SA Typing Volunteer: Manish Gour
Taken from The Astrological Magazine: Vol 66 No 10
Special Thanks: AIAC, Chicago
Summary of a lecture delivered by the Raman Saheb at the Astrological Lodge, London, on 25-9-1970
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen:
worthy President Mr. Ronald C Davison to address the well known hen I received a letter of invitation from my esteemed friend and your Astrological Lodge of London I was not only gratified but a bit embarrassed also because Britain and India having had a close historical relationship for nearly two centuries and having parted as good friends, it would in a sense mean renewing old ties of friendship and understanding; and embarrassed because Mr. Davison left the subject of the talk to my choosing. However, it was not difficult for me to overcome this initial embarrassment because I could easily decide that the subject to be dealt with should be the one that should not only be novel but also instructive to the members and I could not think of a more appropriate theme than Nadi astrology, a subject in which I have been making investigations for over twenty years I must also seek your indulgence in advance for having to use a number of Sanskrit terms, for which no suitable English word capable of conveying the spirit of the original could be thought of, even though I shall try my best to give the nearest corresponding words in English
Before I take up the subject-matter proper, I think I must tell you — and I am sure most of you already know— certain distinctive features of Hindu Astrology and its philosophy. Hindu astrology does not endorse the theory of absolute fatalism. Astrology and the doctrine of Karma are intimately connected. According to Hindu philosophical work, man is a combination of a physical body, the mind and the self-conscious self or atman which is spiritually present. It is the individual ‘s Karma or actions done in past or previous lives that determine his present life. There are two main categories of Karma. viz., sanchita (accumulative) and prarabdha (operative). The present course of life is indicated by the prarabdha or operative Karma, I.e., deeds or actions whose seed has already sprung up and whose machinery has been set in motion towards their fruition in the present life. The sanchita or Accumulative Karma pertains to actions that are still lying latent like seeds stocked up in a granary for fruition in future lives. The horoscope Indicates our past Karma, the parabadha or operative portion of our Karma being our destiny in this life and that astrological predictions are tendencies of nature on their way towards fulfillment or manifestation and that to some extent we can either strengthen or weaken their momentum in the direction desired by suitable remedial measures.
The celebrated ancient astrologer Varahamihira whose works are still considered authoritative, points out that astrology reveals the lines along which the destiny of individuals would be unfolded.
The first and the most important of the distinctive features of Hindu astrology is that it is based on the so called fixed or sidereal zodiac This is divided into 12 parts called the signs of the zodiac or 27 equal parts or asterisms or Nakshatras of 13° 20‘each. The fitting of the first point of the zodiac – the end of the constellation Revati which some identify with the modern Zeta Piscium—so as to make it the same for all time is an important feature of Hindu astrology and this shows a fundamental difference from the European system of reckoning in which all longitudes are measured by arcs of the ecliptic the origin being the equinoctial point at the time of observation. This does not ‗mean that precession was not known to the Hindus. The very Sanskrit terms Sayana and Nirayana—to distinguish between the two zodiacs—mean, with precession and without precession. In fact, the precession of the equinoxes was discovered by our Sages long before anything about it was known to any other nation. In actual practice, it is the arcs of 13° 20‘measured from the 1st point of stellar Aries that are really important for astrological purposes. They of course bear the names of the brightest stars or Yogataras of the star-clusters that lie on or near about the arcs concerned.
I culturally, in the lives of the majority of Indians, whose requirements of n India astrology continues to occupy a very important place socially and astrological consultations are generally dealt with by astrologers well versed in the traditional system, which are preserved even unto this day in the same form, as they perhaps existed three or four thousand years ago. The stars and constellations have been associated with Hindu astrology from times immemorial and their significance in prediction is considerable. Nor does Hindu astrology take into account the extra, Saturnine planets, viz., Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The Moon ‘s ascending Node, viz, Rahu and the Moon ‘s descending Node, viz. Ketu are given great prominence. Even though the Hindus are aware that the Sun is a star; the moon a satellite of the earth; and the Nodes, points of intersection between the orbits of the Sun and Moon—all these were termed planets for astrological purposes. The term ‗planet‘for the Sun, the Moon and the Nodes in modern astronomical parlances is no doubt a misnomer, but the Hindus had their own reasons to call them grahas, which for want of a better term, in English, we call planets. Graha in Sanskrit means ―Centre of Energy‖ capable of the properties of attraction and repulsion. You will thus see that in Hindu astrology when the term planet is used it may be the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn or the Moon‘s ascending or descending Node. It is mainly on the nine planets, 12 signs and 27 constellations that the entire predictive art of the Hindus has been developed.
