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Originally written for Journal of Astrology. This article and related material has been syndicated to other websites.

Just as you begin to grow mature you will learn that you have to avoid discussing astrology with an astro-neophyte as much as the dogmatic pandit who argues that his interpretation of a shloka from a Jyotisha book or even a sutra alone is correct. Challenge him, if you are in a mood to argue with him, to show the correctness of his interpretation on ten horoscopes and he will run away but become your enemy for the rest of your life. On such occasions remember God and Oliver Goldsmith both. “Every absurdity has a champion to defend it.” – Oliver Goldsmith.  Remember Oliver Goldsmith again “If you were to make little fishes talk, they would talk like whales.”

Simhastha Brihaspati
 Do not accept any interpretation given blindly as for example in Muhurtha Samhitas, Simhastha Brihaspati or Jupiter’s transit in Simha is forbidden for marriages in some muhurta books. Late Sri S.K.Kelkar did some work on it, being a suave non-traditionalist, found that marriages done in this period were just like any other marriages and that the promise in the birth horoscope alone showed correct results. I got done a larger research by asking seven women astrologers, who had collected one hundred and sixty seven horoscopes, to produce a large  research, the biggest on the subject till date and they were amused to find that there was no terror in Simhastha Brihaspati marriages. Some of the marriages which were three decades old were very happy ones.

  The need to do this research arose because this is the only muhurtha I have seen which is not universal but relates only to the territory between Godavari and Ganga. One astrologer argued with me and said that  all gods (remember that it is said that Hindus have 33 crore gods) go away to south India and do not remain in the north at all. I, in turn asked him if the railway minister of India spent sleepless nights during this period when Jupiter was in Simha.

The panchanga (almanac) makes ignore these researches and continue to frighten people with the fictitious results of marriages performed when Jupiter is in Simha which occurs every twelve years.

When these untested dogmas become source of fright, astrology ceases to be the super science it is and, becomes a superstition.  It is so with shlokas and sutras also. Do not accept them blindly as we do not know what are genuine and what are interpolated.

 Make your own bold research hoping that someday some wise astrologers will see the utility of this for the modern age. Tradition should be respected not as a dogma but with malleable intelligence. The aim should be to bring in liberal elitism without violence to scientific and acceptable interpretation of rich astrological tradition of ours given by wise pundits like Madhura Krishnamurthy Sastri and men of his caliber.

Working sincerely and most scientifically only one can see the extraordinary beauty of astrology of Hindus. Let me give on instance which shows timing without embarrassing the Indian Police Service officer, in service, whose wife’s horoscope is being discussed.

A police officer Ajay Kashyap (IPS)  posted in Delhi was selected for a prestigious job in UNO in 2010 as I had predicted, but he was not being relieved by the authorities in Delhi including the Lt. Governor because of the Commonwealth Games in October 2010. His wife, an astrology student in the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, asked me and I told her that according to her horoscope, she would be out of India by 17 August 2010, CWG or no CWG. I had to devote some time to calculate it which is a tedious task.

She wrote to me an email which I reproduce here editing out her id.

From: > From: archna ? 
Subject: Accurate prediction of Shri K N Rao
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2010 22:17:41 IST

There was considerable uncertainty about my husband's movement from India on account of his posting abroad. This dilemma was posed to Shri K N Rao our guru, a few weeks ago. On the basis of his analysis of my patri alone, he predicted that we would move from India to the United States on the 17th of August 2010. This was at a time when clearance from the Government seemed difficult, if not remote, in view of the forthcoming Commonwealth Games to be held in New Delhi in October 2010, and the critical  position held by my husband. However suddenly the denials of senior ministry officials were overruled and Government approvals came through. Amazingly, our date of journey is exactly as predicted by Shri K N Rao Sir. This is a remarkable prediction made by Shri K.N.Rao, based solely on the study of the spouse's i.e. my, patri (chart).

