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------ © Dr. Satya Prakash Choudhary Sometime back, immediately after a talk at an astrology meeting, a student who seemed to have been learning the subject for a few years came to me with a doubt, just to see if her method of fixing a muhurta needed any finishing touches. I looked into her notes and was shocked to say the least. She had done a mix of one 'system' and another 'paddhathi' on which she had a miserly sprinkling of few other jyotish principles! That was her way of fixing a muhurta. It betrayed her ignorance of the fundamentals of jyotish in its pure form. It is perhaps for reasons like this, that genuine lovers of traditional jyotish are allergic to such methodologies. No man's methodology, whatever its advantages, can replace or stand up to the ocean of Jyotish . A wave just cannot replace the ocean. While I had always been open to testing any methodology outside conventional jyotish, I was always aware that the authors of such paddhathis/systems claimed unreasonable things at times. I never took their criticism about traditional astrology seriously. But a beginner takes them too seriously and misses out on a large and substantial part of the learning process. Such rebel or non-traditional methodologies may perhaps be fine for discussion with a well-grounded astrologer. But it is a very good idea for a beginner to stick to traditional, so as to avoid the common pitfalls. The average learner tries various methods with partial knowledge, hops from one author to the other, manages to catch pieces of information from each place and person, and eventually tries to make sense of those fragments. The result? His knowledge of astrology is quite often a mass of ideas-undigested, unassimilated and unharmonised - running riot in his mind! The process of selecting an auspicious moment to start any activity, is quite complex and needs a very good knowledge of Jyotish. Perhaps it is here that a vedic astrologer's actual acid test is. A large proportion of the self-styled vedic astrologers are ignorant of even the basics of fixing a muhurta. If one wants to learn pure jyotish first without any corruptions by the many so called researches, paddhathis and systems, if one wants to see how much one knows or has understood jyotish truly, before attempting to practice jyotish, one should really try his or her hand at muhurta. Jataka and Prasna have both been through certain influences of other schools of thought over the years. But Muhurta is perhaps the only area which has maintained its vedic origins and form intact over the thousands of years. Moreover the original purpose for which the vedic seers used a knowledge of astronomy, the main purpose for which vedanga jyotisa was evolved, is to time the various rituals in tune with the cosmic influences, in order to go with the flow of the cosmic currents. Since a good muhurta will ensure optimum outcome for the desired activity, the principles behind muhurta, are largely useful in deciding the outcome of any moment, based on an analysis of the quality of the moment or quality of the time. Since a natal chart is also a moment in time, the same principles are actually at work in Jataka too. It is for this reason that I would urge every sincere student of jyotish to learn muhurta well and then decide how much he really knows jyotish. But many underestimate the value of Muhurta as a subject in their eagerness to start predicting. There are many books on this subject in the market. But no book addresses the subject FULLY and in a clear systematic and comprehensive manner. Generally in most books, the common topics are dealt with and then the steps in evaluating a muhurta are given. Since muhurta deals with hundreds of principles, one comes to cross-roads many times in fixing an auspicious moment. The most common questions that students ask are: Which component of the panchanga (pancha + anga = five limbs/components) is more important? What is the
The various components have a degree of preference/priority. the file came to four hundred pages. is already a part of his practice. especially the beginner. I am dividing the process into various steps for convenience and clarity. A list of these is given later at the end. one should check for the malefic combinations that prevail due to the combinations of various components of the Panchanga. I will expand upon various areas for the students. for which he is doing the job. irrespective of the specific activity and individual chart. I will outline the process in a very very skeletal manner in this post first. Since the subject is vast. tables etc and left gaps for explanations to be inserted later. This post may not teach you muhurta really. . Later as time permits. key words. side headings. I can expand them in later posts whenever possible. General for any purpose on any chart There are many doshas that an astrologer seeks to avoid in the muhurta chart. Malefic combinations are avoided while the presence of benefic combinations is preferred. After eliminating maximum number of doshas stated in the list. There are quantitative as well as qualitative methods that are part and parcel of electing an auspicious moment. 2. we get some days free from those effects. Other learned members may also expand on the topics if they wish to. I will simplify and outline the steps in fixing a muhurta now. But the student who has been around for a few years can check his knowledge and see how much of what is given below. In fact when I outlined the whole subject with headings. With those days in hand we move on from the preliminary analysis to the main step of fixing the muhurta now. STEPS IN FIXING A MUHURTA : PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS: 1.order of priority? Which one should be given preference? Is there a QUANTITATIVE way of justifying the choice of one muhurta over the other? And what of the quality? It is here that an astrologer's grasp of the subject comes across unmistakably. Specific to the individual chart • Chandra bala (natal moon check) • Tara bala (strength of star) After eliminating all malefic days in a particular period.
