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Examples of Remedial Measures for FMs in the form of Propitiatory Charities

(i) The FMs for each Asdt in the SA:

Ra & Ke, the north & the south Nodes of the Mo are FMs for all the 12 Asdts.

(a) Gemini Asdt is an example of one, which in the SA has the minimum number of FMs, namely only Ra & Ke. Ke is the MMP for this Asdt.

(b) Aries, Libra, Leo & Sagittarius are examples of Asdts in the SA, which have 6 FBs & 3 FMs.

For Aries and Libra Asdts, the FMs are Ra, Ke & Me. For Aries the MMP is Ke, whereas for the Libra Asdt, the MMP is Me. For Leo& Sagi Asdts, the Mo is the MMP.

(c) Taurus, Pisces, Virgo are examples of Asdts which have 4 FBs, but 5 FMs.

For the Taurus Asdt, the FMs are: Ra, Ke, Ve, Ma & Ju. Ju is the MMP, for this Asdt.

For Pisces Asdt, the FMs are: Ra, Ke, Su, Ve and Sa. Ve is the MMP for this Asdt.

For the Virgo Asdt, the FMs are: Ra, Ke, Sa, Ma & Su. Ma is the MMP for this Asdt.

(d) Aquarius, Scorpio, Capricorn & Cancer are examples of Asdts which have 5 FBs & 4 FMs.

For Aquarius Asdt, the FMs are: Mo, Me, Ra & Ke. The MMP is Me, ruling the VIIIH.

For Scorpio Asdt, the FMs are: Ra, Ke, Ma & Ve. The last mentioned is the MMP.

For the Capricorn Asdt, the FMs are: Ra, Ke, Su & Ju. Among these FMs, the Su, ruling the VIIIH is the MMP.

For the Cancer Asdt, the FMs are: Ra, Ke, Ju & Sa. The last mentioned is the MMP, as Sa rules the VIIIH.

It is well known in VA as well as in the SA that Virgo, Scorpio & Pisces are difficult Asdts, on account of these Signs being the Duhsthanas in the natural zodiac. The SA sutra tells us that apart from these 3 difficult Asdts, even Cancer, Taurus, and Capricorn are difficult Asdts and therefore the duration of time for which one must continue to perform the Remedial Measures for the FMs in a disciplined manner will be correspondingly longer. Thus individuals with these Asdts will have to learn to cultivate the virtue of patience.

This difference between one Asdt & another, with regard to the quickness with which Remedial Measures for them yield results, should be borne in mind. On an average, an individual taking to the Kavach & the Propitiatory Charities for the FMs will require a minimum time frame of anything from 6 months to one year to have a substantial recovery from a set-back or an onslaught of fate.

Selection of the Recipients of our Propitiatory Charities:

In Vedic astrology the Navagrahas have been taken to constitute, what scientists will best understand to be a basis set. Another example of such a basis set in Hindu systems of philosophy is provided by the five primordial elements or Panchabhutas, namely ether, fire, air, water & earth. Just as in the modern sciences we may use the three states of matter [solids, liquids, gases] to classify & understand nature; or we may use the hundred odd chemical elements and their compounds to classify the whole gamut of nature with its staggering diversity of materials; the Vedic Rishis had classified nature in all her bewildering diversity, according to the basis set of the Navagrahas.

In such a classification – just to take a couple of baffling examples – children are assigned to Me, while old people are assigned to Sa; stray dogs are assigned to Ketu, while crows are assigned to Sa or even Ra, etc. This whole question of the systematic classification of the objects of the world, according to the basis set of the Navagrahas, is fundamental to Vedic astrology and so involved, that we can not do justice to such a frame-work in the midst of this study, except to merely take from it, what will be very useful to us for the present purposes of the Remedial Measures.

Such a classification on the basis of the Navagrahas should by no means be considered to be unique, but may only be understood to be natural to an ancient spiritual civilization which germinated in the river basins of the Indian sub-continent. Thus, if ‘crows’ are not available in Europe or North America, we should have no hesitation in selecting another species of birds, whose community life is intimately bound up with human society in these far off lands; just as the crows have always been bound up with Hindu society, in the Indian sub-continent.

