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Essential of Horary Astrology or Prasnapadavi
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About the Book

This book provides an insight into the importance of astrology viz., natal, electional and horary, as well as deals with other dimensions of this science such as spirituality, spiritualism, Ayurveda, transmigration of souls, thought-reading, dreams, temple and its rituals and effects of particular sins.

The work presents new theories and methods of determining success and defeat in contests and wars with the help of illustrative charts. It urges readers to avoid fatalism commonly associated with predictions and explains how one could solve riddles in life and tide over the pessimistic attitude and related psychological problems. The author has thrown fresh light Oil some questions like the name of the author of Prasnamarga, line of succession of his pupils, and the authorship of the Dasadhyayi. The most significant contribution of this work is the clear exposition of the rules of Astamangala and Devaprasna, in addition to Candragupti (water-divination), martial problems, Coragrahas, Necromancy, special importance of Mandi and Dasa of its star, Kalacakradasa, etc.

About the Author

Professor M.R. Bhat was a well-known Sanskrit scholar, teacher, poet and astrologer, who retired in 1974 as the Head of Sanskrit Department of Hindu College, Delhi University. Prof. Bhat edited with translation classical works like the Brhat Samhita of Varahamihira (2 Vols),Horasarah of Prthuyasas, Prasnajnanam of Bhattotpala. Author of Fundamentals of Astrology Prof. Bhat had revised the translation of Uttarakalamrtam and Phaladipika.

In recognition of his erudition and devotion to oriental learning and culture Prof. Bhat was conferred the titles Vidyabhaskara, Vidyasagara and Kavitacatura. Prof. Bhat died in 1990.

Preface

Boundless and spontaneous indeed is the grace of the Supreme Lord Sri Siddhi-Vinayaka that has provided me, the humblest devotee of His, with inspiration to write this book on Horary Astrology. I am quite aware of my severe limitations to write a book of such magnitude and reputation as this at the fag end of my life. I, therefore, consider this as an opportunity granted to me by the Lord to serve the cause of astrology which reveals the subtle laws or powers of the Almighty in the form of the divine planets appointed to administer justice and bestow the fruits of Karma (action) on all beings living on this earth.

I have been consistently maintaining that the purpose of astrology is to wean humanity away from the path of adharma (evil deeds) resulting in misery and destruction, and to lead them towards the path of light and glorious life. The reader, I am sure, will find in this work enough opportunity to remind himself of the fact that he is suffering in his present existence, which is a continuation of the soul's journey (sojourn) towards the abode of perfection or self-realization, as a result of his own past misdeeds or sins, and that he can improve his lot and get over his infirmities by taking appropriate remedial measures through mind, word and deed. Ultimately, as Swami Vivekananda has declared, it would dawn on men that there is divinity in everyone of them and it is their bounden duty to draw out that divinity and manifest it in all their thoughts, words and deeds.

I have tried to answer in this work the question regarding the relevance of this horary branch of astrology, which has been developed into a reputed branch of predictive astrology in Kerala, where there are some renowned families that practise this science with uncanny powers of foretelling, giving, especially the Astamangala Prasna system which has attained unusual celebrity and acceptance in the West Coast of India. Sessions of this type of horary astrology are largely resorted to in cases of temple construction or renovation, calamities in a family or village etc. The Prasna-Sastra (Query Science) is made use of in cases of theft, missing persons, lost horoscopes, serious diseases, suspected divine displeasure, black magic etc. It is also found useful in the case of Musti-prasna (query about what is held in the closed fist). In fact, the work Krsniya of Krsnacarya, which is also called Horasastra, is otherwise known as Cintajnanam, meaning, Knowledge of what is in the querist's mind, "Science of Thought-reading". While admitting the prevalence of horary astrology in all parts of our ancient land right from Vedic times and that of Varahamihira, his famous commentator and others, I should like to mention some of the special features of this Kerala system: (1) Astamangalaprasna; (2) Devaprasna; (3) Karmavipak a (ripening of past deeds); (4) Vi/hi, and Chatra Rasi; (5) Bhatodaya (rise of elements); (6) Duration of Yama (watch); (7) Lordship of aster isms as per the Vimsottaridasa system; (8) Tastes allotted to planets in different contexts e.g. Venus rules over sweet, the Sun over salt and astringent, at a query about food eaten; (9) Letters of the alphabet are assigned to the elements; (10) Cora (thief) Grahas, (11) Vittaya, Tirtha etc. in A.V.; (12) Candragupti chart for water-divination; (13) All planets exercise all the four types of aspect; (14) Significators of relatives, e.g. Mars stands for paternal cousin, Saturn for paternal uncle, Jupiter for maternal uncle; (15) Time represented by fixed, movable and dual signs as years, days and months respectively; (16) Krsniya makes Mars a friend of Venus; (17) Badhasthanas (Houses of affliction); (18) Jupiter's number is 3, and the Moon's 7 as in modern numerology; (19) Mandi's greatest importance among minor planets; (20) Analysis of the nature of Pretas (Discarnate spirits); (21) 8lJiinubandha (Antenatal bonds) between bride and groom; (22) Navamsa calculation of the Arudha; (23) The Sutras such as Samanya and Adhipa; (24) Yama Sukra; (25) Abhilasa Sphu]a of the Moon; (26) Mandi's Caturvarga; (27) Nava-Navamsa and Navamia-Dvadasamsa; (28) Kala-Cakra-Dasa; (29) High and Low Tide signs; (30) Pramana-Gulika; (31) Suryakalagni -Cakra; (32) Thief's movements from village to forest etc; (33) Many alternatives for arriving at the querist's natal Star; and (34) Dasii based on Mandi's Star. Another feature of this science is that the authors clinch an issue by means of many an argument and example.

