Thursday, August 3, 2017

VEDIC ASTROLOGY GUIDES OUR HOROSCOPES;ASTROLOGERS OUR HORROR-SCOPES



Vedic Astrology Guides Our Horoscopes;  Astrologers our Horror-scopes
(Compilation for a discourse by N.R. SRINIVASN, Nashville, TN, August 2017)


Navagraha worship is inspired by   the worship of Vedic deities Surya (Sun), Chandra (Moon) and Brihaspati (Jupiter), later including some planets  Mars,  Mercury, Venus, Saturn and the nodal points of Moon Rahu and Ketu.  People of all faiths always believed in the influence of the planets on human life with the first-hand experience of Life on earth. Logically speaking, the creation of planets precedes that of human beings. Hence, some sort of cause and effect relationship must subsist between the two. This seems to be the basis for Navagraha belief.
The Navagrahas are regarded by   Hindus alone having the greatest astrological significance and are believed to influence the life of the individuals as also the course of history as we hear during Panchanga-sravana (religious discourse on almanac) every year on Hindu New Year’s Day. Hindus   have been inspired by Puranas particularly Rama’s worship of Surya which is misinterpreted as Navagraha Shanti Puja  (Navagraha altar created near Ramesvaram later)  from the  reading of  Adityahridaya in Ramayana. What surprises most is the inclusion of the split Rahu and Ketu the demonic characters of Puranas.   Rahu and Ketu are considered inauspicious even positively maleficent and responsible for children’s disease. Hence they are   dreaded most and need to be   propitiated and so commercialized and popularized by astrologers and religious priests.    Moon in its orbit, on a northerly course from South to North, crosses the ecliptic (the apparent path of Sun). This point of intersection is known as Rahu or Dragons head. 180 degrees away from this point, Moon on its southerly course crosses the ecliptic. This point is called the dragon's tail or Ketu.  Astrologers believe while Sun is the Self, Inner Light, and Intellect, Moon is the mind,   often projected in   Hindu scriptures, these deities both are believed to have immense effect on human lives. “Why not then the intersection that must also have immense effect presumably” is the religious inspiration ! 
  
Scientific explanation of eclipses was propounded in India in 499CE by Aryabhata (born in 476 CE) in his   treatise   Aryabhatiyam.   According to this theory, solar and lunar eclipses occur when the Moon is at either of its orbital nodes. These theoretical points move in a direction opposite to that of the planets and complete an orbit in the rather short period of 18.6 years. This development was immediately taken note of by astrological pundits, who classified the two nodes as planets, implying that they were now amenable to mathematics.  Since they were hypothetical they were dubbed as shadow planets. The 6th century CE text Brihajjataka  by Varahamihira   includes Rahu and Ketu in the list of planets, and even gives their synonyms: Tamas, Agu and Asura for Rahu; and Shikhi for Ketu (Rao 1986, p.76), which however never gained currency. The two nodes are 180 degrees apart so that specifying one fixes the other. It would thus have sufficed to include just one of them for both stages. Religious Hindu mind started working here. Time is God. 7 days were then worshiped as seven grahas.  So they added two more and created a Navgraha Altar an altar of Time that rules our destiny two being shadow grahas more fearful acting from behind! 9 is made up of 1+8=9 where 1 (one) stands for Saguna Brahman and 8 for Ashtadikpalakas 8 deities ruling over the eight quarters of the universe;  Indra, Yama, Varuna and Kubera (East,  South, West, and North); The intermediate directions are  ruled by Agni (South East), Nritti (South  West), Vaayu (North West), and  Isaana  (North East). Here we have a mix of friendly and dreaded deities mix  as in Navagraha altars. These deities of eight quarters also figure in Vedic astrology as ruling deities of  a Nakshtra in their domain among 27 Nakshatras of the month from  Asvini to Revati. Rahu  and Ketu puranic creations  drew support from Nirriti.

Vedic Astrology called Jyotiṣha is one of the Vedāṅga, the six auxiliary disciplines used to support Vedic rituals. Early Jyotiṣha was concerned with the preparation of a calendar to fix the date of sacrificial rituals.   Sun, Moon, Mother Earth and Brihaspati were   venerated and worshiped as Vedic deities, not from astronomical considerations.   Nothing was written on planets. But we come across a Nakshatrasookta in Taittareeya Brahmana and Taittareeya Samhita reproduced in Mantra Pushpa  of Ramakrishna Math. Various deities mentioned in this sookta  are mentioned as presiding deities as Sakti   or power of 27 Naksharas from Aswini to Rohini. Sun, Moon and Brahaspati mentioned in this sookta are also worshiped along with four planets Kuja (Mars), Budha, (Merecury) Venus (Sukra), Sani (Saturn) and two ascending and descending nodal points of Moon called  Rahu and Ketu.  Rahu and Ketu are the demons mentioned in Puranas responsible for causing eclipses periodically. There are mentions of eclipse causing "demons" in the Atharva- veda and Chāndogya Upaniṣhad; the Chhandogya  Upanishad mentioning Rāhu.  In fact the term Graha, which is now taken to mean planet in Hindu astrology was originally meant demon.    You have heard about several demons disturbing Sandhyvandana and the need for Arghya to drive them away in Garuda Purana! Ṛigveda and later Mahabharata and Ramayana mention an eclipse causing demon, Svarbhānu.   Planet is a wrong translation for Graha as Navagrahas include only five planets--Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn; the  Sun is a star; the   Moon is a satellite; and two nodal points of Moon are Rahu and Ketu. They are all given the same title Graha which is a Sanskrit term meaning that which pulls. 


