An Open Letter to Vedic Astrologers

A Case for Studying Systemsʻ Approach to Vedic Astrology

My name is David Hawthorne. I am the president of the International Institute of Predictive Astrology  (IIPA) with a membership of more than 800 Vedic astrologers worldwide.  I am also a professional Vedic astrologer, consultant and educator — and president of Astroview, based in Fairfield, Iowa, USA.  Over the past 32 years I have provided Vedic astrology readings and services for more than 24,000 clients from 53 countries around the world.

Like many of you, I spent quite a few years studying classical Vedic Astrology (Jyotish). My personal library contains more than 108 classical and contemporary books on Vedic astrology.

I have also listened to more than a thousand hours of audio tapes from the classes and seminars given by leading Vedic astrologers worldwide including:

  • B.V. Raman
  • Behpin Bahari
  • Chakrapani Ullal
  • Christina Collins Hill
  • David Frawley
  • Dennis Flaherty
  • Dennis Harness
  • Ernst Wilhelm
  • Hart deFouw
  • James Braha
  • James Kelleher
  • K. N. Rao
  • K. S. Charak
  • Marc Boney
  • Mark Kincaid
  • Narendra Desai
  • Pandit Ojha
  • R. J. Krishna
  • Ronnie Gail Dryer
  • Tom Hopke
  • William Levacy

and other well-meaning astrologers, teachers, and counselers. In the first ten years of my vedic astrology education I studied and practiced and gave free readings on approximately 3,000 horoscopes.

In those days I used a wide range of techniques from Bhavat Bhavam to AshtakaVargas and Bindu Points. I would read charts from the rising sign, from the Moon sign, from the Sun sign and from the five levels of the Vimshottari Dasha sequence and from other Dasha systems as well.

Narendra Desai even taught me how to determine the rising sign from studying a person’s thumbprint.

I also participated in a number of online Jyotish forums on the internet. It was on one such forum that I met Professor V. K. Choudhry many years ago. At first I did not know who he was, but I quickly grew to respect his posts. These were always simple, honest, and helpful. He did not pontificate and he did not defend his positions or attack others. Nor did he post only once in a while to commercialize his products and services like some other astrologers had done.

At some point I realized that my library already contained Professor Choudhry’s original book The Systems’ Approach for Interpreting Horoscopes which I had purchased and studied beginning in February 1993.

It wasn’t too long after that when I sent him an email and told him that I had not completely grasped his “System” from the book and asked if he would help me learn “Systems’ Approach” by email. He agreed to help me and thus began a new era in my Jyotish studies.

From that point on and almost daily for the first few years I would send him an email with a question, sometimes even a few paragraphs of questions, and invariably I would receive an answer to my question, often clarifying the issue with just a few simple words. It was a dream come true for me — to be able to connect with a professor of astrology in India.

I would send Professor Choudhry all of my deepest questions, such as my all-time favorite question, (one that I think all astrologers come to, sooner or later, in their career):  “If a malefic planet is exalted, does it cause more harm or less harm, and vice versa — if a malefic planet is debilitated, does it cause more harm or less harm?”

In the past, when I had asked this question of other teachers and astrologers their answers were never quite clear. I would get “doublespeak” and they would leave me more confused than before.

As usual, Professor Choudhry’s answer was a breath of fresh air. He said that the role of a malefic planet is to cause harm if it is close to another planet, by aspect or conjunction, either in the natal chart or in the transit chart. If, however, it is exalted and well-placed, then it also has the power to protect and promote its own significations, whereas if it is debilitated it lacks the power to protect and promote its own significations.

How clear, how simple, how logical!

Admittedly, it took some time for me to fully comprehend the Systems’ Approach, but over time I began to use the techniques more and more in my readings, and the feedback I got from my clients was quite satisfying.

More and more people began to tell me that my readings were more accurate and helpful than any readings they had ever had before, whether Western or Eastern readings.

In fact, for the first time I began to fully understand even my own chart and the charts of everyone in my family.

Then one day I heard that Professor Choudhry was going to be in England for a Vedic astrology conference, so I asked him to further his journey by visiting me in Fairfield, Iowa. I told him that I could arrange to have a number of Vedic astrologers here for a small conference on Systems’ Approach and he agreed to extend his visit to USA.

