Alpha Aurigae

Alpha Aurigae has been associated with brahma-hRdaYa or with Aryaman. It is also associated with Prajapati and the Heart of Brahma. If Auriga is the charioteer, where is his car? India star-lore records an unsual name for the Hyades cluster in constellation of Taurus: rohINi shakaTa: The cart of roHiNi (alpha Tauri) [sUrya siddhAnta, 8.13]. Not surprisingly, the constellation is also called the shakaTa of prajApati or brahmA [ pa~ncha siddhAnta 238-241]. Traditionally, Hindu astronomy records the star Capella (alpha-Aurigae) as brahma-hR^idaya (the heart of brahmA). This suggests that the Hyades, which indeed look like a simple cart was the cart of rohiNi or prajApati, thus linking the cart to the charioteer. Hence, while lateral Greco-Roman influence cannot be ruled out entirely, it is likely that the basic concepts concerning this constellation go back to the misty Indo-European past when Greeks and Indians shared a common ancestor. The rohiNI shakaTa bheda is a peculiar conjunction mentioned repeatedly in Hindu astronomy. It is technically defined in the sUrya-siddhAnta (8.13) thus: vR^iShe saptadashe bhAge yasya yAmyo .aṃshakadvayAt | vikShepo .abhyadhiko bhindyAd rohiNyAH shakaTaM tu saH || In the constellation of vR^iSha (Taurus), at 17th degree, a planet of which the latitude is a little more than 2 degrees, south, will split the cart of rohiNI. In his bR^ihat saMhitA, varAhamihira mentions that the planets that are considered for this conjunction are arkanandana (the son of the sun, the inauspicious shanaishchara- Saturn), rudhira (the red Mars) or shikhI (a tufted one or a comet). varahamihira himself cites the Atharvavedic astronomer vR^iddha garga (author of the atharvanic nakShatra hymns, although I was unable to locate a direct reference to the event in the surviving sUkta-s and nivid-s of garga from the atharvan saMhitA as well as nakShatra kalpa) as the authority who described this type of conjunction. The shakaTabheda is believed by the Hindus to be a harbringer of immense destruction or the flooding of the world by the ocean. The medieval Maharatta astronomer gaNesha daivaj~na correctly noted that the shakaTabheda by the Moon was relatively common but that by Saturn or Mars was not possible in the current yuga and might possibly occur/ed in some very distant yuga. Cited from Website: India Forum

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