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Krishna Janmashtami

Krishna Janmashtami

Janmashtami or Krishna Janmashtami is the annual Hindu festival of commemorating the birth of Lord Krishna, the ninth avatar of Vishnu. The festival is celebrated all over India and Nepal and by the Hindu community (Indian immigrants) in other countries viz. Fiji, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica and Suriname. Krishna is one of the most worshipped Hindu deities. He is a friend, a protector, a teacher, a philosopher and a leader for his devotees. The festival of Krishna Janmashtami commemorating his birth falls on the month of Bhadrapada in Hindu calendar (August – September in Gregorian calendar). Janmashtami is also known in other names such as Srikrishna Jayanti, Ashtami Rohini, Krishnashtami, Gokulashtami, Saatam Aatham etc.

The birth of Krishna

Krishna took birth in the midnight of 8th day (Ashtami) of the dark fortnight (Krishna Paksha) of Bhadrapada month (Lunar month – Shravan). The Indian as well as Western scholars believe that Lord Krishna lived in the period between 3200 BC and 3100 BC. As per some astrological calculations, the date of Krishna’s birth is supposed to be 18 July 3228; it is supposed that he lived until 18 February 3102 BC. 

Legend

Lord Krishna is the 9th avatar of Vishnu. Krishna took birth as the eighth son of princess Devaki and her husband Vasudeva, who belonged to the Vrishi clan of Yadavas from Mathura. Devaki’s brother Kamsa had ascended the Yadava throne by imprisoning his father Ugrasena. Wicked Kamsa also imprisoned Vasudeva and Devaki following the prophecy which predicted his death at the hands of Devaki’s eighth son. Devaki’s seventh conception was an apparent miscarriage, after Kamsa killed the first six infants soon after their birth. The apparent miscarriage was actually a secret transfer of the infant to Rohini (Vasudeva’s another consort) who give birth to Balarama, Krishna’s brother. When Krishna was born, Vishnu ordered Vasudeva to take Krishna to Nanda and Yashoda of Gokul. It was a night of heavy rain; the prison guards fell asleep, the chains got unleashed and the prison gates got unlocked. Vasudeva took baby Krishna with him, crossed the river Yamuna and reached Gokul where everyone was asleep. He kept Krishna there and returned with Yashoda’s baby girl. When Kamsa attempted to kill the baby girl, thinking her to be Devaki’s eighth child, she rose into the air, revealed herself as Yogmaya and warned Kamsa about his death. Krishna, with his brother Balram, grew up in Gokul. On returning to Mathura he killed Kamsa and freed his parents Vasudeva and Devaki with the help of his brother. 

Janmashtami Significance

Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated in high spirits as Krishna is one of the most followed Hindu deities. Also, Krishna is the ninth and the last incarnated avatar of God Vishnu. Vishnu took birth as Krishna to free the world from evils and to guide people to the path of Dharma or righteousness. Lord Krishna’s life and his mayas or miracles are important elements in the epic Mahabharatha. He is the Lord who narrated Bhagavad Gita, the Hindu holy text preaching Dharma. In Bhagavad Gita, the lord says ‘whenever there is predominance of evil and decline of righteousness, I’ll incarnate to destroy them and to re-establish Dharma in the world’. Hence Janmashtami or Krishna Jayanti symbolises restoring the goodness. It is celebrated to encourage the goodwill and to bring people together, signifying unity and faith.


Celebrations

Janmashtami is celebrated with colours and fervour all over India. Singing, dancing, exchanging of gifts, prayers and chanting hymns from Bhagavad Gita are some of the observances.  Some people observe fasting and stay until midnight, offering prayers. In some places, a cradle with infant Krishna’s idol is placed and swung, symbolising his birth. Conducting Janmashtami processions is another common observance. In this procession, people dress themselves up in the attire of characters in Hindu Puranas and epics. Children dressed as little Krishna enacting the instances from Krishna’s life is a major attraction of the procession. Temples conduct readings of the holy text Bhagavad Gita.

Dahi Handi (pot of curd) is a high energy celebration conducted to commemorate little Krishna’s stealing of butter. An earthen pot containing butter, buttermilk, ghee (milk fat) or milk is hung at a height using a rope. Men who participate have to make a human pyramid by climbing on each other, to reach the pot and to break it. Dahi Handi encourages men to work as a team. This celebration is referred as Uriadi in parts of South India. Rasalila or dramatic enactments of flirtatious aspects of Krishna is a tradition in some parts including Manipur. All traditions and observances of Janmashtami vary with different locations in India.

In Maharashtra, Dahi Handi is celebrated with great fervour. Here, groups of men move from place to place to break as many pots as possible and to collect the prize, usually money.  A participant in this festival is called a Govinda or Govinda pathak. 

Janmashtami celebrations are at its peak in places associated with Krishna’s life such as Mathura, Gokul and Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh. These places attract visitors from all over India to participate in the Janmashtami celebrations. Also, hordes of people visit the town of Dwaraka in Gujarat where Krishna is believed to have established his kingdom. People of the town organise major celebrations and the devotees visit Dwarkadhish temple.

In parts of Odisha and Bengal, people celebrate Janmashtami by fasting and reciting Bhagavata Purana. They recite Bagavata Purana from the 10th Skanda that deals with pastimes of Krishna. Devotees stay awake until midnight and break their fast only on next day. The next day is called Nanda Utsav which commemorates the joyous celebration of Nanda and Yashoda. Varieties of sweets are prepared and distributed on this day.

In Tamil Nadu, the observances include singing devotional songs, reciting Bhagavad Gita, preparing savouries, fasting, midnight pooja etc. Devotees decorate floor with kolams (patterns drawn with rice batter). Some people draw footprints of Krishna from the entrance to pooja room indicating the arrival of the Lord. Also, they dress the youngest male child in the family with Krishna’s attire and serve prasadam (eatables offered to Lord) to them.

Poojas, fasting, singing of devotional songs, preparation & distribution of eatables etc. are common Janmashtami observances in Andhra Pradesh too. Young boys dress up as Krishna and visit neighbours’ and friends’ homes. Milk, curd, sweets and fruits are offered to the Lord before distributing it among the visitors.

Major celebrations are conducted at famous Krishna temples in South India too. Rajagopalaswami Temple Mannargudi, Udupi Bala Krishna temple, Pandavadhoothar temple in Kanchivaram and Guruvayur Krishna temple are some among them. Hordes of devotees visit these temples on the occasion of Janmashtami. 


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Sadesathe in the Puranas - 2

Sadesathe in the Puranas - 2

Separation from Wife
Nala feels if Damayanti contines to stay with him, she will only suffer with him and so, if he can go away when she is fast asleep, may be she would go back to her parents. Under the influence of Kali Purusha, Nala goes away leaving Damayanti in the forest.

On waking, Damayanti realizes what Nala has done. She comes across a group of ascetics to whom she explains her plight. They bless her saying she will be reunited with Nala and be freed of all misery. Damayanti then joins a caravan and reaches the city of Suvahu of the Chedis after much difficulty. She is given shelter by the queen of the kingdom.

Nala Becomes Ugly
King Nala, in the meantime, has entered a thick forest where a fire is raging. Nala hears the serpent-king Karkotaka saying, "I deceived the great sage Narada and got cursed. There is no snake in this world equal to me. Please take me in your hands". As Nala approaches Karkotaka to take him in his hand, he shrinks in size to that of a thumb. And bites Nala's hand which makes his appearance undergo a change making him grotesque.

Karkotaka blesses Nala saying, "You will not feel any pain from any kind of poison. I changed your form so that you could go about unnoticed. You may now go to Ayodhya and introduce yourself as Vahuka to King Rituparna, who will teach you the nuances of the game of dice. You will regain your kingdom". Further Karkotaka gives Nala a pair of clothes, on wearing which he can regain his original appearance.

