Pandit Rup Chand Joshi (Author Lal Kitab)


The Late Pandit Rup Chand Joshi, a native of village Pharwala, situated in district Jalandhar, Punjab is the originator and the author of the Lal Kitab system. He was inarguably, one of the greatest seers of all times. Pt. Rup Chand kept an extremely low profile and avoided publicity at all costs. That is why his name is not well known outside his native area. Pt. Rup Chand Joshi (January 18, 1898 to December 24, 1982) was the son of Pt. Jyoti Ram Joshi, a revenue official with the Punjab government. The family did not have a history of the traditional Brahmanical profession. Pt Rup Chand was a brilliant student who was endowed with beautiful handwriting (Parts of the Lal Kitabs are written in his own handwriting ) and a sharp intellect, he obtained merit scholarships in the fourth and eighth grades. After matriculation, he became a school teacher. A few years later, in early 1920's, he joined the then British Indian government in the Defense Accounts Department from which he retired as a gazetted officer in 1954.

Pandit Rup Chand had lost his mother as a child and therefore, had faced numerous hardships. Despite the fact that he was a very serious, hardworking person, yet he continued to struggle. Why did he have to struggle so much, is the question that he used to ask himself? Some of his peers having far lesser merit than him got all the good things of life handed down to them in the proverbial silver platter. It would be interesting to find an answer to this hidden mystery of nature, he used to think. Gradually, he started noticing that by looking at the facial features of a cow, he could describe the characteristics and, to some extent, the life events of its owner. Next, he intuitively got into human physiognomy, that is, the ability to judge one's character and fate by merely looking at one's face and the lines on the forehead. Soon, he was able to decipher the lines on the hands and sole of the feet. By this time, he was able to tell about the current happenings and the past events quite successfully. The ability to foresee, however, eluded him. In any event, he was not very serious about all this. It was merely a hobby. It must be pointed out that his knowledge of physiognomy and palmistry came to him from within, he neither studied a book on this subject nor was he tutored by anyone.

All of a sudden he became interested in astronomy (not astrology) he decided to read about stars and the universe, as his curiosity increased.

Just about then, one night, something extraordinarily amazing happened. The history of traditional astrology was to change. In a dream, he saw an unseen person (Panditji described this "Power" as a "Divine Being") who told Pt Rup Chand that he had been "picked" to modify and bring to the world, a revolutionary system of astrology. His entire knowledge of physiognomy, palmistry and the prevalent surroundings was to be amalgamated into one discipline. Further, he would have no choice but to follow this path wholeheartedly. He will have to learn and develop the basics of the system, and help others with it and disseminate this knowledge.

Panditji's training started that night itself. Every morning, he would be made to write down in a notebook, whatever he had learnt in his dreams the night before. Despite his initial reluctance, he found himself unable to resist this "Power" or the "Divine Being" For months, he would light his hukkah (A smoking pipe), go into a sort of a trance (semiconscious state) and write down what was being dictated to him. At times, he would find these notes hard to decipher. At this point in time, Pandit Rup Chand was already married and had children.
The "Divine Being" would deliver the knowledge to Panditji who termed these as "farmaans" (an Urdu word for directives or edicts.) The preface of 1941 edition of Lal Kitab states:

"Kya hua tha, kya hi hoga, shounk dil mein aa gayaa,
Hast rekha ya ki kundali, haal sab farmaa gayaa…..
Ishaaraa hee baat kar ke, haal sab padhvaa gayaa

Roughly translated:
"The past and the future, became my hobby.
'He' combined the knowledge of palmistry and the birth chart and dictated to me the entire knowledge…..
He provided me with hints, and tutored me to understand this facility."

Panditji continued to receive this knowledge. He was transferred from place to place Lahore and Quetta (now in Pakistan), Dharamsala, Delhi, Madras, Bombay, Jullunder, Kangra, Simla, and Ambala Cantt, among others.

