Monday, August 31, 2015

The Sign or the Rashi (Rāśi): Essential Component of Interpretation and Problem-Solving Processes in Vedic Astrology

The Lagna (Ascendant) and Bhāvas (Bhavas or houses) reckoned therefrom, can overwhelm the application of the principles of Vedic astrology, to the exclusion of essentials, but this may not be the correct approach.
The main function of Vedic Astrology-
The raison d’être of Jyotiṣa (Jyotisha or Vedic astrology) is essentially problem solving, sometimes very apparently so, and on other occasions, this manifests in a veiled manner.
Sweeping across the premise with a broad brush, we can say that Vedic astrology concerns itself with the problems precipitated by our own Karma reflected in the Rāśi Chakra (Rashi Chakra) and the numerous divisional charts. More specifically, the whole process of horoscope evaluation, apart from furnishing a complete picture of the Karma to be experienced, is focussed on unravelling the contours of particular environments in life; these could be health, fortune, family and siblings, spouse and relationships, properties, children, work, career and profession, battles and strife, elders and parents, comforts, acquisitions and luxuries, meditation and prayers, education, sins and dark areas in life and so on leading to a picture of the sum total of past Karma.
[This is also the reason the Vedic astrologer sits in the 12th House, quite apart from the fact that this is the gateway to the other world, the door to Mokṣa (Moksha); it is in trines to the 8th House, treating the Karmic pattern which emerges from the nativity in the 8th House, like a doctor, who solves physical ailments. The analogy is immediate and complete, both in its symptomatic appearance and therapy.]
The Vedic Sign or Rashi (Rāśi )-
But before we address these specific environments or life areas, dominantly gauged through the Varga Chakras read conjointly with the Rāśi Chakra, we must take pause at the most essential building block in interpretation in Vedic astrology, and this is the Vedic sign or the Rashi (Rāśi).
What is Rāśi (Rashi)-
There is no doubt that the Lagna Rāśi is very important in the Rāśi Chakra and in all the Varga Chakra. The twelve Lagnas derive their character through this as too the fact that the other eleven Bhāvas for each Lagna mark themselves out based on the Lagna Rāśi in the various divisions of the Vedic horoscope. It is equally important to see the Rashi in the Ārūḍha Lagna (Arudha Lagna) and other Viśeṣa Lagna or Special Ascendants.
Are we missing something here, at this point. Yes, we have missed the importance of the Rāśi (Rashi) itself. The corollary to this omission is perhaps more important than the omission itself; in other words, what are the specific contours of each Rāśi.
Rashis are created by the movement of the Sun as Aditya (Āditya) across the zodiac and each thirty degree division is marked as a Rāśi. The zodiac is 360⁰ of arc and so in this manner the twelve Rāśis come into being.
This tells us something extremely important. The Sun is the Natural Significator/ Naisargika Kāraka for resources and in its traverse of each distinct portion of thirty degrees of arc invests each Rāśi with these resources.
Conclusion- All resources immediately come from the twelve Rashis through the grace of the Dwādaśa Āditya.
If all resources come from the Rāśis are we then justified in omitting them from our due care and attention during our journeys as professionals, businessmen, family men, and human beings. In the alternative, how would we ever get to know where everything in life is coming from.
To pare down the proposition, all inanimate resources come from the Rāśis in the form of material, substance and circumstance, the last making the Rashi Dashas, (Rāśi Daśās) profound exponents of determinism as they bring into play, decided circumstance.
Higher definitions of Rashi in Vedic astrology classics-
The Fourth Adhyāya of the Bṛhaṭ Pārāśara Horā Śāstra reveals that the journey of the human being is from the Rahu (Rāhu) state to the Ketu state; indeed this thought runs through all Jyotiṣa and is the underlying thread in the path to Mokṣa. In Jyotiṣa code this translates to Rā (Rāhu) + Si (Śikhi or Ketu)= Rāśi (Rashi).
The other expression to this profound and essential truth (building block) is that the Ra Bīja is Agni and the Śa Bīja is Śakti which translates to Ra (Agni)+ Śi (Śakti)= Rāśi. Agni and Śakti translate to Sūrya and Cañdra respectively bringing the two luminaries in at the root of creation.
Physiology and Rashi-
When we examine various body parts from the various Bhāvas from the Lagna, we need to remember that this correspondence is borrowed from the essential physiological significations of the Rāśis.
In other words, if the 2nd House signifies the face, it is only because Vrishaba (Vṛṣabha or Taurus) corresponds to and governs the face. In this manner, all the Rashis have to be considered.
Essential Character of the Rashis-
The most basic character of the Rāśis emerges from their grouping derived from their mobility. We have the Movable Signs, the Fixed Signs, and the Dual Signs.
The Rajas Guna of the movable signs makes for creation and activity while Tamas Guna of the fixed signs makes for stolid research and established patterns of conservatism. The dual signs exhibit the most malleability and the highest element of sustenance with Sattwa Guna.
We can go on and on with this, as indeed deeper and deeper. There is the correspondence of the Rashis with the Yugas which has to be considered and this is based on the Tṛkoṇa. The metaphysics of manifestation of Karma, as to why some things happen without asking, some with effort and some never despite effort akin to moving mountains, are all directly based in this correspondence of the Rāśis. This is Kaliyuga for a reason and the Rashis are mapped to the four Yugas for a reason as they are but the four legs of the bull, Naṅdī signifying Dharma.
Everyman Anywhere in the World-
The precise nature and doctrine at the root of each Rāśi is beyond the scope of this paper but is functionally the most crucial for we must know what each Rashi stands for, means and only then can we arrive at a proper understanding of, and engage in universal problem-solving in Jyotiṣa, as reflected in the Rāśi Chakra and the divisional charts of any individual anywhere in the world.
When we say God has a brother who is playing all these tricks, all we are sometimes referring to is the complex interplay of Karma in the horoscope which may not have been revealed to us due to our distance from the magical words of the Rishis.
Additionally, in the context of the topic under discussion there are many Lagna Rashis including all dual or mutable signs, two movable signs and one fixed sign, which suffer from an inherent flaw in creation signified by one flawed planet for each such Lagna. There is no need to view it as anybody’s brother.
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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Vedic Astrology: The Charakaraka Replacement and Its Impact