I have drawn materials for this work from the Prasnamarga (P.M), Krsniya Hora, Prasnajnana, Satpancasika, Varahamihira’s Hora- Sastra and Brhat Samhita, Jatakaparijata, Nastaprasna- Dipika, Virosimhavaloka, Jatakadesamarga, Narapatijayacarya, Dasadhyayi (Nauka) on the Brhad-Jataka, Vidyamadhaviya, Saravali, Caraka, Susrata etc.

The illustrious author of the renowned Prasna-Marga nowhere mentions explicitly his own name and date of composition of the work. However the tradition among the long line of the Kerala-astrologers is that he lived around Kollam year 825 (1649 A.D.) in a village named Edakkad between Tellicherry and Cannanore. There is a Visnu Temple about 2 km. to the north of the Edakkad railway station. It is the deity of this temple that is invoked by the author. Mr. Krishnalayam Govindan Palluruthy (Kerala), Commentator of the P. M. in Malayalam, has come to the foregoing conclusion after studying and examining the traditions and as a result of the 'On the Spot' enquiries.• He adds that the author was a Nambudiri Brahmin, whose mother's name was Sri and father's Mahadevan. This work was the result of his teaching (upadesa) the subject to his disciples that was written at their request. It is possible that this Nambudiri Brahmin was the Chief Priest or Tantrin at the Visnu Temple (Italics mine). Sri Govindan alludes in this connection to the opinions of the "Kerala Sahitya-Caritam" by Mahakavi V.S.P. Iyer and another work of the same title by Raja Raja Varma, as well as "Sarvavijnanakosam"; Visvavijnanakosam" etc. It is understood that the author's house of birth was known as Panakkad Illam, which is no longer in existence for want of descendants of the family. This IIlam (brahmin house) was close to the temple. The author's life-period was between 800 and 870 of the Kollam era (1624 and 1694 A.D.). In this connection I wish to express my humble opinion before the great astrological luminaries of Kerala and elsewhere in respect of the author's name, which was one of the synonyms of the name of the "Spouse of the Daughter of the Milky Ocean". Most probably his name was Visnu Nambudiri. For, the author has significantly used two synonyms of the name of his favourite deity, i.e. Muraha and Murari, for suggesting the date of composition and his own name respectively: We have to interpret the word Labdhodayah also as 'One who was obtained his name for the first time in a holy sacrament (Namodayab) from Murari. For, a person is known in the world by his or her physical birth and Name (Namarupa)-without a registered name a person is not recognized legally as a living entity. So the naming ceremony (Namakarana) also represents an important birth. This type of birth also is to be understood in the present context.

It might be argued that should the author's name be a synonym of Narayana, it could be anyone of the following words- Krsna, Madhava, Govinda, Damodara, Hrsikesa, Padmanabha, Murari etc. and not Visnu in particular. This argument could be successfully met by reading carefully and understanding the author's own metaphorical language which is pregnant with useful and pleasant information bearing on his name, which is suggested pretty openly while referring to the hostility of Saivas (devotees of Siva) towards Vaisnavas (devotees of Visnu), The reader should bestow some thought on the author's prayer about his detractors, wherein occur these two compounds viz. Isvara- paksapatam and Visnu-Bhaktan used apparently to highlight the rivalry between the two sects. If they do so, it would dawn on them that the clever author has suggested his own name, Visnu, while referring to the rivalry between the disciples of his strong rival belonging to the Cola country, Isvara Diksitar by name, who was also a reputed astrologer of that time. The word Bhakta means both devoted disciple and devotee (of God).