Nala calling himself Vahuka meets King Rituparna and tells him that he is adept in cooking and equestrian science. Nala is taken in as the superintendent of the stables.
In the meanwhile, an emissary from King Bhima comes to the Chedi kingdom who recognises Damayanti as the daughter of his king. She is sent back to her parental house in Vidharba where her father, the king sends his emissaries in search of Nala who report that a person resembling him is now employed in the service of King Rituparna in Ayodhya.

Exchange of Knowledge
King Bhima announces Damayanti's Swayamvara to bring back Nala to his daughter. King Rituparna decides attend the Swayamavara and sets out with Nala as his charioteer. As they proceed towards Vidarbha, King Rituparna teaches Nala the art of playing dice while Nala teaches equestrian science to the former. On the way, they come across a Vibhitaki tree where Kali Purusha leaves Nala's body. Kali Purusha blesses King Nala saying, "If anyone recites your history, they need have no apprehensions from me". In other words, reciting or listening to Nala's story is said to shield one from Sani Dosha or the evil caused by Saturn. Kali Purusha then enters the Vibhitaki tree. From that on day the Vihitaki has been treated as an accursed one.

Three Cycles
Saturn's 7-5 year transit is classified under three heads in Tamilnadu. 

The first round is called Mangu Sani. This occurs when the 7 1/2 Saturn cycle takes place for the first time in life. It spoils health and education.

The second round is called Pongu Sani. This is considered a fertile or auspicious period contrary to prevailing textbooks views. Auspicious functions like marriage would materialise. One view which probably could be inferred is that the second round is less harmful than the first. In most cases the first phase of Saturn happens in childhood whereas the second round comes in adulthood, so the native would be able to overcome problems better.

The third round is called Kungu Sani. This may, in several instances, prove to be the final sadesathe in one's life. Mental worries, agony amd mourning are some of the results. In many instances, the person many even die.Out of the 7 1/2 years, transit of Saturn over natal Moon or Janma Sani is deemed to be the worst. It can also be life threatening.

When Saturn transits the 8th house, sorrows, fear of accidents, attack through weapons and other dangers are possible. There can be problems from the government. One suffers humilitation. There is wasteful expenditure and one may get caught in litigation . Transfer to remote places and one being forced to do menial jobs are some of the results.

The saying Buddi Karmanu Sarini (one's mind functions in accordance with past Karma) is applicable to Saturn's transit over inauspicious houses. When the past Karma of a person is bad, his intellect gets corrupted, forcing him to do evil deeds. Such deeds lead to losses, dishonour and other undesirable consequences. All such events are foreshadowed by the transit of Saturn over inauspicious houses.

Nala Regains Kingdom
Returning to the story of Nala and Damayanti when King Rituparna reaches the Vidharba kingdom, Damayanti senses that Nala has appeared in disguise as Vahuka and confronts him with a barrage of questions: "Who, except King Nala could desert his wife in the forest? What wrong did I commit to deserve this? Why should King Nala desert me, especially when I had married him in a Swayamvara in preference to the celestials? Why did King Nala break the vow to protect me which he took at the time of marriage?" To all these questions, Nala gives a one-line answer "All these wrongs are not attributable to me. They are due to Kali Purusha. I have now come here only for your sake. Kali Purusha was with me when all these evil things happened. But now he has left me. But I want to ask you 'Can any woman, forsaking her loving and devoted husband, choose another man as her husband?"'

Damayanti then tells Nala, the Swayamavara was only a ruse to bring him from Ayodhya to Vidharba. At this juncture, Nala remembers the benediction of Karkotaka and puts on the clothes given to him regaining his old handsome form.

King Nala returns to his kingdom with a big retinue and challenges Pushkara to a game of dice. But at the same time gives an alternative too: If Pushkara is unwilling to play dice, he can choose to face him in a battle. Pushkara, is worsted in the game this time and King Nala regains the kingdom. King Nala forgives Pushkara for all that had happened. Telling him, "All the suffering I underwent is due to Kali Purusha. You are not the real cause" he gives him part of his kingdom.

Concluding the story the sage says "Nala suffered the woes all alone but finally regained his prosperity. But I see you, the Pandavas in the forest, along with Lord Krishna. You are also meeting scholars who are well versed in the Vedas. So, there is only little cause for sorrow. The influence of Kali or Sani is destroyed when one hears the story of Nala Damayanti, Rituparna and the serpent King Karkotaka".

Hidden Morals
Some of the morals hidden in this story are:-.

1) For Nala's reversal of fortune, the reason cited is the entry of Kali Purusha owing to his failure to wash his feet after attending the calls of nature. Similarly Damayanti had to pay a heavy price for failing to honour the gods who came to the Swayamvara .Wrong karma and divine wrath are harmful. This is why both Nala and Damayanti had to suffer.

2) According to the Srimad Bhagavatam (1-17-38), Kali Purusha is supposed to be present in five places, namely, gambling houses, bars or pubs, places where harlotry is carried on, abattoirs or places of murder and gold stock rooms. That is, untruth, infatuation, lust, passion and enmity are the abstract qualities over which Kali Purusha holds sway. So those who harbour the five above mentioned qualities become liable for punishment. King Nala played the game of dice with Pushkara. This is how he fell a victim to Kali Purusha.

3) In works such as Garuda Purana, there are scientific interpretations given to human features. For instance, facial hair in women is bad, while absence of facial hair in men indicates a crook Damayanti is said to have had a mole on her face which explains her prosperity and royal status.

4) The message of Taittiriya Upanishad is:

 Swadhayaya pravachanabhyam na paramathithavyam
(Seek and also also impart knowledge - never fail to do both).

Here the exchange of knowledge between Nala and Rtuparna is an illustration of this dictum. Knowledge of dice is gained by Nala and Rituparna learns equestrian science from the former. Knowledge grows only when shared.

5) When the time becomes auspicious, one comes across the right people. When Nala's favourable period began he could defeat Pushkara and regain his kingdom. But all this was truly achieved on account of his gaining knowledge of dice from Rituparna. So Nala meeting King Rituparna could be termed a pre-ordained event. Also this underlines the truth of the dictum 'Nothing in this Universe happens by coincidence'.

6) Karkotaka biting Nala is due to the effect of Kali Purusha. But purvapunya (merits of earlier births) of King Nala ensured that after being bitten he is blessed by Karkotaka who offers him guidance for reuniting with Damayanti. So it can be said that when man's Karma is favorable, even a snake will turn out to be an ally.

Vyasa's Benediction
The final benediction offered by Vedavyasa to the reader is:

Karkotakasya nagasya damayantya nalasya cha
Rtuparnasya rajarse kirttanam
Kali nasanam

(Think of the serpent King Karkotaka, of Damayanti and Nala and the Rajarishi (royal sage) Rituparna and be fee from the shackles of Kali.)

The message conveyed is that the outcome of human effort is uncertain; one should not be either overjoyed with success or lose hope in adversity. The assurance given by Maharishi Vyasa is this:
" He who recites the story of Nala repeatedly or will listen to it will never be touched by adversity". All his efforts will crowned with success. He would be blessed with success, fame, progeny (sons and grandsons), pre-eminence among men, health and joy. Such a person would be immune to Sani Dosha (or Kali dosha) and therefore, will never face adversity. As the words of sages are considered axiomatic and have an intrinsic propensity to come true, I am sure, the avid reader who happens to read the story of Nala and Damayanti in these pages would be in a position to overcome adversity in his personal life and also be in a position to guide others who may be under the spell of adverse planetary positions. 

Courtesy: MODERN ASTROLOGY ( Dr E. S. Neelakantan)
Continued from: Sadesathe in the Puranas

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Jupiter Transit 2016

Jupiter Transit 2016
Sarveswaraanaam  dhishanesthi nithyam
Saannidhyam asma dishanenukoole
Praayonukoola sakalascha deva
Sthal praathikoolye sathi nanukoola

This sloka tells us that Guru represents all gods or divine forces. If Guru is favourable, the native will get all favours. Guru is the most benefic planet. It offers graces liberally. It is also judgemental. But unlike Saturn who is very rough and tough, Guru gives lenient results.