Some of the general principles such as rulerships, exaltations, etc., are common to both the Hindu and Western systems. But regarding aspects, there is divergence. For example, Western astrology considers a square or an opposition as always bad and a trine or a sextile as always good. According to the Hindu system, however, no aspect by itself can be good or bad. It is the nature of the planets involved in the aspect and the type of ownership they hold with reference to the Ascendant, that determines the nature of the aspect. An aspect like the Moon- Jupiter square or opposition, in the words of late Mr. Carter, denotes in addition to the ―same good humor that we find with the good aspects, a more restless and sometimes even combative disposition‖. But I think on the whole you consider a square aspect as bad. But according to Hindu astrology such a disposition causes what is called Gajakesari Yoga indicating respect, name, fame and position. Even here, the nature and extent of fame or position rests upon the type of lordship, the two planets hold with reference to the Ascendant, the nature of the Constellations held by them and the vitality the two planets have secured and so many other factors such as their dispositions in the various sub-divisions etc. Where, for example the Ascendant is Sagittarius with Jupiter in the Constellation of Moola (i.e. the 19th) and the Moon is in Pisces- In the constellation of Poorvabhadra (25th), the fame and name will be on the plane of philosophy, but of a non-traditional type because Jupiter would be in the constellation of the Moon‘s descending Node, while the Moon is powerfully placed as he occupies both the sign and constellation of Jupiter or again if we take Virgo as Ascendant and Jupiter in Libra in the constellation of the Node(swati -15th) and the Moon in Aries in the constellation of Venus(Bharani-the 2nd) it is indeed a splendid combination for success and fame in occult matters which in a sense includes astrology, theosophy, and possibly psychology. In such a Yoga, Jupiter aspects the 6th house giving opposition, antagonism and also success over the opponents, while his aspect on the 10th is generally favored as it gives the person certain settled convictions, and also the faculty of prevision.
The other distinctive features of Hindu astrology are yogas or typical combinations of planets which enable us to ascertain clearly the rank and status of a person, and the Dasas or methods of progression enabling one to time events:
The Nadis or Nadi granthas are compilations by the masters of the science of astrology—the Maharishis or the Sages the very same master minds who have written treatises on every aspect of Indian Culture and whose forte was observation and meditation. They contain not only hundreds and thousands of readymade horoscopes and horoscope-patterns but also vast astrological formulae.
The Nadi literature should be regarded as absolutely special and original to Indian Culture and genius: While the West has been able to achieve remarkable control over the forces of nature, in the development of star-lore the achievements of India are indeed noteworthy. Until perhaps 1930‘s Nadi astrology was a sealed book to many of the Hindu astrologers themselves as they could not procure the texts. They were available, as palmleaf records in various Indian languages- Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu—and deposited in temples or their trustees, and somehow came into the hands of uncultured people who played a lucrative trade with them. It is about 25 years ago that a Nadigranth, that is, a work on the Nadi system came into my possession. I am working on an English translation of this work and God willing I expect to publish it early. The work, I am sure, will make a definite contribution to predictive astrology by placing in the hands of astrologers reliable methods of prediction.
I have heard it said by some of my learned astrologer-friends in the West that the ―key to astrology was lost with the burning of the library at Alexandria or It perished with the Atlantis people‖ and so on. But in India at least the key appears to be quite intact, perhaps because of a certain continuity of culture for thousands of years and because of the fact that astrological knowledge is still being taught orally in the shape of aphorisms or certain code language.
Hundreds and thousandth of people make use of the recorded horoscopes contained in the Nadis for knowing not only their future in this life but also about their past lives. There are different types of these Nadis. Some of them give entire lifehistories of persons— in each case substantiating their deductions by astrological reasoning while others merely give predictions of both the past and the future without much astrological discussion. There are yet others, which merely give the horoscope on the basis of certain palm lines, the delineation being left to be looked into in other works. But the bulk of them are based on radical or birth horoscopes. The horoscope when correctly traced indicates the entire life-history of an individual from cradle to the grave. Easy or difficult child-birth, description of the lying in chamber, birthplace in reference to village, town, city, etc., caste, details about: the parents, number of brothers and sisters alive and dead, education, future attainments, number of marriages, private life, diseases, friends and enemies and a lot of other details pertaining to an individual are stated.