When the author has explicitly mentioned his rival's real name, and not any of its synonyms such as Siva, Bhava and Hara, though in a simile, why should we not take the word Visnu in its literal sense as his real name? His father, Mahadevan Nambudiri, must have given his favourite deity's name (Maha) Visnu to his son.

The author's first disciple, according to tradition, was a poet known as Kukaniyal, who belonged to the Kaniyar community and lived in his family house, Kaniyan Kandiyil in Edakkad, which is known to be still in existence. This poet has written an astrological work entitled Prasna-Riti. We learn from the Preface mentioned above that the author of P.M. has himself written a Sanskrit commentary on his work, entitled "Durga- martha-Prakasini" (that which reveals difficult or recondite subject-matters). We are told that another great scholar viz. Kaikulangara Rama Warrier, has written a commentary on the P.M. under the title Ratnasikha (Lustre of Gem). Punnasseri N. Nilakantha Sarma has written a Sanskrit commentary on the first part of this work. His Malayalarn commentary is called Uparatna-Sikha ("Lustre of Minor Gem").

Foreword

Astrology, it has been rightly said, is the most systematic attempt to explain natural phenomena. The development of astrology at a popular level owes considerably to the new intellectual vitality of the applied science. Today there is no area of human experience which is not touched upon in some way or the other by astrology. Historical evidence supports the claim that astrology is a valid discipline with vast potential for enriching an understanding of all phases of life.

The literature of astrology is as vast as the history of man. No one scholar can possibly hope to untangle all of its intrinsically woven strands in the course of his life. He cannot read the extant works on the subject, let alone resolve its intrinsic patterns of thought. Astrology has been described as both a “Science” and an “Art”. In short casting and interpreting horoscopes have been, for more than two thousand years, the focus of the science of astrology. Though widely discredited, especially in the west, it is an exacting art demanding considerable expertise of its techniques.

A sophisticated science of astrology that evolved among the Babylonians was taken over and modified by the Greeks and the Romans. In the second century A.D. the Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy reduced astrology to a clear set of laws-the basis of European Astrology for many centuries to come. In India, Nakshatravidya, the science of the stars, has been thought of as an intellectual attainment even in the Vedic literature. The vedic as well as pre-vedic literature including puranas contain innumerable references that show astrology to have been held in high esteem and referred to as the ‘eye of knowledge’. It is an important limb of Hindu religion and philosophy, handed down from great seers who had amply sanctified the subject with their contributions.

This oldest of sciences has exercised a fascination over mankind, and the romance associated with the stars has inspired poets from all ages. Modern research tends to show that it had its origin in stellar worship, for, in ancient times the stars were believed to be the abode of the gods. Astrology, as in the case of other ancient arts which possessed the germs of truth, has gradually freed itself from the penumbra of superstitions to emerge as the true science of the heaven.

The development of this science of the stars however had its own vagaries. Some profane accretions and unscrupulous practices crept into the hoary science and probably the baser side of it began to manifest itself. It was for this reason, perhaps, Manu and later Kautilya denounced the use of astrology or its practice in ordinary life. Similar views have been expressed in Gautama Dharma Sutra and Taittriya Upanished. The famous astronomercum-astrologer Varahamihira also characterized a bad astrologer as a sinner and one who defiles society. However, he pays extraordinary compliments to a worthy astrologer who, in his view, should know practically all branches of knowledge under the sun, and be a guide, philosopher and teacher to society. This hoary lore, according to Prof. Bhat, is to be practiced not for selfish ends, but to guide the needy and the distressed, to remove the cause of their suffering and to turn their attention towards God. Though an astrologer cannot control the powers of the stars, he can harness it through “Elections” and so enhance the prospects of success in any undertaking or for any individual.

I had the unique privilege of going through the manuscript of over five hundred pages of this monumental work-“Essentials of Horary Astrology”. Astrology by the deep rooted nature of its origins, spans many centuries, and hence has many sub-disciplines and specialities. In general, it has evolved in practice over the years into three broad areas. ‘Prediction’ relates to forecasting an individual’s destiny from his nativity-a calculation of the state of the heavens at his birth. ‘Election’ denotes the process of choosing the most propitious moment when the influence of the planets would be most favourable for undertaking any action ranging from matters of State to the weaning of an infant. Finally ‘Horary’ resolves personal problems-medical, moral and very often matrimonial-according to the state of the heavens at the instant the question is posed to the astrologer. It is this third branch of astrology that has immensely benefited from Prof. Bhat’s work.

