M. S: Risbud, 2 Vasavi, 2101 Sadashiv Peth, Pune 411 030 Marashthra 3rd October 1995

At present, a hot controversy is raging over the authenticity of the "Agastya Nadi". The participants are the Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samithi's Dr. Narendra Dabholkar and one Wing Commander Shashikant Oka who is in the Airforce Centre at Madras.

You are probably aware of the fact that the Nadi-astrologers have a huge stock of palm-leaf strips on which the past and present of every person is supposed to have been etched by ancient sages. The speciality of this Agastya nadi is that the name of the client (and names of his close relations also) are found written on these strips. The events of past and present and accurately described - that is the claim of Sashi Oka.

Oka has given wide publicity to these nadi centres by writing a book in 1994 and by writing articles in Marathi newspapers. He has sent a xerox copy of one leaf of the Nadi to Dr. Jayant Narlikar, and has requested him to probe into the matter. The letters etched on these leaves are in old Tamil script which cannot be easily read even by Tamil-knowing persons,.

It is necessary to investigate the matter with help of expert Tamil-knowing persons. The intriguing question is that how the names of persons appear on these strips.

Can you throw some light on this issue? The address of the Agastya nadi nilayam is Dorai Subbu Rathinam, 36 New State Bank Colony, West Tambaram, Madras 600 045.

It is possible to expose this myth if the Xerox copies of these leaves about 10-15 are accurately transcribed into Tamil and then into English.

My suggestion is this; once the strip for a particular client is read out to him by the nadi-astrologer, that strip goes out of use. Every day at least 10 to 15 clients come to the Nilayam; so that much number of strips become non-usable. If you calculate in this manner, then in one year at least three thousand strips become "unserviceable". What do they do with such ;strips? Do they keep them separate, or just throw away? Can they give 10 to 20 of such strips to someone who just pays some price for them? If such strips are bought and put to the test of 'carbon-dating', then real age can be found out. The contents written on these strips can be examined carefully - they may divulge the secrets of their origin.

Can you give your help in solving this riddle?

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