in his astronomical treatise Pancasiddhantika, which unhappily seems to be lost beyond hope of recovery. There is every reason to believe that we should find the author's date in that treatise, because it is the all but universal practice of the scientific Hindu astronomers to give their own date. In one way or another the Hindu astronomers at Ujjayanï must have had means to know the date of Varaha-mihira, for in a list furnished b) them to Dr. Hunter and published by Colebrooke, 1 the date assigned to him is the year 427 of the £aka-era, corresponding to 505 A. D.
It is not added to what period of his life this date refers. The trustworthiness of the Ujjayanï list is not only exemplified by the fact that others of its dates admit of verification, but also in a striking manner by the information we get from Alblrünï. This Arabian astronomer gives precisel) the same date 2 as Dr. Hunter's list eight centuries afterwards, from which it is evident that the records of the Hindu astronomers have remained unchanged during the lapse of more centuries than there had elapsed from Varaha-mihira till Alblrünï. The latter adds, what is not stated distinctly in the Ujjayanï list, that 505 A. D. refers to the author's Pancasiddhantika. This statement would, on ground of analogy, seem to be corroborated by Dr. Hunter's list, for two other dates at least, those of Bhatta-Utpala and Bhaskara-acarya admit of being verified, and as the)' refer to some works of these authors, not to the year of their birth.it is but natural to suppose that the same holds good in reference to Varaha-mihira. There are, however, two facts that make the date assigned to the Pancasiddhantika, not indeed incredible, but improbable. The first is the date of Varaha-mihira's death, as recently ascertained by Dr. Bhau Dajvviz. 587 A. D. The second difficulty is the fact that Varaha-mihira quotes Aryabhata in a work which cannot have been any other but the Pancasiddhantika.5 Now, as Aryabhata was born 476 A. D., it is unlikely that 29 years after, in 505 A. D., a work of his would have become so celebrated as to induce Varaha-mihira to quote it as an authority. It is of course not impossible, butnotprobable, while on the other hand the error of Albïrünï in taking 505 A. D. for the date of the Pancasiddhantika, while it really was the date of the authors birth, may be readily explained. The inferences from astronomical data, although proving indisputably that Varaha-mihira cannot have lived mam years before 500 A. D., are not numerous enough, nor precise enough, to determine the date with more precision, it being impossible to eliminate from one or two data the errors of observation, and sometimes necessary
1 Algebra, p. XXXIII (or Miso. Essays, II, p. 461). J Beinaud, Mémoirc sur 1'Inde (1849), p. 336-337. ' More about this in the sequel.