Saturday, July 31, 2004

Effect of Ascendant I: General Principles & Aries Lagna

The ascendant is the sign which rises in the eastern horizon at the time of birth of a person. This is one of the most influential houses in the horoscope along with the 10th house, the house of karma, which defines the purpose of our birth. While Lagna signify all the resources with which we are sent in this world, the 10th house signify the way we utilize them. Hence the ascendant or the Lagna Bhava defines our personality, may it be the physical feature, or the intelligence or our attitude.

However, while studying the influence on the Lagna, one needs to consider the influence on two more lagans, the Surya Lagna (the sun sign) and the Chandra Lagna (the Moon sign). This is because; Sun represents our soul, whereas Moon represents our Mind. Since we are the product of Soul, Mind and Intelligence, we need to consider all the three, while enumerating various influences on our personality. For this reason, these three form the tripod of our life. Adding to its importance, various classics recommend seeing both Lagna and Moon for the physical features, the heart and mind; and Lagna and Sun for the personality/ nature of the person.

Here we shall study the influence of various Ascendants on the physical features as well as personality of the person. Though various authors have given the effect of various ascendants on the native, this article strives to take a approach of deriving the same using broad principles. Although the principles can not be exhaustive, they can serve as broad guidelines, which shall help us delineating the effects.

Principle I: The Tattva of the sign shall influence the physical features. The effect of various Tattva on the physical features is as follows:
Fire: Robust physique and strong spine.
Earth: Stout and muscular
Air: Thin and Emaciated
Water: Plump and soft muscles with accumulated fat

Principle II: The Lord of the sign shall also influence. The physical characteristics of the planets are given in the BPHS (Ch. 3), which is as follows:

raktashyaamo divaadhIsho gauragaatro nishaakarah
naatyuchchaangaH kujo rakto duurvaashyaamo budhastathaa 16

gauragaatro gururgnyeyah shukrah shyaavastathaiva cha
krishhNadeho raveH putro gneyate dvijasattama 17

The slokas mentioned above gives the complexion ruled by different planets. Persons born with different Lagna/ Moon sign shall have different complexion based on the following:

§ Sun- Dark red complexion
§ Moon- Fair complexion
§ Mars- Reddish complexion, short stature
§ Mercury- Excellent skin and brownish complexion (like dry grass)
§ Jupiter- Fair complexion with golden yellow tinge
§ Venus- Dark complexion
§ Saturn- Black complexion (very dark)

The color or complexion is a very relative concept and varies based on race, geographical area etc. So one must take ample caution in judging the complexion of a person belonging to a certain a certain race and geographical area.

Further Maharishi Parashara, describes the nature of the planets in the following stanzas:

jiivasuuryendravah sattvam budhashukrau rajastathaa
suuryaputrabharaaputrau tamahprakrtikau dvija 22

madhupingaladrksuuryashchaturasrah shuchirdvija
pittaprakrtiko dhiimaanh pumaanalpakacho dvija 23

bahuvaatakaphah praagyashchandro brttatanurdvija
shubhadrnhmadhuvaakyashcha chanchalo madanaaurah 24

krooro raktexano bhaumashchapalodaaramoortikah
pittaprakrtikah krodhi krshamadhyatanurdvija 25

vapuhshreshhthah shlishhtavaakcha hyatihaasyaruchirbudhah
pittavaanh kaphavaanh vipra maarutaprakrtistathaa 26

brhadgaatro gurushchaiva pingalo moorddhajexane
kaphaprakrtiko dhimaan sarvashaastravishaaradah 27

sukhi kaantavapu shreshhthah sulochano bhrgoh sutah
kaavyakartaa kaphaadhikyo anilaatmaa vakramoordhajah 28

krshdiirghatanuh shaurih pingadrshhtyanilaatmakah
sthooladanto alasah panguh khararomakacho dvija 29

dhumrakaro niilatanurvanastho api bhayankarah
vaataprakrtiko dhiimaan svarbhaanustatsamah shikhii 30

§ The Guna of the planets:
o Sattvik: The Sun, the Moon and Jupiter. This represents knowledge, wisdom, philanthropy etc.
o Rajasik: Venus and Mercury. This represents passion and drive.
o Tamasik: Mars and Saturn: This represent ignorance.

§ Characteristics of Planets
§ Sun
o Has honey-coloured, golden Brown or Tawny eyes (madhu pingala drk)
o Has Sqarish Face (Chaturasrah)
o Has bilious temeperament (pitta prakrti)
o Is intelligent (Dhiman)
o Has limited hair (Puman alpaka)

§ Moon
o Is extremely windy and phlegmatic (bahu vata kapha)
o Is Learned (Pragnya)
o Has round face (Brtta)
o Has good looking eyes (Subha Drk)
o Has sweet speech (Madhu vakya)
o Fickle-minded (Chanchal)
o Is Lascivious/ eager to associate with opposite sex (Madana Aturah)

§ Mars
o Has fierce and blood-red eyes (krura/ raktetasana)
o Unsteady or wavering (chapala)
o Has bilious temperament (pitta prakrti)
o Is angry (Krodhi)
o Has thin waist and physique (Krsah Madhya Tanu)

§ Mercury
o Is admirable (vapush)
o Is splendid and beautiful (Strestha)
o Has beautiful skin/ skin without blemishes (shlishtvak)
o Is fond of humor (hasya ruchi)
o He has a mix of all the three humours, i.e., bilious, phlegmatic and windy

§ Jupiter
o Has a big body (Brhat Gatra)
o Has Tawny hair and eyes (Pingala murdhajeksane)
o Is phlegmatic (kapha prakrti)
o Is Intelligent (Dhiman)
o Is expert in all Shastras (Sarva shastra visharada)

§ Venus
o Is charming (sukhi kanta)
o Splendorous physique (vapusshreshta)
o Has beautiful eyes (sulochana)
o Is poetic (kavya karta)
o Is Exceedingly phlegmatic (Kapha adhikya)
o Is also windy (Anilaatma)
o Has curly hair (vakra murdhaja)

§ Saturn
o Has an emaciated and long physique (Krsha Dirgha Tanu)
o Has tawny eyes (Pingala Drsti)
o Is of windy in temperament (anilaatmakah)
o Has protruding teeth (sthula danta)
o Is lazy (alasa)
o Is Lame (Pangu)
o Has coarse hair over the body (khara roma)

§ Nodes
o Rahu has smoky appearance (Dhumra akara)
o Has bluish body (Nila tanu)
o He resides in forests (Vanastha)
o He is horrifying (Bhayankarah)
o He is of windy temperament (vata prakrti)
o He is intelligent (Dhiman)
o Ketu is akin to Rahu

Principle III: Along with the Lagna and Moon sign, the Navamsa needs to checked for better understanding of the physical attributes of person. Various texts like Nasta Jataka, Saravali etc. has given the characteristics of people born with different Navamsa and need to be studied.

In my opinion, the Lagna has more say over the facial features; Moon has its say on the physique (body) and the Navamsa Lagna over the complexion of the native. However, this is not conclusive; the readers might check different combinations and form their own conclusion.

It is cumbersome to remember the effect all the 108 Navamsas on the physical features and we must find a common thread among the Navamsas for understanding. Prithuyasha in his monumental classic Horasara has given few dictums, which make this easier.

Principle IV: For Further Finer analysis, one must find the effect of birth in different Hora and Drekkana. This can be studied from classics like Saravali and is not included in the scope of this article.

Though the persons in this world cannot be classified under 12 categories, there is however some pronounced similarities between persons born with a particular Lagna. For one, who is a keen observer, these underline similarities in the way people born under a particular ascendant would tend to surprise him. This effort to classify humans into categories based on the underline similarities is not unique to Jyotish and is a common phenomenon in Human Psychology. Though the placements of planets in the horoscope shall modify the horoscope quite considerably, this however, does not diminish the importance of studying the nature of people born under different ascendant as this forms the basis for the further analysis of a horoscope. Although many authors both classical and modern, have given the results of ascendants, my effort is more towards finding some consistent principles which would eradicate the necessity of mugging up the same.

Principle I: The Nature of a person shall predominantly defined by the planet lording the ascendant and also the trines.

Principle II: The lordship of the Ascendant shall get modified based on the nature of the trinal signs and the relationship of different planets with these trines.

For illustration, if Pisces falls in trine, the native becomes platonic in love affairs as Venus attains exaltation there. They also abhor formal learning and believing in attaining wisdom, since Mercury gets debilitated there. These are some of the significations of Scorpio/ Pisces or Cancer Lagna. We shall see these in more details in subsequent section.

Principle III: The attitude of the native towards various aspects of life can be judged from the lordship of the houses, governing the said aspect and the relationship between the sign and the karaka governing the said house.

For illustration, Aquarians are the bravest of all others, since, the 3rd from Aquarius is lorded by Mars (karaka of war) and Sun gets exalted there and the sign itself is a fiery sign, showing the strong influence of Agni (fire) on the third house and the resultant courage.

Principle IV: The progression of the zodiac represents the progression of human life through different stages from childhood to old age. Like different age groups can be identified by peculiar characteristics peculiar to that group; people ruled by different zodiacal signs can be identified with such characteristics, which gain prominence in a particular age group.

For example, Arians are more headstrong and determined like a small child, whereas Pisceans are like old wise men.

Principle V: The symbols assigned to different signs of the zodiac have their own meaning. They represent the characteristics that are found the persons ruled by that signs. Hence it is important to study the symbols seriously, to know the nature of the persons ruled by it.

For example, a Scorpion looks very calm and quite from outside, however truly it is not, it might be scheming from inside and find the opportune moment to attack its prey with its sting and paralyze it completely. Hence these characteristics would be predominant in Scorpio ascendants i.e., they might calmer from outside, however, never dare to mess up with these persons.