With warmest regards

Sagittarius 12.12.1965, Scorpio

DOB: December 1965, 08: 13 am, Mirzapur, UP, India

Later when students asked me, I explained that it is through the Chara dasha which I had taught to them and which jyotisha softwares calculate wrongly. Let me give instances from the horoscope of Indira Gandhi how chara dasha shows some events in her life to the nearest date. In the case of Mrs. Archana, see the chart and the DK in Mithuna and it is Mithuna dasha running which is favourable for her husband. When she asked the question it was the antardasha of Kanya from where the DK is in the tenth house of elevation about which I had given prediction to her husband earlier last year (2009)

Now the pratyantara dasha running was of Karka from where DK is in the twelfth, Mithuna. This pratyantara  dasha was ending on 17 August 20101. It was easy to predict that by 17 August 2010 her husband would be out of India. She acknowledge it through email and told me that the objections of the police commissioner Delhi, Mr. Dadhwal and, of the Lt.Governor, were overruled by the Home Ministry which she had not expected and when the orders came, she booked tickets for New York for 17 August.

This is the beauty of Jaimini and the Chara Dasha I have researched on, not caring for obscurantist pandits who, knowing English, reel off their superstitions in the internet forums and also in astrological journals. Left to themselves, they cannot prove the validity of their own interpretation on one hundred horoscopes at least.

Some of them will come out with fanciful theories by saying that Shastyamsha, (D 60) is used to see past birth and some other vargas like D 40 from what you inherit from your mother and D 45 for what you inherit from your father with the fullest confidence that Maharshi Parashara will not come down to the earth and complain about being maimed.  These are fanciful theories which can never find any support from available texts of Parashara and cannot be proven on hundreds of horoscopes.                                                             

(Those who use Jhora will observe that the Cancer PD ends on 18th Aug whereas the event happened on 17th Aug matching with the ending of Cancer PD as calculated by K N Rao. )

I have lot of feedback from people to whom I have given consultation which I cannot disclose and betray confidences.  It is better to say that you have an astrological observation and request other astrologers to test it on horoscopes in their possession to help astrology progress with the astrologer remaining in the background.

An intelligent and open minded lover of astrology reads books with an open mind, tries the techniques given and then forms his opinion. Here is someone who calls my method controversial but still has something complimentary to say because he is intelligent, not stupid; open minded not a dogma filled dullard.

I am editing out his id.

From: Acyutananda Dasa <a@com>
To: <>
Subject: Love your books! Please give me a mantra
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 06:51:41 IST

Dear Sri Sri KN Rao Srila Gurudeva,
I recently went to the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Delhi where you teach. At the bookstore I purchased nearly all of your books! (Everyone that was available to say the least).  I love your landmark work on Chara Dasha, and though it is quite a controversial work based on other treatises which I have read on the subject, I do appreciate the scientific aspect you throw into your work. That’s what makes it credible, reliable, and authentic. Meaning therefore, that your books are the only ones which are useful and genuine on the market.


I tell students not to accept blindly what is given in the translations of Brihat Parashara etc. not to be overwhelmed by the pandit who rattles off lot of gibberish in Sanskrit but knows no astrology of practical use to us in the day to day life. There are two types of astrologers who are the main menace, first the greedy money earning one who can adopt any trick to cheat you and the other who poses to be a scholar and misleads you with his obstinate insistence on wrong interpretation, wrong approach, primitive approach and abysmal record of predictive astrology.

A well placed woman student who had topped in our jyotisha examination and is now in quite a high post wrote to me the following which I am reproducing again editing out her id.

From:      ambica gulati> 
Subject:   thank you
Date:  Mon, 27 Jun 2005 12:51:04 IST 

Dear Sir
 I thought I should thank you for grooming me to handle the position I do today. Your research pattern is so well thought out that it can beat even the best of institutes.   I interviewed the director of Management Development Institute, Dr Pritam Singh (He got a padma shri in 2003) and I discovered that you have been grooming me in the same way to reach that mental and physical level. Today, I feel I am more equipped to handle life as I read and write better and am more discriminating in my associations. So I guess, all's well that ends well. 

