The Bhrigu Samhita

Author: David Christopher Lane
Publisher: FATE magazine
Publication date: 1982

E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at

I want to go back to the home base now.

Chapter Seven



India's Ancient Astrological Record

In the summer of 1978 I went to North India with Professor Mark
Juergensmeyer of the University of California at Berkeley to study
the Radhasoami movement.

The Radhasoami movement, founded by Shiv Dayal Singh (1818-1878) in
the mid-19th Century in Agra, India, is a religious tradition based
upon Sant mat, the "path of the saints."  It has many branches,
the largest of which is in Beas, Punjab, India.  The basic tenets of
the movement are: 1) the practice of surat shabd yoga; 2) the
belief in a living Master who initiates disciples into the path; 3)
a pure moral life which includes the abstinence from meat, fish,
eggs, alcohol, drugs and sex outside marriage; and 4) the firm
conviction that Jivan Mukti--Liberation or Enlightenment while
living--is possible under the guidance of a realized saint or

It is of interest and usually not known in America that the
Radhasoami movement has been the basis for several popular religious
groups in America including the Divine Light Mission--Guru
Maharaji's father was allegedly initiated by Sawan Singh of Radhasoami Beas
and later left to start his own sect; Paul
Twitchell who was initiated by Kirpal Singh, himself a disciple of Sawan
Singh; and MSIA, founded by John-Roger Hinkins who claims to have
been given permission to initiate devotees to the inner spiritual
planes by Sawan Singh.

I was invited to go on the trip because of my knowledge of obscure
yogis and saints in the region.  My job was to visit the various
gurus and ashrams in the Punjab and compile an exhaustive
genealogical tree of the spiritual leaders involved in the

Later, during my travels alone, I visited with Baba Faqir Chand, a
92-year-old sage who had been doing intensive spiritual practices
for over 75 years.  He was regarded as one of the three most advanced adepts of
surat shabd yoga in the world.
It was during my stay with this venerable saint that I learned of
the Bhrigu Samhita which is considered to be a physical counterpart
to the controversial "Akashic Records"--a complete account of
mankind's experiences allegedly existing in the astral and causal
planes -- and the oldest astrological treatise in the world.  On the
last day of my stay at Manavta Mandir I was invited by my friend
Swami Yogeshwar Ananda Saraswati and a local scholar to consult the
ancient work.  Although my time was limited I agreed to go.

On July 22, 1978, in the midst of India's torrential monsoons and
intense summer heat, the Swami and I took a bicycle rickshaw from
the "Be-Man Temple" and followed our scholar guide through the
crowded city streets of Hoshiarpur to our destination.  On the way
Swami Yogeshwar told me the fascinating legend of the book.

Millenniums ago, during an untraceable time in India's history, the
renowned sage Bhrigu reigned as the world's greatest astrologer.
His mastery of astrology was so profound that he was able to dictate
certain parts of the Akashic Records from the astral worlds onto
special scrolls in the sacred language of Sanskrit, often called by
Indian mystics "the language of the gods."  This primordial
translation was said to contain the record of every human being who
ever lived on earth.  During each age the work has been transferred
onto new leaves in order to preserve it for future generations.  The
present manuscript is said to be an exact copy of the original and
is itself 400 to 500 years old.
According to Hindu mythology Bhrigu was a son of the sage Varun.  It
is said that once Bhrigu visited Lord Vishnu when the latter was
sleeping with his consort Lakshami.  As Bhrigu was not accorded a
proper welcome by Vishnu, the former felt annoyed and he hit Lord
The act of Bhrigu was intolerable to the wife of Lord Vishnu.  She
became angry with Bhrigu and cursed him, "You and your entire
Brahman generation shall ever live a life of pauperism and Lakshami
shall remain far away from Brahmans."  Bhrigu repented for his deed
and pleaded for mercy to Goddess Lakshami.  Ultimately, the goddess
took mercy upon Bhrigu and told him to write the Bhrigu Samhita (an
astrological book) to earn his own livelihood and a livelihood for
his generation, since it was not possible for her to withdraw the

