Monday, July 18, 2005

Houses in Divisions

Namaste friends,

I will not engage in a debate with Pradeep, who seems to make up his own rules to play by and keeps changing them as the debate progresses. But I wanted to write in detail about the verse I mentioned yesterday for the benefit of those who are interested and also those who may be confused by all this.

I am using the ITrans convention for transliteration. You can cut & paste this text into software supporting ITrans (e.g. "ITranslator 99" from Omkarananda Ashram) and see the text in Sanskrit.

lagna Shadvargake chaivamekakheTayutekShite |
rAjayogo bhavatyeva nirvishaMkam dvijottama || 39-13
pUrNa dR^iShTe pUrNayogamardhadR^iShTe.ardhameva ca |
pAdadR^iShTe pAdayogamiti GYaeyaM kramAt phalam || 39-14

This verse means that if lagna in all the six divisions is occupied or aspected by the same planet, it constitutes a raja yoga. Based on the fullness of the aspect, the strength of the yoga is to be decided.

One can argue that this is rasi drishti (which does not need houses), but the mention of full, half and quarter aspects makes it quite obvious that graha drishti based on houses is being referred to. In rasi drishti, there are no grades of aspects.

As a matter of fact, Sri Santhanam did not translate the verse any differently than I would. In fact, I see no scope to translate differently. Under his notes, Sri Santhanam wrote the following:

"Aspects are referred to in the divisional charts here. I am unable to fully conceive the logic in aspects in divisional charts for the sage himself referred to the longitudinal aspectual evaluations in an earlier chapter. Without commenting further on this controversial aspect I leave it at that, accepting my limitations to explain this fully."

While some people seem to be quite arrogant in vehemently and forcefully dismissing the use of houses in navamsa despite the long history of the practice by great scholars, one may notice that the great Santhanam was quite humble. He did not question the verse or try to misinterpret it or give alternate interpretations. He was a scholar. He clearly recognized what this verse meant and what it implied!!! He simply accepted his limitation to explain it further or make sense of its obvious implication.

That is why I respect Sri Santhanam so much. Even if I disagree with him in a few places based on careful study, it is nothing personal. As a person, I respect him immensely. He is a great role model to aspiring scholars.

Now, intelligent readers should note that Santhanam's "inability to explain this fully" does not mean that the verse is wrong or questionable. As Santhanam himself accepted, it was his "limitation" that he could not "explain this fully". Now, let me try to "explain this fully". (Note to Pradeep: I will NOT respond to any questions or comments from you.)

If Jupiter is at 2 deg in Pisces (i.e. in 0:00-3:20), he is exalted is Cancer in navamsa. Why is it called Cancer? We know that Aries, Taurus etc are divisions of the "physical" zodiac and Cancer is physically the region between 90 deg and 120 deg. Why didn't sages come up with new names for the navamsa divisions, drekkana divisions etc? Why are all those divisions mapped back to the same 12 signs? When we say that Jupiter in the above example is in Cancer in navamsa, do we mean that he is between 90 deg and 120 deg? Otherwise, why is it called "Cancer" for God's sake?

This is the crux of the issue. If one understands this clearly, there is no confusion and the above verse of Parasara makes perfect sense.

Jupiter in the above example is in Pisces physically. So he is at 2 deg in Pisces as far as Rasi chart or rasi space (i.e. physical space) is concerned. But navamsa is a different chart altogether. It is a different space altogether. It is not a physical space and is an abstract space (that is why only rasi chart shows the physical existence, while navamsa shows an abstract environment known as dharmik environment). A planet in 0:00-3:20 of Pisces in the phsycial space (rasi) is mapped in this abstract navamsa space to 0:00 to 30:00 of Cancer. In other words, a planet in 330:00-333:20 of the zodiac in the physical space is mapped in this abstract navamsa space to 90:00-120:00 of the zodiac. So Jupiter at 2 deg in Pisces in the physical space (rasi) is at 18 deg in Cancer in the navamsa space. (Side note: In fact, this is the very foundation of the casting of navamsa-dwadasamsa chart. Navamsa-dwadasamsa is not based on dividing rasis into 108 parts and linearly mapping them. Navamsa is the intermediate step. It is based on casting navamsa, treating it as rasi and finding its dwadasamsa. The sign occupied in navamsa-dwadasamsa by a planet at 2 deg in Pisces in rasi is the same as the sign occupied in dwadasamsa by a planet at 18 deg in Cancer in rasi!)

If you realize this, then the fact that "the sage himself referred to the longitudinal aspectual evaluations in an earlier chapter" is no longer a concern and does not become a limitation in "accepting this fully".

Some may tell you that Cancer in navamsa is not the same as Cancer in rasi. Don't kid yourself. Otherwise, it wouldn't be called "Cancer". They correspond to the same 30 degrees in the zodiac, albeit seen from two different spaces. Cancer in rasi chart corresponds to the same 30 degrees in the physical space, while Cancer in navamsa chart corresponds to a various smaller regions when seen thru the physical space. But once you enter the navamsa space thru one of those 3:20 regions in the physical space and see things thru the navamsa space, you are in the same old Cancer, i.e. 90-120 deg. If 90-120 deg is the second house from 60-90 deg in the zodiac in one space, it is so in another space too. Period.

If the planet is in 330:00-333:20 in the rasi chart, that is so in the physical rasi space. Once you are dealing with navamsa, don't think that it is still in 330:00-333:20. When viewed thru the navamsa space, it is NOT in that region. It is in 90:00-120:00 when viewed thru this space.

Those who do not understand and appreciate this simple concept will tell you not to take houses in navamsa (and other divisions). But they will not be able to explain the verse I quoted above. Either they will have to accept their limitation in explaining it, like Sri Santhanam did (there is nothing wrong with it), or give some misinterpretation, like Santhanam did not. On the other hand, if you get this simple concept into your system, there are no issues. The choice is yours.

There are many other references to houses in amsas by Parasara, but they are more ambiguous.

Despite my strong (and quite justified, in my view) views on taking houses in navamsa and other divisional charts, I do respect those who think otherwise. I sincerely hope that they too can respect my views and agree to disagree. If they do not try to force me to accept their views or throw around objectionable adjectives to describe my views, I will not force them to accept their views.

Understanding that houses in divisions are important is one thing and understanding how to use them and how to use houses in rasi chart and how to correlate the two is quite another thing. But that is not my focus for today.

May Jupiter's light shine on us,

Brihaspati Gayatri, Vishwamitra/Gaathina Rishi Rig Veda 6.62.6