On the Naksatras in the Chinese Sutras

Niu Weixing, Jiang Xiaoyuan
Department for History & Philosophy of Science, 
Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200030, CHINA

 

1. Introduction

  Three times of intrusions of foreign astronomy occurred in the Chinese history. They are Indian astronomy together with the intrusion of Buddhist from late in the 2nd century to early in the 11th century, Arabic astronomy with the Islam about from the 13th century to the 15th century, and European classical astronomy with the Jesuit in the 17th and the 18th century.
  In the period of about 800 years lasted from the end of East-Han Dynasty to the beginning of Song Dynasty, occurred the earliest and longest intrusion of Indian astronomy, a large quantity of Indian astronomical materials were introduced into China along with the translation of Buddhist Sutras. Being well preserved,[1]the Chinese sutras (Buddhist scriptures in Chinese translation) is now become the important first-hand materials in the studying of ancient Indian astronomy. Some of these sutras are involved in the ancient Indian asterism system of nakastras. 
  In this paper we will concentrate our mind on the naksatras preserved in the Chinese sutras. All aspects of Indian naksatras including the name of naksatras, the beginning naksatra, the sum of naksatras, the extent of each naksatra, the sum of stars in each nakastra, the shapes of naksatras and the junction star of each naksatra will be discussed. At the same time, a comparison between Indian naksatras and Chinese 28 Xius system will be made to provide evidences of similarities and differences between the two systems. And we will also prove that the Indian naksatras itself was a definite evidence of astronomy transmission and exchange occurred between west and east.


2. The name of naksatras

  Before Indian naksatras was introduced into China along with the Buddhist, Chinese had its similar system of constellations called 28 Xius. So it was not strange that the names of Indian naksatras were translated into the corresponding names of Chinese 28 Xius. This way of translation can be found in some of the Chinese translated sutras[2](see Table 1). 
  However in many of the sutras the names of Indian naksatras were transliterated into Chinese[3](see Table 2). Compared with the Sanskrit pronunciation of the naksatras[4], the transliteration is quite precise. There is one exception that a kind of free translation is used.[5](see Table 3)
  
    Table 1 Names of Naksatras being translated into Chinese parallelism

Four Direction

No.

DJJ ch20, ch56; QYRZJ

DJJ ch41; XYJ; MDJ

 

 

east

seven

naksatras

 

1

JIAO(角)

MAO(昴)

2

KANG(亢)

BI(毕)

3

DI(氐)

ZI(觜)

4

FANG(房)

SHEN(参)

5

XIN(心)

JING(井)

6

WEI(尾)

GUI(鬼)

7

JI(箕)

LIU(柳)

 

 

south

seven

naksatras

8

JING(井)

XING(星)

9

GUI(鬼)

ZHANG(张)

10

LIU(柳)

YI(翼)

11

XING(星)

ZHEN(轸)

12

ZHANG(张)

JIAO(角)

13

YI(翼)

KANG(亢)

14

ZHEN(轸)

DI(氐)

 

 

west

seven

naksatras

15

KUI(奎)

FANG(房)

16

LOU(娄)

XIN(心)

17

WEI(胃)

WEI(尾)

18

MAO(昴)

JI(箕)

19

BI(毕)

DOU(斗)

20

ZI(觜)

NIU(牛)

21

SHEN(参)

NU(女)

 

 

north

seven

naksatras

22

DOU(斗)

XU(虚)

23

NIU(牛)

WEI(危)

24

NU(女)

SHI(室)

25

XU(虚)

BI(壁)

26

WEI(危)

KUI(奎)

27

SHI(室)

LOU(娄)

28

BI(壁)

WEI(胃)

  The two series listed in Table 1 have different beginning naksatra, one of them begin with JIAO Xiu, which is also the first Xiu in Chinese lunar mansions, another begin with MAO Xiu (details about the beginning naksatra will be discussed in the following text). The order of their succession is different. 
  It is worthy to be mentioned that naksatras preserved in the Chinese sutras were divided into four groups, each consisting of seven naksatras, representing one direction: east, south, west and north. This four-division of lunar mansions can also be found in the Chinese 28 Xius system, but the order of the four direction is reversed compared with the Indian division.
  To compare the pronunciation of the transliterated name, we listed the corresponding Sanskrit name of the 28 naksatras in Table 2. It is not difficult to find that the transliteration is quite precise.

     Table 2 Names of naksatras being transliterated

Four direction

No.