The various charts given should be taken as typical and representative or symbolic and they can be fitted into a person‘s horoscope, which has almost a similar pattern. Thus for a given horoscope, many judgments are given, which agree with one another to a period and then differ. I think even Sepharial refers to the Nadis in one of his works. My revered grandfather, the late Prof. B. Suryanarian Rao used to tell me that when Sepharial met him about 60 years ago and his reading was read from the Sukra Nadi, he was almost dumbfounded at the uncanny way in which his life had been revealed. There are a number of Nadis scattered in different parts of India. In North India they are known by the name of Samhitas. Some of the Nadis I have seen and examined are Guru Nadi, Sukra Nadi, Markandya Nadi, Nandi Nadi, Kowmara Nadi, Suka Nadi, Budha Nadi, Sarwaswati Nadi, Dhruva Nadi and Satya Nadi. Each Nadi sets before it a certain number of particular questions relating to life-incidents that appealed to the authors to be of real value to the people. Some of these Nadis are also available in Oriental Libraries in India but in most cases, the keys are lost so that it is rather difficult to trace the pattern of the horoscope required. Chandra Nadi, for instance is available in a mutilated condition in the Oriental Manuscripts Library at Madras. Generally each Nadi work is classified into 12 parts.- each part dealing with one house of the horoscope. Each of these twelve parts is again divided into nine sub-parts corresponding to the nine Navamsas or 1/9th divisions of a sign or into 12 sub-parts corresponding to the 12 Dwadasamsas or 1/12 division. Then there are the Dasas and Bhuktis or progressions. These palm leaves contain predictions of events on the basis of the main periods and sub-periods. The reading starting from the time of birth and covering the important landmarks till the time of consultation and further on till time of death. Three more parts deal with what are called Yogakhanda, Karma khanda and Shantikhanda. The yogakhanada gives with fairly accurately one‘s spiritual, political scientific and social attainments, the degree of status and wealth, sudden elevations and falls and significant fortunes and misfortunes with appropriate planetary combinations. In Karmakhana are enumerated the sins one is supposed to have committed in one‘s past life and in what manner the effects of such sins have manifested up to the time of consultation, and will manifest in the remaining part of this life. And in the ShantiKhanda are prescribed remedial measures which consist of medicines, yogic practices and mantras or certain regulated forms of sound vibrations to ward off or minimize the evil.
Some of the Nadis are voluminous. For instance, Saraswathi Nadi has about 1000 bundles of palm leaves, each bundle having about 200 leaves – each leaf measuring about 8‖ X 2‖. One bundle contains at least not less than 50 horoscopes. So that the work as a whole has nearly 50,000 horoscopes.
There is one work called Satyasamhita in which as early as 1935, the horoscope of Mahatma Gandhi and Kind George V could be traced. This Satyasamhita is stupendous work consisting of 125 volumes. Each volume in its turn has 300 palm leaves. Its author is supposed to be Satyacharya, a very honored name in classical Hindu astrology who is said to have lived about 2000 years ago gracing the illustrious court of Emperor Vikramaditya, the last and the most colorful of Hindu monarchs. The amazing part of this work is that terms nyayavadi and nyayadarsi are used to denote modern distinctions between advocate and a solicitor. The Satyasamhita has the following to say about Mahatma Gandhi‘s horoscope. The native will be born in a holy city on the coast of the ocean. His father will be Dewan or Prime minister. At the age of 20 he will go to a foreign country. His mother will die at the age of 22 in his absence. His father will die when he is 16. He will have four sons of whom three will be engaged. He will marry at 13.
