The same term is used by Varaha-mihira at the end of his Brhaj-Jataka: Vivahakalah Karanam grahanam proktam prthak tad vipula ca £akha |
skandhais tribhir Jyotisasangraho 'yam maya krto daivavidam hitaya ||
«The time for marriages and the Karana of the planets have been propounded by me separately, as well as the extensive gakha. I have composed this Jyotisa-sangraha (encyclopedia of astronomical and astrological science) in three branches for the benefit of astrologers.»
It is at variance with the definition of Samhita, asgiven above, when in Ch. II. of the Brh. Samhita, p. 3, it is madeoneoftherequisitesofawelltrained astronomer-astrologer, that he ought to be conversant with the texts and to understand the meaning of the Grahaganita (astronomy properlv so called), of the Hora and of the Samhita: grahaganitasamhitahoragrantharthavetta. Here Samhita does not comprehend the whole of the science, but is only one of the three parts, and it is synonymous with phalagrantha, or the knowledge of celestial and earthly omina and portents. This indeed is the common acceptation of the term Samhita up to the present da}.The subjects of a Samhita are detailed Brh. Samhita p. 6, and are the same as are met with in the work itself and in other Samhitas. And Varaha-mihira was not the first to take the word in its limited sense; Garga had saidalready: 1 Yas tu samyag vijanati Hora-Ganita-Samhitah |
abhyarcyah sa narendrena svïkartavyo jayaisina ||
«But one who knows properly the Hora, Ganita and Samhita, him ought the king to honour and to secure his service, if he wishes to be victorious.»
Thus we see that Samhita sometimes includes a complete course of the science, and sometimes denotes only one of its three branches. In the first acceptation it is synonymous with the more appropriate term Jyotisa-sangraha, although etymologically the one is as proper as the other. In the second acceptation it is synonymous with Phalagrantha and gakha.2. I think we may account for the ambiguity in this way. The whole knowledge of celestial phenomena, of measuring time, of omina and portents, of augury, in short, natural astrology went under the name of Samhita, before each of the three branches attained its full development. When in course
1 Quoted Brh. Samh. Ch. II. vs. 21.
5 Tho origin of tho term Qakha ia not clear to me. Does it imply that it is the crowning part of the whole science, the two other divisions being compared to tlic root and the stem? This does not tally with the fact that each of the three divisions is called a skandha or stem. Or is it called gakha, because it comprehends so many apparently sliglitly connected subjects? But then the plural might be expected.