If you go for a reading to an astrologer, they will talk in terms of Houses and Signs. For most people who have had minimal exposure to astrology, it is not easy to comprehend what the astrologer is talking about. What is a House and what is a Sign and how to look at your chart? Full zodiac is 360 degrees. In Vedic astrology, there are 9 Planets, 12 Houses and 12 Signs. In Equal House system, each house spans 30 degrees along the ecliptic. The picture below shows the North Indian style of representing a horoscope. First House is on the top in the middle and you go counter-clockwise to 2nd house, 3rd house and so on all the way to the 12th house. Houses are imaginary, Signs are real. 12 imaginary Houses overlay on top of the 12 Signs of the zodiac in the background. The Sign of the First House is known as the Ascendant or the Rising sign – it is the Sign or constellation that was rising on the eastern horizon when you were born. The position of Houses remains fixed in every chart i.e. the 1st House will always be on top in the middle, 2nd house next and so on. But the Sign that each of these houses falls in may change from one person to another depending on their time and place of birth. Houses represent different areas of our life. For example 1st House is the house of our self, our physical body and intellect. Whereas Signs are the environment and tools that are available for the 9 Planets to deliver karma.
Moon will be kissing Venus and Jupiter over the next couple of days. Moon and Venus are both connected with Bhakti and pure love. Moon is Krishna. Moon is our heart, the seat of love. Venus is the planet of love and devotion. They both coming together in the skies electrifies the environment and makes it so much easier to surrender. Any feelings of devotion and bhakti and pure love will be accentuated. No matter where we are. No matter our circumstances. No matter our beliefs and background. We all are love. There is only love. Nothing else.
And this union of Moon, Venus and Jupiter is taking place in the constellation of Magha. Magha is the royal constellation. The symbol of Magha is a throne. Paramhamsa Yogananda had his rising sign as well as Moon in Magha. So this union of these 3 benefics in the skies is not one of weak devotees. It is the union of compassionate hearts roaring like a lion longing for meeting with their eternal lover.
Gayatri Jayanti is celebrated as the day when sage Vishwamitra uttered Gayatri Mantra for the first time. It is observed on the 10th Tithi (Lunar day) of the Jyestha Lunar month. This year (2015), it falls on May 27 in the US and May 28 in India.
The word Gayatri is derived from two words: 1) gaya, meaning “vital energies” and 2) trâyate, meaning “preserves, protects, grants liberation.” So, the words “Gayatri Mantra” might be translated as “a prayer of praise that awakens the vital energies and gives liberation and deliverance from ignorance.”
Gayatri mantra is not just a means of worship, it is an object of worship itself. There is no difference between the Gayatri Mantra and Ma Gayatri herself.
ॐ भूर्भुवः॒ स्वः । तत्स॑वितुर्वरे॑ण्यं भ॒र्गो॑ दे॒वस्य॑ धीमहि । धियो॒ यो नः॑ प्रचो॒दया॑त् ॥
Meaning in Hindi:
उस प्राण स्वरुप, दुःख नाशक, सुख स्वरुप, श्रेष्ठ, तेजस्वी, पाप नाशक, देव स्वरुप परमात्मा को हम अंतरात्मा में धारण करें, वह परमात्मा हमारी बुद्धि को सन्मार्ग की ओर प्रेरित करें।
Meaning in English:
We meditate on the glory of the Creator; Who has created the Universe; Who is worthy of Worship; Who is the embodiment of Knowledge and Light; Who is the remover of Sin and Ignorance; May He open our hearts and enlighten our Intellect.
It is highly beneficial to do Anushthaan (dedicated chanting of a mantra specified number of times every day) from today until Gayatri Jayanti (May 27/28). You can daily chant 1 or 3 or 5 or 11 or 21 Malas (one Mala is 108 beads).
WHAT: Kshaya means destruction and when we add prefix “A” in front of it, it means indestructible or something that is everlasting. So anything we do on Akshaya Tritiya grows with time and can never be destroyed. Hence it is recommended to begin auspicious things, projects, purchases or relationships on this day.
WHY: On Akshaya Tritiya, both Sun and Moon are exalted. This happens only once a year. Sun and Moon are two luminaries (light givers). Sun gives light during the day and Moon gives light during the night. With both these luminaries in their exalted position, we are bound to receive light throughout the life of our project or undertaking begun on this day.
WHEN: Exact window of Akshaya Tritiya falls between 6:34 AM Pacific time on April 20, 2015 (Monday) until 4:39 AM Pacific time on April 21, 2015.
