Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Ravan Samhita - Mass Fraud Continues
Recently somebody in my Vedic Astrology Facebook group informed me that translation of original Ravan Samhita has been published by Chaukhamba. Wasting so much time and money on duplicate and photostat copies Ravan Samhita, I was delighted hearing this. I have great faith in Choukhamba and seeing opportunity I didn't waste any time and immediately called Choukhmba up. In the group I was given address of "Chowkhamba Sanskrit Seris Office, Varanasi"
In 2-3 days book was delivered to me by VPP. That was quick. The cover of the book was Black and Yellow with Ravana picture on it. I was very happy having this book in my hand. I started reading book and which was divided in six sections. First was about Ravana, second was about Shiva and Shiva Sadhana, third was about Yoga, fourth was about Mantra, fifth was about Ayurveda and sixth was about Astrology. As my primary interested is in astrology, I skipped quickly to the last section of astrology named "Jataka Gunaguna Nirupam".
Just after reading few stanzas I could see influence of Kerala Jyotish. I though OK, Lanka is not far from Kerala and it is very much possible. As I kept reading, I started suspecting it. I felt good amount of similarity with Prashna Marga. I started matching stanza by stanza and the Jataka section of Ravan Samhita was nothing but copy of Prashna Marga. To my utter dismay, this was nothing but "Prashna Marga" only and the author Dr. Surkant Jha put it in the book by the name of Ravan Samhita. What a shame.
Later on I realized that the author Dr. Surkant Jha has also translated "Prashna Marga" and published by the same publication house. So when he didn't find astrology section in his manuscript, he just copied Prashna Marga and put it in the name of Ravan Samhita. Well done Mr. Jha. Copy-pasting doesn't end here. Even the translation is picked-up from the "Prashna Marga" Hindi Translation by Shri Shukdev Chaturvedi and Late Shri Jagannath Bhasin published by Ranjan Publications. I didn't find much difference between his translation and Ranjan Publication translation. It was more of find and replace of certain words and phrases using computer. I must say I am very disappointed.
On a sidenote, my first level investigation says that "Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office / Chowkhamba Krishnadas Academy" and "Choukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan/ Chaukhamba Surbharti Prakashan" are two different companies. Later has published some excellent Sanskrit translations and I am indebted to them. I just want to caution astrologers to be very careful of buying "Ravan Samhita" by "Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office", it is not worth the money. If you are astrologer, better get "Prashna Marga". If you are interested in rest of the material, get "Chaturgyan".