## Thursday, January 27, 2011

### On Yuga-Classification and what causes Yugas

On yugas, in several places in Mahabharata it is said that Yuga is formed by the King / by the dharma.
The yuga classification of Surya Siddhantha is astronomy.
But in human life, dharma and danda neeti determine the Yugas.

Proof from Mahabharata:-

• (Shanti parva -140)
'O bull of Bharata's race, that Krita, Treta, Dwapara, and Kali, as regards their setting in, are all dependent on the king's conduct.'

• (Shanti parva – 68)
'Whether it is the king that makes the age, or, it is the age that makes the king, is a question about which thou shouldst not entertain any doubt. The truth is that the king makes the age.
The king is the creator of the Krita age, of the Treta, and of the Dwapara. The king is the cause of the fourth age called Kali. '

• Krishna to karna (Udyoga parva 142)

'when thou wilt hear the twang of Gandiva piercing the welkin like the very thunder, then all signs of the Krita, the Treta, and the Dwapara ages will disappear but, instead, Kali embodied will be present.'

• Kunti (Udhyoga parva -132)

'When the king properly abides by the penal code, without making any portion of it a dead letter, then that best of periods called the Krita Yuga sets in. Let not this doubt be thine, viz, whether the era is the cause of the king, or the king the cause of the era, for know this to be certain that the king is the cause of the era. It is the king that creates the Krita, the Treta, or the Dwapara age. Indeed, it is the king that is the cause of also the fourth Yuga viz, the Kali'

• Markandeya (vana parva – 187) Yuga calculation very well detailed

• Vana parva 148 – Hanuman also gives a good explanation on yuga

****************

I rely on Markandeya's version.

According to him the years of yugas are

400 + 4000 + 400 = 4,800
300 + 3000 + 300 = 3,600
200 + 2000 + 200 = 2,400
100 + 1000 + 100 = 1,200
= 12,000
Add 10-% sandhi for this before and after
1,200 + 1,200 = 2,400
Total = 12,000 +   2,400 = 14,400 years.

The ascending and descending of this = 14,400 + 14,400 = 28,800 years

15 times of this 28,800 = kali maha yuga duration at cosmic level (4,32,000 )

150 times this 28,800 = 1 chathur maha yuga

150,000 times this 28,800 = 1 kalpa.

On the other side, let us see the split up of 28,800 years = precession of the sun around the zodiac.

60 years is the basic unit.
This is equal to the years in one conjunction of the planets of dharma (Jupiter) and karma (saturn)
Jupiter's 1 revolution = 12 years

Saturn's 1 revolution = 30 years.

They conjunct in the same place in the same sign once in 60 years. So this is the basic life of dharma - karma of a man.

The ascending and descending part = 60 +60 = 120 years.
120 times 120 = 14,400
14,400 + 14,400 = 28, 800

Now  connect this with what I wrote above.

Previous posts:-

From

## Monday, January 24, 2011

### Are we going to have a second Sun?

After the story of shifting Zodiac, we now have a new story from scientists that the earth is going to see a second sun! I have all respect for the scientists and I don’t mean to disregard them or ridicule them. In fact I subscribe to many science magazines and keenly read latest developments. But this particular information that has hit the headlines comes with a prediction – which if made by an astrologer would have invited severe censure. It gives a time period for the sighting of the second sun varying from as close as a year to millions of years!!

The celestial body under scrutiny for becoming a second sun is an astrologically important one which also happens to be an important entity in Vedic parlance thereby giving us a clear-cut idea of what possibly could happen to it and when.
This entity is none other than the celebrated God of the Trinity – Rudra!
Known as Thiruvadhirai or Arudra, this star in the constellation of Orion is a red giant nearing its end days.
But when the end will come is a matter of speculation to the scientific community. Usually they used to say that it would happen in the next few millions of years.
Now perhaps hyped by the Mayan date, they have started thinking of its end as early as 2012 itself!!

If this star explodes as a super nova, it will look bright and seen in the day time too. At night the brightness it emanates will be equal to that of Moon.

Will this happen in the near future?
Or will such a star, regarded as an important deity (remember Arudhra darshanam in the month of margazhi) come to an end?

Whether Arudra’s life will end or not is not a question in our dharma.
But if a second sun is seen in the sky, the world will come to an end – according to sakuna sastra.
At least a worst catastrophe will occur on earth wiping most of its inhabitants.
An explosion making it look like a sun will scorch the earth or affect the earth in worst ways.

The world will anyway come to an end when Rudra stirs up according to the principles of the respective duties of the Trinities.
But if we search for the answer for whether such an end will come now, it is not so. Vedic knowledge has answers for when the world for living beings came into existence and when it will die out.
The four faced Brahma did not start his work without a pre-plan.
The time and space determinants of how long this creation will go on have been stipulated.

As such we are at present in the day- kalpa of Brahma when life is brimming on the earth. The total duration of this period is 4,32,00,00,000 years.
Of this, nearly half the period is over now as we are in the 28th chathur yuga in the 7th manvantra.
By this year we have covered 196, 08,53,111 years so far.
Until we cover the rest of the period of the kalpa, no great danger will come to earth.
But human life might end much before that.

In this backdrop Arudra stands for destruction.
As long as Arudra keeps going, creative inputs will be there.
For instance Arudra stands for rains.
The day the sun enters the star Arudra is noted in astrology and predictions are made for the ensuing rainy season.
This is recorded in our almanacs as Arudra- pravesam.
So as long as Vedic dharma exists in some way and as long as some follower of Sanathana dhrama lives, Arudra will not disappear.
Its end can happen only when there is complete anarchy and Vedic dharma is completely forgotten – like how they used to say that Vedas were stolen by asuras and hidden somewhere.
So I don’t foresee the end of Arudra in the near future.

