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Monday, August 31, 2009

Swine Flu

Swine flu is caused by H1N1 virus which is the mutated form of pig influenza virus. A flu stricken person displays symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat, body ache, head ache, chills and fatigue. The 2009 infection may cause diarrhea and vomiting as well.
Like all viral infections, it is a battle between the virus and the body’s immune system. People with a strong immunity will not be infected. This immunity may be natural or acquired through a flu shot.
Pandemics are not uncommon for humanity. We all know about the plague that savaged Europe in the middle ages and killed hundred of thousands of people. Then there was a flu pandemic in US it self just before the first world war. That too took a huge toll of population.
Time to take a small detour
The interesting thing to note is that a lot of people remain unaffected even at the peak of the scourge. Why does that happen? Even in the current times studies have been done on truck drivers to check their response to HIV virus. The results were remarkable. A sizable number of these people were regularly exposed to the virus but remained healthy. Apparently this group had a strong resistance to the virus.
The health of an individual squarely depends upon the strength of his ascendant and the planet ruling over it. If both are powerful, the person will have a strong and attractive body. This is true of both sexes. Such a person will have strong, digestive, respiratory, circulatory, execratory and reproductive system. Her immunity to disease will be remarkable.
Healthy people have a strong aura which can extend up to a foot from their skin all along their body on all sides. Its color will depend upon their personality type. You would know these people by the way you react to them. They engulf you in a warmth which exudes from their core. One gets carried away for the duration of the meeting. This too is the gift of the strong ascendant lord. He sends so much energy to the physical body that it extends beyond the human body.
Coming back to the topic of swine flu, it is obvious that we must take all steps that boost our immune system. Ayurved has prescribed some herbs that do just that. Following remedies will prove very helpful in prevention and cure of swine flu.
1. Drink tea made from Tulsi (holy Basel) and Giloi. This strengthens the lungs and the mucous membrane and makes these immune to viruses.
2. Boil a teaspoonful of turmeric with milk and drink it when warm. Surprisingly it tastes quite good. It has excellent anti bacterial properties and removes Kapha (phlegm) from lungs.
3. Pranayam (especially Anulom -Vilom) and meditation help indirectly. These reduce stress which is the main culprit in lowering immunity.
4. Keep digestive track clear by reducing meat and increasing vegetables in everyday diet.
Have a stress free and healthy life.

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Rajiv Sethi

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© copy right 2009. No part of this article can be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the author

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Simple tricks to live happy and prosperous life

Vedic astrology uses planets from Sun to Saturn only for prediction purposes. These are Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu. The last two are the points created by the intersection of the orbit of Moon around earth with the orbit of earth around Sun. Their effect on life is so profound that they have been given the status of a real planet.

Sun being the soul of our solar system represents the human soul as well. He is represented by copper on earth. Moon rules over the mind and her representative metal is silver. Jupiter rules over spirituality and right actions and is symbolized by gold. When these three metals are worn together they direct the soul and mind towards spirituality. So how do we wear them together? The best way is to have one millimeter thick wires of gold, silver and copper and wind these around each other, then have a bangle made out of this three strand wire. It has a powerful effect on mind and helps a great deal in meditation. It also generates happiness and prosperity. The thickness of wires is a matter of personal choice.

Sun, Saturn, and Rahu are three planets that create separation. It is for this reason that their results are generally unfavorable. What do we mean by creating separation? When these three planets associate and influence a house or the planet ruling over that house, they tend to separate a person from the results of that house. For example Sun, Saturn, or Rahu when associated the fifth house or fifth lord will create problems connected to children. In the case of Sun the child will be a strong willed one, and be a handful for the parents. Saturn will delay the arrival of children and Rahu will create undiagnosed health issues connected to child birth. We all know of people who are completely healthy but unable to have children. In all such cases Rahu is involved one way or the other.
Any one of these three planets if connected to Moon causes some mind related problem. In the case of Sun it may be simple moodiness. However depending upon the severity of affliction to Moon by Rahu or Saturn or both, this may range from mild to deep depression. If Mercury is also involved then even more serious conditions may develop.
It is therefore a good idea to keep these planets happy. In the case of Sun it can be done by chanting Gayatri Mantra 10, or 28 times daily. Stand facing the rising Sun and chant the Mantra. It helps if you use a copper pot to offer water to Sun by letting it fall in a steady stream to the ground during the chanting. If you live in an apartment use a potted plant as a receptacle for falling water. A pot the size of a cup is all that is needed. Many Yoga studios and some videos on “You tube” teach how to do Sun salutations. That really helps. Choose what ever is easier.
For Saturn it is a good idea to wear an iron ring made from a horse shoe on the middle finger of the left hand. For Rahu, have a ring made with seven parts gold, twelve parts silver and sixteen parts copper. The ring should be in the form of a serpent. Wear this ring on a Saturday. It definitely promotes happiness and prosperity.

Saturn and Rahu bring to us the results of the bad karma done by us in past lives, so generally represent negativity in the present one. It is therefore an excellent idea to donate labor and money to institutions that care for battered, sick, mentally and physically challenged people. It is not necessary to do it every day but it is important to do it regularly. You will be amazed at how your own life begins to change for better as you spend time in the service of these people. Find out the nearest facility and donate a few hours per week. The smile that you put on their faces will be multiplied a thousand times on your own.

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Rajiv Sethi

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© copy right 2009. No part of this article can be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the author

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Amazing Healing Properties Of Turmeric

Turmeric is an integral part of Indian cooking. The number of Indian dishes that don’t require turmeric can be counted on fingers. So what makes it so important? Turmeric is a strong analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial herb. It has remarkable efficacy in fighting tumors. It is also a potent anti-allergic and antioxidant. Other properties displayed by it are antiseptic, antispasmodic, appetizer, astringent, cardiovascular, carminative, digestive, diuretic and stimulant.
Astrologically Turmeric and Harad both represents the most benefic of all planets Jupiter. This is why it is an integral part of all rituals used to propitiate him.
According to Ayurved - the Indian science of holistic healing - turmeric mainly treats heart, liver, lungs and skin. It is for this reason that it is an excellent remedy against H1N1 or Swine flu. The Kapha or phlegm generated by the virus is neutralized by Turmeric and its nurturing effect on lungs strengthens them. In addition to this the anti allergic and anti-inflammatory properties of Turmeric keep the discomfort down. Regular use of Turmeric cures anemia, cancer, diabetes, indigestion and stomach flu. It also prevents the growth of gallstones. Females who suffer from irregular menstruation or any other uterus related problem are greatly helped by Turmeric. It is a boon to lactating mothers. A teaspoonful of turmeric taken with some warm milk increases lactation. It also cures leucorrhoea. Its effect on men is not less salutary; it promotes formation of semen and thickens it. Wounds that don’t heal or skin ulcers that refuse to go away are quickly treated with Turmeric. A Decoction of Neem leaves greatly increases the healing process.
Use of this herb in every day cooking detoxifies the liver, lowers bad cholesterol, removes skin related problems, fights allergies and stimulates digestion.
During spring season when air is laden with allergens, turmeric boiled with a cup of milk wards off allergic attacks.

Some important remedies
Anemia Everyday take a dose of one teaspoonful of turmeric mixed with honey. Increase the quantity of green leafy vegetables in the diet to provide more iron. Turmeric will help greatly with the binding of iron and proteins to produce more hemoglobin.
Boil 1 cup of milk with 1 tsp of turmeric powder. Drink while still warm.


Mix 1 teaspoonful of turmeric with equal quantity of aloe gel and apply to burnt area.

