In any case, he was very happy to support my initial efforts in astrology, providing me with not only the books, but a software to calculate the horoscope and money for my first months rent when I left the Ashram. I was very happy to have these books, for in my life teachers had largely come in the form of books. While others may say that they cannot study because they do not have a living teacher, or use some other such excuse, I have simply studied and contemplated that which was available to me, whether that was books, people or nature.
If we really want to learn, we will have devotion, and devotion turns the heart into a powerful receptor that allows us to learn or possess anything while also allowing us to attract that which we need in order to learn or progress towards the desired. All one needs, therefore, to learn astrology is the desire to learn it for the sake of the beautiful science that it is. Having a library of astrological texts, both by modern astrologers and translations of the ancient masters, I wasted no time in their study.
Over the years I have peeled my library into just the few texts that are not redundant and which really have something useful to say. Over the past two millennia, astrologers have largely used techniques that are not all that scientific or replicable. Sri Yuktesvar complained about this over a hundred years ago — that no text and no astrologer used truly scientific or mathematical techniques. Over the past one hundred years, however, astrology is moving more and more towards becoming a true science, with such teachers as Krishnamurthi, Iyer, Hart de Fouw and KN Rao bringing a scientific approach to astrology.
Astrology, however, is greater than any one man, and so it is my great joy to be part of developing scientific astrology. Over the last twelve years my studies have revolved around the pursuit and understanding of such scientific techniques — and it has been quite a journey. In order to pursue such techniques, Correct Calculations of the Ayanamsa and other ambiguous and controversial calculations is of paramount importance and so not only was I forced to understand the words of the ancient astrological masters, but also to study their astronomy in order to determine the correct calculations.
The current state of the calculations in Vedic Astrology is a state of shocking disrepair. Please listen to my free class on Ayanamsa and Astrological Calculations. The necessary research to cull the truth out of the great ancient texts required a software that calculates the scientific aspects of astrology, for which reason I began to develop Kala Vedic Astrology Software At this point I am very happy with my software as it calculates all the scientific techniques from Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra and so now for the first time astrologers can begin to practice one hundred percent scientific and systematic techniques.
This brings me to the point of my wife — Srishti, the programmer of Kala. I met Srishti while in India. She was one of several programmers working on various astrological software. It was not long after meeting her that I knew that she could be my wife actually, I had predicted the day I would meet her, my wife, four months earlier, but it was not long after I met her that I knew I would be better off and happier married to her. Srishti has made many things in my astrological life possible. From programming countless theories that failed to programming a great software package to most importantly never holding me back or nagging me over my studies and pursuit of astrology.
I remember a time shortly after the birth of our son. We were sorry for money, downright poor. Not making enough to make ends meet and using credit cards to buy diapers and gas. As a provider I was feeling like a failure. Whereas any other woman I can think of would have been righteously nagging me about the diapers months ago, she had endless patience with me and believed that I was not wasting my time where I should have been earning money to take care of the family.
Thanks to my students, my readers and the users of Kala software her patience with my affair with astrology is finally paying off and now I can finally buy her what she needs. My Muhurta studies are available in Classical Muhurta , which is considered by those who have read it as the most complete and far reaching book available on the subject. It is, however, with greatest pleasure that I wrote Graha Sutras which I believe will be the most enjoyable study yet. After many years of studying astrology, I have come to believe that, for those of intellectual bent, the best use of astrology is the study of astrology.
Astrology is one of the Vedangas, or limbs of the Veda, whose purposes is to facilitate the understanding and use of the Vedas. Amongst the limbs of the Vedas, Jyotish is considered as the Eyes of the Veda , and is thus given preeminence over other such sciences. So I went to the ashram and after about a month of being there I had this dream that made me think I should look into Vedic astrology.
I kind of did it as a study approach and a few years later I modified it, cleaned it up, and turned it into my first book. So I just kind of innocently quit western and found myself being more serious about astrology than ever once I stumbled into Vedic. You know. So we met one day before lunch just for a few minutes. I just called my mum and had her send all my books to you on my program.
Every single book. And so two weeks later I get this big crate from Italy which is where he was from which had to cost hundreds of dollars for his mum to ship. And I just started hitting those books and at first I was so happy cause I was like OK, this Is it, this is the gospel, you know. And that was actually right after I finished the [Core] Yogas book. Up until I had done the Yogas book, astrology was fun cause everything I read I believed in. But as I got more and more experience I started finding out how many things were not making sense. Which is a nice feeling you know. They also use solar return for timing things really accurately.
