An ancient Hindu astrological treatise, said to contain details
of millions of lives, with horoscopes drawn for the time of
consultation. The original Bhrigu was a Vedic sage and is mentioned
in the Mahabharata. As the Bhrigus were a sacred race,
it is difficult to identify the compiler of the Bhrigu-Samhita, but
according to legend he lived 10,000 years ago and had a divine
vision of everyone who was to be born in every country of the
world. He compiled this information in his great treatise on astrology,
originally written on palm leaves.
No complete manuscript is known, but large sections are rumored
to exist somewhere in India. A printed version is said to
comprise some 200 volumes, but most Indian astrologers who
use the system work with loose manuscript pages. These are
supposed to give the name of the client compiled from Sanskrit
syllables approximating names in any language, with details of
past, present, and future life, as well as previous incarnations.
In addition to his fee, the astrologer usually proposes the
sponsorship of a special religious rite to propitiate the gods for
past sins. Indian astrologers reported using the BhriguSamhita
include Pandit Devakinandan Shastri of Swarsati
Phatak, in the old city of Benares; and Pandit Biswanath Bannerjee
of Sadananda Road (near the Ujjala movie house) in
In Fate magazine (June 1982), David Christopher Lane, a
noted scholar of spiritual movements and cults, described a
personal consultation with Hindu astrologers in Hoshiarpur,
Punjab, India, who were custodians of a set of Bhrigu-Samhita
leaves. At the time Lane was researching the Radhasoami
movement in India, on which he has become a world-famous
authority. On July 22, 1978, Lane was taken by his friend
Swami Yogeshwar Ananda Saraswati to a house in a back street
of Hoshiarpur, where two astrologers had charge of a large set
of Bhrigu-Samhita leaves tied in bundles.
The astrologers first compiled a graph, rather like a Western
horoscope, but featuring the date of Lane’s arrival at the
house. According to Hindu tradition, all consultations with the
Bhrigu-Samhita are preordained, and the moment of arrival is
the key to discovery of the correct leaf, which indicates not only
the life pattern and destiny of the inquirer, but also his name
in a Sanskrit equivalent of the language of the inquirer.
Lane stated that after inspection of various bundles of
leaves, taken down from the shelf and examined, the correct
leaf was found in about 15 or 20 minutes. Lane was shown the
leaf, and the Sanskrit inscriptions were translated ‘‘A young
man has come from a far-off land across the sea. His name is
David Lane and he has come with a pandit [scholar] and a
swami.’’ Lane questioned how his name could be known, and
the swami showed him the Sanskrit equivalent of the Bhrigu
leaf. The reading continued ‘‘The young man is here to study
dharma [religious duty] and meet with holy men and saints.’’
Other personal details were also given, including a sketch of
Lane’s past and present lives.
He expected to be able to make a copy of the leaf with its
reading, but to his surprise he was told that he could keep the
original leaf. The astrologer explained ‘‘The Bhrigu-Samhita
replenishes itself, sometimes with very old leaves and with some
less aged. We do nothing; there is no need to. The astral records
manifest physically at the appropriate time and place.’’
It was something of an anticlimax when the last lines of the
horoscope stated that in order to expiate a sin in a previous life,
Lane was advised to pay 150 rupees (approximately $20). But
no pressure whatever was put on Lane to pay this modest sum,
and the attitude of the astrologers and Swami Yogeshwar that
there had been a divine revelation convinced Lane that this was
no vulgar fraud. For such a small sum, the preparation of a fake
Bhrigu leaf, and the willingness to allow Lane to take it away
with him (and thus verify its antiquity) would have been out of
all proportion to the work involved. Moreover, the specific details
of the horoscope could not have been known in advance
of Lane’s visit.
Lane’s experience was not unique, since a Canadian named
H. G. McKenzie recorded that he used the Bhrigu-Samhita in
the early 1970s and also verified its accuracy. He wrote ‘‘I consulted
Bhrigu-Samhita and found my name mentioned there,
besides so many other things about my life that shows that one
has no free will. . . . The Bhrigu-Samhita states about me that
I, Mr. McKenzie from Canada, am here with such and such
people. It states some events of my past life and also predicts
the future course of my life.’’
In 1980 Lane met and talked with Anders Johanssen, a professional
astrologer from Sweden who was then visiting Los Angeles.
Johanssen stated that he had used the Bhrigu-Samhita
at least seven times and was convinced that it was an authentic
work and the most accurate treatise he had encountered. He
believed that the copy in Hoshiarpur was the most complete,
although other versions were known in Delhi, Meerut, and Benares.
However, it was not clear what the nature of a Bhrigu consultation
was on subsequent visits. If the leaf from the first consultation
was freely offered (as in the case of David Lane), were
other leaves available for each of the later visits In Lane’s case,
his Bhrigu horoscope contained the prediction ‘‘This young
man will come again several times.’’ On the first visit, Lane accepted
the offered leaf, but left it with Swami Yogeshwar to
make an exact English translation, planning to collect the original
leaf and translation a few weeks later. However, Lane curtailed
his trip due to illness and was later unable to contact the
swami. Lane made a second visit to Bhrigu-Samhita at Hoshiarpur
three years later, in 1981, in company with Prof. Bhagat
Ram Kamal. He gave two days’ notice of the intended visit, but
no leaf for the visit could be discovered, arguing for the genuineness
of the astrologers, since no fee was requested. (See also
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. Bhrigu-Samhita
Kriyananda, Swami. The Book of Bhrigu. San Francisco
Hansa Publications, 1967.
Lane, David Christopher. Fate (June 1982).
Pagal Baba. Temple of the Phallic King The Mind of India;
Yogis, Swamis, Sufis, and Avataras. New York Simon & Schuster,