April 15th, 2008
|Name of the book||Brihat Jatakam|
|Author||Acharya Varahamihara, translation and editing Dr. Suresh Chandra Mishra|
|Publisher||Ranjan Publication, New Delhi, India|
|Amazon Link||Brihat Jataka of Varahamihira|
This classic of Indian astrology, authored by Acharya Varahamihira is accorded the same level of importance as that of Brihat Parashara Hora Shashtra. I have this book in Hindi explained by Dr Suresh Chandra Mishra, who calles it भारतीय ज्योतिष का सर्वमान्य संविधान, translated as "universally accepted constitution of Indian astrology". Varahamihira’s family is mentioned to be pioneers in Indian astrology. His son Prithuyashas authored the book on Hora Sara, which I will talk about later.
Although I consider Uttarakalmarita to be a much easier read that any other books that I have, and that could be purely due to the effort of the translator and editor of the book, this book Brihat Jatakam should be one of the first picked up by a student of astrology. The book starts with the description of rashis and planets, shodhashvarga, hora, exaltation and debilitation of planets, bhava and their characteristics etc. Another chapter talks about various types of birth times, those that are the ones meant for human birth and those that aren’t etc. and the general conditions around the time of conception and birth etc. In the second part of the book, the author explains the about the arishtas around the time of birth for the new born and how to ascertain balarishtas and calculation of longevity for the newly born baby. There is a commentary on rajyogas, multiple planets combining on one house etc and various other types of planetary yogas in a horoscope. The final part contains information and explanation on how to predict death and cause of death for an individual. In this part, the author introduces the basics of Prashna astrology where we need to predict the future of an individual who does not his/her time of birth. In this case, the time of asking the question should be used for calculations.