Friday, October 08, 2004

Distillate

DISTILLATE

Something begins to dip out of view. It had covered everything like a damp blanket, suffusing everything with dread, fear, humiliation and misery. These were the strands of that which covered, its destined fabric, never to be altered. But like all rules this too had exceptions, and for some the gray blanket protected from the cold of poverty and inflicted the grossness of concrete matter on others who were meant to be strangers to the fabric, at least relatively.

It began to dip out of view. Only because of the hope that the Sun shone outside the squat world, where aesthetics and pleasure existed and that there were links with this glorious Sun, deeper than those with transient loss, was this dipping a real anticipation.

Sometimes, unless inevitability hits hard, flattens the animal, divinity cannot manifest and the incarnate soul cannot remember its union with That. Upanishads say 'Thou Art That'. It appears to be another of those empty shells unless every particle of existence works together to have Truth exposed.

Everywhere, truth takes different vehicles to travel but it is the same truth.

Locked behind closed skies lie plans that have chalked out destinies to the last detail. The skies open only so much to one in a given incarnation. Even miracles get repetitive. Manifestations of The Power are so vastly different in their scope, and yet they are only limbs that precipitate lives, apportioning to themselves means in tune with their own fabrics, some damp and suffocating and others suffused with a clear light.

The Grahas speak a language that cannot be denied. Some say the planetary energies are Karma set in stone and have no life of their own. They are Gods that respond to prayer. They are alive. They may be someone's angels, another's ideas and a third's fantasy. Their existence and will is the tapestry of Jyotish.

If you can identify an energy, you can work with it, adhere to its world and it will propel you onwards. Benefic powers do so in pleasant ways while the conventionally hurtful powers will never let you ignore them. Perhaps you asked to be confined so that what exists outside could mean what you always wanted into mean, through all those lifetimes and incarnations. Identification and awareness are the fruits of penance.

Happiness is allowed in Ishwar's world. Celebration and participation are jewels of the deity. Till the pores open, certain foods may be forbidden, certain fears might beset the mind. Prayer and chants are but condensed awareness, left behind for us to reach centers that appear otherwise inaccessible. If awareness has become friendly to the physical vulnerability called 'I', everything is capable of being offered as sacrifice to the Gods.

Judgment of the world is impossible. We must pick and choose in daily life, in politics, in everything, but this choice is not one made by the ultimate power, in its own metaphysic. It is only our own incarnate nature and we can follow it with ease. All we have to see is the plan behind our choices, the light that illuminates the play. Dogs are faithful and scorpions sting.

Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and the Nodes are Karma but not only past Karma. It is the present and the future that they influence too. They are not external to us; only the movements of their gross physical manifestations are used to judge their impact within us. The mystic Grahas are who we are. We are more, transcending Karma, but keeping the nature of life in mind, our absolute natures, and that of the absolute power are best viewed with a humble lens. Else, we shed blood.

That something begins to dip out of view is an occult suggestion. That a great, wonderful light arrived is a matter of experience that was echoed and mirrored in the same occult. Technically the two ways are the same. Look at either or both. Reality is only one.

In another continent, someone looks at an animal's entrails to See, in another continent someone embraces rationality to Find, in yet another someone studies planetary patterns to Unravel the mystery just to walk the destined path with insight and understanding. Nothing is excluded from Brahman. Ignorance and a veiling of truth are as dear to that neutral force as are wisdom and awareness.

If you can bring light to matter, you can enlighten it. This is what it means. Matter is already with light; its divinity is to be arrived at through a shifting of focus. This is traversing the Path. Can you do as you please with the world ruled by Power! If you feel you can, it is a delusion aided by forces that foster a feeling of unaccountability and freedom. It is not true. Later, something will bring such a phase to your attention. Yet, you can do anything, provided you see it all as it is, the will of something none have understood enough to explain.

Between the arrival of the Balm and the anticipated dipping out of Inflexibility, there were forces that swore to their occult counterparts that they would do as they promised. They did it too. This does not always conform to the desires of the Mayik Mind, the significator of surface gloss, of the Arudha world. 'Is it enough? Is that it? All? That's what the fuss was about?' These are advanced dissatisfactions of the emotional perception. Otherwise, its pet is, 'How can it be?' even though it happens continually that Brahman exposes itself daily, time and time again, through conforming to occult anticipations too, just to seal the issue. Still, ' How can it be?' does not let up. Why should it! If everyone saw through it, the planet would dry up. Delusion, defeat and doubt move us to seek, turn us away, and the play goes on.

Do not worry about the Pathfinder or about possible housing on an inhabited planet. A planet is distinct from a Graha. A Graha exists within you. Its gross counterpart exists outside. Discovering possibilities of life on planet Mars is important for the physical world, as is all science and all modern medicine. Understanding the astrological Mars is important for the spiritual world so that exploration of the red planet can be welcomed.

For one who says, ' Forget this hocus pocus nonsense. I set out to accomplish something and I did it. What is destiny?', check his Upachaya houses from Lagna and Arudha Lagna and if there are materialistic forces there. Saying this does not disqualify from a future volte-face. Dashas can make for the experience where people say, 'Oh! He's changed completely!'

The individual is all-powerful but existence is larger. The value of matter and material success lies in its spiritual nature. If you look at occult conclusions or themes with the eye of the mind, and this is inevitable, they may disappoint you since they will not confirm. Even if they do, the mind may reject the attainment. If occult possibilities are watched, as if from a distance, while the individual participates vigorously in the world, they would be identical with the nature of incarnate being and will illuminate. Surrender is the initial condition. If the occult is seen with the eyes of hysterical wanting, it will defeat the essence. This does not disapprove of hope. Hope wildly. There is such joy in wanting better. But the spirit is neither joyous nor tragic. It just is. It will not conform to emotion. Emotion must align itself with it.

Something is witness to a leaving, and also, perhaps, to an arriving. It could also be an effective cause for the journey. At the very least, it is the workman tirelessly working with the tar, preparing the road in damp seclusion, or the blazing fire of the Sun. Acquaintance with this man is knowledge of his suffering. He is Everyman and suffering is a necessary condition of the world. The Mayik Mind is hurt by the suffering, smothered, smashed, and altered when it would rather embrace the lovely Rohini. Period.

Suffering does not concern itself with the simultaneous existence of a deep, eternal and indefatigable joy. That joy cannot diminish the working of pain. Both are totally distinct and yet spring from the same source. At this source, they are identical. There is a schizophrenia in this splitting of that which is One but this illness is the blessing that will first fragment, break down, kill and then create the Whole anew. Grahas are fragments but they render the fullness visible. The extent of this is so complete that Jyotishis work with these fragments perpetually to determine the workings of the Power. Ways must be found to retain freshness. Perhaps glancing at others? magic will help.

ANURAG SHARMA.


Thursday, October 07, 2004

Judging Mental Factors In A Horoscopic Nativity

JUDGING MENTAL FACTORS IN A HOROSCOPIC NATIVITY

The concept of the Kalpurusha or the Cosmic Man is a fundamental centrality in Jyotish. The various Rashis (signs) are said to govern several physiological, psychological, spiritual and religious features of the Cosmic Man who is an astrological summation of created existence. It is in this basic sense that the twelve Rashis, the nine Grahas or planets (as used in Jyotish!) and the twenty-seven Nakshatras or the Lunar Mansions derive their essential validity, meaning and significations.

Though psychiatry has gained far greater acceptability in relatively recent times than it used to, there is some inherent dissatisfaction with the purely psychiatric process. Fun is poked at the practitioner for being nothing more than an absent-minded listener. If poking fun at something was a drawback for the concerned discipline, Jyotish would have curled up and died a long time ago. The longevity of the astrological sciences and/or arts, as one may choose to view them, could have drawn only from one thing: their eternal truth!

Psychological makeup of an individual is a complex thing and it partakes of many factors. The approach of Hindu astrology to judging the mental health, aptitudes and inclinations, capacity to withstand setbacks and stress, nature of emotional disposition, social and criminal attributes and any number of factors related to the mind, is very sophisticated. One who is new to Jyotish or has not come across a well-educated practitioner of this incredible mystic art is liable to be bewildered and startled at the clear-cut mental picture that may emerge from a Kundli belonging to a Jatak or a consulter.

