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hindu astrology and today's astronomy

From: V. Chandrasekaran (vcs_at_wipinfo.soft.net)
Date: Thu Oct 22 1998 - 04:24:03 PDT

Dear members,
   Namaskarams.
   I have a question about Hindu astrology and its significance
compared to the modern day astronomy.
   First of all I would like to tell that this mail is not about 
worship of navagraha deities.
   In Hindu temples espe. Saiva temples, we see navagraha sannidhi.
The position of the 9 deities in the sannidhi is such that Adhithyan
is in the middle surrounded by others. (I have noticed this in atleast
four temples and I assume the Agama should be same in all temples).
   We know that solar-centric theory was established only around
14th century (by Copernicus, totally disproving Ptolemy's geo-centric 
theory which was till then held correct for over 10 centuries).
   My questions in this regard are,
o Around what time did 'navagraha deity worship and the associated
  navagraha Agamas' get defined in Hinduism? Is this earlier than the 
  solar-centric theory?
o Are there any mentionings of navagraha deities in our literatures?
  Does Hindu jOthisham have any recordings of how the planets 
  were located by our ancestors without aid of any equipments?
o Are there any significant descriptions about Earth and other 
  grahams going around Sun in our ancient literatures?

  Our Hindu tradition holds Adhithyan as the presiding natural power
to be worshipped daily that being the vital energy source for all
moving and stationary things. Daily Sandhyavandhanam is one example. 
I understand that Lord Narayana, the Infinite Power is the one who 
pervades and controls even Adhithyan.
  In Srimad Ramayanam-yuddha khAndam, there is a place where Sage 
Agasthyar advises Sri Rama to worship Adhithyan and gain courage 
when Sri Rama flinches at the repeated recovery of Ravana.
 
  Members, I am aware that these questions are no way related to 
bhakti. But I am curious to clarify these. I request members who 
have idea about the subject to respond.

   -chandrasekaran.