Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mercury enters Leo, Jupiter enters Capricorn

Today on 30th July 2009, we have seen two significant astrological events. First, Mercury left Cancer sign and entered Leo sign and Magha star. Cancer/ Leo junction has special meaning in Vedic astrology because it marks change in both sign as well as star.

In Vedic Astrology, Leo sign is owned by Sun and Magha star (Nakshatra) is owned by Ketu. So generally saying Mercury will be influenced by Sun and Ketu. How it will affect you? Generally zodiac sign horoscopes are not good to get accurate predictions so I am not interpreting it from the zodiacal sign perspective. Though, to help you interpreting this combination, I would like to make one important point. As stated earlier, this change is influenced by Sun and Ketu and if these planets are affected in your birth chart, you can see some problems for you. There are various steps to judge affliction of a planet, but to keep it simple I would suggest is check their placement in 6th, 8th or 12th house from ascendant. Also see if Sun is in Libra sign where it gets debilitated. If these are the cases, this combination can affect you in a negative way. If you are not sure about the placement of Sun and Ketu in your birth chart, your can use or to find it out. By the way, Mercury is going to be in Leo till 20th of August.

Other major event is about retrograde Jupiter entering in Capricorn Sign (Makar). Previously it was in Saturns’s another sign Aquarius (Kumbha Rashi) and now being retrograde entered back to Makar which also means that it got debilitate again. Jupiter is going to be in this sign till 19th December and then it will head back to Aquarius (Kumbha). During this period Jupiter is going to be in Mars’ Dhanishta star which again means that good or bad results will depend upon the placement of Mars in your birth chart. If your Mars is well placed, you will enjoy all benefits of this combination. On the contrary, if Mars is afflicted by being 6th, 8th or 12th house from ascendant, being debilitated (in Cancer sign), this combination can affect you adversely.

On the Mundane astrology side, it is generally said that if a planet is badly placed, the price of the metal related to that planet will increase. Jupiter in Capricorn will be debilitated and hence the price of gold should go up. This should especially happen after 13th / 14th October when Jupiter becomes direct.

Rakhi / Raksha Bandhan Hindu Festival

Rakshabandhan is one of the most important festivals of Hindus. This festival signifies the unbroken love between brother and sister. This festival is celebrated on full moon day of savan Hindu month. In this year 2009, it will be celebrated on 5th August.

The word "Rakshabandhan" stands for bonding someone for sprititual and physical security. That's why when a sister ties Rakhi knot, she says, "Brother! I have come to you; I hope you will protect me from all the evils."

On this auspicious day, sisters tie a sacred band called Rakhi on the wrists of their brothers and feed them sweets. In return, brothers give various gifts to their sisters. Draupadi, wife of Pandavas and daughter of king Drupad, used to consider lord Krishna her brother. Once Krishna's hand got wounded and it started bleeding badly. The moment Draupadi saw it, she torn a corner of her Sari and wrapped it on Krishna’s hand. Mythology says that Krishna conjured up bolts of clothes for Draupadi to repay the debt when Duhshasana tried to disrobe her.

There is another similar incident in history of India when Hindu queen of Chittor Karmawati sent Rakhi to emperor of Delhi Humayu. Humayu accepted it and fought the battle with king of Gujrat Bahadurshah for honor of the queen. The divine love and emotion between brothers and sisters are the soul of this festival. Hindus all over the world celebrate it on large scale.

On this day, sisters place paddy-ears on walls after taking bath and worship it with Kheer made of rice, sweets and vermicelli (sevai) etc. Bands of Rakhi are glued on these paddy-ears using kheer or sweets. Those women who bed wheat etc. on Naga Panchami put these tiny plants on place of worship, and hook them on the ears of their brothers after tying Rakhi.

Once the eldest of Pandavas, king Yudhishthir asked about it to Lord Krishna, "O Krishna! Please tell me the story of Rakshabandhan which eradicates all afflictions." Krishna replied, "Yudhishthira, once gods and demons fought a great battle for twelve consecutive years. King of gods, Indra, finally lost the battle. Gods became lackluster and Indra with other gods, after losing all the hopes of victory, went to Amaravati.

The king of demons won over all three worlds (loka). He pronounced banishment of Indra and banned yajna and sacrifices etc. Due to fear of demons, all good activities like yajna, practice of Vedas and divine celebrations etcetera stopped. King Indra could not tolerate it. He called the guru of gods, Brihaspati and told him, 'O Guru! I want to fight a final battle with these demons and I will keep fighting this time until I die. Destiny is most powerful of all. Let the inevitable take place.' First Brihaspati tried to calm him down. But seeing unflinching determination of Indra, he asked for divine ritual for protection. On the day of full moon of Shrawan month, this ritual was performed.

