1. What is Nadi Astrology?
Nadi Astrology is an ancient branch of astrology, whose origins began in Southern part of India. Nadi Astrology is based on an old-age belief that the one can decipher the past, present and future of all humans through the text written on palm leaves by Hindu sages in ancient time. It is a popularly believed that the great Hindu sages of the yore foresaw the past, present and future of all humans and hence, recorded these on tree barks and palm leaves.
2. History of Nadi Astrology:
Nadi Astrology is widely practiced in the Tamil Nadu region as well as Kerala and other adjacent areas in South India. Simply put, it is an ancient method of recording data. Over the ages, people have come to believe that a thousand years ago, great Indian sages were granted a boon – to look into every human being’s past, present and future lives. They had to power to look into the lives of people were not only dead, living but also those who were yet to be born!
These sages then recorded these visions, i.e. data onto palm leaves in Tamil script. Today, these can be deciphered or read by Nadi astrologers or experts who have studied this branch of astrology. The term ‘Nadi’ in Tamil means ‘in search of’. Therefore, the existence of Nadi astrology indicates that every human being is in search of his past and future. According to legends, these scriptures on palm leaves are scattered across different parts of India and some of them were first found in Tamil Nadu.
It is widely believed that these pal scriptures, holding secrets to past and present were classified a thousand years ago during the Chola reign in South India. The Nadis are named after the rishis and sages who originally recorded these findings. They are Suka Nadi, Kaushika Nadi, Brahma Nadi and Agasthiya Nadi. These Nadis are not easy to read as they are written in ancient Tamil and are in poetry form, i.e. in sonnets and couplets. Only expert linguists who have studied this form of astrology over many years can read them.
Nadi Astrology is one of the oldest forms of astrology originating in India and in the recent past, it has attained a lot of popularity. However, due to its popularity and lack of clarity among people about its nature, a lot of fraudulent knowledge and frauds pretending to be experts are doing the rounds.
Here are a few truths about Nadi Astrology that you must know: –
I). Nadi Astrology originates from Souther India and several leaves were found to be preserved in the Saraswati Mahal Library in Tanjore, Tamil Nadu. Many Brahmin astrology communities are known to possess these leaves as well. Some of these bundles are ‘exported’ to cities in other parts of India like Delhi, Mumbai, etc on a temporary, rotating basis. Most original Nadi centres are in remote rural interiors of Tamil Nadu where Hindi or even English is understood very little and access is difficult for common people, etc.
II). Nadi Astrology gives details of one’s past, present and future are very correctly including personal details, but is only possible for those people who have a very profound knowledge along with God gifted omen on this subject.
III). In Tamil Nadu, the texts are mainly written in Vattezhuthu, which is an ancient Thamizh (Tamil) script. They were written by an ancient priest or “Rishi” called “Agastya” who had a highly developed consciousness. These ancient records of providence were made famous by practitioners around the Vaitheeswara Temple in the state of Tamil Nadu. First, the Naadi palm leaves are located based on the thumb impressions (right for men, left for women).
These Naadi leaves were initially stored in the premises of Thanjavur’s Saraswati Mahal Library in Tamil Nadu. The British colonialists later showed interest in the Naadi leaves concerned with herbs and medicine, future prediction, etc. Some leaves got destroyed, and the remaining were auctioned during the British Raj (rule). These Nadi leaves were obtained by the families of astrologers at the Vaitheeswaran Temple and have been passed down the years from one generation to the other.
There is also another set of astrologers claiming that the content written in the palm leaf is conversation between Shiva and Parvathi. This is called “Shiva Nadi Jyotishyam”.
3. How many branches of Nadi Astrology systems propagated in India?
There are so many Nadi Astrology systems propagated in India that we cannot even anticipate. And each is just as magnificent as the next. I can only tell you about the one’s I have experienced. Be advised, Nadi astrology is so ancient that often facts and fictions mix with each other. The entire answer will keep switching from history to mythology. The actual truth is long lost but what we know makes enough sense to be remembered and retold. Some things written are my own research as well based on my studies of Indian history and Vedic religion.
When talking of Nadi astrology, the discussion cannot start without the mention of two magnificent personality. One who resides in Vishnu’s heart, and the other who kicked Vishnu in the heart. Shiva and Bhrigu.
This method of prediction is just as divine as the stories of Lord Shiva. This is from where the knowledge of astrology stems. While some people say that they possess Shiva Nadi, I am sceptical of it. This method of astrology is taught by Lord Shiva himself to Mata Parvati. From there, the knowledge tricked down to Brahma and the Saptarishis.
This is the place where Tantra transitions into astrology, where divinity transforms to divination, where existence pervades through the past, present and future.
