Vedic Astrology

Aims of Life and Astrology

Interested in Vedic Astrology? Please read my short article titled Vedic Astrology: Aims of Human Life in the Feb/Mar 2021 edition of The Mountain Astrologer.

Indian spirituality prescribes four aims of life for all human beings: (1) development of ethics and fulfilment of duties, (2) accumulation of wealth, (3) fulfilment of desires and dreams, and (4) spiritual growth and liberation. This article uses principles of Vedic Astrology to map the twelve signs of the zodiac to these four aims of human life. The article recognizes how basics of Vedic Astrology are very relevant in understanding everyday life, even for individuals who do not believe in or participate in Predictive Astrology.

Aims of human life and their relation to Astrology

I have already talked about the four aims of human life in a previous post. Interestingly, principles from Vedic astrology can be used to learn what the four aims of life involve in the Hindu way of living. Moreover, some astrological principles can be learned and applied even if we do not believe in future telling.

The four aims of life include dharma (righteousness and fulfilment of duties), artha (wealth), kama (desires and fulfilment of dreams), and moksha (liberation). Out of these, eventual liberation or reaching God happens to be the ultimate aim of Hindu life. And artha and kama may have to be coupled with dharma to maintain the former two objectives on the right track.

Everything belonging to Taurus-Virgo-Capricorn (artha trikona or wealth triangle; earth signs) can be categorized within artha.  Accordingly, earning money, employment, professional growth, aspiration for recognition, honesty, discipline, perseverance, perfection, and a realistic or down-to-earth approach in life are artha influences.

Communication, expression, aspiration for emotional relationships, entrepreneurship, owning a business, team work, nurturing artistic talent, technological pursuits, aspiration for a new electronic gadget, philanthropy, and a logical-analytical approach to problem solving are Gemini-Libra-Aquarius influences (kama trikona or desire triangle; air signs). Accordingly, they belong to the domain of kama [1].

Dharma includes the love of God, creativity, education, work ethics, a traditional outlook, leadership, aspiration for learning philosophy, enthusiasm, kindness, guidance by a spiritual guru, and an idealistic-creative approach in life, which are all Aries-Leo-Sagittarius influences (dharma trikona or righteousness triangle; fire signs). On the other hand, seeking happiness, finding peace in the world, caring for humanity, research, aspiration for learning occult, transformation, meditation, renunciation, and an emotional-intuitive approach in life are moksha objectives, belonging to the domain of Cancer-Scorpio-Pisces (moksha trikona or liberation triangle; water signs; [2]).

[1] We should carefully note that kama in the context of the four aims of life means desire, not lust, and does not have an inherent negative connotation. On the other hand, in the Bhagavad Gita, when Lord Krishna describes kama in the context of the three gates to hell, he is talking about lust (16:21). Context can definitely change the meaning of a word.

[2] Every astrology chart has a balance of qualities from the four types of astrological signs. Relatively more planets in the liberation triangle does not directly correlate with higher chances of liberation. Being born in a specific sign of the zodiac will not supposedly create an advantage (in any sphere of life) over individuals from the other zodiac signs; the different signs probably reflect differences in disposition.

Rama’s astrology chart: His Lagna

I have been hesitant about studying Rama’s astrology chart. It may be somewhat impolite for jivas like me to draw the Divine’s chart when we don’t even know what Nature has inscribed for us in our own destinies. But I feel it is okay to take a peek at his fully-auspicious ascendant while ignoring the problematic planetary influences in the chart. Rama has a Karka rising with Jupiter and Moon in it.

Moon: the distinguished planet of the chart
Many of us have learned that the Sun is Rama’s strongest planet. This makes sense; his Sun is expected to be stronger than the Sun of all other beings, including incarnations, for he is remembered as the gem of the solar dynasty and the best ruler the world has ever witnessed [1]. But surprisingly, Rama’s Moon is no less. Because the Moon is the final dispositor of Rama’s chart, it can fairly be labeled as the chart’s distinguished planet [2]. How can we interpret this? For the bhaktas who won his affection (vatsalya) and darshan, Rama was almost as affectionate as the Mother Goddess [3].

