WHAT IS LAL KITAB?
Lal Kitab is the name of a set of five books, published between 1939 and 1952, which expound an absolutely unique system of Indian astrology now known as the Lal Kitab system of astrology. These books, each carrying the title Lal Kitab, were authored by the originator of this system, Pandit Roop Chand Joshi (1898 – 1982). Scholars, who have studied the Lal Kitabs, have placed its originator-cum-author, Pt. Roop Chand Joshi on the same pedestal as the great Bhrigu and Parasar. These days, Lal Kitab (though presently available in imitated form) is the biggest seller of all astrology books. The Lal Kitab books were written in Urdu with a sprinkling of Punjabi throughout. Admittedly, at times, these books become somewhat challenging to follow for a non-Punjabi.
This system presents astrology based on current planetary positions and houses. In general, the books discuss the basics of the Lal Kitab system, characteristics of the twelve houses and the nine planets, characteristics of each planet as a benefic and malefic in each house. Most important aspect of Lal Kitab is the identification of malefic planets and easy, inexpensive and extremely effective remedial measures for propitiation of their ill effects.
WHY THE NAME LAL KITAB?
Traditionally, business ledger books are bound in red color and are referred to as Lal Kitabs (Red Books.) This is where a business entity maintains its accounts - its debits and credits. The Lal Kitab volumes were also given a red binding because these books contain “duniyavi hisaab kitaab” (The worldly ledger book of one’s life.) In fact, Lal Kitab mandates in very clear terms, that any book dealing with this system must be bound in non-shining, red color.
WHEN WERE THE LAL KITABS PUBLISHED?
Pt. Roop Chand Joshi wrote these books anonymously. Pt. Girdhari Lal Sharma, a cousin of Panditji, was the publisher of these books. All the Lal Kitabs were published from Pandit Roop Chand’s native village, Pharwala. The first four books were printed at Jahaazi Press in Lahore and, the last published Lal Kitab was printed at Narinder Press in Delhi. Some copies of these books were offered for sale only through Calcutta Photo House in Amritsar and Dharmshala. The books were priced to sell at “no profit, no loss” basis.
The first Lal Kitab, published in 1939, was written by Pt. Roop Chand while he was stationed at Dharamshala (Himachal) This is sub-titled as “Lal Kitab Ke Farmaan” The book presents a combination of palmistry and astrology.
The second Lal Kitab, published in 1940, is subtitled as “Armaan” (The “longings” of Lal Kitab) This edition contains essentially what Panditji wanted to, but somehow, could not include in the first volume – it contains numerous explanations, addendum and corrigendum. This volume was recommended strictly as a companion volume to the first publication. Panditji wrote this book while he was posted in Lahore.
The third book was published in 1942, and is a pocket-book sized edition. Its text is mostly in verse form. It presents Lal Kitab in a summarized form. Panditji wrote this book while he was at Simla.
The fourth volume came out in 1944. This edition is devoted exclusively to palmistry. Profusely illustrated, this volume describes how to prepare a birth chart based on the lines of one’s hands. It also goes into various Samudrik Shastra related details such as physiognomy, the shape of the skull, lines on the sole of feet etc. Also presented is an absolutely unique subject – how to prepare a “Makaan Kundli” (chart of one’s house) which can help in determining the welfare of a family living in it.
The last published book was released in 1952. This book takes up 1171 pages and is the most detailed of all the Lal Kitabs. Only 250 copies were published. It starts off with a comprehensive introduction to the “Grammar of Lal Kitab.” It has detailed chapters on the effects of “Pitri Rin” (inherited sins) and its remedies; marriage, progeny, disease, travel, income, building a house and how to make a person’s horoscope based on the house one lives in. Even the color of ink and pen to use (depending on one’s planetary strengths) is discussed.
Today, all the originally published books are collector’s items and are among the most sought after books.
The transliterations that are available in Hindi, are in violation of copyright laws. Unfortunately, these imitations are horrendously inapt and grossly amateurish attempts that are thoroughly punctuated with glaring errors. That is why most of these imitations do not make much sense.