The following section describes the physical features as well as the nature of person born in a particular ascendant. Though one cannot literally apply this, this however, forms the basis for interpretation of the nature of persons born in an ascendant. With practice, one can find out the ascendant of a person by interacting with him/ her. One must not over-emphasize the effect as mentioned here under on the nature and physical characteristics of a person, since it gets blended with the effect of other planets on the nature as well as the Navamsa, Hora and Drekkana Lagna and planets placed there in. This is an effort to present the effect of ascendant based on sound principles, which alleviate the need to remembering them without understanding.

Middle stature
Dry and lean body
Powerful and muscular limbs
Triangular face
Dark and bushy eyebrows
Long neck
Dark or reddish complexion (the second half is darker)
Rough, wiry and curly hair
Broad shoulders

Energetic, Impulsive and Enthusiastic: Aries is the first signs of the zodiac and thus full of creative energy. It is a fiery sign and hence the qualities of fire namely energy, initiative, independence and dominance shall be predominant in their nature. Since this the first sign of the zodiac, the energy they have is that of a newly born and they shall be they go by impulse rather than reason in doing things. Their impulsive nature makes them prone to accidents of various kinds from physical, psychological to other aspects of life such as career etc. They are enthusiastic and their enthusiasm is expressed in form of knowing things around them and get involved in their surroundings.

Courageous: Since Mars is the god of war or in the royal family, he is the commander in chief, the predominant quality of Mars namely courage is in abundance in the natives ruled by this sign. However, since the natural age of this sign is that of infant, they shall lack tact and diplomacy in using their courage. Hence, sometimes, their nature to display courage can take them to situations, they might find difficult to escape and they would seek external help for rescue.

Outspoken: The abundance of energy and lack of control on their behavior, make them prone to poke their nose each and everything around them. Similarly they do not exercise any restraints on their speech, which amounts their being over spoken. Many times they regret later of speaking something, which they should not have.

Enterprising: The influence of the planets Mars and Sun who gets exalted in this sign, gives them lots of enterprise. They would get involve in each and everything around them and take initiative in almost everything. However, since lack of maturity, many times those initiatives can be detrimental to their self.

Prompt to react: They reflexes are pretty strong and they reach very fast to the happening around them. However, sometimes they lack the ability of judgment, before they react to certain things. They must learn to restrain them self in taking quick action in certain circumstances. Though it might be their one of the strong point, not to waste much time dilly- dallying and take prompt action; they must use their rational ability to judge the matter before getting involved, if the activity involve some risks.

Rational decision-mak­ing: Since Mars governs our rational faculty; the nativities of this signs shall have this in abundance. However, what would be lacking is the ability to synthesize things based on past learning and wisdom, merited by Jupiter. Since Sagittarius is placed in the trine to this sign, they have the potential to learn from their past mistakes and incorporate those learning in their decision making.

Aggressive and hot-tempered: The quality of Mars is Tamasik (preponderance of negative qualities of nature). Even though both Sun and Mars are fiery, the former is Sattvik (preponderance of positive qualities of nature) and rules magnanimity and generosity; the latter rules aggression and violence. The hot-temper is a natural attribute of fire, however it would be more predominant in Mars, it being a Tamasik planet.

Self-reliant and independent: Self reliance and Independence are the natural gift to all the fiery sign. However there is a difference between the signs governed by the Mars (Aries), Sun (Leo) and Jupiter (Sagittarius). Since the latter signs are more matured than the former ones, the wisdom progressively increases from Mars to Sagittarius. This makes the Arians to be independent out of intolerance towards others restriction and intervention in their activities. However Leos display independence out of their nature to wield authority whereas Sagittarians shows independence out of their quality of being wise (and not require support of others).

Ambitious: Ambition is the natural quality of the human being and it is their constant struggle to make their mark in the society in which they leave. However more and more one matures, they find the futility in having ambition to achieve something great, since it gets metamorphosised into ambition of leading a meaningful life. Since Aries represents the first stage of human maturity, it shows that persons ruled by this sign shall constantly involve in making their mark in the society and struggle constantly to achieve something extraordinary. They ambition is supported by their enterprising and independent qualities.

Self- Confident: Self confidence is given by the lord of the sign and also the planet which gets exalted in that sign, Sun. A natural question would be why Sun’s qualities would be so predominant in this sign, when we are seeing a sign ruled by Mars. However, one must understand that Mars should have all the qualities for the Sun to get the feeling of achievement when placed there. This is one of the biggest assets of the persons ruled by Aries.

Emotional: Emotional maturity also comes out of age. Since this sign is ruled by Mars, one would think twice as to how Mars rules emotion. The doubt is valid to certain extent as Arians would rarely show the signs of emotion, however, deep down inside them, they have a heart of a child, which gets quite emotional at times. Such person, if ignore their emotions might suffer sudden emotional breakdown. Hence, persons of this sign needs to be more introspective towards their feelings and emotions.

Generous and liberal: One of the greatest assets of the fiery signs is generosity and broad outlook. Since they have a fiery inside, they have a burning desire to remove the darkness in others life. If all other planets are well placed, they generously donate their possessions without many qualms. Their broad mindedness makes them liberal in their judgment of people and surroundings.

Ascrib­e to groups: Since their emotional maturity is still at an evolving stage, even though they look independent in their actions and outlook, they need external support. To achieve that they readily ascribe to groups and make friends to get the emotional support. They also need appreciation from others for their actions, for them to feel contented. However, they would always try to dominate others in a group to make their presence felt.

Determination and force of character: They have a strong will power and determination and they are committed to what they say and promised. They are strict with themselves and try achieving that what they are looking for. Coupled with the ambition that they have they can rise high in life. Because of their commitment to their words, they are liked by all. Coupled with the sparkle in their eyes and a charming nature, that of a small child, make them dearer to many. Like all fiery signs, they like socializing and they get a lot of comfort with other company.

Unconventional: Since their represent the maturity at the beginning of creation, they have the attitude to understand and discover the things which are around them on their own. They shall not be satisfied with the existing answers to the puzzles around them and it would be their constant struggle to understand everything on their own (just like a child likes to burn his fingers to understand that fire can burn). This might many times amount to re-inventing the wheel. This makes these people, naturally skeptical to the ideologies and beliefs around them and their thrust of gaining understanding the surroundings around them can only be quenched, if they get rational and scientific answers to their curiosities. Hence scientific temper is naturally born with them and they shall not blindly believe in anything. Their motive can be summarized in the line “try it and then believe it”

Friday, July 30, 2004

Strength of Planets: The Shadbala - I

As the name suggests Shadbala means six fold strength. Although these strengths are combinedly used for finding the effect of planets on the lives of the natives, there is more use of the strengths and we get the clue of those uses from their names. If they were to be used combinedly, then such specific names were unnecessary. Moreover, this is more logical to think that, a planet when strong, might not be so for influencing all affairs in our lives. A planet which might give good status might not be good to show the direction of your life. So we must construe, the special significance hidden in the names given to the six sources of strengths. These strengths need not be used only predicting the results of the dasa, however, can be used for normal horoscopic interpretation. For illustration, the kendradi bala is used in ayur calculation etc. One can understand their use more and more by understanding their name and their basis of calculation.

Shad Bal consists of the following strengths
1. Sthan Bal (Positional strength)
2. Dig Bal (Directional strength)
3. Kaal Bal (Temporalstrength), inclusive of Ayan Bal (Equinoctial strength)
4. Chesht Bal (Motional strength)
5. Naisargika Bal (Natural strength)
6. Drik Bal (Aspectual strength)

These strengths are computed for the seven Grahas from Sun to Saturn. The nodes are not considered.

2. STHANA BALA (Maximum: 480 virupa = 8 rupas)
Sthana means place and hence the sthana bala is calculated based on the placement of the planets in different signs on various parameters, such as how far are they placed from their exaltation sign etc. More follows below:

2.1 Uccha Bal (Maximum: 60 virupa = 1 rupa)
Uccha means exaltation. When a planet is placed in its highest exaltation point, it is of full strength and when it is in its deepest debilitation point, it is devoid of any strength. When placed at other places, it has middling strength proportionately dependent on the distance these planets are placed from the highest exaltation or deepest debilitation point.

Find the difference between a planet's longitude and the deepest debilitation point. Divide the difference by 3 and the result so obtained is the uccha bala in Virupas. When a planet is in highest exaltation point, the difference happens to be 180 deg and hence the uccha bala for such planet becomes 60 virupa (180/3). However, when a planet is placed in the deepest debilitation, the difference becomes zero and hence also the bala is zero.

2.2 Sapt Vargaj Bal (Maximum: 45*7 = 315 virupas = 5.25 rupas)
Rasi, Hora, Dreshkan, Saptamsa, Navamsa, Dwadashamsa and Trimsamsa constitute the Sapta varga. The strength of the planets in these seven divisional charts based on their placements in moolatrikona, own sign, friendly sign etc. constitute the sapta varaj bala. The method of their calculation is as follows:

In the following rasis, the planets gets the corresponding Virupa of strength. Although maharishi gave the strength in terms of the avasthas they are place in, he gave the association of these avasthas with the placement of the planets in different rasis in the following chapter on the avasthas (Ch 45). The friend's, neutral and enemical signs are based on the compound relationship and hence the term, great friend and great enemy has been used in this context.

