By Patita Pavana das Adhikary
The two major car accidents this week (Iskcon devotees in serious car accident in Mayapur, and 5 Iskcon devotees of Mathuradesh leave their bodies in car accident ) have cast a cloud of sadness upon the entire ISKCON movement. I remember ISKCON’s first such car accident, two devotees, Vaidyanath and Maranda, were killed in Arizona in 1970 when a truck pushed their VW off a mountain slope in Arizona. Like the devotees in Mathuradesh, they passed from this world in Krishna’s service. May these brave, blessed souls all be asembled in Vaikuntha awaiting each of us by Shrila Prabhupada’s grace!
I was in one such car accident on sankirtan the next year, 1971, when the driver Bhakta Dennis fell asleep at the wheel. The devotees on either side of me, Jananivas das Brahmachary and Bhakta Will were each killed instantly, and I was temporarily paralyzed with a broken back. I corresponded with Shrila Prabhupada about the accident, not mentioning my injuries, and those of you have his letters may refer to it for his instructions under “Patita Uddharana.” Shrila Prabhupada’s secreatry at the time said that Prabhupada was deeply saddened, saying, “This did not have to happen.” I shall list below one of the ways that such tragedies “don’t have to happen.” The other way to avoid accidents, of course, is to use common sense, and this is what Shrila Prabhupada was specifically referring to. As the final lesson of the Gita states, dhruva nitir matir mama.
This year, 2009, is overshadowed with six ghastly eclipses, so many horrific forms of violence can be expected globally. The purpose of this short article is to teach devotees how to always leave their homes (start journeys) under a bright “moment” through the Vedic art of hora shastra. This is a little different form the “Thursday afternoon” wisdom famous throughout ISKCON. That particular moment refers to the Rahukalam or “period of Rahu.” It is a separate division of jyotish shastra.
As shall be explained hereunder one should leave the compound of one’s domicile–whether a permanent or temporaty domicile it does not matter–under a good hora or “hour.” Thereby, auspicious vibrations are attracted that will benefit your outing, whether it is a visit to a friend’s or the first leg of a long journey. Those who use hora shastra agree that this Vedic science works wonderfully. Frankly, I’ve lived a dangerous life, and since I learned it nearly forty years back I’ve always found it useful. Many devotees will be skeptical, thinking that this is some New Agey form of maya, but it is far from that. It is a perfect use for the invisible trends and influences of time that have been running sequentially since this globe emanated from Lord Vishnu’s divine body. Hora shastra is nothing less than a part of His unseen mystic power always at work in every atom.
The English word “hour” or Spanish “hora” (etc.) originate from the Sanskrit concept of hora. This is not unusual since it is well known that the entire system of time measurement originated in Vedic scientific wisdom which, again, originated with the inception of the Universe. In the word “hora” the syllable “ho” is derived from aho for “day, and the syllable “ra” is derived from ratri for “night. This said, I shall now reveal to my fellow devotees the short science of hora shastra which has protected millions from the dark hands of crossed stars for yugas.
First, you must learn the Vedic days of the weeks, beginning with Sunday. Every Indian already knows this.
Sunday = Raviwar or day of the Sun
Monday = Somwara or day of the Moon
Tuesday = Mangalwar or day of Mars
Wednesday = Budhwar or day of Mercury
Thursday = Guruwar or day of Jupiter
Friday = Shukrawar of day of Venus
Saturday = Shaniwar or day of Saturn
Second, you must learn the order that the horas or hours. They run in succession as follows:
(1.) Sun (2.) Venus (3.) Mercury (4.) Moon (5.) Saturn (6.) Jupiter (7.) Mars
Third, you must know the sunrise for the particular day. This is given in panchangs, newspapers as well as the website www.sunrisesunset.com (which lists major cities worldwide)
Fourth, learn the qualities of the planets:
The following are auspicious planetary hours to depart the compound or yard of your house, temple, etc: Moon, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus (Mercury may bear “mixed” results, but his edge is benefic)
The following are inauspicious planetary hours to depart your house: Sun, Mars, Saturn
Say you are to leave Delhi for Vrindavana on a Friday, a day when the sun rises at 6:03 am. Friday is the day of Venus and it has gotten its name from the fact that the first hour of the day is the hour of Venus. I’ll give the details in a table below, but it can be calculated on your writswatch in less than a minute by referring to these easy steps.
6:03 - 7:03 hora of Venus (auspicious, get moving)
7:03 - 8:03 hora of Mercury (ok)
8:03 - 9:03 hora of Moon (very aupicious, have a safe trip)
9:03 - 10:03 hora of Saturn (definitely avoid, accidents, delays, break-downs are possible)
10:03 - 11:03 hora of Jupiter (auspicious, you’ll meet some nice people, too)
11:03 -12:03 hora of Mars (accident prone, fights, arguments, scrapes, etc.)
1:03 - 2:03 hora of Sun (may cause legal issues, police checks, other headaches)
2:03 - 3:03 hora of Venus (etc. Contiune till pralaya)
Now if you go all the way around the clock twice, you’ll be amazed that the first hour of the next day, in this case, Saturday or Shaniwar, will start with Saturn hora, verifying how the weekdays were named from the time of creation. This has been going on since the first day of the universe, will continue till Lord Shiva’s tandava nritya, and will start again (presumably) with the next creation. You never noticed it, but it was right there in front of you all along. Just like Krishna consciousness!
Sure, I can see it now, Prabhuji. Devotees procrastinating that they missed the good hora of Moon, so they’ve got to catch up on some more sleep since Saturn just started. Well, brahminical sciences aren’t meant for feeding lazy habits. You lost the good hour, and Saturn is now running, so go do some Saturn-based work like clean the kitchen for one hour! And stay safe, Prabhus!