Vrddharyabhataproktam Siddhantadyam mahakalat |
pathair gatam ucchedam vigesitam tan mamoktya ||
«The Siddhanta and other works of the old Aryabhata are in the long course of time worn out by the study of them; they (z. e. Siddhantadyam) have been modified by me onmy own authority.»
The author certainly calls himself Aryabhata, but it is so extremely unlikely that two astronomers, one being the professed imitator ofthe other, should bear the same name, that it is far more natural to think Aryabhata to be only the younger astronomer's nom deplume. It is by no means to be inferred that by assuming the name of the celebrated astronomer he intended any fraud; since the adoption of a pseudonym in writing is in India a mark of respect and an intimation that the former bearer of the adopted name is set up as a model. That Aryabhata the younger did not attempt to impose upon others is perfectly clear from the account given about himself. I fear that it would be very difficult to show that he was as clever as he was candid. The whole book is a poor performance. The contents have been known long ago, for it is the work thatBentley pronounced to be the real Aryabhata-Siddhanta, the other works being only fabrications. As Bentley knew no Sanskrit, it is but charitable to try to believe that he had not seen or heard of the passage communicated above. Davis also knew the book, but he must have had a corrupt MS., for he calls it Arsa-Siddhanta. So much about the Maha-Aryabhata-Siddhanta, containing the lucubrations of some astronomer, who wished to imitate Aryabhata of Kusumapura, and followed him at a great distance, both of time and merit.
We owe the knowledge of nearly all the particulars about the predecessors of Varaha-mihira to Bhatta Utpala. This astronomer who, as we have had occasion to notice, flourished in the middle of the lOth century of our era, seems to have earned his great reputation 1 less by his original compositions than by his commentaries on Varaha-mihira. An original work of his is theBhattotpala-Horagastra, a very short treatise in 75 stanzas; aMS. of which is in possession of the Berlin Library (see Weber's Catalogue 863). Not having this Horagastra at hand, I cannot affirm whether it be identical with a work sometimes quoted by Utpala as his own, and called Khandakhadaka; very likely it is the same book under another title. A greater re-
1 Colebrooke (Alg. p. XLVI) mingles his praise with a little censure, saying that the commentator, «in several places of his commentary names himself Utpala, quibbhng with simulated modesty on his appellation, for the word signifies stone.» The taunt is undeserved and rests upon some misconceptions: 1° Utpala means no quibble; 2° Utpala is to be taken as a proper noun, not as an appellative; 3° even if it were an appellative, it would not mean 8tone: but nymphcea', Colebrooke confounds it with upalaj 4°thereis no tracé of simulation; 5° there is no tracé of modesty.