BXJ ch4

DKJ

HMAI[6]

 

 

east

seven

naksatras

1

Qilidijia讫栗底迦

Krttika

2

Hulusini户嚧呬你

Rohini

3

Mielijiasiluo篾栗伽尸啰

Mrgasirsha

4

Adaluobu頞达罗补

Ardra

5

Funaposu富那婆苏

Naifasu捺伐苏

Punarvasu

6

Fusha富沙

Busha布洒

Pushya

7

Ashilisha阿失丽沙

Ashilisha阿失丽洒

Aslesha

 

 

south

seven

naksatras

8

Moga莫伽

Moga莫伽

Magha

9

First-Poqiu初破求

Former-Lulounu前发鲁窭挐

Purva-Phalguni

10

Second-Poqiu第二破求

Latter-Lulounu后发鲁窭挐

Uttara-Phalguni

11

Ashaduo阿萨多

Hexituo诃悉多

Hasta

12

Zhiduoluo质多罗

Zhiduoluo质多罗

Citra

13

Shapodi萨婆底

Shafudi沙缚底

Svati

14

Sushe苏舍

Bishike毘释珂

Visakha

 

 

west

seven

naksatras

15

Anuluotuo阿奴逻陀

Anuluotuo阿奴罗托

Anuradha

16

Shisetuo逝瑟吒

Gusetuo鼓瑟侘

Jyeshtha

17

Moluo暮罗

Moluo暮罗

Mula

18

First-Ashatuo初阿沙荼

Former-Ashatu前阿沙荼

Purv-Ashadha

19

Second-Ashatuo第二阿沙荼

Latter-Ashatu后阿沙荼

Uttar-Ashadha

20

——[7]

Abilishe阿苾哩社

Abhijit

21

Shiluopo失罗婆

Sheluomonu室罗末挐

Sravana

 

 

 

north

seven

naksatras

22

Tuonisetuo陀你瑟吒

Dannisetuo但你瑟佗

Dhanistha

23

Satabhisai舍多毘沙

Shetuobisha设多婢洒

Satabhisaj

24

First-BotuoluoBotuo

第一跋陀罗跋陀

Former-Bodaluobodi

前跋达罗钵地

Purva-Bhadrapada

25

Second-Botuoluo

第二跋陀罗

Latter-Bodaluobodi

后跋达罗钵地

Uttara-Bhadrapada

26

Libodi丽婆底

Jieloulifadi颉娄离伐底

Revati

27

阿湿毘腻Ashipini

Ashuoni阿说你

Asvini

28

Poluoni婆罗尼

Bolaini跋赖你

Bharani

  A kind of free translation is listed in Table 3, we have tried to translated them into English according to their Chinese meaning. Compared with the meaning of the Sanskrit naksatras names provided in the Surya-Siddhanta, we found most of these Chinese free translated names have the exact same meaning with the Sanskrit ones.

    Table 3 Free translation and its Comparing with Surya-Siddhanta

No.

STJJ

Comparing with Surya-Siddhanta[8]

1

Apellation (名称)

——

2

Nurture (长育)

ruddy

3

Deer’s head (鹿首)

antelope’s head

4

Nourishing (生养)

moist

5

Accumulate wealth (增财)

again + good, brilliant

6

Prosperous (炽盛)

nourish, thrive

7

No pilgrimage (不觐)

entwiner, embracer

8

Ground (土地)

mighty

9

Former Virtue (前德)

——

10

Latter Virtue (北德)

——

11

Elephant (象)

hand

12

Colorful picture (彩画)

brilliant

13

Fine beginning (善元)

sword

14

Being good at fighting (善格)

having spreading branches

15

Be pleased with success(悦可)

success

16

Elders (尊长)

 the oldest

17

Root (根元)

root

18

Former-Fish (前鱼)

unsubdued

19

Latter-Fish (北鱼)

unsubdued

20

No tolerance (无容)

conquering

21

Acute hearing (耳聪)

hearing, ear

22

Avarice (贪财)

wealthy

23

A hundred poisons (百毒)

having a hundred physicians

24

Former-Footprint (前贤迹)

beautiful foot

25

Latter-Footprint (北贤迹)

beautiful foot

26

Fertility (流灌)

wealthy, abundant

27

Horseman (马师)

the two horsemen

28

Long rest (长息)

bearer away



3. The beginning naksatra

  The beginning naksatra varies in different translated sutras. In some sutras[9] , the lists of naksatras begin with Citra[10], its corresponding Chinese Xiu is Jiao, which has been still the first one in Chinese 28 Xius for more than two thousand years. In many other sutras[11], however the lists of naksatras begin with Krttika. It is also found in few[12] sutras that the beginning naksatra become Asvini. 
  The naksatras was essentially a kind of astronomical coordinate system, and the beginning naksatra was arranged to be the place where the vernal equinox locates. As the initial point of measurement for celestial body’s position, the vernal equinox has a precession on the ecliptic. So the beginning naksatra varies from Krttika to Asvini, which is concordant with the precession of the equinox. This is confirmed by the fact that the sutras taking Asvini as the first naksatra are translated later than those taking Krttika as the first naksatra (see Table 4). However it should be noted that the epoch when the sutras were translated into Chinese did not exactly equal the time when the corresponding sutras came out in India. But it is reasonable to say that the sutras which appeared in India earlier were translated into Chinese earlier too.

