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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An Experienced Hindu Astrologer's opinion, 28 Oct 2003
This review is from: The Art and Practice of Ancient Hindu Astrology: Nine Intimate Sessions Between Teacher and Student (Hardcover)
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.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 26 Nov 2009 11:58:23 GMT
Last edited by the author on 26 Nov 2009 12:01:26 GMT
N. Ragavan says:
As a long term student of astrology, who expects never to be other than a student, I agree wholeheartedly that ignoring vargottama and neechabhanga is unimaginable. Just from the practical charts I have come across where the effects of these are fully experienced, I am convinced that these are valuable and unignorable aspects of a chart. I am quite puzzled at an experienced astrologer ignoring them - possibly there are times when they do not turn out as expected due to other configurations in a chart, but that is no reason to do so.

For my 2 cents worth - vargottama planets are stubborn in their effects, as is a vargottama ascendant. Neechabhanga can give sudden and unexpected changes in life. And retrograde planets have almost a karmic feel, a debts to be paid/collected type of effect. I may be completely wrong and would be willingly corrected.

I must say that I have not read this particular book by James Braha. I have read another one of his books, but generally prefer the classics or commentaries on the classics, as they tend to address complex issues more interestingly. Unfortunately, as I do not have a teacher, or the ability to effectively absorb and integrate everything I read, I remain an interested student.
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