It will be appreciated that the term mental factors is vast and includes tendencies and attributes stretching over a native’s psychology, rationality, intellect, cognitive and emotive intelligence, maturity and wisdom potential, capability to not only handle but assimilate stress in order to reproduce a fully participatory matrix of actions that may be contributory at any level, be it individual, familial, societal, national, international, universal… and so on and so forth. The list pertaining to this area could be endless and unwieldy. It is not intended here to enter into a philosophical debate on what the mind could mean; rather, it is our endeavour to lay bare those specific factors in a chart that can provide this sort of complex and highly useful information with hardly any interaction-prerequisite with the consulter. The only thing that Jyotish requires is the reference frame of the Desh-Kal-Patra. There are, after all, only twelve Bhavas (houses) and nine Rashis in the horoscopic chart and very basic information, about the country (Desh), prevailing socio-economic-political environment (Kal) and some specific details about the consulter (Patra), is needed to base the chart analysis on. This is a sort of substratum, upon which foundation, the mystic truisms relating to various aspects of the chart shall be expounded.

The Lagna is always the most important factor in horoscopic delineation. It is the sign rising on the eastern horizon as seen from any given point on the surface of the earth. A sign may be said to have rising duration of approximately two hours. After that the next sign in the zodiacal sequence shall rise for broadly the same duration. The Lagna or Ascendant governs the area from the back of the head to the beginning of the forehead. Quite obviously, since the human brain is located in this area, The Lagna is of massive importance in judging factors relating to mental features of the native whichever sub-area they may specifically be grouped under. The Lagna is the focal point that decided the functional malefic or benefic status on the natural malefic and benefics, thus imparting to the Grahas a complex interweaving of teleological tendencies, even without considering the advanced interplays of their location is signs and houses and with each other, the latter forming scores, of the celebrated phenomenon, of Yogas (planetary combinations). The Lagna is indicative of the overall personality and life-structure of the native. Its importance cannot be overemphasized. Afflictions to the Lagna by location or aspect of malefics (whether natural or functional) can lead to warped thinking, weakness and frailty in, inter alia, mental areas, lack of talent, application to understanding and so forth. Similarly, benefic (whether natural or functional) influences to the Lagna, can lead to situations where positive outcomes and events imbibing strength manifest fully. A strong Lagna can countermand many adverse and afflicting tendencies in the rest of the horoscope. Conversely, its weakness will not allow beneficial Yogas like Rajayogas, Dhanayogas and a massive number of fortunate combinations seen by the seers in their supreme meditative trances, to come to proper fruition. In this regard, the lord of the Lagna cannot be overlooked. What applies to, and is seen from the Lagna, is equally derived from the Lagnesh. The position, conjunction and aspects (PAC) accruing to the Lagnesh are very important in judging the psycho-rational-spiritual worth of the native.

The Navamsha or the Ninth Division of the Lagna is called the Navamsha Lagna and is considered at least equally, if not more, important as the natal Lagna. The Navamsha Lagna has a great bearing on the thinking, appearance, ability and overall personality of the native. The signs tenanting the natal and Navamsha Lagna will provide valuable interpretative data about the various facets of the native’s mental personality. The placement of the natal Lagnesh in the Navamsha Varga chart, by consideration of house and sign, as too by conjunctions and aspects, will lead to many conclusions about the native’s predispositions and predilections. Equally, then, the placement of the Navamsha Lagnesh in Navamsha and Lagna charts with due consideration on the benefic and/ or malefic influences on the Navamsha Lagna and Lagnesh will have a visible and quite clear bearing on the various interlocking features of the native’s incarnate being. Another feature that is relevant is the Nakshatra rising in the Lagna. This has a subtle effect based on the symbolism, ruling deity and mythological realities associated with the Nakshatra. Each Nakshatra has a lord, just like each sign does, and the placement of such a lord in any of the houses and signs of the Janma Kundli (natal horoscope) shall have weighty bearing, albeit at a subtle level, on the native’s person.

It stands to mystic reason that the Cosmic Lagna Rashi, Mesha or Aries, forming the head of the Kalpurusha is an important key to unraveling things related to all particular heads, so to speak, on planet Earth. All heads, irrespective of nationality, race, colour, caste and so on, are controlled and formed by the universal archetypal head-quality loaded in Mesha. Irrespective of where Mesha happens to fall in any given horoscope, its affliction and/or strength have to be judged if overall mental status is being evaluated. As a logical corollary, Mangal (Mars), the lord of Mesha is to be seen as well. It is no surprise that in head injuries and matters pertaining to human heads. Mesha and Mangal, more often than not, have a conspicuous role to play.

In many ways, Chandra, or the natal Moon, is the primary significator of emotional and psychological well-being. The Chandra Graha is a natural benefic if it is bright and waxing and unafflicted by malefics (primarily natural malefics), well placed and suitably aspected. Since it rules some vulnerable and delicate areas in life, it is a delicate and vulnerable planet, easily afflicted. A waning and afflicted Moon is a malefic. It is a very important Graha synonymous at times with the created world or the manifestation. It is linked to Goddess Durga, the deity whose specific power Maya is responsible for the veil of illusion that causes the soul-body (and others!) dichotomy. The house where Chandra is placed is treated as an alternate Lagna, especially in North India, where this writer lives. Chandra is not directly linked to intellectual dimensions of the human mind. It is the prime karaka of emotional and psychological mapping and mother. Astrologically it is no surprise that our relationships with our mothers make up such a huge component of our psychological well-being. They have an identical mystic core! Chandra governs our ability to connect with people, our societal impulses, our relationships, attitudes towards people at large, joie-de-vivre, being emotionally fulfilled and unselfish enough to be able to care for other people, happiness, laughter, sensitivity and allied areas. An afflicted Moon is an otherwise healthy chart can drive the Jatak to help other people to alleviate anxiety, fears and self-centric fears. In this sense it can also be considered an Upaya or remedial measure for an oppressed Chandra. The location of the Chandra Lagna in a given house as reckoned from the natal lagna allies the psychological focus and desires of the native’s mind with the significations associated with that house. It is exalted in Vrishabh (Taurus) Rashi. Variation of degree makes this the Mooltrikona sign as well. Vrishchik (Scorpio) Rashi is its sign of debility. Chandra is bereft of its positive qualities in fall save for allied positive factors that may alleviate the misery, or, indeed, a Neechabhanga Yoga may annul the debility. Even in such a situation, the debility effects of Chandra are seen to manifest. Chandra lords over Karka Rashi and this Rashi is the storehouse of the Cosmic Emotive Content. It also holds the seeds of all future manifestation. Karka forms the apex of the Moksha Trikona, the initiation of the Triangle of Liberation. It is no surprise that enlightenment is associated with a mastery over the mind and its attendant emotions!

For this reason the Fourth House of any chart partakes of the qualities of Karka (Cancer), the Fourth House of the Kalpurusha, no matter what sign may fall there. The Fourth House is the Cosmic Womb or Hiranyagarbha and a prime storehouse for the psyche, emotions and personal character of an individual. The Rashi actually falling in the Fourth House will indicate the innate psychological nature inherited at birth. The aspects and location of planets in this house will be directly responsible in making up a person’s nature. Likewise, the Rashi falling in the Lagna and that of the house where Chandra is posited will colour the personality. The Chandra Lagnesh (Lord of the Moon sign) will rule the native’s mind according to its own nature, sex and attributes. Where nature of the mind is to be gleaned from Rashis, their polarity, quality and element shall be instrumental in providing crucial fields of information in this regard.

The location of Mesha and Karka Rashis in auspicious houses will augur well for the mind of the Jatak (native/consulter) while the opposite situation will lead to relatively poor results. The Lord of the Fourth House in a chart would need to be judged according to the PAC rule laid down above. Aspects and conjunctions relating to the Chaturthesh will be dependent on Naisargik and Tatkalik Maitri (natural and temporal friendship) with the associated Graha.

It ought to be mentioned here that though Chandra does not treat any Graha as its enemy, Budh (Mercury) the Graha ruling intellect, is inimical to it since he resents the fact of being the bastard son, resulting from the illegitimate union of Tara, the wife of the preceptor of the Gods: Brihaspati (Jupiter), and Chandra. There is an unspoken tension between intellect and academic excellence (Budh), emotions (Chandra) and Sanatan (eternal) philosophical wisdom (Guru). The bastardization of Budh’s mythic entity hints at the fickle and neutral (Budh is a eunuch!) nature of the intellect. Reasoning can cut any which way. The human intellectual acumen lends itself to any activity without qualms. Over-intellectualization or lack of intellectual discernment has a special linkage with emotive perception. If emotions and intellect are harmonized we have a balanced and beautiful human being. If they are out of sync we know the lamentable effects that can result. Guru (Jupiter), whose sage advice embodies the eternal, unchanging truth does not quite fancy the neuter, fickle and nervous endeavours of Budh, the messenger of the Gods, running about gathering information, giving primacy to human, Mayik intellect, non-aligned, easily misguided (afflicted!) and unreliable. In this sense Guru is the enemy of Budh, inimical only in a sense of conservative disapproval, keeping Guru’s ultra-benefic nature in mind. It will be appreciated that true, everlasting knowledge of Godness, God, Godhead, divinity, the spirit or by whatever name we choose to address it, once attained steadies the mind, calms it and helps it transcend itself. This is precisely how a powerful Guru can transform some of the more surface characteristics of Chandra. If the reader wishes to delve into it, a reading of the causes behind the waxing and waning of Chandra, responsible for mood changes, cycles including menstrual cycles and all sorts of rapid day to day changes, in mythic form, will lead to Rohini Nakshatra, in which sensual domain, the human mind (Chandra) feels the best. The course of Chandra will also display the linkage between mood swings and the female menstrual cycle, including symptomatic conditions like PMS.

