Saturday, 28 December 2013

ATMAKARAKA- Discovering the soul's desire:

A lot of times what happens is that we are not able to understand what we really want in life. It is not only about our career goals, but other things or desires which can give us a lot of happiness and satisfaction, if we would know about them. But we don't have an idea. Why? Because we don't have the time to look within. We are so busy in talking to others that we don't have the time to speak to our own soul.

In Astrology, Atmakaraka has the answer to this question. Atma means 'soul' and karaka is the 'significator'. Thus Atmakaraka is the significator of the soul’s desire. It is believed that a soul is reborn because it has unfulfilled desires that were not achieved in the previous life and it is born again to get another chance to satisfy them. But what are these desires? How will they be fulfilled? All this and much more is revealed by the Atmakaraka planet.

Since Sun represents the soul, it is considered to be the natural atmakaraka for everyone. However its the personal atmakaraka, famously called as the char(moveable) atmakaraka that shows the desires of the soul and its journey in this birth. Sun is the original significator of the soul, but the lesson the soul has to learn in this birth, is governed by the char atmakaraka.

How to find out the Char Atmakaraka? It’s very easy. The one with the highest degrees, out of the 7 planets (Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn and Venus) in your horoscope, becomes your Char atmakaraka.  The planet that becomes your char atmakaraka defines your goals in life. For e.g. If you have the Sun as Char Atmakaraka, it indicates that the desires to fulfill are success, fame and power. You must give up ego and maintain humility. Mars as Atmakaraka indicates that one becomes brave, courageous and the greatest challenge is to use his bravery in the right direction and avoid cruelty...and so on for the other planets. One needs to imbibe the positive values of the planet throwing off its negative traits. So once you know your char atmakaraka, you would know your purpose in life and the desires of your soul. This also helps you in your spiritual progress as you would know which traits you need to shed off to head more strongly towards moksha.

It is very important to understand that the fulfillment of the worldly desires is a part of the process of ending the reincarnation process. Our soul is treading the wheel of desires and the fulfillment of one set of material desires create an ever-increasing appetite for more and more. These desires never get fulfilled. The true motive of the soul is to get off this wheel and achieve self-realization, peace and eternal happiness. The struggle between the real and the false has to be understood. The false desires are those which we search for in the outside world. The true desires are satisfied from within, within our soul.

Atmakaraka shows the path through life lessons (delivered during planetary period of the Atmakaraka planet). The fact that the soul is born to earth shows that there is a worldly mission for the soul to complete before it is ready to understand the higher self. There cannot be a fast track to moksha so it is important to recognize and complete the material goal- both the good and the unpleasant. Unless you achieve that, you cannot go into the inner world and find your personal treasure of happiness. Atmakaraka will show you both the soul’s material goals and the spiritual ones.

Below is the life lesson shown by each planet that becomes the atmakaraka:

Sun: Sun as an AK indicates that the native has to learn to overcome his ego and should become humble. That’s how he should live his life. It shows the material desires of Success, Fame, and Power.

Moon: Moon as AK indicates that the native should be caring and compassionate, like a mother. He should work towards attaining stability in life. He should not be too emotionally vulnerable to be exploited by others.

Mars: It indicates that the native should be courageous and strong-willed but should refrain from all forms of violence.  He should try out various adventures and explore the sporty side of life. The spiritual lesson to learn is patience and calmness.

Mercury: Mercury as AK indicates that the native should be soft spoken and not harsh or rude with people. His speech and communication skills should be good. He should be an intellectual and try to be truthful at all times.

Jupiter: Jupiter as AK indicates that the native should always respect his teachers/Guru, priests and elderly people. He should try to acquire knowledge and should always be well-informed. He should be wise and work towards spirituality.

Venus: Venus as AK indicates that the native must have a very clean character and refrain from illegitimate sex/lust. He should be of loving nature, maintain good relationships with people and enjoy his life to the fullest.

