NADI ASTROLOGY AND ASTROLOGERS
Dr B.V. Raman, in his auto-biography has on occasion mentioned some of his encounters with Nadi Astrologers. Since his observations are quite informative we shall examine what he has to say-"Grandfather had given me an idea of Nadigranthas and how a Nadi astrologer living near his residence (in 1905 or so) in Linghi Chetty Street had earned a lot of money but had died in dire poverty! I was a bit anxious about Rajeswari's health [his wife] as she was in andvanced state of pregnancy.
Acarya took me to see two Nadi astrologers- -one I think was a Nadar on the Royapettah High Road , and the other, a Mudaliar at Egmore. Mudaliar's Nadi--Markandeya Nadi--impressed me. He took my Rasi chart and asked me to come the next day. It was said to be a dialogue in Tamil between sages Vasista and Viswamitra with Goddess Parvati as the moderator. Thiruvenkatacharya translated the reading. Of all the Nadis and Bhrgu Samhitas--more than 50--I have seen and examined so far, it is only the Markandeya Nadi that has proved to be fairly accurate. For the information of my esteemed readers I give below the Nadi reading:"
[The following reading given to Dr Raman is of the typical Nadi format, which is rather laconic and subject to sudden digressions. ]
"After describing the planetary positions, the Nadi proceeded thus:'Birth place is a city in Karnataka and birth in mother's place; house facing south; delivery attended by an old dark woman, another lady and a widow; native is eldest. Lord of ascendent Saturn in Venus sign aspected by Jupiter-fair complexion lean body, ordinary hieght, polite, modest, sympathetic, business-like, attentive, no kapatam, has good longevity, acquires wide knowledge and will become an impressive speaker. He will have frequent travels. Helpful, he will become happy and surpasses his grandfather. Because Mercury is lord of the 5th, he becomes a mathematician and acquires high qualifications in astrology. His father's case is different. The native is associated with his grandfather and will earn much reputation. The lord of the 2nd is strong aspecting the Moon and Saturn. He will have high education and become a Pandit. Danger in Saturn Dasa will be overcome and he will live up to Ketu Dasa.'
All of a sudden the tenth house was taken up by way of a dialogue between sages Vashishta and Visvamitra.
Visvamitra: The lord of the 10th is in the 7th with the lord of the 8th. The lord of the 7th is in the sign of the Moon and the Moon is in the 4th with the lord of the 1st, aspecting the 10th. Lord of the 2nd and 11th is in the 10th. Therefore he will have no fixed profession. He will do agricultural operations and he will get some profit from agriculture and printing. He will enter government service in education and banking line. He will face much opposition in business.
Vashishta: Lord of the 10th Mars and Mercury, lord of the 5th, and Venus lord of the 4th and 9th, well placed and Jupiter in the 10th aspected by the lord of the Lagna suggests much success in Sastras. He will become learned in Astrology and mathematics and will take to granfather's profession. He will study planets, become learned, helping mankind by knowing several Sastras. He will have a virtuous occupation. He will publish books, will own cash, will have a prosperous career and will become famous, will earn international reputation and will add to the family dignity. Saturn is strong. He will have many rivals but will always hold his own. Jupiter aspects Saturn. He will edit books and develope a profitable business. Jupiter Dasa will be good for business. He will break fresh grounds and will become an institution. In the latter half of Jupiter he will become widely respected. In Saturn Dasa he will lead an organization having many subordinates. He will secure a prominent place and uninterrupted prosperity. He will have vaksiddhi. He will not enter government service but will have association with kings. He will lead an independent life, brooking no subordination. Jupiter and Saturn are Yogakarakas
The reading ended abruptly. Most of the future predictions given in 1935 have turned out to be correct. I feel this is the only Nadi which has proved satisfactory. Acarya said that he was happy because the Nadi had predicted a bright future for me.
The next encounter was with the Nadar who claimed to be in possession of the Agastya Nadi. When Acharya introduced me to the Nadi owner he examined a few leaves and said that the direction in the Nadi was that we should come the next day. When we went there at the appointed time, the Nadi man examined my right thumb carefully and noted what he called an important line on it. On the basis of this line he read from the palm leaves the planetary positions at my birth giving the nakshatra and the tithi -->, I was born in. This performance of his in tracing my horoscope on the basis of a line on the thumb almost stunned me. When I asked the Nadar to explain the method which enable him to find out the chart, Acharya said in English, 'Don't ask him such questions. He will never give out the secret.'
