by ultadin | 07/10/2015 5:00 pm
JEWELS OF BHARATAM ….SERIES [TM]
KRISHI PARASHARA ~ ANCIENT GUIDE TO FARMING BY VEDIC HINDUS !!!
Surprisingly mentioned EL NINO effect on farming also and remedies !!!!!!!
Krishi- Parashara: an Early Sanskrit Text on Agriculture . The book traces back the evolution of the agricultural science through the literary records to the time of Kautilya (c. 1800 BC), whose work, the Arthasastra, also imparts prominence to agriculture. The question of the identity of Parashara the author of Krishi Parashara is discussed in detail. The name of Parashara appears in the ancient texts as an individual, as also an institution at different periods of time and is related to different sciences like astronomy, astrology, medicine, agriculture, social rules and code etc. We are told that, ‘two more aspects must be taken into account while discussing the identity of the author:
(i) Parashara also is a gotranama; i.e., a family name, it can be shared by several individuals belonging to the Parashara clan; and
(ii) in ancient India the followers of a certain school of thought used the same name which was usually the name of the founder of that school.
Kṛṣi-parāśara (KP), a Hindu manual on farming, that knowledge derived from such observations did survive in some form. For example, the KP23 gives a rough formula to determine the nature of the El Niño effects. KP24-25 describes clouds associated with the cycle and mentions the puṣkara (cirrus) clouds that appear to prognosticate droughts. KP33 indicates that the predictions were refined using wind-vanes to measure wind direction/speed and predict rain several months later.
The book is written for the benefit of farmers. Thus it is the theory of agriculture expounded in such a manner that the farmers would benefit by its application to their profession. It is in a way a farmer’s almanac containing astronomical and meteorological data arranged according to the seasons and months of ancient India. It is the farmers’ ready reckoner containing the basic data of geographical and climatic conditions, which can help him in planning and managing the activity of farming spread over several months.
To suit this purpose, the language used by the author is simple and clear. The embellishments and bombast which are so typical of the Sanskrit language are conspicuously absent here. But this lack of ornateness and ostentation does not make it prosaic. The language has the force of directness and the fervor of naturalness. The verse-form chosen by the author like several others, has its natural rhythm and fluency enabling him to convey the intended sense in an effective manner. Though most of the verses are composed in the simple anustubh (shloka) meter, more elaborate and longer meters such as vasantatilika, malini, shardulavikridita, upendravajra, indravajra, and upajati are occasionally used with considerable ease and skill.
On the whole it is a text, well conceived, neatly and properly worded and systematically presented. Being a book on a scientific subject, the importance of. Parashara lies more in the matter it has to offer 1 the manner in which it is presented. Even a cursory, of the contents of Krishi-Parashara will show Contains significant information on topics su meteorology, cattle-care, and most of the agric\J operations.
In meteorology, Parashara has laid down some Principles of studying the climatic and atmospheric conditions through careful observations. He has advanced several methods and theories of rain forecast. His main technique of rain forecast is based on the position he Moon and the Sun.
Sign of The Moon
Sign of the Sun
Predicted total rainfall of the year
Gemini, Aries, Taurus, or Pisces Cancer 100 adhakas
Gemini, Aries, Taurus, or Pisces Leo or Sagittarius 50 adhakas
Gemini, Aries, Taurus, or Pisces Virgo or Leo 80 adhakas
Gemini, Aries, Taurus, or Pisces Cancer, Aquarius, Scorpio, or Libra 96 adhakas
Balkundi (1998) has given Varahamihira’s technique of forecasting rain. It is obvious that Parashara does not take into account the lunar mansion.
Parashara’s basic Unit of measuring rainfall is ‘adhaka’ which he has defined in verse 26 as thirty yojanas depth of water spread over an expanse of hundred yojanas. If yojana means (the width ot) ‘a finger’ (Apte, 1977) and if the word ‘vistima’ in the verse is interpreted as ‘square’, we get the three measurements required for fixing the gauge (10 x 10 x 30 cu. angulas). Balkundi (1998) has explained Parashara’s ‘adhaka’ taking the third dimension (depth) to be 8 angulas. The end result of his calculations is:
1 drona = 4 adhakas = 6.4 cm.
This formula will be helpful in correlating Parashara’s measurement to the modern units.
Varahamihira also defines ‘adhaka’ (Bhat, 1992). According to him, a pot of one hand expanse, containing 50 palas of water is an adhaka.
Here also the words ‘hasta vishala’ are open to different interpretations. It is rendered as a square, of one hand in length and one hand in breadth by Misra.
Kautilya’s unit of measuring rainwater is ‘drona’ (4 adhakas). In his Artha-sastra, however, he discusses only the yearly distribution of rainfall in different parts of Ancient India in terms of ‘dyana’ without explaining as to how the unit itself is fixed.
An ‘adhaka’, a unit of measuring food grains also defined by Parashara in verse 238 is twelve human fingers in width. However, the depth of the vessel is not defined although ‘twelve fingers’ can be taken to mean a diameter of a circular vessel or a square of that measurement. This detailed discussion on ‘adhaka’ became necessary, as it forms the basis of Parashara’s main theory of rainfall prediction. Other theories propounded by him are:
By determining the ruling planet of the year.
By determining the minister planet and the type of cloud pertaining to the year.
By observing every month the movement of winds by affixing a flag to a rod firmly planted in open place (danda pataka siddhanta).
By observing rainfall during months beginning from Pausha (January).
By observing other climatic conditions such as clouds, fog, storms, snowfall, gale, hailstorms, heat waves, and lightning in the months preceding the seasonal rains.
By observing the movements of the planets and their relative positions.
By noting down special planetary conjunctions.
By recording the Sun’s transition to Aries with reference to the nakshatras for facilitating which the nakshatras are divided into four groups and put in a certain order to mark those groups (Meshasankramana siddhanta) (see figure on p. 50).
By noting the time at which the Sun crosses the Vishuva (equator) (the theory of Vishuvasankranti).
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