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The Stars of Reincarnation: From Raghava to Ratnavali

Thursday, 30 September 2010 / Published in Articles / 14,267 views

By Abhaya Mudra Dasi

Let us glance at the astro-data of Raghava das Brahmachary and Ratnavali devi dasi. From the correlations between them, we will see that these two are in fact the same person who has transmigrated from one body to the next.

Raghava das’s birth chart
14 May 1954, 7:20 pm in Glasgow, Scotland

What is clear from Raghava’s chart is that we are dealing with a devotee. Jupiter is nicely positioned in the house of dharma (the 9th). But Raghava has an extremely good 8th house of death with 2 friendly planets there: Venus in his own sign of Libra and friendly Mercury. Venus also rules the 1st house or atmastan (house of self) where we find an exalted Saturn in Libra. Saturn is also retrograde and moving towards the 12th house of loss in Virgo. Virgo is ruled by Mercury who, again, is found on the 8th house of death with Venus the lord of atma. Mercury here gives a good timing of death according to a system that is attributed to Brighu Muni.

Nonetheless, such a good 8th house should have been responsible for a long and happy life. After all, Venus lord of the 8th in the 8th confers a nice sarala yoga for “easy life.” What planetary culprits are there that could have caused his premature death? At the time of his death, Raghava das Brahmachary was undergoing Rahu mahadasha. Rahu, according to some astrologers, is in debilitation in Sagittarius. In any case, Dhanush rashi is an unwelcome place for the shadowy graha. Rahu is with the destructive Mars, a maraka or death-inflictor as 7th lord. Both Rahu and Mars are in the house of short distance travel the 3rd. Therefore, we conclude that it was the planetary period of an afflicted Rahu that had the ability to override the other good points of the horoscope and caused his death while traveling.

The punya chakra (time of death) of Raghava das Brahmachary.
Died: 20 October 1973 at 8:45 am in Morpeth, UK

20th October 1973 must have been an ordinary day for many people but not for Raghava das Brahmachary. The first coincidence we notice in this chakra is that Rahu is at the exact same position by house and sign as at the time of Raghava’s birth, namely in third in Sagittarius. The quota of his life was therefore one round of Rahu. But since the degrees are not the same in both charts, there must have been other coincidences for the fatal incident taking place. Note that the rising sign at the time of death is Libra, same as at Raghava’s time of birth. In fact the lagna position between the two charts is almost exact; there is a difference of a mere 2 minutes. Note that the two planets of the 8th house of his birth chart, namely Sun and the fatal Mercury, are also in the rising sign of the chart for the time of death. Those were the circumstances as seen from the vantage point of external circumstances or punya chakra.

From the natal chart, which gives us the internal circumstances of the time of death, we can ascertain that Raghava was also running not only Rahu mahadasha but he was in Venus bhukti dasha and Saturn pratyantara dasha. As the main planetary period of Rahu created the backdrop of events, the bhukti gives the flavor of events playing on the foreground. The pratyantara dasha gives the reaction to the events set by mahadasha and bhukti.

Both bhukti lord Venus and prayantara lord Saturn have a strong connection to the 8th and 1st houses dealing with one’s physical body and it’s time of expiry. In his birth chart, both Saturn and Venus are strongly positioned in the 1st and 8th houses respectively. Saturn is in lagna in exaltation in Libra, ruled by Venus, while Venus is in Taurus. Venus is in his own sign and is the atma karaka or “significator of the self.” The wily outcaste Rahu, as the lord of the main planetary period, has played these two friendly planets into his malefic favor, i.e. incurring death. If we go deeper into the planetary influences of periods and sub-periods, etc., we find the same theme repeated. Rahgava das was in Rahu / Venus / Saturn / Venus / Rahu. Despite the fact that the death came quickly, its seed was planted in the very time of birth just waiting for the right cluster of planets to occur. It all came together on 20 October 1973.

