Sunday, February 25, 2024

Ramayana - 6: Deciphering Dasaratha’s birth star and his decision to crown Rama.

In the month of Caitra, king Dasaratha decided to perform the coronation of his beloved son, Rama (VR: 2-3-4). He called his son to convey his desire. In that context he talked about his fearful dreams, the dur-nimitta-s of thunderous meteors (ulkaa) falling in the country and the astrological prediction about affliction to his birth star.

अवष्टब्धं मे राम नक्षत्रं दारुणैर्ग्रहैः |

आवेदयन्ति दैवज्ञावः सूर्याङ्गारकराहुभिः || --१८

"Oh, Rama! Astrologers are informing me that fearful planets like Sun, Mars and Rahu are encroaching on my birth star."

We need to check this combination to make sure that we are proceeding with the correct findings.

We know that Rama completed 24 years of age when he was exiled (explained in the previous article). In the year Pramoda, he completed his 24 years and started his 25th year. On the day of his birth star (Punarvasu in Caitra), the above conversation took place.

Around the time of his birthday, his father’s star was afflicted by three planets, namely Sun, Mars and Rahu. The reference to Sun and Rahu raises a doubt whether he meant an eclipse – impending or just over – afflicting his birth star.

Since it was the time of Caitra, the Sun could be expected to be in Pisces (Meena rasi) or Aries (Mesha). When I checked the dates from Amavasya to Pournami coming before and after Rama’s birthday on Punarvasu, I found that the Pournami coming closely after Rama’s birthday was going to be eclipsed. The combination of planets show that Dasaratha could have been born in Revati star with lagna in Gemini (Mithuna). Mercury was the lord of both Revati and Gemini lagna. Mercury was badly afflicted by the planets he mentioned. The horoscope of the day of Pournami (coming after Rama’s birthday) is shown below. (The exact time of Full Moon could have been earlier.)

For Gemini lagna, 2nd and 7th houses are the Maaraka houses (death signifying). Jupiter is the lord of the 7th and 10th and also suffers from Kendra Adhipatya dosha. It has gone to the 2nd house (Maaraka sthana) and is in retrogression. It is joined with the 6th lord Mars in debility signifying a life-threatening health issue.

The 10th house is occupied by Sun, Venus (12th lord signifying death) and Ketu. Mercury, the lord of his birth star is in retrogression and moving to occupy Revati. Sun and Ketu are transiting Revati. Rahu is aspecting this combination from the 4th house whose lord is once again Mercury. (The 4th house signifies home. Trouble from the home-front indicated). Mars and Jupiter are transiting the star of Mercury in the 2nd house. The Full Moon of that month is going to be eclipsed by Rahu in the sign opposite the star Revati. (For the lunar eclipse to take place, the node (Rahu or Ketu) must be within 13 degrees of the Full Moon. It was so in this horoscopic combination)

Keeping all this in mind, Dasaratha’s astrologers expected some trouble from the home-front leading to life-threatening problems for the king. Expecting a sudden adverse end to himself, the king decided to crown Rama as soon as possible and before the eclipse occurred. The decision to crown him when Bharata was away from home seemed to have been triggered by the expected lunar eclipse in the 4th house of his horoscope. He did expect objection from Kaikeyi which was reflected in his version that he wanted the coronation function while Bharata was away (VR: 2-4-25)

The king didn’t want to lose any more time and fixed the immediate date – the day of Pushya- to crown Rama.

Why did Dasaratha wait till Rama’s 25th year?

One of the complaints against Dasaratha was that he was delaying the coronation of Rama. Dasaratha was aging but there was no sign of him transferring the mantle to Rama. Suddenly on the 25th year of Rama he decided to crown him– but after getting bad dreams, dur-nimitta-s and bad combination of planets. It seems he would have delayed further if these reasons were absent.

Why should he delay the transfer of the crown to his beloved son?

Looking at the planetary combinations, Rama was undergoing the seven-and-a-half-year transit of Saturn through his Janma rasi for more than five years by then. It must have started before his 19th year or so. Additionally, Saturn Maha Dasa was running. Saturn, though exalted, would not give positive results because it was aspected by (and aspecting) another exalted planet, namely, Sun. Sun stands for crown and authority (the ruler); Saturn for subjects (the ruled). When they are exalted in signs opposite to each other and are aspecting each other, there will be conflict between the two. The reason Rama had to sacrifice his wife (during Agni Pariksha and while she was pregnant) fearing a bad name from his subjects, was because of this combination.

Keeping it in mind, the astrologers would have advised Dasaratha not to give the crown during Rama’s Saturn Maha Dasa. By his 20th year Saturn started transiting his 12th sign and then the Janma rasi. This also made them postpone the coronation. By then, Jupiter entered his Janma rasi which also made them not to advise the king to crown his son.

But the prospect of death for his own self – indicated by dreams, nimitta-s and planets – made Dasaratha to ignore the adverse features for Rama and made him go ahead with coronation for the sake of the country to have a ruler in case something happened to his own self.

The planetary indicators assuring us that we are proceeding in the right direction, let us now look at the date of exile.


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