Problems in Predictions

The following article was published in “The Times of Astrology” magazine Jan ’99, New Delhi, India.

The intention of this article is not that the senior astrologers would not know the problems in giving accurate predictions, but to once again recapitulate the same while introducing the intricacies to the beginners in this subject.


In the Hindu (Vedic) astrology, the Nirayana system is used to calculate the Lagna (Ascendant) and longitudes of planets, by deducting the Ayanamsha from Sayana system positions. The popular ayanamshas used are of Lahiri, Raman and Krishnamurthy (K. P.). The differences in ayanamshas vary from about 6 minutes to 1 degree 30 minutes in these systems. As a typical case, in year 1938 the ayanamshas are about Lahiri 23-00, Raman 21-33 and K. P 22-54. When the Lagna and the planets are at the edge of a Rashi (sign), these three ayanamshas may give different lagnas and planetary positions in the rashis. If not in the Rashi chart, they will definitely affect the other Varga (divisional) charts, particularly the Shatshiamsha (1/60 part = 30 minutes) chart. If one can go into the Nadi amsha ( 1/150 part=12 minutes), the situation will be definitely the worst.

In this connection, our respected late Sri R. Santhanam states in is book Deva Keralam:

To wit, if a planet, say Saturn is in Aries 19-59 as per Lahiri Ayanamsha, another Ayanamsha even with a small difference of minus 2′ of arc can place Saturn somewhat ahead and give it Libra navamsha instead of Virgo navamsha due to Lahiri. Saturn even in Aries Rashi with Libra navamsha protects one from heart ailments, gives him longevity and helps him progress in his calling. The same Saturn with Aries sign position but in Virgo navamsha makes him wholly unreliable and makes him a victim of some sort of diseases of hands and legs. This difference could be easily located by an experienced astrologer. Same is the case with other divisions including navamsha.

Also, in this connection, it may also be worthwhile to quote from the June 1991 Grahavani journal (of Hyderabad, AP., India):

According to almost all ephemeris, Saturn had gone into retrogression and entered Dhanus (Sagittarius) and again reentered Makara (Capricorn) on 15 December 1990. But according to Vakya Panchanga (ephemeris) followed by Nadi astrologers in South India, Saturn entered Makara on 10 February 1991, that is, a difference of 55 days. Then what is the fate of the children born between 15 Dec 1990 to 10 Feb 1991, whether Saturn is to be placed in Dhanus or Makara. According to Vakya Panchanga, such a situation is common for Saturn whenever it retrogrades or entering the signs, there will be a difference of nearly 90 days, and for Jupiter 15 days and for fast moving planets Budha (Mercury), Sukra (Venus) for 1 to 3 days will be there. How to reconcile this position is for scholars in the science to decide. All Nadi literature was based on Vakya Panchanga and the predictions arrived on such calculations are 80% coming true. In view of the different Graha Gathis (planetary movements) even the horoscope charts prepared through computers are of no use.

Dasa Systems

Let us see the planetary Dasa systems (progressions) used by Hindu astrologers. The most popular and generally used system by many astrologers is the Vimshottari Dasa system of 120 years with Maha Dasa (main planet period), Antar-dasa (sub period), Pratyantar Dasa (sub sub period) and other minor periods called Vidasa and Sukshma/Prana Dasa. By adopting different ayanamshas, the balance of Maha Dasa at birth in Vimshottari system is likely to be different to a period of about 2 years when major periods of planets operate and all the subsequent periods will accordingly vary. Then obviously it would be very difficult to correlate particular life event during a particular Dasa period even considered upto the minutest level. Mostly, in addition, some planet or other in one of the major/minor periods is somehow gets connected to the particular event to be checked and the astrologer will satisfy himself for his prediction for the event in that Dasa and he will not bother to check that the same event can be predicted in some other Dasa also.

In this connection let me quote from the famous astrologer Dr. B. V. Raman from his editorial in December 1977 in the Astrological magazine:

From what I have said hitherto, you will notice that Nadi astrology gives an important place to the basic pattern of the horoscope revealed by Dwadasamsha (1/12 division) for a general outline and Nadi amsha (1/150 part) for a comprehensive survey. The details such as attainment of rank, position and status, success, occupation etc. are filled in by the planets and the various Yogas or typical combinations formed by them. In actual practice, these principles can be easily demonstrated by applying them to well known horoscopes. But that will only be a post-mortem study. After an event has happened, we can justify it in some way or the other, but it is in the prior application of these principles and prediction of events to happen in future that the real value of astrology lies.