Pandit Rup Chand Joshi started interpreting people's horoscopes based on this newfound knowledge. As his expertise and experience developed, his reputation started spreading. People from all walks of life started visiting him. This popularity became a big problem for him. He had a full time government job, a family to rise and at the same time, he wanted to expand on his knowledge of the Lal Kitab system. He also wanted to spread the knowledge he had gained (by authoring the Lal Kitabs.) The purpose behind publishing was not to make money. He just wanted to spread the knowledge and be able to help his fellow human beings the best way he could – through the use of remedial measures of the Lal Kitab system.

Experts agree that the most important feature of Lal Kitab system is to determine the planet or planets causing ill effects in one's life and the propitiation of these malefic effects through easy-to-perform, low-cost, and extremely effective and easy remedial measures.

While analyzing a person's horoscope, Panditji would make short, specific, stunningly accurate, verifiable statements pertaining to the person whose horoscope was being analysed. His purpose would be to confirm the accuracy of the horoscope and to identify planets causing ill effects rather than to dazzle the public with his knowledge (Anyone who studies the Lal Kitab system properly, can do the same.) Following this, Panditji would prescribe one or two remedial measures. A few weeks later, the same people would return to him thanking him profusely because their problems would disappear.

Even more remarkable aspect of Panditji's reading was that he would neither charge nor accept any money for these services. You just could not pay him, period; Panditji was very specific about it.

As we have said before, making money through the use of Lal Kitab was the farthest thing from his mind. When he authored and published the Lal Kitabs, the selling price was set at no profit, no loss basis. Some of these books were purchased in dozens by his well-wishers to help him recover his money. Only a few books were offered for sale. The rest, Panditji kept for himself for distribution to those whom he considered worthy of it. These books were published anonymously; Panditji did not give his name as the author. There were two reasons behind this. First, he was a government official and during those days of the British rule, a "government servant" would almost never get official clearance to publish anything at all. Second, he wanted absolutely no publicity for his own self. He guarded his privacy very jealously. All his life, he would not face a camera (except perhaps twice.) The picture shown on the web page was taken only three days before his death. He used to say jokingly, that he had already gained enough "notoriety"; he didn't need any more. During his lifetime, he steadfastly refused to be interviewed by the media.

After retirement, Panditji returned to Pharwala. Panditji constructed a separate "Baithak" (Sitting Room) detached from his house, as his library cum place for visitors. He would never interpret horoscopes past sunset. Most of the nights, he would get up around two or three in the morning and go to his "Baithak" to write or to reflect. He had already devised an easy way to make annual progressed horoscope (Varshphal) which is in the form of a table - this "Varshphal Chart" is included in most of the editions of the Lal Kitabs. He also formulated a universal Lagna Sarni (table of ascendants) using which one can determine the lagna (ascendant) anywhere in the world for any year – again, all calculations have been eliminated. Panditji used to say that one of the purposes of the Lal Kitab system is to make astrology easy; that is why all types of complex calculations have been eliminated from this system; even a multiplication of 2 by 2 has been replaced. It is 2 plus 2 in the Lal Kitab system.

Panditji quit smoking the hukkah after retirement. The only luxury he ever enjoyed was collecting and using the best in writing instruments and stationery. He owned numerous Mont Blancs, Parkers, Cartiers, Shaeffers etc. If you were ever lucky to see his collection, you would see the best writing pens ever manufactured. Panditji would also use the best quality of writing paper and inks. In order to write Urdu, he would rub the points (nibs) of these Mont Blancs and Parkers on a fine slate very meticulously. Like a great workman, he would produce nibs of varying widths. He would spend hours upon hours perfecting the points. Other than that, everything in his life was centered on Lal Kitab. He lived for it!