THE AUTHOR OF LAL KITAB
The late Pandit Roop Chand Joshi, a native of village Pharwala, situated in district Jalandhar, Punjab is the originator and the author of the Lal Kitab system. He was inarguably, one of the greatest seers of all times. Pt. Roop Chand kept an extremely low profile and avoided publicity at all costs. That is why his name is not well known outside his native area. Pt. Roop Chand Joshi (January 18, 1898 – December 24, 1982) was the son of Pt. Jyoti Ram Joshi, a revenue official with the Punjab government. The family did not have a history of the traditional Brahmanical profession. Pt.Roop Chand was a brilliant student who was endowed with beautiful handwriting (Parts of the Lal Kitabs are written in his own handwriting ) and a sharp intellect – he obtained merit scholarships in the fourth and eighth grades. After matriculation, he became a school teacher. A few years later, in early 1920’s, he joined the then British Indian government in the Defence Accounts Department from which he retired as a gazetted officer in 1954.
Pandit Roop Chand had lost his mother as a child and therefore, had faced numerous hardships. Despite the fact that he was a very serious, hardworking person, yet he continued to struggle. Why did he have to struggle so much, is the question that he used to ask himself. Some of his peers having far lesser merit than him, got all the good things of life handed to them in the proverbial silver platter. It would be interesting to find an answer to this hidden mystery of nature, he used to think. Gradually, he started noticing that by looking at the facial features of a cow, he could describe the characteristics and, to some extent, the life events of its owner. Next, he intuitively got into human physiognomy, that is, the ability to judge one’s character and fate by merely looking at one’s face and the lines on the forehead. Soon, he was able to decipher the lines on the hands and sole of the feet. By this time, he was able to tell about the current happenings and the past events quite successfully. The ability to foresee, however, eluded him. In any event, he was not very serious about all this. It was merely a hobby. It must be pointed out that his knowledge of physiognomy and palmistry came to him from within, he neither studied a book on this subject nor was he tutored by anyone. As his curiosity increased he became interested in astronomy (not astrology) - he decided to read about stars and the universe.
Just about then, one night, something extraordinarily amazing happened. The history of traditional astrology was to change. In a dream, he saw an unseen person (Panditji described this “Power”as a “Divine Being”) who told Pt.Roop Chand that he had been “picked” to modify and bring to the world, a revolutionary system of astrology. His entire knowledge of physiognomy, palmistry and the prevalent surroundings was to be amalgamated into one discipline. Further, he would have no choice but to follow this path wholeheartedly. He will have to learn and develop the basics of the system, and help others with it and disseminate this knowledge.
Panditji’s training started that night itself. Every morning, he would be made to write down in a notebook, whatever he had learnt in his dreams the night before. Despite his initial reluctance, he found himself unable to resist this “Power” or the “Divine Being.” For months, he would lit his hukkah (A smoking pipe), go into a sort of a trance (semi-conscious state) and write down what was being dictated to him. At times, he would find these notes hard to decipher. At this point in time, Pandit Roop Chand was already married and had children. Every once in a while, when Panditji would be baffled by the complexity of these lessons, his three year old son (Pandit Som Dutt Joshi, now a retired Land Revenue officer from Punjab government and arguably the foremost Lal Kitab expert) would come up to him and explain to him what the pages meant. Initially, it scared Pt. Roop Chand, “Oh now this Divine Power is taking over my children, too,” but he understood the responsibility he had been entrusted with and he took it as a way of nature to get the knowledge to him.
The “Divine Being” would deliver the knowledge to Panditji who termed these as “farmaans” (an Urdu word for directives or edicts.) The preface of 1941 edition of Lal Kitab states:
“Kya hua tha, kya bhi hoga, shounk dil mein aa gayaa,
Hast rekha ya ki kundali, haal sab farmaya gayaa
Ishaaraa hee baat kar ke, haal sab padhvaya gayaa
“The past and the future, became my hobby.
“He” combined the knowledge of palmistry and the birth chart and
dictated to me the entire knowledge…..
He provided me with hints, and tutored me to understand this facility.”
Panditji continued to receive this knowledge. He was transferred from place to place – Lahore and Quetta (now in Pakistan), Dharamsala, Delhi, Madras, Bombay, Jullunder, Kangra, Simla, and Ambala Cantt, among others.
Pandit Roop Chand Joshi started interpreting people’s horoscopes based on this newfound knowledge. As his expertise and experience developed, his reputation started spreading. People from all walks of life started visiting him. This popularity became a big problem for him. He had a full time government job, a family to raise and at the same time, he wanted to expand on his knowledge of the Lal Kitab system. He also wanted to spread the knowledge he had gained (by authoring the Lal Kitabs.) The purpose behind publishing was not to make money. He just wanted to spread the knowledge and be able to help his fellow human beings the best way he could – through the use of remedial measures of the Lal Kitab system.
