Insights into the Horoscope & related Sutras
One of the great merits of the SA lies in its systematic procedure of Birth-Chart analysis & decipherment. The following two insights into the meaning & significance of the horoscope [‘Birth Chart’] are very noteworthy for they give us the much needed philosophical understanding & inspiration, without which, the full depth & beauty of Vedic astrology cannot be savoured and appreciated. Moreover, these insights into the horoscope, make the connection of Vedic astrology to the Vedas more transparent.
(i) VA Sutra 1: The Horoscope portrays ‘The Mood of Isvara [‘God’] at the Time of Birth’.
On account of creation being inherently subject to duality, in the creative process of a new human life coming into manifestation also, this duality inevitably manifests as the simultaneous presence of both the blessings of Isvara [called His ‘grace’] as well as the absence of these blessings [called His ‘curses’ or ‘wrath’]. In the mathematical framework of Vedic astrology and the SA, the blessings of Isvara are carried by the strong FBs and strong FMs, whereas the ‘curses’ of Isvara manifest Either as the ‘afflictions’ which the FMs create to the planets & the Hs, or as the weaknesses of the planets & Hs.
(ii) The Role of the Functional Benefics [FBs] & the Functional Malefics [FMs]:
The FBs & FMs between themselves cover the totality of life. The strong FBs create auspicious ‘life-structures’ such as a new birth, a happy marriage, a happy home life, a well-paying job, a successful profession, an honourable trip abroad, times of prosperity, recognition & achievement, etc. On the other hand, the FMs, when they are afflicting – and during the sub-periods of the afflicting FMs or the afflicted planets – destroy the ‘life- structures’ which the FBs create.
Examples of such destructions would be: the sudden death of a family member, the disruption of a marriage [divorce], a professional fall, public dishonour & disgrace, an untimely accident, the calamity of an incapacitating disease, loss of property either through litigation or natural calamities, imprisonment & involvement in the darker spheres of life, etc. Thus the whole drama of life is portrayed in Vedic astrology as a tug-o’-war between the devas on the one hand and the asuras on the other. In the horoscope of a given individual, the FBs have the role of the devas, whereas the FMs play the role of the destructive asuras.
(iii) ‘The Mood of Isvara’ is Not Fixed once and for all:
‘The mood of Isvara at the time of our birth’ has repercussions for the whole of our life. It is like the ‘initial conditions’ or the ‘boundary conditions’ in a Mathematical problem formulated as a differential equation which then goes on to shape the solution of the differential equation at all later times ‘t’. We know very well that ‘the mood of Isvara‘ at one moment is never the same as that at another moment. For this reason, howsoever malevolent the mood of Isvara is at the time of our birth, we may always ‘reset’ His mood, through the disciplined performance of the Remedial Measures, at least to some appreciable extent.
(iv) Repercussions of The Various Moods of Isvara, for ‘Human Destiny’:
Importantly, ‘the mood of Isvara at the time of our birth’ may be much more benevolent than malevolent, in which case, that human birth becomes an extremely fortunate & ‘God blessed’ one. At the other end of the spectrum, if ‘the mood of Isvara at the time of our birth’ is more malevolent than benevolent, then we would have a life that is predominantly full of misfortunes, with very little place in it for happiness & fulfillment. Finally if ‘the mood of Isvara at the time of our birth’ was a healthy balance between malevolence & benevolence, then such lives would be a mixture of both happiness as well as misfortunes. This is the kind of picture of our human drama that Vedic astrology provides us with.
Here we might add that VA Sutra 1 does not demand that we have an entirely ‘classical’ theistic world-view. If some agnostics & atheists are uncomfortable with the Hindu idea of Isvara or the Western conception of God, they can still benefit from Vedic astrology by replacing ‘Isvara’ in all the above expressions by some other ‘atheistic alternative’, which is more likely to be easily accepted, in view of the apotheosis of Science and Technology in the present stage of the Western civilization: ‘The Horoscope Portrays The Mood of The Entire Cosmos or The Universe at The Time of Our Birth’.
(v) VA Sutra 2: The Horoscope or the Birth Chart is also a symbolic portrayal of our ‘Karmic-Merit’ [Punya] & ‘Karmic-Demerit’ [Papa] from ‘Past-Lives’:
Such a sourcing of our fortunes and misfortunes of the present life in some remote ‘past-lives’, does not necessarily give an ‘eternal continuity’ to the Jeevatma, the individual human consciousness; especially when we make room for only ‘a limited spoonful of the collective human consciousness’, entering into human foetuses, every time a new human life comes into the making. Thus these references to past-lives of the Jeevatma still give us enough scope to accommodate the ‘the illusory nature of the individual-self ‘, a truth we will come to learn when we step into the sphere of Hindu or Buddhist Moksha.
(vi) Punya [Karmic-Merit], Papa [Karmic-Demerit] and Karma in VA & SA:
Traditional Vedic astrology holds the VH to be the receptacle of Purvapunya or karmic-merits from past lives and the IXH to be the receptacle of Punya in the present life. In the SA, the IXH is the one which acts as a receptacle, carrying the karmic-merits from past lives, whereas the VH shows what karmically meritorious deeds we are apt to perform in the present life. More generally we may say strong benefic Hs & strong FBs reveal an abundance of karmic merit or Punya from past lives, but specially pertaining to the spheres of those particular Hs. On the other hand, weak & afflicted planets/Hs signify ‘karmic-demerits’ from past lives manifesting in the present life as failures, disappointments, miseries & misfortunes.
The above two VA Sutras give us profound insights into the mystery of human destiny & fortune. This Vedic astrological clarity in confluence with the analytical insights of the SA, will be sufficient to decipher the karmic mystery in any given human life.