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Jyotish Star's 2017 recipient for the title Jyotish Vashista
Vedic Astrologer of the Year Chakrapani UllalEdited by Christina Collins
Chakrapani holds a degree in business studies and law and has traveled widely throughout the world in his capacity as a financial and legal advisor to the companies he represented.
In 1979, he was invited to come to the United States as an advisor and consultant. Today, Chakrapani has a busy private practice in Los Angeles, where he is consulted by people from all over the world and from all walks of life.
Chakrapani can be reached at www.chakrapani.com
Charlotte (Jyoti Devi) Benson
Over the course of the next couple of decades, through my service as a humble servant of ACVA, I was regularly able to gain knowledge from Chakrapani-ji, both in, and out, of the classroom. One of my delightful tasks, during this time, was to act as a concierge for the visiting Jyotish dignitaries at ACVA conferences and symposia. In due course, Chakrapani-ji gave me much very practical, and also very cosmic, advice, as I was driving him around various towns.
Chakrapani-ji is very generous, and has commented on my chart for me, several times. Of course, he was brilliant and accurate about many specific details of my life. I learned a lot about dasas from him. Many of his predictions about my life have come true, and I am hoping that his prediction for my demise – far in the distant future – is accurate, too!
While we were in India, Chakrapani-ji, along with Dayananda, and Vamadeva Shastri, gave me my spiritual name. That is still a wonderful memory of my dear teachers- they are so generous to me!
When I needed the ultimate authority on mundane events – Chakrapani-ji was the source. His mundane predictions of world events are pretty much the gold-standard in terms of both long-term, and specific accuracy.
Chakrapani is so spiritually well-developed that one can count on him to be True in every situation. He is an example to all, of how to live a moral life, and how to practice Jyotisha. I think of him as being the living embodiment of the Jyotir Vidya. I may be exaggerating a bit out of my extreme esteem for him – but probably not.
Even though I don’t see him as often as I used to – I still think of him with appreciation and love, every day. He is a great example - my ideal - of how to be an authentic Jyotishi, and how to serve humanity. If we were living in Japan, he would be considered a “National Treasure”! He certainly is to me.
Heartfelt Tribute to Chakrapani Ullal
Christina Collins (Jyotish Vachaspati)
I thought to myself “cool!” I’ll be right at home. Ha! That first class was so full of wondrous new knowledge, that I thought “I’ll just keep quiet, keep my mouth shut, and then no one will know that I don’t know anything (I kept pretty quiet my first year of study).
Well, when we got there, people would take a small piece of white paper, then write down a square chart (I was still using circles) enter the planets in it (of a friend or client), with no degrees, just the name of the planet, hand the paper to Chakrapani, while someone put it up on the green chalkboard behind him. Chakrapani would look at it for about 1 or 2 minutes. Put the paper down, then begin a 30-minute discourse about the chart. Saying things like this person has spent at least 3 to 4 years in jail. (and be correct) He was AMAZING and I was hooked. That began 4 years of study, once a week, often with Chakrapani as our guest teacher. Many of the people who were in those classes state their testimonies in this tribute. Most of us have become the astrologers we are today because of the tremendous knowledge we received from this humble man who joined us as a volunteer guest teacher.
Chakrapani gave me my first Jyotish reading and introduced me to the concept of yogas. He explained to me that my Hamsa yoga (Jupiter in Sag, Moon in Pisces) would protect me. that I would feel “squeezed” sometimes, but I would always squeeze out the top, not the bottom. This one statement has impressed and carried me through life. When tough things happen to me, and I am feeling “squeezed,” I remember Chakrapani’s words, and tell myself, I’ll be okay, I’ll still come out on top of this.
Thank you Chakrapani – I hope these comments from your students, colleagues and friends express a small glimmer of the appreciation and gratitude we all hold in our hearts for you.
Testimony for Chakrapani
Dennis Flaherty (Jyotish Vachaspati)
The second was the Founding Father Award, recognizing the recipient’s outstanding contribution to the founding of the Council of Vedic Astrology, presented at CVA’s 20th anniversary conference in 2014. I have been privileged to know Chakrapani in his role as the Honorary Chairman of the CVA these last twenty plus years, as well as a colleague; but most importantly as a stalwart friend of sagacious council born of experience. Thank you Chakrapani for your many and on-going contributions to our community of Vedic astrologers.
Pandit Vamadeva Shastri (Dr. David Frawley)
Chakrapani has been at the forefront of major Vedic astrological organizations in the West and continues to guide the Council of Vedic Astrology (CVA). He is highly regarded in India as well, starting with his close relationship with noted astrologer Dr. BV Raman, founder of the Indian Council of Astrological Sciences (ICAS). He has been the astrological guide for many of the greatest gurus of India since Swami Muktananda, who first brought him to the West.
Chakrapani carries many spiritual and yogic secrets of astrology both relative to chart interpretation and the use of remedial measures. These reflect his many years of study from his childhood in Kerala and the experiential knowledge gained from his extensive chart readings.
I consider Chakrapani Ullal to be the most insightful Vedic astrologer relative to chart reading that I have ever met or studied with. The directness and clarity with which he understands a person’s chart is almost unparalleled and his advice is always helpful, considerate and profound. I regularly seek his counsel and guidance in my own spiritual and astrological pursuits. He has been one of the most important influences in my life over many years. It has been a great honor to be connected with him at both personal and professional levels.