On August 11th Jupiter transits from Leo to Virgo. As per Varaha Hora,Guru in kannya rashi is
Boudhey bhooriparischatha athmaja
Suhruth sachivya yuktha sukhee
Meaning guru will be having lot of residences, dress and such facilities and also enough children friends and holding important executive positions and comforts.It will affect various moon sign people and different ascendant people. 
Let us discuss how the transit is going to affect different groups. The results will be more prominent for those undergoing Jupiter or moon or sun maha dasa.

Prithwee midhunam kanni

meaning Virgo is an earthen rasi. It is up facing rashi also. It is a female rasi too.It is soodra rasi. 

Soodra sthree mriga karkida

1. ARIES
For Arians (Mesha), Jupiter is their 12th and 9th lord who goes to the 6th sign. What does 6th sign mean? 

Sathru, rogam, rinam, choram

It is the house of opponents, debts, thefts and illness.
  • Beware of sickness, Do exercise, Yoga etc as per Kalapurusha avayava,(means body part) ,sickness may affect your abdomen
  • Beware of thefts    
  • Be careful of enemies
  • 12 th bhava means journey and expenditure. Hence be careful of expenditure   
  • Keep good relation with father and guru
TAURUS
For Taurus (Vrischik rashi) Guru is 8th and 11th lord, who is transiting to 5th sign. 5th sign is the house of education and children. Guru going to 5th is always good. Taurus students can excel in their studies. They can think of higher education now. But be careful of health issues due to the 8th lordship of Guru.

GEMINI
Guru is the 7th and 10th lord transiting to the 4th sign. 4th sign means the house of family and motherhood for Gemini. Hence this transit is very good for your home, mother and people can think of constructing new houses, purchase of new vehicle etc. You will find happiness from career and home. Your public image will also be good.

CANCER
For Cancer people (Karkidaka rashi), Guru is the 6th and 9th lord transiting to the 3rd sign. Guru going to the 3rd sign is not very good; it is the sign of valour, thoughtlessness brothers/sisters and neighbours, helpers etc.
The sixth sign is inimical. Hence chances of enmity with assistants and helpers and brothers and sisters should be avoided.

LEO
For Leo ascendant people (Simha rashi), Guru is the 5th and 8th lord occupying the second sign. Second sign means family and ancestral property and education. Hence the transit will increase income and family well being. Probability of a new child in your home is also a possibility.

VIRGO
For Virgo(Kanya rashi), Guru is the 4th and 7th lord occupying the ascendant. Hence for family, marital life etc time is good and prosperous. It, induces higher wisdom too. If not married, wedding bells may ring now.

LIBRA
For Libra people(Thula rashi), Guru is the 3rd and 6th lord transiting to the 12th sign. 12th sign means the house of journeys and expenditure. So journeys may increase and so also the expenditure. Health condition may also be bad. Situation is not good and may be unfavourable but be positive in your actions.

SCORPI0
For Scorpio or  Vrischik rasi people, Guru is the 2nd and 5th lord which transit to the 11th sign. As we know the 11th sign is the house of income and fulfilment of all wishes. Hence wishes connected with money, family, children and their education, are expected to fulfil. Overall, very good period is seen.

SAGITARIUS
For Sagittarians or Dhanu rashi people, Guru is the ascendant and 4th house lord occupying the 10th house. 10th house means the house of career. Hence the transit will induce improvement in ones professional life. New employment for the unemployed is also there. Particularly teachers will be benefitted. Promotion in career can also be expected.

CAPRICORN
For Capricorn or Makar rashi people, Guru is the 3rd and 12th lord transiting to 9th sign. 9th sign is the house of luck and fatherhood. The period will be good for spiritual or religious activities. Relation with brothers and sisters and also with the neighbours may give good results.

AQUARIUS
For Aquarius or Kumbh rashi people, Guru is 11th and 2nd lord transiting to 8th sign. 8th sign means the house of all obstructions. Hence avoid all risky investments and avoid lending money in the coming period since it may be dangerous.

 PISCES
For Pisces or Meena rashi  people ,Guru is the first and 10th lord. It is transiting to the 7th sign. 7th sign means the house of marriage as well as common public.
Your approach in marital field, business etc will be appreciated. You may get awards and appreciation. Career wise the period will be positive. The period is particularly good for poets, drama, cinema and music professionals.
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Significance of Vavu Bali

Significance of Vavu Bali

Vavu Bali or Vavubali Tharpanam is an important ritual of the Hindus in Kerala. It is an annual homage given to the departed souls and is also referred as Karkkidaka Vavu for the ritual is observed on the Amavasi (New Moon Day) in the Karkkidaka month. The word ‘Karuta Vavu’ in Malayalam means New Moon and ‘Bali’ or ‘Bali Tharpanam’ means offering. Dead ancestors, parents, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters are remembered on this day and the ritual of Bali Tharpanam or Shraddham is done near  water bodies – seashore, river banks or ponds.

Significance
Karkkidakam is the last month in the traditional Malayalam calendar ‘Kolla Varsham’. It is believed that on the Amavasi day of Karkkidakam month, the dead souls get full strength and in order to propitiate them and help them achieve Moksha (liberation) the ritual of Bali Tharpanam is observed. Though Bali is performed on the Star/Nakshatra of the departed person, the ritual performed on the Amavasi day in Karkkidakam is considered auspicious and is believed to appease the spirits easily. Amavasi of Karkkidakom also marks the first new moon of Dakshinayanam or the southern transit of the Sun. It is believed to be the night of Devas or Gods. By observing Karkkidaka Vavu ritual, Hindus believe that their Pitrukal or ancestor souls will achieve Moksha and shower blessings to the family members.

Also, according to Vedic Astrology, Sun is the ‘Pitru Karaka’. In the month of Karkkidaka, Sun is in its own constitution and both the Sun and the Moon stay in the same house of the astrological chart on Amavasi, suggesting the presence of paternal and maternal lineages.

Bali Tharppanam or Pitru Tharppanam
The Hindu customs give great importance to the after death rituals. These rituals are commonly called Shesha Kriya (in Malayalam 'Shesham' denotes ‘after’ & 'Kriya' denotes ‘ritual’). Bali or Pitru Tharppanam is the most important ritual in this, which is observed annually to liberate the souls from all worldly existence and to help them achieve Moksha or eternal peace. In the Hindu custom, when a person dies, the younger ones in the family have to perform Bali/Pitru Tharppanam. Usually, the ritual is observed as per the calculations on the star/nakshathra of the day the person has died. Still, regardless of these calculations, Karkkidaka Vavu Bali is observed and is considered most auspicious.

Bali/Pitru Tharppanam performed on the Amavasi or New Moon Day of Karkkidaka month is referred as Karkidaka Vavu or Vavu Bali. Usually, the day falls on July or August in Gregorian Calendar. On this day, the ritual is observed with great devotion and the rites are conducted near water bodies. Starting from the morning, thousands of people gather on seashores and river banks to conduct this ritual. Temples and religious organisations in Kerala make wide arrangements for the people to perform this ritual. Balippuras or Bali Tharppanam centres will be erected on the banks of holy rivers and seashores. Temples near seashore or river banks arrange special ‘Theertha ghats’ too. The important Bali Tharppanam spots in Kerala such as Shanghumukam Beach Trivandrum, Thiruvallom Parasurama Temple, Varkala Papanasam, Kollam Thirumulavaram, Aranmula,Aluva Manappuram, Thiruvillwamala, Thirunelli, Thirunavaya, Kozhikode Beach, Sri Sundarekhsa Temple Kannur, Thrikunnapuzha etc. will remain crowded on this day and the State authority takes special steps for the safe and peaceful observance of mass Bali Tharppanam. 

