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Research Sources For Astrology

Astrology In India

Astrology developed in India in stages. The earliest stage was of native ideas about the stars and the future, found primarily in the Vedas. Mesopotamian astral omens also became known, perhaps during the Achaemenian period. But Greek astrology came to India during the first century CE, probably from Alexandria, and was adopted enthusiastically. Most astrology in India today is Greek astrology. But it is Greek astrology heavily modified to fit Indian society. As a result, it is in modern India that classical astrology, including astral religion, is most alive and powerful. The modern Euro-American revival of belief in astrology is due in part to the Theosophical Society's promotion of Indian astrology.

Biruni, Muhammad ibn Ahman, al-, Alberuni's India: An Account of the Religion, Philosophy, Literature, Geography, Chronology, Astronomy, Customs, Laws, and Astrology of India about AD 1030, ed., with notes and indices, by Edward Sachau (New Delhi: Oriental Reprint, distributed by Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, 1983) {Eye-witness account of Indian astrology, and much else, at the time of the first Muslim invasion of Hindu India. Al-Biruni was a distinguished Islamic astronomer and anthropologist.}

Defouw, Hart and Robert Svoboda, Light on life: an introduction to the astrology of India. (New Delhi; New York, N.Y.: Penguin Books, 1996)

Dikshita, Prema and Umesa Pande, Anishta graha cikitsa: purvarddha. (Dilli: Sahaja Ananda Karyalaya, 1988) [Hindi] {Includes passages in Sanskrit. Summary role of astrology in the cure of various diseases.}

Holt, Peter, Stars of India: travels in search of astrologers and fortune-tellers. (Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1998) {Provides interesting comparative evidence.}

Makalatcumi, Ti, Ilakkiyattil cotitam. Series Publication (International Institute of Tamil Studies); no. 247. (Cennai: Ulakat Tamilaraycci Niruvanam, 1996) [Tamil] {Summary Study of astrology in Tamil literature that includes bibliographical references (pp. [302]-309) and index.}

Marinangeli, Luciana, Introduzione all'astrologia indiana. Milano: Biblioteca universale Rizzoli, 1993) {Useful introduction.}

Mody, Ramniklal Ratanlal, Indian Astrology. Ashtottari & vinshottari dashas; an exposition. (Bombay [Printed by M.N. Kulkarni], 1935) {Early work on the subject, before it became popular in the west.}

Pingree, David, "Representations of the Planets in Indian Astrology," Indo-Iranian Journal 8 (1965): pp. 249-67 {Astrological art in India.}

Pingree, David, "The Indian Iconography of the Decans and Horas," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 26 (1963): 223-54 {Very good! Contains a great deal of information of how Indians adopted and re- interpreted the Greek astrological iconography; demonstrates, to my mind, that specific illustrated treatises were translated from Greek to Sanskrit.}

Sharma, Sharmistha, Astrological lore in the Buddhist Sardulakarnavadana.

(Delhi, India: Eastern Book Linkers, 1992) {Contains bibliography, criticism, interpretation, etc. with Alternative Title: Tripitaka. Sutrapitaka. Avadana. Divyavadana. Sardulakarnavadana.}

Shil-Ponde, Hindu Astrology (Joytisha-shastra) ( New York, N.Y.: Larwood publishers, 1939) {Interesting early western publication on the subject.}

Sivapriyananda, Swami, Astrology and Religion in Indian Art. (New Delhi: Abhinav Publications, 1990) {Includes bibliographical references (p. [145]-146) and index. Subject is the religious aspect of Indic art.}

Sphudjidhvaja, The Yavanajataka of Sphudjidhvaja, 2 Vols., ed., tr., and commented upon by David Pingree (Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 1978) {This is a critical text, translation and commentary of a classical work of Indian astrology. It has an extensive bibliography of Greek sources and secondary studies. Volume one is the Sanskrit text, volume two, the translation and commentary. I have found it one of the most generally useful works on the history of "scientific" astrology.}

Stone, Anthony Philip, Hindu Astrology: Myths, Symbols and Realities (New Delhi, India: Select Books, Books for Better Living, 1981) {This is a reliable, recent, thorough history of "scientific" mathematical astrology in India. It has a good bibliography, mostly to primary sources in Sanskrit and contains a useful glossary of Sanskrit technical vocabulary.}