And that book is a great book. The majority of that book…the important parts of that book is [where] it gives you calculations. But the most important yogas are found there. But most importantly the mathematical tools to evaluate the yogas are found in that text. Just using basically planets and sign and houses and a few other things. That book was rediscovered a little over a hundred years ago again. We had the first two chapters. The second two chapters were rediscovered a little over a hundred years ago.
So we have that full text now. Well, now go spend 10, 20, 30 years figuring out how to put it together. Afterwards it gets easy. And a lot of people these days are trying to focus on these little bits and pieces, but I just ignore those bits and pieces because I think we need systematic astrology. Which means Tajika system. And then Jaimini system, lets learn that. Then we have complete systems. But right now we have these three other main systems where we have everything we need right in front of us. We just have to learn to use it and learn to use it better.
So you published your first book in and your second book was this book called Core Yogas. And were you drawing on sort of pieces of those different traditions for this book? Yogas are sort of broken down into, we can say, roughly three categories, OK. And if a person has strong foundation yogas everything in their life gets better. If they have bad foundation yogas everything in their life gets worse basically. Maybe we should back up and define what a yoga is first, cause we forgot to do that at the start.
Or what does that word mean, and how would you define it if you were trying to teach it to a Western astrologer? Basically a yoga means union, or yoke. OK like when you yoke something. That comes from the word yoga. Yoga simply means union or yoking. Basically attaching something in a binding fashion to something [else]. Which basically means, everything in astrology is a yoga. Everything in every school is a yoga, roughly speaking. So what are some examples? I mean, I know one. So with yogas, a yoga is essentially anything in the chart that connects a person to the fruits of their fate.
Which means everything is a yoga. Now so basically everything in the chart is a yoga. Is that yoga in any astrology text? Which are the ones written down basically. They just create a foundation for the person in life. I cover those in the first half of Core Yogas and I cover those in a course called Astrology of Character.
These are the most important yogas. But these are yogas that have specific names, like they may be called Shiva Yoga, Vishnu Yoga, they may be named after deities. Gaja Kesari yoga, which means elephant-lion yoga. So they give some character qualities, wealth and success. All the named yogas essentially give those same things. When you read the effects of those yogas they basically will say it gives you wealth, success and makes you a good person somehow…in different words.
But it will do that in some form. A person who gets lucky, that helps them get what they want in life because they have that merit. So all these yogas are what we call dasha dependent. Which means they give their effects at certain times in their life. They come into play, give their effect and then they go away…and they come into play and give their effect. So the time that a person gets a new job that doubles his income. In fact, yogas are the most simple way to do astrology in general. You just learn a planetary permutation. When you see it, say something about it.
And often that name would be evocative of the interpretation of the yoga. And other combinations like that where the name actually has some bearing on the interpretation.
In every case the meaning of the name that the yogas named after is way more important than what they give the effects of. I think even back then they were mostly useless. What really matters is the name. But the translators never translate the name of the yoga.
So they translate the results of the yoga.
Any other result for that yoga. And that seems common of most ancient forms of astrology where the interpretation is really embedded in the language. And unfortunately the only book I know that actually translates the name is the Core Yogas book that I wrote. Everyone else just gives the Sanskrit name and gives the English translation of the Sanskrit results. So people read those books and just want to throw them away. So the average astrologer learns a handful of yogas instead of really putting them to good use. And these named yogas are invaluable when it comes to try and predict wealth and success and those types of things.
And timing periods for those. Times when actors win their awards or make their biggest movie. These are almost always indicated by these kind of named yogas. So this person is going to somehow have the qualities of an elephant and a lion. So when we think of that, we think of this elephant.
A patient, cumbersome beast. Who…nothing stands in its way. And nothing is gonna stop that elephant from doing what he wants. This invulnerable steady force is basically the image you get when you meet an elephant, you know. And then you get the idea of a lion. And a lion, of course, has always been considered the king; in symbolism of all cultures the lion seems to be the king of the jungle, you know?
And [it] is attached to nobility and so on. And of course lions have very good lives. They have a whole bunch of female lions. They get to the top, they know how to let people help them and serve them. Lions know how to enjoy the benefits of people in their lives. So these people will have good people working for them to make their lives work better. And that quality lets them have success. And they eventually come to a ruling position, or a higher position in life. Which is the lion symbology once again.