On the day of the accident three features of the panchang, namely tithi, nakshatra and wara were inauspicious. The lunar cycle was navami, a rikta or “hollow” tithi in the krishna paksha or waning lunar phase. The nakshatra was Ashlesha which is never deemed favorable for travels. The day was Shaniwar, Saturday, ruled by malefic Saturn. A look into the drekkana kundali, or three-part divisional chart for the time of death, reveals that the stronger of the two luminaries, the Moon, is in the drekkana of Sagittarius. Since Sagittarius is ruled by the righteous Jupiter, the drekkana indicates a spiritual future for the departed soul of Shri Raghava das Brahmachary.

There are still other clues to a violent departure in Raghava’s birth chart. The past life is ruled by the 5th house which is therefore called the purva-punya-stan. In Raghava’s janma chakra we can see that Saturn (one of the inflictors of death) is the ruler of the 5th house. The shasha mahapurush yoga formed by Saturn in the first house of self is spoiled by him being retrograde and moving toward the 12th house of loss. As indicated by the powerful Saturn bad choices must have been made in past lives using a position that had been attained to by good karma of an even earlier life.

Nonetheless, although Raghava lived for only one round of Rahu, we cannot say that he was in any way unfortunate. He passed on as a devotee and he was reborn as a devotee. Rather than being a cause for regret, the death of a devotee is a time for celebration despite his material circumstances. We now turn our attention to the birth chart of Raghava’s future life as Ratnavali devi dasi.

Ratnavali devi dasi, Born: 9th August at 2am in London, UK

Since Raghava das Brahmachary was absorbed in thought of an Indian girl, he found himself re-born as one. We recall that Venus, the significator of women, played a very strong part at the time of his death. Venus was the lord of the rising sign in the punya chakra as well as the lord of 8th house of death. Since Libra rises in both instances, Venus’ dual role holds true for both the birth chart as well as the chart for the moment of exit. Ominously, Venus was also the lord of the sub-period or antardasha at the time of death. The overpowering influence of feminine Venus planet caused the soul to accept the body of a woman.

In this life time we see that Ratnavali’s 5th house ruling past life is in Libra and is therefore also ruled by Venus. The indication is clear. The “self” of Raghava (first house or atma) has become the fifth “house of past life” for Ratnavali. Her fifth house is aspected by Jupiter revealing her devotional past life connection. The position of Jupiter in her 11th mitrastan or “house of friends” indicates her coming in touch with Krishna Consciousness via the media of another person. Note that Jupiter rules the 7th house of partners, the jayastan. Ironically, in her case the other person is one’s very self from a previous lifetime as further explained in the next paragraph.

Mars, lord of the 11th house where Jupiter is positioned, is lost in the 12th, again in sign ruled by Venus. Her devotional link can be seen also in the drekkana chart where the stronger of the two luminaries, the Sun, is again positioned in Sagittarius ruled by Jupiter and indicates a devotional link to the past. In fact, this is the same position where we found the Moon, the stronger of the two luminaries at the time of Shriman Raghava Prabhu’s death. Here is a subtle yet indisputable proof that we are dealing with the same individual in two different embodiments.

Mercury, who was also positioned in the 8th house in Raghava’s birth chart and promised a good timing of death, has become the ruler of Ratnavali’s first house. In other words, Ratnavali’s house of self in Gemini was Raghava Prabhu’s ninth house of dharma. This is yet another indisputable proof for time travel of the same soul from one body to another.

Ratnavali’s main revelations about her past life have come in her major planetary period of the Moon, the manasakaraka or planet of the mind. Just see that her Moon is with Venus, the ruler of the 5th house of past life. Lord of the fifth house of past life Venus is also retrograde indicating a sense of returning or going back. There is also a nice exchange or parivartana yoga between the Sun and the Moon in her chart. Indeed, her early revelations came in 1994 during Sun dasha. True, Ratnavali first felt the influence of her previous life during the dasha of the 5th house lord Venus. However, Sun and Moon as lords of the houses of communication (2nd and 3rd) have given Ratnavali devi dasi the means to illuminate the facts of her previous birth. Hence the exchange of houses between the luminaries Surya and Chandra allows her to relate her revelation to others during the periods they rule.

