Vedic Astrological calculations was first published about 3 decades ago. The book deals with calculations of Time, Ayanamsha, Nirayana Longitudes of Grahas and Bhavas, quite in detail. The important subject of Vargas (Divisional Charts), Relationships and Aspects have been discussed at length. The difficult subject of Planetary Strength i.e. Balas of Grahas and Bhavas has been explained in a systematic and simple way. The book also deals with Nakshatra Dasha, Transit and Ayurdhaya. The book is a complete collection of all the mathematical details of Astrological Calculations.
S. K. Duggal, B. Text., M.A., LL.B., Jyotish Visharada, Jyotish Kovid, Jyotish Shiromani, Jyotish Vachaspati, Jyotish Bhushan, Jyotish Bhanoo, Chikitsa Jyotish Nishnata, has been awarded the degree of “Doctor of Astrological Sciences” by Antarashtriya Jyotisha- Adhyatma Vignana Vishva Vidyapeetha, Matara (Sri Lanka). He is the Chairman, Indian Council of Astrological Sciences (ICAS) - Chandigarh Chapter. He has already written books on Planetary Strengths (Shadbala), Dictionary of Astrology, Interpretation of Planetary Transit, Revelations of Medical Astrology, and Astrology Concepts Explained. He has about 40 year’s professional practical experience. The Publishers evinced confidence in him and entrusted the task of updating the book to him.
We had long back persuaded to investigate the truth of Dhruva Nadi. We have read over one hundred horoscopes of persons with their lives more or less familiar. At the very outset we were surprised to find that the judgments of one and all of the numerous horoscopes taken up were remarkably true pictures of the lives of the various individuals. The nature of the birthplace of the individual, his religion, occupation, caste, the order of his birth, the number of his brothers and sisters and all the main features of his character were correctly delineated in the opening stanzas. In a very large number of cases certain incidents were mentioned which the individual himself had to recollect and admit. In a considerable number of cases out-of –the way incidents which were all the same true, were found chronicled. We felt that it was worth one’s while, if not the duty of everyone who came in contact with the portraits in the book, and who had any quest for truth, to further investigate the subject. As next best, we took to the study of Vedic Astrology, only to learn that a preliminary study of Vedic Astronomy was necessary. We found that there were several systems of it in vogue which may be grouped in the main into two classes, (i) the Vakya system and (ii) the Siddhanta system. The books on the siddhanta system, while differing in minor details from each other, yielded better and more precise results than those on the Vakya system. But even the calculations according to the Siddhanta systems failed to yield results that would tally with the precise results obtainable according to Modern Astronomy. Though we admired, and do still admire the capacity of Hindu Astronomers, who were able to measure angular distances between celestial bodies to within about one degree of arc, who discovered many celestial phenomena and their periodicity, all with the help of very simple instruments such as planks, styles and rods, yet the love for precision led us to adopt data given in Modern Astronomy, while adhering to the principles of Vedic Astronomy as was being done by some modern calculators of Hindu almanacs. To obtain the Vedic Nirayana Longitudes from data found in modern ephemerides, one has to deduct from the data the Ayanamas at the time. But unfortunately, what the ayanamsa at a particular epoch is, has not been settled. We venture to state that we believe we have arrived at a satisfactory solution of the problem in Lesson III. Our Ayanamsa, it may be observed is less by about 3º37’ than that adopted by modern calculators of Hindu almanacs, who seem to us to have pitched upon an Ayanamsa which yielded results approximately near the Vakya and the Siddhanta results. We have reasons to believe that the almanac calculators are afraid to shock orthodox opinion by adopting an ayanamsa, however correct it may be, yielding results considerably different from the Vakya and the Siddhanta systems. Buy some almanacs in vogue in West India and in Bengal appear to use an ayanamsa very near the one adopted by us. Because there is an excess error of about 3º37’ in the ayanamsa adopted by the calculators of Hindu almanacs of S. India, therefore the solar dates found in the almanacs of S. India are four dates behind, the Nakshatra Padas of the Sun, Moon and the planets are ane pada behind. As such, we hold that the solar dates, the ending moments of Nakshatras and of Yogas, the Nakshatra-padas of grahas and the Amritadi Yogas, given in Hindu almanacs are incorrect. Since in the cases of individuals at whose birth Moon was in the fourth pada of a nakshatra according to the current almanacs, the nakshatra of Moon was really next to the one given in almanacs; so in a considerable number of cases, the Janma Dasa would be the one subsequent to what is commonly held to be the Janma Dasa. We calculated the moments when the different Dasas according to our ayanamsa began in the lives of a number of individuals, and found that they were at momentous epochs in the lives of the individuals. We would like to hear about this test from as many readers of our book as may be possible.
Not only were the results obtained by calculation according to Vedic Astronomy found to differ from those obtained according to Modern Astronomy, but also the principle of measurement of a few arcs according to Vedic Astronomy was found to be not in accord with what obtains in Modern Astronomy. For example, the measurements of Vedic geocentric celestial longitude and latitude are very slightly different. That of Kranti or what may be termed mean declination, considerably different. We have modernised all such calculations by adopting the methods and data obtainable from Modern Astronomy and ephemerides, and by obtaining the Vedic nirayana position by deducting the ayanamsa from modern data. In determining Moon’s position at a birth it is the practice to take the Adyanta nadis (total duration) of the Janma Nakshtra, and to find the pada by proportion. The method is bound to land one in error, since Moon never moves at a uniform rate. So the nakshatra-pada should be found from Moon’s actual longitude at birth, but not by proportion from the duration of the nakshatra. We have enabled our reader to steer clear of this error by requiring him to derive his data straight from modern ephemerides, setting aside Hindu Almanacs.
