An ancient form of astrology practised in southern India, Nadi Astrology is based on the belief that the past, present and the future lives of all humans were foreseen and recorded on palm leaves by Hindu sages in ancient time.
A very ancient form of astrology, whose origins began in Southern India, Nadi Astrology is based on an old-age belief that the one can decipher the past, present and future of all humans through the text written on palm leaves. It is a popularly believed that the great Hindu sages of the yore foresaw the past, present and future of all humans and hence, recorded these on tree barks and palm leaves.
Nadi Astrology is practised in the Tamil Nadu region as well as Kerala and other adjacent areas in South India. Simply put, it is an ancient method of recording data. Over the ages, people have come to believe that a thousand years ago, great Indian sages were granted a boon – to look into every human being’s past, present and future lives. They had to power to look into the lives of people were not only dead, living but also those who were yet to be born!
These sages then recorded these visions, i.e. data onto palm leaves in Tamil script. Today, these can be deciphered or read by Nadi astrologers or experts who have studied this branch of astrology. The term ‘Nadi’ in Tamil means ‘in search of’. Therefore, the existence of Nadi astrology indicates that every human being is in search of his past and future. According to legends, these scriptures on palm leaves are scattered across different parts of India and some of them were first found in Tamil Nadu.
It is widely believed that these pal scriptures, holding secrets to past and present were classified a thousand years ago during the Chola reign in South India. The Nadis are named after the rishis and sages who originally recorded these findings. They are Suka Nadi, Kaushika Nadi, Brahma Nadi and Agasthiya Nadi. These Nadis are not easy to read as they are written in ancient Tamil and are in poetry form, i.e. in sonnets and couplets. Only expert linguists who have studied this form of astrology over many years can read them.
The palm leaves set or Nadis have text written in Vatta ezhuthu which is an ancient Tamil script. These recordings were etched on the leaves with the help of a sharp instrument called the ezhuthani. To preserves the etched recordings, the sages rubbed peacock oil on the leaves.
Today, these palm leave recordings are preserved at the Saraswati Mahal Library in Thanjavur. Nadi astrology’s primary centre is Vaitheeswaran Koil which is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Here Lord Shiva is prayed to as Vaitheeswaran – the divine healer who has the power to cure any illness and disease.
Classification of Nadi leaves
It is a well-known fact that a person’s thumb impression is unique and cannot be replicated. Using the thumb impression as the identity, a palm inscription for a particular person can be identified.
The palm leaf inscription of an individual can be identified as being meant for the person by lifting a copy of one’s thumb impression. It is well known that the whirls and loops of the fingers of people on the earth are unique and they cannot be replicated. Like the thumb impressions, the Nadis or
prints are categorised into 108 forms. This was done to identify a particular type of Nadi for a particular person, i.e. the lines and loops found on the person’s thumb impression would be matched to the Nadis or the set of palm leaves. The identification of Nadis also depends on the person’s thumb impression design. Sometimes, it is found immediately while sometimes it’s very tough, taking days or even years to be identified.
It is a myth that these recordings are only for Indian citizens. According to legends, Nadis belonging to different nationalities, race, caste, creed etc. are also prevalent.