Jupiter: the most beneficial planet
Rama’s Jupiter is ideal. It is exalted, forms a hamsa yoga in the lagna, and is conjunct an own-house Moon to form the strongest gajakesari yoga mathematically possible. Being the bhagyesh, Jupiter’s yuti with the Moon transfers auspiciousness and righteousness from the ninth house to the lagnesh (and that too, in the first house) and indirectly powers other yogas like chandra-mangal and guru-mangal. This Jupiter is the most beneficial planet in Rama’s chart. A possible interpretation? All the biggest saints and rishis, including Rama’s own guru Vasistha, had waited for ages to meet Rama and provide him with their blessings. Moreover, Rama, comparable only to Shiva, is the biggest guru to have ever visited Earth…the one who guided us through his persona.

[1] If astrology works, planetary placements would only agree with Rama’s worldly divine plays; his transcendental attributes and position as the sole ruler of the universe is not to be deciphered in a horoscope.
[2] Though the “final dispositor” is a term more popular in Western astrology, it is used by Vedic astrologers as well.
[3] Moon relates to the mother, calmness, and peace in astrology.

Happy Diwali to everyone!

Astrology and Profession

Vocational astrologers often correlate professional aptitude with planetary combinations. Every strong planet in our chart supposedly strengthens a specific way of thinking. While we can not comprehensively match every contemporary career direction with a planetary combination in a single blog post, we can at least look at one popular expression of every planet.

For Sun, the king among planets, the key word in vocational astrology is Leadership. As expected, it influences us to take government or administrative jobs, become entrepreneurs, or join the show business. The Moon is about Care and develops our interest in nursing (hospitals) and nurturing, which may include cooking (chef) as well as agriculture. Mars, the most courageous planet, gives us Logic and the expertise to use technological tools. We tend to become engineers, surgeons, or join the armed forces. For Mercury, the key term is Communication. Writing, sales, and astrology are within its domain. It also rules over reasoning (analytical), accounts, and medicine as a career.

The guru of the gods, Jupiter, loves Learning. Teaching, spirituality, higher education, and justice (law) are its subjects. In contrast, Venus, the other guru among planets, is extremely artistic. It guides us towards music, poetry, media, and fashion design. Saturn can influence us to work with machines, metals (iron/ steel), or petroleum. Though Saturn is dreaded among humans, it also has a positive side: Because it has the biggest say in deciding our career, no matter how low we start in life, Saturn, through hard work and discipline, can take us to the top (CEO/ President). Finally, Rahu, the invisible planet, stands for Technology and guides us towards the latest (and lucrative) careers in life. Ketu is the planet of Research and wants us to reveal novel principles.

The job of an astrologer may become challenging when different planetary shades are needed to predict an interest in a specific profession. As an example, Computer Programming may need a connection between a strong Mercury (communication) and a strong Rahu (technology). If we seek to take guidance from astrology, we should remember that a one-to-one relationship between a planetary combination and a career never exists. (Mercury conjunct Rahu is not the only combination for programming.)

Last edited on March 28, 2019

Incarnations of Vishnu: The astrological connection

In the opening chapter of his classic Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra, Sage Parashara, the founder of Vedic Astrology, declares that out of the ten incarnations of Vishnu, only four, namely Rama, Krishna, Varaha, and Narasimha, fully possess paramatma-tattva. Other incarnations, according to the book, possess fragments of jiva-tattva as well. In the language of contemporary Vaishnavism, the statement means that each of these four forms of the Lord fully represents the Supreme Person Narayana – the Absolute who is omnipresent, but transcends the universe.

We can find backing for this categorization of incarnations from Indian mythology as well. Varaha, Narasimha, Rama, and Krishna were responsible for annihilating evils in the form of Hiranyaksha, Hiranyakashipu, Ravana and Kumbhakarna, and Shishupala and Dantavakra, respectively. These forms of evil, according to a story in the Srimad Bhagavat Purana, were all rebirths of Jaya and Vijaya, Vishnu’s gatekeepers, who were born three times on earth with inherent demonic qualities to pacify a curse. Because complete eradication of evil may be difficult for a possessor of jiva-tattva, which is characterized by the presence of ignorance, only paramatma could have accomplished the task.

While matching energies of astrological planets with that of Vishnu’s incarnations, Parashara relates Rama and Krishna to the luminaries, sun and moon, respectively, giving them another advantage in astrological symbology which speaks out for itself. The divinity of Rama and Krishna, which resides in the hearts of believers, does not need astrological reinforcement, but it is worthwhile to observe how all Vedic subjects were intricately connected to underline the deeper reach of traditional knowledge.

Edited on April 18, 2019.
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