Prasna Sastra or Horarv Astrology is not only of popular appeal but of basic importance because it can answer questions of immediate consequence affecting our everyday life. The English translation of Prasna Tantra, herewith presented with copious notes and illustrations, is intended to fulfil a long-felt want not only by professional astrologers but also by the astrological students.
The mechanism of interpretation given in Prssns Tantra has been tested by me in a large number of cases and found quite satisfactory.
Of late the Market is being increasingly flooded with all sorts of cheap astrological literature lacking genuine scholar- ship, the main object being, and some sorts of sensation- mongering. Fortunately the number of educated people inclined to give serious attention to the scientific aspects of astrology is also increasing. And this book is mainly intended to meet both scholarly demands and the practical needs of astrological students, amateur and professional.
The astrologer who uses horary astrology should be able to counsel his consulters on the basis of his findings scientifically made, and it is hoped that this book will be received by the educated public with the same warmth with which all my other writings have been received all these years.
I am happy to present herewith the Sixth Edition of the English translation of Prasna Tantra which has been out of print for some time. The fact that a new edition has been called for within such a short period bears testimony to the fact there is increasing interest evinced by the educated public for the study and appreciation of astrology as a useful branch of knowledge.
Prasna Tantra is a unique publication of great utility especially in the matter of dealing with problems arising in our daily lives.
It is hoped that the educated public will extend to Prasna Tantra the same cordial reception that they have done to all my other writings.
Horaryastrology is the most important branch of the three divisions of the astrological science, the other two being Jataka (predictive astrology) and Muhurtha (electional astrology). It takes as the basis for predicting future events, the horoscope set for the moment a query is put. Horarv has a further advantage over the judicial in the sense that the time of query is known accurately. In fact the time at which a query is put is the time of birth of the intention or desire in the mind of the querent and hence of great significance. The question must be seriously put if the answer is earnestly desired and if correct results are to be obtained. Any questions posed light-heartedly or with mischievous intention should be dismissed by the astrologer. Horary astrology is the art of perceiving the relation between the thought as it arises in the mind and the pattern of the heavens at the moment. This gives a clue for forecasting an event. Hence horaryastrology is the most practical and useful branch of knowledge.
Prasna Tantra, an English translation of which is herewith presented, is a treatise on horary astrology, written by Neelakanta Daivagnya. According to some authorities, it is not an independent treatise, but a part of Neelakanta's larger work Tajaka Neetekenteeye being the 3rd or last Tantra or division, the other two being Samgnatantra (preliminaries) and Varshatantra (the annual horoscope). Whe!her an inde- pendent treatise or a part of a larger work it has its own uniqueness as dealing clearly and in simple language with important aspects of horarv astrology.
There are any numbers of treatises on this branch of astrology written by ancient masters, such as Chappanna or Shatpanchasika, Lampaka, Prasnagnana, Prasnabhushana, Presnesindnu, Presns Chintamani, Bhuvana Deeplke, Jinendramala, Krishneeya and Prasna Marga, the last being the most comprehensive and elaborate exposition of Horary. Prasna Marga has been translated by me into English with elaborate notes and it is expected to be out by the end of 1979.
My choice of Prasna Tantra for translation into English was due to three reasons. First, it is compact, yet compre- hensive. Second, the treatise is clear and the principles given in its pages are in a large measure applicable to modern conditions. And third, in my practice most of the predictions made by me essentially based on this book have been remarkably fulfilled.
The author of this book is said to be Neelakanta Daivagnya. From his own Tajaka and from other collateral sources, it has been gathered that he came from a family of astrologers. He was the grandson of Chintharnani Daivagnya, son of Anantha Daivagnya and brother of Rama Daivagnya and belonged to the Gothra of Gargya. In the last part of his Varshatantra, Neelakanta records that he composed this book on the eighth day of the bright half of Aswija of Saka Year 1509 which means 1567 A.D. There is also evidence that he hailed from Vidarbha and that he was about 43 or 44 years old when he wrote this book. While the first two parts (of his larger work), viz., Samgnatantra and Varshatantra hav~ the commentaries of one Viswanatha Daivagnya, probably written in Saka 1551 (A.D. 1639), no commentaries have been written on the last ' division which may be said to constitute the independent volume of Prasna Tentre. In translating the original into English, the main object has been to bring the spirit of the 'author rather than the letter.
Astrology is a technical subject and in attempting to convey ideas from a highly suggestive and perfect language like Sanskrit into a modern and developing language like English certain confusion of sense cannot be entirely ruled out. It is not a literal translation I have given. But it is a liberal rendering, the object being to make accessible to the Indian public who have a limited knowledge in Sanskrit and also to the Western world where, in recent times, interest in the study of Hindu astrology has been growing by leaps and bounds, a system of Horary astrology in which they will find sufficient information of practical utility. It is for the learned readers to judge how far I have been successful in my humble endeavours.
Prasna Tantra has been divided into four chapters, viz., Prasna Vichara (preliminaries), Bhava Prasna (questions bearing on different houses), Visesha Prasna (special questions) and Prakirnakadhyaya (concluding remarks).
The first chapter deals with such details as the utility of Prasna, planetary characteristics and avasthas, planetary natures, and matters to be inquired into from different houses.
The second chapter is quite comprehensive. It gives combinations for judging the outcome of questions bearing on different houses.
The third chapter deals with specific questions such as the return of a man gone away from home; whether he is alive or dead; whether or not he wi II return; illness; whether the patient will recover, nature of illness; diagnosis, etc.; leaving employment and seeking another job; disputes, litigation, etc. ; success and failure; theft and loss of articles, the age, sex, etc., of the thief.. Whether the article is lost completely or recoverable and if latter how it could be recovered; children; marriage; dreams, food, hunting, quarrels, incarceration, about ships on sea, purchase and sale, planting of crops, etc. The fourth chapter covers questions such as : gain of money, general outlook, time of gain, thought- reading, enquiry about women, nature of intimacy with. women, nature of weather and crops, etc. The chapter is concluded with some important information on aspects and yogas considered in Tajaka Astrology.
The treatment throughout has been comprehensive. Some- times there is also a certain jumbling of subjects dealt with. For instance, while in Chapter 1/ questions bearing on marriage and children are treated, the same subjects are again repeated in Chapter 1/1 in greater detail. On the whole, the entire gamut of horary astrology has-been covered skil- fully leaving to the discretion of the astrologer, how best he could adapt the principles to answer questions even not covered in the book.
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