Scholars agree that the most important feature of Lal Kitab system is to determine the planet or planets causing ill effects in one’s life and the propitiation of these malefic effects through easy-to-perform, low-cost, and extremely effective and easy remedial measures.
While analyzing a person’s horoscope, Panditji would make short, specific, stunningly accurate, verifiable statements pertaining to the person whose horoscope was being analyzed. His purpose would be to confirm the accuracy of the horoscope and to identify planets causing ill effects rather than to dazzle the public with his knowledge (Anyone who studies the Lal Kitab system properly, can do the same.) Following this, Panditji would prescribe one or two remedial measures. A few weeks later, the same people would return to him thanking him profusely because their problems would disappear.
Even more remarkable aspect of Panditji’s reading was that he would neither charge, nor accept any money for these services. You just could not pay him. Panditji was very specific about it.
As we have said before, making money through the use of Lal Kitab was the farthest thing from his mind. When he authored and published the Lal Kitabs, the selling price was set at no profit, no loss basis. Some of these books were purchased in dozens by his well-wishers to help him recover his money. Only a few books were offered for sale. The rest, Panditji kept for himself for distribution to those whom he considered worthy of it. These books were published anonymously; Panditji did not give his name as the author. There were two reason behind this. First, he was a government official and during those days of the British rule, a “government servant” would almost never get official clearance to publish anything at all. Second, he wanted absolutely no publicity for his own self. He guarded his privacy very jealously. All his life, he would not face a camera (except.perhaps twice.) He used to say jokingly, that he had already gained enough “notoriety”; he didn’t need any more. During his lifetime, he steadfastly refused to be interviewed by the media.
After retirement, Panditji returned to Pharwala. His son, Pt.Som Dutt, had just finished his B.A; B.T. For a few hours each day, Pt..Som Dutt would sit with his father and prepare horoscopes and Varsh Phals and just listen to what the father was saying. He had helped his father during the family’s stay in Shimla, Dharamsala and Lahore by learning to cast horoscopes and, as the books were being written by the Qatibs (Urdu calligraphers) he would help in proofing the material. He was there to help and just watch Panditji and learn by observing. However, it was a difficult task to work for the father who was a stern taskmaster and a perfectionist to a fault.
Panditji constructed a separate “Baithak” (Sitting Room) detached from his house, as his library-cum-place for visitors. He would never interpret horoscopes past sunset. Most of the nights, he would get up around two or three in the morning and go to his “Baithak” to write or to reflect. He had already devised an easy way to make annual progressed horoscope (Varshphal) which is in the form of a table - this “Varshphal Chart” is included in most of the editions of Lal Kitab. He also formulated a universal Lagna Sarni (table of ascendants.) From this, one can determine the lagna (ascendant) anywhere in the world for any year – again, all calculations have been eliminated. Panditji used to say that one of the purposes of the Lal Kitab system is to make astrology easy; that is why all types of complex calculations have been eliminated from this system; even a multiplication of ‘2 by 2’ has been replaced. It is ‘2+2’ in the Lal Kitab system.
Panditji quit smoking the hukkah after retirement. The only luxury he ever enjoyed was collecting and using the best in writing instruments and stationery. He owned numerous Mont Blancs, Parkers, Cartiers, Shaeffers etc. If you were ever lucky to see his collection, you would see the best writing pens ever manufactured. Panditji would also use the best quality of writing paper and inks. In order to write Urdu, he would rub the points (nibs) of these Mont Blancs and Parkers on a fine slate very meticulously. Like a great workman, he would produce nibs of varying widths. He would spend hours upon hours perfecting the points so as to be able to write Urdu calligraphy. Other than that, everything in his life was centered around Lal Kitab. He lived for it!
A TYPICAL DAY IN PANDITJI’S LIFE
Particularly on Sundays, this scene would repeat at about five in the morning or even earlier, around his “Baithak.” People would start lining up and wait patiently for Panditji’s arrival. He would entertain people without any regard to one’s rank or position in life. It did not matter if you were a Deputy Commissioner or a peon; you always waited your turn. And, there was no such thing as a “private consultation.” He would sit in his chair, surrounded by people. His Lal Kitab (Generally, the 1952 edition) would sit in front of him along with some spare papers; a rubber stamp which would imprint a blank horoscope, a superior quality large magnifying glass and a collection of Pt.Devi Dayal’s almanacs (used for making horoscopes.) There were chairs all around the big green iron table and people would sit in these chairs surrounding him.
