P.V.R. Narasimha Rao is an engineer by profession. He did his B. Tech in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (1987-1991). Her did his masters at Rice University, Houston, US (1991-1993). He works as a software engineer near Boston, USA.
He is seriously interested in Jyotish and Sanskrit literature. His academic record includes two diplomas equivalent to Bachelor’s degree in Sanskrit at a young age: Sanskrita Bhaashaa Kovida diploma form Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan at an age of 10 and Sanskrita Bhaashaa Visaarada diploma, with distinction from a board in Baroda at an age of 11. He is an ardent student of Jyotish and a designated Jyotish Guru at “Sri Jagannath Vedic Centre.”
With the Creator said to be one of its eighteen great preceptors, Jyotish Vedic astrology is thought to be as old as this creation is. There are many excellent books on Jyotish written in Sanskrit language by great Maharshis and brilliant scholars. Thanks to the yeoman service rendered by Dr. B.V. Raman and the efforts of other Indian astrologers to follow him, today we ye a fair amount of Jyotish literature in English language too.
Considering the wealth of Vedic astrology literature in Sanskrit and English, another book may not really be needed. Even if another book is needed, there are many erudite scholars who are better equipped than me to write. Nevertheless, I wanted, like a parrot that enthusiastically repeats the few words learnt by it, to share with fellow students the little knowledge I received from classics and from my gurus.
In this book, I have covered divisional charts, special ascendants, arudhas, argalas, yogas, ashtakavarga, avasthas, a few nakshatra dasas, a few rasi dasas, several techniques of transit analysis, Tajaka analysis and a few miscellaneous topics.
I have tried to give prominence to special ascendants, divisional charts and arudhas, because contemporary literature doesn’t seem to give them the kind of importance that Sage Parasara gave. Understanding the primacy Parasara gave to all these concepts is a must for a renaissance in Veclic astrology.
Unfortunately, some people think today that Parasara and Jaimini taught two totally different approaches to astrology. When we talk about arudha padas, argalas, chara karakas, chara dasa and other rasi dasas, people think f them as “Jaimini astrology”. People even use terms like “Jaimini karakas” and “Jaimini dasas”. However, all these concepts were covered by Parasara also (please read “Brihat Parasara Hora Sastram”). The “Parasari vs Jaimini” distinction is based on unfortunate misconceptions that we can do away with.
In this book, I have de-emphasized these wrong distinctions and emphasized an integrated approach — a holistic approach — that looks at Vedic astrology as a whole. I really think that this is the right approach.
In the part on dasas, I covered Vimsottari dasa and Ashtottari dasa, as they are the most commonly used nakshatra dasas. Kalachakra dasa was termed the “most respectable dasa” by Parasara and a discussion on dasas cannot be complete without it. In the galaxy of dasas, rasi dasas taught by Parasara and Jaimini have their own place and I covered two rasi dasas used for timing material success — Lagna Kendradi Rasi dasa and Sudasa. I also covered Narayana dasa, which is the most versatile rasi dasa taught by maharshis. For the spiritually inclined, I included Drigdasa, which can help us in timing events in one’s spiritual evolution. Because of the importance of the topic of longevity, I covered two ayur dasas — Shoola dasa and Niryaana Shoola Dasa.
In the part on transits, I covered the interpretation of transits based on the natal positions of planets in rasi chart and divisional charts. I covered some techniques based on ashtakavarga and sodhya pindas. I also covered several techniques related to transits in nakshatras.
In the part on transits, I covered the casting of Tajaka annual, monthly and sixty-hour charts, their interpretation, Tajaka yogas and three dasas used for timing events in Tajaka charts. Some scholars may validly question why Tajaka system is being covered in a book on Vedic astrology. There are no references to it in the works of Parasara, Jaimini and other maharshis. The oldest reference to these techniques to be found in the works of a respected authority on Vedic astrology is in Tajaka Neelakanthi, a work by Neelakantha who also wrote a celebrated commentary on “Jaimini Sutras”. His coverage of Tajaka system lends some authenticity to the system. One can only speculate whether Parasara talked about this system in parts that are possibly missing today. I simply followed the precedent set by illustrious scholars of Vedic astrology, like Neelakantha and Dr. B.V. Raman.