Saturn: Saturn as AK indicates that the native should follow all his duties and live a disciplined life. He should not be lazy and should refrain from drinking and drugs.  He should spend his life in the service of people.

So the basic thing you all can do is to look up for the planet with the highest degree in your horoscope and learn your life lessons. For in-depth analysis, do consult an astrologer.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

How does Astrology work?

Vedic Horoscope
In our daily routine, we come across people with different beliefs and mind sets. For astrologers, its not uncommon to meet people who say that they don't believe in 'things like astrology'.

Interestingly, most of the people who say they do not believe in astrology have not studied it and do not understand what it actually is and how it works. If they know the technicalities of it and how amazingly it connects to an individual on a personal level, they would certainly change their minds.

Sadly, these people are only exposed to astrology through newspaper columns about sun-sign or raashifal . To tell you the truth, newspaper horoscopes are nothing more than a bit of light entertainment containing generalized astrological predictions which has no practical use. Its not astrology but entertainment designed to sell newspapers and earn easy money for their writers. If you really wish to see how amazing astrology is, you must have your own personal chart cast for the exact time of your birth and interpreted by an astrologer.

Since the dawn of civilization, the stars and planets have been in use as celestial guides for human affairs. A horoscope is a map of the sky with us in the very center of that map. It shows where the planets in our solar system along with the Sun, and the Moon were in relation to us on Earth at our moment of birth.

No scientific study has ever been able to prove astrology through large-scale statistical study. And yet it works consistently for individual people and personal readings. How can this be? Below's the answer.

See, astrology is the study of all the energies behind life. Though it contains science within it, yet it does not function by purely scientific means. It has its own mystery involved that cannot be understood by the logical mind because the mind is a part of the whole. And a part of the whole cannot understand the whole. The deep truths about life cannot be easily understood by the mind and explained by means of language. Yet they can be felt and experienced. Anyone who has had a mystical or spiritual experience can attest to this.The truths of astrology can also be experienced although one may not able “prove” them by sheer logic. Because the proof is in the individual, personalized reading and the relevance it has in that person’s life. Remember, astrology is the umbrella you carry when you go out in the rain. The umbrella does not stop the rain but it saves 'you' from getting wet.

Astrology is able to describe how somebody experiences the world, which is directly linked to what is going within them (their energetic make-up). Having a personalized reading with an astrologer can explain you as to why certain things keep happening with you and guide you further to overcome the challenges that life throws your way. It can also reveal hidden talents, indicate what profession would best suit you, what lessons you are supposed to learn and how to align your life in a way that brings real peace, satisfaction and fulfillment. A happy life full of love is every single person’s dream. Astrology is a powerful tool for guiding you to this. Its like a road-map that tells you when to turn left and when to turn right. Life's ways are not easy and we do not have enough time to try out all the roads and then choose the right way. Astrology shows you the right way.

In nutshell, to really understand how astrology works at the root level, one needs to first understand how 'life' works, for which one needs to be well versed with the karmic theory and significance of 'destiny' in an individual's life. But how are karmas/deeds of past/present life connected with destiny? And how is all of this connected with Astrology?

Keep guessing till my next write-up. 

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Ascendants and their Character traits!!

If you have been following my previous blogposts, by now you should have some idea of what an 'ascendant' means and how it says a great deal about your personality.

Below are the 12 ascendants and their character traits in brief.

ARIES: Enthusiastic, Dynamic, Courageous, Confident, Quarrelsome, Dominating.

Aries Sign
You are ambitious and adventurous. You have pushful and aggressive nature. You are fond of argument and have leadership qualities. Sometimes, your extremism leads to mental and emotional instability. Any attempt to dominate or control you gets your hackles rising. However the sincerity of your passions makes up to some degree for the rashness of your actions. You have the impressive ability to rise to the occasion in times of emergency.

TAURUS: Soft spoken, Grounded, Dependable, Straight forward, Cheerful.