Where and when this book was written by Bhrigu has not yet been
ascertained by any scholar.  Because Braha and Utpal, the great
astrologers of ancient India, make no reference to this book in
their writings it is believed that it must have been written in the
post-Vedic period.  The original Bhrigu Samhita has not yet been
It appears some parts of it are owned by Brahman families in
Benares, Poona and Meerut but they do not allow anyone to study
these chapters.  Thus this great astrological book still remains
beyond the reach of scholars.
Reference to Bhrigu Samhita is made in Jatak-Skand, which implies
that the horoscope and the forecast of the entire life of every
human being born on this planet is given in this book, according to
the time, place and date of birth of the individual. Eleven chapters
deal with different aspects of human life.  These chapters are:
Kundli Khand--horoscopes; Phabit Kahand--forecasts; Jarah-Parharan
--previous lives; Tathalin Bhrig-Prashan--questions of Bhrigu;
Nasht-Janmong Deepiha--index
to lost horoscopes; Sarivarisht-Nivaran-Khand--remedy to
human problems; Raj-Khand--pertaining to rule; Santan-upaya-Khand--for 
begetting children; Narpati-Jayacharya Khand--for the victory
and works of a king; Istri-Phabit-Khand--on the nature of women.

I was told by Yogeshwar and by others also that this work in
Hoshiarpur is the only one of its kind now in existence in India.
Vague references to the Bhrigu Samhita appear in few books.
Dr. Paul Brunton, one of the first Western seekers to meet Ramana
Maharishi and Anand Sarup of Dayal Bagh, knew of its existence in
the early 1930's.  In his book  A Search in Secert India 
Brunton repeats a revealing conversation he had with the
accomplished astrologer Sudhei Babu about the works of Bhrigu:

you know if there is any English translation of the Book?"  Brunton
asked the astrologer.  

The astrologer shook his head "I have never heard of one.  Few even
are the Hindus who know of the existence of the book.  Hitherto it
has been kept secret."

"When was it written?"  

"It was composed thousands of years ago by the sage Bhrigu, who
lived so long ago that I cannot give you a date."

Not being much interested in astrology and doubtful of its
exactitude as a science, I admit that I took the legend with good
doses of skepticism.  The only propelling force in its favore was my
confidence and trust in the swami and the scholar.  Yogeshwar was a
Christian monk extremely knowledgeable in Western science; the
scholar was an expert in the philosophical systems of India.  Their
unremitting belief in the book's validity, which they claim resulted
from their own experiences with its awesome accuracy, deeply
impressed me.  I attempted to keep an open mind.

When we finally arrived at the library which was sandwiched between
two back streets, I was immediately struck by the large array of
Sanskrit leaves tied in huge bundles.  I had imagined that there
would be one large book.
Two librarians, who also were expert astrologers, were on duty.
Apparently this valuable treasure had been a family possession for
years.  I found them intelligent, matter-of-fact and fluent in
English.  We enjoyed some chai (Indian tea which tastes like a cross
between coffee and hot chocolate) as we discussed some of the
implications of the work.

The astrologers believe that nobody can consult the Bhrigu Samhita
unless it is preordained.  Therefore my coming had been expected and
arranged for thousands of years ago.  Stories abound concerning
individuals who have tried to reach the library but failed.
Among the innumerable papers one particular leaf would be found
which contains the details of my life, the librarians told me.
A picture-graph was made by the astrologers using the date of my
arrival at the Bhrigu Samhita as well as my birth date and
birthplace.  I got the impression that the most vital event was my
arrival at the library.  This event set all other facts into motion.
The chart looked like a reconstruction of certain star, lunar and
solar positions.  My companions had complete confidence in the
librarians' abilities.  

Using the picture-graph based upon my life, the astrologers were
able to riffle through the huge stacks looking for a leaf which had
the same chart drawing.  This precise match-up, supposedly written by
the sage Bhrigu thousands of years ago, gives in Sanskrit a
description of me or any other person who has arrived and whose
picture-graph has been computed.  I was told that it can take from a
few minutes to a few hours to a whole day to find the appropriate
matching horoscope.
Curious about this unusual system I asked Swami Yogeshwar if the
library had any classification system.  He told me it does not and
added, a little mysteriously, "They don't need it; it is destiny
itself which guides them to find it!"

Everyone got involved.  Several bundles were taken down from the
shelf at random and untied.  The two astrologers, the swami and the
scholar got busy looking for the corresponding chart.  I began to
feel it was a fruitless task.  However, after 15 or 20 minutes the
scholar exclaimed that he had found it.  This, I was told later, was
unusually quick; it added to everyone's sense of anticipation.  The
two librarians and Swami Yogeshwar examined it closely and all
agreed it was an exact replica.  This parched Sanskrit scroll would
have the information on my life.

