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  What is Jyotish?  

"Jyotish" is a Sanskrit term derived from the word "jyoti" or light. Jyotish is the Vedic science of Astrology and Astronomy. It is the science of the luminaries. The science of Jyotish is based on the ancient Sanskrit scriptures, the Vedas, Puranas, Itihasas and Samhitas and the Rishi-vaakyas, or the statements of great sages like Maharishi Parashara, Vedavyasa, Jaimini, Bhrigu, Narada, Garga etc. The Vedic texts are said to originate from the breathing of Maha Vishnu, or the Supreme Godhead, and thus are accepted as being Apaurusheya, or infallible. The ancient Maharishis who have realized the laws of the science of Jyotish, did so while submerged into meditation upon the Supreme Lord, and in this transcendental state of consciousness the truths of Jyotish were revealed to them by God. Therefore this holy science is accepted to be perfect. Of course the system of Vedic Astrology is very vast and elaborate, and many people nowadays have difficulty in comprehending or correctly interpreting it. This is because the people of Kali yuga, the present world age are much more degraded in consciousness, memory and intelligence than the ancient Maharishis who were present in Satya, Treta and Dwapara yugas. For timing of the ages see section 5. So many newcomers to Vedic astrology may find its calculation or interpretation methods quite complicated and unreasonable. But from modern science we also know that even the simplest cell of our organism is incredibly complicated in its structure and function. Therefore we should not expect that a system describing the fate and all characteristics of a person should be very simple and exact at the same time. We should have the faith that the teachings of the Maharishis are perfect, and if we follow in line with them, we will gain the ability to understand the principles of Jyotish and apply them correctly.


2. What is Astrology?


As I have pointed out earlier, Jyotish comprises both of astrology and astronomy. Jyotish is one of the six Vedangas, or corollaries to the four Vedas (Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva). Pandit Harihara calls Jyotish "the eyes of the Vedas", therefore Maharishi Parashara also advises to all Brahmanas (saintly priests or intelligent, pious persons) to study Jyotish. In the time of Vedic sacrifices Jyotish was used both for time and calendar calculations and also for determining the proper timing for different Vedic ceremonies like yajnas (fire sacrifices), pujas (temple worship), samskaras (purificatory ceremonies) etc. This branch of Jyotish is called Muhurtha, or finding the auspicious timings. It can also be extended to any other important activities like marriage, travel, contracts, meetings, medical treatment, house building etc.


Coming back to the western terms, astronomy is mainly dealing with calculations of the planets' movements and other astrophysical characteristics, in which the ancient Indian astronomers were great masters. There are more than five mediaeval Jantar Mantars (astronomical observatories) all over India (in Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain etc.) which are functioning and giving accurate results even nowadays. The astronomical calculations given in the Surya Siddhanta (which is said to be authored by the great demon Maya) gain support in their accuracy even from the modern observations. The branches of astronomy within Jyotish are Ganita or Siddhanta (calculations) and Gola (spherical astronomy).


On the other hand, astronomy is basically dealing with the effects of karmic reactions on the native based on the indications of the planetary movements. We should understand a basic truth here instantly; That it is not that the planets’ influence or control over our lives. They just indicate the changes expected due to our own karma, i.e. previously committed activities. So Jyotish is a method for divination of the native's fate and character based on the movement of the planets. The planetary movements indicate the changing quality of the time, which activates different types of karmic reactions. Thus the basic difference between astronomy and astrology is that astronomy mainly deals with the measurement of the quantity of time, while astrology deals with the changing quality of the time. these qualities are divided into three main categories in Vedic philosophy: Sattva (goodness, the principle of balance and maintenance), Rajas (passion - the principle of activity and creation) and Tamas (the principle of inactivity and destruction). These modes of the material nature (Prakriti) are called Gunas. As the three Gunas direct everything in the material reality, Jyotish is a method for studying and predicting the changes of the three Gunas. Vedic Astrology has altogether four branches: Jaataka or Hora (predictive astrology dealing with birth charts), Prashna (horary astrology dealing with query charts), Muhurtha (electional astrology dealing with auspicious moments for activities) and Nimitta or Samhita (science of omens dealing with different natural occurrences and signs of the physical body for divination)


3. What is the difference between Vedic and Western Astrology?


The basic difference between Vedic and western astrology is that Vedic astrology is based upon the statements of the Vedic literatures and Vedic sages, and thus it can be accepted as a science free from the imperfections and limitations of the materialistic mind. On the other hand, the western astrology has evolved more or less on the basis of hearsay, experimentation and has suffered radical changes from its origins in Persian and Greek astrology. Often times we find that in western astrology a new principle emerges and its proponents try to prove its validity by making statistics with randomly selected sample charts. These methods may be accepted as valid within the ideological framework of modern western science, but are totally different from the time-tested paradigms accepted in the Vedic tradition. In the world of Vedic astrology, three factors are pre-eminent for those who practice this science:


1. A principle under discussion should be mentioned by the classic writers of Jyotish, the array of whom extends from the ancient Maharishis to many renowned mediaeval Pundits in astrology. If the principle is not mentioned, then at least the known body of classical Jyotish should not contain a principle contrary to the proposed one.