At its deepest core Jyotiṣa is at the driving centre of all Karma. Just like life, if properly appreciated as it must, it has the status of a full-scale on-going project of immense magnitude.
Karma and Soul:
The Lagna and the Bhavas reckoned from the Lagna in the Rāśi Chakra indicate the physical manifestation of life. In the Varga Chakra the Lagna and the Bhāvas indicate the personality and realities of that specific environment. When we speak of Karma we inevitably speak of the soul as it is the soul which must carry and exhaust the Karma through rebirth.
Matters pertaining to the soul are studied and deciphered through the Charakāraka in Vedic Astrology. The Charakāraka are the temporal significators (Naisargika Kāraka) for various matters at the level of the soul and the Karma. The Charakāraka are decided on the basis of longitude of arc traversed by the planets including minutes and seconds of arc, and sometimes fractions of seconds of arc.
The Eight Charakārakas-
The Ātmakāraka (Atmakaraka) is the planet farthest advanced by degrees in any Rāśi (Rashi). According to Parāśara in the Bṛhaṭ Pārāśara Horā Śāstra (Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra) the Ātmakāraka is the King of the horoscope and indicates the soul of the person. Whatever the King deems fit shall and must come to pass and whatever he does not suppose cannot happen no matter what else is happening in the horoscope.
[During undergraduate days in college and other similarly nondescript and aimless ventures in life, the candidate scoffs and mutters- ‘Yes, sure, only the soul is real. What about these grades!]
But the fact remains that with spiritual advancement it becomes increasingly apparent that the soul is indeed running the show and the mundane realities of naive realism are but phantasms, changing shape at will, without any sort of decent advance notice. The soul decides the contours of this life as it knows what Karma has to be undergone for the spiritual progress of the person. This is its agenda.
The Amātyakāraka (Amatyakaraka) is the next and indicates the soul level Karma relating to the work and career of the native. He is akin to a minister in the King’s cabinet. The journey map of the soul in the career is held by the Amātyakāraka and its relations in the horoscope, most importantly with the 10th House and lord from the Lagna.  
The Bhrātṛkāraka (Bhratrikaraka) follows and stands for siblings, the teachers and one’s own guiding intelligence.
The Mātṛkāraka (Matrikaraka) then indicates the soul level Karma relating to the mother and the Pitṛkāraka (Pitrikaraka) does so for the father and the elder figures in life.
The Putrakāraka (Putrakaraka) signifies the Karma relating to the progeny. The Jñātikāraka (Gnatikaraka) signifies the relatives and the support groups and the Dārākāraka (Darakaraka) signifies the spouse and wealth, which are both Śrī.
Living and Non-Living Beings and Charakāraka-
In Śloka 34.1-2 of the Bṛhaṭ Pārāśara Horā Śāstra Maharṣi Parāśara speaks of two Charakāraka schemes for the Jīvātman (living beings) and the Jaḍātman (non-living beings). The eight Charakāraka scheme applies to the living beings while the seven Charakāraka scheme applies to the non-living beings. The Śloka also renders it clear that while Rāhu (Rahu) is excluded from the seven Charakāraka scheme he can make an appearance there and as we shall learn, quite a telling one at that.
[Ketu has no place in either scheme because it is the Naisargika Kāraka for Mokṣa (Moksha) or final emancipation and cannot stand for the soul in any matter pertaining to an extant being.]
This view is buttressed by other classical Jyotiṣa writers as well, notably by Mahādeva in his Jātaka Tattwa.
Planets as Ātmakāraka-
The various Grahas show different hues as far as the Karma being carried by the soul goes.
