Which Lal Kitab to Refer?
Which one is the original Lal Kitab?
Above questions are raised again and again in our Lal Kitab discussion forum. So I decided to give answer of the question a permanent URL. I'll try to give some definite answer to the best of my knowledge. There are many books by the name of "Lal Kitab" available in the market and it is really difficult for a new student to get the right one.
My answer depends upon what language you can read best. There are five editions of Lal Kitab written during the period of 1939 to 1952 by Pt. Roop Chand Joshi. Details are as follows -
1. Lal Kitab Ke Farman, 1939, 383 pages
2. Lal Kitab Ke Arman, 1940, 280 pages
3. Lal Kitab third part, 1941, 428 pages (Also known as Gutka)
4. Lal Kitab Ke Farman, 1942, 384 pages
5. Lal Kitab, 1952, 1173 pages
First four editions were published by Sharma Girdhari Lal (cousin of Pt. Roop Chand), at Hazi Press, Lahore. Last edition i.e. 1952 edition was published at Narender Press, Delhi.
As you can see the last edition i.e. 1952 edition is the most exhaustive one and sufficient for start learning Lal Kitab. You can get more editions after becoming acquainted with Lal Kitab basics.
Photocopies of original Urdu editions are available in market. If you can read Urdu well, there can be nothing better than that. Go get the photocopies of original Urdu editions. But if you cannot, it becomes more difficult and depends upon which language you can read better.
1. The best choice in English is available in the form of Lal Kitab translated by Goswami and Vashishta and published by Sagar Publications. It is mostly a translation of 1952 edition with some additions from 1939 edition. It is a well proofread and neatly printed. Right now, it is the best (and probably only) choice available for English readers. Though, in my opinion, the quality of translation is not very good and so this book must be used in conjunction with any other book.
2. Lal Kitab (The Exposition & Background) by Pt. Krishna Ashant. It is not the recommended book by experts. But as not many options are available, it is not a bad idea to take help of this book. Mr. Ashant has left out many important topics without which you will find yourself guessing. Also he has created few of his own hypotheses that may or may not be true.
1. There are four Arun Samhits available from Arun Publications, Chandigarh. It is not mentioned which Arun Samhita is translation of which edition of Lal Kitab. Details are as follows -
I. Arun Samhita (Lal Kitab) Jyotish, Rs. 549/-, Translation of 1952 Edition
II. Arun Samhita (Lal Kitab) Hast Rekha Vigyan, Rs. 275/-, Translation of 1941 Edition
III. Arun Samhita (Lal Kitab) Samudrik, Rs. 149/-, Translation of 1939 Edition
IV. Arun Samhita (Lal Kitab) Chaturth Bhag, Rs. 270/- , Translation of 1942 Edition
I found all above four editions useful. In my opinion, 1952 edition (Arun Samhita Jyotish) is more than sufficient to start with. 1952 edition is well translated but not that well proofread. Quality of printing is also not good in comparison to English Translation. But remember beggars are not choosers. It is direct translation (rather transliteration - only change of script) from Urdu, it is quite close to the original Urdu edition. For example, I have seen loss of meaning at some places in English (Goswami and Vashista) translation but you will not find this problem with Arun Samhita. Here you can apply your own mind, if you have basic knowledge of Hindi. Quality of other Arun Samhitas is even worse but again you don’t have many options other than to apply your own common sense.
2. As mention in English section, Hindi version of Lal Kitab (The Exposition & Background) is also available in market by the name of "Lal Kitab (Prishthaboomi aur Vyakhya). As options are available in Hindi, I don't think it is a good book anymore.
Other than above two options, highly priced photocopies of Hindi translations are also being sold in market claiming the 'original translation' in Photostat format. Personally, I was never able to believe whatever written on these photocopy editions due to misprints and errors. Please go for them on your own risk.
These three books are also worth noting -
1. Lal Kitab Aur Kashta Nivaran By Sumat Prasad Kalka
Arun Publication House Pvt. Ltd.
SCO 49-51, Sector 17C, Chandigarh - 160 017 (INDIA)
email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
2. System Of Progression and Curative Measure By R.S.Chillar.
SAGAR PUBLICATION, 72,Janpath, Ved Mension, New Delhi-110001(India)
Phone No. 91-11-23320648, 91-11-23328245 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Horoscope Reading Made Easy and Self-Learning By U.C. Mahajan
Fax: 91-11-23280567, 91-11-23260518 Email: email@example.com
Other than our Lal Kitab group, It is all what you require to learn Lal Kitab. Please refrain from various other translations and helpbooks available in market.