Rohini, Mrigashira and Arudra stand for the Trinity in that order.
In this figure of Orion, the pink arrow mark shows Arudra (Betelgeuse).

The green arrow shows Mrigashira.
It is in the direction of Mrigashira, our galaxy and Universe is progressing.
At present this constellation of Orion can be seen rising in the east after sun set.

Arudra stands at one end of our galaxy. In the visible sky, on the other side is the other olden star, Jyeshta. It is as though these oldies are keeping a watch on us.

In this picture, the green arrow on top points to the location of Arudra. The green arrow at the bottom points to the location of Jyeshta.

The further progression of the Universe will be in the direction of Mrigashira.
But then, for the duration of another Kalpa there will not be any creation of life.
The Universe will anyway keep moving.
By the time the day-kalpa of Brahma begins, life will be manifest at that time in that part of the Sky where the Universe has progressed.
To give the precise date according to Vedic knowledge, the next sighting of life can be seen in the direction of Mrigashira at a distance of 6,28,08,53,111 years ahead.

-         jayasree

*******

From

COSMIC PHENOMENON
Earth likely to get second Sun soon
London,

The Earth could soon have a second Sun when one of the brightest stars in the night sky explodes into a supernova. The cosmic phenomenon, which may happen as soon as this year and remain for at least a week or two, is expected to be the most stunning light show in the planet's history.

According to astronomers, the Earth will undoubtedly have a front row seat when the dying red super-giant star, called Betelgeuse, finally blows itself into oblivion. The explosion will be so bright that even though the star in the Orion constellation is 640 light years away, it will still turn night into day and appear like there are two suns in the sky for a few weeks, the Daily Mail reported.

The only real debate is over exactly when it will happen. In stellar terms, Betelgeuse is predicted to crash and burn in the very near future.

Brad Carter, of the University of Southern Queensland in Australia, claimed that the galactic blast could happen before 2012 -or any time over the next million years.
"This old star is running out of fuel in its centre," Dr Carter was quoted as saying. -PTI

## Sunday, January 23, 2011

### SC condemns religious (Christian) conversion.

A landmark observation has been made by the judges of the Supreme Court in the Staines murder case. The judges have said that religious conversion is grossly unconstitutional. The cause of the murder of Mr Staines, the Christian Missionary was his conversion activity. The court has heavily come down on conversion activities and denounced it in a secular nation like ours. Unfortunately no new channel, no news paper (as far as I know) publicized this view of the judges. It is a shame on the 5th estate to have behaved like this. But for the vigilance of independent writers, we would not have come to know of this. One such report can be read in the following website.

http://www.haindavakeralam.com/HKPage.aspx?PageID=13131&SKIN=C

Some excerpts from the SC observation on conversion:-

·        "We hope Mahatma Gandhi's vision of religion playing a positive role in bringing religions and communities together into an integrated prosperous nation will be realised. There is no justification for interfering in someone's belief through force, conversion or false premise that one religion is better than the other."

·        "It is undisputed that there is no justification for interfering in someone's belief by way of 'use of force', provocation, conversion, incitement, or upon a flawed premise that one religion is better than the other."

The Congress government which is covertly and overtly allowing the flow of funds for conversion activities must take up a lesson on what Mahatma Gandhi said on conversion.

Here is compilation of Gandhian opposition to conversion done by Swami Aksharananda, produced by Vidya Bharati, New York and posted by Stephan Knapp.

http://www.stephen-knapp.com/mahatma_gandhi_on_conversion1.htm

I Call Myself a Sanatani Hindu

I call myself a Sanatani Hindu, because I believe in the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Puranas, and all that goes by the name of Hindu scripture, and therefore in avataras and rebirth; I believe in the varnashrama dharma in a sense, in my opinion strictly Vedic but not in its presently popular and distorted crude sense; I believe in the protection of cow. I do not disbelieve in murti puja. (Young India: June 10, 1921)

Why I am Not a Convert

Hinduism as I know it entirely satisfies my soul, fills my whole being. When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and when I see not one ray of light on the horizon, I turn to the Bhagavad Gita, and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. My life has been full of tragedies and if they have not left any visible and indelible effect on me, I owe it to the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. (Young India: June 8, 1925)

I Disbelieve in Conversion

I disbelieve in the conversion of one person by another. My effort should never to be to undermine another's faith. This implies belief in the truth of all religions and, therefore, respect for them. It implies true humility. (Young India: April 23, 1931)

Conversion: Impediment to Peace

It is impossible for me to reconcile myself to the idea of conversion after the style that goes on in India and elsewhere today. It is an error which is perhaps the greatest impediment to the world's progress toward peace. Why should a Christian want to convert a Hindu to Christianity? Why should he not be satisfied if the Hindu is a good or godly man? (Harijan: January 30, 1937)

No Such Thing as Conversion

I believe that there is no such thing as conversion from one faith to another in the accepted sense of the word. It is a highly personal matter for the individual and his God. I may not have any design upon my neighbour as to his faith which I must honour even as I honour my own. Having reverently studied the scriptures of the world I could no more think of asking a Christian or a Musalman, or a Parsi or a Jew to change his faith than I would think of changing my own. (Harijan: September 9, 1935)

No Conversion Designs Upon Me

I am not interested in weaning you from Christianity and making you Hindu, and I do not relish your designs upon me, if you had any, to convert me to Christianity. I would also dispute your claim that Christianity is the only true religion. (Harijan: June 3, 1937)

Conversion

Conversion must not mean denationalization. Conversion should mean a definite giving up of the evil of the old, adoption of all the good of the new and a scrupulous avoidance of everything evil in the new. Conversion, therefore, should mean a life of greater dedication to one's country, greater surrender to God, greater self-purification. (Young India: August 20, 1925)

Aping of Europeans and Americans

As I wander about through the length and breath of India I see many Christian Indians almost ashamed of their birth, certainly of their ancestral religion, and of their ancestral dress. The aping of Europeans by Anglo-Indians is bad enough, but the aping of them by Indian converts is a violence done to their country and, shall I say, even to their new religion. (Young India: August 8, 1925)

Why Should I Change My Religion

I hold that proselytisation under the cloak of humanitarian work is unhealthy to say the least. It is most resented by people here. Religion after all is a deeply personal thing. It touches the heart.