The next morning when we went again to meet him he read out the first House giving out a general delineation. One of the specific predictions made was that within a week my wife would give birth to a son who would have madhyayu or medium life. The first part of the prediction was fulfilled as a son was born with 10 days.
The Nadi leaves mystified me. What exactly was the basis of this? How were they able to reveal the past events with such astounding accuracy? Why were they kept secret? These questions agitated me for a long time until in 1953, a Nadi--to be specific Guru Nadi--gave me the answer. I shall have much to say about Nadi granthas in due course."
Next, Dr. Raman briefly decribes his visit to a Bhrgu Sastri in Benares :
"...Srikanta Sastry led me to the astrologer's house in a by-lane in the old city. As we entered the house, the Samhita reader fairly advanced in age and supporting himself with a staff, greeted us with a smile and took us to a room stacked with soiled manuscripts arranged in a disorderly fashion. After preliminary enquiries and recording my birth details, the pandit asked me to meet him the next morning which we did. Unlike the majority of Nadi and Samhita readers he appeared to be learned. He took out a few notebooks from out of a bundle and slowly read what purported to be my chart. The reading was in simple Sanskrit, and the clarifications if any were provided by Sastry, who himself was a scholar in Sanskrit and knew astrology well. The readings began with obeisance to Ganesha, Siva, Visnu, the Sun and the Moon.
The reading was said to give the out losses and gains, happiness, sorrow, longevity, etc...
It began with the mentioning of my visit to the Samhita astrologer with Sasty and my unsuccessful handling of Acarya's horoscope [the beginning of the chapter describes how Dr Raman is embarrassed by his poor showing with Acarya's horoscope, the Acarya mentioned is different from previous Acarya] with the consoling remark that I had yet to master Jyotisha and gain divine grace. Then it said, giving the chart meaning the Sun is in Cancer, Lagna is in Aquarius and Jupiter is in Scorpio--what is the yoga and what are the results? A summary of the reading is herewith given for the information of the reader:
'He will become a sreshta. He will unravel the future of persons. He will go into the subtleties of the Sastra. He will become world famous by his writings and will be engaged in planetary calculations. He will be bold dignified and a man of character. He will be the author of many books. He is born in Bharat, in the south, having the name Venkata.' The Samhita went on: 'His mother died in the second year. His wife whose name commences with ra is born in Makara lagna. He will continue his studies till he is 23 years old. He will become famous by the art of grahagananas. Fortunes increases day by day when he will be 35, 38, 48 and 58. Because of past karmas, in the years 32, 34, 40 and 52 difficulties occur. There will be the loss of a relative and fear from illness. At 48 and again at 58 he will have foreign travel, respect, felicitation and he follows pure karma. The world acclaims as a pious soul.'
[The next part of the reading gives interesting information on Satyacarya a very famous astrologer who is revered by the likes of Varaha Mihira. There is very little known about Satyacarya so this helps to fill the lacuna. This part gives the clue of how to become a great astrologer, humility.]
He took out another leaf and read: "Satyacarya was a great pandit in astrology. He had studied everything that was available in astrology but still he felt he was lacking something. He did penance for twelve years. Lord Siva appeared and wanted Satya to ask for a boon. Satyacharya explained that though he knew astrology, he felt he was defficient in something. Granting a boon Lord Siva said, 'Hither to you were a Jyotishi (astrologer) but from now on you will be a Daivajna (knower of the unknown).' Immediately Satyacarya had a vision of all future births and patterns of planetary combinations and he compiled his famous Satya Samhita. This young man will also become a Daivajna. Let him practice humility." It indeed was an eye opener to me that knowledge and humility must go together.
[Lord Krsna defines the neccessary components of knowledge in Gita 13.8-12, of which the first two are 'Humility and pridelessness, ...' something we could all cultivate more of.]
The sun was about to set when the pandit abruptly stopped reading further. He wanted us to meet him the next morning.
I was curious to know the basis of the Samhita reading rather than get a reading myself. To the several questions put to the pandit about Samhitas, he said: "These ancient Samhitas were written by sages thousands of years ago." Stopping him abruptly I remarked:"The Samhita in your hands appears to have been written on some sort of parchment-like paper. How come you claim for it an age of thousands of years?" He calmly answered. "The originals were written probably about 2,000 years ago. They were copied from time to time by a select band of disciples who knew the secrets of Samhitas. The one in my possession could be about 300 years old." I examined the leaves carefully and thought that they could not be earlier than 100 years. But the grantha characters could not be deciphered by me. He took us to another room where a number of old notebooks, said to be different samhitas, had been kept in a ramshakle wooden cabinet.