Moolatrikona Sign- 45 Virupas
Swakshetra (Svasth) - 30 Virupas
Great Friend's Sign (Pramudit) - 20 Virupas
Friendly Sign (Shant) - 15 Virupas
Neutral Sign (Din) - 10 Virupas
Inimical Sign (Duhkhit) - 04 Virupas
Great Enemy's sign (Khal) - 02 Virupas

2.3 Oja-Yugma Rasi-Amsa Bala (Maximum: 30 Virupa= 0.5 Rupa)
Oja means Odd signs and Yugma means Even signs. Thus, as the name imply, this strength is derived from a planet's placement in the odd or even signs in the Rasi and Navamsa. Moon and Venus are female planets and get strength of 15 virupas each while placed in the even signs in the rasi or navamsa. Other planets gets this strength, while they are placed in Odd (Male) signs in Rasi or Navamsa.

The maximum strength which can be derived from this is 30 virupas (Venus/ Moon placed in Even sign in both rasi and Navamsa; other planets placed in the odd signs in both rasi and navamsa.)

2.4 Kendradi Bala (Maximum: 60 virupa = 1 rupa)
The name itself implies how to compute this strength. A planet in a Kendra (Quadrant: 1-4-7-10) gets full strength, while one in Panaphara (Succedent: 2-5-8-11) Bhava gets half and the one in Apoklima(Preceedent: 12-3-6-9) Bhava gets a quarter or a rupa. One rupa equals 60 virupa, thus in virupas, the kendradi bala equals:

Kendra: 60 Virupa
Panaphara: 30 Virupa
Apoklima: 15 Virupa

2.5 Dreshkan Bala (Maximum: 15 virupa = 0.25 rupa)
due to placement in first, second, or third dreshkanaof a sign. Male, female and hermaphrodite Grahas, respectively, get a quarter Rupa (15 virupa) according to placements in the first, second and third dreshkana.

From this we can infer that the male planets are stronger in the beginning of a sign, female planets are stronger in the middle part and neutral planets gains strength in the ending part of a sign.

3.1 Natonnata Bala: (Maximum 60 virupa = 1 rupa)
Natonnata is composed of two terms nata and unnata. Unnata is the difference between midnight and the apparent birth time. Unnata when deducted from 30 Ghatikas gives Nata. Moon, Mars and Saturn are stronger at night, whereas Sun, Jupiter and Venus are stronger during the day. Mercury is stronger both during day and night. Hence, the nata bala is seen for Moon, Mars and Saturn and unnata bala is seen for Sun, Jupiter and Venus. Irrespective of day or night Mercurygets the bala of 60 virupa or 1 rupa.

At midnite, which marks the peak of night, the diurnal planets are weaker. Thus at that time the unnata bala of the diurnal planets Sun, Jupiter and Venus is zero, whereas the nata bala of the nocturnal planets Moon, Mars and Saturn is full 60 virupas. At the noon hr. when the day is at peak and the Sun is placed exactly on the meridian, the unnata bala of the Sun, Jupiter and Venus is full 60 virupas and the nata bala of Moon, Mars and Saturn is zero. At other time the bala is proportionate.

At Surise and Sunset, which marks the junction of the day and the night, the natonnata bala for all the planets (excluding Mercury, whose bala is always 60), is the same, i.e., 30 Virupas.

Also note the formula Nata Bala+ Unnata Bala = 60 virupas

The fluctuation of the Natonnata bala for the planets can be seen as follows:
Diurnal Planet Nocturnal Planet
Sunrise 30 30
Noon 60 00
Sunset 30 30
Midnite 00 60

3.2 Paksha Bal
Paksha can be loosely translated as a fortnite. However in Jyotish term, Paksha is the duration between conjunction and opposition of the Luminaries. The duration from Conjunction to Opposition is the time when the Phase of Moon increase and is termed as Waxing Moon, which in Jyotish parlance known as the Sukla Paksha. Whereas the duration from opposition to conjunction, the phase of Moon decreases and is termed as Waning Moon, which in Jyotish Parlance known as Krsna Paksha.

The Benefics are stronger in the Sukla Paksha and the Malefics are stronger in the Krsna Paksha. This forms the basis for calculation of the paksha bala. The benefics are Jupiter, Venus, well associate Mercury, whereas the malefics are Sun, Mars and Saturn. The paksha bala of the Moon is 2 rupas (120 virupas) at the end time of Full Moon and New Moon. The Paksha bala of the Moon goes down to 60 virupas, during the middle of the pakshas.

Find the angular distance between Sun and Moon. If the angular duration exceeds 180 degrees, deduct the same from 360. The degrees so obtained when divided by 3, which will indicate the Paksha Bala of each of the benefic Grahas. The Paksh Bal of benefic should be deducted from 60, which will go to each malefic, as Paksh Bal.

3.3 Tribhaga Bala
Tribhaga means three parts. This strength has gained its name from the fact that the day and night are divided into three parts each. The Planets which gain 1 virupa of strength during different part of a days is a as follows:

Mercury- First 1/3 part of day
Sun- Middle 1/3 part of day
Saturn- Last 1/3 part of day
Moon- First 1/3 part of Night
Venus- Middle 1/3 part of Night
Mars- Last 1/3 part of Night
Jupiter gets this Bal at all times.

3.4 Varsha (Abda) - Maasa- Dina- Hora Bal
Varsha-Maasa-Dina-Hora Bal. 15, 30, 45 and 60 Virupas are in order given to Varsh Lord, Maas Lord, Dina Lord and Hora Lord.

3.4.1 Varsha Bala: The Varsha mentioned here is the solar year or the samvatsara, which commences when the Sun moves to the first sign on the zodiac, Mesha. This is the weekday lord of the day in which the Sun has transited to Mesha. If Sun has moved after 00:00 hrs of civil calendar, the previous weekday has to be taken.

3.4.2 Maasa Bala: Like Varsha Lord, each saurya masa (Solar Month) commences when the Sun transits each sign of the zodiac. Take the weekday lord on which Sun has moved to a new sign as the lord of the Masa. If Sun has moved after 00:00 hrs of civil calendar, the previous weekday has to be taken.

3.4.3 Dina Bala: Dina is weekday. The lord of the weekday is the lord of the day.

3.4.4 Hora Bala: Hora means planetary hour. Each day from sunrise to next sunrise is divided into 24 equal parts of one hour. These Horas are ruled by the 7 Grahas from Sun to Saturn. The first Hora of the day is ruled by the Lord of the week day. The 2nd one is ruled by the Lord of the 6th week day, counted from the first ruler. The 3rd Hora is ruled by the Lord of the 6th week day, counted from the 2nd Hora Lord. Similarly it proceeds in the same manner, till the first Hora of the next day is taken over by the Lord of that day himself. At a particular time, the lord of a particular hora gets the Hora bala of 60 Virupas.

From the strength of the Varsa, Maasa, Dina and Hora lord, we can see that Hora lord gets the maximum strength, i.e., 60 Virupas, highlighting the importance of the hora lord over the other lords at any time.

3.5 Ayan Bala
The Earth's equitorial plane when projected to the celestial spehere (a hypothetical sphere which has shows the visible stars and planets), is known as the celestial equator. The planets which we see, can be above, below or placed on the celestial equator at any point of time. The angle which they make with respect to the plane of celestial equator measured from center of earth is called the declination or Kranti. The Declination of Sun is maximum, i.e., 23°27’ during the solstices where the Sunrises either on Tropic of Cancer or Capricorn, whereas during the equinoxes, the declination becomes zero.

The calculation of the ayana bala is complecated, however the same can be accomplished using a simple formula: Ayan Bal = 60*(23°27’ ± Kranti)/(46°54’) = (23°27’± Kranti)*1.2793. Now a days with the advent of computers, things have become easier for the Jyotishis.

When Moon or Saturn have southern Kranti (placed below the equitorial plane) or, when Sun, Mars, Jupiter, or Venus have northern Kranti (Placed above the equitorial plane), take plus and otherwise minus. As far as Merucry is concerned, it is always plus. Krantis can be ascertained from a standard modern ephemeris.

Sun's Ayana Bal is again multiplied by 2 whereas for others the product arrived in Virupas is considered as it is.

3.6. Yudhdh Bala
When two planets are placed inside each other's orbs of influence, they are supposed to be in war or yuddha. Should there be a war between the planets, the difference between the Shad Balas of the two should be added to the victor’s Shad Bal and deducted from the Shad Bal of the vanquished.

The planets gains full Dikbala in the following houses:
1st (Lagna Bhava) - Jupiter and Mercury (Ethery and Earthy element)
10th (Karma Bhava) - Sun and Mars (Fiery element)
4th (Sukha Bhava) - Venus and Moon (Watery element)
7th (Jaya Bhava ) - Saturn (Airy element)

When the planets are placed away from the bhava where they get the full dik bala, there strength is proportionately reduced. The maximum strength attained here is 60 virupa or 1 rupa. To compute the dikbala find the angular distance of the planet and the 7th of bhava where they get the full dik bala. If the angular distance is more than 180 then, subtract it from 360. The result when divided by 3, gives the dikbala of the planets. The longitude of the bhava is same as the Lagna cusp as per the equal house distribution.

Naturally the planets are stronger in the order of Saturn, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Moon and Sun in the ascending order. There natural strength is computed by dividing one Rupa by 7 and multiply the resultant product by 1 to 7 separately to obtain the strength of Saturn, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Moon and Sun respectively.

This happens to be
Planet In virupas In rupas

Sun            60.00 1.00
Moon       51.43     0.86
Mars         17.14     0.29
Mercury 25.70    0.43
Jupiter    34.28     0.57
Venus      42.85     0.71
Saturn     08.57     0.14

Drig is derived from Dris, which is the root of the verb "to see". So this strength is gained by the virtue of the aspect (Graha Drsti) of different planets on a planet. The aspect of benefics are considered to be strength and the aspect of malefics are considered to be weaknesses. For calculation of this strength, the partial aspects are also taken into consideration.