Boil turmeric with water until reduced to one-third volume. Sieve with a fine cloth. Use 2 to 3 drops of this mixture in each eye up to 3 times per day.

Skin Complexion and wrinkles

Apply a paste of turmeric and cold milk on the face before going to bed. Wash face after 10 or 15 minutes. Next morning, remove any remaining yellow tinge with a paste of chickpea flour (Besan) and oil.

Dental problems
Mix 1 teaspoonful turmeric with ½ teaspoon of salt. Add mustard oil to make a paste. Rub the teeth and gums with this paste twice daily.

½–1 teaspoonful of turmeric should be taken 3 times a day.

Take ½ tsp of turmeric powder in juice or water, thrice a day.
Other uses

Burning turmeric repels insects. Inhaling its smoke will assist in coughs, asthma and congested nasal passages.

Ears, Eyes, Nose and Mouth

Turmeric dust, mixed with alum 1:20, when blown into the ear to will treat ear infection.
A pinch of Turmeric mixed with ghee and applied to the mucus lining of nose to will stop the sniffles and clear the sinuses. It will also stop nosebleeds. Turmeric gives a more acute sense of smell, and helps to calm the mind.
Turmeric for Stomach and Intestines

Turmeric treats the whole Gastro - Intestinal tract and is wonderful in the cure of weak digestion, acidity, flatulence and gas formation. It displays strong carminative properties and increases the activity of intestinal flora. Just take a teaspoonful of Turmeric with a cup of yogurt right after lunch.

Hemorrhoids or Piles

Directly apply a mixture of mustard oil, turmeric, and onion juice. To stop rectal bleeding take a 2 or 3 tablespoons of Turmeric every half hour until the bleeding stops. It will happen with in the hour.

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Rajiv Sethi

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Rahu and Ketu - Origin and transit Part II

During 2009, Rahu passes through Capricorn until November 03. Then he moves to Sagittarius where he remains until May 05, 2011.
Results of Rahu transit in Capricorn until November 06 this year.
Sizable mismatch between income and expenditure with the latter outstripping the former by a great margin. Profession is beset with complications that create mental tension.
Professional setbacks occur but hard work brings success. There is money available for essentials but not for frivolities.
Financial gains and opportunities for growth abound. There is expenditure on happy events. Favorable news brings cheer all around.
Events that appear to be heading towards completion are stalled. A secret worry gnaws at your mind. This is in addition to income being lower than your spending.
Financial worries increase. Despite hard work there is very little improvement in the overall picture.
A tiff with a close family member leads to much resentment. Family matters become a source of worry. Money remains in short supply.
Business and professional success after hard work. Income is plentiful but so are the expenses.
Courage and combative spirit is at peak. A journey proves productive. New avenues of earning open up. Expenses keep pace with earnings.
Family squabbles, needless expenses, fear of injury and disease are likely. Mind remains tense.
Quarrel with a friend or relative. Fear of disease and enemies exists. Finances remain high. You might go on a long journey.
Projects nearing completion face setbacks. Needless running around saps energy. Expenses remain high and make you tense.
Stalled projects get moving again. Gains of/from car, real estate and items of luxury. Happiness and financial gains abound.

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Rajiv Sethi

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rahu & Ketu - Their origin and transits

Rahu and Ketu are two imaginary points where the orbit of Moon around earth intersects the orbit of earth around Sun. They have no mass and their positioning in a horoscope is purely a matter of mathematics. Their results on humanity are however so profound that they are given the rank and status of a planet.
As always there is a mythological story attached here.
Eons ago, the gods and demons realized that the ocean had a lot of goodies concealed underwater. Untold wealth and divine creatures were hidden there, but most importantly there was that divine nectar Amrit which had the power to make them immortal and keep them forever young. This was the ultimate prize and the irresistible desire to win it brought these perennial enemies together.
They wanted to stir the ocean and force it to relinquish its treasures. For this purpose they took a mountain called Meru and used it as a churn. A churn requires a rope to work so they used Shesh Nag, - the mythical serpent who forms the cradle of Lord Vishnu - to turn it.
The churning began and soon all sorts of wealth began to emerge. Horses and elephants with extraordinary powers, all sorts of divine gems, trees with magical qualities all made their appearance. The most wanted nectar Amrit however still eluded them. So they tried some more and then the most poisonous venom came out of ocean and it was so powerful that it could destroy the universe by its fumes. Lord Shiva at that time swallowed this poison and saved the world from certain death. He did not allow it to reach his stomach but kept it in his throat, which turned blue. It is because of this that one of the names of Lord Shiva is Neel Kanth, or one with blue throat.
The churning continued and finally the pitcher of Amrit emerged. As soon as that happened, the gods and the demons forgot their new found friendship and made a grab for it. The churning stopped and a battle began. Both sides were equally powerful and would have annihilated each but for wily Lord Vishnu who made his appearance in the form of a woman of most surpassing beauty and allure. So attractive was she, that for a moment everybody forgot about fighting and had only one thought in his mind - have her at any cost.
That most comely woman addressed the motley crowd and pointed out to them the fallacy of their ways. If they kept fighting she said, and the pitcher broke, then that will be the end of it. So she told the gods and the demons to segregate and form a line so she could distribute Amrit equally to everyone. Here was irresistible beauty and brain talking together in tandem so everyone agreed. They formed a long line with the gods occupying the first half and the demons the second. Now the farthest thing from wily Lord Vishnu’s mind was equal distribution of Amrit. It was his plan to give it only to gods. Once that was done the demons couldn’t do anything.
Rahu and Ketu were two demons who were a little quicker on the uptake than the rest of their bunch. They saw through the guile that had been planned against them. So they disguised themselves as gods and quietly slipped into their line. Their ruse worked and they drank their share of Amrit. Sun and Moon who were standing next to them saw through their sham and told Vishnu of what had happened. Vishnu promptly summoned his Sudarshan Chakra (divine weapon) and beheaded both Rahu and Ketu. It worked only partially. It didn’t kill the duo because they had become immortal. Their heads and torsos were separated but they lived, and since that day they became sworn enemies of Sun and Moon. That is why every once in a while Rahu swallows Sun and Moon. But since he has no torso he can’t keep them in his mouth forever, they emerge out of his throat. This is exactly what happens during an eclipse. Sun, Moon and Rahu must come together to cause a solar or a lunar eclipse. After a while the sun or moon emerge again.
This is what is called an allegorical story. So what is the truth? I can make a guess.
Long time ago, their existed two groups of scientists and intellectuals. One group was green and wanted to keep ecology intact. The other group wanted progress at any cost. The ocean refers to the ocean of universal intelligence and churning to research and development. Meru Mountain refers to the height of their intellectual and scientific achievement. Shesh Nag the celestial serpent represents wisdom. Their combined efforts produced better crops, improved breed of horses and elephants. The toxic venom refers to the pollution that all this effort produced. Finally after much research they invented a drug that could keep one youthful for ever.
The origin of this story is lost in antiquity and it has been embellished over the ages but its basic premise is still true. Indian civilization is great at turning events into lore and passing these down through successive ages. For the sake of those who are curious, I must mention that the number of stories is astronomical.
Legend has it that since Rahu and Ketu had tasted Amrit and become immortal, they were included in the group of gods and accommodated thus. They are not true gods but only deemed to be so. In reality too, Rahu and Ketu are not real planets but only a mathematical point in space. They are elevated to the status of a real planet because they are so powerful in influencing humanity. Allegory again!!
In the next Blog; results of Rahu as he transits twelve houses from Moon…
Rajiv Sethi

