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Prasna Marga: Part I

Prasna Marga: Part I
Item Code: IDE794
Author: Bangalore Venkata Raman
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English Translation and Original Text in Devanagari and Notes
Edition: 2018
ISBN: 9788120809185
Pages: 750
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 7.0" X 4.7"
weight of the book: 505 gms

From the Jacket:

Prasna Marga, Part I, is an exhaustive treatise on the various aspects of predictive astrology of immense practical utility. The work can be considered as of exceptional interest and value.

The ancient classic deals not only with the various aspects of Prasna or Horary Astrology, but also with almost the entire range of the forecasting art - Jataka or predictive astrology, Muhurta or electional astrology, Parihara or remedial astrology and Nimittas or the science of indications (Omens).

This ancient work, an English translation, is embedded with copious notes incorporating the author's own experiences on different aspects of life. The book not only endorses the ancient principles of astrology but also extends beyond by giving novel methods of interpretations which are to be found even in such celebrated works as Brihat Jataka.

About the Author:

Dr. B.V. Raman was the renowned astrologer and author. He was the Chief Editor of The Astrological Magazine. He had number of titles to his credit. He held a string of titles such as Abhinava Varahamihira, Jyotisha Bhanu, Jyotisha Vignana Marthanda, Jyotish Ratna, Abhinava Bhaskara, Jyotisha Bhooshana etc. He was a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, London and a Member of the Royal Asiatic Society. Dr. Raman had influenced the educated public and made them astrology-conscious. His special fields of research were Hindu Astronomy, Astro-psychology, weather, political forecasts and disease-diagnosis. He was widely traveled man and addressed the elite audience almost throughout the world.

About The Book

Prasna Marga is a unique work on astrology, natal and horary, of vital importance to every astrological scholar, practitioner and student. The author, a Nambudari Brahmin of Kerala who wrote this book in 1650 A.D., was a renowned scholar and has culled valuable information from a number of ancient sources.

This ancient work, an English translation of which is presented here in simple and elegant English interspersed with copious notes incorporating the author's own experiences, touches on some of the most important aspects of life'- marriage, children, longevity, death, disease, etc .

Part I is an exhaustive treatise on the various aspects of predictive astrology of immense practical utility, which deals not only with the various aspects of Prasna or Horary Astrology, but also with almost the entire range of the forecasting art-Jataka or predictive astrology, Muhurta or electional astrology, Parihara or remedial astrology and Nimittas or the science of indications (Omens).

Part II, is an encyclopaedic work on matters that affect all areas of human life, such as marriage, children, causes of diseases as given in karma vipaka and the remedies, matters relating to deities, rulers, war, natural calamities, travel, rainfall, digging wells, details for finding underground water, theft cases, dreams and their interpretation as indicators for death of disease and its timings, etc.


It is with justifiable feelings of pride and humility that I present herewith an English translation of Prasna Marga (Part I) a celebrated work on astrology largely in use ia Kerala.

The idea to bring out an English edition of Prasna Marga nrst occurred to me in 1940. This was largely due to the persuasion of one Mr. P. G. Subrahmanya Iyer, then working as an assistant in my office. Mr. Iyer was well versed in astrology besides being a scholar in Sanskrit and Malayalam. With his help and co operation a rough or tentative translation was made and the matter left there. For health reasons, Mr Iyer had to relinquish the job in my office and return to his native land. I feel indebted to. Mr. Iyer for the initial belp given to me.

I should say that the period between 1942 and 1962 was perhaps the most creative part of my life as it was during these years that the greate r part of my intellectual productions in the shape of books were made available to the public. It was again during these) ears that I was busy building up THE ASTROLOGICAL MAGAZINE, organising research work etc.

Hence It was only in 1964-65 that the translation of Prasna Marga could be completely revised and re-written with copious notes and illustrations. But for various reasons the manuscript had to be again kept in cold storage.

In 1977, thanks to tbe persuasion of my son B. A. Kumar Babu and daughter Gayatri Devi Vasudev, I took up the final revision of Part I and completed the notes and the manuscript was made ready for the press.

I do not claim infallibility. Some of the stanzas may not have been correctly translated or a meaning given which may not have been intended by the original author. I am therefore open to correction .

It is hoped that the book will be received with the same warmth by my indulgent readers as all my other publications have been received by them.

Each part of this great work is self-contained and can be used without reference to the other. Hence one need not have the apprehension that in the absence of Part II, Part I may not be useful.