Some crucial factors relating to the human mind such as individual likes and dislikes are linked with the fondness of Chandra for his favourite bride Rohini. This is the world of the intoxicated, sated mind, connecting lavish and vigorous participation in the sensual world, as a created expression of divine sentiment. Lord Shri Krishna chose to be born under this royal and auspicious Nakshatra. The less favoured places that Chandra is compelled to transit by dictates of Dharma or Cosmic Law hold the occult keys to our changing foci of mental choices, even from day to day, or every other day.

Guru’s expansive, forgiving and magnanimous nature explains the natural friendship between him and Chandra. The association or aspect of Guru on Chandra is very auspicious and gives fortunate direction and steady wisdom to the mind. The conjunction or location in mutual Kendras leads to the highly praised Gajkesari Yoga.

The affliction of the factors discussed till this point by natural malefics such as Rahu (North Node), Ketu (South Node), Shani (Saturn), Mangal (Mars) and Surya (Sun) inevitably colour the mental faculties both according to their permanent attributes and significations as too by lordship of houses and association with other planetary energies. The detailed effects of such associations and afflictions are the subject matter of full-fledged books. Rahu’s conjunction or aspect to Chandra can give Shani like effects in accord with the dictum Shanivad Rahu (Rahu acts like Saturn). Rahu can lead to illusions, phobias, drug abuse, neurosis, psychosis, distorted fancies, schizophrenia, compulsive lying, general substance abuse, addictions, pathological manipulative tendencies, fear, specific fear of a calamity happening, dread and countless other like afflictions. Rahu also fuels creative writing and media related work. It governs foreigners and foreign things. It can spur the creative impulse by turning its illusion into a craft. Ought it surprise us that so many writers of fiction are prone to mental disorders, perpetually fighting some guilt, viewing there are as a lie at a deep and intimate level and this turmoil can even drive them to contemplate suicide.

Or indeed as to why a highly charged Budh carries with it nervous torment! Why do so many clowns and comedians have such disastrous mental states as private human beings? The roots of this entire thing lie in Jyotish. The Graha that owns the ability to laugh and to make others laugh, communication skills, intellect, humour, wit, sarcasm, repartee is the same who lords over the nervous system. If the fiery logician Mangal is providing Budh a cutting edge in intellect, will this sword hesitate to cut both ways, other factors supporting this? These are cosmic truths that lie concealed in the horoscope, only desirous of a blessed eye to come and unravel them.

Ketu if manifesting its negative energies as a headless, lusty demon can give a bloodthirsty mentality, much like an evil Mangal, according to the dictum Kujvad Ketu (Ketu acts like Mars). Mars and Ketu hold swords in their hands and are responsible for violent, impulsive and trigger-happy mentalities. Having said all this, the attention of the reader is necessarily drawn to the fact that none of this can be applied directly to the chart. A host of factors need to be addressed by the Jyotishi (astrologer) before any conclusion can be drawn about them. An astrological prognosis is a complex thing. The naturally malefic tendencies of Mangal, Shani, Rahu, Ketu and Surya can not only turn functionally benefic but some of these Grahas may become Yogakaraka (lording over both a trine and a quadrant simultaneously) and maximum benefic results can lead from their energies in certain charts. Very many other factors like the strength of the Grahas in Vargas, Shadbala (six-fold) strength and other like measures will modify the results. Hence simplistic conclusions are forbidden.

The reader is advised to follow the myth of the beheading of Rahu to understand the difficulties faced by human beings when the nodes of Chandra afflict the luminaries.

Having viewed some of the planetary reservoirs from which diverse, or seemingly disparate, activities of the human realm emerge, we ought to only be expectant of the link that exists between asthma, bronchitis, tuberculosis of the lungs and other chest-related ailments on the one hand, and the sign Karka, the natal fourth house of a Kundli, Chandra and the fourth lord on the other. Chandra rules water and the chest area of the Kalpurusha. Afflictions to various areas linked to Chandra, cosmic fourth house, natal fourth house and fourth lord lead to disorders of the chest. Asthmatics are frequently advised to drink a lot of water, both the illness and the cure being Karakattwas (significations) of the same Graha. It should also not surprise us to note that specific asthma or bronchitis attacks in people suffering from the disease hit at a time when the patient is overly anxious, worried or is experiencing panic. These latter emotional afflictions almost always involve an afflicted Chandra.

Another factor linked with mental potentials and kinetics of the chart is the auspicious Fifth House. The Cosmic Fifth House Simha (Leo) and its Lord the Pratyaksha Dev (the manifest Lord), Surya are quite important. The Fifth House of the natal chart and that of the Kalpurusha as too their lords deal with Purva Punya (good deeds in past lives). This house deals more with intellect and intellect-oriented thinking and output than emotive areas. Though the Fourth House has sufficient latent intellect content for it to be the prime significator house of graduate education and overall educational qualifications, it is the Fifth House that deals with higher studies. It is natural for it to be linked with the higher mind. It suggests intellectual, creative, spiritual and fictional output as well. In addition to the mental it also shows the physical output, namely children. A great many people prefer the higher procreation while to indulge in both is hardly uncommon or taboo. The main thing here is that the mind is inextricably and crucially linked to even the physical output, reflected in the fact of our great mental attachment to our children. In this house the linkage is exercised to both physical and ideational progeny. Yet another facet fundamentally rooted in thinking, feeling and generally the mental vortex is the fascination with the opposite sex. This house governs romance and love affairs but not necessarily marriage which fact casts some subtle light on the real state of affairs in a marriage that has no connection with this house or its lord. Speculation, art, entertainment, authorship, knowledge of the Mantras (mystic Sanskrit formulae and chants), Vedas (revealed truth of the Hindus), Vedanta (philosophical basis of the Vedas, called Upanishads), spiritual truth, music, cinema are some of the many shades of the human mind that form a gorgeous fabric in this Bhava. Affliction to this area in any form will lead to suffering, be it through children, lack of intelligence or Viveka (discrimination), faulty thinking, over-intellectualization, being spiritual to the detriment of material life, ruinous love affairs and the like. This is one of the most auspicious Trikona Bhavas (trinal houses) and is indicative of our entire Karmic balance we have as souls or Atmans. If the Ninth House or Lord of Prarabdha (fate-quality of the present birth) is afflicted while the Fifth House or Lord is strong or indeed the sign Simha is potent while Dhanu (Sagittarius) is afflicted, it may show a difficult incarnation in this life while overall good Karma in store, to come to the aid of the Jatak in future births. The learned reader should envisage the contrary situation by positing weakness and strength in exchange in the factors mentioned. The simultaneous strength of both with a supportive Ketu might mean final release or Moksha or emancipation.

The location of Chandra, Budh, Guru, Lagnesh, Chaturthesh (lord of the fourth house), and Panchmesh (lord of the fifth house) in the Dusthanas (the evil houses): the Sixth, Eighth and Twelfth houses, or linked with their lords is liable to predispose the nativity to mental difficulty in one way or the other. Once again the strong language of the classics is not to be applied verbatim for that is a sure shot recipe for predictive disaster. It will also be prudent to note that Dusthanas can hold many fine things in their bosom but that this is always secondary to their basically evil nature. The location of Chandra in Dusthanas leads to Balarishta (ill health in childhood) but in practice it will be found that this only predisposes the chart to ill health. The timing of specific mental or physical adversity will be contingent on Dasha (planetary periodicity) triggers as is the rest of Jyotish analysis. The static promise of a chart is quite important, even fundamental, but Dashas can surprise us. A seemingly chronic underachiever may suddenly flower, his mind wide awake and blooming all of a sudden while a performing, participating person may begin to wilt without any majorly apparent secular cause. So, almost everything will be surveyed with regard to operating Dashas.