He would take a quick look at the horoscope, ask some very particular questions – “When you come out of your house; with the main door being at your back, isn’t there a Peepal tree across the street on your left and isn’t there a Tandoor (clay oven) under it?” Totally floored, the visitor would say “Yes, of course sir.” “The lady who runs that “Tandoor”, her name should begin with the letters ‘B, Y or E’ like Bimla or Yashodha and she is issue-less. ” More amazed, the visitor could only say “Yes, yes Panditji. Bimla but how did you know?” “This is what the planetary configuration tells me. Are you here because you are not able to have a child?” “Yes Sir.” Panditji would make the visitor’s Varshphal and then, he would always open the Lal Kitab and, would read aloud a couplet from it which would pertain to this person’s planetary position, explain the meaning and prescribe an Upaya from it. In fact, he would encircle the malefic planet on the horoscope and explain how he reached that conclusion and write the appropriate upayas in beautifully calligraphed Urdu. Then he would provide the person with a few more hints and tell him to proceed on. Invariably, this person would thank him and would ask him if he could be of any service to Panditji. “Yes,” he would laugh and then would go on to say “Just don’t send anyone else here; I can’t handle this crowd anymore; tell them that Panditji has given up this hobby. Would you please? I know, you are not going to do that. Moreover, “He” has commanded me to perform this duty ... Okay next in line…” and this would continue till sunset. As long as people were sitting in his Baithak, he would not take a lunch break. “All these people have traveled such great distances, they have to get back, how can I think of lunch?” he would say.
All of this would happen without any money being transacted; no fees were ever charged or accepted.
Normally, Panditji would speak in Punjabi and at times he would switch to Urdu or English. You had better not speak to him in grammatically incorrect English; you could get a stern lecture on your ignorance of the rules of grammar.
At times, people would come to him without horoscopes. For example, someone would come inquiring about a missing person whose time of birth was not known. They would bring a photograph of the person. One look at it and Panditji would say “ This person’s Saturn is in the eighth house; his sunken eyes tell me that.” Looking at the picture, he would also provide the direction, location and other details of this person’s native house. He would even tell about the neighbors. “You have an old widow living right next door – just go and get her Aashirvaad (blessings) and everything will be fine.” He would suggest a remedial measure (to facilitate the return of the person.) There are numerous instances when people who had “ran away” from their homes 15 or 20 years earlier, would show up within days of their families performing the remedial measure. “Something made me come home, although I had no intention of returning,” these once-missing-just-returned people would say.
Nobody was ever allowed to jump the queue; it did not matter who you were. The only people exempt from this were Armed Forces personnel; he had a very soft corner for them. Also exempt would be ladies in distress. Generally, Panditji would not entertain any lady who was not escorted by her male family members. He would also never permit anyone to touch his feet. That was absolutely prohibited.
HIS SIDDHIS (God-given Powers)
Panditji also attained some “siddhis” or supernatural powers to go along with his knowledge. It is said that he was perhaps one of the very few people in the entire world who got these “powers” without doing any jaap or taap or, penance. These came to him automatically. Panditji, on his own, would use his “Lal Kalam” (Red Pen) to give an aashirvaad (a blessing) in writing. Whatever he wrote with the Lal Kalam, would come true; it was infalliable. He would “issue orders” for promotions, transfers etc. through his red pen (filled with red ink) and as sure as the Sun comes up in the East, his “Lal Kalam orders” would be carried out.
Another Siddhi that Panditji had attained was to give a special coin to a person for whom he would foresee an extremely dangerous life-threatening situation. He would provide him/her with a red shining copper coin and would ask this person to keep it on his person at all times. Many army personnel that came to see Panditji before China war (1962) were given these coins. He foresaw extreme danger for these people. All of those who had visited Panditji, survived what turned our to be deadly for their colleagues.
HIS LAST YEARS
Around 1978 or thereabouts, Panditji started curtailing his hours of public service owing to frail health. From that point on, he would meet people only for a few hours in the morning, only by appointment. Panditji’s day would still start quite early. Even during winters, he would have his first appointment at about 6:30 AM. Pt. Som Dutt would sit next to him and make horoscopes and varshphals and read from the Lal Kitab for Panditji. The 1952 edition of Lal Kitab continued to be the primary reference material. The daily sessions would last till about 9:30 in the morning.
During the afternoons, Panditji would alternate between taking rest and writing new material.
Three days before his death, a photographer visited him with a horoscope. Panditji asked the photographer to take a couple of his pictures. That was really strange; he had never let anyone take his picture except once or twice before.
