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Brihaspati in the Horoscopes of Devotees

Friday, 19 March 2010 / Published in Articles / 20,892 views

By Abhaya Mudra Dasi

Brihaspati, the priest of the demi-gods is called Jupiter in Western astronomy. His name has been translated as “lord of prayer and devotion”, and as such he is strong in the birth charts of devotees. Brihaspati earned his position as one of the nava-grahas, or nine planetary deities, through performing rigorous penance at Somnath Patan. Somnath is the abode of Lord Shiva, the “lord of the demigod of the Moon” and one of his twelve jyotir lingas is there. Somnath, in southern Gujarat, is also famous as the place from where Shri Krishna left this world for His abode in Goloka Vrindavan.

Brihaspati Praised Throughout the Shastras

In Bhagavad Gita As It Is (10.24), Lord Shri Krishna tells Arjuna,

purodhasam cha mukhyam mam
viddhi partha brihaspatim

“Of priests, O Arjuna, know Me to be the chief, Brihaspati, the lord of devotion.”

In Vedic astrology, the nava-grahas are understood to have different personalities. They are living entities who have been promoted to their position as controllers of personal fate by their performance of penance and past piety. Upon completion of his penance, Brihaspati was granted his post by Shiva. Being a grandson of Lord Brahma, he is often accepted qualitatively as non-different from the creator of this Universe. He is mentioned many times in Shrimad Bhagavatam as the best of living entities and his wisdom is praised in SB 4.18.14:

“All the great sages transformed Brihaspati into a calf, and making the senses into a pot, they milked all kinds of Vedic knowledge to purify words, mind and hearing.”

The incarnation of the Supreme Lord, King Prithu, is described as equaling Brihaspati in spiritual knowledge (SB 4.22.62). He is called the best of sages, and is respected by both the demigods and demons alike. (SB 6.7.9) A supreme mystic, it is said that he knew everything that would happen in the future. (SB 6.7.12) So exalted is Brihaspati, that it was he who gave the sacred thread to Lord Vamandeva (SB 8.18.14). In the astrological text Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra, the father of Shrila Vyasadeva says that Brihaspati is a partial manifestation of Lord Vamandeva. In his Bhaktivedanta Purport to SB 3.1.25 Shrila Prabhupada explains that the disciple of Brihaspati, Uddhava, was a great master of logic and one of the dearest associates of Lord Shri Krishna. So elevated is Brihaspati, that when the Lord Indra offended him, the king of heaven was forced to suffer defeat at the hands of Bali Maharaja. Therefore, Lord Brahma tells Indra, “Because of your misbehavior toward Brihaspati, you have been defeated by the demons.” (SB 6.7.22)

Just as Brihaspati is the guru of the demi-gods, so Shukracharya–or planet Venus–is the guru of the demons. Shrimad Bhagavatam explains the enmity between the deva-guru and the asura-guru: “O Maharaja Parikshit, suppressor of enemies (Arindama), Lord Shiva fought with Jambha, and Vibhavasu fought with Mahishasura. Ilvala, along with his brother Vatapi, fought the sons of Lord Brahmā. Durmarsha fought with Cupid, the demon Utkala with the Matrika demigoddesses, Brihaspati with Shukracharya…” (8.10.32)

Brihaspati is even mentioned in Chaitanya Charitamrita. Mahaprabhu tells the great pandit of Puri, “My dear Bhattacharya, you are exactly like Brihaspati, the priest of the heavenly kingdom. Indeed, no one within this world has the power to explain the scriptures in such a way.” (Madhya 6.191) Elsewhere, Shri Krishna das Kaviraja compares Shri Swarupa Damodara Goswami to Brihaspati for his ability in shastric discourse. (Madhya 10.116). And on another occasion Kaviraja, the king of poets, compares Sanatan Goswami to Brihaspati for his high intelligence (Madhya 20.350). Gaur Ganodesha Dipika describes that Brihaspati appeared in Gaur-lila as Shri Sarvabhouma Bhattacharya.

Brihaspati in Vedanga Jyotish

Brihaspati is the son of Angira Muni who to this day chants the holy names of the Lord along the banks of mother Ganga. According to the Rig Veda, Shri Brihaspati is very handsome. The color of Shri Brihaspati’s aura is yellow, and his dress is also bright yellow. He sits upon a lotus flower and upon his head rests a golden crown, beautiful ornaments circle his neck. Shri Brihaspati travels on a golden rath driven by eight speedy yellow-colored horses. According to Rig Veda, the weapon of Shri Brihaspati is a golden stick or danda. The priest of the demigods has three wives: Shubha, Tara and Mamata.

Brihaspati is the lord of Dhanush rashi or Sagittarius and Meena rashi or Pisces. According to the system called vimshottari dasha, which divides a native’s life into planetary periods, the Guru dasha or period of Jupiter lasts for sixteen years. His influence becomes mature at the age of sixteen. His element is ether. Brihaspati represents dharma or religion, philosophy, knowledge, issues relating to offspring and the balance of past karma. His concern is education, teaching and the dispensation of knowledge. The season associated with him is deep winter (shishir) and his direction is north-east.

In the horoscopes of devotees of Shri Krishna, Brihaspati–the best of beneficial personalities–is located in positions signifying dharma. There are three gunas of material nature: tamas, rajas and sattva. There are four goals of material life: dharma, artha, kama and moksha. Dharma is read through three of the twelve houses in the zodiac, the 1st, 5th and 9th. Artha is read through three houses: the 2nd, 6th and 10th. Karma is seen through three houses: the 3rd, 7th and 11th. Moksha is read through three houses: the 4th, 8th and 12th. Every first house in these groups is ruled by tama; every second by raja and every third by sattva. In this way the 9th house is dharma in sattva guna. The 12th is moksha in sattva guna. Both 9th and 12th houses are ruled by Brihaspati or Jupiter. Those houses are held dear to the devotees and if Jupiter is positioned there it is considered superexcellent, but if Jupiter aspects these houses that also amplifies the path of devotion.

Nonetheless, in the charts of an overwhelming number of devotees, we find that the 9th house of religion is prominently associated with Jupiter. One explanation is that the natural 9th house, Sagittarius, has only one planet prominently associated with it, and that is Jupiter. As the natural 12th, Pisces, has the involvement of three planets, thus making this house more complex. Here in Pisces: Jupiter is in his own sign, Venus (remember, the enemy of Jupiter) is in exaltation and Mercury is in debility. The 9th is called variously the house of good fortune, which implies working for a better future. It is also the house of travel. Hence in the charts of devotees we find that Jupiter here makes active preachers, book distributors, those who are active in festivals and street sankirtan. It is the house of the parivrajacharya, the spiritual preceptor who offers his compassion to the suffering world. In contrast to the 9th, the 12th house rules loss, solitude, isolation and liberation. Here planets are “other-worldly”, and they do not function well in a practical sense, in other words, they are in one sense “lost”. Until we are in the material world there cannot be a total liberation and in this sense the 12th house is also a house of illusion. From a spiritual point of view, the ultimate “loss” is going back to Godhead.

The three houses of dharma in a devotee chart give different kinds of spiritual understanding, the 1st is the domain of sat, the 5th is the domain of chit and the 9th is the domain of ananda. But no matter in which of these houses Jupiter is located, he always gives his aspect to the other houses of dharma. Remember that Lord Shiva blessed Brihaspati, and one of his blessings was to give him vision over every house located in the 5th and 9th positions from his own. We find that Jupiter is strategically positioned in those houses in the charts of those devotees whose main objective in Krishna consciousness is realization of sat-chit-ananda vigraha.

The other prominent position of Jupiter may be 7th house, in which case the devotee usually comes to Krishna consciousness by the association of another person. Since from his 7th house position, Jupiter also gives a 1st house aspect, here he is also considered well-placed. Jupiter in the 10th house has a strong influence of artha, so this position may also be prominent in the chart of devotee who may seek some remuneration for their devotion in this world. Jupiter in the 8th house, or moksha in rajas-guna, is prominent in the charts of devotees who hanker after mystic powers. The 6th house position of Brihaspati may show a person who is excellent servant, but is lacking the philosophical position, and so on. All other positions, except the 9th house aspect, will strongly depend on the sign where Jupiter is located for their results.

In many charts of prominent acharyas in the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya sampradaya, we find Jupiter aspects the 9th house from strategic signs. The strategic positions include Sagittarius, Pisces, which are ruled by Jupiter, or Leo and Aries, which are the other houses of dharma. For example, in the chart of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Jupiter is found in the 5th house in Sagittarius (the natural 9th sign) and aspects the 9th. He is none other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead Who came to disseminate the knowledge of bhakti. Therefore the position of Jupiter in His chart is significant. In the known charts of the later Gaudiya acharyas, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur and Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati, Jupiter is also positioned in the 1st and 3rd house respectively casting aspect to the 9th house. Shrila Prabhupada has been accepted by many leading astrologers as having Jupiter in the 9th house as well. In the charts of an overwhelming number of the ISKCON devotees, Jupiter is positioned in or aspects the 9th house. Thus the disciplic succession continues.

Jupiter is called the greater benefic. He gives profuse blessings to the devotees. But there are certain generations who have Jupiter’s blessings. If we could have estimated the charts of every person on Earth in regard to his or her position of Jupiter, we might have been more effective in preaching to individuals who already have inclination to worship God. This summer at Woodstock, it was surprising to find out that 90% of Russian and Polish devotees have this position of Jupiter. Krishna Consciousness has been spreading in Russia and Eastern Europe lately in a very nice way. Let Brihaspati, the lord of devotion and celestial priest, bless us. For an astrologer, a strong Jupiter is an indication of Krishna Consciousness, and a weak Jupiter may indicate the lack of it. He, who in the array of sages is the only one who has the ability to influence our fate as one of the grahas, is worshipped along with Lord Shri Krishna “just as the planets are worshipped as satellites of the Sun”. In the Krishna Book (vol. 2, ch. 31) it is stated:

“Lord Krishna was accompanied by the great sages Narada, Vamandeva, Atri, Vyasadeva, Parashurama, Asita, Aruni, Brihsapati, Kanva, Maitreya, Cyavana and others. Lord Krishna and the sages were passing through many villages and towns, and everywhere the citizens would receive them with great respect and offer them articles in worship.”

Your questions are welcomed at www.vedicastrologers.org.

67 comments

  1. 0
    hare_krishna22 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hi,
    Can any one help me understand what does it means if we says braspati is bakariye.
    jupiter in 9 th house has a good effect or it depends on any other factor also.

    Thanks

  2. 0
    jagannatha ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    how do you explain that some devotees acting as diksa gurus have Brihaspati in debilitation in their charts without any cancellation? According to your article a devotee has to have a good Jupiter in his chart, what to speak if he is acting as an spiritual master. Unless we accept that to play this roll in ISKCON you do not have be necessarily an advanced soul.

  3. 0
    Abhaya Mudra Dasi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dear Jagannatha,

    The main point of discussion in my article is Jupiter and his relation to the 9th house. There are also other subtle points like how the three gunas of material nature influence everything in astrology which tries to explain the phenomenon of the entire material creation. Astrology is build on simple principles and by combining the 3 gunas in different proportions overtime results in a very deep and complicated system.

    You have simply stated that someone has debilitated Jupiter without cancellation but that doesn’t sound like the whole picture. I suppose, you want to know if that particular person is spiritual enough and your choice to follow him is correct. Please, read the article again and ponder deeper. Jupiter is always favorable in the chart of devotees. Despite the fact that sometimes his favorable position in the chart is easily ascertained, at other times it requires the eye of a trained astrologer. Nonetheless, I am not going to discuss some third party’s chart in a public forum without his or her personal knowledge. This is not considered ethical.

    Your servant

  4. 0
    Suresh das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    According to the Garuda Purana, Brihaspati’s (Jupiter) stone is Yellow Sapphire.

    Charity to appease Brihaspati: Donate a yellow sapphire or another yellow gem like yellow topaz, a peepal sapling, saffron, turmeric, sugar, a horse, or yellow flowers to a brahmana on Thursday morning.

    Brihaspati’s day is Thursday.

  5. 0
    Suresh das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Influence of Yellow Sapphire

    If Jupiter is well placed in your horoscope:
    The influence will be toward humanitarianism, spiritualism, optimism, faith, and good judgment. One will be powerful, respected, and a leader of men, although susceptible to anger.

    If Jupiter is ill-placed in your horoscope:
    The influence will be toward greed, pessisism, egotism, and selfishness. One will be uncaring, unhappy, and have a negative outlook.

  6. 0
    Abhaya Mudra Dasi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dear Suresh Prabhu,

    Thank you for your contribution on sharing some ways to appease Brihaspati, or Jupiter.

    This article is written to glorify Brihaspati and presents how the guru of the demigods, even from jyotish point of view, is connected to Krishna Consciousness. Again:

    In the Krishna Book (vol. 2, ch. 31) it is stated:

    “Lord Krishna was accompanied by the great sages Narada, Vamandeva, Atri, Vyasadeva, Parashurama, Asita, Aruni, Brihsapati, Kanva, Maitreya, Cyavana and others. Lord Krishna and the sages were passing through many villages and towns, and everywhere the citizens would receive them with great respect and offer them articles in worship.”