Why should I change my religion because the doctor who professes Christianity as his religion has cured me of some disease, or why should the doctor expect me to change whilst I am under his influence? (Young India: April 23, 1931)

Missionary Aim: Uprooting Hinduism

My fear is that though Christian friends nowadays do not say or admit it that Hindu religion is untrue, they must harbour in their breast that Hinduism is an error and that Christianity, as they believe it, is the only true religion. So far as one can understand the present (Christian) effort, it is to uproot Hinduism from her very foundation and replace it by another faith. (Harijan: March 13,1937)

Undermining People's Faith

The first distinction I would like to make between your missionary work and mine is that while I am strengthening the faith of people, you (missionaries) are undermining it. (Young India: November 8, 1927)

Physician Heal Yourself

Conversion nowadays has become a matter of business, like any other. India (Hindus) is in no need of conversion of this kind. Conversion in the sense of self-purification, self-realization is the crying need of the times. That however is never what is meant by proselytization. To those who would convert India (Hindus), might it not be said, "Physician, heal yourself." (Young India: April 23, 1931)

Missionaries: Vendors of Goods

When the missionary of another religion goes to them, he goes like a vendor of goods. He has no special spiritual merit that will distinguish him from those to whom he goes. He does however possess material goods which he promises to those who will come to his fold. (Harijan: April 3, 1937)

If I had the Power and Could Legislate.

If I had the power and could legislate, I should stop all proselytizing. In Hindu households the advent of a missionary has meant the disruption of the family coming in the wake of change of dress, manners, language, food and drink . (November 5, 1935)

The Only Begotten Son of God?

I regard Jesus as a great teacher of humanity, but I do not regard him as the only begotten son of God. That epithet in its material interpretation is quite unacceptable. Metaphorically we are all sons of God, but for each of us there may be different sons of God in a special sense. Thus for me Chaitanya may be the only begotten son of God. God cannot be the exclusive Father and I cannot ascribe exclusive divinity to Jesus. (Harijan: June 3, 1937)

Western Christianity Today

It is my firm opinion that Europe (and the United States) does not represent the spirit of God or Christianity but the spirit of Satan. And Satan's successes are the greatest when appears with the name of God on his lips. (Young India: September 8, 1920)

I consider western Christianity in its practical working a negation of Christ's Christianity. I cannot conceive Jesus, if he was living in flesh in our midst, approving of modern Christian organizations, public worship, or ministry. (Young India: September 22, 1921)

Christianity and Imperialistic Exploitation

Christianity in India has been inextricably mixed up for the last one hundred and fifty years with British rule. It appears to us as synonymous with materialistic civilization and imperialistic exploitation by the stronger white races of the weaker races of the world. Its contribution to India has been, therefore, largely negative. (Young India: March 21, 1929)

No Room For Them

In the manner in which they are working there would seem to be no room for them. Quite unconsciously they do harm to themselves and also to us. It is perhaps impertinent to say that they do harm to themselves, but quite pertinent to say that they do harm to us. They do harm to those amongst whom they work and those amongst whom they do not work, i.e., the harm is done to the whole of India. The more I study their activities the more sorry I become. It is a tragedy that such a thing should happen to the human family. (Harijan: December 12, 1936)

Outrage!

Only the other day a missionary descended on a famine area with money in his pocket, distributed it among the famine stricken, converted them to his fold, took charge of their temple, and demolished it. This is outrageous. (Harijan: November 5, 1937)

Let the Hindu be a Better Hindu

I came to the conclusion long ago that all religions were true and also that all had some error in them, and whilst I hold by my own, I should hold others as dear as Hinduism. So we can only pray, if we are Hindus, not that a Christian should become a Hindu. But our innermost prayer should be a Hindu should be a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian. (Young India: January 19, 1928)

Welcome Them Back

If a person through fear, compulsion, starvation, or for material gain or consideration goes over to another faith, it is a misnomer to call it conversion. Most cases of conversion have been to my mind a false coin. I would therefore unhesitatingly re-admit to the Hindu fold all such repentants without much ado. If a man comes back to the original branch, he deserves to be welcomed in so far as he may deem to have erred, he has sufficiently purged himself of it when he repents his error and retraces his steps. (Collected Works: Vol. 66, pp. 163-164)

NOTE: As a Hindu courtesy, please acknowledge Swami Aksharanandaji who compiled this information and Vidya Bharati, New York who produced it. Please circulate as widely as possible.

### Does Sanathana dharma prohibit me from commenting on politics?

The aim of this blog is spelt on top of this page. I have been thinking that I am adhering to this aim even though at times (frequently nowadays) I post articles on the ways of politicians and political analyses by others. Is this going against my set goal?

