers, creatures of water, rich men and pregnant women will suffer; if he should so suffer in his conjunction with Venus, there will be fear of injury from fire and crops, clouds and travellers will suffer.

18. If Jupiter should suffer defeat in his conjunction with Venus the people of Kulūta, of Gāndhāra, of Kaikaya, of Madra, of Śālva, of Vatsa and of Bengal will suffer; crops and cows will perish.

19. If Jupiter should suffer defeat in his conjunction with Mars, the people of Madhyadeśa and princes will suffer and cows will perish; if he should so suffer in his conjunction with Saturn, the people of Arjunāyana, of Vasāti, of Yaudheya, of Śibi and the Brāhmaṇas will perish.

20. If Jupiter should suffer defeat in his conjunction with Mercury, the Mlecchas, truthful men, armed soldiers and Madhyadeáa will suffer; also the various persons and objects presided over by Jupiter will suffer.

21. If Jupiter should suffer defeat in his conjunction with Venus, travellers and eminent men will perish. The Brāhmaṇas and the Kṣatriyas will be at war and there will be no rain.

22. The people of Kosala, Kaliṅga, Vaṅga (Bengal), Vatsa, Matsya, Madhyadeśa, Śūrasena and eunuchs will suffer great miseries.

23. If Venus should suffer defeat in his conjunction with Mars, the chiefs of armies will perish and princes will be at war; if Venus should so suffer in his conjunction with Mercury, the people of mountainous countries will suffer; milk will be injured and there will be slight rain.

24. If Venus should suffer defeat in his conjunction with Saturn, the chiefs of tribes, soldiers, the Kṣatriyas and creatures of water will suffer; the several objects and persons presided over by Venus will also suffer in addition.

25. If Saturn should suffer defeat in his conjunction with Venus, the price of food grains will rise and snakes and birds will suffer. If he should so suffer in his conjunction with Mars, the people of Taṅgaṇa, of Āndhra, of Orissa, of Benares and of Bāhlīka will suffer.

26. If Saturn should suffer defeat in his conjunction with Mercury, the people of Bengal, tradesmen, birds, animals and snakes will suffer; if he should so suffer in his conjunction with Jupiter, women will be happy; buffaloes and the Scythians will suffer.

27. Thus have been described the special effects of the defeats of Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn in their conjunctions, each, with the other planets. To these effects must be added the effects resulting to the several objects and persons presided over by the several planets. These will suffer in proportion to the extent of defeat of the planets presiding over them.

Footnotes and references:

1.

Pañcasiddhāntikā:—The public will be exceedingly glad to hear that two copies of this splendid work on Astronomy, long supposed to have been lost, have been purchased by the Bombay Government and that G. Thibut Phil. Dr. assisted by Paṇḍit Suddhākara is preparing an edition and an English translation of the work.

2.

Bheda: This conjunction occurs when the disc of one of the planets appears eclipsed by that of the other planet.

3.

Ullekha: This occurs when the disc of the one appears to rub against the disc of the other.

4.

Aṃśumardana: This occurs when the light of the one mixes with the light of the other.

5.

Asavya: This occurs when the planets are distinctly apart from each other.

6.

Planetary conjunction, is known in Hindu Astronomy as Yuddha (fight); when, a planet in conjunction, is to be deemed as suffering defeat or as triumphant, the author describes further on.

7.

The commentator states, as a corollary to the above, that a planet in conjunction which might appear of small disc or dim must be deemed to suffer defeat though he might be the northern planet.

Again as Venus is ever bright, he is generally the successful planet in conjunctions whether he happens to be the northern or southern planet according to Sūrya Siddhānta and Pauliṣa Siddhānta.

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