Table 4 A comparing of translating epoch between the sutras 
taking Krttika as the first naksatra and that taking Asvini as the first naksatra

The beginning naksatra Sutras Translator Epoch being translated
 

 

Krttika

MDJ Zu-lu-yan & Ziqian 230 AD
STJJ Dharmaraksa 308 AD
MSL Buddhabhadra 416AD
BXJ Prabhamitra 632 AD
DKJ Yi-jing 705 AD
XYJ Amoghavajra 742-764 AD
Asvini NSZ Fa-xian 973-1000 AD
DWYJ Tian-xi-zai 983-1000 AD

4. The sum of naksatras

  The sum of naksatras is ordinary twenty-eight. However a twenty-seven naksatras system from which Abhijit is absent is described in details in the XYJ[13]. This sum of naksatras is also found in the other sutras .[14]
  In the XYJ, each naksatra is divided into 4 portions, each portion is called a “foot”, so the 27 naksatras have the total sum of 108 “feet”. This 108 “feet” are distributed to the 12 Zodiacal signs, each Zodiacal sign contains 9 “feet” (see Table 5).

Table 5 Zodiacal signs and twenty-seven naksatras system listed in the XYJ

Zodiacal sign Sum of naksatras’ “feet” each zodiacal sign contains
Leo Magha 4 Purva-Phalguni 4 Uttara-Phalguni 1
Virgo Uttara-Phalguni 3 Hasta 4 Citra 2
Libra Citra 2 Svati 4 Visakha 3
Scorpius Visakha1 Anuradha 4 Jyeshtha 4
Sagittarius Mula 4 Purv-Ashadha4 Uttar-Ashadha 1
Capricornus Uttar-Ashadha 3 Sravana 4 Dhanistha 2
Aquarius Dhanistha 2 Satabhisaj 4 Purva-Bhadrapada 3
Pisces Purva-Bhadrapada 1 Uttara-Bhadrapada 4 Revati 4
Aries Asvini 4 Bharani 4 Krttika 1
Taurus Krttika 3 Rohini 4 Mrgasirsha 2
Gemini Mrgasirsha 2 Ardra 4 Punarvasu 3
Cancer Punarvasu 1 Pushya 4 Aslesha 4

Yang Jingfeng, who was a commentator of the XYJ, tried to explain why only 27 naksatras were listed in the XYJ. He noted: 

  There are 28 Xius in Tang Dynasty. In the western country (India) the NIU Xiu (abhijit) is omitted. This is because the regent of this naksatra is their God. [15]

  It is true that the divinity of abhijit is Brahma, the Almighty God of Indian. But we think that the real reason of 27 naksatras’ appearance in India was the introduction of zodiacal signs into Indian together with other astronomical knowledge from west. In west astronomy the whole ecliptic contains 12 zodiacal signs, 360 degrees, 21600 minutes. This sum of minutes can not be divided exactly by 28, but can be divided exactly by 27, so that each naksatra contains 800 minutes, and without remainder left. So the 27 naksatras system was an evidence of Indian traditional astronomy adjusted itself when facing the introduced foreign astronomy.


5. The extent of each naksatra

  28 (or 27) naksatras circle around the heaven, each of them extends a certain range along the ecliptic. Naksatra was also called lunar mansion in India, so it is not strange that the extent of a naksatra is represented by the length of time when the moon conjoins the naksatra. We found the extents of naksatras were measured in this way in DJJ[16], MDJ[17] and STJJ[18](see Table 6). In order to compare the differences of extent between Indian naksatras and Chinese 28 Xius, we listed the Chinese Xius’ extent.