    So the one sure way to appease Brihaspati is to chant Hare Krishna mahamantra.

    And what if we do not have Brihaspati in a good position in our charts? We have to pray for the mercy of the achariyas, who happened to have Brihaspati in most auspicious positions.

    Your servant

  7. 0
    Padmapani_das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hare Krishna. This is an interesting discussion. Tribhuvanatha Prabhu was a very “Jupiterian” (i.e. Sagittarian) personality. He lived life large, was very popular, courageous, naturally athletic and heroic. Always on the move, he was constantly expanding the sankirtana movement of Lord Caitanya and ever glorifying Srila Prabhupada. In fact, his favorite expression and personal motto in life was inspired by Prabhupada’s famous statement:

    “We should always be enthusiastic to try for shooting the rhinoceros. That way, if we fail, everybody will say Never mind, nobody can shoot a rhinoceros anyway, and if we succeed, then everyone will say, Just see, what a wonderful thing they have done.”

    (Srila Prabhupada letter, December 22, 1971)

    One just has to read the basic qualities of Sagittarius (ruled by Jupiter) and one will know Tribhuvanatha Prabhu to a good extent — plus the fact that he utilized all those noble qualities in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Krishna. What an inspiration!

  8. 0
    Suresh das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Actually, at this time, I am living through a Debilitated Jupiter period, astrologically. I am not exactly sure why, perhaps because the last couple of months I went through were so horrific and hellish (I am living through a major Rahu period for 17 years, Rahu sub period for two years, and yearly Rahu period as well), but this next yearly period, although Debilitated Jupiter, has actually been easier and at times more peaceful. Of course, Krishna’s mercy must be at play. Perhaps, because I daily wear a yellow sapphire, the period has been surprisingly easier for me. Or maybe it is as Srila Prabhupada stated, happiness in the material world is not really happiness at all, but just the temporary absence of distress.

  9. 0
    Abhaya Mudra Dasi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dear Padmapani Prabhu,

    Thank you for the nice comment! It is always inspiring to hear from you. Tribhuvanatha Prabhu’s very “Jupiterian” personality came into life by the inspiration of Srila Prabhupada. The archer, or Sagittarius has a desire to “shoot” for the stars. We find in the statement, quoted by you Padmapani Prabhu, this very word revealing the truth about the personal enthusiasm of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada: “We should always be enthusiastic to try for shooting the rhinoceros.”

    We should always pray for the mercy of the acharyas who have the Jupiteran qualities fully manifested. Lord Chaitanya, Swarupa Damodara, The six Goswamis, all have “the Lord of prayer” strongly manifested and reflected in their life charts. So like that, we can find the exalted personalities of the Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya (infused with new life personally by the Supreme Personality of Godhead Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu) being compared to Brihaspati.

    Dear Suresh Prabhu,

    I like the last statement from your post. yes, material life is just an absence of distress. Nonetheless, we want to be fit to serve Krishna and make the best out of the bad bargain. Your chart sounds like an interesting one, and I will be glad if you send your birth details here. You are a good example as a devotee and you like astrology as well. Please.

    Your servant

  10. 0
    tdd108 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Mataji, here is a link of previous articles about HDG Srila Prabhupada’s rising sign

    http://www.dandavats.com/?p=8017

    It is very clear that his lagna was Makara not Dhanus. Therefore his Jupiter is in the 8th house NOT the 9th house. As the lord of the 12th Jupiter in the 8th forms a powerful Viparita Rajayoga.

    ys, Tungavidya dd

  11. 0
    Akruranatha ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    As a non-astrologer, the debate about whether Srila Prabhupada’s Jupiter is in his 8th or 9th house does not seem particularly relevant to me. I do not have a horse in that race or, as a lady from Texas recently told me they say it there, “a dog in that fight.”

    But it is still interesting to me that devotee astrologers are so passionate about the debate and seemingly convinced that their own position will eventually win the day and become universally accepted as correct.

    It reminds me of various debates devotees have over a number of different issues, some more directly related to how we see our connection with ISKCON or the parampara or the greater community of Vaisnavas or theists in general, or how to best carry out the preaching and publishing activities entrusted to us by Srila Prabhupada.

    We are passionate and convinced that if others would just listen and be honest and open-minded they could not help but be converted to our own views. I know I feel that way about a lot of things.

    And yet it may well be that devotees will continue to have strongly held, diverse opinions on matters of great consequence for thousands of years.

    Some of the things we think of as very important now may not be that important in the big scheme of things, or they may only be important as “details” under present time and circumstances as opposed to universal principles.

    Some of the things devotees disagree about can nevertheless be put to one side for the sake of unity and cooperation to accomplish the things we do agree about. Hopefully that is the case with a great many disagreements.

    Sadly, there may be some disagreements that are so fundamental and so persistent that schisms and defections inevitably result.

    Still, one thing we can appreciate in all this is that devotees really *care* enough about their convictions to get worked up over them and trying to convince each other.

    It might seem unhealthy or unseemly that our “faith” causes discord and conflict at times (after all, Srimad Bhagavatam will fill the need for “a clue as to how humanity can become one in peace, friendship and prosperity with a common cause”.) Hopefully we can find ways to make progress beyond entrenched positions and really grow in understanding opposing views.

    However, we can appreciate it as a good thing that devotees are passionate and care enough to quarrel with each other, rather than just being complacent or forgetful, watching TV or sleeping or something.

  12. 0
    Abhaya Mudra Dasi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dear Tungavidya Matajee,

    Thank you very much for reading my article.

    Thank you for referring to the article I write back in December 2009. At the time, the comments were going on the article, I was hospitalized and did not have the possibility to replay as I wished to.

    The article I have written here is not dealing in particular with the rising sign of Srila Prabhupada. The focus is on the Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya and the glory of Brihaspati manifesting in the charts of devotees. I have used the references from the scriptures, which are held dear to every vaishnava: Bhagavad-Gita, Shrimad Bhagavatam and Chaitanya Charitamrita. Astrological references come only second. Nonetheless, here I am providing some for your satisfaction in reference to the yoga you quoted.

    cont.

  13. 0
    Abhaya Mudra Dasi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Viparita Vimala Raja Yoga
    The 12th lord is in the 6th, 8th or 12th house (Phala Deepika of Mantreshvara 6.69).
    This makes the person virtuous and contented. The person will be equipped with good
    behavior towards others, will enjoy happiness, will be independent, following a respectable
    profession or conduct, and will be known for good qualities.

    This yoga is very common. I have this yoga in my chart. Does that make me equal to Srila Prabhupada?

    Further, from B.V. Raman, who accepted the Sagittarius rising sign and later published articles dealing with the issue in his Astrological Magazine, has the Viparit Raja yoga popularized as follows in his book Three Hundred Important Combinations:
    Yoga #107. The Lord of the 12th house occupying the 6th, 8th or 12th house gives rise to Vimala Yoga. Vimala renders the person frugal, happy, independent and possessed of ennobling qualities.
    Remarks.- These three yogas (Harsha, Sarala and Vimala) furnish us with a clue as to how lords of Dusthanas by occupying Dhusthanas can overcome the evil due to such malefic ownership. Even though the author of the above yogas has ascribed very pleasant results to these three combinations, yet in actual practice, quite the contrary have been the result. Parashara and Lomasa do not seem to favor the conception that the sting arising from an evil lordship can disappear entirely as a result of the lord occupying another Dusthana. On the other hand, the intensity will be somewhat modified. This is evident from the fact that according to Parashara, when the 6th lord is in the 6th, the native’s relatives become enemies while he would befriend outsiders and when the 6th lord is in the 8th or 12th, “the person becomes sickly, hates learned men, goes after other’s women and takes pleasure in causing violence”. Therefore in interpreting the three yogas given above, one should have an eye on the intrinsic evil nature of the ownership.

    Your servant,
    Abhaya Mudra dasi

  14. 0
    raghunathrns ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hare Krishna Mataji,

    This is a very interesting article, You mentioned about Jupiter in 12th house is Moksha in Sattva guna. I have a friend who horoscope has

    Tula – Lagna
    Mars – Vrishchika (2 nd house in retrogression)
    Moon – Dhanu (3 rd house)
    Rahu – Meena (6th house weak)
    Shani – Mesha (7th house debilitated)
    Shukra – Mesha (7 th house)
    Bhudha – Vrishabha (8 th house)
    Surya – Mithuna (9 th house)
    Brihaspathi and Ketu in Kanya Rasi (12th house)

    I want to understand how ketu affects as it is known ketu is also considered as Moksha karaka
    being in the 12th house causes the loss to the first house (lagna) which can be interpreted as loss of ego. However 12th house itself is considered as house of losses. So can you please explain how jupiter, ketu in the 12th house affects what it alludes to.

    Hare Krishna
    ys
    raghunatha priya das

  15. 0
    Sugriva das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dear Patita Pavana Prabhu,

    Surely your wife didn’t write this article as it has your style all over it. Aside from that English is not her first language,. This is again a simplistic article. While it is great to cull verses from sastra using Vedabase it is another to have a proper understanding of astrology.

    In fact Jupiter is not beneficial for everybody because Jupiter like every other planet can give a whole spectrum of results depending on his position and lordship.

    For anyone with Taurus, Libra or Capricorn rising Jupiter is potentially the worst planet because he rules 8th, 6th and 12th respectively making him a functional malefic. To have Jupiter in the 9th or 5th from one of those lagnas would be quite negative warping their philosophical views under a spiritual guise. And for Gemini and Virgo he will rule the 7th making him a first class Maraka – death inflicting planet or creator of obstacles at best. For Cancer while he rules the 9th he also rules the 6th and similarly for Leo while he rules the 5th he also rules the 8th and for Aires while he rules the 9th he also rules the 12th thus his good gets neutralized to what extent will depend on other factors.

    For Aquarius Jupiter rules 2 and 11 making him a functional benefic the best for material gains but when his period comes he will be a maraka as both houses are negative during their period.

    For Capricorn, Aquarius and Virgo, Venus is the best benefic for spiritual life, not Jupiter, as he is the raja yoga karaka. And for Taurus and Libra the best planet is Saturn, and for Taurus Mercury is also very good. But not Jupiter.

    You paint the fanciful picture that Jupiter is always beneficial for devotees which is simply not a fact. That is why many devotees become disenchanted with shallow astrologers. I don’t know how many times I have heard devotees tell me “I have been waiting for my Jupiter period to come since so many astrologers told me it would be good but now since it has been here it has been rather lackluster and even negative.”

    continued…

  16. 0
    Sugriva das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Part 2

    During Srila Prabhupada’s Guru bhukti from age 23-39, he had great difficulties, sudden ups and downs, loss of money, position and business collapses, etc because he had 12th lord in the 8th with the 8th lord and Ketu. This serious struggle led to his spiritual introspection and fortunate meeting with his Guru Maharaja as they (Sun, Jupiter and Ketu) were in a stellium associated with mokshasthanas and spiritual life. Now had he had Dhanus lagna and thus Guru as lord of 1st and 4th in the 9th with the 9th lord and Ketu (who according to Parasara is not a malefic in such a circumstance because when conjoined a lord of a quadrant and trine in a trine or quadrant becomes a catalyst pushing one to greater heights) then during his Jupiter period he should have had a succession of victories and successes but just the opposite happened. By the time his Guru period was over he had lost his father (odd and hard to explain if Guru is in 9th with 9th lord), several costly moves and changes of residence, had great debts many enemies, lost his position with Dr Bose and the Smith Institute etc, basically losing all his previous gains. He had sudden gains and even more sudden loses this along with his great spiritual pursuits is perfectly consistent with Guru in the 8th. But certainly not with Guru in the 9th with the 9th lord. You see the difficulty with astrology is that at some point theory has to fit with reality or else it is of no use. You simply can not explain such testing times for Guru mahadasa if Guru is in his best placement of the 9th as you claim it to be. For if this is the result of Guru in the 9th in his best placement as you claim what then when Guru is not so well positioned.

    When somebody questions you like the first commentator who pointed out most devotees born in 1949, (and multiple of 12 years) will have Jupiter in debilitated in Makara yet many are great devotees like Indrayumna Svami, JPS, etc., you quickly try to change the topic into saying you are glorifying Brhaspati and not discussing astrology. Well that is not what I see when I read your article, there is plenty of jyotish in it with your own opinions. Jyotish is significantly more complicated than your one dimensional articles portray.

    continued …

  17. 0
    Sugriva das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Part 3

    Jupiter could be in his nica sthan but have good shadbalas, be in his uca amsa, have nicabhanga yoga etc. Whereas we have seen charts of fallen gurus and pedophiles with Jupiter in Pisces in the 9th. Your one dimensional approach to astrology creates more confusion than illumination.

    You state:

    “The article I have written here is not dealing in particular with the rising sign of Srila Prabhupada.”

    Well by stating that Srila Prabhupada had Guru in the 9th house that certainly forces him to have a particular rising sign, one that could only be Dhanus, which contradicts your statement.

    Then you state:

    “The 12th lord is in the 6th, 8th or 12th house (Phala Deepika of Mantreshvara 6.69). This makes the person virtuous and contented. The person will be equipped with good behavior towards others, will enjoy happiness, will be independent, following a respectable profession or conduct, and will be known for good qualities.

