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Vedic Astrology:


All in one place, books with Jataka or Jatakam in their titles. "Jataka" means horoscope. Most of the strange titles here have simple translations: Brihat Jataka is natal horoscope, for which there are three translations to choose from. Nasta Jatakam is lost horoscope, Satya Jatakam is Satyacharya's horoscope, etc.

Three translations of Brihat Jataka of Varahamihira

Acharya Varahamihira's Brihat Jatak - translation & notes by P.S. Sastri, $20.00

Synopsis: Along with Parasara's Hora Shastra, the Brihat Jataka is one of the core Vedic astrology texts, essential to the study. Of the various available translations, we think this the best.

Contents, comment.

Ranjan, 219 pages.

Varaha Mihira's BRIHAT JATAKA, with original Slokas in Devanagari - translated by B. Suryanarain Rao, revised by B.L. Rao, edited by B.V. Raman, $30.00

Synopsis: One of the fundamental, essential books in Vedic astrology. This translation by B.V. Raman's grandfather. First published in 1919.

Contents, comment.

Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 639 pages.

Varaha Mihira's BRIHAT JATAKA - translated by Usha & Shashi, upgraded by G.K. Goel, $21.00

Introduction; Introducting of second edition; Astrological terms; Forword

1. Definitions & elementary principles (zodiacal); 2. Definitions & elementary principles (planetary); 3. Animal & vegetable horoscopy; 4. Nisheka kala or the time of conception; 5. Matters connected with birth time;

6. Balarishta or early death; 7. Ayurdaya or the determination of the length of life; 8. Planetary divisions & sub-divisions of life known as dasas & antar dasas; 9. Ashtaka vargas; 10. Avocation;

11. Raja yoga or the birth of kings; 12. Nabhasa yogas; 13. Chandra or lunar yogas; 14. Double planetary yogas; 15. Ascetic yogas;

16. The nakshatras or the moon in the asterisms; 17. The moon in the several signs of the zodiac; 18. The sun, Mars & other planets in the several signs of the zodiac; 19. Planetary aspects; 20. Planets in the bhavas;

21. Planets in the several vargas; 22. Miscellaneous yogas; 23. Malefic yogas; 24. Horoscopy of women; 25. Death; 26. Lost horoscopes; 27. Drekkanas; 28. Conclusion.

A. Chitra Paksha Ayanamsha
B. Equal house (bhava) division & the role of the trinity in Navamsa
C. Major (dasa) & sub-periods (Antar Dasas) of the planets based on the method of Ansayurdaya

Comment: Notes as of May 8, 2007:

Thanks to a note at Deb Houlding's Skyscript, the origin of this book has been traced to a 1905 edition of Brihat Jataka, a translation by N. Chidambaram Iyer (as Kenneth Miller suspected), published in 1905 in Madras by Thompson & Co. This was the second edition of Iyer's translation. The first edition was published in 1885, as shown by date of the original introduction (June 2, 1885). The introduction to the 1905 edition was by the late translator's brother, N. Visvanatha Aiyar. This second introduction was removed from Sagar's Usha-Shashi reprints.

Otherwise, the first edition of the Usha-Shashi edition of 1977 took no pains to disguise the original, and in particular, its self-revealing introduction. In the "second revised printing" of 2004, that has changed. N.C. Iyer's original introduction, while still copied word-for-word, has been very carefully edited to remove all tell-tale traces. In particular, a section on 19th century Indian time-keeping has been replaced with a section on calculating Indian births (pg. xix in the 2nd Sagar). These changes, along with a brief new introduction (by "Usha-Shashi") to the second Sagar edition, are easily revealed by their poor use of English. (Iyer's original writing, by contrast, is quite fluent.) The second Sagar edition also features a new Forword, which actually appears to be by G.K. Goel, whose name appears at the end of it.

It was G.K. Goel, in 2004, who added the Sanskrit slokas, which did not appear in any previous edition. I cannot read Sanskrit, so I must presume that Goel did an accurate job of selecting & placing the slokas in the text. For those of you who read Sanskrit, the addition is a great improvement.

Mr. Goel also replaced the Appendices in Sagar's first edition with three of his own.

Glancing at the text, I found this in Chapter 10, On Avocation, page 141:

(b) Mr. P.V. Narasimha Rao's birth particulars are: ...
Mr. P.V. Narasimha Rao, 1921-2004, was the 12th Prime Minister of the modern Indian state, serving from 1991 to 1996. It would appear that Mr. Goel's "upgrading" consisted of more than Sanskrit slokas. It would appear the book has at least been very carefully edited, all credit which must go to Mr. Goel. Which makes me wonder: Who were "Usha-Shashi"?