That most potent of all transit phenomenon, in relation to the mental health of a person, the Sade-Sati of Shani Dev is not being discussed here in full detail since, at the very least, it merits an independent paper. Let the author merely hint at the awesome potential of the limiting principle of Lord Shani. The Sade-Sati has the potential to create extreme mental distress in most cases leading to a radical emotional and psychological reorientation by cramping the style of the native and suppressing what comes most naturally to him. This is one of the most unambiguous and unyielding destruction-regeneration cycles of Nature. Certainly Dashas, Shani’s lordships as reckoned from Lagna and Chandra Lagna, strengths or afflictions of Shani and Chandra and the numerical measures of strengths of houses natally and the contributory factors relating to each Graha qua a house in the form of Sarvashtakvarga, Ashtakvarga and Bhinnashtakvarga are factors that will temper the results.

The Sade-Sati is said to be on when the Gochar Shani transits the sign preceding, containing and following the radical Chandra. Since Chandra lords over feelings, emotions and psychology, affliction by Shani, who embodies the misery of the Kalpurusha, the elder of Yama- the God of Death, ruler of setbacks, obstacles, harsh discipline, obscurity, depression, pariah status, suffering, limitation, contraction, failure, pain and many such lighthearted magnitudes, can lead to a death and rebirth of the psychological entity. A therapeutic reading of the travails of Raja Vikramaditya in his archetypal Sade-Sati, as recorded for the benefit of blessed souls, in the Shani Mahatmya (The Greatness of Saturn) as in other mythic legends is highly recommended.

Most of the factors covered in this paper ought to be considered from the Chandra Lagna and Navamsha Lagna in addition to the natal Lagna, wherever applicable. For those supplementing their astrological odyssey with Jaimini, this also holds true for the Karakamsha Lagna. The Nakshatras of sensitive areas and Grahas, and their lords’ placement and associations are relevant.

It is not the author’s delusion that all factors relating to mental features in a nativity have been exhausted. Indeed, all the various Bhavas and Grahas can be said to carry mental elements in some form or the other. This is a modest attempt to touch upon some of the more prominent features that are defining parameters in this sort of study. It is felt that a systematic analysis that begins with a study of the features in this paper will help in unraveling some of the mental complexities in a horoscope.

What does it say of the human mind when certain supposedly educated particular manifestations of it persistently give verdicts that Jyotish is invalid or when calls are made, for some obscure reason, to prove it is a science like the physical sciences. I would exclaim ‘For God’s Sake’ if only the tedium of either proving or disproving the existence of God were not such a philosophical conundrum!

ANURAG SHARMA.
DEHRADUN, INDIA.

Contemporary Jyotish

CONTEMPORARY JYOTISH

The overall nature of Jyotish must be considered to be broad-based and somewhat diffused. This is not to suggest vagueness but to precipitate an understanding that sharply outlined and crisp events are brought about by factors quite beyond our real comprehension. The invaluable contribution of Jyotish is to provide an overwhelming awareness of the quality, nature, growth, tendencies and structure of events, ideas, people, and any number of factors pertaining to life on the planet. Beginning work from this tolerant and mature premise, one can reduce it to individual analyses where quite sharp, sensational and even incredible predictions can be given. It is the writer’s experience that the torrential bliss generated by the Goddess of Jyotish, Jyotir Vidya, can sometimes obliterate or obscure the perspective that is the background of what the Jyotishi is doing. It is hardly a surprise that those uninitiated find Jyotish, and astrology in general, so difficult to accept. How could it be otherwise. Is it not wholly amazing that in this opaque world, there is such an accurate predictive subject that can persistently lay bare all the life attributes as they manifest in empirical fact and otherwise. The basic understanding that must permeate the genuine Jyotishi and those who come in contact with him is the overwhelming evidence of the existence of a highly potent Divinity. These Nature based miracles drive home the point that it is shameful and ridiculous for us as a species to murder each other over the names and attributes of this obviously universal power. The extremist, unyielding and fanatical division between Good and Evil, this God and that God, this lifestyle and that is merely a heightened version of the expectation that Jyotish will tell us exactly how it is and even more exactly how it is going to be, so that this uncertainty, or even trace elements of it should vanish. This must be the black and white comfort derived from the stubborn, insane conviction that only my holy book speaks the truth and should you bring your own book up for me to see, I shall eliminate you on behalf of my God.

This is the either/ or approach. Sanity dictates that we must move rationally and humanely over to the both/ and version of cosmic thought else Prithvi[1] shall continue to be stained with innocent blood. Is this Prithvi’s Dridha Karma [2]? This very question can be asked intelligently of many events in individual life and should. Is it not a quandary that after so many years on this planet, we still have so much suffering, so much doubt, so much of a distance yet to cover. How proximate can this race be to our conceptions of a benevolent, omnipotent, omniscient God? The sheer ravaging power of existence: famine, rape, murder, mayhem, regionalism, nationalism, and religious fanaticism ought to make us pause and reconsider our relative position to this divinity. No doubt, divinity carries all the attributes that we think it does and that all genuine religious experiences probably point at authentic dips into that eternal reservoir. Ought these understandings be contingent on vegetarianism when famine and flood and sheer hunger gobble up the crippled and healthy, ugly and handsome alike. Ought we to be so broken as too always be bending over, when the fact could be that we are ourselves the active functionaries of that unknown (all speculation as to its nature being just that- speculation) power. The Upanishads[3] are conveying a valid truth when they say that serious contemplation shall reveal the body to be the temple where divinity resides. This is not to say an individual, Atman, is the ultimate thing. The ultimate is Brahman, both far away and within.

As one writes this, the television shows the annual Rath Yatra[4] of Sri Jagannath at Puri in Orissa, India. Devotees throng the temple area. These are manifestations of an awareness of Divinity having unambiguously descended as Lord Jagannath, the Lord God of the World. The idea must be that the connectivity of the human divinity is in accord with that Unknown Power here at this temple just as it is anywhere else on the planet and perhaps beyond it, provided a realization of similar quality had happened sometime, somewhere with someone or with some people or with a race. But we are to struggle with the distressing results of the hatred that religious realizations spawn for some obscure reason: the more one tends to believe the letter of his spiritual texts, the more he disbelieves the possibility of an equal divinity of the other. When on prays to Lord Jagannath, who is the true Lord God of the Universe, it must be with the realization that the person somewhere on the globe who has never heard of this God, is equally connectible with the person’s conception of the Creator, in order for the human beings’ humanity to be compatible with genuine religious and spiritual realization.

Another way to put it is that Vedic Astrology works just as well for Americans as it does for Indians, who are the creators of it through their seers. But then, we as astrologers are lucky in that we are granted universality in fair measure as a natural consequence of working with natural formulae. Literal religious speculation appears to work at a different area of human understanding and precipitates responses and stimuli of a radically different typology. An instance of this distinction can be sensed in some people’s discomfort with astrology as some sort of witchcraft or a discipline in violation of their God’s supremacy. The curious thing is that an advocate of this sort of rabid, scared adherence to the letter of a text is almost identical with his counterpart in behaviour: usually violent, bloodthirsty, although the two may belong to distantly removed geographical and cultural locales. Working with human beings for their betterment, assuaging their troubles with quite miraculous principles that always confirm their truth in practice appears to be a more humane, rational and dynamically progressive spirituality than is flying planes into offices populated by innocents on the one hand and wanting an entire geographical, cultural and religious segment of the planet, dead or alive on the other.