    This yoga is very common. I have this yoga in my chart. Does that make me equal to Srila Prabhupada?”

    Really how common is it? What percentage of people have it? It also just happens that that description perfectly fits Srila Prabhupada, all good qualities. And it is more than one yoga that must be taken into account not your typical one dimensional analysis of things. In Srila Prabhupada’s chart with Makara lagna all functional benefics (Sani, Mars, Venus, and Mercury) are in benefic houses, and all functional malefics (Guru and Sun) are in malefic houses. Which is perfect. But with a Dhanus lagna we get the opposite 5th lord of purva punya in the 6th of enemies, 6th lord of enemies in the house of character etc.

    Also, in Srila Prabhupada’s case it was not just 12th lord in the 8th but also 8th lord in the 8th conjunct with Ketu, this is a highly potent and spiritual combination. You ignore that and try to compare it to yourself. Do you also have Makara lagna with Sun, Jupiter and Ketu in the 8th, Moon and Mars in the 5th, Saturn uca in the 10th and Mercury and Venus in the 9th? No you don’t so you will not have the same effect. “One swallow doesn’t make a spring.”

    continued …

  18. 0
    Sugriva das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Part 4

    You then said:

    “Further, from B.V. Raman, who accepted the Sagittarius rising sign and later published articles dealing with the issue in his Astrological Magazine”

    Dr. Raman passed away in 1998 and can’t be called as a witness so please provide some proof for this allegation. Furthermore, the present most famous and respected astrologer in India, K.N. Rao of Delhi, who has written some 20+ books on jyotish and publishes the bi-month “Journal of Astrology” and who runs the worlds biggest astrology school in Delhi with over 1500 students wrote a book “Learn Successful Predictive Techniques of Hindu Astrology” and in the 8th chapter from pages 148-174 he dedicates to Srila Prabhupada’s horoscope and declares it to be Makara lagna fiercely deprecating those who favor Dhanus lagna.

    Further more in the link provided by Mother Tungavidya dd we got access to the masterful analysis by Shyamasundara Prabhu of Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental chart, which is significantly more convincing and multifaceted than yours. He clearly demonstrates in no uncertain terms that Srila Prabhupada had a Makaraka lagna with Guru in the 8th not the 9th. While all you do is try to skirt the difficult questions by saying that you were just trying to glorify Brihaspati. Well if that was the case you should have just stuck to that and left astrology, which is a difficult subject, alone.

    Then you say: “So the one sure way to appease Brihaspati”

    Why should we appease Brihaspati? He doesn’t do anything. The planet Jupiter is a lakshana, a symptom of what the higher laws are indicating but he doesn’t cause anything. So there is no need to appease him or any other planet or demi-god. In fact Gopala Bhatta Gosvami in Sat-kriya sara dipika quoted many sastras decrying that anyone initiated into Visnu mantra should never worship any devata or planet.

    continued …

  19. 0
    Sugriva das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    part 5

    This whole idea of appeasing planets is the last word in foolishness as I will now demonstrate. Rainfall is often very closely associated with the sudden fall in air pressure, thus one can predict rainfall but knowing which way the air pressure is moving up or down. To measure air pressure you can build an instrument called a barometer. When the barometer goes up the air pressure goes up and when it goes down it goes down. So when the barometer is down indicating low air pressure it is sure indication that it will soon rain. However, by your logic it is the barometer that causes it to rain or not rain, and if there is a draught we should then appease the barometer to insure good rains. Similarly the planets are not causal agents but only indicators of divine plans. They have got divinatory significance by the will of God but are not independent agents in themselves that need to be appeased. As was pointed in a different comment Parasara Muni has stated in the 2nd chapter of his Brhata Parasara Hora Sastra that each planet is a manifestation of a different avatara of Krsna. Jupiter is a manifestation of Sri Vamanadeva. Thus if you have problems indicated by Jupiter then appeasement of Vamanadeva is in order, Vamanadeva is the prime mover, not Brhaspati. So first you should learn the philosophy of divination before you try to write about jyotish.

    You also said:

    “Therefore the position of Jupiter in His chart is significant. In the known charts of the later Gaudiya acharyas, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur and Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati, Jupiter is also positioned in the 1st and 3rd house respectively casting aspect to the 9th house.”

    This is wrong at least about Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. He didn’t have a Cancer rising but a Gemini rising sign with Guru in the 4th aspecting the 8th and 12th and not the 3rd as you have stated. And unlike Srila Prabhupada, Sarasvati Thakura was himself an accomplished astrologer and knew his birth time and there is no way of getting a Cancer rising if you calculate his chart according to the time and place of his birth.

    continued …

  20. 0
    Sugriva das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Part 6

    In volume 3 of the recently published “Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava” written by HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami there is a very detailed reading of Bhakti Siddhanta’s horoscope from page 187 -213 by Shyamasundara Dasa giving Bhakti Siddhanta about 24 degrees of Gemini rising. There is no way that you can change his birth time to suit your fancy because as stated he was himself an astrologer and gave the details of his birth data accurately. Not only did BST have Guru in the 4th but he had four planets in the 8th. Again like the analysis he did for Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental hosorscope Shyamasundara’s reading of BST’s chart is very enlightening and inspiring.

    To sum up anyone can cull quotes from VedaBase about Brhaspati or Sukracarya or anything other subject. But to turn it into a meaningful discussion is another thing. Innocent devotees who have no depth of knowledge in Jyotish may be swayed but as the first commentator pointed out you came up very short in your presentation.

    I would like to request the editors of Dandavatas to please have these types of articles about Jyotish vetted by actual experts in the subject before publishing them before the innocent public.

    yhs

    SGd

  21. 0
    Akruranatha ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Wow, Sugriva is getting so heavy here.

    I thought it was a wonderful article with many nice quotes from Srila Prabhupada’s books.

    I did not notice any recommendation to worship demigods, and in fact when Suresh Prabhu mentioned some accepted ways to “appease” Brhaspati, Abhaya Mudra Mataji recommended chanting Hare Krishna as the best way. This seems like good advice, as we all know that by pleasing Krishna all the demigods are automatically pleased.

    Is it really necessary to make such pointed and personal attacks? When criticisms go on the internet they seem to get very hot very quickly. Might these disagreements be better handled in private correspondence? Or at least toned down a bit and presented more as professional disagreements?

    Devotees are all very special and should all be treated with proper dignity and respect, even if they are demonstrably wrong about some matter of scientific or professional opinion.

    One interesting question raised by some of the comments is, is it possible for a great devotee to have a lackluster horoscope?

    I mean, we always read about how a dog-eater who chants Hare Krishna should be accepted as having performed all yajnas and tapas and is best of the brahmanas. A Vaisnava from a family of dog-eaters is qualified to be guru.

    Do the same statements apply to Vaisnavas who have bad planets in their birth charts? After all, one who engages in full devotional service, unfailing in all circumstances, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman.

    And, Lord Caitanya distributed love of Krishna without consideration of who is a fit or unfit candidate.

    Or, is it really always the case that those who become steady, serious devotees are those whose charts indicate they will do so? It is one of those interesting questions about destiny and free will, determinism and supernatural divine grace.

    Without getting into the details of astrology, one idea I have is that I can see how my mind, senses and intelligence are constantly being distracted from devotional service and I am thus washing up and down on the waves of material “good and bad” emotions, but when I can remember Krishna I feel relief and happiness in spite of my external situation.

    This seems to be a key astrological insight: good or bad, the material situation is all bad, because its always in flux, and the calm comes before the storm. Better to chant Hare Krishna and make a real solution to the problem.

  22. 0
    Patita Pavana ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    SGd:

    Since these vitriolic comments begin with a false accusation, that I wrote the article, there is not much need to go into detail (and thereby assign a shred of dignity to your unwarranted assumptions). Neither have I read it in detail, but only skimmed it. However:

    We did not read your lengthy and somewhat tiresome critique , but did skim over it. However:

    -Abhaya Mudra Dasi showed me her article on Jupiter, which I liked very much, after she had written it. I liked it because she found details about Brihaspati in Krishna-lila. That was an excellent twist to Krishna conscious jyotish (whether such references came from the Vedabase, they are written by Prabhupad).

    -I have dozens of articles on Dandavats, one with as many as 30,000 readers, if the numbers do not lie. She likes to write, too, so I told her “go ahead, but you are on your own. I do not want to interfere”. This writing is performed as a service to the Vaishnava community, and is not meant for becoming embroiled in useless debates.

    -His Divine Grace Shrila Shri Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaja said “I was born in Karkataka.” So from his own lotus lips we have seen this. I have read such a quote in Shri Krishna Kathamrita.

    -Discussions regarding the horoscopes of living ISKCON sannyasis in public is a violation of all Vaishnava ethics and etiquette.. In my opinion, His Holiness Indradyumna Maharaja is empowered by Shri Krishna to preach because of his great devotion to Shrila Prabhupada. His results speak for themselves. However, since my beloved Godbrother has been kind enough to engage me as his astrologer for some 35 years now, I can attest that his Jupiter is strong indeed via a 9th house aspect (Bhagya Yoga) As it is said, “Guru gains power in Makara.”

    -My eternal spiritual master His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Paramhamsa Shrila Prabhupada met his own spiritual master in Brihaspati dasha.

    -When I met BV Raman in his office in the seventies, we discussed Prabhupada’s horoscope as Dhanush lagna. After that his journal printed articles to this effect, even while his daughter Smt Gayatri Vasudeva was the Editor. Dhanush lagna is accepted by every great (in my opinion) astrologer of India including my own teacher Shri Pandit Vijai Ranamukhadevaji who proved this point to me in 1973-4 From my point of view, there is very little room for debate on this issue.

    You are very learned, so please go write your own articles.
    PPd

  23. 0
    Abhaya Mudra Dasi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dear Raghunatha Priya Prabhu,

    Thank you for your nice comment. You have surely read the article in a proper mood, since I have layered it to cover many expensive subjects, one in particular, the modes of material nature and their effect on the chart.

    After looking into all planets and houses the horoscope of your friend can be summarized in one sentence: This particular horoscope is showing a person who is wise in his religious persuades, brilliant, very devoted to spiritual activities but sometimes lazy to execute his duties, relied on mystic powers, very intelligent and business-oriented and is bold in his enterprises, some troubles from family and money, long life and good death.

    For a longer analysis I will need a personal permission of the person. Nonetheless you know your friend and can attest about the truthfulness of the above.

    Since you have mentioned Ketu as moksha karaka and you are intelligent, you can read this article written by me on our website:

    http://www.vedicastrologers.org/www.vedicastrologers.org/Articles/Entries/2009/11/17_Rahu_and_Ketu.html

    Please, contact me after reading it via email. I would like to hear from you if the article has answered your questions.

    Your servant,
    Abhaya Mudra Dasi

  24. 0
    Abhaya Mudra Dasi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dear Akruranatha Prabhu,

    Thank you for your nice comments. You are a peacemaker and as you pointed out this kind of disagreements are better handled in personal correspondence. Perhaps Sugriva Prabhu will write us an email.

    To answer your question about how astrology relates to free will:
    We are born with certain stars and that is our inherited karma from past lives. We could have been devotees in previous lives, then that fact will be reflected in our birth chart. The birth chart is like a map. A person can go this way or that way. He or she has a choice. The existence of the astrologer is only justified as a helper. He can read the map and point out to the good roads.

    But, karma is created at every moment. We react to the past karma and that creates a new one. Unfortunately, in the material world, we are products of our past karma more than to our future plans, or spiritual understanding. If we can understand the past, which is part of tri kala, then we can understand the passage of time. Time is one of the five subjects studied in Bhagavad-Gita, the others being the Supreme Lord, the living entities, the activities and material nature. If we know one of the subjects, we will know the other four as well.

    Astrology mainly deals with the time factor. It puts things in perspective. It is very dynamic and elevated science, and just like time, is difficult to be mastered. We can try to apply rules to time. We try to make our conclusions based on that if one thing has happened in the past this way it will repeat in the future in a similar way. We make sets of rules (astrology in particular likes rules), but the passage of time always eludes us; until we become devotees of Shri Krishna. Krishna, being Time Himself is the greatest astrologer. He can change the rules of karma. And because a devotee astrologer is guided by Krishna, he or she only can be a genuine astrologer.

    We, devotees are fortunate that we have Shri Krishna. Many devotees do not know astrology but because Krishna is guiding them from within the heart they can move in time and space without obstruction, picking the best time (muhurta) for all of their activities.

    Your servant,
    Abhaya Mudra Dasi

  25. 0
    Shyamasundara Dasa ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dear readers,
    Please accept my humble obiesances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    Since my name has been mentioned several times in a previous commentary and brought to my attention I hope my own comments will not be out of place. I will limit myself to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati’s horoscope. Sriman Patita Pavana wrote:

    His Divine Grace Shrila Shri Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaja said “I was born in Karkataka.” So from his own lotus lips we have seen this. I have read such a quote in Shri Krishna Kathamrita.

