Impressions of the actions of the past, circumstances of the present and the unfolding schemes of the future are all stored in the hidden layers of human consciousness. Astrology decodes and interprets them in its own distinctive style. It searches for the root causes of adversities that crop up in life, and offers novel and appropriate preventive and remedial measures.
The literal meaning of astrology, Jyotish, is ‘light’. It is a light that locates and illumines the causative factors obscured from view in the mist of the past. Its aim is to make the present life trouble-free and happy.
Astrologers hold that the creation is a special form of extremely condensed energy. This energy flow in the cosmos is uninterrupted and indivisible. It is one; only its shape and form undergo changes at different levels and strata. Essentially, we all are linked together. Is this linkage predictable or unpredictable? What is the pattern of this linkage? Where are we standing in the midst of this mega concentrate of energy? The occult science of Astrology was discovered to provide answers to these questions.
Astrology studies man’s position in the universe and his inter-relationship with the cosmic elements. It divides the cosmic flow of energy into three classes; namely 9 grahas (planets), 12 rashis (zodiac signs) and 27 naksatras (stars). They are considered to be connected with human consciousness. Astrology co-relates these energy groupings with individual organs of the human body. Ayurveda, on the other hand, links human nature with these celestial objects. Thus both ayurveda and astrology are essentially inter-related and approach the same target from different angles. That is why, we find the practice of ayurvedic medicines being taken to counter the ill-effects of planetary positions.
A comprehensive study of this science is found in the famous treatise of Dr. K.S. Charak titled ‘Essentials of Medical Astrology’. According to ayurveda, ailments occur on account of an imbalance between the three elemental forces in the body – vata, pitta and kapha – called tridosha. A malfunctioning of vata gives rise to neurological disorders, joint pains etc. A pitta imbalance produces fever as well as liver and gall bladder problems. Kapha is linked with breathing problems, cold, asthma etc.
In the science of astrology, the Sun and Mars determine the pitta nature. The Moon is considered a cool planet; hence its connection with kapha, and to some extent with vata. Mercury affects all the three; Jupiter has a bearing on kapha, Venus on vata and pitta, and Saturn on vata.
Jupiter, Mercury, Venus and the Moon, in general are considered benign planets while the Saturn, Rahu, Ketu, Mars and Sun baleful. It is this latter category that is regarded as disease causing. In specific and adverse configurations, all planets cast baleful effects; the negative effect of already unfriendly planets becoming even more accentuated in this situation.
The various positions of the planets are called dasha (phases) depending on time and configuration, and are categorized into ‘vimshottari’ and ‘yogini’ phases. The total duration of vimshottari phases is 120 years and that of yogini 36 years. The positional duration of the Sun is 6 years, Moon 10 years, Mars 7, Rahu 18, Ketu 7, Saturn 19, Jupiter 16, Mercury 17 and Venus 20 years (total 120 years) in the vimshottari phase. Within vimshottari there are further subdivisions called mahadasha, antardasha and pratyantardasha. In the yogini phase, the Moon phase is of 1 year, that of Sun 2 years, Jupiter 3 years, Mars 4 years, Mercury 5 years, Saturn 6 years, Venus 7 years, and Rahu and Ketu each 8 years making a total of 36 years.
All the nine planets have their own specific zodiac signs attached to them: the Sun – Leo, the Moon – Cancer; Mars – Aries and Scorpio; Mercury – Gemini and Virgo; Jupiter – Sagittarius and Pisces; Venus – Taurus and Libra; Saturn – Capricorn and Aquarius. The planets are the controlling lords of their respective zodiac signs. These signs are considered located in the various organs of our body: Aries in the head; Taurus in the face; Gemini in the shoulders, neck and the upper part of the chest; Cancer in the heart; Leo in the stomach; Virgo in the waist and intestines; Libra below the stomach; Scorpio in the genitals; Sagittarius in the thighs; Capricorn in the knees; Aquarius in the legs; and Pisces in the feet. A person with these signs in his body is called ‘Kaalpurusha’.
Similarly, the nakshatras are said to be located inside the body parts of Lord Vishnu. The Narada-Pulastya dialogue in Vaman Puran refers to Lord Vishnu as Naksatra Sharira (body made up of stars). Sage Pulastya describes this body thus: Mool naksatra in the two feet, Rohini in the legs and Ashwini in the two knees; Poorva Asad and Uttar Asad in the thighs, Poorva Phalguni and Uttar Phalguni in the genitals; Kritika in the waist; Poorva Bhadrapada and Uttara Bhadrapada in the two sides; Revati in the armpits; Anuradha in the heart; and Dhanistha in the posterior portion. In Lord Vishnu’s arms is located Vishakha; Hasta in the palms; Punarvasu in the fingers and Ashlesa in the nails; Jyestha in the tongue, Shravan in the ears, Pusya in the mouth, Swati in the teeth, Shatbhisa in the chin, Medha in the nose, Mrigshira in the eyes, Chitra in the forehead, Bharani in the head, and Adra in the hair. These nakshatras have their specific temperaments with which they cast influence upon the earth and the human body. The planetary dashas are based upon these very nakshatras or stars.