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How Vedic and western astrology systems differ

Vedic and western astrology systems both predict future but the way they do it is poles apart. True there are some common factors, both divide the zodiac into 12 equal parts and both fix the position of planets to predict future but there the similarity ends.
During my teaching career in the US I have been asked this question in every class and every workshop/seminar I conducted. Its is a lengthy answer but I will try to limit it to two pages. This is merely a comparison and is not an attempt to glorify one at the cost of the other.
The earth spins on its axis like a top and there is a slight wobble to it. The wobble makes a circle in space and the axis of earth moves over it. This is a slow movement and the equinoctial point (either of the two celestial points at which the celestial equator intersects the ecliptic) moves 1 degree in 71.6 years, and it takes roughly 25800 years to complete the circle. Because of this movement of earth, the stars above earth seem to move slowly although they are fixed in space. When it comes to the Zodiac signs and planets this problem becomes acute.
The equinoctial point is currently at about 23 degrees. That means that we have moved 23 degrees away from our true perspective of the twelve signs when equinoctial point was at the start of Aries. In order to fix their positions correctly we should be deducting 23 degrees from the position of each planets as well as the Sun. Let us view this through an example. Let us assume that you want to measure your weight and you have a weighing scale to do it. Unfortunately for you the machine instead of showing zero shows 10 pounds. You stand on it and take your weight and it comes out to be 110 pounds. What is your real weight? Is it 110 pounds as shown by the machine or 110 -10 = 100 pounds. Obviously latter. We deducted the error from the result.
Vedic astrology deducts this equinoctial error of 23 degrees from the calculated position of each planet before starting predictions. Western astrology does not do it. Neither for the ascendant nor for the planets.
Vedic Astrology is primarily based on the movement of Moon around the zodiac. Moon is the closest heavenly body and influences us most. Moon takes roughly 2 ½ days to traverse each sign and finishes its round of zodiac in 28 days. In Vedic astrology the 360 degrees of zodiac are divided into 27 segments of 13 degrees 20 minutes each which are further divided into 9 segments of 3 degrees and 20 minutes. The zodiac thus has 108 divisions and each sign has nine of these. In Vedic Astrology a planet placed at 3 degrees in a sign gives one result while a little further in the sign his results will change. There is an appreciable change in the behavior of a planet placed in the beginning, the midpoint and the end of the same sign. Western astrology does not differentiate on the basis of planetary degree. An analogy will clarify it further. You may be in your home but your comfort level changes from living room to bedroom to patio. Technically you are at home but results differ. This is true of planets too.
Western astrology predicts general characteristics of a person on the basis of the Sun sign, Vedic Astrology uses the position of Moon in a Nakshatra (Constellation). For example let us take the case of Aries. It spans 30 days from March 21 to April 20. In thirty days Sun will still be in the same sign and so for western astrology the characteristics of a person will not change whether he is born on the March 22 or April 19. (Being born on the cusp supposedly gives dual qualities.) Moon on the other hand would have traversed two Nakshatra (Constellation) and will be in the beginning of the third in the same sign. Her results for each Nakshatra are different so she gives a lot more accuracy to personality traits. Moon tells us your location in your home!
Moon orbits the earth and earth moves around Sun. The points where the orbit of Moon intersects with the zodiac are called Rahu and Ketu.(north and the south nodes of western astrology). These are points in space calculated mathematically but their affect on humanity is so profound that these have been given the status of a planet and treated as such. They have their planetary periods and mantras for pacification. Western astrology does not have this concept.
Vedic Astrology recognizes the effects of Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn Rahu and Ketu only. It makes very accurate predictions on the basis of these nine planets. It describes Uranus, Neptune and Pluto but does not give any credence to their effects on human beings. Western astrology uses outer planets and other heavenly bodies like Ceres, Pallas Athens, Juno, Vesta and Chiron in addition to seven planets from Sun to Saturn. It thus uses a total of 15 planets/sub planets. Some people consider the effects of comets too.
Vedic astrology allots a planetary period to each planet and these periods run successively after one another. In addition to this, the method also gives sub periods up to the fifth level and brings the prediction to the level of hours in a day.
Vedic astrology says that merely predicting future is not enough. There should be remedial measures to control the bad results shown in a horoscope. There is a huge body of literature of Sanskrit Mantras, Tantra, Yajna (fire ceremony) and rituals which are used for just this purpose. There is a close relation between planets and their representative herbs, a similar connection exist with minerals also. This gives us the system of Ayurved which is a holistic method of healing. It treats the root cause of a disease rather than just the symptoms. Herbs and minerals are used to fortify the planet the weakness of which is causing disease.
Planetary transit in Vedic Astrology is a very detailed system. Each planet gives different results as it passes through the 12 zodiac signs. By correlating these results with the Planetary period running at a given time perfect prediction are possible. Vedic Astrology has 16 recognized systems for calculating planetary period, and each throws a different light on future.
The system of supplemental charts is another unique feature of Vedic Astrology. For investigating different aspects of life different supplemental charts are used. For example, to quantify the professional prospects in a chart not only is the tenth house analyzed, the chart constructed by dividing a sign in ten segments is also considered. Similarly for questions related to children Saptamansh charts is used. There are a total of sixteen such charts and these deal with every aspect of human life.
Vedic Astrology places great importance on the ascendant or Lagna. This is because the delineation of the chart is totally dependent upon it. The nine planets gain positive or negative character based purely on the ascendant. It is perfectly possible to have Jupiter and Venus perform very negative roles and Saturn and Mars to do exactly opposite. Western astrology does not place much importance on the ascendant.
The concept of Yog is another vital difference between the two systems. Two planets can enter into a relationship and give results which are totally different from their individual results. The list stretches quite a bit.
This is just a thumbnail sketch of the differences between Vedic and western systems. The complete list will make this article unduly long and boring. I hope I have not crossed that line already.
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My tribute to an Unknown school teacher

Amarnath is a shrine of Lord Shiva and nestles deep in the Himalayas in the state of Kashmir in India. Its altitude is high – about sixteen thousand feet – and the shrine as well as ninety percent of the approach route is above the tree line. It’s a barren and rocky landscape all the way and affords no shelter to man or beast. It’s a real desert in the mountains.

Every year in the month of August the pilgrimage to Amarnath begins and thousands of people from every walk of life from all over India congregate in Jammu – the capital of Kashmir. From there the buses and coaches move in a convoy to Pahalgam under military escort as terrorist violence is an ever present danger.

From Pahalgam the pilgrims travel to Chandanwari and it’s from here that the trek begins and takes about three to four days to the shrine.

In 1997 I booked myself on a coach, which was leaving Delhi for Pahalgam. I was listed to be picked up at four in the afternoon but a last minute snag caused the coach to leave without me and I had to rebook my self for the next coach, which was leaving after three days.

The overnight journey to Jammu was uneventful and we reached there late morning the next day. There were about three hundred other coaches in the specially constructed parking area. We were to leave in a convoy the next morning.

It was a clear day with blue skies and bright sunshine. Around two in the afternoon the character of sky changed and very dark clouds began to gather. Around four it became so dark that lights had to be switched on. Then the rain began. I had never seen rains of such intensity. The downpour was extremely heavy and water fell in thick sheets. Very soon the visibility dropped to zero and the ground underneath turned to mud with the consistency of kneaded dough. It rained throughout the night and next day the parking area resembled a lake with water rising at places up to the height of coach wheels. It was difficult to step out to answer the call of nature, get drinking water or just to stretch our cramped limbs. The orderly parking had given way to a chaotic situation as the coach drivers tried to find higher ground.

