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Astronomy, and Parasa bringing it to perfection : not to the perfection which it assumed afterwards, in Babylon, but to a regulated system; which the Chaldeans carry back to A. M. 463, or thereabouts, dating their improved system from A. m. 1776. I do not recollect the date of the Hindu improved system : but it is certain, that the Surya Siddhanta, in its present improved state, was taken from the system of Meya of the antediluvian world. For of the six Anges, or bodies of learning, Astronomy
is the fifth of the Vedengars; as it is said to have been delivered by Surya and other divine personages ; as such it is called the Surya Siddhanta of Meya; who, I believe, was no other than Icshwacu of the Solar dynasty. For the Hindus record of that prince, that which the Hebrews record of Enos, that he was well skilled in Natural Philosophy and Astronomy: and the Chinese ascribe the cycle of 60 years to the same prince, under the name of Whang-li; to whom, it is nearly certain, the planet Venus was consecrated. For the regent of that planet is named Sucræ, or Usanas, a male deity, believed to have been a sage of infinite learning
To return to Mr. Bentley; who, after very gravely assuring us " that we are now in the seventh Menwantara, which was the same when Meya wrote, long before the time of Vyasu,” gives us the names not only of the six Menus, that presided over the Menwantaras that are past, but of the one which we are now in, and of the seven that are to come; as follows:
1 Menwantara Swoyombhooho, i. e. Swayambhuva. 2...
. . Swarocheeso, i. e. Swarochisha. 3 ... Utomo,
i. e. Auttami. 4
Tamoso, i. e. Tamasa. 5 Riboto,
i. e. Raivata. 6 ..... Chaksorso, i. e. Chacshusha. 7
.. Vavioswata, i. e. Vaivaswata. 8
.. Saborni. 9
... Rudrosabornee. 13
.. Debosabornee. 14
Nothing can be more contrary to nature, than to insist that we are actually now living in the seventh Menwantara, under the rule of Vaivaswata; and that the seven Menwantaras, which were to be ruled by the family of Sabornæ, or Atri, had actually passed, if they had not been contemporary princes. The names are misplaced : in other respects, I believe the Table to be
very correct; with the exception of the last prince
who, although of the race of Cain, never becamer a Menu. We may correct the table as follows.
The last prince in Mr. Bentley’s table, named Endrosobornee, is improperly placed in a list, which consisted of Menus only; and was probably introduced, to complete the number of fourteen. He appears to have been the contemporary of Noah ; who, according to Berosus, never became a sovereign. But Mr. Bentley, mistaking Vaivaswata for Noah, gives his contemporary in the line of Cain; whereas the Puranas expressly name the predecessor of the prince, who was saved in the ark, Vaivaswata : saying, that when the waters of the deluge had subsided, Satyavatar was appointed a
Menu b: the favour of Vishnu by his patronymic of Va swata. That Vaivaswata, or child of the Sun the patronymic of the Solar race, is beyond doubt: and, if the foregoing list is correct, Sabornee was the patronymic of the Lunar race. But on this subject I cannot speak with any degree of certainty ; although I am inclined to think that the foregoing were titles assumed when they became sovereigns or Menus. The following extracts, from the Institutes of Menu, prove that the correction in the table is warranted.
“From this Menu, named Swayambhuva, or sprung from the Self-existing, came six descendants, other Menus, or perfectly understanding the Scripture, each giving birth to a race of his own, all exalted in dignity, eminent in power.”
“ Swarochisha, Auttami, Tamasa, Raivata, likewise, and Cha'cshusha, beaming with glory, and Vaivaswata, child of the Sun.”
“ The seven Menus (or those first created, who are to be followed by seven more) of whom Swayambhuva is the chief, have produced and supported this world of moving and stationary beings, each in his own Antara, or the period of his reign."
The words placed in parentheses, bearing a double meaning, have led Europeans to suppose them to be fourteen Menus in succession. The words “ those first created” are not intended to denote primogeniture, but first, as greatest, or perfectly understanding the Scripture; the word “ following” denoting that the Antara, or 857 years of each, or that number multiplied by 14, would be the duration of time, or the day and night of Brahma, twelve thousand years. But to prevent a possibility of their being mistaken for one race, it is expressly written that of both those lines, consisting of six Menus in each, Swayambhuva the son of the Self-Existing was the chief, making a total of thirteen; the first-created and six princes in each race: the prince saved in the ark being the fourteenth and last Menu; who, although he did not become such in the old world, was the only person in the new one, whose age could have completed an Antara, of 857 years. As I have frequently had occasion to refer to this circumstance, and as the exact coincidence of the years, assigned by the Hebrews and Hindus, is the strongest proof, that either both or neither were antediluvian, it
be worth while to compare them. The age of the patriarchs, according to the Hebrew text, is given in Table V*, and is as follows: 930 + 912 + 905 + 910 + 895 +962 + 363 +969 +776 +950=8574 years, which divided by 10 gives 857 years, and the fraction of fourtenths, for the average age of each patriarch ; which is the precise number of years that the
* Vide page 100.