Around 1978 or thereabouts, Panditji, at the age of eighty, started curtailing his hours of public service owing to frail health. Panditji decided that the he could continue his public service would be to meet people only for a few hours by appointment, in the morning. Panditji's day would still start quite early. Even during winters, he would have his first appointment at about 6:30 AM. The 1952 edition of Lal Kitab continued to be the primary reference material. The daily sessions would last till about 9:30 in the morning.
During the afternoons, Panditji would alternate between taking rest and writing new material.
Three days before his death, a photographer visited him with a horoscope. Panditji asked the photographer to take a couple of his pictures. That was really strange; he had never let anyone take his picture except once or twice before.
Finally, the day before his death, an unemployed young man came to him for getting his horoscope interpreted. As was his habit, Panditji did not ask the young man who he was, where he lived etc. He looked at his horoscope and told him some specific things pertaining to the horoscope. The young man asked Panditji about his job prospectus. "According to your varshphal, wherever you are living right now, is not your parents’ house. An old man who lives exactly behind your current dwelling is about to die within a few hours. That is when you will get your letter of employment." Coincidentally, Panditji's grandsons, Iqbal and Rakesh were sitting with him at the time of this reading. "Babaji" (Grandfather) what are you talking about? This is our neighbor's grandson visiting from the city. We live right behind them. "I don't know about that. All I know is that the old man has to go whosoever he may be. If it is me, so be it that way." The grandchildren asked Panditji if they could perform an upaya for him. "Beemari ka ilaaj to hai,, par maut ka koi ilaaj nahin," (You can cure illness but not death) Panditji repeated what is written as the first line in Lal Kitab. He passed away in his sleep that night. The neighbor's grandson got a telegram in the morning from his father that he had been offered a government job.

Pandit Rup Chand spent countless hours of his life helping people through his knowledge. He was a karmayogi and a Rishi in the true sense of the term, doing his duty selflessly and relentlessly; without any desire for recognition, compensation or gain. He never called himself an "Expert of Lal Kitab" or any other honors that the various Lal Kitab practitioners have assumed these days. He always had the good of others in his heart. Full of compassion, he never failed to help his fellow citizens. A rare person, indeed.


Particularly on Sundays, this scene would repeat at about five in the morning or even earlier around his "Baithak" People would start lining up and wait patiently for Panditji's arrival. He would entertain people without any regard to one's rank or position. It did not matter if you were a Deputy Commissioner or a peon; you always waited your turn. And, there was no such thing as a private consultation. He would sit in his chair, surrounded by people. His Lal Kitab (Generally, the 1952 edition) would sit in front of him along with some spare papers; a rubber stamp which would imprint a blank horoscope, a superior quality large magnifying glass and a collection of Pt Devi Dayal's almanacs (used for making horoscopes.) There were chairs all around the big green iron table and people would sit in these chairs surrounding him.
He would take a quick look at the horoscope, ask some very particular questions "When you come out of your house; with the main door being at your back, isn't there a Peepal tree (Ficus religiosa, Sacred fig) across the street on your left and isn't there a Tandoor (clay oven) under it?" Totally floored, the visitor would say "Yes, of course sire." "The lady who runs that "Tandoor", her name should begin with the letters 'B, Y or E' like Bimla or Yashodha and she is issue-less." More amazed, the visitor could only say "Yes, yes Panditji. Bimla but how did you know?" "This is what the planetary configuration tells me. Are you here because you are not able to have a child?" "Yes Sir" Panditji would make the visitor's Varshphal and then, he would always open the Lal Kitab and, would read aloud some "sheyar" (couplet) from it which would pertain to this person's planetary position, explain the meaning and prescribe an Upaya (Remedy) from it. In fact, he would encircle the malefic planet on the horoscope and explain how he reached that conclusion and write the appropriate upayas in beautifully calligraphed Urdu. Then he would provide the person with a few more hints and tell him to proceed on. Invariably, this person would thank him and would ask him if he could be of any service to Panditji. "Yes" he would laugh and then would go on to say "Just don't send anyone else here; I can't handle this crowd anymore; tell them that Panditji has given up this hobby. Would you please? I know, you are not going to do that, Moreover, He has commanded me to perform this duty ... Okay next in line…" and this would continue till sunset. As long as people were sitting in his Baithak, he would not take a lunch break. "All these people have traveled such great distances, they have to get back, how can I think of lunch?" he would say.

