A Natal Reading of the Sidereal Chart of His Divine Grace Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Prabhupāda

(Along with Other Considerations)

First of a Two-Part Series

By Kailäsa Candra däsa

natal chart

Lagna is Gemini, ruled by Mercury, who is combust in the eighth house. There are three major planets in quadrants, viz., the Moon is conjunct retrograde Jupiter in the fourth in Virgo, and Mars is in Pisces in the tenth. Rähu and Ketu are in the eleventh and fifth, respectively. The eighth house is loaded, as all of the rest of the planets (four) are found there. Three of them (Mercury, Venus, and Saturn) are combust. Obviously, this means that the blazing Sun is in Capricorn in the eighth.

The time adjustment indicated by our software is minus 5:43:11, as the birth took place east of London, before the world was divided into the various international zones recognized today. It took place on February 6, 1874, at 3:28 p.m. in Jagannätha Puré, Orissa, India. The ayanäàça utilized by your astrologer (for all calculations) is 20:12:23. There is controversy surrounding the ayanäàça, and this topic will be discussed in some detail, especially in Part Two.

Overview of the Natal Chart

“These calculations are given in the authentic astronomy book known as the Sürya-siddhänta. A Bengali translation of this book was compiled by the great professor of astronomy and mathematics Bimal Prasäd Datta, later known as Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Gosvämé, who was our merciful spiritual master. He was honored with the title Siddhänta Sarasvaté for translating the Sürya-siddhänta, and the title Gosvämé Mahäräja was added when he accepted sannyäsa, the renounced order of life.”
Caitanya-caritämåta, Ädi 3.8, purport

Any sidereal analysis of the natal chart of His Divine Grace Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Gosvämé Prabhupäda may, for a variety of reasons, be considered controversial, especially by a certain section. Nevertheless, we cannot allow this unfortunate fact to influence us to conjure up and post a middle of the road description of his janma-kuëòalé. Such an astrological reading would not qualify as a worthwhile contribution to transcendentalists interested in the subject of this chart. When understood without compromise, there is no need for any bewilderment in the proper interpretive reading of the natal chart of His Divine Grace.

Unlike the conditioned souls of this world, the pure devotee mahäbhägavat is never compelled, impelled, or hindered by the planets and signs operative at the time of his first breath. They always tend to work for him and his divine objectives, even if they work in a way that mundane man tends not to approve of or which he finds distasteful or displeasing. Although transcendental to these influences, the pure devotee, at least in most cases, functions in a way compatible with what his planets and signs indicate. Yet, such sidereal tendencies must be known to be easily and readily overcome by him at will and at any time. Another way of saying the same thing is that the uttama-adhikäré Vaiñëava is never under the influence of the law of karma or fate.

All emphases added for your edification and realization

When a malefic is present in the chart of a conditioned soul, it almost always augurs problems for both that individual, as well as for all those connected to him (who come within the portfolio of that particular house). Not all malefics found in a chart are entirely negative, but, unless they are converted into benefics by astrological rule (such as a malefic in exaltation), they will function, at least in part, in a harmful or unhelpful way. Unless present in their own signs, for example, they will harm the house of their tenancy, sometimes scarring its potential to produce anything valuable to the native in terms of the portfolio of that particular house. Yet, in their interpretation as per sign placement (which coincides with the house but is, nevertheless, different from it), they may still make a positive contribution to his or her life.

Interpreting malefics in relation to the pure devotee is more difficult, because each planet works for him in terms of his service to the Supreme Controller, the Personality of Godhead. The secondary causalities cannot do otherwise, because the great primary controllers of the universe, such as Lord Çiva and Lord Brahmä (who govern the modes of ignorance and passion, respectively) are their controllers, what to speak of the ultimate Supreme Controller, Lord Viñëu, the Personality of Godhead, the lord of sattva-guëa.