Thanking him for the reading, we took leave of the Pandit. Of course we could not meet him again as I had to leave for Calcutta the next night.
The forcasts, which ended abruptly, did not say anything about longevity, children etc. But whatever it said about the future, including the name and Lagna of my wife, could be considered to be fairly accurate differing by a year or two in the matter of foreign travel, etc ,Next in chapter 25 Dr. Raman briefly mentions that he was introduced by a distant relative to one Srinivasacarya, the possessor of the Budha Nadi. He said,"I had a number of meetings with him. Srinivasacarya claimed infallibility for his Nadi but I had reservations. Budha Nadi had a peculiar method of interpretation. "
He continues this discussion of the Budha Nadi in chapter 27.
"Nadi astrology is a unique system of horoscopic interpretation but most Nadigranthas available on the market are unreliable so far as the future predictions are concerned. The basis of Nadi astrology was revealed to me by a Nadi itself in 1952-53 and I shall elaborate on this at the appropiate time.
Some of the Nadis are too vague. Under cover of astrology they claim to deal with the future while in reality no astrological discussion is found. The emphasis is more on past births which can not be verified. [Note--As a rule of thumb any astrologer (or pyschic etc.) who dwells a lot on past lives should be avoided. The reason being that they probably know little of astrology and focus on something that cannot be verified thus hiding their ignorance.] The same individual gets different details from different Nadis, so that at best they could be treated as of only academic interest. To enable my readers to have an idea of the approach of the various Nadis, I have no option but to refer to the delineations given by them in respect to my own horoscope.
According to its owner Srinivasachari, the approach of the Budha Nadi which is the subject matter of this chapter, has a distinctiveness of its own. My contact with him continued till about 1958-59 when he was leading a miserable life in a choultry at Mysore . When I first met him in 1936, he was overbearing and dismissed me as of no consequence. He even refused to tell me anything about my horoscope. But life's experiences, pleasant and unpleasant have their own lessons to teach. If an arrogant person in dizzy heights is thrown into the abyss he may realize the transitory nature of name, fame, position, wealth and influence and understand that widom consists in developing from the beginning humility, love ...By 1958, Srinivasachari had become completely mellowed and he was the personification of humility, friendliness and helpful attitude.
From the series of meetings I had with him from 1936 onwards I gathered the following information about Nadis. Nadi astrologers in general are in distress mentally and financially in the closing periods of their lives. One should never own a Nadi as it would only spell disaster for him and his family. He never revealed why he came to such a conclusion. He had married three times. Excepting the last wife with whom he was then living, the first two had died under tragic circumstances. He felt that many of the popular Nadis were based on kshudra mantras [This means a system of propitiating lower base entities. These entities are much below the level of devatas, it is basically what we would call black magic.] and unless the ordained practices were correctly followed the guiding spirit would curse the possessor of the Nadi! He cited the example of an astrologer named Narayana Sastry who hailed from Chikmagalur. Sastry was rigorously practicing a certain kshudra mantra to get 'control' over the deity associated with Sani [Saturn]. If he had succeeded in this, he would have been able to correctly say the past and foretell the future accurately upto one year from the date of consultation, just on the basis of a Rasi chart. In the last stage of his penance, when Sastry was reciting the mantra, standing knee-deep in the village tank, he saw a beutiful young woman who came to wash her clothes there. Her charming looks disturbed him and his attention was so diverted that he could no longer concentrate on the image of the deity in his mind. Soon after Sastry lost his power of speech and the use of a leg due to paralysis, although he had never obtained the boon of prophecy for which had worked so hard.
Of course, I cannot vouchsafe for the authenticity of this story, but could not also disbelieve Srinivasachari who in the last years of his life would not lie. He was of the firm opinion that the propitiated [kshudra] devata controlling the Nadi would do harm to the reader.
[*********** ********* *****In 1982 I met Srinivasachari' s disciple R.G. Rao....]
[Following this Dr Raman describes a typical Nadi reading but this time from the Budha Nadi, since the introductory format is similar to others I will skip it and go to more interesting parts. Some of which will be incomprehensible unless you are a more advance student of astrology but I will include it for the sake of completion. I shall paraphrase to reduce the volume of material.]