Taurus sign
Taurus zodiac is represented by 'The Bull' and just like a bull, you are strong and silent. You have this amazing quality of bearing emotional and physical pain, even for years, without grieving or complaining. Infact more the troubles come your way ,the stronger you come out to be. Your ideas are always sensible and practical. You are not the one who build castles in the air. You are fond of beauty,music and good food. One of the typical personality traits of a Taurus is passivity. You are always there for people when they call on you but you will never be the one to call on them in the first place and its not because you keep any ego issues, but simply because you are passive.

GEMINI: Sharp minded, Humorous, Calculative, Helpful,  Social, Moody.

Gemini sign
One of the main traits of the Gemini twin sign is curiosity. You are always searching for activities and diversions to put life's puzzle together. The one thing about your sign which is not found in any of the other zodiacs, is that youth is retained. You people remain enthusiastic throughout life. Because of the twin sign, the evil side of the Gemini enjoys playing pranks on people. In fact, you enjoy anything that will bring you amusement and some lightness. You also always try to be updated and aware about what's happening in the world. You are a little insecure and sometimes take decisions in a haste.

CANCER: Honest,Talkative, Very emotional, Restless, Protective, Dreamy, Sympathetic.

Cancer signBeing a watery sign, you are dynamically emotional. People like you are in tune with the feelings of others as you tend to feel things so deeply yourself. You have a very good imagination and are fond of travelling. You are always in a fix, not very determined. Also many a times it so happens with you that when you are having the happiest moments of your life, you get a bad news.You have an excellent memory and are more of a speaker, than a listener.Though short-tempered, you are receptive to new ideas and adapt easily to the new environment.

LEO: Outspoken, Fearless, Egoistic, Image conscious, Bossy, Strong willed.

Leo signLeo zodiac is represented by the Lion and hence being a Leo, you are born to rule.You are frank, generous and ambitious.You are also very self aware and body conscious.You are fond of pleasure and luxury even with limited resources.You have the endurance to make through any difficult task. Strong but stubborn, you are often heard saying, "I cannot tolerate negative or wrong things".You are creative and like transparency.You are unlikely to fall a victim of flattery.You are however quite dominating and also egoistic at times.

VIRGO: Sharp minded, Nervous, Peaceful, Diplomatic, Soft spoken, Social.

Virgo signIf you belong to Virgo astrological sign, you are soft and friendly. You are not arrogant and treat everyone with respect. You have a good grasping power and impress everyone with your conversational skills. Your mind usually doesn't rest very often as you keep pondering over one thing or another.You also dwell quite a lot in the past and do not let  go of it very easily.You take your own sweet time to open up with people and mostly wait for the other person to initiate things. You are down to earth and compassionate.You are quite critical of other people's faults and are not very tolerant.

LIBRA: Gentle, Courteous, Cheerful, Empathetic, Harmonious, Easy going, Lazy

Libra signWith the symbol of Scales on your side, you’re a seeker of balance and justice.You have a pleasing smile. Part of your charm is being able to make other people feel important.You always find something to like in everyone. Infact at times, you think of others more than yourself. You hate conflict.You'll do anything to avoid an argument,or to stop one. It's not that you're afraid of being hurt, it's that you're afraid of hurting someone else's feelings.You're a peace maker.When confronted with two opposing sides, you'll find a happy medium.You crave harmony and hate show-off. Being ruled by Venus, your are very fond of music,dance and movies.

SCORPIO: Frank, Bold, Notorious,Stubborn, Well-informed, Ambitious, Dominating

Scorpio signYou are a fearless fighter,broad minded and have a strong will power. You also have good leadership qualities. You are like the volcano not far under the surface of a calm sea, may burst into eruption at any moment. You are thoughtful in conversation and dignified. You are determined and secretive. You are self-reliant and seldom seek out the advice of others, preferring to find the answers yourself. You cannot fake anything and speak exactly what you feel, even if sounds rude to the other person.

