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Saturday, August 28, 2010

What is Prana and how does it work Part III

Free Vedic astrology article

Prana is the prime force that brings all body functions into being, and is mainly responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of physical bodies. 

Apana is the power of excretion. It scavenges the body of all waste matter and expels it through various outlets. Without Apana the body organs entrusted with the task of producing, sweat, urine, stools will not work.

Vyana is the power of circulation and is responsible for circulation of body fluids. It keeps the heart beating and sending blood through its circuitous route throughout the body.

Samana is the assimilative or digestive force and is responsible for digestion of food and extracting all nutrients from it. It powers the stomach and intestinal system.

Finally Udan is the power that makes the cells differentiate and grow in to specific organs like eyes, hair, nails, skin etc. The regeneration of cells is the prime function of Udan Vayu.

These five Prana are essentially one though they act in distributed ways. The primary seat of Prana is the nervous system and the cerebrospinal system. This is where it resides like the software in a RAM chip, when body needs to move its limbs to do something, it springs to life  by instructing the cells to perform the required action. 

Of the five life giving currents mentioned above the Prana and Apana are intimately connected to consciousness. Apana starts from the point between the eyebrows and flows to Coccyx (Mooladhar Chakra). Along the way it is distributed to the sensory and motor nerves. This Pranic current is restless and keeps the mind centered on the body and sensory experiences. It is devoted to the inputs coming from the five senses and does not allow the consciousness to rise above the material world.

Prana is its exact opposite. It rises from the coccyx and flows towards the point between the eyebrows. It is calm by nature and withdraws the consciousness  inwards, away from the three dimensional world. During the meditative state, it allows the soul to be united with the universal spirit.

Apana as mentioned is a downward flowing current and unites the consciousness to the sensory pleasures. The cells, muscles and organs of senses use up this current like electrical appliances consume electricity. This process of consumption is however not without its drawbacks. It generates waste. Over a period of time the channels become clogged and the organs become exhausted due to overuse.

Prana repairs the damage caused but in the process creates its own waste. This is carried by the blood stream to the lungs where oxygen converts it to carbon dioxide. This process of waste removal is called breath.

The opposite pulls of Apana and Prana create inhalation and exhalation and breathing occurs. As long as Prana keeps pulling  the breath into the lungs, a body remains alive. When the time of death approaches, Apan becomes more powerful than Prana and the body is no longer able to pull the breath into lungs. At this point the death occurs and Apan pulls the astral body out of the physical body. The physical body slowly disintegrates on earth while the astral body flies to an astral world which is in keeping with its karma performed on earth. People with a lot of good Karma go to higher astral worlds where they are conscious of their astral bodies and are able to enjoy their stopover in these worlds. People with inferior Karma go to the astral worlds where they remain in a stupor until the time has come for them to return to earth.


Rajiv Sethi

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

What is Prana and how does it work Part II
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The modern science is finally comprehending what Hindu philosophy has always known! The universal Prana is therefore Para Prakriti or Pure nature which is derived from infinite spirit and which permeates and sustains the world.

On earth, Prana becomes the sustaining life force of all living organisms.
Our body is a marvel of mechanics. Our circulatory and respiratory system are basically mechanical processes. Our limbs that provide locomotion and ability to perform work also are mechanical in nature.

Our body is a chemical factory as well. Our digestive tract, liver and glandular system are all chemistry based. Be that as it may, there is an intangible factor which allow these processes to start and then continue. If this is withdrawn, the mechanical and chemical processes cease. This intangible force is Prana and its cessation is more commonly known as death. Prana is life. It’s absence is death.

The analogy of a cell phone perfectly describes this process. A brand new instrument with fully charged battery and a sim card will not function unless there is some credit left in the sim card. The cell phone is completely dependent upon this invisible entity which governs the radio transmission that connects the phone to the service providing network. The phone works during the duration of the credit. When credit is over the phone dies. Our body behaves in a similar fashion. Prana is the credit based on our actions performed during previous incarnations, and our body is the handset.