When this question was raised by a reader recently, I was a little taken aback as I was thinking that dharma requires me to voice my concerns when some thing atrocious goes around me. (Dharma is defined as that which has to be sustained or that which has to be done in a given moment) It was around that time I received an article from a friend on how the Hindu religious leaders look away from the subversion happening to Hindu society and continue to preach spirituality for the self.

Are they (religious leaders) right in telling us to do meditation when Hinduism is getting severe beating from the powers that be?
What they preach is absolutely right when we think about the self.
Nothing is going to change by what we say or do.
There is an element of karmic angle in everything and what we do and experience is the result of what we did earlier.
Ultimately it is we who are going to experience.
So why not we make ourselves immune to all that which disturbs us?

A similar situation can be cited from the Ithihasas. In Mahabharata Bheeshma narrates to Yudhishtira the incident involving King Janaka.
The king remained calm when there was a fire in Mithila.
Krishna also quotes Janaka in that situation, in Bhagavad Gita.
But that incident did not convey that Janaka remained passive or took no steps to prevent the fire and rescue the people. He did everything in his capacity as a king to restore the situation.
There was no dereliction of duty.
What actually happened was that he did not grieve.
He did not grieve that his possessions were lost, because there is nothing that can be called as one's possession.
Even if he were to be licked by fire, he would have told that his atman can not be licked by fire.
That is the ultimate Realization preached by Sanathana dharma.
That applies to one-self.
And that does not mean that he allowed his subjects to be devoured by the fire saying that their atman can not be devoured by the fire.
He did his duty as the King and restored order.

Janaka's episode shows that we have a duty in our capacity as what we are in the society on the one hand and also we have an inner side that shapes us to evolve with enlightenment.
These two do not clash with each other.
Infact these two coexist together so that the duty does not hinder the mental evolution but helps in training the self unattached from what duty brings out.

Sanatana dharma defines duties on two levels, one as varna and the other as asrama dharma.
These two may not be exist now as it existed in olden days.
But we continue to be somewhere in these two structures even now.

In the present day varna system, those who are teachers and educate and counsel others are Brahmins.
Those who are in the job of safeguarding others' life and materials are Kshathriyas. Those who are engaged in supplying the goods needed by others are Vaisyas.
And those who are in service sector are Shudras.
All the people come under in any one of these categories.
What we see here is that no one is independent of some one else.
Each one depends on others or is influenced by someone from other category.
What happens to one category will have an impact on other categories.

Similarly the asrama dharma puts one under different stages of life.
Most people come under grahastha stage and stay there for very long.
The entire society is dependant on the people of grahastha stage.
Dharma, artha and kama are all taken care of in this stage only.
When we talk of these 3 issues, collectively known  as purusharthas, we are very much part of the society or country and whatever happens in the society or country will certainly have an impact on the way we live with our purusharthas.

These 3 are not just jargons but are real issues that stick to people of all ages. The way we earn or conduct ourselves must be in dharmic way (dharma).
What we earn must be safeguarded or used in the dharmic way (artha).
Our personal life must be of dharmic nature (kama).
If anyone deviates from dharmic way in any one of them, it means someone else's dharmic sense has been violated or some violation of dharma which is not justifiable has happened.

This kind of a situation is discussed in Shanthi parva by Bheeshma when he described Raj-dharma. In Chapter 67 Bheeshma describes the story of Manu who was installed as the Ruler to safeguard the people from violations and effects caused by violation by others. The ruler is rated superior among all the others because if he does not use the right sense of Danda neeti, dharma will break down.

The ruler is equated to 5 Godly entities namely, Agni, Adhithya, Mruthyu, Kubera and Yama.

( from chapter 68 of Shanti parva)
"When the ruler burns with his fierce energy the sinful offenders, he is then said to assume the form of Agni.

When he observes through his spies the acts of all persons and does what is for the general good, he is then said to assume the form of Aditya.

When he destroys in wrath hundreds of wicked men with their sons, grandsons, and relatives, he is then said to assume the form of the Mruthyu.

When he gratifies with profuse gifts of wealth those that have rendered him valuable services, and snatches away the wealth and precious stones of those that have offended him, indeed, when he bestows prosperity upon some and takes it away from others, he is then, O king, said to assume the form of Kubera on earth.

When he restrains the wicked by inflicting upon them severe punishments and favours the righteous by bestowing rewards upon them, he is then said to assume the form of Yama. "

When the Ruler does not discharge this duty in the right spirit and in all earnestness, dharma gets a beating.

Usually people think that Brahmins have been given the high status among the varnas. There is a discussion disputing this in Mahabharata. The King / ruler enjoys the high status in a society. It is because he only protects everyone including the Brahmins. If the king fails to be just, the entire society suffers.

It is on this basis, Bheeshma says that yugas are created by the rulers. He tells Yudhishtira "Whether it is the king that makes the age (yuga), or, it is the age (yuga) that makes the king, is a question about which thou shouldst not entertain any doubt. The truth is that the king makes the age". (chapter 69, Shanti parva).

The 4 yugas are made by the ruler depending on the way he delivers the Justice system. The Justice system is based on danda neeti from times of yore.
It is wrong to say that Manu neeti was the Justice system followed in this country. Danda neeti has been followed in Bharat for all times in the past.
When the British came to India it was in place.
Manu neeti was not the dharma book of Bharat.
Manu smruthi fulfilled the purpose of human resource development and optimum use of human resources.
It was not a book of dharma neeti.
But William Jones mistook it for dharma-book and propagated the idea that it was in vogue in this country.

According to the danda neeti, there was no discrimination among the varnas.
For example, this system specifies the combination of varnas in the council of ministers that the ruler must have. It says that the ministry must comprise of 4 Brahmins, 18 kshathriyas, 21 vaisyas, 3 shudras and one Sutha (charioteer).
The qualification stipulated for the charioteer far exceeds the collective capability of the 4 varnas.
It is also deduced that by including a separate entity as charioteer, the system was not varna based as we think today but based on the capability that persons of specific varnas exhibited.