 It was only after the transmission of Hellenistic astrology that the order of planets in India was fixed in that of the seven-day week.  Hellenistic astrology and astronomy also transmitted the twelve zodiacal signs beginning with Aries to Pisces and the twelve astrological places beginning with the ascendant.    The first Indian astronomical text to define the weekday was the Āryabhaṭīya of Āryabhaṭa (born AD 476), the main texts upon which classical Hindu astrology is based are early medieval compilations, notably the Bṛhat Parāśara Horāśāstra, and Sārāvalī by Kalyāṇavarma.  We would have been happier if wisdom has stopped at seven grahas as in Hellenistic Astrology.  Hinus always had superiority complex! They though 9   as a sacred number,  1+8=9. 1 stands for Supreme with ashta (8) dikpalakas directional controllers of good and bad!
Astrology remains an important facet in the lives of many Hindus. In Hindu culture, newborns are traditionally named based on their horoscope, and astrological concepts are pervasive in the organization of the calendar and holidays as well as in many areas of life, such as in making decisions, arranged marriage, opening a new business, and moving into a new home, starting a journey etc.  Hindus are worried about Rahukalam every day to start anything and also wait for Gulikakalam!
Astrology remains an important facet of Hindu folk-belief in contemporary India. Many Hindus believe that heavenly bodies, including the planets, have an influence throughout the life of a human being, and these planetary influences are the "fruit of Karma”. The Navagraha, planetary deities, are considered as minor deities subordinate to the Supreme Being, in the administration of justice worshiped only in Siva and Sakta temples in South India and depicted in many north Indian temples on the lintels of the door, to protect the temple and all those who enter it. Thus, these Grahas are believed to   influence earthly life though they do not enjoy  any Vedic  authority.
Myths and beliefs in Navagraha worship are inspired by various Purnas and several slokas composed for their worship by religious scholars from time after time. We gather the following basic information from Puranas.  Surya is the notable visible form of God and Vyahriti of Brahman hailed in Rigveda.  Chandra is the Moon God born in milky ocean.  Mangala also called as  "Angarakan" is the son of Earth Goddess. Budha is the son of Moon God. Guru is   the instructor for Devas.    Shukra was the instructor of King Bali and demons.  Sani   is the son of Sun. Rahu is a   Rakshasa or Demon who is   mentioned in Samudra Mathana  (churning of the ocean) story. Ketu is not a planet but the descending point of Moon. He is   also Demon   like Rahu. Some say one demon was cut into two pieces as serpent head and tail both being immortal having tasted amrita. Some say there were two, all confusion confounded!

 After long observations of Sun and Moon with naked eyes our Rishis  found only Mars, Mercury,   Jupiter, Venus  and Saturn that followed the  zodiac road like a 7 lane express high way. That made 7 celestial  bodies from Sun to Saturn after which weekdays were named.  They did not have Hubble Telescope but only divine vision (divya chakshu.)

