Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra

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The Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra (Sanskrit: बृहत् पराशर होरा शास्त्र; IAST: bṛhat parāśara horā śāstra; abbreviated to BPHS) is the most comprehensive extant Śāstra ('book' or 'manual') on Vedic natal astrology, in particular the Horā branch (predictive astrology, e.g. horoscopes).[1] Ascribed to Maharṣi Parāśara, the most popular version of the BPHS consists of 97 chapters, translated by R. Santhanam.


'bṛhat parāśara horā śāstra' (बृहत् पराशर होरा शास्त्र) can be loosely translated to examples such as 'the great book on horoscopy by Parashara' or 'Great Parashara's manual on Horoscopic astrology':

  • 'bṛhat' (बृहत्) means 'fty, high, tall, great, large, wide, vast, abundant, compact, solid, massy, strong, mighty' or 'full-grown, old' or 'extended or bright (as a luminous body)' or 'clear, loud (said of sounds)'.[2]
  • 'parāśara' (पराशर) is the name of a Vedic Maharishi ('great Rishi')
  • 'horā' (होरा) means 'horoscope or horoscopy',[3][4] and is a loanword from the Ancient Greek ὥρα (hṓra)
  • 'śāstra' (शास्त्र) means 'compendium', 'book', 'manual', 'rule', 'instruction', 'science', and 'advice'.[5]


Venerable Parāśara, leader among Muni-Sages [said:] Jyotiṣa, the supreme limb of the Vedas, has three divisions - Horā, Gaṇita and Saṃhita. Excellent is Hora among the three distributions, consisting of the general part of Jyotisa.

— Way of the native: Parasara's Hora Sastra By Dev Bhattacharyy, Chapter 1, Verse 1[6]

The Jyotiṣa - Vedic Astrology - is one of the Vedāṅga or six disciplines linked with the Vedas to support Vedic rituals. The three branches of Jyotiṣa are:

The Bṛhat Parāśara Horā Śāstra is concerned with the predictive branch of Horā, used, for example, to determine the appropriate and most auspicious times for various events and ceremonies (i.e. depending on the anticipated planetary and star movements and positions).[7]

Origin and authenticity[edit]

J. Gonda states that at 'some time after 600 [C.E.] was written the purva-khanda of what was to become known as the Brhatparasarahora [Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra], ascribed to Parasa... [it] is deeply indebted to the [Brhajjataka of Varahamihira]; it has also borrowed two verses from Sphujidhvaja... and its existence is presupposed by the author of the uttara-khanda, which was commented on by Govindasvamin in ca. 850 [C.E.]. Therefore, the purva-khanda must have been written between ca. 600 and 750... but before 800'.[8]

Additionally Bhaṭṭotpala (circa 900 C.E.) was a Vedic astrologer that 'in his commentaries he wrote that though he had heard of [the] Bṛhat Parāśara Horā Śāstra, he had never seen it. Thus we know it was lost for at least nine hundred years, until new manuscripts emerged from the early 20th century (see below).[9]

As such, there are doubts in regards to the authenticity of various manuscripts of the Bṛhat Parāśara Horā Śāstra (BPHS) that emerged centuries later. One concern raised is the apparent admission by Sitram Jha in his 1944 publication of the BPHS that he changed and removed elements of the manuscript.[10] Another concern raised by Vedic Astrologers such as Shyamasundara Dasa 'that casts doubt on the veracity of the modern BPHS is the complete lack of any ancient commentary on the text. The oldest commentary known to me is that of Devacandra Jha's Hindi commentary from the first half of the 20th century, that is, less than 100 years old'.[11]

Editions and translations[edit]

According to R. Santhanam and J. Gonda, the following are the modern translations (and manuscripts) of the Bṛhat Parāśara Horā Śāstra (BPHS):[12][8]