The adversarial position of planets affects the energy flow between the humans and the surrounding atmosphere. An imbalance here gives rise to multiple kinds of ailments and disorders. Since the Sun promotes pitta temperament, both the weak and strong solar positions create problems. The Sun controls the heart, stomach, bones and the right eye. For this reason, its negative influence causes headache, baldness, irritability, fever, pains, acidity, cardiac disorders, eye-ailments, bone and skin diseases, impediments in blood circulation, seizures, leprosy etc. An unfavourable Sun means a continuing risk of accidents, enemy action, poisoning, snakebite and theft. The moon is mainly of the nature of kapha with partial admixture of vata. Hence its adverseness gives rise to mental-emotional disturbances, insomnia and dullness. It is the harbinger of diseases like T.B., blood-disorder, diarrhea, dropsy, jaundice, skin diseases, fear psychosis etc. A combination of the Moon and Mars causes gynecological problems.
Mars is bearer of pitta. It generates extreme excitement and aggressiveness. It regulates bile, hemoglobin and cervix, and so all diseases connected with these parts arise from the malevolence of Mars. Favourable Mercury enhances intellectual caliber, but when unfavorable, it combines with Moon to produce mental disorders of various kinds. Mercury is held as the lord of skin, neck, nose, lungs and the forehead. It generates disorders connected with the nerves and mind. Intemperate language and frightening dreams are also produce by unfriendly Mercury.
Jupiter is connected with kapha. It regulates liver, gall bladder, spleen, pancreas, ears and fat, and consequently diseases of these organs are likely to erupt in the mahadasha of Jupiter. This planet is notorious for causing obesity and inertia. Venus is causative of vata and kapha. It is considered related to sexual lust, which can be controlled by making it favourable. It regulates eyes, genitals, urine bladder, lachrymal glands etc. It is a water-element planet which affects the hormone secreting glands of the body and thereby lies behind genital deformities, urinary troubles, lethargy, ennui, etc.
Saturn is of Vata temperament. It is the controlling planet for chest, legs, nervous system, rectum etc. Its adverseness gives birth to incurable and fatal diseases like cancer, paralysis, tumors, mental disorders and the like. Rahu and Ketu are the two shadow planets. Rahu causes leprosy, ulcer, unknown phobias and other incurable diseases. It makes one vulnerable to snakebites. It is the chief factor behind kaal sarpa yoga which turns life into a veritable hell. Ketu too, like Rahu, is the originator of many diseases and makes one’s life terrible. Ketu and Mars also push one into surgery.
The above enumeration makes these planets appear as deadly foes of mankind. But it is not really so. When favourable, these very planets shower boons and fill the life with all kinds of riches, honors and enjoyments. A friendly Saturn elevates one to royalty. Jupiter purifies the thoughts, and Venus liberates from the defilement of carnal lust. The Moon brings about mental peace and serenity. If Rahu is favourable, it bestows the treasure trove of knowledge. It also grants the pleasure of inland and foreign travels.
The Sun is regarded as the lord of planets. If it is favourable, it can regulate and bring in harmony all other planets. It burns away accumulated sins and puts one on the liberating path of spiritual upliftment.
But how to bring all this about? How to convert the unfavourable into favorable? It is not as difficult as it sounds to be. Indeed, it is a simple and safe process. There are specific mantras to propitiate the planets and make them amiable. If learnt from a competent guide, and regularly recited, they can produce miraculous results. Alternatively, the japa of Gayatri mahamantra, under the supervision of an enlightened Guru would serve the purpose. Remember, Gayatri mantra is a very potent tool and produces immediate result. It cuts the shackles of pain and makes the future bright.
Bhagwan Buddha was inclining on the bed on the eve of his mahaparinirvana. A sage named Subhadra came there to find a solution to some questions and doubts. But the Buddha’s disciple Anand stopped him from entering the hut and said, “It will not be proper to bother the Bhagwan at this time”. Subhadra, however, kept insisting on a darshana.
The Buddha overheard the murmur outside and called out, “Anand, let Subhadra in. He has come to seek knowledge and not to trouble me”.
The moment Subhadra went inside and saw the serene and compassionate figure of the Lord, Buddha’s teachings entered his heart. He took pravrajya and became a bhiksu (monk).
Bhagwan Buddha did not disappoint the true seekers even at the time of mahaparinirvana.