Table 6 The extent of each naksatra

No. Xius DJJ ch41

(muhurtas)

MDJ

(day and night)

STJJ

(muhurtas)

Dayanli[19]

Chinese Degree  (oo)[20]

1 MAO(昴) 30 12 muhurtas 30 11oo
2 BI(毕) 45 1 day and a half 45 17 oo
3 ZI(觜) 15 1 day 30 1 oo
4 SHEN(参) 45 1 day 15

10 oo

5

JING(井)

15

1 day

45

33 oo

6

GUI(鬼)

30

1 day

30

3 oo

7

LIU(柳)

15

a half day

30

15 oo

8

XING(星)

30

1 day

30

7 oo

9

ZHANG(张)

30

1 day

30

18 oo

10

YI(翼)

15

1 day and a half

45

18 oo

11

ZHEN(轸)

30

1 day andnight

30

17 oo

12

JIAO(角)

15

1 day

30

12 oo

13

KANG(亢)

15

1 day

15

9 oo

14

DI(氐)

45

1 day and a half

45

15 oo

15

FANG(房)

30

1 day andnight

30

5 oo

16

XIN(心)

15

1 day

15

5 oo

17

WEI(尾)

30

1 day and 1 night

30

18 oo

18

JI(箕)

30

1 day and 1 night

15

11 oo

19

DOU(斗)

45

1 day and a half

45

26 oo

20

NIU(牛)

6

1 muhurtas

6

8 oo

21

NU(女)

30

1 day and 1 night

30

12 oo

22

XU(虚)

30

1 day and 1 night

30

10 oo

23

WEI(危)

15

1 day

15

17 oo

24

SHI(室)

30

1 day and 1 night

30

16 oo

25

BI(壁)

45

1 day and 1 night

45

9 oo

26

KUI(奎)

30

1 day and 1 night

30

16 oo

27

LOU(娄)

30

1 day and 1 night

30

12 oo

28

WEI(胃)

30

1 day and 1 night

30

14 oo


  The unit of time was usually called muhurta, thirty of which equal one day. This unit of time was used by DJJ and STJJ as the unit of extent of the naksatras. IN the MDJ, “day” and “night” were used as the unit of extent. Here, “day” means only daylight.
  According to Table 6, the extents of naksatras in the DJJ and STJJ can be separated into three kinds of values. They are 15 muhurtas, 30 muhurtas, and 45 muhurtas. Especially the extent of Abhijit has only 6 muhurtas. For MDJ, all of values of extents listed in Table 6 are not correct, some mistakes must have been made in translation or making copies of the text by writing. Because in another place of the same text we read: 

The Great Brahman, I have told you the 28 Xius, however in these Xius, the next 6 Xius conjoin the moon with 2 days and 1 night, they are BI(毕), JING(井), DI(氐), YI(翼), DOU(斗) and BI(壁); and other 5 Xius conjoin the moon with only 1 day, they are SHEN(参), LIU(柳), JI(箕), XIN(心) and WEI(危); Only NIU(牛) Xiu conjoins the moon with half a day. The rest Xius all conjoin the moon with 1 day and 1 night. [21]

It is not difficult to find the difference between the values of extent in the upper statement and which listed in Table 6. Obviously there are no extents of 2 days and 1 night in Table 6, however 2 days and 1 night equal 45 muhurtas. In DJJ and STJJ there indeed have the extents of 45 muhurtas. So we think the summarizing statement about the Xius’ extent in the MDJ is essentially correct, only the NIU Xiu’s extent half a day is rather bigger, it should take the same value of 6 muhurtas as in the DJJ and STJJ. Thus we have the total values of Xius’ extent:
  6×1.5+5×0.5+1×6/30+16×1=27.7 (days)
  Undoubtedly, this is also the value of days in a sidereal month, just a little bigger than the accurate value 27.32166 days.
  According to STJJ, there are six naksatras with extent of 45 muhurtas, sixteen of 30 muhurtas, five of 15 muhurtas and one of 6 muhurtas. So we have the total 831 muhurtas. Divided by 30, we get the value of sidereal month to be 27.7 days too. 
  As we have seen, the extents of 28 Xius in the DJJ, MDJ and STJJ are approximately consisted of three kinds of values. However the values of extents of Chinese 28 Xius are so irregularly that the widest Xiu JING(井) has 33oo, and the narrowest Xiu ZI(觜) only has 1oo
  In a former passage 4, we presented a twenty seven naksatras system. In the twenty-seven naksatras system the extent of each naksatras tends to be equalized. we think this equalizing tendency of the extents, as well as the adaptation of naksatras' sum from twenty-eight to twenty-seven is influenced by the intrusion of Zodiacal Sign from Babylon to India.


6. The sum of stars in each naksatra

  Detailed records about the sum of stars in each naksatra are also given in the Chinese translated sutras[22]. The sums are fairy different from that of Chinese lunar mansions, but they are sustained by separated Sanskrit text (see Table 7).

