1st Edition

Learning With Spheres The golādhyāya in Nityānanda’s Sarvasiddhāntarāja

By Anuj Misra Copyright 2023
    400 Pages 58 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book provides, for the very first time, a critical edition and an English translation (accompanied by critical notes and technical analyses) of the chapter on spheres (golādhyāya) from Nityānanda’s Sarvasiddhāntarāja, a Sanskrit astronomical text written in seventeenth-century Mughal India.

    Readers will learn how terrestrial and celestial phenomena were understood by early modern Sanskrit astronomers using spherical geometry. The technical discussions in this book, supported by the critically edited Sanskrit text and geometric diagrams, offer an opportunity for historians of the astral sciences to understand developments in astronomy in seventeenth-century Mughal India from a more nuanced perspective. These are supplemented through explorations of modernity, mathematics, and mythology and how they thrived within Sanskrit astronomical discourse at the courts of the Mughal emperors.

    This book will be of interest to historians and philosophers of science, in particular those interested in the history of non-Western astral sciences. The book will be a valuable resource for scholars studying the general history of Sanskrit astronomy in the Indian subcontinent as well as those interested in the technical aspects of Sanskrit and Indo-Persian astronomy in Mughal India.

    1. Introduction, 1.1 Indian astronomy: a brief overview, 1.2 The Sarvasiddhāntarāja, ‘The King of all siddhāntas’, 1.3 The Golādhyāya in Nityānanda’s Sarvasiddhāntarāja, 2. Manuscript Sources and Stemma, 2.1 Catalogues, holding institutions, and manuscript sigla, 2.2 Metadata, structure, and content of the manuscripts, 2.3 Stemma of the manuscript witnesses, 2.4 Editorial Notes, 3 Critical Edition, 4 Edited Sanskrit text and its English translation , 5 Critical Notes and Technical Analyses, A Nityānanda’s geodetic method vis-à-vis al-Bīrūnī’s method to calculate the Earth’s radius, B The cosmography of the Purāṇas, C Numbering of verses in the critical edition vis-à-vis the eight manuscripts of the golādhyāya in Nityānanda’s Sarvasiddhāntarāja.


    Anuj Misra is a Gerda Henkel Fellow at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. His research focuses on medieval and early modern  exchanges in Sanskrit astral sciences and includes articles and book chapters on the influence of Islamicate thought in the Sanskrit astronomyof Mughal India.