Examining the leaf carefully I could not help feeling an odd sense
of providence.  While the astrologers read through it Swami
Yogeshwar and the scholar translated its message into English.  When
the first sentence was read I was taken aback.  I noticed that Swami
Yogeshwar and the scholar also were deeply moved.  It was obvious,
at least to those of us present, that this was real.

The first line said, "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 and a swami."
I stopped the reading in midsentence and asked for an explanation as
to how my name could be mentioned.
Swami Yogeshwar showed me the leaf on which my name was written in
Sanskrit and pointed out that the pronunciation was almost exactly
the same.
The scholar, although familiar with the Bhrigu Samhita, was also
most impressed by its exactitude.  But the astrologers accepted it
as a common occurrence and read on, "The young man is here to study
dharma (religion) and meet with holy men and saints."
Certain things of a personal nature were related which I found very
touching; details of my present life were given and there followed a
description of my past.

Swami Yogeshwar wrote down the Sanskrit and partially translated it
for me on a scrap of paper.  But to my surprise, I was told I could
keep the original leaf if I wished.
It was then I heard this amazing statement about the book from the
astrologers' lips, "The Bhrigu Samhita replenishes itself, and with
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."

My doubt doubled when one of the last lines of the horoscope was
read aloud.  In order to rectify a sin I had committed in a previous
life I was advised to pay 150 rupees (approximately 20 American
dollars) to the Bhrigu Samhita.  I smiled, thinking the hour spent
had been an interesting diversion--even if it wasn't genuine.  But,
interestingly enough, no pressure was put on me to pay the amount
mentioned in the leaf.  Rather, Swami Yogeshwar and the others said
there was no hurry.  I had no intention of paying the amount but I
did find the librarians' attitude the opposite of what one would
expect from those engaged in a con game.
This, plus the euphoric effect the reading seemed to have on
everyone present, prompted me not to dismiss it simply as a fraud.
The swami acted as if there had been a revelation.  Indeed, his own
words to me were, "God has spoken today to us, dear friend, through
the agency of the Bhrigu Samhita!"  Also I have learned that the
legend surrounding the book states that Bhrigu wrote the Bhrigu
Samhita "for earning his own livelihood and for the livelihood of
his generation."  This would partially explain why the work has a
built-in request for money.

For two years I have pondered the various explanations for the
information found in the Bhrigu Samhita.  The possibilities range
from outright fraud to elaborate metaphysical theories.  The more I
doubted it the more my contacts with individuals and books seemed to
attest to its authenticity.
A Canadian named H.G. McKenzie, for example, visited the
astrological work in the early 1970's and was convinced of its
accuracy.  McKenzie 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."

Baba Faqir Chand, a sage known throughout the Punjab for his extreme
honesty and utmost frankness, also attests to the validity of the
book.  Faqir states, "Everybody reaps the fruit of his or her deed.
Major Som Nath of Aligarh is one of my associates.  He came to me
before the Indo-Pak war of 1971-72 and also went ot Bhrigu Samhita
to consult his horoscope.  They told him that he was a judge in his
previous life and that he had accepted a huge bribe from a culprit
and subsequently acquitted him and punished an innocent man in his
place.  As a result of this he would face a great danger to his life
in that year.  The astrologer suggested to him some Hawan, some
atonement.  But he did not perform it.
However, when he went to his place of posting in the field he was
directed to move to the forward post of Shakargarh with two
companions.  They traveled by jeep.  Suddenly a mine burst under the
jeep and they all suffered serious injuries. . . 
Now, had the Bhrigu Samhita astrologer not told him in advance
about his forthcoming trouble I would not have commented.  He did
face a great danger to his life.  This shows that our previous deeds
dominate our present lives."

In 1980 in Los Angeles I met and talked with Anders Johannsen, a
professional astrologer from Sweden.  He informed me that after
visiting Bhrigu Samhita seven times he is convinced that the work is
authentic and the most accurate treatise he has ever come upon.
Although I was told the book existed only in Hoshiarpur, Johannsen
said that is only the most famous and complete copy, that parts of
it also exist in Delhi, Meerut and Benares.

One can imagine a scenario of possibilities to explain the Bhrigu
Samhita's existence.  The request for money to pay off a previous
sin, which appears built into the work, may be a device to provide a
livelihood for the librarians or the astrologers who wrote the
massive book or who work with it.  But this is common in many Indic
traditions and does not necessarily invalidate the accuracy of the
horoscope.  The confidence and respect exhibited by all those
connected with the Bhrigu Samhita in Hoshiarpur prompts me to look
for a deeper explanation.