Table 7 The sum of stars in each Indian naksatra and Chinese Xiu

No.

Xius

DJJ ch41

XYJ

MDJ

STJJ

Gargasamhita[23]

Chinese 28 Xius

1

MAO(昴)

6

6

6

6

6

7

2

BI(毕)

5

5

5

5

5

8

3

ZI(觜)

3

3

3

3

3

3

4

SHEN(参)

1

1

1

1

1

10

5

JING(井)

2

2

2

3

2

8

6

GUI(鬼)

3

3

3

3

1

5

7

LIU(柳)

1

6

1

5

6

8

8

XING(星)

5

6

5

5

6

7

9

ZHANG(张)

2

2

2

3

2

6

10

YI(翼)

2

2

2

2

2

22

11

ZHEN(轸)

5

5

5

5

5

4

12

JIAO(角)

1

2

1

1

1

2

13

KANG(亢)

1

1

1

1

1

4

14

DI(氐)

2

4

2

2

2

4

15

FANG(房)

4

4

4

——

4

4

16

XIN(心)

3

3

3

3

3

3

17

WEI(尾)

7

2

7

3

6

9

18

JI(箕)

4

4

4

4

4

4

19

DOU(斗)

4

4

4

4

4

6

20

NIU(牛)

3

3

3

3

3

6

21

NU(女)

4

3

3

3

3

4

22

XU(虚)

4

4

4

4

4

2

23

WEI(危)

1

1

1

1

1

3

24

SHI(室)

2

2

2

2

2

2

25

BI(壁)

2

2

2

2

2

2

26

KUI(奎)

1

32

1[24]

1

4

16

27

LOU(娄)

3

3

2

3

2

3

28

WEI(胃)

3

3

3

5

3

3


According to Table 7, we found that,
  (a) There are 16 Xius in each of which the sum of stars presented in the DJJ, XYJ, MDJ and STJJ are exactly same. They are MAO(昴), BI(毕), ZI(觜), SHEN(参), GUI(鬼), YI(翼), ZHEN(轸), KANG(亢), XIN(心), JI(箕), DOU(斗), NIU(牛), XU(虚), WEI(危), SHI(室), BI(壁). 
  (b) The DJJ and MDJ present the almost same sum of stars in each Xiu except for NU(女) and LOU(娄).
  (c) Comparing the sum of stars presented in the Gargasamhita with which in the four Chinese sutras, there are 15 Xius have the same sum of stars. They are MAO(昴), BI(毕), ZI(觜), SHEN(参), YI(翼), ZHEN(轸), KANG(亢), XIN(心), JI(箕), DOU(斗), NIU(牛), XU(虚), WEI(危), SHI(室), BI(壁). So we can conclude that the sum of stars in this 15 Xius were almost a constant. They did not vary in the different text. Here, Gargasambita is a Sanskrit text dated in the beginning of Christian era.
  (d) Gragasamhita has the least differences in comparing the sum of stars with XYJ, only GUI(鬼), JIAO(角), DI(氐), WEI(尾), KUI(奎),and LOU(娄) contain the different sum of stars.
  (e) Chinese Xiu mostly contain more stars than the corresponding Indian naksatra. But ZI(觜)、XIN(心)、JI(箕)、SHI(室) and BI(壁) contain the same sum of stars compared between Chinese 28 Xius and Indian naksatras.
  (f) The sum of stars in some of the Indian naksatras varied in different texts. Contrastively, the sum of stars in Chinese 28 Xius hardly varied no matter in which text.


7. The shape of each naksatra

  Each naksatra consists of certain sum of stars, these stars are considered to form a certain shape against the heaven. Some Chinese sutras present such shapes of naksatras (see Table 8).

Table 8 The shapes of naksatras

No

Xius

DJJ ch41

XYJ

MDJ

Sardulakarnavadana

1

MAO(昴)

blade

blade

scattering flower

blade

2

BI(毕)

fork

half cart

flying wild goose

cart

3

ZI(觜)

deer’s head

deer’s head

deer’s head

deer's head

4

SHEN(参)

forehead mark

forehead mark

——

forehead mark

5

JING(井)

footprint

house rafter

step

foot(step)

6

GUI(鬼)

fylfot

bottle

vase

saucer

7

LIU(柳)

forehead mark

snake

——

forehead mark

8

XING(星)

river bank

wall

river bend

river bend

9

ZHANG(张)

footprint

pestle

step

foot(step)

10

YI(翼)

footprint

a bonze’s sitz

step

foot(step)

