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    Life and Astrology: part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Astrology, Ethics, Destiny & God | Ganesha, the God | Amazing Encounter
    Indian Wedding

    Life and Astrology [part 1]
    Tirpuday Runs Away

    In traditional Indian society—and even in modern India—weddings are taken very seriously indeed. Astrological readings for suitability are always consulted, by the families of both sides of the match. Ram Ramakrishnan has been a dedicated astrological researcher in India for many years and this article begins a new series on Life and Astrology, as revealed through his astrological modelling techniques.

    It was almost 18 years ago that I met him for the first time. He was in the final year of school. Not quite boy, not quite man. In the confused state in between, shy yet full of vigour. A relative from my wife's side, he was Malhar Rao Tirpuday. I too was in a very similar state with regard to my astrological studies, in a situation equivalent to that of high school and by disposition (with reference to astrological matters) shy yet full of vigour.

    Soon, Malhar Rao Tirupuday stepped into manhood and joined the armed forces. The shy uncertainty about him was replaced by a steely resolve and a definite sense of direction while I found a comparable metamorphosis in myself—from an astrological student to that of a researcher. The resolve and direction in my case was towards developing an astrological mathematical model to compute the date of marriage from birth parameters.

    Indian society of the times lavishes a lot of thought, energy and time on the concept of marriage and all that goes with it. Past adolescence, young men and women are no longer safe from the prying eyes of parents prospecting for a good match for their wards. And this overbearing and unreasonable preoccupation with this apparently rather simple social phenomenon spawns and sustains an endless chain of industries and services encompassing automobile manufacturers to astrologers, pharmaceutical laboratories to priests. It even initiates original research efforts as service and commodity providers vie with each other in introducing newer and more bizarre products to lure marriage seekers. Malhar Rao Tirpuday was no exception, nor was I — he as a potential husband and I as an astrologer.

    The idea of marriage is painted in so many hues that it appears like a rainbow with a zillion colours, a natural rainbow appears to a be poor, deprived, distant cousin in comparison. Astrology relates this event to every house in the birth chart, sending practitioners and researchers into an unending hunt for possible solutions related to it. The first house represents the self and there can be no marriage without the self. The second house refers to family and marriage is the bedrock of a family... the list and explanations go on and on.

    My model computed a date of marriage based on the vimsottari dasa time axis for a birth chart and determined the celestial sequence that represents a possible marriage point on this axis. The position of a celestial in the sequence was established on the consideration of the celestial's eligibility and strength. The strongest among the eligible celestials got the pride of place in the sequence which was the second position. Strength itself was measured on a scale that had the possibility of sporting positive and negative values, with only those celestials sporting positive values gaining entry into the celestial sequence. Rules for computing strengths of celestials would constantly undergo modifications as additions were made to the sample size and the model would throw up a list of unmarried persons with their computed prospective marriage giving celestial sequence that would be five or six celestials in length and the corresponding dates that this sequence pointed to.

    Malhar Rao Tirpuday, who was chart number 2174 in my collection now, was soon to appear in this list. This was about 10 years ago.

    Tirpuday Birth Chart

    Chart Below: Ruling celestials from the time of birth: First row identifies primary celestial and number of years that it holds sway. Second row identifies the ruling celestial of sub-periods within the primary period. Numbers in the boxes mark the ratio in which the primary period is divided between sub-periods. For instance, the first sub-period of Jupiter's period of 16 years will endure for a duration of 16 x (16/120) years – 2.1333 years.

    Tirpuday Planetary Periods

    Generally marriages in India are a once in a life time event and the entire family gets to have a say in the selection of a bride or a groom. This entire hullabaloo—some psychological and some real—naturally affects the main players of the show: the guy and the gal who are to go to the altar. Some see it as a gateway to bliss while others dread it as they would a sacrificial podium and would think of any number of ruses to escape the dragnet. Tirpuday belonged to the latter set. Unfortunately, his family members were cleverer and his only hope lay with the celestials. He fervently prayed that they would help him run away from this imbroglio.

    As a member of his extended family, I was expected to play a role too and an important one at that—being in the know of astrology. I could dare to profess neutrality only at my own peril. But deep inside, my sympathies were with Tirpuday. Torn between conflicting pulls and sailing in the same boat as him despite being already married once, I took to processing his chart my way—ŕ la Sherlock Holmes, which was different from what astrologers usually indulged in.

    The first task was to determine when he would get married. Once identified, it would help the immediate family to ready their nets and cast them—with or without baits. I picked up my magnifying glass, mumbled to myself (there was no luxury of a Watson) and began sleuthing for tell tale signs.

    With so many eligibility criteria, almost every one of the nine celestials were found to be apparently qualified to take the post of the second position in the celestial sequence—the position of the marriage giver. Obviously, only one of them would manage it by virtue of its superior attributes and this was the main task of the investigation. The ruling period at this time was the primary operating period of Saturn and sub-period of Venus. The immediate exercise was to determine whether Venus had attributes in ample measure to be the 'giver' of marriage.