One feature that immediately attracts the astrologer’s eye is that Ratnavali’s lagna is hemmed in by two malefic planets on either side. Violent Ketu and Mars are in the 12th and enemies Sun and Saturn are in the 2nd. Hence she had to undergo a horrible torture at the hands of a crazed lunatic due residual effects of lingering karma. The blind and explosive rage is seen in the Sun-Saturn conjunction, the violence and bloodshed are from Mars, and Ketu is seen in the nails. This trauma occurred in her Venus major / Mercury minor planetary periods. Both planets are strongly linked to the 5th house of past lives. At the same time transiting Rahu happened to be in Sagittarius, the same sign from where he began and ended her previous life. In this life since backwards-moving Rahu has moved one sign away to Scorpio this indicates a moving on, a divesting of the past karma. This violent attack was a brutal reflection sent from the past life and transported into this life.

Interestingly, at the time of this writing Rahu is at present moving through Sagittarius (till 6 June 2011) and as an example of Rahu’s influence it is during this period that she has decided to share her story, and divest of the karma of the past. As a side note, she should be especially wary of traveling with tired or careless drivers, fierce dogs, angry strangers etc. till Rahu enters Scorpio in the middle of next year.

What can she expect from this lifetime? Saturn’s lordship over the 8th house of death reveals that this life could not be as short as the previous one. Karma has been paid for and now is the time to fully manifest the activities associated with devotional service. The deep regret for the past is expressed by the weak position of Rahu / Ketu axis dealing mainly with the issues coming from the past and leading to future decisions. The weakness of Ketu is compensated by the strength of Rahu who does very well in a malefic house like the 6th. Theketu-caused regretfulness will be brought into focus at time of the present Mars planetary period running from June 2010 until June 2017 since Mars stands alongside Ketu in the 12th house of loss. It is good that Ratnavali has dedicated herself to fully spiritual activities because such stars are unlikely to produce any satisfactory results in their period.

An 18-year Rahu mahadasha (the same dasha that was running during her previous death) will follow Mars planetary period. Then Ratnavali devi dasi will have the full opportunity to eradicate all the regrets emerging from the past and establish a strong ground for her wonderful 16-year Jupiter period which follows Rahu. Her next time of death will certainly come in Saturn’s planetary period. She will pass on as an old lady, one who has told many a story about a life of fascinating events. ·

from the Astrological Newsletter

Yamuna's raise to embrace Vrindavan
The Diary of Ratnavali Devi Das

16 Responses to “The Stars of Reincarnation: From Raghava to Ratnavali”

  1. Tungavidya dd says :

    Your astrological explanation does not make any sense. It is so confusing, unclear, and not to the point. You coined a nonsensical name “punya chakra” for the chart at time of death.

    “The punya chakra (time of death) of Raghava das Brahmachary.”

    The word “Janma Kundali” translated into English means “Birth Chart” or Natal Chart, therefore the Death Chart should be called the Mrtyu chakra not Punya chakra. Such things evade you.

    And, you can’t even figure out why Rahu Dasa is a maraka for Raghava Prabhu even though it is obvious to me, I will not tell you because I am not here to teach you astrology.

    And these are just a few points I could go one but I’m afraid very few readers have the training to follow the logic so they just blindly accepted what you have written.

    You are getting undesirable reputation for not answering to the readers when questioned; you have yet to respond to

    Since you are keeping silent after so many requests we are forced to assume that you have no answer and are not very expert in astrology as others have accused but merely write to confuse lay devotees and get clients.

    So this is all not good. Why don’t you stop writing texts about astrology, because it is more than obvious that you are not competent in the matter at all?

    You are just creating mess by writing anything related to astrology. Please for the benefit of all spare us of your astrological texts. You should study first for many years ith a guru, because you are pretty much ignorant about astrology, and it is a shame that you are writing in public forums.