The Nadi said:" the horosope has Sannyasa Yoga because the lord of lagna and 12th, i.e. Saturn is in nichamsa [debilitated navamsa!]. This is due to a sapa (curse) in the family for the last 17 generations. The curse will disappear at age 47." The reason for the curse is as follows. Seventeen generation ago while a young student of his guru the native accidently injured the head of the guru's wife causing her great pain. Even though the wife interceded on behalf of the student still the guru cursed him.
I found that the deliniation was marked by several contradictions. My lagna was given an Purvabhadra 2 and the Navamsa lagna as Kumbha, a mathematical absurdity. When I question this contradiction the reader picked up another leaf and exclaimed: "These calculations are according to Agastya. However, the exact pada of the lagna 'as revised' is Satabhisa 3."
In a desultory mood the Nadi then went on a different tangent by saying " that this grantha was written 2400 years ago by a disciple of Agastya, 48th in succession, on the basis of Tattvasastra. The total number of tatvas is 108. The 46th refers to rasayana sastra (chemisty?) and the 96th to Vedanta. Budha Nadi authors knew all the tattvas while Varahamihira wrote his book without a knowledge of the Tattvas. In Bhrgu Samhita 2646 horoscopes are given with permutations and cominations. In Budha Nadi for each Rasi 1800 horoscopes are given. [For a total of 21,600 charts.]
Then the Nadi made more remarks that were even less relevant. "Kaliyuga 5001 corresponds to Sarvari--actually this will be Vikari, 1899 AD--saw a dispute among the Saurastrian Brahmins. They divided themselves into three sects and the reader of this Nadi belongs to one such sect. Saurastra belongs to Cancer."
The Nadi continued: "The native in his previous lives completed study of the 96 Tatva--Vedanta. When he was studying the 45th there was obstruction. In his past life he was taught only the 48th and not 46th and 47th because of his birth in an apasavya star, Mrgasira 1. When the 48th was about to be taught the native died by snake bite. Because the serpent (Rahu) is in Guru's house (in his chart), Agastya could not save him." These details were all in Tamil poetry, sonorous to listen to but sometimes contradictory and not bearing on the horoscope.
[Now begins the reading. This will be over the heads of beginners but I have included it for the sake of completeness and also to give the flavor of how a Nadi reading actually goes. They are not perfect and mistakes are noted. They also give some interesting rules for more advanced astrologers. ]
Now begins what purports to be the reading. The Nadi fixed the time of my birth as 34 ghatis, 1 vighati....Accordin g to this 'Nadi' "as Mercury is in the 6th--Mercury is actually in the 7th [Dr Raman is pointing out the mistake of the Nadi regarding his chart]--longevity stops with Mercury lord of the 8th. His longevity will be 74 years 7 months and 16.5 days." According to this Nadi I should have died by March 24, 1977. [As of this writing, March 20, 1994 Dr Raman is still alive and well.]
"In Navamsa Mars aspects the 4th, 2nd, and 3rd and is in the 8th. Therefore the native didn't die in Mars Dasa." [I have always maintained that aspects are applicable in Varga charts while some of my esteemed collegues like Santanam disagree. Here we see that the Nadi says to consider aspects in Navamsa!]
"Jupiter lord of the 2nd and 11th is in the 10th and aspects the 2nd. If he is in the first Amsa, his mother becomes a widow. The lagna is in the 95th pada." At this stage Goddess Parvati is said to intercede and say: "Then we should take Mrgasira 1. This is the 17th pada. The 63rd from this is Kalagnana. If there were planet in Kalagnana he would have died after marriage. As the lords of the 12th and the 6th are in one sign, the former behind the latter and as there is no mutual aspect between them in the Navamsa, the native has purnayus or full term of life. The Nadi suggests a planet in the 84 pada from Saturn's position and the 97th pada from the Moon gives Balarishta. [We should explain that Pada is equal to a quarter nakshatra which in turn is equal to one navamsa. There are 27 nakshatras so 27 X 4 = 108 padas, this is the same as 12 signs X 9 navamsas = 108 amsas. Balarishta means death in childhood.] "Venus is lord of the 4th he is in Makha 3, i.e., the 39th pada. The 83rd from this is Vainasika. Saturn is in Rohini 1. When Saturn enters Rohini 2, the mother dies. The natives point of death (Ayus) is in Hasta 2. When Maraka [death inflicting] planets trasit this point the person dies."
