About the Book:
Ancient Sanskrit texts of India are a treasure trove of knowledge. Parāśaratantra- Ancient Sanskrit Text on Astronomy and Natural Sciences a reconstructed text with translation and notes by R.N. Iyengar is a fruition of a long journey of research and investigation into History of Science in India. The book is divided into 21 chapters with an intellectually lettered introduction. These chapters present a compilation of Sanskrit texts by Parasara, a sage and scholar from ancient India dispersed in the commentaries of scholars such as Varāha-mihira, Utpala, Ballāla-Sena and Bhaskara-Yogi living between 6th and 13th century.
The text is accompanied by relevant archaeo-astronomical analysis of Parāśara's season solar zodiac and observation of the heliacal rise and set of star Agastya (Canopus). This dates the astronomical tradition of Parāśaratantra to 1350-1130 BC underlining its intellectual links with the antecedent Vedic texts and culture. Parāśara's list of twenty-six comets with year numbers is unique in ancient world literature. Through his book, Iyengar has thrown light on the knowledge that existed in pre-historic India on the sky, atmosphere, planets, stars, eclipses, comets, earthquakes, rainfall and even dreams. He also brings forth how people in ancient India inferred what the observed anomalies in celestial and natural events portended to the society and the common man. This formed the basis for the development of astrology in India. Parāśaratantra, a Sanskrit text, combined with translation and modern analysis by the author holds great appeal not only for scientists, historians and Sanskrit scholars but also for anyone interested in Indian history and culture.