2. If the first factor is checked for, then the principle proposed should stand the test of logic and reason (nyaaya), i.e. should be some logical derivation of the existing established principles.


3. If the above two factors are confirmed, then the principle proposed should also stand the test of application on a large number of randomly selected sample charts.


Alongside the observation to the above three factors, there's room for research work and detailed explanation of Jyotish principles, because the classic works are not complete, as many parts of them have been lost, and on many topics they give only very short an concise explanations, which need elaboration to become actually applicable.


As for the practical differences between Vedic and western astrology, they are the following:


1. The starting point and reference for dividing the Ecliptic into the twelve signs of the Zodiac is different. In western astrology the tropical zodiac is in use, which is determined by the Sun's apparent yearly cycle above the Earth. This has four specific points: the summer and winter solstice and the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. These points will determine the starting points of the four cardinal signs (Chara Rasis). But the experience have provided the fact that the Sun does not return to the same location on the background of the stars, but has a small backwards movement, which comprises about 50 1/3 second of arc. This backwards movement of the Sun compared to the stars is called precession or Ayanamsha. The significance is in the fact that the Vedic Zodiac is measured against the groups of stars called Nakshatras, and thus it is called the fixed or sidereal zodiac, while the western is called the tropical or movable zodiac. The staring point of the sidereal zodiac was established by the Calendar Committee of the Government of India to be identical with the opposite position of the star Spica in the middle of Chitra Nakshatra. Thus the beginning of Aswini Naksatra and sign Aries would fall in exact 180 degrees from there. The year of coincidence of the two zodiacs (when the precession or Ayanamsha equalled zero) was established by N.C. Lahiri, the then head of Astro-Research Bureau of Calcutta to be the vernal equinox of 285 AD. He also established a method for calculating the Ayanamsha or increasing difference between the two zodiacs which is known as the Lahiri Ayanamsha. Although several other methods exist by different respected astrologers, we have found that the application of Lahiri Ayanamsha gives the most correct results even in divisional charts, although even this value may be a little inaccurate. So for want of more exact

Ayanamsha, this one is suggested for use.


Thus, the first difference between a Vedic and western chart is that the planets and Lagnas are positioned backwards by approximately 23 degrees, depending on the date of birth.


2. While in western astrology, the distant planets like Neptune, Uranus, Pluto and nowadays even Chiron find their place, the planets in a Vedic chart would be Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and the two lunar nodes: Rahu (Dragon Head) and Ketu (Dragon Tail). Thus a Vedic astrologer works with nine planets, and the reading would some times include up to 10 Upagrahas or shadowy planets like Dhuma, Vyatipata, Paridhi, Indrachaapa, Upaketu, Mandi, Gulika, Kaala, Yamaghantaka, Arthaprahaara, and Mrityu. The methods for their calculation will be given in the subsequent sections.


3. Vedic astrology has made extensive use of the Lunar Mansions called the Nakshatras, which number to 27. Thus, while in western astrology the zodiac is only divided into 12 zodiacal signs, Jyotish also uses the division into 27 Nakshatras, occupying 13 degrees and 20 minutes of arc each.


4. Vedic astrology also has a number of tools unique to it, which do not find their use in western astrology. These are divisional charts (Vargas), which give us an opportunity to erect a separate chart for every life area of the native; the multiple Dasa systems, which allow us to time events relating to different factors or life areas in the life of the native; Karakas or significators, which give us a clue about the different persons or other items in the life of the native; and also a host of other predictive methods like Ashtakavarga, Sudarshana Cakra, Sarvatobhadra Cakra, Sahams, etc.


5. In Vedic astrology we would try to trace out the spiritual status of the native and also the karmic forces activating the different life events, and approach the chart as a map for the different opportunities in the perspective of the native. Vedic philosophy is in full support of the astrologer, as the Veda state that everyone is an eternal spirit soul and his contact with matter is just a temporary phenomenon, which can be overcome by the proper utilization of the native's free will. Therefore the astrologer can pinpoint the obstacles on the path of the native's self-realization and spiritual development, and can indicate him the proper way to elevate himself to the ultimate goal of life, liberation from the material plane of consciousness. The astrologer can suggest suitable remedies that will not only give relief from material suffering or fulfil his lawful desires, but also serve his ultimate benefit by elevating him to the plane of pure knowledge and consciousness, and, possibly, love of God.


4. What is the source for knowledge of Astrology?


As we have explained in Section 1., Vedic Astrology comes from the fountainhead of all knowledge, the Supreme Lord Vishnu or Krishna, and is therefore perfect. Of course our understanding of this perfect knowledge may be imperfect, therefore the adept should take precautions and prepare himself for the acceptance of this sublime knowledge. he should elevate his consciousness by Saattwik lifestyle, including non-violence and vegetarianism, purity and simplicity, and also by meditation, worship of God and regular chanting of sacred Mantras. He should also remember that all branches of Vedic knowledge were and are handed down through the Guru-Parampara or disciplic succession, which helps tom preserve this knowledge in its original form, and prevents it from becoming corrupted or distorted. Therefore a sincere student should accept a qualified Jyotish Guru. who can convey to him all the truth handed down by the Parampara. In this way he will become able to correctly understand the knowledge of Jyotish and apply it with great accuracy.