A love for that thing, power, person, idea, system or whatever it, he, she or they may be is better expressed as a love for all that embodies that massive, magnificent power. To wear poor quality cloth, to retire, to abstain, to be extraordinarily and compulsorily gentle and all the other devices we understand so well might be laudable symbolic role models for a loving, harmless human being so adamant on respecting that power that pervades all that he may pull out hair from his head with his fists, not eat fruit unless it has dropped on its own from a tree but these cannot be necessary conditions to establish beyond reasonable doubt, as it were, that one is indeed a spiritual person. In the first place there is no need for a person who has encountered the Spirit, to establish anything of the sort. Nor is it an oblique way to disrespect renunciation of the great beings that reject Natural impulse in Nature’s world! How huge if fearsome is this surrender to that which lies beyond, on the yonder shore, as it has sometimes been referred to. This is only to reaffirm the possibility of an equally great Way, to celebrate Maya’s world as being the direct consequence of Divine Desire. This is the very reason that the four Ashrams[5] of life were advocated for the Dharmic[6] human being and not just one. Exclusivity is not meant to be an attribute of the truth. That truth is eternal is its own vehicle. Ganesha is the God who removes obstacles, gives the understanding of and advance in Jyotish, showers learning and wealth and is the true Lord God. The bewildering array of Gods and Goddesses in Hinduism is nothing but an effort to emphasize the fact that no matter where one looks one shall find an attribute of Godness, another God. But there is only one power, one God, one divinity. Thus if one is not acquainted with that enchanting form of Lord Ganesha[7] it is not that he is not of the realm or benefic worlds blessed by Ganesha. At the most he may be unaware of how to derive the joy and wisdom that meditating on Ganesha’s divine Reality can foster. These can also be called the blessings of Ganesha. Ritual, worship and form are human efforts to focus the individual soul on that formless Ultimate Reality. The silent, world-encompassing love of the roots of Hinduism is a great chance for him who wants to expand himself, to try and transcend divisions and boundaries. Certainly, it will be a Utopia to expect phenomenal reality to conform to this view, as has been proved when the unbelievable spiritual boons received in this land, were ground into humiliation by invaders and imperial colonizers. For anyone who appreciates the bottomless wisdom of India, it can be disconcerting to see the filth, poverty and the shortsighted inferiority that assails the modern Indian masses, leading to a shameful equating of poverty and spiritual advance. The enormous wealth of India, even at the material level ought not be viewed as offending against some implied condition that truth and original search for it must be accompanied by reluctance, defeatism, and impracticality. The huge tolerance of India of other faiths and policies of no conquest of other territories despite being attacked by ceaseless cross-border terrorism and unambiguous wars is a worthy lesson. India must never succumb to protecting their Gods with similar zeal, as do others in certain instances. What can be avoided is pseudo-secularism and what can be furthered are cultural study and the practice and research pertaining to the outrageously divine occult of India in a grossly difficult world.

It is crucial to get political when one practices the spiritual in real contexts. What exists is nothing but the divine inviting to have its triggers explored. The scope of this enactment is so large that final judgments about the nature of the world have not been arrived at after such a long stay on the planet, even if this duration is calculated according to the parameters of modern physical sciences. The various speculative interpretations have been so joyous and esoteric that those involving themselves with their creation and study have been termed geniuses. It is this vastness of scope that prohibits leaning on Omens and Numerology even though these can be employed with great profit as supplements to Jyotish. One cannot alter Karma by choosing auspicious numbers or by sticking priority on a Nimitta[8]. These are supplements and this fact will become clear when Jyotish is consistently practiced and meditated upon. The same can be said of Gems and Mantras[9]. In a potently destined time, Upayas[10] do not alter the path of misery if that is what is destined. Yet, these are standard parts of a valid Jyotish and thus it is automatically evident that in times that involve both unshakeable difficulty and possibilities of improvement through exercise of free will (Dridha-Adridha[11] Karma) Vedic remedies ought to alleviate matters somewhat if the stipulated conditions are met with. Indeed, even in times of Dridha Karma, say in the active phases of Shani[12] such as Sade-Sati[13] conjoined with other horoscopic factors that point to an affliction in the areas touched by the Sade-Sati, a meditating on Shani’s mythic reality and chanting the spiritually empowered Mantras pertaining to Him shall lead to some sort of perceived relief, if only at a psychological level. It is always possible to label things of this nature by some skeptical term such as autosuggestion but with that mental doubting we are not presently concerned.

Jyotish appears to be the most potent spiritual tool available to mankind in deciphering patterns of life. It seems to go far beyond the scope of just intellect and taps into zones of rather unbelievable, simple mapping of Karmas so that real life situations can be judged effectively and accurately. Still, it will only be useful to not imagine that Jyotish principles as we know them today, if applied all at once to a horoscopic entity, a virtually impossible feat, would yield in clear-cut visibility of all events of a native’s life. That is simply beyond the scope of Jyotish. And this is so when innumerable dicta lie hidden in the dust of Indian history, and scores of others possibly destroyed by invading hordes. To add to this possible literature, there is a strong view that secrets of interpretations lie concealed in family traditions, the carriers of which are unwilling to part with them.

Two suggestions come to mind:

1. Life on the planet was envisaged on the planet. This may be tautological but clarifies the sterling emphasis on the planet. If this were not so, life would have been contemplated in one of the worlds inhabited by those who have attained emancipation. It also confirms the indignation that rises when one is confronted with a spiritual being who exhibits confusing reservations in one area of life and it is later discovered that very area was the most afflicted in his own life. The point is that except for the enormously gifted, Maya, the Goddess, always exercises a pull in this world, in some manner or means. Upward growth must be in and through the world and this fact ought to be naturally assimilated.
2. Tolerance within Jyotish practice and in life is essential. By tolerance in Jyotish is meant an understanding of what it is and is not capable of doing, its limits and great blessings and that Adhikara[14] varies from person to person in spiritual advance.

Fortunately, Jyotish tolerance has a highly positive facet as well. It implies a liberal expansion of astrological thought in India. Parashar[15] has recommended Vimshottari Dasha[16] as the best Dasha for the Kaliyug[17] and indeed it has proved to be thus in practice. But there are very many Dasha systems in Jyotish that can be used to supplement understandings gleaned from Vimshottari, some of them elaborated by Parashar and others by several other classical writers of Jyotish. Upon a reading of the books written by Mr. Sanjay Rath, esteemed Jyotish writer, Guru and scholar, it becomes clear that Dashas have a far greater scope than has been commonly accepted by the solitary practice of the incredibly effective Vimshottari. This very fact widens the scope of Jyotish immensely and aids the idea of Jyotish tolerance. Since specific conditions in the chart may entail application of varied Dasha systems and, indeed, the Vimshottari itself is deemed capable of being started from Lagna[18], in case this reference point is stronger than the Chandra Nakshatra[19], it becomes easier to appreciate the point that a great array of factors contribute towards precipitating a horoscopic condition, let alone extra-astrological factors acting upon life.

In the practice of contemporary Jyotish, it will be useful to remember that there are divisions in schools of thoughts that alter the interpretative results drastically. According to Mr. K.N. Rao, the writers of Light on Life and Mr. P.S. Sastry, the reckoning of Arudha Padas[20] does not involve any exceptions and it is said to be a simple business of counting from the lord of a house as many signs as it is distant from its own house. Whereas in Mr. Rath’s work, it is asserted that the Arudha of a house cannot fall in itself, based on the rationale that external realities of any matter are Mayik[21] in nature and cannot be identical with the metaphysical truth contained in a Bhava[22]. Likewise, all through the available texts on Jyotish a variance of opinions will be encountered that can be disconcerting to say the least but can also fuel a broader understanding of the subject matter and a learning by doing approach. Again, in Light on Life, by Hart de Fouw and Robert Svoboda, two authors who are said to have trained extensively under Indian Gurus and exhibit a deep knowledge of the subject, hold that the Panch Mahapurusha Yogas[23] are to be reckoned in the Trikona[24] Bhavas in addition to the Kendras[25]. Others restrict the applicability of this Yoga to the Kendra Bhavas only.

The following important points emerge from the works of Mr. Sanjay Rath:


Ø There is a significant common ground in the teachings of Parashara and Jaimini and that to assert any degree of mutual incompatibility in the two shall only be to the detriment of Jyotish practice.
Ø The tendencies to diffusion and interconnectivity are best seen in the concept of Argala advocated by Parashar. Even though this has sparked discomfort on an astrology list administered by a disciple of Mr. Rath, in the sense, that there appear to be far too many factors to take into account with these simultaneous applications of concepts and systems, it is well indicative of just how many variables are capable of influencing a facet of life at any given point in time.
Ø Even though primacy is to be undoubtedly accorded to the Vimshottari since it is by far the best timing tool in Jyotish, the Narayan Dasha as laid down by Jaimini is said to give equally good or even better results. The gist of this contention appears to be that since Vimshottari starts from a Nakshatra it is more indicative of the mental state of a person while Narayan embodies more deterministic patterns as they manifest in the life of a native. Having heard this argument, we all know that Vimshottari has almost exclusively furnished interpretations for a long time now for modern Jyotishis and Parashar’s recommended Dasha is in no danger of being overwhelmed. Nor could this be the intention behind revealing the magnificence of another timing technique. The idea is to combine various Dashas to arrive at a greater understanding of horoscopic realities.
Ø Mr. Rath has elaborated the differences between Phalita[26] and Ayur[27] Dashas and most of his writings show the traditionalist Guru-oriented approach to Jyotish. Thus, whereas the statistical approach reigned supreme for a while and worked as the main channel through which Jyotish achieved this popular resurgence in various areas of the globe, the deep beauty of relating concealed modes of interpretation as laid down by the ancient sages is probably the way forward.
Ø The systemic role of the Arudha Padas as described by Parashar and Jaimini has been elaborated and implications of these are discussed frequently at the aforementioned Jyotish discussion list and it may not be excessive to assert that it forms the cutting edge of Jyotish growth as of today.