Astrology has been criticized severely in the last century by
scientists of both the East and the West on the grounds that it is
erroneously conceived and pseudo-psychological.  And this well may
be correct.
As Dr. Lyall Watson perceptively observes, "Even the most ardent
devotees of astrology admit that their study lacks a clear
philosophic basis, that the laws and principles governing it are
still uncoordinated and that the records are scattered and contain
many errors."

But the most important point in astrology is often overlooked or
sidestepped.  All disciplines--philosophic or scientific, from
subatomic physics to music theory--have something in common with
astrology.  They are all communication vectors, information
channels.  Astrology, although not usually thought of as such, is a
highly refined language code almost universal among advanced
civilizations.  Because of this astrology has survived.
Mathematics, chemistry and social sciences are also language models
(communication operators) and in this regard are much like
astrology.  The underlying fundamental in language (and in all
science and philosophy) is the notion of intention.  Without
intention all systems are without meaning.

Astrology may never be vindicated by the disciplines of physics or
astronomy, precisely because it is not so much a scientific
discipline as a religious system, where intention and myth making
hold sway. I say this because astrology today (especially as
practiced by most people in India and America) does not subject
itself to wholesale criticism; rather, it tends to act dogmatically
in relying on so called "revealed" explanations of star and planet
positions and their respective interpretations. As such, astrology
is not a science, but a religious/psychological method by which the
adherent can attempt to "objectively" impute meaning into his/her
life. But what makes astrology so appealing, though, is that it
always refers back to an individual person; it is a thoroughly
egotistical affair, wherein the individual finds his/her place in
the cosmic order of things. No wonder astrology is so popular
despite increasing attacks on its credibility--it talks directly to
And when the "I" or "me" is at the forefront of any system, 
it is always going to find hordes of followers. Perhaps the reason
astrology "works" so well is because of our amazing psychological
ability to find "meaning" in otherwise meaningless sentences and
A clear example of intention and its ability to extract meaning from
almost anything is seen in scriptural readings.  Devotees of Islam,
Christianity and Sikhism often pose their questions
or problems to their respective Holy Books hoping to find a
Often the open the work at random and place their fingers on a
sentence or paragraph unknowingly but with the keen desire to
discover something that speaks to them about their life and work.
When they read the selected passage they feel that they have found
an appropriate response which pertains directly to their query.
Excluding the possibility of divine intervention, the major factor
in this "certainty" of having the "right" answer lies not in the
Holy Book itself but in the strong conviction or intention of the
devotee. With this tool of intentionality (or intended meaning) one
can dig jewels from mud, even if there are no actual jewels to be
I suggest this is astrology's greatest strength and perhaps the
reason for its long survival. 

I realize that in many ways these discussions are inadequate. To put
it in simpler terms, how can one explain a book written supposedly
thousands of years ago which pinpoints information about individuals
in the future? If deceit or fraud does not provide a complete
explanation for this, I think we must agree that an open and
unbiased inquiry which takes the utter profoundness of human
consciousness as its starting point is needed.

As I type these sentences the haunting memory of the  Bhrigu
Samhita's  last words to me come to mind, "This young man will
come again several times. . . ."


Not surprisingly, given the unremitting interest in astrology, my
article on the Bhrigu Samhita has proven to be the most popular one
I have ever written. I have received queries about it from around the
world from interested seekers desperate to know how to locate the
ancient library.

I must confess, though, that I did not write the article as a
believer in the book; in fact, I thought so little of its
authenticity that I did not write about it for some three years
after my trip to India in 1978. It now appears to me that the book
is a fraud. I say this precisely because the work almost invariably
mentions how a previous sin (committed in a previous life) can be
corrected if someone donates a specific sum of money to the
astrologers. Moreover, the astrologers have never "tested" their
records scientifically. My hunch now is that something a bit more
earthy is happening in Hoshiarpur; the astrologers, I assume, are
writing their own horoscopes (with the guidance perhaps of the
Bhrigu records) to chart out the lives of those who come to them.

I realize that I do not have proof that the book is a fraud; it is
just that in light of Occam's Razor and my own seasoned
understanding of Indian astrology I suspect that economics, and not
the Akashic records on the astral plane, are the driving imperative
behind the astrologers' curious leaves.

At this stage what should be done is that a team of qualified
specialists visit Hoshiarpur and determine the veracity of the
Then, and only then, can we know for sure what the Bhrigu Samhita is all

E-mail The Neural Surfer directly at

I want to go back to the home base now.