• Finding a suitable ascendant depending upon the activity. It is a process of choosing a good lunar day. Weekday = 8. This involves the following four steps: • Finding the days having the suitable combination of the five components (pancha + anga= five limbs/components). Constellation = 4 Yoga = 32. Karana = 16 Chandrabala = 100 . • Ensuring the Strength and Appropriateness of Dasa. Hereafter we will actually evaluate and consider certain days and ascendants for the muhurta.• MAIN ANALYSIS Till now we have only avoided or eliminated certain days etc. weekday. suit the activity for which the muhurta is desired. antardasa. prevailing on the days free from malefic effects. yoga and Karana. The marks allotted are as follows according to the 'Phalita Navaratna Samgraha': Lunar day = 1. The process of evaluating those energies is part of the initial evaluation. • Finding the days having the suitable combination of the five components: The first and the foremost requirement to fix a muhurta is the availability of the suitable five components. Depending upon the activity we first check whether the five components of panchanga. Constellation. and Significator of the activity • Finding the most auspicious moments within the ascendant chosen/ Amsha charts etc • Miscellaneous/Special considerations for various activities like marriage etc Now I will outline and enumerate these steps below.
These planets are. The five important planets that should be happy are: the lord of time (kaladhipa). • Vimshopaka evaluation .Tarabala = 60 Now we move to the second step. Fixing a suitable ascendant depending upon the activity. For that we have two main methods are quantitative (marks can be allotted).) Quantitative Evaluation of the Ascendant This is a process of checking the placement of planets with respect to that ascendant to make sure they add strength. Depending upon the nature of the activity.) Avoiding malefic combinations of the ascendent The five major malefic effects that we should try to avoid with respect to an ascendant are given below. like five bricks/panchestika that support a wall and make it strong. Jupiter. a. Moon and Sun. After fixing a particular ascendant we should make sure of its strength and check whether it is free from certain malefic effects. we check whether five important planets in the muhurta chart are well placed.12 • Sagraha Chandra (Conjunctions with Moon) b.8. 2. This process can further be divided into three stages. • Udayastha shuddhi (Ensuring Benefic Asc and 7 th houses) • Kartari (Malefics Scissoring) • Bhrigu Shatka (Venus in 6 th in fixed sign etc) • Moon in 6. ascendant lord. one should choose fixed. They are: • Panchestika evaluation In this step. in other words. dual or movable signs as ascendants.
This is different from the Vimshopaka bala of varga charts. Kshaya masa 6. and Significator of the activity After evaluating the ascendant in the above two ways we then check whether the signification house and the planet pertaining to the activity are happy. negative or neutral results depending upon its placement from the lagna. we use varga or divisional charts. if possible. Each planet is decided to give positive. 4. antardasa. Main points checked in this stage are: • Papa shadvarga • Pushkaramsa • Kunavamsa • Shodasa or Shadvargas (whichever is feasible) Now I will enumerate the most important doshas to be avoided in the preliminary analysis. Adhika masa 5. Eclipse 7. Solar ingress 4. Hatashana yoga . Preliminary Doshas and malefic considerations 1. as each activity needs a different kind of energy. Dagdha yoga 10. 3. Jupiter in Capricorn 3. Hope you remember that I skipped this enumeration there to do list them here. Combustion 1. This varies from activity to activity. For this. Samvartaka yoga 9. This is actually part of the preliminary analysis. which play an important role in the auspiciousness of a muhurta. Jupiter in Leo 2. the dasa and the antara dasa lords should also be well placed in the chart. Finding the most auspicious moments within the ascendant chosen/ Amsha charts etc After making sure that we have an auspicious lagna in hand we proceed to the other subtle factors. Kakracha yoga 8. Madhusarpisha yoga 11. Ensuring the Strength and Appropriateness of Dasa. This is more like rasi balam in that it allots points based on the positions of various planets in houses/rasis in the rasi chart.
