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Vatesvara

VATEśVARA

(b. 880 at Ānandepura [modern Wadnagar], Gujarat, India)

astronomy.

The son of Mahadatta Bhatta, Vateśvara wrote a Vateśvarasiddhānta at the age of twenty–four (that is, in904), in which he frequently follows, but at times severely criticizes, the Brāhmasphutasiddhānta of Brahmagupta (born 598); basically Vateśvara’s text belongs to the Āryapaksa (see essay in Supplement). The manuscriprts of this work are exceedingly rare so that its contents beyond the first three chapters, which have been published, remain obscure; but what is known makes it clear that this is an extremely important work for understanding the development s that took place in Indian astronomy between Brahmagupta and Bhāskara II (born 1115), particularly because of Vateśvara’s explicit criticisms of his predecessors modeled on Brahmagupta’s eleventh chapter, the Tantraparīksā.

The only other work of Vateśvara that we known of is an astronomical handbook, Karanasāra, which is lost in Sanskrit, but which was often cited by al–Bīrūnī (born 973) in his India, his Transits, and his Al–Qānūn al–Mas ‘ūdī. From the former (Chap. 49 and 53) we learn that the epoch of the Karanasāra was a.d. 899; this is confirmed by the Karanasāra’s computation of the assumed motion of the Saptersis (Ursa Major) in the India (Chap. 45) and in the Qānūn (IX, 1). Al–Bīrūnī, however, calls the author of the Karanasāra “Batīshfar ibn Mahadatta from the city of Nāgarapūr,” which Sachau erroneously translates “Vitteśvara, the son of Bhadatta” (India, chap.14); the name Nāgarapura refers to the fact that Anandapura was the center of the Nāgara Brāhmanas. There is, then, no doubt about the identity of the authors of the Vateśvarasiddhānta and of the Karanasāra.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

A first volume of an edition of the Vateśvarasiddhaānta with Sanskrit and Hindī commentaries was published by Ram Swarup Sharma and Mukund Mishra (New Delhi, 1962); many errors in the commentary are corrected by T. S. Kuppanna Shastri, “The System of the Vateśvara Siddhānta,” in Indian Journal of History of Science, 4 (1969), 135–143. See also R. N. Rai, :Sine Values of the Vateśvarasiddhānta,” ibid., 7 (1972), 1–15; and “Calculation of Ahargana, in the Vateśvara siddhānta,” ibid., 27–37; and K. S. Shukla, “Hindu Astronomer Vateśvara and His Works,” in Ganita, 23 (1972), 2, 65–74.

David Pingree

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