The Sun being the Naisargika Kāraka for the soul shows a profound soul experience relating to power, prowess, ego, pride and self-respect. People with Sūrya (Surya) as the Ātmakāraka tend to be natural leaders but they need to curb the streak of authoritarianism and egotism because the birth has occurred only to quell these Kārmic blemishes. If these persist then the person tends to suffer a lot. The native is usually an advanced soul at the spiritual level.
The Moon will show the need for greater compassion and caring than is usually the case for this is the area which was less than sufficiently developed in the previous lives. If there are lapses in this then social or emotional punishment is swift and damaging in order to bring correction at the soul-level.
Mars shows the need to eschew anger and action without thought for consequences as this can be scarring. This is also for the reason that all natural malefics indicate an advanced soul and this correlates with greater challenges at the mundane level in life to shed more dross.
Natural malefics as the Ātmakāraka are associated with speedier advancement of the soul as the malefics are the ones which make the native otherwise take the detour to paths less desirable and if these very planets have taken up the cudgels to take the soul to its rightful destination then there is little wrong that the native can do in life.
Rāhu for this reason sometimes shows the most spiritual people when it is the Ātmakāraka in the chart. Besieged by deceit and shattered by shocks the native cannot repay in the same coin for if he should do so the reprisals from the Ātmakāraka are very damning indeed.
Mercury as the Ātmakāraka in any nativity will show the need to watch the speech and communications in general. Attention is to be paid to what one learns in life especially in this age of easy access as Budha is the archetypal student.
Jupiter as the Ātmakāraka shows the need to have faith in the Gurū and the learned man, in the scripture and in Veda and Vedāṅga. People should not be fashionably agnostic and worse with this feature in the chart else Gurū will be compelled to bring them to realisation which is not always an easy process.
When Venus becomes the Ātmakāraka the person is required to be pure in relationships and marriage.
[In marriage, it appears from fragments in popular culture, that the wife tends to ensure purity in the husband in any case, through various efficacious devices and methods, periodic checks and surprise tests which are reliably reported to catch the unwary totally off guard.]
The greatest malefic Saturn becoming the Ātmakāraka indicates taking on considerable sorrow and treading the path of life conservatively and with astute adherence to orthodox wisdom. If the latter is followed, the trials can be faced more readily.
The agenda of the Ātmakāraka-
The Ātmakāraka is the significator of the soul and the soul is not essentially an empirically rooted entity. Likewise the Ātmakāraka also works inwardly and its agenda is to bring the Jīvātman to Mokṣa and merge with the Paramātman. It will not rest until it does so.
Charakāraka and Bhāvas from the Lagna-
Though an unjustified divergence often comes from some modern astrologers, Parāśara is quite clear about the Charakāraka and the Bhāva significations from the Lagna. The following is the list of Charakāraka mapped to the various houses from the Lagna-
Ātmakāraka- Lagna and the 8th House  
Amātyakāraka- 10th House
Bhrātṛkāraka- 3rd and 9th House; 11th House
Mātṛkāraka- 4th House
Pitṛkāraka- 9th House
Putrakāraka- 5th House
Jñātikāraka- 6th House
Dārākāraka- 2nd and 7th House
[The 12th House being Mokṣa Sthāna does not map to any Charakāraka.]
Charakāraka replacement or disappearance-
When any two planets are at the same degrees of longitude of arc (or minutes or seconds thereof as the case may be) then the one which is ahead by a margin of minutes or seconds or fraction of second is ultimately replaced from its perch of Charakāraka and disappears. This process is called Lopa. [Bṛhaṭ Pārāśara Horā Śāstra Śloka 16 ½- 17]