Mahabharata clearly states that a system of Justice called as Danda neeti was in vogue at all times in the past and in future in this country.
It covers everything under the sun.
It was originally given by Brahma deva to Lord Shiva.
He gave it in 16,000 chapters.
Indra received it from Shiva and rendered it in 5,000 chapters.
Brahaspati received it from Indra and rendered it in 3,000 chapters.
Shukracharya received it from Brihaspati and rendered it in 1,000 chapters.
This neeti sastra was prevalent throughout Bharat.
It covers varnas, asramas and every kind of act that people do.

The Danda neeti is in the hands of the ruler. This is similar to what our government and the justice system stand for.
Any deviation in the execution of Danda neeti will affect the people and the Sanathana dharma!
Only when the Ruler is just and carries out the Danda neeti in all earnestness, Sanathana dharma can survive.

Bheeshma takes the discussion on danda neeti further and says that Yugas are caused by the Ruler!

When the king carries out the Justice system (danda neeti) to the fullest, that is the period of Kritha yuga.

When he carries only ¾ of it, that is the period of Tretha yuga.

When he adheres to just half of the Justice system, that is the period of Dwapara yuga.

In the period of Kali yuga, the Justice system completely breaks down.

We in India, particularly in Tamilnadu are experiencing such a period of Kali in full swing.
The Rulers at the State and at the Centre are first rate robbers of the wealth of the country and protectors of wrong doers.
They do everything to subvert the Hinduism.
They are doing everything to undermine Hindu ways.
They are doing everything against danda neeti.
They are supposed to be the representatives of the people.
But they behave like despotic kings.

In these times of democracy of the kind followed in Bharat, Justice System does not remain with the rulers. We have to depend on Judiciary for getting remedy from the rulers. When rulers become thieves, the people have to do the policing. That is what we are doing. At times, even the Judiciary is not rendering Justice. So our fight has to continue relentlessly.

Just a couple of days ago, the Kerala High court wanted to investigate the makara jyothi miracle of Hindu belief. Would the court pass an order on the miracle of resurrection of Jesus or the miracles claimed by other religions? If the issue is around Hinduism, everyone has an interest in it. Perennially we have Asuras in various names to destroy Hindu systems.

Just a day ago the Union minister, Mr Jairam Ramesh spoke in his inaugural address of Saint Thygaraja aradhana that we Indians create myth around people whereas the westerners document the life of people properly. The minister wanted to highlight that a westerner has written a biography of Thyagaraja swamy, whereas we Indians are keen on spinning myths around Thyagaraja swamy.

We are not biography writers. But we take the message of the saints like him and see to it that it is carried on forever. Unless we or our ancestors had done that, no one would have known Thyagaraja swamy by now and this westerner would not have been anywhere near India to dig out the information about Thyagaraja swamy. We connect with Thyagaraja swamy through his music and the devotion his music has generated in us. His life history has stayed in our minds and that is why we remember him even now. But why does a minister say like that on the solemn occasion of Thyagaraja aaradhana? Why did he say that we spin myths around him?

On the same day I heard him speak like this, I received a mail that said that NASA'a spacecrafts suffer a black out when they cross Thiru nallaar, the abode of Lord Saneeswara. Some causes have been discussed about the phenomenon. What would Jairam call that - myth or science?

The current crop of politicians has no sense and sensitivity to what Hinduism does to the people.
They see everything through western eye or vote bank.
The sad part is that the people are not aware that Hinduism is getting a beating due to their ways.
That is why we have to keep telling what is happening and how the rulers keep harming Hindu dharma.
Gone were the days when the rulers protected the temples and maintained the temples by huge grants.
Today the temples are looted, the Hindu faith is ridiculed and the Hindu space is allowed to be exploited by evangelists.
The Justice system of the present day rulers work against Hinduism.

Hinduism is the life, breath and soul of this country.
If we remain quite in the face of increasing assault on Hinduism, it is like watching our own house burned to ashes.
In the immediate context, I find Karunanidhi and Sonia as the first rate enemies of Hinduism.
The danda neeti also says what kind of fate awaits persons like them.
But I must not sit quiet saying that they will be punished someday.
If there is something that I can do, I must do.
If I don't, I will not be spared by danda neeti which will see me as aiding and abetting the crime happening in front of me.
The bottom line is that I must do my best to protect this Dharma or else I won't be protected by it. .

So I will keep writing / posting issues or on persons whose acts are detrimental to Hinduism.
In the process of doing this as a duty, my inner self would learn to remain unperturbed – a feat that King Janaka achieved.

## First of all, we must know that this information on shifting zodiac was doing rounds for some time. An article on this already appeared in the month of July, 2010 in Times of India. It can be read here:-http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/6239328.cms?frm=mailtofriend

What is known from the reports is that the shift is not about the precession of the equinoxes. It is about the entry of the sun into specific signs. In Vedic astrology we meticulously follow the entry of the Sun into each sign because that is a major factor for predicting events of the land. The western astrology depends on the Sun sign for everything. But Vedic astrology has clear cut rules for what to follow and for which purpose.

We follow the Sun sign for predicting world events. The entry of the Sun into Aries (New Year) is a determinant for a variety of happenings including the rainfall, the agricultural output, price level, prices of dear metals, gems and different kinds of consumable liquids, war clouds etc. We do sun sign prediction for determining the Navanaayaks which will be written in yearly Panchangas.