11

ZHEN(轸)

hand

hand

hand

hand

12

JIAO(角)

forehead mark

long shade

——

forehead mark

13

KANG(亢)

forehead mark

fire bead

——

forehead mark

14

DI(氐)

footprint

bull’s horn

ram’s horn

horn

15

FANG(房)

tassel

shade

string of beads

string of pearls

16

XIN(心)

barleycorn

stairs

bird

barleycorn in middle

17

WEI(尾)

scorpion’s tail

lion’s hair

scorpion

scorpion

18

JI(箕)

bull’s horn

cow step

cow step

cow path

19

DOU(斗)

man hold earth

elephant step

elephant step

elephant path

20

NIU(牛)

cow's head

cow's head

cow's head

cow's head

21

NU(女)

barleycorn

——

barleycorn

barleycorn in middle

22

XU(虚)

bird

——

bird

bird

23

WEI(危)

forehead mark

fringe

——

forehead mark

24

SHI(室)

footprint

thill

step

foot(step)

25

BI(壁)

footprint

standing stick

step

foot(step)

26

KUI(奎)

forehead mark

cockboat

——

forehead mark

27

LOU(娄)

horse's head

horse's head

horse's head

horse's head

28

WEI(胃)

triangle

triangle

triangle

vulva

  According to Table 8, we found the shapes of naksatras presented in different sutras have a lot of identical descriptions. Four naksatras have the same descriptions of shapes in the four different sutras. They are ZI(觜): “deer’s head”, ZHEN(轸): “hand”, NIU(牛): “cow’s head” and LOU(娄): “horse’s head”. Especially the shape of NIU(牛) is “cow’s head”, however in Chinese NIU(牛) also means “cow”. 
  Sardulakarnavadana is a Sanskrit text dated in the beginning of Christian era[25]. It was translated into Chinese by Zu-lu-yan and Ziqian in 230 AD, its Chinese title is Mo-deng-jia Jing(MDJ,《摩登伽经》). From Table 8, we could find that the shapes of naksatras presented separately by Sardulakarnavadana and MDJ have indeed an identical description except for MAO(昴) and BI(毕).


8. The junction star of each naksatra

Table 9 A comparison of junction stars between Indian nakstras and Chinese 28 Xius

 

Junction star of Chinese 28 Xius

Junction star of Indian Naksatras

No

Name

identification[26]

Name

identification1[27]

identification2[28]

1

MAO(昴)

17 Tau

Krttika

ηTau

ηTau

2

BI(毕)

εTau

Rohini

αTau

αTau

3

ZI(觜)

φOri

Mrgasiras

15 Ori

λOri

4

SHEN(参)

δOri

Ardra

λOri

αOri

5

JING(井)

μGem

Punarvasu

βGem

βGem

6

GUI(鬼)

θCnc

Pusya

εCnc

δCnc

7

LIU(柳)

δHya

Aslesa

βCnc

εHya

8

XING(星)

αHya

Magha

αLeo

αLeo

9

ZHANG(张)

νHya

Purvaphalguni

δLeo

δLeo

10

YI(翼)

αCrt

Uttaraphalguni

βLeo

βLeo

11

ZHEN(轸)

γCrv

Hasta

ηCrv

γCrv

12

JIAO(角)

αVir

Citra

αVir

αVir

13

KANG(亢)

κVir

Svati

αBoo

αBoo

14

DI(氐)

αLib

Visakha

ιLib

ιLib

15

FANG(房)

πSco

Anuradha

δSco

δSco

16

XIN(心)

σSco

Jyestha

αSco

αSco

17

WEI(尾)

μSco

Mula

Oph

λSco

18

JI(箕)

γSgr

Purvasadha

γSgr

δSgr

19

DOU(斗)

φSgr

Uttarasadha

φSgr

σSgr

20

NIU(牛)

βCap

Abhijit

αLyr

αLyr

21

NU(女)

εAqr

Sravana

αAql

αAql

22

XU(虚)

βAqr

Dhanistha

αDel

βDel

23

WEI(危)

αAqr

Satabhisaj

λAqr

λAqr

24

SHI(室)

αPeg

Purvabhadrapada

αPeg

αPeg

25

BI(壁)

γPeg

Uttarabhadrapada

αAnd

αAnd

26

KUI(奎)

ζAnd

Revati

ζPsc

ζPsc

27

LOU(娄)

βAri

Asvini

βAri

βAri

28

WEI(胃)