Based on the evidences we have, we know that the system goes far beyond traditional astrology. Even breath can be used to make predictions. Sounds, sights, smell, anything becomes a tool for foretelling the events to come. A part of Shiva Nadi, in form of a dialogue between Shiva and Parvati exists today as Shiva Swarodaya; the science of divination through breath. In tantra, hints of strology are seen here and there.
The concepts of Shiva Nadi are so simple, so raw, so genuine that it cannot be understood and perfected without meditation. This is the absolute perfection of astrology and the only system of astrology that can be learned by meditating. I do not have any idea about Shiva Nadi’s astrological principles.
Primary Principle: No idea
This is from where astrology spread. Bhrigu was the first among humans (as depicted in mythology) to learn and perfect astrology. He was the sage powerful enough to test Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. The ancestor of Parshurama and the one who dared kick Vishnu in the chest.
The method of Bhrigu Nadi is to make predictions mostly through transits and mutual planetary placements. Other methods too exist and are used, but primarily the way of analyzing is through mutual placement and progressions/transits. The most interesting feature of Bhrigu Nadi is that it does not require the horoscope to be accurate.
I demonstrated the methodology while interpreting charts without using the lagna concept.
Primary Principle: Mutual placement of planets
When talking of Nadi astrology, it is almost criminal to not talk of Agasthya, the great Maharishi who is the father of Tamil language and the entire southern civilization. The twin brother of Vashishta and the one who is said to have drunk an entire ocean.
Agasthya Nadi is famed in southern India. It rose in prominence because one of the Nadi centers made a prediction about PVR Narasimha Rao becoming the next Prime Minister of India. The prediction became true and made Agasthya Nadi famous. It is from then only that the palm leaves and
thumb print based Nadi became famous. However, most texts have been lost or corrupted.
Primary principle: Nadiamsa
Sadly, Agasthya Nadi has become a way of cheating innocent people. The most fraud and loot exists in the name of Agasthya Nadi only. As said, the popularity of Agathiyar Nadi arose from the prediction about the previous prime minister Narasimha Rao. But with popularity comes fraud as well. From tall claims that it tells everything about an individual to claims that a unique record exists for everyone, the modern people have abused Agasthya Nadi to no extent. And none of it can be substantiated by one proof. If you actually go and ask most people claiming to be versed in Agasthya Nadi, they would start stammering and avoiding direct questions.
So while Sage Agasthya’s work was magnificent and still is, regarding its theoretical work; almost all claims about its divinity are fraudulent as well as outright stupid.
This is the work of Sage Satyacharya. It is from here that he introduces the Panch Siddhanta of interpreting a horoscope. It is from here that nakshatras and their use became popular, and it is a tiny aspect of this magnificent work on which the entire KP astrology is based. Satyacharya’s work on nakshatra is the basic principle behind KP’s theory of significators and dasha results.
Primary Principle: Nakshatras, Navamsha, Houses and Dasha
This work on Nadi astrology is said to the the combined work of the seven great Sages.
Primary Principle: Houses and Lordships
The entire work is devoted to Kaal Hora. One of the most accurate works on astrology and something that will actually give results in all areas of use.
Primary Principle: Kaal Hora
Nandi Nadi: This is another legendary work on astrology. Late Prof. R G Rao combined
the principles of Bhrigu Nadi and Nandi Nadi and published several books. Nandi Nadi and Bhrigu Nadi are such magnificent works that R G Rao has become an immortal name in astrology just by writing books on these.
Primary Principle: Planetary positions, transit and progression
This is the work of Shukracharya who is said to be a storehouse of wisdom. Being the Son of Bhrigu, his work is almost as magnificent as Bhrigu Nadi.
Primary Principle: Similar to Bhrigu Nadi
Chandra Kala Nadi:
This is another work that uses Nadiamsa but along with it uses other concepts such as Aroodha, transit, etc. as well. Considered to be one of the most magnificent Nadi treatise, a limited part of the book was translated and published by R Santhanam. However, given the use of Nadiamsa, practically a major chunk of the book is not usable.
Apart from these, there are other Nadi texts called mantra Nadis.
It is said that Mantra Nadis help a person to “know” the past events as and when someone asks them. Without any predictive analysis, without looking at the horoscope, or anything.
My own method of predictions is based on especially in “KP Astrology” along with “Rao’s System of Nadi Astrology (RSNA)”. There are numerous works on Nadi astrology, much more than these. But for other, I know nothing other than the name. These are the ones I have read and researched on. Sometimes I also used on Bhrigu Nadi, Saptarishi Nadi, Dhruva Nadi, Shuka Nadi and Nandi Nadi and Bits and pieces of course, as it is impossible for one man to possess, translate and read all of these.