Anyone who comes into contact with Chakrapani Ullal is bound to be immensely benefited and in an enduring manner. Such greater teachers are rare and there are very few who can follow even in his shadow.
Dr. David Frawley D.Litt
(Pandit Vamadeva Shastri)
Padma Bhushan Recipient, President of India
Tribute to Chakrapani
Dennis Harness, PhD (Jyotish Vachaspati)
I have deep gratitude for Chakrapani for sharing his vast knowledge of astrology and his philosophy of life with so many truth-thirsty souls. He remains an ever-flowing fountain of divine wisdom!
Blessings from Sedona,
Edith Hathaway, (Jyotish Brihaspati) Dec. 2016
From fall 1992 onward I attended Chakrapani’s lectures and intensives at conferences at least once a year or more, and where I had the opportunity to be on the same faculty. By 1995 we were also both board members of the same Vedic astrology organizations. Also by 1995 Chakrapani became more and more of a mentor, in addition to being a friend and colleague. This was indeed both an honor and a privilege, as talking with him often and on a one-to-one basis deepened my grounding in the subject and provided the oral transmission Vedic astrology so famously touts. We discussed many matters that astrologers grapple with, both technical and philosophical, and often through specific charts.
I found the Vedic classics poetic but full of conundrums and at times blatant inconsistencies. This was especially true with Graha Yuddha (Planetary War). When I mentioned this to Chakrapani in the mid-1990s, he began to share with me his methods for assessing Graha Yuddha, which his father had also used and possibly his grandfather before him. This is true parampara – knowledge used and passed on by a family of traditional Vedic astrologers, while in conformity with the classical rules. I began extensive research on the subject, initially under Chakrapani’s guidance. This developed into numerous lectures and articles from 2000 onward. My most recent article on the subject was published in 2010 (28 pp.) and is available at my website. Chakrapani provided a great sounding board with solid advice at crucial points, including on my 2012 book on Vedic astrology, In Search of Destiny. He also encouraged me to look into Nadi Jyotisha, on which I gave several lectures based on his teachings. What especially resonated for me was the significance he gives to the nakshatra lord, assessing it vis-à-vis the Ascendant chart and whether it is a friend to the Ascendant lord. He also notes the exchange of nakshatra lords (Nadi yoga). Meanwhile, Graha Yuddha was a topic to which I returned increasingly, especially since I saw it had such important implications for the pivotal Jupiter-Saturn conjunction cycles.
Chakrapani’s emphasis is always on chart study, with an insistence on looking at the whole chart. He would say: “Keep going back to the Rashi Lagna [birth chart Ascendant] as control point. Chart analysis is all.” This was so helpful, because a set of rules and principles can only come to life when you see them at work in an astrological chart. His example of teaching by charts, and the fundamentals of understanding the chart from the Ascendant (Rashi Lagna) and the Navamsha come from South Indian methods and traditions, some specifically from his home state of Kerala. This, in turn impacted my own astrological methods, whether consulting with clients, teaching, lecturing or writing. My 2002 Audio course follows this approach, and after some initial material on mundane astrology, my book In Search of Destiny (2012) does as well. Chapters 3 to 9 are organized around that principle, and Volume two of this book will continue with Scorpio through Pisces Ascendant charts.
From his many decades of experience with clients, Chakrapani has a firm conviction that his methods work. I see it working together with his formidable intuition! This has given me confidence to continue in that tradition while also developing my own original material, which he has generously reviewed in many cases. Chakrapani’s gifts to me and to all those with whom he is associated include not only his breadth of knowledge but his clarity, his depth and subtlety of perception, and the precision with which he is able to instantly grasp the meaning of the planets and make accurate predictions and assessments. I am most fortunate to have learned and continue learning from him and to call him my good friend, colleague, and mentor.
On Meeting Chakrapani
Bill Levacy (Jyotish Vachaspati)
Steve Stuckey (Jyotish Vachaspati)
Chakrapani was born in the Kerala region of southern India and learned Prashna/Horary astrology from his father and grandfather. Beginning at the age of seven, he was required to memorize twelve verses of four lines each, one for each month, which allowed him to determine what sign was rising at any time of the day or night throughout the year. This knowledge, along with a few minutes study of an ephemeris upon waking in the early morning hours, in order to memorize the nakshatra of the Moon and placements of the planets, allowed his mind to freely assess the various omens that are an integral part of Prashna. He could then consult with clients throughout the day without having to go through the preliminaries of constructing a chart or even referring to an ephemeris. While living in India, Chakrapani practiced Prashna astrology exclusively for predictive work and to answer all other client questions.
I believe most Vedic astrologers would agree that Chakrapani was the main force behind the formal establishment of Jyotish in the West, through his classes and lectures, and his advice and encouragement to the many astrologers who were aspiring to learn this great science. His wisdom and intuitive council has reached into the lives of many thousands who were his clients and friends, and helped to change them for the better. In my own life, Chakrapani has acted as teacher, mentor and friend for over thirty years. I have had the great good fortune to discuss hundreds of charts with him and to question him at length about many of the subtleties of Jyotish principles. Through his generous guidance in the many fine points of chart interpretation, I have gleaned insights that would have otherwise been inaccessible to me through the ordinary study of classical texts.
His personal life has always set a shining example for me to follow, regarding correct conduct and the proper mental and emotional attitude of an astrologer and I am very grateful to have imbibed some of these qualities by association with him over the years.
Biographies of Contributors