The ritual
The Vavu Bali ritual is usually done by males, but sometimes, by women and children too. Men wear only a dhoti while performing the ritual; in some areas, a red cloth will be tied around the waist. The person who performs the rites has to wake up early in the morning and finish the morning routines to reach the Bali Tharppanam spot. Also, he has to observe fast on the day and is usually allowed to have only one meal comprising rice. Vavu Bali is conducted under the guidance of a priest or an elderly person. Darbha (a type of grass), cooked rice, pavithram (ring made of darbha), ellu (sesame), cheroola (a herb), water and banana leaf are the important materials required to perform Bali Tharppanam rites. The offering is done on the banana leaf and the person performing the ritual takes a dip in the water, immersing the offering and leaf. The rites and materials slightly vary with various locations. In northern parts of Kerala, people offer Ada (a kind of sweet) to the departed souls at their homes.

Karkkidaka Vavu Bali is analogous to Mahalaya Shraddh Paksha or Pitru Paksha Shraddh observed in other states of India. On the day of Karkkidaka Vavu Bali in Kerala, Hindus in Tamil Nadu observe Aadi Amavasi rites for the devoted souls. Thousands of people take a dip in sacred rivers and important Theerthams on this day.



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Sadesathe In The Puranas

Sadesathe in the Puranas

Eternal Relevance

The Puranas and Itihasas deal with astrology offering valuable clues to planetary influences on humans. There is a key clue in the story of Nala and Damayanti, which occurs in the Mahabharata and is the core subject of the famous composition Naishada Charitra of Sriharsha. This story gains significance in astrological parlance, because the hero of the poem, King Nala who lives in regal opulence gets caught in the grip of Saturn. After going through terrible suffering he regains his lost kingdom after coming out of Saturn's clutches. On many scores, this story has eternal relevance and the moral of this story needs to be understood by those who wish to overcome adversities caused by planets in inauspicious positions.

Talking of propitiation of planets to thwart the adverse consequences of planetary transits, why is it that Saturn alone assumes more importance than any other planet? Barring Jupiter and Venus, the rest are either total or part malefic, delivering evil results. Venus can also turn into a functional malefic when influenced by Kendradipati Dosha. But why is Saturn the most dreaded among all the planets? 
 Dreaded Transit 

Saturn is slow when passing through a Zodiacal sign and consequently he influences the native for a longer duration, but only at a specified period of time. All planets in transit bear evil influences in all houses except the 3rd 6th and the llth (but Mantreswara says that Rahu, Ketu and Sun give benefic results in the 10th house apart from the 3rd, 6th and 1lth). One tolerates an injection, because the pain it causes lasts only for a short period but were the pain to remain for a long time, one would, of course, be concerned. Likewise, the length of time of Saturn,s transit is the first major concern. 

Secondly, Saturn is Dukhakaraka or the significator of grief. All suffering is attributed to Saturn. So, when a planet exclusively has governance over grief as its principal portfolio that becomes scary.

Thirdly, the Sun denotes the soul (Atma); the Moon shows mind (manas). So these planets cannot be malefic for anyone. According to Laghu Parasari, Chapter l, Verse ll, neither the Sun nor the Moon can induce Ashtamadhipati Dosha attributed to the ownership of the 8th house. When a planet gets to rule a malefic house from either the Sun or the Moon, that planet must qualify as a first rate malefic and this applies to Saturn. The 6th is the house of the enemy. Saturn, by virtue of being the lord of Capricorn (6th house from Leo owned by the Sun), becomes an enemy of the
Sun; the Moon by owning Cancer, the 6th from Aquarius (owned by Saturn) becomes an enemy of Saturn. With these points before us let us take a look at the story of Nala. 

Nala-Damayanti Episode

This story was narrated by Sage Brihadasva to Yudishtira and his brothers (excluding Arjuna who then had embarked on the journey seeking Pasupata from Mahadeva). Yudhishtira's poser to the sage was whether anyone in human history had ever lived a more wretched life than himself. The sage answers this question with the story of Nala and Damayanti. Knowing that good fortune is an oscillating phenomenon, Brihadasva advises Yudhishtira to remain calm when things do not fare well. The message conveyed here is that when the period is adverse, one gets separated from one's loved ones; one is reunited when the period turns favourable and that one has no control over the time factor.

King Nala was said to be well-versed in the Vedas and heroic. Damayanti was the the beautiful Princess of Vidarba kingdom and the only daughter of King Bhima. Two geese serve as messengers between Nala and Damayanti sparking love between them through descriptions of their respective charms. When King Bhima learns of his daughter's state of mind, he announces a Swayamvara for finding an eligible groom for his daughter.

The swayamvara is fixed for an auspicious lunar day in an auspicious season on astrological factors. When Nala sets out for the Swayamvara he meets the gods Indra, Kubera, Varuna and Yama on the way. These celestial beings request Nala to be their messenger to Damayanti. Indra, the King of the celestials, says: "I have come to attend Damayanti's Swayamvara with the other celestials. Please praise us before Damayanti and she is sure to marry one of us."

Nala retorts: "You know very well, I am going there for the same purpose. Is it fair on your part to ask me to do this?". Nevertheless, the Gods leave Nala with no option but to praise them before Damayanti. Since celestial anger can bring misery, Nala requests Damayanti to choose one of the Gods instead of him. But Damayanti says she will choose only him and then the gods cannot blame him. The gods understand Damayanti's mind and assume Nala's form. However, being exceptionally intelligent, Damayanti chooses the real Nala from the look alikes. 

Saturn Angered 

After the marriage is over, the Gods are on their way back when they meet Kali Purusha who they learn is on his way the Damayanti's Swayamavara in the hope she would choose him. At this, the Gods laugh and say, "All is over. Damayanti has married a mortal by name Nala, rejecting everyone else." Kali Purusha is infuriated. He decides that Nala and Damayanti should lose their kingdom and that they should suffer the pangs of separation.

Kali Purusha may be taken to be none else than the planet Saturn. This view is based on the legend that Nala is supposed to have visited the temple of Saturn in the holy town of Tirunallar (Tamil Nadu) to overcome his misery. 

The marriage between Nala and Damayanti earned them both the wrath of Saturn, who had been coveting Damayanti. 

Saturn Creeps in

One morning, King Nala recites his morning prayer with a blemish; he has not washed his heel after attending the calls of Nature. This was the opportunity Kali Purusha was waiting for for twelve years; without a minute's delay, he moves into Nala's body. 

Kali Purusha (Saturn) meets Pushkara and exhorts him to play a game of dice with Nala assuring him of victory. Elated by this offer, Pushkara challenges Nala to a game of dice. which Nala accepts. One by one he loses all his gold, silver, robes staking them one after the other. Finally he loses even his kingdom. Pushkara, knowing that Nala has lost everything, asks whether the game could go on with Damayanti as a stake. At this stage, Nala stops playing and comes away with Damayanti. 

Pushkara, the king now, issues an ordinance that anyone helping Nala in any manner would be executed. Consequently Nala is forced to spend three nights on the outskirts of the city surviving on only water. Unable to see Damayanti suffer, Nala requests her to go to her father's kingdom where he says she could be comfortable. Damayanti wants  Nala to accompany her so that both can stay in the palace. But King Nala is not willing who. Would be happy to see him in this plight? So, they drop the idea of going there. 

Courtesy: MODERN ASTROLOGY (Dr E. S. Neelakantan)


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Astrological Relevance and Rituals of Ramayana Month

Ramayana Month Significance

The Month Karkkidakam - the last month in the traditional Malayalam Calendar Kollavarsham or Kollam Era, is often referred as Ramayana Month. It is a period of great Astrological, Geographical, Social and Cultural significance for the people of Kerala who spend this time, observing various traditional practices. Reciting Ramayana at temples and homes is one of those observances in Karkkidakam which gives the name Ramayana Masam (Ramayana Month).

