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Shankracharya Jayendra Saraswati and KN RaoThe news of the death of Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati did not surprise me as for six years at least, as I personally know, his health had been bad, his diabetes was not under control. The three women who had conspired against him, Sonia Gandhi, Jayalalitha and Shashikala each suffered in her own way. Jayalalitha won elections after being defeated for one term, became the Chief minister but suffered from bad health and died a mysterious death. Shashikala is in jail and her claims of leadership is not accepted in AIADMK. It makes her a weak politician. Sonia Gandhi, now suffering from some disease has retired from active politics, has handed over the presidentship of the Congress Party to her son, in the usual familiar Nehru way---dynastic succession. Sonia’s role in the sinister plot to arrest Shankaracharya Kanchi has been mentioned by the former president of India Sri Pranab Mukherjee (See appendix I).
Mouni Baba ( 3rd March came the news of the death of Mouni Baba, three days after the mahasamadhi of Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati on the last day of February. Jayendra Saraswati, born in 1935, was 82 years when he took samadhi. In the case of Mouni Baba we never knew his age as no one knew it and it was guessed that he was ninety three years old when he took samadhi though some newspapers said that he was 108 years old then.

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If Dr. Raman had been alive he would have completed his ninety seventh year on 8 August and entered the ninety eighth. Why am I remembering him now when it is neither his anniversary nor is there any visible justifiable reason? My answer is purely personal.


Recently a ponga pandit who claims to be an astrologer, knows English and has even written a massively dull and unintelligent book as a commentary on a well known astrological classic, attacked Dr. Raman saying that he had learnt his Jaimini astrology wrongly from a pandit and reading his books has misled astrologers !! He made this statement in a letter to me.


It is this outrageous statement which annoyed me because what we astrologers owe to Dr. Raman should never be forgotten. To talk of him in personal tones let me make some recollections.


My astrological  education in Hindi
When I learnt astrology in my childhood with my mother initiating me into it, I could read Hindi only well and understand. My knowledge of English was elementary. Though my mother subscribed to the Astrological Magazine she alone read it and none else in our family.


My knowledge of astrology from books for many decades was garnered mainly from Hindi books published in Varanasi and Bombay’s Venkatesh Press. I never read any book of Dr.Raman as late as 1971, at the age of forty, because my mother had told me about his unacceptable ayanamsha. Besides, we did not have in the collection of astrology books of my  mother, books of Dr. Raman. My mother’s personal collection was mostly in Telugu and that also well known astrological books, rarely anyone of contemporary writers of India who wrote in English though her knowledge of English was excellent she being the daughter of a headmaster during British rule. Those days the medium of teaching was through

English which was taught very well.


The quality of Varanasi books
My knowledge of astrology came from books in Hindi. Let me state here that the books of Varanasi which are what many pandits compiled from whatever manuscripts they could lay their hands on, were uncritical combinations of the sublime and the dross, some gems and some folksy superstitions which could be a better subjects for anthropogists than astrologers.

It was much later that I learnt from some very respectable astrologers who used to come to meet my mother that these compilers of the differering versions of Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra etc. were mere theoreticians and poorest of predictors. That has been the well known limitation of many astrologers brought up in Sanskrit traditions, to whom we are grateful for making available to us these compilations. Yet, to accept their interpretations and even translations blindly is to ignore their terrible limitations. Sample some out of hundreds of such instances.

1) If Sun is in the twelfth house for Tula lagna, he will live for one hundred years is one such absurdity.

2) In dasha results of Vimshottari , if Venus or Mercury is in the sixth or eighth from Sun the results will be....such   absurdities abound in these books.

3) Try the garbhadhan lagna (prenatal horoscope) given in these books and you will find that some of us had emerged out of the wombs of our mothers  either in seven months or ten months and never in the normal period of nine months or eighth months and some days !!

4) If your lagna falls in 3,6,12 etc. from pranpada you are not a human being but an animal!!

5) Read the book carefully and you will find that women are only sexual objects which can be better judged through thrimshamsha!

Try these and you like me will have admiration for these pandit compilers for giving great books and also get amused by their knowledge of predictive astrology!!


They sprang from a background where the benefits of the liberal education given through English medium which makes us ask questions was totally absent. The habit of questioning authority for a statement and the difficulty of accepting anything unless it is proven made the students who studied through English medium very rational and scientific.


Dr. Raman was a product of such an education like most of us. Dr. Raman knew that some of pandits had good knowledge of astrology but their interpretations of some shlokas and their mangled meaning of some sutras, particularly of Jaimini never proved correct in actual application. A practical approach to astrology with sound predictive technique was what was needed.


It is astrologers brought up in the English medium education who alone could do it and did it. In many private conversations with me till we parted company in 1994, Dr. Raman told me of his experiences.


