The concept of "earthquake clouds", has been dealt with in detail in the
32nd chapter of Varahamihira's Brihat Samhita.
The greatness of philosopher, mathematician and astronomer Varahamihira
(505-587 AD) is widely acknowledged. The Ujjain-born scholar was one of
the Navaratnas in the court of King Vikramaditya Chandragupta II. His
works, Pancha-Siddhantika (The Five Astronomical Canons) and Brihat
Samhita (The Great Compilation), are considered seminal texts on ancient
Indian astronomy and astrology.
Varahamihira was a celebrated astronomer-astrologer-mathematician sought
to study earthquakes on the Indian subcontinent. He drew correlations
between terrestrial earth, the atmosphere and planetary influences. He
described earth as a mass floating on water and spoke of unusual cloud
formations and abnormal animal behavior as precursors to earthquakes."
What has astonished scientists and Vedic scholars here and has renewed
interest in the Brihat Samhita, are references to unusual "earthquake
clouds" as precursor to earthquakes. The 32nd chapter of the manuscript
is devoted to signs of earthquakes and correlates earthquakes with
cosmic and planetary influences, underground water and undersea
activities, unusual cloud formations, and the abnormal behavior of
animals. "I find it rather odd that the description of earthquake clouds
in Brihat Samhita matches the observations made by Zhonghao Shaou at the
Earthquake Prediction Centre in Pasadena, California," said B D Kulkarni,
head of the National Chemical Laboratory's Chemical Engineering
Varahamihira categorises earthquakes into different kinds and says that
the indications of one particular kind will appear in the form of
unusual cloud formations a week before its occurrence: "Its indications
appearing a week before are the following: Huge clouds resembling blue
lily, bees and collyrium in colour, rumbling pleasantly, and shining
with flashes of lightning, will pour down slender lines of water
resembling sharp clouds. An earthquake of this circle will kill those
that are dependent on the seas and rivers; and it will lead to excessive
(source: A temblor from ancient Indian treasure trove?).
Angirasa’s Tract on Meteorology
Maharishi Angirasa, whose name occurs in the Puranas frequently, is the
Author of the interesting work on Cloud formation named “Meghotpatti-Prakarna.”
This book contains detailed descriptions regarding formation of water by
electric discharges during thunder and lightning; thunder bolts and
their description; also different varieties of lightning, some of which
are beneficial as they are water forming while others are ‘destructive’(as
they contain electric charge which is killing, causing thunder-bolts).
There is another similar book by the same author Maharishi Angirasa
called “Karaka Prakarana.” The title signifies “Thunders and
thunderbolts.” But in fact, the book deals with different forms of
electric discharges and energy-emissions from the Sun as well as from
the atmosphere; also described in the book are the different properties
of sun’s rays and how different kinds of cloud-formations are caused by
the different rays of the sun.
This second book is strikingly original in its theories about the origin
of various precious stones and crystals in the earth which result from
different kinds of Solar flares or Sun’s radiations. It has a very
interesting theory regarding the origin of insects, different animals
and plants which occur as sudden outbursts at certain times and again as
suddenly disappear with the change in atmosphere at other times (like
locust swarms, for instance). These sudden waves of seasonal or periodic
changes in plant and animal life, according to Angirasa Rishi, are
caused by different kinds of weather which in turn, is a result of
difference of Sun’s rays. All such atmospheric changes,
cloud-formations, thunder and lightning, outbursts of plant and
vegetable life, electric discharges in the atmosphere, are all dealt
with in this marvelous book “Karakaprakarana” which is a masterly
analysis of the Sun’s rays.
(source: Hinduism in the Space Age - by E. Vedavyas Published for
Vedavyasa Bharathi, University of Vedic Sciences, Yoga Brotherhood of
America (Inc) USA; ASIN: 8174600000 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting
8174600000 end_of_the_skype_highlighting p. 143-144).