Karkkidakam starts in the middle of July and ends in the middle of August. The whole Kerala region experiences a period of bad weather, reduced crops and various ailments during this time, which cause the people consider the month as inauspicious. The Hindu community in Kerala desists from fixing or conducting marriages and other auspicious functions during Karkkidakam. The traditional practice of reciting Ramayana is meant for a spiritual enrichment, which can help people feel less affected by the negativity of the period.

Astrological Significance


In Sanskrit the word Karkkidaka means cancer and it is the period when the Sun transits through Karka Raasi (Cancer Zodiac).  Karkkidaka Samkranti/Karka Sankranti which marks the transition of Sun into Karka Raasi, also marks the end of Utharayana (northern transit of Sun) and the beginning of Dakshinayana (southern transit of Sun). Dakshinayana will last for next 6 months till Makara Sankranti and the nights are longer during this period.

In Vedic Astrology, Sun is regarded as ‘Pitru Karaka’. During the month Karkkidakam, the Sun is in its own constitution and on the New Moon Day of Karkkidakam, both Sun and Moon stay in the same house of the astrological chart. The Amavasi or New Moon Day of Karkkidakam is observed by the Hindus as Karkkidaka Vavu, a day to pay annual homage to the dead members of the family.

Geographical & Social Significances

The month of Karkkidakam falls in June-July period and is often marked by heavy rains. The South-West Monsoon will be in its full swing in Kerala which results in chilly weather, loss of crops, damages, diseases and deaths. The agrarian community of Kerala suffers from retarded production in crops and the people have to rely on the grains stored in the previous seasons. The continuous rains and flooded farmlands make it difficult for the people to go out and do works. Also, the torrential rain increases the spread of diseases. In order to resist the bad climate and diseases, people follow some special diets which improve their immunity.

For all these features, Karkkidakom is also referred as Panja Masam (Month of scarcity) and is considered inauspicious for special occasions such as marriage, house warming etc. Strong believers do not prefer this month to start any new ventures or conduct important functions. Land registrations and vehicle purchases will be less and the whole business will become dull. A general tendency can be seen among the people, to spend less and prepare for the heavy shopping and festivities in next month Chingam.

OBSERVATIONS

Recitation of Ramayana
The tradition of reciting Ramayana during Karkkidakam is believed to be started in the 16th century. Adhyatma Ramayanam written by Thunjath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan is recited in the temples and homes during this period. The author Thunjath Ezhuthachan is called as the Father of Malayalam language, and his work Adhyatma Ramayanam is a lucid version of Ramayana which became popular among the Malayali community.

The purpose of reading the legend of Lord Ram is to attain a spiritual enrichment and to find comfort in the agonies inflicted by month Karikkidakom. A spiritual solace can be attained through regular and devoted reading of Ramayana during the 31 days of Karkkidakam. The story of Ram is not only significant for its spiritual element, but it preaches the right conduct and the duties of an individual towards the society, parents, siblings, husband, wife etc. A devoted reading of this epic can help purify the minds.

The person who recites Ramayana has to sit before a nilavilakku (lighted oil lamp) and read the verses in a particular rhythm. He has to start the reading from the first day of Karkkidakom and complete it on the last day of the month.

Karkkidaka Kanji
Bad weather and diseases are some of the salient features of the month Karkkidakam. In order to resist these adverse conditions and to improve the immunity, people stick onto some special diets during this month. Also, as agricultural activities come to a halt, farmers follow some Ayurvedic practices to rejuvenate their health. Karkkidaka Kanji is a porridge type preparation had by all people, including children during this month. It is a traditional Ayurvedic blend which has the power to purify the body and improve immunity.

The ingredients of Karkkidaka Kanji may include Navarra rice, broken wheat, jeerakam (cumin), manjal (turmeric), pepper, cardamom, jathikka (nutmeg) , cloves, thiruthalli, uzhinnigi, bala, attibala,  chathurjatham, kalasam, assalli, jathipathri, danakam, satkuppa, kakkankaya, etc. These are boiled in coconut milk or cow milk along with jaggery and a pinch of salt. At old times, Karkkidaka Kanji was served throughout the month and was had by everyone during early morning or evening.

Also, leafy vegetables like muringa (drumstick tree) leaves and spinach are not consumed in this period as they carry some poisonous elements at this time of the season.

Nalambalam Darsanam
Nalambalam Darsanam/Yatra is an annual pilgrimage held in this period to four famous temples in the central Kerala region. It involves offering prayers at Triprayar Sree Rama Temple, Irinjalakuda Koodalmanikyam Temple, Moozhikkulam Lakshmana Temple and Payammal Shathrughna Temple, which are dedicated to Lord Rama, Bharatha, Lakshmana and Shathrughna respectively. This practice originated centuries ago when completing this task in one day was an ardent task. Today, as these temples are well connected by roads, this pilgrimage is gaining more popularity.

Lakshmi Pooja/Sheepothi Orukkal

This includes a set of practices to welcome Lakshmi Devi - the Goddess of prosperity. On the last day of Mithunam (the month before Karkkidakam), people clean the interior and exterior of houses, destroy the damaged utensils, pots, brooms etc and  cleanse the house by sprinkling dung water. This practice is conducted to expel Chetta or Alakshmi or Ashree from the homes. After this, Lekshmiku Vaykkal or Sheepothi Orukkal is conducted by arranging auspicious things, including Ashtamangalyam and Dasapushpams in front of Nilavilakku. Also, some special poojas are conducted in the temples.
The cleaning of house and premises can improve sanitation and reduce the risks of diseases in the adverse period of Karkkidakom.

Illamnira or Puthiri
The traditional practice of Illamnira or Puthiri includes farmers taking reaped paddy sheaves to temples for Lakshmi Pooja and devotees collecting it from there.  After the pooja, it is distributed back to the farmers and other people visiting the temple. It is believed that keeping this paddy at home would bring wealth, happiness and prosperity.

Aanayoottu/Sukha Chikitsa for elephants
It is a part of the rejuvenation treatment given to the elephants in the month of Karkkidakam. Elephants form an important part of Kerala temple customs and tradition. Special massages, food and Ayurvedic medicines are given to the elephants to rejuvenate their health. In Guruvayoor Sree Krishna Temple, Aanayoottu or feeding of elephants is a great event of tourist importance where more than 60 elephants are given special treatments, diets and tonics.

In today’s world, as the modern lifestyle expels out the traditional practices, the recitation of Ramayana and preparation of Karkkidaka Kanji is so rare at homes. Yet, Ramayana Parayanam or recitation of Ramayana is conducted in temples and some venues arranged by spiritual organisations. In media, Malayalam television channels telecast some authentic programs related to Ramayana or Karkkidakom in general. The recitation of Ramayana is now available in CDs & DVDs and some Ayurvedic product manufacturers sell ready-made Karkkidaka Kanji sachets. Also, there will be an increased sale of Thunchath Ezhuthachan’s Adhyatma Ramayanam issued by various publishers in Kerala.
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Some More Astrology in the Srimad Bhagavad Gita

Some More Astrology in the Srimad Bhagavad Gita

The best example of the Guru (teacher) and Sishya (student) relationship is of Siva and Parvati who reached perfection merging into each other. Siva as the perfect Guru bestowed Divine Knowledge on Parvati, the ideal Sishya. This complete transfer of knowledge was possible only because of the total surrender of the Sishya to the Guru. And creation started with the merger of Siva and Parvati or Shakti or the principles of Purusha and Prakriti. Lord Siva or Purusha is represented by an upward pointing triangle and Shakti or Prakriti is depicted by a downward pointing triangle.
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When these two triangles combine what one gets is the horoscope in the domain of astrology.
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All the 12 Bhavas or houses in the merged diagram with the 12 Rasis or signs depict the different aspects of human life.

