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Astrology of Dice – Ramala and Pasa Kevali Systems

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Astrology of Dice â€" Ramala and Pasa Kevali Systems

- Written by Sreenadh OG


There are several systems of astrology that depends on the use for dice for astrological result derivation and prediction. Like Tarot, like Tamboola Prashna, like Numerology â€" this is a unique system in itself with unique variants there within.


The dice used in this system is not the common dice we se today having 6 sides (used to play board games like Snake and Ladder, Ludo etc), but a rectangular box like dice with 4 major sides only. The other 2 sides of this dice would be small, and will never come during fall and are left blank.

The system

Among the numerous systems that use dice for astrological result derivation, two are very popular. They are â€"


Ramala system

Pasa Kevali system

Out of these two systems the first was well popular among the Swetambara Jain astrologers, and the second among the Digambara Jain astrologers. Let us try to have a basic understanding about these systems, so that we can confidently say we know what is “Astrology of Diceâ€. Dice was so popular in ancient past â€" whether through Sakuni of Mahabharata or through Chanakya. We may see them as depicted in some documentary â€" Chanakya as understanding the future with some system of dice based astrology, and Sakuni depicted as playing the ancient game of dice (the game ‘Chaturanga’). Let us learn more about this Chanakyan effect on Indian astrology â€" the astrology of dice.

1. Ramala System of Astrology

Ramala system tries to predict based on the fall of dice. This system was popular among the Swetambara Jains and Arabs. This system of astrology might have become popular in India by around 9th century AD especially due to contribution of ‘Kanakacharya’. This scholar was so famous that similar to the Jain astrology scholar Siddhasena and Devaswami remembered by Mihira, the 10th century Saravali author Kalyanavarma remembers Kanakacharya. Some believe that Kanakacharya is the originator of Ramala system of astrology. If he was not the originator of this system then this system might have been in some local language or Prakrit till then. Fore sure it was Kanakacharya who educated the aryan brahmins about this system by writing texts in Sanskrit language about Ramala system of astrology. It is also said that Kanakacharya introduced several new improvements into the ancient Ramala system of astrology. There are several other Swetambara Jain scholars as well, who contributed to this stream of knowledge. Mekha Vijay, Bhoja Saga, Vijaya Dana suri are all scholars who wrote texts on Ramala system to name a few.

The knowledge provided by Ramala astrological texts are not limited to the results indicated by dice alone. Omens, Dasa systems, House-base results (Bhavaphal), results based alphabets, Vastu pareeksha are all dealt within this system as well. Thus a study of Ramala astrological text (whether written in Prakrit, Arabic or Sanskrit) can help a lot in gaining knowledge that can be applied in other branches of astrology as well. The students of Ancient Indian Astrology should give importance to this unique prediction system as well â€" so as to assimilate useful knowledge from all available sources.

2. Pasa Kevali

Pasa Kevali means ‘based on dice alone’. This is a unique system of astrology popularized by Digambara Jain scholars. In Sanskrit, scholars like Sankala Keerti, Gargacharya (of 6th century AD), Sugreeva Muni etc have written texts on this stream of horary astrology. There are two branches for Pasa Kevali system â€" viz.

1) Sahaja Pasa (natural dice)

2) Yogic Pasa (Yogic dice)

Let us study in some more detail about these two systems.

Sahaja Pasa (natural dice)

In this system the four letters of the word ‘Aa-ra-ha-nt’ (Great Sage; Mahaveera) is written on four sides of a dice. Then the name of the favorite deity is recited 108 times or the mantra “Ohm Namah ParameshtiyaH†(I bow to the supreme creator Brahma) is recited 108 times. Then with a clean pure mind, a mind without thoughts, the dice should be thrown 4 times. Whatever word combination comes out the result should be predicted as per that, as given in ancient texts on Pasa Kevali Sahaja Prashna system.

Here the point to be noted is that, since the dice contain four letters (aa-ra-ha-nt), and since qurrent is asked to throw the dice four times only, the possible outcomes are 256 in number. So any text on Sahaja Pasa should list the results that should be attributed to these 256 possibilities. This is much similar to Tarot reading system which a duck of 256 cards. The only difference is that in Tarot system the qurrent is just drawing a card, but in Pasa Kevali Sahaja Pasa system the qurrent is throwing the dice four times. It seems that, Sahaja Pasa can be termed ‘Indian Tarot System’. If we have a duck of 256 cards and the qurrent is drawing a card, then the psychological involvement would be there only once, but in the Sahaja Pasa system since the qurrent has to throw the dice four times, his psychological involvement would be required four times and thus the result could be more accurate. But still as everyone knows, the limited number of choices it permits limits the interpretation possibility of any such system - in this case it is 256. In the world there are more than 256 types of people and their possible problems are also not limited to 256. There is no reference point or planetary position brought into picture to improve the result derivation possibilities. Thus ‘Pasa Kevali Sahaja Prashna system’ is a useful system with its own inherent interpretation limitations. Ancient texts by Sankala Keerti, Sage Sugreeva etc are available on ‘Pasa Kevali’ with the text name ‘Pasa Kevali’ itself. In Hindi the text ‘Aarahant’ deals with this system.

Yogic Pasa (yogic dice)

This system has two sub-classifications of traditions. Let us name them as tradition-1 one and tradition-2 itself.

Tradition â€"1 (Simple Yogic Pasa)

Write the numbers 1,2,3,4 in four sides of the dice. After reciting the favorite deity mantra 108 times, first throw the dice four times; write down the four digit number you get. Repeat this thrice so that we could get four 3-digit numbers. (E.g. 2344-1123-3212). Whatever be the biggest number out of these three; predict the result based on that number.

Here we observe that the qurrent is advised to throw the dice more times, may be in an effort to make his involvement more or may be in an effort to improve the possible combinations related to the outcome. Here also the number of possibilities is 256, and the result is read out from a result list, similar to the Tarot system.

Tradition â€"2 (True Yogic Pasa)

As well known to every good Indian astrologer, what ever the system under use be, correlating it with the current planetary position is required to provide infinite result derivation possibilities, and help the astrologer to arrive at correct results based on the whole astrological system. May it it is due to this very reason that Pasa Kevali Yogic Pasa system provides us with a method to correlate the dice derived number with the transit chart. The steps are as follows â€"

1) Make a dice of 4 sides with number 1 to 4 written on it

2) After reciting the deity mantra 108 times, throw the dice 4 times. Write down each digit gained, so as to make a four-digit number. If the number is odd then the Lagna Arudha is odd sign; if even then the Lagna Arudha is even sign.

3) Again throw the dice 4 times, to get a 4-digit number. Divide this number with 6 to find the Lagna Arudha sign (out of the odd and even sign at hand).

4) Based on the current planetary position and Lagna Arudha, predict the result in detail, considering Sign, Asterism, Strength and weakness of planets, aspects and so on.

Sage Surgreeva proposed this system in his text Pasa Kevali. The Pasa Kevali Yogic Pasa system was popular among the Jain astrologers during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

Thus in short, the dice based prediction system seems to have a history of numerous centuries and numerous scholars had contributed for the refinement of this system â€" the vigorous period of application being from 9th century AD to till date.

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