Thus the source for proficiency in Jyotish is fourfold:


1. An in-depth study of the classic writings of the Maharishis.

2. Receiving education form a Jyotish Guru who is in the Guru-Parampara

3. Acquiring proficiency and experience by practicing the learned principles in real-life charts.

4. Receiving guidance form the Super soul (Paramatma) within the heart. This is called intuition and will increase in the course of pure lifestyle and spiritual practices.


5. How old is Jyotish?


There is always a great controversy within scientific circles about the age and dating even of the Veda and Puranas themselves, not to speak of the Jyotish tradition. According to the accounts found in the Puranas, even Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva were educated in the science of Jyotish, therefore it should have existed since the beginning of the creation of the Universe, which was hundreds and billions of years ago. Then this knowledge was passed down to the Maharishis, sons and grandsons of Brahma: Surya, Pitamaha, Vyasa, Vasistha, Atri, Parashara, Kashyapa, Narada, Garga, Marichi, Manu, Angira, Lomasha, Paulisha, Chyavana, Yavana, Bhrigu and Saunaka. Some of them have compiled their knowledge into books, which were preserved and rewritten during the ages. Some of them are Surya Jataka, Narada Samhita, Garga Hora, Bhrigu Samhita, and Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra. It is stated in the Vedas that the present world age, Kali yuga started at the time of the vernal equinox on February 18 in year 3102 B.C., when all the planets conjoined around the star Zeta Piscium, which also indicates the staring point of the sidereal Zodiac (i.e. 0 degree of Aries) Rahu almost exactly conjoined the star Spica, at 180 degrees of the Zodiac. This is also said by the Puranas to be the time of disappearance of Lord Sri Krishna, who have manifested his divine Lila on this planet for 125 years, and Kali yuga began after His returning to His eternal spiritual abode. It was around this time that Maharishi Vedavyas compiled and wrote down the Vedas, Puranas and Mahabharata, and also the first written version of Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra should date back to this time. Of course the works of more recent authors like Varaha Mihira, Prithu Yasas, Kalyana Varma etc. date to the middle ages, still they are accepted as classic works, because they are mostly based on sometimes already lost more ancient works which these authors studied with great care. nevertheless, without the able guidance of a Jyotish Guru, you will not be able to discern the essence of Jyotish, because even nowadays a lot of false or imperfect information is published.


6. Why is Jyotish useful?


Jyotish is useful because it gives you a bird’s eye view on your life’s events, the trends and tendencies etc. It also indicates what you should expect or not expect to happen, and gives guidance in any field in life.  

I meet many clients who do not actually understand the significance of Jyotish. Some of them just come to me for confirmation of their own ideas, which may be completely far-fetched in terms of their charts. Some people are so strongly attached to certain results or goals that they strive for it even if there's karmically no scope and even no use for their ultimate benefit from it. Some clients want me to say what they want to hear and convince them that it will actually happen to them. But we should remember, that a Jyotish is not God, he cannot arrange for any desire to be fulfilled. But if he sees a scope for that and knows that it will also serve the ultimate benefit of the client. A Jyotish can guide him and give him/her lots of help for achieving his/her desired objectives.


Remedial measures have very strong effects, but the degree of their efficiency is based on the faith of the native and nothing else. So he/she should have faith and patience that the prescribed remedial measure will work. The Jyotish can help in practically any situation, and even if in some cases he cannot relieve the karma of the client, he can at least help him to understand the cause of his sufferings or lack of success. But in most of the cases the remedies have been found to be very effective, and solved the problems indicated in the chart.


7. How to learn Jyotish?


As I have stated in section 4., Jyotish Vidya is a very elevated knowledge. So the first pre-requisite for studying Jyotish is elevated and pure consciousness. The adept is advised to become a pure vegetarian, avoiding even fish, eggs, mushrooms, garlic and onions, he should also gradually give up his impure habits of smoking, drinking alcohol, using drugs, and even coffee, tea, chocolate etc. he should also avoid gambling, speculation with money and any illegal activities or crime. He should be a law-abiding citizen. He should also control his sexual urges, by possibly having sex only within marriage for the purpose of procreation of children. Preventing pregnancies and especially abortions are highly sinful activities.


The aspiring Jyotish should also daily recite the holy Mantras of the Vedas. The most potent mantra in this age, as advised by Bhagavan Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra:


Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare


This should be chanted one or more malas (108 times) daily. Also Pandit Harihara states that a Jyotish will attain Siddhi in prediction only if he attains perfection in chanting of the Mantra received from his Jyotish Guru. I recommend chanting the following Mantra:


Om Krishna Guru


Sri Krishna is the Supreme Guru, residing in everyone's heart, and He will guide you to your real Jyotish Guru, if you chant this Mantra 108 times daily. The most effective way is to chant it at once after waking up, before your feet touch the ground. This because the sinful karma represented by Saturn is in the feet, and when we touch the ground with our feet, we make an offence against Bhumi Devi, the Goddess of the Earth. Therefore we should chant some mantras for purification of our sins, before we touch the ground with our feet.