No. Editors / translators Edition name Chapters Verses First published Description
1 Giridhara Lala Sarma and Govinda Sarma (Sri Venkateswata Press, Bombay) 5781 1905 First printed version of the BPHS. Partial Hindi, mostly Sanskrit commentary. reprinted by Khemraj Press in 1961.[10]
2 Thakuradasa Cudamana (Calcutta) 1926 Bengali translation
3 Sitram Jha[13] Varanasi 71 5100 1944 translated to Hindi. Apparently admitted tampering with his published version of the BPHS manuscript.[10]
4 Devachandra Jha (Chaukhambha Publications) Chaukambha translated to Hindi; similar to the Varanasi edition.
5 Ganesa Datta Pathak Thakur Prasad 1972 translated to Hindi
6 C.G. Rajan 36 Tamil translation; without Sanskrit verses
7 N.N.K. Rao and V.B. Choudhari[14] 25 1963 English translation (2 volumes); without Sanskrit slokas
8 R. Santhanam (Ranjan Publications, New Delhi)[12][15] 97 1984 English translation. 97 chapters with Sanskrit slokas.

Content and structure[edit]

The first full 97-chapter English translation of the Bṛhat Parāśara Horā Śāstra (BPHS) was translated by R. Santhanam in 1984.[12][15] Based on the Varanasi edition (originally translated into Hindi by Sitram Jha), it is in two volumes and contains the following chapters:

  • Volume 1: (Chapters 1-45; 45 chapters total)
    • Chapter 1: The creation [of all existence]
    • Chapter 2: Great incarnations (of the lord) [Daśāvatāra of Vishnu]
    • Chapter 3: Planetary characteristics and description
    • Chapter 4: Zodiacal signs described
    • Chapter 5: Special Ascendants
    • Chapter 6: The sixteen divisions of a sign
    • Chapter 7: Divisional consideration
    • Chapter 8: Aspects of the signs
    • Chapter 9: Evils at birth
    • Chapter 10: Antidotes for evils
    • Chapter 11: Judgement of Houses [Nakṣatras]
    • Chapters 12-23: [Effects of the twelve houses]
    • Chapter 24: Effects of the Bhava lords
    • Chapter 25: Effects of non-luminous planets
    • Chapter 26: Evaluation of planetary aspects
    • Chapter 27: Evaluation of strengths
    • Chapter 28: Ishta and Kashta Balas
    • Chapter 29: Bhava Padas
    • Chapter 30: Upa Pada
    • Chapter 31: Argala or planetary intervention
    • Chapter 32: Planetary Karakatwas
    • Chapter 33: Effects of Karakamsa
    • Chapter 34: Yoga Karakas
    • Chapter 35: Nabhasa Yogas
    • Chapter 36: Many other Yogas
    • Chapter 37: Lunar Yogas
    • Chapter 38: Solar Yogas
    • Chapter 39: Raja Yogas
    • Chapter 40: Yogas for royal association
    • Chapter 41: Yogas for wealth
    • Chapter 42: Combinations for Penury
    • Chapter 43: Longevity
    • Chapter 44: Maraka (killer) planets
    • Chapter 45: Avasthas of planets
  • Volume 2 (Chapters 46–97; 52 chapters total)
    • Chapter 46: Dasas (periods) of planets
    • Chapter 47: Effects of Dasas
    • Chapter 48: Distinctive effects of the Nakshatra dasa or the dasas of the lords of (Vimshottari Dasa) of various houses
    • Chapter 49: Effects of the Kalachakra dasa
    • Chapter 51: Effects of the chara, etc., dasas
    • Chapter 52: Working out of antardasas of planets and Rasis in Vimsottari, etc., in the dasa of sun
    • Chapter 53: Effects of the antardasas in the dasa of the moon
    • Chapter 54: " " of Mars
    • Chapter 55: " " of Rahu
    • Chapter 56: " " of Jupiter
    • Chapter 57: ." " of Saturn
    • Chapter 58: " " of Mercury
    • Chapter 59: " " of Ketu
    • Chapter 60: " " of Venus
    • Chapter 61: Effects of Pratyantar dasas in the antardasas of planets
    • Chapter 62: Effects of Sookshmantar dasas in the Pratyantar dasas of the various planets
    • Chapter 63: Effects of the Prana Dasas in the Sookshama dasa of the various planets
    • Chapter 64: Effects of the antardasas in the Kala Chakta dasa
    • Chapter 65: Effects of the dasas of Rasis in Aries Amsa [portion][16]
    • Chapter 66: Ashtakavarga
    • Chapter 67: Trikona Sodhana (refectification) in the Ashtakavarga scheme
    • Chapter 68: Ekadhipatya Shodhana in the Ashtakavarga scheme
    • Chapter 69: Pinda Sadhana in the Ashtakavarga scheme
    • Chapter 70: Effects of the Ashtakavarga
    • Chapter 71: Determination of longevity through the Ashtakavarga
    • Chapter 72: Aggregrational Ashtakavarga
    • Chapter 73: Effects of the rays on the planets
    • Chapter 74: Effects of the Sudarashana chakra
    • Chapter 75: Characteristic features of Panchamahapurushas [Pancha-maha-purushas, meaning five great yogas or purushas]
    • Chapter 76: Effects if the five elements - Earth, air, water, fire, and ether
    • Chapter 77: Effects of the Satwa Guna, etc.
    • Chapter 78: Lost Horoscopy
    • Chapter 79: Yogas leading to asceticism
    • Chapter 80: Female Horoscopy
    • Chapter 81: Effects of the characteristic features of the various parts of woman's body
    • Chapter 82: Effects of moles, marks, signs, etc., for men and women
    • Chapter 83: Effects of curses in the previous birth
    • Chapter 84: Remedial measures to obtain relief from the malevolence of the planets
    • Chapter 85: Inauspicious births
    • Chapter 86: Remedial measures for birth on Amavasya
    • Chapter 87: Remedies from the evil effects of birth on Krishna Chaturdashi
    • Chapter 88: Remedies from the evil effects of birth in Bhadra and inauspicious Yogas
    • Chapter 89: Remedies from Nakshatra birth
    • Chapter 90: Remedies from Sankranti birth
    • Chapter 91: Remedies from birth in eclipses
    • Chapter 92: Remedies from birth in Gandanta
    • Chapter 93: Remedies from birth in Abhukta Moola
    • Chapter 94: Remedies from birth in Jyestha Gandanta
    • Chapter 95: Remedies from effects of birth of the daughter after 3 sons
    • Chapter 96: Remedies from evil effects of unusual delivery
    • Chapter 97: Conclusion

