Nadi astrology involves deciphering Tamil verses recorded in palm leaves, which contain astrological predictions for people of all times — past, present, and future. It is said to have been penned down by the sages themselves for the benefit of mankind. Firstly, a nadi astrologer, who is trained to decipher the archaic Tamil writings in the palm manuscripts, takes a thumb imprint — right for men, left for women; sorry! No equality here — in order to choose a set of manuscripts. He then goes on to confirm that a particular reading indeed belongs to the jataka (one who asks for a reading) by asking questions pertaining to his past life events. Once the nadi astrologer confirms that the particular palm manuscript refers to the jataka, he proceeds to decipher the meaning of the verses.

Nadi astrology provides planetary details too

The most intriguing aspect of nadi astrology is that the verses indicate the planetary position at the time of the birth of the jataka. A conventional astrologer computes one’s natal chart based on the time of birth. But in nadi astrology, the sages foretell even the planetary position based on one’s thumb imprint.

The accuracy of the past life events and personal particulars recorded in the nadi, such as one’s name, the names of one’s parents, the details of siblings and family members, etc. amazes even a skeptic. The verses also describe the future events in the life of the jataka and the necessary remedies to ward off unwanted influences; performing those remedies is mandatory for the predictions to manifest as recorded.

The rationale of nadi astrology

It is incomprehensible to consider the very possibility of the sages penning down the predictions for those yet to come. That is to say, one cannot rationally explain the phenomenon of recording the planetary positions of the people belonging to the future, let alone the past. Certainly, the sages can look beyond our concept of time and access past, present, and future, all at once; there is no other way one can explain the recordings of nadi astrology. How they accomplish this feat is beyond our grasp.

The sages have scaled the zenith of human evolution and have accomplished amazing feats. They acquired various capabilities which ordinary folks like us cannot even fathom. Modern society has dismissed our puranas as fairy tales, just like the people in 18th century would have dismissed the achievements of today’s scientific evolution as a mere figment of imagination.

My experience with nadi astrology

I consulted nadi astrology and performed all the recommended remedies. But to my dismay, the future predictions didn’t come true. I wondered what went wrong; I gave nadi astrology another try. And again, the future didn’t manifest as described. To be concise, I consulted it more than three times, and it went wrong every single time. Most importantly, I would have a fresh reading of the first chapter (பொது காண்டம்) every time so as to confirm that the nadi indeed refers to me. In fact, many people who have consulted nadi astrology have a similar story to tell. I used to think that I didn’t perform the remedies correctly and therefore consulted it again and again. Then, after the third time, I quit believing in nadi astrology!

Fool me once, shame on you! Fool me twice, shame on me!

Nadi experience for a renowned astrologer

I reproduce here an extract of the preface written by the author/editor of Saptarishi Nadi, Mithuna lagnam, published by Government Oriental Manuscripts Library, Madras, in 1954.

We in South India may be proud of having this Nadi treasure. But it is difficult to say if the horoscopes in it refer to the current cycle or to the coming cycle when the planets may come to the same position some tens of thousands of years later… On 7th December 1949, I found in Kaushika Nadi (dialogue between Vasistha and Viswamitra) the seventh bhava for a girl. In it, not only the correct planetary positions were given but also the names of the parents, the girl, (and) the girl’s pet name.

As I found out, the results given there were wrong. I requested the astrologer to search further. I was surprised at what I found, on 16th December 1949… Again, not only the correct planetary positions were given but also all the names as before, and (it) even referred to my having seen the previous reading. Further, it said that the previous reading did not belong to the girl born in Kali 5082 (i.e., A.D. 1931 Prajotpatti) but to a girl going to be born tens of thousands of years later (i.e., in the next cycle)… This Kausika Nadi further directed me to consult Koumara Nadi.

On 20th December 1949, I found in the Koumara Nadi what I wanted, viz., the boy who would marry the girl. Again, this also went wrong. The girl married a different person altogether as all efforts to marry her to any one of the two boys indicated in the two Nadis have failed.

Satyakalam Tirumalai R. V. Rajagopalan, 18th January, 1954

Is nadi astrology fake?

We see that the future predictions did not materialize for this author/astrologer too. This is not an uncommon experience for those who consult nadi astrology. Most of them do not pursue it further when the future predictions do not come true. Then, is nadi astrology fake? But how do they tell us the past life events and the personal particulars perfectly?

