An excellent book on Horary astrology which covers the entire gamut of this vast
subject. Based on classical principles, this book not only covers all the
techniques generally employed in prashna, but also those research based concepts
which the author has tested over a period of time and found to have immense
promise. In addition the book contains elaborate chapters on Mook prashna, Karmas
and evil spirits, timing of events, use of chakras in prashna and miscellaneous
techniques. Written in easy to understand and lucid language, the book explains the
concepts and techniques with analytical reasoning and is copiously illustrated.
Various experts have tried to convey the meaning and purpose of astrology in very
rich and diversified ways. There seems to be no purpose to know the future
happening in advance unless the outcome of events are related to the righteous
thought and conduct. The effect of good or bad karmas on our future life or lives
ultimately has a bearing on our present day thought processes, which if understood
and communicated properly to the consulting community, can make this world a
happier place to live. This is possible by not only understanding the very purpose
of human sojourn but also by altering the way we conduct ourselves in society. For
this, one has to understand that happiness in life depends not so much on material
possessions and environment but human relations and conduct. Character, which may
have a different meaning for different people, suffers on account of six enemies
which overcome the rational discrimination of a man. These are jealousy, arrogance,
lust, anger, desire and greed.
The purpose of astrology, therefore can be summed up to provide counselling so that
a person does not indulge in evil deeds and follows the righteous path of dharma.
The suffering of any human being is due to the continuance of worldly journey which
can be terminated by avoiding the path of evils called adharma. Astrology serves
the purpose of bringing out these virtues which are inherent in all human
In this attempt, various author of our classical texts of astrology in general and
those relating to prashna in particular have chosen to withhold their names out of
sheer humility and dedicated their works to the supreme lord. Take the case of
Prashna Marg written in 1649 AD by a namboodri brahmin whose real name is not
known. Similarly Krishniya shastra is considered to have been written earlier to
Prashna Marg, as many references of Krishneeyam have been quoted in Prashna Marg.
The author of Krishneeyam is also not known. Dashadhyayee the commentary on 10
chapters of Varaha Mihir’s great classical work Brihat Jatak was probably written
about 100 years earlier to Prashna Marg. These were the chapters which are relevant
to Prashna. This work has held in such high esteem that it was published as Nauka
‘the boat’ without which it is difficult to cross this vast ocean of astrology. Its
last version was published by Shri Venkateshwara Press in 1912 and has been out of
print thereafter. The author of Dashadhyayee also did not reveal his name due to
the humility and modesty which were the hallmarks of those great men who
contributed to this vast knowledge in such a grandiose measure.
All these observations and wealth of knowledge got assimilated, tested and
treasured in various forms. Then came the era invasions in which this great wealth
was devastated. Take the of Nalanda, renowned for assimilation of knowledge. It is
said that during invasions when the library of Nalanda University was burnt, the
books kept on burning for over six months. That was the extent and enormity of loss
of knowledge and our ancient scriptures. It was the knowledge accumulated and
assimilated over a period of several hundred years and deatroyed in a jiffy. As far
as the astrological knowledge is concerned, it is said that there was a time when
fifty million shlokas or sutras were available, which today are mere half a
From the times of advent of astrology emerged this very useful branch of
specialisation called prashna. For all those whose birth details are not known and
especially for the specific queries of immediate importance the chart cast for that
moment show immense promise as if revealing the mysteries of the unknown future
through a magnifying glass. This naturally resulted in its widespread use and
Several generations have contributed in their own humble way to the present wealth
of knowledge available to us today which our generation will pass on to the
posterity after adding our bit. It has been sacred tradition to distribute this
knowledge and teach astrology to the one who is worthy of receiving it, called a
supatra. Any knowledge increases in its content and depth if it is shared freely.
The contribution of our generation will become possible only if the newer knowledge
is not kept confined to themselves by researchers and eminent astrologers.
Research in prashna has been a difficult area for two reasons. Firstly mass testing
of principles or hypotheses leading to principles is not as easy as in birth
horoscopes for the lack of specific charts. Secondly the feed back from the
consulting community is generally lacking due to secrecy as well as distance by
which the querist is separated from the astrologer. Nowadays consultations do take
place over phone, fax or e-mail also.
Inspite of the above mentioned observations which at times are depressing or
elating, it is satisfying to note that the renaissance of astrological awareness
awareness which this era is witnessing indicates that the promise of the growth of
astrology is real and not an illusion.
In a way book writing on a subject towards the end of 20th century is easy because
there are many models of earlier books available. It is for this reason that in the
USA they describe such books as Cook Books. Rarely is there any insightful
understanding of astrological combinations in such books. Like what we call
classics the recent books suffer from fossilized astrological beliefs of feudal
times. To have the courage to depart from that yet not ignoring them, needs a
lifetime of hard work and not a mere quick reading of other books and assembling
them like Indian computers.
Deepak Kapoor’s book on prashna is an exception to the cook book style. Producing a
cook book or a translation in English of a book in Sanskrit which has been
translated in Hindi has become a piece of intellectual trickery and cowardice of
writers of books on astrology. An English version of a Hindi translation without
the writers good grasp of Sanskrit, particularly the secret grammar of jyotish, is
more often than not a masterly deception of recent writers of books on astrology.