This book is intended to provide insights into the laws of consciousness whereby the reader can comprehend that he is but an integral unit of the larger framework of consciousness in which all of us unite. I was not only touched by the sensitivity, clarity, precision, and details of Prof. Bhat’s treatment of the subject, but also enlightened by the vastness of this science and its compass over all human activities with detailed clarifications of their attributes.

Prof. Bhat’s earlier work-Fundamentals of Astrology-first published in 1967 has subsequently seen two more editions and the third revision is now available. It has found favour with both students and practitioners in the east as well as the west. Since then he has authored a number of books, the most important of them being the translation of the Brhatsamhita of Varahamihira-a monumental encyclopaedia in Sanskrit of astrological and other subjects of human interest-with explanatory notes and comments. This work in two volumes has already run through two editions with wide appreciation. As a Sanskrit poet, he has a number of kavyas to his credit; to mention a few, the Mahakavya, “Sri Sivananda Vilasah”, “Kavyamanjari” and “Guru-Mahima-Stotra” (a string of hymns in praise of the life and work of H.H. Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham).

In this volume Prof. Bhat presents his subject in a variety of ways and in different contexts. The lucid and clear manner of Prof. Bhat’s work makes it pleasant to read. He has done a great service to the Indian astrology in general, and to this branch in particular, by striving to remove the misconceptions about it. I am sure that a critical study of this work will greatly benefit the students and practitioners of this science. Prof. Bhat is a restless scholar always in relentless pursuit of knowledge. Even in his eighties now, he strives to disseminate his knowledge and experience through his writings.

Mere knowledge of this science, however deep and clear, does not take you to the level of predictive astrology and the practice there of, unless one has complete faith in God and His supreme grace. Thus Prof. Bhat has in abundance from Lord Sri Siddhi Vinayaka of Madhupura. More than once he has admitted to vain efforts in the realizations of the results of his work; and in many cases with His grace of immediate success.

Prof. Bhat has been my friend, philosopher and guide in the true sense of the term. Our friendship spans over the last four decades and has been one of most agreeable and fruitful nature. It is a privilege and honour to be able to write a foreword for this excellent work of a unique speciality of astrological science-Horary Astrology or Prasna-Sastra.

“May Lord Siddhi Vinayaka shower His grace and give Prof. Bhat many years of good health for the benefit of the field of astrology and its ardent students” is my fervent prayer.

Essentials of Horary Astrology or Prasnapadavi

This book provides an insight into the importance of astrology viz., natal, electional and horary, as well as deals with other dimensions of this science such as spirituality, spiritualism, Ayurveda, transmigration of souls, thought-reading, dreams, temple and its rituals and effects of particular sins.

The work presents new theories and methods of determining success and defeat in contests and wars with the help of illustrative charts. It urges readers to avoid fatalism commonly associated with predictions and explains how one could solve riddles in life and tide over the pessimistic attitude and related psychological problems. The author has thrown fresh light on some questions like the name of the author of Prasnamarga, line of succession of his pupils, and the authorship of the Dasadhyayi. The most significant contribution of this work is the clear exposition of the rules of Astamangala and Devaprasna, in addition to Candragupti (water-divination), martial problems, Coragrahas, Necromancy, special importance of Mandi and Dasa of its star, Kalacakradasa, etc.

Professor M.R. Bhat was a well-known Sanskrit scholar, teacher, poet and astrologer, who retired in 1974 as the Head of Sanskrit Department of Hindu College, Delhi University. Prof. Bhat edited with translation classical works like the Brhat Samhita of Varahamihira (2 Vols.), Horasarah of Prthuyasas, Prasnajnanam of Bhattotpala. Author of Fundamentals of Astrology Prof. Bhat had revised the translation of Uttarakalamrtam and Phaladipika.

In recognition of his erudition and devotion to oriental learning and culture Prof. Bhat was conferred the titles Vidyabhaskara, Vidyasagara and Kavitacatura. Prof. Bhat Died in 1990.





 

  Foreword v
  Abbreviation xi
  Preface xiii
I Introductory 1
II Astrologer and Querist 15
III Planets and Signs 31
IV Astamangala Prasna 77
V Deva-Prasna 95
VI Matrimony 117
VII Progeny 155
VIII Diseases 187
IX Fructification of Karma 221
X Span of Life 233
XI Demise 245
XII Travel 285
XIII Rainfall 315
XIV Water Resources 327
XV Lost Articles 339
XVI Lost Horoscopes 367
XVII Decanates and Stars 377
XVIII Transits 389
XIX Miscellaneous 401
  Appendix 425
  Bibliography 429
  Index 431

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Essential of Horary Astrology or Prasnapadavi

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2002
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About the Book

This book provides an insight into the importance of astrology viz., natal, electional and horary, as well as deals with other dimensions of this science such as spirituality, spiritualism, Ayurveda, transmigration of souls, thought-reading, dreams, temple and its rituals and effects of particular sins.

