Jyotish Star of the Month
By Vachaspati Christina Collins
Interview Date: 06/14/2016
|Christina Collins: Thank you for meeting with us today Vinay it is an honor to interview the expert on the Ashtakavarga System!|
Vinay Aditya: Thank you for setting up the interview. It is true that Ashtakavarga is a subject very close to my heart and I have written two books on it, but I do not claim to be an expert on the system. There is much more to it than has been brought out by various writers on the subject including me. There is a massive need for research in the subject not only to straighten out some of the controversies surrounding the subject but also to banish some simplistic explanations which have gained popularity currently. Any simplistic approach ultimately brings bad name to the subject because it does not withstand the test of time.
Christina: Yes, very wise advice, something must be tested over and over to find the subtlety! Tell us, did you grow up in a family where you learned Jyotish?
|Vinay: No. My family had no parampara (tradition) of Jyotish. In fact they belonged to Arya Samaj, a sub set amongst Hindus, whose founder advocated that Phalit (Predictive) Jyotish should not be pursued. Therefore, before I joined the Jyotish classes, I went to my father, who was a prominent and well known man of that sub set, to ask for his permission. I was independent and +40 years of age at that time but I did not want to hurt him lest he should come to know of my joining the Jyotish classes from someone else. But he was a very liberal man, not at all dogmatic in religious matters. He gave me the permission and his blessings saying that this too was an ancient Indian Vidya and I should go ahead and learn it. In later years he kept a tab on my progress in Jyotish and was very happy when I was appointed as a teacher at Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan classes.|
My parents and a lot of other close relatives were Sanskrit scholars and would converse in Sanskrit and discuss various shastras whenever they would meet. I think I inherited shraddha (faith) in the classics from them. I wish I had learnt their Sanskrit skills too.
Christina: That is so honorable and how wonderful that he started you out with his blessings giving you peace of mind! Now, I understand that you have an engineering background as well, right?
Vinay: Yes, I am a B. Tech (Civil) by education from IIT Kanpur, one of the most reputed institutes of the country. But I did not pursue that as a profession even for a day. The closest I came to benefit from my degree was when Chakrapani Ullal introduced me to the audience in Sedona at ACVA Conference in 2001 saying that Vinay would do justice to his presentation on Ashtakavarga, a mathematical subject, because he has an engineering degree. That was one time I was proud of my degree.
Christina: Oh, that is so sweet. Although my grandfather was my first sidereal astrology teacher, Chakrapani introduced me to Jyotish, and we are all grateful to him for his teachings!
What else led you into the study of Vedic astrology?
Vinay: Must be my stars, what else! I am a Leo lagna with Jupiter, Mercury, Mars and Sun in the 5th house. At the time I joined the classes, I was about to start my Jupiter-Sun dasha. In transit Jupiter was aspecting the 5th; Saturn and Sun were visiting the 5th.
That is on the lighter note. What had really transpired was an unfulfilled desire that came to surface from the subconscious at the right time. I had started studying Palmistry from my teens. A senior friend once told me that Palmistry does not have as much detail and accuracy as astrology. But I was pursuing a demanding engineering degree at that time and there were no schools around which offered astrology. So, many years later, the moment I heard that there is a school teaching astrology, I enrolled immediately.
Christina: Do you have children who you will pass your knowledge down to?
|Vinay: I would love to do that. My older son who is a professor of Organic Chemistry in one of the American Universities has not shown much interest in the subject. Lately, nevertheless, he has started tracking retrograde Mercury and its deleterious effects on people’s judgments and quality of decisions.|
The younger son is already a very keen student of palmistry while he is pursuing Ph.D. in computers. I am sure he will gravitate to astrology once he is not burdened with the academic commitments.
Christina: You are so blessed to have such accomplished sons! When you wrote your first book on Ashtakavarga, what brought your attention to this field and inspired you to write your brilliant book Dots of Destiny?
|Vinay: It would be factually incorrect to say that I wrote the first book on Ashtakavarga, though yes, it was my first book. Mr. C S Patel and Mr. B V Raman were the two authors who were senior to me by miles. I drew heavily on their books when I was writing my book. But I must add, that before me authors were mostly satisfied with just stating the principles; there was not much tradition of illustrating the principles through an actual horoscope.|
My book had its genesis in a coincidence. Mr. K N Rao, my teacher at Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan, was to speak on Ashtakavarga when he was first invited to USA around 1993. He asked me to prepare the notes for his presentation with a proviso that later it can be expanded into a book. So, the choice of writing on Ashtakavarga was not my doing, it was proverbially god-sent. Though I have been teaching various kinds of subjects, but it is Ashtakavarga that has stuck to me as my identity, not that I mind it.
Christina: That is so cool! Mr. K.N. Rao is the reason that I teach. When I met him at that conference, he told me “you have to teach!” I asked him why, he said “ if you don’t teach, you won’t know where the gaps are in your knowledge! Get students around the age of 20, then when they are your age (42 at the time) they will know what you know now! So I give him kudos too!
