Chela (acolyte)’s journey

We live in a very fast-paced metropolis now, even faster than it used to be in Superman’s days before he fell off the horse and sadly became paraplegic but it must be the wishes of all those children who truly beleived that Chris Reeves was The Superman — he overcame a Challenge which was rather dramatically straight out of the comic book reality: GREEN KRYPTONITE!

Before Thanevalas arrest me for digressing too far out of my permitted boundaries maybe I should return to the matter described in the header of this post!

In this Silicon Metropolis READINGS are a REALITY. And they are often dropped in wrong places and then the dedicated moderators spend personal valuable time and move it to the READING areas. Now I realize that reading seekers at times are distraught and also may be new to the metropolis and may not know exactly how to get to the Oracle. I have witnessed many requests moved to the right area but hardly ever have I read an expression of frustration from the moderators who are responsible for relocating the messages! Quodos to you brothers and sisters!

There will always be expectations on the part of those who post reading requests. Some realistic and other expectations somewhat unrealistic. And then we have the individuals who to give an analogy, perhaps undeserved and unfair on them — pharmacy students going to a doctor for advice about their <horoscope!>

If the purpose of the request is to seek direction then first there must be trust built in the healing relationship. Hard to do on the impersonal internet with its doubts and deceptions, real and imagined!

If the purpose of the reading request is to learn, then it is deception and while many have ‘passed’, who has ever learned anything through cheating in the examinations? The successful ones may please speak up and adjust our reality!

If the purpose of the request is to show off one’s knowledge then to those the simple advice from this ant would be: Please begin to believe in yourself and your capabilities and begin to GIVE readings as opposed to seeking those! This healing camp needs more healers and readers than patients!

CHELA Tales…


Joined: 11 Jun 2006

Posts: 3197

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:11 am

If asked, many practitioners would give different answers to the question: Where to begin when looking at a horoscope. Some would recommend lagna, moon, atmakaraka, lagnesha, pada of 1st house or any of the many “personal indicators” (to jog the memory of those who may have read that).

$wamiji always recommended that one first look at indicators of longevity. If the horoscope is of one who will not survive, why even bother giving five hundred page readings that will probably be buried or cremated with the deadbody!

But but how to determine longevity? TA slipped in the question just as $ was slipping into his post-prandial oblivion after having consumed his bowl of daliya (porridgy thick soup of various lentils and other stuff).

“Read the chapters $@#$@%…” Obviously TeenAger was too slow and let the opportunity slip away. Now it will be another sleepless night and lot of midnight oil to be burned 😦

A$hram had recently got a few new futuristic books on longevity determination and TA greedily pored over those. Tattwas and pindas and this interesting jaimini grid and amshayu, alpayu, madhyau, deerghayu and OH WHAT FUN!

When the cock crowed, the bleary-eyed and hungry (missed his meal reading all those books) TA shook himself free from the books and realized that he had wasted another night without learning anything.

“You look tired and upset, beta!”, $ kindly patted TA on the head and gave him the morning off.

When TA arrived at his bed, he found a small package waiting for him. From past experience he knew that this would contain a bunch of charts and a note describing the homework.

Wearily, he opened the package and it had a note which read:

“Start Simple 2-3-7-8 then <1>

No house becomes a home unless it is occupied and sudarshan! Tomorrow will be another day!”

Later on, $ came in to check and covered the shivering, cold TA with some warm thatch… {to be continued}


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When numbers lie…?

Jyotish and science are often compared but in reality they seem to be quite different disciplines. The commonality to a minor extent lies in both approaches being exploratory (to a degree) and descriptive of the milieu in which both operate. There are significant differences in the two approaches that are notable, namely, the former utilizes an older and static framework whereas science has a growing and developing [though not inflexible] glossary with a non-rigid framework which expands as its body of understanding and knowledge grows over time.

Science for the most part embraces more accountability [peer-Review], transparency, whereas, jyotish continues to remain not regulated or even standardized and therefore wildly variable in its modern framework. It, sadly, tends to be somewhat secretive often under the guise of sacredness and inaccessibility. Jyotish continues to rely on a framework that is ancient and which remains nearly unaltered while society and humans have evolved astronomicaly over the past thousands of years! Modern writings are nearly all reinterpretations and even rehashed material from the earlier body of literature sometimes dubbed as “Scriptures”. The general belief is that the body of knowledge was originally transmitted orally (teacher to student; mouth to ear) for a long long time and then captured in black and white. It is conceivable, as some claim, that what we possess now though mostly in its nacent form might understandably also contain some insertions and even deletions. One hopes that these have been minor at least in the more significant usable portion of the craft. It is quite possible that the interpretations and reinterpretations are not necessarily improvements. A healthy scepticism, therefore, is good to retain by all honest learners and practitioners of this arcane craft! There have been instances where unknowingly and hopefully in rare instances intentionally flawed examples, explanations and data have gotten published. The critical faculty of the mind must therefore be exercised. Until then it is best to refrain from dubbing the subject as science or scientific, lock stock and barrel.