The work presents new theories and methods of determining success and defeat in contests and wars with the help of illustrative charts. It urges readers to avoid fatalism commonly associated with predictions and explains how one could solve riddles in life and tide over the pessimistic attitude and related psychological problems. The author has thrown fresh light Oil some questions like the name of the author of Prasnamarga, line of succession of his pupils, and the authorship of the Dasadhyayi. The most significant contribution of this work is the clear exposition of the rules of Astamangala and Devaprasna, in addition to Candragupti (water-divination), martial problems, Coragrahas, Necromancy, special importance of Mandi and Dasa of its star, Kalacakradasa, etc.

About the Author

Professor M.R. Bhat was a well-known Sanskrit scholar, teacher, poet and astrologer, who retired in 1974 as the Head of Sanskrit Department of Hindu College, Delhi University. Prof. Bhat edited with translation classical works like the Brhat Samhita of Varahamihira (2 Vols),Horasarah of Prthuyasas, Prasnajnanam of Bhattotpala. Author of Fundamentals of Astrology Prof. Bhat had revised the translation of Uttarakalamrtam and Phaladipika.

In recognition of his erudition and devotion to oriental learning and culture Prof. Bhat was conferred the titles Vidyabhaskara, Vidyasagara and Kavitacatura. Prof. Bhat died in 1990.

Preface

Boundless and spontaneous indeed is the grace of the Supreme Lord Sri Siddhi-Vinayaka that has provided me, the humblest devotee of His, with inspiration to write this book on Horary Astrology. I am quite aware of my severe limitations to write a book of such magnitude and reputation as this at the fag end of my life. I, therefore, consider this as an opportunity granted to me by the Lord to serve the cause of astrology which reveals the subtle laws or powers of the Almighty in the form of the divine planets appointed to administer justice and bestow the fruits of Karma (action) on all beings living on this earth.

I have been consistently maintaining that the purpose of astrology is to wean humanity away from the path of adharma (evil deeds) resulting in misery and destruction, and to lead them towards the path of light and glorious life. The reader, I am sure, will find in this work enough opportunity to remind himself of the fact that he is suffering in his present existence, which is a continuation of the soul's journey (sojourn) towards the abode of perfection or self-realization, as a result of his own past misdeeds or sins, and that he can improve his lot and get over his infirmities by taking appropriate remedial measures through mind, word and deed. Ultimately, as Swami Vivekananda has declared, it would dawn on men that there is divinity in everyone of them and it is their bounden duty to draw out that divinity and manifest it in all their thoughts, words and deeds.

I have tried to answer in this work the question regarding the relevance of this horary branch of astrology, which has been developed into a reputed branch of predictive astrology in Kerala, where there are some renowned families that practise this science with uncanny powers of foretelling, giving, especially the Astamangala Prasna system which has attained unusual celebrity and acceptance in the West Coast of India. Sessions of this type of horary astrology are largely resorted to in cases of temple construction or renovation, calamities in a family or village etc. The Prasna-Sastra (Query Science) is made use of in cases of theft, missing persons, lost horoscopes, serious diseases, suspected divine displeasure, black magic etc. It is also found useful in the case of Musti-prasna (query about what is held in the closed fist). In fact, the work Krsniya of Krsnacarya, which is also called Horasastra, is otherwise known as Cintajnanam, meaning, Knowledge of what is in the querist's mind, "Science of Thought-reading". While admitting the prevalence of horary astrology in all parts of our ancient land right from Vedic times and that of Varahamihira, his famous commentator and others, I should like to mention some of the special features of this Kerala system: (1) Astamangalaprasna; (2) Devaprasna; (3) Karmavipak a (ripening of past deeds); (4) Vi/hi, and Chatra Rasi; (5) Bhatodaya (rise of elements); (6) Duration of Yama (watch); (7) Lordship of aster isms as per the Vimsottaridasa system; (8) Tastes allotted to planets in different contexts e.g. Venus rules over sweet, the Sun over salt and astringent, at a query about food eaten; (9) Letters of the alphabet are assigned to the elements; (10) Cora (thief) Grahas, (11) Vittaya, Tirtha etc. in A.V.; (12) Candragupti chart for water-divination; (13) All planets exercise all the four types of aspect; (14) Significators of relatives, e.g. Mars stands for paternal cousin, Saturn for paternal uncle, Jupiter for maternal uncle; (15) Time represented by fixed, movable and dual signs as years, days and months respectively; (16) Krsniya makes Mars a friend of Venus; (17) Badhasthanas (Houses of affliction); (18) Jupiter's number is 3, and the Moon's 7 as in modern numerology; (19) Mandi's greatest importance among minor planets; (20) Analysis of the nature of Pretas (Discarnate spirits); (21) 8lJiinubandha (Antenatal bonds) between bride and groom; (22) Navamsa calculation of the Arudha; (23) The Sutras such as Samanya and Adhipa; (24) Yama Sukra; (25) Abhilasa Sphu]a of the Moon; (26) Mandi's Caturvarga; (27) Nava-Navamsa and Navamia-Dvadasamsa; (28) Kala-Cakra-Dasa; (29) High and Low Tide signs; (30) Pramana-Gulika; (31) Suryakalagni -Cakra; (32) Thief's movements from village to forest etc; (33) Many alternatives for arriving at the querist's natal Star; and (34) Dasii based on Mandi's Star. Another feature of this science is that the authors clinch an issue by means of many an argument and example.