Finally, the day before his death, an unemployed young man came to him for getting his horoscope interpreted. As was his habit, Panditji did not ask the young man who he was, where he lived etc. The young man asked Panditji about his job prospectus. “According to your varshphal, wherever you are living right now, is not your parents’ house. An old man who lives exactly behind your current dwelling is about to die within a few hours. That is when you will get your letter of employment.” Coincidentally, Panditji’s grandsons, Iqbal and Rakesh were sitting with him at the time of this reading. “Babaji (Grandfather) what are you talking about? This is our neighbor’s grandson visiting from the city. We live right behind them.” “I don’t know about that. All I know is that the old man has to go whosoever he may be. If it is me, so be it that way.” The grandchildren asked Panditji if they could perform an upaya for him to ward off this evil event. “Beemari ka ilaaj to hai,, par maut ka koi ilaaj nahin,” Panditji repeated what is written as the first line in Lal Kitab. (A disease can be cured but death can not be avoided, when one’s time comes.) He passed away in his sleep that night. The neighbor’s grandson got a telegram in the morning from his father that he had been offered a government job.
Pandit Roop Chand spent countless hours of his life helping people through his knowledge. He was a karmayogi and a Rishi in the true sense of the term, doing his duty selflessly and relentlessly; without any desire for recognition, compensation or gain. He never called himself an “Expert of Lal Kitab that the various Lal Kitab practitioners have assumed these days. “He dictated to me the knowledge. My interpretation may be flawed, but there is no flaw in His words,” he used to say. He always had the good of others in his heart. Full of compassion, he never failed to help his fellow citizens. A rare individual, indeed.
WHERE ARE WE TODAY – A WORD ABOUT PT. SOM DUTT
Pt. Som Dutt Joshi, was fortunate enough to have learnt from the great master himself. For dozens of years, Pt. Som Dutt sat next to Pt. Roop Chand and learnt by observing, listening and reading. He has almost memorized the Lal Kitabs. His interpretation of the material leaves one amazed. Like his father, Pt. Som Dutt’s analytical ability is fantastic. He is a gifted seer who has an extraordinary sense to identify malefic planets and suggest remarkably effective upayas. For the last fifteen years, Pt. Som Dutt has been studying Pt. Roop Chand’s written material and notes. “It will require more than a lifetime to understand and assimilate this,” says he. Currently, he is in the process of writing a book “Rehnuma-e-Lal Kitab” (A Guide to Lal Kitab.) “Numerous items need more explanation. Panditji simply did not have the time to do that in the Lal Kitabs. The 1952 edition could have easily become a 5000 page book and would still not go into all the details. My father wrote only what was absolutely essential – believe it or not, every single word in the book has a definite purpose and deep meaning behind it,” adds Pt. Som Dutt.
Presently, Pt. Som Dutt resides in Toronto, Canada with his two younger sons, Rakesh and Virender Joshi. Virender is a computer professional. Pt. Som Dutt’s older son, Pt. Iqbal Chand Joshi lives in Panchkula (near Chandigarh) and is widely recognized as an expert practitioner of Lal Kitab. Iqbal also learnt from his grandfather. Rakesh and Virender continue to learn from Pt. Som Dutt.
WHAT IS SO UNIQUE ABOUT LAL KITAB?
Please note that our intention is to only highlight the differences between Lal Kitab method and the classical Indian astrology. This is not at all meant to be a criticism of any school of astrology. Pandit Roop Chand Joshi had the highest respect and regard for the sages and the scholars, current and of the years past, who founded this knowledge for the good of everyone. Lal Kitab is an extension of the existing Indian astrological system.
1. Ascendant or Lagna (the first house in a horoscope) is always considered to be having Aries sign in it. A traditional Indian horoscope is converted to the Lal Kitab system by changing the Lagna sign to Aries and the sign of the second house to Taurus and so on. The planets that are in these houses are not changed, only the Rashis (signs) are changed. This removes the need for having to consider the “Lord of the first” (Lagnesh) or Dhanesh, Shashtesh etc. Each house in a horoscope has been assigned a fixed lordship of a Rashi, which is Aries for the first house, Taurus for the second house and so on.
2. Rahu and Ketu, (the lunar nodes) which are always seven houses (180 degrees) apart from each other in the traditional Indian astrology, do not have to be bound by this condition. Especially, while making an annual progressed horoscope using Lal Kitab’s Varshphal table, these two may or may not be seven houses apart. These two can even occupy adjoining houses. Rahu and Ketu can even be together, when a horoscope is made based on one’s palm or the house that one lives in (Makaan Kundli.)