Though the title Prasna Marga suggests that the book deals with Prasna or horary astrology, I have to make it clear that the text gives equally valuable information bear- ing on natal astrology which can be used with advantage. The translation Of Part II (Adhvavas 17 to 32) is also ready and I hope to bring it out in 1981.

In bringing the book to its final shane, considerable assistance has been given to me by my daughter Gayatri Devi Vasudev add I must record my appreciation of this help.

My special thanks are due to my esteemed friend and colleague Dr. P. S Sastri who has kindly prepared An Index of Technical Terms'.

I have also to thank Prof. M. R. Bhat and late Mr. L. Narain Rao fer their helpful hints and my Ions B. Niranjan Babu and B. Sachidananda Babu who have been of much help to me in proof-corrections etc.

I must put on record the helpful attitude that is being displayed by my esteemed friends P. N. Kamat and B. K. Anantharam of IBH. Prakashana in coming forward to publish this bock


To the ancient astrological literature of the Hindus traced to Sage Parasara there belong a certain number of complementary works without whose assistance, the student of astrology may not be able to understand the deeper implications of the subject. Prasna Marga may be consi- dered as one such work. It is an exhaustive treatise on the various -aspects of Prasna or Horary astrology.

This work can be considered as of exceptional interest and value.

The authorship of the work is attributed to a Namboo- diri Brahmin of Kerala, written in Kollam 825 (1649 AD)in a place called Edakad near Talasseri. It appears that at that time our author bad an opponent by name Easwara Deekshita living in Chola country. Another great disciple of the author was Mochhattiloyit, a well-known personality in Kerala in those days. Kerala Varma was also a great astrologer. Kerala Varma's disciple Punnasseri Nambi Neelakanta Sarma wrote a commentary in Sanskrit. And in rendering the work into English reliance has been placed on this commentary. Unfortunately the Sanskrit commentary is available only for the first part consisting of sixteen chapters.

As regards the nature and value of the work, the author appears to have been a renowned scholar and has culled information from a number of ancient sources though his favourite works appear to be Brihat Jataka and Krishneeya.

The topic of the work, though called Prasna Marga, covers almost the entire range of the subject: Jataka or predictive astrology, muhurtha or electional astrology. pari- hara or remedial astrology and nimittas or the science of omens.

Here we have. essentially a work that touches on some of the most important aspects of life-longevity, death, disease etc. The value of the work is unmistakable, It not only endorses the ancient principles of astrology but also extends beyond by giving methods which are not to be found even in such celebrated books as Brihat Jataka.

The English translation presented herewith, as in the case of my other translations, is not word for word. It is more or less a summary of the stanzas as I have been able to understand, sometimes with the assistance of Pandits who are well acquainted with this work. It is possible my explantation may not render the intended meaning of the author. I can only crave the indulgence of my readers for any such short comings.

Though Punnasseri Neelakanta Sharma's Sanskrit text has been generally followed a manuscript traced at the Oriental Library, Madras, has also been made use of. Some verses in the former have been omitted and some in the latter included As earlier indicated the author of Prasna Marga appears to have been a scholar of exceptional merits not only in different aspects of astrology proper but also in such collateral subjects as omens and mantra sastra. Diagnosing from the horoscope the nature of disease and the" spirits" responsible, and prescription of remedies are an important aspect of Prasna Marga. Today some" men of science" may smile at the author's tracing different types of insaaity to "possession" by evil spirits. To rid the world of mental illness is surely the most ancient aspiration. In this our author is not alone. Some of the western thinkers have started believing in ghosts, possession etc., as causing abnormal behaviour as the various therapies employed by neuro surgeons cannot be the answer to a fight against insanity. It is on record that many persons suffering from such mental troubles (some of them seemingly incurable) have been helped by mantra sastra.

According to ancient thought, whatever be the modern jargon - schizophrenia, catatonia, dissociation, paranoia, reactive and endogenous depression, melancholia, maniac depressive psychosis-insanity is caused nit only by organic factors but also by 'spirits' or disincarnate beings. All the modern medical magic has not been found enough to cure insanity. Hence the ancient teachings cannot be Ignored as cut of date.

The first part has 16 chapters and the total number of slokas is 1283. I shall deal briefly with the contents.

Chapter One begins with an introduction to Astrology, its branches, and who may study the science with success. The author tells us what type of karma is indicated by the birth-chart and Prasna chart under different circumstances.

