Parents: by Choice, Chance, or Design? Astrological Patterns of Probability
Ram Ramakrishnan, a programmer and an astrological researcher, has been compiling sets of birth data for members of families, with the view to ascertaining with a computer the predetermined, karmic elements involved in our relationships. This process was set out in a previous article, Astrology, Science & Destiny, but this is a much more technical and scientific exposition of his work so far. Ram invites participation; you can contact him by clicking the link at the end of the article. Apparently from the perspective of a child, it does not have a choice about who its parents are. Researchers of the realm of 'afterlife' give the impression to the contrary and insist that we indeed choose our parents before being born to them. This realm is however beyond the scope of the exercise that we discuss now which is primarily based on astrological charts of children and their respective parents and an attempt to identify and interpret possible planetary patterns that may establish whether the relationship between a child and its parents is by chance or by design. If it is by chance, there should be no discernable patterns and even if there are, the probability of their occurrence should be below what is acceptable to conclude that there may indeed be a design involved in the relationship. However, if there do appear patterns that are very evident and if it were possible to quantify these patterns to connect each childparent pair accounting for the exceptions that are contrary to the evident patterns as well, it may be possible to conclude that such relationships may be by design alone. Astrological PatternsThe idea of discerning astrological patterns differs with each researcher and forms a wide spectrum. Fellow researcher and friend Didier Castille, attempts to look into patterns considering the bare minimum of parameters that have an astrological bearing. This is at one end of the spectrum. Some researchers that I have interacted with would consider it sacrilege to even consider an idea that is not sanctioned by astrological texts of yore, which is the other end of the spectrum. I have considered a 'middle path' (that may shift to either side of the middle, depending upon the perception of the reader). I do consider astrological parameters for pattern recognition, but do not take them to be sacrosanct. The sanctity of the astrological dicta is allowed to be established by actuality.
Any research requires an assumption to be made about the idea being considered and attempting to prove or disprove this assumption on the basis of a large set of related data. The assumption made here is that a childparent relationship is by design. The attempt to prove or disprove this assumption is made in terms of the twin exercise of pattern establishment and building a deterministic model based on them. The model in turn would validate the astrological dicta on which the patterns have been established, if it were to be seen that every marked planetary combination or pattern, results in a similar outcome in all charts in which they occur. Statistical ModelA statistical model may establish the probability of a particular pattern giving a desired result but it is only a deterministic model that will indicate how a pattern would behave in each specific case or a set of very similar charts  answering all three questions of How? Why? And When? A deterministic model may be seen as a limiting extension of a statistical model where the probability of a pattern to give a projected result is either 1 or 0. For the exercise to follow, we will limit ourselves to the study of a childmother pair. The arguments here would be equally applicable to the childfather pair as well. Generally, the accuracy or credibility of the results of an exercise of this nature is assessed and determined by the extent of the data used or the 'sample size'. The study is based on a sample size of 796 childmother pairs as of now. In my opinion, this is not a big enough data volume to establish anything conclusively. But strong pointers do emerge from it that may be validated when the sample swells to more acceptable levels. This paper is being written with the intention of sharing my thought process from the inception of the idea to evolve a deterministic model, to the level that it has reached at present with a view of eliciting suggestions and encouraging involvement. Astrological parameters considered for discerning patterns and possibilities evaluated to design and develop the model are discussed at every stage of evolution presenting figures that necessitated or prompted such a direction. Unique Calendar SystemTo be able to compute a date of an event relative to a chart, it is necessary to have some form of a calendar that is unique to the chart and that marks time in the past and future with reference to the birth date particulars of the chart. It is also necessary to have some form of correspondence between the planetary positions in the chart and the parameters in terms of which such a calendar is expressed. The Dasa schemes of Vedic astrology satisfy both these requirements. The Vimsottari dasa^{1} scheme in particular provides a direct correspondence between each of the nine primary celestial entities (the Sun through Saturn and the two nodes of the Moon) considered in Vedic astrology and the axis of time with reference to the moment of birth. Every moment of time along the axis of time is expressed as a definite sequence of planets  a sequence of five to six positions defining the span of one day. This scheme has been considered as the mainstay for all analysis in this paper. In any such planetary sequence, the first two positions are of key significance as the planets located in these two positions define the overall quality, direction and nature of the events to take place during the period of their combined operation. If we were to name the first position as that of the 'initiator' and the second as that of the 'giver', the 'giver' gets the pride of place for making an event happen. Functional EligibilityAstrologically, the fourthhouse, the dispositor of the fourth cusp and the Moon have a direct bearing on the entity 'mother'. Hence, the planet that is deemed the dispositor of the fourth cusp, the planet(s) resident in the fourth house and the Moon, should be the main contributors in identifying the possible birth date of the mother. The Vimsottari dasa calendar for each chart is used to locate the date of birth as a corresponding planetary sequence. To begin with if the dispositor of the fourth cusp and the Moon are taken to be eligible from the perspective of having the primary say in pointing the mother's birth date, then one of them should occur at the second position in the planetary sequence  the position of the 'giver'. The table below shows how this concept is reflected in actuality.
Table 1 

Number of childmother pairs considered 
Number of instances where one of the entities considered eligible is a 'giver' in the planetary sequence corresponding to the mother's date of birth 
Percentage occurrence 
796 
195 
24.50 
The inference drawn from the figures in the table above is that (if the assumption that the childmother relationship is by design then) there are other eligibility criteria to be included to identify the possible 'giver' from among the nine entities  the Sun through Saturn and the two nodes of the Moon. Consideration of only the dispositor of the fourth cusp from the ascendant and the Moon is seen to be grossly inadequate. In the second part of this intriguing, technical article, Ram continues this exposition of his researches in the field of uncovering the astrological principals behind family convergences. Read part two of Parents by Choice, Chance or Design.  