The aspects of planets are given hereunder

7th- All planet aspect with full sight
4th/8th- Mars aspects with full sight while others aspect with 3/4th of their sight
5th/ 9th- Jupiter aspect with full sight and others aspect with 2/4th of their sight
3rd/ 10th- Saturn aspect with full sight and others aspect with 1/4th of their sight

From the drik balas of a planet we can judge what is the strength of aspects of the benefics and malefics on it and their combined influences. Aspect of benefics promote the house owned by the planet, by rendering the lord strong. It also enhances the house of which the said planet is a karaka.

The calculation is cumbursome and shall be given in subsequent article. This might be of some academic interest.

Chesta means to move or to try. This strenth is attained by the planets, excluding the lumeries by the the virtue of their kind of movement. For Sun, the Ayana Bala becomes its chesta Bala, whereas for Moon, the Paksha Bala becomes the chesta Bala. For other planets, eight kinds of motions are attributed to they. These are:

• Vakra (retrogression)
• Anuvakra (entering the previous sign in retrograde motion)
• Vikal (devoid of motion)
• Mand (somewhat slower motion than usual)
• Mandatar (slower than the previous)
• Sama (neither fast nor slow)
• Char (faster than Sama)
• Atichar (entering next sign in accelerated motion)
The strengths, allotted due to such 8 motions are 60, 30, 15, 30, 15, 7.5, 45 and 30 virupas.

8.1 Shad Bal requirements:

390, 360, 300, 420, 390, 330 and 300 Virupas are the Shad Bal Pindas, needed for Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn etc. to be considered strong. If the strength exceeds the above-mentioned values, the Grah is deemed to be very strong. A strong graha shall protect its houses and karakakatva and is more capable of giving its results. However, the nature of the results shall be influenced by the ownership, placements and the yogas the planet involved in. However, it is important to know what is the strength of each of the elements of the shadbala, to know the exact nature of the result

8.2 Requirement of strength of individual elements of Shadbala
Jupiter, Mercury and Sun are strong, if each of their Sthana Bala, Dig Bala, Kaala Bala, Cheshta Bala and Ayana Bala are, respectively, 165, 35, 50, 112 and 30 Virupas. The same required for Moon and Venus are 133, 50, 30, 100 and 40. For Mars and Saturn these are 96, 30, 40, 67 and 20.

The individual elements of the shadbala show different aspects in our life. They are as follows:
1. Sthana Bala: This planet is the giver of position and status. This also shows which positions are most auspicious for us and where shall we be most comfortable.
2. Dig Bala: This shows the direction which shall be good for us for growth in the career or self development.
3. Kaala Bala: This shows which time is best suitable for us for undertaking an activity.
4. Cheshta Bala: This shows what drives us, our inherent desires and purpose of our struggle in this life.
5. Naisargika Bala: This is of lesser consquence as this remains constant all through out. This is to be used in conjunction with other strengths. This indicate which planets are naturally more able to dictate their results.
6. Drik Bala: This shows which planet shall be favourable all through out in the life of native as this is based on the aspect of benefics on the planet.

This is still a nacent area and require more researches to find out the exact use of each of the elements of the shadbala, rather than using the total values of the shadbala for analysing the dasas. We must understand that, each point of time is influenced by one or other planets with varying extents and we can judge these subtle influences, by analysing which planets are stronger at which point of time.

One good use I found with these balas is find the directional influences. For illustration, at this point of time while I am writing this article, Sun is having highest kala bala and highest chesta bala. In my rasi chart, Sun is the 9th lord placed in the 9th house with 10th lord, where as in the siddhamsa it is placed in the 12th house being the 6th lord. Chesta bala shows what are my desires or what am I trying to do at this point of time. Sun being the 9th lord shows teaching (with AK Mars shows that the desire is very strong); in the siddhamsa, being the 6th lord in the 12th, it shows the attitude of service (6th) without any motivation to gain (12th). In the dasamsa it is placed in the 8th house being the 6th lord and I am here sitting, without going to my office, writing this mail.

The kala bala is also highest that of Sun, shows that I should be doing Sun's activity at this point of time. As Sun also shows that chesta as mentioned above, I am able to do something which I crave for. When I go further, I see that more strength (Kaala bala) is coming from the Ayana Bala, showing that, this is also helping me achieving the direction (Ayana) of my life. If the strength was due to Hora Bala, then I would have done something, which was directed by my environment and circumstances, like sitting in a Jyotish class or in a conference.

What I have written, is only the tip of the iceberg, just hinting, how much is there below the water, unexplored. So lets explore the potencies of this beautiful scheme of strength given by Maharishi Parasara.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Nakshatras in Jyotish I

The nakshatras or asterisms are apparently the fixed bodies in the Zodiac, where the planetary system moves with them placed in the background. Among the Rasi (zodiac signs) and the nakshatras (asterisms), the former is overlorded by the Sun, whereas the latter is overlorded by Moon. This implies that the Rasi shows the environment we would be placed with at different times in our life and what we get out of it, on the other hand, the nakshatras govern the different state of mind we shall be having at various times. Even the actual events are important in our l ife, taking a person-centric view point, our reactions to them also matter equally. Hence the study of the nakshatras are well warranted.

There are two nakshatra schemes, one of which uses 27 Nakshatras and the other uses 28 nakshatras, which include the Abhijit Nakshatra, an intercalary nakshatra. Both the schemes are useful in their own right. While 27 nakshatra scheme is used for all day to analysis, such as analysis of birth chart, analysis of dasas, using navatara chakra etc; the 28 nakshatra scheme is used for analysis of few chakras such as sarvatobhadra chakra, the sannadi chakra etc. The Nakshatras are reckoned from beginning with Aries which coincides with the beginning of Aswini.
There are four padas (quarters) of each nakshatra, each measuring 3d 20m making the total duration of the nakstra to be 13d 20m. Thus there are 108 padas accross the zodiac and each maps to 1 Navamsa. However, since the duration of 1 sign is 30 degrees, the nakshatra cannot be mapped excatly on the rasis. However, it is interesting to see that 9 nakshatras can be mapped to 4 rasis. From this we can derive the basis of dividing the zodiac of 12 rasis and 27 nakshatras into 3 parts each measuring 120 degrees. This is the basis for the Navatara Chakra, where the naksharas are divided into three groups of 9 each, starting either from the Janma or Lagna Nakshatra.
While we see the mapping of the 9 Nakshatras on 4 rasis, we see that there are few nakshatras which would fall accross two rasis such as Krittika, which falls in Aries and Taurus; Mrgashiras, which falls across Taurus and Gemini and so on. There are others which would fall in 1 rasi such as Aswini, Bharani, Rohini etc. Even though this looks haphazard and erratic, there is a hidden meaning behind it. To understand the meaning, we need to know the tattvas (primordial elements) ruling the Rasis and the Nakshatra padas. Beginning from Aries, the rasis are ruled by Fire, Earth, Air and Water in a cyclical manner. Thus Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are the Fiery signs; Taurus, Virgo & Capricorn are the earthy signs and so on. This is the same pattern which repeats for the nakshatra padas, which means that the first pada is governed by fire element, 2nd by earth, 3rd by air and the 4th by water. This cycle repeats accross the nakshatras.
The beauty of the mapping of the Nakshatra with the rasi is that, among the 9 nakshatra padas which fall in a rasi, the tattva of the first and the last pada belongs to the tattva of the sign. So the first and last pada of Aries would be Fiery, the first and last pada of Taurus would be Earthy and so on. Seeing this from another perspective, the while seen among the three groups of 4 signs (starting from Aries, leo and Sagittarius), the 1st sign starts from 1st pada of a nakshatra and ends with the 1st pada of a nakshatra (for example, Aries starts with 1st pada of Aswini and ends with the 1st pada of Krittika). Similarly, the 2nd sign (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) start with 2nd pada of a nakshatra and end with the 2nd pada of another nakshtra (for example, Taurus starts with 2nd pada of Krittika and ends with 2nd pada of Mrigashiras); 3rd sign Gemini starts with 3rd pada of Mrgashiras and ends with 3rd pada of Punarvasu and the 4th sign Cancer start with 4th pada of Punarvasu and end with 4th pada of Ashlesha.
The lordship of each cycle of 9 nakshatras, as per vimshottari dasa scheme, starting from Aswini is Ketu, Venus, Sun, Moon, Mars, Rahu, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury. It is worthy to note that the 3 of the 9 nakshatras, which fall in the junction of signs (rasi sandhi) are ruled by Sun, Mars and Jupiter, the three best friends on the Deva's side! The other Nakshatras which fall inside the signs are ruled by Ketu, Venus, Moon, Rahu, Saturn & Mercury. What can be made out of these two categories of the planets?
Now one would be curious on how the nakshatras are used in horoscope analysis. To know this wait for the subsequent article on the topic.

