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Bhāskara I

Bhāskara I

(fl. 629)

astronomy.

Bhāskara I, who was one of the leading exponents of Āryabhata I’s two systems of astronomy (see Essays V and VI), composed his commentary on the Āryabhatīya in 629. In this work he mentions Valabhī (Vala, in Saurāstra), Bharukaccha (Broach, in Gujarat), Śivābhāgapura (Śivārajapura, in Saurāstra), and Sthāneśvara (Thanesar, in the Panjab). But in this same work, and in the Mahābhāskarīya, Bhāskara constantly speaks of the Āryabhatīya as the Āsmakatantra and its followers as the Āsmakiyāh. This seems to indicate that he belonged to a school of followers of the Āryabhatīya which flourished in Aśmaka (probably the Nizamabad District of Andhra Pradesh). It is supposed by Shukla that Bhāskara was born in either Saurāṣṭra or Aśmaka, and later migrated to the other.

Bhāskara is the author of three works: the Mahābhāskarīya, the Laghubhāskarīya, and the Āryabhatīyabhāṣya. The first contains eight chapters:

  1. On the mean longitudes of the planets.
  2. On the correction due to local longitude
  3. On the three problems relating to diurnal motion, and on the conjunctions of the planets with the stars.
  4. On the true longitudes of the planets.
  5. On solar and lunar eclipses.
  6. On heliacal risings and settings, on the lunar crescent, and on the conjunctions of the planets.
  7. The parameters according to the audayaka(Āryapaksa) and the ārdharātrika systems.
  8. Examples.

There are two published commentaries on the Mahābhāskārīya: Bhāsya, by Govindasvāmin (fl. ca. 800–850), on which there is a supercommentary (Siddhāntadīpikā) by Parameśvara (fl. 1400–1450), and Karmadīpikā, by Parameśvara. The anonymous Prayogaracanā is unpublished, and no manuscripts are known of the Govindasvāmya of Sūryadeva and the Tīkā of Srīkantha. The text was published with the Karmadīpikā by Balavanta Rāya Āpte, as Ānandāśrama Sanskrit Series, no. 126 (poona, 1945); with Govindasvāmin’s Bhāsya and Parameśvara’s Siddhāntadīpikā by T. S. Kuppanna Sastri, as Madras Government Oriental Series, no. 130 (Madras, 1957); and with an English translation and commentary by Kripa Shankar Shukla (Lucknow, 1960).

The Laghubhāskarīya also contains eight chapters:

  1. On the mean longitudes of the planets.
  2. On the true longitudes of the planets.
  3. On the three problems relating to diurnal motion.
  4. On lunar eclipses.
  5. On solar eclipses.
  6. On the visibility of the moon and on its cresent.
  7. On the heliacal risings and settings of the planets and on their conjunctions.
  8. On the conjunctions of the planets with the stars.

There exist three commentaries on the Laghubhāskarīya: Śan̄karanārāyana’s Vivarana (869), Udayadivākara’s Sundarī (1073), and Parameśvara’s pārameśvara. No manuscripts are known to me of the Bālaśankara of Śan̄kara (b. 1494) nor of the Tikā of Śrīkantha. The text was edited with the pārameśvara by Balavanta Rāya Āpte, as Ānandāśrama Sanskrit Series, no. 128 (Poona, 1946); with the Vivarana of Śan̄karanārāyana, as Trivandrum Sanskrit series, no; 162 (Trivandrum, 1949); and with an English translation and commentary by Kripa Shankar Shukla (Lucknow, 1963).

BIBLIOGRAPHY

In addition to works listed in the text, readers mayconsult B. Datta, “The Two Bhāskaras;’ in Indian Historical Quarterly, 6 (1930). 727–736.

David Pingree

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