Indian astronomers divided zodiac circular, clock like road into 27 equal parts based on Moon's stay for a day under every star bunch ( Nakshatra or constellation) while Babylonians preferred 12 divisions ( Zodiac Signs) in which Sun stays for a Month.
For centuries, only 7 planets were used. Astronomers tried to co-relate planets’ motion in different signs / constellation and their effect on Earthy events like war, epidemics, crops yield , flood,  animal behavior, earthquake, storms, rise and fall of empires, birth and death of humans etc. and thus developed an applied science of Astrology . 
Long after, observing the eclipse phenomenon happening at least 2 times in a year they felt that something was missing in 7 celestial bodies’ predictive model. They visualized that there must be something in the sky that casts shadows on Sun and Moon during eclipse.  And then they came up with theory of Rahu and Ketu or dragon's head and tail which are shadows of Moon and Earth.  Rahu and Ketu are nothing but a virtual way of including Earth in scheme of astrological model.   That made total 9 planets of astrology.  Rahu and Ketu are like decimal and zero added to number system later on for creating perfect model and that works accurately in astrology, say the astrologers
Later day astrologers added the features of planets and signs based on person’s characteristics and visible characteristics of celestial bodies and thus whole astrology developed.
 Modern Hindu astrology does not   consider Uranus (Indra), Neptune (Varuna) and Pluto (Prajapati) as part of standard 9 Navagrahas, though celebrated in Vedas as  deities but not as planets, because their path of revolution falls out of zodiac.   Also, it is based on Geocentric model, where Earth is center because we need to assess sum of effects on Earthy life and not on Sun. Prominence for these planets has not been given in Hindu Predictive Astrology as their effects on human beings are believed to be negligible. Even science often comes out with the theory that Pluto is not a planet.
Closely watching the solar system to which earth belongs our sages p observed that the apparent path covered by the Sun in relation to earth (called the ecliptic), recurred periodically with rhythmic precision. Likewise, they noticed that the Moon’s path in relation to earth   also   recurred at regular intervals. Thus they gained the ability to forecast the timing of these recurring celestial events including eclipses. They also observed that the moon completed its path with respect to the earth in about 27.33 days. Hence the Zodiacal Belt was divided into 27 equal parts of 13 degrees and 20 seconds each which they called as Nakshatras. The first segment measured from Meshshaadi longitude of the Moon 0 degrees to 13 degrees and 20 seconds was called Aswin, the second Bharani and so on   ending with Revati.  Thus Nakshatra  in  Vedic Astrology is   only one of the 27 segments of the Zodiacal Belt whereas in astronomy stars are heavenly bodies twinkling in the sky. As you know, it was very difficult for these Rishis to think of any physical or natural phenomenon without associating with the divine they declared a   Vedic deity as the presiding deity for these 27 Nakshatras. The segment in which moon lies at the time of birth of a person, they called as Janma Nakshatra (birth star) of that person. For example when the Moon is 133 degrees 20” to 146 degrees 40” at birth the Janma Nakshatra is Poorva Phalgun.  Hindu Aagamas made it necessary to declare Name,   Janmanakshtra,   Gotra and   Branch of Vedic Education for any religious undertaking called Sankalpa. This forced our dependency on astrology, horoscope making, astrologers and priests. This Sankalpa is for all castes and sex   which  implies that everyone is obligated to study Vedas and not exclusive to Brahmin males.
 It is worth recalling here a thought provoking article by  David Frawley on the Shakti or power of the 27 Nakshatras of the month   (Aswini to Rohini) and their presiding deities based on Vedic Astrology.   Vedic astrology does not talk about Rahu or Ketu here though speaks of three different Serpent Devatas ruling over Aslesha, Poorvaabhadra and Uttraabhaadra.  Among the Navagrahas only mention is made of Sun, Moon and Brihaspati (Guru) as presiding deities. There is no mention of rest of the Navagrahas  Kuja, Sani, Rahu and Ketu about which modern astrology makes us so scared as affecting our lives. It is also heartening to note Vedic Astrology gives importance to planet Earth   glorified in Veda mantras as Aditi, as  the ruling deity of Punarvasu Nakshatra. It is worth recalling here the article by Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev “Why Rush to Astrologers  & Navagraha Altars  to Change  our Destiny?” Can Navagrahs do it? Vedas say one is bound by his own Karma and none is exempted. It is therefore   advisable not to focus on minor   Navagraha deities,   Navagraha Santhis and Homas but  to focus on our prayers to Supreme spirit and our submission to it.  Vedas say “Visvaani deva savitar   duritaani paraasuva yadbhadram tanma aasuva “—He knows what is good for us. Just pray to Him for your well-being!
You don’t need a special explanation to Sun, Moon and Earth glorified in Vedic astrology and  praised in Veda mantras and worshiped by all Hindus that are also worshiped in Navagraha Altars.  Brihaspati as Jupiter   in Hindu zodiac system, is considered auspicious and benevolent. Jupiter is   the most revered benevolent planet in Vedic astrology and occupies highest spiritual placement.   Brihaspati is the presiding deity of Pushya Nakshatra. In Sanskrit, Jupiter is translated as Guru. Guru is a name given to a (often spiritual) teacher. The prefix gu- translates as darkness and the suffix –ru translates as light. Thus, a Guru is one who can take us from ignorance to enlightenment.   Guru also means heavy and is the largest planet known to us. Therefore, Pushya also has the auspicious association with spiritual and religious themes.  Astronomically, Pushya nakshatra is situated from 3 degrees 20 minutes Cancer to 16 degrees 40 minutes Cancer.  Jupiter’s greatest exaltation is at 5 degrees Cancer. This is when we can most optimize our spiritual practices and nurture others.  Jupiter reaches this point on Guru Purnima day (July 8 in 2017). This day   is considered a special auspicious religious day for worship in temples and is also a National Holiday in India.
The word "Thursday"   after which the day in a week is named, is Greco-Roman.   Other Indo-European calendars also dedicate this day to   planet Jupiter.  Hindu calendars have also instituted a calendar system called Brihaspatyam in which a year represents the duration of time taken by Jupiter (Brihaspai) to transit a zodiac sign. On an average this takes about 361 days.  The zodiac and naming system of Hindu astrology, including Brihaspati as Jupiter, is likely developed in the centuries after the arrival of Greek astrology with Alexander the Great,  their zodiac signs being nearly identical. Only planet Jupiter the presiding deity of Pushya Nakshatra in Vedic astrology deserves worship along with Sun and Moon. The Grahas Mars, Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu worshiped in Navagraha altars are not mentioned in Vedic astrology as ruling deities of Nakshatras.  Planet  Earth is mentioned as ruling deity in Vedic astrology but it does not find a place is  Navagraha altar perhaps due to  we being the product of Earth itself,    we are under her benevolences  all the  time and throughout our life. It is safe to conclude that Navagrahas and their worship got introduced later into Puranas based on mythology,  like Ganesha,  after the invasion of Alexander the Great that have become too popular with  sectarian Hindu worship traditions marketed by astrologers  and exploited by priests.  
