Brahma’s Yuga – Paitamaha Siddhantha – from PancaSiddhantika

January 6, 2010

Reference : (Page 292 in the Reference : The Text and Translation of The PanchaSiddhantha by Mahamohopadhyaya Sudhakara Dwivedi and G. Thibaut, 1889. available at the Digital Library of India)

In the Valmiki RamayanamBrahma is frequently referred to as Pitamaha or grandfather. In my previous posts we have explored together,  Brahma from a Yogic Chakra perspective,  from an Astronomical perspective,  as the creator among the Trimurthis and as Parabrahma.

Now I request you to follow me as I explore Brahma as the forefather or the Pitamaha of our race and treat him as the foremost and earliest Rshi, as well as our first (or second) astronomer.

Of The 18 Ancient Astronomical Siddhantas, the Brahma Siddhanta is one of the oldest. It is stated in the Sambhu Hora Prakasa that Soma Siddhanta is the first, Brahma Siddhanta is the second and that Surya Siddhanta is the third.

5 verses about the Brahma Siddhanta have survived till today in Varahamihira’s compilation, explanation and treatise PanchaSiddhanthika. (page 292 in the reference above).

  1. Pitamaha Brahma computed that 5 years would cause a yuga of the Sun, Moon and Dhanishta Nakshatra. (See Also : How many kinds of Yugas are there?)
  2. After 30 months an adhikamasa (extra month) and after 62 days a loss of a day (avama – kshaya tithi).
    • (It is necessary to add and drop months and days periodically just as leap days are added in leap years as a correction to the calendar.)
  3. Varahamihira tells us that if we subtract 2 from the Saka Year of his reference, we come to the beginning of a Paitamaha Yuga. Then we divide it by 5 and the remainder gives us the number of years since the beginning of the paitamaha yuga. Now we can compute the Ahargana or the count of days. , starting from the Sukla Paksha of the Magha Masa.
  4. Since the Paitamaha yuga contains 1830 savana (solar) days and 1860 tithis, (see Date of Sri Rama as per Balakanda for explanation on tithis), you can get the tithis by 1860/1830 times ahargana = 62/61 times ahargana.
  5. The sun passes through each of the 27 nakshatras, 5 times in a yuga of 1830 savana days. So in the ahargana, the sun passes through (ahargana/1830) * 27 *5 nakshatras = (9/122)*ahargana
  6. One paitamaha yuga contains 67 sidereal (star-based) revolutions of the moon. So the moon passes through 27*67 nakshatras in a yuga. Therefore (ahargana/1830)*27*67 = 603/610*ahargana = ahargana – (ahargana*7/610).

Further Varahamihira explains how to calculate  the number of vyatipata yogas and the duration of the day in the different seasons using the Paitamaha Siddhanta. Overall Varahamihira said that the other later Siddhantas gave better results than the Paitamaha Siddhanta.

This is natural, because knowledge builds on knowledge and evolves.

What is very impressive to me is that at the beginning of our Kalpa, Brahma in his role as our forefather was able to compute so much in terms of yugas, nakshatras, tithis and so on.

It is also important to note that the earliest yugas where small in length, in comparision to the later yugas as I have discussed in the article How many kinds of Yugas are there.

Brahma in Vatesvara Siddhanta :

See : Vatesvara Siddhanta for details.

At this point I would like you to read this story Daksha : He named the fixed stars!

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