In our experience, we have found Pigeons, to be as common as Crows are in the metropolises of Mumbai, Hyderabad and many other north Indian cities. In Muscat, in the Middle-East for example, offerings can be made to Pigeons, Mynas, Blue-Jays, Sparrows & tiny Humming birds. In Toronto [Canada] one can make an offering to a variety of birds such as Pigeons & Sparrows in that continent. Between the warmer moths of April to October, people in these colder climates have no difficulty in giving offerings to local birds. Thus, for example in Florida, the offerings of bird-feeds are happily received by such local species of birds as Cardinals, Pigeons Sparrows & Wood-peckers. In these metropolises of the Western civilization, special bird feeds [20 to 30 lbs bags] are available for feeding the birds. There is a lesson here for Vedic astrologers, in that Crows need not be taken to be sine qua non but that we must ever be on the look out for other natural recipients of our Propitiatory Charities.

(ii) Remedial Measure [Propitiatory Charities] for Rahu:

Let every morning four or six slices of bread be offered to the crows [i.e.; in an Indian environment], after smearing jam on them and breaking them into small pieces. One must know that the offering is made not merely to some puny creatures of Isvara [God], but to Isvara Himself and thus the crows must be regarded as ‘the manifestations’ of Isvara. One must bring to this act, the same devotion and sincerity, as one brings to any Hindu sacrament [samskara] or religious vow.

This offering must be made on a daily basis, preferably at the same place and same time and at the time of offering, the individual in question may speak to Isvara [God], the Supreme Controller of the whole creation, thus setting in motion a new auspicious karmic-cycle, propelling the same with the power of his Samkalpa [intention]. This Samkalpa may take, the following form in essence: “Oh Rahu Bhagavane, thank you for bestowing upon me your highest auspicious blessings, through the nullification of your afflictions in my chart.”

Vedic astrology is actually about the relationship between man on the one hand and the universal laws of Karma and Divinity on the other. This is the reason why Vedic astrology’s Remedial Measures have a strong spiritual orientation and connotation. The ‘blows of fate’ that come to us as a result of ‘afflictions’ in our horoscope, either during the sub-periods of the afflicting planet or the afflicted planet, have the potential to turn us towards Isvara, i.e. inwards, so that we may awaken to our suffering and thereby seek one of many spiritual ways & means of alleviating these sufferings. If we have not reached this turning point in our lives, if we have not become genuine seekers and surrendered to Isvara, then the Remedial Measures may not work for us, to the same degree of efficacy, as they would work for someone who has made the transition from a gross worldly outlook on life to a mellow spiritual outlook.

By resorting to the Remedial Measures, we raise the energies of the FBs and thus make them stronger. With regard to the FMs – through the Propitiatory Charities – we gradually nullify the afflictions they have created in our natal chart. But then this appeasing of the FMs is so done – through the Propitiatory Charities that – the afflictions created by the FMs do not undergo any intensification in this process.

Returning to the expression: ‘highest auspicious blessings’ – by this expression the performer of the Remedial Measures is to understand that because of the intensity of his / her Samkalpa as well as the Remedial Measures themselves; not only the afflictions from the FMs serve to be appeased, but even the energies of these afflicting FMs may also be raised in this process provided at the time of the Propitiatory Charities, the Navagraha Devatas corresponding to the afflicting FMs are also worshipped with devotion and sincerity. [14]

These ‘higher auspicious significations’ of the afflicting FMs corresponding to these ‘raised energies’ are invariably by and large auspicious and this is the reason they deserve to be labelled that way. It must be noted however that in the absence of the Remedial Measures being performed, the ‘default values’ of the significations of the afflicting FMs will alone fructify into reality and these will not be auspicious, particularly when the FMs are not strong in the natal chart, and hence the corresponding significations will not also be the ‘highest auspicious blessings’, for this very reason.

One way to understand the Remedial Measures of Vedic astrology is to see them as an effective means for bringing about this vital transformation in our values and outlook. Prior to the transformation, in our immaturity we are invariably either stupidly or more cunningly trying only to ‘use’ Isvara, for the fulfilment of our unfulfilled dreams. Whereas, after we have raised ourselves to a more mature level, we are able to experience devotion for Isvara and are able to feel His ineffable power and mystery. Then, we are able to be so deeply moved when we ‘feel’ Him that we become silent in this process. These Remedial Measures, when undertaken with the right attitude, have the power to bring about a real transformation in our lives and thereby pave the way for a resolution of our karmic-obstacles. This is the real purpose and scope of the Remedial Measures.