Baana 39. Vajra yoga 18. Dhumra yoga 16. Dhwansha yoga 17. Dagdha tithis 45. Instead of doing that. Masa shoonya rashis 32. Dwipushkara yoga 37. I am including them in the postscript. I will end this post by reiterating that knowledge of muhurta is a must to be a complete astrologer. a reader raised a question on Yoga. Masa-shoonya tithis 30. Raksha yoga 28. Dagdha yoga 13. Musala yoga 25. Kaana yoga 24. Masa shoonya Nakshatras 31. Padma yoga 20. Galgraha tithis 44. Tithi shoonya Nakshatras 34. one may end up with a four hundred-page file. as also other variables like ayana. Gada yoga 26. Parva tithis 43. Panchaka 38. we could expand upon selected topics as required. expanding the above outlined steps. Kaal danda yoga 15. Chidra tithis As already stated earlier. Maatanga yoga 27. Yamghantha yoga 14. Tithi shoonya lagna 35. points and considerations. Gandantas 29. Mrityu yoga 23. Tithi shoonya rashis 33. Utpaata yoga 22.12. In my next article I will introduce the five limbs/components of the panchanga/calendar. etc for the benefit of a beginner. masa. Learned members on this list could also take up various topics. Vidal yoga 41. Since both the question and the answer are quite useful to a student and practitioner. Adal yoga 40. Tripushkara yoga 36. Lumba yoga 21. Mudgara yoga 19. A thorough understanding of the principles of Muhurta can actually help an astrologer appreciate the principles of traditional predictive astrology (Jataka) better and thereby make a better astrologer. Postscript: After I posted this article on a discussion forum. I will reproduce the content of the letter without the other details. It is an interesting question raised in good spirit. . Afflicted constellations 42.
"Dear . we find that the yoga is hardly ever given any consideration. But in your post. the varam. the Vaara eight-fold and the karana sixteen fold. You raised a very interesting question by quoting the Hindi article. After discussing the basics in the first three chapters. Verse 21. as I am in a hurry since it is Monday morning. the karana. knowledge of nakshatra causes the destruction of sins. the yoga. In fact the chapters are even referred to as: 4th chapter: 'Tithi'lakshanadhaya . Thus Panchangam (the five angas or limbs) bestows five kinds of blessings"." We find here that the Yoga is not given any weight age. the tithi ranks one-fold. knowledge of yoga gives immunity from disease. Also in books on Muhurata. of every day becomes free from all sins. The Kalaprakasika clearly says. "In the matter of their potency for bestowing benefits for rituals performed during their currency. the nakshatra. knowledge of varam provides long life. There is however a small clarification that I require: According to Atharvana Jyotisha. Now read the contents of my reply to the above. I will answer your question as briefly as possible. every standard text discusses Yoga as an important limb of the Panchanga. the yoga is given the maximum weight age of 32 points. May I know the rationale behind this? A couple of years ago there was a very good article in the Martand Panchanga ( a very popular Panchanga in North India ). as well as those of the Gurus will be enlightening". Your views. knowledge of karana leads to success in all endeavors. Why then do we call it 'PANCHA'nga if we are to use only four limbs? As opposed to what you say. Take the Narada Samhita now. Chapter 7. entitled " Kya Panchang Vaastav mein Panchanga hai ?" Here too. Knowledge of tithi brings prosperity. the author questioned the relevance of the yoga as it was hardly ever used in the practice of selecting a good Muhurata. " He who makes a study of the Panchangam-the tithi. Kalaprakasika? Narada Samhita? Phalita Navaratna Samgraha? Muhurta Chintamani? Muhurta Ganapati? All these texts discuss Yoga as an integral part of Muhurta."Thank you very much for your post on the above-mentioned subject. the nakshatra four-fold. the next five chapters are devoted to the five limbs respectively.
