A Study of Nadi Astrology
Nadi Astrology is an ancient Hindu method of delineation and a deep mystery needing extensive research. The holders of t...
The Truth about Nadi Astrology Are you aware that in some places in India, people have records of your past, present and future? You will, certainly, not believe in thinking so. But the fact is that everything about you (or some of you) was written centuries ago on palm leaves. The holders of these ‘destiny’ leaves take your thumb impression, go through several bundles of the leaves preserved by them, ask some questions about you and your past to ascertain the correct leaf. Then they proceed to make predictions about your past, present and the future. They would also ask to perform some rituals to ward off evil aspects or doshas. What is Nadi Astrology? Nadi Astrology is an ancient Hindu method of delineation. Nadi derived from the Sanskrit word ‘nad’ means a channel for flow. One meaning is equivalent to ‘nerve’. Naadi in Tamil means "in search of". In astrology, ‘nadi’ refers to 1/150th division of a zodiac sign of 30 degrees – also known as ‘nadi amsa’. There are different kinds of nadis viz., Bhrigu Nandi Nadi, Sukra Nadi, Siva Nadi, Agastiyar Nadi, Shani Nadi, Budha Nadi, Guru Nadi, Ganesha Nadi, Kumara Nadi, Kamakshi Nadi, Jeeva Nadi, Saptarishi Nadi etc. The Nadi Amsas The basic concept of Nadi Astrology is that there are 150 Nādis (and then each part is assigned a purva and uttara bhaga for an actual total of 300 divisions) in a sign or Rāshi, one sign is 30 degrees of zodiac. Thus, each division is only 6 minutes of arc in length! This is very minute considering that each degree of the ascendent takes an average of 4 minutes of time. Thus 1 amsa would pass in 24 seconds (1 vighati). This is very precise calculation. The lagna and all the planets are placed in the Nadi Amsas and readings are given. Twelve signs of zodiac grouped into three categories: Movable (Chara), Fixed (Sthira) and Dual (Dvisvabhāva) signs. Movable signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. Fixed signs are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. The rest i.e., Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces are dual signs. Nomenclature of 150 Nādis is peculiar to each of these three types of signs. There are 1800 Nādis in 360 degrees. Numbers and names of Nādis are identical among all four Chara signs. Among all four Sthira signs, Numbers and names of Nādis are identical, but numbering is different from those in Chara and Dvisvabhāva signs. Similarly, numbering of Nādis in all four Dvisvabhāva signs is identical among themselves, but different from Chara or Sthira signs. For instance, the first Nādi in Chara signs such as Aries is Vasudhā Nādi, but in Sthira sings the order is reversed and Vasudhā is 150th Nādi. In Dvisvabhāva signs such as Gemini,
Vasudhā is 76th Nādi; that is, from the middle of 150. Thus, there are 450 distinctive names and numbers in full zodiac. Nādi texts use this concept of Nādi as the basic unit for prediction. Again there are two views on the extent of each nadi amsa – equal and unequal. In the equal nadi amsa system, each amsa equals 12 minutes (arc) while in the unequal nadi amsa system, it varies from a minimum of 1.67 minutes to a maximum of 30 minutes. According to Dr. B. V. Raman, “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. “ Origins It is believed that the ancient sages of India called the ‘Saptarishis’ or the seven ascetics - Atri, Bharadwaja, Gautama, Jamadagni, Kashyapa, Vasishtha and Vishwamitra (according to Shatapatha Brahmana and Brihadaranyaka Upanishad) – had predicted the past, present and the future of individuals, some 2000 years ago. There are disputes too about who are known as the ‘Saptarishis’. The veracity of this claim and the historical timeframe has not yet been established conclusively. It is understood from various investigations carried out by some astrologers (including western) that the predictions were written in an ancient Tamil script called ‘Vattelettu’ on palm leaves. These leaves were said to be preserved in Thanjavur's Saraswati Mahal Library in Tamil Nadu. These leaves are said to have been auctioned by the British during their colonial rule in India. Some of the astrologers or their families Vaitheeswaran temple had purchased these leaves. Around 1300 AD, some people found these leaves in the Vaitheeswaran temple and realising their immense worth made duplicate copies and passed them on to their subsequent generations. These so-called nadi astrologers earn their livelihood by reading from the palm leaves when customers seeking answers to their problems or questions visit them.
