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Pancha Siddhantika – A Book On Astronomy

Pancha Siddhantika is a work of Varahamihira (6th century AD), who took astronomical constants from the Ardharatrika system and summarized the five Siddhantas – Pitamaha, Vasistha, Paulisha, Romaka and Surya.

The 18 original siddhantas (final conclusions) are: Surya, Pitamaha, Vyasa, Vaistha, Atri, Parashara, Kashyapa, Narada, Garga, Marichi, Manu, Angirasa, Romaka, Paulisha, Cyavan, Yavan, Bhrigu and Saunaka. All these are based on Samhitas, Brahmanas and Aranyakas.

There are different views if Pancha Siddhantika contains the old or new versions, dates of improvement, and some variations of Surya Siddhanta.

Pitamaha Siddhanta is an excellent treatise on old astronomy. In the book, the astronomical elements – the sun, moon, months, savanna and days – are taken from Vedanga Jyotisha.

From Vasishta Siddhanta, calculations regarding nakshatras, rashis, divisions of arc in degrees, minutes, dinamana, and lagna-bindu are taken.

The true motions of Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn, with direction, stationary and retrograde motion, are used in Pancha Siddhantika.

On the basis of Paulisha Siddhanta, using ahargana, the mean of the Sun and Moon are found to calculate their true positions. It gives hints for place coordinates and time, with trigonometric tables for simplified calculation of eclipses.

Surya Siddhanta gives the diameters of the Sun, Moon, and Earth the distance of the Sun and Moon from the Earth, which are very close to modern calculations. Surya Siddhanta is greatly respected, and yet scholars of both East and West have different views regarding the old and new Surya Siddhanta, their complete texts and dates of writings.

Notes taken from – Encyclopedia of Hinduism – Volume VIII – IHRF – ( page no 6)