Ram Ramakrishnan is a leading astrological researcher, based in Hyderabad, India. This article, an account of his experiences with a Naadi Reader in India, was first published in The International Astrologer,
the quarterly magazine of ISAR, the International Society for Astrological Research and is republished here by permission.
Ram says: "Like every one else, I too am a traveller adrift in this journey of life, in the quest for the Truth. Circumstantially, I am a graduate in Mathematics and worked as a computer analyst programmer for 15 years before giving up all commercial activities to take up full time astrological research, which I have been doing for more than a decade now."
You can write to Ram: Click Here
An Amazing Encounter With Destiny...
Had a meeting with Destiny last month. By appointment. I was not very sure whether it was Destiny that I met or an imposter in his garb. Whoever it was, it was an amazing experience. Just to be sure that it wasn't an imposter, I managed to get appointments for a few friends and sent them along too. Now, when I sit back and analyze the happenings, I am beginning to feel that it was indeed Destiny that we had all met, in person. So unassuming and casual he was, yet so chilling and so uncompromisingly to the point.
Ram's remarkable experiences with Naadi Shastra (Nadi Astrology)
Wondering what that was all about?! Well, it was my appointment with the Naadi reader. We could perhaps begin with a brief about what the word Naadi means. It refers to a very small arc of the zodiac of dimension ranging from 1/150 of a sign to 1/600 of a sign (12 minutes to 3 minutes of arc). There are many ancient Naadi astrological texts that are extant – some dealing only with astrological implications and some combining the features of palmistry and astrology. Of the former kind are texts like Bhrigu Naadi, Dhruva Naadi, etc., while texts in the Tamil language like Saptarishi Naadi belong to the latter category. Persons born with each given segment of arc as the ascendant, are said to be subject to definite life patterns and their unfoldment is expressed in terms of planetary transits.
Based on this scheme of astrological interpretation, a vast body of manuscripts have been recorded on palm leaves and stored at various places, purportedly many centuries ago. This is what the reader that I went to had to narrate about the history of the Naadi palm leaf collection that he was using.
He belonged to a family of Naadi readers whose forefathers were court astrologers to the kings of yore -- some 1500 years ago. The collections have been in the possession of their family since then and they were based in the temple town of Vaitheeswaran Koil in the state of Tamil Nadu. Of late, they have begun to migrate to other places carrying a portion of their heirloom. But they still maintain their strong links with their family back home and keep this pursuit of Naadi reading within the confines of the family members. He also said that the Tamil manuscripts were translated from the Sanskrit originals many more centuries earlier. Without specific dates being quoted, the time spans mentioned by him were more approximations than exact.
108 Categories in a Thumbprint
The process began by taking an appointment with the person about two weeks in advance. Naadi readers are a busy lot nowadays. On the appointed day, my sister and I reached his residence at 8 in the morning. We were asked to record our thumb impressions (right thumb for males and left for females) on small sheets of paper, along with our names (it was not required to give our real names if we so desired). It was explained to us that thumb impressions were divided into 108 categories for the purpose of this particular Naadi reading.
It would be first ascertained to which of those 108 categories our respective thumb impressions corresponded to and then a search for the associated palm leaf collections will be made. We were given a typed notice mentioning the charges applicable for this service and it was specifically mentioned that we should be prepared to wait until the evening if necessary to complete the process of searching. This search process itself had two dimensions -- one in which we had no part, that being an internal search to locate palm leaves corresponding to the impression given, and the second which was a joint search involving the reader and us to locate the specific leaf that corresponded to each of us.
Read more about the Amazing Encounter with Destiny
History of Naadi Shastra
The origins of the Naadi Shastra (energy-channel treatises) are shrouded in the mists of time. This marvellous system of prediction has been used for many centuries to give reliable guidance: knowledge about ourselves (past and future), our relationships and our destinies. Research shows that this system has been in use for at least 4000 years, since the treatises were first written (on palm leaf scrolls) in Sanscrit, the predominant language of ancient India. The original transmission was by oral means, before the committal of the texts to writing. The shastras are believed to have been first composed long ago by the Sapta Rishis (seven sages) -- Agasthya, Kausika, Vyasa, Bohar, Bhrigu, Vasishtha and Valmiki.
The primary centre for Naadi Shastra is in Vaitheeswarankoil, near Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu, a state in South India. Here Lord Shiva is said to have assumed the role of a vaidhya (a doctor), who alleviated the miseries of his devotees. Until the 1930's, Naadi remained an ancient legacy, hardly used or even comprehended by the majority of Hindu Astrologers.
The preservation of the Naadi palm leaves and the translation from Sanskrit into an ancient form of the Tamil language was undertaken on a large scale about 1000 years ago during the regime of the Kings of Tanjore (9th-13th Century AD). When the leaves started disintegrating with age, the Tanjore rulers appointed scholars to rewrite them on fresh ola (palm leaves). Some of the Naadi Granthas were also translated into another South Indian language, Telugu. The Maratha king Sarabhoji and the Chola kings patronized these translations.
Each Naadi is made up of a particular ola or palm leaf, written in vatta ezathu, Tamil script, with a sharp, nail-like instrument called ezuthani. The palm leaves are preserved by rubbing peacock oil on auspicious occasions. These palm leaves are still preserved in the Saravasti Mahal library of Tanjore, in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
The predictions in the Naadis are in a commentary form, though in Shiva Naadi these predictions are presented as conversations between Lord Shiva and Mata Parvathi, expressing concern for and blessings on their devotees.
The Granthas are a set of highly organised manuscripts divided into sixteen chapters or kandams. These Kandams serialize the various aspects of materialistic and spiritual life of an individual such as family, marriage, profession, wealth , luck etc.
[Editor's note: The section in this box is based mainly on material from Naadi-shastra.com]