From Jammu onward the buses travel in a convoy guarded by Indian military. This is to prevent Jehadi terrorist threat to the Hindu pilgrims. Military truck carrying armed soldiers travel in the front and back of the convoy. A military helicopter flies overhead when passing through terrorist infested area.

The convoy was to begin forming at around six in the morning but the slushy ground made it difficult. The authorities found it impossible to herd this teeming mass of coaches in a straight line. It was still raining non-stop and without a let up.

Around nine, the convoy finally took shape and slowly began to snake on the Jammu-Srinagar highway towards Pahalgam. We traveled for some time at around Forty kilometers per hour and passed the city of Udhampur. About five kilometers past the city the convoy came to a grinding halt as torrential rains had washed away a two hundred yard long stretch of road taking two supply trucks along with it. All we could see was brown colored slush and mud. The trucks were buried somewhere under it. No trace of the crew was found.

Further journey was impossible. The military escort decided to route the convoy back to Jammu until the situation stabilized.

There was however one snag. The road was not wide enough for a coach to make a U-turn. Three hundred coaches stood stranded there like a train without engine. It was still raining pretty soon the drinking water that we were carrying with us ran out. It was about one in the afternoon.

Some one hit on the bright idea of collecting rainwater for drinking and we started filling our bottles from the water running out of the drainage channel on the roof of our coach. Mercifully it was not dirty, as the roof had been washed clean in the past eighteen hours.
Finally around two; some of us – I included - decided to walk balk to Udhampur town and get something to eat. We donned our raincoats and started to walk. With in the first fifteen minutes the rainwater seeped under the collar and slowly began its way down. It took us about ninety minutes of brisk walking to reach the town. By the time we reached there we were drenched to the skin.

Unfortunately for us, several hundred other people had the same idea. They too wanted some food and they had the added advantage of being nearer to the town. By the time we reached the main market all the food in every restaurant was gone. There was no cooked food, not even a loaf of bread, no milk, and no bottled drinking water.

I was wet, cold, hungry and miserable. I couldn’t stop shivering. Some one suggested to look for the most expensive eating joint in the hope that it would have been spared. He was right and we had a nice hot lunch and some very welcome coffee.

Hunger pangs satisfied the next task was to find a shelter. We couldn’t trudge back to our coach as one lone co-traveler who had left sometime later, informed us that our coach was no longer there. The military had used bulldozers to make a clearing for the coaches to make a u-turn. It was now lost in a sea of buses some where on the highway.

It was about six in the evening and it was getting colder by the minute. The rain was unrelenting and pretty soon our partially dried clothes were again soaking wet. The rain was especially trouble some for me as my glasses kept misting over.

We went from place to place to find a room to spend the night in. Every room was taken. Finally a kind soul directed us to the local Hare Krishna temple where he thought we might stay overnight. The only trouble was it was dark and we didn’t know the directions.
Some how we lurched up to the temple and asked the head priest to let us stay. He didn’t have any room with beds but he did have a dormitory where some other stranded people like us were sleeping. We were advised to go there without disturbing any one.

When we reached the dormitory, I found it to be a room, which could house about twenty people. Thirty people were already asleep there. There was barely enough room to even sit there. I had no bedding and the floor was covered only with a thin cotton durry or rug. I was seated next to the door, which was kept open to allow the air to come in. It was wet and cold and very uncomfortable. Later that night, some how the fatigue overpowered the cold and I slept fitfully.

Next day it was still raining as I stepped out to look for a rest room, some hot tea and some breakfast - in that order. My luck had apparently changed overnight because I found all three in quick succession.

I focused now on finding my coach, which had all my belonging including the change of clothes and underwear. It had vanished. Milling around the mass of pilgrims I saw a familiar face from my coach and he pointed me to where the bus was parked.

I found it empty except for the driver who informed me that a group of about twenty people had been offered a place to stay in the home of a local school teacher. The rest had found shelter elsewhere. He took me to the house and it was a relief to find myself amongst people I knew. The school teacher very kindly extended his hospitality to me as well.

The rain was unrelenting even on this third day and all of us were confined to the two bedrooms that had been vacated for us.

We stayed in his house for two more days and were treated like honored guests. His wife provided tea, snacks, lunch and dinner for next three days. All this time the downpour was continuous. The rain finally stopped on the third day and we begged our leave from him.
All of us wanted to pay for the expenses but he wouldn’t even hear of it. For him we were pilgrims to the shrine and to take our money would be sacrilege. He was simply adhering to the ancient Hindu tenet of a house holder which enjoins one to offer every facility to the guest who is considered equal to gods. Sanskrit adage “Atithi Devo Bhavha” (Guest is god) perhaps never found a more thorough expression as far as I know.
He had a daughter of marriageable age and we pooled in enough money to buy her a decent gift for her wedding.

We left his home with moist eyes and heavy hearts. Every one of us was bowed done with the debt of gratitude that he freely lavished on our motley group.

The landslide had canceled the pilgrimage that year and we were forced to return. I made another pilgrimage to Amarnath the following year and successfully accomplished it. More about that some other time. In Udhampur, I wanted to meet that angel, and thank him once again, knowing fully well that words were a poor substitute for what I felt for him in the depth of my soul.

Circumstances conspired against me however and I could not do so. But even now after so many years every detail is crystal clear to me and forever imprinted on my mind. Every time I think of that anonymous school teacher, I can not but pray to God for his utmost happiness and prosperity.

One doesn’t meet angels easily. I must have done something really good in my past lives to have met a man like him.

Rajiv Sethi

Bouquets and brickbats at,

Mobile consultation 9899589211

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Sex and Vedic Astrology

Sex is perhaps the strongest emotion known to us. It launched a thousand ships in Troy and created Taj Mahal in India. That was in the times of a king and an emperor. In the present, less autocratic age, such grand gestures are rare but that does not mean that sex has taken a back seat. Pick up crime records from any country and those related to sex top the list. Most people won’t kill for bread or for money but will definitely contemplate murder if betrayed by their beloved.

Sex is the basis of all conjugal and connubial relationships, whether hetero or same sex. For healthy people, it is the perhaps the best pleasure that they can get. Sex may not be happiness in the truest sense but it surely mimics it closely.

Sex, therefore is the first item in the wish list of an overwhelming majority. How much and of what quality is something that every one wonders about. Is there a way we can find out the answers to these questions? There sure is, and the answer, good and gentle folks is Vedic Astrology.

Prerequisites for healthy sex

Good sex requires a healthy body and a sound mind. Mind is important because although body does all the hard work it is the mind that registers the pleasure. Mind also controls the muscles which are involved in the process.

A strong body is the gift of a strong Lagna (ascendant) and a strong, well placed well associated Lagna lord. If these requirements are met, a person will have an attractive body that is capable of giving and receiving pleasure.

The desire

The sexual urge in a person is high if Mars and Venus are together. The person tends to be oversexed. Similar results occur when the lord of the seventh house and the twelfth house exchange houses. (seventh lord in twelfth and twelfth lord in seventh house). This happens because seventh and tenth are both houses of sex. Seventh of the act itself and twelfth of the pleasure from it. Such a person would not care too much about time and place for sex. The extreme of this Yog will be the ascendant being Scorpio and seventh lord Venus placed in Libra in the twelfth. That would be something! We have the makings of a Don Juan, Lothario or Casanova here.

Type and quality of sex

Sex also requires a partner (well, not always, but a partner sure beats everything else available) and that is seen from the seventh house which is really the house of sex but has been termed the house of marriage because sex without marriage has been frowned upon since ancient times.