Vedic Numerology IV: Application

There are numerous application of the discipline of Vedic Numerology. This is because numbers form the universal language. To understand the concept of Universal Language, one must understand what Language is! The basis of any language is symbols. These symbols carry a specific meaning, which help us communicating with each other. While we see how the language evolved; there was a time, when the things and events were shown using some or other symbols. They formed the evolution basis for the first languages of the world, which were symbol based, like that of Hieroglyphics.  From those earlier languages, many languages evolved through out the world, each having their own set of symbols and the characteristics associated with their own cultural evolution. However, what remained constant throughout is the language of numbers. This is borne out of the fact that irrespective of cultural and geographical boundaries, the numbers retained their characteristics. If number 1 mean something to us, it means the same to the whole world. Moreover, because of its consistency over time and space, it becomes the only language with which mathematics or the laws of nature can be revealed. This is why the numbers can be used to determine the flow of the destiny in our life as a part of the universal consciousness. The numbers can be used in the following ways:
1.  The predominance of a number in one's life shows the predominance of the inlfluence of a particular planet and a sign in his/ her life in the area of life where the number belongs to. For example, if a person buys a vehicle for business or work, then the planet/ signs influencing the business/ work etc. can be seen from the number of the vehicle. Similarly this can be seen from the  work telephone/ mobile/ office desk number ect.
To know the influence we do two processes related to the number, they are:
a. Finding out the root number. To know the root number keep adding the digits of number till one arrive at a single number. 
The functional as well as the natural nature of the planet along with the yogas they form shall give various clues on the persons coming to the native's life during that time. This shall also show the state of native's mind and his behaviour pattern related to the matters related to that number. This shall also show the characteristics of the thing ruled by this number.
b. Finding out the rasi (zodiac sign) ruled by this number.  The rasi can be found out by expunging the multiples of 12 from that number. If the result is Zero, then it should be replaced by 12, signifying Pisces.
The environment the person would be working in, the various support as well as obstacles the native would be facing can be seen from this rasi under consideration. To know the exact nature of the surroundings/ environment the following guidelines can be used:
 i. Find the yogas (both natural and functional) forming in that sign in the natal horoscope. Also look for the planets placed in that sign, the placement of the lord of the sign, in the natal horoscope.
ii.  Find how the planets placed from that sign. Malics shall be placed in the Upachayas (3/6/10/11).
iii. Benefics should be placed in the Kendras (1/4/7/10) or the konas (5/9).
iv. The Sukha Trikona (4/8/12) should not be having any malefics, otherwise the native shall face lack of happiness or contentment in that part of life.
v. There should not be papakartari yoga (hemming between malefics) in that house. Subhakartari yoga bring luck and support to that sign.
vi. The karaka of the matter under consideration should be well placed with respect to the sign.
vii. The Moon is the karaka for all activities we carry out in this world and hence should be well placed with respect to the sign. It should never be placed in the eighth house from the sign, otherwise the experience related to that matter can be a bed of thorne.
2.  The numbers can be used in Naming of the person and the influence of the name on the person. Please follow the article on the "Principles of Naming" given before in these pages.
3. The numbers can be used to find the effect of our year number, month number and the date number on our life as well as the impact of other persons (being ruled by other numbers) on our life. This area requires a considerable research, to arrive at a consistent set of principles. I am still working on it and I shall publish my findings once I am done.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Decanate & Body Parts

1. Introduction
This is a matter to wonder, why there are moles on certain parts and why certain parts of the body is more susceptible to cuts and bruises than other parts. However, this is not all, why should we know the influence of planets on different parts of the body. This is a invariable part in medical astrology and can be used to track which planet is influencing the body parts under trouble. Jyotish is a beautiful too to uncover, even those things which are covered in the eyes of a seasoned medical practitioner. This makes us appreciate the association of the cosmos with all of us in this world, whether perceptible or imperceptible to our senses. We are ad midst of the play of the cosmic drama and we are the player. The director is none other than the supreme consciousness, for whom the principle of operation of a universe and a cell inside human body are the same. Alas! We do not realize it with our limited senses. However, we can infer, from whatever we can sense, that there is an invisible reality, which is truer than what we assume to be true in this material plane of existence based on our senses.

2. What Classics Say?
Decanates and Bodily Limbs. Head, eyes, ears, nose, temple, chin and face is the order of limbs, denoted (by the various Bhavas), when the first decanate of a Rāśi ascends. In the case of the second decanate ascending the order is neck, shoulder, arm, side, heart, stomach and navel. The order for the third decanate ascending is pelvis, anus/penis, testicles, thigh, knee, calf and foot. (BPHS 12.12-12.14)

Left/ Right Parts: The portion already risen indicates left side of the body (while the one yet to rise, i.e. the invisible half, denotes the right side of the body). (BPHS 12.12-12.14)

Limbs Affected: The limb, related to a malefic by occupation, will have ulcers, or scars, while the one, related to a benefic, will have a mark (like moles etc). So say the Jyotishis. (BPHS 12.15)
Marks from Birth or later: Should these planets be in their own Rāśi, or Amsa at birth, then the wound, or mole are right from birth. Otherwise these will be caused later on (in appropriate periods). (Saravali 4.6)

3. Interpretation
The three decanates divide the body into three parts. In each sign the decanate where Lagna is placed, would show some part of head (upper part: above the trunk), the 2nd decanate (from that of Lagna Decanate) would show the organs of the middle part (from neck to pelvis) and the 3rd decanate (from that of the Lagna) would show the organs in the lower part (below the pelvis).

For illustration if the Lagna is rising in the 2nd decanate, then 2nd decanate of all the signs shall show the part of the head, the 3rd decanate, shall show the parts of the trunk and the 1st decanates of signs shall show the parts of the lower third.

The classification of the body parts are shown below:

* The body parts represented by Lagna and the 7th have both the right and the left part. They are described below:

a. Lagna: The two side of the Lagna cusp represent two sides. From the beginning of the Lagna sign (0deg) to the cusp falls in the visible half and shall represent the left side of the body part and from the cusp to the end of the sign falls in the invisible half and shall represent the right side of the body part.

b. 7th house: In the seventh house, the duration of beginning of the sign to the cusp of the 7th (equal to Lagna cusp in equal house division) falls in in the invisible half (already set in western horizon) and shall represent the right side of the body part and from the cusp to the end, falls in the visible part (yet to set in western horizon) represent the left side of the body part.

In the following illustration, Saturn is placed in the 7th house however is in the visible half (cusp to end) of the 7th house and hence shall represent the left side of the body part. Saturn is placed in the 3rd decanate of 7th, which represent foot (since Lagna is in 1st decanate, the head is ruled by the 1st decanate, the torso by the 2nd decanate and the part below the navel by the 3rd decanate). Thus the body part influenced by Saturn is left foot.

Thus it is noteworthy that the visible part of the zodiac at the moment of birth (from 7th to 12th)  show the left part of the body (controlled by right side of the brain), while the invisible part of the zodiac (Lagna to 7th) shows the right side of the body (controlled by the left side of the brain). Thus one should remember the association - Visible- Left; Invisible - Right.

4. Illustration:
Maharishis say that the moles, warts, birth marks, wounds and sores etc can be predicted from the placement of planets in different decanates. Lets see how it works. In the following horoscope, the planets are placed in the following decanates:
The planets are placed in the following decanate:

The above mentioned body parts can have some moles or scars based on whether it is occupied by benefics or malefics. I have for sure wound marks or scars in my left knee where Mars is placed. I always used to think, why am I so susceptible to wounds and bruises in my left knee when I was a naughty kid, whereas my right knee is perfectly fine. Saturn is also not lesser in anyway in inflicting its pain and marks in left foot.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Vipareeta Rajayoga I

Rajayoga means the combination promising powers and positions and comprised of Raja meaning, kingly and yoga meaning combination. The normal rajayogas are formed in a horoscope by the association (exchange, conjunction, mutual aspect) of the Kendra (quadrant) and Trikona (Trine) lords. The highest among them is the dharmakarmadhipati yoga, which is formed by the association of the 9th and the 10th lord.

However the vipareeta rajayogas are somewhat different from the normal rajayogas as mentioned above. The term vipareeta imply reversal of something. Hence, these rajayogas are formed due to downfall of someone, based on which the native's fortune is reversed. The downfall can be of an enemy or a someone near to the native, however the combinations are somewhat different for both circumstances.
VRY from Dusthana Lords
1. Vipareeta Rajyoga (VRY) is caused by the conjunction of the lords of Dusthana (evil houses 3rd, 6th, 8th & 12th ). Since the lords of the evil houses conjoin, they end up damaging each other and the native benefits. Thus, VRY implies coming to power/ gains due to the downfall or death of another. This can bring sudden legacies, rapid rise to power and position and other such gains that are basically, not sustainable over a long period of time.

The important condition for the fructification of this Rajyoga is that the planets involved should either-
(a) be weak by placement in a Dusthana (evil houses 3rd, 6th, 8th & 12th ) or in debility in Rasi/Navamsa

(b) be very strong in Kendra/Trikona and simultaneously transfer the power to the Lord of Lagna (or Atmakaraka) by conjunction or aspect. Unless this transfer of the power of the VRY occurs, the native himself may not rise but will benefit due to the rise of another person.

The results of the situations of VRY in the two cases is grossly different. In the first case, the native rises due to the death/ downfall of an enemy whereas in the latter situation the native rises after the death/downfall of an ally or friend. The significations of the planets conjoining the VRY maybe destroyed in this process.
VRY from Saturn
2. It is evident from the above that the giver of Vipareeta Rajyoga is Saturn, more so since he is the natural significator of the Dusthana. Thus, VRY can also be caused if Saturn becomes a Yogakaraka (for Taurus & Libra Lagna) and is placed in a Dusthana in debility/weak. However, it is important that other planets should not conjoin this, else their significations could be destroyed.
VRY from Arudha Lagna (AL)
3. Coming to the Arudha Lagna (AL), the rules are slightly different. Benefic planets placed in the 3rd/6th house from AL in strength in Rasi give spirituality (Success in spiritual life) whereas malefic planets so placed give Parakrama (Victory in material life). However, if the benefic planets placed in the 3rd/6th house are weak by being in debility/ in Rasi/Navamsa, then they will cause Vipareeta Rajyoga and will result in elevation in this material world. On the other hand if the malefic planets in the 3rd/6th from AL are weak or debilitated in Rasi/Navamsa, they will cause Vipareeta Pravrajya yoga and the native will become spiritual. [Timing] In both cases, this Yoga will function simultaneously with the death or downfall of the persons indicated by the lordship or signification of the planet involved in the Yoga.
Other Conditions
In matters of strength, mere Sthana Bala (Positional strength) is not adequate. If the planet involved is placed in an inimical position from the ruling planet of the Arudha Lagna, it will be destroyed. For this purpose, besides Graha Sambandha (Relationship of planets), the Pachakadi Sambandha should be determined. Timing can be done both from Vimsottari as well as Narayana Dasa or any other suitable Phalita Dasa.