Ambica Gulati

I am quoting these letters, among hundreds I have, only to show that unless you have healthy respect, with healthier skepticism, for the pandits, you cannot break new ground and rescue astrology from its primitive state in which it still thrives. 

When students bring instances of shocking, primitive meaning of some shlokas from jyotisha books, I tell them to observe these in many horoscopes and see if it is fitting into the pattern of life as it is in twenty first century. Otherwise you will go back to primitive astrology because publishers all over the world know how to sell the rubbish they publish. And there are writers who pay for publishing their books which suits many publishers. There are writers who tell the publishers that they will not demand any royalty. The truth is that they are more anxious to announce their arrival through dubious methods. 

But you will not easily come across writers who can synthesize these and put them in proper perspective for modern life.  Ask yourself, as a very intelligent woman student of ours, asked me after reading a latest version of Phaldeepika and reading the results of the seventh house and planets placed there, if all this was to be accepted as gospel truth. For some women the seventh house is entire horoscope.

Placement Of Planets In 7th house Wrt Marriage

Sun in 7H:
He suffers mental tension, physical pain and distress from the wife.

Moon in 7H:
Moon in the 7H gives ample conjugal comforts and pleasure. The wife is very charming with a chiseled physique.

Mars in 7H:
He may lose conjugal happiness and live a disharmonious married life.

Mer in 7H:
7th Mercury would tend to bestow a wise and pretty wife to the native.

Jupiter in 7H:
Jupiter in 7H bestows a beautiful and sagacious wife.

Venus in 7H:
Venus in 7H gives a pretty wife but along with comes an almost insatiable sexual appetite which may lead to extra marital affairs and marital disharmony with eventual dire consequences of separation or even divorce.

Sat in 7H:
Sat in the 7H gives a serious wife of few words, who is often sad looking and disappointed. This increases the possibility of separation and marital disharmony. 

Rahu in 7H:
Rahu directly controls the serpent power hidden in a man. Rahu is impulsive and must work through the extremes. Rahu in 7H can either inflame the passion in a man to a point of instability or may extinguish the sex flames completely - either of the way is not good for conjugal bliss. 

Ketu in 7H:
Ketu in 7H spoils the conjugal harmony, creates all kinds of fears.

Compiled by Anju Sachdeva

Taken from 'Phaldeepika' by Sage Mantreshwara translated by U K Jha   Will you accept the view of Mantreshwara or modify it and take a more composite view in the sociological context of modern life? UK Jha has only translated, contributed nothing original, not being a commentator.  But you will not easily come across writers who can synthesize these, after deep research, and put them in proper perspective for modern life. 

1.) Take up the horoscope of Amitabh Bachchan with Rahu in the seventh house with no aspect of any planet and association with any planet. In interpreting it, remember that he belongs to the glamour world.

2) Laura Bush 4 Nov 1946, 18:00:00, Midland, Texas, USA with six planets in the seventh and eighth house and remember that her husband continued to maul English language even after becoming a born again Christian.

3) Indira Gandhi and her ruined married inspite of Moon being in the seventh house.

4) Devegowda 18 May 1933, 10.09 Hassan Karnataka with Karka Lagna and Saturn in the seventh house.

5) Bush Sr. 12 June 1924, 10.43 Milton, MA USA with Simha lagna and Mars and Ketu in the seventh house.

I can reel off instances after instances to show why astrology which had been rescued from the hands of primitive half literate pandits who had kept alive the tradition of jyotisha somehow (we are grateful to them) was modernized by B. Suryanana Rao, Dr. B.V.Raman and some of their contemporaries to the extent it was possible. These days with very intelligent, well educated and argumentative students who do not have respect for all  teachers, the challenge of modernizing astrology is being met more satisfactorily than ever before. This is to be seen and experienced to be believed.