You also co-author the bi-monthly publication Vedic Astrology with Dr. K.S. Charak, would you tell us more about that publication and the links to it?
Vinay: In the year 1997, Dr K S Charak and Rajeev Jhanji (author of Yogini Dasha) decided to start a Jyotish journal, Vedic Astrology. Dr Charak took on the responsibility of editing it. I got co-opted as the Associate Editor since Jhanji was my business partner those days. Jhanji and I started writing articles for it. Jhanji later migrated to USA and did not contribute much to the journal. In the year 2007, the magazine had to be stopped for various constraints.
During the 11 years of its publication the journal received wide acclaim in India as well as abroad. The bound annual volumes of the journal are still well sought after.
I wish to put all those articles that I wrote on controversial topics those days on my website someday. Nearly a decade later, I still cherish those days of intense brain storming that preceded the choice of a topic, collecting the material and then actually subjecting oneself to the discipline of sitting down and writing the article. It is very gratifying to revisit those articles after so many years and feeling like patting your own back.
Christina: I remember those Journals and great articles – and I am sure our reading public will be grateful once they have more access to those Journals! I’ve heard that a Jyotishi told you exactly when you would meet your wife, what combinations indicated that? Transits, Dasas, a combination of both, or something else, like palmistry?
Vinay: Yes, I was told by a Jyotishi in Mumbai that my wife would have a cross on her mount of Jupiter. So whenever I would meet a prospective bride (please remember that in India there used to be mostly arranged marriages 40 years back) I would look at her palm first. I knew from my forays into Palmistry that a cross is bad mark in a palm except when it is on the mount of Jupiter. The moment I met a girl who had a cross on her mount of Jupiter, I decided that was the girl for me.
|This Jyotishi used to be called a Chhaya Shastri. He made the chart by measuring the shadow of the client in the Sun. I surmise that he fixed the lagna of the horary chart through measuring the Chhaya (shadow). I also gather that he was giving life predictions from the horary chart.|
Many years later an astrologer asked the nakshatra of my 7th lord. It is Magha. He asked me to confirm whether the house where I first met my wife was rather longish. He was right. This is the swaroopa (geometrical shape) of Magha.
Christina: Because you also bring a strong knowledge and experience with Palmistry -- where did you first discover that teaching and what has been your general experience with it?
Vinay: Having a Hasta Moon it was probably natural for me to take early interest in Palmistry. I was reading my first book on Palmistry while returning home from college by train during the summer holidays. I was alone in the compartment. I had an irresistible feeling that I must end my life by jumping out of the train. I had concluded that my palm was very bad. But a sane advice rang a loud bell at the back of my mind that one should not read one’s own hand and that too when one has just started learning.
Since then I started reading whatever came my way. I remember the book that impressed me most at that time was The Laws of Scientific Hand Reading - by William Benham. Of course, the Cheiro, St Germain, Noel Jaquin and a host of others came along by and by.
Somebody’s misfortune became a windfall for me. One of my astrology friends had had a divorce and was thrown out of the house by his estranged wife, along with all his books on astrology and palmistry. And I happened to be around. Forced by the circumstances, my friend became very generous and offered me to take any or all the books. I picked only the choicest because I had to carry them back to India. Two of those books were written for the western audience by an Indian palmist Ghanshyam Singh Birla. I have yet to see books better explained and illustrated than his.
Christina: Yes, a very great man – we interviewed him for the Jyotish Star you know, in 2014! (http://www.jyotishstar.com/jyotish-star-ghanshyam-singh-birla-december-2014.html ) So what experiences have you had using Palmistry in life, giving consultations?
Vinay: My journey of palmistry had all but stopped before I went to participate in an International Expo in Hannover, Germany in the year 2000. Though I went there to offer astrological consultations as a part of Indian pavilion, but there were not many takers. Instead they showed good interest in palm readings. I immersed myself in palm readings headlong. For 5 long months I read a couple of thousand hands from all nationalities from morning till late evenings. This was a very valuable life time experience, probably not available to even professional palmists.
Back in India, Dr Charak asked me to serialize my writings on palmistry in our magazine Vedic Astrology. Later when I started taking palmistry classes for ICAS students, these articles became the back bone of my lectures.
Christina: Since you practice both, astrology and palmistry, what are your views on their predictive utility?
Vinay: What I can see from a palm in a few seconds I cannot see from the chart even in an hour. Reading the character and temperament from the chart takes time. It is so easy from the palm. By looking at the palm I decide on the psychological content and tone of my consultation. I use the chart for fixing and timing the events. What ‘drives’ an individual is easy to grasp from the palm. To decipher the inner motivations is very complex from the chart for me. But it has to be remembered that palmistry entered my life in my formative years. Astrology came midway. So my preference for palmistry to understand the inner drivers of a person could be my personal quirk and not necessarily applicable universally.