Benefics and Malefics

“Véëä means that stringed instrument which is carried by Närada and also Sarasvaté, the goddess of learning. . . Students, they worship Sarasvaté for getting learning . . . My spiritual master was known as Sarasvaté, Siddhänta Sarasvaté. Sarasvaté is the knowledge.”
-Platform Lecture, 5-22-69

Let us therefore begin this analysis of the natal chart of His Divine Grace Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Gosvämé Prabhupäda with a bit of a shocker, viz., that all nine of his sidereal planets are malefics. Your astrologer has never seen this phenomenon before, but, according to rules accepted by virtually all siderealists, every planet here is malefic (with a caveat).

There are no planets in exaltation. Sun is lord of the third for a Gemini lagna, and he is certainly a malefic. When the Moon is waning and Gemini is in the ascendant, the Moon is a malefic. Mars is a malefic in Pisces in the tenth, particularly since he is lord of the eleventh. Mercury is combust, Venus is combust, and Saturn is combust. Combust planets are automatically converted into malefics (even if they would have been benefics otherwise). Rähu is not a benefic in Aries (although he works well in the eleventh), and Ketu is certainly malefic in Libra.

That brings us to the most enigmatic planet of the chart, Jupiter. According to the Båhat-paräçara-horä, Jupiter is converted into a malefic for ascendants ruled by Mercury (Gemini and Virgo), despite the fact that he is the lord of two quadrants in both of those cases. In other words, this generally accepted sidereal “rule” is both counter-intuitive and illogical.

The sidereal science is called astro-logical, but there is another rule (connected to the Moon) that has a similar counter-intuitive element to it. Your author has verified the validity of that one during the course of his studies. Most siderealists accept the idea (that Jupiter is a malefic for a Gemini lagna), but please note that some—such as your author—are skeptical concerning its validity. It appears that it could be an interpolation into the text, which, as everyone knows, is over five thousand years old, i.e., it has had ample time to have been tampered with in all kinds of nefarious ways.

Räja Yogas and Other Yogas

“His former name was Bimala Prasäda, and he got this title Siddhänta Sarasvaté by writing one thesis on astronomy, astrology, astrological calculation according to solar system. So, he got this title Siddhänta Sarasvaté. So, this Siddhänta Sarasvaté, Sarasvaté title also accepted by sannyäsa.”
-Room Conversation, 8-26-68

A quick glance at the chart indicates that there is high likelihood of a number of räja-yogas, particularly since four planets are found in one sign. However, God and the devil are in the details, and those details must include the astro-fact that Venus, Saturn, and Mercury (all conjunct in the eighth) are also all made combust by too close proximity to the Sun there. The solar orb of this chart cannot be a planet contributing to any räja-yoga, since he is lord of the third. Saturn as lord of the ninth, Venus as lord of the fifth, and Mercury, as lord of lagna and the fourth, would be possible contributors to form räja-yogas—and, technically, they do so.

However, these räja-yogas are so weak that they must be considered minimal influences in this particular chart. In other words, a combust planet is rendered either weak or almost impotent (depending upon his proximity within the specific range of his combustion orb), and no sidereal astrologer worth his salt will write about the so-called glories of such räja-yogas.

Mars is lord of the eleventh and sixth (making him extremely malefic), and he cannot contribute to any räja-yoga due to his lordships. Jupiter, as the lord of two quadrants, certainly is eligible to assist in forming a räja-yoga, but his conjunction with the Moon does not do so (the Moon is lord of the second). The bottom line is that only Jupiter could form any potent räja-yoga here—a räja-yoga with significant power—but there is no other planet that can or does assist him in doing so, i.e., there are no räja-yogas of note in this chart, despite a published biography to the contrary.

Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Prabhupäda had three distinctly powerful and positive yogas, and these will now be described. One has already been hinted at: The Gaja-keçaré, formed by Moon conjunct retrograde Jupiter in Virgo. This is well-known as one of the yogas integral to purification, and it gave him personal renown, splendor, energy, and necessary wealth to assist his mission. It also gave him the power and facility to please kings and mahäräjas (a number of them provided significant public relations to help his cause). Over and above these important factors, Gaja-keçaré Yoga assisted this çaktyäveça-avatära in overcoming his many enemies, who, by the power of his own valor, he tended to degrade like a lion destroys jackals. Gaja-keçaré Yoga assisted him in his mission by protecting his character from the mud of Kali-yuga, especially when his enemies so often tried to defame him.

The second important (and positive) yoga that was possessed by His Divine Grace is known as Candra Yoga, yet the Moon is only peripherally involved in it. The key planet producing this yoga is Jupiter, who fully aspects the tenth (which is his house, as it is the sign of Pisces) from the fourth. This provided added power to the tenth, increasing Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta’s fame (which also was negatively (superficially) impacted by malefic Mars in the tenth, i.e., his enemies spread a false kind of infamy about him throughout his life). Candra Yoga gave His Divine Grace the demeanor of a king but with a distinct higher flavor than that, especially since Jupiter (whose portfolio includes guru) was integral in creating it.

The third yoga is known as Uttama Yoga, which is a common yoga, on average possessed by one in every three people. However, it was a bit special in his chart, because the Moon was in the ninth from the Sun and conjunct Jupiter. This yoga gave His Divine Grace the power to greet opportunities with requisite ability and spiritual intuition, i.e., it allowed him to take full advantage of them. Since the Moon was in the ninth from the Sun (certainly the most important planet in this chart), these opportunities were exploited fully. However, his ability to utilize these unexpected developments was not limited to this yoga alone.

Four planets in one sign (and thus in one house) creates what is generically called Sannyäsa Yoga. There is no need to go into any description concerning this, because all devotees in the Gauòéya guru-paramparä know very well that Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Gosvämé was the prominent renunciate of his time.

There were a couple of other positive yogas created in this particular chart, one of them being Budha-äditya Yoga (Mercury conjunct the Sun in the same sign) and the other being Kähäla Yoga. Both are highly beneficial and positive. However, there is weakness in each of them, and that was due to combustion of a planet involved in creating it. At least one of the planets involved was combust and/or not all of the requirements of the yoga met (for example, Kähäla Yoga requires the lord of lagna to be strong). These yogas were not fully potent, and thus their influence was minimal.

 Srila Bhaktisiddhanta

Loaded Capricorn

“We can see that under the instructions of Çréla Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura, Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Gosvämé Mahäräja began preaching the Kåñëa consciousness movement in an organized way within the past hundred years.”
Srémad-Bhägavatam, 4.28.31, purport

When initially viewing the chart of Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasavaté Prabhupäda, something that any occultist learned in sidereal astrology notices immediately is all that action in Capricorn in the eighth. On the whole, such a conjunction is not materially auspicious, but this great personality was not at all concerned about that. Instead, this situation was highly advantageous to him, i.e., he knew exactly how to dovetail it for his purposes.

All signs have a short motto that summarizes them, and, in this case, the motto for Capricorn can be summarized as, “I use.” Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Gosvämé Prabhupäda practically used everybody he came into contact with, as long as they were at least somewhat willing to cooperate with him. They could not easily use him (and, ultimately, they did not do so), but he certainly used them—and in a way that befits his eighth house.

When Gemini is lagna, the eighth is ruled by Saturn. It is the sign of Capricorn, which some astrologers believe to be the worst sign of the zodiac. In some cases, that is so. However, as a pure devotee çaktyäveça-avatära of the Lord, His Divine Grace knew very well how to dovetail the Capricorn energy. He used it to intimidate and manipulate virtually everyone he met, and there is nothing at all wrong with his having done so.

Lord of lagna was in Capricorn. Lord of Capricorn itself was there in the eighth in his own sign. The lord of renunciation (for this chart) was also in Capricorn. Yet, all of these considerations are of minor importance. The chief factor, by far, is that the Sun was in Capricorn. The solar orb, in assimilating much of the energy of the other three planets (that he combusted) was thus rendered super-powerful. The Sun represents authority of all kinds, and His Divine Grace Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Gosvämé Prabhupäda radiated brilliant knowledge, as well as spiritual, and devotional authority, to whomsoever came into contact with him.

