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(b. Benares, India, 17 March 1603)

astronomy, mathematics.

The member of a noted family of astronomers who originated at Dadhigrāma on the Payọ̣i River in Vidarbha with Cintāmani, a Brahmana of the Devaratragotra, in the middle of the fifteenth century, and continued with successive generations represented by Rama (who was patronized by a king of Vidarbha), Trimalla, and Ballala, Munisvara was a grandson of Ballala, born after the latter had moved the family to Benares. Ballala had had five sons: Rama, who wrote a commentary on the Sudhārasasāranī of Ananta (fl. 1525); Ḳ̣̣a (fl. 1600–1625); Govinda, whose son Nārāyana wrote commentaries on the Grahalaghava of Ganeśa (b. 1507) and, in 1678, on the Jātakapaddhati of Keśava (fl. 1496); Ranganatha, who finished his commentary on the Suryasiddhania, the Gụ̄hārthaprakaśa, in 1603; and Mahadeva. Munisvara was the son of Ranganatha and the pupil of Ḳ̣̣a,

who traces his guruparampara, or lineage of teachers, back through Vị̣u (fl. ca. 1575–1600) and Ṇsịha (b. 1548) to the great Gạeśa himself.

Although thus tracing his intellectual genealogy back to the school of Gạeśa and Keśava (see essay in Supplement), Mun̄śvara followed his uncle’s example of studying the works of Bh̄skara II (b. 1115); as Ḳ̣̣a had written a commentary, the B̄j̄̄kura, on Bh̄skara’s Bijaganita, Munisvara continued the task by commenting on the Lilavati in the Niṣ̣̣̄rthad̄t̄ and on the two parts of the Siddh̄ntaśiromại in the immense Marici, begun in 1635 and finished in 1638.

In the 1640’s and 1650’s Munisvara’s family entered into a scientific controversy with another Benares family of astronomers whose intellectual genealogy was traced back to Ganesa. This second family had originated in Golagr̄ma in Mah̄ṝ̣ra at about the same time that Cint̄mại appeared in Dadhigrama: its representatives contemporary with Munisvara were the three brothers Divakara (b. 1606), Kamalakara (fl. 1658), and Ranganatha. They generally favored the Saurapaḳa (see essay in Supplement). And, in this connection, it should be noted that Munisvara’s greatest work, the Siddhantasarvabhauma, which was completed in 1646 and on which he wrote a commen- tary, the Asayaprakdsini, in 1650, is fundamentally Saura in character; there is, however, a strong admixture of material from the Br̄hmapaḳa (see essay in Supplement), reflecting his intense study of Bhaskara II’s Siddh̄ntaśiromại and of the Siddantasundara of Jnanaraja (fl. 1503). He also demonstrates some knowledge of Islamic astronomy, although much less acceptance of it than is shown by Kamalakara. It is around their respective attitudes toward Islamic astronomy that the controversy between the two families principally turned. Despite his negative attitude, however, the author of the Siddhantasarvabhauma seems to have enjoyed the patronage of Shah Jahan (reigned 1628 1658).

Munisvara also composed a P̣̄̄s̄ra on mathe- matics, of which the earliest manuscript, still in Benares, was copied in 1654.


I. Original Works. Only one of Munisvara’S works has been published in full. Of the Marici the part relating to the Goladhyaya was edited by Datt̄treya ̄p̣ie as Anandasrama Sanskrit Series 122, 2 vols. (Poona, 1943 1952). Of the part relating to the Ganitadhyaya, the first chapter only was edited by Muralidhara Jha (Benares, 1917) and the rest by Kedaradatta Josi in vols. II and III of his ed. of the Grahagạit̄dhȳya (Benares, 1964). Mural̄dhara ̣hakkura edited 2 vols. containing the first twochs. and a part of the third of the Siddhantasarvabhauma with the Asayaprakasini as Saraswati Bhavana Texts 41 (Benares, 1932 1935); no more has appeared.

II. Secondary Literature. There are notices on Munisvara in S. Dvivedin, Gạakatarāgịi (Benares, 1933), repr. from The Pandit, n.s. 14 (1892), 91–94; S. B. Diksita, Bharatiya Jyotịś̄stra (Poona, 1896, 1931), 286–287; and M. M. Palkar in Poona Orientalist, 3 (1938), 170–171.

David Pingree

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