So Prana is needed for a living organism to sustain and grow. This Vital energy actually utilizes the mechanical and chemical processes to keep an organism alive. The individual cells have distributed intelligence and Prana organizes and coordinates this intelligence for building and repair of the body. This is an important concept and must not be lost sight of. Each cell and the organ made from cells have individual intelligence and memories. Prana uses this intelligence to sustain and govern individual body organs.

To the modern medical science which traditionally believes only brain to be the seat of human intelligence, this was pure bunkum, and worthy of derision. Then came heart transplants and the statements of the heart recipients that they could tap into the emotional memories of the donor. It will be interesting to see how the scientist sees this one out.Most likely they will call it some psychological problem.

Prana is intelligent force but it has no consciousness of its own. In that respect it resembles a computer process control software. Soul on the other hand is the spark of divine intelligence which provides the consciousness to an organism and gives it situational awareness. Prana obeys soul and is lodged between the soul and matter. Through it’s help soul makes the matter do its bidding.

At the time of conception, the soul-causal body-astral body system gets encased in a fertilized egg. Soul directs the Prana to subdivide the single cell repeatedly until the body of an infant with all limbs and internal organs is formed. Without the guidance of the soul the process of subdivision will not proceed smoothly. This is very important and essential as our body and our looks are completely dependent upon our Astral Karmic past.

Body gets it’s nourishment through food and drink, which is digested through the force of Prana. Prana enters the body through Medulla and gets stored in the cerebrum and in the spinal centers called Chakra. 

Prana exists in five different forms. As Prana itself and as Apan, Vyana, Saman and Udan. This is how these function.

To be continued. . .

Rajiv Sethi

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

What is Prana and how does it work.

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In its broadest sense, Prana means the force or energy. According to Vedic or Hindu philosophy, all creation is energy or force because force is nothing but expression of energy. In this sense, energy pervades the universe. The space around us that appears to be empty is in reality a seething cauldron of energy. Before we go further I want to quote some modern western scientific literature on this subject

 “When physicists began to study the quantum theory of fields, they discovered that a vacuum was not all what it had long appeared to be – just

empty space devoid of substance and activity. …… What might appear to be empty space is a seething ferment of virtual particles. A vacuum is not inert and featureless, but alive and throbbing with energy. A real particle like an electron must always be viewed against this background.
“Empty space does not appear a very promising subject for study, yet it hold the key to a fuller understanding of the forces of nature.” Writes Paul Davies Ph.D. in Superforce (New York-Simon and Schuster, 1984.).

Fritjof Capra writes in The Tao of Physics (Boston-Shambhala, Third Edition 1991) “The field theories of modern Physics force us to abandon the

classic distinction between Material particles and the void,” Einstein’s field theory of gravity and quantum field theory both show that particles can‘t

be separated from space surrounding them. On the one hand they determine the structure of that space, whilst on the other hand they can not be regarded as isolated entities, but have to be seen as condensation of a continuous field which is present throughout the space….

“The field exists always and everywhere. It can never be removed. It is the carrier of all material phenomena….. Being and fading of particles are merely forms of motion of the field.”

“The distinction between matter and empty space finally had to be abandoned when it became evident that virtual particles can come into being spontaneously out of the void, and vanish again into the void…. According to field theory, events of that kind happen all the time. The vacuum is far

from empty. On the contrary it contains an innumerable number of particles which come into being and vanish without end…. The physical vacuum…..contains the potentiality for all forms of the particulate world.  These forms, in turn are not independent physical entities but merely

transient manifestations of the underlying void…. The discovery of the dynamic quality of the vacuum is seen by many physicists as one of the most important findings of the modern physics.”
It is a mouthful but in short it means that space is not empty but is composed of energy. It is not an empty room where an electric bulb is shining. It is a room which exists because of that light. 

This is beautifully summed by this gem of a Sanskrit Shlok. The unmanifested universe is full, the manifested universe is also full. After taking out full from the full what remains is also full.

Rajiv SethiBouquets and brickbats at,
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Monday, August 16, 2010

Nine Gems that can make or mar your Life

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Gems are mineral crystals of different types that were formed millions of years when the molten rocks or Magma was cooling down to form earth's crest. As the earth cooled, the crystals formed and got attached to other rocks and minerals that were being formed at the same time.   Minerals like Corundum or Aluminum Oxide is pure while in color but may often be colored differently due to the impurities caused by other metal compounds. On the right is a picture of a Corundum crystal that is colored slight blue and is known as Neelam or Sapphire. This crystal may appear red due to the presence of Chromium salts.

