Praśna III: Lost Horoscopy

The basic requirement for Astrology is to have a Horoscope and the details required for casting a horoscope are the Date of Birth, Time of Birth and the place of birth. However, many times it so happen that the native who comes to an astrologer does not have a horoscope and he even does not know his birth date or time. In such cases, it is necessary to cast a horoscope for the native before venturing into the details of query. Although most queries can be answered using Praśna alone, it is nevertheless to draw the horoscope for overall analysis of the horoscope. Since it is difficult to cast a lost horoscope it is not very popular among the modern days astrologers.

There are many scholars who have written on this subject. However, without the effort of Mukunda Daivagna who beautifully compiled all such views of the scholars and given his comments, these could have been lost as well with time like many other ancient classics on Jyotish Shastra. Among all the prevalent views of the scholars, in this article, I will be focusing on that given by Varahamihira and Kalyanavarma in their immortal classics Brhat Jataka and Saravali.

Lost horoscopy is an art of pinpointing the time of birth and the technique given by the scholars is quite systematic to pin down the exact moment of birth by zeroing in the order of Birth Year, Birth Ayana, Birth Seasons, Birth Month, Birth Tithi (lunar day) and birth Lagna (the moment of birth). In this article also we shall follow the same order of finding out the smaller measure of time moving from larger measures.

Birth Year:
Since Jupiter moves approximately 1 sign in a year, if we are able to fix the position of Jupiter, we would be able to ascertain the year of birth, keeping in mind the approximate age of the native. Here is how it is done.

According to the teachings of my Tradition, find the number of Dvadasamsa traversed by prasna lagna. In the derived Natal Horoscope, Jupiter will be placed in as many signs from Aries. For instance at the time of query, the lagna has traversed 10 Dvadamsas in the sign where it is placed, then in the natal horoscope, the native's Jupiter should be placed in 10th from Aries, which is Capricorn. The sign of Jupiter could be +/- 1 sign of the the arrived sign.

Another method which is given by Varahamihira is see the Drekkana rising the time of query. Jupiter will be placed in Prasna Lagna if 1 drekkana is rising, 5th sign from the Prasna Lagna 2nd drekkana is rising or 9th sign from the Prasna Lagna if 3rd drekkana is rising at the moment of query.

Birth Ayana:
An ayana is the 6 monthly course of Sun from either Cancer to Capricorn which is known as Dakshinayana or Capicorn to Cancer which is known as Uttarayana.

Both Varahamihira and Kalyanavarma are of the opinion that if 1st Hora of a sign is rising, then the birth is in Uttarayana and if the 2nd hora is rising, the birth is in Dakshinayana.

Birth Season:
The whole zodiac is divided into 6 seasons with each season spanning over two signs. The names of the seasons are Grishma (Summer), Varsha (Rainy), Sarad (Autumn), Hemanta (Mild-winter), Sishira (Winter), Vasanta (Spring). The seasons are related to signs in the following manner:

Summer : Taurus ; Gemini
Rainy : Cancer ; Leo
Autumn : Virgo ; Libra
Mild winter: Scorpio ; Sagittarius
Winter : Capricorn; Aquarius
Spring : Pisces ; Aries

The ruler of the seasons are:

Summer (Grishma) : Sun & Mars
Rainy (Varsha) : Moon
Autumn (Sarad) : Mercury
Mild winter (Hemanta) : Jupiter
Winter (Sishir) : Saturn
Spring (Vasanta) : Venus

To find the season at birth, then check if there are any planets placed in the Prasna Lagna. If yes, then season will the one governed by that planet However, if there are no planets in the prasna lagna, the drekkana lagna lord will govern over the season at birth. If there are more than one planets in the rasi lagna, the stronger among them will have its say on the seasons. Check the stana bala of the planet as per the shadbala scheme to know the relative strength of the planets.

If there are mutual contradictions between the Ritu and the Ayana, then the planets can be exchanged as per following pairs:
Moon    <--> Venus
Mercury <--> Mars
Jupiter <--> Saturn

For example, say the birth is in Uttarayana (Capricorn to Cancer) and the season is ruled by Mercury i.e., Virgo & Libra. Since Virgo and Libra belong to Dakshinayana, the seasons of Mercury needs to be replaced by that of Mars, ruling Taurus; Gemini.

Birth Month:
The season of birth is shown by the drekkana rising, the month of the birth can be seen from half of the drekkana. If the prasna lagna rises in the first half of the drekkana (0 - 5deg) then birth happens in the 1st month of the identified season else if 2nd half (5 - 10deg) of the drekkana rises, birth happens in the 2nd month.

Birth day (Solar day):
The position of Sun can be ascertained from the amount traversed by the prasna lagna in the half drekkana which signify the season at birth.

For instance if Lagna's position in the prasna is 17deg, this means 2nd half of 2nd drekkana is rising. Thus the native will be born in the 2nd month of a season. Since Sun has traversed 2deg in the 2nd half (15 - 20deg), the Sun's longitude at birth would be (2/5)*30 i.e., 12deg in the sign.

Birth Tithi (Lunar day):
There are 30 tithis in a month starting from Krishna Pratipad (1st day of wanning phase) to Purnima (full moon).

The tithi at birth can be ascertained from Sun's degree in the prasna chart. If Sun's degree is 0 to 1deg, the native is born on the 1st tithi which is Krishna Pratipad. Similarly if Sun is at 20deg, the native is born at Shukla Panchami (5th day in the waxing phase).