It would be equally pertinent and objective to point out that even with these multifarious techniques researched and employed from the classics, by some seriously involved practitioners and students, teachers and professionals, there are completely wrong predictions given. Occasionally these will be put up at websites owned by these researchers with considerable confidence and might even be in opposition to common sense, say against political ground realities, and then when they are proved wrong, hastily withdrawn. Even more learned people are apt to go totally off the mark in their predictive assessments. Now, in all fairness, this is not likely to be a fallout of any want of Jyotish knowledge. If anything, in some cases it may be a failure to assimilate it properly and arrive at a conclusion. In some instances it will be a case of self-admitted bias (!) for or against the subject of the prediction. This is an instance of Mayik pulls not at all diminishing with learning.

It is certain that Jyotish furnishes, through its predictive ability, a proof of the existence of divine power in this world that is not forthcoming in the arid world of philosophical musing. This in itself is a tremendous gift. It consolidates the free willed aspects of a psychological approach to astrology into deterministic comfort that things in life are surely the work of forces beyond our complete rational control. It can forcefully be argued that free will only exists in trace elements through Jyotish factors like the Upachaya Bhavas[28] and that human sojourn on this Graha is heavily conditioned by Karmas and functional reference-frames that are divine in nature. On the other hand, the understanding that an individual can never resonate with the complete power of the Cosmos must alleviate the strain that the nature of Jyotish can bring up in the mind of the practitioner, with the idea that he must at all costs take the predictive leads of Jyotish and proclaim cosmic verdicts. It does not stand to reason. Another possibility is that, except in certain cases, profound research into the sheer predictive power of the systems and tools of Jyotish might not be accompanied by the ability to proffer holistic, relevant and contemporaneously valid consultancy to clients, who may need psychoanalytical support along with spiritually or religiously deterministic models of interpretation. For one thing, not every gifted Brahmin might be able to learn Sanskrit, casting doubt on the idea of any deep research based on original texts or fragments thereof that are available to us but may offer excellent and learned services based on the tested benefits he might derive from the researches of other scholars who do have expertise in Sanskrit and an inclination to arrive at valid conclusions about dubious or as yet undiscovered facets of what the sages might have meant by certain utterances. The possibilities of an eclectic type are many in this direction and can be explored by people with destined skills, in whatever combinations they may be received or cultivated. For example, there is no need to shout down immediately curative Allopathy just because Ayurveda furnishes such profound insights into the nature of the human constitution, or vice versa. The both/ and approach can come in very handy here and might allow specific area focus leading to better results. The same thinking can be applied to consultancy in Jyotish.

Apart from the much discussed differences in Ayanamsha and other astronomical preferences related to Jyotish calculations, the fact that just as the consulter is undergoing a set of dynamic influences modifying the static patterns of his natal chart at any given time, so too the Jyotishi[29]. As sainthood is a rather difficult thing to attain, it is plausible to deem the words of the Jyotishi being significantly coloured by the flux of changing Jyotish factors as they apply to him at the time. This suggests that prediction and consultancy is relative and that accuracy or fineness of consultancy given is as much a residue of the cosmic play as is occasional inaccuracy and irrelevance, all others factors being constant. For example, this writer’s inclusive and experimental approach to spiritual exercise and religious contemplation, a willingness to adhere to a standard, central dictum of Hinduism: Vasudaiva Kutumbakam[30] could be attributed to a Guru Mahadasha in the 5th House of religion and spirituality and being in the sign of Dhanu[31] it would bring in liberal, philosophical propensities of the Kalpurusha[32]. (A reluctance to visit unknown cousins of the human family in Jammu & Kashmir, Iraq, Gaza, Burma and Indonesia just yet could be attributed to the excellent coverage on BBC World and CNN.) To those who support such an attitude, the willingness to include everybody in spiritual brotherhood could be a function of the genuinely spiritual Ketu who owns the Nakshatra of Moola where Guru is posited. They may say Ketu is also a Karaka of foreigners and also that since it is placed in the 12th House of foreigners; it is only natural that everybody be included in the flurries of creative intelligence (5th H). Some might go as far as to say that these thoughts emanate from the Galactic Center that lies in Moola and that these observations might be somewhat valid after all. Others who do not advocate such a view might notice the Argala[33] of Rahu[34] on Guru from the 6th House and might mutter that apart from facilitating a passing acquaintance with the English language, this Rahu is also afflicting the Guru with His foreign attributes, more so since there is a perpetual Rashi Drishti[35] of Rahu to the Lagna[36]. A lot can depend upon the astrological factors operating on the Jyotishi at the time of interpreting the chart.

Interpretation can also turn on factors such as the mean or true position of Rahu and Ketu[37]. Scholars at Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan[38] are on record saying the true position of the nodes has given them better results while others, such as those associated with Sri Jagannath Vedic Center[39] maintain that mean position is in better accord with the near perpetual retrogression of the nodes. In this writer’s chart, this can alter the position from being a Nakshatra exchange between Guru and Ketu to Ketu being posited in Pushya[40] according to the latter view. Also the nodes change their Navamsha[41] position from being Vargottama[42] to another. The interpretation of Varga Kundalis[43] has also altered its tenor over the years. An opinion was prevalent that advised the judgment of a particular house lord with respect to that very lordship in the Varga Charts such as Navamsha and Dashamsha. It would probably be a good idea to continue to indulge in this exercise. The crucial advice that a Graha’s strength be judged in the Varga charts is probably an important indicator of the results that Graha shall give when a Dasha activates it. This is different from the opinion current now that Grahas be judged with respect to their lordship in the Varga charts and that the latter be considered as independent charts in themselves. Not just this; Arudha Padas are calculated in these charts and specific life areas elaborated after having gleaned broad tendencies from the natal chart. This is a far cry from the situation where it was being doubted if aspects would at all be legitimate in these charts.

Once again it would serve us well to appreciate the sheer magic of what we do as Jyotishis when we delve into horoscopic secrets. An interesting historical fact is that Jaimini couched his Shlokas[44] in a Sanskrit numerological code to conceal the Bhavas and Rashis he meant. Only when the code is addressed and the resultant number reversed and divided by twelve can one arrive at the house Jaimini intends in a given statement! Obviously, he considered these verses of great importance. Again, Navamsha could be of greater import than merely being a very important divisional chart if we were to ponder the great focus Jaimini has placed on this chart by elaborating on combinations pertaining to Karakamsha[45] and Navamsha Lagna. Though there has been a considerable amount of literature lost the hope is for traditional secrets to emerge from families in possession of them as too for a resurfacing of lost verses in a similar manner.

In real terms, the surrounding myths can be extremely useful for living life in Jyotish, more so if their eternal reality is explored along with Jyotish as it illumines the path. An excellent example is the rendering of Shani’s archetypal Sade-Sati in the life of Raja Vikramaditya by Dr. Robert Svoboda in The Greatness of Saturn. This text does not deal with Jyotish formulae but can be a magical landmark in the life of a person undergoing the Sade-Sati. It might be realized with a sense of shock that the archaic essence of this Gochar has not altered since the days of Vikram and that much the same effects are likely to resonate with their typical tenor in the life of a person today. The book is loaded with a crucial and valuable attribute: it is very real. This could be so since Dr. Svoboda spent his Sade-Sati in India learning about Shani and thus the book transcends the materialist mythology that has sufficed as a guide map for seekers in the absence of convincing living myths. Just like the story it worships, the book too is alive and the author considers the reader to have been found by the book rather than the other way around. Reading myths that are alive and communicate directly with the seeker can fill the aspirant with awe and then Jyotish shall not be a mere subject but an undertaking that is nothing short of divine.

