Sriman Nalini Kanta's Essay
We first present the purvapaksha, Nalini Kanta Prabhu‘s essay which should be read first as the rest of the monograph is a response to it. The numbers indicate the start of pages in the original document (pdf) he gave me and which I will be quoting at times. All emphasis his.
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Most dear Prabhus, followers of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. All glories to your service to Srila Prabhupada. Thank you for allowing me to engage in his service in your association, and thanks to all the thousands of devotees who have allowed me to serve them in the field of astrology.
I am writing in regards to some varying opinions about Srila Prabhupada‘s horoscope as given in my book, “How to Read Your Horoscope”. In that book I briefly state some of Srila Prabhupada‘s unlimited glories, saying “The holy sign of Sagittarius rises, with its lord Jupiter being placed in the 9th house of religion...There is an unbelievably potent raja-yoga (auspicious planetary combination) in the house of righteousness.”
Srila Prabhupada personally stated that he was born at 4pm., and at other times he mentioned that he had Capricorn rising and the Moon in Gemini. No one disagrees that the Moon in Gemini part is incorrect; so it is possible that Srila Prabhupada heard some calculations from a western astrologer (with different calculations than Vedic astrology), or that he received some different opinions due to not having the exact minute of birth. (Otherwise, he might have said 3:52 pm, or 4:07 pm). In fact, of five astrologers who gave opinions on Prabhupada‘s chart in his last months, there were three different opinions given. [emphasis mine]
I accept Srila Prabhupada‘s birth time as closer to 3:30 pm. If the birth is somewhere between 2 and 5 pm, there are only two possible horoscopes, one with Sagittarius rising and the other with Capricorn rising. All the nine planets would go into different houses and signify different things in those two cases. I accepted Srila Prabhupada as born under Sagittarius, because in my mind and in the minds of many others, such as R. Santhanam in his translation of the immortal “Bible” of Vedic astrology, Parasara Hora-sastra, and in the mind of a South Indian astrologer who gave the opinion that Prabhupada was a “jivanmukta, avatar” when he was asked about Prabhupada‘s time of death in those last months of 1977, Sagittarius must be the correct chart for such a great saint. Please allow me to give some simple reasons and references for this conclusion.
In astrology, Jupiter is the GURU planet, and the 9th house is the house of Godliness, dharma. Sagittarius ascendant shows Srila Prabhupada having Jupiter in the 9th house of religion. The ascendant represents one’s personal appearance, characteristics and direction in life. These are the simple facts and we should accept the direct meaning of things, according to Sriman Mahaprabhu. If we take the birth time as slightly earlier than Srila Prabhupada estimated, then the sign of Sagittarius, which is ruled by the guru planet Jupiter, goes to the 9th house of religion, indicating a spiritual direction in life. In fact, Parasara Muni, father of Srila Vyasadeva and father of Vedic astrology, says that when the ruler of the ascendant goes to the 9th house, the person is “a worshiper of Vishnu,” whereas if the ascendant lord goes to the 10th house (in the case of Capricorn ascendant), “professional success” is indicated (in other words, it becomes more of a karmic direction towards artha or economic development).
If we accept Sagittarius rising, Jupiter then aspects the ascendant also, indicating a religious person with the good qualities of religion, honesty, a good father and preacher, etc. If the ascendant lord Jupiter combines with the 9th lord, the king of planets the Sun, in the 9th house, with Ketu, the planet of liberation, we can easily see that the person is a king of gurus (Prabhupada) who is in a liberated state, who is devoutly austere, who travels and preaches and starts Temples all over the world (9th house being pilgrimage and long-distance travel).
In the case of Capricorn ascendant, you get a sudra sign on the ascendant, with the ascendant lord in the 10th house of economic development, with the guru planet in the 8th house, the most malefic house in a horoscope. Therefore, even in my initial months of studying astrology, I understood that the astrologers who were depicting Srila Prabhupada with Sag. ascendant were correct; and now after 18 years experience with seeing many thousands of horoscopes, there is no doubt in my mind about that conclusion.
Let‘s look at a few more details, although thousands of pages could be written on Srila Prabhupada‘s great chart, and on this debate. References about the rising sign of Sagittarius;
“long and attractive face, big nose and ears, learning in shastras, self-control, honored by scholars, valiant, virtuous...great mastery of philosophical studies..humane, active and enterprising, good-looking, happy smile, upholds conservative views, God-fearing, honest humble and free from hypocrisy, exercising strict control over food and drink and in relations with the opposite sex...an active, straightforward and noble character who fights for a good cause...sacrificing themselves for the good of others, finding success in foreign lands, a good leader or guide for pure-hearted souls.” (various statements from Brhat-Jataka, Fundamentals of Astrology, How to Read Your Horoscope, Parasara Hora-sastra, BV Raman, etc.)
Further, we can look at the description of the third drekkana of this sign Sagittarius:
“Next we shall consider the forms of the decanates as described by Varahamihira (a great astrological writer considered an authority by all in the modern age). This description is of paramount importance in that it helps the astrologer in delineating the characteristics, physical and mental of the person concerned.”
“The last (decanate or third part) of Sagittarius is a man with ...a golden complexion, seated on a worthy chair, holding a rod. He is clad in silks...”
On the other hand, the first drekkana of Capricorn rising is depicted as “a man full of hairs with a body like that of a hog, and a fierce look, holding in his hands a rope, net and a trap; easily won over by women.”