Birth in day or night:

The next step to ascertain the birth time is to find out whether the native is born in the day time (Sunrise to Sunset) or night time (Sunset to Sunrise). This will help in reducing the number of possible lagnas to 6 out of 12 lagnas. The Night signs are Aries to Cancer (ruled by Moon), Sagittarius and Capricorn (reflection of Moon) whereas the Day signs are Leo to Scorpio (ruled by Sun), Aquarius and Pisces (reflection of Sun).

If day sign rises in the prasna chart, then the birth happened in night and vice versa.

Birth Lagna:
Tradition teaches that the birth lagna will be trine or the 7th from the Prasna Navamsa Lagna.

Date : January 23, 2008
Time : 3:45:05 pm
Time Zone: 8:00:00 (East of GMT)
Place : 103 E 51' 00", 1 N 17' 00"
Singapore City, Singapore

Ayanamsa: 23-58-19.26
Sidereal Time: 22:48:37

Body Longitude Nakshatra Pada Rasi Navamsa
Lagna 20 Ta 04' 03.86" Rohi 4 Ta Cn
Sun - PK 8 Cp 42' 19.08" USha 4 Cp Pi
Moon - BK 18 Cn 28' 28.59" Asre 1 Cn Sg
Mars (R) - DK 0 Ge 28' 53.04" Mrig 3 Ge Li
Mercury - AK 27 Cp 16' 54.63" Dhan 2 Cp Vi
Jupiter - MK 14 Sg 04' 29.21" PSha 1 Sg Le
Venus - GK 4 Sg 47' 29.98" Mool 2 Sg Ta
Saturn (R) - PiK 13 Le 31' 39.50" PPha 1 Le Le
Rahu - AmK 5 Aq 11' 19.83" Dhan 4 Aq Sc

1. Year of birth: Lagna in the prasna chart is in 9th Dvadasamsa hence Jupiter should be in Sagittarius at birth. Currently Jupiter is also in Sagittarius which indicate that the person's current age would be 60 years.

The position of Jupiter could be in one of the signs of Sagittarius, Scorpio or Capricorn.

2. Ayana of birth: Lagna is in 2nd hora, which indicate that the birth happened in Dakshinayana, when Sun was in signs from Cancer to Capricorn.

3. Season of birth: There are no planets in the prasna lagna so that drekkana lagna lord should decide the season. Drekkana rising is Capricorn ruled by Saturn who rules over Sishira, the signs Capricorn and Aquarius. However since the signs fall in uttarayana, the season should be replaced with Jupiter's season, Hemanta, the signs Scorpio and Sagittarius.

4. Month of birth: Since lagna is in the 1st half of 2nd drekkana, the birth should have happened in the 1st month of the season i.e., when Sun transited through Scorpio somewhere between 15Nov - 15dec.

5. Day of birth: By applying the proportion of Sun traveled through the half drekkana we find that Sun should be in 0deg 24min Scorpio.

6. Tithi at birth: Sun is in the 9th degree, which indicate that the Tithi at birth was Krishna Navami. Which means that Moon was separated from the Sun by around 108deg. Adding this to the longitude of Sun, we arrive at 210deg 24min + 108deg = 318deg 24min = 10s 18d 24m. Thus Moon at birth should be in Aquarius between 6deg and 18deg.

7. Day or night birth: Since the prasna lagna is in night sign, the birth should have happened during the day time.

8. Lagna at birth: The Prasna navamsa lagna is Cancer, which means that the birth could have happened in Cancer or other watery signs such as Scorpio or Pisces or 7th from it, which is Capricorn.

This horoscope belongs to my Mother, whose birth date and time had some ambiguity. Based on my casting of her horoscope, here is what we can see.

She was born when Jupiter was in Capricorn, Sun in Sagittarius and Moon in Pisces in Uttarabhadrapada Nakshatra. One must note that at the Kunda in the prasna is in Saturn's Nakshatra which is same as the native who is born in Uttara bhadrapada nakshatra. At birth Sun was in Sagittarius (instead of Scorpio as we found) and Moon was in Pisces (instead of Aquarius) as we found and she was born in Krishna Ashtami (instead of Krishna Navami that we found) and Sagittarius Lagna (instead of Scorpio Lagna)

This shows that we are almost near (behind by 1 sign), but may be god didnot want to reveal the actual horoscope since the horoscope of the person is actually known. For those who are interested in knowing all the planetary details, I am giving them here.

Body                Longitude        Nakshatra Pada Rasi Navamsa
Lagna 5 Sg 01' 18.26" Mool 2 Sg Ta
Sun - MK 11 Sg 45' 52.76" Mool 4 Sg Cn
Moon - PK 8 Pi 52' 36.38" UBha 2 Pi Vi
Mars - GK 7 Vi 09' 17.01" UPha 4 Vi Pi
Mercury - DK 0 Cp 06' 44.66" USha 2 Cp Cp
Jupiter - BK 12 Cp 14' 28.49" Srav 1 Cp Ar
Venus - AmK 21 Cp 40' 33.92" Srav 4 Cp Cn
Saturn - AK 26 Le 16' 26.38" PPha 4 Le Sc
Rahu - PiK 19 Pi 13' 08.89" Reva 1 Pi Sg
Ketu 19 Vi 13' 08.89" Hast 3 Vi Ge


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