naa.dii (was: Paishaacika Sanskrit?)

Dominik Wujastyk ucgadkw at UCL.AC.UK
Sun Feb 21 21:28:09 UTC 1999

[Dear Mr Gansten, I noticed your correspondence about Naa.dii, and
remembered that a good friend of mine, film director and former
Sanskritist Reina Haig, has spent some time in Madras investigating these
traditions.  I have passed the recent INDOLOGY exchanges on to her, and
here is her response.

- DW]

Dear Mr Gansten,

I have twice visited the Sri Agastya Nadi, in New State Bank Colony, West
Tambaram, Madras (near the airport), once in 1996, and once in 1998.  I'd
heard about the tradition nearly 20 years earlier whilst studying Sanskrit
in Madras, and was intrigued.  On my first visit to the Nadi in '96 I
received several remarkable readings and engaged in acts of "atonement"
(parihaara) suggested in the palm leaves.  In '98 I returned with a
cameraman and DVC camera to record the reading process.  The position of
observer led me to a series of startling new insights as to how the
nadisastris operate.  I was able to observe a number of clandestine
techniques used to elicit information from clients before and during the
formal consultation.  This information was then fed back to them,
apparently as found in the leaves.  I have filmed this process in action.
As in a good magic trick, it is not necessarily of any benefit to know how
the trick is done, but the experience was interesting.

Part of the naadii experience is being given a past-life story.  I had
myself been given a past-life story.  This was evidently from a fairly
limited stock, since I have now discovered several others who had been
given the same story - the only differences being minor changes.  I can't
claim to have totally unravelled how it is all done, but certainly I have
gained some unexpected insights.

I was told that the Sri Agastyanadi collection of Tamil manuscripts was
bought some 70 years ago in an auction held by the British of a library of
palm leaf books found in a palace near Kumbakonum in Tamil Nadu.

I have over an hour of Hi8 video recording of the nadi-reading process as
I was able to observe it.  Let me know if you have any further questions.
I am not a member of the INDOLOGY list, so if you wish me to see your
responses please copy them to me at <reinahaig at>.


Reina Haig

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