The lord of the seventh house and the planet/s placed there will decide the looks and status of the partner. If the seventh lord is strong and beneficial, the partner too will reflect these qualities. A man having an even sign in the seventh house and Venus placed there will have a beautiful wife provided Moon also occupies an even sign.

If the lord of the seventh house is a planet of Value, a person marries into a family of a very high status. An example would be a person born with Aquarius ascendant and Sun associated with Moon and Jupiter. In such a case marriage take place with royalty because Jupiter becomes the lord of two houses of value, the second and the eleventh.

Multiple partners in sex

We have so far talked about the quality of sex. What about multiple partners and frequency of relationships. It must be understood that for that to happen, the stability in a relationship has to go. What are the factors that promote instability? For stability to go there must be an element in relationships which will keep bringing in foreignness. If in a horoscope, Rahu, the fifth and the twelfth house lords influence the sixth lord, the person will have multiple partners and extra marital relationships. I won’t go into the reasons as that will require a rather lengthy explanation and some knowledge of Vedic astrology on the part of the readers.

Sexual weakness

In the case of males, if Venus is too close to Sun and Ast (combust), sperm motility and sperm count will be affected. This is because Venus rules over the sperm and her close proximity to Sun renders her weak. If the fifth house and lord are strong, a fertility clinic will be able to help.

In a female horoscope, the fifth house rules over the reproductive system, if the house and lords are weak and influenced by Mars, Saturn or Rahu, some gynecological problem is likely to surface. Sex life may be indirectly affected.

The remedial measures

These will be dependent upon the planets which are involved in producing the adverse effects and will vary in each case.

Rajiv Sethi

Bouquets and brickbats at,

Mobile consultation 9899589211

The content of this blog is copyright protected and no part of this article in any shape and form may be used for any purpose without the written permission of the author.

© 2016 copyright Your website for horoscopes, astrology, daily horoscope, love astrology and everything else.

Monday, August 24, 2009

My first visit to the shrine of vaishnao devi

Vaishno Devi is one of the nine incarnations of Divine mother. Her shrine nestles in a cave in the mountains of Jammu in northern India. The origins of the cave are lost to antiquity and so is the beginning of the pilgrimage by Hindus. It is believed that one doesn’t simply go there, one is invited by the mother. Every Hindu cherishes the time when s/he will be invited to visit the shrine. It is a very emotional issue for most people. One has to really make the trip to feel the fervor of the pilgrims as they trek up twelve kilometers. It is a beautiful and intensely spiritual experience. My first pilgrimage to the shrine took place in nineteen sixty three when I was all of eleven years old. The summer vacations had just started and my father and his very close friend made arrangements for the journey. Today the train goes right up to Jammu; back then, it ended at Pathan Kot.
We boarded the train at Delhi in the evening and made ourselves comfortable. There were altogether five kids in the group and the excitement was at fever pitch. All of us kept running around at the platform much to the chagrin of our parents. There were eighteen coaches in the train and it was hauled by a steam engine. Diesel locomotives had not yet appeared on every train.
We left Delhi and were soon chugging along merrily. I was so excited I couldn’t sleep and kept myself glued to the window peering out into the night. The countryside was lit only by the moonlight and appeared very mysterious. I remember keeping a mental record of all stations that came and went. I must have dozed off because when I woke up next day, we had reached Pathan Kot. After a hurried breakfast at a small restaurant outside the station we prepared for the next part of our journey. Bedding, suitcases and hand bags were gathered at one place as my father and his friends scouted for a transport to Jammu. Today Pathan Kot is very well served by buses from every part of northern India but at the time of my first trip the sole means of transport were rickety and ramshackle taxis that seated seven people but were invariably crammed with up to eleven as the owners tried to maximize their profits. The luggage was stashed in the trunk and on racks strung over the roof.
We left around ten in the morning and after a three hour ride reached Jammu. We had some lunch and then boarded a small bus for Katra. It seated around thirty five people. It was a curious looking contraption as the bus body was mounted on a truck chassis. From the front it looked like a truck but the rest of it was all bus. It was one more curious thing on my list which was soon to become quite a bit longer.
The journey started with a spontaneous salutation to the goddess from every one on board and continued at various intervals until we reached Katra. People sang hymens, clapped to the tune of devotional songs and made merry. It was a hilarious experience.
We reached Katra in the evening. Unlike the modern bustling township which it is today, Katra of those days was a little village which appeared to be in deep slumber. There was no electricity and the main street had three Dhabas or eating joints and a few sundry shops selling milk, sweets and tea. There was also an assortment of shops selling dry fruits and handicrafts like carved wooden sticks, locally made woolen items etc. The whole street did not extend beyond three hundred yards.
My father knew the local priest who rented out rooms to pilgrims like us and it was to this house that we went. The room was as bare as it could be. There was no furniture, no bed, no chair; nothing. A window looked out to the mountains and allowed some light. Ceiling fans and electric light were conspicuous by their absence. There was a kerosene lamp and some candles which we lit. For a kid like me who had never been to a place like this it was a mixed feeling. I have always loved mountains but I wasn’t prepared for the total darkness which soon descended upon the country side.
For dinner we went to a nearby Dhaba and had a hearty meal as all of us were famished. Then came the exploration part. We had carried flashlights with us and barring my two sisters, I and the two of my friends friends set out to explore Katra. We roamed around the place for about two hours. The streets were empty. The visit to the main bus station was disappointing as it was deserted. There were very few people around and it was a desolate place.
We started for the shrine early next morning after some tea. The route went up an incline and then sloped down. About fifteen minutes of walking brought us near Baan Ganga which is a mountain river flowing near Katra. The noise of water rushing and tripping on the huge boulders created a steady roar and pretty soon we had to shout to be heard. A little way ahead the river made a lagoon which was deep enough to allow us to take a swim. We cavorted around for a while. The water was cold and invigorating and soon our teeth were chattering. All the sleep and fatigue of the past twenty four hours was washed away and we were ready for the trek ahead. Getting out of the water was a relief. There were two eating joints selling hot Alu-puri (Patato curry and fried bread) and after gorging ourselves on it we set out again.
The main shrine is situated twelve kilometers away from Katra if one follows the winding trail. There is however an alternate route which consists of rough hewn stairs from the rocks. These steps had become rounded and polished from thousands of pilgrims visiting the shrine for hundreds of years. They were slippery and it took some time getting used to climb them.
The elders opted for the easier, gently climbing trail while we the kids went up the stairs. I guess we were all showing off to our parents who watched bemused as we took the shorter route and reached the trail ahead of them.
The climb was great fun. Unlike at present, there were no shops selling CDs and cassettes and playing loud music. The climb was peaceful and it was quite an experience to hear the sound of wind whispering through Chir and deodar (Fir) trees. It was very quiet all along. The Sun was bright, the sky a deep blue and there were bird calls everywhere. For me it was paradise. Forty years later I can still feel the bliss of that climb.
Occasionally one could hear the singing of pilgrims as they climbed. The atmosphere was festive and cheerful without being noisy.
Climbing was thirsty work but there were water points all along the route dispensing water, boiled black chickpeas and lumps of raw sugar. Every thing was free, we paid for nothing. Even so every one of these places had a heap of copper coins (pennies) left there by grateful travelers.
We reached Adh-Kunwari the half way point about noon. There were four small restaurants selling a simple meal along with two or three tea stalls.
Lunch was definitely in order and we polished off a big one. After some tea we started our trek again. The climb now took a very arduous turn. The stairs went steeply up and climbing twenty at one go was energy sapping experience. The trail’s character changed too. No longer was it a gently climbing one. Walking uphill was now a difficult proposition. The stairs now had steel pipes stretched along both sides to prevent slipping. This climb is called Hathi-Matha (elephant’s forehead) and we soon realized why.
It was slow and tiring and all of us needed to rest every few minutes. The trail kept climbing for a while and then became a little easier. We were now on our way to a resting place called Sanjhi-Chat (common roof as it sat astride two mountains) and reached there after about an hour. There was a concrete balcony and it afforded a grand view of the mountains. It was really beautiful to see rolling hills all the way to the horizon. Gazing down, Katra looked a small white-brown speck on the green hills. The winding approach road to Katra was visible. Some where further ahead was Jammu; now lost in the mist.
After a short rest we started again and once again the climb became grueling. The stairs were about fourteen inches high here and my calf muscles almost gave up. My legs were shaking with the strain and every breath was a gasp. We were now going across to another mountain and it kept on climbing steadily. Another hour’s worth of walking brought us to the top where a temple devoted to demon Bhairon is situated. This marked the highest point and now the trail sloped down hill. I remember passing through a canopy of dense forest along the way. We finally reached the Shrine around six in the evening. It was getting cold now and we had to unpack our sweaters.
Unlike today there was no place to spend the night up at the shrine and all we could find was a shed with a corrugated tin roof. We spread our bedding on the floor and prepared to wait for our turn. There were quite a few people ahead of us and the estimated time for our turn was around two in the morning.
It is mandatory for all able bodied pilgrims to clean themselves before entering the cave where mother goddess has her abode.
There is a natural spring at the top of the mountain and it flows down through the cave and onto a channel which guides it to the bathing place. These days there are water pipes dispensing water at half a dozen points but in those days there was just one spout from where water gushed out in a stream about a foot across. It was icy cold and had the force of a jack hammer. There were bets going around to be won by any one who could stand under it for sixty seconds. As far I know no one won a prize that day.
I remember spending the briefest possible time under the spout to satisfy the bare minimum requirements of the ritual and then ran out numb from the cold. A change of clothes stopped my shivering and I retired to my place in the line. Our turn came around two in the morning.
The Shrine had a diesel electric generator, and the cave as well as the approach to it was lit with electric bulbs. The generator must have been ancient as the electric light was not a steady bright one. It pulsated with every turn of the generator. The effect was somewhat like the decoration lights we see in fair grounds.
They allowed people in the compound in groups of fifty at a time. Each group was divided into five sub groups. The spiritual fervor here was intense. Salutation and chants in praise of divine mother went up every so often. I remember one gentleman ringing the bell at the entrance of the cave continuously without any let up.
The entrance to the cave is very narrow and one has to wriggle through the foot stone and the overhanging rock to enter it. The stone here is worn smooth from centuries of touching by human hands and was smooth and slippery to the touch. The floor of the cave was covered with ice cold spring water and my feet were soon quite numb. The left side of the cave is nothing but sloping and slippery rock and I climbed on to the smooth stone to keep warm. There were a few light fixtures on the right side of the cave and they provided enough light to navigate. The diameter of the cave is about six feet at its widest but is often only two feet across There were people coming out and going in through that narrow space and I had to constantly climb the rocks on either side to avoid collision..
A few more yards and I reached the three steps that lead to the sanctum sanctorum. A constant stream of water flows over the steps and one has to be careful climbing them. My turn finally came and I had my first glimpse of the famous three round stones in which the power of the divine mother resides. Each stone was wrapped in red cloth. Ornate silver Chhatra (Umbrella) was hanging over them. There were three lamps burning and the air was fragrant with incense and Keora water. I did not know how to pray and so I bowed by head and asked for forgiveness for what ever wrong I had done. I spent about ten minutes there and then it was time to make space for the people behind me.
Coming out took another ten minutes and I returned to where we had pitched our bedding. Sleep was easy after that and I woke up fully rested the next day. The return journey was almost a repeat of the one on the way in. The journey back to Delhi was uneventful.
Over the period of next thirty years I went to the shrine twenty one times. My last visit was in nineteen ninety five. I have seen an enormous change come over the whole place. Gone is the peace and quiet of Katra town. It now resembles a resort. Gone too is the serenity and quiet of the scenic route. Its place has been taken by crassly commercial shops selling and playing their music system at top volume. Ill conceived and unplanned construction is an eye sore and has killed the natural beauty.
The rushing waters of Ban Ganga are gone too. The stones there are silent. They sing no more as the stream that used to rush over them has been diverted to quench the thirst of tourist industry and an ever expanding mass of people. The pristine valley is now a land fill for garbage. I could be wrong but I feel that for most people the shrine is now a holiday destination.
The character of the place has changed totally. I guess it is called progress, and I am told its march is relentless. But I do wish that the clock will roll back and bring back the harmony and tranquility of the place.
If divine mother could grant me one wish I guess that would be it.
Rajiv Sethi.
copy right 2009. No part of this article can be used without the express permission of the author.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What Love has got to do with it? With apologies to Tina Turner

