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Is the oldest scripture of astrology Brihatparashara Hora Shastra or is it Bhrigu Samhita? If neither of these, then which was the oldest?

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    According to tradition, Bhrigu Samhita is the oldest. It was the compendium of horoscopes. However, the original Bhrigu Samhita is lost. What we got is the Brihat Parasara Hora Shastra, which describes the rules. However, if you go by historical evidence, Brihat Parasara Hora Shastra is composed much later (See David Pingree's work). Historically the oldest text in predictive astrology is Varahamihira's Brihat Jataka. Apr 19, 2022 at 16:55
  • @AmritenduMukhopadhyay I have often heard that Bhrigu Samhita was composed in treta yuga? Is it true?Do you know when was Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra composed?
    – LSSJ Broly
    Apr 19, 2022 at 17:06
  • @AmritenduMukhopadhyay so that means Bhrigu Samhita is 1st , Varahamihira Brihat Jataka is 2nd and Brihatparashara hora shastra is the 3rd (as per the info you provided in comment) . Am I correct ?
    – LSSJ Broly
    Apr 19, 2022 at 17:10
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    Brihat Parasara Hora Shastra was composed around 600-705 AD according to J. Gonda. Yavana Jataka is also older than Parasara Hora shastra. Apr 20, 2022 at 4:12
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    That I don't know. Apr 20, 2022 at 7:02

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There can be mostly opinions on this. I'm giving an opinion of an astrologer author here. If I find scriptural statements on this I'll add them later.

Quoting from this book - Bhrigu Samhita By Dr. T. M. Rao

Introduction

Sage Bhrigu — The Father of Hindu Astrology.

Astrology is a Vedanga, that is, one of the limbs of the Vedas. Vedas were studied by the ancient sages and rishis, out of whom Saptarishis were the most famou: Bhrigu was one of the Saptarishis. He is Manasaputra (wish-born-son) of Lord Brahma, who simply wished him into existence, to assist the processes of creation He was married to Khyati, the daughter of Daksha. He had two sons from her - Dhata and Vidhata. Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu, is considered to be his daughter. He had one more son, Shukra, who was better known than Bhrigu himself. The sage Chyavana was also believed to be his son.

The Bhrigus, also known as Bhargavas, were a clan of sages descending from th ancient fire-priest Bhrigu. They instituted the ritual of offering the juice of th Soma plant to the old duties. Some of them were also warriors in addition to bein priests. The Bhrigus are intimately linked with the composition of Atharva Veda

Bhrigu is credited as the father of Hindu astrology, and the first astrology treatise. Bhrigu Samhita is attributed to his authorship.

This treatise is said to contain over 5 million horoscopes, in which he wrote down the fate of every bein in the Universe. According to the popular tradition, only about a hundredth these horoscopes have survived to this age.

The Bhrigu Samhita is an astrological classic written by Maharshi Bhrigu during the Vedic period, although the available evidence suggests that it was compiled over a period of time by the various students Bhrigu.

It is a confirmed fact that Saint Bhrigu was the first compiler of predictive astrology, which came to be known as the Fifth Veda of Treta Yug, which is an ancient age marking the beginning of the Hindu Culture. He compiled about 5 lakhs horoscopes with the help of Lord Ganesha and recorded details and events of the persons along wit their ages.

This formed the database for further research and study. The study culminated in the birth of the science (Shastra) of determining the quality of time (Hora), known as the Brihat Prasara Hora Shastra.

These horoscopes were base upon the planetary positions of the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupite Saturn, Dragon's Head (Rahu) and Dragon's Tail (Ketu). After that, Maharsh Bhrigu gave his predictions on different types of horoscopes compiled by hin with the help of Lord Ganesha in a brief and concise manner. During the foreign invasions in India, Brahmin community was dispersed all ove India. The invaders also captured these prime assets of Brahmins. For them, it was a miraculous form of telling the fortune of a person and so some parts of the Bhrigu Samhita were taken awa by them to the foreign countries. The most unfortunate and destructive happenin was the destruction of Nalanda University library. It is really unfortunate tha some people having a cheap and fraudulent form of Bhrigu Samhita claim to hav the original Shastra in their possession. If an original Bhrigu Samhita's leaf containing the horoscope of an individul is obtained, we will find that it not only reveals the consulting day, time an date of the individual, but also the remedial measures. Some thousands of leaflet horoscopes from the original Bhrigu Samhita are believed to be available with on pundit in Hoshiyarpur, in Punjab. It is also very unfortunate that dozens of pundit in India claim to have the original Bhrigu Samhita with them.




Conclusion:

So basis the above opinion of the author, we may conclude that -

  • Bhrigu Samhita is the oldest treatise on Vedic Astrology (jyotish-shastra), whose authorship is attributed to Maharshi Bhrigu (one of the mind born sons of god Brahma)

  • Traditionally, the date of composition of Bhrigu Samhita is dated to the Treta-yuga.

  • Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra is composed post Bhrigu Samhita.

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    IMO There can be mostly opinions but the question is not opinion based. Because there must be a first scripture for a topic...In this case, Bhrigu samhita for astrology.
    – LSSJ Broly
    Apr 21, 2022 at 11:34

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