How an astrologer should begin his day by prayer and what all he should note in any person" ho approaches him with a problem forms the crux of Chapter Two. The directions indicated by differentsigns and use of Arudha Lagna are explained. Answers are to be given according to Sutra, Thrisphuta, Ashtamangala and Suvarnavastha. Muhurtas, favourable and unfavourable for queries, are also mentioned. It also shows how omens, breath-variations and avastha or the mental state of the astrologer are used in answering queries. Sparsa or the part of the body touched by a querent comes in for discussion. The persons or objects encountered on the way to an astrologer, through direction, the first syllable uttered, the way he stands, or the object with him are all dealt with in this chapter. Facial expressions and the sight of certain creatures in interpreting prasna form the rest of the chapter.

Kala Hora and tbe significance of the different quarters (east, south-east, south, south-west, west, north-west, north and north-east) occupied by the Sun during his passage across the sky ; the indications of omens appearing in these quarters; are all discussed in Chapter 'Three.





1. Prayer 1
2. What Astrology Comprehends 3
3. Who can study Astrology? 7
4. Qualifications of an Astrologer 11
5. Different Kinds of Ganitha 14
6. The Five Siddhanthas 16
7. Beginning the Study of Astrology 17
8. Importance of Varaha Mihira 19
9. Role of Horoscopy and Horary 23
10. Importance of Muhurtha 25
11. Similarity between Prasna and Jataka


12. Procedure for the Astrologer 30
13. Procedure for the Querist 32
14. Procedure for Arudha 34
15. Things to be noted at Query Time 36
16. Method of Reading the Results 37
17. Indications for Success 39
18. The Time Factor 45
19. The Place Factor 48
20. Examination of Breath 50
21. The Touch Analysed 67
22. Sign occupied by the Querist 73
23. Direction occupied by the Querist 83
24. Pranakshara 84
25. The Querist's Bearing 91
26. The Querist's Behaviour Pattern 93
27. The Querist's Mood 96
28. Dress and Garments 97
29. Some Peculiar Lakshanas 98
30. Omens or Tatkala Lakshanas


31. The Astrologer's Departure 108
32. Omens on the Way 109
33. Indicative Signs while entering the House


34. Conducting the Prasna 125
36. Preparation 125
37. The Lamp and the Flame 127
38. Drawing the Circle or Chart 132
39. Nature of the Chart 134
40. How the Priest Draws the Chakra 134
41. Behaviour of the Agent 137
42. Invocation to the Lord 141
43. Worshipping the Planets 142
44. Placing the Gold Piece 142
45. Sankalpa 144
46. Ashtamangalam 145
47. Determining the Arudha Rasi 146
48. Thing to be Noted 148
49. Conclusion


50. Time of Query 150
51. Calculation of Lagna 150
52. Correction of Kunda 153
53. The Moon's Longitude 154
54. Position of Gulika 159
55. Thrisphu'a 162
56. Prana and Deha 163
57. The Death Circle 170
58. Planetary Longitudes 175
59. Arudha Position


60. The Five Sutras 177
61. Diagnosing Illness 181
62. Results of Sutras 182
63. Sutras and the Bhutas 183
64. The Time Factor 184
65. The Three Sutras 185
66. Significance of Thrisphutas 188
67. Thrisphuta Indicative of Death 189
68. Beginning of Diseases 193
69. Thrisphuta Nakshatra 195
70. Thrisphuta Dasa


71. Ashtamangalam 209
72. Results of the Sun and other Planets 211
73. Effects of 'Dhwajas', etc. 213
74. Animal Symbols 215
75. Panchabhuta Effects 217
76. Reckoning of Lunar Day, etc. 218
77. Results of Thithi, etc. 219
78. Niryana Saturn


79. Effects of Arudha 230
80. Avasthas 233
81. Diseases and Arudha 235
82. Diseases and Arudha 238
83. Planets and Vegetables 240
84. Urdhwamukha and other Signs 241
85. Significance of Gold Piece 245
86. Effects of Lagna 250
87. Effects of Prana and Deha 252
88. Rahu Chakra 256
89. Amazing Predictions 256
90. Significance of Chandra Navamsa


91. Recapitulation 261
92. Examination of Age 262
93. Mrityu Lakshana 266
94. Determining the Length of Life 268
95. Lagna and Arudha 272
96. Chatra Rasi 275
97. Signs of Long Life 277
98. Longevity from Birth Chart 279
99. Yogas and Longevity 281
100. Long Life Again 286
101. Short Life