  2. Tungavidya dd says :

    We implore Dandavat’s to spare, us, your readers and stop publishing these astrological texts of Abhaya Mudra and her husband. I am not against astrology, I have consulted good astrologers and am studying astrology but publishing such texts in the name of astrology is just a diservice to the community of devotees. If you want to publish astrological texts then please ask reputed astrologers if they would like to contribute some articles but please spare us from the rank amatuers. I am really afraid that this will really give serious astrology and its students an image of being irrational and a generally bad reputation.

  3. Abhaya Mudra Dasi says :

    Dear Tungavidya Mata,


    Let devotees judge for themselves. There will always be two different opinions on the same issue. That is a law of nature. Still, with all my regards, you have written nothing on astrology. How can people really compare your knowledge against another’s vidya? Chakya Pandit says:

    parair ukta-guno yas tu
    nirguno’pi guni bhavet
    indro’pi laghutam yati
    svayam prakhyapitair gunaih

    He whose glories are sung by others is regarded as great though he is really without merit. But he who vaunts his own merit lowers himself in the estimation of others even if he is Indra, the king of heaven.

  4. Balakrsna das says :

    Mother Abhaya Mudra dd wrote:

    “Let devotees judge for themselves.”

    Well Mataji this is the problem, like 99% of devotees I am a layman when it comes to astrology so I am not qualified to judge. 99% of the readers including myself simply do not know if what you are saying is true or not. This was what Mother Tungavidya pointed out. And, if she wrote something we (the lay readers of Dandavatas) would not be in a position to know if what she wrote was accurate or not. Dandavatas is not a peer reviewed astrological journal.

    So this challenge to her that you make really makes no sense as none of us readers is qualified to adjudicate such writings. IMHO it sounds more like evasion. Now if you wrote on Vaisnava philosophy that would be another thing but jyotish never. You could say (in an astrological context) that black was white and white was black and we would not be the wiser.

    I recall reading some time back that a man had won a prize in mathematics for proving Fermat’s last theorem, but what I found remarkable was that even though there are hundreds of thousands of qualified mathematicians in the world hardly a handful had the specialized knowledge to evaluate his proof. One actually has to have sufficient qualifications to judge the matter. And if one doesn’t have such qualification then there is the chance that one will get cheated and that is what I sense is going on here.

    I read the texts that Mother Tungavidya pointed us to and I am getting the sense that you are evading the questions put to you. Why is that? It certainly does not instill a sense of faith in me that you actually know what you are doing.

    I do not know if anyone has asked this question but what exactly are your credentials in Vedic astrology anyway? Who is your jyotish guru? How long have you studied Vedic astrology? Where did you study? As a layman I have the right to ask such questions of any person claiming to be an expert.

    Hoping to get an early response.

  5. Patita Pavana says :

    From: Patita Pavana das Adhikary

    My dear Tungavidya,
    Your comments, though misguided and misleading, hurt to the quick. I couldn’t believe a Vasihnava could write such things. Your statements plainly reveal that you have read neither of the articles by Ratnavali nor Abhaya Mudra with a proper mood of understanding. Such insensitive criticisms of innocent Vaishnavas do not represent those qualities our saintly Guru Maharaja urged us to develop. However, our office has on file hundreds of friendly and cheerful letters that speak contrary of your opinion.

    We are Vaishnavas first and whether or not we have a working knowledge of astrology is less important than this rare opportunity to execute devotional service by Shrila Prabhupada’s grace. Astrology happens to be the Vaishnava-seva our spiritual master gave us. As per his wish, we may reject it at anytime. Jyotish shastra, or any material art, science or craft, must be conducted in a manner that befits the growth and development of the Krishna conscious family. Whatever we have published on Dandavats has been raked from the texts of Shrila Prabhupada, or carefully follows in the line of Krishna consciousness. We have contributed these articles as a service for devotees, and many devotees have appreciated this service. That is the payment we receive, otherwise it is a labor of love. Your understanding of Ratnavali’s motivations is misguided.

    As far as Smt Ratnavali is concerned, the underlying meaning of her coming forward is to explain her love and devotion for Prabhupada’s servant Tribhuvanath life after life. Is this not the philosophy Prabhupada taught us to hold dear, dasanudasa life after life? She does not live in the past, rather as a sankiratn devotee she is the true soldier of Krishna on the battlefields of Maya.