These crystals are mined and then cleaned before being sold to people who cut and polish them to make the gems that we use in jewelry.
Gems and their characteristics

Ruby is the representative mineral of Sun on earth. Chemically speaking it is a crystal of Aluminum oxide which is represented by the chemical formula Al2O3. Aluminum oxide is also known as corundum and physically is a very hard crystal second only to a diamond in hardness. Corundum is white in color but appears red due to some impurities caused by chromium salts. A single crystal of red corundum may exhibit different shades of red due to varying amounts of other salts.
Rubies may therefore vary in color from pinkish to violet/purplish red in color. In strong light they appear brighter. Sun is the king and the father of the solar system and represents the ruling class as also the people with authority and power. Like Janma and Chandra Lagna, Sun too is considered a Lagna in it self. Sun therefore represents self, ego, father, body, skeletal system, bones and general health. If Sun becomes the lord of Lagna, fifth or ninth house, he becomes very helpful and in such cases one can wear a ruby without a second thought. In other cases, a ruby should be worn keeping in mind the strength of Sun in the birth chart and whether or not his Maha Dasha is running.

Pearl or Muktak represents Moon in Vedic astrology and is easily the most valued of the organic gems. It is formed when a small speck of sand falls in an oyster shell and begins to irritate the mollusk living inside it. To stop the irritation the mollusk tries to coat the
speck with its secretions called nacre. In time the size of the nacre grows and becomes a round pearl. A pearl is a therefore a very special and exclusive gift of nature. The most valued pearls come from the ocean and have a visible luster or sheen with the most common being white or cream with a rose overtone. Pears from the gulf of Basra on the Iraq coast are world famous.

These days pearls are cultivated artificially by deliberately adding small bits of crushed pearls to mollusk colonies which are grown in sea water in cages. The mollusks are harvested periodically and the pearls removed. Japanese pearls which are grown using this technique are superior to the Chinese variety.

Moon represents, the mind, emotional nature, affluence and public. Every one can and should wear a pearl. There are no astrological restrictions connected to it. Wearing a Pearl brings harmony and stability to mind. Pearl is especially recommended when Moon is in the grip of Saturn, Rahu or Sun, singly or in varying degrees of collectivity. For astrological remedies, pearl should be as close to a sphere as possible. It should not have an oval shape and the nacre should be without any indentations. The preferred size is at least ten millimeters.

Coral or Vidruma is another organic gem that comes from the sea. Corals are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters containing few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals and are formed by polyps that live together in groups. The polyps secrete a hard carbonate exoskeleton which provides support and protection for the body of each polyp.

The most valued coral is the noble red coral on the left. (Corallicum rubrum). The color is uniform throughout with no pits or color streaks. Polished coral has a vitreous luster. Due to pollution, coral is an endangered species.

Coral represents Mangal or Mars who rules over activity, energy, courage, ambition, sports, property, strength, military, technical ability, mechanical aptitude, forcefulness and bravery. In Jyotish, Mangal is known as the commander-in-chief, because of his ability in organizing and managing direction in all activities. Mars behaves like a General with his focus on precision and power in all activities.

When ever Mars rules over the first, fifth or the ninth house, he becomes capable of producing benefits. For Cancer and Leo ascendants Mars becomes a Yog Karak planet. In such cases wearing a Coral rings brings about very favorable results.

If Mars is adversely placed in the horoscope, one must never wear a Coral. It will increase the problems. Similarly Coral is not a remedy for Manglik Dosh.

Panna, Markat or Emerald is a variety of the mineral Beryl (Be3Al2(SiO3)6), which has been colored green by trace amounts of Chromium and sometimes Vanadium. Emeralds are known by their distinctive green color and can vary from light to dark green. All emeralds contain inclusions formed during their growth. Completely clear stones are extremely rare. Inclusions indicate that the stone is natural. The most common cut is the step or emerald cut.

