The surface of the sea witnesses the tides that are disturbing but deeper one penetrates, there is stillness. Similarly, in life the deeper we live, the lesser turbulences we live through. This analogy if taken through the learnings around Jyotishya/Astrology, in the days of the commercialised practice, the fear is built around the three grahas (planets!) of Shani, Rahu, and Ketu. A fundamental analysis clarifies the essence, and for ever.
Shani referred as Saturn is yoga-karaka for a few born under the lagna of Venus/Shukra. More important point is, Shani is the dharma-karaka for all. People are supposed to follow the dharma and this is ensured by right conduct preceded by right intent.
Shani is called ‘Manda’ meaning slow. This is due to the fact that the transit of Shani through any rashi/house takes two and half years. Slow but steady. Thus, the cycle of twelve houses transit takes thirty years, and often it is said that a ‘purnayu’ (long living) may witness three such cycles. During the dasha/ antar-dasha/ pratyantar-dasha of Shani (macro to micro phases) the seeker is made to realise the ephemeral nature of this world and all the happenings around. Shani is the teacher who ensures that you learn the lesson, and learn very well! Being proactive in ‘life lessons’ learning is one such mitigation measure.
Rahu and Ketu are said to have emanated from a demon called Swarabhanu, head and tail portions respectively. Rahu is a mysterious planet, denoting Maya, the illusion. But on a higher learning ground, life itself is Maya. Shri Shankaracharya cautioned us that ‘maayaa-maya midamakhilam-hitwa’.
Rahu indicates the ‘durasha’ or greed part of life aspects. Ketu denotes the ‘nirasha’ or disappointment aspects of life. It is said that these are always in opposites or ‘sama-saptakas’. How does one interpret this in simple terms? It is from greed that we end up with disappointments. If no greed, then possibly no disappointment is the result. It is the Buddha’s wisdom that taught us that ‘no desire, no suffering’. So true.
Reconciling the life with respect to the dharma helps us in staying in balance, not going the greedy or egoistic ways, and finally be content with the ‘flown in presents’. Life then is a pure celebration.
(Prof S Ainavolu is a Mumbai-based teacher of tradition and management. He is with VPSM. Views are personal. www.ainavolu.in/blog)