As It Is and As You Like Him

by Kailasa Candra dasa

“Regarding your question about my birth, I was born September 1, 1896, Tuesday, at about 4:00 in the afternoon. My rasi is Mithuna.”
Letter to Jaya Krishna Thakur, Dec. 6, 1975

A initiative of this nature is meant to help you understand the science of sidereal astrology and to apply it in your devotional life, but it must be fraught with difficulties. This effort has been made especially so due to a rather vitriolic controversy recently splashed all over the Sampradaya Sun concerning the astrological chart of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, the most recent shaktyavesh-avatar of the Madhva-Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya.

It is my duty to simplify everything for you–as far as that is possible–despite the fact that astronomical and astrological calculations and combinations are intrinsically and inherently complex. You can very easily get lost in the minutiae of these interrelated sciences. Indeed, that is just what has been taking place on the pages of the above-mentioned online newspaper in recent times.

However, before some personal background, let me explain the title of this innovative column. We have our occult books, one of which is entitled Advanced Primer of Sidereal Astrology, posted for purchase at Other names for the Kala Purusha are, of course, the Virat Purusha or the Virat Rupa. In English, He is called the Universal Form. Some are of the opinion that He is not at all lovable—and certainly in comparison to the All-Attractive Form of Syamasundara (sarva-karana-karanam, the Ultimate Source and Controller of the Kala Purusha), the Universal Form (kala-rupa) is not the epitome of all-loveliness. Nevertheless, the members of the Vaishnava Foundation love and meditate upon Him, because He is the Supreme Form of Time:

namo jyotir-lokaya kalayanayanimisam pataye maha-purusayabhidhimahi

“O Lord, Who has assumed the Form of Time! O resting place of all the planets moving in different orbits! O master of all demigods, O Supreme Person! I offer my respectful obeisances unto You and meditate upon You.”
Srimad Bhagavatam, 5.23.8

His Lordship Shiva, the Supreme Personality of Servitor Godhead, works directly under the jurisdiction of Kala Rupa. Lord Shambu’s eldest son, Lord Ganesh, works directly under the direction of his great father. This line is in charge of the astrological science, as well as the tamo-guna. So, in this article, we are obliged to destroy a number of myths concerning the science. We shall do so via a rather simple and straightforward approach. However, to the degree that you are caught up in the illusory complexities of these sciences—if you think yourself expert when, in point of fact, you are not (and, particularly, if you are accumulating pecuniary rewards as a result of your pretension)—then, to that degree, we shall be unable to reach you. In some cases, we shall be unable to help you whatsoever.

Placement of the planets in any chart is an important feature. Back in the day when I first learned this science, it was all done by hand. The INTERNET was still almost two decades away from a credible existence, and even personal computers were not yet on the horizon. There are two ways of calculating the lagna (ascendant) and the nine planets of the sidereal pantheon, but only one of them is really in use today.

The first way is very direct as per the complicated instructions of Surya-siddhanta. I am not going to claim that no one in America is doing it—who could make such a claim?—but it is very probable that no one is placing planets according to ahargana and all of those controversial epicycles detailed in that revelation. I am not going to venture into this discussion to any great extent, but suffice it to say that I have spent countless hours with this aspect of astronomy. I have a copy (from the British Museum) of the Surya-siddhanta commentary by His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada (who received his title Siddhanta Sarasvati as a result of the treatise). I have translated it from the original Bengali and studied it many times. I am not a great mathematician—only average—but I was able to comprehend it to some significant degree. No computer program (that I know of) provides placements according to it, especially since Srila Siddhanta Sarasvati’s epicycles are practically avante-garde, i.e., they are not the standard epicycles accepted by the few Indian astronomers who employ this system from the sacred land of Bharatavarsha.

The second, popular way to calculate and place lagna and graha is by using the ayanamsha, which is a shortcut. It is an intrinsically imperfect method, but—if the ayanamsha is reasonable accurate—it will produce results you can work with, i.e., it will provide enough accuracy to be helpful. If not all, then virtually all of the sidereal astrologers in America and the Western world employ the ayanamsha method of calculation. Of course, few if any astrologers still calculate charts long-hand; almost everyone uses some kind of sidereal software; if the feature is made available, they program in an ayanamsha of choice. Still, how can we know which ayanamsha to use? The late, great B.V. Raman called the ayanamsha controversy “a type of hell,” and indeed it is. Because, you see, there are many “standard” ayanamshas out there.

For example, there is the Raman ayanamsha, which is the second-most popular one in India. I personally met the man in Bangalore in 1979, but we did not talk about this controversy during our all-too-brief private discussion. His ayanamsha is close to accurate—but, from the perspective of your author, not close enough. Then there is the Lahiri ayanamsha. This is the most common or popular one, and, when I was first taught the rudimentary aspects of calculation, it was the one given to me. I have found it to be too long. Then there is Krishnamurti’s ayanamsha; somewhat obscure but still employed by astrologers in his line. There is also Yuktesvara’s ayanamsha (he was the guru of Yogananda), which falls about halfway between Lahiri and Raman, and this ayanamsha has no small degree of popularity. Finally, amongst the “standard” ayanamshas, there is Fagan’s, which is the wackiest of the lot.

