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Cover image of The Siddhāntasundara of Jñānarāja

The Siddhāntasundara of Jñānarāja

An English Translation with Commentary

Toke Lindegaard Knudsen

Publication Date
Binding Type

The first English translation of this major work of classical Indian astronomy and mathematics.

A treasure for anyone interested in early modern India and the history of mathematics, this first English translation of the Siddhāntasundara reveals the fascinating work of the scholar-astronomer Jñānarāja (circa 1500 C.E.). Toke Lindegaard Knudsen begins with an introduction to the traditions of ancient Hindu astronomy and describes what is known of Jñānarāja’s life and family. He translates the Sanskrit verses into English and offers expert commentary on the style and substance of Jñānarāja's...

The first English translation of this major work of classical Indian astronomy and mathematics.

A treasure for anyone interested in early modern India and the history of mathematics, this first English translation of the Siddhāntasundara reveals the fascinating work of the scholar-astronomer Jñānarāja (circa 1500 C.E.). Toke Lindegaard Knudsen begins with an introduction to the traditions of ancient Hindu astronomy and describes what is known of Jñānarāja’s life and family. He translates the Sanskrit verses into English and offers expert commentary on the style and substance of Jñānarāja's treatise.

The Siddhāntasundara contains a comprehensive exposition of the system of Indian astronomy, including how to compute planetary positions and eclipses. It also explores deep, probing questions about the workings of the universe and sacred Hindu traditions. In a philosophical discussion, the treatise seeks a synthesis between the cosmological model used by the Indian astronomical tradition and the cosmology of a class of texts sacred in Hinduism. In his discourse, which includes a discussion of the direction of down and adhesive antipodeans, Jñānarāja rejects certain principles from the astronomical tradition and reinterprets principles from the sacred texts. He also constructs a complex poem on the seasons, many verses of which have two layers of meaning, one describing a season, the other a god's activities in that season.

The Siddhāntasundara is the last major treatise of Indian astronomy and cosmology to receive serious scholarly attention, Knudsen’s careful effort unveils the 500-year-old Sanskrit verses and shows the clever quirkiness of Jñānarāja's writing style, his keen use of mathematics, and his subtle philosophical arguments.

Reviews

Reviews

This book is a very important contribution to the history of mathematics. The author deserves compliments for his efforts and expertise. The book also demonstrates the knowledge and wisdom of ancient Indian mathematicians and their mathematical skills. There is an urgent need to preserve original manuscripts in Sanskrit. The reviewer strongly recommends Knudsen's book to all those who are interested in the history of astronomy and mathematics.

Opens new doors of research, understanding and challenges for the scholarly community.

... this is an admirable piece of work and a very welcome addition to the English-language literature on Indian astral sciences.

The book is an important contribution to a long scholarly tradition, and the author's effort and expertise are both first-rate. Translation and commentary projects like this one are the indispensable contributions that most influence and enable future progress in better understanding this ancient history and culture.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
376
ISBN
9781421414423
Illustration Description
31 line drawings
Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface
Introduction
I. 1. Life and times of Jnanaraja
I.1.1. Brief overview of the Siddhantasundara
I.1.2. Sources on Jnanaraja's date and location
I.1.3. The date of

List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface
Introduction
I. 1. Life and times of Jnanaraja
I.1.1. Brief overview of the Siddhantasundara
I.1.2. Sources on Jnanaraja's date and location
I.1.3. The date of Jnanaraja
I.1.4. Jnanaraja's family
I.1.5. Parthapura, Jnanaraja's native town
I.1.6. The works of Jnanaraja
I.2. The Siddhantasundara
I.2.1. Indian astronomy
I.2.2. Structure of the Siddhantasundara
I.2.3. Jnanaraja's sources
I.2.4. Special features of the Siddhantasundara
I.2.5. Importance of the Siddhantasundara
I.3. Textual basis of this translation
1. Chapter on Cosmology
Section 1
Lexicon of the Worlds
2. Chapter on Cosmology
Section 2
Rationale of Planetary Motion
3. Chapter on Cosmology
Section 3
Method of Projections
4. Chapter on Cosmology
Section 4
Description of the Great Circles
5. Chapter on Cosmology
Section 5
Astronomical Instruments
6. Chapter on Cosmology
Section 6
Description of the Seasons
7. Chapter on Mathematical Astronomy
Section 1
Mean Motion
8. Chapter on Mathematical Astronomy
Section 2
True Motion
9. Chapter on Mathematical Astronomy
Section 3
Three Questions (on Diurnal Motion)
10. Chapter on Mathematical Astronomy
Section 4
Occurrence of Eclipses
11. Chapter on Mathematical Astronomy
Section 5
Lunar Eclipses
12. Chapter on Mathematical Astronomy
Section 6
Solar Eclipses
13. Chapter on Mathematical Astronomy
Section 7
Rising and Setting of Planets
14. Chapter on Mathematical Astronomy
Section 8
Shadows of Stars, Constellations, Polestars, and So On
15. Chapter on Mathematical Astronomy
Section 9
Elevation of the Moon's Horns
16. Chapter on Mathematical Astronomy
Section 10
Conjunctions of Planets
17. Chapter on Mathematical Astronomy
Section 11
Occurrence of Patas
References
Index

Author Bio