येनवद्धो बली राजा दानवेन्द्रो महाबलः।
तेन त्वाममिवध्नामि रक्षे माचल माचल॥

Brihaspati, the guru of gods, gave the divine protection to Lord Indra using this mantra. Indra, the conqueror of ancient demon Vritta, with his wife follow the order of Brihaspati and defeated demons to establish Dharma again."

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Nag Panchami/ Nagara Panchami/ Nagpanchmi - Hindu Festival

Nag panchami is celebrated on 5th day of bright half of Shravan month (Shrawan Shukla Panchami). In this year 2009, Nag panchami will be celebrated on Sunday 26th of July.

Nag Devata, Nag Panchami, Nagara Panchami, NagpanchmiNaga is the word for snake in Sanskrit and this day is called Nagapanchami because snakes are worshiped on this day. According to astrology, Snake god is the lord of 5th day of a Hindu month, so it is considered to be the day meant for snakes. Garud Puran says that statues of snakes should be placed on both sides of the house on this day and Maha-naags like Ananta etc. should be worshiped.

According to Skand Puran’s Nagar Khand, all desires come true if one worships the snakes of Chamatkarpur. Narad Puran says one should observe fast on Kartik Shukla Chaturthi to avoid snakebite. It also suggests later that snakes should also be worshiped on Bhadrapad Krishna Panchami , fast should be observed and all family members should feed milk to snakes.

One time food should be taken on prior date 4th (Chaturthi) and complete fasting should be done on 5th (Panchami). On this day, draw five snakes using turmeric and sandalwood ink with the pen of silver, gold, wood or clay, and worship them with Kheer, Panchamrit, Dhoop, incense sticks, Naivedya and lotus flower etc. After the rituals, feed dishes like Kheer and laddu to Brahmins. One should not dig any surface on the day of Nagapanchami.

To worship snake god, make the snake of a rope and tie seven knots in it. Then place it on a wooden bench. Worship the deity with turmeric, rice and flowers etc. and offer the mixture of milk, ghee and sugar to the holy deity.

Sing hymns after worship and offer the mixture of milk, honey and some sugar to snake by putting it in front of any snake burrow. Take a little soil from there and draw the picture of a snake on the corner walls of home. Listen the story of Nagapanchami at the end.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Surya Grahan on 22nd July - Exact Time

Lots of people asked me about exact start, maximum and end time of Surya Grahan for their city/ country. It is not possible to reply individually, so though I'll tell you how to calculate it by themselves.

You can calculate exact eclipse time for your place using NASA Surya Grahan Calculator ( If you do not find your city in the city list of NASA calculator, you will require latitude and longitude of your city. Latitude and longitude of your city can be found from

This is a short article, but don't miss these posts on Surya Grahan -
1. Surya Grahan Calculator
2. Chandra Grahan Calculator
3. Surya Grahan on 22nd July - India and World Forecasts
4. Three Eclipses in a Row - Good or Bad
5. When is the Next Solar Eclipse

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Solar Eclipse on 22 July 2009 - India and World Forecasts

[Update January 15th, 2010]: for information on Surya Grahan on 15th January 2010, please go here.

There will be a complete Solar Eclipse on 22nd July 2009. According to Hindu date it will be on Shravan month Krishna paksha (dark half) 30, Wednesday, Samvat 2066. This eclipse will be visible throughout India. According to Indian Standard Time, Solar Eclipse will be seen between 5:31 AM to 7:25 AM. This eclipse will be on Pushya Nakshatra and Cancer Sign (Karka Rashi).

Eclipses are of four types - total, annular, hybrid and partial (see the box). Interestingly among 224 solar eclipses in 21st century, this solar eclipse on 22nd July will have longest duration of totality. As a side note, the longest annular eclipse of 21st century will be on January 15, 2010. So we are going to observe some of the rarest eclipses of this century.

There are four types of solar eclipses:

  1. A total eclipse occurs when the Sun is completely obscured by the Moon.
  2. An annular eclipse occurs when the Sun and Moon are exactly in line, but the apparent size of the Moon is smaller than that of the Sun. Hence the Sun appears as a very bright ring, surrounding the outline of the Moon.
  3. A hybrid eclipse (also called annular/total eclipse) transitions between a total and annular eclipse. At some points on the surface of the Earth it is visible as a total eclipse, whereas at others it is annular. Hybrid eclipses are comparatively rare.
  4. A partial eclipse occurs when the Sun and Moon are not exactly in line and the Moon only partially obscures the Sun. This phenomenon can usually be seen from a large part of the Earth outside of the track of an annular or total eclipse.
    (Source: Wikipedia)
Different sources give slightly different time for start, mid and end time for eclipses. For the upcoming Solar Eclipse on 22nd July, I am getting following details for New Delhi -

NASA Solar Eclipse Calculator
5:39, Max: 6:26:35, End: 7:24:36

Shri Brajbhoomi Panchang
5:34, Max: 6:27, End: 7:25

Chintaharan Panchang
Grastodit (eclipsed while rising), Max: 6:27, End: 7:25

From this we can see that there is slight difference in calculation for eclipses. Though for all practical purpose all three times should be good enough. Above eclipse times are for New Delhi, India. Exact start, max and end time for solar eclipse vary slightly for each city. If you want to find out exact time for the solar eclipse for your city, please use NASA Solar Eclipse calculator.

