Tekst
Onderstaande tekst is niet 100% betrouwbaar

though Manu is the personification of mankind, especially in its social relations, and therefore with the Hindus bears pre-eminently the character of a Lawgiver, and with the Greeks exclusively so, yet as the ideal man he must be acquainted with all things that the human mind has discovered. He is enumerated as one of the eighteen Samhita-proclaimers in many works of otherwise questionable value, but giving in their enumeration certainly a faithful account of the existing most esteemed works. Manu is represented as an authority in astrology even in so old abookastheGarglSamhita, but that does not mean that there existed a regular book emanating from his transcendental wisdom. Varaha-mihira, though mentioning Manu several times, once only refers to the Manava-Dharmagastra, viz. Brh. Samh. LXXIV. 6, sqq. and it is curious that only a part of the lines quoted by him recur in Manu, as we know him now. Another passage of the Brh. Samh. Ch. LIV. 99, shows that there was a work derived from Manu, or rather a part of such a work, treating of the Dagargalam or exploration of the fitness of the soil for digging wells. As the Dagargalam constitutes regularly one of the chapters of a Samhita, it is not hazardous to assume that Manu's Dagargalam made part of a Manava-Samhita. Of the existence of such a work at the present day I know notbing; probably it has shared the fate of so man)- works of the recovery of which there are but faint hopes.

A new era in Hindu astronomy is marked by the composition of the Siddhantas. Three out of the five Standard works of that name existing previously to Varaha-mihira, are ascribed to mythical authors, and there is little doubt that in their character also, the}' would show the traces of a period of transition from myth to science properly so called. This assertion, however, cannot be proved from the materials we have at our command.

The Paitamaha-Siddhanta seems to have been entirely superseded by the revised edition of it by the celebrated Brahmagupta. Even Utpala, so well-read in old astronomical and astrological literature, quotes only from the Sphuta Brahma or Brahma-Siddhanta ', although he does not add the word Sphuta, as if it were a matter of course. If at the time of Utpala the Paitamaha-Siddhanta had fallen into oblivion, it is not strange that Albïrünï had no knowledge of it; see Reinaud's Mémoire, p. 332.

The Saura, or Sürya-Siddhanta is mentioned by Varaha-mihira, Brh. Samh. p. 4, and Ch. XVII. vs. 1. As in the latter passage we are informed 2

1 Tliis lias been remarked already by Colebrooke, Algebra, p. XXX.

2 q. v. Instead of Sürya-siddhantat, a v. r. has Sürya-siddhante; in the latter Siddhante has to be taken in the same constrnetion and sensc, as if it were mate, «opinion, doctrine»: siddhanta is in fact nothing else but proved, well-established

Sluiten