The author of Hindu Horary Astrology, an English translation of Neelkantha's Prasnatantra is Mr. G. Sri Ram Murthi already well known to the astrological public. He has been in the field of astrological study and has made a work of his own. He has been serving the cause of astrology in a silent and unostentaitious manner.
The present work, for which I have been asked to contribute a Foreword, is rich and exhaustive and deals with "Prasnastra" or Horary Astrology. In three chapters, the entire gamunt of "Prasnasastra" has been convincingly covered by Neelkantha the Orignal author, and Mr. Rama Murthy has spread no pains to make the translations true to the original and easily understandable by an average student of astrology, adding his own observations wherever necessary and illustrating them with examples. As far as my humble knowledge goes, the existing books in English on Hindu Horary Astology are not exhaustive. But the present work is so planned that it deals with the questions pertaining to each Bhava systematically, enableing one to attempt answer to questions bearing on different aspects of life.
I have no doubt that the book will be welcomed by the astrological world as an important addition to the existing literature on the subject and that it will have the demand it richly deserves. Horary Astrology, as a method of divination, has its own limitations and not for getting answer to each and sundry questions which can be dealt with by commonsense.
I commend the present the volume to every student of astrology and wish Mr. Rama Murthy every success in his laudable efforts in bringing to light such valuable ancient treaties.
What is Horary Astrology?
The word Hora is derived from Aho Ratri when the letters 'A' and Tri are omitted, Hora is left. Hora means as hour or 2 ½ Ghatis of time span. Horary Astrology as the term implies, depands on the hourly movements of planets. Just as planetary chart is drawn up for the moment of birth of an individual so also a chart of planetary positions is drawn for the moment of birth of such a problem. From the map of Heaven thus drawn up, is given the forecast; the kind, nature, progress and final success or failure. The gradeour of the subject of Hindu Horary Astrology and the scientific training it imparts to its exponent, lead both the ancient and modern authors to regard Horary Astrology as an art. Horary Astrology as also arts, needs formal rules. Successful instruction could be imparted by a wise teacher (Guru). Neither the rules nor the ability and the acumen of the 'Guru' (Precepter) can make a student successful unless his inborn gift to the essentials and rejention of the non-essentials. Horary Astrology is rather similar to art and music. Just as in music there are many ways of extemporization of a particular theme so also in Horary Chart. In either case with the musician or the Astrologer, the success of the artist depands largely on his capacity to seize instinctively that which is most appropriate to the listeners, so that his performance can be a matter of appreciation and with the applause of his listener.
This science too has a few limitation as in the case of any branch of learning.
1. The first pitfall to guard against is the attempt to forecast from a chart erected for frivolous query. The exponent and the querent have to heed the above. It is best the enquire is certain that he has a serious matter to raise a question.
2. (a) Both the exponent and the querent have to be contented in attempting a few selected questions. Never-the-less we have suggested methods for answering multiple questions from a sing Horary map on the reason that Varahamihira declares that a querent should not be restricted to a single query.
(b) The enquirer too must be precise, i,e., he should concentrate on his question and try to get more details on less number of questions. He ought not to multiply his queries on interviewing an Astrologer, Probably it is for this reson that our ancient wanted the querent, while approaching an Astrologer, to wash his feet, hands etc., with water, pray to God and raise his problems that require solution and, last but not least, worship the map of Heavens. I do not mean that every practioner has to take to this procedure; but if time and custom both suit, there is no reason why this sancity should not be obsereved. Never –the –less any Astrologer is at liberty to request without obligation, that consultant to think of his Ishtadevta –God who may be sacred to him/her.
(c) It is always a golden rule, specially to a beginner to restrict to one or two questions.
3. The habit of asking too many questions is to be deprecated on the following reasons:
(a). On moral grounds it leads one to become a sentimental weaking in as much as it deprives the independence and curbs self – reliance specially those who are not endowed with mature wisdom and are apt to follow these predictions as gospel truth.
(b) Secondly, Horary Astrological study and practice is to be taken as an aid to birth horoscope reading, if not the judgement is prone to be erroneous on two specific reasons: the birth horoscope gives the basic data and if it be strong as to ensure success on an errand and the Gochara (transits ) give the clues for uptodate changes, and if the Horary diagram shows signs of failure. Conversely if at birth nativity may be weak and the present may be under marlign planetary rulership, while the Horary Chart shows signs of success. In either of the two instances cited above, the judgement is likely to err. We are to assert that one should not forget that the birth horoscope is a perfect key to unlock all events of life.
There are a few special occasions when Horary Astrology will serve as an aid to prediction : when (a) a birth horoscope or data is not is missing or (d) when a friend or a relation lost cash or property and or (e) the possibility of recovering the lost goods.
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