Most of the readers may be knowing by now about Nadi astrology, since many articles have been published in magazines and newspapers. Some books were also published and much exchange of information has been taking place through internet and e-mail. For the benefit of those who are not familiar with this branch of astrology I give a brief background of the same from the reliable literature. Nadi astrology was written on palm leaves in ancient India. It is mostly prevalent in South India particularly in the Tamilnadu State. Its main center is a place called 'Vaitheerswarankoil' near 'Chidambaram'in Tamilnadu State. It is also available in some other places of Chennai, Kanchipuram, Salem, Hyderabad/Secunderabad, Tirupati etc. There are many Nadi Grandhas and they are named after Hindu Gods, Sages and Planets such as Mahasiva Nadi, Brugu Nadi, Kowmara Nadi , Koushika Nadi, Vashishta Nadi Agastya Nadi, Sapxa Rishi Nadi, SatyaNadi Chandra Kala Nadi etc. They are available in the languages of Tamil, Sanskrit mainly. The palm leaves are held by certain families who read the results from the palm leaves mostly by taking the thumb impression and some from palm and birth data.

I also propose to discuss brief examples of actual readings from thumb prints or otherwise from some nadi astrologers, their veracity with respect to past and future, correlation with traditional astrological principles, my experiences, opinion of others, doubts and questions, further research required on the same. This is based on my collection of data and research for the last three decades


The origin of these leaves can be traced back to approximately 2000 years ago. It is presumed that the Sapxa Rishis (Seven Sages) had written the life patterns of each person on palm leaves along with their types of names by their Yogic Powers. These unique leaves were kepx in the Saraswati Mahal' library of Tanjore city of Tamilnadu State in India. Later during the British Rule the British were very keen to acquire these types of ancient leaves dealing with herbal cure, alchemy, fortune-telling etc; but left some of the astrological leaves to their loyalists. Some were put to auction also. People belonging to a particular sect called Valluvar community who specialized in astrology bought these leaves. Some of these were acquired by the astrology families in Vaitheeswarankoil about 60 years ago from Thanjavur Saraswati Mahal Library . The leaves were found lying idle in Vaitheeswarankoil by about 13th century the forefathers found them realized their values and copied the contents on palm leaves and made exact replica These leaves have been handed down over generations to make predictions. They earned their livelihood through Nadi Astrology. It is a hereditary profession for them. They got trained from their elders to do Nadi reading. What is written on the leaves is read and explained by them. The language is poetic and the scripx is also different. It is the same as in the ancient temples. Some of the Nadis are available in the Oriental Manuscripxs Library at Chennai, India though in mutilated condition and the SapxaRishiNadi was published in Tamil in six volumes lagna wise . The Sanskrit texts were translated and written on palmyra or palm leaves in old archaic tamil language. There were some nadigranthas translated into another South Indian Telugu language. Marata King Sarabhoji and Chola Kings patronized this form of astrology and translations. It is stated that Sage Agasthya has written in Tamil. They have a certain amount of collection leaves. For each thumb print there will be 6 granthas. In each granthas there will be 108 sizes and 12 parts according to Siva Nadi and 50 sizes in Agastyanadi that means for one thumb print many stories of person can be read. In Siva Nadi more details are given as discussion between Lord Siva and Parvati than in Agastya Nadi . It seems that these Nadis were originally written on animal skins and some leaves and later they were copied on palm leaves. They re preserved by applying oil extracted from peacock's blood.

The Nadi readers say that natives whose leaves are there will somehow or other comes to them at the appropriate age specified on the leaves from any corner of the world. Leaves are there not only for Indian but for foreigners also belonging to other religions. Who ever are desired to look into the leaves will go to them on his own accord. They very word Nadi in Tamil mean (destined) to come own accord. Those who are not destined may not even know such a type of astrology exists. Even the very age when the native is destined to go to them is marked on the leaves. So they say they do not adventure for their profession. Whoever is destined to come will come faith is the root of their system. It is also stated that about 40% of the people in the world only are likely to get these results as available.


The Nadi Astrologer is generally busy and one has to take an appointment with him a month before approximately When you go there on the appointed day he checks his dairy and take the three impressions of the right thumb for males and the left thumb for females on a paper giving serial order number and ask you to wait till he calls you. Then he goes inside his library room where the palm leaves are kepx which is not accessible to others. After an hour or so, sometimes quicker, he comes back with an old palm leaf bundle called index leaves. After making himself comfortable he carefully unwinds the long string which keeps the bundle in tact. He tells you to answer yes or no to his questions. With great devotion he takes the first palm leaf and starts reading on one side. The reading style is of funny accent in a poetic way, not understandable to even Tamilians. After reading one or two lines or even less sometimes he asks you some questions and you have to answer yes or no only. If you say 'No' he proceeds to the other side of leaf or next leaf and continues his questions. The questions are generally one or two at a time , such as whether y our name is after some God /Goddess contains 3 or 4 or so letters or so, starts ends with a particular letter in a Varga (series) of the Hindu alphabets, Similarly about the names of parents and wife/husband whether anyone of them or both are alive or dead, number of elder and younger brothers and sisters, number of children number of uncles, type of profession, whether you are born in rainy season /summer etc. whether you are born in moveable /fixed/dual Moon and lagna rasis, whether you are born in a particular Moon Birth star whether you are born in a particular day in a particular year whether your age is so and so etc. He says that h e does not know what questions to ask unless he scans the leaves and that is why they generally insist the concerned person or a person who knows every detail about the persons consulted, should be present to answer the questions correctly, otherwise they say the readings won't go wrong. They do no bother much of you cannot answer questions about birth date month age, Moon rasi and star, lagna and they seem to bother more about matching of your name names of parents and wife/husband. If he gets 'No' answers to all the leaves of the first bundle which he goes back into his library and brings another bundle. This process continues for an hour or so generally covering generally up to bundles each consisting about 50 leaves or sometimes quickly even in the first bundle till he and your are satisfied and the answers to all the questions in a particular leaf are 'yes' only Concerning names, parents, wife /husband, co-borns profession etc.