The next two things is to obtain the most important books in Jyotish, study them, and regularly practice the learned principles on different charts.


My personal choice of books for a beginner and an advanced student alike, would be the following:



Astrology for Beginners

Hindu Predictive Astrology

How to Judge a Horoscope



Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra


Pandit Sri Sanjay Rath  

Jaimini Maharishi's Upadesa Sutras

Crux of Vedic Astrology: Timing of Events

Vedic Remedies in Astrology

Narayana Dasa

Collected Papers

Brihat Nakshatra


P. V. R. Narasimha Rao

Vedic Astrology: An Integrated Approach


Other classics on Jaataka:

Brihat Jaataka by Varahamihira

Saravali by Kalyana Varma

Jaataka Parijata by Vaidyanath Diksita

Sarwartha Chintamani by Venkatesha Sharma

Jaataka Bharnam by Pandit Dundhiraj

Hora Ratnam by Bala Bhadra

Uttara Kalamrita by Kalidasa

Phala Deepika by Mantreshwara


Classics on Prashna:

Prasna Marga by Pandit Harihara

Prasna Tantra by Neelakantha

Krishneeyam by Sri Krishna Acharya


Classics on Muhurtha:

Muhurtha Chintamani by Acharya Sri Ram


Classics on Nimitta:

Brihat Samhita by Varaha Mihira


Classics on Bhrigu Nadi:

Deva Keralam by Achyuta Daivajna

Bhrigu Sutram by Maharishi Bhrigu


Classics on Ganita:

Surya Siddhanta by Maya Danava

Panchasiddhantika by Varaha Mihira


If you are interested in discussing your questions with other astrologers, I suggest to join sohamsa@yahoogroups.com, srijagannath@yahoogroups.com
vedic-astrology@yahoogroups.com discussion lists.

You can do this by sending a blank e-mail to the vedic-astrology-subscribe@yahoogroups.com etc., e-mail address.

The SJC Parampara, which originates from Shri Achyuta Das of Puri, Orissa. Shri Achyuta Das was one of the Pancasakha, the direct associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Jagannatha Puri in the XVI. Century and was empowered by the Lord Himself to reveal the true knowledge of Jyotish in the Kali Yuga, when most of the teachings by the Maharishis have been lost or corrupted. Pandit Sri Sanjay Rath is the present-day representative of Sri Achyuta's Jyotish Parampara.

8. How will I find out the best remedy for me?


If you would like to find out more from your chart, where the strong and weak points then I suggest you go through the information on this web page and study Pandit Sanjay Rath's Vedic Remedies in Astrology. You are also advised to go through the other books listed by me in section 7.

If you don't feel qualified enough to find out the problems and the solutions on your own, then please go to the Jyotish Services section on our web page and submit your request for chart reading. We will be happy to help you and also provide you the necessary remedial measures. If you want to know about the remedial measures, then go the section about remedial measures.


Gauranga Das Vedic Astrologer  <gauranga@brihaspati.net>

Q & A 1


Below is a collection of excerpts of questions from list members and my replies on the Vedic Astrology list which may interest you. The compilation is not in any specific order of topic in the subject.


Q.      If Mo and Ju placed in the same house is it Gaja Kesari yoga?   

Ans.   Yes it is 


Q.     Conjunction of Rahu and Sun or Moon or Jupiter (Aditya-chandala, Candra-chandala and Guru-chandala yoga): So, these planets are afflicted with this conjunction, each in specific way. What if Sun or  Moon or Jupiter are conjunct with Ketu? Is the effect the same? If Rahu is Atmakaraka, I suppose that effect of such a yoga is not only malefic in nature, there will be some good results also (at least spiritually)? 


Ans.  Rahu being AK will give suffering in the place where he is, and also afflicting the area indicated by the conjunct planet. But this suffering has the intention to purify the native from certain karmic reactions that obstacle his spiritual path. So Rahu being AK may make the native a great saint like Srila Prabhupada, but here should be other strong combinations for spirituality in the chart as well for this to realise. The effects of conjunction of Ketu also depends on Ketu’s position, functionality and the overall spiritual strength of the chart. If we have  considered in a certain chart that Ketu is capable of giving benefits to the native [like spiritual knowledge, desire for moksha, detachment  from material desires etc] then Ketu may also bring out the spiritual side of the planet with which it conjuncts. Sun-Ketu yoga may make the  native a spiritual leader, Moon-Ketu may give good ability to separate emotions from logic, and Jupiter-Ketu may give deep intellectual or philosophical abilities. Now let’s take the case if Ketu is not strong to give spiritual benefits, then he would rather give disappointment in material things, and may even prove harmful, giving injuries, sudden changes, losses, etc. Then with the Sun, he will harm status, with the Moon, the mind and with Jupiter, the wisdom or dharma of the native, similarly as Rahu does. The difference is that Rahu tries to pull down into sin, while Ketu usually makes you unfortunate, i.e., causes loss or lack of opportunity. 


