Pictures Over the Years
This self portrait was taken in the summer of 1977 in Hyderabad, Andra Pradesh, India, about the time I began to study Jyotish, and before I had my upanayanam (sacred thread ceremony).
1982 in Thiruvananthampuram (Trivandram), Kerela, India.
On the roof of Sriman B.G. Sasi Kant Jain's home, in Bangalore, India, 1982. The young child is his grand-daughter "Chiku." In her hands she holds my "japa beads" that I use for mantra meditation and "bead bag" which protects them from contamination. Note the shoes in front of me, called paddukas. They are often worn by sadhus. They are supposed to help maintain brahmacarya (celibacy) but their greatest attribute is that no one will steal them. Theft of shoes is rampant in India because people take off their shoes before entering homes and especially temples the main place shoe thieves target. Photo by the 4th son of Sriman B.G. Sasi Kant Jain, the now famous astrologer Dr. S.K Jain aka Sriman Subanjaya Dasa.
In Cochin-Ernakulam, central Kerala, summer of 1982. We were invited to attend the installation of Deities of Sita-Rama Laksmana and Hanuman by the Gujarati community. Photo by Gauranga Dasa.
Pictured here in 1982 with my teacher of "Prasna Marga" style Prasna, indiginous to Kerela, Sriman Krishnan Potti. I was his first (and only) Western student so he hired a photographer to take the picture. Those shoes again.
July 1986 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA during the installtion of the Deities Sri-Sri Radha-Madana Mohana (Krsna). I am holding Lord Krsna. As you can see I sprouted a little hair (-:
August, 1986 in Big Rapids, Michigan. I was attending Matrix Software's second conference on Vedic astrology. As a consequence Micheal Erlewine, the owner of Matrix, requested me to work with them to develop a professional astrological package for Vedic astrology. I agreed, it was published in 1988. The other person on the left in the photo is Mr. James Braha, who had just published his book Ancient Hindu Astrology for the Modern Western Astrologer. An interesting historical anecdote: up till this time Vedic Astrology was called Hindu Astrology, and Matrix, under pressure from others, also wanted to call the program I was working on Hindu Astrology. But I insisted it be called Vedic Astrology because it was in line with the ancient Vedic traditions and by the fact that the word "Hindu" is not found in any Vedic text. In 1987 during the 3rd Vedic Astrology conference that was attended by Narendra Desai the topic again came up. He pointed out that Jyotish was an appendix of the Vedas called the Jyotish Vedanga--Matrix relented, I got my way and the rest is history. Now you know the rest of the story. Photo by Tom Erlewine.
August 1987 at MATRIX software's third annual conference on Vedic Astrology. Here I am giving a lecture on Prasna (Horary astrology), in attendence were such persons as the late Narendra Desai who made his debut on the American astrological circiut at this conference and the late Ramakrishna Sastri (Suka Nadi reader), both seated to my left, as well as Hart de Fouw (not pictured). Photo by Tom Erlewine.
At the same conference I am introducing Narendra Desai before he begins his lecture. Photo by Tom Erlewine.
May 1990 in Houston, Texas I chant auspicious mantras during dedication of Sri Giriraja, a large Govardhana Sila brought from India for the occasion by Ayodhyapati Dasa (now His Holiness B.B. Govinda Maharaja) who has his back to the camera.
February, 2003 in Malleshwaram, a section of Bangalore, India. I am with Dr. S.K. Jain (in vest) and his wife Viravati Devi Dasi. Dr. S.K. Jain (son of my main astrology teacher) is the most famous astrologer in Karnataka having his own weekly TV program. Being a major celebrity he is regularly invited to various functions as guest of honor. Here we attend the rededication of an ancient Siva temple and are greeted by the priests of the temple.
Italy, August 2003. Still wearing those shoes.