Brihat Samitha 28-36


– 33 –

Ulkas or Meteors

1The forms of those who fall down after having enjoyed unalloyed happiness in Heaven are called Ulkas or meteors which are divided into five kinds viz, ignescent balls, meteors, thunderbolt, lightning and shooting stars .
2An Ulka and a Dhishnya cause their effects to be felt in a fortnight; thunderbolt, in three fortnights; and lightning and Tara in six days.
3The Tara meteor produces only a quarter of the effects: fixed; the Dhishnya, a half of it while the remaining three produce their full effects.
4The, Asani or thunderbolt falls with a deafening sound upon men, elephants, horses, beasts rocks, houses, trees and domestic animals, revolving like a discus and piercing the surface of the earth.
5The lightning which is crooked and extensive falls all of a sudden on living-beings and heaps of firewood, setting them aglow, causing fright to the animals and producing a Tata-tata sound.
6The Dhishnya is a slender thing with a short tail; it resembles burning embers and is two cubits long; but appears quite distinct over a space of forty cubits.
7The Tara or shooting star is a cubit long, white or red, slender like the thread of lotus-stalk and moves across, up or down the sky, as if being dragged.
8The Ulka or meteor is broad at the top, having a very tiny tail. As it falls down, it increases in dimensions. Its length is 3-1/2 cubits. There are several varieties of it.
9Those varieties of the above that resemble dead bodies, weapons, asses, camels, crocodiles, monkeys, boars, ploughs, wild deer, lizards, snakes and smoke, as well as those that have two heads, are of evil consequences.
10Those that resemble banners, fishes, mountains, elephants, lotuses, the Moon, horses, molten silver, swans, Bilva trees, diamond (or thunderbolt), couch, and the Swastika design, tend to prosperity and abundance of food-grains.
11If they fall in bunches from the middle of the sky, they portend the ruin of the king and the country. Similarly, that which frequently whirls round in the sky, indicates unrest and distress among the people.
12That which touches the Sun or the Moon or issues from either, accompanied by an earthquake, causes an invasion by an enemy, danger to the king, famine, drought and fear.
13An Ulka that moves to the left of the Sun and the Moon, destroys a king in town and one on March respectively; whereas one which issuing from the Sun falls in front of a chief on march bestows victory on him.
14A white meteor ruins Brahmins; a red one, Kshatriyas; a yellow one, Vaisyas and a black one, Sudras. The four castes are hurt severally if the meteor falls with its head, central part, side and tail foremost.
15A rough meteor that falls in the north, east, south and west bodes evil to the four castes severally, beginning with Brahmins; while the same being straight, glossy, unbroken and falling downwards from the sky in the several directions tends to the prosperity of the members of the four castes severally.
16One that is grey, rosy, blue, crimson, fiery, dark or ashy in colour, rough, visible at a twilight or daytime, crooked and broken indicates threat of foreign invasion.
17If one strikes a star or planet, the latter’s proteges (objects, countries and people) will be ruined. If it strikes the Sun and the Moon at Sunrise or Sunset, the destruction of the king staying in town and of the one on March respectively is assured.
18-19If the main star of the asterisms, Purvaphalguni, Punarvasu, Dbanishta and Moola is struck by a meteor, young ladies will be subjected to suffering: Similarly, if that of Pushya, Swati and Sravana be struck then will be trouble for Brahmins, and Kshatriyas. Kings will be troubled when Rohini Uttaraphalguni, Uttarabhadra, Uttarashadha, Mrigasiras, Chittra, Anuradha and Revati are struck; thieves, when Purvaphalguni, Purvashadha, Purvabhadra, Bharani, Magha, Ardra, Aslesha, Jyeshta and Moola are struck; and artists and artistes, when Aswini, Pushya, Hasta, Abhijit, Krittika and Visakha are attacked.
20-22The meteors falling on the images of Gods bring about danger to the king and the country on Indra, to kings; on houses, to their owners; striking the planets presiding over the several quarters to the people of countries situated in those quarters a threshing floor, to agriculturists; a holy tree, the respectable persons ; one falling on the gate of a town, runs the town; on the bolt of a door, the people; on the temple of Brahman, Brahmins; and on mangers, their owners.
23If at the time of a meteor falling are heard the sounds of roaring, clapping hands, instrumental music, songs and loud cries, the country and its ruler will come to grief.
24A meteor which having the shape of a rod leaves its trail on the sky for a long time, betokens danger to the king. So does one that appears to be carried along the sky by a thread, or that has the appearance of Indra’s banner.
25-28One that goes backwards destroys merchants; crosswise, king’s wife; with its head downwards, kings; head upwards, Brahmins; one that resembles the peacock’s tail brings about the extirpation of the people; one creeping like a snake, is disastrous to women; one falling in a circular form, destroys the town; in the form of an umbrella, the royal priest; in the form of a bamboo-cluster, is troublesome to the kingdom; one that resembles snakes or boars and is accompanied by a wreath of sparks, or is shattered to pieces and attended with noise, proves sinful in effect.
29A meteor that resembles the rainbow ruins the kingdom; one that disappears in the sky itself, the clouds; one moving against the wind in a crooked way or backwards, is not auspicious.
30marches to that direction in which a meteor falls blazing, he will ere long vanquish his foes.