Astrology is normally seen as to have only two main streams. These are Vedic & Western. But in Eastern side of Astrology also, there are various other branches of Astrology. Most popular is Parashara Astrology but Jaimini Astrology, Bhrigu Astrology (Nakshatra Base & Leaf Reading), KP System (which is a sub-way of Bhrigu Astrology only) are main branches practiced in India. Among these different streams, there is one more branch with name Lal Kitaab.
This is another branch of Astrology which is very popular in many parts of India, especially in North India. Although there is some criticism to the system but it is still being followed by millions and proved useful to them. I don’t claim to be any expert in Lal Kitaab Astrology but here is some basic information about Lal Kitaab, as per my little knowledge, –
History and Origin
Genuineness & Usefulness
Let’s cover all points one after the other –
History and Origin – Lal Kitaab was basically a set of 5 books written in the 19th Century originally in Urdu Language on Astrology & Palmistry based on Samudrika Shastra. The original authorship of Lal Kitaab is unknown. The language written in Lal Kitaab links it to Persian traditions, though it is not confirmed. It is said that books and its essence was lost during Foreign Invasion. Then in early 1900s, Pt. Roop Chand Joshi from Punjab tried to collect and compile all the books again and what is available now. Original Urdu/Persian language is preserved in compiled versions. These 5 books are available with following names and their 1st edition of 1939 are placed in Lahore Museum –
- Lal Kitab Ke Farman (The Edicts of Lal Kitab), 1939, 383 pages
- Lal Kitab Ke Arman (Ilm Samudrik Kee Lal Kitab Ke Armaan), (The “Aspirations” of Lal Kitab), 1940, 280 pages
- Gutka (Ilm Samudrik Kee Lal Kitab) (Third Part), 1941, 428 pages
- Lal Kitab Ke Farman (Lal Kitab – Tarmeem Shuda), 1942, 384 pages
- Ilm-e Samudrik ki buniyad par ki Lalkitab (Lal Kitab), 1952, 1173 pages. (Courtesy - Wikipedia).
Although, there is another version of Lal Kitab by Prof U C Mahajan which is publicised as compilation of these 5 books. I am no authority on this book and its origin, so please don’t quote me.
House System – Biggest uniqueness of Lal Kitaab, which also is its biggest criticism, is that every chart under Lal Kitaab System is Aries Ascendant. It means that if you make a chart or receive a chart from a Lal Kitaab expert, it will always show you as an Aries Ascendant, no matter you are which ascendant under normal system. So, effectively we can say that Lal Kitaab skips the zodiac signs from consideration and lays its importance totally on houses for reading and prediction. So, if someone has Mars in 3rd house in Capricorn, Lal Kitaab will only consider Mars in 3rd house. Similarly, Mars in 3rd house in Cancer will also be treated as Mars in 3rd house.
So in Lal Kitaab, dignity on planet depends on the house it is placed rather than the sign. Mars in 10th house will be exalted as it is original house of Capricorn, where Mars is exalted, and Mars in 4th house will be debilitated as it is original house of Cancer, where Mars is debilitated. Although, traditional Astrology also accepts the importance of house a planet is sitting and says that aura of house is always present no matter which sign is placed in house, but it is still a sign based system where signs occupy the houses and hence houses are forever impacted by sign’s energy. But in Lal Kitaab case, it is all house based, signs are completely skipped or I can say that as much as I have read Lal Kitaab, I didn’t find any reference of signs in prediction or dignity.
Additionally, Lal Kitaab narrates concepts of Kachcha Ghar or Pakka Ghar, which means temporary or permanent houses of planets, which is more like Karaka/Significator planets of houses. So overall, it is more a House based system of reading and predicting a chart. This is where it faces maximum criticism that how could they have skipped the signs but I am sure if we have a detailed study of these 5 books, we will find that author must have added some technique to include signs in consideration. So in my considered opinion, no prima-facie judgment should be given unless we go through a detailed research and study of Lal Kitaab. Again, success of system depends on who is using it? If there is an Astrologer who is thorough with all the concepts of Lal Kitaab and has great experience of looking at charts over the year then I have no doubt that he can be as good in predictions as any other Astrologer of any other system.
Dashas – As every system of Astrology has its different concepts and dasha system, Lal Kitaab also has its own calculation of Dashas. Unique thing is that Lal Kitaab Dashas are shorter in duration. Actually, longest dasha can be of 6 years it seems. So, as we can understand, as per Lal Kitaab, chances of changes in person’s life are more common as dasha is changing frequently.
Representations – As concepts and dasha calculations change, representations also change in Lal Kitaab for planets. Jupiter represents Children normally but Ketu represents Son or Grandson among Children in Lal Kitaab. Normally, 10th house represents Status but in Lal Kitaab, 1st house also represents it. It gives exaltation and debilitation to Rahu-Ketu based on houses. Like this, there are many significant differences and yet some generic similarities between popular astrology systems and Lal Kitaab.
Remedies – What makes Lal Kitaab more popular among people is its easy remedies. For every planetary position, they have 5-6 remedies. You can choose anyone as per your convenience and follow that one. These remedies can be as simple as feeding a Dog daily or even serving grains to birds. So, these remedies are easy to do and most importantly, not costly like wearing a Gemstone or performing some worship. In this way, Lal Kitaab is certainly a help to people.
Genuineness & Usefulness – Again, I am no authority over Lal Kitaab, so I am in no position to say anything about its genuineness. Many people got benefitted from it and I am sure that equal number of people might not have got the assured results. So, I am inclined to remain neutral. But yes, I agree that Lal Kitaab was useful for me about 6 years ago when I first tried to learn Houses of Astrology. So, it is certainly useful as it skips the signs, hence it becomes easier to understand houses. Also, as I said that to decide anything about any knowledge, we need to first give our time in its research and study, then only we can make an opinion about it. Before that it is not fair to say anything as there are people who are giving their time in understanding it. As I said, success of system depends on who is using it? If there is an Astrologer who is thorough with all the concepts of Lal Kitaab and has great experience of looking at charts over the year then I have no doubt that he can be as good in predictions as any other Astrologer of any other system.
Hope this is useful basic information on Lal Kitaab.
Vishal S Saxena - Astrologer
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