Writers such as Dr. K.S. Charak, a Surgeon and Vedic Astrologer, have again highlighted the areas where Jyotish is virtually undeveloped. One such zone is the domain of astro-medical diagnosis. While timing of an illness can be done with greater ease, the actual illness is a far more difficult proposition to determine, even though broad areas of affliction can be pointed out in advance. Other areas include the lukewarm nature of transits whether reckoned from Lagna or the Moon in Dridha Karma times. In such periods, the all-important Graha seems to swallow up the phenomenon of transit. Although it is well known that transits are secondary tools at best, especially if they are not those of the Dasha planets, it is surprising to se them gobbled up by overwhelming Grahas in a given phase. Importantly, however, they must continue to be an important part of chart interpretation in lighter, more open times. In much the same manner, colour therapy and the attention to particular types of food might work better in a negative way in Dridha times. For instance, what not to do, might be a better way to exercise these remedies since the positives one attempts will require heavy belief on the part of the person for them to have yielded fruits. Obviously what is overpoweringly destined, say in a conventionally negative way, is unlikely to be altered by wearing only a benefic colour. In any case, there is no saying that chanting of Mantras and wearing of certain colours and eating of certain foods did not divert greater evils. This part of it is a bit iffy.

Absolutes do not abound on this planet and Jyotish is no exception, at least for us in Kaliyug. It can enhance life just as it is and that is by no means a small gift.


ANURAG SHARMA.
DEHRADUN.INDIA.


Selected Reading:

1. Astrology Of The Seers by David Frawley. (Motilal Banarasidass, Delhi.)
2. Essentials of Medical Astrology by Dr. K.S. Charak. (Uma Publications, New Delhi.)
3. Subtleties of Medical Astrology by Dr. K.S. Charak. (Uma Publications, New Delhi.)
4. Light on Life: An Introduction to the Astrology of India by Hart de Fouw and Robert Svoboda. (Penguin, New Delhi.)
5. The Greatness of Saturn by Dr. Robert Svoboda. (Rupa, Delhi.)
6. Jaimini Maharishi’s Upadesa Sutras Translated by Sanjay Rath. (Sagar Publications, New Delhi.)
7. Crux of Vedic Astrology: Timing of Events by Sanjay Rath. (Sagar Publications, New Delhi.)
8. Narayana Dasa by Sanjay Rath. (Sagar Publications, New Delhi.)
9. Vimshottari and Udu Dasas by Sanjay Rath. (Sagar Publications, New Delhi.)
10.How to Judge a Horoscope, Vols.1&2 by Dr. B.V. Raman. (Motilal Banarasidass.)
11.Three Hundred Important Combinations by Dr. B.V. Raman. (Motilal Banarasidass.)
12.Masks of God, Vols. 1,2,3&4 by Joseph Campbell. (Souvenir Press, London.)














[1] Mother Earth
[2] Absolutely determined fate
[3] Concluding portions of the Vedas called Vedanta: philosophical basis of the Vedas.
[4] Religious procession
[5] Stages of life
[6] Following the righteous path
[7] A God in Hinduism
[8] Omen
[9] Sacred formulae
[10] Remedial measures
[11] Karma not entirely determined
[12] Saturn
[13] Transit of Saturn before, in and after the constellation housing the natal Moon, lasting seven and a half years.
[14] Legitimate right
[15] Indian sage who composed the Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra, arguably the most important Vedic Astrology treatise of India.
[16] A system of planetary periodicity, literally one hundred and twenty years, usually taken to begin from the lunar mansion occupied by the natal Moon.
[17] One of the Major Ages in cyclical Hindu reckoning, considered the most degraded of the lot, in operation now.
[18] Ascendant
[19] Lunar mansion occupied by the natal Moon.
[20] Denoting external manifestations of realties signified by the various houses.
[21] Illusory, considered from the standpoint of the Ultimate Reality, beyond names and forms.
[22] House
[23] Five Great Men Combinations, occurring when Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus or Saturn occupy their own or exaltation signs.
[24] Trines
[25] Quadrants
[26] Relating to fruits or events.
[27] Relating to longevity.
[28] Houses 3,6,10 & 11: the houses of growth embodying, inter alia, human free will, effort and growth over time.
[29] Vedic/Hindu Astrologer.
[30] The world is your family.
[31] Sagittarius
[32] Cosmic Man
[33] Intervention
[34] North Node of the Moon.
[35] Sign aspect
[36] 11th, June 1972; 10:15AM; Cuttack, Orissa, India.
[37] South Node of the Moon.
[38] Vedic Astrology Institute in New Delhi.
[39] Vedic Astrology Institute
[40] Lunar mansion in Cancer, lorded over by Saturn.
[41] Ninth Harmonic Chart.
[42] Occupying the same sign in the Navamsha as in the natal chart.
[43] Divisional charts.
[44] Sanskrit verses.
[45] Sign occupied by the Atmakaraka, the planet farthest advanced by degrees irrespective of signs, in the Navamsha chart.

Miscellaneous Factors In Chart Interpretation

MISCELLANEOUS FACTORS IN CHART INTERPRETATION

It is frequently seen that a Vakri (retrograde) Graha also gives its effects as if it were posited in the house prior to its actual natal location. This rule shall operate with effect in the said Graha’s Dasha period where it shall become activated to yield its ordained fruits. If this condition is accompanied by sensitive Gochar (transit) of the same Graha then this factum of its retrogression will be seen to yield its fruits visibly. Retrogression will make the Graha more potent to yield its natural and temporal results, in accord with the dicta laid down in various Jyotish classics. Vakri Grahas become heightened as to their intensity. If the Graha is otherwise auspiciously placed, in exaltation, Mooltrikona, own Rashi, is exalted or otherwise well-placed in Navamsha Kundli (Ninth Harmonic Chart), associated with benefics or other auspicious Grahas for the Kundli under scrutiny, it might give unusual results, inasmuch as the Jatak (native) could be involved in activities that may be trailblazing in nature, of a level where they can guide the masses at large or some such fortunate and deserved elitism. It is quite true that the Shakti (energy) the Graha rules at a Naisargik (natural) or Tatkalik (temporal) level will probably represent at a more elevated level than is otherwise the case with people generally. This is otherwise seen as difference in behaviour patterns in leaders or advanced personalities. Some may choose to view it as eccentricity or may label it according to their own real-life relative positioning as considered from the hypothetical native in question with some subtler and more charged energies coursing through his chart.

Retrogression is viewed in Hindu Jyotish (Vedic Astrology) texts as a phenomenon to be noted with care. It is said to be a factor contributing to the Neecha Bhang (cancellation of debility) of a Graha. Similarly, it is also said to be a factor taking away from the exaltation of a Graha (Planet). Experience teaches that Jyotish Classics ought not be taken at face value and these stray observations should be aligned with all other factors related to the Vakri Graha’s area in the Kundli (Chart) before an annulment or neutralizing, as the case may be, is accepted. Vakri Grahas are deemed to be Shakta (empowered) and their effects are more powerfully felt than when they are in Margi (Direct) mode of travel.

The unusualness touched upon could be conventionally disturbing in certain areas such as Kutumba (family), seen from the 2nd House (H) of the chart. If the Saptmesh (lord of the 7th H) is Vakri or the 2nd Lord (L) is Vakri or indeed if Vakri Grahas aspect these lords or houses, and the Karaka (significator) of spouse and setting up of a marital home, Shukra (Venus) or Brihaspati (Jupiter), depending upon whether the Kundli is that of a male or female, is afflicted, this can be safely taken to cause delay in this area of life. There may be some subtle links between the unusual patterns of life experienced and Vakri Grahas. Just as we should view these Grahas as being posited in the previous house, we should also supplement out study with judging their aspects also from these previous houses. They can throw light on some useful factors, just as Argala or planetary intervention does in the scheme of Jaimini Jyotish, that other great Maharshi (sage) of Hindu India.

An important area that should not be overlooked while reading a chart is the location of Grahas in Gandanta. These are malefic junctional regions in the chart and Grahas placed natally in these areas or transiting in these highly sensitized zones while adverse Mahadasha (Major Periods), Antardasha (Sub Periods) or Pratyantardasha (Sub-Sub- Periods) are running, could lead to adverse incidents such as accident, injury or some other distress. These zones are in the junctional regions of the Nakshatras (Lunar Mansions) of Ketu (South Node) and Budh (Mercury), and coincide with the connecting areas between Meena (Pisces)- Mesha (Aries), Karka (Cancer)- Simha (Leo) and Vrishchik (Scorpio)- Dhanu (Sagittarius). The area of one degree on either side is taken as the area of malefic content.

Both retrogression and Gandanta location of Grahas in the chart are seen to be involved in medical complications in nativities. Naturally malefic Grahas such as Surya (Sun), Mangal (Mars), Ketu, Rahu (North Node), Shani (Saturn), afflicted Budh, waning and afflicted Chandra (Moon) are innately predisposed to causation of disturbance in health while out of these Surya, Mangal, Rahu, Ketu and Shani are the usual suspects. Shani and Rahu are also the Karakas of disease and if they are linked in any manner or means with the disease ruling 6th H, the Roga (Disease) Sthana, they are rendered especially potent to give ill-health according to the Rashi (Sign), Graha (Planet), Bhava (House) or the Karaka they afflict. The reader should also learn about another set of dangerous degrees for each planet called the Mrityubhaga, which are of special relevance in judging matters linked to sickness of the body and mind.