The planet originally ahead is called Agrakāraka, the one vying for the status is called the Madhyakhetaḥ and the planet which finally takes over the Charakāraka slot replaced is called the Aṅtyakāraka.
Charakāraka replacement and Jīvātman (Living Beings)-
In case of living beings, which we are, irrespective of vociferous and insistent suggestions to the contrary by the near and dear from time to time, the Charakāraka replacement reflects a flaw in the quality of time at birth. There is propensity for upheaval brought about by the phenomenon of replacement and the empty slot is to be filled by the Sthira Kāraka or the fixed significator.
Say, the Ātmakāraka and Amātyakāraka in any horoscope are at the same degrees of arc traversed, and the difference is in minutes or seconds, then the Amātyakāraka at some point will become the Ātmakāraka for many functional Kārmic purposes and the original Ātmakāraka disappears. The essential soul remains the same but life as a matrix of Karma changes completely. The slot of the Amātyakāraka falls vacant and is filled by the Sthira Kāraka for work and career, which is Jupiter. So, if Jupiter is not strong then there can be a great deal of suffering in matters indicated by Jupiter in the horoscope. This applies to any number of Charakārakas in the same degree.
The replacement of the Ātmakāraka by the Amātyakāraka completely shifts the focus in life and the events are such that the person will lose his sense of self and will focus only on what he has to do in this lifetime. He will throw away the notions which defined him and take on a totally new life path. If the original Amātyakāraka is the 5th Lord of children or the 7th Lord of marriage then these changes can happen with childbirth or marriage as the case may be and Gurū will hold the key as to what happens in life.
Timing this replacement is not always easy. Sometimes this can happen at the natural ages of fructification of the planets involved or at the time of activity associated with the planet (s).
What happens in life is not so much a subject of Satya or the Bhāvas from the Lagna, but those from the Ārūḍha Lagna which is the reference for events that transpire in life.
[Eg. Mahatma Gandhi who changed from a lawyer to a unique Satyagrahi politician becoming the Father of the Nation- it was a total change in life owing to the Charakāraka replacement of the Ātmakāraka by the Amātyakāraka and he became a Karmayogi. Results will depend on the study of each horoscope as to what these radical changes portend and they will span the entire spectrum of possibility.]
Or if the Bhratrikaraka is being replaced by the Mātṛkāraka then the entire way of thinking and the intelligence is going through a transformation and this will happen in accordance with the nature of the planet being replaced and the planet replacing. The slot of the Mātṛkāraka falls vacant and the strength of the Sthira Kārakas Cañdra and Maṅgala (yes, Mars) will decide the new Mātṛkāraka. The change in the nature and well-being of the mother depends on this.
Charakāraka replacement and Jaḍātman (Non-Living Beings)-
The simple truth about this is that Rāhu comes in when the Charakāraka replacement happens, even though he is originally out of reckoning in the seven Charakāraka scheme and the result is completely undesirable as cheating and machinations come in where they should have no place. [There should be no Charakāraka replacement in Muhūrta charts or electional astrology.]
Note- It is the Ātmakāraka which will decide the level of fortune and Dharma that the soul carries for any lifetime and is crucial for this reason as well.
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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Justin Bieber- A Vedic Astrology Horoscope Analysis

