I have great pleasure in writing the Foreword to the book “Indian Astrology – An Appraisal”. Indian
astrology has been part and parcel of Indian culture and life. Today, it has spread to the western world
too where serious thinkers are beginning to recognize its constructive role in improving the quality of
human life. At the same time, there has been continuing opposition to giving it official recognition,
largely from a point of ignorance of the subject. The author Mr. V.S. Kalyanaraman’s effort, through this
volume, directed at handling such criticism by making out a strong case for astrology in a convincing
and forceful manner is indeed laudable. A senior scholar in all branches of Jyotisha (Indian astrology) –
Ganita, Samhita and Hora – his insights and analytical assessment of the case, the cause and the concept
behind the science are both stimulating and thought-provoking.
Mr. Kalyanaraman’s name is well-known to reader of THE ASTROLOGICAL MAGAZINE
for his informative articles. Some of them are reproduced in this volume in slightly revised form with
additional information. He highlights the results of several studies carried out in academic bodies in the
USA which, he points out, have only reconfirmed many astrological truths that are common knowledge
in most Indian homes. The author also handles effortlessly many controversial points demolishing
fallacies and misconceptions prevailing amongst critics, especially western, with powerful logic.
This is a valuable book which meets a long felt need in contemporary literature on the subject
for a combined but, at the same time, simple treatment of the Triskandhas of Jyotisha. In fact, Mr.
Kalyanaraman may be said to be one of the very few who can lay claim to scholarship in all three
branches and whose number today has sadly dwindled to a single digit.
Astronomical details relating to eclipses, Saroscylces, Mercury and Venus transits,
Panchanga elements, intercalary months, length of the year, history of time and other allied topics,
subjects rarely touched in any book, make for valuable lessons to the academically inclined.
Mathematical calculations have been avoided so as not to make the book too technical.
Mr. Kalyanaraman rightly devotes a considerable part of the volume to techniques of
predictive astrology unique to Kerala. Brief notes on important astrologers and astronomers in the last
few hundred years serve to introduce these giant intellectuals and their works to the reader.
The volume, I feel, has come rather late in the day and the reasons are simple, though not
justification enough-Mr. Kalyanamraman’s humility and reticence. Admirable and appropriate though
they be in a person of such scholarship, it is hope they will not come in the way of his writing more
books on different aspects of Jyotisha, especially astronomy as relevant to astrology.
Mr. Kalyanaraman’s knowledge and understanding of Jyotisha must be made available to
future generations. It is my sincere wish therefore that he will continue to bring out more books on the
subject and that the present is only the first of a series.
If given a choice, I would prefer to continue my reading, learning and thinking than writing.
Mrs. Gayatri Devi Vasudev, the renowned daughter of our great mentor late Dr. B V Raman,
was the affectionate authority behind, to make me write, quite often or else I would have opted ever, for
that golden silence, my first love.
This book is only a compilation of some of the articles published and talks delivered by me
on different occasions, apart from a few written, for this present effort. To ensure continuity and
facility of grasp, the published articles have been enlarged, revised and rewritten wherever necessary,
mainly to be of some appeal to the students and beginners. Deliberately leaving serious astrological
discussions, the book is designed for a general reading.
Even in this present effort I have a sense of deep guilt because it was a long-standing desire
of late Dr. NE Muthuswamy that I must come up with a compilation of my select articles. He persuaded
me many a time, over the years, to do so. Mainly due to my lethargy, I could not fulfil his wish when he
was alive. Nevertheless, his son Sri Eswaran, was literally after me and but for his perseverance, even
this would not have happened. I am sure mama (I used to call NEM so) would confer his blessings on us
I am immensely grateful to Mrs. Gayatri Devi Vasudev, Editor, the Astrological Magazine,
for permitting me to use some of the published material, in this work.
It may not be appropriate to thank ones own siblings. However, I cannot but mention the
persistent efforts put forth by my sons Shivkumar, Krishna Prasad and Kripanand in helping me for the
preparation of this compilation, my wife Smt Sundari for having silently suffered my odditiesall these
years and Sri Easwaran for his patient and painstaking editing. May God bless them.
What I have picked is only a few pebbles, from here and there, on the sands of the vast shores
of the great ocean of Jyothisha – Astronomy and Astrology, a great legacy left to us by our ancients.
Acquaintance with some basic astronomy is a must for astrologers. Keeping those avid young students
in mind, I have included some interesting astronomical details, in a simple language. If this could kindle
even one student to delve deep into those vast goldmine of immaculate wisdom of our ancients, my
labours would not have been in vain.
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