Q.    Can you say something about conjunction of Rahu Atmakaraka and Venus. What remedy would you suggest for alleviating problems which comes with this yoga? 


Ans. The placement of Rahu in the chart generally indicates the area where unfulfilled desires are left from the previous lifetime. These desires will


         As for proper remedies, it greatly depends on the exact chart. A general remedy would be to chant the Rasi mantra of the sign where the conjunction appears, or for Vaishnavas, Parasara recommends the worship of Lord Varahadeva to alleviate the ill effects of Rahu. 


Q.     If a pregnancy is induced can this give the soul a  birth chart that was never intended, and so confuse the purpose of the incarnation, or is it believed that an induced birth was part of the plan? 


Ans.  Personally, I believe that if the birth time is artificially altered, then it changes the child's karma and character, which may result in the


Q.     From this particular chart: Is it true that the person with Virgo as ascendant will be staying away from home always ?


Ans.  Frequent travels are possible on the account of the 4th house being in dual sign, and hosting Moon. A4 is in 7th and has retro Jupiter. Also some changes in residence are indicated. D-4 also has Jupiter in 4th house in Sagittarius. Even though residence may change a few times, he will be most of the time satisfied with it. Plus don't forget that Jupiter is AK, which usually gives some difficulty in the area he influences. You have justly mentioned a couple of favourable yogas in the chart, but before evaluating their benefits, I would call you to look at the other side also. Therefore I would mention a few adverse combinations in this chart which will somewhat weaken its excellences.


          Jupiter is AK and is retrograde in the 7th:  This may also give some suffering and instability in the marriage. Venus is debilitated in Lagna, which may indicate that his physical appearance will not be so attractive, especially his hair. Now Venus has a couple of Neechabhanga yogas, but they are not so strong on account of Mercury, the dispositor of Venus being conjoined by a debilitated Sun and a malefic Rahu which form an Aditya-Chandala yoga, perhaps giving an unattractive face with pimples/acne and a bad relationship with wife, especially quarrels regarding money matters. Retro Mars in 7th from Upapada also caters to domestic conflicts. Saturn in 11th may decrease gains, especially being conjoined by Hora Lagna. His friends may abandon him when he is poor.


          Venus being placed in 12th from Navamsa Lagna is weakened not only in Rasi, but in Navamsa as well, just as Jupiter becoming very weak by being in debility in Navamsa. This significantly curtails the effects of all the yogas that Jupiter participates in (GK, Hamsa, etc.) Atmakaraka being retrograde and debilitated in Navamsa is actually quite a serious situation. It may cause loss of dharma, and improper attitude towards money matters. Worship of Sri Narasimha and Ganesh is highly recommended for the person.


          So you have to see this side, and on this basis, will give balanced predictions.


Q.     If we have to go by navamsa, then why do you require janma chart and rashi chart? Navamsa is the  ninth portion of the actual chart, then why is it so important in prediction?


Ans.  Actually all divisional charts are important for making an accurate prediction. If we are to speak about career, then D-9 has the following impact:


        It determines the inborn abilities and nature of the natives as per Parasara and Jaimini. Both give quite a few combinations for determining Professional inclinations from the D-9 chart. Also if any planet is weak in D-9 , then this will curtail the native's ability to maintain dharma in the areas influenced by the given planet. Thus Navamsa is quite important. Also for professional success, the following D-charts should also be considered: Primarily, D-2 for finances, D-3 for abilities, D-5 for power and influence, D-10 for job and profession, D-11 for contests, D-24 for knowledge, D-30 for misfortunes, etc. Actually all D-charts have something to say for all areas of life as these areas are interconnected. But each of them has a specific area of primary influence. 


Q.     I personally feel that there are at least three main approaches to Jyotish:

1. Parasara's    2. Jaimini's  3. Nadi paddhathi


Ans.  The distinction between Parashara and Bhrigu is acceptable. The first represents the knowledge received from Bhagavan by Brihaspati (Jupiter, the Guru of the demigods) while the second represents the knowledge received by Sukracharya (Venus, the Guru of demons). Therefore even if they are two sides of the same coin, there are some differences of approach.

        What difference do you "feel" or maybe see between the system of Parashara and Jaimini? After having studied and lectured upon BPHS and going through Upadesa Sutra Jaimini [UPSJ] a few times, I have found that they are identical. Jaimini just elaborates on a few principles given in general by Parashara. It is natural to identify the two schools, as Jaimini was the disciple of Vyasa, who was the son of Parashara, so the Parampara goes from Parashara to Jaimini, and therefore it was appropriate for him to comment on his predecessor's work.


