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Developers of Indian Astrology - by E K Dhilip Kumar

In India, astrology was taught in the Gurukula system where the master spoke directly to the students. While this system had many advantages, one main drawback was that information was rarely recorded. TheMaster taught the secrets of astrology only to the best students. And so it happened that some of the important knowledge was lost forever as it cascaded down from Master to the student.
Sage Garga, Viddha Garga, Asite, Aryabhatta the mathematical genius, Sage Brighu the author of Brighu Sutram, Brihaspati(Guru), Badarayana, Kapila, Kashyappa, Manu, Manitha, Maharshi Parasara, Satyacharya, Varahamihira, Battotpala the commentator on Brihat Jataka, Prithyuyasa, Vaidyanatha Dikshitar the author of Jataka Parijat, Kalidasa the author of Uttarakalamrita, Mahadeva the author of Jataka Tatwa, and many others contributed to this vast body of knowledge.

We are sure that we have not listed the names of all the Gurus and Masters of astrology. We sincerely apologise for our ignorance.

Maharshi Parasara (approx. 3200 B.C.)

Maharshi Parasara is considered as the father of Indian Astrology by many, perhaps because the recordings of those earlier to him are unavailable to the modern man. He is the author of the greatest book on astrology - "Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra". This book is currently available in 2 big volumes, and together has around 1200 pages of texts. This exhaustive book may safely be considered the most important book on astrology.

Maharshi Parasara is considered as one of the 18 extraordinary sages like Narada (the great devotee of Lord Narayana) and Vashista. Maharshi Parasara quotes earlier masters like Brihaspati and Vashista, but their teachings have not been recorded. It can be safely assumed that their teachings and findings must have largely influenced Maharshi Parasara, as he mentions about them in his main book Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra.

The chapters deal with all aspects of human life like marriage, children, professions, longevity, diseases, foreign travels, sexual habits, vehicles, accidents, education and wealth prospects. All the rules for ascertaining these matters have been covered in detail. Therefore, much of today's astrology is often referred as Parasara astrology.

Maharshi Jaimini - around 3200 B.C.

We find the reference of Maharshi Jaimini in the book, Brihat Parasara Hora Sashtra. This leads us to believe that he must have lived during the time of Maharshi Parasara or even before him. Jaimini is considered as the author of Jaimini Sutram, which is a system of astrology quite different from Parasara astrology. While each system has its own advantages, Parasara astrology has become quite popular in the present world.Many later authors had contributed more to astrology by following the rules as laid by Maharshi Parasara. By knowing the plus points of both the system, a good astrologer will be able to get more insights into a horoscope.

In his translation of Jaimini Sutram, B.Suryanarain Rao (grandfather of Dr.B.V.Raman 1908-1998) states that Maharshi Jaimini was the disciple of Sage Vyasa and besides being a writer of other famous books, he is the famous author of Poorva Mimamsa. If we have to accept this theory, wehave to say that later publishers have included the account on Jaimini in thebook of Maharshi Parasara leading to the confusion about the time when Jaimini lived.

AD-1 - The3 wise men (The Bible)

Many learned scholars in the world are of the opinion that the three wise men, who predicted the birth of Jesus by pointing out atthe star, were actually astrologers.

Shri Varahamihira (approx 500 AD)

He is the author of the famous classical book called "Brihat Jataka". The first 10 chapters are a must for any astrologer.Shri Vaharamihira had used many techniques to compress the information into the shortest form. Perhaps this is the zipped version of ancient astrology!

He is also the author of "Brihat Samhita", a book on mundane astrology or astrology for commerce and nations. If you read this book, you will be surprised on the spectacular achievements the Indians had made in the field of astronomy. Even the names of several hundred comets have been included in this book, while the western scientists came to know ofcomets and understood them well only quite recently.

Mahadeva's Jataka Tatva

The author's real name is believed to be Shri Mahadevji Revashakarji Pathak of Rutlam. He lived between 1842 AD to 1888 AD.He was a great scholar of astrology, and had mastered the ancient works like Parasara Hora Sastra, Jaimini Sutram, Jataka Parijata and Sarvartha-chintamani.

This book consists of five Tatvas –

‘Samjna Tatva’ - dealing with the main ideas inastrology,
‘Sutika Tatva’ - dealing with the situations at thetime of birth,
‘Prakirna Tatva’ - dealing with the effects of 12houses of a horoscope,
‘Stree Jataka Tatva’ - dealing with females,
‘Dasa Tatva’ - dealing with the effects of thevarious dasas and bhuktis (main and sub-periods).

Rules like, "If the lord of the 6th house occupy the 3rd house, the native shall deal in fuel (modern time = petroleum), stone etc.", and, "If Saturn and Moon occupy the 4th house, the native shall adopt a son", make this book very interesting even to a beginner in astrology.

Uttara Kalamrita by Kalidasa

Shri Kalidasa authors this classical textbook. The peculiarity of this book is that it provides an exhaustive list of signification of each of the 12 houses and the 9 planets. Calculations and predictions, based on solar return charts have also been written about. There are remarkable guidelines regarding the peculiarities of the major periods of Saturn, Venus, Jupiter and Mars. For example, the rule that during the sub-period of Venus in the main period of Saturn even a king will become a beggar finds its place in this wonderful book. Strange but true, this has actually happened in many millionaires’ life. Kalidasa also gives the rules andother conditions when such rules will actually work.

Dr. P.S.Sastry in his English translation of thi sbook, writes that this Kalidasa is the not the author of Shakuntalam, and that this author is actually a South Indian who lived during the 16th Century.However, some are of the opinion that the author of Shakuntalam and UttaraKalamritam is one and the same person.

Otherclassical books:

Saravali by KalyanaVarma's
Jataka Parijata by Vaidyanatha Deekshithar's
Sarvarth Chintamani by Vyankatesh Sharma

Detailed effects of each house, from Lagna to the12th house, are discussed in this book. This seems to be a peculiarity of this book, as this section fills half the book. Other interesting topics in this book are, the Dasa effects of the 9 planets and Longevity and Rajayogas.

Phala Deepika by Mantreswara

Prasna Tantra (Horary Astrology)- by Neelakanta Daivagnya (around 1550 AD)
The author was the grandson of Chintamani Daivagnya, son of Anantha Daivagnya who lived in the place called Vidarbha.
Other books on Prasna or Horary Astrology are Chappanna or Shatpanchasika, Lampaka, Prasnagnana, Prasnabhushana, Prasnasindhu, Prasna Chintamani, Bhuvana Deepika, Jinendramala, Krishneeya andPrasna Marga.

Dr.B.V.Raman- The modern Varahamihira. (1908 to 1998)

Dr B. V. Raman was born in the year 1908, and it was he who revived almost single-handedly the ancient astrology, and restored its rightful place in the world. This was at a time when the great intellectuals of India, due to the influence of Englishmen, were only too eager to speak against astrology.

Dr B. V. Raman had translated many classical books on astrology and made them available to the common man. Through his magazine, "The Astrological Magazine", he gave predictions, his knowledge and his findings month after month. His contribution to the world ofastrology is so much that we may dare say that most of the modern astrologers of today have perhaps learnt Indian astrology through his books. He has contributed so much to this field that many think that there is a separate astrology called B V Raman Astrology.

         

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