Then there are several statements followed by a reference to grandfather' s death. [Dr. Raman's grand father B. Suryanarian Rao was a great astrologer and teacher to Dr Raman.] "When Saturn enters Uttarabhadra 4, grandfather dies on a Friday. Before the native completes Jupiter-Jupiter period every property will have been lost and the grandfather will not have a single penny to give. The native will have all his children born to him before he is 42 years of age."
The mode of directions employed appears to be based on the transit of major planets in certain padas as reckoned from the padas in which the lagna and the planets are situated...
[The text then proceeds with further reading about family using more prosiac principles of astrology. Dr Raman now observes:]
The general description of the future year-wise was vague and has not proved quite correct. But the delineation about the birth of children up to the time of consultation was fairly accurate. There was again a jump giving some information not bearing on the chart. The Nadi explains: "There are 84 Rishis. The 6th is Kasyapa. The 72nd is Agastya. He has 48 pupils. The last one is named Shesagireesa is the compiler of the Budha Nadi. He has made a thorough study of Tatwa sutras."...
[The Nadi continued to go on and speak about his future fame, travels, lectures and his destination after death (Rishimandala- -abode of the sages). The Nadi also spoke about his family life, wife, and children. His concluding remark about the reading from Budha Nadi was.]
"Upto this point [in the delineation of the wifes chart], the delineation is fairly accurate. Then there is a reference to the children's prospects, etc. But they are all off the mark and are not relavent."
Later in the book Dr Raman discusses his meeting with V.S.N. Sastry an astropalmist from Rajahmundry who claimed to have a Bhrgu Nadi. Here Dr Raman makes an interesting observation about himself.
"My interest in the Nadi's continued unabated until the sixties, when I decided not to waste time or money on hunting after the Nadis."
However at this time his interest was not yet satiated so Dr Raman had a reading and he gives us a sample of what it is like. I shall not reproduce it as it is similar to others in style though with out jumping here and there as did Budha Nadi and others. He notes that this Nadi has also failed in predicting his death as he is still alive today well after the period of predicted death. He concludes by saying: "The Bhrgu Nadi, inspite of...can be considered in accuracy next to the Markandeya Nadi about which I have previously written."
In the pages of Astrological Magazine from Bangalore , edited by B.V. Raman, there are monthly discussion on various astrological topics. The subject of Nadi astrology will occasionally come up. Here are few insights on Nadis from the AM.
"It is a well known fact in Astrology that the old palm leaf bundles going by the name of Nadi Granthas expound even minute details like a person's name, parent's name,...In this type of delineation, Nadi Granthas follow a unique predictive system of their own, not to be found in the traditional and scientific system of astrology.
This has led some to speculation amongst astrologers that the Nadis are based on the works of some spirits or Ksudra Devetas which, by some unknown technique, read the thoughts or minds of the native, where the past and present upto the moment of consultation have been already recorded and they pass it on by communication to the Nadi astrologer. Further wieght is added to this theory by the fact that the future predictions in Nadis rarely prove successful and these speculators argue that since the future is unknown even to the native, this happens so. [Sic, the spirit thus can't read his future.] These Nadis and Samhitas have a charm and fascination over people. But a lot of information on the techniques of prediction can be had from a study of some of the readings given in them..."
It seems that N. Sundara Rajan doesn't believe in the 'speculations' about the Nadis as being very convincing other wise he would not be interested in astrological information gleaned from them. My own teacher Sashi Kanta Jain and his sons, were also accused of having a karna pisacha an evil spirit who would whisper the secrets into their ears about the past, present and future of an individual. The reason being that Sashi Kant Jain had an astounding reputation as an astrologer, even able to know in advance what the client would ask, and then answer the question before the question was asked. Ignorant people, not knowing the principles of astrology might think it was due to black magic simply because they were unable to conceive of how he could know such things.
This of course doesn't mean that there aren't persons who use ksudra devetas to read minds or know the future. There are as we have seen from B.V. Raman's testimony.
Next V.A.K Ayer, a noted scholar, points a few of the astrological foundations of the Nadis.
"Let us be clear in our premise. What we call Nadi literature for this inquiry are those written in Sanskrit, e.g., Dhruva Nadi, Canda Kala Nadi and Bhrgu Nadi. [He doesn't include Nadis in other languages such as Tamil.]