In addition to Vimshottari Dasa system, as given by Daivagna Ratna Sri T. Ramakrishna in Grahavani journal of November 1988:

There are many other Nakshatra Dasa systems such as Shodashothar (116. years), Dwadasottari (112), Ashtottari (108), Panchottari (105), Satamana (100), Chaturasiti (84), Dwisapthati(72), Sashtidpani (60), Shatirimsati. (36) and other Dasa systems of Kalachakra Dasa, Chara Dasa, Sthira Dasa, Yogini Dasa (slightly varying from Shatirimsati Dasa stated earlier), Tanvadi Dasa, Panchaswara Dasa, Varnadi Dasa, Yogindra Dasa, Ashtakavarga Dasa (Pinda Amsha, Nisargika), Sandhya Dasa, Sandhya panchaka Dasa, Tara Dasa and Sudarshana chakra.

It is not known clearly when to use which Dasa.

In this connection, let me quote from the book Hindu Astrology by Shri Shil Ponde:

The normal span of life for all persons born in the Shukla Paksha, or between New Moon and Full Moon, should be 120 years. That of persons born in Krishna Paksha, between full Moon and new Moon, should be 108 years. It was not at all extraordinary for men and women in ancient civilization to live longer than this normal span, but the nervous tension and toxic poisons which are the concomitants of modern civilization have cut down the normal span of life considerably. Vimshottari Dasa system (120 Years) is to be used for all persons born between new Moon and full Moon and the Ashtottari Dasa system (108 years) is to be used for persons born between the full Moon and the new Moon, that is, during the waning period of the Moon.

In addition, Shri Shil Ponde also states that a slightly different Ayanamsha is to be used for the position of the Moon, only when dealing with planetary periods and for determining the true position of the Moon in the fixed zodiac and it is to be used instead of the regular Ayanamsha correction, not in addition to it. As a hypothetical case, he states that ” instead of making the Krishna Paksha, between full Moon and new Moon, should be 108 years. It was not at all extraordinary for men and women in ancient civilization to live longer than this normal span, but the nervous tension and to ice poisons which are the concomitants of modern civilization have cut down the normal span of life considerably. Vimshottari Dasa system (120 Years) is to be used for all persons born between new Moon and full Moon and the Ashtottari Dasa system (108 years) is to be used for others. He gives 19-38 for year 1933 whereas Lahiri’s gives 22-55, a difference of about 3 degrees. I may also state here that Sage Satyacharya, father of Nadi Astrology, states that the Dasa system should be taken from the Moon or Lang whichever is stronger.

Varga (Divisional) Charts

Let us see the Varga (divisional) charts. As per late Sri R. Santhanam, the Shatshiamsha chart is to be prepared at the rate of 1/2 degree per Rashi starting from the rash where Lagna or planet is situated in rashi chart. Whereas, in his book Jyotisha Siddhamthamu (out of print) in South Indian Telugu language, my Guru “Daivagna Ratna and Vidya Visarada late Sri Divakaruni Venkata Subba Rao (author of many valuable books in Telugu language) states that if Lagna or planet is in odd rashi in rashi chart, then count its position at the rate of 30 minutes per rashi from Mesha (Aries) clockwise and if in even rashi count from Mean (Pisces) anticlockwise. I personally feel that counting should be clockwise from the rashi where Lagna or planet is located if it is in odd rashi and anti clockwise from that rashi if it is in even rashi, since originally the names of Shatshiamshas are given clockwise for odd rashis and the same names repeat anti clockwise for even rashis. These versions will definitely give different Shatshiamsha charts. I am not sure whether Shatshiamsha charts can be prepared at all or just see them as good or bad as mentioned against each name of Shatshiamsha.