I have drawn materials for this work from the Prasnamarga (P.M), Krsniya Hora, Prasnajnana, Satpancasika, Varahamihira’s Hora- Sastra and Brhat Samhita, Jatakaparijata, Nastaprasna- Dipika, Virosimhavaloka, Jatakadesamarga, Narapatijayacarya, Dasadhyayi (Nauka) on the Brhad-Jataka, Vidyamadhaviya, Saravali, Caraka, Susrata etc.

The illustrious author of the renowned Prasna-Marga nowhere mentions explicitly his own name and date of composition of the work. However the tradition among the long line of the Kerala-astrologers is that he lived around Kollam year 825 (1649 A.D.) in a village named Edakkad between Tellicherry and Cannanore. There is a Visnu Temple about 2 km. to the north of the Edakkad railway station. It is the deity of this temple that is invoked by the author. Mr. Krishnalayam Govindan Palluruthy (Kerala), Commentator of the P. M. in Malayalam, has come to the foregoing conclusion after studying and examining the traditions and as a result of the 'On the Spot' enquiries.• He adds that the author was a Nambudiri Brahmin, whose mother's name was Sri and father's Mahadevan. This work was the result of his teaching (upadesa) the subject to his disciples that was written at their request. It is possible that this Nambudiri Brahmin was the Chief Priest or Tantrin at the Visnu Temple (Italics mine). Sri Govindan alludes in this connection to the opinions of the "Kerala Sahitya-Caritam" by Mahakavi V.S.P. Iyer and another work of the same title by Raja Raja Varma, as well as "Sarvavijnanakosam"; Visvavijnanakosam" etc. It is understood that the author's house of birth was known as Panakkad Illam, which is no longer in existence for want of descendants of the family. This IIlam (brahmin house) was close to the temple. The author's life-period was between 800 and 870 of the Kollam era (1624 and 1694 A.D.). In this connection I wish to express my humble opinion before the great astrological luminaries of Kerala and elsewhere in respect of the author's name, which was one of the synonyms of the name of the "Spouse of the Daughter of the Milky Ocean". Most probably his name was Visnu Nambudiri. For, the author has significantly used two synonyms of the name of his favourite deity, i.e. Muraha and Murari, for suggesting the date of composition and his own name respectively: We have to interpret the word Labdhodayah also as 'One who was obtained his name for the first time in a holy sacrament (Namodayab) from Murari. For, a person is known in the world by his or her physical birth and Name (Namarupa)-without a registered name a person is not recognized legally as a living entity. So the naming ceremony (Namakarana) also represents an important birth. This type of birth also is to be understood in the present context.

It might be argued that should the author's name be a synonym of Narayana, it could be anyone of the following words- Krsna, Madhava, Govinda, Damodara, Hrsikesa, Padmanabha, Murari etc. and not Visnu in particular. This argument could be successfully met by reading carefully and understanding the author's own metaphorical language which is pregnant with useful and pleasant information bearing on his name, which is suggested pretty openly while referring to the hostility of Saivas (devotees of Siva) towards Vaisnavas (devotees of Visnu), The reader should bestow some thought on the author's prayer about his detractors, wherein occur these two compounds viz. Isvara- paksapatam and Visnu-Bhaktan used apparently to highlight the rivalry between the two sects. If they do so, it would dawn on them that the clever author has suggested his own name, Visnu, while referring to the rivalry between the disciples of his strong rival belonging to the Cola country, Isvara Diksitar by name, who was also a reputed astrologer of that time. The word Bhakta means both devoted disciple and devotee (of God).