3. In the traditional Indian astrology, Sun, Mercury and Venus are always positioned close by. Lal Kitab removes this condition also. These planets can be spread all over the horoscope, distant from each other, just as in the case of Rahu and Ketu.
4. Multiple planets that are together in the birth chart in a particular house, remain grouped together for the rest of one’s life. While preparing the annual horoscope, these planets move together as a group. For example, if one has Jupiter, Sun and Saturn together in the first house in the birth chart, these planets will move together to the fourth house in one’s 25th year of life (See the Varshphal table in the Lal Kitab for details.)
5. In order to judge a horoscope, one need not consider the Nakshtra (constellation) or Rashi. Also Lal Kitab does not consider the effect of transition of planets (gochar) thus eliminating the need for an almanac. The only time one needs an almanac is, when one is preparing the natal birth chart. After that, an almanac is not needed at all, ever.
“Rashi chhor nakshatra bhoola, naa hee koi panchaang liya,
Mekh raashi khud lagna ko gin kar, barah pakke ghar maan gayaa”
“He” disregarded the constellations and the birth sign and got rid of the almanac (where one considers current planetary transitions) “He” fixed Aries as the sign in the first house and similarly the twelve signs in the twelve houses of the horoscope.
6. All the things around us have been fixed as representatives of, or belonging to, the nine planets. Relatives, professions, things placed in a dwelling including cattle, pets, trees, plants etc. establish good or evil effect of a planet.
7. Need for Navaansh and other charts, such as Saptaansh etc. has been completely eliminated from Lal Kitab consideration. Only the basic natal chart is required. Lal Kitab has its own way of making the Chandra Kundli, which is looked at in special circumstances.
8. Lal Kitab neither has Vinshottari Maha dashaa, nor the Sade Sati consideration of Saturn. It does, however, have its own planetary cycle of thirty-five years.
9. Mangaleek dosh has been eliminated from consideration. However, since Mars has been assigned two mounts on the hand (Upper and Lower mounts) Lal Kitab considers Mars as giving dual effect – good and evil.
10. A method for casting horoscopes of twins, triplets, etc. has been described in the Lal Kitab. This method provides distinct horoscope for each child. The later born of the twins is considered older.
11. For timing of events, Lal Kitab provides a methodology that goes into as much detail as hours, minutes and seconds. Again, this facility neither requires complex calculations, nor the use of an almanac.
12. Malefic effect of planets can be of two types: Graha Phal and Rashi Phal. An Upaya can be utilized to guard against the Rashi Phal effect. Graha Phal can not be altered by ordinary mortal beings. It is the Rashi Phal effect that can be modified using the upayas.
13. Lal Kitab system neither prescribes nor prohibits fasts.
14. Lal Kitab is neither a Tantrik book nor does it have anything to do with witchcraft. The whole idea behind the upayas is to take advantage of the “doubtful” position of certain planets and minimize their evil effects. Ordinary mortal beings cannot completely eliminate the evil effect of a planet; however the evil effect can, generally, be reduced. The Lal Kitab system does not claim to be “God’s promise”
“Duniyaavi hisaab kitabb hai, koi daawaa-e-khudaai nahin”
15. Lal Kitab system can not be used to harm others; there is no provision in it to do that. This system attempts to defend one against evil planetary effects.
16. Lal Kitab system is secular in nature. In order to perform an upaya, one can go to one’s religious place of choice, which could be a temple, a gurudwara or, a mosque or church. If one feels that one cannot perform an upaya in one of these religious places, or in case one is an atheist, the upayas can be performed at an intersection where two roads intersect at a right angle.
17. All the upayas are to be performed between dawn and dusk. There are only two or three exceptions and those are explicitly mentioned in the Lal Kitab. There is absolutely no requirement to perform particular upayas on particular days (unless specifically mentioned.) These upayas can be performed by one’s blood relatives or spouse (male or female.) Any variation of this rule would be a figment of one’s imagination and against the principles of this system.
18. As stated before, this system does not consider itself superior to other prevalent systems of astrology.
19. The Lal Kitab should be utilized to help others:
Kar Bhalaa hoga bhalaa, Jab tak naa ho, bhalay ka buraa
20. And finally, Pandit Roop Chand Ji blessed all the readers and practitioners of the Lal Kitab system:
Khush Raho Aabaad Duniya, Maal-o-zar Badhtey raho,
Madad Maalik apni dega, Neki khud kartey chalo
May you all be happy and prosperous. Possess material goods; God will help you if you will help others (through the knowledge contained in these books.)