Pachakadi Sambandha has been explained by Sri Vyankatesha Sarma in his monumental classic "SARVARTHA CHINTAMANI" in the stanza 1.119 to 1.132. This must be understood to be applied effectively in the determination of friends & foes in the chart and is beyond the scope of this article.

Finally, the Hora Lagna and Ghatika Lagna should be carefully examined as per the rules given by Parasara in "Brihat Parasara Hora Shastra" and Maharishi Jaimini in his famous "Upadesa Sutra" to confirm the nature of the Rajyoga.   


In the following Horoscope, the following Vipareeta Rajayogas are present:
  • 3rd co-lord Rahu is placed in the 12th house in debility with debilitated 8th lord Moon
  • 3rd lord Saturn is placed in the 7th house in dikbala aspecting the Lagna and the Atmakaraka.
  • The 6th lord Venus is placed in the 8th house, in papakartari and dispositor debilitated.
  • The 8th lord Moon, placed in the 12th house, debilitated.
  • The 12th Co-Lord Ketu is placed in the 6th house in debility.
  • The 12th lord Mars is placed in the 9th house in strength and aspecting the Lagna, being the Atmakaraka.


Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Kalachakra & Astadala Padma

The Eight petalled lotus is the foundation of Hinduism. Here is what I made out of my understanding. An article on the same is forthcoming.

Figure I: Kalachakra 

The inner set of Petals govenrs the directions (dik/ ayana), while the outer petals govern the Kalas.

Creation (Pt. Sanjay Rath)

Creation of the Universe has been a popular theme with philosophies and so also with Vedic Astrology. Parasara[1] teaches that the entire manifested[2] Universe is but one-eighth portion of the body of Narayana[3]. The size of the unmanifested Narayana is infinite and just like dividing infinity by any number the quotient is still infinity, so also the size of the manifested potion of Narayana is infinite[4]. Essentially, the absolute Narayana is Nirguna[5] but as a part of His pleasure[6], does attain the three Guna[7] due to Yoga (union) with the three kinds of Shakti[8].

The whole body of Narayana is divided into four parts called (1) Param-Brahmä, (2) Maha-Vishnu, (3) Sada-Shiva and (4) Vasudeva. These parts cannot really be differentiated from the whole as the pure nectar pervades them and the names used here are merely to aid understanding. Thus, Narayana with Sri[9] Shakti is called Maha-Vishnu and is of pure[10] Satwa Guna; Narayana with Bhu[11] Shakti is Param-Brahmä and is of pure Rajas Guna; while Narayana with Nila[12] Shakti is Sada-Shiva and is of pure Tamas Guna. These three parts are full of nectar and are imperceptible. The fourth part of Narayana is Vasudeva. This quarter is further divided into two parts – one part that is perceptible (with three Shakti i.e. Sri-Shakti, Bhu-Shakti & Nila-Shakti and three Guna’s intermingling) and the other part that is imperceptible (with two Shakti’s: Sri-Shakti & Bhu-Shakti).

The perceptible part of Vasudeva is Karanodakasayi-Vishnu or the principal evolver and the first intention of creation is seen in the evolution of the sixteen principles of material action[13]. Srila Prabhupada[14] opines that many such universes come out of the pores of the skin of Karanodakasayi-Vishnu. This is the first expansion (first Pada) of Vishnu of the three Pada[15] (steps) in which the Lord manifests. Having created the universes Vasudeva/Vishnu enters into them for continuing the process of creation. In the next two-stages/ steps, He is known as Garbhodakasayi Vishnu and Kshirodakasayi Vishnu.

The three-fold division continues into the next level due to the expansion of this perceptible part of Vasudeva with the motive of entering into each universe. Vasudeva takes the form of Garbhodakasayi Vishnu lying within the half of the universe, which is full with the water of His perspiration from the pangs of multiple births. Vasudeva (Garbhodakasayi Vishnu) with Neela Shakti (Tamas) evolves as the Shankarshana; with Bhu Shakti He expands into Pradyumna (Rajas) and with Sri Shakti He evolves as Aniruddha (Satwa Guna)[16]. There is an intermingling of the Guna’s (modes of nature), and the prevailing modes shall dominate the nature of the expansion.
Figure 1: Narayana & Creation
The expansions of Sankarshana (Neela Shakti – Tamas) further evolve into the Maha Tatwa (the primordial five states of physical existence) while those of Pradyumna (Bhu Shakti – Rajas) evolve into Ahamkara (individual ego) and Aniruddha (Sri Shakti – Satwa) evolves into the demiurge Brahma (Ahamkara murti). This is conceived as the stem of the lotus (akin to the umbilical chord) growing out of the navel of Garbhodakasayi Vishnu (as Aniruddha). The stem has a thousand petal lotus as its apex (like the Sahasrara Chakra – thousand petal Chakra in the cranium) on which resided Brahma. The stem has been equated to the three Loka (planes of existence) or to fourteen Loka depending on the context. Such brilliant imagery helps to clear many a misconception. For example there is this never ending debate about the correct time of birth – as to (a) whether it is the Garbha pravesha or coming out of the uterus, (b) Nadi sodhana – cutting of the umbilicus or (c) Prathama rodana – first cry? If we were to accept this imagery of Brahma on the umbilicus of Garbhodakasayi Vishnu as symbolizing birth, then it is time of cutting of the umbilical chord, which is the correct birth moment.
Figure 2: Karanodakasayi-Vishnu

Ahamkara born of predominant Rajas further evolves into three parts based on the Guna’s. A more Satvic expansion (born from Satwa or goodness) is into a Deva; Rajasik expansion (born from Rajas or Passion) is unto the Indriya’s {five Gyanendriya or senses related to knowledge (1) smell, (2) taste, (3) sight (4) hear and (5) touch or feel and five Karmendriya or five primary actions (1) speech, (2) grasping, (3) walking, (4) evacuation/cleansing and (5) procreation}; and the Tamasik expansion (born of Tamas or ignorance) is into Pancha Bhoota (five states of physical existence) called (1) Agni – fire/energy (2) Prithvi – earth/solid (3) Jala – water/liquid (4) Vayu – wind/gas and (5) Akash – ether/vacuum.  The Dhi (Supreme intelligence of Vasudeva) enters the process of creation through Ahamkara and besides the creation of the Tanmatra {five subtle elements – (1) Energy – Agni (2) Solid – Prithvi (3) Liquid – Jala (4) Gas – Vayu and (5) Akash – Vacuum in the physical sense but an ethereal substance in the metaphysical sense} and the Indriya as indicated, also creates the Mana (Mind or consciousness). All these creations are ‘active’ as they arise with their individual Shakti’s. In fact, Ahamkara itself has been created from the Rajas of Pradyumna and in turn its creations will also exhibit such traits as associating for the purpose of creating active elements and bodies that are principally Rajasik. Thus all creatures and living bodies are created from Ahamkara.
Figure 3: Garbhodakasayi Vishnu
The Vishnu Purana confirms this postulation and adds that the ‘Paramatma’ is the ‘Purusha’ and adds that He is ‘Kaala’ or time (the controller of the sixteen laws of material action). Thus evolved the concept of Kaala Purusha (personification of time as an aspect of God) and the Bha-Chakra (zodiac) as the celestial clock that not only represents the Kaala Purusha but also indicates the quality of time. Kshirodakasayi Vishnu or the Paramatma expands from Vasudeva/Garbhodakasayi Vishnu into the body of Brahma (through the Satvic incarnation Aniruddha) and thereafter enters the body of every living being to reside in the heart (lotus[17]). By a similar process, the Jeevatma (or the individual personal soul) also enters the body and shares a berth next to the Param Atma in the heart. Parasara[18] has opined that the Paramatma resides in all Jeeva’s i.e. all living beings have a portion of the divine spark of Vishnu within their hearts. The potency of this spark of Vishnu is called Paramatma-amsa whereas the potency of his or her own individual soul is called Jeeva-amsa.

Sankhya Shastra has a similar postulation (as taught by Sri Krishna in the Srimad Bhagavat Gita and Kapila Muni an incarnation of Vishnu in the Srimad Bhagavatam) in so far as the expansion of Garbhodakasayi Vishnu is concerned. This teaching is grossly different from the fundamental atheism of the Sankhya Shastra given in the Sankhya Karika of Isvarakrishna attributed to Kapila. Kapila Muni the legendary founder of this system of philosophy[19] gave this knowledge to His mother Devahuti and is different from Kapila Muni as indicated in the Bhagavatam. The principal difference is in the view of the Purusha as being the prime creator (Krishna/Kapila) and just an inactive spectator of the evolution of Prakriti (Isvarakrishna).

The expansion of Vasudeva is based on twenty-five principles (Tatwa). The first principle is [1] the Purusha or Vasudeva the principal evolver Who glances at [2]Prakriti (Shakti - personified as Mother Nature) while lying on the Karana Sagar (causal ocean). The Purusha has three forms[20] as (a) Maha Vishnu or Karanodakasayi Vishnu, (b) Garbhodakasayi Vishnu and (c) Kshirodakasayi Vishnu at the three levels of evolution. At the first level, the exhalation of Karanodakasayi Vishnu produces innumerable universes that start as a seed and expand as they float above the causal ocean. At the second level, Garbhodakasayi Vishnu enters each of these universes and interacts with Prakriti in its three constituent qualities called Guna to produce besides others, [3]Intelligence (Dhi or buddhi called Maha ‘the Great One’). From intelligence is produced [4]Ahamkara (Self consciousness).

