VS * 23] THE HINDU PRIME MERIDIAN *j ^ The Hindu astronomers generally state the dimensions of the mania and sighra epicycles of a pia net in terms of degrees and minutes, where a degree stands for the 360th part of the planet's mean orbit and a minute for the 60th part of a degree. The author of the present work, following Xryabhata I, has stated here the dimensions of the mmda and Bghra epicycles of the planets in terms of degrees, after dividing them by 4J. This division has been evi- dently made to simplify calculation. These epicycles will be required in tfee next chapter in finding the true longitudes of the planets. 1 Position of the Sun's apogee and the epicycles of the Sun and the Moon : 22. (The longitude of) the Sun's apogee, in degrees, is 70 plus 8; his epicycle is 3, and that of the Moon 7. 2 The previous remark applies to these epicycles also. Position of the Hindu prime meridian : 23. The line which passes through Lanka, Vatsyapura, Avanti, Sthanesvara, and "the abode of the gods'* is the prime meridian. 3 Lanka in Hindu astronomy denotes the place where the meridian of Ujjain (latitude 23°11'N ) longitude 75°52'E from i Greenwich) intersects the equator. It is one of the four hypothetical cities on the equator, called Lanka, Romaka, Siddhapura and Yamakoti (or Yavakoti). Lanka is des- cribed in the Surya-siddhlnta as a great city (mahapuri) situated on an island (dvipa) to the south of Bharata-varsa (India). The island of Ceylon, which bears the name Lanka, however, is not the astronomical Lanka, as the former is about six degrees to the north of the equator. Vatsyapura is the same place as the Vatsagulma of the Maha-Bhaskariya* It may be identified with the town of Basim or Wasim (pronounced as Basim or Vasim), situated at a distance of 52 miles from the city of Akola 1 See infra, ii. 9-10, 1 1-13, etc. 2 Gf. MBh, vii. 12(i), 16. 3 Gf. MBh, ii. 1-2.
- xii. 37, 39.
- ii. 1-2.