AN INTERVIEW WITH PT. ROOP CHAND JOSHI – December 1982.
I had the distinct privilege of meeting Pt. Roop Chand Joshi , many times. I live in the United States and although Panditji never cared to know my name, yet he was always very kind to me. When I met him for the last time on November 14, 1982, he looked frail and yet he had brightness in his eyes, and a very energetic and charismatic look. After he read a couple of horoscopes for me (I was the last one that morning; Pt. Som Dutt had already shut the entrance door to indicate that Panditji was not available for the day.) I was taking leave of him, I wished him well and told him that we’d be meeting again in another year or so. That is when he declared that it was our last meeting. “I am not going to be around for the next meeting. It is time for me to depart. Do you wish to ask me anything?” I asked Panditji these questions and took very rough notes:
1. How did this knowledge come to you? People have all sorts of stories about it?
As a youngster, I had intuition and was able to read palms and faces. Lots of times, for no rhyme or reason, I would say something and it would come out to be true. Yet, I was not serious about it. I was more concerned about my work ands my studies. It was that fateful night; I had come to Pharwala on my first annual leave for two months. The very first night, this “taaqat” (Power) appeared to me in my dream and told me that I was to be taught this “ilm” (knowledge) The next morning, something made me pick up a pencil and a notebook and my fingers started writing what was discussed the night before. I tried to resist it, but it was of no avail. All during my leave, everyday this “exercise” continued. I would be almost in a semi-conscious state. It was scary. And, I could not take my attention off this. I knew that I had been had (hearty laugh). And was I ever? Till this day, I am 84 years old now, this ilm has been haunting me if you want to call it that way. I can’t go anywhere, people recognize me and ask me to read their horoscope. In a way, I feel this has been a big “zahmat” (nastiness) in my life but on the other hand, I am glad that He chose me to help the fellow beings. Going back to the topic. I was instructed to read and re-read the material and start practicing it as soon as possible. Once I mastered the basics, my intuition would automatically open newer avenues. I marvel at all this. Although, I toiled like a slave all my life, had next to nothing by way of family life, yet I am glad that I was able to bring forth this knowledge. It is so fascinating; I marvel at it.
2. Why did you not give your name as the author of the books?
What difference does it make to have Pt. Roop Chand’s name on these books? Without my name being used on the book, I am quite well known. Can you imagine how it would multiply the lines outside my house if people knew who the author is? Many people in my village (Farwala) have started practicing Lal Kitab astrology because many outsiders do not know who the author is. It has been so difficult for my family with a big “hujoom” (crowd) always outside my house. My family never enjoyed any privacy ever. To salvage whatever little I can, I shun publicity; of course, I cannot shut my doors. Also, since I was in Defence organization working for the British India government, it would have been hard to get permission to publish anything. My officers, both British as well as Indians knew what I was doing – in fact, they all used to consult me, yet I decided not to ask for permission to publish under my name. For the 1952 edition, I could have given my name as the author because I took early retirement and was under no governmental obligation. To stay anonymous was a decision I had made early in life and I stuck with it all my life. Those who know me, know who I am. Those who don’t know me, should be least of my concern.
3. Why were these books written in Urdu?
In the late 30s, Urdu was the common man’s language. I wrote with “Aam Public” in mind. Our traditional astrological books are in Sanskrit or Sankritised Hindi. I did not want this ilm to become a property of the select few – Lal Kitab’s purpose is to make astrology easy and accessible to general populace and what better way than to write in a language that everyone understood (at that time.) I even used prevalent Punjabi phrases wherever relevant. Here and there, I used Farsi or Arabic words for emphasizing a point just as English authors use French or Latin words and phrases. Also, I used Farsi for things, which may not sound decent in our conversational language. For example, to describe certain body parts or diseases, I used Farsi or Arabic words.
4. How come you never charge for your services?
My purpose is to help the “aam duniyaavi saathi” (my fellow human beings.) He has been kind to me in that He provided me with enough means to raise my family reasonably comfortably. I am financially not a rich person but I have enough to get by. My purpose has been to help people to the best of my ability. By not charging, I retain my independence. If I don’t want to see someone’s horoscope, I am at liberty to do so. I do not go to people’s house to read their horoscopes, regardless of how powerful or rich they may be. Rajas and Generals have come into my Baithak as have the Chief Ministers and other high placed officials. I have never asked anyone for a favour, One of the ministers got our village connected to the main road so that people can get here without much difficulty. (The road led right to Panditji’s house in Farwala.) The rest of the village has benefited as a result. Last year, I went for a checkup at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi. Some of its senior doctors have come to me in the past. You should have seen how they were all surrounding me. People were trying to figure out as to who this V.I.P. is. I told my son (Pt. Som Dutt) “You always ask me what have I earned in my life? Can you count the number of Doctors trying to look after me?” They were all too eager to help me. At times, I go to the nearby town of Phillaur (where Punjab Police training academy is located.) All the Police higher ups get out of their cars and with folded hands, show me their respect. Why do they do so?