A much improved book. Dear Mr. Sagar: Why not remove "Usha-Shashi" from this book, and replace those names with the name of the true translator, Mr. N. Chidambaram Iyer?

Sagar, 350 pages.

JATAKA BHARNAM - Pt. Dhundiraj, translated by G.C. Sharma, $35.00



1. The beginning
2. The effects of Samvatsaras
3. The effects of birth in the two Ayanas
4. The effects of birth in the various Ritus (seasons)
5. The effects of birth in the various months
6. The effects of birth on the vsrious Tithis
7. The effects of birth on the various days
8. The effects of birth in the various Nakshatras
9. The effects of birth in the various Navamsas
10. The effects of birth in the various yogas
11. The effects of birth in the various Karanas
12. The effects of birht in the various Ganas
13. The effects of birth in the various lagnas
14. The orderly arrangement of the Nakshatras in the shape of a child & its effects
15. The effects related to the twelve houses ofthe zodiac
16. Evil combinations of birth
17. The effects of the planets, the sun, etc, in the various houses
18. Aspects of the planets
19. The effect when the various planets are situated in the various signs
20. The circle of Saturn
21. The circle which does good to oneand all
22. The Surya Kalanl Chakra
23. The Chandra Kalanl Chakra
24. The effects when the planets are in transit
25. The conjunction of two planets
26. the conjunction of three planets
27. Rajayogas
28. The marks of rajayoga
29. The conditions which destroy the rajayogas
30. The combinations conferring greatness upon the native
31. The Karaka yogas
32. The Nabhasa yogas
33. The effects of the rays of the planets
34. The Avasthas of the planets
35. The strength of the planets
36. The yogas (combinations) of the sun
37. The yogas (combinations) of the moon
38. Yogas causing the native to become an ascetic
39. The evil combinations
40. The evils which are destroyed by the moon
41. The yogas which are antidotes to evils
42. The effects of the dashas or periods
43. The effects of the dashas of the planets
44. The effects of the special dashas of planets
45. The effects of the antardashas
46. The chapter relating to alms given to pacify planets
47. The Nashta Jataka system
48. Death causing combinations
49. The effects of the moon being in the various signs and the tithis when these effects go off the moon & obtained by the native
50. The women natives

Comment: From the Preface, by the translator, G.C. Sharma:

Jataka Bharnam is a detailed classic text on Vedic Astrology, which has been popular amongst the learned astrologers not only for its lucid language and well crafted aphorism but also for their application and usefulness. As a matter of fact it is a much respected work for practitioners even in far flung locations where astrology has remained a family tradition. This is owing to the fact that after careful study & interpretation one can decipher the inner meanings in the horoscope.

Pandit Dhundiraj, the author has presented the classic in a very lucid & simple style so much that the essential principles of interpreting the horoscopic charts, especially in terms of effects of fine time factors (namely, Samvatsar, Ayan, Ritu, month, Paksh) beside just the birth time (and its Panchang) conjunction and aspects of planets, various planetary combinations (yogas) and effects of lords of various houses as they are posited, conjunct or aspected.

Besides, the special influences of various divisons of signs (vargas), transit and ashtakavarga, the text uniquely exposes the use of various chakras - Surya-Kalanal, Chandra-Kalanal, Shani-Chakra and Sarvatobhadra Chakra which are the greatest secrets of vedic astrology & tantra.

Female astrology does find a separate mention only to indicate that much further research is needed in this area befitting to dates special significant role being played by the women in the development process all over the world.

Remedial measures as suggested in this work would be of special interest to the practitioners and readers as they do highlight some very interesting underlying principles to get over the problems created by various affiliated planetrs. This is an area of further research and greater usefulness to society at large. (pg. v)

Includes original slokas, presumably in Sanskrit. No details about the author are given. Pandit Dhundiraj might have lived 15 centuries ago, or might have been born in 1920. (See here, the second man on the page.) The text does not sound in any way "modern". I wonder if it was possible for anyone to live through Indian Independence & the partition while still a young man & yet write,
The effects of the aspect of the Sun on the Moon in the sign of Sagittarius: The Moon being posited in the sign of Sagittarius and aspected by the Sun causes the native to be extremely valorous, to have excellent glory, to be endowed with wealth, property & conveyance, be victorious in a battle and have the favor of the king. (pg. 358)

Sagar, 823 pages, hardcover with dustjacket.