...the word Nadi appears to be used in the sense of a small unit of time or its corresponding arc of the zodiac, which, however, varies in its measure with different schools and among the Nadi-amsas in one school itself in some cases.
Secondly the prefixes in the names of the schools or systems appear to give a clue to the parameters employed for predictive purposes as will be presently demonstrated. The word Candra Kala for instance is a samgnya for 16; so is Dhruva, a synonym for 5, as it means Siva, Brahma, etc. It has been found that the Candra Kala Nadi uses the Parasarian shodasa (16) vargas and the Dhruva Nadi only uses five planetary vargas [of the 16] for their parameters.. .
The first impression one gets [of the Dhruva Nadi] on its perusal is that (i) its treatment is thoroughly scientific; (ii)systematic and (iii) based on well understood principles of astrology. Some of its basic tenets are often repeated in the text readings. Here they are:
'Lagna is three-fold:first, based on conception; second, emergence of the head and third, the body touching the earth. All three should be taken into account for prediction.'
[The first is called pre-natal epoch. This is only possible to know in a society where sexual practices are seen as sacred and thus regulated by purificatory rites such as the garbhodhana samskara. In this age of licentious, sensuality and instant gratification it would be the rare person who could determine which sexual act would be responsible for the conception of a child. What to speak of know the eact time of conception or in actual terms the depositing of the sperm by ejaculation into the womb. Because of these difficulties prenatal epoch is not done. Though it is easy to calculate when the head first emerges, still for all practical purposes it is the third criterion bhupatana touching the earth, i.e. seperation from the mothers body, which is taken as the time of birth by almost all astrologers. ]
'One should predict the future according to Vasishta (Samhita); the past by Gargya and the present by Jaimini.'
Dhruva Nadi makes good use of planetary Samayas too for prediction; Samayas, as is well-known, differ in different systems. It is not yet determined what school it belongs to.
[Samayas-also called Samanyas in my astrology program-are a method of determining the mood of the planets by taking into account which nakshatra a planet is in, counting it from lagna etc. There are various formulas to calculate this. These will be explained JYO201.]
'One suffers physical and mental discomfort when Saturn transits the longitudes of the lords of the 6th, the 8th and the 12th, and he afflicts those Bhavas that he tenants and aspects.' [By longitude is meant exact degree within a certain orb. Transits as an analytical method will be covered in JYO301.]...
HOW THE NADI AMSA IS CHOSEN IN DHRUVA NADI
Having thus had a quick glance at some of the basic principles of prediction in this Nadi, we shall examine the parameters employed in the choice of the Nadi-amsas. Fortunately Vasishtha invariably defines each Nadi-amsa in the the body of the prediction. Let us take some examples: Says he of Kusumamsa in Aries Lagna:
Kusumamsa falls in Aries Rasi, Sun's Hora, Leo Drekkana, Cancer Navamsa and Jupiter Trimsamsa. --> Degree wise they are respectively [in the sign of Aries] 0o to 30o; 0o to 15o; 10o to 20o; 10o to 13o 20' and 10o to 18o. The common factor among them is 10o to 13o 20'. This then is the range of Kusumamsa Nadi and five vargas are employed. While predicting, this Nadi-amsa is considered in two halves, the first and second, where horoscopes with different planetary configurations are delineated.
In a similar way the Candra Kali Nadi chooses its Nadi except that instead of using only five vargas it employs all sixteen of the shodasavargas. By such method a total of 150 Nadi-amasas are found in Candra Kala Nadi, each of them with its own name. [All of which are different synonyms of Durga.]
These Nadi-amsas are counted in the given order in movable signs; in reverse order in the fixed signs signs and from the 76th onward in the dual signs.
The first Nadi-amsa is called Vasudhamsa 0o to 0o 12'; Vaishnavi from 0o 12' to 0o 24', etc.
In Candra Kala Nadi too each Nadi-amsa is divided in two halves and different horoscopes with different planetary configurations are delineated.. .In nomenclature the names of the Nadi-amsas in Druva Nadi have a flavour of the Parasariyan genre whereas in Candra Kala Nadi they are typically Keraliyan as can be seen from paralle works like Skanda Sarirekha where similar names are given to rekhas (lines) all over the body..."
In this article just cited Sri Ayer has unearthed some valuable clues about the Nadi system. As can be seen the Nadis, even though having been extant for thousands of years, a still posing a serious puzzle to the astrological community. A lot of interest has been generated of late in these texts and recently R. Sathanam has published a translation of Candra Kala Nadi in three volumes.