SAGITTARIUS: Knowledgeable, Straightforward, Kind, Religious, Alert, Reliable, Truthful

Sagittarius signBeing a Sagittariun, you desire to know something of everything. You are quite active and often restless. Much like the two other fire signs, Aries and Leo, you're dynamic and charismatic. You make friends easily. Infact in a room full of strangers, you'll be one of the firsts to break the ice through a small talk. You think logically, and this makes you a convincing speaker.You are fond of debates and are always prepared to speak on any topic.You love adventure, change, exploring new territories, and are not content with the same safe, familiar little world all the time. Freedom-loving, you cannot tolerate being dominated.

CAPRICORN: Honest, Sincere,Thoughtful, Self-reliant, Insecure, Lazy

Capricorn signYou believe in the principle, " My life, my way". You are patient and determined. Being a Capricorn, you see your life in black and white. You tend to feel uncomfortable in what you can't see or understand. You would wait as long as it requires to analyze a situation before acting upon it and hence you are not impulsive. You also have a good sense of humor and don't mind taking jokes on yourself. You are quite conventional and stable. Your believe that self sufficiency is strength so you do not like to ask others for help. This is also because you like to take full credit for what you achieve. But you are a lazy bone.

AQUARIUS: Intelligent, Helpful, Analytical, Confident, Hard working, Passionate.

Aquarius signYou are outgoing, friendly and possess good organizational and communication skills. You are an intellectual and have a healthy outlook towards life. You just don’t want to be like others and take pride in the fact that you’re so unique. If you’re not able to live your life on your own terms, you aspire to a future time when you can fulfill your dreams to the fullest in exactly the way you want. Even though sometimes your opinions are too different, you are always respected for speaking your mind honestly. Although on the outside you appear aloof and detached, you're inwardly sensitive and caring.

PISCES: Imaginative, Knowledgeable, Outspoken, Kind, Creative, Reliable

Pisces signYou are versatile and intuitive, have quick understanding, observe and listen well, and are receptive to new ideas and atmospheres. You are also secretive and fond of sarcasm. You dislike disciple and confinement. The nine-to-five schedule is not for you. You are kind and compassionate. You are vocal about your feelings. You are gifted artistically. You are not very ambitious and tend to understand things by absorption rather than logic. You are loyal, home-loving, kind and generous. You support your friends unconditionally and expect the same support from your friends if the need arises. You have a forgiving nature.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Ascendant-The Rising Sign!

Ascendant meaning
In Vedic Astrology, 'Ascendant' is without question the most individual and defining element in the chart. All predictions start from the Ascendant and everything in a chart is derived from the Ascendant. Being the most important of all, still not many people understand the science behind it. Since we astrologers have to deal mostly with the predictive part, the understanding of the scientific/astronomical basis of the rising sign gets sidelined. 

So this is just a small effort from my side to make the concept of Ascendant more clear to everyone.

Ok, so we know that Earth revolves around the Sun and completes a revolution in around an year. Since we reside on earth, we study the apparent motion of Sun around the earth. This path along which the sun appears to move as viewed from the earth is called 'ecliptic'. Since earth's one revolution takes 12 months to complete, we have 12 zodiac signs through which the Sun's apparent motion is observed. They are called as the Sun Signs. So depending upon where your Sun is, at the time of your birth, you get your sun sign.. But as we learnt in our geography class in school that Earth not only revolves around the Sun but also rotates on its own axis, completing one rotation in around 24 hours. So though the sun sign is fixed for a month, due to rotation of earth, the group of stars rising in the Eastern horizon would keep changing from time to time. So if you wake up in the morning at 7 am and you see an Aries rising then at 9 am, it would be Taurus, 11 am Gemini and so on. Thus it is observed that these group of stars change roughly after every two hours. This is precisely what the ascendant means. The Sign rising over the eastern horizon at the time of your birth is called the Ascendant. This is why it is also called 'Rising Sign'. 

Sun-sign meaning

It is believed that the rising sign at the moment of your birth is the one you embody not only physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. It is a type of behavior that you adopt as a child because, at that time, you found it to be most appropriate. 

