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Nadi Astrology

A South Indian tradition


Saraswathi Mahal Library


Q: Hi Barbara,

I take an avid interest in astrology and while surfing on the net i came across your website, it is very detailed and i have gained some knowledge abt astrology. I was wondering as to what is the difference between Vedic astrology and nadi astrology.

moreover does nadi astrology have any basis etc. Thanks

A : Namaste

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As to whether the Tamil-Nadu Nadi tradition has any basis, it may be noted that the palm-leaf documents, that were purchased at auction by a small number of families who now give nadi readings as their main commercial business, have been dated by western scholars to be about 350 years old.

That is not to say that the nadi divinatory tradition itself is so young; but rather that the folio" leaves " (thin pieces of wood) are probably not of such hoary antiquity as their owners might claim.

As with all divinations -- whether by cracked tortoise-shell, Jyotisha charts, or tea-leaves at the bottom of the cuppa-- the diviner and the divinee must be psycho-spiritually attuned in order to accurately interpret the meaning of the pattern.

Divination is all about pattern recognition . Legitimate spiritual guidance may occur via dreams, through reading books, or during a random conversation with a stranger in a bus station.

Carl Jung called] it synchronicity. It is a mechanism by which spiritually attuned people can receive crucial life-path directions, via nearly any cosmically convenient means.

  • Presuming querent readiness, the"message" can be true, even though the"messenger" might look pretty hokey!

The Messenger vs. The Message

As the old saying goes," when the student is ready, the teacher appears ".

So it is with occasions of spiritual guidance and direction.

These moments of unusual clarity and spiritual validation may arrive in strange costume. The information may be accurate, meaningful, and indeed crucial -- so long as one has the discriminating wisdom to avoid confusing the messenger with the message.

so it is with Nadi astrology. One who has faith in the value of the tradition may utilize the results of a traditional Nadi reading for any number of personal purposes. The customer who is told"we can't find your reading" could either think the whole system is fraudulent; or one could walk away realizing that one is not ready to receive the next divinatory instruction from this particular source.

There are many legitimate sources.

Rahu vs Budha

in the Land of the Naga, chalakaraka Rahu amplifies ambition, fascination, and fraud

Jyotisha follows a quite straightforward rhythmic-arithmetical system, guided by Professor Budha , based on astronomical observations of the known sky coordinated with a birth time on Earth. Anyone with a computer (or a very good head for maths) can set up a Jyotishavidya nativity

in a few minutes' time. Jyotisha charts are constructed on the basis of the client's birth date, place, and time. These Budha-ruled Jyotisha constructs are a bit more accessible naturally. But Budha's output is also less magically mysterious than Rahula's Nadi readings.

In Nadi astrology, no one quite knows how the Nadi charts are connected to the querent. That is part of Professor Rahu 's fun. Upon visiting one of the family-owned Nadi warehouses in search of one's personalized reading, the querent is usually asked for a thumbprint, to establish the match. behind closed doors, the Keepers of the Inventory then search for the matching piece of thin wood. American visitors may be reminded of the Great Wizard of Oz -- don't look behind the green curtain - oh humbug!

Nevertheless, the mystery surrounding a Nadi reading and the anticipation of learning some exotic and specially privileged [Rahu] information may be very positive factors in creating psychic attunement to the predictions.

Jyotisha can become rather mundane in the modern world. With modern software, Jyotisha calculations have become de-mystified (and much more accurate!) It is now quite easy to see the outlines one's future narrative at the press of a computer button.

Yet, divinations only work when the person is ready to accept the esoteric knowledge. Perhaps the ancient and mysterious temple ambiance of a traditional palm-leaf reading would make the client more ready, by creating a more exciting and attentive moment, which sticks in memory and serves as a useful lifetime spiritual guidance. If so, it is a very good thing.

It is likely that that everyone who has an interest in divination would enjoy visiting the families of Nadi readers associated with the Vaitheeswaran Temple. See if the palm-leaf custodians can find your reading. If they can, how delightful! If they can't, go to an internet café and download your classical Jyotishavidya nativity

(and don't forget your Angaraka puja!)

The map is always there ;

one simply needs to be ready in order to learn to read it.

Best wishes for success in your Jyotisha Studies,


BP Lama, Jyotisha


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