You will find all five of these options present on sophisticated, sidereal software programs. However, sometimes these programs offer another option, called User Defined. Those who postulate that any authentic siderealist must employ one of the “standard” ayanamshas are caught in the throes of a contradiction. Just to isolate this supposition, Lahiri’s and Raman’s would be considered “standard” ayanamshas by just about everyone who applies the system. However, if one astrologer places his planets according to Lahiri and another according to Raman, they will each attain significant differences in any chart; these differences will affect interpretation.

Their dvadasamsha placements will (almost) always be divergent for every planet. For many if not most of their navamsha placements, ditto. In quite a few charts—arguably, the majority—there will be a discrepancy regarding dreshkana, in relation to one or two planets. It will also not be a rare event that even the rashi placement for a planet could be affected, and that is particularly disastrous. This same astro-catastrophe, when applied to lagna, renders the comparison of the two charts at odds. So, what is solved by applying the dictum (or dogma) that an astrologer must accept one of the “standard” ayanamshas in order to be genuine? It is nothing more than an imposition.

Actually, there is no standard ayanamsha. However, if I get into that fact at this time, most of you will become bewildered. My goal here is to make things clear, but, if you are interested to get into the finer weaves of the rug (where the blacks and the whites appear to be quite grey), then consider purchasing Advanced Primer of Sidereal Astrology. I cover this issue in some detail there (in the First Chapter!).

So, what is the solution? Well, believe it or not, there is one. However, let us initially consider the false solution that has been offered by recent editions of postings from the aforementioned Sampradaya Sun. Two pandits opine that Srila Prabhupada’s lagna is Sagittarius and that his Moon is in Taurus (allegedly exalted there). The purva-paksha responds that Prabhupada’s ascendant is Capricorn, but he also agrees that the Moon of His Divine Grace is in Taurus. This second muni is half right; the other two are completely wrong. Nevertheless, they all present strong cases!

However, how are there cases strong? Why, they present strength of argument based upon wave after wave after wave of inductive reasoning. Their interpretations are astounding; all of these people (I cannot say all of these men, because one of them is female) strut their plumage, showing off how much they supposedly know about aspects and lords and dashas. They talk way, way above the head of the average reader, who remains completely bewildered by the whole thing.

I am not going to do that to you. Let me clarify this. Can I discuss Srila Prabhupada’s chart according to a detailed interpretation of the lagna, as well as the planetary placements in accordance with that ascendant? Certainly! And I shall do so—in great depth, I might add. But it will not be in this first issue! Also, when I eventually discuss, describe, and explain all of that, I shall, more than once, remind you that his planets functioned at all times according to their highest octaves, i.e., he was never under the laws of karma even for a moment.

However, in this posting, I am simply going to stress deductive logic concerning Prabhupada’s chart and the accurate ayanamsha. If you read closely and try to understand what I am revealing to you, if you actuate prajna, then you will be delivered from most cognitive dissonance concerning this raw nerve topic. If you do not, then my article here is going to bury you even more deeply into nescience, as His Lordship Shiva, after whom I have received my spiritual name, will see to it that you experience that feature of his portfolio. His son will not be allowed to grace you.

How can we discover an accurate ayanamsha? Please notice, I did not ask, “How can we discover the ayanamsha?” Instead, I ask you, rhetorically, how can we discover an accurate ayanamsha. Simple, we can discover it through fundamental deductive logic. Most interestingly—and somewhat ironically—we can discover it from Prabhupada’s chart and his clear statement to the inquiry of Jaya Krishna Thakur:

“My rasi is Mithuna.”

Now, what does he mean by “my rashi.” The answer is found in the textbook of Sidereal Astrology 101: A person’s rashi is the sign in which his Moon is situated. It is not his lagna. One of the abovementioned pandits disingenuously proffers the idea that Prabhupada’s personal secretary misunderstood “makara” as being “mithuna.”

This is preposterous. These words only have two things in common: They are both three-syllables, and they both begin with the same English letter. They do not at all sound the same or even similar. It is a ludicrous rationalization. Prabhupada knew what “my rashi” meant, and he knew that Jaya Krishna Thakur would know what it meant, also.

Here is deductive logic: Your ayanamsha must put Prabhupada’s Moon somewhere in the sign of Gemini (Mithuna). If it does not, then you are in illusion. If it does not, then all your fancy astro-algebra and astro-trig becomes nothing more than clarified butter poured on ashes. If it does not, all your ultra-intellectual interpretation of his chart is skewered. There is no lakshana-vritti applicable in Prabhupada’s answer to the query; there is no gauna-vritti either. There is nothing whatsoever figurative about it.