Vedic Astrology had also included the planets Uranus (indra), Neptune (Varuna) and Pluto (Prajapati) as you infer from the Presiding deities of the Janma Nakshatras Here are the extracts from Vedic astrology. The paragraph in square brackets is the explanation by David Frawley, Vamdeva Sastri.
Mrigashirsha
Mrigashirsha is ruled by Soma, the God of the Moon or the immortal nectar. Its power is giving fulfillment (prinana shakti). Its basis above is extension. Its basis below weaving (producing clothing). These three together make the world enjoyable.
[Mrigashirsha Nakshatra fills or covers with joy. It is like a beautiful cloth to make our life more attractive. Soma is a great enjoyment that is won, conquered, bought or stolen, so its procurement does not always come easily. However what does not require effort to gain is not always enjoyed either].
Pushya
Pushya is ruled by Brihaspati, the God of Divine Wisdom. Its power is the ability to create spiritual energy (brahmavarchasa shakti). Its basis above is sacrificial worship. Its basis below is the worshipper. These three result in the creation of spiritual energy.
[Pushya Nakshatra increases our good karma and good efforts. The value of this Nakshatra for religious and spiritual practices is emphasized. Brihaspati is the lord of speech, particularly prayer, and of all forms of worship, including meditation, so these indications are all in harmony with his functions].
Hasta
Hasta is ruled by Savitar, the creative form of the Sun God. Its power is the ability to gain what we are seeking and place it in our own hands (hasta sthapaniya agama shakti). Its basis above is the seeking of gain. Its basis below is the process of gaining. These three together place what one wishes to gain in ones own hand.
[Hasta gives the ability to achieve our goals in a complete and immediate manner. Such goals are usually creative in nature. Savitar is the creative will that builds up the universe with all of its beauty. His productions are most wonderful].
Revati
Revati is governed by Pushan, the nourishing form of the Sun God. It has the power of nourishment symbolized by milk (kshiradyapani shakti). Its basis above is the cows. Its basis below are the calves. These three bring about the nourishment of the entire world.
[Revati creates abundance through providing proper nourishment. It helps all people in their efforts. Pushan is the lord of cattle and the lord of the paths. He leads, protects and gathers the herd in their movement, particularly to new pastures. In this way he also protects the soul in its journey to the next world].
Vishakha
Vishakha is ruled by Agni and Indra and Agni, who represent the powers of heat and lightning in the Atmosphere. It gives the power to achieve many and various fruits in life (vyapana shakti). Its basis above is plowing or cultivation. Its basis below is the harvest. These three gives us the fruit of the harvest.
[Vishakha provides the effort to achieve our goals abundantly through time, like a farmer plowing his field. It does not give immediate results but perhaps greater long term gains. Indra and Agni here are agriculture Gods showing the ripening effect of heat, rain and seasonal changes].
Jyeshtha
Jyeshtha is ruled by Indra, the ruler of the Gods. It has the power to rise or conquer, and gain courage in battle (arohana shakti). Its basis above is attack and its basis below is defense. The result of these three is that one becomes a hero.
[Jyeshtha allows us to reach the summit of our personal powers but it requires great courage and effort. It shows karmic battles that require our complete energization in order to overcome. Indra is the king of the Gods who must eventually alone and single handed defeat the dragon, the most fearful of serpents. Though his position looks hopeless, he wins by courage and cunning, not by strength of arms].
Shatabhishak
Shatabhishak is ruled by Varuna, the God of the cosmic waters. It has the power of healing (bheshaja shakti). Its basis above is extension or pervasion over all. Its basis below is the support of all. These three make the world free of calamity.
[Shatabhishak counters difficult karmas through Divine grace and repentance. These include not only diseases but difficulties of all kind, including sin. While Ashwini gives more immediate cures, Shatabhishak brings about a healing crisis leading to revitalization. Varuna is a God of sin, debts, injury and disease, who cannot only bring these calamities upon us but can remove them from us, if we propitiate him sincerely].
Rohini
Rohini is ruled by Prajapati, the Creator. Its power is growth (rohana shakti). Its basis above is the plants and below is the waters. The result of these three is creation.
[Rohini Nakshatra allows for growth and creation on all levels, bestowing great fertility. However it also evokes some degree of jealousy because others may resent that a person gains such abundance. More over it can increase desire. But these are only side effects to its great prosperity. Prajapati is the creator who can bestow everything so we should be careful what we want].
Each Nakshatra has its particular power or Shakti. These are also the powers of the Devatas or the deities ruling the Nakshatras. Each of these Shaktis has its effect above and its effect below, and the final result of these three factors. The imagery is of common factors of plants, healing, worship, marriage and death which is the gist contained in  our horoscopes.
This is a teaching that derives from an ancient Vedic text called Taittiriya Brahmana I.5.1 and from the commentary of Bhattabhaskara Mishra. The first paragraph relates to the textual reference. The second paragraph consists of   David Frawley’s comments based upon it.
Modern astrology has its own reasons why Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are not included  Navagraha altars for worship or  as presiding deities and also the utter neglect of Earth planet as in Hindu worship where you rarely see a temple dedicated to Mother earth while she is always seen as one of the consorts of Vishnu in all processional deities of Vishnu. Punarvasu  is an auspicious Janma Nakshatra in Hindu astrology  which is dedicated to Mother Earth as presiding deity  in Vedic as Astrology.
Punarvasu
Punarvasu is ruled by Aditi, the Great Mother Goddess. Its power is the ability to gain wealth or substance (vasutva prapanna shakti). Its basis above is the wind or air. Its basis below is wetness or rain. These three bring about the revitalization of the plants.