    I was requested by HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami (BVKS) to do the reading for Bhkatisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura (BSST) to include in his book as far back as 2002. It should first be noted that BVKS reads, writes and speaks Bengali having lived in Bangladesh for 9 years and that he deeply researched this book for 25 years going to original source material and interviewing surviving disciples of BSST. I asked him what data should be used for BSST’s chart, as we wanted to work with accurate data. I also had heard the rumor that BSST had Kataka lagna and was wondering on the source as there was also a published source of his birth time which when used did not give Kataka as the rising sign. To make it Kataka lagna one would have to seriously alter the given birth time from 3:30 PM to 3:57 PM (LMT), it was not a minor difference, and considering that BSST was an expert in Jyotish and knew his own birth data one could can not dismiss his birth data published in his authorized biography by his own disciples, hence, there was a contradiction. So before doing the work I wanted to have the basics in order.

    continued…

  26. 0
    Patita Pavana ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    My dear Akruranath das Prabhuji,

    Dandavats, Prabhupada kijai. Thanks for your kind words on Abhaya’s article on Deva Guru Brihaspati. It would seem that often beginners in Krishna consciousness may lose sight of the forest for the trees. A disagreement on a point does not necessatate a full-on smear campaign, unless that point is a pivotal one. “So many sages so many minds.” Guru Maharaja said that his ISKCON is meant to be society of “love and trust”. As an example of a two gentlemen who can agree to disagree, I reproduce an excellent example I received today from Shriman Duryodhana Guru das, our Godbrother and a world famous astrologer. I hope that his maturity will serve as an example. Here is that letter:

    “Jaya Prabhuji!
    We must learn not to be affected by opinions and do what Krishna says -— hold praise and blame to be the same. Some people will appreciate your contribution and others will not. This is always true. But hurtful words sting like arrows nonetheless.

    I” accepted Prabhupada’s birth time as being 4 pm and went from there. I assumed that his family being Vaishnavas would know when he was born (although 4 pm exactly is somewhat suspicious I must admit).

    “The thing that bothered me was the Sun in the 8th but that is also a yoga for mysticism. And the Jupiter -Ketu -Sun to me demonstrated the virtual difficulty he had in achieving ANY success in the material world.

    “I read his biography (first part only) and carefully went through all the dashas and it all fit perfectly.

    “I know Sanjay Rath who is well-regarded by many also believes he is a Sagittarius ascendant. I have not met Sanjay but people speak highly of him as they do you. My old friend, Nalini-Kanta, also thinks it is Sagittarius.

    “Anyway, I have nothing to prove and no one to prove it to. I just beaver away quietly in my own world and around the world.

    “What impresses most is realization and insight that is not found in the classics and the books we have all read. It is rare to find that, my friend. And you seem to have it.

    “Radhe Radhe!

    Duryodhana-guru dasa”

    Akruranath Prabhu, one last point. In ordering me to write,, Shrila Prabhupada wrote me several times that writing for Krishna is undertaken solely for our own purification. In this context His Divine Grace gave the example of Shri Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami. Therefore, again I thank you and all other devotee readers and writers, including my wife Abhaya Mudra, for carrying on that tradition.
    PPdA

  27. 0
    Shyamasundara Dasa ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    part 2

    On March 31, 2005 BVKS wrote me the following:

    “Birth time is 3.30 p.m. according to Sraman Maharaja, the English translation of whose Bangla biography provided much material for Ray of Vishnu. I just got to check against Sraman Maharaja’s original Bangla version. I don’t know where he got this figure from and consider it remarkable that in all these years none of his disciplic followers made up or published his chart along with astrological analysis.

    I’m not sure if it is best to proceed with your reading of his chart, as the birth lagna being karkata was only told to me and, there being no known written record of it, it might be Procrustean to adjust the birth time.”

    In other words he was not in favor of drastically changing the known recorded time in favor of an unrecorded and apocryphal Kataka lagna. I have sent BVKS Patita Pavana’s quote regarding Shri Krishna Kathamrita and asked for his learned comment. I should be getting a response in the next few days.

    Yhs

    Shyamasundara Dasa
    http://www.ShyamasundaraDasa.com

  28. 0
    Atmavidya Dasa says:

    Patita Pavana Prabhu wrote the following about Sugriva Prabhu’s comments

    You are very learned, so please go write your own articles.

    I agree with Patita Pavana Prabhu. As a long time student of Jyotish I very much appreciated Sugriva Prabhu’s comments. They were refreshing, insightful, to the point and non-compromising. It is clear that he has a clear grasp of this difficult subject. I agree that he should write some articles and give us his clear insights on this difficult subject.

    Yhs

    Atmavidya das

  29. 0
    Hari Bol ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m going througha bad patch of time now. If Sree Brihaspati has to ruin me or destroy me. So be it. I shall keep chanting the Mahamantra. How Long will sree Brihaspati do? Atmost 10 years or 20 yers. But, by that time I would have chanted many rounds of the holy name. Hare Krishna!!

  30. 0
    Sugriva das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Response to text #20

    Akuranathaji said:

    Wow, Sugriva is getting so heavy here.

    I thought it was a wonderful article with many nice quotes from Srila Prabhupada’s books.

    The quotes are not the problem with the article it is what comes after that is the problem. I guess devotees are in many ways innocent, despite many scandals in ISKCON over the years and some gross cheating. Most devotees are pure at heart and thus full of trust, accepting sometimes to the extreme of naïve credulity. To be trusting and full of faith is a good quality that is unfortunately taken advantage of by others who can easily cheat devotees who know the weakness.

    Suppose I wrote an article with profuse quotations from sastra about Ayurveda, Dhanvantari, how Srila Prabhupada consulted Ayurvedic doctors, etc knowing that devotees will automatically accept them. Then after all those quotations even though I was not a qualified Ayurvedic doctor, but had just read a few books on the subject, I injected my own slant on ayurveda and invited readers to consult me for their health problems. Since most devotees are not experts in ayurveda they would not know if I was right or wrong and would be willing to accept my statements because of the momentum generated in accepting what came before— so many nice quotes from Srila Prabhupada’s books.

    But, someone who is actually trained in Ayurveda and not a layman, could immediately detect that something was fishy. And, if they had a public service attitude and were not cynical they would loudly protest that it was not right. However some one like you who knows nothing of Ayurveda would protect the quack because he was a genteel quack and had quoted so much from Prabhupada’s books and was not heavy like the ayurvedic doctor (who actually knew the subject.)

    So now we all know the formula of how to cheat devotees who are not expert in a particular field. First quote profusely from Prabhupada’s books on the subject (Vastu, Astrology, Ayurveda, palmistry, mantra sastra, exorcism, agama, etc) then give your own spiel. Because you have quoted from Prabhupada’s books at the beginning this means in the eyes of the ignorant layman that you are an expert even though you are not. And, as an added plus, all your ignorant victims will protect you from those who actually know the subject.

    continued …

  31. 0
    Sugriva das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Part 2

    In actual fact Akruranatha you know nothing about Vedic astrology. You are not alone in this regard the same goes for 99.9% of ISKCON members. You do not, for example, know anything about the nature and difference between natural, functional and temporal benefic/malefic planets. Yet you attack a whistle blower like me. Why? Because, according to you own statements

    I thought it was a wonderful article with many nice quotes from Srila Prabhupada’s books.

    Now I want to make it very clear that I do not think that Patita Uddharana (Pavana) Prabhu has any criminal motivation to cheat anyone. So please don’t misquote me. In fact I do not know the motivations for he and his wife writing all these articles about Jyotish. Maybe they have nothing else to do, maybe he wants to preach this way or maybe, as others have suggested it is a marketing strategy – I have absolutely no problem with that let them, who can stop them. I don’t read charts for a living so I am not after clients or competing. Or, he may have some other reason or a mixture of reasons and we can give him the benefit of the doubt that it is all done with the best of intentions. However, because he means no harm does not mean he does no harm.

    My simple point remains (and one made by several other commentators on their other texts) is that after you remove all the nice quotes from Srila Prabhupada what is left is a very lame and pallid mis-representation of Vedic astrology. Laymen who are ignorant may appreciate it but those who have actually studied the subject in detail do not. That is why I requested the editors of Dandavats to have articles on Jyotish (or any other arcane subject) vetted by known experts for the protection of the lay readership.

    Yhs
    SGd

  32. 0
    Sugriva das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Akruranatha said:

    I did not notice any recommendation to worship demigods, and in fact when Suresh Prabhu mentioned some accepted ways to “appease” Brhaspati, Abhaya Mudra Mataji recommended chanting Hare Krishna as the best way. This seems like good advice, as we all know that by pleasing Krishna all the demigods are automatically pleased.

    She continued the idea of the need to appease the planet Brhaspati. There is absolutely no need to appease him or any other planet. To think so is demi-god worship. In India there are many temples dedicated to various planets especially Sani (Saturn). In almost every non-Vaisnava temple you will find small sanctuaries for worshipping the “nava-grahas” nine planets. People worship them to appease them in an attempt to become free from their difficulties. This is demigod worship.

    So she was definitely wrong to suggest that chanting Hare Krsna can appease Brhaspati. Of course chanting the Holy Name is all-auspicious but the point I am driving at is that Vaisnavas do not try to appease any planet. This concept of appeasing planets and other such non-Vaisnava practices has been introduced into ISKCON mostly by devotees who spent some time in India studied a little astrology and became Hinduized meaning apasiddhanta. Hindu astrologers wrongly recommend appeasing different planets. Everything we do must be consistent with Vaisnava Siddhanta. If we properly understand the subject then we understand that the planets do not cause anything to happen and do not need to be appeased in any way shape or form. I used the example of a barometer, you do not appease the barometer by chanting Hare Krsna to it despite the fact that chanting is good, because the barometer doesn’t cause rain to fall. Vaisnava Acaryas like Gopala Bhatta Gosvami have given proper guidelines of what to do if we have problems. Instead of worshipping the navagrahas he tells us that the sastras say we should worship the Navayogendras, instead of worshipping Ganesha like many Hinduized ISKCON astrologers recommend Gopala Bhatta gives sastra to show we should instead worship Visvaksena, etc.

    Continued …

  33. 0
    Sugriva das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Part 2

    And Parasara Muni pointed out the direct connection between the Avataras and Their manifestation as Grahas-planets. So if anyone is to be appeased it is the Avatara Who manifests as that planet. Thus to appease Vamadeva Who appears as Jupiter it would be very beneficial to chant Hare Krsna, but not to Brhaspati. Mataji never made any of these distinctions but continued with the misunderstanding that a planet needs to be appeased. All in all I found their writings tinged with Hindu misconceptions at variance with Vaisnava Siddhanta, this combined with a pedestrian understanding of Vedic Astrology. I hope I have clarified your misunderstanding.

    Yhs
    SGd

  34. 0
    Sugriva das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Patita Pavana said:

    Discussions regarding the horoscopes of living ISKCON sannyasis in public is a violation of all Vaishnava ethics and etiquette.. In my opinion, His Holiness Indradyumna Maharaja”

    This is a cop out. First of all I do not know Maharaja’s horoscope, what to speak of discussing it, but I do happen to know his year of birth and know that Jupiter was debilitated at that time and remained so for about a year. I was commenting on your (or who ever wrote that article) overly simplistic presentation of a very complex subject. And how you run away for difficult questions by citing etiquette, as was the case with comment #1 when in actuality you do not have an answer to the question. As if Jupiter is the only planet capable of showing spiritual life in a person’s chart. By your one-dimensional understanding every year when Jupiter is debilitated we would expect that demons are born and no devotees. Yet we find many powerful devotees born during those times. And every year when Jupiter is exalted in Cancer we would expect to find many devotees as 25% of the population will have Brihapati either in the 1st, 3rd, 5th or 9th but this is not the case. Because we also find religious hypocrites born when Guru is in his own sign or otherwise seemingly powerful according to your article. So there is a lot more at work than simply Brhaspati. That is why I said your presentation of the subject focusing only on Jupiter as all good, never problematic, and emblematic of Bhakti — is one dimensional and I stand by that. It is the equivalent of Sun sign astrology except that instead of the Sun you substituted Jupiter. Einstein once said “that if you really know a subject then you can explain it even to a child.” Considering that you could not explain the factors identifying the spiritual dimension in a person’s chart to adults what to speak of children then…

    SGd

  35. 0
    Sugriva das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Patita Pavana said:

    When I met BV Raman in his office in the seventies, we discussed Prabhupada’s horoscope as Dhanush lagna. After that his journal printed articles to this effect, even while his daughter Smt Gayatri Vasudeva was the Editor. Dhanush lagna is accepted by every great (in my opinion) astrologer of India including my own teacher Shri Pandit Vijai Ranamukhadevaji who proved this point to me in 1973-4 From my point of view, there is very little room for debate on this issue.

    I asked for proof that BV Raman made these statements, this is not proof. If he indeed published such articles then cite them. BV. Raman also published Lord Caitanya’s chart in Notable Horoscopes in chapter 14 with a Libra lagna not Simha lagna as is found in the Caitanya Caritamrta and universally accepted in the Gaudiya world including even by yourself. How will you reconcile this conundrum? That the person you claim says Prabhupada had a Dhanus lagna also wrongly claims that Mahaprabhu has a Tula lagna. This is a point that K.N. also mentioned when he did Mahaprabhu’s chart that BV Raman got it wrong. There was never any mention by KN Rao regarding BV Raman’s reading of Prabhupada’s chart, if BV Raman had made any comment on Prabhupada’s chart then K.N. Rao would have mentioned it as he was a long time contributor to BV Raman’s magazine.