The desire for romance and sex is one of the most enduring one in humans. In fact it is so strong that people will do almost anything to satisfy it. The Phrase ‘Everything is fair in love and war’ succinctly sums up our passion for love. It is for this reason that on every continent and in every civilization the male female relationship has been controlled by society at large. Social norms have been set and laws enacted to regulate one’s emotional and sexual life. Indeed one major religion does not permit more than one marriage, and barring some exceptions most countries do not allow polygamy.

In the first flush and exuberance of teenage, when the growth of frontal lobe of human brain overtakes the growth of the rest of the gray matter, emotions dominate the thinking process because the rational brain is still developing. All decisions taken by individuals are therefore highly emotional. Looks and biology figure predominantly in all relationships. Meeting and mating is all one wants and more the merrier seems a very attractive proposition. By the time one comes out of this phase there is a glimmer of realization that relationships ought to be more meaningful. One may not be ready for marriage but a long-term relationship definitely seems attractive.

The million-dollar question is how can we find the right mate? There is the hit and trial method which one has already tried and found wanting. In some societies the extended family may pitch in by introducing some promising mates. But this we all agree is not a reliable proposition. Blind dates often turn into dark evenings. So once we have experienced ‘been there – done that’ situation what else is left. The answer is Vedic astrology.

Vedic Astrology looks at the male female relation in a different light. It divides the human personality of two persons into four segments of spirituality, intellectual capacity, emotions and sex. It then looks for an overlap in these areas. Greater the overlap, better the relationship. This division and matching is done mathematically and points are given for each overlap. More points indicate better compatibility. The converse is also true. The mental bias of the astrologer does not enter the picture.

The total points that the system generates are 36. Half of it is 18 and at this point the relationship is fine for short-term relationships. It is good for dining out, watching movies and spending weekends together. It rarely has the horsepower to keep the relationship going over the long haul. Cracks emerge and relationship falls through in a year or so.

As always there are exceptions to the rule. If these 18 points are obtained in the emotional and sex categories, the relationship can last longer. After all the major requirements have been met. Nothing is perfect anyway. In the fast moving life of present times, it is advisable to look for a higher number. 25 is good and anything above that excellent. This is however only one part of the story. There are other factors that can make or mar a relationship.

We shall take a quick look. The whole gamut of hetero and homosexual relationships especially the mating part is ruled by the seventh house in a horoscope. This house, its planetary lord and the significator for marriage – Jupiter for females and Venus for males – should be strong and free from any influence of separatist planets like Sun, Saturn and Rahu.

