Let Us First Discuss Respective Qualifications,
BY: PATITA PAVANA DAS ADHIKARY
Apr 18, 2012 BLAGOEVGRAD, BULGARIA (SUN) My dear Shriman Amar Puri, Please accept my warm greetings. It is said that — due to a curse of Lord Shiva — astrologers cannot stand one another and will never agree. Ahhh well, "So many sages—so many minds". However, I would like to assert that I have found a loophole in this particular utterance of Mahadeva even though the words of Shiva may be set in stone. That is because as a devotee first and whether we become a toilet cleaner, a begging outcaste, a dhobi, a guard dog—or even astrologers—whatever we do is only by the command of the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna Who is worshipped by the divine grace of our Guru Maharaja).
Therefore as devotee astrologers we must try to free ourselves from such pettiness of spirit that dictates quarrels over non-issues. Our business is sadhu-sanga and material duties like star-gazing are merely our means of remaining engaged. And what a lovely engagement, for the horoscopes of devotees echo their past worship of the Supreme Lord as their coming together from corners of the Universe heralds a Golden Dawn for the Earth.
Therefore, our real duty is to try to understand Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, Nectar of Devotion, Srimad Bhagavatam and Sri Chaitanya-Caritamrita and to perform sankirtan-yagna as much as possible before the last little tick of our personal clocks. We have mere seconds and only a few breaths during which time we must do something to please the World Acharya through devotional service to the Lord's lotus feet.
So—with those words—now I beg to thank you for your interest in my article, "Horoscope of the World Acharya". As noted by the Sun's Editor, my "article" was actually a piece from our April edition of The Astrological Newsletter, of which I am the Editor. That article was picked up by the Sun and apparently it has caught your interest and has provoked your ire.
And, hmmmm, it appears as though the Sun is becoming the stomping ground for us astrologers … and why should it not be so? Astrology is a bona fide science, the Father of which (Shri Parashara Muni) is none other than the very father of Shrila Vyasadeva, the compiler of all the Vedas. Therefore as we can read from the teachings of Shrila Prabhupada, astrology when used properly—that is, used in a parampara way for the expansion of the Krishna consciousness movement—is nothing less than devotional service to the Supreme Lord.
Let me say that there is no question that the greatest use for astrology is in the establishing of varnashram through compatible and arranged marriages. It needs to be mentioned that it has been the greatest sorrow of ISKCON that this divine science has been largely ignored by ISKCON's leadership in favor of marriages of convenience, haphazard unions which have had disastrous consequences not only upon the precious lives of Krishna's devotees but on the movement as a whole.
But back to the subject at hand, I am a bit surprised to hear from your rant that you are still hammering on the misconception of Makara lagna (Capricorn rising) as the ascendant for His Divine Grace Shrila Prabhupada. Considering the planetary positions for September the first, 1896, such an ascendant does not fit at all a divine personality. Your understanding apparently is based upon your pulling some details together that you have gathered second hand and arranging the puzzle whimsically to fit your own pre-(mis)conceptions. After all, astrology is a form of language, as much as the English words you are reading now. It has the power to lead or to mislead. And as a devotee of Shrila Prabhupada, it is our sworn duty to see that the language of jyotish is not misrepresented in such a way as to mislead the public as to the identity of this great empowered World Acharya, the empowered and perfect personality who walked amongst us conditioned souls and who graced us by his divine presence.
Besides, as far as you are concerned I thought that the issue of the ascendant of the World Acharya was already decided and resolved long back with a Sun article entitled "Prabhupada and the Archer at Birth" by Chakreshwar Goswamiji, MA. That was quite an interesting article written by the pandit in response to yours. It would be no wonder if you didn't respond to Goswami's piece of concise logic. If you did respond I did not notice. Anyway, after reading the pandit's devastating blows in response to your dim prognosis I have no doubts as to why you chose to remain silent.
As the traders along the Silk Road used to say, "Look to the seller and not to the items he is selling". I bring up this point because your latest article has taken the form of a command that I should "Stop Promoting Sagittarius Rising Sign of the World Acharya"!! I mean, Amar Puri has commanded and I must obey (?) Since I am being thus ordered, I have a right to ask for the source of that order, whether it is hard and fast (in which case by all means it shall be obeyed), or whether some mere wrangler is blowing his smoke in my direction.
So let us be properly introduced, then. As for me, I was initiated by Shrila Prabhupada in 1968 in Santa Fe and discussed the validity of astrology with the Spiritual Master on the day before my diksha yagna. My Guru Maharaja pointed his most regal and magnanimous finger in my direction and said, with a grand smile of approval and nodding too, "Oh you like astrology?!" The next year Shrila Prabhupada pointed at me again and said, "You are qualified, all glories to Patita Uddharana (the other name he called me)."
Then, three years later my astrology teacher, the mystic Shri Wijaya Ranamukhadevaji of Colombo, came to me quite out of nowhere. One day in London I turned around and there he was. He introduced himself, "I am an astrologer."