Then he goes inside and bring another particular bundle and reads in poetic style your actual birth date month land year the astrological birth chart with position of planets sometimes with lagna also exact names of yourself, parents, wife/ husband, co-born, education, profession and gist of future predictions in a broad way and this is called General Kandam (chapter) of first bhava. You can verify the chart given if you know your birth chart he writes the concerned verses from the leaf in a note book . Then he records the same in an audio tape with translation into common understandable Tamil or some other languages with the help of a translator if necessary . He generally charges a minimum of 300 rupees upxo this General Kandam Then he asks you whether you want to more details about any particular aspect of your life such as marriage, profession, etc and if so he picks up corresponding bundle and charges a similar amount extra for each aspect which he calls it a separate kandam or chapxer. Some chapters give details about previous birth, remedial measures etc. At the end he hands over the note book and audio tape to you with devotion and takes money generally at the place where the photos of Gods /Goddess are there.

Details Of Kandams (Chapters)

The details covered in each Kandam generally are as follows:

  • Kandam 1 - To be found through thumb impression (gents right, ladies left or sometimes by horoscope of the concerned person or palm, will contain name parents and wife/husband's names brothers, sisters, maternal uncles, children, profession and general list of future predictions for all the 12 houses.
  • Kandam 2 - Money family speech, eyes, education.
  • Kandam 3 - Brothers and Sisters
  • Kandam 4 - Mother ,House, Lands, Vehicles, Pleasures
  • Kandam 5 - Children Birth of children, reasons for not having children.
  • Kandam 6 - Enemies, Diseases, Debts, cases in court.
  • Kandam 7 - Marriage., Married life
  • Kandam 8 - Danger to life, longevity, period of death.
  • Kandam 9 - Father, Wealth, luck, Temple devotion to God ,Preaching from Holyman.
  • Kandam 10 - Business, Job, Profession.
  • Kandam 11 - Gain , Second Marriage.
  • Kandam 12 - Expenditure , Foreign visit, salvation,next birth.
  • Kandam 13 - Shanthi Kandam - Last Birth, Sins committed, remedial measures.
  • Kandam 14 - Deekshakandam- Mantra Japam and wearing of talisman (Raksha).
  • Kandam 15 - Avushathakandam Medicines for long standing diseases.
  • Kandam 16 - Dasa Bhuktikandam prediction for the present major and subperiod of the planet.

In addition to these, there is also a special chapxer for 'Prasna' where any query is answered.Generally Remedial measures are like visiting particular temple, feeding the poor etc, corresponding to sins the remedial measures re suggested. Suggestion of giving alms to the Nadi reader.

Identification Process From Thumb Print Impression

Lines on the thumb are classified in 1008 types, some say 108 types. Palm leaves are arranged according to these types. The Nadi readers identify the particular types of lines on the thumb and the corresponding set of palm leaves is taken. For example, a particular type is called Conch Shell with a circle. Among these there are many sub-divisions based on the number of dots on the thumb. Impressions with 5 or more dots are very rare. The time duration to pick up your leaf depends upon the identification of the thumb impression. Some impressions are identified easily and the corresponding leaves are found soon, for legal purposes, the whole thumb is studied minutely. But they concentrate only on the centre part of the thumb and the sub-divisions therein.

Claims Of Nadi Readers

According to the claim of Nadi astrologers the contents of the leaf are 99% accurate. And it is the accuracy that has made people from diverse walks of life throng his residence. Generally he insists on seeing only about 5 people a day on appointment, which is usually fixed a month in advance. Without the truth and integrity, they cannot survive for so many years and generations. Of course, there are places where there are fake leaves. They will not be able to show the leaf with your name and other details they have clients from USA, Canada , Japan, Hongkong, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and other places. Some even faxes their thumb impressions and gets the predictions. They have translators with them to serve them their children are also inherent in this profession and they are learning the old scripx and other languages. With the blessings of their ancestors, they will continue for generations. They have so many people benefited by the remedial measures and they get feed back from the clients. Pleased with their service, they bring their friends and other relatives for Nadi reading. They would like to tell the people that they are only 'Nadi readers'. What is written on the leaves is read and explained by them. They themselves do not add anything. Some clients get irritated when some of the facts are unpleasant. They cannot help it. With utmost patience they clear their doubts. Common people and VIPs (very important persons) from all walks of life have consulted them. They show them the particulars of where the predictions for the native are given. Some of their customers are able to read the leaves on their own. Some even buys their leaves for preservation. They can even take photographs of the names in the leaf. It is possible to train those who are interested in learning nadi Jyotish in terms of Guru-Shishya parampapra (teacher-Discipline system)and Sanskrit languages, and this knowledge of Nadi Jyotish could be acquired by those who are totally dedicated lifelong to this Shastra (science).

However, the future of the leaves themselves seems to be uncertain. Though the leaves are smeared with Ayurvedic act, the leaves would turn black after 100 years or so. While they plan to save the contents of the leaf on the computer, they have their own doubts about doing that. They will not feel the same reverence reading the computer prints out as they do when they read the leaf.

Some Examples Of Actual Nadi Readings

I prefer to give below three Nadi Readings taken from me from different Nadis and Readers, so that their veracity can be discussed authentically, since I cannot give here all t e readings from various Nadis consulted at different places at different times which also gave some correct future results.