In addition to this Mars should not affect the twelfth, second, seventh and eighth houses because he tends to injure the connection. Under these circumstances, the relationship goes in a downward spin and eventually crashes and burns. There are twelve signs in the zodiac and those that fall in the first, fourth, seventh and tenth position to each other promote compatibility.

Moon is closest heavenly body to earth and plays an extremely important part, so much so that Moon sign is given equal status to the birth ascendant. What is true of the birth ascendant is also true of the lunar ascendant. Our zodiac is divided in to 27 Nakshatra and each one spans 13 degrees and 20 minutes of arc. At the time of birth Moon will be occupying one of these segments. The Nakshatra occupied by Moon becomes the Janma (birth) Nakshatra and becomes an important tool in predictive work.

Nakshatra that fall in the second, fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth and ninth from the Janma Nakshatra are exceedingly compatible and promote prosperity and happiness in each other’s life. For example if the Janma Nakshatra of one partner is Ashwini and the other partner happens to be born in Bharani, Rohini, Ardra, Pushya or Ashlesha Nakshatra, the relationship will prosper.

If the partner is born in third or seventh Nakshatra from Bharani utter chaos will prevail between the couple. This is irrespective of the sex. Gay and lesbian relationships will fare the same way.

There are other factors like mutual placements of Jupiter, Venus, and Lagna lord in two horoscopes. These will shed some more light on the relationship. The greatest advantage that Vedic astrology has over other systems like psychological profiling used in dating websites is that it goes to the root of the issue and immediately weeds out undesirable matches. It saves time and cuts the signal to noise ratio. Reception becomes crystal clear. One is left with one or two optimum matches, which can be explored further. So next time some one warms the cockles of your heart, obtain the birth details and use astrology to figure out if it is the pay dirt or simply dirt. Your questions and comments are very welcome.

Rajiv Sethi

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Mobile consultation 9899589211

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Yoga For Happiness Part II

The house took shape in three distinct stages. In the first stage it existed only as a thought pattern. An electrical impulse in the brain is all what it was. The consciousness of house existed but it could not be felt by the five senses. This was the causal body stage of my home. In the second stage my house consciousness took a more visible shape. Everything I wanted was constructed on a sheet of paper. The house existed but not in the physical form. It was in an intermediate stage. This was the astral body stage of my house.
Finally in the third stage, the builder converted the blue print to reality and I had a home that I could see, touch and feel. This was the physical body stage of my home.
This whole creation is a dream of God. There is nothing real to it. What appears to be tangible to our senses is in reality a frozen form of energy which is held in place by the will of God. Scientists have a problem with this conception as their intellect can only operate with in the three dimensional world and can not accept the existence of anything which can not be measured and reproduced. It is only now in the post Einstein and the quantum physics era where neither experimental measurement nor reproduction is possible that the modern scientist is dimly grasping the existence of a divine intelligence.

The physical world is essentially inert matter. The life force and movement that we see all around us comes from the astral world. This is as true of the dancing electrons as of a singing bird. The subtle forces of the astral world which animate our world themselves draw energy from the still finer forces of the causal or ideational world. These fine and subtle forces are the vibratory thought emanating from the consciousness of God. We know it more popularly as Aum.The whole of the creation is totally dependent upon the life forces emanating from the causal and astral bodies. The physical body is created and sustained by the astral body which supplies the life current called Prana to the fertilized egg, nourishes it and makes it grow into an embryo and eventually into a human being. Without the nourishing energy coming from the astral body and without the intelligence of the causal body telling the cell when to subdivide and how, the living creatures will not sustain life.Prana flows down into the physical body through seven cerebro-spinal centers in the brain and the spine. The physiology of the astral body energizes the physical body.
At the time of death, only the outermost physical body is destroyed. The soul, and the two other bodies which envelope it are indestructible and escape to the astral world.
Sometimes when death takes place suddenly and the astral body doesn’t get time to prepare to leave this world, it lingers on. We then sometimes see it as a ghost. It is for this reason that all religions have some ceremony to facilitate the soul on its way to the astral world.
After spending some time in the astral world, a soul must return to earth to enjoy or suffer the Karma that it generated during its past life. This it does thousands of time until the sheer monotony of the experiences on earth induces it to seek freedom from being recycled again and again.
The ancient sages of India discovered the science of Raja Yoga to get freedom from this cycle of birth and rebirth. This was handed down from generation to generation until it was codified by sage Patanjali as Yoga Sutras.
Our physical body is quite similar to a cell phone. Even a brand new phone with a full battery will not function until it is connected to the phone company providing the service. The same is true of our body too. We can have a perfectly healthy body but it will live only so long as it is connected to the source. Just as the microwaves connect the cell phone to the nearest antenna, a force called Prana connects our body to the universal intelligence or God. Prana is the nurturing force that enters our body from the top and travels downwards, providing the necessary energy to various body organs to carry out their task. There are seven main Chakras along the spine which are like electric transformers. They regulate and distribute Prana to each and every cell of our body through a network of other smaller Chakras. When a Chakra becomes weak because of some reason, a disease results in the body part connected to it.
Vedic philosophy regards time as being part of the grand delusion called Maya. We measure the length of our life in years. A year is a span of time in which earth goes around the sun and comes back to the starting point. What if we left the solar system and went to another galaxy? Would we live according to day and night happening there or will we die after a given number of earth years have passed?
Our longevity does not depend upon anything but our breathing rate. If we breathe slowly we live longer. Rapid breathing reduces the life span. This is true of not only man but all creatures. Dogs breathe very rapidly and so last about twelve years. Elephants, crocodiles and whales live much longer because their breathing is much slower.
In emotionally charged states our breathing rate climbs up as we use our energy reserves at a rapid rate. We then resemble a revved up car engine. The wear and tear and the energy consumption in our body increases, resulting in a wastage of energy resources.
Breath is the only cord which ties the physical and the other two bodies together. Once breath goes away permanently – something that happens when Prana is withdrawn - we die. Through breath control, we can increase our life span, use body resources wisely and live a happy life. Many Yogis in India have lived for hundreds of years by controlling their breath.
Vedic theory says that depending upon the past Karma, each person gets a fixed number of breaths allotted to him. Breathing at the rate of about ten breaths a minute, one will live for a given number of years. By controlling the breathing rate it is possible to increase one’s life span. It is similar to getting the best gas mileage from a car by driving carefully. This is the reason why Hatha Yoga is a better way of exercising the body than other methods like aerobics and jogging which need intensive breathing. It allows us to draw energy from the universe without depleting the energy reserves of the body.
Raja Yoga is all about control of the breath and reduction of energy consumption. The energy thus saved can then be used for more productive purposes.
There are a number of scientific techniques available for breath control. They all involve dedication and constant practice. Once the breathing rate begins to fall, the five senses slowly become less distracting during meditation. Increased concentration brings about very interesting results.
Sage Patanjali, the celebrated author of “Yoga Sutras”, describes in detail the changes that take place in the inner and outer world of a person engaged in this effort. Each step gives the person involved a Siddhi or a special power which tells him that he has successfully crossed a landmark. These Siddhis give total control over Maya or creation based delusion around us. A person can thus control every event around him just as a video game player controls the game environment on the game monitor. There are a total of Eight Siddhis described in the Yoga Sutras. These are anima, Mahima, Laghima, Garima, Prapti, Vashitwa, Prakamya, and Ishatwa. Please see the foot note for details.
This journey can take twelve, or its multiples, depending upon the evolution of the soul in the body. If a person has been practicing meditation in past lives, he will be able to finish the process rather quickly. A novice will take more time.
At this stage of soul development, a person has total control over his physical, astral and ideational bodies. He can thus uncork the bottles of ignorance and free his soul to merge with the universal soul. This stage is called Moksha or emancipation. The Hindu scriptures describe God as the ultimate happiness or Sachchidananda (Sat+Chit+Ananda) which translates as ever present, ever continuous, ever new bliss. Having tasted that, all other pleasures of this earth appear paltry and unattractive. The payoff at the end of the long journey surpasses everything that the human mind can ever imagine. This is the reason why many self realized masters in India renounce everything except the loin cloth.