Many practitioners and “teachers” tend to toss around numbers and percentages and many innocent devotees/disciples propagate those as if those were gospel. Repeated enough, these tend to stick in the minds of readers and take on the form of *facts*. Some examples such as astrology can only be accurate to the tune of 82% or 75% or whatever are just anecdotal guesstimates and questionable regardless of the source. Imagine how much backward science would have been unless the pioneers in that field created and promoted the culture of documentation, honesty, reproducibility, peer review and accountability…


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Vimshopaka is a unique consideration in jyotish and worth our attention and exploration. The important messages or hints that emerge from this are:

All vargas are not quantitatively equal in their impact and influences on the human experience (actual life experiences).

Certain vargas, notably, rashi and navamsha have a significant say in the horoscope of the nativity.

Vimshopaka is a weighted system for scoring a planet based on its relationships with its dispositors in different vargas and its ownerships of signs.

Vimshopaka is a reminder for the need to treat exaltation and debilitation as a separate quality/attribute very differently from sign-ownership and panchadha maitri (friendship etc) and hence must not be lumped with the rest as is usually done as if exaltation is on the same scale of considerations as friendship and ownerships.

Why the four series of vargas are chosen must not be an arbitrary choice. Do these four series represent the four classes of earth experiences that a soul is capable of. No, this is not the caste system that has plagued certain societies but the class and ‘age-category’ of experiences that the earth-bound soul can come here for. The basic six-fold class, focusing on self-development, self-awareness, then moving on to the 7-fold category where one begins to influence others and to be really responsible for others, in a worldly framework but not just in a rigid sense. Moving on to the 10-fold classification where one begins to deal with karma and expansion of awareness begins which all finally blossoms (potentially but not automtically! One still needs to make effort!!) in the 16-fold state where one can begin dealing with finer aspects of being. If one is still living in a very materialistic, worldly, selfish, self-focussed plane, there is little point in getting too excited if we see a high vimshopaka score in the shodashavarga configuration!

Vimshopaka opens a meaningful window when considering dasha effects of a planet. Like other factors, it is a single indicator and so one must resist the tendency to run with it, particularly when other influences are pointing elsewhere. For instance, a planet might have a high score in vimshopaka but not so high in shadbala and might be influenced by malefics or is in a difficult house. These other indicators and factors are trying to tell you something. Please do be mindful of those!

The system along with the rest of jyotish even if developed only a few thousand years ago — as some modern astro-historians proclaim — indicates the complex level of thinking and cognitive powers of the individuals who documented this system. As some modern historians tell us, those were less developed times with travel difficult if not impossible. Yet for the ancients to know that the poles have days and nights that are six months long, tells me the level of their knowledge and awareness, whether they experienced it directly or through their superior cognitive abilities.

In this context, despite what some modern ‘scholarly’ astrologers have tried to force a view upon us behind the shroud of history, namely, that Varahmihira was older than Parashara because Varahamihira did not talk about vimshottari, did not talk about nodes (wrong!), had a different ashtakavarga system (only very minimally different from Parashara though), etc. The fact is that Brihatjataka by Varahamihira was a very small booklet compared to what Parashara created and if one carefully reads through the Sanskrit text in even that small booklet of verses, Varahamihira talks about not only Parashara but also Satyacharya (who had been kind of clocked by similar experts and “historians” to have existed in the early C.E., late B.C.E., around Gautama Buddha’s times. Varahamihira mentions Yavanacharyaa who might have been a predecessor, like Parashraa and Satyacharyaa, naming these three specifically in Vrihatjataka. Varahamihira in his ‘jataka’ was obviously taking a reductionistic approach, unlike in his samhita (mundane astrology text) a creation beyond parallel! It is all there, one has but to look! Twisting that into some sort of evidence that reflects historical time-lines is confused and confusing.


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The trend of applying principles described in jyotish texts as disjointed rules is somewhat unforunate. While such an approach has its heuristic benefits, in other words during learning jyotish, can and does end up being misleading when applied in readings. Examples being: What does Saturn transiting through the fifth house bring about, or what is to be expected during the dasa of mars? One must actively refrain from such an approach during the real-life applications (reading a chart).

Just as life itself is typically anything but mono-factorial, its map which is what the astrological matrix is has to be synthetically treated as a *weave* as opposed to discrete threads. In failing to do so, we risk reducing our astrological interpretation into an over simplistic translation of the cosmic symbolism that astrology entails. I can understand that such an approach can seem rather daunting to the beginner and even more so to the intermediate practitioner who one the one hand is grappling with the intricacies of astrological synthesis while trying to learn and incorporate the umpteen new questionably valdated or tested techniques that modern web – based information explosion has made possible.


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Badhaka defines a house in a chart which shall be experienced as difficult by the nativity. Constrained, obstacles, resistance to success may be experienced. Its lord does not automatically turn into a malefic or obstructive planet. However, one often gets valuable indications from the inherent qualities of the planet placed in the house. The 11th, 7th or 9th houses from a movable (1, 4, 7, 10), mutable (3, 6, 9, 12), or fixed (2, 5, 8, 11) ascendant sign, respectively represent the badhaka-sthan which is a curious fact and worth contemplating upon. Attention must be given to the attributes of the obstructed planetary indicator in a chart. This would be the planet placed in the badhaka house in a chart.

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