[Punarvasu Nakshatra brings about the return of energy and vitality, like the return of the monsoon rains after the dry season. It causes our creative growths and inspirations to be renewed. Aditi is the Earth Goddess who grants all abundance and gives birth to all the Gods].
Modern Astrology based on myths, exaggerations and fear elaborated in Puranas  and Purana inspired hymns has also made-to-believe reasons  as to why Rahu and Ketu are included though described as demons.   None of the 27 Nakshatras  in Vedic Astrology have them as presiding deities though they have equal  status with planets, Satellite and Star in Navagrahas. Modern Astrology also says Rahu is the combination of two roots Raa and Hu meaning to surrender and offer in sacrifices; Kethu means Prajna or Pure Consciousness.  What a glorification of these two demonic portrayal which Vedic Astrology has just ignored finding a suitable boy! No doubt our Astrologers have exploited innocent devotees to conduct Shantis and Homas while their concocted Horrorscopes declare these demon deities as presiding deities of birth stars.  For example the presiding deity for Mula Nakshatra is Ketu in Modern Commercial Astrology. This Nakshatra as Janma Nakshatra is dreaded most by ignorant parents of a girl who are advised to conduct elaborate Shanti.  They also find great difficulty in  finding a boy in horoscope-exchange arranged marriages and therefore prepare fake horoscopes bribing astrologers.They have to find only the eldest boy of the parents and here also horoscope matching is difficult.  Bengalis would love this Nakshatra, Kali being the presiding deity in Vedic astrology and may consider most auspicious. A spiritualist would consider this birth-star as auspiciousness of pure Consciousness or Parabrahman. You can also see how the  modern astrologers confuse us and exploit us. On the other hand please see what Vedic astrology has to say:
Mula
Mula is ruled by Nirriti, or Kali the Goddess of destruction. It has the power to ruin or destroy. Its basis above is breaking things apart (barhana shakti). Its basis below is crushing things. Through these three one gains the power to destroy destruction!
[In bringing afflictions Mula Nakshatra allows us to destroy their root, as long as they don’t overcome us. It shows the necessary destruction to proceed a new creation. Nirriti is Alakshmi or the denial of Lakshmi (abundance and prosperity). She is Kali or the negative effect of time that we must protect ourselves from or use to our advantage].
I wonder whether Hindu   indu AAmerican kids would  ever bother about horoscope exchange with their freedom of free choice  to find   their ideal partners from  a different source  if can’t find in  their  tradition, culture or religion!  Kids born outside India will not worry about going to an astrologer for a horoscope being made?  They   can’t readily find on astrologer in the migrant land too!  Their use will also die as caste system in due course for American Hindus.   Purely ritualistic focused Hindus with no focus on spirituality would not like to hear  about  undue-importance given  and  time spent in  worshiping purely mythology based deities like Ganesha and Navagrahas so popular to-day promoted by our Saints, Religious  Pundits and Gurus and marketed by astrologers with no focus on the Supreme and Spirituality which is made very clear in Bhagavad Gita. Those who worship such deities will go to those deities    and those who   meditate on Supreme alone would go the Supreme and attain liberation. However the Supreme in his kindness may pardon their ignorance accept their prayers of those deities now and then and  grant their immediate needs, which may be a false alarm.    Let us listen   here  what Jagadguru Jaggi  Vasudev of ISHA Foundation has to say about Navagraha Worship:
“Nowadays, for anything that people want to do, they want to look at the planets and stars. If you want to step out of your house, the planets should align themselves properly. People are looking at the right time, the wrong time, rahukalam, gunakalam and whatever else. If they want to get married, they go and ask a third person (astrologer) “Can I live happily with my wife?” Whoever it is that you marry, why can’t you live well with her or him? Or if they show some new kind of madness that you did not expect, why don’t you leave them?
Should inanimate things decide the course of your destiny or should human nature decide the destiny of inanimate things (for planets are inanimate objects)?
 When anyone says “I am on the spiritual path,” what it means is, “It does not matter where the planets are, it does not matter what karma I have, I am going the way I want to go. I am going to go towards liberation.” That is what spirituality means – taking destiny into your hands.
You can either empower yourself so that you decide the course of your destiny, or you can let the planets and a million other things decide the course of your destiny. Unfortunately, people are looking too much at other planets. It is time you get a little interested in the earth and do something about it. I hope people will pay a little more attention to this planet. That is what is needed right now”.
Puranas, Religious Pundits and astrologers are indifferent to Earth Planet as is evident from her absence in Navagraha  but have  brought in   Rahu and Ketu demons and have  also raised   them to the status of planets. There is hardly any temple to Mother Earth even in USA with its enlightened society but there are many Navagraha altars because they are the rich source for temple income like Satya Narayan Katha worship ritual. There is a lone   temple for Dattatreya, the Divine Guru honoring Brihaspati in Baton Rouge. Many temples also do not consider Guru Purnima day as a Special Religious Events Day.   We are exploiting and abusing the most important planet Mother Earth  so significant to our life, every day, in our ambition to succeed while it is possible to share and care for her bounties and live in Peace but not  in pieces!
Environmental abuse may be the one reason for Extinction of Earth planet if not the Universe   which religions often predict as doomsday.
Will the universe come to an end? If we aim a flashlight up, most of the photons from our flashlight would indeed escape into space and travel unhindered, without hitting anything, for billions upon billions of years. But… there is no “end of the universe” after traveling some 13 billion years, the present estimate. If this were a static universe, those photons would eventually run into a star or a planet or an interstellar dust particle or something. But because our universe is not only expanding but its expansion is accelerating, it is, in fact, possible for many of our photons to truly continue forever into deep space, never, ever hitting anything. Brahman comes from the word “Brih” to grow (meaning ever expanding Universe) which is synonym with “Vridh”.  From “vridh” comes word. Holy Bible starts with “In the beginning there was the Word and the Word was GOD” The word here means word which is “Satya Vachan” in Sikhism which also has no end.