Christina: Have you written any books on Palmistry, or do you plan to? And speaking of books, do you have any new ones coming out soon?
Vinay: I teach palmistry from my spiral bound notes. I have put in these notes the best I found anywhere. These have yet to be published into a book format. I am also writing a book on astrology. I hope it picks up steam in near future.
Christina: Well that is exciting! I know we will all be interested to know when you publish next! We know you frequently speak at the Jyotish conferences in Pennsylvania, do you have any tours or speaking engagements coming up that we can let our readers know about?
Vinay: I have been teaching astrology for more than two decades. Have been visiting Arsha Vidya Gurukulam in Pennsylvania regularly since the year 2000. Besides ICAS in India, I have taught with ACVA, BAVA and EE-VA. The next summer should find me active on the German-US circuit once again.
Christina: Thank you so much for a wonderful interview, it has been a true pleasure getting to know you!
Vinay: It has been entirely my pleasure.
Vinay Aditya Biography:
design studio which he ran till he took retirement in March 2016. He never pursued astrology as a profession, though his creative juices always flowed in the direction of astrology.
|He was born in 1948 in Delhi, India in a middle class family. His father worked in a newspaper in the editorial department. His father, a highly respected man, had a speaking engagement on practically all Sundays in one Arya Samaj temple or another. The house was always abuzz with socio-religious activities. Discussions on classical knowledge and literature were always in the air. |
Vinay studied for a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from a prestigious institution, IIT Kanpur. During the college days itself it became clear to him that engineering was not his calling. He opted to make a career in designing and photography. He was lucky to have found his first job in a printing press where his superiors gave him a free hand to pursue his interests. The printing line stuck to him for life. In 1981 he became an entrepreneur and started a
He started studying astrology in the year 1990 at Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan and soon started teaching there. After being made to part ways with BVB in 1997, he has been teaching in India with ICAS classes. Since the year 2000, he got many opportunities to teach astrology in various parts of the world. He got particularly associated with the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam in Pennsylvania, USA and EE-VA, the European Institute of Vedic Astrology, where he has been visiting almost every year since 2000 and 2005 respectively.
Along the astrological journey, the teachers who have shaped and sharpened his astrological skills, to name just a few, are Mr. K N Rao, Justice S N Kapoor, Mr. J N Sharma and Dr. K S Charak. He has had the occasions and opportunities to discuss astrological dicta and greatly benefit from these discussions with these great masters of astrology in the modern era.
He has written two books on Ashtakavarga— Dots of Destiny and Practical Ashtakavarga. Dots of Destiny has been translated and published in Hindi and Russian languages too. Practical Ashtakavarga is under preparation in Russian. He has been associated with Dr K S Charak not only for the publication of the Vedic Astrology bi-monthly but also for holding ‘Astrology in the Himalayas’ program. In this program students are invited from various countries and week-long astrology workshops are conducted. This activity is undertaken to raise some funds for SOSMT, the medical trust run by Dr Charak that conducts completely free Medical cum Surgical camps in the remote parts of India, 4 times a year. The last two such programs were done with Russian and Ukrainian students exclusively.
Besides Astrology and Palmistry he takes keen interest in Photography, Trekking, Transactional Analysis, Vipassana, Alternative Medicine, Meditation, Past Life Regression and the New age Self-development techniques.
Contact: D-81 Gulmohar Park, New Delhi 110049, India
Cell: 9811063505, e-mail: email@example.com
|Christina Collins Biography:|
Editor of the ACVA News. President of Celestial Resource (The Timing Coach) she serves corporate and private clients from students to celebrities. For the Jyotish Star you can reach her in Boulder CO at firstname.lastname@example.org:
|Christina Collins, Jyotish Visharada, CVA, Jyotish Kovid, ICAS and CVA, Jyotish Vachaspati, ICAS ,Jyotish Medha Pragya, ICAS, Jyotish Mahasagara from Raman and Rajeshwari Foundation 2013, Jyotish Navaratna ACVA, 2014 is a third generation Astrologer specializing in the Vedic system.|
She received her honorary titles from the late Dr. B.V. Raman, former President of the ICAS (Indian Council for Astrological Sciences) in New Delhi and Bangalore, India, from CVA (Council for Vedic Astrology, USA),from the ICAS in Bangalore 2012, from the Raman and Rajeshwari Foundation in 2013 and from ACVA (American College of Vedic Astrology) 2014.
As a founding member, she currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American College for Vedic Astrology (ACVA online), and was former
Christina's Consultation Contact information:
Christina Collins, J.K., J.V.
Editor in Chief The Jyotish Star
Lafayette, (Boulder County) CO, USA
web site: http://www.christinacollinsastrology.com
See my interview on YouTube by Lissa Coffey
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