Jupiter and Dakshinamurti in Hindu religion!
What I have proposed here doesn't have any references or sources. I believe that I may be proposing this for the first time, from what I wondered long back while moving around, inside a Shiva temple (if someone else has proposed this earlier please do let me know about it).
In most of the typical Shiva temple one can come across the statue of Lord Dakshinamurti which is lord Shiva portrayed as Jupiter,, one of the Navagraha. Careful observation around the foot of Lord Dakshnamoorthy will reveal four rishis, two on either sides. I used to wonder why these four rishis are portrayed only with Jupiter, that is Dakshnamoorthy and not with other planetary god forms?! One story which I came across to explain this portrayal goes like this...
This is a mythological explanation, but then I wondered is there anything realistic in portrayal of Jupiter in this way. Later in a public library, I remembered of this observation while grazing through the astronomy section of an encyclopedia. I noticed that Jupiter although had 63 natural satellites/moons, only four of them were massive with diameter greater than 3000 km (Io - 3643km, Europa - 3122km, Ganeymede - 5262km, Callisto - 4821km). Also later I came across a piece of information (unfortunately I could not remember or trace back that source now!) which reported, in astronomical observations, on special occasions these four moons of Jupiter, while orbiting outside the rim of visible sphere of Jupiter (not in foreground or in back of the planet) it becomes visible to the naked eye with sharp vision.
Now as per the scientific reports these four massive moons were discovered by Galileo in 1610 A.D. It is not clear since when the portrayal of Dakshnamurti with four Rishis started to appear in temples. It could be before Galileo's discovery of Jupiter's four moons (1610 A.D.) or may be later on. If one can come up with evidence for dating this portrayal far before 1610 A.D., it would be possible to claim the discovery of the four moons of Jupiter was achieved prior to Galileo. In case if it is not possible, still it doesn't rule out the possibility of claims of independent discovery by Asian astronomer/astrologer with religious orientation.
Tail piece: Lord Shani Bhagavan or Saneesvaran, portrayal of Saturn, has a single crow with him. Surprisingly Saturn has only one massive moon out of at least 62 moons, the Titan (diameter 5150 km). Seems to be more than a coincidence!
Saturn with its moon Titan on top left corner as a white pixel (credits: Cassini)
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