Late Sri R. Santhanam states in his book Deva Keralam that ” the aspect as a rule should be seen in rashi chart only, not in navamsha and other charts, for aspects emanate only by longitudinal distances”. In his book Jyotisha Siddhamthamu late Sri D. V. Subbarao states that ” the lordships of bhavas and their position in Varga charts is not to be considered in Varga charts, the bhava lords and their position is to be judicially taken only from Bhava chart, in Varga charts the position of the Lagna lord of that Varga is important. ” Whereas, in her article in June 1986 the Astrological magazine, Smt Gayatri Devi Vasudev states ” the point is not to decry Parasari system has having limitations but to stress that reckoning aspects in navamsha too, and subjecting navamsha to an analysis similar to rashi seem to make matters clearer”. She also quotes Dr. B. V. Raman regarding navamsha ” it is the pivot on which the horoscope revolves, every combination mentioned should be applied to the rashi, bhava and navamsha charts and then a conclusion drawn”.

I may mention here that nowhere it is published specifically how to use these various Varga charts and what would be the results for various permutations and combinations for different charts. For example, what would be the type of life pattern for Aries Lagna in rashi chart with the different nine lagnas in navamsha chart from Aries to Sagittarius, for Taurus Lagna in rashi chart with different nine navamsha lagnas from Capricorn to Virgo etc. and extending the same logic for various other permutations and combinations to the level of different Shatshiamshas each of 30′ duration or still the minutest Nadi amsha division of 12′ arc duration. Of course, there is some literature available giving what each 2 1/2 degree in each bhava (Dwadasamsha) represents and what would be the Karmic pattern of each Shatshiamsha, independently without linking to the rashi chart and other Varga charts and planetary positions. Some of the astrologers may be having ancient literature giving life patterns dealing with planetary positions along with permutations and combinations of various Varga charts upto the level of Nadi amshas, but they will not be publishing their secret treasure for the benefit of others and for the research in the subject.

Special Lagnas/aspects

There are also many special lagnas such as Ghatika Lagna, Vighatika Lagna, Bhava Lagna, Arudha Lagna, Atmakaraka Lagna, Upapada Lagna etc., aspects of planets from one rashi to another rashi (Jaimini system), and as per some Nadi rulings a retrograde planet aspects the previous house and planets aspect the trines from them etc.

Nadi Literature

In his 3 volumes of book Nadi Jyotisha-A stellar system of astrology published in 1954 (out of print), late Sri R. Gopalakrishna Rao (Meena) had given importance only to the constellation lords of the planets as Jeeva and Shareera planets and their Satwik (pure), Rajasik (restless) and Tamasik (dull/aggressive) gunas (qualities). Shri Ratanlal in his book Nadi system of prediction (stellar theory) published in 1983 and late Sri N. V. Raghavachary (Meena II) in his book Practical Stellar astrology (based on Nadi principles) published in 1995 Almost followed the original books by Sri R. Goplakrishna Rao. Even the Krishnamurthy Paddhathi is also an tension of what is stated by Sri R. Gopalakrishna Rao. Sri R. G. Rao of Bangalore. India in his book Bhrugu Nandi Nadi had given interpretation of Nadi principles on the basis of Karakatwas (signification) of planets only and Jupiter transits only ï 7 3 irrespective of Lagna. Late Sri R. Santhanam in his volumes of Deva Keralam (Chandra Kala Nadi) gave many useful rules of Nadi astrology.

The Astrological magazine of Bangalore, India has been publishing general life patterns for each Nadi amsha as per Dhruva Nadi and Nandi Nadi. All these available Nadi literature is still scanty only without giving any real clues.

Birth Time Rectification

There are also many systems mentioned for birth time rectification. The minutest in these systems is as per Tatwa Siddhantha to match the male/female birth for moveable/fixed/dual Lagna, day and Moon Nakshatra (constellation), as given in the books Jyotisha Siddhamtamu (out of print) by late SriD. V. Subbarao in Telugu language in 1970, The Nadi system of rectification by Mr. Marc Penfield in 1976, Rectification of birth time (an analytical approach) by Prof. P. S. Sastri in 1996 and in the article Rectification of birth time-Bhrugu Nadi by Sri M. V. Rao in March 1973 in the esteemed journal The Times of Astrology. In these also there are no similarities, but the Antar-tatwa Siddhantha adopted by late Sri D. V. Subbarao goes to the e tent of difference in birth time upto 12 seconds in time for male/female birth similar to the minutest Nadi amsha patterns. In this connection, I may mention that during my lectures in USA recently during April to July 1998 in American Federation of Astrologers and Arsha Vidya Gurukulam on their invitation, I happen to read in the World Almanac that for every 3 seconds 9 births and 6 deaths take place (it is for the scholars to visualize where from the other 3 births come from after 6 deaths), which amounts to 3 births for every second. In such a case, even the Nadi amsha of 12 seconds duration for each birth, which might have been visualized in ancient times when birth rate is very slow, does not hold good in these modern times.


