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Jyotiṣa is the term used in Sanskrit to refer to the studies of the heavens. [1]

Jyotiśśāstra has three main parts and six sub parts:[2][3][4]

  • Siddhānta or Gaṇita[3] (Astronomy)
    • Gaṇita (Astronomy computation, algebra[5])
    • Gola (Spherics)
  • Saṃhitā (Electional astrology, Natural astrology)
    • Nimitta (Omenology)
  • Horā (Horary astrology)
    • Jātaka (Horoscopy)
    • Praśna (Astrological query)
    • Muhūrta (Auspicious time)
    • Nimitta (Omenology)

The work of accurate astronomy was viewed as being of high importance. For example, Parameśvara describes the importance of astronomy to the computation of 'auspicious times' for the performance of rituals. He says that "Times computed from incorrect planetary positions are impure for rituals."[6]

Varāhamihira had an extensive list of Qualifications of an astronomer, including things like being able to calculate an eclipse, reconcile differences between the Siddhāntas, explain the four types of timekeeping, their applications, etc.[7] Varāhamihira also says that while the good astronomer will gain Dharma, the "bad astronomer who misleads people .... [will] go to hell". [2]


  1. Template:Ref-indian-astronomy pg. XIX
  2. 2.0 2.1 Nāradiya-Saṃhitā, 1.4, translated by Template:Ref-KVS, quoted in Template:Refia, p. 1
  3. 3.0 3.1 Praśnamārga, 1.1.5-9, translated by Template:Ref-KVS, quoted in Template:Refia, p. 1
  4. Nimitta involves both Horā and Saṃhitā, see Template:Refia p. 2
  5. Intro of Mahāveda's commentary on Śripati's Rainamālā, trans by Template:Ref-KVS, quoted in Template:Refia, p. 2
  6. Template:Refia1.11.2
  7. Template:Refia2.4.1