(iii) Remedial Measures [Propitiatory Charities] for Ketu:

If the seeker is in an Indian environment, then let him / her offer on a daily basis, at the same place and preferably at the same time, four or six slices of bread to stray dogs, broken into pieces and soaked in milk and sprinkled with sugar, in order to make it more palatable. If weekly charities are preferred, then the day of offering must be a Tuesday. In a geo-cultural environment other than the Indian, charities on a weekly or daily basis may be offered to a community of senior citizens, who are not well off but in want. Alternatively, charities may also be offered to spiritual organizations, especially when such organizations have the mission of providing help to helpless people in their old age. It may take little effort on our part initially for actually locating & identifying such recipients of our charities.

Let devotion and sincerity be the essence of these offerings. Let the seeker know that as all offerings are made to Isvara [God] alone, the stray dogs are but the manifestations of Isvara. The seeker must send forth into the world the auspicious energy of his / her Samkalpa by speaking the following words with feeling and sincerity: “Oh Ketu Bhagavane, thank you again and again for bestowing upon me your highest auspicious blessings, through the nullification of your afflictions in my chart.” Such Remedial Measures, performed for Ketu in the form of these Propitiatory Charities, will not only serve to appease and pacify the afflicting Ketu, but when the Navagraha Devata corresponding to Ke is worshipped with devotion and sincerity, even the strength of Ke can be raised. It is in this way that ‘the unfavourability of the mood of Isvara’ at the time of our birth, may be substantially reduced and the karmic-obstacles surmounted.

(iv) Preventive Remedial Measures:

Note that the Remedial Measures, prescribed by SA, need not always be performed only after some karmic-misfortune has struck. If we are wise and prudent, these Remedial Measures can very well take the form of Preventive Remedial Measures. That is, we will undertake to perform these Remedial Measures in the form of Propitiatory Charities well in advance, before a certain ‘blow of fate’ is supposed to make a visitation upon us, in accordance with the occurrence of certain sub-periods of planets, which are either ‘afflicted’ or are ‘afflicting’.

There are traditional families, especially in India, which have had the good fortune of having a clear idea of the power of remedial Vedic astrology and such families usually make it a point to be in periodic contact with learned astrologers, for only then, one may be forewarned of the coming transit afflictions and will even have an idea of how long these transit afflictions might last. If the affliction is serious in the natal chart and the transit trend is also one of affliction and the afflicting FM planet has become stationary, then serious misfortunes may be expected. It is in order to ward off such afflictions that Preventive Remedial Measures are adopted. Keeping such malefic transit afflictions – which may become persistent – in mind, the founder of the Systems Approach, Prof. V.K. Choudhry has had the following good counsel to give us:

“Based on the natal chart, only general trend predictions can be made while for identifying the significant events, periodical contacts with learned astrologers is a must.” [13]

(v) Remedial Measures [Propitiatory Charities] for Saturn, when a FM:

In VA, the Navagraha Saturn is considered a ‘general malefic’, along with the other ‘general malefics’ – namely, Mars, Sun, Rahu & Ketu. In addition, in VA Saturn is also considered a Separative Planet [along with the other separative planets, namely, Rahu, Ketu, Sun and the Lord of the XIIH]. So for these two reasons, we might well imagine that when Saturn becomes in addition a Functional Malefic [FM] for certain Ascendants, such as for Cancer, Virgo, and Pisces [as in the SA]; then its maleficity is bound to be aggravated even further. Such an inference might induce in us a sense of ‘terror’, where Saturn for these three Asdts Cancer, Virgo and Pisces are concerned. We shall see in what follows that the SA, readily and easily allays this uncalled for ‘terror’, for two entirely different reasons.

While the SA certainly retains The ‘Separative’ Nature of Saturn, it assigns no particular importance to the ‘general malefic’ nature of Saturn, since it is able to account for this dreaded ‘general malefic’ nature in the VA, by sourcing the same in its very slow-moving nature, because of which alone, its ‘afflictions’ & separative influences are bound to be magnified and intensified, whenever it has the role of a FM for certain Asdts, and not for reasons of any intrinsic ‘general malefic’ nature per se. As the SA, like the VA, concentrates heavily on Preventive Remedial Measures, both for the FBs as well as for the FMs, it justifiably now allays our fears w.r.t. a FM Saturn even to a greater extent. With these initial observations and with our ill-founded fears allayed, we may now take up, the Remedial Measures for a FM Saturn.

