Lal Kitaab – An Introduction

Lal Kitaab is the name of five books, published between 1939 and 1952, which expound an absolutely unique system of Indian astrology now known as the Lal Kitaab system of astrology. These books, each carrying the title Lal Kitaab, are said to be authored by Pandit Roop Chand Joshi, resident of village Pharwala, Punjab, although Pandit Girdhari Lal Sharma was named as the publisher of these books. The Lal Kitaab books were written in Urdu with a sprinkling of Punjabi throughout.

Several misconceptions have developed among the people about Lal Kitaab. Some people were of the view that Lal Kitaab was written under some divine direction. However, the author or the Lal Kitaab system does not claim to be “God’s promise” as a verse in the book explains that:

“Duniyaavi hisaab kitabb hai, koi daawaa-e-khudaai nahin”.

Misconceptions also exist regarding the origin of this system and the name Lal Kitaab. Some people believe that Lal Kitaab came from some Arabian country. However, red colour is traditionally indicative of progress and development in the indian sub-continent. Also, traditionally in India the business ledger books are bound in red color and are referred to as Lal Kitaabs (Red Books). This is where a business entity maintains its accounts – its debits and credits. The Lal Kitaab 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. The red colour, therefore, definitely expresses the Indian influence and origin.

When were the Lal Kitaabs Published ?

The first Lal Kitaab, containing 383 pages was published in 1939. This is sub-titled as “Lal Kitab Ke Farmaan” devoted exclusively to palmistry. Profusely illustrated, this volume describes how to prepare a birth chart based on the lines and shape 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.

The second Lal Kitab, containing only 156 pages was published in 1940. It is subtitled as “Lal Kitaab ke Armaan” (The “longings” of Lal Kitaab) This edition introduces Lal Kitaab based astrology and contains numerous explanations, addendum and corrigendum. This volume was recommended strictly as a companion volume to the first publication.

The third Lal Kitab containing 428 pages was published in 1941. It is in a pocket book sized format (called gutka in Hindi). The text is mostly in verse form. It presents Lal Kitab in a summarized form and concentrates mostly on astrology. Table for annual progression of horoscopes (Lal Kitab methodology) was first introduced in this book.

The next book containing 384 pages was published in 1942. This book gives more detailed explanation on Lal Kitab based astrology and is sprinkled with palmistry and physiognomy.

The last published book containing 1171 pages was released in 1952. 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, longevity, travel, income, building a house and the effect on a person’s life caused by the house one lives in.

These days, Lal Kitab (though presently available in imitated form) is the biggest seller of all astrology books.

Lal Kitaab lays stress on the study of the Horoscope as an embodiment of the human body. The ‘Kaal Purush’ horoscope is very important to understand this unique system of astrology. This system also presents astrology based on palmistry. In general, the books discuss the basics of the Lal Kitaab system, characteristics of the twelve houses and the nine planets, characteristics of each planet as a benefic and malefic in each house.

There are differences between Lal Kitab system and the classical Indian astrology. Almost all the titles of Lal Kitaab ordain that the sign number of the ascendent or Lagna bhava and other houses of the birth chart made according to the traditional astrology may be omitted. 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 Kitaab 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. 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.

In order to judge a horoscope, one need not consider the Nakshtra (constellation) or Rashi. Also Lal Kitaaab 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.

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 in the varshphal chart.

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 Kitaab’s Varshphal chart, these two may or may not be seven houses apart. These two can even occupy adjoining houses.

Lal Kitab neither has Vimshottari Maha dasha nor the Sade Sati consideration of Saturn. It does have a thirty-five year cycle or dasha of planets.

All the things around us have been fixed as representatives of or significators belonging to planets. Relatives, professions, things placed in a dwelling including cattle, pets, trees, plants etc. establish good or evil effect of a planet. Minute worldly details are precisely covered by the significator according to Lal Kitaab. Knowledge of significators of the planets is very essential for understanding measures of Lal Kitaab correctly, because the significations of the planets change as they change the houses. In Vedic astrology, the planets do not change their significations with the change of houses. This is the uniqueness of Lal Kitaab.

Most important aspect of Lal Kitaab is the identification of malefic planets and easy, inexpensive and extremely effective remedial measures for propitiation of their ill effects.In fact the most important feature of Lal Kitaab 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.

I am giving below some propitiating measures in general for different planets. The following measures may be adopted and repeated for 43 days. In my opinion, measures for an early result should only be adopted when the symptoms of a planet giving malefic effects are apparent. For specific remedies of Lal Kitab as per the birth horoscope and varshphal chart one should always consult a knowledgeable astrologer.

Simple Remedies

• To propitiate Sun, throwing of copper coin or jaggery in flowing water is useful.
• In case of an malefic Moon , keep a utensil full of water or milk under the bed and offer it to the acacia (Keekar) tree in the morning. 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.
• For afflicted Jupiter or Jupiter not giving desired results, watering of Peepal Tree or applying saffron or turmeric tilak on the forehead may help.
• 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. Donating a cow or offering green plants (Chari) to the cows can also help.
• For a malefic Mars, Lal Kitab recommends throwing of rewaries made of jaggery in running water. In case Mars is benefic sweet meals or sweets may be donated.
• In case of a malefic Mercury, it may help to throw a copper coin with a hole in running water for 43 consecutive days. Giving bangles and clothes of green colour to eunuchs is also said to propitiate Mercury.
• For a malefic Saturn, donating mustard oil on Saturdays after seeing the reflection of the face in oil is recommended as also giving loafs of bread with mustard oil on it to dogs & crows.
• To safeguard against any bad results Rahu may give, place radish under the pillow or cot at night and offer it next morning to the deity in the temple. Wood charcoal equal to the body weight may be dropped in the river or canal once only.
• Keeping a white and black pet dog in house or feeding such a dog may help in alleviating negative effects of Ketu.