Before leaving the Nadis I want to introduce a little controversy concerning Bhrghu Samita Panditas of Hoshiarpur. The following is a article by Surinder Awasti of The Times of India News Service. It appeared on January 13, 1994.
ASTROLOGY MAKES THEIR FORTUNE.
About half a dozen families here are making a fortune out of fortune telling. Their only asset is that they possess the mythical Bhrgu Samhita which is said to be a compilation of all possible human horoscopes, including those of people yet to be born.
The soiled pages of the Samhita are siad to reveal the name, parentage, and the number of siblings-as wells as their names in past and future lives. Remedial measure are also suggested to forestall misfortunes and calamities.
Apparently, there is no shortage of clients, but these families are engaged in feud, each claiming to have the more authentic version of the Samhita.
One clan comprises two grandsons--Mr. Ratish Kumar and Mr. Ram Kumar--and two daughters-in- law Mrs Sneh(a) Amritan and Mrs Satish Janardan--of the late Pandit Des raj, a Sanskrit scholar. He reportedly found some leaves of the manuscript with a raddiwala (?) in Jhelum district, now in Pakistan . Aware of its immense value, he purchased the entire manuscript, weighing over 40 maunds (about 1600 kg).
The other clan, comprising Mr. Ved Praksh and three related families, dismiss this story. They say the manuscript on bhuj patra was located in Nepal during the reign of Akbar. About 100 Sanskrit scholars were then sent to copy the Samhita. Over a period, the leaves of the precious almanac were divided among the hiers, passing on to the present generation.
NOT ANCIENT: The unsubtantiated story explains why the manuscript is in different handwritings and the paper is only a few hundred years old. According to legend, the sage Bhrigu compiled it 5,000 years ago. Mr. Ved Prakash says his ancestors had handed over the useless portions of the manuscript to Pt. Des Raj.
He explained how a portion of the Samhita became unusable. According to myth, Bhrgu had misbehaved with Visnu inviting a curse from the goddess Laxmi that his voluminous Samhita would lose its mystical value. But later, Visnu overturned the curse and assured the sage that his writings henceforth would be unaffected.
But Bhrgu's work before and after the curse got mixed up. Mr. Ved Prakash says his ancestors identified some of the doubtful portions and passed it on. The myth of the curse is also useful to pacify clients who complain that the predictions are not true.
Asked who their clients are the stock-reply is, "Who's not?" The list comprises national leaders, including Indira Gandhi, Charan Singh, S.K. Patil and Mr Zail Singh, film stars such as Hema Malini and Dharmendra, Sanjay Dutt and Mithun Chakravorty; or singer Mehandi Hassan of Pakistan or author Amrita Pritam of Punjab. The soothsayers say that Bhindranwale and some terrorists, too, had sought readings from them.
Scholars, of course, contest the claims of the astrologers. Dr. Jai Narain Sharma, a professor of Vedic studies at Punjab University , says family details are obtained from either the client or another source. The secret of their success is that they have a huge collection of horoscopes based on different celestial configurations.
NEXT VISIT: Dr Sharma says that a client is not given a reading on his first visit. Before his next appointment they try and locate a horoscope from their collections most in keeping with what is known. If something suitable is not available, the plea taken is that less than 20% of the entire volume is now extant. And if the predictions are wrong there are always the "apocryphal portions," says Dr. Sharma.
Dr Sharma also says that scholars have not been permitted to examine the the manuscript. Only family members can have access. The girls employed to trace the horoscopes only handle the index, says Mr Ram Kumar. He refused to show this correspondent the entire 40-maund or even its picture. All he displayed were some pages in polythene envelopes.
But there is no gainsaying that these families have flourished. "We earn a lot, though the monthly amount varies," says Mrs Janardan. This is true of all the soothsayers and their palatial houses confirm it.
There is only one practicing astrologer in each family, while the rest add to the family fortunes in other ways. One couple resides in the U.S. where they own a department store.
This article certainly hints that these 'astrologers' have an unsavory air about them brought on by greed and cheating. The correspondent is no doubt a skeptic but he seems to be forced to tone down his skepticism because of the fact that the Bhrgu Samhita is very popular with competent people in positions of power. Still it is a warning to astrologers not to be driven by greed--one of the three paths to hell, along with lust and anger.