    I do agree with you that I am a rank amateur in astrology despite my forty years experience in the science. Once upon a time, the great astrologers of India could discern the difference in the fates of microbes that live and die just 1/18th of a second apart. How can I compare myself in any way with such scientific sages? Of course I am an amateur of the rankest position.

  6. Patita Pavana says :

    2. continued…
    If I can realize a few simple truths of astrology that reveal the greatness of Krishna through recognizing the individuality of all souls, that is enough for me. Nonetheless, since you bring up the point–and not to blow my own trumpet, let me share with you some of that experience which you have challenged me to reveal.

    -I took up astrology in earnest, as encouraged by Shrila Prabhupada from the time of my initiation in 1968, when I saw that ISKCON marriages were falling apart due to poor, yet forced matching, of couples. This is a very basic and simple application of astrology. This is one of the most important focuses of our office Mithuna Twiins Astrological Services. This Movement will only grow and prosper when there is a sound and steady grihasta ashram.

    -I have written two books on facets of astrology that cover either new and unexplored areas of the science or describe a body of jyotish vijnana in greater knowledge than was previously available. Additionally, I have scribed another four books, all of which are unique.

    -I have written hundreds of articles on astrology and closely related topics, including publication in India’s leading astrological magazines. I have had regular columns in three of India’s nationally-circulated magazines. I have written several articles in The Astrological Magazine and maintained a personal friendship with Dr Raman, his family members and the great pandit columnist Shri Y. Keshava Menon.

    -I personally learned the bare essence of astrology in private from Shrila Prabhupada one night in Bombay on the rooftop of his apartment.

    -I have met with some of the greatest pandits of India of the last generation and was received well by all of them as Shrila Prabhupada’s representative. Along with the great scholar Dr. D. Arkasomayaji of the Tirupati tirumala Devasthanam, we prepared a chart for Shrila Prabhupada which His Divine Grace greatly appreciated, as told to me by Tamal Krishna Maharaja, his secretary at the time. According to another source, His Divine Grace said that our chart was “the correct one.”


  7. Patita Pavana says :

    3. Continued…
    -As far as writing for this great site is concerned, my article on Hora Shastra as a means of keeping traveling devotees safe entitled “No More Car Accidents” is the best-read article on Dandavats ever with over 72,000 hits. If we are to believe the numbers, then that is not bad for a site whose articles usually get around 1,000. Incidentally, many devotees have reported using this little tidbit of jyotish to their advantage. Hopefully departure under a good hora has indeed helped to prevent car accidents which have cost many brave devotees their lives. I may be imagining things, but I feel that car accidents have decreased since its publication.

    -I am presently involved with my wife in the creation of the three-volume Bhrigu Project by which any chart since the beginning of the Universe might be interpreted generally. We have completed some 2,000 pages to date. This will remain our property and will not be made publicly accessible. The information is uniquely personal research and will encompass over 4,000 pages upon completion. It will remain as a family treasury as much as brahmanas maintain their personal treasures of nadi leaves and share the knowledge with only those for whom it is meant. The sole purpose of the Bhrigu Project is the guidance of the Krishna consciousness movement.

    -I am the Editor of the e-journal The Astrological Newsletter which, though only a year old, has a loyal readership.

    If you have such a rancor for our writings–or those of any particular author–then it is best that you please do not read them. Better you should write your own articles. Prabhupada ordered me several times to take up this task of writing and by so doing I am merely following his orders, so I cannot stop my service at your displeasure. In the past I have written various types of literature for preaching to devotees, to potential devotees and even the hardest of non-devotees. Now Prabhupada’s movement is very large, and this internet has been provided by Shri Krishna for this service. It may not be here much longer.


