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Who is not suffering from anxiety and problems in life? One or the other concern in life exists in the form of challenges for everybody. Some people with a weak Moon are sensitive by nature and they are troubled more and sometimes even they get depressed and develop psychiatric problems. They feel more concerned about happenings in life. The people with a strong Moon are less sensitive and take positive views in life.

As per the divine science of astrology, the challenges are indicated by the badly placed planets, afflicted planets and weak planets both in the natal chart and transit chart. Severe problems are faced due to badly placed and strongly afflicted planets. The weak planets cause delays, give less success and make life non- significant.

When people are under distress they seek advice from an Astrologer. They are getting the results of their Karma. Astral remedies advice works as a “Change Agent”. The peace-making remedies are advised for mitigating the impact of the functional malefic planets. Strengthening measures, such as a ‘Special Power Kavach’ or a ‘Special Power Kavach with gemstones’, are suggested depending upon the afflictions and planetary weaknesses in the chart of the person seeking astrological advice. Those who follow the remedies advice generally get suitable results and they become believers in Astrology. Those who do not follow the Astral remedies, they see no change in their circumstances and continue to suffer as per the indications in their birth charts. They get only the advantage of knowing when the ending period of the problems will happen. So, Astral remedies are the Crux of Astrology.

Happiness and sorrows are the results of planetary influences in our birth charts, which are based on our deeds (Karma) of past lives. The planetary influences in our birth charts are not based on the will of the God. The strong planets in the birth chart represent our good karma and righteous conduct of past lives. They bless us with success in the matters of health, education, profession, finances, happiness in relationships and spiritual progress. The weak and afflicted planets represent our inappropriate karma and they cause setbacks, delays, denials, instability, depression and make us vulnerable to problems/challenges due to natal or transit afflictions.

So, astrology believes that karma results arise through the principles of divine justice based on our karma of past lives. Astral remedies are the means for alleviating these karma results.

To mitigate the challenges of life in the matter of health, profession, relationship and financial concerns, the blessed people take the shelter of propitiatory astral remedies. These remedies are to be performed throughout life and is like a karma tax. For example, when we have to pay taxes to the government to be worry free of penal action we in turn have to perform propitiatory remedies to reduce our worries on account of challenges in life, so that we can move forward on the path of progress.

The next challenge is the reading of the planetary influences in the birth chart of a native. For this we require a dependable, fast, reproducible and accurate systematic approach for which the Systems’ Approach for Interpreting Horoscopes (SA) has been developed by us and shared with fellow astrologers who wish to study influences of planets. SA is clear without inconsistencies and confusions, which were existing in the classical literature. All analyses are done with the help of one set of predictive techniques.

Under the Systems’ Approach, the concept of prime determinants of any aspect of life is considered. The lord of that house (or houses) which contains the mooltrikona sign(s) for any particular aspect of life becomes the prime determinant(s). The various aspects of life may be governed by more than one house. For example the professional matters are ruled by the tenth and second houses. So only that house will be considered as the prime determinant(s) of professional matters which contain(s) the mooltrikona sign(s). In the case where both the tenth and second houses do not contain a mooltrikona sign, then the lord of the ascendant becomes the prime determinant of professional matters. Similarly there are number of houses which rule the marital matters. These include the seventh, second, fourth, eighth and twelfth houses. So, in addition to the planetary influences on the house, we consider the lord of that house(s) as the prime determinant(s) which contains the mooltrikona sign(s) in the house(s) for studying the aspect of marriage.

The basis for analysis in a nutshell

The planetary influences in the horoscope are studied through the natal placements of planets, conjunctions and aspects read in conjunction with the planetary strengths, planetary periods and current planetary influences. The study of planetary influences is carried out with reference to the ascending sign.

The strong planets bless the native with happiness including birth in a resourceful family, good opportunities for education, a comfortable life and opportunity for spiritual development. The weak or afflicted planets cause delays, troubles and setbacks in life. The divine science of Vedic Astrology indicates opportunities to mold planetary influences through good deeds, propitiation of functional malefic planets and strengthening of planets. The severely afflicted planets curtail/deny happiness and bring tragic happenings in life.