Says Sepharial, the famous English astrologer: "In India this particular line of research has long since been carried out to a condition bordering on perfection. It is to be found embodied in the famous Nadi Granthas such as Sukra Nadi and others of equal repute. In these Kadjans, which consist of original or copied writings executed on the palmyrah leaves by means of the stylus, the influence and nature of various degrees are given with great precision, separate phalam being given for every 10th part of the degree of six minutes of space measured on the ecliptic”. Procedure adopted by Nadi Astrologers P.V.R. Rayudu, in an article titled “Nadi Astrology – An Introduction” in "The Times of Astrology" Magazine, New Delhi, India (Jan 2000), describes the procedure followed by the nadi astrologer in this fashion – “The Nadi Astrologer is generally busy and one has to take an appointment with him a month before approximately. When you go there on the appointed day he checks his dairy and take the three impressions of the right thumb for males and the left thumb for females on a paper giving serial order number and ask you to wait till he calls you. Then he goes inside his library room where the palm leaves are kept which is not accessible to others. After an hour or so, sometimes quicker, he comes back with an old palm leaf bundle called index leaves. After making himself comfortable he carefully unwinds the long string which keeps the bundle in tact. He tells you to answer yes or no to his questions. With great devotion he takes the first palm leaf and starts reading on one side. The reading style is of funny accent in a poetic way, not understandable to even Tamilians. After reading one or two lines or even less sometimes he asks you some questions and you have to answer yes or no only. If you say 'No' he proceeds to the other side of leaf or next leaf and continues his questions. The questions are generally one or two at a time , such as whether our name is after some God /Goddess contains 3 or 4 or so letters or so, starts ends with a particular letter in a Varga (series) of the Hindu alphabets, Similarly about the names of parents and wife/husband whether anyone of them or both are alive or dead, number of elder and younger brothers and sisters, number of children number of uncles, type of profession, whether you are born in rainy season /summer etc. whether you are born in moveable /fixed/dual Moon and lagna rasis, whether you are born in a particular Moon Birth Star whether you are born in a particular day in a particular year whether your age is so and so etc. He says that h e does not know what questions to ask unless he scans the leaves and that is why they generally insist the concerned person or a person who knows every detail about the persons consulted, should be present to answer the questions correctly; otherwise they say the readings won't go wrong. They do not bother much of you cannot answer questions about birth date month age, Moon rasi and star, lagna and they seem to
bother more about matching of your name names of parents and wife/husband. If he gets 'No' answers to all the leaves of the first bundle which he goes back into his library and brings another bundle. This process continues for an hour or so generally covering generally up to bundles each consisting about 50 leaves or sometimes quickly even in the first bundle till he and your are satisfied and the answers to all the questions in a particular leaf are 'yes' only concerning names, parents, wife /husband, siblings, profession etc. “Then he goes inside and bring another particular bundle and reads in poetic style your actual birth date month land year the astrological birth chart with position of planets sometimes with lagna also exact names of yourself, parents, wife/ husband, co-born, education, profession and gist of future predictions in a broad way and this is called General Kandam (chapter) of first bhava. You can verify the chart given if you know your birth chart he writes the concerned verses from the leaf in a note book . Then he records the same in an audio tape with translation into common understandable Tamil or some other languages with the help of a translator if necessary. He generally charges a minimum of 400 rupees up to this General Kandam Then he asks you whether you want to more details about any particular aspect of your life such as marriage, profession, etc and if so he picks up corresponding bundle and charges a similar amount extra for each aspect which he calls it a separate kandam or chapter. Some chapters give details about previous birth, remedial measures etc. At the end he hands over the note book and audio tape to you with devotion and takes money generally at the place where the photos of Gods /Goddess are there.” Even if an exact chart with degrees of planets are given, can any astrologer predict the exact names of parents, co-born, spouse etc. unless he has some extraordinary psychic powers beyond any scientific explanation? This is one mystery which researchers try to discover. In olden days, newborns were named in India based on the letters prescribed for the Janma Tara (Birth Star) and its pada (quarter). Nowadays, we encounter modern names – almost unheard of earlier! However, the nadi astrologers tell the exact names not only of Hindus but to some extent of foreigners also! Researchers are clueless about the astrological principle that renders telling exact names, ruling out the remote possibility of detective work. Research in Nadi Astrology Several savants of astrology had made in depth studies in this regard. Since the palm leaves are in the possession of their caretakers, these are more or less secrets and beyond the reach of researchers. Firstly, one needs to understand the script (Vattelettu) in which it is written. Secondly, the owners of these leaves must be willing to share their possessions with outsiders. In the early 20th century, Bh.