  8. Patita Pavana says :

    So, despite my admitted amateur status as you have correctly pointed out, I do indeed find that the astrological depth of Shrimati Abhaya Mudra Dasi is of the highest caliber, easily equal to many of the hundreds of fine pandits I have intimately associated with in India. This is not due to her memorization of mere rules, but rather an ability to make practical and useful a science which others shroud in mystery to hide their own ignorance of its value. She was ordered to study astrology by no less a personality than her spiritual master, Shri Shrimad Suhotra Maharaja, a genuine mystic. And she has taken up the study of esoteric nakshatra vidya in a way that has largely been heretofore unexplored in earnest. Her insight and perception capture the essence of astrology, for if astrology cannot be made practical for devotees, if it simply judges planetary positions and relative strengths without any pragmatic benefit, then it is a useless and meant for cheaters and the cheated.

    Many neophyte devotees do not realize that amongst genuine pandits that there is actually room for discussion and disagreement while maintaining an overall sense of cordiality. Disagreements do not create enemies amongst the learned. When any material subject becomes a reason for contention amongst devotees, it should be given up by those for whom the proper use of a thing is elusive.

    Incidentally, punya chakra is a well-known descriptive term commonly used amongst pandits for the moment of departure because that is the time when only one’s punya, as measured against his paap, can save him from a hellish re-birth.

    Quite honestly, neither of us know you, nor do we feel obligated to answer your demands or accusations, whether you understand what a punya chakra is or not. You have said that you are not here to teach us and frankly we agree and feel the same. May we keep it mutual?

    Patita Pavana das Adhikary
    Mithuna Twiins Astrological Services

  9. yadu-srestha says :

    To my knowledge the authoritive texts of the rsis do not give methods by which it can be determined that person B was person A in their previous life . Therefore it seems to me that any attempt to determine astrologically whether Ratnavali was previously Raghava would have all the defects of ascending knowledege .So I do not think it is good to use astrology to support the hypothesis in question.

    Yadu Srestha

  10. Abhaya Mudra Dasi says :

    Dear Yagu Srestha Prabhu,

    Nilambar Chakravarti, the grandfather of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprahu was clear in his verdict that the Supreme Personality of Godhead have appeared in the house of Jagannath Misra and Sachi Mata. All the vaishnavas ever since have relied on his astrological conclusion. We do not know what exact shastric method he has used to make this conclusion. Still his authority is undisputed.

    In the past people did not go around challenging pandits about their methods of ascertaining. The culture dictated that what a pandit says must be right. A brahmin had a duty to explore the means of reaching the Supreme Truth. They could develop their own methods in accordance to this principle. They were more like the contemporary scientists in their activities accept that the objective was different.

    We learn different methods in astrological shastras and stick to them to the extend that astrological knowledge does not progress any further. Anyone who moves jyotish towards deeper exploration of Eternal Truth as reflected on the mundane sphere is no longer congratulated, he is condemned as a deviator. But there was time of an initiation of astrological knowledge. Who is the source of Shri Parashara? Which texts did he use for his reference? If his contemporaries had the same attitude we have to knowledge, Parashara Muni could have been condemned.

    There was time of initiation of jyotish shastras and the base of this highest material knowledge stand on the principles of virat rupa. A person who does not know the Absolute Truth cannot be an astrologer. Parashara Muni is a devotee of the the Suplereme Personality of Godhead. He is the very father of Srila Vyasadev, the author of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Parashara’s first qualification is that he is a great devotee of the Lord. He is known as Parashara Muni, not as Parashara the astrologer.

    There are two reasons why this astrological exposé is here:
    1. Because Ratnavali devi dasi like it and according to her adds to her story.
    2. Because we have many devotees who are interested in and know about astrology.

    Otherwise, if it was centuries ago, a pandit stating that Ratnavali devi dasi is the same Ragava das Brahmachari was going to be accepted just on this single statement.

