Nādi Astrology (nāḍi jyotiṣa) is a form of Dharma astrology practiced in Tamil Nadu, and adjacent regions in India. It is based on the belief that the past, present, and future lives of all humans were foreseen by Hindu sages in ancient times. Nadi astrology uses a tropical zodiac system. Sidereal zodiac systems coincided with tropical zodiac systems around 2,000 years ago, but have now drifted apart due to sidereal systems not accounting for the precession of the equinoxes while tropical systems do.
In Tamil Nadu, the texts are mainly written in Vattezhuthu, which was an abugida script used to write Tamil up until the 12th century CE. The content of the manuscripts is often attributed to the Vedic sage Agastya who is believed to have possessed a highly developed consciousness. These ancient records of providence were made famous by practitioners around the Vaitheeswara Temple in the state of Tamil Nadu. First, the Naadi palm leaves are located based on the thumb impressions (right for men, left for women).
These Naadi leaves were initially stored in the premises of Thanjavur’s Saraswati Mahal Library in Tamil Nadu. The British colonialists later showed interest in the Naadi leaves concerned with herbs and medicine, future prediction, etc. Some leaves got destroyed, and the remaining were auctioned during the British Raj (rule). These Nadi leaves were obtained by the families of astrologers at the Vaitheeswaran Temple and have been passed down the years from one generation to the other.
There is also another set of astrologers claiming that the content written in the palm leaf is a conversation between Shiva and Parvathi. This is called “Shiva Nadi jyotisiyam”.
The basic concept of Nadi Astrology is “Nadi” (nāḍi). There are 150 Nādis in a sign or Rāshi (Rāsi); one sign is 30 degrees of the zodiac 360. Twelve signs of the zodiac are grouped into three categories: Moveable (Chara), Fixed (Sthira), and Dual (Dvisvabhāva) signs. The nomenclature of 150 Nādis is peculiar to each of these three types of signs. There are 1,800 Nādis in 360 degrees. The numbers and names of Nādis are identical among all four Chara signs. Among all four Sthira signs, the numbers and names of Nādis are identical, but the numbering is different from those in Chara and Dvisvabhāva signs. Similarly, the numbering of Nādis in all four Dvisvabhāva signs is identical among themselves, but different from Chara or Sthira signs. For instance, the first Nādi in Chara signs such as Aries is Vasudhā Nādi, but in Sthira signs the order is reversed and Vasudhā is 150th Nādi. In Dvisvabhāva signs such as Gemini, Vasudhā is 76th Nādi; that is, from the middle of 150. Thus, there are 450 distinctive names and numbers in the full zodiac. Nādi texts use this concept of Nādi as the basic unit for prediction. That is why they are called “Nādi amshas”.
Chandra Kalā Nadi, which is also known as Deva Keralam, was published by Sagar Publications in 1992, edited and translated into English by R Santhanam. It is a compilation of over 82 hundred verses by Achyut of Kerala, that is why it is called “Deva Keralam”. But its original kernel was Chandra Kalā Nādi, which has not been preserved as a separate text. Deva Keralam has borrowed many non-Nādi concepts also in order to make the book fuller, but it preserves the gist of Nādi astrology. However, there are many different trends in Nādi Astrology which are not present in Deva Keralam. There are Nādi texts named after planets, such as Guru Nādi or Shukra Nādi, and there are voluminous unpublished texts like Dhruva Nādi. The palm leaves in Tamil Nādu temples use a style different from that of Deva Keralam, and the Tamil method of Nādi Astrology is paralleled by Bhrigu Samhitā in north India, which has been published in part, but many spurious publications in the name of Bhrigu Samhitā have also appeared in the market.
Athman is the ‘real’ you with nobody, no mind or no desire. Athman is immortal, and characterises the real you. Changes apply only to the physical body. Common stages are birth, childhood, teenage, adulthood, old age, and death. The real you (the Asthma) then enters into a different body depending on your Karma and takes form relative to the good or bad deeds you have done. Athman can neither be created nor destroyed. Athman manifests in a physical body as per applicable karmas.
Navagrahas and siddars
All beings, irrespective of species, nationality, religion, social class, aggressiveness, etc., are controlled by the Navagraha’s (nine houses or planets). The Navagraha’s are very sincere in their duties as cosmic public servants and never deviate in performing their duties. They cannot be bribed. They affect individual beings as well as entire societies as per the Karma (thoughts, words, and deeds of beings in this world as well as other worlds) applicable. The current life path of a person is determined by past Karma. For example, if a person is blessed with wealth in this birth, then it implies this person has done many punyas (activities that resulted in good Karma) in his/her previous births and he/she is enjoying the benefits of it in this birth. It is like a person who has saved a lot of punyas in his or her account cashing it in when the need arrives.
Birth, death, rebirth, and moksha are all controlled by our karma. Pampas (activities that result in negative Karma) are obstacles that may take longer to dilute whereas punyas earned can be ‘spent’ very soon. From the Hindu point of view, this makes it important that we always think good thoughts and do no harm to any other being. Bad Karma is committed even if we think unrighteous thoughts.