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So aspected by Mercury of Venus. Some folks just say on an angle from the moon but that happens all the time. That yoga you can consider a very weak Gaja Kesari yoga. And all yogas are not created equal. In strength. Moon is all about receptivity and so when that happens a person is able to be open to the best possibilities in their life and that helps them get ahead in life and move forward in their life.
So just tons of these little yogas that come. The navamsa lord of the 10 th lord on an angle from the Moon, yeah. So you take your 10 th lord from the birth chart. Those are THE Raj yogas. Raj yogas are yogas that give an element of importance or control or responsibility. Wealth yogas give money. These named yogas always give both. People that end up being alone and those kinds of things. So that means these people will be deceitful. And when those yogas get extremely negative you will find them in charts of like I mentioned, really extremely difficult impossible people and even psychopaths.
And in Vedic astrology as well it was called a leena sthana which means a concealed house. And the fourth, eight and twelfth are all considered concealed houses. But definitely I think the 4 th in many ways is most concealed for the reasons that you mention. And so this takes us back to the distinction between the three categories of yogas that you started to introduce earlier right?
So the books will have 1 st house yogas, 2 nd house yogas, 3 rd house yogas, 4 th house yogas, 5 th house all the way to 12 th house yogas. And some of these yogas are really interesting. One yoga is, if Mercury and Venus are in the 7 th house the spouse will die. I thought it would be my best dasha.
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But instead my girlfriend left me and that was the end of it. And so I explained to her that that was a yoga for ending relationships. Chris: Interesting. But other times it might actually be empirical observations that astrologers made at some point hundreds of years ago and saw it either showing up in enough charts, or saw it showing up in a chart and realized why that was the case. And so they gave it a name. Or they said what the specific outcome was that they observed was associated with it and then this becomes something that other astrologers later observe and sort of confirm in their practice as well.
So the 7 th house, the 8 th lord will shift you from one partner to another at some point. But it could be. So, do we really need to remember that as a yoga? But most of the books from India are just yogas on yogas on yogas on yogas. Like for instance I have some yoga courses on my site, astrology-videos. And out of hundreds of yogas for giving a spouse or for killing a spouse, for ending a relationship somehow, through death or separation.
A handful of them. Because those are the only ones that work and which defy standard principles. We should only focus on yogas that defy standard principles. We should write, these are the basic principles. Learn your basics. Yogas are the next step. Like Mercury and Venus in the 7 th house killing your spouse. That defies your basic principles, you know. Another yoga is Venus in the 1 st and the Moon in the 7 th will destroy your spouse and most likely make you not get married.
That defies the basic explanations of what most people learn, you know, and so, those yogas are useful if you sort through them and find the ones that are unique and which work. I hope to do more work on those in the future. But I have a lot of work to do on all those, literally thousands and thousands and thousands of yogas.
When they get to 9 th house yogas, they give a lot of knowledge centred yogas. How wise the person is. The navamsa lord of the lord of the 2 nd lord, has to be Saturn or Mars and that Saturn or Mars has to be in an angle or trine with another malefic planet. I remember one time a person came in and I was just shooting blind on their chart. And then I saw that yoga. You just live for knowledge. And the thing that makes me happy is learning and studying. And because I said those two things, he was so happy with the reading. And he was so jazzed over that. This was long ago in the early days back in when I was doing a lot of yoga research and stuff.
Yogas are a nice easy way to do astrology because they sometimes will save you. I mean the ruler of the 7 th sign from the ascendant is in the 5 th sign from the ascendant. Yogas are all done without house cusps for the majority of them. We do use house cusps in Vedic astrology like they do in Western. But yogas are a technique that they use full signs in almost every case. Because I just found out that the 7 th lord in the 5 th tends to get people to get rid of their partner because they have an affair.
I just saw it over and over again. That yoga was constantly creating an affair that led to the termination of their marriage. And she just laughed at me. She just laughed and got up and left. She does not want to have a baby with her husband. And that same yoga — I remember once a guy came up to me at a conference.
He was about to teach a conference he was teaching on yogas. I saw you have this book. This is really interesting. And…when it comes to yogas you would never expect, the 7 th lord in the 5 th denying children and killing your spouse is one of my favourites. So the 5 th lord in the 7 th will do the same thing. Or the 7 th lord in the 5 th. Either way they get the same thing. He was an old astrologer at the time, she may have died or they divorced.