Lord Krishna makes use of the Siva-Shakti triangle in the Srimad Bhagawad Gita (IV-19) from which Sloka, one can answer the querent seeking to know the result of an exam or test one has appeared in.

यस्य सरवे समारमभा आम:
कामसंकल्पवर्जितः  ।
ज्ञानाज्निदग्धकरमानम तमाहुं 
पण्डितं बुधाः ।।
Yasya sarve samarambhaah
kaamasankalpvarjitaah I 
Gnaanaagn idagdhaka rmaanam
tamaahuh panditam budhah II

meaning: Whose undertakings are all devoid of sensual desire, will to achieve results and whose actions are burnt by the fire of Self-knowledge, such a one is called a pundit or an expert by the wise.

In other worlds, the highest knowledge is completely dependent upon the Supreme Lord Who alone guarantees that all reactions to or results of actions are neutralized by the fire of wisdom. Coming to the astrological aspect of the Sloka, there can be a four possible results to the above query as follows:-

i) Will be outstanding, or
ii) Will be good, or
iii) Will be average but definitely a pass, or
iv) Failure.

First note the Ascendant of the Prasna chart and also see how the Moon is placed with reference to the Ascendant or the Ascendant lord. Then apply the astrological principle embedded in the Sloka in the following way:

i) Tamahuh panditam budhah: This scenario emerges when the disciple has fully surrendered to his Guru and gets merged in the Guru; then there lies no difference between the Guru and the disciple, that is, when Shakti itself becomes Siva and has no separate existence and then it achieves the Siva triangle. So when the mind is free of desires or goals, then the querent attains complete knowledge. So when the Moon is in the 1st, 5th or the 9th (Siva triangle) and is related to either the Ascendant or its lord, then the result will be outstanding.

ii) Gnanagnidagdhakarmana: This occurs in one's life in his struggling hardworking phases when one burns all of one's efforts and Karma in the fire of Self-knowledge and moves ahead, but still is left with a small ego (the thought of being karta or the doer) or that he himself has done this and therefore this small ego creates hindrance and thereby his surrender cannot be said to be total or complete. This leads to a scuffle where his sincere efforts to attain knowledge take him forward but at that very same moment, the feeling that he himself is doing the Karma drags him backwards. The belief that with one's own knowledge one has been able to burn the Karma leaves a feeling in the mind that one is the doer instead of the Guru. This leads to a result which is not outstanding but still can be described as a good result. In the horoscope of Kalapurusha or the Zodiac, hard work (Mars) reaches its exaltation in the 10th house or the "Karma house". Guru or Jupiter, the preacher of knowledge, reaches his exaltation point in the 4th house. Therefore, the 4th-10th axis is where the Purusharthas get dissolved in the fire of spiritual knowledge. Also, we may note, the 4th and 10th houses act as the central axis dividing the chart into two equal parts.

So when one burns or purifies oneself in the fire of knowledge and diffuses all of one's Karma then all the efforts begin to succeed. So when the Moon in the Prasna chart is in the 4th or 10th house and in a favorable relationship with the Ascendant or its lord, then the result will be good.

iii) Kaamasankalpvarjitaah: This scenario occurs when although one is wanting to move ahead, one still has strong desires within him which constantly hinder him from moving towards his goal with complete dedication. One's own desires pull one backwards. But still one has a clear understanding that one has to bypass all the desires and eventually move towards the path of knowledge and therefore, one tries to become a good disciple. This belief never lets one lose the battle and Nature also supports one from time to time, so even though one is not able to attain the best results one still manages to clear the exams. Shifting the focus now to the Prasna, the querent may not succeed very well but his constant motivation to move ahead is always kept alive. So if the Moon is placed in the 1st, 3rd or 7th (Shakti or Kama Trikonas) and is favorably related to the Ascendant or its lord, then the result is average but a definite pass.

iv) Result is Failure: This is the most difficult task for the astrologer when he has to tell the querent that there may be no success in the exam. So Lord Krishna gives an easy solution to this dilemma in this Sloka. After explaining the cases for outstanding, good and average performance, the Lord simply maintains silence and does not speak anything about it in the Sloka. So when the Moon comes into the 2nd, 6th, 8th or the 12th houses and is related to the Ascendant or its lord then the best option is to defer the answer. When even Lord Krishna prefers to stay silent where is the need for the astrologer to answer it!
Question data: January 30,2012 at 11 a.m. in Delhi
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This is an example of a querent asking about the outcome of the result of an entrance exam which his son had appeared for.

The Moon is in the Ascendant (Siva-triangle) and the Ascendant lord too is in a Siva-triangle, so the result should be outstanding. So it was, the son securing 99-99 percent in the examination.

Through this Gita Sloka and the Siva-Shakti triangle, we are told that when the Sishya goes to a Guru in a spirit of complete surrender and dedication then he always moves ahead into higher realms of life and ultimately attains complete knowledge.

Courtesy: Modern Astrology (A.B.Shukla)
Also read: Astrology in the Srimad Bhagavad Gita
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All You Need To Know About Horoscope And Marriage Compatibility


all you need to know about horoscope and marriage compatibility

Marriage is a sacred institution where two souls are bound to live together and take care of each other until the end of their lives. As per the Hindu astrology, the planets & celestial bodies and their positions at the time of a person’s birth have a significant influence on his/her personality and life. Hence, the Vedic Science implies the importance of analysing horoscopes of the prospective bride & groom. Vedic Astrology follows a methodology to study horoscopes of the boy and the girl to ensure peace, harmony and prosperity in their married life. This technique of checking horoscope or marriage compatibility is generally referred as Porutham or Koota.

Importance of Horoscope Matching

Marriage is a solemn agreement between a man and a woman to live together for the rest of their lives. Since horoscope implies the personality and character of an individual, it is the Hindu tradition to analyse horoscopes of the couple to foresee the future status of their married life. Marriage or Horoscope Matching is done on behalf of the couple before they tie the knot. In this process, the compatibility of the astrological agents in each one’s horoscope is studied which in turn gives the compatibility of their physical nature, mental attitudes, temperament etc., assuring whether the marriage will be a happy one or not. We believe that the horoscope compatibility ensures the lifelong binding of the couple and the prosperity of their life.

Porutham or Koota is the Vedic Astrology method of checking horoscope compatibility and matchmaking. The sole purpose of following this age-old method is to ensure the compatibility between the man and the woman so that they enjoy a happy and prosperous married life. Porutham or Koota is based on the study of Nakshatras (Birth Stars) and Grahas (Planets) of the boy and the girl who want to get married. Their horoscopes are analysed and all astrological agents influencing their lives are considered and matched. Though this method devised 20 different Poruthams in the ancient times, now only 10 are in use. The different Poruthams check the strength of different aspects in married life, analysing horoscopes of the prospective bride and groom. The aspects considered include mutual affection, harmony, prosperity, health, longevity, sexual compatibility, temperament, children, fortunes etc. Usually, the alliances are called off when the overall Porutham indicates less or no compatibility. Only those with good Porutham are considered good for marriage.

Astrology compatibility and Strength of relations

The astrology compatibility of the individuals and the strength of their relationship is what analysed  through the 10 Pothams or Kootas. These Poruthams or Kootas represent distinct characteristics and are considered altogether for rating the compatibility or the strength of the relation. In some parts of India, only 8 Poruthams are considered while in some places a total of 12 Poruthams are analysed.

The 10 different Poruthams (Kootas) considered are Dinam, Ganam, Yoni, Rasi, Rasiyathipaty, Rajju, Vedha, Vasya, Mahendra and Stree Deergham. In the process of compatibility check, the effect of each of these Poruthams is analysed one by one.

Dinam Porutham or Dina Koota represents health and prosperity of the married couple.  Good Dinam Porutham indicates freedom from poverty and disease and the couple are expected have a  long and prosperous married life.

Ganam Porutham is considered in the matching of temperaments of the boy and the girl as well as in the compatibility of their sex life.