It is for this reason that Jaimini Sutras continue to be riddles for us even
The merit of Deepak Kapoor’s book should be evaluated against this contemporary
trend in astrological writing. He makes a good start, after a very useful
introduction, by giving a summary of the 56 shlokas of shatpanchasika of
Prithuyashas. Any one who wants to master this branch of astrology must digest
Shatpanchasika which is the subtlest, and the most brilliant book on prashna, so
brief, yet covering every aspect of a prashna. If one has the patience to go deeper
and deeper into various permutations and combinations of these 56 shlokas,
according to a rough calculation, these will cover more than 200 types of
The author has explained the principles of Tajik and shown with clarity how they
are to be applied to prashna. It is an area generally full of immensely conflicting
interpretations. Deepak Kapoor seems to have come out of this tangled web. But
readers must try out his methods over a period of time themselves. For instance the
use of sahams is generally more conflicting and it needs to be decided whether it
gives the promised results all or not. Readers will ask a question: In the small
classic Shatpanchasika it is parashari aspect that come into use. If Tajik aspects
particularly Ithsala, Rudda etc. show different results, what is the way out of
this resulting confusion? I solved this problem in my own way by resorting to
different methods in 1972 but have not been doing prashna astrology much
The analysis and the resultant success or failure of a question based on the Moon
and it’s nakshatra is and has been a tricky area but the author has stressed its
use in analysis of prashna charts. In fact he has advocated the use of nakshatras
in prashna analysis with confidence, which has been an area shrouded in darkness.
Can this factor be overstressed? Only future researches and time will tell.
Astrology, the basics clarified
The learned reader of this book is presumed to have the basic knowledge of the
principles and concepts of Hindu Astrology. However even at the cost of repetition,
some of those basic concepts and significations of signs, planets, nakshatras and
houses which are relevant to prashna are clarified here, to make them readily
available for use in prashna.
Every horoscope has 12 signs, 9 planets, 27 nakshatras and 12 houses. It is the
interrelationship of these which reveal the wealth of information on which the
entire edifice of astrology is built. Hence the first step is to understand their
significations or karakatwas.
The significations of signs and planets, though uniformally accepted, do have
variations based on divergent viewpoints of astrologers. The significations given
here are those which are generally accepted by majority astrologers.
Signs of the Zodiac
Signs and their lords
The two luminaries Moon and Sun are the lords of one sign each whereas other
planets have dual lordships as shown above. It is observed from the South India
chart that these lordships follow a set order depending upon the increasing
distance from Sun and increasing sidereal period of planets from Moon.
Although there are controversies with regard to the ownership of signs allotted to
Rahu and Ketu yet it is widely accepted that Virgo and Pisces are the signs owned
by Rahu and Ketu respectively.
Appearance and resides in
1-Aries (Mesha): A ram, resides in forests among other four legged animals like
sheep, goat, grassy meadows, canals, lakes etc. Areas abundant with precious stones
and minerals, which includes their mines, snake holes.
2-Taurus (Vrishabh): A bull, farmlands, cow sheds, forests but in the present
context also the towns, cities, beautiful places and locations where business is
3-Gemini (Mithuna): A ma and a woman holding a trumpet and a harp, also considered
as holding a mace and a violin, towns and cities, parks, gambling dens, places of
worship, pleasure houses, music and ballet room, couch and lounge (bed room).
4-Cancer (Karka): Crab, resides in water and forests, places near water, ponds,
5-Leo (Simba): A lion or other wild animals, lives in mountains, caves and forests,
places inhabited by hunters, places where rishis live.
6-Virgo (Kanya): A woman holding a corn and a lamp, resides near water in pasture
lands, or having water and food crops, pleasure rooms, near a shop, temple.
7-Libra (Tula): A man holding a weighing balance in his hand, signifies places of
business, markets, bazaars valuables or articles of trade, a shop.
8-Scorpio (Vrishchik): A scorpion, living in a hole, cavity, crevice, burrow,
anthills, rocky areas, habitat of poisonous insects which is partly watery,
9-Sagitarius (Dhanu): Body of a horse and face of a human, holding bow and arrow,
habitat of horses and elephants, king’s abode, a battle field, a fort, brave and
accomplished. In the present context in firearms, rest houses, military
Capricorn (Maker): Mouth of a deer, shoulders of a bull and eyes of an elephant,
resides in forests, rivers, areas full of water, places inhabited, home of
11-Aquarius (Kumbh): A man holding a water pot, or a pot containing pickles,
habitation in water, gambling dens, art gallery.
12-Pisces (Meena): Two fishes, the head of each close to the tail of other, deep
caves, resides in water, temples and pilgrimages.
Another viewpoint is that signs having lordship of benefic planets are benefic and
those having lordship of malefic planets are malefic. Hence based on lordship:
All odd signs are considered strong during day and all even signs are considered
strong during night. However the following classification of strength of signs
during day and night is more acceptable.
Ratribali signs are governed by Moon and divabali signs are governed by Sun.
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