At 32, he will be lawyer. He will consider the whole world as his family; will always speak truth and will be pure-hearted. Pride and arrogance will not touch him. There will be no distinction between his thoughts, words and deeds. While living as a grihastha or householder he will live as a hermit at hearth. At 62, he will be very unhappy when running through the period of Rahu. At age of 66, he will fare well and achieve some success in his mission. Before 65, he will profitably meet the Emperor of the white people. His father will have more than one wife and will be born of the second wife. He will resort to fast for the good of the world and will live above 70.‖
But it is Dhruva Nadi and Sukra Nadi that are really superb. They not only give horoscopic patterns but also horoscopic discussions. I would like to give a summary of a horoscope picked at random from Sukra Nadi. It reads as follows:-
The person who has Komalamsa point(Taurus) (Komalamsa of Taurus is the 41st part of the Shashtyamsa being an even sign lies between 9° 30’ and 10°. However this degree does not give the correct position as per explanations given below for Drekkana, Navamsa etc.) rising at birth is born in a small town near a temple of God Shiva, in the house of his relative. If the 2nd part of this amsa or sensitive point (Taurus) is rising, then the birth would be within the precincts of a temple itself. Jupiter in exaltation occupying the Navamsa(1/9th division) of Scorpio, and Saturn in Leo occupying the Navamsa(1/9th division) of Aries, and the Sun in Sagittarius, birth will be on a Thursday, in the dark half of the lunar month, in the 1st quarter of asterism of Pushya(8th star) (The Navamsa position of Moon would be in Leo). The appearance of the head will be in Taurus itself. The birth will be in the hora (half division) of the Moon (Being an even sign the degree must be within 15 to be placed in the hora of Moon) and Drekkana (decanate) of Virgo (Virgo is the 5th sign from Taurus and hence the Lagna degree must fall between 11 and 20 but as per Hora it cannot exceed 15 and hence Lagna must be between 11 and 15), Navamsa
(1/9) of Taurus, (For Taurus we count from Capricorn the 9 sub divisions to arrive at the Navamsa. Taurus Navamsa means it is in the 5th portion meaning 4 x 3° 20’ = 13°20’ must have been over in Taurus and it cannot exceed 15 degree as above. So Lagna must lie between 13° 21’and 15°) and Trimsamsa (1/30th division) of
Jupiter (Taurus being an even sign- the first 5 signs i.e. upto 5° are ruled by Venus; the next 7 parts i.e. from 5°
01’ to 12° are ruled by Mercury; the next 8 parts beginning from 12° 01’ to 20° are ruled by Jupiter; the next 5 parts by Saturn i.e. from 20° 01’ to 25° and last 5 parts viz. from 25° 01’ to 30° are ruled by Mars-Since the ruling planet is stated to be Jupiter then the degree of Lagna must lie between 12° 01’ to 20° which in our case will get reduced to the range 13°21’ to 15° as per position of Navamsa lagna stated above).. As the Ascendant is aspected by Mercury the mother will have suffered only ordinary labour pains at the time of his birth. If the birth is in the 2nd half of the sensitive point, the labour will be difficult.
As operational, some death has to happen. Then the Sage says ‘He will marry at 13’ – how to see early marriage is not known to us astrologers, using BCP 13th year would be the 1H of natal chart, which activates Venus (marriage) and Mars the 7L of marriage and Mercury the 9L of dharmic marriage as all 3 are placed in 1H. One technique from elderly Mr. Mani, a giant of a traditional astrologer who is one of the few to be instantly awarded Ph.D upon being tested on blind charts by Banaras Hindu University is that when 8L is in Kendra marriage is not that great or divorce or denial, the power of damage increasing from 1H to 10H, it works in the case of Mahatma Gandhi with 8L Venus in 1H, his marriage in the traditional sense was a failure but in the spiritual sense was the finest that ever can be of true soul mates. – SA Publisher the lord of the 9th is in inimical house (it is Leo here) he will not have much happiness from father. Having been born in the Komalamsa of Taurus Ascendant the Trimsamsa (1/30th part) being that of Jupiter he will have a golden colored complexion. He will be highly intelligent with a well-proportioned body. Not avaricious, he will possess a bilious constitution. As the lord of the 2nd house is aspected by Mars (Mars can be in Aries (8th aspect on Scorpio) or Taurus (7th aspect on Scorpio or in Leo (4th aspect) – and the best position would be Lagna) and as the 2nd house is aspected by the Sun, he will be sensual in his thoughts and capable of knowing others‘ minds.
Highly learned, he will not only be an expert in three languages, but a capable writer also. The 10th lord being in the sign of the Sun, his occupation would be that of serving others. As the lord of the 4th house Sun is in the 8th and the Moon is in the 3rd in her own sign with exalted Jupiter, he will have happiness from mother who will be a good natured lady highly devoted to her husband. In the main and sub-periods of lord of the 2nd asterism from that of birth, when Jupiter transits the end of Pisces, mother‘s death takes place. Lord of the 11th Jupiter exalted and in the sensitive part of Kinnaramsa,
(Kinnaramsa is the 55th part of Cancer (being an even sign) and lies between 02° 30’ and 03° of Cancer) and the ascending Node occupying the 11th, the elder brother will be a famous author. He will marry in the main period of 2nd asterism-lord, in his 21st year when Jupiter transits Aries.‖ The length of life given is 68 years, death taking place when the Sun transits his debilitation sign, on a Wednesday.
In a detailed reading the vitality or otherwise of the various lords have been discussed and the main periods sub periods and the transit positions in which different events take place, are all given.
