One of the curious questions in Ramayana is whether astrology failed in the coronation for Rama.
On one fine day, King Dasharatha suddenly spoke about coronation for his son and said that it will be done the very next day itself!
The day he announced it was the day of Rama's janma nakshathra (punar vasu)!
Dasharatha proposed the coronation on the next day (Pushya).
He said that his astrologers said that Pushya was good for coronation.
This post deals with the issues on why that day backfired besides analyzing if it was a failed case of astrology.
Coronation was planned on the day after janma nakshathra of Sri rama which is regarded as 'Sampat tara' having good tara balam. The preliminary rituals (poorvanga) were started on the previous day (janma nakshathra).
The do's and don'ts to be done on the day of birth star are already detailed in this post:-
Starting the poorvanhga for that on the previous day does not attract any dosha or problem for coronation. The poorvanga must have been initiated at an auspicious hora. Hora balam is enough for starting the poorvanga in the absence of fulfilment of other criteria.
The decision for coronation was sudden. It was prompted by certain developments which Dasharatha had discussed with astrologers. In chapter 2-4-21 of Valmiki Ramayana, he does say that it was at the advice of astrologers that he had fixed the coronation on the next day in Pushya.
The causes for the sudden development can be traced to the importance given in those times to nimittha sastra, swapna sastra and the gochara position of planets.
These three are repeatedly seen in many places in Ramayana.
Prime importance was given to tara balam - the strength of the star counted from janma naskhathra. The 2nd, 4th, 6th , 8th and 9th tara (star) from one's janma namskahthra are favourable. This is to be counted in 3 rounds of 9 stars each starting from one's janma nakshathra. The 27the star (9th in last round) is not favoured. This concept of tara balam has a dominative role, in fixing muhurtha in Rama's times and in today's world too. The origins of this tara balam is traced to Atharvana Veda.
In many places in Ramayana we do come across decisions being taken on the basis of tara balam.
On hearing the news about Sita from Hanuman, Rama lost no time to start the journey to Lanka.
But the starting time must be astrologically good. He justified the start in the basis of tara balam only. 6th star from his birth star was running on that day. 6th star is 'saadhaka tara' (helpful star). Rama mentions this as a good time for starting the journey.
Based on Tara balam, Dasharatha opted for Pushya, the 2nd tara for Rama for coronation.
But his decision for coronation was sudden.
The real reason for going for coronation is explained by him in 2-4 of Ramayana wherein he tells about the bad dreams he had and the maraka combination in his horoscope. The impending end to his life (mruthyu) as indicated by the bad dream and the movement of malefic in his janma nakshathra made him take a sudden decision of coronation for Rama. He was warned about a danger to his life by his astrologers. He says this in chapter 2-4 of Valmiki Ramayana.
The immediate impetus was the bad dream he had. Nimitthas through dreams were seriously taken by people in those days. There are not less than 7 maharishis who had written in detail about the immediate danger as foretold by dreams. The bad dream that Dasaratha saw, made him fix the coronation by fulfilling minimum muhurtha criteria.
The impending danger to his life made him and his astrologers ignore quite a few important issues of muhurtha rules.
Foremost is the bad gochara of Jupiter in Rama's janma rasi at that time.
When Jupiter is traversing the janma rasi, one incurs severe troubles to the extent of an exile or an imprisonment.
'Janmatthil vana vaasam' - is the example from Ramayana which we remember as a rule of astrology even today.
Since Jupiter was in Rama's janma rasi at that time, Dasharatha and others would not have contemplated on coronating Rama in that year. That is why when Dasaratha expressed his desire for coronation, it was something unexpected. People were taken by surprise. But the prospect of Rama taking the reigns was too overwhelming that people hardly thought about the favourablenes of the time.
Another issue is the choice of the month.
The choice of Chaitra maasam also is an issue of debate in astrological circles.
Chithra masam (both solar and lunar) is not recommended for any auspicious event, that being the time when the sun moves through Bharani (lorded by Yama) and krittika (lorded by Agni).