I have/had/have unwavering trust in the sages of yore. They are the torchbearers of humanity, who had attained salvation (moksha) early in the evolution of humanity on Earth. Therefore, they do not fool us; they don’t have to. So, what went wrong?

Only a handful persist in getting to know the truth. I got my answers when I explored the horoscopes in Saptarishi Nadi.

Saptarishi Nadi

Saptarishi Nadi is a collection of books containing discussions of horoscopes by the seven sages (saptarishis) and the consort of Lord Siva, Devi Parvati, herself. It is written in poetic form in the Tamil language. These books were compiled from palm manuscripts found in various parts of Tamilnadu, India, and published by the Government Oriental Manuscripts Library, Madras. Most importantly, they are a treasure house for those who want to analyze the predictions of the horoscopes by the ancient sages. I have discussed at length about this collection in the Saptarishi Nadi section. I have compiled the portions where the saptarishis put forth their arguments in favor of/against some of their predictions in the form of an eBook titled, “Elucidation of astrological predictions by saptarishis: Saptarishi Nadi, Aries ascendant collection.”

Solution in sight? Am I right?

The sages are not wrong; we are!

While analyzing the horoscopes in Saptarishi Nadi, I realized that the saptarishis used a tropical zodiac with sidereal nakshatras, as opposed to a sidereal zodiac now being used by traditional Indian astrologers. Once I realized that the saptarishis used a tropical zodiac, everything started making sense. The sages are not wrong; we are!

To clarify, the sages did not intend to compute a chart using sidereal zodiac. The sages used a tropical zodiac; but, if we use a sidereal zodiac to compute our horoscopes, we will not obtain the same planetary positions as they did. When we confirm a horoscope with the planetary particulars based on sidereal zodiac, we will choose a wrong chart even if the past life particulars seem to tick all the boxes, because horoscopes need to be computed with tropical zodiac. In short, we are not choosing the correct nadi reading for us.

Tropical zodiac vs sidereal zodiac

To understand the impact of using a tropical zodiac versus sidereal zodiac, let’s compare the charts computed for a hypothetical child born in Chennai, India, on January 1, 2018 at 6:00 am.

A chart using sidereal zodiac

First, let’s consider the chart computed using a sidereal zodiac (traditional Lahiri ayanamsa). This chart uses the English abbreviations for the planets. (eg., sa for Saturn.)

The sidereal chart
The chart computed using traditional Lahiri ayanamsa (sidereal zodiac)

We see that the ascendant is Sagittarius and the Moon is in Gemini and in the 7th house. The nakshatra is Mrigashirsha, 3rd quarter. Above all, no planet is in exaltation or in its own house.

The same chart using tropical zodiac

Next, let us consider the same chart computed using tropical zodiac (no ayanamsa).

The tropical zodiac chart
The chart computed using zero ayanamsa (tropical zodiac with sidereal nakshatras)

Let us note some differences in the tropical chart. Firstly, the ascendant is Capricorn. Secondly, the Moon is in Gemini and in the 6th house. The nakshatra remains the same. Thirdly, Saturn and Mars occupy their own houses. Also, the lordships of the bhavas differ. Above all, the lagna lord stays in his own house.

The chart chosen for us in not ours

Now we can understand why the chart chosen for us is not our chart. For example, if that hypothetical person described above is to consult nadi astrology, he would choose a reading with Sagittarius ascendant; but his actual ascendant is Capricorn. The other particulars too differ, and therefore, the future predictions will not come true as described for Sagittarius ascendant.

We will choose a wrong chart even if the past life particulars seem to tick all the boxes

The sages were the ones who devised nadi astrology for the benefit of mankind. If we have forgotten that original science along the way, it’s not their mistake. Unfortunately, as all the present nadi astrologers follow sidereal zodiac — indeed, they follow vakya panchanga, a form of sidereal zodiac — palm leaves referring to the present age, with nakshatras in a different rasi other than the ones defined in sidereal zodiac, would not be in use. For example, Uttara Bhadrapada nakshatra (உத்திரட்டாதி) 2nd quarter falls in tropical Aries at present. For centuries, those palm leaves would have been neglected, and therefore lost to humanity. I hope against hope that this isn’t the case.

To sum up

Nadi astrology, as is being practised now, is not using the correct zodiac and therefore is inaccurate. The chart chosen for us does not represent/belong to us. This would explain why the future predictions don’t turn out to be true for most people. If anyone can locate a nadi reading for them with tropical zodiac particulars, it would really be the beginning of a new era in nadi astrology!