    Your servant respectfully,
    Abhaya Mudra Dasi

  11. Patita Pavana says :

    Dear Yadu Shrestha das,
    Regarding your comment that to your knowledge authoritative texts do not give methods by which a person A can be determined to be a person B, no doubt this is true as you say…”according to your knowledge.” The jyotish shastras are incredibly vast and cannot be studied by a single individual. Have you seen the results of the research performed by ISKCON’s Matsya Project to place on microfiche film hundreds of astrological texts? The amount of information is mind-boggling. However, any proper nadi granth shastri would disagree with your supposition as they do indeed have methodologies for making such determinations as you call into question.
    Patita pavaan das

  12. Re #11

    Dear Patita Pavana Prabhu,


    Regarding the Matsya Project, I worked with that project back in 1981-83, to my knowledge the only astrological texts that were micro-filmed were the ones I did myself of the works of my teacher Sashi Kanta Jain. No others were done. The bulk of the microfilms are with the BBT Archives, I have seen them and as far as I remember there is not a single jyotish text in their collection. I would have been over joyed if there had been, but you can contact them to confirm. I hope that their experience will be better than mine, when I went to digitize my micro films only one book, the Brghu-nadi was actually legible enough to be digitized the rest were garbage. Yes I have a copy of the Brghu-nadi but aside from being in Sanskrit it is also in code so not just anyone can read it even if they know Sanskrit. Our god-brother Shankabrt dasa was given the Agastyanadi but he does nothing with it but he will not part with it. However that is in Grantha-lipi and one needs special training just to read the script.

    It is true that the Nadis do tell about past lives I have had several readings wherein my previous lives were mentioned however none of them discussed how they arrived at such conclusions. If they had then Nadi scholars like CS Patel would have found them and published the methodology.

    Nor do the Nadis say how to compare two charts to tell if it the same person reborn. So in that case Yadu Sreshta is perfectly correct. If you know of such specific Nadi texts and specific principles please enlighten us.

    So it would seem that we are stuck, Varaha Mihira said that we should consult advanced jyotish texts to ascertain these methods but he didn’t say which ones. And considering that today people have difficulty understanding and applying his works and those of other authors of comparative merit we don’t have much hope of finding out what those methods are. Really though the test of an astrologer is not if he can tell something of the unverifiable past life but rather verifiable things of this life.

    However, having said that, on my peregrinations of South India I intend to visit several Nadis in Vaitheeswarankoil in the Tanjore district of Tamilnadu. But my preliminary research indicates that few are authentic. One must really be careful and overly credulous else one will be taken for a ride and left with less money than you started.

    Shyamasundara Dasa

    krsne matir astu

  13. Abhaya Mudra Dasi says :

    Further on the thought the thread if which was continued by Shyamasundara Prabhu:

    How can devotees who visit nadi readers know which one is genuine? Is it the appearance of the leaves, or is it the depth of the reading? Generally a client puts his trust in the hands of the pandit. That was the basic rule in the past — trust the pandit.

    As for methodology of determining the past life, we have to see the origin of the word “method.”

    Late Middle English … via Latin from Greek methodos ‘pursuit of knowledge,’ from meta- (expressing development) + hodos ‘way.’

    So method means a particular way to pursue knowledge. Astrology is a science of rules. After committing them to memory, a method could be established for approaching some particular problem like, for example, the past life. It is not that what we know of astrology today lacks the ability to determine a native’s past life, but it is necessary to combine those rules into a particular methodology.

    Understanding the shastric perspective requires a mind that must function with clarity and reason. I will give an example. When a yogi performs matsya asana, he is expected to develop a siddhi enabling him to float in water like a fish. Now the modern mind, seeking mystery in everything like a child, may think, “Oh, after I perform this pose I can do whatever I like in water and I will not drown.” But the wisdom of this pose is simple. I am giving you a secret here: if you assure this pose in water you are going to float like a fish. Such results have been experienced.

    It is understood that the mind must be trained in think along the lines of shastra in order to be carried into its depths.

    That esoteric method a teacher employs in transmitting his learning to a disciple is never made widely available. We have seen see a father and mother birds feeding their own children with food they have chewed themselves. That which is chewed by the parent bird is never given to any other bird. Thus, even if we have a method we are keeping it to ourselves. It is given by a teacher to a student. That is the tradition.

  14. Re#13

    Mataji wrote:

    Further on the thought the thread if which was continued by Shyamasundara Prabhu:
    How can devotees who visit nadi readers know which one is genuine? Is it the appearance of the leaves, or is it the depth of the reading? Generally a client puts his trust in the hands of the pandit. That was the basic rule in the past — trust the pandit.

