Colebrooke was perfectly right in placing the composition of the Pancatantra in the first half of the 6th century.
The results of the foregoing disquisitions may be summed up as follows: the first half of the 6th century, say 500—550 A. D., is in reality the most illustrious period of Sanskrit literature; at that time the nitiegems flourished under the patronage of an art-loving prince, and contemporaneous with them, probably in the Dekhan, lived the author of the Pancatantra. The prince is either Bhoja, or Vikramaditya, or both names have to be considered as denoting the same person. — And now we have to return to our author and his works.
The whole of the astronomical and astrological science of the Hindus, as fixed at the time of Varaha-mihira, and indeed long before him, was divided into three branches. 1 So we know from Brh. Samh. Ch. I. vs. 9: Jyotihgastram anekabhedavisayam skandhatrayadhisthitam tatkartsnyopanayasya nama munibhih samkïrtyate Samhita |
skandhe 'smin ganitena ya grahagatis Tantrabhidhanas tv asau Horanyo 'rïgavinigcayaij ca kathitah skandhas trtiyo 'parah || «The Jyotihgastra, treating of several subjects, is contained in three branches. The treatment of the whole is called by sages Samhita. In the Jyotihgastra in one branch are to be found the movements of the heavenly bodies, as determined by calculation (ganita); this is called Tantra. The second branch is horoscopy or the casting of the horoscope 2. Different from both is the third branch.»
Here then the whole of the Jyotihgastra or astronomical and astrological science bears the name of Samhita, the first branch Ganita or Tantra, the second Hora, the third is left unnamed. Elsewhere the name for the last is £akha; so, e. g., in a distich of Garga:
Ganitam Jatakam ^akham yo vetti dvijapungavah |
triskandhajno vinirdistah Samhitaparagag ca sah || «The excellent Brahman who knows the Ganita, the Jataka (nativity) and the £akha, is called learned in the three branches, and has completed the study of a Samhita.»
gravely asserts that the Egyptians ascribed the origin of their astronomical science to Abraham, but that Abraham is nothing else but an involuntary or more likely a wilful corruption of Brahma!
1 Cf. Colebrooke's account, derived from the same sourees, in his Algebra, p. XLV. sqq.
3 Angavini^caya means literally «the determination of the flrst astrological mansion or horoscope». Anga, as all other words for body, e. g. tanu, mürti, etc., dcnotes the first mansion or sign just rising; anothername for it is lagna, which strictly speaking is tlie initial point of the first mansion, but in a wider acceptation is a term for the whole, the sign being considered as a whole. The same applies to the Greek (OQOOXOTTOS-