Reading Dr. Raman’s Books
As I said that many people including the late Gopesh Kumar Ojha never accepted the ayanamsha of Dr. Raman because of which his books never attracted me till my jyotish guru,Yogi Bhaskaranandji, told me that Dr. Raman taught astrology scientifically through his books and had a remarkable record of great war time predictions which were world class. Left to myself, I rank Dr. Raman as the second best in the world after the late Hardeo Shastri Trivedi who wrote only in Hindi and was not noticed in the world of astrology and the world for his unbelievably great mundane predictions. Ofcourse I made this assessment after reading the predictions of these great astrologers who remain unrivalled even now.

It is after this that in 1971 I read the old issues of the Astrological Magazine and read some of his books with an open mind. I always found it difficult to accept his explanations because when I recast many of the horoscopes given in his books through Lahiri ayanamsha, I found varga charts showing different planetary positions. But if one were to accept his explanations based mostly on his ayanamsha he could not be faulted for his brilliant logic. I never found him using varga charts which appeared to be a terrible limitation.


Dr Raman’s book on Jaimini
In course of time I read his book on Jaimini astrology which again is elementary compared to  Hindi books I had already read. There was a difference---he was lucid and illustrative in his explanations which the Varanasi pandits could not do in their vast tomes of compilations because they were awful predictors.

I had ofcourse differences with Dr. Raman in the definition of Brahma for example which, he insisted must be in the visible half of a horoscope. His explanation of Maheshwara as the eighth lord from atmakaraka works very correctly and his definition of Rudra as the stronger of the two between the second and the eighth lord from the lagna works more brilliantly if you work on Sthira dasha of Jaimini in tracing illnessness and mishappenings in the life of a person. ( See the excellent book on Sthira Dasha by Mrs. Akhila Kumar).

What we owe to Dr. Raman is what cannot be repaid is what my jyotish guru told me. I not merely respected my jyotish guru’s assertion but also have, to date, produced the best paper on him which can be read in the book


Dr. Raman Man and Mission.
Destiny chose me to repay the debt we owe to Dr. Raman. My jyotish guru who was alive when my paper was published in 1983, was immensely pleased with me and blessed me. He did say that what I had done for Dr. Raman is what one of his astrology knowing children should have done !!


His books not prescribed by us
I never prescribed any of the books of Dr. Raman for our astrology course and never recommend it even now. That ofcourse does not diminish the great respect I have for him for making it possible for a man like me to walk on a stage of astrology he prepared ---and prepared for hundreds of astrologers.


So ignore this criticism of the ponga pandit indulging in sutra chopping and proving  nothing through any illustration which he has no ability to prove as his elementary discussion of some horoscopes he gives in his massively dull book, shows.

Dr. Raman’s horoscope
During his lifetime Dr. Raman had to face lot of jealousy and at the height of some attack on him I had said that astrologers should compare their horoscopes with Dr. Raman’s to see why his destiny bestowed on his the eminence he enjoyed. One of his peevish critics was R.Santhanam and the other is alive even now. I too am a  critic not of Dr. Raman but of his ayanamsha.

Remember Dr. Raman gratefully. My writing this piece is because of the provocation of this ponga pandit that Dr. Raman did not know Jaimini astrology properly !!And I am doing it in the month of his birth, August.

Dr. Raman brought astrology back to us from the morass of confused pandits who claimed to be belonging to some parampara and looked astrology look like black magic which failed more often than worked.


AK-Moon, AmK-Sun, BK-Mars, MK-Mercury, PK-Jupiter, GK-Saturn, DK-Venus



( 26 August 2009) He died in the sthira dasha of Meena which is eighth from his Karakamsha.The antardasha of Vrishchika which has Maheshwara. Pratyantara dasha of Simha which has Rudra.

What Dr. Raman learnt from some pandit was better Jaimini astrology than what the sutra choppers mistaking themselves as authorities on Jaimini will ever understand.


In chara dasha as I do, the period of death came in Karka (aspected byMaheshwara, Mesha (aspected by Rudra) and Karka again aspected by Maheshwara.


I do not take any dasha balance in Chara dasha nor did Dr. Raman.


In Vimshottari dasha it was VenusVenus,the seventh dasha and in the seventh house, pratyantara dasha of Saturn aspected by Jupiter the second lord, and the sookshma dasha of Rahu in the second house and aspected by Jupiter again.


In one issue of the Astrological Magazine I had predicted the period from 1994 to 1996 as bad for him and he died two years later after falling ill in the period pointed out by me. I had ofcourse used the horoscope as here too on the basis of his birth time he had rectified himelf.


His atmakaraka is Moon, Maheshwara is Jupiter and Rudra is Mercury according to the method learnt by Dr. Raman from a pandit which is what the ponga disputed.

He died on December 20, 1998 On the day of his death, Mars was in the Eighth house from his lagna and Moon was in the eighth house from his birth Moon.


Remember, what Dr. Raman taught is scientific astrology like what we teach in the Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan but are neither prescribing his books nor using his ayanamsha.

But our respect for him does not suffer in view of his great contribution to Hindu astrology through English language.

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