SA Volunteer – Amit Berry
(Taken From Astrological Magazine Of Raman Saheb, April 1977 issue)
One must study our ancient literature to know about the glorious past of our land. Our modern men are responsible for the degeneration of the Sanatana Dharma. Similarly our own are responsible for the neglect of the study of the sacred science of astrology. Effective use of astrology in our day-to-day affairs would go a long way in containing many of the problems which may face us after the commencement of a work. Lovers of the science of astrology are greatly indebted to Dr. B. V. RAMAN, for the yeoman service rendered by him for the cause of astrology. A regular reader of THE ASTROLOGICAL MAGAZINE would know how much useful the science of astrology is as related to our everyday problems.
Abundance of pseudo-astrologers, who prey on the unwary victims of weak disposition, is one of the important causes for men in higher ranks looking at the science with an air of suspicion and contempt. The only way to raise the status of astrology to its pristine elevated position is to delve deeper into the ancient wisdom still lying unexplored.
Much work remains to be done in this field. There are still many ancient Sanskrit works on astrology in palm-leaf manuscripts well preserved in libraries, which are the treasure-houses of the ancient wisdom of our country. A casual look under the titles Jataka and Jyotisha in volume seven of the New Catalogus Catalogorum published by the University of Madras would suffice to show the extent of this material. Besides these there are many more works under different titles such as Kalajnana and Daivajnabharana, etc.
Dr. David Pingree of America has been compiling another useful census of the works on Hindu Astrology and Astronomy and has published two or three parts covering upto the letter na in the Sanskrit alphabetical order. Quite recently Dr. K. V. Sarma from the Vishvabandhu Vishveshvranand Institute of Vedic and Indological Studies, Hoshiarpur, has also brought out a volume containing references to Kerala’s contribution to Astronomy. Outstanding work has been done by Sri S. B. Dikshit in presenting a survey of the jyotisha in his Bhartiya Jyotish. Most of these have not yet been published. A still less number of works have been rendered into English. Great responsibility rests on Sanskrit scholars proficient in our ancient astrology to edit and translate these works. It has been pointed out that one must be a genuine astrologer.
Associate Editor’s Notes: The New Catalogus Catalogorumr referred to above by the author is available for free download in various formats from Below I am giving the direct link for download of the PDF format.
Kalajnana: Available in leaves (8 in number) in Wellcome Library, London. It has 13 adhyayas and has 204 verses.
Daivajnabharana: Author of this treatise is not known. This was published by Government Oriental Manuscripts Library, Madras 1954. It is a book on the science of Astrology containing 21 chapters. 1. Grahavivechanam 2. Rasi vivechanam 3. Lagna
vivechanam 4. Prasuti vivechanam 5. Nakshatra ganda vivechanam 6. Rishta vivechanam 7. Pitri rishta vivechanam 8. Matri rishta vivechanam. 9 to 20 Vivechanam of all the twelve Bhavas 21, Rajayoga vivechanam.
The present availability of the book is not known.
Dr. David Pingree’s work goes by the name of ‘Census of the exactsciences in Sanskrit’ and is available in Google books.
Almost all the old Sanskrit and Prakrit manuscripts are available in Wellcome Library in London.
In this connection it is quite interesting to know the characteristics prescribed for a genuine astrologer. One wonders how much knowledge one has to acquire to become a genuine astrologer to be able to acquire and enjoy reputation and fame.
While Varahamihira points out in the second chapter of his Brihatsamhita that a genuine astrologer must be of noble birth and have good characteristic features, etc., Mitramisra in Lakshanaprakasa section of his Viramitrodaya prescribes the following qualifications for a genuine astrologer. An astrologer must possess dharmic qualities of control over the senses, proficiency in the Vedas and Vedangas and also a perfect knowledge of the three branches of Jyotisha – Hora, Ganita and Samhita, the twelve asramas representing the 12 zodiacal signs and knowledge about the 64 accessory materials.
The last mentioned has been divided into two groups – major and minor consisting of 24 and 40 subjects respectively some of which I point out now.
The group known as the major includes proficiency in fixing tithi (lunar day), nakshatra (star), karana (11th part of a lunar day), and muhurta (duration of 48 minutes), proficiency in finding the nature of the stars ; proficiency in interpreting the auspicious omens (anga) ; knowledge of physiognomy for the sake of correct predictions of the future events ; proficiency in the science of building houses and the augury known through the crows ; a perfect knowledge about the special combination which would cause rain ; and knowledge about the different countries of the world and the nature of their people, etc.
The second group of accessory materials to be known by a genuine astrologer consists of the following – the knowledge of the beneficial effects of the rise of the planets, etc., as well as their evil effects ; the knowledge about the special combinations known as Bhaumadipanchaka ; the knowledge about the good and bad effects known from the colour, position and rise of the rays of the planets ; a complete knowledge about the special benefits that the planets would confer at specific periods ; the indications known from the colour of the fire at the time of the oblation made into the fire, the calamities indicated by the planets (mayurachitraka), the extent of the earth and the course of the planets and stars ; propitiatory rites for warding off evils ; the omina indicated by the sounds of animals ; one must also have the ability to predict after examining the earth the person has trodden and the dress worn by him ; the ability to indicate the advent of rains from the nature of the formation of the clouds ; and the indications of the appearance of the meteor and comets.
Besides the above, a genuine astrologer must also be good in mathematics related to astrology, have faith in the Divine Being and have good characteristic features.
Such an astrologer was honoured well in the society. The people considered such a person more respectable than their own parents or preceptors. From the foregoing we understand how much responsibility rests on the shoulders of the astrologers. Let this be an eye-opener for many astrologers who have made astrology as a lucrative profession.