Friday, August 14, 2015

Hidden pointers in the mangalacharana shloka of Brihajjatakam

References - Dashadhyayi, Rudra Vivaranam, Apurvarthapradarshika.

Brihajjatakam of Varahamihirachrya is a highly  acclaimed, fundamental and comprehensive treatise of Vedic astrology.  Unlike most texts of astrology which are more of  descriptive and definitive nature, Brihajjatakam is replete with hidden and pointers to the complex subject matter of astrology. 

As an example, let us look at the  first sholka itself.

The opening sholka of any classical text in astrology is called mangalachranam.

आशीर्नमस्क्रिया वस्तुनिर्देशो वापि तन्मुखम्  - Salutation of divinity, seeking of blessings or indication of the matter ahead is the nature of mangalacharanam. It could be any one of these or more than one.

मूर्तित्वे प‌रिक‌ल्पितश्शशभृतो वर्त्माऽपुनर्जन्मना -
मात्मेत्यात्मविदां क्रतुश्च यजतां भर्तामरज्योतिषाम् |
लोकानां प्रलयोदयस्थितिविभुश्चानेकध‌ा यः श्रुतौ
वाचं नः स दधात्वनेककिरणस्त्रैलोक्यदीपो रविः ||

Straight forward meaning - This is addressed to Sun God. He imparts form to Moon - He is the path of those without a rebirth - He is the self (atma ) as known by the knowers of self - He is the yajna of those engaged in action ( yajna ) - He is the lord of creation, sustenance and dissolution of the worlds, variously described in the vedas and revealer of past, present and future - May he who is the light of the three worlds give us speech.

It apparently looks like a simple prayer.

Going deeper into the meaning -

मूर्तित्वे परिकल्पितश्शशभृतः -  Chandra is a non luminous planet. Surya alone imparts form to Chandra.   Chandra acquires its form  as the sun rays fall upon it. Ch‌‌‌‌‌‌andra just reflects the light from Surya and therefore becomes visible. During amavasya when Surya and Chandra are together, Chandra is invisible. As he moves away, the side facing Surya gets increasingly illumined. Hence it is said that Surya is the cause of of Chandra's form or visibility.

व‌र्त्माऽपुनर्जन्मनाम् - path of those without rebirth. The sanyasis reach that state in the proper order after passing through the three ashramas of brahmacharya, garhasthya and vanaprastha. The worship of Surya in the form of sandhyavandanam in these three ashramas paves the way for their attainment of mukti through sanyasa. The role of Surya in the Kundalini yoga , another path to moksha is also prominent. Shastra says that if the living being meditates on a brilliant object at the time of death, rebirth is avoided. Isn't Surya  the ultimate  brilliance ?

आत्मेत्यात्मविदाम् - Whatever the vedantis call as atma - omnipresent, subtle, non decaying, defect-less,  non moving, ego less, desire less, action less, self luminescent,  that is Surya.

क्रतुश्च यजताम् - He is both the performer of the yajna and the divinity as the provider of the results of yajna.

He is both the atma of the vedantis and yajna of the meemamsakas.

अमरज्योतिषां भर्ता -  He ( Surya ) is the lord of the devas. He alone is responsible for the production of various grains etc. during the six seasons which the devas partake during yajnas. Laghujatakam says that Lord Mahadeva before whom all devas prostrate himself salutes Surya during Sunrise and Sunset.

लोकानां प्रलयोद्भवस्थितिविभुः - He alone causes creation, sustenance and dissolution assuming the forms of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

अनेकधा यः श्रुत‌ौ - He alone is intended in the vedas through apparently different looking veda mantras.

नैककिरणः - possessing multitude of rays. He is also called सहस्रकिरणः ( of thousand rays - with five hundred he causes evaporation of water on earth and with the other five hundred nourishes the beings by causing rains. ). While his own rays are hot, as they reflect from Moon they become cool and pleasant. Objects become visible when they reflect sun light. A flower appears red and ocean appears blue only when they reflect the sun rays falling upon them. Hence Surya is the possessor of rays of various kinds. The division of light into VIBGYOR  is well known.

त्रैलोक्यदीपो र‌विः - He throws light on the three - past, present and future.

वाचं नः स दधातु - May he give us speech.

रावयति इति रविः - He is called Ravi due to the sound he makes. Now, scientists have discovered that Sun makes sound. See the following links -

Our Sages knew this and  even named Sun after this attribute.