For an individual, we follow three-some procedure based on lagna (ascendant), the moon and the sun. The lagna based interpretation tells about the life of the person. The moon based interpretation tells about how the mind perceives and experiences the events of life. The sun based prediction is used to decide the events of the year under consideration. This method is known as Tajaka.

According to this method, the degrees at which sun is posited at the time of birth is noted. Taking that degree as the basis, we prepare a chart every year when the sun enters the same degree. The chart thus made is applicable for a year only – that is, until the sun re-enters the same degree next year. This sun degree principle is the basis of Western astrology. They have based their astrology on this one point alone. So the sun's position – if found changing contrary to what they have been following - will put their system into trouble. That is what has happened now.

As far as Vedic astrology is concerned, we follow many factors meticulously in addition to sun's movement. Sun's entry into each sign is of importance to us for muhurtha astrology and for performance of pithru-oblations. Surya sankramana in every sign has specific connotations for specific predictions. We observe the sun's entry and record it in the almanac year after year. Western astrology had not done that all these years!

For example, this year the sun entered Capricorn (Makar sanakaranthi) on the 15th of January. At times this had happened on the 14th also. The location from which you are observing the sun also matters. At the most there will be difference of one day around the globe. So from where you are seeing the Sankaranthi, matters. Vedic astrology takes into consideration how it is seen from a place for an observer.

This entry into Capricorn was marked at 22nd  December in Western astrology for all these years! Now the scientists have said that it happens on 20th January! Note that this date is close to our date of Makara sankramana. Here again, from which location you see this entry matters. When seen from India, it happened on 15th January this year.  But the scientists have said that the entry is on 20th January. In my opinion, this difference is possible if the scientists have taken a different point of Capricorn as the starting point.

This brings us to the next issue on signs. The length of a sign is not the same in Vedic astrology and Western astrology. We divide the 360 degree zodiac into 12 equal parts of 30 degrees each. In the West they divide on the basis of the length of constellations. That is why they get Ophiuchus now and something else later!

Certain constellations such as Aries are short and certain constellations such as Virgo are long. We don't depend on the length of the constellations. In fact the stars also are not treated on the basis of specific entity as a star. In our system a star means the part of the sky that is 13 degrees- 20 minutes long. We divide this span into four sub-divisions called padas and attribute certain characteristics to each of them also. The entire stretch is known by the name of the prominent star in that location. In that way, Aswini are Bharani are very close to each other whereas Krittika is by itself another galaxy! Chithra (Spica) is part of Virgo whereas Swathi does not come in the exact path of the ecliptic but lies adjacent to Chithra. So the span is important and naming comes due to prominence in the sky.

That is why we never consider Ophiuchus as a sign. There are 88 constellations so far identified in the sky. We don not give importance to all of them. Vedic astrology takes into consideration only those constellations or stars which have relevance to HUMAN LIFE! Astrology is about relationship between the celestial bodies and the human life or any life on earth. Vedic astrology takes into account only those which have an influence on life on earth.

Zodiacal signs are of equal length whereas the zodiacal constellations are not equal in length. That is where the confusion comes in Western astrology. We find that the constellations stretch out to the next sign also. That is why we have quarter, half, three-quarter of the stars split between signs. They end up only at 3 places in the sky – one at the end of cancer, the second at the end of Scorpio and the third at the end of Pisces. These areas mark the end of continuing constellations. We call these junctions as gandanthaas. These junctions bear importance in muhurtha astrology and other places.

Western astrology does not make such compartmentalization and instead depends on the span of the constellations. The span of each constellation is not the same for all constellations. That is why there is difference in the length of the signs and the duration, depending on the entry of the Sun into those signs.

The current change into Capricorn on 20th January must be about the entry of Sun into the constellation of Capricorn. In Vedic astrology, Sagittarius stretches into Capricorn with ¾ of Uttrashada falling in Capricorn. However we stop with 30 degrees of Sagittarius and begin Capricorn after that, even if it means part of previous constellation stretches into that. On the other hand Western astrology begins and ends with the exact span of a constellation.

Signs and stars are not taken into reckoning in Vedic astrology without a basis.

I will give an example for this. The star Canopus is called as Agasthya in our system. It does not lie on the path of the ecliptic. From South India it is seen in the southeastern sky. Near the South Pole it is seen throughout the year. At present it can be seen after sun set lying southeast to Sirius. This star can not be missed as it is the second brightest star after Sirius.

This star is not in the reckoning for horoscopic predictions. But it has an important place in Vedic astrology for bringing rains!! The heliacal rising of this star before sun rise was an important event in India in olden days. The first sighting is important in that, this star must be seen clear and bright. The clear sighting assures good rainy season. Paripadal -11 makes a mention of this heliacal rising of Agasthya and connects it to the ushering in of good rains.

Starting from the first day of sighting until the 7th day, people used to offer water oblations (arghya) to this star before sun rise. Matsyapurana says that that this offering must be done for 7 times on any day within the first 7 days of sighting. There are Vedic hymns to do this offering. It is also ordained that all people must do this in the spirit of Nithya karma. The princes were ordained to do this offering. One who does this offering for 7 years will become the sole ruler of earth, it is said. A sick person who does this offering for 7 years will get rid of severe illnesses. Such kind of an importance is given to this star, but we don't take up Carina (the name of the constellation where Canopus / Agasthya is posited) as one of the zodiacal signs!