Ascendant determines the mental capacity, temperament, character, behavior, good luck and bad luck of the native. It is represented by the first house of the chart. It also tells how much fame, honor, property, status and comfort a person will gain during his lifespan. The ascendant represents the face you present to the world- your physical appearance, your manner of dealing with people, and what they perceive at first glance. 

Your Ascendant is often considered to be that by which other people understand you; so when meeting others, they will see you through the lens of your Ascendant, rather than your sun sign. We can say that our Ascendant shows our natural, knee-jerk reaction to new people and situations. In astrology, Ascendant is the basis of everything . No matter what the concerned area is, be it career, family, foreign travel, finance or marriage, the evaluation of Ascendant and its lord is of prime importance as it reflects the 'you' in question. 

What's next:  The 12 Ascendants and their traits!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

What sign are you? Vedic Vs Western.


What if you have been thinking you are a Scorpion all of your life, and suddenly discover you are actually a Libran?

Very often I hear from people, "I am a Saggitarius" or I am a "Leo", to which I say, "Don't be so sure". I also try to explain the reason sometimes, but very few are able to understand. Doesn't really surprise me because this is what people read in the Sun-sign columns of the newspapers and thus they associate all of their self to be their Sun Sign, that too a Western one.

But just think of it.
  • Will all births taking place from 21st March to April 20th have the same Arien characteristics of leadership and impulsiveness?
  • Will everyone born in the months of late September-October be peace-loving and charming, like a true Libran?
  • Scorpio is your Sun-sign but what about the other planets? Where do Mercury and Venus go? What about other zodiacs like Capricorn and Pisces? Won't they have an influence on your life?
  • Will everyone born in those 30 days, under the same zodiac go through the same course of events in his/her life?
Sounds strange right? All this basically account to the limitations of the Western System of Astrology. So if you are a Capricorn acc to Western Astrology does not mean you will have all the Capricorn character traits, because Capricorn is just your Sun-sign(based on Tropical Zodiac), while if you see your Vedic horoscope, your rising sign, sun sign, moon sign will all be different. Yes even the Sun-sign would be different in most cases.

So, the first surprise using Vedic Astrology is that you are no longer the Sun Sign you always thought you were. This happens with most of the charts. However, if you were born in the last 5 days or so of the Western Sign month, then you will probably still be that sign in Vedic since the difference is 23 degrees currently, and signs are 30 degrees long in space.

But why this difference? Lets get more into the astronomical part of it.
Vedic astrology

Vedic Astrology, (Jyotish) uses the astronomically scientific calculations for the signs of the Zodiac, the zodiac is called the Sidereal zodiac. Sidereal means star and is based on which stars or constellations the planets appear to be in from our perspective here on earth. (This is what the zodiac astronomers use.)

Western astrology uses the Tropical system which is Sun-based and is determined by the seasons. Tropical defines 0° Aries as wherever the Sun is at the moment of March Equinox. The Sun’s position then becomes 0° Aries even though side really (as seen from Earth) it’s only about 7° into Pisces and still needs to travel 23° before it gets to 0° Aries so Western Astrology does not take into account the precession of the equinoxes; therefore after 2000 years it is off by about 20 degrees of longitude--almost a whole Zodiac sign (30 degrees). From 0-600 C.E. , scientists were not aware of the precession. At that time it so happened that the beginning of the Zodiac sign Aries coincided with the beginning of the spring equinox (March 21). Western astrologers (in Greece and Egypt) assumed that the heavens would always stay the same. What they didn’t know is that each year that the earth revolves around the sun, it returns to a place in space slightly behind where it was the previous year. Therefore, it is going backward through the signs of the Zodiac.

The newspaper and thousands of books use the Sun sign for telling you about yourself and your life.  But the Sun is in the same sign for 30 days--think of all the thousands of people born during that time that have the same sign as you. In contrast, Vedic astrology places more emphasis on the Ascendant and the Moon sign, because the ascendant/rising sign changes every 2 hours a day and the moon every 2-1/2 days; thus it is more representative of who you are, this is the reason a Vedic reading requires your time of birth and place of birth too, and not just the date of birth. Ascendant plays a very significant role since it is representative of the moment you are born. This is what distinguishes you from all the others born on your birthday.