Surya is shabdabrahma, he is the presiding deity of jyotisha because it is फलकथनम् - pronouncing of results that is important in jyotisha. The speech that is prayed for is no ordinary speech, but one that is वाचो वैशिष्ट्यं च यथाकालप्रतिभानमप्रतिहतत्वं सत्यत्वं श्रोतृमनोहरत्वं इत्यादिभिर्गुणैः संयोगः - well timed apt speech manifesting eloquently , unobstructed, truthful, pleasant to the ears - possessing these qualities.

Now, the hidden  pointers 

1. All the nine planets are indicated in this shloka -

Surya - directly mentioned with the word रविः
Chandra - with the word शशभृत्- the bearer of rabbit

Kuja - सत्त्वं कुज‌ः - moksha can be attained only through satvaguna.  अपुनर्जन्मनां वर्त्मा - by this term moksha and thereby Kuja is pointed at.


द्वावेव पुरुषौ लोके सूर्यमण्डलभेदिनौ |
परिव्राड् योगयुक्तश्च रणे चाभिमुखो हतः |

Only two kinds of people attain liberation - the yogi and the one attaining veeramrityu in the battlefield. The indication here is to Kuja the planet of the battlefield.

Kuja is a fiery planet. The kundalini shakti rising up the sushumna leading eventually to attainment of moksha is a fiery form of energy.

Budha - आत्मविदाम् -the term वित् here points towards Budha which also his synonym.

Guru - क्रतुश्च यजताम् - here,

the description of the first drekkana of Dhanus owned by Guru contains

क्रतूपयोग्यानि तपस्विनश्च .....................

and that of the first drekkana of Meena starts with

स्रुग्भाण्डमुक्तामणि ..................................

स्रुक् is the ladle used in yajna. Term क्रतु  indicates thus Guru.

Shukra - भर्तामरज्योतिषाम् - here

भर्ता - means husband pointing towards dampatya and hence kamatma , Shukra.


यजताम् भर्ता - lord of Yajurveda - Shukra

Sani -लोकानां प्रलयोदय‌......

प्रलय points towards mrityu karaka Sani,


भर्ता - ईश्वरः - among grahas Sani is addressed as ईश्वरः - शनीश्वरः

Rahu & Ketu - The chandas ( meter ) used in this shloka is atidhriti with 19 letters in a pada. This points towards Rahu and Ketu completing one round of the rasi chakra  in 19 years.

The vritta used in this shloka is shardulavikreeditam with its lakshanam as - सूर्याश्वैर्मजसस्तताः सगुरवः शार्दूलविक्रीदितम्

Here by the bhutasankhya system of depiction of numerals by words in Indian mathematics, Surya indicates 12 and Asva indicates 7 - pointing towards the twelve rasis and the seven palnets.

2. अनेकध‌ा - अनेक means more than one - group - राशिः

वर्त्म - path - the path through which the planets travel- the nakshatra mandalam comprising of the twelve rasis.

3. मूर्तित्वे - body - lagna

4. In the shloka, Chandra precedes Surya - The importance of tithi, nakshatra etc is indicated here.

5. मूर्तित्वे - trimurthys - jyotisha is also of three skandhas.

6. मूर्तित्वे - trimurthys - division of nakshatra mandala into three parts - starting with Rohini, Hasta and Sravana nakshatra, nine in each section.

Lord of Rohini - Prajapati - Brahma

Lord of Sravana - Vishnu

Lord of Hasta - Savita -Rudra

The trumurthys.

Here again, the first dasa for those born under these stars is Chandra dasa which the shloka opens with and the first dasa of the last last nakshatras of these groups of nine stars ( U.Phalguni, U.Ashadha, Krittika ) is Surya dasa which the shloka ends with.

7. There are 120 matras ( a short syllable is of one matra duration and long syllable is of 2 matras duration ) in this shloka pointing towards vimshottari dasha of 120 years.

8. शशभृत् - Chandra

In the katapayadi (akshra sankhya ) system of alphabetical notation of numerals श is 5

शश - 5 + 5 = 10 - the duration of Chandra dasa

Again रविः
र - 2
व - 4
2 + 4 = 6 - the duration of Surya dasha.

9. There are 26 padas ( terms )in the shloka, रविः being the 26th. Surya is the param brahma beyond the 25 tatvas as depicted in saankhya sastra.

This number 26 also represents the total number of chapters in the text ( in some versions the last four shlokas form a separate chapter making it 26.)

In the next shloka the term बहुलम् in स्वल्पं वृत्तविचित्रमर्थबहुलम् by katapayadi indicates 383 the total number of shlokas in the text.

10. वाचं by aksharasankhya is 4 and 6

By following the principle of अङ्कानां वामतो गतिः this denotes  64 - knowledge in the 64 forms of art is prayed for.

11. Again, 4 and 6 of वाचं denotes the four vedas and their six angas.