Western astrology is based on Ptolemy's views. For us, astrology was given by gods and rishis. Vedic astrological views are not man made. Any astrologer who had written his book used to quote the lineage of teachers from whom this sastra was got. Invariably these lineages begin from either Surya or Pitamaha (four-faced Brahma). The famous Siddhnatha grantha called Surya Siddhantha was so called because it was rendered by none other than Lord Surya. There are 18 pioneers in Vedic astrology who are all rishis. This 18 includes Surya and Pitamaha – the only 2 celestial entities from whom the rishis received the knowledge of astrology as upadesa.

Astrology was not called as Jyothisha initially. It was known as Nakshathra darshana or Nakshathra vidya (Chandogya Upanishad). The Nakshathras or stars are the manifestation of Gods themselves (Purusha sookhtham). Everything we see on earth, our own body and things all around us were once part of the nakshathra called the Sun which was once part of a Super nova – another sun in its old days. That came from the previous beginnings and thus goes our connection with all that is celestial and remote. We share the same body parts with certain stars of which our sources shared a commonality. That is how we get an alignment or repulsion with certain celestial bodies and certain items of the earth such as grains, trees, animals, gems etc. Such connection is facilitated by the light rays emerging from the stars or the light reflected by celestial bodies. That is where Vedic seers have formulated the effects of conjunctions.

Western astrology sees through the telescope and brings in planets not seen by naked eye. But we have clear rules that state that only those planets which can be seen by the naked eye are capable of affecting our life through the light they emit (the light that reaches us). The same western astrology has failed to see the light that comes from the stars. In my younger days I have read a report that the light from the star Arcturus (Swathy) which takes 40 years to reach the earth was tapped to light a trade fair in the US. Westerners had tapped or trapped the light from the stars but not known what star-light does to our body or psyche.

Vedic astrology which sees astrology as the science of stars / Gods gives utmost importance to stars. We make predictions on the basis of the star in which a planet is posited whereas many such detailed analyses are not known to western astrology. I am not saying this to cast aspersions on western astrology, but saying to convey that Vedic astrology is far advanced and well laid that no 'invention' by scientists can have any adverse effect on it. On the other hand, scientists can draw inspiration from Vedic astrology.

For instance Agasthya, the star Canopus which I explained above has a great relevance for a science research. There is a story on Agasthya and Vindhya mountains. That story says that once Vindhya mountains started growing in such a way that people to the north of it could not see the sun. Sage Agsthya was sent to control the Vindhyas. When the sage crossed the Vindhyas the mountain lowered in obeisance. Agasthya ordained that it must remain so until he returned and he headed for the South. But he never returned from the South as he chose to remain there. As a result Vindhya did not grow and remained as it was. In that position it did not hide the Sun for the people residing to the north of it.

At the outset this would look like a fictional story. But the importance given to the helical sighting of Agasthya shows a different meaning to this episode. Presently the star is seen only upto 37 degrees North. The sages have mentioned the time of heliacal rising of Agasthya for different regions in India. These regions fall in the north of Vindhyas. The tropic of cancer passes through India in the north of Vindhyas. Tropic of Cancer marks the northern most sojourn of the Sun. Beyond that the sun does not shine overhead.

As per the story there was a time when the sun was hidden by the Vindhyas. That could mean the tropic of cancer was a little south of the Vindhyas. In that situation those in the north of Vindhyas could have never had the sun shining over their latitudes. This could happen if the earth's axis was more tilted than it is now. At present the tilt is 23-1/2 degrees. According to scientists, this angle has varied from 25 degrees to 22 degrees. When the tilt is more, the northern most point of sun's movement will fall south of Vindhyas. In such a situation, Canopus can not be seen!!

When the tilt came down to 23 /1/2 degrees as it is now, the sun moves beyond the Vindhyas. In other words, the Vindhyas had lowered a little so that the people living in the north of it could see / experience the sun in their latitudes. From there, Canopus can be seen. The areas from where Canopus is seen are the areas which depend on seasonal rainfall. Heliacal sighting of Canopus marks the arrival of rains.

This story tells about times when the angle of earth's tilt was different. That was the time when seasonal / monsoon rainfall was not experienced in the areas north of the Vindhyas. So one can calculate when such a condition existed that gave rise to this story.

According to the current level of scientific understanding, the tilt varies from 22 to 25 degrees in 41,000 years. Depending on the tilt, ice sheets build up leading to the setting in of the Ice age. At 23-1/2 degrees at present we are in the middle of 2 Ice ages. Scientists will be able to calculate the angle of tilt when the north of Vindhyas did not see the overhead sun. It is possible to calculate the time period when such a scenario occurred. That must be before the end of last Ice age which is supposed to have occurred anytime around 13,000 to 17,000 years ago. That was the time Vedic culture existed and waited to see Agasthya to offer arghya. Tamilnadu was not outside this Vedic culture for, we have reference to heliacal sighting Agasthya in Paripaadal.

At present one can see Agasthya in the sky after sun set. Just look eastward and locate Orion. To the North of Orion 2 distinct bright stars can be seen. They are Punarpusam and poosam (Pushya) – they look like twins and are close to Gemini. On the far south of Orion – opposite to the twins, one can locate Canopus. It is in the south east direction from South India. It will be interesting to know that Paripadal -11 says that Agasthya went across his region and attained Gemini (பொதியின் முனிவன் புரைவரைக் கீறி மிதுனம் அடைய). A look at the skies shows that Agasthya had crossed the celestial equator (at location of Orion) and was positioned parallel to Gemini.

Agasthya and Vasishta are the co-borns according Hindu stories. The Dravidian chauvinists used to speak of their birth in a vulgar tone. But looking at the sky, their story also gives a surprising fact of Nature. Agasthya is to the South as Vasishta is to the North. They are fixed stars seen throughout the year in the respective Polar Regions!