This Vedic astrology article about Justin Bieber evaluates the fame and success of the artiste and other features of his life in the conspectus of the classical principles of this spiritual art.
Birth Data-
Justin Bieber was born on March 1, 1994 in London, Ontario, Canada at 12:56 AM.  The birth data has been taken from Lois Rodden’s Astrodatabank and has a ‘B’ rating indicating it has been taken from the biography and can be considered reliable. We shall perhaps have occasion to look into this assumption as well.
Justin Bieber’s Vedic Birth Chart-

 Success and basic features of the Vedic horoscope-
Bieber has been listed as one of the ten most powerful celebrities in the world in the world by Forbes magazine in 2011, 2012 and 2013. He is immensely successful and has only just completed twenty one years of age.
Scorpio Ascendant (Vṛṣcika Lagna) rises in the Vedic birth chart (Rāśi Chakra) and Rahu is placed there in the Ascendant.
Rāhu, the North Node of the Moon, shows the spiral of ambition of the mind and in the Lagna shows the highest material aspirations of the mind and the thinking intelligence.
Rāhu gives the highest Rajayoga or success in the created world because it has no body and is denoted by a severed head, full of thoughts and plans and the like.
It is the head that wears the crown and so Rāhu is capable of giving the highest Rajayoga or the biggest crown to wear in a given lifetime.
Hypnotic popularity and fame-
Rāhu is the 4th lord in this Vedic birth chart and shows the heart. In the chart of a celebrity it shows the ability to tap into the hearts of the masses turning them into wailing, fainting fans. [Grahas can compel a class of people known as 'beliebers' to come into existence!] Since Rāhu is but a mathematical point and has no physical astronomical existence, its astrological existence is not bound by the empirical principles that direct matter.
The impact of Rāhu is irrational, super rational and inexplicable. It can generate mass hysteria and mob mentality. As the 4th Lord in the Ascendant it has given Bieber the ability to ensnare the hearts and minds of the people with his art.
Lagna is the name and fame of the person and Rāhu placed here can take the name and fame of the person far and wide.
The one concern which might appear is that Rāhu is in its sign of debilitation insofar as longevity is concerned.
Parivartana Yoga of Lagna and 4th House-
We also find an exchange of signs between the lord of the Ascendant Mars and the 4th Lord Rāhu in the Lagna. This can allay the concerns about longevity as being the Lagneśa Mars will protect the Lagna at all costs.
Pointed chin-
A pointed chin is usually associated with Mars and it is due to the exchange that this feature shows up more even though the Lagna rising is ruled by Mars.
The chart has Śaśa Mahāpuruṣa Yoga as Saturn (Shani or Śani) is in its own sign in Aquarius (Kumbha Rāśi) in a Keṅdra Bhāva from the Lagna in the 4th House. This is a powerful Rajayoga showing support of the masses.
Venus, the planet of entertainment and aesthetics is in the 4th House as well in 100% Digbala which heightens its natural significations greatly and it is no wonder that the fan base is largely comprised of women.
Arudha Lagna: Image and Reality in the World-
Readers and consulters will know well that the Ārūḍha Lagna governs the realities that we project and experience in the living world and our social and financial worlds are largely controlled by this reference in the Rāśi Chakra.
In Justin Beiber’s chart, the Ārūḍha Lagna is in the 4th House of the people at large which is only to be expected and that too in Aquarius ruled by Rāhu and Saturn encompassing within it strong materialism and hysterical support.   
Śukra with the 10th Lord Sun and the Lagneśa Mars and the planet of the masses Saturn in its own sign all show the great success and popularity. The exchange of Mars with Rāhu will work as Ārūḍha Parivartana and at times the Ārūḍha Lagna will shift to the Lagna with Rāhu in Scorpio and he will end up on the wrong side of the law.
Bieber has faced trouble from the law with changes of vandalism, DUI and petitions for deportation on which the Obama administration has not issued substantial responses.
Alcohol, prescription drugs and other such substances flow both from the Ārūḍha Lagna in Aquarius and the influence of Rāhu.
Only child-
Mercury (Budha) is in the 12th Bhāva from the Ārūḍha Lagna showing that there can be no younger siblings.
The 11th House from the Ārūḍha Lagna is vacant but the lord Jupiter though with the Moon is aspected by Saturn and Venus both from the Ārūḍha Lagna with Rāśi Dṛṣti and Rāhu aspects the 11th House with Graha Driṣṭi – this ends the prospects of any elder siblings as well.
Śrīmaṅtaḥa Yoga-
The Ārūḍha Lagna and Dārāpada are in the 1-7 axis which is the Śrīmaṅtaḥa Yoga leading to wealth creation and the presence of Mercury in the 12th from the Ārūḍha Lagna shows massive expenses and philanthropy as it is in Capricorn.
Huge fame and money-
The Gajakesarī Yoga (Gajakesari Yoga) of the Moon and Jupiter is in the 9th House from the Ārūḍha Lagna which feeds his fame, acclaim and wealth constantly and is the best placement for these kinds of results that one can hope for.
Ingrained Karma and the hand of God-
The subtle push of destiny and God comes from the Navāmśa Chakra and here we find Rāhu in the kingly Leo (Simha Lagna) Ascendant. Classics extol this placement and it is said to give kingly pleasures to the individual.

