One of the peculiar techniques of Nadi Jyotish is to consider a retrograde planet as if it is in the previous sign. I found this rule handy and working well in many charts. This is not to be found anywhere in the normal Jyotish texts, standard or otherwise. Many such peculiar rules exist in Nadi system, perhaps owing to its highly advanced techniques aiming at pinpointed accuracy. Many such rules are found in Deva Keralam and other famous Nadi texts. Coming to the present topic, two planets found retrograde in Sankara Bhagavatpada's chart. My humble experience shows that it is a mistake to consider retro planets as bad indicators. To be precise, when Mercury is retrograde, we should not jump to a conclusion that the native is a dunce. Similarly, when Jupiter is retro, it need not indicate moral deficiency.
A chart is a homogenous whole and to concentrate on one particular indication to the exclusion of all others will lead the prediction astray. For a good analysis, the general indications of a chart should support its particular bhava analysis, like in Homoeopathic system of Medicine, the generals should support the particulars and the particulars should find a place in the generals.
I pondered a lot over the phenomenon of retrogression of planets and their effects on human lives. I found it to be a subject in itself, having deep impact over emotional, material and spiritual areas of human lives. Like many intricate points of Astrology, it is not easy to grasp the true purport of retro planets, unless one is equipped with sound knowledge of Astrological principles, coupled with intuition resulting from Mantra Siddhi.
Mastering Jyothish requires burning of midnight oil for years, sacrificing many joys of ordinary life. A beginner is usually baffled to see hundreds of combinations and yogas in the body of Jyothish, most of them mutually contradictory to one another. So I firmly believe that Jyothish, being a Vedanga, is to be learned from a competent guru to learn it speedily, avoiding pitfalls. It is like moving in an unknown forest. It takes a long time to find the way out on one's own. But this trouble can be avoided if one takes the help of an experienced guide who is quite familiar with the intricate pathways of the forest. A lot of hardship and trouble can be avoided in this way.
In Sankara Bhagavatpada's chart, Budha (in Mesha) and Guru (in Vrischika) are retrograde. To me, it means they are in Meena and Tula respectively. Let us now analyse the effects of retrograde Mercury and Jupiter in the life of Sankara Bhagavatpada.
Guru in 4th house
Guru in the 4th house is a strong point for a chart especially so, if the Lagna or Moon sign is Kataka. It gives good education, religious education, good mother and father (usually), vehicle comfort etc. Adi Sankara had all these in good measure. From 4th, Guru aspects exalted Ravi (2nd lord) who is in Mesha. This is a wonderful combination. It shows things like -- strong ability to be a good teacher, deep religious education, a real guru par excellence, excellent oratory skills and victory in debates. The native will shine like the midday Sun in his profession (Sun in 10th) which involves religious learning (Guru in 4th) and philosophical debate (2nd lord in 10th with Guru's aspect). From the Moon, the same combination gives another set of results. From 5th house Guru looks at exalted Sun in 11th house. Now, exalted Sun in 11th is a great placement that can wipe out a million blemishes from the chart. It supports the boon of argumentation (as shown earlier from Lagna) on righteous grounds, “dharma vāgvivādō jēta". It also confers on the native Mantra Siddhi (Jupiter's aspect from 5th house on 11th) and Atma Jnana (Sun is natural significator for self-knowledge).
Guru with his 5th special aspect, looks at 8th house which is a mystic house and a Moksha Trikona. It shows that the native is not a mere academician but has real experience in occult subjects. From the Moon, the 4th house becomes 5th and 8th house becomes 9th. So here, the indications are more pronounced. The native is Dharmic in nature, a highly evolved soul, has tremendous poorvapunya and master of traditional Vedic knowledge.
Guru with his 9th aspect, looks at Moon in 12th another Moksha Trikona. This only reinforces the earlier indication. From Moon, it again reinforces everything already discussed, but only adding that, though he is a master of scriptural knowledge, his speech is gentle and soothing like the Moon, his mind & generous (Moon is 2nd lord from himself and natural significator for mind).
From Lagna, all the 3 Moksha Trikonas (4,8,12) and from the Moon, all the Dharma Trikonas (1,5,9) are under the benign influence of Jupiter. This is a very secret and powerful indication which is saying that the native is not an ordinary being but an embodiment of Dharma and Moksha, in other words an incarnation of Divine Power. From the Sun, the Kama Trikonas (3,7,11) are under Guru's aspect. This is saying that his Kama (material desires and lustful thoughts) is under total subjugation. He has no desire for himself.
As Lagna, Moon and Sun represent the grand triad of life, this simple analysis is enough to show the tremendous spiritual heights of Sankara Bhagavtpada. Sage Parasara instructs in his magnum opus "Brihat Parasara Hora" to analyse a chart from the 3 pivots, by a novel method called "Sudarsana Chakra Method". This is another forgotten technique which gives wonderful results if properly applied. "Sudarsana" means good vision or comprehensive view. Common pointers from all the three i.e. Lagna, Sun and Moon, can be taken as sure-shot predictions.
Budha in 9th house
It is an established rule in Jyotish that Saturn's influence on Moon and/or Mercury gives spiritual bent of mind. Mercury united with Saturn in the house of Dharma produced here an exalted spiritual personality and an introvert. However, since is exalted in Karma sthana, it gave intense activity and travel also. So Sankara's personality is a blend of deep immersion into spiritual realms along with intense worldly activity in the form of travel, arguments and debates.
From Lagna, the combined aspect of Saturn and Mercury falls on 3rd house. So his communication skills, writing skills and oratory skills are all full of deep philosophy and spiritual insights accessible only to very sharp minds. From Moon lagna, this focus falls on 4th house giving him education in spiritual matters. The sad part of this aspect is a life full of misery and destitution lived by his mother.
The 3rd aspect of Saturn (along with Mercury) falls on Rahu and Venus. Exalted Rahu in Vrishabha is equal to double Venus. Since Venus is also present here, it is as if 3 Venuses are present in labha sthana. This gives a very resourceful personality. The aspect of Saturn and Mercury on the 3 Venuses colors the entire energy of the native with spiritual, philosophical and Dharmic tendencies. The 10th aspect of Saturn and Mercury on Mars in the 6th house only reinforces this trait, giving him victory after victory in philosophical debates. From Moon sign also, this aspect bestows on the native, victory over powerful enemies (Mars in 7th house) in philosophical debates.
9th house denotes, Dharma, philosophy, religious study, pilgrimages etc. Saturn is a planet of introversion and hardships. It is but natural that Sankara's buddhi (Saturn and Budha) is colored by Saturn's deep philosophical attitude that reflected in every walk of his life. Religion comprised of his whole activity to the exclusion of everything else. From Moon sign, Meena becomes 10th house. Saturn and Mercury in 10th house gave a profession (can we call it a profession?) involving philosophy, religion, intellectual debates and literary activity.
As we know, all the above results are clearly visible in Adi Sankara's life. This is how the effects of retrograde planets are to be understood. However, the original placement is also required to be analyzed in addition to this kind of analysis. Only then, the mystery of retro planets can be understood in its entirety.
One relevant question may arise at this juncture. Why at all a planet should be in retrogression in a chart? What does it actually denote from the last birth's point of view? Well this is an altogether different subject which merits an elaborate and full fledged explanation. We will see to it at a later point in the future, if anyone really wants to know about it.
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