Q.    Just want to share some thoughts…


       If so many other things [other than the 9 planets and the lagna] affect a horoscope and can colour the interpretation  of the horoscope, then why don’t we consider all of them when we interpret a horoscope. The answer could be “whether we need such accuracy in practical interpretation of a horoscope. Astrology is meant for counselling where I think such level of accuracy is not required for day-to-day consultations. Moreover, when we can collect the information from verbal interaction, is it worth the effort of finding the same from the chart? The only requirement of such accuracy could be for philosophical purposes and to verify the validity of Jyotish as an objective science. 


Ans. Many astrologers could give correct predictions with only Rasi, Navamsa and Vimsottari Dasa. This is of course possible and no doubt this limited set of parameters contains the most prominent factors of the chart. There is also no doubt that several people with the same factors as per above, and still have very different lives. However, you should notice that the same Rasi and Navamsa will still describe their life events. This means that these key factors have multiple meanings when it comes to interpretations. 


       Let’s take an example:


         Rahu in the Upapada may indicate that the native's spouse is a foreigner, or has dark complexion, or is an outcaste, or maybe a criminal. It  may well be that for different charts with Rahu in Upapada different of these options will be true. While practically doing the chart reading, you have two choices: either to list all the possibilities that an indication can give (it's neither possible nor practical to do so as the client does not give a real direction in this way) and the other possibility is to rely on your intuition (divya drishti) and give the reading in this way. You can’t avoid the help of intuition, especially if doing a reading with a limited set of data, or, for instance with unknown or even incorrect birth particulars! I personally had a few cases of giving correct readings with an incorrect birth time, and alter on when the correct birth time transpired, the particular reading was the same. So intuition should be there. But, if you take into consideration more parameters like more D-charts, Karakas, Sahams, Dasas etc., then you can even just technically narrow down the results of a reading. This also happens when you find contradictory factors. You usually decide with the reading that is supported by more factors. It will actually be impossible to scientifically prove the validity of Jyotish. This is because science works on the level of intelligence of the modern Kali  yuga human beings, of which even the geniuses are far below the level of thought for the Maharishis. That's why instead of the aid of our intuition with the array of parameters introduced by Jaimini and Parasara, we feel disturbed, and try to reduce them to a set of data that can be handled by an intellectual pygmy of the   modern age. Therefore we should respect tradition and pray to our Gurus and chant the Guru Mantra regularly to receive enough inspiration to understand at least a part of this great knowledge and make proper use of it. 


Q.    I was told that Ketu in Kalachakra is a comet. while in the Hindu system Ketu is the name for the south node planet. Here Kalachakra refers to Buddhist sources. What do you know about this 10th planet , or comet ? its influence ? its Western astrology equivalent ? 


Ans. A shadowy planet (Upagraha) called Upaketu, is described by Mantreshwara in Phala Deepika as something similar to a comet. Of course there's more Upagrahas, but they do not move in circles like the Grahas, and they are not visible to eyes. Please check Phala Deepika and Sarwartha Chintamani for details.


       Around Mt. Meru circle the 10 planets; Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Rahu (North node of the moon), Kalagni (South node of the moon) and Ketu (a comet). " Where is this quote from? I cant really fit it into the statements of Srimad Bhagavatam, as there's only seven Dvipas mentioned according to the seven Grahas, and even Rahu and Ketu (the nodes) are not given separate tracks, as they are not physical bodies as the rest. Maybe this statement is just an interpolation by some westerners to try to link it with the Western 10/planet model? 


Q.    I am looking for a Vedic Astrology book which will teach me how to determine which planet is the ruler of a specific time period such as year, month, day, hour, minute. For example I would like to be able to answer the questions: Which planet rules Year 2001?  Which planet rules Month June 2001?  Which planet rules Day 22 June 2001? Which planet rules Hour 5 of 22 June 2001?  


Ans.   This is given in B.V. Raman's Muhurtha and Graha and Bhava Balas. In fact, any good Jyotish Software including JHL would list these rulers within the section of Shadbalas. The planet ruling the year gets full Abda Bala, the ruler of month gets Maasa Bala, the ruler of day gets Vaara Bala and the ruler of hour gets Hora Bala. Please look up the above references.


        Especially lord of the birth Hora is very important, You could go on further to find out the lord of birth Ghati and Vighati as well, which are also interesting. 


Q.    I was reading Saravali, searching the meanings of some signs, and I found  that other name for Aquarius is Hridaya Roga. What I found is that Hridaya is "heart", and Roga means "disease". So, it seems to me to be something as "disease of the heart". Could anybody explain this, please? 


Ans. The natural significator sign of heart is Cancer, and the 8th from it is Aquarius. The 8th is Roga sthana for any sign, so it may indicate heart disease, especially is there are some malefic planets in there, aspecting Cancer.


Q.   "There are particular time which can give male birth and there are some which give female...."


       I have also come across this information in some astrological texts a while ago. Thereafter I had gone about collecting data from hospitals. Based on many hundred birth times that I was able to get it was not possible to substantiate the above. 