but the Nakshatra is a Vipat. specifically refers to Vyatipata and Vaidhriti yogas as MAHA doshas to be avoided. as in Atharvana Jyotisa. the moment Shastyamsa is considered. is the best proof that I can give you. Karana is very important. more weightage is given to them. The rasi which gets maximum weightage in Shadvarga scheme. And now to your doubt as to the rationale of assigning 32 points to Yoga and the verse from Atharvana Jyotisa that you quoted. apart from Kalaprakasika's assurance of the five kinds of blessings arising from a study of the five limbs. The points as allotted in my post is nothing but a verbatim application of what is given in the 'Phalita Navaratna Samgraha'. Nakshatra and Karana are still the same in my post. as done by Narada Samhita. This is the rationale behind texts like 'Phalitanavaratna Samgraha'. If you observe closely. Karana may get more marks. At the same time they do not contradict Atharvana Jyotisa or any other text. depending on whether you are using Shadvargas or Dasavargas or Shodasavargas. the number of points allotted to Tithi. What is the use if the tithi. the treatment of the five limbs in five seperate chapters named after the very limb (anga). Tarabala and Chandrabala are also considered. Even a text like Poorvakalamrtam which hardly deals with Karana. Most texts (such as Muhurta Chintamani. And there is no contradiction between the two texts. Take Vimpsopaka strengths for instance.5th chapter: 'Vara'lakshanadhyaya 6th chapter: 'Nakshatra'phaladhyaya 7th chapter: 'Yoga'adhyaya 8th chapter: 'Karana'dhyaya It is true that some texts discuss Yoga in just a few verses as compared to Nakshatra or Tithi. while the remaining texts (such as Muhurta Sindhu. as in Shodasavargas. vara and Nakshatra are generally good. But when an individual chart is considered. But Karana generally gets even less space compared to Yoga. occupies second place. Space is not a criteria anyway. Additionally Yoga. TARABALA becomes the most important. Vara. I could list the many references to Yoga in the standard texts. Pratyak or Naidhana tara with **reference to one's janma nakshatra? The weightage given to various factors keeps changing with the level of information and precision available. Yoga etc. In a general sense. Likewise when Yoga. as it may appear in the first look. But since your question pertains to yoga as an **integral limb of the Panchanga. Kalaprakasika etc)include the nine malefic naisargika yogas in the list of 21 evils or doshas to be avoided. . Poorva Kalamrtam etc) deal with the two most malefic Yogas. not my opinion. The points allotted to various vargas varies in each scheme. In a general treatment of the limbs with no reference to a *SPECIFIC chart. Chandra balam and Tarabalam are also dealt with. But TARABALA is more important in an INDIVIDUAL chart.
But an astrologer may choose a Tuesday for a Kroora and Ugra activity . since the texts state elsewhere that tuesdays may be considered for *some activities. since Tuesday has an Ugra-Krura (Aggressive-Cruel) quality to it. acts involving killing of birds/animals etc (not that I approve such activities!). Just as sickness can reduce or at times mar one's chances of succeeding. it can mar the effects. That is why in Kalaprakasika. since it can spoil the effects of an otherwise carefully chosen muhurta. as the standard texts unambigiously declare Yoga not only as an integral limb of the Panchangam. So quoting one verse and trying to justify a view that no standard text on muhurta supports is highly misleading. As for the original question of whether Yoga is to be used as an integral part of the Panchanga. But when a person does not know his birth details.Moreover. Thus a malefic Yoga can mar the effects of a nakshatra. the result will be satisfactory". the Nakshatra emerges as the most important. probably in a symbolic way. So Yoga gets prominence. As the Kalaprakasika states. But this doesnt contradict the general verses that state that tuesdays are inauspicious. but also as a very important consideration. or much about the other limbs of the panchanga. if the yoga is malefic. So whether they have their charts or not. knowledge of Yoga is said to give immunity from disease. as it was meant to be. Any of the nine malefic nitya yogas can spoil the muhurta. cultivation of land. Any attempt to distort this fact cannot be justified. among all the five limbs. "The YOGA of the Nakshatra of the day chosen for the activity should be beneficial. after a close study of the chart and the Panchanga. Mahadoshas like Vaidhriti or Vyatipata can mar a muhurta. it has been used and SHOULD be used as an important limb of the Panchanga. . by vitue of **TARA BALA. not Tithi. then Vara or Weekday is considered. even if one chooses a suitable nakshatra for an activity (not considering tarabala for a moment). or Vara or Karana or Yoga. if so. even illiterate villagers avoid Tuesdays and Saturdays generally for any activity. So Tuesdays are considered for activities like 'roga mukta snana' (taking bath after recovering from illness). Thus in *FULLFLEDGED work in fixing a muhurta.
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