Satyanarayana Rao had personally met some nadi astrologers to learn as well as test the accuracy of their predictions as mentioned in his ‘A Textbook of Scientific Astrology’. In 1957, K. V. Venkataramanan published an article titled ‘The Wonders of Nadi Astrology’ in The Astrological Magazine which was then edited by B. V. Raman, a world renowned Indian astrologer. He recounts his experience with a layman who was in possession of Bhrigu Samhita, an ancient text on nadi astrology. The predictions made by the text proved to be accurate. In later years, several researchers like B. V. Raman, B. G. Rao, Chandulal Patel etc. worked to evolve a rationale behind this subject. Chandra Kalā Nadi, also known as Deva Keralam, was published by Sagar Publications in 1992, edited and translated into English by R. Santhanam. It is a compilation of over 82 hundred verses by Achyut of Kerala but its original basis was Chandra Kalā Nādi. Deva Keralam preserves the gist of Nādi astrology. However, this text is at variance in its approach when compared with the other nādi astrology works. Dr. B. V. Raman, the doyen of astrology in modern India, is said to have obtained the original ‘Dhruva Nadi’ along with its code book. In the course of his lecture delivered at the Astrological Lodge, London on 25th September 1970, he stated: “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 subparts corresponding to the nine Navamsas or 1/9th divisions of a sign or into 12 subparts 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 Yoga khanda, Karma khanda and Shanti khanda. The yoga khanada 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 Karma khanda 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 Shanti Khanda 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 lawyer4. 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.”
In recent times, Shashikant Oak has done a great deal in bringing the Naadi palm leaf based astrological system into prominence. He has conducted original research in this field for well over 16 years. His research is presented in a detailed paper called 'Comparative Study: Nostradamus and Naadi Granthas.' Prof. Dinesh Chandra who has conducted 38 extensive studies in this subject throws light in a different aspect altogether in his “A Textbook of Nadi Astrology”. He propounds a method of "'Bhagyachakra" i.e., either a horoscope is locked or unlocked. He says, “Locked bhagya chakra means there are no planets in "moksha" rashis i.e., signs 4, 8, or in" artha" rashis 2, 6, 10 or in "kama" signs i.e., rashis Gemini, Libra and Aquarius (3, 7, l1) or similarly in~"dharma" signs /rashis 1, 5, 9 signs. Dharma means religion. Artha means monetary matters. Kama means every type of work and moksha means salvation or mukti. “As for example lf there are no planets in "dharma" rashis"4, 8, 12; means cancer, Scorpio and Pisces (means if are vacant) then it can be said that bhagya chakra is locked in north (as they all are northern signs).it very clearly means that there was nothing in the northern direction from the place of birth. In the language of a layman, there was an open plot or open land in the north side to the building of birth. The native will start work after opening the lock. Similarly big fortune will start only after the entry of Saturn in that vacant part. “Double locked bhagya chakras are also possible and several such cases are found. It means no planets in any two such parts narrated above (dharma, artha, karma, moksha group of signs/rashis). “ Investigations made by DelhiPlanet DelhiPlanet undertook research spread over six years on the truth of nadi astrology. They summarized their thorough investigation and two-fold experiment with the following findings
Nadi Astrology is not what it appears to be. Your future is not written on palm leaves by sages who died thousands of years ago. If these leaves were truly that old they should have withered away by now rendering the writing unreadable. Even the original Mona Lisa which is more than 500 years old has to go through extensive restoration and regular maintenance to maintain its appearance
All Nadi centers are located in houses which are old and primitive. The Nadi leaves are also stored in small rooms which are closely guarded. Such rooms however are not suited for storing leaves that are so old. Daily weather changes, insects, rodents etc can easily destroy these leaves