Plans were made and I was quite excited to be able to meet him. However, while driving to the airport to pick him up I realized that I had never actually spoken to him in person and really didn’t know what he was like, so I became somewhat apprehensive.

Much to my relief, Professor Choudhry turned out to be all that I had hoped for – educated, well-groomed, intelligent, articulate, and professional.

On the way home from the airport I said to him, “Professor Choudhry, I have a confession to make: here in America astrology is not very well-received.” Professor Choudhry answered by saying, “Oh, it is like that everywhere, even in India – and that is because astrologers lack a scientific paradigm with which to read charts. That is why they need Systems’ Approach to Vedic Astrology.”

In the end, I think we had about 20 astrologers for the conference in Fairfield. Not only were we all grateful for the chance to meet Professor Choudhry, but we were also impressed with his genuine patience, intelligence and professionalism.

He did not lapse into some arrogance or attempt to convert us to some religious thinking as had been done by some previous visiting astrologers. During the few days that he spent with me and my family I couldn’t help but notice that he was completely focused on sharing this knowledge of Vedic astrology in the most dignified manner. He was simple, clear, kind, patient and helpful to one and all.

Now it has been 30 years that I have studied Systems’ Approach — and I am more than grateful for this knowledge. Over time I have developed complete confidence in this knowledge and my own capabilities to share it with others. It is such a great joy to use Systems’ Approach which is simple, easy, effortless, accurate, relevant, replicable and contemporary.

If you get a reading from any of our Systemsʻ Approach astrologers, you will get basically the same reading from all of us — because these readings are NOT based on personal preference, intuition, or a hodge-podge of techniques. Whereas, in the past, if you saw 10 different astrologers, (whether Eastern or Western) you would get 10 different readings!

The positive comments I get from my clients, even from live radio shows and on-the-spot readings at various seminars and conferences have contributed to an unshakeable confidence that Systemsʻ Approach astrologers are on the right path.

My success stories are too many to mention here, but some of them include saving a woman from brain surgery; accurately identifying the actual date a paralyzed woman would walk again; and helping a young couple with the remedial measures for conceiving their first child after all other avenues had failed.

Since beginning to document my professional activities as an astrologer using Systems’ Approach, thousands of clients have paid me for my services and almost an equal amount of people with some misfortunes in life have not had to pay anything for my services.

Money, as we all know, is not the issue in life. Of course when we don’t have any money we want some, but then when we do have money we find that there are more important things in life as well. We have all heard that if we do what is closest to our hearts, which is what we came here on Earth to do, then the money will follow.

I once asked Professor Choudhry to study my chart and to see if I was capable of being an astrologer. I asked him to be honest and to let me know if it would be better for me to not follow astrology, as I had a wife and three children and I did not want them to suffer by having me go down the wrong path.

Professor Choudhry’s words remain in my heart. He said, “Yes, David, you can be an astrologer, and you can earn money from astrology, but, more importantly, being an astrologer leads to peace of mind and purpose of life.

Now, after all of these years, my heart is full of appreciation for the divine knowledge of astrology  – and for the ability to be able to help my family, friends and clients through the light of Systems’ Approach to Vedic Astrology.

I know that all astrologers — practicing Systemsʻ Approach  — feel the same way that I do: that we are blessed to have been in the right place, at the right time, with the right attitude — to learn Systemsʻ Approach.

And yes, I do encourage other astrologers (both Eastern and Western) to learn Systemsʻ Approach. I will be happy to send you some free study materials. Just send me your request by email:

From the bottom of my heart I thank (the late) Professor Choudhry and his son, K. Rajesh Chaudhary, (who is carrying on his fatherʻs important work) for this outstanding contribution to Vedic astrology — and for letting me join them on this most divine path of life — the path of light and liberation.

As it says in the Brihat-Samhita, “A person dedicated to the learning and teaching of astrology is not assigned to the hell. On the contrary he, achieving salvation, goes to Brahmaloka, the abode of the gods.”

David Hawthorne, M.S.,

Jyotish Bhanu, Jyotish Acharya