    I see that you have closed your mind on this subject and no matter that even Srila Prabhupada himself directly said, and it is recorded for posterity, that the Makara lagna chart prepared by Ojha was accurate whereas those with Dhanur were not has no effect on you. So if you will not even accept the words of Srila Prabhupada then you are truly impervious to light, a card carrying example of scissor’s philosophy.

    You may think I have something against you. I do not. I am just interested in the subject being properly presented then the community of devotees will be benefited.

    SGd

  36. 0
    Abhaya Mudra Dasi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dear Shyamasundara Prabhu,

    You are the astrologer and cannot blame HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami for giving you the workable time of birth for Srila Bhkatisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati had an unsurpassed knowledge of astrology and his words on the subject are indisputable. Perhaps such a miss on the presentation on the birth chart of one of the great achariyas may not be an exemption from your part.

    I am sharing with permission the below included quotations for the enlightenment of all readers:

    There is the famous quote from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur:
    “I don’t read the book. I read the author. I first see the author to see if he is authentic or not. I am a proof reader. I always see what is right and what is wrong. My father trained me in proof reading, but I an not only a proof reader of the press. I am a proof reader of the world. I proof read men; I see their faults and try to correct them. I am a proof reader of religion also. I have appeared in the karkata lagna (astrologically). So whenever I see anything undevotional I will act like a karkata (a crab). If I see any so called devotion which is not actually in the true unalloyed spirit, I shall pierce it.!”

    This quote is published by Madhvananda Prabhu in gopaljiu.org issue #2 April 19 2001. There are others who have quoted the same quote in their publications: Romapada Swami, Sripad Puru Das and Manonatha Prabhu.

    krishnascience.com:
    The astrologer, called at the time of Sarasvati Thakura’s birth, also proclaimed how the child would become a great devotee. And so it was then that, on February 6th, 1874 A.D., Sarasvati Thakura appeared in this world in the karkata lagna, or the astrological lagna of the crab (Cancer).

    Being an expert astrologer, he would sometimes look at devotees’ hands. One time he looked at Jotisekhara’s and noticed that on the lower left hand corner of his right hand was a chakra. He remarked on this and said, “This is a sign that you will be expert in writing and speaking to destroy all wrong, non-devotional ideas.”

    At the time of initiation, Gaura Kisora Das Babaji didn’t change Sarasvati Thakura’s name. Earlier in his life he had written a book called “Siddhanta Candrika” a book on astrology. He received the name “Siddhanta Sarasvati” from a society of astrologers, in recognition of his contribution in the field of astrology; later adding the prefix “Bhakti” himself when he took sannyasa.

    continues

  37. 0
    Abhaya Mudra Dasi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    continuation

    http://www.stephen-knapp.com:
    At the age of twenty-three in the year 1897 Bhkatisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura opened a school in Calcutta which he called Sarasvata Chatuspathi. It was here that he began teaching Vedic astronomy. Many prominent and scholarly Calcutta gentlemen were among his students. At this time he also edited two monthly journals, the Jyotirvid and
    the Brhaspati
    and published several authoritative documents on Vedic astronomy such as the Surya-siddhanta which he had written himself.

    Your servant,
    Abhaya Mudra Dasi

  38. 0
    Akruranatha ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I also agree with Atmavidya and Patita Pavana. Sugriva Prabhu you can write your own articles to give us more enlightenment about Vedic astrology.

    I really hope you do not think I am “attacking” you. At least, please believe me it is not my intention. I just get squeamish when I see devotees fighting.

    One thing I have noticed in myself is, I become inspired to comment when I see something I disagree with. I want to point out how I have the right view and someone else is mistaken. This is one very common kind of dialog, thesis and antithesis, point/counterpoint. On the internet these tend to blow up and produce bad emotions, though.

    Without the “leavening” of controversy, many internet discussions might not get off the ground. We are not so much inspired to say, “Jaya! Congratulations! You have written a very nice article!” It may be what we are all feeling when we read some of the stunningly beautiful articles that are published on Dandavats, but it is not particularly interesting to say so, other than just to chime in and show support.

    Still, all in all, I think it is better for me to find some favorable way to comment rather than to point out the flaws I can find in what others have said. Maybe I can find new wrinkles or angles to explore which make for more interesting reading that just saying “Jaya”! There are always interesting things to explore in the favorable, friendly talks between devotees. We should find and magnify these things, if possible.

    Of course, there is a place for rigor and scientific accuracy and calling a thief a thief and so on. One thing I like about Dandavats, though, is that it is kind of a safe haven from that sort of thing, mostly.

    It is true I know nothing about astrology. Maybe the more scientifically rigorous astrology debates should take place at conventions of astrological societies and in astrology journals, where all the professional astrologers can clarify the details of their science among themselves. Maybe we could expect the knives to come out in such discussions, as they sometimes do at meetings of economists and psychologists, philosophers and (especially) politicians.

    (You might think that with all their knowledge of human nature and the way the world works, astrologers should be more successful by now in establishing successful publications and schools and societies.)

    But here mainly we talk Hare Krishna and “all glories to the assembled devotees!” It’s nicer that way.

  39. 0
    Shyamasundara Dasa ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dear Vaisnavas,

    Please accept my humble obeisance’s. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    I just noticed that Sanjay Rath was extolled in #24 as ” I know Sanjay Rath who is well-regarded by many”.

    However, Duryodhana Guru Prabhu and Patita Pavana Prabhu do not seem to know the facts about this person. Before devotees rush to this person for a reading they should first be informed of some history, which it is now my unpleasant task to reveal (people always seem to hate the bearer of bad news).

    In the late 1990’s and up to the early 2000s quite a few ISKCON devotees went to Sanjay Rath and even became his students but most have since left because according to their reports Sanjay Rath stole large quantities of money from his students, etc. This can be confirmed by Dinanatha Prabhu, disciple of Sacinanda Svami, (who lived in Delhi and designed the animatronics exhibition at the temple) who was one of Rath’s first students and who has posted the following website describing what can only be called the criminal activity of Sanjay Rath see: http://jyotishdigest.com/ he can be contacted at dnd @ dinanatha.com.

    And, our godsister Kusha Mataji ACBSP was also in Rath’s group and left for the same reason. Mother Kusha is on FaceBook and can confirm this.

    Another reason many of his ISKCON students left him was because of his philosophical views. He portrayed himself as a Vaisnava and follower of Srila Prabhupada when he is in fact a mayavadi.

    Sanjay Rath claims to come in the parampara of one Acyuta das, one of the panca sakha (5 friends) of Puri, whom Rath claims were intimate associates of Lord Caitanya. Thus, he was able to initially attract many ISKCON followers by convincing them that he was presenting a parampara of Jyotish coming from Lord Caitanya via “Acyuta.” On further research it was found that this “panca-sakha” were the founders of an apasampradaya called Ativadis, of whom a better-known member to ISKCON was Bishikesan the mystic yogi who was arrested by Bhaktivinode Thakura while he was chief magistrate of Puri.

    The writings of Acyuta das such as The Sunya Samhita are a noxious decoction of Buddhist (Orissa was a main center of Buddhism because that is where Ashoka converted to Buddhism after the Kalinga war) Mayavada, Vaisnavism and Tantra plus his own mental speculations. And this type of thinking permeates the teachings of Sanjay Rath.

    Continued…

  40. 0
    Shyamasundara Dasa ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    In response to a text written to a public forum (April 11, 2003) by another ISKCON devotee who was a student of Sanjay Rath, Dinanatha Prabhu responded as follows:

    > I had some discussion last few days with Sanjay Rath on what happens
    > between death and the next re-birth, related to Vimshottari dasha. I
    > strongly recommend devotees not to take personal instructions of him or
    > even closely associate with him.

    Of course, you can never take “personal” instruction from him because his is impersonalist which became quite obvious once he removed his fake “Vaishnava” cover. Whenever I had debates with him he would always accept that absolute truth is ultimately personal which those of you who have recordings of lectures from Delhi can witness, sometimes on these lecture him and me would spend all the time debating on these subjects and ultimately he would agree with me, but now he removed his covers of fake Vaishnava and it is obvious who he really is. Even if you go for Jyotish consultation to him, he’ll tell you only what you want to hear, so in most of the cases his predictions are wrong and when it becomes obvious then he would twist and change them giving so many esoterical reasons for this.

    Anyway sorry to rake up old history but I thought it wise to warn others before they rushed off for a reading or take any type of guidance from Sanjay Rath. They should go to Duryodhana Guru Prabhu or Patita Pavana Prabhu instead.

    Your humble servant
    Shyamasundara Dasa
    http://www.ShyamasundaraDasa.com

  41. 0
    Akruranatha ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Regarding Acyuta (or Acyutananda) and the Panca-sakhas, Madhavananda Prabhu, Bhaktarupa Prabhu and their team at Gopal Jiu Publications came out last year with a beautiful issue (#12) of their Sri Krishna Kathamrta journal, entitled, “The Hidden Identity of Lord Jagannath”. This is really a gem of a magazine full of fascinating reading matter, photos and artwork, a real collector’s item.

    In the title article, different views of Lord Jagannatha by different schools are discussed, including the “Panca-sakhas”, about which we read:

    “…Although, Balaram Das and Jagannath Das’ names are listed in the Vaisnava-vadana of Devakinandan Das there is no other mention of any of the panca-sakhas in any of the other literatures of the Gaudiya Vaisnava followers of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Similarly in the Oriya writings of the panca-sakhas and their followers there is little or no mention of the Gaudiya devotees. Even the most intimate Gaudiya devotees who hail from Orissa such as Ramananda Ray, Sikhi mahiti, and Madhavi devi are either only very briefly touched on or not named at all. As noted in our article on the life of Madhavi Devi, the reason for this may be the vast difference in philosophy of the Gaudiya-devotees and the panca-sakhas.”

    One thing I like about this article is its frank and scholarly discussion of various views of Lord Jagannath’s identity which are not consistent with those of the Gaudiya-Vaisnava tradition. (We learn that the Panca-sakha tradition, for instance, sees Krishna as a partial incarnation [kalaa] of Lord Jagannatha, and considers the topmost form of the supreme to be “void personified”.)

    Of course, the article goes on to talk at some length about the authentic Gaudiya Vaisnava views on the identity of Lord Jagannatha, with reference to authoritative scriptures and the writings of our bona-fide acaryas.

    One remarkable quality of the article is that it does not so much take the tone of opposing the less authentic views, but merely surpasses them in a seemingly effortless, gravity-defying way. The reader feels enchanted with the beauty of the Gaudiya conclusions just as we are enchanted with the beautiful form of Lord Gaurasundar Himself.

    The article concludes: “In Jagannath Puri, the heart of Gaura Ray is a golden mirror wherein the Lord of the Universe finds delight in His own image of Vraja Mohan Krishna, the enchanter of Vrindavan.”

    It is a fantastic article in an amazing, very high-quality publication.

  42. 0
    Suresh das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Akruranath Prabhu:
    Debating ideas is what the Brahmanas (the intellectual class) do by nature. The Ksatriya class fights with their weapons, jousting and sparring sometimes to the death, historically even at such happy occasions as family wedding ceremonies, for the purpose of finding the strongest person to lead and rule society. The Brahmans similarly fight with their words. Why? They must argue and debate to try to discover the absolute truth. Lord Krishna states that He is in fact the conclusive truth in Bhagavad-gita. It may be disconcerting to hear devotees constantly arguing and bickering, but they must, to better understand ideas, which can often be deeply complicated and potentially subject to more than one answer, interpretation, and conclusion. Hopefully by debating amongst ourselves, in a respectful manner, it will make us stronger in the end, and better able to face our real opponents, the various types of atheists, impersonalists and voidists, all opposed to the progress of the Krishna Consciousness Movement. As a lawyer you can certainly appreciate that the law is always open to interpretation and sometimes strong debate, not only in the courts, but also in the halls of legislature.

  43. 0
    Shyamasundara Dasa ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    We need Facts not Factoids

    In response to #35 & 36

    Dear Mataji,

    Please accept my best wishes. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    My text was in reference to something your husband stated so I am wondering why you are answering and not he?

    Apocryphal: of doubtful authenticity, spurious.

    When I wrote in text #25-26 that I had heard that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saravarasvati Thakura had had a Kataka Lagna it was exactly that quote which you have provided, and it was given by HH Bhakti Vikasa Svami (BVKS). But BVKS considered it came from an unreliable source.

    In researching the book BVKS spent a lot of time with Jati Sekhara Prabhu and got a lot of material from him and if you read Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava (a fantastic book and definitive biography) you will find him as an oft quoted source. But unfortunately after a draft of the book was written BVKS found out on double and triple checking that quite a few things said by Jati Sekhara Prabhu (and some others) simply were not true and had to be deleted or revised. This he attributed to the fact that Jati Sekhara was quite old and many years had passed.

    When doing research you cannot accept anything on face value, one must get the most reliable primary sources and triple check. Serious writers do not depend on printed hear-say. BVKS told me that while researching the book he was discussing with Jayapataka Svami who told him that Srila Prabhupada had said that you must be careful and not put any trust in anything written about Srila Bhaktisiddhanta after 1937. Implying that it had to be double and even triple checked.