Such a simple thing. So those are the yogas you wanna learn. Then all the yogas. The two best books for house by house yogas are Jataka Tattva and Sarvartha Chintamani. Those are the two best yoga books for house by house yogas. So that would be an example of a basic principle instead of a specific yoga, right? Do we really need to know that? But that is a separate yoga, you know. A movable sign is like what you…what westerners call a cardinal sign.
Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. Or if that planet is really strong they might manage to keep both of them. Pretty simple yoga. Basic principles if you really think about it. The way that people learned Vedic astrology was learning as many yogas as possible. Astrologers used to just sit down and literally remember by rote thousands of yogas and their skill was largely dependent on how many yogas they remember. They basically were turning their minds into a computer database of yogas, right.
He was an astrologer. And he said, learning astrology by memorizing countless yogas is a stupid way to learn it. He goes, we need to learn astrology by learning systematic techniques. Around that time people started developing and wanting systematic techniques.
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And then Iyer came along and developed some techniques, some more systematic techniques. The Systems Approach is one of these systematic systems. All these systems are not equal, some are better than others. But this is what we need to do with astrology. Like the specifics and then from that they would almost sort of work backwards to the first principles rather than just starting from the first principles and then working forward to all the hundreds of possible delineations. Some people like to learn, are intellectual people, which means they want to understand the why.
They care about why. And those people, they want to know, why does this work? Those people want to understand the system. I just wanna know what this is. You know, a lot of people…I get so many students like that. What does this mean? They just wanna know what it means to have 5 th lord in the 7 th house, you know. And so yogas appeal to those kind of people. And a lot of people are these kind of people who study astrology.
So yogas are really a great way for them to learn. Oh, this equals this equals this.
You just learn the yoga. And I was using yogas a lot until Most of my amazing predictions were just based on knowing a lot of these yogas. And I would compile these yogas while sat down and out of the books I would type all these yogas in. By the time I had written all those in, a lot of them had just kinda sunk in, right. And then other ones I would look for when necessary. And once you get good at it you can scan a list of yogas very quickly and…[I] started working with yogas. And eventually when we started making software we programmed a lot of yogas.
But really, for yogas to work effectively you need to have them in your head. The named yogas work great for that. Whereas a computer will ruthlessly pull all the yogas, some of them might not work in that chart for different reasons. But the intuition can bypass all that stuff and just grab the right yoga out of the chart. Nothing else in that chart was even apparent to me. So we need to work with what we have in our heads. These guys used to memorize the whole Mahabharata. They would memorize it perfectly. And so they had techniques for memorizing stuff where astrologers would literally remember thousands of yogas.
I was talking to Benjamin Dykes about this recently, who did a translation of Dorotheus of Sidon from the 1 st century which is a versed text in Greek. They have Sanskrit metres. I think these metres have somehow been developed to work with how the brain naturally works. Like as a simple example, phone numbers. We have three numbers, a dash, three more numbers, a dash and four numbers. People just found it easier to remember phone numbers as three sets of three numbers that are no longer than four digits a number than it was to remember 7 numbers as one set.
It wants to remember things in sets up to four. So there are certain ways the brains work that the Sanskrit metres are all based on. Because that actually makes them even more interesting, in terms of that memorization component, to realize that all these things are being memorized because they rhymed and were in verse and had that sort of component to them.
It would almost be nice to attempt to create a new set. I actually thought that would be fun to do at one point, you know. So that we could just sing a little song to our self in our minds as we read a chart. Because it is hard to memorize the way that we write things down in English. That would be really interesting. So bringing things back around a bit. Only a few of them would have things that are strange to western astrologers.
So like one of those I think is in Indian astrology I think the voice is associated with the second house, right? Because you actually are unique in your personal practice where you use, even though you practice Vedic astrology, you use the Tropical zodiac, right? You know what happened is, I started studying the old texts and especially the old astronomy books. I started realizing that the Indian astrologers around AD had no idea whether they were using sidereal or tropical.
Even in the philosophical books, so like, even in the Srimad Bhagavatam, which is one of the key philosophical books from India, they show that when that book was written they did not have knowledge of the precession. And of course precession is what makes the tropical and sidereal zodiacs different. And at that time, the Indians did not know. That book shows that they did not know of the precession of the equinoxes.
He was an astronomer. So you can still tell there was not this idea that there was really two definable zodiacs during that [time] at least until AD. Not directions. Are you familiar with that book? All the books we have from that time period up until the …6 th through the 7 th century use that kind of time system.