It is as though these two stars (rishis) are holding the pot like earth in between themselves and protecting it. From Canopus to Vasishta, runs the axis of the earth.

I think I am straying out of the topic, but the moment I start thinking about the stars and their relevance, I keep going from one topic to another. All these are connected to one another.

Coming to the issue of the shifting zodiac, we in Vedic astrology keep a track of entry of the sun in each sign. This is marked as Surya sankramana. It can be referred from the almanacs. There is no confusion about the dates of entry as told for each year.

The 12 sign zodiac is of relevance in astrology. We see the zodiac in the backdrop of the stars and mark the occasions of conjunction of the stars and sun and the moon. For example, we call the Full moon of Chithrai as Chithra Pournami because sun, moon and the star Chithra of Virgo conjunct on that day. The names of lunar months are based on the conjunction of the moon with the star in the sky. These conjunctions do not change in a few thousand years. The discrepancies arising from lunar movement are corrected every 2-1/2 years, by adding one adhika masa.

Vedic astrology is not based on man made theories. The basic theories are enough to interpret them to answer problems of the modern world. The Western astrology is in fact an off shoot of solar astrology of Vedic seers. It was given to Mlechchas and Yavanas by Vasishta when they helped him in a war against Vishvamitra over the possession of the Holy cow, Sabala.

The mlecchas and yanavas were none other than the descendants of king Yayati. In the war explained in Rig Vedas and in Mahabharata, the 5 sons of Yayati were on war with each other. In the end the 2 sons, Turvasu and Anu were driven out of the Saraswathy plain. The sons of Turvasu were called as Yavanas and the sons of Anu were called as Mlecchas. (http://thamizhan-thiravidana.blogspot.com/2011/01/30.html) They did not follow the Vedic way of life. They settled in Persia and North west India in Kandahar. Vasishta was present at that time. He later requisitioned their services in the war against Vishvamitra and won with their help. As a kind of remuneration, he had taught them the astrology which had its origin in Vedas but not followed by Vedic people. That astrology was known as Yavana astrology. Yavana astrology traces its origins to Vasishta only. The details of this can be read in http://www.scribd.com/doc/22717150/Roots-of-Mlechcha-Astrology

Yavana astrology was sun sign astrology. With the passage of time, the Mlechchas and Yavanas lost contact with Bharat. Moreover they were not accepted in Bharat in that remote past. Over the years, that astrology was developed with whatever was in their memory and from their own research. It found a new lease of life in Ptolemy. From what he has given, the present day western astrology was developed.  This is the background of western astrology.

So the current squabbles over shifting zodiac are a problem of Western astrology and not Vedic astrology. In this post I have used the term Vedic for our system of astrology. Generally people think that Vedanga Jyothisha is the only Vedic astrology and consider the astrology practiced in our country as a borrowed one from the Greeks. They are wrong. Vedanga Jyothisha is similar to what Panchangas (almanacs) are to us. They record the tri-prasnas (dik, desa, kala) and help in identifying the right time for yajnas. The present day metamorphosis of that is the almanac.

The huge volumes of astrology that is used for prediction and other purposes also existed along with Vedanga Jyothisha. They were given by 18 sages during different times. They have been neatly compartmentalized from the times of Narada. Since they were all taught by Vedic sages, the entire body of Hindu astrology is fit to be called as Vedic astrology.

Basic introduction to Vedic astrology.

There are ways of classification of astrology.
One way is to divide it into two namely, Siddhantha bhaga and Phala bhaga.
Siddhantha bhaga is further sub-divided into Siddhanthas, Tantra and  Karana.

Siddhantha deals with Maha kala starting from Creation onwards. It is in that we come across mention of years in lakhs attributed to yugas. Such yugas are with reference to the movement of the Sun around the centre of our Milky Way galaxy. People confuse this with yugas mentioned in Ithihasas. The Yugas at human level are different and I will be giving an outline of it in my next post where I want to discuss why I must talk about the political situation also if I am concerned about Sanatana Dharma.
One can easily identify a Siddhantha by what it speaks. If there is description about time scale from creation onwards such a book is a Siddhantha. Surya Siddhantha is a popular Siddhantha grantha.

Tantra begins from the Yuga in which it is written. Arya Bhatteeya is a Tantra book.
Karana begins with the Saka years – the 100 years under consideration. Karana kuthoohala is a Karana grantha.
Apart from these there is Kosthuka and Yantra coming under Siddhantha bhaga.

The Phala bhaga deals with predictive part of astrology. It contains Hora, Muhurtha astrology, Tajaka, Prasna, Medini (mundane), Samhitha etc.

Narada samhitha gives 3- part classification of astrology.
They are Siddhantha skandha, Samhitha skandha and Hora skandha

There is another way of classification called Pancha Skandhas which most astrologers have done. They also take into consideration the above parts but classify them differently.

They are Siddhantha skandha, Samhitha skandha, Hora skandha, Prasna skandha and Sakuna skandha.

The last two are based on the moment of asking or happening. It is based on the assumption that every moment contains an experience or an incident which can be known through certain methods. When a person is propelled by an inner thought to ask a question, Nature around us has an answer to it. That is what Prasna astrology taps. Such an incident vibrates some energies which are sensed by the beings (animals, plants and even the way air blows or water passes off) around us. That is what Sakuna is all about.

These basic divisions of astrology show how vast and detailed our Vedic astrology is. To say that such a vast ocean of knowledge is imported from Greeks is nothing but an exhibition of stupidity. The kind of knowledge that we get from Vedic astrology is incomparable with western astrology. Vedic astrology can never fail, never be found wanting. Its followers can remain assured that the recent revelations on shifting zodiac etc are irrelevant to Vedic astrology.