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Indian Astrology An Appraisal

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Item Code: IDL038
Author: V.S. Kalyanraman
Publisher: CBH Publications
Edition: 2007
ISBN: 8185381895
Pages: 237
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.4" X 5.6"
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Book Description

I have great pleasure in writing the Foreword to the book “Indian Astrology – An Appraisal”. Indian astrology has been part and parcel of Indian culture and life. Today, it has spread to the western world too where serious thinkers are beginning to recognize its constructive role in improving the quality of human life. At the same time, there has been continuing opposition to giving it official recognition, largely from a point of ignorance of the subject. The author Mr. V.S. Kalyanaraman’s effort, through this volume, directed at handling such criticism by making out a strong case for astrology in a convincing and forceful manner is indeed laudable. A senior scholar in all branches of Jyotisha (Indian astrology) – Ganita, Samhita and Hora – his insights and analytical assessment of the case, the cause and the concept behind the science are both stimulating and thought-provoking.

Mr. Kalyanaraman’s name is well-known to reader of THE ASTROLOGICAL MAGAZINE for his informative articles. Some of them are reproduced in this volume in slightly revised form with additional information. He highlights the results of several studies carried out in academic bodies in the USA which, he points out, have only reconfirmed many astrological truths that are common knowledge in most Indian homes. The author also handles effortlessly many controversial points demolishing fallacies and misconceptions prevailing amongst critics, especially western, with powerful logic.

This is a valuable book which meets a long felt need in contemporary literature on the subject for a combined but, at the same time, simple treatment of the Triskandhas of Jyotisha. In fact, Mr. Kalyanaraman may be said to be one of the very few who can lay claim to scholarship in all three branches and whose number today has sadly dwindled to a single digit.

Astronomical details relating to eclipses, Saroscylces, Mercury and Venus transits, Panchanga elements, intercalary months, length of the year, history of time and other allied topics, subjects rarely touched in any book, make for valuable lessons to the academically inclined. Mathematical calculations have been avoided so as not to make the book too technical.

Mr. Kalyanaraman rightly devotes a considerable part of the volume to techniques of predictive astrology unique to Kerala. Brief notes on important astrologers and astronomers in the last few hundred years serve to introduce these giant intellectuals and their works to the reader.

The volume, I feel, has come rather late in the day and the reasons are simple, though not justification enough-Mr. Kalyanamraman’s humility and reticence. Admirable and appropriate though they be in a person of such scholarship, it is hope they will not come in the way of his writing more books on different aspects of Jyotisha, especially astronomy as relevant to astrology.

Mr. Kalyanaraman’s knowledge and understanding of Jyotisha must be made available to future generations. It is my sincere wish therefore that he will continue to bring out more books on the subject and that the present is only the first of a series.


If given a choice, I would prefer to continue my reading, learning and thinking than writing.

Mrs. Gayatri Devi Vasudev, the renowned daughter of our great mentor late Dr. B V Raman, was the affectionate authority behind, to make me write, quite often or else I would have opted ever, for that golden silence, my first love.

This book is only a compilation of some of the articles published and talks delivered by me on different occasions, apart from a few written, for this present effort. To ensure continuity and facility of grasp, the published articles have been enlarged, revised and rewritten wherever necessary, mainly to be of some appeal to the students and beginners. Deliberately leaving serious astrological discussions, the book is designed for a general reading.

Even in this present effort I have a sense of deep guilt because it was a long-standing desire of late Dr. NE Muthuswamy that I must come up with a compilation of my select articles. He persuaded me many a time, over the years, to do so. Mainly due to my lethargy, I could not fulfil his wish when he was alive. Nevertheless, his son Sri Eswaran, was literally after me and but for his perseverance, even this would not have happened. I am sure mama (I used to call NEM so) would confer his blessings on us from above.

I am immensely grateful to Mrs. Gayatri Devi Vasudev, Editor, the Astrological Magazine, for permitting me to use some of the published material, in this work.

It may not be appropriate to thank ones own siblings. However, I cannot but mention the persistent efforts put forth by my sons Shivkumar, Krishna Prasad and Kripanand in helping me for the preparation of this compilation, my wife Smt Sundari for having silently suffered my odditiesall these years and Sri Easwaran for his patient and painstaking editing. May God bless them.

What I have picked is only a few pebbles, from here and there, on the sands of the vast shores of the great ocean of Jyothisha – Astronomy and Astrology, a great legacy left to us by our ancients. Acquaintance with some basic astronomy is a must for astrologers. Keeping those avid young students in mind, I have included some interesting astronomical details, in a simple language. If this could kindle even one student to delve deep into those vast goldmine of immaculate wisdom of our ancients, my labours would not have been in vain.


1A Case for Astrology. – Astrology and its Relevance to the Modern Scientific World.1-9
2How, Why and When of Astrology.10-15
3Ancient Indian Wisdom and Modern Science.16-23
4Navagrahas in the Journey of Life24-33
5Eclipses of the Sun and Moon.37-47
6Sunspots and Astrology.48-54
7A Rare celestial event. – Transits of Mercury and Venus across the disc of the Sun55-63
8A Date with Mars.64-66
9Once in a Blue Moon.67-69
10The Rules for reckoning leap year70-75
11Finding the weekday.76-78
12Kalaganitha-A brief history of time79-86
13The Concept of Adhika Masa – or Intercalary month87-92
14Kalagnana of the ancients – Some constituents of Panchang.95-107
15Length of the year for Udu dasa calculations.108-111
16Facts and fallacies of marriage compatibility 112-117
17Astronomers and astrologers of Kerala.118-137
18Talakkulathu Bhattathiri – The Astrological genius of Kerala.138-155
19Machatt Narayanan Elayath-The astrological wizard of Kerala.156-159
20Some of our Prasna treatises160-166
21Ashtamangalaprasna – A Unique horary system of Kerala.167-180
22Devaprasna-An introduction. 181-194
23Tamboola Prasna-A unique took of divination of Kerala astrology. 195-202
24Dasadhyayee – Theccintillating Commentary for Brihat Jataka.203-207
25The Thirteenth constellation.208-210
26Hindu Astrology and other astrological systems in the world211-217
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