Astrology holds a prominent place in the life of every Indian. No important work is done or activity undertaken without first consulting the horoscope. When such is the case it behoves on every thinking individual to maintain the dignity and purity of the science by insisting on the necessity of a systematic study of the subject on rational and approved lines. Such a study is possible only when standard books are published. In the present day, the subject is so mishandled and misused by ignorant and ill-informed astrologers that each Tom, Dick and Harry calls himself an astrologei and some of the credulous public fall an easy prey to the snares set up by such quacks. The educated public will do well to study the general principles of the sciences so that if at all they wish to consult an astrologer, such knowledge might guide them to select the right sort of person. It is with a view to enabling the educated public to have an insight into the general principles of astrology that this translation is presented. Bhavartha Ratnakara is a short treatise on astrology, composed by Sri Ramanuja and the way the different principles are presented by the author will not fail to make a powerful impression on the minds of the readers.
I have not simply given the translation leaving the readers to seek their own explanations of difficult principles and combinations. I have tried to explain the difficulties as best as I could by way of notes in appropriate places and by way of work will be liked by my readers just as all my other books have been liked and appreciated by them.
Bhavartha Ratnakara is a treatise on astrology said to have been written by Sri Ramanujacharya and it deals with the subject in a masterly way. The translation, notes and examples, I have given in these pages, will speak for themselves. Several books have been written by me on astrology some of them compilations and some of them products of ray researches in the field of practical astrology. I have always felt that real astrological truths lay hidden in the Sanskrit language and the only way to bring them to the notice of the general public is to render them in to English and explain the principles to the best of my humble ability and experience. My grandfather late Prof. B. Suryanarain Rao has done into English some of the most important works such as Brihat Jataka, Sarvartha Chintamani, Jaimini Sutras, etc. and his translations have been immensely liked by the educated public not only for the clarity with which difficult Sanskrit terms have been put into simple English but also for the vast practical experience he has brought to bear upon the inimitable notes he has given. There are a number of books extant in Sanskrit on astrology and I pitched my attention on this particular book because I found that the several combinations mentioned in it are not only useful and workable in actual practice but the entire subject of astrology has been dealt with systematically and yet concisely. I had decided to bring out a translation of this book three years ago but I had to put off the decision as I wanted to test the various principles rather exhaustively by applying them to practical horoscopes before I could bring them to the notice of the public.
The difficulties of a translator are indeed many. Prof. Rao’s introduction to Sarvartha Chintamani will make clear the pitfalls in the way of a translator. Firstly, he should be well versed in the subject he wishes to interpret. Secondly, he should possess a good knowledge of the language into which he intends the translation to be made. Thirdly, in a subject like astrology, mere scholarship and linguistic ability alone are not sufficient to make one a successful translator. He should possess vast practical experience which would enable him to appreciate how far a given combination can be made use of to suit different nativities. Fourthly, the flexibility of the Sanskrit language has been a great stumbling block in the way of rightly understanding the technical terms. Take the following verse and see whether the head or the tail of it can be made out even by an expert in Sanskrit language unless he known the key.
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