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Vedanga Jyotishya is a 3400-year-old explicit Vedic astronomical observation/estimation handbook for practicing Vedic priests. Two versions, one attached a Rig Veda- Arca-Jyotisham and other to Yajur Veda, Yajusha-Jyotisham are available. The priest’s handbook was an almanac to perform Vedic Yajna’s at correct time relative to seasons based on Sun-Moon motion. The luni-solar handbook provided algorithms to estimate linear astronomical date with corrections every five years, based on observation of solstices.

Jyothishya shastra evolved from this foundation and always has been in use amongst followers of Jyotishya as the calendar. However, from a European viewpoint, Capt Jarvis, Weber and others were the first to note existence of and astronomical significance of Vedanga Jyotishya in 19th century. Evidently they did not fully comprehend all the algorithms. In late 19th century, traditional Indian scholars Barhaspatya (Chotelal), Bal Gangadhar Tilak and others were also active in study of the intricate algorithms in Vedanga Jyotishya. A continuing study by others, latest being by T S Kuppanna Sastry appears to have provided a broad understanding of the algorithms in Vedanga Jyotishya, despite corruptions, and omissions in the many versions of the Vedanga Jyotishya available in original form. Perhaps there is more work to be done. This article is a presentation of significance of Vedanga Jyotishya, with some modern astronomical graphic tools.

Vedanga Jyotishya provides a five year time-linear mathematical model sun-moon movement in time covering nakshatra, Thiti, Parva, masa, Ritu, Ayana (equinoxes, solstices), year ending with a five year unit called Yuga, which is eternally cyclic. The Yuga model is a 5-year unit of 1830 days starting when Winter solstice coincides with sun and moon being in conjunction at Shravishta nakshatra, with provision for correction. Rest of the units mentioned above is related to Yuga based time units. Vedanga Jyotishya provides algorithms to calculate the current circumstance like nakshatra, Thiti etc based on keeping track number of days past from beginning of Yuga, which would be visually observed

The aim of this article is to provide a graphic view of work done by all in understanding the Vedanga Jyotishya., inspired by TS Kuppanna Sastry’s work. The Nagari script texts are provided in the end for those who wish to look at the original text. In the following, specific inferences that can be drawn from Vedanga Jyotishya text are provided..



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