Nadi Astrology is some sort of a family enterprise which originated in the south of India. All the members of this fraternity are skilled at the art of determining your current state using your thumb print and thereafter predicting the future after making your birth-chart
The leaves simply act as an eye-wash. They are designed to help you buy into the story being told about your future being written on leaves. In actuality what they contain is a series of cues and questions that need to be asked, so that the person gives away everything there is to know themselves
All sessions end with a warning that your problems will get worse if you don’t go in for the remedies. This firmly establishes that Nadi Astrology is simply a means to create fear in the minds of people using less understood religious ideology, thereby funding the lives of the members who belong to the Nadi Astrology fraternity
Conclusions Based on a detailed study of the various ‘researches’ and ‘claims’, I feel there are some broad areas of commonality: 1. All nadi astrology researchers agree that there is indeed some curiosity in the entire affair. 2. There is no reference to the ascendant (the rising sign at birth) in nadi readings. In other words, time of birth is irrelevant. 3. Astrological predictions are based solely on Vaakya (mathematically calculated planetary motions) and not on Drik (astronomically determined motion or actual) method. 4. Saturn, Jupiter, Rahu (Dragon-Head or Caput) and Ketu (Dragon-Tail or Cauda) are only to be considered for delineations based on transits. The average periods of revolution (360 degrees of zodiac) of these planets and nodal points are 30 years, 12 years, 18 years and 18 years respectively. 5. Thumb impressions are a must for locating one’s horoscope. 6. Astrological predictions made by the nadi astrologers about one’s future are found to be rarely accurate. 7. Nadis may not be available for everybody. 8. All nadi astrologers suggest remedial measures in each and every case. There is, however, a difference of opinion on the issue of seeking of personal information from the individual by the nadi astrologer. While some (like Rayudu) state that it is surprising how the nadi astrologers can predict the name of the individual from the horoscope, there are some (like DelhiPlanet) who mention that
about 200 questions have to be answered in ‘yes’ or ‘no’ including the starting letter of the individual, of his / her parents, number of letters in the name etc. There are two possibilities for the correctness of the predictions of the past: 1. The nadi readings prepared by the great sages of yore could be the actual horoscopes of people then living in the era of the sages. Since the planetary positions would repeat at periodic intervals, the same horoscope and its results should follow periodically since the delineations are based on the horoscope. This opinion comes from Bh. Satyanarayana Rao in the preface to his ‘A Textbook of Scientific Astrology’. On the contrary, it could also mean that the nadi readings were theoretically worked out for 3600 nadi amsas. 2. There is a tradition in most parts of India (and probably in other countries too) of naming the grandson or granddaughter after the grandfather or grandmother or after gods and goddesses. So, ascertaining the names should not be a problem. However, the nadi astrologers have not been ‘tested’ with modern / fashionable names. One confusing aspect of the whole study is the fact that while the nadi astrologer does not want the time of birth, the nadi amsa is calculated very precisely. It is not known whether Dr. B. V. Raman completed his rendering of ‘Dhruva Nadi” into English before he left for heavenly abode since it is felt by several astrologers that he had dwelt in his articles only on a few portions of the text which had come under his possession. Another surprising element is the fact that the horoscope divisions as per Parashara (author of ‘Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra’) known as Shodasa Varga (sixteen divisions) when arranged in ascending order of their extent match up to 150 divisions. Is the nadi amsa, a summarised version of the Shodasa Varga? +MohannKrish FREE ASTROLOGY Note: This is an overall summary of my notes made during the course of understanding the vast subject of Nadi Astrology. The author does not lay any claim on originality nor to its comprehensiveness but at the same time salutes the savants of this subject who have poured out their wisdom for the benefit of students.