Saptarishi Nadi is a collection of books containing the interpretations of horoscopes discussed by the sages. Parvati devi, the consort of Lord Shiva, and the seven sages of yore (saptarishis) discussed the horoscopes of people — past, present and future. These conversations were recorded in poetic form in the Tamil language. These poems are available in palm manuscripts in various parts of Tamilnadu.
These original manuscripts were collected and published in print media by the Government Oriental Manuscripts Library, Madras. The collections under various ascendants — Aries to Libra — are available in print; the rest are in the form of palm manuscripts and need to be deciphered.
What does Saptarishi Nadi say?
In astrology, all we have is a varied set of rules for interpretation expounded by various authors. But do we have any book/author demonstrating the exact method of interpreting a horoscope (birth chart) with real-life examples? The answer is no… except for Saptarishi Nadi.
In Saptarishi Nadi, the sages first describe the planetary position at the time of birth for a person. Then the sages would declare whether the horoscope belongs to a female or a male; the place of birth; the timing and place of marriage; particulars about the parents, brothers, wife, and children; and even the timing of death of the parents, wife, and the jataka. It is amazing that they speak about the past and future lives of the jataka as well.
For example, to get to know first hand the predictions made in the Saptarishi Nadi, I have translated one of the horoscopes (Aries ascendant collection, horoscope 47) into English, which you can access here.
The sages who find mention in the first collection (aries ascendant) are: Agasthiyar, Athiri, Jayamuni, Bhrigu, Kaushikar, Parasar, Virudhar, Bhuyandar, and Naradhar. I see that more than seven names find mention here. But the verses clearly mention that it is the saptarishis (seven sages) who discuss their predictions with Parvati Devi. Maybe, the audience comprised other sages too who got their doubts clarified and so are mentioned in the verses.
The phenomenon of Saptarishi Nadi
The saptarishis are the authority on astrology, and when they themselves demonstrate to us the art of astrological prediction, what else can one ask for? Well… may be the rule book they used for their predictions, right? Indeed, they mention one such book during their discussions, and they call it Jataka Suruthi. I am sure many would want one copy of that book for themselves, but unfortunately no one even seems to have heard about it.
It is fortunate that they explain the basis of certain predictions. For instance, in case of differences of opinion among the sages, they put forth various astrological rules and their exceptions to bolster their opinion and list their reasons for a particular prediction. Consequently, the whole text greatly helps us to learn astrology as the sages practised it.
Saptarishi Nadi book
Indeed, I have extracted such portions from the Aries ascendant collection where the saptarishis discuss among themselves and put forth their arguments in favor of/against some of their predictions. I have compiled them in the form of a book; I have translated their predictions/arguments and added my comments to explain them in detail. Titled, “Elucidation of astrological predictions by saptarishis: Saptarishi Nadi – Aries ascendant collection”, this book is now available on Amazon worldwide.
The saptarishis also mention the dasa details at birth, based on the nakshatra of the Moon. To clarify, the sages use Vimshottari dasa system of 120 years duration. As a result, one may compute and analyze the sequence of events and timing of various milestones such as the time of marriage and the death of the parents.
The discussion consists of 12 chapters for a horoscope; each one for discussing the interpretations of one of the 12 houses. But, the palm leaves available at the library mostly describe the first chapters of the horoscopes. Consequently, the library has deciphered and published only the first chapters in book form. However, as these are in the Tamil language, I plan to translate them into English so that even those who do not understand Tamil can benefit from the wisdom of the sages.
Link for some of the books in this collection
To those who can understand Tamil, here is the link to the Tamil book, “Saptarishi Nadi (mesalagnam)”, a collection of horoscopes with Aries ascendant published by Government Oriental Manuscripts Library, Madras.
Kanya lagnam (Virgo ascendant) collection in Tamil is available here.