Actually western astrology emphasizes more on the psychological nature of the individual, but lacks reliability for predicting future cycles and events. Although Vedic astrology also defines a person’s psychological nature, it gives more focus to understanding when certain events are likely to take place. Moreover it exercises the free will of the people and works on the solutions to their problems. Remedial measures are prescribed to make peace with the planets. Since none of these is in scope of the Western system, the Western Astrologers after being exposed to our system, get so fascinated by its precision that most of them switch to Jyotish after certian point of time. 

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Astrology: Science or Superstition?

Astrology science or superstition

Astrology existed since ancient times, but is it a science, or just pseudoscience?
Do you believe in astrology?  

Don't believe? I don't blame you. Perhaps your exposure to astrology is Sun Sign columns in your local newspaper. If the only doctors that I was familiar with diagnosed illness by measuring the size of a person's head, I would have a low opinion of medicine. But is it right to frame your opinion of something you have so little exposure to?

Actually, astrology is a superstition only till life is smooth sailing, on the contrary it’s definitely a Science since we are all governed by the planets which manifest in all our achievements and otherwise.

It may be noted that in the 14th century a number of universities in Western Europe, among them Paris, Bologna and Florence, had chairs of astrology.In ancient times, great astrologers adorned the royal courts and the kings consulted them on all matters. We have instances where our sages have offered astounding predictions. And now with more awareness, astrology is regaining its significance.  Educated people in the West, especially in the United States, ask each other what sign they were born under.

People use astrology in many different ways, from investing in the stock market, making business decisions, to analyzing political situations and social movements. The applications of astrology are almost endless. There are people using astrology successfully in very concrete areas, such as investing and finance - that is certainly an area where you can pay dearly for making a mistake!

Astrology may not be completely called a science, as every time 2 x 2 does not come out as 4 and surely it is not a superstition because record has it that time and again it has proven its worth and changed the lives of people in a revolutionary way.

Cosmic forces are real. Our ability to sense them and to understand them is where the challenge lies. Now a day’s even doctors take the help of astrologers if their patient is not recovering from prolonged illness. Since the Moon can affect tides on Earth, this should be taken as scientific evidence that the positions of Planets have some influence on our existence. Even though space appears to hold great distances does not mean we are disconnected from it. If we are warned that we are prone to rash actions due to the influence of certain planets, then we can hold a check on our emotion and rash action and catastrophic results. If we know that position of a planet gives a favorable condition, then we can take advantage of it by proper action. 

Unfortunately, Astrology currently does not have the support and endorsement of universities and research journals, and there are very many tricky and difficult problems that one encounters in attempting to scientifically test astrological theories. But that does not mean it cannot be done. It has been done already to a small degree, and the development of good software tools and the dedication and interest of many talented people in the field of astrology is now giving a re-birth to astrology which is now proving to be one of the great technological wonders of the future.

In our Vedic scriptures like Ramayana, Mahabharata etc., one can find innumerable references to astrology in various forms. References to rising sign, Sun, Moon, Shadow planets Rahu and Ketu, nakshatras etc. can be easily found.

Here is an excellent Bible passage that uncannily describes the astrological influences on humanity and the suggestion that the universe operates on a cosmic clock:

"There is a time for everything, 
and a season for every activity under heaven: 
a time to be born and a time to die, 
a time to plant and a time to uproot, 
a time to kill and a time to heal, 
a time to tear down and a time to build, 
a time to weep and a time to laugh, 
a time to mourn and a time to dance, 
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, 
a time to embrace and a time to refrain, 
a time to search and a time to give up, 
a time to keep and a time to throw away, 
a time to tear and a time to mend, 
a time to be silent and a time to speak, 
time to love and a time to hate, 
a time for war and a time for peace.”