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Eclipses, Scriptures and the Mathematicians

Eclipses have been a part of Hindu thought and have been discussed since very early times. While the cause had been initially ascribed to mythology and recorded so in scriptures, the negative effects of eclipses were paramount and continued to be understood as detrimental to physical wellbeing. Somewhere along came the famous mathematician Aryabhata, in agreement that eclipses were important for the purposes of astrology, refined the methods of their calculations while at the same time remarking that the cause was not of mythical proportions, but one of optic origins, namely the casting of a shadow. It is quite an interesting topic to delve in, that too now, when everybody is eagerly looking forward to the next total solar eclipse in these American states on the 21st August.
To understand the importance of the stars, their positions and impact on humans, you have to go well back in time, and the understanding could be seen in even in the earliest of scriptures, namely the Rigveda. To…

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