In Search of Jyotish – Janma, the Birth – Part A: A Journey into the World of Vedic Astrology (Book 5) by Sarajit Poddar

The book contains four important sections, (1) Ādhānakuṇḍalī or conception chart, (2) Birth circumstances, (3) Viyoni Janma or non-human births, and (4) Principles of naming. Life is a miracle, which starts with conception. The ancient Maharṣis and Ācāryas have recognized this important moment as the start of life. They are unanimous in stating that the correct time of birth for assessing a Kuṇḍalī is the conception time, and the birth time is used in the absence of the conception time. Yet, the method of computing the conception chart is shrouded in mystery. I have tried to uncover the mystery in this volume.

Besides, the unified principles that govern our life also govern the birth circumstances. By understanding our birth circumstances, we get valuable insights into the workings of the Grahas in a Kuṇḍalī. Undoubtedly, this is immensely useful in verifying the Janma Lagna. The Viyoni Janma section contains the principles for deciphering the Kuṇḍalī of animals, birds and trees. The study of the Viyoni Janma helps us see the beauty of the unified principles that govern everything. One can be used to judge the health issues of pets and cattle and take preventive actions.

The principle of the naming section tells us why the name is so significant and must be well thought based on a set of established principles. Nāmakaraṇa or the naming ceremony is one of the 16 Saṅskāras of the Hindus, and there is a reason why it is granted such importance. Our name shapes our life because how people perceive us depends on it. One may not find practical tips in the book for making quick predictions. But one may find a wealth of knowledge on how everything in the universe is governed by the same set of unified principles, harmonious and consistent.

This volume of the book covers two important aspects of Jyotiṣa, strengths and Bhāva Analysis. The strength section covers several forms of strength, including the Ṣaḍbala, i.e., the six sources of strength, the Bhāvabala, the Rāśibala. This includes few other forms of strengths such as the Viṁśopaka Bala, Vaiśeṣikāñśa, Iṣṭa-Kaṣṭa Phala and the Graha Raśmi. This should provide one with a comprehensive understanding of the matters concerning strength.

The understanding of strength is highly significant because strength is ubiquitous. One cannot examine a Kuṇḍalī without considering the strength. We naturally use strength in the form of Graha in Sva, Ucca, Mūlatrikoṇa, Nīca or Śatru Rāśi. We use the strength granted by dṛṣṭi of Śubhagrahas or the Grahas in Kendras etc. The strength section provides a systematic method of dealing with various forms of strength. I have tried to explain each of them with copious examples, which I believe the seeker should find helpful.

The following section provides a comprehensive method of judging a Bhāva. Everything that we experience in life is grouped into 12 different Bhāvas. If we take each Bhāva individually and analyse them sequentially one after the other, we can be assured that all aspects of the Kuṇḍalīs are covered. Undoubtedly, the Bhāva assessment is a significant area of Jyotiṣa. However, it is not easy. The results of a Bhāva is affected by several factors, and one must adopt a systematic approach to gain a comprehensive understanding of the Bhāva. In this regard, Ācārya Mantreśvara provides a systematic approach to analyse a Bhāva. They are a set of 31 rules which are covered exhaustively.

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