The first lesson there at 7 Bury Place was about the ayanamsha, the fixity of the house positions based upon lagna, the rulers of signs, nakshatras, and all the differences between the so-called Western system of hod-podgery and the genuine Vedic system. Then Panditji shifted gears for a lesson a few days later. He said "Your Guru Maharaja is Dhanush lagna." He went on to explain that only Dhanush as the lagna or (the tanustan, as he called it, or "house of physical body") would give Shrila Prabhupada the facial and physical features that he had. "The other lagnas would have made him taller," my teacher explained concisely.
Then he went on to say many things about the spiritual master and my future as well. He sppke about my trips to India, specific persons I would meet, etc. As well, he spoke about how in the future there would be a debate over the lagna that would divide into camps. Remember, Shri Puri, this was 1972, a good decade before "this science of light" was to catch on in the West (which it did, with much credit due to the interest of Shrila Prabhupada's disciples, though ISKCON's leadership is still a bit slow to catch on).
Ranamukhadeva had many uncanny abilities. Once in London he sauntered up just as Shrila Prabhupada arrived at the Bury Place temple, and with great devotion and humility gave Shrila Prabhupada Lord Krishna's horoscope engraved on a golden plate. Shrila Prabhupada smiled broadly back at him and accepted the dakshina as his due. It was as though the clouds parted above and the heavens were revealed. This was remarkable, since Ranamukhadeva was completely impoverished. He actually slept on the kitchen floor of a slum flat at a friend's place in one of East London's roughest neighborhoods. He spent most of his time at the British Museum studying or teaching chldren Singhalese, his native language. He cared little for money. Incidentally, that was the last time I saw the great Shri Ranamukhadeva, but I still consider that he was sent to me by Shrila Prabhupada. Everything is useful in relationship to Krishna consciousness and nothing is valuable if Lord Krishna is not served. And that includes astrology.
Now, for some recollections. Once in 1974, a follower of a Mayavadi lady so-called guru was sitting amongst us five or six brahmacharis on the rooftop in Bombay. This joker had a shaved head and wore a dhoti so he blended right in. Prabhupada was amusing us with his wit and we were enjoying the mood with Guru Maharaja. Then this Mayavadi piped in with some of his nonsense. Prabhupada stopped the jocular banter and pointing to him while looking askance and away from him. Guru Maharaja said, with a hint of disgust, "He is one of our men??" It was one of those "ducks amongst the swans" moments. The fellow had shown his mettle by opening his mouth to quack. His neatly shaved head turned crimson and he soon beat a fast retreat.
Therefore, having introduced myself—as was required, as I ask the same of you—it is therefore proper for me to ask you, what is your qualification? Are you initiated by Shrila Prabhupada that you wield such authority to order me about like your footservant to "Stop Promoting Dhanush Lagna"? Did you ever meet His Divine Grace? Do you chant 16 rounds of the mahamantra daily? These are pertinent questions I need to know before I consider obeying the decree of Amar Puri to "Stop Promoting Sagittarius Rising Sign of the World Acharya!" Really, Amar Puri, devotional service is a very intimate process. There are qualifications involved and it is therefore my right to question you in this regard.
I must say that the greatest astrologers of India considered Shrila Prabhupada to have appeared during Dhanush lagna. It is not my conclusion because before them, I am a mere student. These pandits include Shri P.N. Oak, who wrote Rationale of Astrology with an Introduction scribed by yours truly; Dr. B.V. Raman, who needs no introduction and to whose Astrological Magazine I contributed regularly; Pt. Shashikant Jain, the wizard of Bangalore; Dr. Arkasomayaji, whose reading was the basis of the article you have called into question, and countless others.
As far as your specific points are concerned, you have missed the big picture, that the aspect of Guru to the lagna dispels a crore of doshas and Prabhupada's Guru is in the 9th with drishti over atma. I have seen the horoscopes of many, many thousands of devotees of ISKCON. One of the most important recurring features is bhagya yoga or Jupiter's connection with the 9th house bhagyastan, or with the 9th lord or with both, and also Jupiter's connection with the lagna and/or lagnadipati. This feature is there in the charts of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (vidyastan Guru), Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur (lagna Guru), Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur (parakramstan Guru) and of course Shrila Prabhupada (bhagya Guru and whose Devaguru not only places his divine drishti over the lagna, but which he owns). In all these charts bhagya yoga prevails, but I'm aftaid that your mrityustan Guru (Jupiter in the house of death with Ketu and Sun) theory just doesn't fly. There is a certain parampara to astrology and in this sampradaya, bhagya yoga is prominent.
Incidentally, in your article you have used the word "death" three times in regards to His Divine Grace. You reason ill… Shrila Prabhupada was (is) an ascended perfect master and a pure devotee who is always under the Lord's divine protection. In past articles I have noted you have casually referred to Shrila Prabhupada as "Abhay." Your supposed intimacy and such misleading descriptions are offensive to any genuine disciple, and from your casual banter I must call into questions your qualification to comment on the chart of a pure devotee of Shri Radha-Krishna.
It is my suggestion that you try to understand the greatness of the personality of the World Acharya through a deep study of his books before you attempt to analyze intimate features of the paramhamsa Jagat Guru who set such a wondrous example for the world on behalf of his own Guru Maharaja.
Best wishes to you,
Patita Pavana das Adhikary