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Prasnajnana of Bhattotapala

Prasnajnana of Bhattotapala
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Item Code: NAH828
Author: V. Subrahmanya Sastri
Publisher: CBH Publications
Language: English
Edition: 2018
ISBN: 9789383811465
Pages: 88
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
weight of the book: 100 gms

By the lord's grace it has been possible for us to-place be-fore the public another interesting work on the horary aspect of the science of Astrology, viz., Prasnajnana by Bhattotpala, the illustrious commentator of Varahamihira. This work deals with several aspects of Prasna on the model of the Shatpanchasika of 'Prithuyasa' upon which our present author has commented. There are many works of recent orgin like the Prasnamarga bearing on this branch of astrology, but the present work is one of the pioneers in the field. It is admitted on all hands that this branch is as important as any other.

There are some who scoff at this branch, for they say that the predictions are largely based on chance. But they forget the fact that their own birth is but the effect of some strange chance. Why should one man be born with a silver spoon in his mouth, while another in poverty and squalor? What is the rationale behind this difference? Is it the result of blind chance? If we bestow a little thought on this subject, it will be clear to us that the variations in life are caused by the positions of planets at birth, which in their turn are nothing but the effects of past deeds. In the field of queries too the same rule holds good: The astrologer makes obeisance to the deities and the Divine Sun, the daily creator, sustainer and Destroyer of the Universe, and then takes out at random a handful of cowries in order to fix the Arudha Lagna. He may also ask the querist to give a number at randam after thinking of his ishtadevata, Deity of choice. There are many other ways also to find out this Lagna. Just as birth is the effect of past deeds even so the number given or articles brought by the querist are due to his actions past or present.

This system of Query is resorted to mainly when horoscopes are not forthcoming or are not to be relied upon. Sometimes the Gochara effects may be contradictory to those of the Dasa and the Bhukti. It also happens that in spite of the bad period a person is passing through, he fares well in life in consequence of his spotless character and conduct, prayers, charities etc. Such a man may desire to know what would happen to his ambition of undertaking. It is also our experience that if this system is adopted properly, taking into consideration all the aspects of the science of Astrology, the predictions tally remarkably with the readings of the horoscopes themselves. Various questions and doubts pester the human mind such as - What will be the sex of my child to be born? Shall I pass the ensuing examination? When shall I be married? Is there any chance of my recovering the lost article? The reader should not miss one important point here viz., the correct planetary positions at the time of query, the conditions, aspects etc. of the planets, on which depends the accuracy of the predictions. It is, therefore, quite clear that this branch of Astrology is no bluff intended to dupe the gullible throng. It is as rational and as scientific as any other branch of Science.

Omens too play an important part in Prasna, for the author says on page 9 'Udayaniithai' He gives the fundamental astrological principles guiding an astrologer in his work, on page 2 as Dasabheda'. This shows that it is no joke to make predictions on horoscopes or queries. Unless one is a thorough master 0f the science, one will fail miserably and bring the whole class of astrologers, nay the Science itself, into disrepute.

This author follows closely the Shatpanchasika of Prithuyasas but he gives many new ideas such as dreams and food. On page 96 the author gives useful hints for finding out the time of the accomplishment of one's ambition etc.

Though this is a short work containing only 70 verses in the Arya metre, it is replete with very useful ideas. The printed work now available is entitled Aryasaptasati, which is not its real title, for the author says in the very first verse-"Vakshmeham Spashtataram Prnajnanam' and in the last verse, 'Aryasaptasteydam Prasnajnanam' Similarly in his commentary on verse 2 of Adhyaya II of the Shatpanchasika Bhattotpala refers us to his Prasnajnana. Hence we have adopted the correct title, Prasnajnana for this edition of the work going under the name of Aryasaptasati.

The author, Bhattotpala, was a great master of Astrology and other branches of learning. Lie flourished in the middle of the 10th century A. D. He is also the author of several works on Astrology, vide page Xl of the Introduction to our Edition of the Brihathsamhita. There is a commentary on the present work by Mukundaram who has spared no pains in quoting profusely from other works. In this work about a dozen sections may be detected as, 1) General principles, 2) Travels, 3) Encounter with enemy, 4) Illness, 5) Marriage, 6) Pregnancy, 7) Food, and Dreams, 9) Rain, 10) Nature of Queries, 11) Theft and 12) Method of finding Lagna. If this work adds to the knowledge of the cultural public, we shall feel amply rewarded for our labour of love.

We, take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to the Proprietors of the Sri Mallikarjuna Press, Bangalore City, for the neatness and promptitude with which they have executed this work.

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