REFRERENCES:
1.      Swami Harshananda, Hindu Gods and Goddesses,Ramakeri9shna Math, Chennai, India
2.      Swami Nityanad, Symbolism in Hinduism, Central ,hinmaya ission Trust, Mumbai, India
3.      David Frawley, Shakti or the Power of 27 Nakshtras, Internet
4.      Jagadguru  Jaggi Vasudev, ISHA Foundation, Why Rush to asatrologers ansd  Navagrah Altars to Change our Destiny? Internet
5.      Srinivasan N .R.  Hindu Reflections:
6.      YCShukla.Com, How did Ancient in India  find the Nine Planets?
7.      Wikipedia, Navagrahas, Interrnet



A NOTE ON NIRRTI OR ALAKSHMI

Nirṛti is the Hindu goddess of deathly hidden realms and sorrows, one of the dikpāla (Guardians of the directions), representing the Southwest. The name nirhti has the meaning of "absence of   orderliness". Nirrti is the presiding deity of Mula Nakshatra in Vedic astrology, strongly associated with Kali in the form Dhumavati. Nirṛti is mentioned in a few hymns of the Rigveda, mostly to seek protection from her or imploring for her during a possible departure from the world or in death -bed. In one hymn (X.59), she is mentioned several times. This hymn, after summing up her nature, also asks for her to depart from the sacrificial site. In the Atharva Veda (V.7.9), she is described as having golden locks. In the Taittiriya Brahmana (I.6.1.4), Nirṛti is described as dark, dressed in dark clothes and her sacrificial shares are dark husks. In the Shatapatha Brahmana (X.1.2.9), she is associated with the Southwest quarter as her region. But elsewhere in the same text (V.2.3.3.) she is mentioned as living in the kingdom of the dead like Yama who is also a dikpalaka. The goddess has a dark black complexion similar to Devi Kali. Nirriti is also similar to Mahavidyas, Dhumavati. She is also named Alakshmi, and she wears a black dress and iron ornaments. Astrologers of present days relate her to Ketu Graha that is not a female but the serpent body of a demon separated out by Sudarsana chakra during churning of the ocean but still lives because of the stolen amrita drunk by the demon whose head Rahu also lives and believed to cause eclipse.    The 6th century CE text Brihajjataka by Varahamihira   includes Rahu and Ketu in the list of planets, and even gives their synonyms:   Asura for Rahu; and Shikhi for Ketu (Rao 1986, p.76), which however never gained currency.     Navagraha altars found in Siva and Sakta temple or temple door lintels include Rahu and Ketu with  (shadow)planet status along with seven others where only Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and  Saturn are planets, Sun is a Star and Moon a Satellite.



VEDIC ASTROLOGY GUIDES US, TO CLEAR KARMIC DEBT AND  TO PROGRESS ON THE SPIRITUAL PATH

 (E-MAIL SENT TO HR FORUM IN MAY 2018)

A soul when dies will go into a mother's womb according to its karma. That means the soul gets into a yoni to take birth based on past Karma-Yogyata (fitness). The soul taking rebirth into its past family is very rare. After death the soul will not have any connections, relationships, emotions attached to past family. It will start a new journey. The ancestral souls are waiting to be born in the families suitable. Any child born in a family will be linked to an ancestral soul in that family tree. This is known as pitru raashi after which pitru dosha is explained and remedial measures are suggested by astrologers.  These ancestral souls influence the mind and actions of the living.

There can be no lasting positive changes in life unless we develop Self-knowledge – a knowledge of who we truly are at the level of inner consciousness, not simply as outer personalities. Vedic astrology interpreted rightly helps us connect with our inner being or higher Self – that is its true purpose as is the case with all Vedic disciplines. It directs us to rituals, mantras and meditation practices to help us address the karmic limitations in our birth chart and unfold our higher aspiration. Vedic astrology has as its true goal the higher knowledge, not simply making us more successful as an ego in the material worlds.

According to the theory of Karmic Astrology, most of the people are born in the same family lines with same friends and same enemies in so many of their lives until their Karmic debts, duties and rewards are all cleared from that particular group of people or we can call them particular group of Souls. Westerners and doctors explain this as gene-effect, for example diabetes or heart attack in the family. Hindus resign to this as Karma-phala. This is why so much emphasis is put on doing good Karmas and it if often preached that the bad Karmas done by a person are going to affect the family line of that person which includes his children and their children and in the same way the good Karmas done by a person earn Karmic rewards which are paid to the future members of his family line who are going to enjoy good or great fortunes due to the good deeds done by their fathers and forefathers in the same way as a person enjoys the wealth earned and owned by his father.  

The physical and psychological traits of parents are transferred to the children. Every human cell or the DNA is the aggregate of human experiences, values, thoughts and actions of an individual carried through a long chain of existence. According to Navajyotisree Karunakara Guru, pitru dosha or ancestral problems are the result of wrong values, thoughts and actions in the life of our ancestors, which influence the life and destiny of the offspring.
Let’s go deeper in this theory of Karmic Ancestral debts and rewards with the help of an example taken from Hindu Mythology.
This example is best illustrated by  the birth of the Holiest River belonging to Hindu religion which is called  Maataa Ganga  by Indians and is commonly known as River Ganges by rest of the world. Long time back, there was a King name Sagara who was an Ancestor of Lord Rama. Due to some misunderstanding, the sons of King Sagara attacked a great Sage Kapila and they all died with the burning flames coming out of the eyes of angry sage Kapila. Sages are given great respect in India and insulting and attacking a great sage like Kapila formed a heavy Karmic debt which was going to bother all the coming generations of this family. Knowing this, Anshuman the grandson of King Sagaa went to Sage Kapila, asked for his forgiveness and requested him to prescribe a way to relieve the family of this Ancestral Debt. It was then told by Sage Kapila that if the holy river Ganga is brought to the earth from the heavens and the ashes of the burnt Princes are offered to holy river Ganga, only then this debt can be cleared.
Accordingly, Anshuman worshiped throughout his life to bring Ganga on earth but he did not succeed and the duty was passed on to his son King Dilipa who also worshiped throughout his life to bring Ganga to earth to clear the Karmic debts of his forefathers, but King Dilipa also did not succeed and the duty was passed on to his son King Bhagiratha who also worshiped Lord Brahma very dedicatedly and one day Lord Brahma came to answer his prayers and blessed him with his wish that Ganga would be sent to earth to relieve his family and forefathers of their Karmic debts. And as Lord Brahma blessed Bhagiratha, King Bhagiratha posed a question to Lord Brahma which goes something like this.
“O venerable Lord Brahma, I have a question to ask and kindly bless me with the answer to this question. My grandfather Anshuman and my father Dilipa worshipped you throughout their lives but you did not answer their prayers whereas you have answered my prayers. Was there any defect in their way of worship or was something else wrong due to which you did not listen to the prayers of my father and my grandfather?”. Hearing this Lord Brahma smiled and said, “Insulting and attacking a great sage like Kapila caused a very heavy karmic debt on your family line and all of it needed to be paid in order for me to come and bless a member of your family line with his wish. Your father and grandfather worshipped throughout their lives and were able pay most of this debt but as this debt was not cleared, so I did not come to grant their wish. And as you started worshiping, the Karmic debt has been cleared and after that you have earned the Karmic reward of your wish being granted by keeping on worshiping me and that is why I am here to bless you with your wish”. And after that Maataa Ganga was sent to earth to bless the souls of Bhagiratha’s forefathers as well as many others.
The moral of the story is that the Karmic debt levied on the forefathers of King Bhagiratha needed to be cleared before the family line could be blessed again with good fortunes and therefore three generations of his family worshipped the Lord to clear this Karmic debt and earn Karmic rewards which led to the good results like the incarnation of Lord Rama in the same family line which shows that the positive karmic balance of this family line was extremely great because a family line which witnessed the birth of Lord himself was without any doubt the most prestigious Karmic family line of that time.
It is important for every individual to have his or her Vedic chart examined by an astrologer trained in deeper Vedic values and insights through Yoga and Vedanta, practicing Jyotisha as a Sadhana, not merely as a business. It is wrong to look at Vedic astrology purely in a predictive light, or to judge the efficacy of a Vedic astrologer by their ability merely to provide accurate dates for the outer events of our lives. The true role of a Vedic astrologer is that of a life counselor, helping us understand not only the outer movement of our lives, but the more important inner movement and spiritual development behind it. For this we need a deeper level of guidance, inspiration and motivation. The true Jyotish aids us in Self-knowledge and can guide us on the spiritual path.