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ from Greek ὥρα, although the BPHS (4.1-2) states that the word originates from ahorātra "day and night" after dropping its first and the last syllable.
  2. ^ "बृहत् - Wiktionary". Retrieved 2020-03-20.
  3. ^ "Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary: 'Hora'". Retrieved 2020-03-20.
  4. ^ "Sanskrit Dictionary for Spoken Sanskrit: 'Hora'". Retrieved 2020-03-20.
  5. ^ "Sanskrit Dictionary for Spoken Sanskrit: 'Shastra'". Retrieved 2020-03-20.
  6. ^ Bhattacharyya, Dev (2015-10-18). Way of the native: Parasara's Hora Sastra. DevB Inc. p. 11. ISBN 978-1-5150-5024-7.
  7. ^ Flood, Gavin. Yano, Michio. 2003. The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. Malden: Blackwell.
  8. ^ a b Gonda, J. A History Of Indian Literature Vol VI Fasc. 4 Jyotish Shastra Astral And Mathematical Literature J Gonda. p. 86.
  9. ^ "Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra - Vedic Astrology Article |". Retrieved 2020-03-21.
  10. ^ a b c "Bhaavachalita - Vedic Astrology". Retrieved 2020-03-21.
  11. ^ "On the Authenticity of the Brhat Parasara Hora Sastra". Retrieved 2020-03-21.
  12. ^ a b c Santhanam, R. (1984). Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra (vol. 1). Ranjan Publications. pp. 10–11.
  13. ^ Sanatan Dharm. Brihat Parashar Hora Shastra.
  14. ^ Pingree, pp.86-87
  15. ^ a b Santhanam, R. "Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra (vol 2.)". Retrieved 2020-03-20.
  16. ^ "Sanskrit Dictionary for Spoken Sanskrit: 'Amsa'". Retrieved 2020-03-20.


  • David Pingree, Jyotiḥśāstra in J. Gonda (Ed.) A History of Indian Literature, Vol VI Fasc 4 (1981)

External links[edit]