35 Ari

Bharani

33 Ari

35 Ari


  The junction star of each naksatra is another essential parameter of 28 Xius or naksatras system. The identification of Chinese junction stars has been completed quite well. As for Indian junction stars, scholars have also obtained a less divergent result. Here two identifications of Indian naksatras were listed in Table 9.
  According to Table 9, under the situation of “identification1”, there are 17 Indian naksatras located in the same constellation together with the corresponding Chinese Xius, they are JIAO(角), DI(氐), FANG(房), XIN(心), JI(箕), DOU(斗), WEI(危), SHI(室), LOU(娄)WEI(胃), MAO(昴), BI(毕), ZI(觜), SHEN(参), JING(井), GUI(鬼) and ZHEN(轸), and the five Xius, JIAO(角), JI(箕), DOU(斗), SHI(室) and LOU(娄) have the same junction stars. 
Under the situation of “identification2”, there are 20 Indian naksatras located in the same constellation together with the corresponding Chinese Xius, they are JIAO(角), DI(氐), FANG(房), XIN(心), WEI(尾), JI(箕), DOU(斗), WEI(危), SHI(室), BI(壁), LOU(娄), WEI(胃), MAO(昴), BI(毕), ZI(觜), SHEN(参), JING(井), GUI(鬼) and LIU(柳), and the five Xius, JIAO(角), SHI(室), LOU(娄), WEI(胃) and ZHEN(轸) have the same junction stars.
  Because the Chinese 28 Xius and Indian naksatras distribute mainly along the ecliptic, and the sum of ecliptic constellations are finite. So it is reasonable that most of the Indian naksatras and Chinese Xius located in the same constelation.


9. Conclusion

  The Indian naksatras preserved in the Chinese translated sutras being discussed in details in the former passages, we can finally draw the conclusion that the introduction of Indian naksatras along with the translation of Buddhist sutras extended all over the essential aspects of Indian naksatras system. It has reached such a comprehensive level that we could get all the basic knowledge of Indian naksatras through reading the proper Chinese sutras. However the sutras were not pure astronomical text after all, the knowledge of naksatras presented in the Chinese sutras were rather qualitative than quantitative. For example we cannot determine the precise celestial position of each naksatra just according to the translated sutras. 
  During the period when Indian naksatras were introduced into China, Chinese astronomy had have its own developed system of 28 Xius, so the Indian naksatras’ intrusion in this period did not produce a great impact on Chinese 28 Xius. However we speculate that the intrusion of Indian nakastras adhering the translation of Buddhist Sutras might have change greatly the Chinese traditional astrological fashion. It is of course an interesting problem should be considered in another paper or series of papers.


ABBREVIATIONS OF TEXTS
BXJ Bao-xing Tuo-luo-ni Jing, No.402 sutra of the Taisho Tripitaka, translated into Chinese in 632 AD by Prabhamitra.
DJJ Da-fang-deng Da-ji Jing (Sanskrit title as Mahavaipulyamahasannipatasutra), No.397 sutra of the Taisho Tripitaka(1924-1934 AD, Tokyo), translated into Chinese by Narendrayasas in 556-589 AD.
DKJ Da-kong-que-zhu-wang Jing, No.985 sutra of the Taisho Tripitaka, translated into Chinese in 705 AD by Yi-jing.
DWYJ Da-fang-guang Pu-sa Wen-shu-shi-li Geng-ben Yi-gui Jing, No.1191 sutra of the Taisho Tripitaka, translated into Chinese in 983-1000 AD by Tian-xi-zai.
DZDL Da-zhi-du-lun (Sanskrit title as Mahaprajnaparamitasastra), No.1509 sutra of the Taisho Tripitaka, translated into Chinese in 401-413 AD by Kumarajiva.
MDJ Mo-deng-jia Jing (Sanskrit title as Sardulakarnavadana), No.1300 sutra of the Taisho Tripitaka, translated into Chinese in 230 AD by Zu-lu-yan & Ziqian.
MSL Mo-he Seng-zhi Lu (Sanskrit title as Mahasanghavinaya), No.1425 sutra of the Taisho Tripitaka, translated into Chinese in 416AD by Buddhabhadra.
NSZ Nan-mi-ji-shi Fu-luo-tian Shuo Zi-lun Jing, No.1312 sutra of the Tasiho Tripitaka, translated into Chinese in 973-1000 AD by Fa-xian.
QYRZJ Qi-yao Rang-zai-jue, No.1308 sutra of the Taisho Tripitaka, compiled in the early 9th century by Chin Chu-cha.
STJJ She-tou Jian Tai-zi Er-shi-ba-xiu Jing (Sanskrit title as Sardulakarnavadana), No.1301 sutra of the Taisho Tripitaka, translated into Chinese in 308 AD Dharmaraksa.
TTP Taisho Tripitaka, was compiled by Japanese in 1924-1934 AD in Tokyo
XYJ Wen-shu-shi-li Pu-sa ji Zhu-xian Suo-shuo Ji-xiong-shiri Shang-e-xiuyao Jing, No.1299 sutra of the Taisho Tripitaka, translated into Chinese in 742-764 AD by Amoghavajra.