    The number of charts in my collection for which dates of marriages were known was 745. The following table resulted from an analysis of the incidence of occurrence of celestials as 'initiators' and 'givers' of the event 'marriage'.

    Table 1. Incidence of occurrence as initiators and givers
      Sun Moon Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Dragon's Head Dragon's Tail
    Initiator 63
    8.56%
    37
    4.97%
    78
    10.47%
    93
    12.48%
    33
    4.43%
    99
    13.29%
    75
    10.07%
    130
    17.45%
    35
    4.70%
    Giver 45
    6.04%
    63
    8.46%
    90
    12.08%
    112
    15.03%
    40
    5.37%
    116
    15.57%
    124
    16.64%
    104
    13.96%
    46
    6.17%

    The figures above do not provide an insight into the inclination of a celestial towards the event under consideration in absolute terms. This is because of the uneven distribution of operating periods. For instance, if we were to compare the performance of the Moon and Venus in real terms, then Moon is seen to be a better achiever because its period of operation is only half of that of Venus. This analysis then is more ornamental than functional.

    A more appropriate approach would be to look at each celestial individually and analyse their performance in the light of the attributes that they sport. Such an analysis on Venus provided the following revelations.

    Table 2. Venus Venus as initiator/ giver
    Condition Charts conforming Venus as Initiator Venus as Giver
    No condition 745 93 112
    Venus between malefics placed in adjacent signs 175 27 22
    Venus as above but not being retrograde and in fall and lacking directional strength and sign dispositor not subject to indignity 63 3 3

    This investigation revealed Venus was a better performer when not placed between malefics and even if so placed, it was exempted from indignity due to the presence of compensatory effects. Only when placed between malefics and lacking recompense did Venus fail in its efforts. In Tirpuday's chart, Venus was in the last category which had the rate of probability of success as 4.76%. I was reluctant to consider any success rate below 5% as a possible indication of an impending event. The net-casters for Tirpuday were however more optimistic. If for 5 in 100 there was a positive outcome 'why couldn't he be one of those five?' was their refrain. Could I disagree? At the time of doing this analysis, there were two more years of the sub-period of Venus to operate in his chart which made me say tentatively that I hoped he would get married within this sub-period. This could be considered as a very ambiguous answer from one who claims to work with precise numbers. But the secret of success of many an astrologer is this very same ambiguity which would help them to claim correctness of prediction whichever way the result may go!!

    I tried out another analysis—that of Venus in Cancer, the combination that existed in Tirpuday's chart and got the figures as below.

    Table 3. Venus Venus in Cancer Cancer as initiator/ giver
    Condition Charts conforming Venus as Initiator Venus as Giver
    No condition 58 5 9
    Venus between malefics placed in adjacent signs with no compensating effects 6 0 0

    The fact that clinched the issue however was the inclusion of a chart into the collection, of a person born on the same day as Tirpuday and who was married. It was chart number 2201. Venus was not a 'giver' in this chart. This coupled with the figures in the second row of the table above, made me include a logical rule in my model demoting Venus by a notch in its ability to 'give' marriage if so placed. When a new list of prospective marriage dates was taken, chart number 2174 was found to be missing in it. The celestials had heard and granted his prayers. He had escaped the dragnet. Tirpuday had run away.

    They came at me with daggers drawn—the immediate family of Tirpuday. Despite my pleas of innocence, I was accused of aiding and abetting crime. I was however given another chance and was told to give an unambiguous verdict on when the next marriage window was to open. Tirpuday was rejoicing and it was my turn to pray fervently to the celestials and the stars to save my hide.

    The sub-periods to follow after Venus were those of the Sun and the Moon. One striking feature of the Sun in chart 2174 was its proximity to the Moon. This made the sleuth in me to analyse this particular phenomenon in the context of marriage, resulting in the figures below.

    Table 4. Sun Sun conjunct Moon Moon as initiator/ giver
    Condition Charts conforming Sun as Initiator Sun as Giver
    Sun conjunct Moon 37 0 0

    It would be wrong to conclude from the figures of the above table that the Sun so placed would never claim the second position in a marriage giving sequence. But we can work only within the confines of what we experience and understand. So I decided to accept the findings and reckon that the Sun would not do so. Moreover, I had this new chart 2201 to back me up.

    Next to be confronted was the Moon. Applying the same criterion as for the Sun, the figures described a slightly different picture.

    Table 5. Moon Moon conjunct Sun Sun as initiator/ giver
    Condition Charts conforming Moon as Initiator Moon as Giver
    Moon conjunct Sun 37 2 2
    Moon conjunct Sun and Moon not sporting an indignity 33 1 1

    The Moon was seen to find some recompense even when not subject to any indignity in this situation. Chart 2201 again came to the rescue. The situation of this exceptional chart was not in 2201 and so would not apply to Tirpuday. With the Sun and Moon eliminated, I was granted a lead time of almost three years to work out the next possible window. Many charts would join the collection in the meantime. The celestials had heard my prayers as well!!

