INTERVIEW WITH A NADI PRACTITONER
from the Indian Magazine: Star Teller
Mr Durai Subburathinam of Sri Kausika Agasthiya Nadi Jothida Nilayam in Tambaram, Chennai. Mr Durai Subburathinam's Nadi center commands the faith and respect of thousands of people who have tested the authenticity of the leaves he holds.
Mr Subburathinam, in this eye-opening article, offers some pointers by which the common public can distinguish between genuine Nadi Readers and hoaxes.
Q: Sir, you seem to possess a good collection of old palm leaves. Could you tell us the history of these palm leaves?
A: Yes. The origin of these leaves can be traced back to approximately 2000 years ago. Later during the British rule, the British were very keen to acquire these types of ancient leaves which deal with herbal cure, alchemy, different types of rasayans, Kayakalpa to increase longevity, different branches of fortune-telling etc. In some, the basic rules of the modern scientific inventions are explained. The British were very keen to take all these but left some of the astrological leaves to their loyalists. Some were put on auction also. People belonging to a particular caste who specialized in astrology bought these leaves and they earned their livelihood through Nadi-reading.
It is a hereditary profession for us. We belong to the place called Vaitheeswaran Koil, in south Tamil-Nadu. We got trained from our elders to do the Nadi-reading. The language is poetic and the script is also different. It is the same as in the ancient temples. We have only a certain amount of collection of leaves. Natives whose leaves are here will, somehow or other, come to us at the appropriate age specified on the leaves from any corner of the world. Leaves are there not only for Indians but for foreigners also belonging to other religions. Whoever is destined to look into the leaves will come to us on his own accord. The very word "Nadi" in Tamil means (destined) to come on own accord.
Q: Do you mean to say that you don't possess the leaves of those who are not destined to come to you.
A: Exactly. They may not even know that such a type of astrology exists. Even the very age when the native is destined to come to us is marked on the leaves. So, we do not advertise for our profession. Whoever is destined to come will come. Faith is the root of our system.
Q: What is the first step in Nadi Astrology?
A: We take the impression of the right thumb for males and the left thumb for females. There is no need to disclose your name, place or horoscope.
Q: How to you proceed further with the thumb impression?
A: Lines on the thumb are classified into 1008 types. Palm leaves are arranged according to these types. We identify the particular type of lines on the thumb and the corresponding set of palm leaves are taken. For example, a particular type is called conch shell with a circle. Among this, there are many sub-divisions based on the number of dots on the thumb. Impressions with 5 or more dots are very rare.
Q: What is the significance of Nadi Astrology?
A: There are 12 chapters (parts). The first chapter contains the native's name, parents' names, present details of profession, brothers, sisters, children, spouse and a gist of future predictions for all the twelve bhavas. There is also a poetic description of the planetary positions in the native's horoscope.
The other chapters deal elaborately every aspect of your life. For example, the 5th chapter deals with children, their birth, death, reasons for not having children, adoption, future life of the children, remedial measures etc. The 7th chapter indicates the time of marriage, name, ascendant and the planetary positions of the horoscope of the spouse and life after marriage. Chapters 2 to 12 till give the future predictions up to the end of the life from the date of perusal of that chapter. There are four more chapters - chapter 13 and 14 deal with the previous birth and the sins committed therein.
Remedial measures are also given for getting rid of the effect of the sins of the past birth. Chapter 15 prescribes the medicines and methods of consumption for chronic diseases. The 16th chapter gives predictions for the current dasa and bhukti periods in detail. In addition to these, there is also a special chapter for "Prasna" where any query is answered. All these were written hundred of years ago by our Maharishis.
Q: Amazing. But how is it possible?
A: With divine grace, our Maharishis were able to foresee a lot. They have foreseen and predicted the type of name and the events of life for a person born at a particular moment with corresponding planetary positions. Nadi Astrology is written by "Sapta Rishis" - Vasishta, Agasthiya, Kaushika, Sukar and others. Sage Agasthiya has written in Tamil. Other Sanskrit texts were translated into Tamil. Marata King Sarabhoji and Chola kings patronized this form of astrology and translations.
Q: Could you share some of your experiences with us?
A: I would like to tell the people that we are only "Nadi Readers". What is written on the leaves is read and explained by us. We ourselves do not add anything. Some clients get irritated when some of the facts are unpleasant. We cannot help it. With utmost patience, we clear their doubts. Common people and VIPs from all walks of life have consulted us. We show them the particular leaf where the predictions for the native are given. Some of our customers are able to read the leaves on their own. Some even buy their leaves for preservation.
Q: Could you pick the leaf for one of us who have come from EST?
A: Yes. Of course. You can even take photographs of the names in the leaf. (Leaf was promptly picked up from the thumb impression. Name and other details of the native were verified by the EST team and photographs were taken.)
Q: There is a general complaint that the Nadi readers collect a lot of informations from the client himself? What is your answer to this?
A: Some of the leaves give the native's name as such in full. In some the names are only suggested indirectly giving details about the number of letters in the name, clues of a corresponding deity etc. In those cases, we ask questions to find out the right leaf. We tell the clients to say only "yes" or "no" and nothing more. You can also verify your horoscope with the description of the horoscope given in the leaf. Without truth and integrity, we cannot survive for so many years and generations.
Of course, there are places where there are fake leaves. They will not be able to show you the leaf with your name and other details.
Q: Also there is an opinion that the remedial measures are suggested only by you and that they are money-making gimmicks?
A: No. This is not true at all. We only read the remedial measures given in the particular chapter. Generally remedial measures are like visiting particular temples, feeding the poor etc. There is no compulsion to do them. Corresponding to the sins, the remedial measures are suggested in the leaves. The clients can themselves verify them in their leaves. In some cases, while reading the 13th chapter, there is a suggestion of giving alms to the Nadi reader for preserving the leaves. He helps the native to amend his sins by informing the native of his poorva-karma. But these are only optional.
Q: Do these remedial measures really reduce the troubles?
A: Yes. I have seen many people getting benefitted by this. We get the feedback from the clients. Pleased with our service, they bring their friends and relatives for a Nadi reading.
Q: People say that they have to wait for hours to get the Nadi reading. How far is it true?
A: The time duration depends upon the identification of the thumb impression. Some impressions are identified easily and the corresponding leaves are found soon.
Q: I have seen many foreigners waiting outside to see you. How far do they believe this Nadi Astrology?
A: I have clients from USA, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and other places. They have complete faith in Nadi readings. Some even fast their thumb impressions and get the predictions. We have translators with us to serve them.
Q: Will your children take up the same profession?
A: Yes. Our children are also interested in this profession and they are learning the old script and other languages. With the blessings of our ancestors, we will continue for generations.
Q: Thumb impressions are unique scientifically and are used for legal purposes. What is the difference between your classification and theirs?
A: For legal purposes, the whole thumb is studied minutely. but we concentrate only on the center part of the thumb and the sub-divisions therein.
This is a humble attempt to clear some of the doubts and mysteries surrounding Nadi Astrology and to bring out the authenticity of the ancient art.