[1]A large number of Sanskrit sutras was translated into Chinese about from late in the 2nd century to early in the 11th century. The translated sutras were compiled and published in Chinese in China as well as in Japan and Korea. Taisho Tripitaka, which was compiled by Japanese in 1924-1934 AD in Tokyo, is the most popular edition of Tripitaka now used by scholars. So the Taisho Tripitaka will be our main reference material.
[2]DJJ, TTP Vol.13, page 138-139, 274-282, 371-373;
XYJ, TTP Vol.21, page 387-391;
MDJ, TTP Vol.21, page 404;
QYRZJ, TTP Vol.21, page 427.
[3]BXJ, TTP Vol.13, page 555-556; 
DKJ, TTP Vol.19, page 473-474. etc..
[4]Pingree, David: History of Mathematical Astronomy in India(short as HMAI), Dictionary of Scientific Biography, XVI(New York, 1981), page 535.
[5]STJJ, TTP Vol.21, page 415-417.
[6]Pingree, David: HMAI, page 535, 537。
[7]It is noted as “being lack of Xu(虚) Xiu” in the origin text of BXJ. After comparing the pronunciaton of naksatras in other sutras, we think the omitted Xiu here should be “Niu(牛)”.
[8]Surya Siddhanta, translated with notes and appendix by Rev. Ebenezer Bugress, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private limited, Delhi, India, 1997. Page 211-230.
[9]DJJ, TTP Vol.13, page 138-139, 371; 
QYRZJ, TTP Vol.21, page 427.
[10]According to Prof. P.C.Senguta, in the oldest Indian sutras, the lists of naksatras began with Citra (Hindu Astronomy, Heritage of Hidu Culture, Vol.3, P341-371).
[11]DJJ, TTP Vol.13, page 274;
BXJ, TTP Vol.13, page 555; 
DKJ, TTP Vol.19, page 473;
XYJ, TTP Vol.21, page 388; 
MDJ, TTP Vol.21, page 404; 
STJJ, TTP Vol.21, page 415; 
MSL, TTP Vol.22, page 500-501.
[12]DWYJ, TTP Vol.20, page 846; 
NSZ, TTP Vol.21, page 463.
[13]XYJ, TTP Vol.21, page 388-390.
[14]DZDL, TTP Vol.25, page 117; 
BXJ, TTP Vol.13, page 555-556;
NSZ, TTP Vol.21, page 463-464.
[15]XYJ, TTP Vol.21, page 394.
[16]DJJ, TTP Vol.13, page 274, 275.
[17]MDJ, TTP Vol.21, page 404, 405.
[18]STJJ, TTP Vol.21, page 415, 416.
[19]CCCAC (The Collection of Chronicles of Chinese Astronomy & Calendar), edited and 
published by Zhonghua Shuju (Zhonghua Publishing House), 1975, page 2225.
[20]1 Chinese Degree(oo) = 0.9856o. In Chinese traditional calendar, the total sum of degrees of the ecliptic circle was defined to equal the sum of days in a tropical year. So the sun progress 1oo per day.
[21]MDJ, TTP Vol.21, page 405.
[22]DJJ, TTP Vol.13, page 274,275;
XYJ, TTP Vol.21, page 388-390;
MDJ, TTP Vol.21, page 404,405;
STJJ, TTP Vol.21, page 415,416.
[23]Pingree, D. & Morrissey, P., On the Identification of the Yogetaras of the Indian Naksatras, Journal for the History of Astronomy, XX(1989), page 102.
[24]It is noted in the origin text of MDJ that “KUI Xiu has one big star followed by a group of small stars”. MDJ, TTP Vol.21, page 405
[25]Pingree, D. & Morrissey, P., On the Identification of the Yogetaras of the Indian Naksatras, XX(1989), page 102
[26]Pannan, A Chinese History of Star Observation, Xuelin Press(1989),Page12.
[27]Pingree, David: HMAI, Page 565.
[28]Surya Siddhanta, translated with notes and appendix by Rev. Ebenezer Bugress, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private limited, Delhi, India, 1997. Page 211-230.

 

 

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