A careful investigation of these various Nadi Granthas has revealed certain very interesting factors, which may be of great practical importance to astrologers—Hindu or Western—and which when properly made may enable us to make predictions with a degree of accuracy that is conspicuous by its impossibility today. It is also clear that the Nadi writers, in formulating their methods of predictions, have made use of the exhaustive literature on astrology attributed to Sage Parasara. Most of the great mass of this literature has been reduced into the form of sutras or apothegms for securing brevity and concentration and also as memory aids. Each sign of the zodiac has been divided Into 150 parts called amsams. Each division thus comprises an arc of 12‘ or about 48 seconds of time. Each of these 150 divisions of a sign is given a certain proper name, such as Vasudha, Vaishriavi, Brahmee, etc., and in a certain order which holds good in all movable signs. The order is reversed in the case of fixed signs. Thus, while the first nadi amsa of Aries, Cancer, Libra, Aquarius is Vasudha, the same unit will be the last in Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. In the case of dual or common signs— Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces—the count commences from the 76th amsa. The name assigned to the first unit of a movable, the last unit of a fixed and the 76th unit of common sign is the same.
This minute unit or amsa of 12‘ of arc is again sub-divided into the first and the second parts so that actually, the time of birth should be determined with very great precision (24 seconds). The results are bound to vary with each such minute. While birth in the 1st part of this unit in Aries (i.e., Aries 0° 6‘) Ascendant makes one an educationist, birth in the 2nd part (Aries 6‘ to 12‘) makes one a politician. In Taurus for instance, the 5th unit refers to the horoscope of a hawker; the 7th to that of a dancing girl, the next one to that of a magician, the next one to an engineer. One born in the next unit—of course with certain definite types of planetary grouping— will make one a great king who lives for 110 years but who by his yogic power will increase it ten-fold. It is also hinted that no such human being would be born in the Kaliyuga or the present Iron Age—in this particular unit and particular grouping. Nadi astrology makes it obligatory that prediction should be given only after a careful scrutiny of not only this specific amsa or unit from amidst the 150 but also the other 9 sub-division into which a sign is divided. The other 9 divisions are Shashtyamsa (1/60th), Trimsamsa (1/30th), Shodasamsa (1/16th), Dwadasamsa (1/12th), Navamsa (1/9th). Saptamsa (1/7th), Drekkana (decanate) and Hora (1/2). The lords of the sub-divisions occupied by the nine planets and the Ascendant should be determined.
The minute unit (that is 1/150th part of a sign) that is exactly on the eastern horizon at the time of birth is the principal indicator of the course of life and the fortunes and misfortunes a person faces. It looks as though a certain pattern of events is shown within this small compass of 12‘ of arc. Since in the whole zodiac there are 3,600 such divisions, there are obviously 3,600 basic pattern of destiny. Each of these patterns turns up once each day, due to the apparent revolution of the zodiac. It is these ‗patterns‘ that ideally form the basis of all secondary analysis furnished by the asterism in which the planets are found. The actual Ascendant is the very zodiacal point which is coming up over the horizon at the moment of birth. In strict fact, this zodiacal point should be located up to six minutes of space. A difference of six minutes of space marks a world of difference. It places a birth in an entirely different pattern of destiny. But during a whole series of minutes at twilight if Sagittarius or Capricorn be seen on the horizon birth will be followed by Instant death. Twilight is the period of 48 minutes before sunrise and after sunset. It therefore follows that from December 15th to February 14th birth in the early dawn or from May 15th to July 15th immediately after night fall is generally invested with fatal possibilities.
A statistical vindication of this finding of Sages is a contrIbut1on which an earnest researcher owes to astrology.
According to Nadi astrology, the moment of birth has to be determined by reference to three phenomena. One is adhana or the moment of conception; the second is sirodaya or the first appearance of the head of the child; the third is bhupatana or the actual moment of the contact of the child with the earth. Of these three which is to be preferred? Satyacharya is emphatic that the first and the second, viz., conception and the appearance of the head cannot be correctly determined so that the third i.e., actual birth is alone to be taken. Questions such as what constitute the moment of contact with the earth may be asked. The nurse or the obstetrician may receive the child first. Can this be taken as the moment of birth because the nurse or the obstetrician stands on the earth? The original Sanskrit word, bhupatana, is clear and specific, i.e., the moment of being dropped on the earth. It is this moment that should be related to the basic unit or amsa.
There are so many practical difficulties to note down such a moment. Perhaps anticipating such difficulties, Satyacharya says that as it is improbable that the exact moment of birth would be recorded, the astrologer should determine it on the basis of his experience and skill. He then gives a number of details such as the nature of place of birth, the caste; the surroundings, number of brothers, etc., which would be the case in respect of each amsa.