Friday, February 15, 2008

Punya Chakra

Punya Chakra is used for determining the whereabouts of the soul after death. The term Punya means good deed as in Hinduism death is considered as the eternal truth and the freedom from the world of suffering, the mrityu loka or earth. Hence the chart casted at the moment of death is called the Punya Chakra, which in lay men's terms can be translated as the horoscope of death. Similar to the birth chart, which shows the details of the experiences of the soul after birth, the death chart shows the details of the soul after death. This is an important tool of vedic-astrology to decipher the condition and the whereabouts of the soul after death based on which various obsevances such as Sraddha etc. can be done to pacify a wandering soul.

So far this tool has been a closely guarded secret of the Sri Jagannath Center tradition and was disclosed for the first time for the aspiring astrologers by Pt. Sanjay Rath in 2005 in the SJC west coast conference. In this article, I will enunciate the principles and also analyse some charts to make the concepts clearer.


The houses which are key to the analysis of the punya chakra are the 1st, 6th, 7th, 8th, 10th and 12th houses.

1st house: The exact nature of death can be seen from the 1st house. If there are malefics in the 1st house or it is occupied with Gulika or Mandi, the death of the native could be painful. In addition to the 1st house, the trines i.e., the 5th and 9th should also be checked to ascertain the details of the moment of dearth. Presence of benefics in the lagna or the trines can indicate peaceful death such as dying in sleep or in leaving the body in deep meditation.

After death, the soul is likely to stay in this planet for sometime before it is guided to other planes of existence. Shastras say that the minimum duration of stay in this planet is of 12days and in most cases the maximum duration is of 9 years. However, the maximum duration can be overridden by specific yogas, whereby the soul would wander even longer. The duration of stay can be seen from the natural duration governed by the planets and the navamsa occupied by them in the punya chakra. The natural duration of planets are as follows:
Moon   - a day**
Mars - a week**
Venus - a fortnight
Jupiter- a month
Mercury- a season, which is same as 2 months period
Sun - an ayana which is same as 6 months period (the period of uttrayana and dakshinayana)
Saturn - a year

If lets say in someone's death chart, Sun is placed in the Lagna and is placed in 5th navamsa. The duration, the soul will stay in earth would be 5 ayanas which is equivalent to (5 ayana *6 months) 30 months or 2.5 years.

**For Moon, it is always 12 days irrespective of the navamsa of the Moon. However, for Mars, if the duration arrived is less than 12 days, then it is 12 days, however if it is more than 12 days, that many days the soul will stay on earth.

The exact duration can be found by using the following formula
Planetary duration * Planet's longitude /

6th house: Sixth is the house of enemies which represent both external and internal enemies. Since in this horoscope we are not concerned about the material things, there is no question of external enemies. Thus in the punya chakra, the 6th house represent the internal enemies. The shastras (classical texts) speak of six enemies which go by the name shad-ripus, which create hurdles in the spiritual upliftment of the native. By observing Yama and Niyama as mentioned in the yoga sutras of Maharishi Patanjali, one can get over the weaknesses. The weaknesses can be mapped to six planets based on which the weaknesses the native suffered during the lifetime can be deciphered from the punya chakra. Before we do the mapping, we need to understand about the weaknesses. We also should understand that the sattvik (steady state) planets Sun, Moon and Jupiter cannot represent any weaknesses as the root of all weakness is either Tamas (ignorance) or Rajas (predominance of energy).

The SIX weaknesses (the shadripus)
Kama: Kama means attraction and is most widely used to represent the attraction between male and female. The god of love Cupid is known as Kamadev in sanskrit and represent the sexual attraction between male and female. However, Kama is not always that bad as this attraction between opposite sexes cause the entire creation to continue as without progeny, there is no continuation of lineage. In addition, all souls are ultimately attracted to Krishna and thus HE becomes the ultimate Purusha and all the souls or the material creation which is ever eager to disappear in HIM becomes the ultimate Prakriti or the feminine principle. Thus the Rasa Leela in the transidental level shows the eagerness of all the living being to Unite with Krisna and get ONE with him. Hence, the beejakshara for Krishna is Klim which also known as the Kama Beeja. However, at negetive level, the same attraction take the colour of lust which is nothing but being driven by the attitude of having sex others without having the feeling of Love. Thus Kama at a gross material level is nothing but union of male and female body, while at a transidental level, it is the union of two soul, the purusha and the prakriti. The union of two bodies whether at material or spiritual level is guided by Planet Venus and hence it is significator of Kama. This weakness is predominant in Rajas guna and hence there also is a positive side to it, which be enhanced to reach god.