When the author has explicitly mentioned his rival's real name, and not any of its synonyms such as Siva, Bhava and Hara, though in a simile, why should we not take the word Visnu in its literal sense as his real name? His father, Mahadevan Nambudiri, must have given his favourite deity's name (Maha) Visnu to his son.

The author's first disciple, according to tradition, was a poet known as Kukaniyal, who belonged to the Kaniyar community and lived in his family house, Kaniyan Kandiyil in Edakkad, which is known to be still in existence. This poet has written an astrological work entitled Prasna-Riti. We learn from the Preface mentioned above that the author of P.M. has himself written a Sanskrit commentary on his work, entitled "Durga- martha-Prakasini" (that which reveals difficult or recondite subject-matters). We are told that another great scholar viz. Kaikulangara Rama Warrier, has written a commentary on the P.M. under the title Ratnasikha (Lustre of Gem). Punnasseri N. Nilakantha Sarma has written a Sanskrit commentary on the first part of this work. His Malayalarn commentary is called Uparatna-Sikha ("Lustre of Minor Gem").

Foreword

Astrology, it has been rightly said, is the most systematic attempt to explain natural phenomena. The development of astrology at a popular level owes considerably to the new intellectual vitality of the applied science. Today there is no area of human experience which is not touched upon in some way or the other by astrology. Historical evidence supports the claim that astrology is a valid discipline with vast potential for enriching an understanding of all phases of life.

The literature of astrology is as vast as the history of man. No one scholar can possibly hope to untangle all of its intrinsically woven strands in the course of his life. He cannot read the extant works on the subject, let alone resolve its intrinsic patterns of thought. Astrology has been described as both a “Science” and an “Art”. In short casting and interpreting horoscopes have been, for more than two thousand years, the focus of the science of astrology. Though widely discredited, especially in the west, it is an exacting art demanding considerable expertise of its techniques.

A sophisticated science of astrology that evolved among the Babylonians was taken over and modified by the Greeks and the Romans. In the second century A.D. the Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy reduced astrology to a clear set of laws-the basis of European Astrology for many centuries to come. In India, Nakshatravidya, the science of the stars, has been thought of as an intellectual attainment even in the Vedic literature. The vedic as well as pre-vedic literature including puranas contain innumerable references that show astrology to have been held in high esteem and referred to as the ‘eye of knowledge’. It is an important limb of Hindu religion and philosophy, handed down from great seers who had amply sanctified the subject with their contributions.

This oldest of sciences has exercised a fascination over mankind, and the romance associated with the stars has inspired poets from all ages. Modern research tends to show that it had its origin in stellar worship, for, in ancient times the stars were believed to be the abode of the gods. Astrology, as in the case of other ancient arts which possessed the germs of truth, has gradually freed itself from the penumbra of superstitions to emerge as the true science of the heaven.

The development of this science of the stars however had its own vagaries. Some profane accretions and unscrupulous practices crept into the hoary science and probably the baser side of it began to manifest itself. It was for this reason, perhaps, Manu and later Kautilya denounced the use of astrology or its practice in ordinary life. Similar views have been expressed in Gautama Dharma Sutra and Taittriya Upanished. The famous astronomercum-astrologer Varahamihira also characterized a bad astrologer as a sinner and one who defiles society. However, he pays extraordinary compliments to a worthy astrologer who, in his view, should know practically all branches of knowledge under the sun, and be a guide, philosopher and teacher to society. This hoary lore, according to Prof. Bhat, is to be practiced not for selfish ends, but to guide the needy and the distressed, to remove the cause of their suffering and to turn their attention towards God. Though an astrologer cannot control the powers of the stars, he can harness it through “Elections” and so enhance the prospects of success in any undertaking or for any individual.

I had the unique privilege of going through the manuscript of over five hundred pages of this monumental work-“Essentials of Horary Astrology”. Astrology by the deep rooted nature of its origins, spans many centuries, and hence has many sub-disciplines and specialities. In general, it has evolved in practice over the years into three broad areas. ‘Prediction’ relates to forecasting an individual’s destiny from his nativity-a calculation of the state of the heavens at his birth. ‘Election’ denotes the process of choosing the most propitious moment when the influence of the planets would be most favourable for undertaking any action ranging from matters of State to the weaning of an infant. Finally ‘Horary’ resolves personal problems-medical, moral and very often matrimonial-according to the state of the heavens at the instant the question is posed to the astrologer. It is this third branch of astrology that has immensely benefited from Prof. Bhat’s work.