“My rasi is Mithuna.” It is straightforward. It is direct. It is mukhya-vritti. If you think that Prabhupada did not know the astrological science at all and therefore blundered in some kind of “nice sadhu” way–based upon something he heard long before from some pundit–then you are a mental speculator. You do not understand the great personality, the shaktyavesh-avatar, you (falsely?) claim to be your spiritual master.

Tri-kala-jna is one of the twenty-three mystic powers; it is one of the five minor ones. Prabhupada easily had it, as he had all of them in full. Anyone who is Paramatma realized has all of the mystic powers; Prabhupada was far beyond that status of realization. He knew where his Moon was, and he told Jaya Krishna straight where it was situated. He had no reason to mislead him, and he did not do so.

Prabhupada’s rashi was Mithuna. Bas. Case closed.

Now, this leads to some interesting revelations; here is one of them: If you apply any of the “standard” ayanamshas to Prabhupada’s chart, each and every one of them places his Moon in Taurus (Vrishabha). As such, all of them are wrong; this is called deductive logic. As such, an accurate ayanamsha must be shorter than each and every one of them. I have been working with just such an ayanamsha for quite some time now. It explains everything clearly concerning my personal horoscope, particularly in relation to occupational endeavors. It is also verified by an accomplished Indian pundit from the turn of the last century. It puts Prabhupada’s Moon in Gemini.

So, what is that ayanamsha? Well, I’ll give it to you in contemporary terminology: It is 22:06:45 on January 18, 2010. The rate of progression per year is the standard fifty-four seconds of sidereal arc annually; this applies in reverse, as well. My sidereal program puts Prabhupada’s Moon in Gemini at 4:10 p.m. on Sept. 1, 1896 in Calcutta. My program is quite good, because it places all of Lord Caitanya’s planets accurately (over five hundred years ago) in both sign and nakshatra.

So, let us now take up the so-called main controversy: Prabhupada’s lagna. I am not going to analyze the inductive screed. This one is also simple to solve; indeed, even a bit simpler than the lunar placement. “At about 4 p.m. in the afternoon”—just what does (and doesn’t) it mean? Does 4:05 p.m. qualify? Sure. Does 3:55 p.m. qualify? Of course. Does 3:50 p.m. qualify? Yes. Does 4:10 p.m. qualify? How could it not? Do quarter to four and quarter after four qualify? Of course they do.

Does 3:30 qualify? Of course it doesn’t!

And, whatever software you are using–and for virtually whatever ayanamsha you are employing–you will find that Sagittarius lagna ended before 3:30 p.m. It is not even close! His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada was, without any doubt, a Capricorn ascendant—with the lord of the ascendant exalted in the most important quadrant in any chart, the tenth. And who was more famous and more successful that His Divine Grace? Nobody in recent history! He was the real siddha–far beyond the rare siddha who has only attained brahma-bhuta.

Prabhupada’s lagna was closer to the middle of Capricorn than it was to the very beginning of the sign, i.e., his point of lagna was not even at the juncture of where Sagittarius turns into Capricorn. I am astounded that only one other astrologer has pointed this out. Instead, they are all fighting in the Captain’s Tower over how, according to various obtuse arguments, Prabhupada showed (checkmate!) that he was definitely a Sagittarian. Even if you are the most neophyte of all neophytes regarding calculation of sidereal charts, know it for a fact that Prabhupada was Capricorn lagna.

Now in closing, let me tell you that I am not dogmatic about my ayanamsha. It is very close to perfectly accurate; of this I have no doubt. It could, however, be a little off. There would only be a rare chart—one coming to me once in a blue moon—in which a discrepancy of a few minutes of sidereal arc would actually matter. For those of you who understand how the subdivisions work (hora, dreshkana, navamsha, dvadashamsha, and trimshasha), you will understand what I am talking about here. As long as you get accurate placements concerning the subdivisions—the navamsha, in particular—you will be able to render an accurate reading for yourself and others.

May the great personality of Lord Ganesh remove all of your spiritual and material obstacles, as well as your bewilderment concerning the astrological science of sidereal astrology. Misuse of a great science does not render it useless.

yat-pada-pallava-yugam vinidhaya kumbha-
dvandve pranama-samaye sa ganadhirajah

vighnan vihantum alam asya jagat-trayasya
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

(to be continued)



1 comment

1 Vrajendra Kumar das { 01.12.18 at 06:58 }

Hare Krishna! PAMHO AGTS!
Dear Prabhu, I study Jyotish for the last 17 years and I was also always confused how to recincile the statement (My Rasi is Mithuna) with Moon in Taurus that all modern programms show. But four years ago I met one astrologer in Udupi (South-West India) who is the Head (High Priest) of Raghavendra Math. He introduced me to Sri Surya Siddhanta Ayanamsa which showes more accurate positions of grahas. When I calculated Srila Prabhupada’s chart with this Ayanamsa Moon shifted to Mithuna. Everything worked fine. As for lagna, it is Makara, no doubt. Lagna Naksatra is Shravana, 2nd Pada.

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