And the sign of Capricorn (sudra sign, 10th sign of work or economic development) has words such as the following which depict it: “fickle, troubled by hardships, attached to an old woman, dissipated knowledge and energy, shameless, with a feminine heart, cunning, liking a lot of show, little or no control of their tongues.” Granted, these are the negative statements, but I can personally relate with them, as I have Capricorn ascendant.
Let us look at Srila Prabhupada‘s great work, the spreading of kirtan and the composition and distribution of books. In astrology, Mercury represents literature and Venus represents music. If we take Sagittarius rising, then HDG had the combination of Mercury and Venus in the 10th house, the house of one‘s work or deeds in life. Mercury exalted indicates his great service regarding the books, and Venus debilitated indicates that he preached with kirtan, which had no sensuality or material objective (Venus representing material desire, being debilitated in HDG‘s chart).
Let‘s look at a description of Bhadra-yoga (Mercury exalted in a quadrant, if Sag. is the ascendant) given by Prthuyasas (son of Varahamihira) in his “Horasara”:
“...He has predominantly sattwic disposition, fixity of mind, is peaceful, liberal and grateful. He walks like an elephant. He is well-versed in many sastras, is courageous, has beautiful belly and attractive nose. He is of yogic disposition. He is with concealed genital... He is independent in decision. He attains heaven at the age of 80 in a shrine.”
Is it not acceptable that the great guru planet Jupiter be in the 9th house of religion, and that the literary planet of Vishnu, Mercury, be in the 10th house of work? There are many other quotes we could give, but Chamatkar-Chintamani, for example, states that if Mercury and Venus are influencing the 10th house, “the native shows love for music, painting, eloquence, composition, is a printer, druggist (during his householder life), profession requiring considerable travel,” etc.
Let us look back again at the traits of the planets, and you judge which one must be influencing the ascendant..
Sarvartha Chintamani; “Jupiter is of sattvic temperament, endowed with all the good qualities of character, has yellow eyes, no hair on the head.”
“Well-versed in politics or policy-making; very eloquent speaker, of noble disposition.” (Hora-sara)
Jupiter described by Parasara, father of Vedic astrology, in his “Hora-Sastra”:
“brahmin planet...male...sattwic...governing saffron color...”
From Jataka-Parijata: “Jupiter, Guru, represents the essence of all knowledge and happiness; a body of yellowish (golden) hue...exceedingly auspicious...big-bellied body; possessing all virtues, endowed with aptitude for every science; eyes and hair are brown, possesses the quality of goodness or purity; exceedingly intelligent; his person is graced with marks of royalty not to be despised.”
This planet Jupiter, the GURU, must certainly be the planet influencing Srila Prabhupada most strongly, not the sudra planet Saturn. Even at the hour of his death, Jupiter tenanted the ascendant for Srila Prabhupada (and Gemini was rising, the rising sign of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada‘s chart).
On the other hand, look at the description of the planet Saturn, which certainly has some good qualities as well, but is generally entrusted to giving the embodied souls suffering:
“Saturn is cruel, with a thin long body, hard hair, big-sized teeth, is tamasic in nature, prominent veins, is curt in speech and is despicable.”
Look briefly at some of the words chosen for Capricorn ascendant: “short, clever, wanderer, fickle, wicked intentions, troubled by hardships, dissipated knowledge and energy, shameless, attached to an old woman, unhappy on account of children...Ideas to be gleaned from this figure are the perseverance and ambition to achieve lofty goals (climb the heights), a self-centered character, and a person with an uncontrolled tongue.”
Look at the description of Jupiter in the 9th house (with Sagittarius rising) as opposed to Jupiter in the 8th house:
9th house (Chamatkar-Chintamani): “reveres the brahmanas; says his prayers with all concentration; ideal man; holy pilgrim, theologist; handsome; straight dealings; divine knowledge, saintly and rich, noble in act; this Jupiter is ideal for philosophers and saints; good for travel and living abroad; character sound, noble thoughts,” etc.
8th house (if Cap. is rising, also Chamatkar-Chintamani); “short-lived, base acts, a devil, miser, friendless, gloom, miserable, irrational, immodest, inert and lean, debauched, wicked, slighted,” etc.
My Godbrothers and Godsisters, you are undoubtably intelligent and devoted enough to see why I am strongly against depicting Srila Prabhupada, the greatest guru in modern history, to have a chart with a negative rising sign, an accent on economic development, and the guru and self-realization planets in the weakest place of a horoscope. Not to speak of having the yogakaraka or planet which can give most potency, DEBILITATED in the 9th house of RELIGION (if Cap. rises).
The above references are none of my own concoction. My only intention in joining this debate is to preserve and protect the good name of His Divine Grace. The books which are already distributed around the world describing His Divine Grace‘s chart with Sag. rising has received good reception. If we publish with Capricorn ascendant, I am afraid that many others like myself will see the flaws in the horoscope and think less of Srila Prabhupada.
If myself and the many thousands of devotees and authors and people who have read and accepted the astrological literature already published with the chart of Srila Prabhupada being Sagittarius ascendant--if we are mistaken, then please forgive us.
I do not think that I deserve being called a “misleading speculator,” for glorifying His Divine Grace according to this direct perception; nor did the South Indian astrologer who glorified Srila Prabhupada as “a jivan-mukta and lila-avatar,” deserve being called “an obsequious flatterer who is giving a bad name to astrology.”
If you do not agree with the above representations, then I ask only that you not publicly depict Srila Prabhupada‘s glorious horoscope with this Capricorn ascendant that I think demeans him. Let it only be said, in the case that you reject this argument, that there are several opinions.
Thank you very kindly for reading this text, and may Lord Krishna and His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada bless you all. JAYA SRILA PRABHUPADA!
Yours in service,