In judging charts, primacy ought to be accorded to the Lagna for judging both transits and natal propensities. Chandra Kundli or the Moon Rashi chart is seen to judge the psychological mapping of the individual’s character. However, it has another, equally important function. It is used to confirm the indications as they obtain in the Lagna or the Rashi chart. It is appreciated that almost all the classics advocate judgment of Gochar from the Chandra Lagna but it is being seen increasingly frequently that Gochar from Lagna reveals a far more accurate and personalized contemporary profile of the native. This is not to say that Chandra Lagna will not be used to glean crucial transit information to supplement findings as deciphered from Lagna. Indeed, Chandra Kundali is a sumptuous chart in itself and since Chandra is the Karaka of the Mother Goddess, the Divinity in Creation, all flow and all manifest things can be seen from the condition of the Moon in the chart and from the independent Chandra Kundli. Indeed, Sade-Sati, the Gochar of Shani on and around the natal Moon and the nodal transit is extremely relevant to the Moon and Shani’s Gochar has primary significance only from this Chandra Lagna, the actual areas of its life-altering Gochar then being understood with regard to lordship and placement as seen from the natal Lagna.

The other overwhelming feature that must not escape attention is the Kendradhipati Dosha (KDPD). This accrues to a Graha when it becomes the lord of the Kendra(s) (Quadrants) as seen from the Lagna. Only natural benefics are capable of acquiring this Dosha. Thus Guru (Jupiter), Shukra, unafflicted Budh, waxing and unafflicted Chandra are capable of being necessarily afflicted by lordship of the quadrants. This Dosha is cancelled or reduced in malefic intensity in certain cases but our primary focus in this paper shall be to cover the basics of this phenomenon. The Dosha applies with decreasing intensity to the Grahas, in the order they have been mentioned above. Guru, being the greatest benefic in the Brahmanda (Cosmos) is most aggrieved by this Dosha and gives malefic results in its Naisargik Karakattwas (natural significations) as too the temporal areas it rules by virtue of lordship in Lagnas ruled by Budh, namely Mithun (Gemini) and Kanya (Virgo). For the former, Guru rules the 7th and 10th H apart from being the Putrakaraka (PK) (Significator of Children). For the latter, it rules the 4th and 7th H. It ought to be mentioned here that KDPD afflicts living beings represented by the Graha and not the materiality that might be expected to result from the Graha, much like the fact of a Graha being Asta (combust) does! So, for Mithun Lagna, Guru’s Dosha will extend to spouse and the natural signification of progeny to the greatest degree since the 10th H is not seen to judge an inherently crucial relative in the first instance. (Mothers-in-Law will forgive the author, it is hoped, since they are the more significant of the relatives judged from this house!) For Kanya Lagna, again, the spouse and mother will be areas that shall be weakened and this will show up in the aforementioned cases if the Karakas of the relevant areas show affliction as well.

Various theories are being suggested as to cancellation and reduction in intensity of the said Dosha. In the author’s view, none of these are deserving of automatic and complete acceptance. It will be most prudent to judge the associations and condition of the Graha in Varga (Divisional) charts and other means to judge the power of the Graha. There is indeed one rider to this rule. In the Rashi chart itself, it is found that the less afflicted the Graha is the more unfettered it feels to bring forth the results of KDPD in respect of the human being concerned. It has been observed, that the linkage of a Graha with the malefic stations of the 64th Navamsha, which is the 4th H, 4th L and the Graha posited therein, from the Moon in the Navamsha chart, and the 22nd Drekkana, the 8th L, 8th H and the Graha posited therein prove to be detrimental to the affairs indicated by a Graha. This applies to the Graha carrying KDPD. It is a rule to ascertain deep-seated malefic potential of an otherwise malefic Graha, say, a Badhak (Obstructing) agent, or some other malefic. Some say, placement of a KDPD Graha in a Trikona (Trine) takes away its malefic power. Others say this is the case with an Upachaya (House of Growth). Still others say it is both of these. But will a KDPD Guru for instance in the 5thH not cause increased apprehensions of a Karakobhavanashaya type situation, namely, the significator of a given house is detrimental to the affairs of that house! Hence, it is far better to attribute KDPD to a Graha that actually carries it and then judge it in the light of ancient and modern theories to see which will apply. As it might appear at the outset, this is not always a very easy task. It is up to us, Brahmins of the Kaliyug, delving into this sacred, occult heart of Existence to come up with reliable applications of the wisdom of the Rishis. By Brahmin it is not meant to refer only to that caste of India but to all metaphysical researchers, in tune with the overwhelming reality of such disciplines

Vrishabh (Taurus) and Kumbha (Aquarius) Lagnas are not susceptible to KDPD since Shukra for the latter Lagna is a Yogakaraka (YK) (owning both a Trikona & Kendra), KDPD not applying to a YK Graha; Vrishabh has no natural benefics as lord of Kendras. For Mesha (Aries) and Vrishchik (Scorpio) Lagnas, Shukra becomes afflicted with this Dosha as 7th L and becomes capable of testing the native with reference to events primarily related to spouse and sexual partner. For Karka Lagna, too, Shukra acquires the lordship of a Kendra though not of the 7th H. Nevertheless, this hasn’t stopped Shukra from precipitating tests in marital life for these natives since it is the karaka of conjugal bliss and domestic harmony apart from ruling the mother in particular. Similarly, KDPD ought to be worked out for the other benefics, like Budh acquiring it for Lagnas ruled by Guru, Dhanu and Meena. Chandra acquires it for Tula (Libra) and Mesha Lagnas. Apart from exempting the YK Grahas from the Dosha, the Lagnesh will also be exempt since the Lagna is both a Kendra as well as a Trikona. Hence, though Budh is the lord of two quadrants for Mithun and Kanya and Guru for Dhanu and Meena, they will be exempt from the affliction due to Lagna lordship. Chandra does not carry the Dosha for Karka, being Lagnesh. For Simha (Leo) Lagna, the affliction to Shukra is not that intense in actual practice. A rather revolutionary theory is being offered currently that despite the benefic Lagna lordship of Shukra for Tula Lagna, it acts as a KDPD Graha. It is felt by the author that the malefic results of Shukra for this Lagna do not lead from any such Dosha but just from the potentially most adverse lordship of the 8th H.

The central point is that some of these features can offer valuable inputs to chart analysis. Factors such as exact degree combustion of Grahas due to placement at the exact degrees as the Sun might be valuable pointers as to the future prospects regarding living beings represented by such Grahas. Degree combustion ought to be viewed differently from being merely in the various ranges of combustion assigned for different Grahas. There is something more exact, starker about exact degree combustion. Just as combustion is sometimes seen to actually add to the non-living manifestations of a Graha, this degree combustion could heighten it even more. Likewise, apart from Gandanta location, the more general indication of weakening, or being loaded with both houses attributes, or being neither here not there, ought to be judged from the Rashi Sandhi (junctional regions of signs) status of Grahas.

In this manner, attendant rules of this sort can lead to acuity of perception regarding a chart. Possibilities in this direction are endless and can furnish grounds for deep research in Jyotish. Doubtful areas that crop up for Jyotishis (Vedic Astrologers) in actual practice, like equating malefic Grahas in two charts for the purposes of matchmaking for instance, might be fraught with extreme danger before it can be actually established that a Graha like Shani can actually neutralize a bitter enemy like Mangal is a potential spouse’s chart. Some say that location of Shani in Kendras from Mangal takes care of the Kuja Dosha while it seems to others that a mutual aspect between these two most cruel planets will only add to their virulence. In doubtful situations it might be better to adopt a somewhat conservative approach rather than pay the price later. In this example where there may be doubt, one may play safe by not only considering cancellation of a Dosha caused by one Graha by only that Graha in the other chart, or one like it, e.g., Ketu for Mangal, but also looking for cancellation in exactly the same house. This is so since it can hardly be argued that the 12th H Dosha is equally malefic as the 8th H Dosha. They rule entirely different areas and cannot leap across the chart, as it were, into the other house just to oblige the astrologer.

Great scope exists for fine-tuning interpretative techniques of chart analyses by evolving new rules and ideas as too discovering the validity of old and concealed ones.

ANURAG SHARMA
DEHRADUN.INDIA.


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