When we rely on finer techniques of Vedic astrology — such as divisional charts and special lagnas — for finer predictions, it is crucial to have an accurate Birthtime. The chapter “Impact of Birthtime Error” shows how to cope with Birthtime inaccuracies.
While I am upset with the dismissal of astrology by some critics as a ‘superstition’, I am equally, if not more, upset with the irrational and unscientific attitude of some astrologers. In an effort to promote rational thinking in the astrological community, I included a chapter on “Rational Thinking”.
A very brief introduction to some special topics such as remedial measures, mundane astrology and muhurtas is provided in this book and it i hoped that interested readers will pursue these topics further by ref other textbooks.
Vedic astrology is considered a sacred subject and Maharshi Parasara warned us against sharing this knowledge with unworthy people. Ancient sages laid down some rules for the ethical behavior of a Vedic astrologer. I earnestly hope that all the readers of this book will appreciate those rules. To that end, I added a chapter on “Ethical Behavior of a Jyotishi”.
While no particular topic has been covered in great depth, key fundamentals are covered in this book. Most fundamental concepts and computations are clearly defined with examples and their uses are briefly outlined. But I do not want to bill this as a comprehensive introduction for beginners. There are parts of this book that can be followed even by beginners, but an average beginner may find it overwhelming in many places. For most part, this book is for intermediate level students who already have a good background, but are in need of integrating and consolidating their knowledge. However, there are some points in some places that can be appreciated only by advanced scholars. So I will not make any claims on who will find this book useful. Rather than targeting readership with a specific level of knowledge, I tried to write a more or less self-sufficient book that covers a wide spectrum of topics. Beginners should read this book very carefully, and more than once, to completely understand various concepts. Though I have tried to maintain some level of clarity, I squeezed in a lot of material and beginners should patiently read, re-read and practice.
Due to my background in engineering, I tried to adopt a style somewhat similar to the one used in mathematics and physics textbooks. I tried to be concise and always to the point. I gave plenty of examples and even some exercises. I hope that students will read the material and examples carefully and attempt the exercises sincerely. I hope that the astrological community will accept this new style of astrology teaching.
In this book, I did not try to steer clear of the controversies plaguing Vedic astrology. As my purpose in writing this book is to chronicle my broad understanding of Jyotish in a clear and concise fashion and to give clear guidance to fellow students, I stated my views clearly except in issues in which I do not have a firm opinion.
This book probably contains some fine knowledge, due to the blessings I received from my gurus, and some wrong knowledge as well, due to the limitations of my intelligence. Giving fine knowledge to unworthy students and feeding wrong knowledge to worthy students are both mistakes and I am aware that I may be committing both. I beg for the forgiveness of my gurus, maharshis and gods.
A free computer software program written by me called “Jagannatha Hora Lite” is available for a free download on SJVC website (http:// www.sjvc.net). It can compute the positions of all planets, upagrahas, lagna, special lagnas, arudha padas and ashtakavarga for twenty divisional charts. It supports several popular ayanamsas. It gives Shadbalas, Vimsottari, Ashtottari and Kalachakra dasas and also gives Tajaka annual charts,
Patyayini dasa, Mudda dasa, panchavargeeya Bala and Sahams. Those who have a computer with a Microsoft operating system (Window95 or later) can downloaded and use this software.
As I devoted most of my free time in the last few years to astrology readings, research and writing, my wife Padmaja, my daughter Sriharini and my son Sriharish made a personal sacrifice and co-operated with my astrological activities. I am thankful to them for their co-operation.
I can not possibly conclude this preface without expressing my deep gratitude for my guru Pt. Sanjay Rath, who has been a constant source of enlightenment, encouragement and inspiration. I am eternally grateful to him. I express my gratitude to all the elders and well-wishers whose blessings gave me the energy to finish this book. I hope that I will be forgive for any mistakes and that I will continue to receive their kind blessings. I will always be eager to correct my mistakes.
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