Identifying the strength of planets in the horoscope is one of the important aspects of analysis. The main factor for correct predictions is identifying the real strength of the planet. We come to know about the weakness of a planet, when analyzed in detail, though apparently it may appear to be strong. This weakness cannot be detected in a superficial analysis. The weakness may be of any type that is arising out of a strong or exact affliction, placement in the mooltrikona sign of a weak and/or afflicted planet, placement in an afflicted house, occupying a debilitated sign, being combust, positioned in malefic houses, aspected by or conjunct with the functional malefic planets, residing in a sign of debilitation in a divisional chart, being in infancy or old age, identifying the strength of dispositor, etc. This is detailed in Systems’Approach Predictive Techniques.

The weakness of natal planets as identified in the rasi chart cannot be made up fully even by placement in good houses or exaltation signs in Vargas (divisional charts), obtaining maximum benefic points in ashtakvarga and participation in auspicious conjunctions with the lords of the benefic houses. Analyzing the role of a weak dispositor in creating weakness to a particular planet requires special mention here. Whenever a particular planet occupies an apparently sound or even an average position and at the same time its dispositor is weak and/or afflicted, the particular planet also becomes weak and it fails to protect or promote the significations ruled by it.

Identification of the close and exact afflictions in order to know which weak planets/houses become vulnerable to delays and setbacks for the significations of the concerned planet and/or house is necessary.

Planetary strengths (both natal and transit) and operating planetary periods, help us in (i) studying and explaining the combined effect of planetary influences for the next six months to one year, or for the requested time; (ii) recommending the astral remedies for strengthening of the weak functional benefic planets and propitiatory remedies for the functional malefic planets; and (iii) answering specific questions, if any.

The conjunctions and aspects help us in identifying the auspicious and inauspicious planetary configurations. The placement of a planet links the significations of the house ruled by it with the significations of the house where it is placed. An afflicted planet indicates suffering through the significations ruled by the said planet.

The blessed ones are impelled by divine forces for making use of the ultimate knowledge and astrological remedial measures - both propitiating functional malefic planets and strengthening weak functional benefic planets through the ‘Kavach’ or ‘Special Power Kavach’ and/or gemstones.

Astral remedies are two pronged. In the first place by propitiating the functional malefic planets which are causing unfavorable influences in the horoscope, we can avert mishaps or reduce the level of unfavorable results; secondly, by strengthening the weak functional benefic planets we can achieve comparatively better outcomes than the present results or we can reduce the influence of the functional malefic planets to a large extent.

The advice of astrological remedies is the crux of benefits from the divine knowledge of astrology. Those, who are impelled by God in the hour of necessity, turn to astrological advice. Divine will is again required for performance of the advised Astral remedies. Sometimes, after seeking the astrological consultation, people come to the conclusion that they do not believe in astrological remedies and cannot wear an amulet for strengthening their weak and afflicted planets. This reasoning is prevalent in some sections of the Hindu, Muslim and Christian populations. When faced with serious problems, such people can find themselves of two minds; they fail to decide whether they should follow their family/religious beliefs or the advice regarding Astral remedies. Due to this situation they sometimes become hesitant and lose precious time in making a decision. The blessed people rise above family/religious beliefs and benefit from the performance of Astral remedies. There are numerous cases like this. The planetary influences are universal for all human beings. The Sun gives its light and energy to everyone for work. The Moon brings soothing which is conducive for rest and sleep.

Prevalent confusions, contradictions and inconsistencies in the classical literature of Astrology have impelled the authors to go into the reasons for these confusions, contradictions and inconsistencies.

The key point giving rise to such confusions, contradictions and inconsistencies was identified as the functional nature of those planets, which own more than one sign. The functional nature means the nature acquired by various planets due to the ownership of various houses with respect to the ascending sign. After empirical studies it was concluded that the functional nature of the planets, which own more than one sign, depends upon the placement of their mooltrikona sign in a benefic or malefic house.