Yoni Porutham is considered to determine the sexual compatibility between the couple. Yoni Porutham which also indicates the physical compatibility of the couple is studied for both the girl and the boy. It points out the incompatibilities, as the compatibility is also dependent upon the emotional variations.

Rasi Porutham deals with the compatibilities of birth stars or zodiac signs. The position of the moon at the time of birth determines the Rasi or zodiac sign which has significant effects on a person’s physical characteristics and character. Hence, Rasi Porutham is important in checking the marriage compatibility and it compensates for the lack of other Poruthams.

Rasiyathipaty Porutham refers to the compatibility of the Lords of birth stars of both the girl and the boy. For a good compatibility, the Lords of the birth stars should be in friendship. If the birth star Lord of the boy is in friendship with the birth star Lord of the girl, the marriage will be a happy and long-lasting one. The effect will be just the opposite if the birth star Lords are not in friendship with each other. Rasiyathipaty Porutham also has its effect on progeny or children.

Rajju Porutham is the one with the highest importance as it refers to the husband’s long life. It is properly analysed as it indicates the happy relationship with wife and the longevity of relation.

Vedha deals with the incompatibilities between the birth stars of the boy and the girl. The word Vedha means ‘affliction’ and if the birth stars are not agreeing with each other, the marital life will pass through adversities. If the couple marries with ‘vedha’ in their stars, the life will be afflicted and they may suffer from illness, stress etc. For those whose birth stars are compatible or not having ‘Vedha’, the married life is expected to be happy.

Vasya Porutham is a measure of the compatibility between the zodiac signs of the couple. A strong Vasya Porutham enables mutual affection, physical attraction, respect and harmony.Vasya Porutham is significant, especially when there is an absence of other Poruthams like Ganam Porutham and Rasi Porutham.

Mahendra Porutham stands for wealth, progeny and longevity. A strong Mahendra Porutham ensures prosperity and the possibility of children.  It also suggests that the husband will effectively protect and care his wife and children. It can compensate the absence of Dinam and Rasiyathipaty Poruthams

Stree Deergha Porutham ensures good health, long life and prosperity to the woman. A strong Stree Deergha Porutham refers to the longevity of couple with no health issues, an understanding husband and wealth & prosperity.

Out of these 10 Poruthams, Ganam, Rajju, Dhinam, Rasi and Yoni are considered important with Rajju and Dhinam having the greatest importance. Points are given to each of these Poruthams or Kootas and are summed up to get the net score of horoscope matching. If the score is above 50% the couple is considered good for marriage. However, besides these 10 Porutham, there are some other important parameters in matchmaking such as Manglik Matching, Nadi Koota, Bhakuta Koota  etc.

Manglik (Mars) Matching is very important in matchmaking and is the first thing considered in most of the cases. The horoscopes of the boy and the girl are analysed for Manglik Dosa/Chovva Dosam. In between the horoscopes of the couple, there must be a compatibility of the Planet Mars for ensuring a happy married life.

Nadi Koota is necessary to ensure the wellness and longevity of husband and wife as well as the happiness of their children. Bhakuta Koota refers to the mutual beneficial placement of the Moon in their horoscopes. A good Bhakuta Koota suggests sound harmony between the partners in important aspects of life. On certain instances, if Nadi Koota or Bhakuta Koota is weak, even a good score in Poruthams is considered inauspicious. Porutham or matchmaking is a complex process where many other astrological factors such as ‘balance between the Yogas of two horoscopes’ are also analysed before finalising an alliance as a good match or not.

Porutham or Horoscope Matching takes into consideration the natural tendencies of the boy and the girl based on their birth charts. Though marriage is most important to the bride and the groom, it is also an institution where two families or two cultures are joined together. The process of checking Porutham or matchmaking should be in accordance with the changing trends. The modern times demand the need of new techniques of predictions without altering the basic traditional concepts. A good astrologer should take into consideration the existing social circumstances and the intellectual needs of the boy and the girl. A happy marriage creates happy individuals; the stable families create a stable society.
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On Pisces Ascendant


on pisces ascendant

There is a real need today to codify the findings of our ancients in a variety of disciplines. The principles intuited by them, their possible applications, and the results of differing permutations and combinations have to be gathered together, so that we can try to extend their scope and application in the modern age. This is particularly necessary in astrology because of the flourishing of different grades of quacks and pseudo-astrologers. In this field, we cannot brush aside the Nirayana system which has stood the test of time. It is no use toying with the Sayana system. Intelligent and well-informed astrologers even in the West are now turning to the Nirayana system. In the second place, we must admit that astrology is embedded in profound symbolism. One form of this symbolism appears in the equal-house system implicit in the teachings of Parasara. The M.C. is at best a sensitive point. It cannot determine the cusps of houses. The cusps are determined only by the degree rising on the horizon at the time of birth.

With these basic assumptions which are proved to be true in countless cases, an attempt is made at codification of traditional teachings regarding only one sign as the Ascendant. For the purposes of this paper, Pisces is taken up since it is the last sign of the Zodiac and since it signifies the first of the ten incarnations of God. As the 12th house of the Zodiac, it is the sign of Moksha or Final Emancipation.

Pisces represents the feet of the Cosmic Being. It is a watery sign and partakes of the characteristics of the movable and fixed signs. The spiritual preceptor Jupiter is the owner of this sign. Jupiter appears in scriptural lore as Brihaspati and as Ganapati. Here Venus, the indicator of arts, love and pleasure, is exalted while Mercury indicating practical ability is debilitated.

Compassion, kindness, emotionalism, innocence, generous nature, skill in arts and Sastra, love of a tranquil life and deep thinking are some of the features of this sign. It is also indicative of sacred rivers, sacred places, weakness, dropsy, nervous debility, indigestion, ailments arising from drink and other foods.

The natives of this sign do not have a strong constitution. The hands and feet are strong. The eyes are prominent and impressive. The hair is soft. They are conservative with a tilt to the left. They are religious and yet, love pleasure. Poetry, authorship, refusal to waste time, failure to lead a clean life, obstinacy, loss from enemies and quarrels, occasional serious ailments in childhood, helpfulness and generosity, a deeply philosophical nature and spiritual activities, skill in the arts and the Sastras, gullible nature •— these are some of their traits. They can be won over easily and they can also be easily deceived. They have hidden enemies. They are generally subject to many misfortunes.

Jupiter is the lord of the 1st and the 10th, Mars of the 2nd and the 9th, Venus of the 3rd and the 8th, Mercury of the 4th and the 7th, Saturn of the 10th and the 11th, the Moon of the 5th house, and the Sun of the 6th. From this we can gather that only Mars and the Moon are benefics, besides Jupiter. Though Jupiter owns the 10th, he is not a malefic. But it is better if he is posited in a Kendra. The lords of the 9th and the 10th conjoining in the 6th or the 8th is beneficial to this Ascendant. Mars should be in a Kendra or in a malefic house. Even in a Kendra, he can give bad results and he should not be in a trine. Saturn in a square or a trine gives benefic results. The Sun in the 4th or the 10th is beneficial.