All of this would happen without any money being transacted; no fees were ever charged or, allowed to be offered.

Normally, Panditji would speak in Punjabi and at times he would switch to Urdu or English. You had better not speak to him in grammatically incorrect English; you could get a stern lecture on your ignorance of the rules of grammar.

At times, people would come to him without horoscopes. For example, someone would come inquiring about a missing person whose time of birth was not known. They would bring a photograph of the person. One look at it and Panditji would say "O his Saturn is in the eighth house; his sunken eyes tell me that." Looking at the picture, he would also provide the direction, location and other details of this person's native house. He would even tell about the neighbors. "You have an old widow living next door – just go and get her Aashirvaad (blessings) and everything will be fine." He would suggest a remedial measure (to facilitate the return of the person.) There are numerous instances when people who had "ran away" from their homes 15 or 20 years earlier, would show up within days of their families performing the remedial measure. "Something made me come home, although I had no intention of returning," these once-missing-just-returned people would say.

Nobody was ever allowed to jump the queue; it did not matter who you were. The only people exempt from this were Armed Forces personnel; he had a very soft corner for them. Also exempt would be ladies in distress. Generally, Panditji would not entertain any lady who was not escorted by her male family members. He would also never permit anyone to touch his feet. That was absolutely prohibited

HIS SIDDHIS (God-given Powers)

Panditji also attained some "siddhis" or supernatural powers to go along with his knowledge. It is said that he was perhaps one of the very few people in the entire world who got these "powers" without doing any jaap or taap or, penance. These came to him automatically. Panditji, on his own, would use his "Lal Kalam" (Red Pen) to give an aashirvaad (a blessing) in writing. Whatever he wrote with the Lal Kalam, would come true; it was infalliable. He would "issue orders" for promotions, transfers etc. through his red pen (filled with red ink) and as sure as the Sun comes up in the East, his "Lal Kalam orders" would be carried out.

Another Siddhi that Panditji had attained was to give a special coin to a person for whom he would foresee an extremely dangerous life-threatening situation. He would provide him with a red shining copper coin and would ask this person to keep it on his person at all times. Many army personnel that came to see Panditji before China war (1962) were given these coins. He foresaw extreme danger for these people. All of those who had visited Panditji, survived what turned out to be deadly for their colleagues.
"It will require more than a lifetime to understand and assimilate Pandit ji's Lal Kitab" , "Numerous items need more explanation. Panditji simply did not have the time to do that in the Lal Kitabs. The 1952 edition could have easily become a 5000 page book and would still not go into all the details. He wrote only what was absolutely essential – believe it or not, every single word in the book has a definite purpose and deep meaning behind it"
1. I read somewhere that these books were originally written in Farsi or Arabic

(This would be analogous to using French or Latin words while writing a treatise in English or, using Sanskrit words while writing in Hindi these days.)

Pt Rup Chand used Persian words either to emphasize a point or, to describe something, which would not sound decent in Urdu language. Just because it uses about a dozen words of Persian, Lal Kitab does not become a work of Persian or Arabic origin. Or, if it uses the word "Kaafir" (Infidel) to describe an evil person, it does not mean that Lal Kitab owes its origin to Islamic culture. The word Kaafir was used in its universal connotation. Some ignorant people have tried to draw ill-conceived conclusions without knowing the linguistic norms in pre-independent India. Similarly, if one uses the word "Shaitaan" (Satan) to describe an evil person, can the work be attributed to a Muslim or Christian origin?

(Source from Various Internet Sites and Discussion held on various internet groups.)