There are also many systems such as Pindayu, Amshayu, Jeevasarmayu, Ashtakavargayu etc. for calculating the longevity, which may give
different longevities.


There are also many views on the transit system of planets from natal Moon, Lagna, planets in rashis, in Nakshatra, in navamsha, over natal planets, vedha etc. There are Varsha Phala(progressed chart) to erect the chart of progression based on Sun position every year same as at natal chart, Dinavarsha Paddhati of one degree is one year with subtle aspects just as western system applied on Sayana chart, Tajaka system etc.


There are also Ashtakavarga method, Rajayogas, planetary shadbalas (6 fold strength), bhava balas, Vimsopoka planetary strengths, Upagrahas (Gulika, Mandi
etc.), eclipses etc. There are also many rules given by many sages and astrologers for an event to happen, which it is humanly impossible to remember all these rules and apply. Even the present Nadi astrologers who read from their ancient palm leaves mostly give predictions age wise only by whatever method they follow and those future predictions also seem to be not correctly coming true in most cases, though the past events seem to be mostly true.


I might have missed some more points but in view of the above quoted points I wonder whether any astrologer can really predict any specific event on a particular time purely from astrological point of view, without any other intuition techniques or through any other secret literature such as Nadi Grantha available with him. I would like to quote here Dr. B. V. Raman in his letter to me on 4 December 1993 that

Astrology is a subject where not only an insight into its techniques is needed but also certain amount of intuition. Experience can gradually make appreciate the nuances of the predictive art. The literature available on Nadi astrology in the market could only be of academic interest. They do not give one an insight into the technique of the system. The late Mr. Gopalakrishna Rao (Meena) has given the Nadi method as revealed by his Guru in his book Nadi Jyotisha. But unfortunately the book has been out of print for a long time.

The whole problem in astrological prediction is mainly due to lack of sufficient literature in astrology with correct understanding of the principles. In ancient times Gurukulam system of teaching was prevalent and much facilities were not available to record or write down the details of the principles taught with their specific interpretations and as such the rules in the brief Sanskrit slokas of ancient times can possibly be mistranslated and misunderstood nowadays. The astrologers nowadays mostly do not collect, maintain data of the complete life pattern events of the charts of their clients and others, do research and discuss openly with others. Some of them publish some specific past events only by justifying by some method or other, which mostly will not coincide when applied to some other similar chart. It may be appreciated how difficult it is to interpret the twins charts or those born very closely, wherein also the events and timings vary considerably. Most of the astrologers are lucky that they do not face similar charts for interpretation at the same time.

As a former scientist, engineer and manager, I do realize that even in the fields of the present most modern sciences and technologies such as medicine, space travel etc., inspite of much research, availability of literature and many methods of approach, there are still failures beyond the scope of human being, but still the progress is fantastic since many nations take interest in those specific areas. Whereas the subject of Astrology is mostly a neglected area for whatever reasons may be and no Governmental agency is interested in pursuing the research in this subject. No astrologer is also interested in the research in astrology and none of the astrological associations / federations / groups / conferences / trusts / magazines do strive for research to evolve new specific rules, rather new Nadi Grantha, suitable to modern times and different countries. The strange thing is that many consult an astrologer when they are in trouble and do not come forward to help to do research in this subject. Such being the case, this subject of astrology is sure to have its natural death in due course, though surviving in its superficial way of knowledge.

I sincerely wish that the Governments, the rich individuals, the trusts, the rich Swamis etc. should come forward and encourage research in Astrology by giving necessary funds to the organizations.
By “Daivagna Ratna” Pemmaraju V.R.Rayudu B.E., M.Tech