The malefic houses as per the classics are the trik (malefic) houses that is the sixth, eighth and twelfth houses. The planets whose mooltrikona signs are placed in the malefic houses act as functional malefic planets.

Then we have to understand the strengths of the planets; meaning whether they are strong or weak. The identification of planetary strengths is also a significant and distinct principle of Systems’ Approach.

The strong planets are generally able to bless the natives with their general significations and the significations of the mooltrikona sign house ruled by them in the horoscope.

The weak planets, whether functional benefic planets or functional malefic planets, are the causes of problems in one’s life generated through delays and less than expected levels of achievements.

Then comes the planets which are under the close influence of the functional malefic planets and the planets which are placed in malefic houses from the ascendant. Such weak and afflicted planets are the causes of serious problems in life.

Then comes the decision as to whether the planetary influences in a birth chart are analyzed through the ascendant or the Moon sign. The identification of planetary influences and identification of the functional nature of planets on the basis of ascendant is the right approach.

The study of planetary influences through the Moon sign is always misleading and is the cause of most of the confusions and contradictions in the study of planetary influences. It brings failures in predictions.

The next point taken up was for the application and effectiveness of various yogas (planetary combinations) arising due to conjunction or aspect of various planets or placement of a particular planet or a set of planets in a particular house. The impact of the yogas was not universally applicable and the reasons identified were as follows:

1. Functional nature and the strength of the planets.

2. The longitudinal distance among the planets (i.e. the orb of influence) involved in the formation of a yoga.

The first point taken up turned out to be helpful for the analysis of the second point. The planets involved in a particular yoga showed that the results ascribed to an auspicious yoga would only fructify if the planets were functional benefic planets with reference to the ascendant. The results are likely if an inauspicious yoga involves one or more functional malefic planets with reference to a particular ascendant. The yoga was only effective if the longitudinal distance between/among the planets was five degrees or less. In cases where this distance was up to five degrees the problem surfaced in the early years of youth. The problems became acute if the planet involved and afflicted was weak, as well.

The terminology used in our books has been explained in subsequent lessons.
The natives face problems in life due to the presence of weak and/or afflicted planet(s) in the natal chart.

The problems arise with respect to the:-

(1) general significations of the weak/afflicted planet,

(2) the significations of the house where the mooltrikona sign of such weak/afflicted planet is placed, and

(3) the house where such weak/afflicted planet is placed, during the sub-periods of the afflicting and afflicted planets.

The problems also arise whenever transit functional malefic planets form a close conjunction/aspect with these afflicted planets.

So far as the non-mooltrikona sign of the planets which own two signs are concerned, the significations of the houses containing these signs suffer only during the sub-periods of planets forming close afflictions by way of conjunctions/aspects with the most effective points of these houses.

To bring further clarity, we have to understand that afflictions to planets and houses are two different concepts. The affliction to the most effective point (MEP) of a house spoils the significations of the particular house during the sub-periods of the afflicting planet(s). If such an afflicted house has a mooltrikona sign, then its lord also becomes weak and causes sufferings to the person. Whenever a planet is afflicted, as stated earlier, its general significations, the significations of the house containing the mooltrikona sign of the said planet and the significations of the house where the said planet is placed, suffer. We are sure this makes clear the two concepts; more so about the houses where non- mooltrikona signs are placed.

In light of the foregoing one has to identify the strength of planets as per the principles brought out subsequent lessons.

More benefic bindus in the ashtakvarga for weak natal planets do not turn them strong.

The next point taken up was whether the analysis from the Moon sign in addition to the ascendant is helpful. The case studies show that this is misleading and increases the amount of confusion already existing. That is why under the Systems’ Approach, the analysis is taken up only with reference to the ascendant.