The eighth house indicates death (måtyu-sthäna). Paradoxically, it is also considered (along with the third) one of the two houses of life, but we shall not delve into that tangent here. Usually, it is the most difficult house of any natal chart to understand. The fact is that everyone who came into contact with His Divine Grace was immediately reminded of his unavoidable death. If they were not internally prepared for it (which the majority of them were not), they thus felt fear of death accompanying their meeting this pure devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Considering the above-mentioned facts connected to his predominant Capricorn nature–and considering his unparalleled prowess in all kinds of scholarship–he thus was able to immediately intimidate all of them. This was good for each of them, as, at the very least, it made them momentarily humble. Even his picture today, many decades after he has departed manifest existence, has the power to so intimidate—in the uplifting sense of the term—all those who first see it (your author had this direct experience at Madison, Wisconsin in February, 1972).

The eighth contains the portfolio of the mysteries of human existence, i.e., very subtle and occult (hidden) influences. It also indicates the pursuit of power, and that certainly was of interest to His Divine Grace. He was able to attain influence and power in his particular sphere by knowing how to apply the hidden laws of the universe, especially in terms of how these laws affect conditioned human beings. With this knowledge and power, he had the ability to transform and rejuvenate (to spiritual life) those who surrendered to him, even if temporarily.

As aforementioned, Jupiter may be considered either a benefic or a malefic, depending upon your point of view concerning the suggested interpolation. Either way, there can be no doubt that Jupiter had considerable influence on all the other major planets in this janma-kuëòalé. He fully aspected six of them from the fourth, and he was conjunct the other one (the Moon). This means that the power of Jupiter was utilized by each of the planets, particularly by the powerful ones, viz., the Sun, the Moon, and Mars. This may not have always been demonstrated in an attractive manner on the external platform (particularly if Jupiter actually was a malefic, which, as we have noted, is a dubious proposition), but it was always effective. Such an overwhelming, aspectual influence of Jupiter certainly befits a jagad-guru in the paramparä.

The eighth (and, to a lesser extent, the fourth) are houses strongly connected to the past. This becomes all the more prominent when Makara (Capricorn) becomes the sign of the eighth for a Gemini lagna—and when it is loaded with planets. There can be no doubt whatsoever that His Divine Grace was a man of the past. He was the promulgator of knowledge from antiquity, and he never compromised that science. It is rejected today, because it is not considered modern, and this had also been the attitude of many Hindus even at the time of Bhaktivinode Öhäkur.

In our post-modern epoch, Vedic knowledge is considered by many to be little more than a superstitious anomaly. Yet, His Divine Grace made no compromise with the modern attitude of his time, which had already enamored the West and was quite pervasive even in India in the late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Century. He was a very great man who knew the intrinsic meaning of the past. He knew its value particularly when connected to the knowledge and science of the Absolute Truth, and his eighth house led the way, sidereally speaking, for him to maintain this attitude (although he did allow his disciples to travel in modern conveyances, which was then criticized by the smärtas and similar inimical sects).

Sürya in Makara

“Astrological calculations are called jyoti-çästra. Because the jyoti, or effulgence, in the material world comes from the different stars and planets, the science is called jyoti-çästra, the science of the luminaries. By the calculations of jyoti, our future is indicated.”
Çrémad-Bhägavatam, 5.13.4, purport

Makara is generally accepted to be the prominent sign representing organization of all kinds. Practicality and organizational skill almost always accompany the Sun’s placement in the sidereal sign of Capricorn, which is ruled by Saturn (who is the son of the Sun, although they are mutually inimical). His Divine Grace planned his work and worked his plan, methodically. He took a long view, understanding the importance of patience and the advancement of his cause through incremental steps.

