Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Dr. BV Ramans' Techniques

By PVR Narasimha Rao
Dear Vinay,

> >>>Different people operate under different
> >>>circumstances and their contributions cannot be
> >>>compared. Also, in my opinion, nobody can come close
> >>>to Dr Raman's contributions. He belongs to a different
> >>>level, like Varahamihira.
> Dear Narasimha,
> I differ in my views on Dr.Raman. Raman used a wrong
> Ayanamsha, (that invariably changed the Navamsha
> lagna, navamsha position of planets) and sometimes did

I too personally do not use Raman ayanamsa. I use Lahiri ayanamsa and believe it has only a small error. But, in the absence of a conclusive proof of the correct ayanamsa, scholars are free to use what they like. Dr Raman, Krishnamoorthy, Swami Sadashiva Giri, Swami Yukteshwar's followers all have their own favorite ayanamsas. You can fault anyone for following what they prefer.

> not even advocate the use of Navamsha chart. He
> suggested that the Navamsha chart could be shelved if
> a planet was strong in the rashi chart. I hear that

There are people today shelving shashtyamsa chart. I don't see any difference between shelving navamsa and shelving shashtyamsa.

> even today his children faithfully use his Ayanamsha.

What's wrong with it?

I use Lahiri ayanamsa and used it in all my articles published in "Astrological Magazine". They never held it against me and published my articles. When they respect my decision to use Lahiri ayanamsa, I respect their decision to use Raman ayanamsa.

> A pity. He rarely used other divisional charts like
> D-10 etc. Raman used nothing other than the
> Vimshottari Dasha for predictions. I wonder how he
> could give sound predictions with such techniques.

That is the beauty! He gave sound predictions for several decades.

Though he used what was convenient to him, he was never against the use of D-10 etc. Nor was he against the use of other dasas. He respected other views and especially those who had allegiance to maharshis. As an individual teacher, he had the freedom to focus on what worked for him and what was convenient to him. I will not blame him for exercising that freedom.

Just before he passed away, I was invited to send an article and sent one containing my researches on D-27 and received his blessings in a letter. He said he was happy to see youngsters engaged in serious astrology research and gave me his encouragement and blessings. The article was published in the last "Astrological Magazine" that he edited (January 1999 issue). It was my first published article in astrology.

How can you fault a man who encounraged others studying divisional charts for ignoring them?

Each generation discovers (or, sometimes, invents) new things. It cannot blame the previous generations for leaving those things. Each generation has a job to do.

> Unlike some of his contemporaries like Krishnamurthy
> or Sheshadri Iyer who have to their credit some
> original contributions, Raman contributed nothing
> original or new to the arsenal of astrological

When did having "original contributions" become a criterion for being a great astrology author?

If an author comes by today and translates (interprets) Parasara perfectly, I will bow to his feet. It will be the greatest contribution anybody (apart from Parasara) would've ever made to astrology!!!

Dr Raman brought the knowledge of maharshis to modern educated men. It is a far greater contribution than any original researches.

> techniques. Coming to his writings, his books "How to
> Judge a Horoscope Vol 1 and Vol 2" which I have read
> are downright badly written books according to me. I

But, countless Jyotishis learnt from those books and progressed as astrologers.

Even today, many of us consider those books the best reference book for bhava results.

> gave up reading half way. Honestly I felt that even I
> could write a book like that! He simply culled

If so, please do!!!!

> statements from classics and added them in his book
> under the relevant bhava judgment without bothering to
> explain how or why such a statement could work. A

That couldn't be more wrong. So many clear practical examples were given!

> person with no knowledge of astrology can understand
> neither head nor tail of these books. An astrologer
> who does not interpret and explain the pithy sayings
> of the classics is no great astrologer. For example
> you explain the use of Arudhas even in Divisional
> charts but explain how and why it is to be done. This
> lends credence to what you say and there is some
> chance of its acceptability. I place KN Rao on a
> higher pedestal than Dr. Raman in terms of the
> predictions given and probably even in his writings.

Well, old people like my father who followed Dr Raman for MANY DECADES tell me that he is unsurpassed in the quantity and quality of predictions. He was highly successful for several decades. Some are probably influenced by the propaganda that came after his peak years from some self-promoting savants that came after him. A Tendulkar or Sehwag cannot make you forget Bradman. When it comes to public predictions, Dr Raman is the Bradman.

In writings, I will not dare to put anybody near him. Yes, there have been more entertaining authors after him, who wrote fluffy books with a lot of style, a lot of claims and little useful substance. His books are filled with sattva guna and substance.

> But there's no doubt Raman's name will live on for a
> long time to come because of his complete dedication
> to the craft of astrology and for having the courage
> to revive a craft that was almost dead in the mid
> fifties. But to compare him to Varahamira, in my

I am glad you recognize atleast that.

> opinion, is like comparing a Viv Richards, a Sachin
> Tendulkar or a Brian Lara to any B grade batsman.
> These are just my views and we all have the right to
> have our own.

I agree. :-)

> Warm Regards,
> Vinay K

May Jupiter's light shine on us,

Brihaspati Gayatri, Vishwamitra/Gaathina Rishi Rig Veda 6.62.6