Ramayana, an epic of Hindus and thousands of years more ancient than the times of Maharishi Parashara, clearly propounded that in Kaliyuga the people can have spiritual attainments and elevation of their souls without renouncing the world. Therefore, the classical principles of Vedic Astrology as given to us by Maharishi Parashara in Dwapara Yuga are not applicable verbatim to human beings in Kaliyuga. While status, wealth and married life were considered to be as obstructions in the way of spiritual attainments in Satyuga and Tretayuga, it is not so for the human beings in Kaliyuga. Therefore this is a very vital point for consideration in adopting the classical principles of Vedic Astrology with changes mutatis mutandis (wherever necessary). Based on our studies of both Ramayana and Vedic Astrology, we are fully confident that the application of Systems’ Approach brings you very close to predictive competence and accuracy. In Kaliyuga, the second and seventh houses ruling wealth, status and married life do not cause obstructions for spiritual attainments. Rather their satisfactory level provides the person with mental peace, which is the first and foremost thing on the way to spiritual attainments and elevation of one’s soul. The simplest way to spirituality and continuous enjoyment of physical and mental happiness as per Ramayana is to overcome the obstacles in its way and to practice the facilitators mentioned, hereinafter. The obstacles are lust, anger, vanity, greed, attachment, selfishness, uncontrolled desires and gambling while the facilitators are adoption and practice of the virtues of kindness, sincerity, honesty, generosity, benevolence and to serve humanity, at large. Controlling the obstructions and practicing the facilitators save us from worldly tensions and are known as divine conduct.

The close influence of functional benefic planets over the ascendant, tenth, fourth, ninth or third house and a strong Jupiter and Sun make the spiritual attainments quite easy, while the afflictions caused by functional malefic planets on these houses take one away from the path of spirituality. However, if one cultivates constant alertness one will be able to keep on the right path. Reverting back to the astrological factors, as per SA the planets ruling the second and seventh houses do not act as death inflicting planets (maraka planets).

Results of Planetary Periods: Case studies were undertaken for identifying the dasa (major period of planets) and bhukti (sub- period of planets) results for the Vimshottari dasa. The studies proved that the whole dasa of a particular planet was not constant in its results. Rather the tone of the dasa changed with the change of the bhukti’s planetary lord in the main period of the maha dasa planetary lord; the shade of the tone depending upon the functional nature and strength of the sub-period lord and the triple transit. During the dasa of a functional malefic planet, the sub-periods of a strong functional benefic planet show less good results while the sub-periods of weak functional benefic planets generate hope and cause sufferings at the time of transit afflictions.

During the dasa of strong functional benefic planets the sub- periods of functional malefic planets show considerably less malefic results while the sub-periods of strong functional benefic planets show tremendously good results when they are strong in transit, as well. During the main period of functional benefic planets, the sub- periods of even the weak functional benefic planets keep the graph trending upward on the path of progress with occasional setbacks and delays due to transit influences. The close aspect of strong functional benefic planets reduces the weakness of planets and enhances their capacity to do well. The close aspect of functional malefic planets reduces the capacity to do well and causes sufferings during the sub-periods of the aspected and aspecting planets. The aspects are effective like conjunctions when they are close. The transit strength of the sub-period lords is necessary for manifestation of the results indicated by them.

The planets signifying a particular aspect should not be weak in the divisional chart that is specially meant for analyzing the said particular aspect. For example, the significator for male progeny, Jupiter, should not be weak in sapthamsa (Division VII).

Lastly, to enhance the positive significations and to mitigate the impact of the undesirable afflictions, one has to study the aspect of astral remedies. These astrological remedies have ancient and classical background right from Ramayana to Parashara Hora. In fact, Maharishi Parashara devoted many chapters of Brihat Parashara Hora only to astrological remedies. There are two types of remedies, namely strengthening of weak functional benefic planets and offering charities or reciting mantras for propitiation of the afflicting planets.

The prevailing contradictions, confusions and inconsistencies can only be attributed to:-

(i) interpolations and omissions, which have crept in due to the absence of print media simultaneous to the origin of the knowledge of the divine science; and

(ii) limitations of the human capacities which were the only source for carrying forward the knowledge from generation to generation. The records can now be set straight with the help of empirical studies based on case studies in an exhaustive manner. The attempt of the authors is a step in that direction.