    I however, was determined not to keep this issue suspended for long. This led to an analysis of the other celestials with regard to their marriage-giving ability in situations in which they found themselves placed in chart 2174. First to be tackled were the nodes of the Moon.

    Table 6. Dragon's Head North Node in Aquarius Aquarius as initiator/ giver
    Condition Charts conforming North Node as Initiator North Node as Giver
    No Condition 70 9 7
    Saturn in Aries 34 3 4
    Saturn in Aries without recompense 18 1 0


    Table 7. Dragon's Tail South Node in Leo Leo as initiator/ giver
    Condition Charts conforming South Node as Initiator South Node as Giver
    No Condition 70 2 3
    Sun not subject to indignity 29 0 0

    Charts 2174 and 2201 belonged to the class listed in the last row of each of the tables above. The exercise so far eliminated 5 of the 9 celestials from the set of possible marriage givers. There were four more to go. Needless to say, all this work was done in absolute secrecy. If Tirpuday's family were to come to know of the trend of the results, I would be lynched. If Tirpuday himself got an inkling of the developments, he would jump for joy and compromise my position. And so I continued to slog ......... Mercury was the next target. It was a crucial analysis too because it was Mercury that stood in as the marriage giver for chart 2201.

    Table 8. Mercury Mercury conjunct Moon Moon as initiator/ giver
    Condition Charts conforming Mercury as Initiator Mercury as Giver
    Mercury conjunct Moon 36 2 2
    Mercury conjunct Moonnot subject to indignity 23 1 0

    The perceived indignity of Mercury in chart 2201 was that it was resident in the 7th house where it is said to be devoid of strength. This was not the case in chart 2174. It was the turn of Saturn and Mars to come under the scanner.

    Table 9. Saturn Saturn in Aries Aries as initiator/ giver
    Condition Charts conforming Saturn as Initiator Saturn as Giver
    No Condition 75 14 7
    Saturnnot retrograde & not conjunct Mars, Sun or South Node & not in mutual reception 16 4 0


    Table 10. Mars Mars in Gemini Gemini as initiator/ giver
    Condition Charts conforming Mars as Initiator Mars as Giver
    No Condition 63 1 4
    Mars and Mercurynot subject to indignity and Marsnot in mutual reception 35 0 0

    Charts 2174 and 2201 belonged to the set defined by the last row of each of the tables above.

    The above results made Jupiter the only hope for Tirpuday's family and the sole impediment for him in their respective aspirations. For me, it was the only analysis to be made to settle the matter one way or another and be relieved of the tension. I knew I would have to face some unsavoury moments, but it is always easier to face a situation than to live in dread of it.

    Jupiter is placed in the 8th house of chart 2174. Analysing the performance of all 8th placed Jupiters provided the following figures.

    Table 11. Jupiter Jupiter in the 8th House as initiator/ giver
    Condition Charts conforming Jupiter as Initiator Jupiter as Giver
    Jupiter in the 8th House 78 9 11
    Jupiternot subject to indiginities in the 8th 36 5 4
    Jupiternot subject to indignities in the 8th and not residing in own sign or own constellation and not in mutual reception 17 2 0

    Charts 2174 and 2201 belonged to the set defined by the last row of the table above.

    This completed a perfect 9 score for Tirpuday. None of the nine celestials were vested with the ability to confer marriage. He had earned the right to not only run away but also enter the hall of astrological fame. His chart would become a yardstick to compare others with regard to timing of marriages.

    About the time I completed this investigation, Tirpuday appeared one day all of a sudden. He was on leave and wanted to meet me. In the usual military style, he shot his question at point blank range. Was there or wasn't there an indication of a marriage? He had made up his mind about it but wanted my astrological opinion before making his decision known to the world at large. I took his cue and shot back in a similar vein, that my scrutiny indicated no marriage. Was he happy and relieved?!! There was an immediate transformation in him from a mean military machine to a man. The next day he returned home and announced his decision to his family that he would remain a bachelor and for good measure added that I too had come to the same conclusion astrologically. He drove home his point with this reference, but put me in a spot, the effects of which I am likely to experience all my life. For the word quickly spread that I had conspired with the aid of the celestials to make Tirpuday run away!

    PS. There has been about a 15% increase to the chart collection since the time Tirpuday was inducted into the Hall of Astrological Fame and none of the findings based on which his life-long marital status was determined have been refuted. He and I hope that it remains so in the times to come!

    In part two of this series, Ram Ramakrishnan reflects upon the nature of human destiny, with regard to the whether or not criminal tendencies show up in the horoscope and whether they can be averted. Ram's research is focused on the predictability of events using astrology—and whether it is possible to escape one's destiny.

    Go Forward Click here to read part two of this series, A Felonious Fellowship.

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    Life and Astrology: part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Astrology, Ethics, Destiny & God | Ganesha, the God | Amazing Encounter

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