    Factoid: an invented fact believed to be true because of its appearance in print.

    What you quoted are institutionalized factoids This is how misinformation is propagated as reality. Many writers are simply too lazy to do the hard work required to get all the facts together before they write. They accept on face value something they have come across and publish it. Some other author will then quote it in his own work thinking the source is a published book hence reliable, and then another author will quote that author ad infinitum and in this way what was previously hear-say is now the gospel truth and in this case “coming from the lips of Bhakti Siddhanta.” Even when he was with us Srila Prabhupada complained that there were so many “Prabhupada saids” that he didn’t say. (See references at end of my text.)

    con

  44. 0
    Shyamasundara Dasa ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Part 2

    I was trained as a research scholar for several years in the Bhaktivedanta Institute by Sadaputa Prabhu. We spent a lot of time digging to get at the primary sources going past layers of built up accretions of enshrined myths to get to the original data. This had to be done to avert academic suicide the unavoidable consequence of quoting spurious sources. Hence, I am not willing to accept on face value something with out checking its provenance.

    One of the first things that Srila Prabhupada taught us was about categories of pramana – reliable sources of knowledge. And he also cautioned us not to speculate. As a student of mathematics what impressed me about Srila Prabhupada, and why I surrendered to him, was that in his writings he never speculated and he always based his reasoning on solid evidence directly from primary sastra, not his opinions.

    All the sources that you have provided are post 1937, not from any primary source and thus unreliable. Basically it is just people quoting the same unverified statement and enshrining it as a popular misconception—a factoid. You do not know that it is true; all you know is that many people have quoted it and therefore assume it to be so. That is not how I was trained to do research.

    I now also understand, after Googling, that the Shri Krishna Kathamrita quoted by your husband is not a primary source as I first thought but of very recent vintage repeating the same factoid.

    Aside from the fact the Kataka lagna idea comes from unreliable sources and is inconsistent with the recorded time of birth, there is also the fact that the statement attributed to Bhaktisiddhanta is astrologically incongruent.

    “I don’t read the book. I read the author. I first see the author to see if he is authentic or not. I am a proof reader. I always see what is right and what is wrong. My father trained me in proof reading, but I am not only a proof reader of the press. I am a proof reader of the world. I proof read men; I see their faults and try to correct them. I am a proof reader of religion also. I have appeared in the karkata lagna (astrologically). So whenever I see anything undevotional I will act like a karkata (a crab). If I see any so called devotion which is not actually in the true unalloyed spirit, I shall pierce it.!”

    continued…

  45. 0
    Shyamasundara Dasa ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Part 3

    Where in jyotish literature is Kataka, the sign Cancer, given the attribute of piercing and checking for faults? Piercing and penetrating is of the realm of Scorpio and the 8th house. Scorpions pierce their enemies with their stinger but not crabs who do not have the capacity to pierce. A dominant trait of Scorpio or the 8th house in human behavior is penetrating intelligence, capacity to do deep research and investigation and sharp piercing words, that is sarcasm. And Virgo, by virtue of its depth of analytical ability also has the capacity to dissect and take things apart and check for faults.

    I just did a brief Internet search for the sign Cancer

    http://www.astrology.com/cancer-sun-sign-zodiac-signs/2-d-d-66919

    and then searched the page for the word “penetrate,” got nothing.

    But when I searched a page describing Scorpio we got a hit

    http://www.astrology.com/scorpio-sun-sign-zodiac-signs/2-d-d-66949

    Of course I am sure if you look far and wide you may find some writers who attribute penetrating to Cancer but that would be an anomaly whereas almost all would certainly give such an attribute to Scorpio and the 8th house. [It should be noted that historically the meanings of the signs are basically the same in both Western and Vedic astrology, though there is some difference when it comes to the houses, many are the same but a few have differences.]

    The point being that this alleged statement by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta doesn’t make astrological sense because “penetrating,” “piercing” “checking for faults” and “picking things apart” are not key words of Cancer but of Scorpio the 8th house and Virgo. Virgo is especially noted for picking things apart and analysis and if Virgo is afflicted they become faultfinders.

    [Note, if we take his authorized time of birth as published by Sraman Maharaja, then Bhaktisiddhanta would have Mithuna lagna with 4 planets in the 8th house making it a dominant factor in his chart and in keeping with the above statement of piercing, etc. He had nothing in Scorpio.]

    continued…

  46. 0
    Shyamasundara Dasa ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Part 4

    We also note that in Sanskrit and Bengali Virgo is called Kanya which also starts with “Ka” like Kataka, Karkata and Kantaka (all synonyms of Cancer). It is also notable that of all signs Kanya (not Cancer) is strongly associated with book publishing and everything that goes with it: printing, proof reading etc. because Kanya gives people the ability to meticulously analyze and find the mistakes which is essential before bringing a book to publication. And, it is an indisputable fact that Bhaktisiddhanta had his Moon and Jupiter in Kanya Rasi hence his predilection to the publishing field.

    So it seems that the possibility exists that the source of the above quoted statement confused the words Karkata and Kanya because Bhatisiddhanta did in fact have Kanya rasi (in general parlance among people in India they usually refer to their Rasi – Moon sign, and Moon nakshatra, seldom do they refer to their lagna), and Kanya is a sign strongly associated with all things having to do with book publications like proof reading because it gives the ability to meticulously and piercingly analyze and pick things apart. Whereas according to his published time of birth he did not have Karkata—Cancer lagna which is not at all associated with book publishing. Thus, if you substituted “Kanya Rasi” for “Karkata Lagna” it would make perfect sense but presently does not.

    In conclusion the quotes you have provided are apocryphal factoids and cannot be used as pramana. And, the statements themselves are incongruent with current astrological canon.

    Yours in the service of my eternal Spiritual Master Srila Prabhupada

    Shyamasundara Dasa

    http://www.ShyamasundaraDasa.com

    PS. Bhaktisiddhanta did not author the Surya Siddhanta, as quoted by you. This is another popular misconception that has become a factoid. He translated this ancient text into Bengali along with a commentary and gave bija samskaras (corrected astronomical constants) so that it would again be accurate.

    continued …

  47. 0
    Shyamasundara Dasa ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    References:

    Prabhupada: So, when you change, then the authority is lost. Just like in our society, sometimes they do something nonsense and they say, “Prabhupada said.” (laughter) They are doing that. We know that. It is deteriorated like that. Therefore Krsna said, sa kaleneha mahata yogo nastah kaunteya: “And in due course of time, this yoga was lost. Therefore I am repeating the same thing, old philosophy to you.” So it requires like that.

    Room Conversation with Carol Cameron -May 9, 1975, Perth

    And I have heard that his officers did everything without informing him, just like in our ISKCON there are so many false things: “Prabhupada said this, Prabhupada said that.”

    Letter to: Krsnadasa – Vrindaban 72-11-07

  48. 0
    veda ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m always very surprised when I see devotees get all worked up about astrology. Although there are stories of Srila Prabhupada calling on astrologers I believe that he didnt put that much importance on it. I was taught in gurukula (back in the ’70 ‘s) concerning hand readings that all you had to do was clap your hands in kirtan and all the lines would change (apparently Srila Prabhupada said this…). I also heard stories of Srila Prabhupada not giving much importance to astrologers he might have indulged into listening to a reading after they had left. I believe that this fashion of astrolger-going was started in the late eighties by some of the leading members of ISKCON (like the Salagrama Sila collection fashion) and has since become a very important aspect of devotees’ lives. I don’t see how it should affect us – shouldn’t we just have faith in the mahamantra because everything is included in it ? Another thing I was taught in gurukula is that it is offensive to do astrological readings of ones spiritual master because of the dangers of considering him to be just like any other mortal – either by the disciple himself or by others. Is that still true or out of fashion ? Offering precious stones to demigods ? In which of Srila Prabhupada’s books do we find that ? I find that these discussions should be put right up there with the jiva falling or not – avoid them. Devotees seem to get very aggressive and offensive to one another in their articles… or at least some do.

  49. 0
    Shyamasundara Dasa ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    In continuation of #25

    Patita Pavana Prabhu said

    His Divine Grace Shrila Shri Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaja said “I was born in Karkataka.” So from his own lotus lips we have seen this. I have read such a quote in Shri Krishna Kathamrita.

    I asked Bhakti Vikasa Svami about this quote and he responded thus:

    Jati Shekhar Prabhu, a godbrother of Srila Prabhupada, told me that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur had said that he (SBS) was born in Karkata lagna. However, JSP’s accounts had several clear factual errors, and the transcript of JSP’s account spoken to me was unauthorizely published on the internet. Much hearsay has thus become propagated as if fact.

    This is exactly as I had said in an earlier text. Some of Jati Sekhara’s statements on being double checked were found to be erroneous and had to be revised or even deleted for the final draft of the biography. But it seems that the person who was editing the book leaked certain “nuggets” thinking they were true and these were then published without permission in Shri Krishna Kathamrita and elsewhere as being fact. Thus a factoid was born. We will ask Madhavananda Prabhu to publish a retraction to set the record straight.

    It was for this reason that we decided to use the birth time of 3:30 PM LMT published by Sraman Maharaja as it came from a reliable source.

    I hope that it is now clear. If anyone has any further questions I will do my best to answer them.

    Yhs
    Shyamasundara Dasa
    http://www.ShyamasundaraDasa.com

  50. 0
    Shyamasundara Dasa ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Abhaya Mudra Mataji wrote:

    In the astrological text Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra, the father of Shrila Vyasadeva says that Brihaspati is a partial manifestation of Lord Vamandeva.

    The readers may be interested in an article I wrote called On the Authenticity of the Brhad Parasara Hora Sastra it is not technical and generally accessible to the layman.

    http://www.shyamasundaradasa.com/jyotish/resources/articles/bphs.html

    This article was published in the July and August, 2009, issues of The Astrological eMagazine. It discusses how the current version of Brhat Parasara Hora Sastra became “the Gospel” of Vedic Astrology, why it is not authentic, that it contains many interpolations not found in the original and hence can not be trusted.

    However, the statement that Brhaspati is a manifestation of Vamanadeva as quoted above is true.

    yhs

    Shyamasundara Dasa

    http://www.ShyamasundaraDasa.com

  51. 0
    Patita Pavana ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Now, Sugriva,

    I wish to answer you point that Dandavats should begin a censorship campaign against our articles on the grounds that you disagree with a detail. You want a panel of qualified astrologers to look them over. Again, you have missed the point. The point is Krishna consciousness. As far as astrology is evident in the Bhagavat and the Gita, so that is the distance we measure for our contributions to this non-astrological site. All of my articles on the subject have remained limited by those self-restricting guidelines, and Abhaya also follows that etiquette out of respect for the readers of Dandavats.

    Let me add that I have published hundreds of articles on various astrology / Krishna conscious subjects combined in a number of Indian astrological journals. I was the first member of ISKCON to contribute to The Astrological Magazine. I have written many articles, all spreading the message of Shrila Prabhupada in a dignified way (because these are magazines pandits read) . Often, I sent copies of my articles to Shrila Prabhupada (from Indian newspapers) and His Divine Grace approved of them. I had regular columns in Vidya Magazine and wrote the regular feature Metaphysica Eye column for The Times of Astrology. The former’s editor gave me the title Jyotish Snatak. The latter’s editor was R Santhanam who has translated a number off the Sanskrit classics into English. I also had a column for The Times of Astrology.

    I carried on my journalistic interests into the griha and endeavored to preach Krishna consciousness to the toughest crowd of possible candidates, motorcyclists. To that end I wrote hundreds of articles for which I was paid well. I introduced Krishna consciousness to Hell’s Angels and other renegade via my book Motorcycle Yoga. That book was voted one of the seven best motorcycle travel guides by the leading British moto-mag. Yes, it has the mahamantra.

    As a moto-journalist I had hundreds of thousands of readers monthly.I even interviewed the notorious Sonny Barger, the founder/leader of the Hells’ Angels because in the early days of ISKCON San Francisco, he and his friends donated a stove to the devotees at Frederick San Francisco. That interview is still carried on Sonny’s website here:

    http://sonnybarger.com/index3.html.

    I have published Krishna conscious books with two more in press.

    So I have been around the block on the issue of journalism,and that,too, in both worlds Next…

    Continued…

  52. 0
    Akruranatha ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dear Suresh Prabhu:

    I am not necessarily against the idea of rigorous debate among devotees, as long as it is carried out with due regard for Vaisnava etiquette and mutual respect, as you suggest.

    I do think within our Vaisnava society, our two more favorable models of communication are (1) the Bhagavatam/Upanisad-type tradition of submissive inquiry and authoritative exposition, and (2) the isthaghosti tradition of confidential, friendly, collaborative search for philosophical truth as revealed by divine authorities. Of these two, especially the latter needs to be strengthened and improved within our ISKCON culture, IMHO.

    You write: “The Brahmans similarly fight with their words. Why? They must argue and debate to try to discover the absolute truth.”

    Certainly there is a tradition of speculative philosophy and disputation in Vedic culture, and in Mahabharata it is famously said that to be considered a muni one must have one’s own distinctive philosophy (similar, I suppose, to the modern academic tradition that to earn a doctorate degree one must contribute something novel).

