What is Nadi Astrology?

Astrology per se is a complex topic. So let us try to explain things as plainly as possible. Let’s speak about Nadi Astrology.

The bare basics:

Nadi astrology is part of the big Indian astrological system. Indian astrology uses charts to determine the impact of planets on a person’s life (similar to how Western astrology works). Nadi astrology, on the other hand, is entirely based on the message written on (dried) palm leaves. For this reason, Nadi astrology is considered to be a predicted astrological reading.

Basic Indian Astrology terminology you should know

Indian astrology is also referred to as Vedic astrology, Hindu astrology or Jyotish. Jyotish, loosely translated, means heavenly light. The charts that are used in Indian astrology to determine the impact of planets on a person, are called Jyotish. For more detailed information about Indian and Western astrology, please read our blog on Vedic and Western astrology.

Basic Nadi Astrology terminology you should know

Nadi Astrology is also called Nadi Reading or Nadi Shastra or Nadi Jothidam. By the way, you can spell Nadi with just one a or with two a’s. Both are correct. We call it Indian Palm Leaf Reading. Indian, because it comes from India. Palm Leaf, because the messages are written on dried palm leaves. Reading, because the predictions are read to the seeker by a reader.

The meaning of Nadi

Nadi in Tamil means seeker and approach. A seeker who approaches the reader in search for answers. This very moment in time, when one approaches the reader in search for answers, is called Nadi. You are supposed to find your leaf at the time and at the age that you are at the time of your reading. The sages could see you standing at a crossroads searching for answers. And the universe then leads you to the right person at the right time so that you can find the answers that you are seeking. The palm leaf that the message is written on is frequently called Nadi as well. Nadi may also be translated as pulse, which symbolizes life in general.

History of Nadi Astrology

Legend has it that about 2,000 to 3,000 years ago enlightened sages, known as rishis, wrote messages on palm leaves. Out of dozens of rishis that wrote messages on leaves in the southern parts of India, 18 are considered to be the main rishis. And the most well-known rishi is Maharishi Agasthiyar. The cradle of Nadi Astrology is the area around the town of Vaitheeswarankoil. This area lies in the central parts of the southernmost state of India, called Tamil Nadu. Why are messages written on (dried) palm leaves? The rishis used palm leaves as there were no other means of preserving their message.

About bundles

Leaves for similar souls are put together in bundles. These bundles can contain up to 108 individual palm leaves. Bundles are often also referred to as books, for example, the book of Agasthiyar. Palm leaves are not standardized and come in different sizes. In general though, one can say that an average palm leaf is about 10 inches (25 centimeters) long and about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) wide. Where are bundles stored? Bundles are stored in archives and libraries primarily in the state of Tamil Nadu. Although one can find libraries also in other parts of India and even, for example, in Sri Lanka or on Bali.

How many bundles are there?

No one really knows how many bundles there are. But it is presumed that there must be tens of thousands of books.

Why were these messages written?

These messages are meant to give direction and help the seeker find answers to pressing questions, but also help overcome strong negative karma. In short, the main reason for a reading is to help a seeker to create a better life trajectory for himself/herself after the reading. The leaf also provides remedies, known as poojas, which help overcome obstacles and blocks identified in the reading.

In which language were these messages written?

The leaves were written in ancient Tamil, called Grantha. This language does not exist anymore. Today modern Tamil is spoken. Tamil is a syllabic language. A sound-based language, similar to Chinese Mandarin. All western languages are letter based: a, b, c, etc. A single sound in Tamil can be converted into several letters. For example, one sound can mean either an A, E, I, O, or U in English. Another sound can be converted into a G, J, K, L, M or N. Furthermore, these leaves are written in a poetic form and not in simple everyday language. And last but not least, the leaves are written in a symbolic way. This was the only way to be able to compress an entire life’s worth of information on a small piece of leaf.

How can I find my leaf?

In order to categorize the leaves properly and then be able to find a leaf for a seeker, an indexing system was created that was bullet proof already thousands of years ago. They connected a leaf to a thumb print. Bundles are stored in archives usually based on the rishi who wrote the leaf, and the thumb print name of a seeker. All leaves in a single bundle are written by the same rishi and have the same thumb print name.

First step: search for bundles

You would need to submit your thumbprint – ladies: left thumb and gentlemen: right thumb – as well as your gender and country of birth. Every thumbprint has a name. The reader looks at your impression through a magnifying glass and determines your impression name. Based on your thumbprint name, the reader goes on a physical search for bundles that contain leaves with your thumbprint name. This search might take some weeks or even a few months.

Second step: matching

Once a bundle has been found that might hopefully contain your individual leaf, the matching process will start. This happens live while you sit in the reader’s office or in a live video conference call. Through a process of elimination, the reader will be able to find your actual leaf.

As a reminder: the reader only knows your gender, country of birth and your thumb impression name. In a successful matching, the reader will be able to identify your first name, your mother’s and father’s first names, your date of birth, your time of birth, as well as the number of your children and siblings. In short, you know that this is your leaf.

Third step: reading

Based on your impression name, your overall energies (not mood!), and planetary constellation at the time of your reading, the reader will give you a possible trajectory of your life. From the moment you get the reading until the end of your life. The reading comes in increments of two to three years. The reading covers all aspects of life, such as: health, family, spirituality, career, and money. In case you carry strong negative karma from your past life, you will also get a karmic reading. The last part of your reading entails your remedies, so called poojas. Poojas are energy shifting exercises that you would need to do to help overcome the blocks and obstacles that were identified in your reading. A pooja can also help cleanse your karma.

Conclusion: A Nadi Reading is meant to help you, the seeker, to create a better life trajectory for yourself. The reading will show you potential obstacles and blocks, but also fortuitous periods in your life. What you do with the information given to you, is entirely up to you. You are the only one who creates the reality that you experience in your life: through your thoughts, actions and non-actions. Your life is not set in stone. No one’s life is. But by utilizing the information received in a reading, one can certainly stay clear of pitfalls and make the most of favorable times. May the rishis be with you.