A Reading List in Vedic Astrology

by Hank Friedman

I spent several hours going through my entire Vedic library for the best books in my collection. Here they are. I hope that my research serves you well.

[Note: about 95% of the Vedic astrology books that I've purchased -- and I've purchased hundreds of Vedic books! -- have been either rehashes of Classical works with no new insights, or poor translations, or simply the speculations of authors who haven't mastered Vedic astrology. That is, in part, what inspired me to provide the following reading list. I don't want you to waste your time or money, which is easy to do because so many Vedic books are just not worth getting.]

News: I just discovered a great source for Vedic books here.

Modern Books

The Phenomenal Works of Sarajit Poddar

For decades, I've collected both classical and modern Vedic astrology books, and to be honest, have been very disappointed with most of them. especially the modern ones.

Recently, I stumbled upon a new author, Sarajit Poddar, who has already released twenty out of thirty volumes of Jyotish books of tremendous value.

His works are voluminous and extensive, and unparalleled in detail. And unlike most Vedic authors, he not only gives 400-500 pages of in-depth information, but includes how and why many principles and approaches work. They are truly priceless.

I consider his books head and shoulders above 95% of other Jyotish books, and give them my highest recommendations.

Postscript: After discovering serious errors in Poddar's summary of Iyer methodology, I contacted him and found that apparently he hadn't studied with anyone about Iyer's methods and as a result didn't understand them sufficiently to write about them accurately.

I shared my Iyer articles with him, but he was unable to incorporate their approach before publishing his next volume on Iyer.

So please be careful taking his writings as completely authoritative, especially on topics that require a mentor and not just books.

The Caveat

All of his books require familiarity with Sanskrit astrology terms, e.g.:

"When there are Grahas in the 2nd. 12th. 1st and 7th, and when Karmesa is fortified, the Bheri Yoga is produced. This Yoga also occurs when Sukra and Lagnesa occupy Kendras from Brhaspati and Bhagyesa is fortified."

Some of my students had a very hard time with his books, because they hadn't become facile with the names of the planets, houses, house lords, etc. in Sanskrit.

But I would say that his writings are so priceless, and so much better than almost every other Vedic books, that it is definitely worth the effort to master Sanskrit astrology terms.

So far, I have purchased, and loved, these books by him (all available on Amazon):

The Lagna Bhava***
The Principles of Lagna Bhava
The Rasi and Bhava Phalas
The Karakatvas***
The Strengths and Bhava Analysis
An Introduction to the 12 Bhavas
The Yogas
The Nakshatras***

I cannot emphasize highly enough the deep value of these books. I've starred *** the ones that I suggest that you start out with.


Light on Life (Not only the best introductory Vedic astrology book in English, but a huge number of insights and gems for Western astrologers too.)
by Hart de Fouw and Robert Svoboda

Nakshatras Part 1: The Journey of Soul and Nakshatras Part 2: The Journey of Soul
both by Himanshu Shangari
He has an uncanny understanding of many Nakshatras.

The Nakshatras: The Stars Beyond the Zodiac
by Komilla Sutton
Very well-done explorations of each Nakshatra, by their attributes.

Wisdom of Nakshatras by Dr. K. Parvati Kumar This little book has some important insights.

Path of Light vol. 1 & 2 (Truly excellent new books by a brilliant and generous astrologer who shares his great depth of understanding of Jyotish. Highly Recommended!)
by James Kelleher

New Techniques of Prediction 1 & 2 (For advanced Vedic astrologers only, the brilliant predictive methods and understandings of a great Jyotish master)

by H.R. Seshadri Iyer

Learn Astrology The Easy Way (For beginning to intermediate students of Vedic astrology, this provides a very good education in Vedic astrology.)

by Dr. G.S. Kapoor

A Thousand Suns an excellent new Vedic book that covers a huge range of Vedic topics in a very accessible and easy-to-read conversational style. Highly Recommended!
by Linda Johnsen

Astro Sutras
Events and Nativities
and Art of Predictions
(excellent books by the late excellent astrologer Bhasin)

by JN Bhasin

How to Read a Bhava (a very small book that condenses divisional chart analysis quite well)

by Dr. T. S. Vasan

Varshphal or Annual Horoscope (an excellent book on Vedic Solar Returns)

by Sumeet Chugh

Predictive Astrology - An Insight (a comprehensive & excellent analysis of planets in houses)

by Dinesh S. Mathur

Practical Vedic Astrology (a fine compendium of 25 years of the authors notes, well organized)

by G. S. Agarwal

How to Read Your Horoscope (newly reprinted excellent modern interpretations of lordships , planets in signs and houses, etc.)

By James E. Higgins III and Tom Hopke

Vault of the Heavens (a lovely and comprehensive textbook on Vedic astrology, complete with modern interpretations of the lordships for each Lagna, and more.)

& Core Yogas (a unique, descriptive, and comprehensive analysis of yogas)

both by Ernst Wilhelm

Navamsa in Astrology (extensive examination of the navamsa and classical approaches to it.)

by Chandulal S. Patel

A Course in Indian Astrology (101 lessons in astrology by knowledgeable Jyotishis)

by Prof. N.E. Muthuswamy and Prof. K.P. Dharmaraja Iyer

Dr. K.S. Charak has many books, including a two volume Elements of Vedic Astrology, Varshaphal (which Hart endorses), and my favorite of his Yogas in Astrology

Astrology and Jyotirvidya (a very intelligent and well-thought out book on many facets of Jyotish, including Nakshatras, Dasas, Prognosis, and much more.)

by Viswanath Deva Sarma

Mansions of the Moon (a wonderful book on Nakshatra myths, meanings, etc.)

by Kenneth Johnson

Predictive Astrology of the Hindus (extensive and excellent)

by Pandit Gopesh Kumar Ojha

The Astrology of the Seers (a very good book, but it mixes a little Western astrology in)

by David Frawley

The Lunar Nodes (some very good insights in this one)

by Komilla Sutton

also her Essentials of Vedic Astrology and her Indian Astrology coffee table book have merit.

Ganesha Hora Shastram (An incredibly deep exploration of each house, its occupants, and lord.)

by S. Ganesh

Nakshatras (The first Western book on Nakshatras, the product of a great deal of research.)

by Dennis Harness

Comprehensive Prediction by Divisional Charts: An original research work

An excellent book on the Vargas (divisional charts).

by V. P. Goel

Classical Vedic Texts

Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra (the "bible" of Vedic astrology)

Translated by R. Santhanam

Phaladeepika (the second most important "bible" in Vedic astrology)

Translated by S. S. Sareen

(Do NOT get the translation by Kapoor, it's riddled with errors)

Uttara Kalamrita (an excellent book showing themes of each house in depth)

Translated by S. S. Sareen or by Dr. P.S. Sastri

Saravali (two volume classic focuses on planets in houses, decanates, etc.)

Translated by R. Santhanam

Bhrigu Sutram (a look at each planet in each house, with reference to 4 Vedic classics)

Translated by G. S. Kapoor

Brihat Jataka (one volume with extensive and interesting notes by the translator) and Sri Sarwathachintamani (two volume set with extensive, useful commentary of this major Vedic classic)

both translated by B. Suryanarain Rao

Jataka Parijata (3 Vol) (/w Original Slokas in Sanskrit and English Trans. My Vedic teacher, Hart often quotes this important work that is used as the textbook in Vedic studies in India )

by Subramanyam Shastri

Kalaprakasika (I haven't seen this one, but it's recommended by Hart)

translated by N.P. Subramaria Iyer

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