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Misconceptions and blind beliefs in Astrology

Misconceptions and blind beliefs in Astrology

It is highly unfortunate that in the land where Vedic astrology was born, most people, even a lot of astrologers, have a lot of misconceptions and blind beliefs about several basic facts of astrology. An astrologer propagates a wrong theory and a dozen people believe it . They tell a dozen more and soon it becomes an accepted norm! Misconceptions about Mangal dosha, Rakshasa Gana, Kalasarpa dosha and Sadesati have a lot of far reaching effects in our society full of superstitions, especially in marriage matters.

Click on each item below to learn what the Shastras of astrology really say about them and how the ignorant or “matlabi” pundits take people for a ride by inducing a fear psychosis!


Mangal/Kujadosha

Rakshasa Gana

Sadesati

Kalasarpa dosha

Mangala/Kuja Dosha

One of the biggest misconceptions and fears in the Hindu society with respect to marriage is the presence of Mangala Dosha or Kuja Dosha in the chart of a boy or a girl. I have seen a countless number of good matches being rejected by people just because the boy or the girl has Mangala Dosha present in the chart.

Even the various Shastras of astrology differ as to in which houses it is present, what the exceptions are and what the effects and remedies are. According to some authorities Mars is placed in the 1,2,4,7,8,12, from lagna causes Kuja Dosha. Some authorities omit the 1st house and some others omit the 2nd house.

Some astrologers thump the table and quote Parashara and Varahamihira to prove their point. To start with most of the astrologers only have a very hazy idea of the sastras. On top of that, let me tell you that the existing shastras and their translations are not very pure! Take for example the Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra of Rishi Parashara. In chapter 2 verse 5-7 we have the following: “Rama is the incarnation of the Sun, Krishna of the moon, Narasimha that of Mars, Buddha that of Mercury, Vamana that of Jupiter, Parashurama that of Venus, Koorma that of Saturn, Varaha that of Rahu and Matsya that of Ketu”. Sounds great. However, according to astrology Parashara was the father of Vedavyasa who wrote the Mahabharata. According to our calculations the Mahabharata period was 2500 BC to 3200 BC., or around 1200BC. according to the western historians. Buddha belonged to the much later and fairly authentically recorded period. He died in 544BC. Then how did Parashara say that Buddha is the Avatara of Mercury more than a millennium before? If he were forecasting then he would have clearly stated that “Buddha avatara will be born”. Obviously some of the people who wrote the shastras added a few things of their own!

Rishi Parashara, in his Brihat Parasara Horasastra, chapter 81, verse 47 said the following: “If Mars is placed in the Lagna, 12th, 4th, 7th and 8th houses, without any aspect or conjunction of the benefic planets, the husband of such a woman will certainly have an early death.” So it is clear that if Mars has the aspect or association of a benefic, there is no dosha. It must be noted that in the very next verse, verse 48, he gave the other important exception as follows: “The yoga in which a woman takes birth and becomes a widow, if a male takes birth, he also becomes a widower. If a woman with the widowhood yoga marries a man with similar yoga, such yoga will be cancelled.” So the 2nd exception given by him is that this feared dosha is cancelled if both the girl and the boy have mangal dosha.

However by and large the majority of the astrologers include the 2nd house also in the mangala dosha and accept the 6 houses. As there are 12 houses in a horoscope and as Mars in 6 houses causes Mangala Dosha, it simply means that 50% of the people born have Kuja Dosha of some level. Hence it goes without saying that this Mangala Dosha is not something which will ruin a person, because it is not the intention of God to condemn half of mankind.

The prevalent misconceptions are that, if a person has Martian affliction it will either ruin the marriage or will cause one’s death or the death of the partner. Especially if a girl has Kuja or Mangala Dosha, called “Mangali”, she is looked upon as a devil by the mother-in-law. Nothing can be farther than the truth. First let us examine what the Kuja Dosha is all about and how it affects marriage.