    However, that is not really the Vaisnava way of “discovering” the Absolute Truth. Our tradition is best summed up in the verse “yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau…” (“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.”)

    “By rendering devotional service unto Sri Krsna one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world.” (S.B. 1.2.7) That is, we emphasize bhakti over empirical philosophical wrangling, not because high-grade qualities like jnana and vairagya are unimportant, but because they are useless without bhakti, and they are automatically present wherever bhakti is present, without any separate endeavor.

    The famous maxim “anyabhilasita-sunyam …” (B.R.S. 1.1.11) defines *unalloyed* bhakti as free from association of those addicted to fruitive piety and mental speculation.

    In the mean time, I agree that we should dovetail our propensities to seek perfection through philosophy and piety by thoroughly discussing Srila Prabhupada’s books and strictly avoiding sinful behavior, by remaining humble and charitable in nature and interested in the value of knowledge (and intolerant of ignorance, prejudice, jealousy).

    I also agree that the arts of polemics, rhetoric, and apologetics are useful “crafts” for preachers to hone. …

  53. 0
    Akruranatha ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I have been thinking lately of Srila Prabhupada’s published correspondence with Professor Stahl. I have not gone back and read it for some time, but I think I will.

    Dr. Stahl was a Philosophy Prof. at U Cal. (I think he was at Berkeley but it might have been UCLA) who had some knowledge of and appreciation for the various traditions of Vedic (and related) darshan. He made a career out of comparative study of the western and Indian philosophical traditions.

    When Hare Krishna devotees started coming on campus and preaching the yuga dharma of simply chanting the maha mantra, Prof. Stahl publicly criticized them as unlearned and lacking in appreciation of the greater Vedic scholarly and philosophical tradition. Srila Prabhupada responded that it is not that the Gaudiya Vaisnavas have no philosophical tradition (citing Jiva Goswami and perhaps also Lord Caitanya’s discussions with Prakasananda Sarasvati and/or Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya), but that (basically) the chanting of Hare Krishna with bhakti is superior to and not dependent on philosophy.

    Okay I really have to go back and read it. I might be wrong, but those are some of the points I remember.

    At least Lord Caitanya made similar points to the mayavadis of Benares when they asked Him why He chanted in ecstasy like a sentimentalist instead of studying Vedanta like a sannyasi was “supposed” to do. He said His guru told Him he was too foolish for all that philosophical disputation and grammatical analysis, so He should just practice chanting, but in fact His chanting produced wonderful effects. :-)

    You say: “Lord Krishna states that He is in fact the conclusive truth in Bhagavad-gita.”

    The sense I get from the “vadah pravadatam aham” verse (10.32) is that Krishna is *superior* to logical argument. When the conclusion (vaada) appears, all disputation stops.

    In the Purport to the verse, Srila Prabhupada distinguishes the conclusive truth (which is a representative of Krishna) from “jalpa” and “vitanda” (which are not). Vitanda means merely trying to defeat one’s opponent (as lawyers often do). Some philosophers may feel that “getting there is half the fun”, but Krishna is not the logician’s journey, He is the destination.

    My true feeling is that we do need to learn to discuss Srila Prabhupada books better and to examine different plausible interpretations of passages, not with an eye to defeating each other, but in order to thoroughly understand the subject matter “As It Is.”

  54. 0
    Akruranatha ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Hopefully by debating amongst ourselves, in a respectful manner, it will make us stronger in the end, and better able to face our real opponents, the various types of atheists, impersonalists and voidists, all opposed to the progress of the Krishna Consciousness Movement.”

    Yes, Suresh, as I said earlier, part of the arsenal of a preacher is to be good at logic and rhetoric and all the arts of persuasion. There is no harm in a devotee also being a first-class scientist, philosopher, astrologer, businessman, farmer or anything else, but ultimately it is the devotion and realization that enables the devotee-preacher to convey understanding of Krishna to the heart of a qualified listener.

    Srila Prabhupada definitely trained his disciples in the art of establishing the Vaisnava conclusions. He constantly “defeated” all opposing arguments and drew very clear, black and white distinctions between correct and incorrect views. He emphasized direct meanings of passages rather than more convoluted interpretations. (We all loved his “chopping style”, without which many of us would have remained confused–he made everything so clear and certain, without doubt or fuzziness).

    He practiced mock debating and liked to see how his disciples were becoming expert at defeating views opposed to the conclusions of devotional service. I agree this was primarily to keep us safe from the maya of speculators and to help us hone our craft of defeating the purveyors of nirvisesa-sunyavada, who are so prominent in kali yuga.

    But I think you and I agree that we should really not overdo it by “chopping” at other devotees. If a devotee needs to be corrected it should be done carefully, and usually privately, with due regard for how we are causing that devotee to feel.

    Public internet debates have to be done very respectfully and carefully because it is so easy to trample on tender feelings when criticizing each other’s published writings, especially if the criticism impugns not only the authors’ ideas, but their character and motives. Such vilification of devotees is rarely if ever beneficial.

    “As a lawyer you can certainly appreciate that the law is always open to interpretation and sometimes strong debate, not only in the courts, but also in the halls of legislature.”

    As a lawyer I see daily how the truth is twisted and tortured in a toxic atmosphere of greed and egotism. No wonder Srila Prabhupada had so few kind things to say about my profession. :-)

  55. 0
    Akruranatha ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I am sincerely interested in the philosophical issue raised by Sugriva about whether Brhaspati is like a barometer (i.e., a predictor, not a causal agent).

    This is probably an issue that can profitably be explored from many angles and with many layers, in a mood of reflection and mutual respect.

    In one sense Supersoul, as the overseer and permitter of all activities, is the ultimate causal agent, or even the only causal agent. The other four factors of action are all subordinate to Him, although He chooses by His own sweet will to fulfill the wayward desires of conditioned jivas through His various potencies. (As they surrender to Him, Krishna rewards everyone accordingly.)

    Thus Krishna explains in the 7th Chapter of Gita that when one whose intelligence is clouded by desire worships a demigod to achieve some result, it is Krishna who gives the necessary faith and ability to observe the required vows and rituals, and it is ultimately Krishna (not the demigod) who gives the result, which is material.

    Rather than seeking such a limited and temporary result from some demigod, an intelligent person tolerates his or her temporary material destiny while offering everything to Krishna in devotional service, and achieves Krishna’s personal association in His eternal spiritual abode.

    Karma-mimamsa teaches that the demigods have no independent power. They are forced under the laws of nature to provide the due results of properly executed rituals (such as an appropriate act of charity or perhaps the wearing of a potent gem or talisman).

    Young Krishna used such arguments to convince the Brijbasis to stop the Indra-puja and to worship Govardhan Hill instead. And although Indra tried to retaliate he did prove powerless in the face of Krishna and Sri Giriraja. Jaya Giridhari! Jaya Giri-Govardhan!

    However, Indra really is a person and he really did get puffed up and send devastating rain, and I suppose Brhaspati is really a person and can exert his influence if he wants to. Otherwise, how could he be guru of the demigods, and how could he be the great devotee Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya? At least he has knowledge and senses, and is not inert matter.

    But perhaps he is like a barometer in that he does not interfere with the course chalked out by Supersoul? Maybe to see him as a barometer (mere indicator) and to see him as a doer (causal agent) are both partially valid approaches which are incomplete without understanding Krishna as supreme cause?

  56. 0
    Shyamasundara Dasa ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dear Veda Prabhu,

    All glories to Srila Prabhupada

    You bring up many points in your comment #47 especially regarding karma and devotional service (clapping hands etc). It would be impossible to do justice to the topic in such a short space.

    Regarding devotees getting into astrology it already started in the 1970s. I can only speak for myself. As I explain in two other articles:

    http://www.dandavats.com/?p=8330

    http://www.dandavats.com/?p=6484

    I was asked by the Bhaktivedanta Institute to study Vedic astrology because it was Srila Prabhupada’s desire that the BI do research in that subject and for various reasons I was chosen to do it and it has been my full time service since March 1978. After the GBC meetings of 1979 the co-GBC of the BI told me that in the GBC meeting I was given the following mission: to study Jyotish and become expert in it. And to use my knowledge to protect devotees from what the GBC considered to be quack astrologers both inside and outside of ISKCON who had created trouble in the lives of the devotees by giving them bad advice such as worshipping demi-gods, and sensational doomsday predictions, etc. You get the picture.

    They also asked me study what was the philosophical relationship between Vaisnavism and astrology. Is it applicable to Vaisnavas or not? And, to see how it can be applied in Daiva Varnashrama Dharma.

    In 1982 I was given my own personal GBC for Jyotish, Hari Sauri Prabhu, who funded a lot of my studies but he resigned from the GBC in 1984.

    Anyway I have tried my best with my limited resources (after both the BI split and my GBC resigned) to do whatever I could to fulfill Srila Prabhupada’s desire that the BI study Jyotish in a sound and scholarly way for the benefit of devotees and protect them from quacks. How far I have been successful will be for others to judge.

    In 1992 I wrote a philosophical paper for the GBC Philosophy Research committee focusing on the questions of “Fate, Free Will and the Law of Karma”, the relationship between Vaisnavism and Jyotish and its application to Daiva Varnashrama Dharma. This paper is floating around ISKCON but I have yet to publish it on my site, I will do so at some future date along with many others.

  57. 0
    Shyamasundara Dasa ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Part 2

    Regarding publishing the chart of exalted persons, I see no problem with this for we find even in the Caitanya Caritamrta that Lord Caitanya’s chart is published and commented on by Bhaktivinode Thakura and Sarasvati Thakura. In fact it was by reading this section of the CC that I developed interest in Jyotish. Of course it also depends on who does the reading of the chart. As I always say “Astrology is perfect; astrologers are not.” You can quote me on that.

    As for wearing precious stones to ward off bad karma this is a major scam. I have discussed this at length on my website at

    http://shyamasundaradasa.com/jyotish/what_is_jyotish/what_is_vedic_astrology/what_is_vedic_astrology_9.html

    http://shyamasundaradasa.com/jyotish/services/explanation_services/remedial.html

    http://shyamasundaradasa.com/jyotish/resources/articles/adp/ashtamangala_deva_prasna_4.html

    http://shyamasundaradasa.com/jyotish/services/explanation_services/gem_prescription.html

    Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada

    Shyamasundara Dasa

    http://www.ShyamasundaraDasa.com

  58. 0
    Padmapani_das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Haribol Patita Pavana Prabhu. I couldn’t find that Sonny Barger interview you mention in post #50. Sounds exciting. Here’s some nectar from Gurudas about Srila Prabhupada, Sonny and the Hell’s Angels in San Francisco (edited for space):

    A steady congregation of characters was now flowing into our storefront Radha Krishna Temple for the nightly sessions of rocking, chanting, dancing, feasting, and transcendental information. Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead had just donated a huge, new stove, so we now had breakfast, lunch, and dinner programs on a regular basis. There were so many folks coming that the temple would be filled from the front altar all the way to the back of the room and out the double Dutch doors to the sidewalk. All eyes were on Swamiji. He took out some bell-metal karatalas, looked around without looking at anything in particular, and began a three beat: chah-chah-cheee, cha-cha-cheee — the third beat sizzling. In husky, sonorous tones he sang out: “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.” We couldn’t stay seated and jumped up almost in unison.

    We heard pounding on the wall. A loud thump from next door suddenly resonated on the wall. Framed pictures shook. The Swami didn’t miss a beat. “What is that sound?” he asked. “I don’t know,” I answered. “It is coming from next door.” Next door was the God’s Eye Ice Cream Parlor, which was the hangout and hideout of the Hell’s Angels as well as headquarters for the Diggers… “Go see what is making that noise,” Swamiji requested. “Ask them to stop.”

    “Why me?” I thought. I’m wearing a robe, I’m high from the kirtan, and now I have to go face the Hell’s Angels… my throat was dry as I knocked on the door. Sonny, scar-faced yet handsome, opened the door. He wore swastikas and lots of black leather. He stared at me. I held his eyes and stared back. Six more Angels encircled me. Resolutely but quietly I said, “The Swami is about to speak. He was wondering if you could party less hearty.” They didn’t say anything. I persevered. “The thumping on the wall interrupted him. Many folks would like to hear him speak, and you can come too if you like.” Sonny stared at me a while longer. Then he smiled and said, “It was your singing that made us dance, but the wall got in the way! Hey, if the Swami wants to speak, that’s okay with us. Your guru is heavy, man!” His gapped-tooth smile embraced me. I thanked them all.

    Jaya Srila Prabhupada!

  59. 0
    Patita Pavana ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Jai Padmpani Prabuuji,

    Great quore from Gurudas1 Indeed, it was Gurudas’ association that inspired me to interview Sonny. (Gurudas was also the inspiration for my Vrindavana Guide, the first comprehensive guide in English to the holy dham) because he took me my first tour there in ’74.

    Thanks for your interest in my attempts to present our side of the picture to the outlaw bikers. To get to the article, go to http://www.sonnybarger.com. On the left, click on Pres / Media. Scroll down to Walneck’s. That is a moto-mag for which I wrote maybe a hundred articles . They paid me $350 for the interview + photos. After that interview, the Angels of SF allowed me several other interviews, a rare privilege afforded to very few journalists.