Lal Kitab and Underlying Philosphy
To know and understand about what Lal Kitab says or prescribes, one has to be familiar with the way astrology works. It is said that - based upon ones past karma, one is born into a certain constellation of planets or "grahas". Each planet is based upon its nature and its placement casts some effect on the life of the individual. The effect may be either positive or negative and its magnitude may also be different. Lal Kitab also gives various remedies to check such negative effects.
The nine luminaries(planets) can be likened to nine different coloured lights placed at varied distances from a screen. The screen can be analogue to human life ; the net intensity and colour of illumination on the screen is a complex function of all individual lights. There may be a yellow light that is bright but far and a red light that is equally bright but nearer - the effect will be reddish. Here red corresponds to malefic Mars, while yellow to benefic Jupiter. If we wish to make the screen yellowish and life better, I will strengthen the yellow light, say by wearing the yellow sapphire and at the same time, place a opaque filter before red light (by propitiating Lord Hanuman, the deity Mars represents). As a result, reddishness will decrease and yellowishness will increase, making life wealthier, happier and better. Upayes or remedies of this book are pure photographic techniques.
The ancient astrological science is a replete with solutions which start from prayer to chanting mantras. In the Parashar school, stress is on japa, tapa, mantra, and yantra, etc. The Lal Kitaab has simpler solutions revolve around temples and its deities - temple here is meant in a secular way and any place of worship may be used beneficially. The nine Lumanaries are powered by the nine corresponding divine Gods : Sun is Vishnu, Moon is Shiva, Mars is Hanuman, Jupiter is Bhrahma (not Bhrahm), Venus is Lakshmi, Mercury is Durga, Rahu is Saraswati and Ketu is Ganesha.
Common Remedies from Lal Kitab
We are detailing below some propitiating measures in general for different planets. Please note that specific remedies do also exist in Lal Kitab but one should always use them in consultation with a professional or knowledgeable astrologer.
For afflicted Jupiter or Jupiter not giving desired results, Fasting on Thursdays can help. Reciting of Garuda Purana , watering of Peepal Tree or planting of yellow-flower plants may also help.
To propitiate Sun , Reciting or listening to Harivansha Purana is recommended. It is important to have a good moral character as well. Throwing of copper coin in flowing water may also be useful. In case of building a house ,keeping the main entrance from East would also propitiate Sun.
In case of an afflicted Moon, one should fast on Mondays and worship Lord Shiva. One can also donate Milk , rice or silver to propitiate Moon. Keeping Silver nails in the feet of the bed is also recommended in the Lal Kitab for the same purpose.
Lal Kitab recommends a remedy as simple as wearing clean & ironed clothes to get Venus give the desired results. Even perfuming the clothes and using cream, face powder etc. also will help get good results related to Venus. Besides this, one can also fast on Fridays and give Curd, Desi Ghee and Camphor to places of worship.
Mars , if giving bad results , needs to be propitiated well. It is one of those planets that give very visible positive or negative results. Lal Kitab recommends fasting on Tuesdays and donating sindoor to Lord Hanuman. Throwing of pulse of Masoor or honey or sindoor in running water will also help.
In case of a weak or afflicted Mercury , it may help to drop green things or a copper coin with a hole in running water. Fasting on Wednesdays is also recommended. Giving bangles and clothes of green colour to eunuchs is also said to propitiate Mercury.
Saturn calls for fasting on Saturdays , worshipping Bhairon & giving wine to him in the temple of Bhairon. Distributing oil on Saturdays is also recommended as also giving loafs of bread with mustard oil on it to dogs & crows.
When Rahu gives bad results , try giving red masoor to the sweeper or help him in other ways. Incase Rahu is responsible for some illnesses , barley or wheat equal in wieght of the sick person should be dropped in the running water. Lal Kitab also recommends "Saraswati Poojan" for afflicted Rahu.
Fasting on Ganesh Chaturthi or Ganesh Poojan helps in alleviating negative effects of Ketu. Keeping a white and black pet dog in house or feeding such a dog may also help.
and Lal Kitab