Vedic Astrology as a Way of Self-knowledge
 (E-mail sent out in May 28 by N.R. Srinivasan  to HRF Participants)

Vedic astrology or Jyotish is an integral part of our Vedic teachings as one of the most important aspects of Vedic knowledge. Yet we approach Vedic astrology in a way that may be different from what many people do, which is to use it simply tell their fortune or predict events in their outer lives. We approach Vedic astrology as a way of Self-knowledge, Self-healing and Self-realization through Yoga, Ayurveda and Vedanta – providing insight on how to understand our karmas, work with them and transcend them. Vedic astrology is an important tool of Vedic counseling as it helps us understand our karmas in life and how to best address and transcend them.

We have been critical of the superficial fortune telling that can go on under the name of astrology, East or West. That is not the authentic Vedic approach. Vedic knowledge teaches that our inner being and higher Self transcends time and karma, but to reach it we must properly harmonize our manifestation in body and mind – learning how to understand our karmas, not just pursue personal happiness. Buying expensive gems or performing expenses yajnas cannot take us beyond our karmas, but may only get us more trapped in the material world, unless we have a deeper introspection to know our true nature.

Predictive and Counseling Models of Vedic Astrology

Vedic astrology today is dominated by two main lines of interpretation; the first is predictive, while the second is counseling based. We embrace the second line primarily and have qualifications about the predictive model, though it has its value.

Some people, particularly in India, think that Vedic astrology can provide accurate dates for events in life from birth to death, including marriage, children, education, assumption of new jobs, moving, and so on. They consult the astrologer for dates as if everything in their lives was predetermined and they only need follow it. While Vedic astrology can help us understand important trends in our lives, it does not embrace fatalism, nor make a correct timing of our outer events the most significant factor in how we live. As immortal souls we are not slaves of any outer destiny and can learn to adjust our karmic energies and engagements for a greater creativity and awareness.

We all come under certain karmic influences, both individual and collective that affect our lives, sometimes in dramatic manner, some of which may be unavoidable. Yet we also have an ability to adapt to these influences – and through a higher consciousness utilize them in a spiritually transformational direction. Human life is a creative and spiritual unfoldment; it is not simply a working out of mechanical forces, like a ball rolling down a hill that cannot chose which way to go. If we develop a higher awareness through meditation our well-being will not be determined by mere transient outer events.

The Vedic counseling approach helps us understand the planetary influences operating in our lives and the various times at which they will likely predominate. This is not to blindly accept them as fate but to learn how to adjust to their energies in an optimal manner. Our bodies reflect our doshas of Vata, Pitta and Kapha as explained in Ayurvedic medicine. Our minds reflect the gunas of sattva, rajas and tamas as explained in Yoga philosophy. Our lives reflect our karmas as explained in Vedic astrology. Yet our true Self or Atman transcends body, mind and karma.

Scope of Vedic Astrological Counseling

Vedic astrology forms an important counseling model because it is the only Vedic discipline that has tools for examining all the main goals of life as Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha, as well as the underlying Arogya or physical and mental health necessary to pursue them. That is why astrology is said to be the eye of the Vedas and the guide for all Vedic practices.

  • Ayurveda focuses on Arogya; it deals with it in a more immediate and effective manner than Vedic astrology, but Vedic astrology may better reveal long term health trends or disease potentials.
  • Yoga and Vedanta orient us to Moksha or the liberation of consciousness in a direct manner, but Vedic astrology also helps us understand our readiness or timing for its pursuit.
  • Vedic management deals more appropriately with Artha as the goals and wealth that we wish to achieve, but Vedic astrology shows important trends and timing issues here also.
  • Vedic teachings on Dharma address our life purpose and action in a primary way, but Vedic astrology shows our potentials, hidden capacities and possible changes in this area as well.
In short, Vedic astrology as the eye of the Vedas helps us understand the different aspects of our lives and provides us a good overview of their development. It can help us understand which Vedic disciplines may be most needed for us at any particular period of time.