Through meditation a human being becomes God. Isn’t that the Ultimate happiness that all of us are looking for?

*Anima: The power of making anything as small as one likes, even tinier than an atom. The power of magnifying anything as large as one wants.
Laghima: The power of making anything as light as one wants.
Garima: The power of making anything as heavy as one wants.
Prapti: Manifesting anything that one wants.
Vashitwa: Bringing anything under control.
Prakamya: The power of satisfying all desires through irresistible will power.
Ishatwa: The power of lordship over anything.

Article protected under Copy right 2009. No part of this article can be reproduced in any form without the consent of the author Rajiv Sethi

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Results of Saturn’s transit to Virgo on September 09, 2009


For the past two years and five months, Saturn has been transiting through Leo. He is now at 27° 38’ and will enter Virgo on September 09.2009. He will remain there until November 15, 2011. This transit will produce different results for different signs. Unlike western astrology where Sun sign is considered paramount, the transit results in Hindu astrology are based on the sign where Moon is placed. This sign becomes the Rashi of the person whose chart is being studied. Rashi and the Nakshatra (Constellation) that fall in it play a very important part in predictions.
The results given below are pretty accurate but will be modified by several factors in the horoscope. For example, if Saturn is passing through a house where he gets 4 or more Ashtak Varga points, his results will be commensurate with increasing number. Ashtak Varga is the net result of the interaction of planetary energies and is arrived at by mathematically scrutinizing the placement of other planets in the chart
His transit through Nakshatra (Constellation) that are ruled by him or his close friends will give favorable results or will reduce the intensity of unfavorable events.
We have used term 'Paya' several times and this needs some explaining.
Saturn is deemed to have feet of gold, silver, copper and iron as he passes through the 12 signs of the zodiac. The following table gives a detailed idea of transit and its results. Silver and copper feet give favorable results while gold and iron do the opposite.
Shani Charan Vichar
Transit position


1st, 6th, 11th from Janma Chandra
Strained relations with extended family, financial drain, false accusations.
2nd, 5th, 9th from Janma Chandra
Gains of/from real estate, smooth relations with extended family, gains from government.
3rd, 7th, 10th from Janma Chandra
Receipt of happy news, success in all spheres, gains from government, financial prosperity.
4th, 8th, 12th from Janma Chandra
Domestic troubles and unhappiness, Losses in business and profession, unsound health and strained relations with relatives. Enemies create troubles.

Saturn transits the sixth house and because his ‘Paya’ is gold, he will bring about hardships. Saturn’s transit through sixth house is otherwise beneficial so problems will keep getting created and solved!
Saturn will transits the fifth house for Taurus people and will create difficulties in profession and higher studies. His ‘Paya’ is iron so financial issues and family dissensions will keep them on edge.
Saturn will pass through the fourth house. Problems connected to real estate, residential accommodation and profession will crop up. Saturn’s ‘Paya’ is gold so unexpected expenditure will cause tensions.
For cancer people, the Sade-Sati comes to an end. They can breathe easy and look forward to solution of some projects, which have been stuck for a while. Saturn has a ‘Paya’ of copper so expect receipt of happy news, success in all spheres, gains from government and financial prosperity. Mars transits Cancer from October 05, 2009 so expenses, tension and excitability will increase.
Saturn moves to the second house and strains your finances. There is a drain on the bank account. Saturn has a Paya of silver so every so often there will be financial gains as well.
Saturn enters the lunar ascendant so the effects of Sade-Sati will be on full display. You are right in the middle of 7 ½ year period. Saturn’s Paya is iron so expenses will exceed income. You may have to take a loan to tide over the current situation.
Saturn’s Sade-Sati begins. Domestic and professional challenges increase. Saturn has a 'Paya' of copper so favorable results will also be there. Expect sudden and unexpected gains and progress in endeavors that have stagnated for some time.
Saturn looks at Scorpio from his placement in the eleventh house and causes problems connected to family. Saturn however gives good results in the eleventh so there will be gains of money and enjoyment of life.
Saturn falls in the tenth house so expect hurdles in profession and complications in real estate matters. Saturn’s 'Paya' is however silver so money will be available throughout.
Saturn passes through the ninth house for this lunar ascendant. Ninth is the house of Dharma (righteous duty) and good fortune. Both are negatively affected by this transit. Sibling rivalry increases and spats are not ruled out. Expenses increase and outstrip income. Mental tension increases.
Saturn transits the eighth house and increases expenses and profession related problems. His 'Paya' is copper so money supply will be adequate. Projects suffer some delay but end happily.
Saturn transits the seventh house and causes resource-expenditure mismatch. Tension and secret worries increase. Saturn has a 'Paya' of silver so money will be available throughout this transit.
What is Sade-Sati?
Planet Saturn takes two and a half years to transit one Rashi or Zodiac sign. When Saturn passes through the 3rd, 6th and 11th houses from Moon in a horoscope, he gives good results like happiness, prosperity and enjoyment of physical pleasures of all types.
His transit through other houses usually gives bad results. Saturn’s transit through the 5th and 8th house is considered especially troublesome.
However when Saturn transits through the twelfth, the first and the second house from Moon in a horoscope, the phenomenon is called Sade sati. This is so as Saturn takes a total of seven and a half years in passing through these three houses.
The results of this passage are often vexing and troublesome though they are not all bad. Some good results also accrue.
When you will have Sade-Sati?
Your Sade-Sati begins when Saturn enters the twelfth house from Moon Rashi. In the context of the present transit, Sade-Sati begins for people who have Moon in Leo.
What are possible effects?
According to Hindu astrology Sade-Sati usually results in feet related problems and migraine type head aches. Heavy and wasteful expenditure takes its toll on savings. Progeny, especially male issues face difficulties and insulting situations. This period also brings about health related issues and the general health of the person is less than adequate. Mental tensions mount relentlessly and separation from family takes place.
Remedial measures for Sade Sati
1. Recitation of Pipplad Uvaach, a four line Sanskrit hymn in praise of Lord Saturn is very helpful in overcoming the problems caused by him. The Sanskrit text with English pronunciation of Pipplad Uvaach can be downloaded from internet.
2. The Shani Mantra recited 108x3 times every day is also very helpful. The easiest mantra is
3. Offerings of mustard oil, Urad Dal, iron implements, raw sugar, and black sesame seeds every Saturday are very effective.
4. Praying in a Shiva temple every Saturday and offering milk-water mixture while chanting OM NAMAHA SHIVAYE works wonders.
5. Fasting on Saturdays and eating one time meal without spices and salt also helps.
6. Wearing an iron ring made from a horseshoe removed from the right front foot of a black horse is another excellent remedy.
7. The ring can also be made from a nail removed from the bottom of a boat.
There is nothing to be afraid of a Sade Sati. Ups and downs are a fact of life. We all learn from adversities and they are a harsh but effective teacher. Life is a journey best traveled by keeping eyes wide open, mouth firmly closed and mental filing system busy.
In the next blog, results of Jupiter’s transit.
Rajiv Sethi
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