Although personally requiring next to nothing, he had the power to accrue. For the service of the Lord he did—especially with the help of his extremely powerful Sun. The lord of lagna being closely associated with the Sun here, especially in Capricorn, evidences the ability of His Divine Grace to project the thunderbolt of his blazing spiritual authority against anyone who resisted him. He did not allow such people to control him in any way, and this made him appear to be self-centered. He rightly considered service to his Gauòéya Mutt (himself) to be the best (if not the only) path and means for attaining Godhead at the time of death.

He rose to his position of prominence slowly, which is typical of men with many planets in Capricorn. Nevertheless, he was highly creative and would come straight to the point whenever that was required. A Capricorn individual has no problem manifesting stoicism and enduring renunciation, and no one on earth at that time was more stoic and renounced than His Divine Grace Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Gosvämé Prabhupäda.

He held a pessimistic view of the world; the inclination of his nose—as well as all those planets in Capricorn (especially the Sun)—exemplified this. He also was generally pessimistic about the people he came into contact with, and this certainly included some of his disciples. It is well-known that his mission was beginning to flounder just before he prematurely departed manifest existence; his Capricorn outlook especially manifested at that time. Venus, despite being combust (in the eighth in Makara) was the lord of the fifth (the house of disciples) and the twelfth (the house of loss). Everyone knows that, particularly in his last years, many of his leading disciples proved to be a problem for him, i.e., he lost their devotional allegiance to a significant extent.

During his life, a Capricorn Sun usually contacts important people. His Divine Grace, with his powerful solar influence, could either sway or dominate such people. He appeared to be cold-hearted (another Capricorn feature) on numerous occasions, but that was only because the situation required it. He was sympathetic to the downtrodden, and he was able to uplift some of them, although not all of them were able to maintain the benediction he thus bestowed upon them. Sun in Capricorn can be, somewhat paradoxically, both friendly and humorous, and His Divine Grace could turn this on at will; he was thus able to manipulate conditioned souls from both ends of the spectrum, i.e., not only by intimidation.

He sacrificed himself for the cause of the Vaiñëava guru-paramparä, and he produced another pure devotee in the process, viz., His Divine Grace Çréla Bhaktivedänta Swämi Prabhupäda, who then carried on his line according to the transcendental plan. He could be crafty on occasion (another Capricorn trait), and thus people who were unable to understand him often were suspicious. He had the power to engage many people. The eighth house indicates other people’s money. His Divine Grace was able to employ means in order to secure and utilize other people’s hard-earned wealth in the cause of the Lord, and his extremely powerful Sun in Capricorn assisted him in these successful efforts.

Occult Indicators

Prabhupäda: He was one of the authorities about sun movements.
Leading Sannyasi: I heard that it will be very . . .
Prabhupäda: He got this Sürya-siddhänta, Siddhänta Sarasvaté. He was very expert astrologer.
-Room Conversation, 8-26-68

It is well-known that His Divine Grace penned the treatise entitled Sürya-siddhänta, which was a translation and commentary of that ancient astronomical text. The production of this book is how he achieved astrological renown, as well as the title Siddhänta Sarasvaté. Now, the cavil could be made—and has been made—that Sürya-siddhänta is not an astrological product, and, as such, it was a fantastic feat of scholarship–but not an occult work. This argument should be thoroughly rejected.

Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Gosvämé Prabhupäda was the foremost astrologer of his time. How and when he used these talents has not been well archived and, for all practical purposes, has thus been lost. Nevertheless, that he was an advanced occultist becomes readily evident in the analysis of his chart. It also should be noted that, in the appendix of his Sürya-siddhänta translation and commentary (penned under the name Bimal Prasäd Datta), he provided unique epicycles for the seven major planets; this will be discussed in more detail in Part Two of our series. Epicycles are central to the direct calculation of sidereal planetary positions, and his differed from the “standard” epicycles in vogue at that time (and still prominently used in West Bengal today).