Using the Amśa Tulya Rāśi technique we find that this Rāhu goes to the 10th House of the Rāśi Chakra indicating a huge career.
Bieber believes that sexual relations without love are not right. Sūrya is in Amśa Parivartana with Rāhu in the Navāmśa and is with Ketu, the planet of no sexuality or the other extreme. In this case a sort of Śiva Yoga is generated in this personal realm.
The Jupiter Daśā has just started for Bieber in the Viṃśottarī Daśā scheme and it is excellent for all worldly matters including engagement and marriage. The presence of retrograde planets in the 12th and 3rd Houses can show lack of certainty and cold feet in coming to a decision about marriage.
The Mahādaśā of Gurū in the Viṃśottarī Daśā  scheme is given below-
Viṃśottarī Daśā:
Jup Mahādaśā: 2015-03-18 (2:07:23 am) - 2031-03-18 (4:30:51 am)
Aṅtaradaśās in this Mahādaśā:
Jup: 2015-03-18 (2:07:23 am) - 2017-05-05 (12:09:11 pm)
  Sat: 2017-05-05 (12:09:11 pm) - 2019-11-19 (8:42:36 pm)
  Merc: 2019-11-19 (8:42:36 pm) - 2022-02-21 (9:59:14 pm)
  Ket: 2022-02-21 (9:59:14 pm) - 2023-01-29 (10:54:30 am)
  Ven: 2023-01-29 (10:54:30 am) - 2025-10-02 (5:55:01 am)
  Sun: 2025-10-02 (5:55:01 am) - 2026-07-19 (11:56:03 pm)
  Moon: 2026-07-19 (11:56:03 pm) - 2027-11-19 (9:50:26 pm)
  Mars: 2027-11-19 (9:50:26 pm) - 2028-10-26 (5:51:07 am)
  Rah: 2028-10-26 (5:51:07 am) - 2031-03-18 (4:30:51 am)
Daśāmśa Chakra (D-10 chart)-
The Daśāmśa Chakra is extracted below for ready reference-