The planet Mars symbolizes courage, aggression, vitality, confidence, fighting spirit and warrior qualities. If Mars is placed in any of these 6 houses, it gives aggressive tendencies to either the person or the spouse. In certain cases if Mars is malefic to the native, it also gives danger to life, provided that other bad combinations are also present. These two are the main negative qualities. Hence the first reason for the “Dosha Complex” is that – in the olden days the ideal wife was regarded as one who is meek, obedient and submissive. Hence a girl with the so called Martian afflictions, who is likely to have courage and fighting spirit, was considered by our MCP society as a girl with “Dosha”. The second possible reason for the “Dosha Complex” is that during the war torn middle ages when a lot of the sastras were written, a “Martian person”, who is normally well built, courageous, aggressive and has fighting qualities, was a prime candidate to be recruited by the king for his army and hence the chances of his death or serious injury were quite strong. In the present changed circumstances it is foolishness of the highest order to be scared simply because one has
Mangal Dosha.

However, Mangala Dosha is not something that can be ignored. It does cause marital discord. Before marriage it is very essential to match horoscopes for Kuja Dosha. If a person has Kuja Dosha in the horoscope the spouse must also have Kuja Dosha. This way the Dosha is cancelled. Otherwise both should be without any Dosha. Various “authorities and experts” have given a lot of exceptions and cancellations for the Dosha. They are so many that almost everything is cancelled! The truth is that in majority of the cases the so called exceptions and cancellations do not work.

P.S.Iyer’s tips: In 1991 the late Sri P.S.Iyer, one of the acknowledged giants of Indian astrology and an authority on the marriage aspects, gave a discourse to several budding aspirants of astrology in Mr. K.N.Rao’s house and I was one of the fortunate ones to attend it. He was quite clear in stating that Mangala dosha is present in 6 houses. This Kuja Dosha or Mangala Dosha must be examined from the Moon, Venus and Saturn also. He even gave the details of the percentage of Mangala dosha in each house. In 8th house the dosha is full, in lagna 1/2, in 7th 1/4, in 4th 1/8 and in 12th and 2nd houses 1/16. As per the exceptions and cancellations, he was very specific about the following:

No dosha if mars is in its its own house or exaltation house. No dosha if aspected by a benefic.

If a strong benefic is placed in the 9th house then the dosha of Mars in the 7th and 8th is cancelled.

However he also advised that apart from the Mars, the planets Saturn, Sun and Rahu also cause similar dosha! From the point of view of causing dosha, if Mars causes 100% dosha, Saturn causes 75% dosha, Sun causes 50% dosha and rahu causes 25% dosha. These doshas must also be evaluated similarly!

As per the koota matching his advise was to give more importance to dina, gana, rasi, yoni and rajju and less to the others. So much so for the nadi dosha fear!

The matching of horoscopes and especially the extent of Mangala Dosha is the job of an experienced astrologer and must be done after carefully analyzing both the horoscopes.
Rakshasagana

The second major misconception while matching horoscopes of marriage is Rakshasagana. Once again this becomes a highly objectionable thing in case of a girl.

While matching horoscopes for a marriage under the Koota matching system, the birth stars in which the Moon is placed at the time of birth, called Janma Nakshatra, in which the bride and bridegroom are born, are analyzed and matched for various compatibility factors. One of them is the Ganas of the nakshatra. All the 27 Nakshatras come under 3 groups. They are Deva Gana, Manushyagana and Rakshasagana. If both bride and bridegroom are born in the same Gana then the matching is supposed to be the best. So the best combination is Deva-Deva, Manushya – Manushya and Rakshasa-Rakshasa. In the Gana matching this combination gets 4 out of 4 points. The next best is between Deva-Manushya and Manushya-Rakshasa. This gets a score of 2 out of 4 points. The last and worst combination is Deva-Rakshasa which gets a score of 0 out of 4 points. This is as per the detailed South Indian Dasha Koota matching system. In the North Indian Ashtakoota Matching system the Gana matching is allotted 6 points and you get either 6, 3 or 0.

Unfortunately too much importance is given to this Gana matching because of two reasons. Firstly as in case of Mangala Dosha, the person born under Rakshasagana has more confident and aggressive tendencies and hence this becomes a major taboo for a girl. Secondly a good Gana matching enhances prosperity. However, what the average public and even a lot of astrologers fail to take into account is the fact that, out of the total 35 point Koota matching, the Gana matching carries only 3 points. What is even more important is the fact that out of the 9 planets we are only taking into account the Ganas of the stars in which the Moon is placed at birth and totally ignoring the Ganas of the stars in which the balanced 8 planets are placed.