Ahamkara interacts with Neela Shakti in the mode of Tamas to produce the Tanmatra (five forms of material existence in the particle form). The Tanmatra or particle forms of physical existence are [5] Akash - Vacuum or ether depending on context, [6] Vayu – Gas, [7] Jala – liquid, [8] Prithvi – Solid, and [9] Agni – Energy. The five forms of gross physical matter called Maha Bhoota was created from these molecular forms. These are also named as the molecular forms (as they are not different from their constituent molecules) as [10] Akash - Vacuum or ether, [11] Vayu – Gas, [12] Jala – liquid, [13] Prithvi – Solid, and [14] Agni – Energy.

Ahamkara interacts with Bhu Shakti in the mode of Rajas to produce the five sense organs called Gyanendriya – [15] hearing, [16] touch, [17] sight, [18] taste and, [19] smell and the five organs of action called Karmendriya - [20] speech, [21] grasping, [22] walking, [23] procreation and, [24] evacuation. Each of these organs and senses correspond to a Tanmatra/Maha Bhoota respectively. The final product of Ahamkara is the Mana (Mind) that interacts with the various Gyanendriya and Karmendriya and is influenced by the Tanmatra and Maha Bhoota i.e. the mind is the link between the senses and organs that are in constant interaction with the molecular and gross material forms. 

[1] BPHS 1.9

[2] The manifest is referred to as ‘Maya’ or illusion, and in the Bhagavat Gita is called the Akshara’ (syllable), immutable Brahma. Thus, if Narayana is said to be even above this sound syllable.

[3] Narayana is composed of two words ‘Nara’ meaning ‘any body’ and ‘Ayana’ meaning ‘Goal’. Thus the composite word Narayana means the ultimate goal of every body both living and non-living or mobile and immobile. In a more subtle sense it refers to the individual soul (Microcosm) endeavoring to attain Union (Yoga) with the Universal Soul (Macrocosm). Thus, Narayana also means this universal soul or supreme personality of God.

[4] Poornamada poornamidam poornatapoornamudachyate; poornasya poornamadaya poornamevavasisyate.

[5] Nirguna means untouched by material contamination - [Prabhupada]. Beyond the Guna’s or without Guna.

[6] Bhagavat Gita 9.8

[7] Guna are the material qualities of Prakriti (personified nature) as Satwa (Goodness), Rajas (Passion) and Tamas (Ignorance).

[8] Shakti literally means strength or power and specifically indicates the strength to achieve an objective. The three primary objectives are creation, preservation and dissolution.

[9] Sri Shakti is the phoneme causing Satwa Guna and is personified as Maha-Lakshmi. Satwa Guna is of the nature of Goodness causing preservation.

[10] The word ‘pure’ has been used to indicate the presence of Amrita (nectar) that causes immortality or perceived immortality in a relative time concept.

[11] Bhu Shakti is the phoneme causing Rajas Guna and is personified as Maha-Saraswati. Satwa Guna is of the nature of Passion causing creation.

[12] Nila Shakti is the phoneme causing Tamas Guna and is personified as Maha-Kali. Tamas Guna is of the nature of Ignorance causing destruction.

[13] SB 1.3.1

[14] SB 1.3.1 purport

[15] Trinipada vichakrame Vishnur-gopa adabhya. Atho dharmani dharayen. RV

[16] This postulation of Parasara (BPHS 1.14 –1.17) is corroborated by the Sloka - Om namastubhyam Bhagavate Vasudevaaya dhimahi. Pradyumnayaaya, Aniruddhaaya namah Sankarshanaya cha. In addition we are taught that the intellect ‘Dhi’ evolves with these expansions which in turn, results in the creation of (a) Brahma and the 14 Loka, (b) Ahamkara that creates living beings and (c) Maha Tatwa. These expansions are spontaneous without any time lag.

[17] Ref: Appendix-1 – Heart lotus is the Hridaya Padma or a psychic energy center in the region of the heart.

[18] BPHS 1.21 -24

[19] There are six systems of Philosophy called Shad-Darshan. Refer Appendix-4 for more details.

[20] Laghu Bhagavatamrita, Purva Khanda, 33

33 Devas (Pt. Sanjay Rath)

Most scholars misinterpret the word ‘Deva’ as meaning ‘God’. In reality, there are 33 Deva’s with about 330 million forms. The word is derived from the root Divu that has ten meanings[1] (for a better understanding, refer to the glossary) –
1.      Krida - sporting
2.      Vijigisha - conquest
3.      Vyavahar - occupation/pursuit
4.      Dyuti - intellectual inspiration or brilliancy
5.      Stuti – praise
6.      Moda – pleasure
7.      Mada – exhilaration, intoxication
8.      Swapna – dream
9.      Kanti – splendor
10.  Gati – direction, movement
These words define the purpose of a Deva. Jaimini defines Deva or Devata as indicated by the Devata Karaka[2] planet. This is the third in the hierarchy (of spiritual needs) after the Atmakaraka (helps in the determination of the Ista/Isa directing emancipation from the cycle of rebirth) and Amatya Karaka (deity symbolizing sustenance in this world). Thus Deva or Devata is the Guru and guides or illuminates certain inherent abilities that will develop in this life or the spiritual path or that which leads to fulfillment of desires etc. Nirukta[3] defines Deva as that which (a) confers benefits (Danada) (b) illumines (Deepanad) or (c) is the source of such knowledge or illumination (Dyutanad). Thus, translating deva as God is conceptually incorrect. This view is further confirmed without an iota of doubt in the Aitereya Brahmana[4] as well as the Sathapatha Brahmana[5]. The natural question is ‘if Deva’s are not Gods, then who or what are the Deva’s and in what manner are they linked to Jyotish’?
Sathapatha Brahmana 14.16:
Katame te trayastrimshat iti ashtou vasavah; ekadasa Rudra, dwadasa-Adityah ta ekatrimshat; Indraschaiva Prajapatischa trayatrimshaviti.
(We) speak of the thirty three (Deva) of which eight Vasu, eleven Rudra and twelve Aditya add up to thirty one. Indra and Prajapati included bring their number to thirty three.