Again we find Rāhu in Leo in the Lagna and the Kāma Tṛkoṇa extremely strong showing career as a professional rather than service. Moon in the 3rd House shows enterprise of great popularity in entertainment as Cañdra is in Tulā Rāśi (Libra). The strange impact on the mind of the fans is generated by the Mars-Ketu Yoga in the house of business. Though the Navāmśa Chakra  Parivartana of Rāhu and Sun helps but Sun in Maraṇa Kāraka Sthāna can create problems in the career from time to time. Mercury strong in Gemini shows endless gains in work.
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(C) Anurag Sharma DisclaimerFor those who have glimpsed the magic of Jyotish, magnificent treasures await in the vast ocean of this knowledge. Hindu Astrology Analyses offered by the Consultant are not empirical pronouncements of the type made in the realm of the physical sciences. The Analyses are not in the true or false format but delve into the horoscope to derive insights about the life of the native in a spiritual reference frame. These insights should be used by those availing them at their sole discretion and responsibility.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Pressfield's Resistance and Vedic Astrology

Grahas (Planets) and their play-

In my work with horoscopes from around the world, I have consistently found that the archetypal planetary energies of Vedic astrology, giving play to the Karma that defines lives, are uniform. The only thing which then remains to be done is to apply their impact to people and their life paths, with astute awareness of the contours of a given culture, geographical character, history and social mores.

Pressfield’s Resistance-

One such planetary energy is that which often requires an elevation of the self to counter its operation. This is the energy of opposition, of setback, of challenge and impediment.
Steven Pressfield in his work, emanating from film and writing has called it Resistance. In Jyotiṣa or Vedic astrology, this is the work of planet Śani (Shani or Saturn).

[Karmic resistance as viewed in Vedic astrology is a wider metaphysical concept than Pressfield’s Resistance but there are benefits to be derived from examining the latter in the framework of the former, and this is the driving force behind this paper.]

Features of Pressfield’s Resistance-

Pressfield’s resistance has some standard features, and briefly encapsulated, these are that resistance is external and exists in direct proportion to the positive task sought to be accomplished. Whether this proportionality is indeed Kārmically correct or not, is irrelevant. What is of importance is to note that impediment as a quality in life, is a major force and it is prudent to recognise it for what it is.
The other facet of this quality which is put forward by Pressfield is that it is external. I find that this proposition is worthy of being studied in Jyotiṣa.

Is Kārmic Resistance External, like Pressfield’s Resistance?

I have stated that to impede and obstruct is the work of the planet Saturn. The Kāraka Bhāvas (Karaka Bhavas or the significator houses) of Shani (Śani) are the 6th and 8thhouses from the Lagna especially when we discuss resistance. Śani is also the Naisargika Kāraka for the 12th Bhāva from the Lagna but the 12th House does not necessarily obstruct.

The 6th House is definitely external to us and embodies inimical forces in Karma. Of course, these come to us as we are reborn and have done something in the past lives to receive this, but in the context of this very life, the 6th House is external. It is also symbolic of the general nuisances, distress in general, illness, financial troubles and adversaries. These are the hallmarks both of Pressfield’s resistance and of the Kārmic opposition that we endure in our actions, projects and endeavours.

The 8th House, though, cannot be taken to be external even in the context of this lifetime and is characterised by Nija Doṣa or own flaws. It is a manifestation of chronic issues and since the manifestation comes from within, we cannot characterise it as external in any manner. This is the reason that we use the 8thHouse as a primary determinant for gauging the impact of planetary curses. The 8thHouse is then another vortex of the self, the sinning self and ensures that the manifestation of adversity is felt by the individual and by none other. So the source and the destination are both centred in the self when it comes to the 8th House and this resistance is then not external.

Pressfield often relies on the essence he has derived from Judaism and in this paper we are both examining his ideas and imparting width to them with the massive Kārmic wisdom of Vedic astrology. We are in fact fleshing out the pragmatic thrust of the idea of resistance with the age-old wisdom of the Ṛṣis as it relates to ideas of adversity, impediment and torment in fulfilling objectives.