Emerald represents Mercury and when worn, increases intelligence, education, speech, teaching, learning, communication, confidence, writing ability, trade, humor, wit, discrimination, diplomacy, intellect and commerce. Budh or Mercury is the prince is the planetary cabinet.

People with Gemini and Virgo ascendants are highly benefited by wearing a coral set in a gold ring. A strong influence of Mars, Rahu and Saturn on Moon, Mercury and the fourth lord causes mental aberrations. In such cases one benefits from an emerald ring.

Pushkaraj, Topaz or yellow sapphire also belongs to the Corundum family mentioned above. Their color varies from light yellow to golden and honey yellow. They have considerable luster, come in a variety of cuts and are increasing in market value.

Yellow sapphire is the representative gem of Jupiter who is the largest and the most benefic of all planets in our system. Jupiter signifies knowledge, religion, philosophy, devotion, wisdom, virtue, spirituality, truthfulness, prosperity, charity, fortune, justice, education, future children and distant travel.

People with Sagittarius and Pisces ascendant benefit most from wearing a Topaz. Those with these signs in the fifth or ninth house also profit from Yellow Sapphire.

Heera or diamond is the ultimate gemstone, and has few weaknesses and many strengths. It is well known that Diamond is the hardest substance found in nature, but few people realize that Diamond is four times harder than the next hardest natural mineral, corundum
(sapphire and ruby). But although as hard as it is, it is not impervious to force. Diamond has four directions of cleavage, meaning that if it receives a sharp blow in one of these directions it will cleave, or split. A skilled diamond setter and/or jeweler will prevent any of these directions from being in a position to be struck while mounted in a jewelry piece. It is basically an allotrope of carbon and has the same chemical composition as graphite.

Diamond represents Venus, who is a planet of beauty and grace. Diamond therefore signifies beauty, grace and sophistication. It represents sexual happiness and is the prime significator of male semen. It is for this reason that people suffering from a weak libido and sperm related issue benefit greatly by wearing a diamond ring.

People with Libra ascendant benefit most from a diamond. Those with Taurus ascendant should not wear it if Venus is placed in ascendant as it then tends to cause injury to head. Those with Libra falling in the second, fifth or the ninth house also benefit a great deal.

Neelam or Sapphire is also a gemstone of Corundum family mentioned above. In this case the pure white crystal of corundum (Al2O3) gets a bluish hue due to impurities caused by iron salts. Sapphires have striking luster and color which ranges from light to very dark blue. Blue Sapphires are given a variety of cuts; the most common being the oval cut. Because of its rarity, blue Sapphires are one of the most highly prized of the corundum species.

Sapphire represents Saturn who is the second largest planet in Vedic astrology, and signifies longevity, elders, discipline, authority, ambition, leadership, honesty, perfection, humility, denial, delays, misery, adversity, accidents, conservatism and dutifulness. Saturn is often symbolized as a servant. Saturn is a highly separatist planet and tends to separate a person from the happiness connected to the house or the house lord that he influences.

People with Libra and Taurus ascendants benefit most by wearing a Sapphire. It can also be worn when Saturn Maha Dasha is in progress. Sapphire is a potent gem and shows its result immediately. It should be worn only after a thorough study of the birth chart.

Gomedhak or hessonite is a variety of grossularite garnet. It has a good luster and looks transparent. The color is brownish-orange and is often called cinnamon stone. These gems are often given step or mixed cuts. Hessonite garnets are found especially in Sri Lanka.

Gomedhak represents Rahu, the ascending node of the moon. Rahu signifies, worldly desires, worldly benefits, laziness, sense gratification, and ignorance. It is by nature unpredictable and creates sudden changes and influences. Rahu is similar to Shani or Saturn in its nature and influence.

People with Rahu placed in the fifth or ninth house benefit most by wearing a Hessonite as in these two houses Rahu becomes a Yog Karak planet and brings about sudden and unexpected, but welcome changes in life. People with Rahu in the eighth house will attract more troubles in their life by wearing this gemstone.

Vaidurya or Cat's Eye is the name given to a variety of mineral Chrysoberyl. In Vedic astrology, Ketu is the descending node of Chandra (Moon). It's influences are

similar to Mangal or Mars and include liberation, abstract thinking, asceticism, non-attachment, healing, Moksha--enlightenment, wisdom and that which is hidden.