1. Asta Vasava (Eight Vasu’s)
Sathapatha Brahmana 14.16:
Katame Vasava iti. Agnischa prithivi cha vayusch-antarikshamchaadityascha dyouscha chandramascha nakshatrani chaite Vasava aeteshu  hidam sarve vasu hitam aete hidam sarve vasayante taddyudidam sarve vasayante tasmad Vasava iti.
The Sathapatha Brahmana gives the list of eight Vasu as (1) Agni (2) Prithvi (3) Vayu (4) Antariksha (5) Aditya (6) Dyou (7) Chandrama and (8) Nakshetra. Prima facie this may seem a bit contradictory as Aditya has also been mentioned separately but here it refers to the Sun, Chandra refers to the Moon, Nakshetra are the lunar mansions or the constellations and the remaining five represent the states of material existence. These eight form the primary source of enlightenment about the self. They represent the basic variables that define every creation and its original source of illumination in the ten methods defined earlier as the purpose of the deva. The Vishnu Purana makes this more lucid in the definition of the Vasu’s as
1.      Apa – Jala Tatwa or liquid
2.      Dhara – Prithvi Tatwa or solid
3.      Anila – Vayu Tatwa or Gas
4.      Anala – Agni Tatwa or Energy
5.      Dhruva – the pole star representing 
     a.       Akash Tatwa – the sky or Vacuum and
     b.      fixity of the zodiac i.e. the relevance of Ayanamsa
6.      Soma – The Moon
7.      Pratyusha – the recurring dawn representing 
     a.       The Sun – as causing the night and day i.e. the source of light behind the dawn, 
     b.      Lagna – The ascendant or the point in the eastern horizon as representing the self and is equated to the dawn.
8.      Prabhasa – splendorous lights of the stars that are grouped into 27/28 Nakshetra (Constellations).
This list is the first principle of Jyotish where the bodies that create all beings as well as guide them through various activities are defined. These include (a) the Sun, (b) the Moon, (c) the constellations called Nakshetra and (d) the Pancha Tatwa or (the guidance/direction from) the five states of existence of all matter and energy. Thus, the luminaries (Sun & Moon), the five planets Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus & Saturn [ruling the five states of energy (Agni), solid (Prithvi), ether (Akash), liquid (Jala) and gas (Vayu) respectively] and the 27 (or 28) lunar mansion called Nakshetra form the first principle. Birth implies creation and this is the Satvic principle of sustenance of the born or created being.
2. Ekadasa Rudra
Sathapatha Brahmana 14.16:
Katame Rudra iti. Dasheme purushe praanaa atmaikadashah te yadasmat martyaacchreeradtkramanti atha rodanti tad yad rodayanti tasmad Rudra iti.
The eleven Rudra[6] are defined as Deva’s. Ten of these are Rudra are responsible for holding the ‘Prana’ (vital life force or air) within the body that sustains the breathing and life. Thus, their nature is akin to Marut or storm god and in a sense like Vayu (the air element). The eleventh Rudra is Maheswara and is responsible for the Atma (soul). These are called Rudra from the root Rud meaning to weep as their ‘going away’ results in the death of the native and the near and dear ones weep.
These eleven Rudra (including Maheswara) are responsible for the destruction of everything that has been created and form the second principle of Jyotish. In the first stage there is the destruction of the physical body by the ‘going away’ of any of the ten Rudra. Thereafter the Atma (soul) is separated from the Mana (mind) by Maheswara (Shiva) the eleventh Rudra.  The two nodes of the Moon called Rahu & Ketu are the destroyers. Rahu has the responsibility of destroying the Luminaries and the signs (Dwadasa Aditya). Ketu destroys the material creation represented by the Pancha Tatwa (in Jyotish the five planets Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn) and the Nakshetra. The Rudra can be viewed as the binding forces in any created being, both living and non-living. They symbolize the strength of God and are also the strength of the created being as their going away results in the weakness of the body and it is destroyed.
3. Dwadasa Aditya
Sathapatha Brahmana 14.16:
Katame Aditya iti. Dwadasamasah samvatsarasya
Aeta Adityah aete hidam sarvamadadaanayanti taddwididam sarvamadadaana yanti tasmaditya iti.
Dwadasa means twelve and Masa means the month – thus the Dwadasa (twelve) Aditya are the twelve months represented by the twelve signs in the zodiac. The month is variously defined in Jyotish and this specific reference indicates the motion of the during the period between two consecutive conjunctions with the Moon. This is the synodic month and is about 29.5 days, which for convenience is taken as 30 days. Since the average geo-centric motion of the Sun during 30 days is 30 degrees, this defines the Saura Masa (solar month) which is the third principle of Jyotish. Twelve such ’30 degree motions’ result in the Sun returning to its original position and this defines the Samvatsara or ‘solar year’. Thus, the third principle of Jyotish is that of time & space which is defined by the Dwadasa Aditya (twelve signs of the zodiac with the Sun as their overlord). The solar month and solar year are the foundation of Vedic astrology and that further sub-divisions of time are to be determined based on solar motion. The word Samvatsara means ‘year’ and specifically ‘solar year’ as this is based on the Dwadasa Aditya. This knowledge is of vital importance in determining the period of influence of the planets called ‘dasa’. Often astrologers are bogged down with misconceptions about using the solar or lunar year or even other variously defined time periods. This indicates the lack of appreciation of this principle of time & space relationship as defined by the Dwadasa Aditya.
They are called Aditya as they are the distributors of food  and all materials required for creation and sustenance (Dana) as well as inspiration, exhilaration, intoxication, sexual vitality and vigor (Mada). The Aditya are the givers and everything comes from them. Thus, the twelve signs represent all the material forms of creation.
4. Indra & Prajapati
Sathapatha Brahmana 14.16:
Katama Indrah katamah prjapatiriti. stanayitnurevendro yagyah prajapatiriti. Katama eko deva iti sa Brahma tyadityachakshate.
Stanayitnu means thunder or lightening and refers to the electrical impulses that are used by the brain to control the senses. Thus Indra is the demigod controlling the senses and the working of the brain as well as the intelligence of all creation. Yagyam is the worship or praise for Prajapati the progenitor. This is the fourth principle of Jyotish and is called Lagna or the ascendant representing the seat of Prajapati the progenitor and the ‘praise worthy one’. Indra is seated on the throne of the zodiac indicated by the point in the mid-heaven. This is the area of the tenth house counted from the Lagna or ascendant sign.
The zodiac at any point of time, is divided into two halves by the line of the horizon. Since the earth rotates from the west to the east, the planets and other stars seem to move in the opposite direction from any stationary point of observation on the earth. The Sun rises in the east in the morning, ascends to mid-heaven (middle of the sky) by mid-day and then starts descending till it sets in the western horizon. Lagna is the point in the eastern horizon that is just about to ascend or rise into the heavens signified by the visible half of the zodiac and is akin to sunrise. This is called the ascendant. Similarly the point in the western horizon which is just about to descend or go under the horizon is called the descendant. The zodiac is divided into two halves called the Drusya (visible) and Adrusya (invisible) by the line of the horizon with the sky in the visible half and the portion below the horizon in the invisible half. The Drusya Rasi or zodiac signs (complete or portions) in the visible half are the heavens called loka whereas the Adrusya Rasi or zodiac signs (complete or portions) in the invisible portion or below the horizon are called hell or Tala. There are two postulates based on (1) material or physical existence and (2) spiritual existence to describe these heavens and hell.
4.1. The three material worlds
The physical universe can be classified into three parts called Bhu loka (earth), Bhuva loka (firmament or the solar system which contains the nava graha) and Swarga loka (Sky containing the fixed stars which is the residence of the demi-gods). The geocentric zodiac (Bhu loka as its center) limited to the Bhuva loka is called the Vishnu chakra (Tropical zodiac where the weather and other phenomena of the atmosphere and beyond are experienced). The geocentric zodiac based on the fixed stars in the sky is called the Narayana chakra (Sidereal zodiac). These terms find specific mention in the Vishnu purana. The pious Hindu recited the prayer “Om Bhur-bhuva-svah” every morning for the blessings of this material creation as a prefix to the Gayatri mantra.

4.2. The Fourteen spiritual worlds
Thus, there are seven heavens and seven hell. The heavens called loka[7] are in seven parts:
                                i.      Visible portion of the Lagna (ascendant sign/house) that has ascended i.e. from the start of the sign to the longitude of the ascendant called Satya loka symbolized by the thousand petal lotus on which rests Prajapati (form of Brahma) the progenitor. This is the seat of the creator and He is praised by all His creation. It shows fame as a consequence of the praise and health and vigor.
                              ii.      Visible portion of the seventh house/sign that is about to descend or go into the invisible half i.e. from the longitude of the descendant to the end of the sign called Bhu loka (the earthly plane). It shows the death and re-birth as this is also the Mrityu loka or ‘where death occurs’.
                            iii.      The tenth house/sign (with the mid-heaven as the throne of Indra in it) called Svah or Swarga loka.
                            iv.      The remaining signs/houses in the visible portion (8th, 9th, 11th & 12th ) are the Bhuva, Maha Gyanah and Tapah loka.
Thus, the seven heavens are Bhu, Bhuva, Svah, Maha, Janah, Tapah & Satya loka[8] and the deities of the planets Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon, Saturn and Jupiter respectively, preside over these loka. The seven hell are the seven signs in the invisible portion of the zodiac called Atala, Bitala, Sutala, Talatala, Rasatala, Mahatala and Patala respectively. There are seven Narka (most inferior hells for punishment) below these seven Tala and are all situated at the nadir i.e. the point exactly opposite mid-heaven in the fourth house. The spiritual  Hindu recites the mantra “Om Bhur- Om Bhuva – Om svah – Om Maha – Om Gyana – Om Tapah – Om Satyam” everyday as a prefix to the Gayatri mantra aspiring for the highest heavens.
Thus, in any chart, the seventh house is examined for death and rebirth. If death occurs during the period of the planet in the seventh house or its lord, then rebirth is sure to occur. The place of rebirth can be guessed from the planet / sign in the seventh house. If Mars is in the seventh house, then rebirth shall be in an island like Sri Lanka. Others indications can be read from standard texts. It is also for this very reason that Parasara recommends the Mritunjaya Mantra with its prayer for Moksha (emancipation from the cycle of rebirth) during such periods of planets connected with the seventh house. The 12th house or the portion just before the Lagna is the Satya Loka, the highest spiritual point  and beyond this is the spiritual region of no-return. By constantly repeating Om Tat Sat and living a truthful life, the worshipper attains Satya Loka and the highest heavens beyond from where there is no return to this Mrityu loka.
Thus, we conclude that the 33 Deva’s are the basic paradigm of Jyotish and that they can also be grouped based on mobility. These groups would include:
a.      The immobile or stationary stars form the group of 27 (or 28) Nakshetra,
b.      The space and time divisions form the group of Rasi or Dwadasa Aditya and
c.       The luminaries (1) Sun & (2) Moon, the Pancha Tatwa controllers (3) Mars, (4) Mercury, (5) Jupiter, (6) Venus & (7) Saturn and the Rudra representatives (8)Rahu & (9)Ketu form the third group of mobile bodies called Graha. Since these are nine in number, they are called Nava Graha. We shall use the forced definition of ‘planets’ to indicate these nine mobile bodies. The Sun is not mobile within the solar system but from a geocentric viewpoint i.e. assuming the earth to be stationary, its movement is translated to be the movement of the Sun. 

[1] Dhatupatha

[2] Refer Chapter 8

[3] ibid 7.16

[4] Sloka 1.6 Satyasamhita vai deva

[5] Sloka Vidmanso hi deva

[6] Jaimini has given considerable details on calculating these eleven Rudra (infact ten Rudra and the eleventh he calls Maheswara or Shiva Who is responsible for delivering the soul). These have been discussed in Volume VIII (Ayur Khand – Longevity).

[7] The names of the seven loka as given here are from the Markandeya Purana. Human beings reside in the Bhu loka (earthly plane) while birds, clouds and the demigods reside in the Bhuva loka. The names given for the seven heavens indicated by the seven signs are different in other Vedic literature. However, the names given here are accepted as authentic as Rishi Markandeya was the recipient of the Vedic knowledge from the Maharishi’s through Rishi Chyavan & Daksha Prajapati. He was also the grandfather of Parasara.

[8] The names of the seven loka as given here are from the Markandeya Purana. Human beings reside in the Bhu loka (earthly plane) while birds, clouds and the demigods reside in the Bhuva loka. The names given for the seven heavens indicated by the seven signs are different in other Vedic literature. However, the names given here are accepted as authentic as Rishi Markandeya was the recipient of the Vedic knowledge from the Maharishi’s through Rishi Chyavan & Daksha Prajapati. He was also the grandfather of Parasara.