Ans. It is indeed mentioned in the Upadesa Sutras by Jaimini, that the ruling planet of the birth Vighati will determine the sex of the child. But taking into consideration, that the vighati is a time interval of only 24 seconds, it is highly doubtful that the collected birth time info was accurate in all cases. Plus, there is the big question of what to take as the actual Janma Vighati. According to Sanjay and Srila Prabhupada, the time of birth is when the body of the child is fully separated from the body of the mother, i.e. the umbilical chord is cut. Let me quote here from Srila Prabhupada's purport to Srimad Bhagavatam verse 2.10.28. 




       Thereafter, when He desired to move from one body to another, the navel and the air of departure and death were jointly created. The navel is the shelter for both, namely death and the separating force.      




       The präëa-väyu continues the life, and the apäna-väyu stops the living force. Both the vibrations are generated from the abdominal hole, the navel. This navel is the joint from one body to the other. Lord Brahmä was born of the abdominal hole of Garbhodakaçäyé Vińëu as a separate body, and the same principle is followed even in the birth of any ordinary body. The body of the child develops from the body of the mother, and when the child is separated from the body of the mother, it is separated by cutting the navel joint. And that is the way the Supreme Lord manifested Himself as separated many. The living entities are therefore separated parts, and thus they have no independence.But if we would take an ideal case of accurate data, I'm sure they will confirm Maharishi Jamini's principles. 


Q.    The planets Jupiter and Venus gives brahmana qualities. The signs Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces are brahmana signs. What more astrological considerations are there  to determine whether one is a brahmana? 


Ans. According to Jaimini the external Varna of the person is best determined on the basis of the situation of the lord of the Varnada Lagna. The rest of the lines are


Jupiter, Moon, Venus : Brahmin
Sun, Mars                   : Ksatriya Mercury                      : Vaisya
Saturn                        : Shudra
Rahu Ketu                  : out of caste


Q.    Traditionally, marriage compatibility in the vedic context consists of calculating the number of matching gunas (points) between the charts. The total # of gunas is out of 36. More than 18 gunas without any major doshas is considered acceptable. What does a good matching of charts (lets say 29 points matching) specifically indicate?


Ans. As you may have noticed, the 12 Kootas are based on the Moon's position in the two charts. The Moon indicates the mind. So the 12 Kootas will indicate


Q.     The calculations are done primarily based on the moon rashi and  nakshatra. Why this significance to the moon above all planets like  atmakaraka, darakaraka etc?


Ans. Actually, in a complete compatibility reading, you should consider the following things:

1. Upapada matching
2. Chara Karakas (Especially Atmakaraka and Darakaraka)
3. Navamshas
4. 12 Kootas
5. General influence of planets in the two charts if overlapping them. 


Q.    What is the influence of a dosha (for example, the same Nadi Dosha)? 


Ans. Each Dosha (i.e. one of the 12 Kootas being nil) would indicate difficulty in a certain area. Nadi means pulse. Nadi Koota will indicate whether the couple's ethereal


Q.      When you look at the aspects on a chart and particularly on houses or arudhas related to some subject in the life of a native, when do you look at typical planetary (Parasara's) aspects and when do you use the typical sign (Jaimini's) aspects?


Ans. The first thing is that the Rasi and Graha Dristi is not Jaimini or Parasara, because both authors recognise the validity of both aspects.


Q.      Regarding arudhas. Suppose that I want to look at somebody's learning and intelligence. I will then look at the 5th house for the  true knowledge and at A5 for its expression in the world. I would check it the D-24 as well.

But then what difference is there between A5 and fifth from A1 (AL)? 


Ans. AL is your illusory or perceived self. So 5th from it would indicate what role does learning (or followers) play in it. On the other hand, A5 will indicate how your real  

         Now another twist: Lagna in D-24 indicates your true self in respect of knowledge. 5th from it may indicate your students to whom you give knowledge. A5 in D-24 may indicate how your students are perceived in respect of knowledge. AL in D-24 indicates how knowledgeable others think you to be. 5th from it may indicate how do they perceive your activities of teaching your students.  

         A while ago someone asked for a detailed list for the Karakatwas in all houses in all D-charts. I think that this is impossible to complete, let alone the Karakatwas of the 12 houses in Rasi. Because there are innumerable things in the material world, and all of them are indicated by one of the 12 Bhavas. What to speak of seeing these karakatwas in the perspective of each Varga. And then we could add the meanings of Rasi and Graha Arudhas in all of the D-charts, and all of the Bhavas from these Arudhas! But I think that if someone has a fair knowledge of the Karakatwas of the Bhavas from the classics (Satya Jatakam, Uttara Kalamrita and Phala Deepika give fairly exhaustive lists), and then he also properly understands the indications of each D-chart, he can combine these things and use them nicely. So go for it and practice a lot.


Q       Could someone tell me the significance of the equal house bhava chart. If this were to be considered as equivalent to rasi chart does one have to take vargas from this by dividing the houses?  

Ans. It is best not to study the Bhava Cakra for yoga combinations. It is used only for very specific purposes. It makes no sense to construct Vargas based on Bhava.

         Better adhere to Parasara who advises to construct Vargas on the basis of the Rasi chakra.