Benefic Yogas
Some of the benefic Yogas or combinations for Pisces Ascendant are:-

1) Mars and Jupiter in a square.
2) Sun, Mars and or Jupiter in a square
3) Moon with Mars and Jupiter in a square or trine.
4) Mercury in the 4th, the 7th, the 9th or the 10th.
5) Sun alone beneficial when with the Moon.
6) Moon and Mercury.
7) Moon and Jupiter
8) Mercury and Jupiter
9) Sun and Saturn in a square
10) Jupiter and Saturn in a square
11) Rahu or Ketu in a square or trine without any other planet. They should not be with Mercury and or      Jupiter. There association with Mars and Saturn is tolerable.
12) Moon and Jupiter in Cancer or Scorpio.
13) Moon in the 2nd and Mars in the 5th.
14) Venus in the 6th, Jupiter in the 8th, Saturn in the 9th, Mars and the Moon in the 10th.This is a Raja Yoga.
15) Moon, Mars and Mercury in Capricorn.
16) Mars and the Moon in the 5th. Then the Dasa of the Moon is extremely beneficial.
17) Moon and Saturn in the 1st, Mars in the 11th and Venus in the 8th. Then the Dasa of Venus is very good.
18) Moon, Mars and Jupiter in the 4th without any association or aspect of Venus and Saturn. Then  Jupiter and the Moon will be beneficial in their Dasas and Bhuktis.
19) Jupiter in the 10th, The Dasa of Jupiter would be a grand success.
20) Saturn in the 12th.
21) Jupiter in the 5th, more daughters.
22) Jupiter in the 6th, Venus in the 8th, Saturn in the 9th and Mars and the Moon in the 11th
23) Moon and Saturn in the 1st, Mars in the 11th and Venus in the 6th. Then the Dasa of Venus is beneficial.
24) Moon in the 3rd, the Sun in the 6th. Mercury in the 7th, Venus in the 8th, Jupiter in the 10th, Saturn in the 12th and Mars in the 11th.
25) Mars and Saturn in the 2nd or the 11 th.

Adverse Yogas
Some of the malefic Yogas or combinations are:-

1) Jupiter Dasa or Bhukti will be bad if he is with the Sun.
2) Sun and Venus give debts, diseases and enemies.
3) Sun and Saturn beget many troubles and losses.
4) When the Moon and Mars are together, Moon Dasa brings domestic troubles.
5) The Moon and Saturn combination makes the Moon give worries about children.
6) In the Moon and Venus combination, Moon Dasa creates many troubles.
7) The conjunction of Mars and Mercury gives rise to infectious diseases and troubles regarding the partner's death.
8) The conjunction of Mars and Venus brings losses.
9) Mars-Saturn conjunction makes the period of Mars a difficult one.
10) When Mercury and Venus are together, Mercury gives no good results.
11) When Mercury and Saturn are together, Mercury might bring about one's own death or troubles related   to the partner.
12) In Jupiter-Venus conjunction, Jupiter creates obstacles, losses and ill-health.
13) In Jupiter-Saturn conjunction, Jupiter creates ill-health and losses.
14) When Venus and Saturn are together, both become capable of killing the native. There will be trouble with regard to partner, children and occupation.
15) In the Sun-Saturn-Moon combination, the Moon does not give any good results.
16) Moon in the 12th brings poverty.
17) When Mars, Jupiter and Venus are in Capricorn, the Bhukti of Venus in the Dasas of Mars and Jupiter brings disastrous results.
18) When Mercury and Venus interchange their houses, Rahu Bhukti or Sun Bhukti in Mercury Dasa brings about death.

When Pisces Ascendant is aspected by the Sun, Mars and Venus, one becomes an evil-doer. Aspected by Mercury, he develops a taste for humour. Jupiter's aspect raises him to a position of authority. The aspect of Venus makes him a scholar.

Not only should one interpret the results from the Ascendant but also from the Chandra Lagna or Moon-sign. The results indicated above have to be modified by a calculation of the strength of the planets and houses, and by many other factors. Then these get further modified by the results indicated in Navamsa.

Consider a couple of examples which will reveal the complexity of the problem. Chart 1 is that of a lady born on 6th June 1935. The balance of Mercury Dasa at birth was five and a half years. The aspect of Mars falls on the Ascendant to some extent.

The lord of the Ascendant is in the 8th aspecting Saturn and Mercury. The Moon is with Venus, though there is no conjunction. The lord of the 6th is in the 3rd. She was married in the period of Venus to a person who was divorced earlier and who thereafter followed family planning. The result is that this woman can have no children of her own. A chart like this creates some problems for the astrologer, if he rejects the directive principles given in classical texts.


Chart 2 has Mars in the 6th aspected to some extent by Jupiter. The 10th house is well occupied. The 2nd has a strange set-up. The Moon is well placed. Rahu and Ketu are alone. Mars aspects Rahu. During Jupiter Dasa, the native rose to the Bench of a High Court. As Saturn Dasa began, he became the Chief Justice. Venus in the 2nd made him think of becoming a playwright. But Venus, not being well-placed, could not give him what he longed for. Jupiter's aspect redeemed him to some extent. The Ascendant is aspected by Mars; and this can be explicated in a very significant way. Some of the combinations listed earlier are to be found in this chart.

What we need is a codification of the principles along with illustrative charts. Then we will be in a position to show effectively that astrology works when it is handled by those who do it according to methodology.

Courtesy: MODERN ASTROLOGY (Prof. PS. Sastri, M.A., M.Litt., Ph.D)
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The Concept of Badhakesh



Our horoscope is a window through which we look into our life. Our life is divided into 12 parts and each part is known as Bhavas or houses. These houses are occupied by signs or rashis. These houses can or cannot have a planets sitting in it. The lord of those signs /rashis will also be present in some house in the chart. 
A house with complex placement can create complex issues to the native. The lord of that particular house is known as Badhak or Badhakesh. These Bhadak or Badhakesh will be different for different Lagnas/Ascendants.

You can check your Badhakesh sign according to your Ascendant or Lagna in the table given below

Sign Badhakasthana
Aries Aquarius
Taurus Capricorn
Gemini Sagittarius
Cancer Taurus
Leo Aries
Virgo Pisces
Libra Leo
Scorpio Cancer
Sagittarius Gemini
Capricorn Scorpio
Aquarius Libra
Pisces Virgo

 The peculiarity is that for all movable ascendants Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn the Badhakesh house will be 11th house and its lord.

For fixed ascendants/lagnas Leo, Taurus, Scorpio and Aquarius Badhakesh will be the 9th house and its lord.
For Dual Ascendants Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces Badhakesh will be the 7th house and its lord.

For Movable ascendants/lagnas 11th house, its lord and which house that lord is placed will show where should be their main focus throughout your life. The 11th house deals with wealth, money, prosperity, hopes, profit, gains, big organizations, friends, elder siblings, aspirations and collective projects.  

For fixed ascendants/lagnas Leo, Taurus, Scorpio and Aquarius Badhakesh will be the 9th house and its lord and where the lord is placed will show the details of the matters which you have to give first preference in your life.  The 9th house rules  father figures, mentor, divine learning, spiritual pursuits, consciousness, charity, generosity, duty, destiny, happiness, foreign travel, long journeys of short duration  life in foreign lands, meditation, education in foreign lands, general fortune, religion, pilgrimages, philosophy, law, and philosophy. 
 
For Dual Ascendants Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces Badhakesh will be the 7th house and its lord and where the lord is placed. The 7th house rules spouse, marriage, legal agreements, business partners, liveliness, sex, fertility, passion, adultery, moral principles, pleasures, comforts, luxuries, foreign settlements, success in love affairs, conjugal life, home abroad, travel, trade or business,  and sexual organs.

Find the position of Badhak house? What is the condition of that lord? Is it exalted? Is it debilitated? Is it in retrograde? Is it in conjunction with friends or enemies? Is it expected by good planet or bad planet?

Badhak or Badhakesh means hindrances or restrictions. These restrictions can create stress throughout your life, if you are failing to identify it and start to manage it. If you identify this in your chart, take this information in a healthy manner. You identified your weakness and now it’s time to manage them carefully. It is not necessary that they must always create problems. If their Badhakesh or lord of the Bandhak house is placed well then you can even expect progress in those matters.

When you research the Badhak and Badhakesh effect in your chart, then you should not only read the matters allotted to the house, but you should read it with the sign and the house which Badhakesh sits. There is no such thing that you will never prosper if your Badhakesh in bad condition. God’s grace along with good Karma will add value to your efforts and will make your life more valuable. Planets are just an indicator of the challenges which you can face. They are not an ultimatum
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