Ancient writers of astrology discount Chithra on this basis. However they do add a note that since Rama was born in that month and his coronation was planned in that month, this month is acceptable for auspicious functions.
It must be noted that summer solstice (uttarayana) began in Chitra maasam in Rama's times. Muhurtha rules do not recommend auspicious function in the month after the start of uttarayana. (In the present times, the lunar month of Pushya which comes with uttarayana is considered as inauspicious for auspicious functions.) In this way too, Chaithra month was considered as inauspicious for coronation.
The month is not a favourable one - yet dasharatha opted for it.
The main planet, Jupiter was not favourable, though the Sun, an important planet for ruler ship was in exaltation in 10th house.
There is also a probability that Rama was in the last leg of saade saath, the 7 and a half year sojourn of sani!
At birth Saturn was in Libra.
At the time of proposed coronation, Rama was 25 years of age. There is a strong probability that Saturn was in cancer or Leo at that time.
From another angle we can say, the 4th house of Libra (for Rama) was also afflicted at that time.
Dasharatha says that his birth star was afflicted by the sun, Mars and Rahu at that time.
Counting rahu's position in Rama's horoscope for the 25 th year, we say that it was in Libra at the time of proposed coronation.
Dasharatha's birth star must either be in Libra or Aries, for he says about affliction by Sun also.
Either by conjunction or opposition, the sun must be affecting his birth star.
Rahu in gochara must be afflicting his star from Libra.
Rahu in Libra means Rama's domestic comforts were lost.
His mother was put into extreme duress.
Thus we find that the gochara of Jupiter, saturn and Rahu were not at all good for Rama at that time.
His dasa- antar dasa also was not favourable.
He must have been running mercury antar dasa in mercury maha dasa at that time.
Mercury as lord of 12th and 3rd was more inclined to send him on exile!
All these must have been known to Dasharatha and others.
That is the reason why there was hardly any talk of coronation for Rama for sometime then.
The 7 and a half sani itself would have deterred them from thinking of coronation for Rama since his 18th year.
The change of Maha dasa into Mercury could not have brought any cheer to them.
At birth, Guru dasa was there till a maximum time of his 4th year. Till 23 rd year sani dasa must have run. Saturn must be in retrogression in the natal horoscope of Rama, for, Saturn was between 5th and 9th house from the Sun. This means that though Saturn was exalted, he must have behaved like a debilitated planet! Such a Saturn aspecting the Karmasthan of 10th - for taking reigns of country - does not augur well for Rama to take up reigns of governance any time in Sani dasa, that is, till his 23rd year.
They had to wait for the Mercury maha dasa to come and then also for mercury and ketu antar dasa to pass. The only good time in sight was Venus antardasa in Mercury maha dasa. Due to the adverse dasa and gochara like this, Dasharatha and others had remained silent on coronation.
But when Dasharatha was cautioned about maraka to his own self, which was reinforced by dreams and other nimitthas, he and his band of astrologers must have decided to 'act' - in spite of all the astrological constraints.
They ignored the maasam (chaithra) and they were ready to ignore the gochara etc.
The only viable rule that can be adhered to was the power of the star (tara balam).
They stuck to it.
But the inter-mingling destiny of so many people is very powerful, that even before the Sampat tara (Pushya) could see the light of the sun the next morning, the janma tara struck the blow!
Even if we choose to say that it is the way the avatara had to function, nay.
God never trespasses the rules he has laid.
He plans His avatars in tune with the nature of times.
When something bad were to happen, the entire universe would conspire to make it happen.
Such conspiracy can be seen as nimitta or sakuna.
Whether one knows how to read the nimitthas and sakunas does not matter.
The Time will strike anyway as planned.
If such nimitthas are known or identified,
even then Time will strike.
In such cases, the knowledge of the nimitthas itself acts as a trigger to make things happen!
It happened so with Dasharatha and his astrologers!