Though it is distinctly laid down in classical works on Vedic Astrology that horoscopes should be judged according to Bhava Chakras, yet no book on Vedic Astronomy or Astrology describes the method to find the cusps of houses or bhavas. The method adopted to find the lagna or the ascendant is to add together the time taken by the rest of the zodiacal sign in which the Sun is at birth, and the time taken by the zodiacal signs next above the eastern horizon, till the apparent moment of birth is reached. The degree and minute of the sign thus found to be on the horizon at birth is take, as the Udaya Lagna or Ascendant, its opposite as the Ashtama Lagna or Descendant, and the mid-point between them as the Medhya Lagna or the upper meridian and the point opposite to the last as the Patala Lagna or the lower meridian. These quadrants are finally trisected to obtain the first points of the twelve houses or bhavas. In one word, each house is made to meansure equally 30 ecliptic degrees from the lagna. This is erroneous. To add to the error, ignorant astrologers adopt the same Rasimana (the duration of time taken by each zodiacal sign to rise in the east) alike for all places of birth. For example, the Rasimana in common use in the Tamil Nadu is usually the one framed for Trivandram ; that in common use in the Telugu Desham is usually the one framed for Rajahmandry. But the fact is, each place has its own Rasimana differing from those of all others. So the lagna calculated for a place based on the Rasimana of another place is bound be erroneous. We have adopted and expounded clearly the method for finding according to Modern Astrology, the cusps of the twelve houses in regard to any particular place. We have also prepared a table of houses known as the “Century Table of Houses” giving the sayana longitudes of the bhava madhyas correct to one-tenth of a minute of arc, for every sidereal minute of birth, and for every degree of geocentric terrestrial latitude from 0 to 60, North and South. As usual, the ayanamsa should be deducted from the sayana longitudes to obtain the nirayana longitudes of the cusps of the house.
We also find that according to Vedic Astronomy the duration of the astrological year is 360 days, that of the astrological month 30 days, while books on Vedic Astrology are silent upon this point . Naturally, astrologers err in adopting the durations of years in vogue at their time. Also the are of Retrogression found according to Vedic Astronomy is anything but satisfactory. In short, in all cases we adopted the modern data and methods but retained the Vedic rationale with religious scruple.
In brief, Vedic Astrological calculations stand vitiated for the following reasons among others –(i) The deviation of Vedic Astronomy from Modern Astronomy, (ii) the excess error of about 3º37’ in the ayanamsa now adopted , (iii) the difference in the principle of measuring the different coordinates, (iv) the method of finding the nakshatra-pada by proportion from the duration of the Janma Nakshatra, (v) the empirical and the even division of the zodiac to obtain the cuspe of the twelve houses. (vi) the practice of finding the lagna by using Rasimanas pertaining to places other than the birth-place (vii) the erroneous adoption of the duration of the year and the month, in vogue at a time for the astrological year and month, to find the Abda and the Masa balas, and to calculate the Dasa, the Bhukti, and the Antardasa periods, (viii)the failure to take the correct Vedic declination to find the Ayanabala, and (ix) the highly incorrect arc of Retrogression obtained according to Vedic Astronomy, to find the Cheshta-data.
Now coming to Vedic Astrology, we found that the astrological calculations given in books were very elementary and of no scientific value, till we chanced to light upon ‘Sripati’. We found, while ‘Sripati’ contained precise methods for the calculations of Graha and Bhava Balas, (i) that is method to determine the cuspe of houses, described above, was erroneous, (ii) that the different systems for calculating arithmetically the Avurdhaya or the duration of life of individuals were arbitrary; (iii) that Ayurdhayas and judgements based upon the Ashtaka Varga system were not borne out by experience, and (iv) that on many points of calculations, the author had freely drawn on his imagination. Even in regard to the graham balas and bhava balas, we have discarded whatever was odious to our scientific sense. Coming to aspects, we found (v) that it was an error to hold that Saturn or Sani has a Visesha Drishti when the aspected body is in the third house from Sani, while it should be so when the aspected body is in the second house.
There are certain points of essential difference between Vedic Astrology and modern Astrology, in every one of which the balance is unquestionably in favour of Vedic Astrology. (i) Vedic books require us to take the Nirayana longitudes in Astrological calculations, but the Sayana ones in Astronomical calculations. It is but right to be so enjoined, for if a planet is to be assigned any value it should be made to rest on its position reckoned from a fixed point but not from an every-changing first point. So balas of grahas should be determined from their nirayana longitudes, (ii) According to Vedic Astrology, the most powerful point in a house or bhava is located at its centre, thus causing the influence of the house to rise gradually from its beginning, to culminate at its middle and to vanish at its end ; and so the influence of one house is made to gradually merge into that of another. But in Modern Astrology the most powerful point is located at the very beginning of the house, and the least powerful at the end, thus causing its influence to rise abruptly from the point where the influence of the previous house has vanished. (iii) Directions are not recognised in Vedic Astrology, but Transits are recognised and adopted at Gocharam. In fact, the wonderful judgments found in Dhruva Nadi, are evidently based on Gocharam, probably according to Satyacharya.
In fine, we applied to every astronomical calculation modern scientific test, and to every astrological principle the test of experience. This book presents, Vedic Astrology in a rationalised and systematic form based on modern data and freed from all astronomical and astrological blunders.
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