Hence it is foolhardy to attach too much importance to Gana dosha.
Sadesati

One of the most terrible periods, according to the believers in astrology, is the dreaded 7-1/2 years of Saturn transit called “Sadesati” in North India and “Elinatishani” in South India. When the transiting Saturn transits the 12th, 1st and 2nd houses from one’s Rasi, i.e., where one’s Moon is placed in the birth chart, it is called Sadesati. ( Saturn takes 30 years to make one round of the zodiac hence 2-1/2 years in each sign multiplied by 3 = 7-1/2 years).

While it is true that during this 7-1/2 years Saturn transit period people do experience some tensions and troubles, it is nothing to be scared about. On an average every man has to go through at least 2 sadesatis during his life time. The results of the sadesati transit vary considerably from person to person depending on the planetary configurations in one’s birth chart. Even while giving some troubles and tensions, it does not deny you success. For example when Mrs. Indira Gandhi became a Cabinet Minister for Information and Broadcasting in 1964, she was going through her Sadesati! In January 1966 when she became Prime Minister she was still going through her Sadesati!! There are thousands of people who not only got away scot-free during sadesati, but actually prospered during it.

All kinds of dreadful results are forecast by the astrologers to scare the people and apart from living under fear, people spend a lot of money quite unnecessarily on all kinds of remedies. Actually the pundits love Saturn, Mangal, Rahu and Ketu, the fearsome four names in Indian astrology, as they have given more money to them by way of remedies than the benefic like jupiter or sun!

There are plenty of remedies for sadesati, the most effective being the daily reciting of Hanuman Chalisa or the Dasaratha Shani stotra.

Saturn, which according to Hindu mythology is the son of Sun God, is an excellent planet. No other planet can give what Saturn can. In fact having a well placed saturn in ones chart is one of the best things to hope for! When Mrs. Indira Gandhi re-elected PM, she was going through the mahadasa of Saturn. When Amitab Bacchan was at his peak, he was also going through Saturn mahadasa. Unfortunately people and the pundits ignore the positive side of Saturn and project it only as an evil planet.
Kalasarpa dosha:

This is another highly feared combination. You will be surprised to know that the ancient classics of astrology have not even mentioned it! Yet it has become one of the most feared doshas, because Kal means death and Sarpa means snake. When all planets are to one side of Rahu and Ketu Kalasarpa Dosha is supposed to be caused. This is considered a very bad yoga which gives rise to misfortunes and is supposed to be a major obstruction to ones progress. This dosha is said to be severe when all planets are within the arc from Rahu to Ketu in their natural motion direction.

There are supposed to be 12 types of Kalasarpa doshas, based on the placement of rahu from the lagna to the 12th house. These 12 have been named after 12 fearful sounding snakes: Anant, Kulik, Vasuki, Shankhapal, Padma, Mahapadma, Takshak, Karkataka, Shankhanaad, Patak, Vishakata and Sheshanag. It is not known who cooked up this nonsense, but rest assured that it is none of the Rishis from Parashara to Varahamihira. Obviously some new 20th century “Rishis” of Delhi and U.P!!

The latest astro-stunt by the “Pundits” is the introduction of “partial kalasarpa dosha”. The basics parameters of this are undefined, so anyone may have it!! A lot of unscrupulous astrologers are scaring people about this dosha and extracting money for the so called remedies. The remedy of course depends and varies according to the financial status of the innocent man!

From practical point of view this is not found to be a hindrance to progress. I have the horoscopes of a lot of people who have this so called dosha and are doing quite well in life. One of the most notable exceptions is the horoscope of Jawaharlal Nehru, the late prime minister of India. If someone can rise to that level with kalasarpa yoga, then its not a bad one really!!

More misconceptions;

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Also of interest:

Hindu rituals and their significance

Shodasa Upacharas of Pooja

Festivals and their significance

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