    I have written an article on the subject and may post it some other time but what follows is a brief summary. First of all many Nadi readers are not astrologers they just read the leaves. They are not pandits. They know nothing of astrology. I mentioned in my last text that my god-brother Shankhabrit Prabhu was given the Agastya-nadi, Shankhabrit Prabhu could not read a chart if his life depended on it, he is not an astrologer. Having said that my personal Nadi readings were done by learned astrologers.

    Some Nadis give very accurate readings of the past and present but utterly fail for future predictions. These are using karna-pisacha to give them the data but such methods can’t go into the future. My astrology teacher in Trivandram told me he had consulted many Nadis and that most were useless when it came to predicting the future except for one Agstya-nadi which he said was 75% correct.

    Because of the reputation of the Nadis there are many counterfeits claiming to be such and such Nadi but are not. The objective of these bogus Nadis is to cheat excessively credulous people via various mechanisms. It is an unfortunate feature of Kali yuga that much cheating goes on and for this reason Astrology in general and Nadis in particular have gotten bad reputation.

    B.V Raman has written about his experience with genuine and bogus Nadis and other scholars have written of their experiences in Raman’s Astrological Magazine over the years.

    One has to be very careful in many things in India including Nadis. Remember India is not only the land of Rama and Krsna but also of Ravana and Kamsa. So not everything is as it seems. Many frauds claim to be gurus, if we just blindly trust them then we deserve to be cheated.

    Remember Sita trusted the sadhu whom came begging for alms but he turned into Ravana. That of course was part of Rama’s lila but we should learn a lesson from it. Place your trust after you know it is genuine not before.

  15. part 2

    So method means a particular way to pursue knowledge. Astrology is a science of rules. After committing them to memory, a method could be established for approaching some particular problem like, for example, the past life. It is not that what we know of astrology today lacks the ability to determine a native’s past life, but it is necessary to combine those rules into a particular methodology.
    Understanding the shastric perspective requires a mind that must function with clarity and reason. I will give an example.

    Utilizing a method gives a result. The problem arises when the result doesn’t conform with observable reality. Even when predicting things of this life astrologers make mistakes and to gain greater accuracy they refine their methodology based on feedback positive and negative from their client. But how to accurately verify things of the past or future life? There is no way to do that. That is why those who cannot predict about events of this life focus on unverifiable past lives. I am not saying that astrology doesn’t have the tools to do the job what I am saying is that we can not verify the result. Astrology is perfect; astrologers are not.

    And actually we don’t know enough about the subject because, as I pointed out, much greater astrologers than us–Varaha Mihira–only gave hints on the methodology and referred us to advanced texts which we are not in possession of. So unless we get possession of these advanced texts, which is the descending process of knowledge we will have to rely on the imperfect path of ascending knowledge and its innate need to speculate. And, even with the speculative method we still have to be able to verify our results.

    I am giving you a secret here: if you assure this pose in water you are going to float like a fish. Such results have been experienced.

    Only dead fish float on water. (-:

    Yours faithfully

    Shyamasundara Dasa

    PS Ekanatha Prabhu at the BBT Archives confirmed they have no jyotish texts in the Matsya Project collection

  16. Abhaya Mudra Dasi says :

    Shyamasundara Prabhuji,

    Please, take a close look in the waters next time you go to the river. Whether the fish is floating or swimming is up to the fish. Still, your point about the dead fish is very well taken because there are many nadi readers, pandits, astrologers and mayavadi co-called gurus who are nothing more than an “aquaticus mortos”.

    In your commentary you stated that “Even when predicting things of this life astrologers make mistakes. That is the danger of identifying oneself to being an astrologer. Personally, for me astrology is just a tool, since people trust the formulas of astrology still more than just the results received through meditative mystic visions of bhakti yoga. I do not need to go and receive a nadi reading since I remember my past. And after that I remember my time in my mother’s womb and the time I was born…

    Your servant,
    Abhaya Mudra Dasi