on 6 October 2006
James Braha was and remains the one who made hindu astrology readable to us westerners (most books written by hindus are unfortunately not readable - I have tried quite a few). I have read all Braha's books on the subject matter and I feel fortunate for having done so. This particular book is not only a concise and distiled version of Braha's experience with the hindu system, it is crucially a non-dogmatic approach, which leaves the reader to be the final judge. This is not a book for a begginer and I would recommend reading the other Braha's book first (Ancient Hindu Astrology...). We are indeed very fortunate that Braha has published this particular book (and the earlier ones), because otherwise the hindu system would have needed at least another 20-30 years in order to be introduced in the west (recently there have been several interesting book attempts by westerners). Additionally, it is a bonus that Braha uses an inquisitive approach without demeaning nor glorifying the hindu system (which by the way is not unique in its dasha-bukti technique approach - the greek astrology of the hellinistic age had a similar system with the time-lords or chronocrators). In conclusion: if you wish to truly learn and understand the intricacies of the hindu astrological system, then you should read and re-read this book.
on 28 October 2003
It is laudable that Mr. James Braha, an American, has evinced tremendous interest in Hindu Astrology, pursued it vigorously, authored some products on it and probably made it a fetching profession. But what I do not fail to notice is that he has evidently applied western thinking in interpreting the hindu classical wisdom. The Hindu Astrology has its own nuances and technical know-how for the zodaical interpretation and Hindu directional astrology(Dasa-Bhukti system) is unique. His rejection of the concepts of Vargottama and Neechabhanga is absurd when he is attempting to interpret the hindu zodiac with the hindu way of delianation. Similarly his interpretaion of the effects of retrograde planets is contrary to the hindu conception of these planets. His statement that a planet in retrogression is closer to the earth is erroneous since every planet has its own fixed orbit whether in forward motion or retrogression and it can never deviate from its orbit. Likewise his emphasis on the aspects in determining the strength of planets is against the shad-bala principle as laid down in Hindu Astrology. The aspects will have an impact on the chemistry of the planets with reference to the esoteric influence of the sign of their placement and can never destroy or alter the shad-bala strength. Thus his assertions lack validity and are against precepts and postulates of Hindu Astrology. He will do well to follow Hindu Astrology the way the Hindu classical texts explain. Any attemt to westernise the Hindu Astrology will undoubtedly tantamount to unfailing distortion. Hindu Astrology is complex and complicated and calls for a deep consideration of all the concurrent and concomitent factors in arriving at a viable conclusion.