Krodha: Krodha means anger and there is no ambiguity in assigning a planet to this. It is well known that Mars is known as the God of War and is endowed with commanding qualities. The root of anger is Fire and hence only firey Mars qualifies to signify this ripu. A peaceful mind is a mind in perfect harmony with the nature and hence full of sattva while a angry mind is quite destructive as indicated by the tamasic nature of Maritian fire and hence a weakness which should be overcome to be in harmony with others.

Lobha: Lobha means greed or the desire to have something out of proportion. Desire for various things in this material world is quite natural, however when the desire becomes un-natural and it involves an insatiated mentality, where the desire becomes unending, it becomes a weakness. Rahu is the planet behind greed as being opposite of Ketu, who rules of renunciating all material objects, it makes the native run after something which is not really needed for him. Thus the native is under a shadowy viel inside which his ability to judge his true needs become cloudy and he feels a insatiable thrust for material objects. Gautama Buddha said that the root cause of all birth are the desires of the material objects which the native wants to experience. Since the soul cannot experience material objects without a body, it needs to take birth to fulfil his desires. Hence Rahu becomes the significator for getting entangled into the shackles of the material world, while its opposite, Ketu signifies breaking free from the shakles and thus liberation. This weakness is predominant in Tamas Guna.

Moha: Moha means delusion which happens due to Maya or the illusion of the material world. Although the soul is free from all material bondages, he gets attached to the material world due to mana or the mind. This happens due to delusion of the mind which thinks that material existence is the only truth and there is nothing beyond it. The truth is the field of activity of the mind is only possible in this material existence when a false ego makes the native differentiate himself as someone different from the eternal soul, the parama purusha. Since Saturn signifies lie, it represents the great lie, the mind is telling itself, that the material existence is the only true existing and there is nothing beyond that. Only under the influence of a Guru (Jupiter), can the mind realise that the material existence is untrue and is momentory and there is something beyond it, which is true and is also eternal. Thus Saturn signifies this ripu which is predominant in Tamas guna.

Mada: Mada means arrogance, which many also associate with alcohol. The association of alcohol with mada is also apt as alcohol makes a person lose his brain and thus make him forget both good and bad thoughts in his mind and thus making him headless. Hence a person under alcohol cannot control over his senses and end up doing headless acts. Similarly when the identification of the person with ego is very strong, he thinks himself as the king of all consider others as non-entity in front of him. Under such arrogance, the person behaves nothing less than a headless person and end up doing headless things. The condition of such person is similar to a wild elephant who rumles over and shatters everything coming to his way. Such elephant is aptly called Mada-mast hathi, in english which means, elephant exhilerated in pride. In mythology, Ketu is called the tail of the demon whose head was cut by lord Vishnu during the churning of the ocearn. Thus it represents some who is headless. One one hand, the positive side of headlessness represent total surrender to god by renunciating ones eqo and material possession (which happens when you have a head) and thus show liberation; while on the other hand, the negetive side, it represent going against the social norms and natural laws and doing something which is completely unexpected such as terrorism etc. Thus when Ketu's headlessness is applied to the material world, it becomes a weakness, while when this transcends into the spiritual world, it makes the person liberate from the bondage of rebirth. Since in material plane, Ketu is a tamasik planet (like Mars), this weakness is predominant in tamas.

Matsarya: Matsarya can be translated to envy or jealousy. The root of jealousy is comparision of one's ownself with others. Although this becomes the prime driver of growth in this material world, it becomes a weakness in the spiritual world. We all know that only when someone shuns the desire to enjoy the material things in this life, he is free from this matarial world. The desire to compare one self comes from the desire to grow in this material world as shown by the upachayas 3rd and 6th, which are naturally ruled by Mercury. This shows that one should keep doing his duties irrespective of what he gets. Based on karma of different people, they may be endowed with different lives and one should not compare himself and complain to god about this discrepancies. Instead only when is free of the feelings of jealousy, then only he can have full faith on god and trust all his actions without judgement. It is said that jealousy becomes a roadblock even in cause of jealousy of spiritual nature. Envy is caused by the nature of human mind which differentiates one from others, where one sees other to be more prosperous than oneself and this faculty of human mind is governed by childish Mercury. It is no wonder that it is natural to see jealousy in young kids who always compare this possessions with their peers and want those which others possess. Thus something which can help one grow in the material world can cause roadblock in the spiritual arena and thus Jealousy is considered as one of the weaknesses. Thus weakness is however, predominant in rajas and is thus easy to get over, unlike those which are predominant in tamas.
In the book the spiritual dimensions of vedic astrology, the author Robert Koch gave the mapping with the shadripus as:

Kama : Venus
Krodha : Mars
Lobha : Saturn
Moha : Moon
Mada : Sun
Matsarya : Mercury

He additionally says that since the nodes do not have bodies, they do not rule over any of the weaknesses. I humbly beg to differ with the author. Since the weakness comes from darkness, the nodes are the prime governor of the weaknesses being shadowy planets, while the luminaries Sun and the Moon cannot be associated with any weakness. Hence the mapping I have given here is:

Kama : Venus
Krodha : Mars
Lobha : Rahu
Moha : Saturn
Mada : Ketu
Matsarya : Mercury

Discerning readers can evaluate my arguments and form their own opinions on which is the right mapping.

7th house: 7th house is the house of desire and is also called the dvara. It is said that soul enters the planet from the 7th house and also leaves from that house and hence is termed as dvara, which means door. The disposition of this house in the death chart will show whether the native would be born again in this planet or he is liberated from the cycle of re-birth. More number of planets in this house show more rebirths while no planets show no re-birth. Placement of a stronger planet in this house can even show multiple births before he can relinquish his desires and attain moksha. If there are planets in both 7th and 12th house, the native is likely to take birth after staying in the lokas shown by the 12th house for certain time. The duration after which the native has to take birth again can be seen from the natural periods of the planets placed in the 7th house (refer to the lagna section for details).

8th house: 8th house is the house of Sin, something which becomes the cause of re-birth. This shows the consolidated Sin's done by the native in his lifetime. The nature of the sin can be deciphered from the various weaknesses as mentioned above. The punishments for the Sins are quite grave and if they are not forgiven, the native has to take birth for redemption. The Sin's can be forgiven only when devaguru Jupiter has aspects the 8th house.

10th house: 10th house is the house of karma. It is known that the future of an individual is determined from the karma he did before and hence this house is very important in judging the state of native after death. If the native is worked without attachment, then he can attain moksha, whereas if he worked with specific results in mind, he has to come back to earth to experience those results. The 10th house in the punya chart shows the sum total of all karmas performed by the native in his lifetime. If the 10th lord is strong and the 10th house is under benefic influence, the native did good work. Similarly if the 10th lord as well as the house are weak and afflicted, the native has done bad deed and he has to take birth for redemption. The nature of work can also seen from the placement of 10th lord in various houses as well as the influence of various house lords/ planets on the 10th house. If the 10th lord is strong and is influenced by Jupiter and is also connected to the 12th house, the native can attain moksha, else the chances of taking rebirth is quite high.

12th house: 12th house is the house of moksha or liberation from the cycle of rebirth. One attains Moksha if Jupiter is either placed in the 12th or aspects it with Graha drsti. Jupiter represents the wish of the god and hence it indicate that only irrespective of whatever deed a person do, he might not get moksha unless god desired to give him so.

In Bhagavatgita, lord Krishna says that the person attains that, which he was thinking at the moment of his death. Thus only when someone is thinking about God, he can attain him after death. Thus 12th house also shows things which is dominant in the mind of a dying person. Thus it is important to think about god at all times as no one knows when the critical moment of death comes face to face with someone. Only when one remembers god at all times can remember him at the moment of death, else he will think of those things which happened to be there in him mind majority of his life.

Now, if a person does not attain moksha, he can go to various other spiritual planes of existence which are called the Lokas. There are 7 lokas including Earth and similarly there are 7 Talas, which makes it 14 lokas and talas. The Lokas are full of spiritual energies while the talas are full of darkness and ignorance. The 7 lokas are as follows:

Bhurloka - Mars
Bhuvarloka - Sun
Svargaloka - Venus
Janarloka - Moon
Taparloka - Saturn
Mahaloka - Mercury
Satyaloka - Jupiter

To be continued...



Upendra Agnihotram said...

||Vyam Vyasadevaya Namah ||

Great Article on Punya Chart which is very rarely used by most of astrologers. Would it be possible for you to explain this by example chart? That will be more useful for a student like me.


tychester said...

Very nice and informative.
Please continue the article, shed some light on Talas and more phala based on Punya chakra. Any shaanthi / corrective measure to be taken in case of malefics would help everybody...
Thanks for your time & effort.