There are four ways in which one may learn Vedic Astrology: Listening to the words of teachers, Books, practical application and, contemplation. Amongst these, listening to teachers and reading books is gaining knowledge externally, while practical application and contemplation are how we gain knowledge from our inner selves. Ancient civilizations have not left evidence of vast amounts of complex writing materials as we have today and so it is speculated that these civilizations largely transmitted their teachings orally from teacher to student. According to Hindu philosophy, these older civilizations were manned by individuals who were much, much more intelligent than modern man - they were using much more of their brain capacity than does the modern man who is fortunate and a "genius" if he is able to use a mere 10% of his brain. (There are several ancient mysteries left by these civilizations that man, with all his modern genius and technology, has not been able to understand, and so this Hindu idea of our civilization, as great as it may be, having been preceded by more enlightened civilizations does find archeological support.) Oral teachings during this time were very effective and efficient as the student was 100% able to remember and understand that which their teacher instructed them in, without having to take notes or follow manuals. The modern man, in comparison, can only remember and understand a fraction of that which their teacher instructs upon first hearing. After which, the student is forced to review their notes, listen to a recording of the class and study their manuals if they hope to understand their teacher. So while oral teachings were the most efficient method of learning from another in ancient days, these days it is not necessarily the most effective manner, unless the student is able to listen again and again to the words of the teacher, which makes Audio Recordings of Classes priceless.
As ancient civilizations disappeared, complex systems of writing were developed and written materials became more abundant on account of man having a greater need for them to support their learning ability. In recent centuries, thanks to the printing press, books have been more available than ever and thus man has experienced a surge of knowledge which has ushered in the modern age. Thus, for this modern age, books, as well as course manuals, are an ideal method of transmitting knowledge.
Regardless of whether one obtains their knowledge from books or orally from teachers, they only serve as entertainment until the student contemplates what he has read or heard and makes a practical application of the principles. Contemplating the teachings and practically applying them makes the teachings one's own - at which point the student can effectively practice the teachings himself.
On account of the obvious importance of written material during this modern age, I have striven to provide the best quality Vedic Astrology books possible. My Hardback Books are the best quality books that can be produced and so they will serve the reader over and over again. All the information and techniques in my books are supported by authoritative texts and my newer books (the hardbacks) contain original Sanskrit translations that are much more literal and accurate than is found in the hastily translated books from India.