Each Asdt has a Most Malefic Planet [MMP]: In the SA, more emphasis is placed only upon the Functional Malefic [FM] nature of any given planet, rather than upon its alleged ‘general malefic’ nature and, this FM nature is aggravated only when that comes to rule the most malefic house, namely the VIIIH. In view of its ‘aggravated maleficity’ for such Ascendants, it is called the MMP [most malefic planet] in such cases. It is only for the Cancer Asdt that Saturn acquires this ‘MMP’ character. Each of the other eleven Asdts have their own MMP and the Remedial Measures for these MMPs become important, especially when these MMPs cause afflictions to planets or Hs in the natal chart of the individual.

In an Indian environment, as Propitiatory Charities for Sani Bhagavan [necessary for Cancer, Virgo, & Pisces Asdts], we may offer six slices of bread, smeared with mustard oil and sweetened with some jam and broken into small pieces and offered to the crows. Let the crows be seen not as mere creatures, but in fact as manifestations of Isvara. Let this giving be with devotion and sincerity and with a spirit of humility, since Saturn gives us a spirit of karma-yoga and humility and self-surrender, whenever it is strong in the natal chart. At the time of offering let the Samkalpa be also beamed into the world, as an urgent and earnest intention: “Oh Sani Bhagavane, I thank you again and again for bestowing upon me your highest auspicious blessings, through the nullification of your afflictions in my chart.”

(vi) Remedial Measures [Propitiatory Charities] for the Sun, when it is a FM:

In the SA, for individuals who have a Virgo, Capricorn or a Pisces Asdt, the Su becomes a FM & the Propitiatory Charities for the Sun takes the form of either offering water to the birds on a daily basis or doing some service to the father, again on a daily basis. All Remedial Measures have necessarily to be performed with devotion and sincerity since it is to Isvara, the Supreme Controller, to whom the offering is to be made. Alternatively, one may offer to uryaNarayana, the aspect of Isvara, signified by the Navagraha, the Su, MantraShakti in the form of the chanting of Aditya Hridayam or Surya Stuti. When we involve in such worship and adoration, through the chanting of Mantras, which carry the solar energy, invariably, this results in the energy of the Sun in our chart being raised. If the Su as a FM is found to afflict planets or Hs in the chart, then one must engage in Propitiatory Charities – for only then the afflicting FM will be appeased. Alternatively, one may also perform a worship of Isvara in his aspect as the Sun, by offering to this form of Isvara our ‘SuryaNamaskaras’, which are twelve different Asanas, designed to pay obeisance to the various aspects of the Sun.

(vii) Remedial Measures [Propitiatory Charities] for the Moon, when it is a FM:

For Sagittarius, Aquarius & Leo Asdts, the Mo is a FM planet in the SA. Whether the Mo is afflicting or not in the natal chart, it is always better to perform Preventive Remedial Measures for such a FM, and this could take one of the following forms.

In a typical Indian environment, on a daily basis, one may offer some service with devotion & sincerity either to one’s own mother or to someone else who may be in a mother’s position w.r.t. the individual. Alternatively, it is recommended in the SA that one may offer a fresh bowl of water to the birds in the garden every morning. The ingredients of devotion & sincerity are really the key & without these, one may not expect the descent of the Divine grace. In traditional Hindu society, people used to offer milk rice, sweetened in some way to the crows, prior to one sitting down to eat the morning meal. In the SA it is also considered in tune with the highest ideals of Sanatana Dharma that serving one’s parents & parents- in-laws with genuine devotion & sincerity is the highest kind of Remedial Measure, as this has the power to overcome any kind of karmic-obstacle. Again, in an Indian environment, one may offer rice grains or cooked rice with milk & sugar, either on a regular basis on Monday or on all days of the week, if the afflictions caused by the Mo is strong. Milk can also be offered as an article of charity on a daily basis. In the environment offered by a Western society, these offerings and recipients may have to be suitably modified.

(viii) Remedial Measures [Propitiatory Charities] for Ju, when it is a FM:

For Taurus, Cancer & Capricorn Asdts, Ju becomes a FM planet and especially when it is afflicting natal Hs or planets it is always advisable to go in for Preventive Remedial Measures for this FM, since like Rahu, Ketu and Saturn, Ju is also a slow moving planet and can do much harm, when it becomes stationary, and then also becomes afflicting in this transit stationary position.

