Foredrag d. 28. maj 2019

Jambugahapitiye Dhammaloka
PhD candidate
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Three questions: methods of determining the direction, place, and time in Śrīpati’s Siddhāntaśekhara

The theoretical texts called siddhāntas in Indian astronomical tradition contain a chapter titled Tripraśna meaning the three questions. This chapter mainly deals with the problems pertaining to determination of directions, one’s location, and time (dik-deśa-kāla). Finding the cardinal directions at one’s location is very important practice in Indian tradition as it plays a crucial role in performing sacrifices, rites and rituals, and construction of Vedic altars, temples, individual houses etc. Similarly, knowing the exact sunrise at the observer’s location is key to a variety of social, religious, and cultural activities. Śrīpati, an astronomer flourished in the 11th cent. in Maharashtra, discusses these problems and the methods of finding the directions, place, and time at length in the fourth chapter of his Siddhāntaśekhara called Tripraśnādhyāya. During this presentation, some of the methods formulated by Śrīpati will be discussed.