23. COMPARISON WITH
CONTEMPORARY INDIAN ASTRONOMY
Although traditional Indian astronomical works include a statement of Hindu cosmological time cycles, for actual astronomical computation they employ a mean motion for the Sun and a constant of precession vastly inferior to that used in Hindu cosmological time cycles (see Table VI).
According to Indian tradition, the modern (after 100 A.D.) Indian astronomical works were compiled from ancient sources no longer available. Aryabhata states of astronomy that "By the grace of God the precious sunken jewel of true knowledge has been rescued by me. . . ." It appears possible, therefore, that by the time the extant Indian astronomical works were compiled, only little understood fragments existed of the astronomical tradition which produced Hindu cosmological time cycles.
QUANTITY HINDU SURYASIDDHANTA DIFFERENCE const. of precession 50".4/yr. 54."0/yr. 3".6/yr. sidereal year 365.2563795 365.258756 -205.4 sec/yr. TABLE VI
For Hindus, jyotish (astrology) is the chief of six limbs of the Vedas, the Hindu scriptures. The SuryaSiddhanta closes with the statement that jyotish is "of mysteries in the world the most wonderful, and equal to Brahman". This statement is made because Hinduism is founded on the correspondence between the macrocosm and the microcosm, and jyotish (astrology) is the primary demonstration and formal conceptualization of this correspondence.
H.P. Blavatsky claims that the complete seven-fold analysis of the time cycles "belongs to the most secret calculations" of the spiritual mystery schools, but that, nevertheless, it is knowledge "known to every" initiated Brahman. It would be strange, indeed, for a people possessed of the world's most accurate solar chronograph to slavishly reproduce it in exact detail over thousands of years while at the same time having completely forgotten its astronomical basis or how to use it. Scholars must, therefore, entertain as extremely likely the report of, for example, H.P. Blavatsky, that the complete understanding of Hindu cosmological time cycles is being carried forward secretly in the oral tradition of initiated Brahmans. If this be true, what other "precious sunken jewel(s) of true knowledge" might be part of this same oral tradition?