Q.      What if things in rasi and bhava are different? i.e., what if two planets form a yoga in the rasi chart but get  separated into other houses in the bhava chart? I happened to read that nullified if the same combination does not exist in both the charts.


Ans.  The above answers this. Bhava cakra is only for very specific purposes, hence the areas of their usage don't overlap and thus no contradictions are caused by using both.

          p/s. In the book "Updesa Sutrams of Maharishi Jaimini" by Shri Sanjay Rath., pp 239; 3.1.20; states that the rajayogas are to be studied from the navamsa and drekkana charts as well. Again what if there is a raja yoga in the drekkanna and not in the rasi , etc.,

          This basically means that the Raja Yoga forming planets should be strong in the Rasi and other divisions as well. This hints at the fact that vimsopaka or amsa bala. It is quite important for judging the strength of a Rajayoga. Of course there may be a case that a Raja Yoga-like combination is formed in one of the divisional charts, but not in Rasi, and this may give excellence in that field of life, but will far not be as strong as those formed in the Rasi. 


Q.      "It is best not to study the Bhava Cakra for yoga combinations. It is used only for very specific purposes."

         "Bhava cakra is only for very specific purposes, hence the areas of their usage don't overlap and thus no contradictions are caused by using both.  


Ans. The Bhava Cakra, together with the Bhava Lagna is used for studying their subtle ethereal body (Aura) of the native.


Q.       What are the mantras for appeasing the nine planets:


Ans.    There's several mantras related to each planet. It may be either a mantra of the planetary Deity, the Devata related to it, or the Vishnu Avatar controlling it. The mantra may be Puranic, Vedic or Tantric or maybe a stotram written by Vyasadeva. The mantra is chosen for a particular chart and depends on the affliction that  we need to propitiate and should be chosen individually by an expert astrologer.


Q.       How do I interpret, in Rasi chakra "birth during eclipse" ?

          * birth during an eclipse of Sun :

- a Sun + Moon + Rahu conjunction?
- a Sun + Moon + Ketu conjunction?         

           * birth during an eclipse of Moon :

- a Sun + Rahu conjunction, and
- Moon + Ketu conjunction ?
- Sun + Ketu conjunction, and  Moon + Rahu conjunction


Ans.    Maharishi Parashara says shortly that the person born during solar or lunar eclipses runs the risk of sickness, sufferings, poverty and death. The afflictions to the Sun cause the problems to the body and health while the afflictions to the Moon cause problems of the Mind. During solar eclipses the former is more afflicted while during lunar eclipses the latter is more afflicted.

         The usual method is to propitiate the Sun, Moon and Rahu. Parashara suggests to make idols of all the three and then make Havan (fire sacrifice) while offering red items for the Sun, white items for the Moon and black items for Rahu. There is a Kalasa (water pot) installed during the yajna, and the native should be sprinkled with the sacred water from it. The he should worship the priest and feed the brahmanas.

          This may be too complicated to apply in the west, so you may resort to chanting the mantras for the Sun if the birth was during a solar eclipse, and the mantras for Moon and Rahu if the birth is during the lunar eclipse.


          By the way, the Moon/Ketu conjunction may be quite spiritual as well, although the Sun-Rahu conjunction on the opposite side may give a distorted body. This is why sometimes you may meet people having some mystic power while their bodies are diseased or distorted. 


Q.       If a planet X is at the very end of a sign & Y in the very beginning of the next, as would happen exactly in the middle of next month for Jupiter-Taurus & Sun- Gemini, they will be less than a degree apart, & yet possibly not share a single varga. Just 2 days before & after that day, they will be 2 deg apart but in the same sign and share many, many vargas.

          Well, I do not have a precise question... just ... what to make of this?


Ans.   If a planet occupies multiple vargas then it adds to the depth of the effect of the planet, especially if the vargas are benefic or malefic. If a planet is in own/exaltation sign, it attains multiple benefic vargas called Vaisesikamshas, which may indicate very good karma connected to that planet. These principles are explained by Parasara, Mantrasvara and other classics. Parasara lists the effect of Yogakarakas attaining various vaisesikamshas, which will determine the extent of the Rajayoga. He also gives effects for different house lords being in Vaisesikamshas. It is also said that the Dasavataras and great sages are born with many planets in high Vaisesikamshas. This is one of the signs of a truly noble soul.


             On the other hand, multiple malefic vargas like debility and inimical sign, will create inauspicious effects and indicate bad karma from previous lives. Mantresvara gives effects for this. The system of benefic/malefic vargas is nicely combined together in the Vimsopaka Bala scheme given by Parasara. A planet strong in Vimsopaka will be able to perform nicely in many different areas of life. A planet with low Vimsopaka rating will, on the other hand, cause much disturbance in many life areas. There are also some exceptional cases when the Sun may be for example in Aries in many Vargas, but at the same time this is also Rasi Sandhi (junction of Pisces/Aries) which is a dosha (fault) in the cart. So we should take into consideration all the influences. Also another important factor is the Avastha of the same planet.


© Gauranga Das



© 2002 Swee Chan






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