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The Problem of Translation

By Kshitij Sharma, August 31, 2008

Folks, I am sorry to have kept out of touch for such a long time. A host of personal and work related commitments do not allow a lot of time to be devoted to Astrology and by extension, to this blog.

There was a question on the post of General Strength of a Bhava about Venus being a yogakaraka in 6th house. The source of this statement is a book on Jyotish – Uttara Kalamrita, pages 60 and 61 of the Hindi edition, published by Ranjan Publications.

I could have quoted the portions from Uttara Kalamrita here, but in its current form, it may not make sense to a lot of non-Hindi speaking astrologers. I thought of translating the relevant paragraph and publishing it on this site, but then I realized that it is not an easy task. I promptly ended the effort and now I wonder how astrologers who write their books in English do it. I also wonder if these works are really error free.

I have reasons to believe that there are mistakes in these books and majority of these errors are in translation and explanations provided by the authors. I will give the following example, but will refrain from telling the name of the book and the author. All I would like to say that this book is in English and the author has provided English translations for Sanskrit shlokas.

Moon and Venus are considered females in Vedic Astrology. In this book on Vedic astrology, the author does not disagree and calls them both स्त्रियौ. In the same book, there is another shloka on qualities of Venus where Sanskrit shloka reads – सुखी बली. The translation provided by the author for this phrase is “fond of comforts, manly and potent”.

IMHO, सुखी should read “full of joy”. बली can mean “full of strength” but not “manly and potent”, unless of course if “strength” can be attributed only to males and I am being extremely unreasonable. Still, a planet being defined as a “female” in one shloka and being described “manly and potent” in another is not something I as a student of Astrology can reconcile with.


  • Comment by MG on September 9, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    Hi Kshitij,
    Sorry for posting in the wrong place, I just did not know where else to post.
    Is there a problem with the birth chart software ? I am trying to load it, can’t seem to be able to. Have JRE 1.5.0_06.


  • Comment by A N Lakshmi on March 11, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Hi Sharma ji,

    This is Lakshmi, from Hyderabad working in Software industry and I trust astrology very much like god. Till date I could not find expert astrologer in my life though I met many people in Hyderabad ( might be my search was not proper ) I would like to be expert in astrology and now I am in the learning stage. Can you please clarify my doubt why not any two members can express the same result.
    And also when I met the experts even they could not say exactly what happened in my past.
    Could you please suggest what about my life mainly in Career, Finance and Marriage Life? (At least please suggest me or drop the expert‘s number to meet them personally.)

    Now a day’s many people are in software industry or real estate or politics so
    Really at what combination of grahams will give this type of careers?


  • Comment by Madan Gopal on October 27, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Hi Laxmi ji, the two astrologer could never reach a single conclusion because they differ in their preception, knowledge and . First, they do not follow the rishi in toto and second, they are unable to u catch the hidden meaning of the astro sutras written by great Rishis. For example in marreied life Rishis have propounded that Saturn in 7th bhava cause sickley partner. But the Rishi is silent on the digbala of the Saturn, Karkatwa, functional nature, shadabala, ashtak varga point, the Rashi, aspect, amsa, positional difference in various varga, Nadi, ans combination with other planets. without judging all these phenomena nobody could predict easily. An other area is the correct applicaiton of the the dasha system, no astrologer bother to find the correct dasha system to be applicable on the Native. I thnk u may be satisfied.

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