As with Rahu, Ketu gives best results when placed in the fifth or the ninth house. Those aspiring for Moksh would also benefit by wearing a Cat’s eye, especially if Ketu occupies the twelfth house in their horoscope.

Rajiv Sethi

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What is a Mantra and how does it work? Part -II

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Continuation of the previous Blog. . .

This is true of all Mantras. This is the reason why the early Indophiles and Indologists who translated the Vedas to English found the verses to be unsophisticated. Their real meaning however can only be understood by a person who has reached a certain level of self realization and has attained freedom from the slavery of the five senses.

The Yogis who have achieved self realization have existed in India through the ages. Such exalted personages live amongst us even now. They shall gladly explain any Mantra or Stotra to an inquiring mind. The only condition is that one approach them with humility, respect and a genuine need for enlightenment. The early Europeans who were translating the texts did not have any of these qualities, so by simple law of attraction they attracted only those who themselves had little or no knowledge of the essence of the scriptures.

As science progresses, it is realizing that matter and energy are interchangeable and this exchange is a continuous process. This is what Hindu philosophy taught thousands of year ago. It explained in detail how starting from Om - the basic vibration of the universe – energy condenses and gets converted to the material world. The modern string theory is nothing but the Vedic theory of creation by another name.

The theory of Causal, astral and physical bodies and the concepts of Gyanaindriya, Karmendriya and Tanmatra explain the basic principles of creation, while the concepts of Kosha explain its development. The Yug system explains the rise and fall of human consciousness with the passage of time. The theory of everything has been available all along, only the modern scientist has been searching for it in the wrong places.

Mantras are powerful tools to achieve good as well as bad results. Tantra deals with Mantras extensively and categorizes these as Vashikaran (captivating), Mohan (attracting), Uchchatan (rendering powerless) Stambhan (creating obstacles) and  Maaran (inflicting death).

The Mantra and Stotra are excellent remedial measures for badly placed planets in a birth chart. They require no expenditure on gemstones or rituals, and work extremely well. One’s own energy and devotion is all that is needed. Mantras have been effectively used in India for thousands of years. If chanted with diligence and faith they can transform one’s life.


Rajiv Sethi


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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What is a Mantra and how does it work? Part -I

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What is a Mantra?
A Mantra is usually one or two lines of Sanskrit verse, and its purpose is to harness the energy produced by its chanting to achieve a very specific purpose. There are thousands of Mantras and each Mantra produces a very unique energy signature. A plain translation of a Mantra usually seems overly simplistic, and reads like a simple prayer. For example take this very potent Mantra known as Maha Mritunjaya Mantra.

ॐ त्रयंबकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनं उर्वारूक मिव बन्धनान मृत्योर मुक्ष्यीय मामृतात्


A simple English translation of this Mantra is given below

We worship Shiva – The Three-Eyed Lord who is fragrant, nourishing and  growth of all beings. Just as a fully ripened cucumber is liberated by falling down on its own from the creeper, so also may he liberate us from death and give us immortality. 

On its face it is a very simple prayer and there seems to be no reason to believe that it packs the tremendous amount of energy attributed to it. The fact however remains that such is surely the case and miraculous results have been experienced by the continuous chanting of this Mantra. What is more, with the addition of some Sanskrit prefixes and suffixes, it becomes a very potent remedy for the complete cure of numerous, so called incurable diseases.

The readers will find this to be true with every Mantra. The reason why a Mantra works does not lie in its meaning which is unimportant; it lies in the vibrations that it generates. This ability to produce extremely powerful vibrations which are capable of erasing the Karmic script written on the Soul-Causal body-Astral body combination is what sets a Mantra apart from an ordinary prayer. A simple prayer works only when it comes from the innermost being of a human being, which is a rare event. A Mantra works just by its proper pronunciation. Needless to say, complete focus on the Mantra and its objective helps.

In this age of computers and software the explanation of how a Mantra works becomes rather easy to grasp. Let us take the case of a high level computer language like C++. Any one who has seen the software code knows that to the untrained eye it appears as meaningless gibberish. Yet when read by a microprocessor it appears in front of our eyes as a prose, a picture, a cartoon, a melody or a printed document.