    Regarding the Diggers also mentioned in Gurudas’ words, they were the humanitarians that fed us hippies in Golden Gate Park (when we weren’t eating prasad at the Frederick St. temple.) I used to see Madhuvisa in the park and Tamal Krishna das Brahmachari used to preach to me at the temple. The Diggers loaned their truck to the devotees for the very first Rathayatra outside of India, SF 1967. Youtube has the old videos with Gurudas and the yellow flatbed. One of the Dggers became a famous author and actor, Peter Coyote, who was an unofficial Hells Angel in the 60’s. His experiences became the basis for the rip-off film Easy Rider. I also interviewed Peter for two cover stories for other biker mags (which also paid well) and went on rides with him on my Triumph Speed Triple streetfighter. After my last ride with him, I had a dream of Lord Jagannath, so I asked Peter if I could interview him for Dandavats, but he is busy with a film now. It was Peter along with his friend Emmet Grogan who coined the phrase “Do your thing”.

    Devotees of the day mostly joined from the “Love and Peace” factions, and the Angels represented an entirely different breed, but as social misfits we all had social rejection in common. Those were the days of anarchical commotion. Shrila Prabhipada appeared in the midst of it all, like a magnet that is held near a cacophony of iron filings. Just as the filings all point in one direction by the influence of the magnet, so the Great World Acharya enlightens the conditioned souls to forget their bodily differences and, as pure spirit souls, aim in one direction: the Lotus Feet of the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna.

    Thanks for your interest in my feeble attempts at preaching.
    Patit Pavana das

  60. 0
    Sugriva das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Regarding text 54

    I am sincerely interested in the philosophical issue raised by Sugriva about whether Brhaspati is like a barometer (i.e., a predictor, not a causal agent).

    I got it and a lot more from a Jyotish seminar that Shyamasundara Prabhu gave in the Soho temple last year. I downloaded it from his website.

    You should know that Brhaspati is only one of many synonyms for the planet Jupiter. He is also called Jiva, Angirasa, Suraguru, Mantri, Vachaspati, Arya, Suri and Vagisa. (Hora Sara chapter 2) Angirasa and Brhaspati are two different people though related to each other. Similarly Venus has multiple names such as Sukra, Bhrigu, Asphujit, Sita, Usana, and Kavi. Again Brghu and Sukra are not the same person.

    In Sanskrit all the planets have multiple names. So simply taking the name Brihaspati and identifying the planet as the person will get you in trouble. Rather Jupiter’s qualities would best be described to be like Brhaspati when Jupiter is manifesting his best qualities. In other words the planet is named according to articles that share similar symptoms. Also every planet has a huge portfolio of things that it represents in the case of Jupiter it represents Brhaspati and persons like him, as well as people of great knowledge (Vachaspati), power of speech (Vagisa), sattva guna, and wise minister (Mantri). He also represents the liver, and fat in the human body. So it is not that Jupiter is fat or your liver or even the deva guru Brhaspati, but rather he represents such things. One should not be confused in thinking that because one of many synonyms for the planet is Brhaspati that he is actually the person Brhaspati, by that reasoning he would also be Angirasa who is a different person altogether. There is a personality ruling the planet Jupiter who is described in sastra and you will often see pictures of him along with the other navagrahas but as far as I know that person is not Brhaspati or Angirasa.

    The actual person controlling Jupiter/Brhaspati/Guru/Angirasa is Vamanadeva and He is supremely independent.

    I hope this helps.

    As for your other comments I have been traveling and don’t always have time for such things.

    Yhs
    SGd

  61. 0
    Adi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Respected Shyamasundara Prabhu,
    Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
    Hare Krsna!

    Great and insightful article on Sri Bhaktisiddhantaji’s lagna, clearly and logically laid out and substantiated. Thank you very much and thank you for sending it also to the Vedic Astrology conference where I saw it!

    Your servant
    Adi-purusha das

  62. 0
    Padmapani_das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    All glories to your service, Patita Pavanji. Thank you very much.

    Here are a couple of videos from back in the day — living time capsules from the distant past:

    1) http://www.prabhupadaconnect.com/HareKrishnaAGiorgioFilm.html

    2) http://www.prabhupadaconnect.com/Hare_Krishna_1967.html

    Prabhupada’s early pastimes are the creme de la creme. We never tire of drinking the ambrosial nectar.

    All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

  63. 0
    Akruranatha ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Thank you Sugriva Prabhu for your text #61. I found it very clear and very helpful.

    As with most subjects it appears that astrology is full of nuances and subtleties that escape the general knowledge of the average person (if there is even such thing as an average person).

    Astrology also suffers under a stigma or reputation of being not actually scientific, full of superstition and lore to lure gullible people.

    I am glad to know that the devotees who are taking up this field of Vedic knowledge are doing so responsibly and thoughtfully. I really did mean what I said about encouraging you to write articles about it.

    Perhaps astrology is not exactly “scientific” in some of the ways philosophers and historians of science have come to think of what it means to be “scientific”.

    For that matter, even the science of Krishna consciousness is not exactly “scientific” in that specific sense, and yet it is real, systematic knowledge with practical results and recognizable guideposts along the way to the ultimate benefit and goal of life.

    I think it is perhaps a worthwhile task for devotee-philosophers to understand what empirical modern scientists mean when they say “scientific”, and to understand the limits of that notion of science and knowledge.

    Historically, in European intellectual history, alchemy and astrology and other “occult” traditions were the stalking horses of those who identified themselves as scientists.

    Yet we find many heroes of “science” dabbling in such things. Reportedly, Sir Isaac Newton felt his greatest achievement was his numerological analysis of certain prophecies in the Bible, for instance. The Keynes family kept certain of Newton’s journals secret for over a century because certain writings did not fit in nicely with the narrative of Newton’s role in enlightened rationality’s triumph over occult superstition and magic or religious thinking.

    Without entering the debate about Newton himself and whether he had some personal impairment or illness, it seems that a thoughtful critique of the modern notion of empirical science as the emblem and model of the great achievements of human knowledge is in order.

    The Bhagavad-gita’s description of knowledge (i.e., Krishna’s description in B.G. 13.8-12) is somewhat different from the modern notion of knowledge, and it includes items like humility and sense control and devotion to Krishna and acceptance of a bona fide guru. This is a fruitful area for exploration…

  64. 0
    Sugriva das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Akruranatha said:

    Astrology also suffers under a stigma or reputation of being not actually scientific, full of superstition and lore to lure gullible people.

    Astrology is a great science that has been degraded for various reasons. Now a days many people think that they are astrologers if they can punch the birth data into their computer program but would be lost without their computers being unable to do the basic math required to draw up a chart.

    In the past to be a qualified astrologer in India required proficiency in Sanskrit, mathematics and astronomy before one could even study jyotish texts. So you can imagine that this would eliminate most people from the study because they would not be intelligent enough to master the pre-requisites. These pre-requisites would give the student a razor sharp mind and keen intellect required to deal with jyotish the hetu sastra dealing with cause and effect. Make no mistake about it jyotish is a super-science, it is a multi-disciplinary study and the most complicated of all material sciences. But because it is a super-science, such intellectual training though necessary is not sufficient. Because they were brahmanas they also studied sastra, practiced tapasya, chanted japa, meditation, yoga etc all of which are important to increase the person’s intuition making them sensitive to the message of param atma. So this combination of intellectual rigor and refined intuition resulted in master astrologers. Both sides are important if one is missing then it doesn’t work.

    Unfortunately the introduction of calculation aids such as ephemerides and lately computers has drastically lowered the bar to the point that the mathematically challenged take up astrology after reading a few books. Therefore disrupting the necessary balance of rigor and logic on one side and spiritually developed intuition on the other. Their thinking is fuzzy and characterized by reliance on their so-called “psychic abilities,” lack of real depth of understanding of the subject, no intellectual rigor and a shallow approach. They are “pop” astrologers with no scientific training.

    continued..

  65. 0
    Sugriva das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    part 2

    Then on the other extreme are those who come into astrology from the sciences but have no sadhana. (This is especially common in India.) They get caught up in mathematical analysis without developed intuition via spiritual practices. This type is less prevalent than the former. If they were to practice a regular sadhana of japa and other basic principles of Bhakti yoga then they have good potential for being excellent astrologers. And, while it is possible for anyone to take up the sadhana of bhakti yoga, it is not really possible for the mathematically challenged to become good mathematicians.

    The conflict that you have seen in the comments in this and other jyotish related articles in the last few months has been (IMHO) between those who want jyotish to be presented as a real Vedic science with the required balance of intellectual rigor and spiritual sadhana versus the “Pop” presentation of jyotish which tarnishes the subject and makes it an object of ridicule as you and others have commented.

    Akruranatha said:

    I am glad to know that the devotees who are taking up this field of Vedic knowledge are doing so responsibly and thoughtfully. I really did mean what I said about encouraging you to write articles about it.

    Unfortunately that is not the case for as we have seen there are the serious students who want to follow the actual tradition and the others.

    I am only a student of jyotisa it would be better if someone like Shyamasundara Prabhu who has dedicated his whole life to this science would write. Much of what I have written above is from him and can be found on his site at:

    http://www.shyamasundaradasa.com/jyotish/what_is_jyotish/philosophy_of_jyotish_1.html

  66. 0
    Akruranatha ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    With regard to “science versus Krishna consciousness”, I have quoted before in a Dandavat comment these verses (texts 9-11) from B.G. Chapter 15:

    “The living entity, thus taking another gross body, obtains a certain type of ear, eye, tongue, nose and sense of touch, which are grouped about the mind.

    “The foolish cannot understand how a living entity can quit his body, nor can they understand what sort of body he enjoys under the spell of the modes of nature,. But one whose eyes are trained in knowledge can see all this.

    “The endeavoring transcendentalists who are situated in self-realization can see all this clearly. But those whose minds are not developed and who are not situated in self-realization cannot see what is taking place, though they may try to.”

    In honor of the month of Purushottama, I think it appropriate and worthwhile to quote these verses from the “Purushottama Yoga” chapter again in this discussion.

    Whether scientists admit it or not, the fact is that people tend to “go with the herd” and have faith in the “experts” who by virtue of their training, experience and special talents have better vision than others.

    The emphasis by scientists on “objective” empirical evidence and verification (of hypotheses which are objectively disprovable) is a reaction to the hostility and violence and irrational quarrels inherent among blind followers of different fanatical or sentimental faiths in this age of Kali.

    The antidote, or so it seems to me, is that a group of truly enlightened devotees — who are situated in self-realization by dint of their training in sadhana bhakti by bona fide spiritual masters and who are learned through faithful discussion and getting a clear understanding of Srila Prabhupada’s books — will establish themselves as a credible body of experts in the eyes of the world.

    To do so, it is imperative that they not quarrel with each other, but show how they see eye to eye on important issues (such as how a living entity quits the body and what kind of body it enjoys under the spell of material nature, etc.)

    Maybe not everyone can see this clearly, because it takes a certain training, characterized by austerity, sense control, humility and true realization. But those who can see it clearly will agree with each other and not quarrel about the politics of who gets to be in charge of money, property, followers (and sundarim?)

    Then we have a hope of establishing the actual, scientific basis of bhakti yoga.

  67. 0
    Akruranatha ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Sugriva said:

    “Make no mistake about it jyotish is a super-science, it is a multi-disciplinary study and the most complicated of all material sciences. But because it is a super-science, such intellectual training though necessary is not sufficient. Because they were brahmanas they also studied sastra, practiced tapasya, chanted japa, meditation, yoga etc all of which are important to increase the person’s intuition making them sensitive to the message of param atma. So this combination of intellectual rigor and refined intuition resulted in master astrologers. Both sides are important if one is missing then it doesn’t work.”

    Yes.

    This seems to be the crux of the problem with astrology versus modern science.

    The fact that there are many dabblers may not be the real issue. At least, it may be only a small part of the problem.

    I think the more significant part of the problem is that modern notions of “science” do not understand or even permit the importance of sadhana and refined intuition, as a basic tenet of their belief in “objective”, empirical science.

    Sure, they understand that intuition plays a role in suggesting hypotheses and so on. But to be a valid scientific hypothesis it must be something that can be demonstrated to a person equipped with ordinary sense perception and the “light of reason”.

    In fact, there is even a requirement (popularized by philosopher Karl Popper) that to be accepted as truly “scientific”, a hypothesis not only has to be verifiable with objective evidence, but has to be capable of being objectively *disproved* as demonstrably wrong.

    [The example sometimes given is the hypothesis, "There are little green leprechauns all around us, but we cannot see them because they have the mystical ability to evade our most searching efforts to do so." While such a statement might be true, and could perhaps be demonstrated if the leprechauns decided to reveal themselves to us, there is no way to demonstrate that it is *not* true, because the theory's proponents could always say we have not disproved the theory, because the leprechauns have the ability not to be detected by our objective senses.]

    Regardless of whether Vedic astrology can meet this “disprovability” criterion of the empirical scientists (my untrained impression is that it cannot), it seems the “science” of Krishna consciousness cannot do so:

    Why? Because, Krishna will allow the scientists to remain in maya if they want to.

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