NASTA JATAKAM (Lost Horoscopy) - Mukunda Daivajna, translated from the Sanskrit by R. Santhanam, $12.00
Foreword by B.V. Raman; Introduction;
1. Restoring lost horoscopy according to Varaha Mihira: Birth data through horary chart ascertaining year, season, day/night, month, sign, natal ascendant, birth-star, other ways of ascertaining year, etc.;

2. Construction of lost horoscopy according to Amir Chand: Ascertainment of solstice, season, year, month, fortnight, day, hour, minute, second, etc. Results obtained by effecting Rasi multiplication & planetary multiplication, period of longevity of various living beings with the help of horary ascendant, the sun & the strong planet in the horary chart;

3. Restoring lost horoscopy according to Kerala school of thought: Ascertainment of lost horoscope through Vargankas, Varnankas, or basic products - Pindas. Twelve methods of restoring lost horoscopy detailed;

4. Ways of rectifying or constructing a lost horoscope; Appendix.

Comment: Nasta Jatakam is the art of determining birth data when the time, day or even year are unknown. In the Vedic system, this is accomplished through a process of deduction & mathematics. The author was a Brahmin, born in the Garhwal region in 1877, trained as a Paurohit (one who performs marriages & death rites, etc.) and as an astrologer, for which he was renown. This book dates from 1917, this edition includes the original Sanskrit slokas, but has no example charts. Sri Mukunda lived to 1979.

Ranjan, 150 pages.

JATAKA DESH MARGA - Podumanai Chomadiri, translated by S.S. Sareen, $15.00
Introduction; 1. Sangya; 2. Nisheka; 3. Balarishta; 4. Arishta Bhang; 5. Ayur Vibhaga; 6. Ayur Yoga; 7. Maran Nirnaya; 8. Yoga; 9. Ashtakavarga; 10. Bhava Vichar; 11. Chara Phala; 12. Dasa Paharchidra; 13. Bharya Vichar; 14. Anukoolya; 15. Putra Chinta; 16. Santana Chinta; 17. Misra.

Comment: Regrettably, the introductory notes give no details as to the author, who was also known as Somayaji of Poduhouse. Most of the chapter headings need translation, here they are:

1. Introduction; 2. Women, sex, childbirth; 3. Death of children; 4. Combinations that ward off evil; 5. Longevity; 6. Longevity; 7. Signs of death; 8. Yogas that describe the physical body & general life circumstances; 9. The ashtakavargas of the planets; 10. General rules for reading a chart;

11. Transits; 12. Dasas & antardasas, with nakshatras; 13. Marriage, marriage partner; 14. Matching boy & girl charts; 15. Children due to the native (sex, number); 16. More yogas for getting children, or why they may be denied; 17. Happiness, prosperity.

Original slokas (not sure if they're Sanskrit, might be Hindi), tables, diagrams, some sample charts. Some slokas attract extensive comment from the translator, who, on occasion, also quotes Sanskrit from other, traditional, sources.

Sagar, 252 pages.

SATYA-JATAKAM - Sage Satyacharya, $13.00

Preface, by S.K. Raman
Contents at a glance

Adhyaya 1:
Time of birth - Janmanakshatra
Strength of a bhava - Significance of the houses;

Adhyana 2:
Five basic principles:
Strength of bhavas & planets - Pancha siddhanta criterions - Planetary friendship - Auspicious & inauspicious stars, etc.;

Adhyana 3:
Results to be read from the twelve bhavas
Subhayogas & asubhayogas - Effects of 12 houses

Adhyana 4:
Effects of Dasas & Bhuktis
General rules - Factors governing benefic & malefic results - Effects of the lords of the various houses while placed in the 12 houses

Adhyana 5:
The nature of Rahu & Ketu, The effects of Rahu & Ketu in various houses.
The effects produced by various planets when they transit various signs

Appendix 1: Slokas of Satyacharya as quoted in Chintamani, by Bhattotpala

Appendix 2: Characteristics of people born in the 12 ascendants in Satya Samhita - references found in Brihat Jataka regarding rules of Satyacharya with English translation.

Comment: This is a very old book. One story is the author was a Buddhist monk. This book is considered to embody the principles of Dhruva Nadi & Satyasamhita Nadi. The translator is not credited (odd), the Preface by S.K. Raman did not strike me as written by the translator. This, of course, makes one wonder where Ranjan got the book. Includes original slokas, no sample charts.

Ranjan, 144 pages.

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