That is what Ambica meant when she wrote “I thought I should thank you for grooming me to handle the position I do today. Your research pattern is so well thought out that it can beat even the best of institutes.”

I have produced it here because when I was defending the case of astrology in the Supreme Court on 3 Nov 2003, I was aware of the vicious arguments against astrology and its primitive interpretations taking us to primitive age and leading to “saffronization” which was the pet communist argument. While other astrologers who could have joined as petitioners-in-person and argue in English chickened out, I was left alone, the only astrologer, to fight the battle against India’s top lawyer, Shanti Bhushan. Because my astrology is modern not primitive, interpretative in approach, non dogmatic in conclusions and methodical in vast replication, I won the battle. That is what our students do and shine brilliantly, some of them appear to be super brilliant and are the future  greats of Hindu astrology. Some of the crooked ones will become Kaal Sarpa Yogis also.

Same is the case with the ayanamsha. We use, Lahiri’s. If some ayanamsha lunatics come out with different values, let them battle it out with modern astronomer to prove their point and not run away from the battle. Since I rely on Jaimini’s karakas, I have found that Lahiri alone gives them correctly for correct results. Other ayanamshas sometimes convert the Atmakaraka into Darakaraka and the whole sequence and ranking of karakas is turned upside down. One very sattwick swami from south India, Tamilian or Keralite, by the name Sadashiva Giri had met me many years ago and asked me to see his ayanamsha. I told him that we were not interested in any astronomical discussion or even Surya Siddhanta. He said that his ayanamsha was based on divine inspiration (Deva Dutta) and that publishers in Delhi and the late R. Santhanam had insulted him.

An American woman, Deborrah Ress said that she would finance the publication of his book if I wrote the preface. I did it neither accepting his ayanamsha nor rejecting. I asked readers to judge it themselves as I did not want to insult a swami who was not boastful at all like ayanamsha lunatics I have met often and so many times.              

I have fought this battle for fifty years and now the new generation of educated astrologer will do it better than what I have.  

Let me quote from the research.

Jupiter in Simha – successful marriages
“In the end, it must repeated that researches must be produced in astrology with evidences to rescue it from fraudulent, foolish and frivolous astrologers. It must also be remembered that in the case of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata and other Puranas, the Bhandarkar Institute of Pune has done researches to remove interpolations from various versions. In the case of astrology such work has not been done. Different publishers have published different versions of many of these books. For instance, one can see different versions of the Brihat Parashara Shastra and see some conflicting versions and contradictions in them. It is not difficult to assume that in the Muhurtha books similar interpolations may have taken place. The prejudice attached to Simhastha Jupiter and marriages may be an interpolation. At any rate, through our astrological research we see no reason to accept it as an astrologically valid objection to marriages.” K.N. Rao 10 September 2003

Let me here also refer to my argument in the Supreme Court as a petitioner in person in 1990 and 1991 when the reservation issue was being discussed. I had shown to the court that in both Backward Classes Commission reports of Kaka Kalelkar 1955 and of B.P.Mandal 1978, astrologers were classified as backwards! The jocular argument I had put was that in Mandal list of Andhra Pradesh’s backward classes, Vaidiki and Niyogi were mentioned (such was the abysmal quality of his investigation) and I am a Niyogi Brahmin of Andhra. And known as an astrologer also, I could claim to be backward doubly.  Why do astrologers want to remain backward now when we can rescue it from narrow and irrational interpretation and make it a subject higher than any being taught in the universities, more scientific and more helpful and bafflingly brilliant? 

I have encountered both types of pandits: one who knows some astrology but has a ferocious pride of pedigree and obnoxious family hauteur and the other immensely likeable scholars with winning humility like Sri Madhura Krishna Sastri who earn our eternal gratitude for their enormous scholarship and lack of pride and acrimony.

Keywords: KN Rao, Journal of Astrology, Jaimini Chara Dasha, Astrology, Jyotish, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan

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