102. Timing Death 292
103. Evil Periods 296
104. Kala-Chakra Dasas 297
105. Niryana Saturn 299
106. Niryana Jupiter 302
107. Niryana Sun 304
108. Niryana Moon 305
109. Pramana Gulika 306
110. Death as read by the Planets 309
111. Death Dealing Ascendant 316
112. Time of Death as from Prasna 318
113. Planetary Positions at Death


114. Causes of Death 332
115. Nature of Death 341
116. Cause of Death According to Prasna 345
117. Place of Death


118. Diseases and Their Cause 356
119. Types of Diseases 365
120. Symptoms of Madness 371
121. Symptoms for Epilepsy 378
122. Treatment for Epilepsy 381
123. Aberration of Mind 384
124. Combinations for Diabetes 384
125. Diseases indicated by Planets 385
126. Combinations for Diseases


127. Beginning and Ending of Diseases 397
128. Direction of Beginning of Disease 399
129. Recovery 407
130. Causes of Diseases 414
131. Remedial Measures 416
132. Mrityunjaya Homa


133. Fixing the Person's Age 420
134. Significations of Bhavas 422
135. Bhava Signification in Prasna Chart 426
136. External and Internal Bhavas 429
137. How Bhavas are Ruined 433
138. Karakas or Significators 438
139. Fructification of Bhavas 441
140. Favourable and Unfavourable Houses 441
141. When Bhavas are Ruined 448
142. Effects of Planets in Houses 449
143. Effects of Galika 457
144. Effects of Tertiary Planets 459
145. Time when Bhavas Fructify 464
146. Favourable and Unfavourable Positions of Planets 472
147. Categories of Karma 480
148. Imprisonment or Captivity 486
149. Quarrels and Misunderstandings 492
150. Visible and Invisible Hemispheres


151. Favourable and Unfavourable Karma 496
152. Afflictions due to Deity 499
153. Palliatives for Afflictions 502
154. Misappropriation of Deity's Property 507
155. Nature of Misappropriated Property 507
156. Intensity of Deity's Wrath 511
157. Anger of Serpent God 513
158. Parental Curses 517
159. Curse of Elders 519
160. Trouble from Ghosts 519
161. Remedial Measures 524
162. Evil Eye 525
163. Cause of Evil Eye 527
164. Places of Attack 528
165. Names of Spirits Causing Evil Eye 529
166. Categories of Spirits 530
167. How to Distinguish Spirits 531
168. Planets Favouring Spirits 543
169. Houses of Harm 545
170. Ascertaining the '' Drishti Badha 546
171. Place of Attack 550
172. Evil Arising from Words 552
173. Bala-Graha Affliction 553
174. Food Poisoning 553
175. Troubles from Enemies 554
176. Nature of Trouble 556
177. Who is the Enemy? 557
178. Enemy's Motive 562
179. Identifying the Enemy 565
180. Means Adopted by Enemies 567
181. Where the Kshudra is Kept 568
182. Containers Used 569
183. Another View 571
184. Removing the Mahabhichara 575
185. Different Kinds of Devatas 578
186. Who should Perform Remedies


187. Whereabouts of the Querist 593
188. Success Over Enemies 595
189. Bright and Dark Future 596
190. Means to Adopt 598
191. Locating a Treasure Trove 599
192. Nature of persons met with on the Way 601
193. Characteristics of Bride and Bridegroom 602
194. Rulers of Different Parts of Day 605
195. Characteristics due to Five Elements 608
196. Laksbanas Given in other Works 612
197. Danger to the House 613
198. Loss of Metals 614
199. Interpreting First Letter of Query 616
200. Predicting by Betel Leaves 618
201. Acquisltion of Elephants 622
202. Indications for Sickness 623
203. Performing Obsequies 627
204. Happiness and Sorrow to Parents 632
205. Afflictions to Residence 634
206. Avakahada System 634
207. Becoming the Head 639
208. Kalachakra or Time Cycle 642
209. Star Positions in Kalaehakra 643
210. Position of Yogini 646
211. Calculating the Yogini 647
212. Features of Yogini 654
213. Movements of Yogini on Weekdays 655
214. Longitudes of Yogini and Mrityu 658
215. Movement of Mrityu 661
216. Yogini Movement Vis-a-Vis Lunar Days 665
217. Hell and Heaven 668
218. Signs of Krita Yuga Etc. 670
219. Conclusion 672
220. Appendices 673
221. Index of Technical Terms 681
222. Sanskrit Errata 708


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