Offer on a daily basis every morning with devotion & sincerity, some yellow coloured sweet, such as ‘bhoondhi laddu’ or ‘mysorepak’ in the Indian environment, by breaking it into pieces & offering it to the crows or birds. In the Indian environment the life of crows is intimately bound up with the life of humans and this is the reason crows have been chosen to be the representatives of the Ra & Sa energies. When we shift from Indian society to another society in another part of the world, we must see which species of birds play the same vital role in that society, as the crows play in the Indian environment. This may not be such a difficult task. For example in Mumbai, pigeons are more common and will serve the purpose of becoming the recipients of our Propitiatory Charities. [See Sec. (i) of Part VIII. 2, namely ‘Selection of the recipients of our Propitiatory Charities’]

At the time of offering, let the Samkalpa take the form of our expression of gratitude for all the blessings already received. When this is our attitude & approach to life, then our consciousness is more unruffled & placid and therefore better prepared for receiving the Divine grace as a solution for our karmic-problems, since this Divine grace invariably comes more easily, when the ghost of our greed has left us & we have an attitude of surrender, which is a blessing in itself. It is the persistent desire for survival, which is almost an automatic & conditioned reflex with all of us, which blocks the grace as well as keeps our minds agitated.

Samkalpa: “Oh, Guru Bhagavane, we thank you again & again for protecting us against the onslaughts of your afflictions, for nullifying your afflictions and for giving us your highest auspicious blessings.”

(ix) Remedial Measures [Propitiatory Charities] for Mars, when it is a FM:

For the Taurus, Virgo & Scorpio Asdts, Ma becomes a FM and when afflicting in the chart – either Hs or planets, it becomes necessary to perform Propitiatory Charities for nullifying these afflictions. In the SA, this takes the form of offering our prayers to the Navagraha Devata corresponding to Ma, in our natal chart. If one is following a Vaishnava Sampradaya , then one may direct the prayers to Sri Anjaneya and if one is a Saivite, one may offer these prayers to Sri Subrahmanya Swami [Muruga, in the Tamil tradition]. One has to pray in the morning, before the day’s work commences, asking for patience and taking time during prayer to grasp the spiritual value and power of patience. As the ‘lower general significations’ of Ma are impatience, anger and rashness in thought, word and deed; when we raise the energy of Ma, through the said Propitiatory Charities, then these ‘lower general significations’ will be replaced by the ‘higher auspicious significations’.

Samkalpa: “Oh Anjaneya Bhagavan, I thank you again and again for liberating me from the afflictions you have created in my natal chart, and thereby also bestowing upon me your ‘highest auspicious blessings’.”

(x) Remedial Measures [Propitiatory Charities] for Venus, when it is a FM:

Offer every morning to the birds, a white-coloured milk-sweet broken into pieces [crows or even some other birds]. Through such an offering on a daily basis – provided we take the pains & do this with all devotion and sincerity – we absolve ourselves of the karmic-nemesis in which we find ourselves, on account of the affliction created by the FM Ve in our natal chart. If we wish the Propitiatory Charity to be even more effective, we may speak our Samkalpa to Isvara thus: “Oh Shukra Bhagavane, I thank you again and again for absolving me from the karmic-nemesis, which I have been obliged to face in this life and which is represented in my natal chart, through the affliction from the FM planet Ve.” The more clearly we understand the meaning of this Samkalpa and the deeper feeling and intensity we are able to bring to it, the faster will be the absolution, accompanied by a change of heart.

(xi) Remedial Measures [Propitiatory Charities] for Mercury, when it is a FM:

As the Navagraha in question, namely Me, is a FM, the Remedial Measures takes the form of Propitiatory Charities [7, 12, 16]. Offer every Wednesday, or even on a daily basis, depending on the severity of the affliction, either 1 doz green bananas or 1 kilo of green fodder to stray cattle or to cows in a Gosala [a charitable ‘animal-husbandry centre’ for cattle in a Hindu society]. Bring the same devotion & sacredness to this charity, as you would if it were a religious sacrament. Remember that all offerings are to Isvara only, but in His aspect as one of the afflicting FM Navagrahas. Alternatively, as Me signifies childhood as well as education in VA & SA, charity of educational material or even food may be offered to orphan children on Wednesdays or even on a daily basis.

There is naturally the corresponding Samkalpa, as in the case of the other Propitiatory Charities: “Oh Budha Bhagavan, thank you again and again, for liberating me from the afflictions you have created in my natal chart and thereby bestowing upon me your highest auspicious blessings.”