Vedic astrology provides a comprehensive overview that supports any type of Vedic counseling, Vedic educational approaches, or Vedic treatment measures. That is why it is important for every individual to have his or her Vedic chart examined by an astrologer trained in deeper Vedic values and insights through Yoga and Vedanta, practicing Jyotish as a sadhana, not merely as a business.

It is wrong to look at Vedic astrology purely in a predictive light, or to judge the efficacy of a Vedic astrologer by their ability merely to provide accurate dates for the outer events of our lives. The true role of a Vedic astrologer is that of a life counselor, helping us understand not only the outer movement of our lives, but the more important inner movement and spiritual development behind it. For this we need a deeper level of guidance, inspiration and motivation. The true Jyotish aids us in Self-knowledge and can guide us on the spiritual path.

There can be no lasting positive changes in life unless we develop Self-knowledge – a knowledge of who we truly are at the level of inner consciousness, not simply as outer personalities. Vedic astrology interpreted rightly helps us connect with our inner being or higher Self – that is its true purpose as is the case with all Vedic disciplines. It directs us to rituals, mantras and meditation practices to help us address the karmic limitations in our birth chart and unfold our higher aspiration. Vedic astrology has as its true goal the higher knowledge, not simply making us more successful as an ego in the material world.

Genetic factor or Pitru Dosha and its Influence on Birth and Marriage
 Birth, marriage and death are the most important events in the life-cycle of man. One of the important duties of a householder is to give birth to a good offspring through married life. Ironically, we can see around us many children or youth who are physically handicapped, mentally retarded or with criminal tendencies, psychological problems, drug addiction etc. According to medical science, such handicaps are due to genetic factors. However, medical science has no solution to prevent such congenital handicaps. On a deep analysis, we can see that genetic problems are the result of a distorted life. Genetic problems, as we know, are related to the lives of our ancestors. The Indian sages called these genetic problems as Pitru Dosha, i.e. the problem of ancestral souls. If we term genetic problem as pitru dosha in the native tongue, our secular intelligentsia would pounce upon us saying that all this is superstition.

The physical and psychological traits of parents are transferred to the children. Every human cell or the DNA is the aggregate of human experiences, values, thoughts and actions of an individual carried through a long chain of existence. According to Navajyotisree Karunakara Guru, pitru dosha or ancestral problems are the result of wrong values, thoughts and actions in the life of our ancestors, which influence the life and destiny of the offspring. Therefore, it becomes necessary to be aware of the ancestral influences with which our souls and families are affected. As we know, it cannot be known through laboratory methods, but only through the special faculty of supra mental vision of a realized seer. Here lies the need for a source of authentic spiritual guidance to know about the unknown factors that affect our life and destiny.

Next, let us take up the issue of marriage. Marriage, as well all know, is for the purpose of begetting progeny, for the continuity of family lineage. Nowadays, we see that there is lot of disharmony in our homes, between husband and wife and between parents and children. Many marriages break down with its unpleasant consequences because these marriages take place driven by blind emotions. There is a general ignorance about the sacred institution of marriage and family. Normally, parents marry off their children viewing only the material aspects of the bride and bridegroom such as physical attraction, education, wealth, family status, etc. However, the soul harmony of the couple, the spiritual status of ancestral souls, the background of family worship tradition, etc. are not considered.

A soul which is not spiritually awakened could be a hindrance to a spiritually developed soul. Some souls may be spiritually aligned in a different way that would not be in harmony with the spiritual inclination of the other. For example, the husband may be following a particular tradition, while the wife would be deeply devoted to some other sector way of worship. Such spiritual mismatch of couples would lead to disharmony and lack of peace in married life.

Secondly, the parental and ancestral background of the couple should be spiritually evaluated before marriage. Ancestors with a wicked karmic background may cause the birth of undesired progeny with similar wicked tendencies. The spiritual distortions and karmic faults of ancestors might lead to the birth of children with genetic disabilities. Therefore, a girl or boy should marry considering the similarity of their ancestral background. However, caste background, physical beauty, social status and wealth need not be seen for such a spiritual evaluation.

Thirdly, the spiritual as well as karmic background of the couples should be compatible. The baggage of good and bad karma and the amount of punya or virtue in the soul decides the success or failure of any individual in life. For a successful marriage, the punya of both the souls should be in equilibrium. A boy with a tendency to steal can be married to a girl with similar tendency; otherwise, it would cause undesired problem in married life. The disharmony and severe problems faced by families today are due to the ignorance about these factors and lack of spiritual guidance. Some Hindu families approach astrologers to know the suitability of marriage. However, astrological consultation may not always give you the complete truth. Therefore, it is imperative that we seek the guidance of an all-knowing Guru and understand the sacred institution of family and marriage in its spiritual perspective so that we would be better placed to fulfill Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha - the value system guiding our social life.

A soul when dies will go into a mother's womb according to its karma. That means the soul get a yoni to take birth based on past Karma-Yogyata. The soul taking rebirth into its past family is very rare. After death the soul will not have any connections, relationships, emotions attached to past family. It will start a new journey.

Comment:
Good interpretation. I want to comment on what you mentioned about wrong doings of ancestral souls will affect the lives of the off springs. I want to add that the past karma... good and bad deeds will pave a good and bad experiences in the present life. Ancestors' wrong doings will affect their own souls in subsequent births and not others' souls....

Reply:
You are right. But as you know, the ancestral souls are waiting to be born in the families concerned. Any child born in a family will be linked to an ancestral soul in that family tree. This is known as pitru raashi. These ancestral souls influence the mind and actions of the living, 

[Mukundan P.R., Sr. Coordinator, Santhigiri Social Research Institute]