In the above example, between the process of writing the code and the final viewing on the screen lies the microprocessor which makes sense out of seemingly nonsensical code. In the case of humans our ability to chant correctly acts like an input device while the universal intelligence acts as the processor of this vibration, and generates the desired results. The Rishis who initially gave us these Mantras were highly evolved humans and could pick up the Sanskrit characters that would produced a specific vibration that would achieve a specific resultd when chanted.

Mispronunciation of the Mantra stops the effects from materializing, just as in the case of a software code, a small alteration of a period or a semicolon makes a software to hang.

To be continued…

Rajiv Sethi

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Friday, August 6, 2010

Share/Bookmark Saturn in Hindu literature. Origin, characteristics and power of Saturn

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According to Matsya Puran a really long time ago at the beginning of this creation, when the universe was coming into being, Sun had two wives and a total of nine children. Saturn was born from the second wife known as Chhaya. She is also credited with giving birth to two daughters Tapati and Vishti.

From his childhood Saturn was the strongest of all nine children and also the most unmanageable. He did not get along with his siblings and was a loner. The story goes that Sun divided and distributed his work load amongst all his children. While every one accepted her role gladly, Saturn was the exception. His desire was to become the most powerful of all and be able to do what he desired.

Saturn started a Tapasya (extreme meditative practice) to please Brahma (the creator) and was successful in getting his desired boon from him. This made him even more insolent than he previously was and he even started revolting against the wishes of his father. Disappointed, Sun approached Lord Shiva and told him about Saturn's transgressions.

Lord Shiva sent his army along with Nandi to take care of Saturn's misdeeds. However due to the boon attained from Brahma, Saturn easily defeated Shiva's army. This angered Lord Shiva and he opened his third eye to incinerate Saturn. Saturn's power though not equal to Lord Shiva was still considerable and he used his own gaze to neutralize Shiva's energy. The merging of these two energies gave rise to the famous bands around Saturn.

Lord Shiva being stronger slowly overpowered Saturn and he fainted due to overexertion and depletion of all his strength. At this, Sun approached Lord Shiva and asked him to spare the life of his son. Shiva relented and resuscitated Saturn. He finally understood the limitations of his powers and begged Shiva to forgive him and make him his disciple.

Lord Shiva is easily pleased and he accepted Saturn as his devotee. He also assigned him the task of bringing home the bad Karma generated by people to them. Ever since then Saturn makes people come face to face with their misdeeds done in previous lives. He does this during is Mahadasha, Antar-Dasha (Major and Sub periods) and transit through the twelve houses.

Saturn's gaze is still very powerful and when ever it falls in anger at a house, the denial of the good results connected to that house are certain. Saturn's job is to maintain Dharma by punishing the wrongdoers. It is for this reason that during the Major or Sub periods of Saturn or during his adverse transits, it never pays to adopt shortcuts and try to wriggle out of the situation. The only way out is through penance.

Rajiv Sethi

My upcoming Saturn E-Book

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Checkout my new website

Hi! I have launched a new website Unlike my current website which is linked to Wordpress Blog, the new site is a stand alone site and provides a better browsing experience. It is an independent site free from all restrictions.
Remedial measures are an integral part of Vedic astrology and almost all of these require chanting of Stotra and Stuti (odes and hymns) to various planets and deities. It is often quite difficult to pronounce the Sanskrit words correctly. True there are videos available on the You tube but searching for them can be a time consuming activity. The new website therefore has a dedicated video page where I am constantly putting the relevant videos from the You Tube. Now you can get everything together on one page with one click of the mouse.
The site has dedicated pages for yearly, monthly and weekly predictions. For the moment only the monthly predictions are available but soon the other two will also be available. I have done my best to make the site as user friendly as I could.
Please check out the new site and send me your questions, comments and feedback. It would help if you send the link to you’re your friends as well. Without your help this new site will not reach anywhere near
I look forward to your emails. The E-Book on Saturn is nearing completion, and will be available by month end.
Rajiv Sethi 

E-Book on Saturn