So what specific things can you do on Akshaya Tritiya? Here are some examples:
- In India this is a big day for purchase of Gold.
- Purchase of a new House.
- Any new investment – real estate, stocks etc.
- Starting a new relationship. Committing yourself in your mind to a new relationship on this day will bring growth and will never destroy that relationship.
- Starting a company or website.
- Accepting a new job offer.
STORY OF AKSHAYA PATRA: In Mahabharata, Pandavas and Draupadi ate out of Akshaya Patra (vessel which never exhausted). One day they needed food for a visiting sage and Draupadi prayed to Krishna for food. Krishna appeared and ate the last grain of rice which was stuck on Akshaya Patra. That one grain of rice satisfied Krishna’s belly. Krishna being the Supreme Being himself, this one grain in turn satisfied all living beings, including that visiting sage. Thus Draupadi’s problem of having to feed the sage was solved.
Maha Siva Ratri (the great night of Siva). Begins Monday night 11:07 pm Pacific time, ends Tuesday evening 7:36 pm Pacific time.
SIVA: The one who lives on cremation grounds. The one who wears a mala of skulls around his neck. The one who smears ashes on his body. The one who wears Chandra (Moon) on his forehead. The one who is completely naked and detached. The one who is so deep in meditation that when Brahma sent the Lord of lust Kamadeva to distract him, he burned Kamadev to ashes with his 3rd eye.
I pray to you dear Bholenath:
- Oh Pranava (the sound OM) let me lose myself in the Sounds of your Silent Meditation
- Oh Nataraja (king of dance), destroy my ego with your Dance of Destruction (Tandav Nritya)
- Oh Devadeva (lord of the lords) drown me in the Ecstasy of your Devotion
- Oh Trilochana (one with 3 eyes), wipe my tears of joy with the warmth of your Third Eye
- Oh Keeper of the Souls, make me a Selfless servant of all the Souls
- Oh Ashutosh (one who fulfills all desires), dissolve all my desires in your Limitless Wisdom
- Oh Gangadhara (Lord of River Ganga), cleanse my sinful body and mind with the pure waters of Ganges
- Oh Mahakal (Lord of All Times), make me yours, now and for Eternity.
Har Har Mahadev !
Jai Shiva Shambho !!
Om Namaha Sivaya !!!
Sun is at the edge of Scorpio and about to enter Sagittarius. This last degree of Scorpio, known as Gandanta is very difficult for Sun. Sun is light whereas Scorpio is the hidden depths of the Ocean. Plus, Sun is close to being the farthest from the Earth on its annual journey. On winter Solstice, Dec 21, Sun will be farthest from the Earth. After that, it will start its north-ward journey and 6-month auspicious period of Uttarayana will begin.
This means for another 10 days or so, all things related to Sun will be under pressure. Our fathers may feel health issues. Governments and Kings may feel unstable. Sun is also general significator of health, so we may have to be extra careful about our own health.
Many people and all astrologers fear Gandanta (last degree of water signs) but Gandanta also means we can see the light (of Sagittarius in this case) at the end of the deep dark long tunnel (of Scorpio). As Amma says, “when dusk arrives, it already has dawn in its womb.”
Maun-japa (continuous silent chanting in our mind) of Gayatri mantra is most beneficial, especially today being SUNday and also over the next 10 days. Listening to Aditya Hridayam is also highly recommended.
ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः
Shani, the planet of Karma is at 29 degrees and 55 minutes of Libra. In less than 24 hours, it will enter the sign of Scorpio and will remain there for the next 2.5 years. Shani gives us results of our karma slowly and thoroughly. It grinds our ego until even the last iota of it is left. In Scorpio, Shani will give this karma through change, transformation and hidden knowledge.
How will this affect you? It all depends on where your Moon is and which house is Scorpio in your chart. If you have your Moon in Libra, Scorpio or Sagittarius, then you are going through what is called Sadhe Sati, the 7 and a half years of Shani handing over karma to you through grinding and polishing your mind (Moon). Similarly, if Scorpio is your Lagna (first house), you will feel the heavy presence of Shani for the next 2.5 years in general in all areas of your life. If Scorpio is your 7th house, you will feel it most in your relationships and so on…
What can you do? Surrender your EGO. Accept your karma. Shani will give you your deserved karma whether you like it or not. The sooner we accept it and surrender our ego, the easier it gets. Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. All remedies are aimed at reducing the suffering.
Here is a wonderful mantra for Shani. (click on the link)
Om Sham Shanishcharaaya Namaha
Jai Shani Bhagvan