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Understanding the Prophetic: The History and Philosophy of Prognostication in Ancient India

Satadal Kargupta (Author)
Synopsis This companion volume to Dr. Satadal Kargupta’s Mystical Buddhism From A Sibylline Perspective finds him shifting his focus away from the preternatural knowledge that found its way into Buddhist literature. Here, he concentrates on how the seeds of this knowledge germinated in ancient India in the first place, so that they had already blossomed into fully-realized traditions of prophecy, ritual, and thought by the time of the sixth century B.C. coming of the Buddha. This volume looks at the multifaceted and inclusive nature of all branches of Vedanga lore, most especially at the rich fusion of science, art, and spirit that underlay and vitalized the theory and praxis of prognostication. Beginning with an overview of Vedic-period legends and astronomical explanations underlying the fundamentals of Indian Jyotisha, this work then addresses the parameters, evolution, and inter cultural influence of this knowledge throughout the early stages of Mediterranean and Asian history. It articulates the particular discoveries and refinements of the prominent sages and savants, whose individual and collective endeavors enabled them to codify the knowledge of Jyotisha Shastra into various schools of thought, many of which serve to substantiate and enrich the equally-profound philosophical and religious systems of India. The culture of prognostication in ancient India recognized and advanced methods of using incantations, amulets, metal and gem therapy, chromotherapy, herbal remedies, oblatory ceremonies, and a multitude of other palliatives, over two hundred of which have been described here.
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About the author

Satadal Kargupta

Dr. Satadal Kargupta was born in Kolkata, India. Before he shifted his sights to academia, he was most noted for being the inter-school boxing champion and a leader of the local football team. He passed his M.A. (India), Ph. D. (India), Ph. D. (Arizona), and D. Lit. (India). Pursuing his postgraduate studies at Calcutta University, he completed Chinese lessons under Dr. Prabodh Chandra Bagchi and Prof. Fa Chou and studied Tibetan under Mahamahopadhyaya Pandit Vidhusechar Sastri. He also assisted Dr. B. M. Barua on the elder doctor's cultural mission to Sri Lanka. He was admitted as a corporate member of American Oriental Society and is a fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and is a fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, the International Biographical Center (Cambridge), and the Theosophical Society. He has been honoured as a Sahitya Bhushan (Sinthee Vaishnav Sammilani, Kolkata), Jyotisha-Martanda (Astrologica Research Project, Kolkata), Jyotisha-Ratna (Bally Pandit Samaj, Howrah), Jyotisha-Samrat (Bangiya Pandit Sabha, Tarakeswer). Dr. Kargupta has been awarded the ISCLO prize for research in Vedic Jyotisha (U. P.) and a prize from the Critics' Circle of India for his astro-dermatoglyphic studies (New Delhi). His biographical references are included in the International Book of Honor (U. S. A), Who's Who in the Commonwealth (Cambridge U.K.), Men of Achievements (IBA, England) , Dictionary of International Biography, Palmistry International (Melbourne, Australia), and Jyotish Sandesh Astrological Directory (Chandigarh, India). He has served as an editor of Samadhan Weekly (Hooghly), Traveller's Air Guide (Kolkata), and Puspanjali (Kolkata). He has been a visiting guest lecturer at Ramakrishna Mission International Cultural Center (Golpark, Kolkata), The Asiatic Society (Kolkata), Mount St. Mary's College (Los Angeles), Glendale Community College (California), Pasadena City College (California), and Ananda Ashrama (La Crescenta, California), as well as discussing the ancient methods of astrology on talk shows on Rogers TV (Anaheim, California) and Santa Monica Cable (Los Angeles). He has traveled extensively throughout Asia, Europe, and North America. Dr. Kargupta has over ninety papers to his credit, Published in a wide variety of magazines and international journals over the last fifty years.

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Bibliographic information

Title Understanding the Prophetic: The History and Philosophy of Prognostication in Ancient India
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2002
Edition 1st Ed.
Language: English
isbn 8172361203
length xxxviii+376p., Photos; Tables