Resistance in Vedic Astrology-

We have seen that Pressfield’s resistance is stated as being external and at a behavioural level it is a valuable idea insofar as it asserts that it is something other than the self. Sometimes, when battered with incessant obstacles, a person might start identifying with the challenges and identity-issues might develop including those related to self-esteem. Pressfield is at pains to say that no matter how much resistance we experience, that resistance is not us. Now, we have seen that the 8th House and lord, for instance, do not represent external forces but they can be distinguished from the extant self indicated by the Lagna and the Lagna Lord. Even where the 8th Lord is the same planet as the Lagneśa, when it is acting as the 8th Lord it cannot act as the Lagneśa and vice versa as the Lagna cannot be harmed by the Lagneśa.

So, behaviourally, and at the level of the daily work that we do, we can well use the principle that our impediment is not the thinking self shown by the Lagna and the Lagna Lord, rather the impediment or resistance is being experienced by the Lagneśa and the existential space of the Lagna.            

Indicators of Karmic resistance in Vedic astrology-
  • Śani (Saturn)
  • The 6th and 8th Houses and lords in the Rāśi Chakra
  • The Bādhaka and the Bādhakeśa (Badhaka and Badhakesha)

Other planetary correlates of Pressfield’s Resistance-

Steven Pressfield goes on to say that according to him there are three problems entrepreneurs are likely to face (lawyers, writers, creative people, businessmen, and freelancers of all sorts- anyone wanting to do anything in life). He also says that this can be applied to anyone anywhere in life irrespective of what they are doing. We can have no metaphysical objection to this premise in Vedic astrology for who does not have Saturn or the 6th and 8th Houses and lords or the Bādhaka and Bādhakeśa in the Rāśi Chakra.

The first is resistance, the other is too much rationalising and the third is people around us, who either knowingly or unknowingly may deter us from our true goals.

In Jyotiṣa then if there is too much Vāyu Tattwa influence on the determinants of personality, we would be well-advised to mitigate this through remedies. The afflicted benefics Mercury (Budha) and Moon (Cañdra) can become malefic with inappropriate associations leading to friends and family acting in an adversarial manner at times.

Not just Saturn-

The question also arises that what happens when Śani is the Lagneśa in the Rāśi Chakra. The Lagneśa cannot impede itself.   In such cases the other determinants of the resistance will attain greater focus though much as the Yogakāraka Śani still causes the changes in the Sāḍe-Sātī for say Tulā Lagna, the Śani Lagnas Makara and Kumbha will have some natural obstruction interwoven in the very fabric of life.

Even in such cases, it could not be said with impunity that the Graha is causing it.
More on the nature of the working of the planet Saturn and the resistance it precipitates is explored in a tripartite article-

Pressfield’s Take-Away Solutions and Jyotiṣa-

Pressfield, at the behavioural level, recommends an absence of too much thinking, keeping at it and an element of faith.

The Jyotiṣa correlate of the absence of too much Vāyu is the presence of Sattwa Guṇa and doing in general. While Sattwa is usually confused with a beatific smile and doing nothing, it is not so. Sattwa is benevolent action. Rajas Guna is creative action. So, we must look to Sūrya (the Sun), Gurū (Guru or Jupiter) and Cañdra (the Moon or Chandra), and also Śukra (Shukra or Venus) and Budha as being the antidotes for too much debilitating thought.

Regularity of action and control of recurrence cannot come better than from the Sun, who rises for us unfailingly everyday.

Faith is the eternal wisdom of Gurū and this will bind us to our lives in the best possible ways. Gurū has moved to Leo recently, about which you can read here-


(Note- A Newsletter form of this article may be found at-

Just one quality of impediment or resistance has taken us deeper and we have simply touched upon the subject. For the contemporary person, Vedic astrology at this level can harness all the positives and the Karmic inclinations for a lifetime and enable us to reach our own apogee. Not just resistance then, but the recognition and affirmation of our selves not just at the overall level of the Rāśi Chakra but in all specific and distinct areas of life indicated by the Varga Cakras. The more things change, the more they remain the same and to address this paradox we can do well to benefit from the teachings of the Ṛṣis passed on by the Brahmins, even in the Kaliyuga-

Some of my more recent work may be accessed at the following links-

Anurag Sharma
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