Københavns Universitet
Uafhængig af ledelsen


Three questions: methods of determining the direction, place, and time in Śrīpati’s Siddhāntaśekhara .

Foredrag — Middelalderlig indisk astronomi, Medieval Indian astronomy.


Date & Time:

Auditorium 8, the gallery, to the south, H.C.Ørsted Institutet, Universitetsparken 5, DK-2100 København Ø.

Hosted by:
Danish Society for the History of Science , www.videnskabshistorisk.dk .


Lecture by Bhante, Jambugahapitiye Dhammaloka, PhD candidate.

Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Canterbury, New Zealand.


The theoretical texts called siddhāntas in Indian astronomical tradition contain a chapter titled Tripraśna meaning the three questions. This chapter mainlydeals with the problems pertaining to determination of directions, one’s location, and time (dik-deśa-kāla). Finding the cardinal directions at one’s location is very important practice in Indian tradition as it plays a crucial role in performing sacrifices,rites and rituals, and construction of Vedic altars, temples, individual houses etc. Similarly, knowing the exact sunrise at the observer’s location is key to a variety of social, religious, and cultural activities. Śrīpati, an astronomer flourished in the11th cent. in Maharashtra, discusses these problems and the methods of finding the directions, place, and time at length in the fourth chapter of his Siddhāntaśekhara called Tripraśnādhyāya. During this presentation, some of the methods formulated by Śrīpatiwill be discussed.