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    The Gospel of Grandpa: part 1 | part 10 | part 11 | part 12 | part 13 | part 14 | Life & Astrology
    Emperor Ashoka

    The Gospel of Grandpa [part fourteen]
    Perfection Spells Myth

    Once again Ram has come up with an excellent insight into the workings of nature, through the celestial influence on life on earth, notably the power of the exaltations of the planets. This marks the lives of those affected, especially when their deeds are recorded in history. Grandpa continues his astrological education of the children in this latest episode of the Gospel according to Grandpa!

    History appears to have this uncanny ability to liberally gather moss as it rolls down the road of time. Some of this gathering could be a coincidence. Others could be laid in its path by vested interests. When the moss overwhelms the kernel, the 'Hi' disappears leaving just 'Story' behind – where everything is perfect and far away from reality. Everything is black or white, absolutely good or absolutely bad. There is no room for grey.

    Both history and story are essentially repetitive ideas. Take one, replace the names, situations and times and you have another! Vested interests that may have laid moss across history's path would want their names associated with the white – the heroes, because they can do no wrong and they would want the names of their enemies to be linked to black – the villains, as they can do no good. These were grandpa's notions about history. So, when the children returned from school one afternoon excitedly discussing the achievements of the Maurya dynasty of India in the 3rd century BC and in particular talking about the Kalinga war in Emperor Ashoka's time that is said to have extinguished over 1,000,000 lives, its consequences and Ashoka's perceived greatness, grandpa took a bit dimmer view of that man's claim to all the eulogies.

    History (and its consequent story) also has this interesting characteristic of always being written by victors and seldom by the vanquished. Often there are none left to write it from the perspective of the vanquished – as with the Kalinga War. Where there are, they are either assimilated into the victorious main stream and begin to sing a different tune or are annihilated in due course. And the bards (or historians) would only want to glorify their own side and their representatives – willingly or under duress.

    The children said that they have read in some historical narrations that when a son was born to the reigning monarch at a certain period, the court astrologers saw his birth chart and told the king that this boy would expand the frontiers of the kingdom and would be a greater monarch than his father. If the chart itself showed greatness then the bards cannot be accused of glorification.

    Grandpa smiled and said that in a sense, being born to a queen is in itself 'greatness'. Not everyone is born so. It makes the boy the heir, assures him access to the wealth of the kingdom, promises the allegiance of innumerable people – all merely on the basis of being born! This applies to many in today's powerful political families as well.

    In addition to this initial advantage, if the child were to use them profitably in later life, this fact will indeed be shown in the chart. But the chart will certainly have enough grey in it that would never find mention in the pearly white picture which the court bards would paint.

    No chart can ever be blemish-less. In fact, no position of a celestial in a chart can be said to be so. Even positions like point of exaltation where a celestial is expected to confer substantial benefits, have their own share of blemish. Mars when extraordinarily strong and placed in certain specific positions in a chart is said to confer 'valorous kingship'. Now, there has been no valorous king or politician of any description who has not tread on the toes (or heads) of thousands of others to realize that stature. The celestial bodies Jupiter, Mercury, Venus are respectively associated in similar fashion to the concepts of wealth, intelligence, and beauty. The argument advanced for a valorous person is equally applicable to a wealthy, intelligent or a beautiful person as well. Their blemishes are inherent in them. Every triumph and achievement carries within itself its seed of obliteration.

    What are points of exaltation, asked the children. Grandpa replied that they were specific degrees – one for each celestial in different points in the zodiac where that celestial is deemed to be most benevolently active. Though astrological texts simply identify a particular degree with a particular celestial's exaltation and say that the exact opposing degree is the point of fall, these obviously have something to do with their latitudinal movement. So saying, grandpa showed the children a few graphic representations of the longitudinal and latitudinal movements of the planets Jupiter and Saturn along the path of the Sun.

    Jupiter Graph
    The red graph is Jupiter's longitude and the blue graph its latitude. Each time Jupiter crosses the Sun's path latitudinally, the corresponding longitude is marked as exaltation or fall. When the latitudinal movement is south to north it is exaltation and when it is from north to south, it is fall. Blue arrows mark points of exaltation and orange ones mark points of fall. The scale for the red graph is 0° at the bottom to 180° at the top. Keeping this in mind, one can see that the longitudes corresponding to exaltation points are just beyond 90° (in the sign of Cancer) and the those corresponding to fall positions are just beyond 270° (in the sign of Capricorn).

    Saturn Graph
    A similar set of graphs for Saturn shows that its points of exaltation and fall occur when its latitudinal position is farthest from that of the Sun. Its north most latitude corresponds to a longitudinal position of about 200° (in Libra) which is its point of exaltation and the south most latitude corresponds to a longitudinal position of about 20° in the sign Aries which is its fall.

    In the same manner, the latitudinal movements of the other celestials determine where their points of exaltation and fall are. The question of why different norms have been employed to determine them for each planet is another story, said grandpa and promised to tell them this another time. For now, he cautioned the children on the need to remember that the idea of perfection is merely a myth and no being can ever be perfect, despite the most vehement of claims.


     

    Go Forward Here ends this chapter of this continuing story. Read more from

    The Gospel of Grandpa: part 1 | part 10 | part 11 | part 12 | part 13 | part 14 | Life & Astrology

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