There are three houses that indicate occult acumen: The eighth, the twelfth, and the fourth, in that order. Six of the seven major planets in his janma-kuëòalé were situated in either the eighth house or the fourth house. He was certainly an occultist of the highest order, and sidereal astrology is an occult science. He understood it and utilized it better than anyone, i.e., he was both a spiritual and an occult master. The eighth is the primary occult house, and all that planetary action in the eighth—especially the presence of Budha-äditya Yoga there (although Mercury is combust)—showcased his occult interest in, and mastery of, the science.

Ayanäàça Considerations

“Modern scientific calculations are subject to one change after another, and therefore they are uncertain. We have to accept the calculations of the Vedic literature. These Vedic calculations are steady; the astronomical calculations made long ago and recorded in the Vedic literature are correct even now. Whether the Vedic calculations or modern ones are better may remain a mystery for others, but as far as we are concerned, we accept the Vedic calculations to be correct.”
Çrémad-Bhägavatam, 5.22.8, purport

As the late, great siderealist, B. V. Raman from South India, said, the ayanäàça controversy is “a kind of a hell.” We could not agree more with him in this. Fortunately, none of Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta’s major planets or upagrahas are placed in different signs or houses when the discrepancies caused by application of the various ayanäàças is employed in determining their positions.

For now, let us give a tangible example of a problem that the different ayanäàças do cause. Again, in connection to the natal chart of His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté, it is unaffected by the ayanäàça controversy (although there is a very big lunar problem—solely caused by contending ayanäàças–in connection to the natal chart of his foremost disciple, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedänta Swämi Prabhupäda).

There is, however, a tangible example of a major problem in connection to the naväàça chart of Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta—or almost anyone’s chart, for that matter. Of the nine planets constituting sidereal astrology, only one of them, Venus, is in the same sign in naväàça sub-divisional chart, as per the calculations of planetary positions for His Divine Grace. We are referring here to the sub-divisional chart constructed via the Lahiri ayanäàça when juxtaposed to the ayanäàça employed by your author. The naväàça lagna is also different in his chart.

The fact is that, although you will (more often than not) place the lagna and planets in their correct signs and houses (signs and houses correspond to one another in Vedic astrology), such will not be the case in terms of the sub-divisional charts. The dvädaçäàça charts will always be completely different. The naväàça chart will be different in many if not most of the placements, including the naväàça lagna.

Most of the sub-divisional charts are negatively impacted (the horä chart, and, to a lesser extent, the dreçkäëa are sometimes exceptions) when there is a difference between two contending ayanäàças. This hell becomes particularly acute when there is a difference in sign and house placement in the natal chart itself.

Your author considers this topic not at all disconnected from this sidereal reading of His Divine Grace Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Gosvämé Prabhupäda. He would want us to solve this problem. As has been mentioned, he was the greatest siderealist of his time. This does not mean, however, that he used the ayanäàça to calculate the positions of planets. Instead, he knew how to place them directly, according to their mean and actual positions, in terms of the rules of the Sürya-siddhänta, which employs sidereal epicycles. This is a bit complicated to understand.

The ayanäàça is a Western short-cut method, deducting the precession of the equinoxes (the length of which is not agreed upon, thus creating the discrepancies) from the planets and the ascendant, after having first calculated their tropical positions. Their tropical positions are calculated using epicycles, as well. These Western erroneous positions are considered to be accurate by many due to the mistaken knowledge that zero degrees Aries (for the Sun) is determined at the first moment of the vernal equinox each year. What the ayanäàça is all about, the intricacies of its use, how it is calculated, and many relevant topics related to it will be discussed in more detail in Part Two of this series.

Go to Part Two

1 comment

1 Neelatimanjuli { 11.14.14 at 09:03 }

Kailasa Candra has entered into a new plane in this article. This extraordinary thesis delves deeply into the chart of His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada.

It is this sort of reading that enlivens the devotee these days and not what the GBC endorses.

The transcendental torchlight that Kailasa Candra carries cannot be dismissed.

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