This book is intended to provide insights into the laws of consciousness whereby the reader can comprehend that he is but an integral unit of the larger framework of consciousness in which all of us unite. I was not only touched by the sensitivity, clarity, precision, and details of Prof. Bhat’s treatment of the subject, but also enlightened by the vastness of this science and its compass over all human activities with detailed clarifications of their attributes.

Prof. Bhat’s earlier work-Fundamentals of Astrology-first published in 1967 has subsequently seen two more editions and the third revision is now available. It has found favour with both students and practitioners in the east as well as the west. Since then he has authored a number of books, the most important of them being the translation of the Brhatsamhita of Varahamihira-a monumental encyclopaedia in Sanskrit of astrological and other subjects of human interest-with explanatory notes and comments. This work in two volumes has already run through two editions with wide appreciation. As a Sanskrit poet, he has a number of kavyas to his credit; to mention a few, the Mahakavya, “Sri Sivananda Vilasah”, “Kavyamanjari” and “Guru-Mahima-Stotra” (a string of hymns in praise of the life and work of H.H. Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham).

In this volume Prof. Bhat presents his subject in a variety of ways and in different contexts. The lucid and clear manner of Prof. Bhat’s work makes it pleasant to read. He has done a great service to the Indian astrology in general, and to this branch in particular, by striving to remove the misconceptions about it. I am sure that a critical study of this work will greatly benefit the students and practitioners of this science. Prof. Bhat is a restless scholar always in relentless pursuit of knowledge. Even in his eighties now, he strives to disseminate his knowledge and experience through his writings.

Mere knowledge of this science, however deep and clear, does not take you to the level of predictive astrology and the practice there of, unless one has complete faith in God and His supreme grace. Thus Prof. Bhat has in abundance from Lord Sri Siddhi Vinayaka of Madhupura. More than once he has admitted to vain efforts in the realizations of the results of his work; and in many cases with His grace of immediate success.

Prof. Bhat has been my friend, philosopher and guide in the true sense of the term. Our friendship spans over the last four decades and has been one of most agreeable and fruitful nature. It is a privilege and honour to be able to write a foreword for this excellent work of a unique speciality of astrological science-Horary Astrology or Prasna-Sastra.

“May Lord Siddhi Vinayaka shower His grace and give Prof. Bhat many years of good health for the benefit of the field of astrology and its ardent students” is my fervent prayer.

Essentials of Horary Astrology or Prasnapadavi

This book provides an insight into the importance of astrology viz., natal, electional and horary, as well as deals with other dimensions of this science such as spirituality, spiritualism, Ayurveda, transmigration of souls, thought-reading, dreams, temple and its rituals and effects of particular sins.

The work presents new theories and methods of determining success and defeat in contests and wars with the help of illustrative charts. It urges readers to avoid fatalism commonly associated with predictions and explains how one could solve riddles in life and tide over the pessimistic attitude and related psychological problems. The author has thrown fresh light on some questions like the name of the author of Prasnamarga, line of succession of his pupils, and the authorship of the Dasadhyayi. The most significant contribution of this work is the clear exposition of the rules of Astamangala and Devaprasna, in addition to Candragupti (water-divination), martial problems, Coragrahas, Necromancy, special importance of Mandi and Dasa of its star, Kalacakradasa, etc.

Professor M.R. Bhat was a well-known Sanskrit scholar, teacher, poet and astrologer, who retired in 1974 as the Head of Sanskrit Department of Hindu College, Delhi University. Prof. Bhat edited with translation classical works like the Brhat Samhita of Varahamihira (2 Vols.), Horasarah of Prthuyasas, Prasnajnanam of Bhattotpala. Author of Fundamentals of Astrology Prof. Bhat had revised the translation of Uttarakalamrtam and Phaladipika.

In recognition of his erudition and devotion to oriental learning and culture Prof. Bhat was conferred the titles Vidyabhaskara, Vidyasagara and Kavitacatura. Prof. Bhat Died in 1990.





 

  Foreword v
  Abbreviation xi
  Preface xiii
I Introductory 1
II Astrologer and Querist 15
III Planets and Signs 31
IV Astamangala Prasna 77
V Deva-Prasna 95
VI Matrimony 117
VII Progeny 155
VIII Diseases 187
IX Fructification of Karma 221
X Span of Life 233
XI Demise 245
XII Travel 285
XIII Rainfall 315
XIV Water Resources 327
XV Lost Articles 339
XVI Lost Horoscopes 367
XVII Decanates and Stars 377
XVIII Transits 389
XIX Miscellaneous 401
  Appendix 425
  Bibliography 429
  Index 431

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