Max effect time for 22nd July solar eclipse is somewhere between 6:20 (Salem, Trivendrum, Mysore, Maduri, Tiruchirapalli, Cochin, Coimbatore etc.) to 6:30 (Imphal, Srinanagar). Overall eclipse time is somewhere between 5:31 IST to 7:25 IST.

We should also note that eclipse at the time of sun-rise (grastodit) is considered worst astrologically and it is happening in Allahabad, Indore, Guwahati, Jabalpur, Patana, Bhopal, Badodara, Varanasi, Siliguri, and Surat cities to name a few. Please see the eclipse google map and the eclipse chart for India for knowing the cities where sun will rise eclipsed.

Sign-wise astrological forecast for Solar Eclipse on 22nd July 2009
As I mentioned earlier, eclipse doesn’t have any significant effect on individuals and are more related to Mundane astrology (branch of astrology used to predict world affairs and world events, as opposed to individual's events). In my opinion, the eclipse predictions for each sign that we are seeing everywhere do not have much astrological value and hence I am not writing any predictions here.

For the readers who are here only for the astrological predictions for their sign, I do not want to disappoint them. Hence, I am borrowing short predictions from Chintaharan Panchang as follows -
  1. Aries - Agony
  2. Taurus - Financial Gain
  3. Gemini - Physical Problems
  4. Cancer - Hurt
  5. Leo - Financial Loss
  6. Virgo - Gain
  7. Libra - Happiness
  8. Scorpio - Defamation
  9. Sagittarius - Fatal Pain
  10. Capricorn - Pain to/ due to Female
  11. Aquarius - Happiness
  12. Pisces - Worry
(These predictions are based on Moon sign and NOT Sun sign. If you do not know your moon sign, please check our moon sign calculator here.)

Mundane Predictions for Solar Eclipse on 22nd July 2009 (India)
According to late J. C. Luthara, "the eclipse of Sun are usually followed by events which mainly concern the ruler of the country, the government of the country, high government officials, ministers, administrators, nobility, top political personages, judiciary, bureaucracy, top business magnates, high religious persons etc. but normally, it is the ruler of the country who is mainly affected. Other personals mentioned may or may not be affected."

For New Delhi, Max Time for this solar eclipse is 6:27 AM. During this time, Ascendant will be Cancer 15 degree 8 minutes. Both ascendant and Sun will be passing through Pushya Nakshatra. Sun will be in first decandate (drekkana) of Cancer and Ascendant will be in 2nd decandate of Cancer.

Cancer is a watery sign. If the eclipse falls in Cancer sign, sedition, diseases, epidemics, extreme changes in weather leading to drying up of rivers and canals etc. are indicated. More specifically, extreme change in weather is associated with the first decandate (first part) of Cancer where as "increase in prostitution, rivers and canals dry up" are results associated with second decandate (second part) of Cancer. The ascendant is rising at the time of max eclipse in New Delhi, so no wonder we are already seeing drought like situation in India. Some of these results may be applicable to the whole world, but will affect India because total eclipse will be seen in India.

According to Varahamihira, if Sun rises eclipsed there will be danger to autumnal crops as well as to the king. So the rulers (Prime minister, President, Ministers of Ruling parties) can be hit by this eclipse and they should be careful this year. As the Patna and Bhopal are two state capitals where total eclipse can be seen, rulers, top officials and ministers of these states can be affected as well. Beware Manmohan Singh, Nitish Kumar and Shivraj Singh.

Astrologically Eastern India - Bihar, Jharkhand, Bangadesh, Meghalaya, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura etc. are some of the regions that are governed by Ardra, Punarvasu and Pusya Nakshatra. As we know that the eclipse is on Pushya Nakshatra, we can observe some problems related to Eastern India. As Bihar is a part of Eastern India as well, it gives doubly indication of problems in Bihar in upcoming period.
Independence chart of India has Taurus ascendant. This eclipse is falling in Cancer sign which is the third house in the chart of India. Third house signifies communication, transportation, neighbors, and railway ministry. Eclipse in 3rd house indicates that India will not be having good relations with neighbours. We can also expect some serious border crashes this year. Mamta Banerjee’s newly formed railway ministry can also face some hardship. There can be some rail, road, air, and water accidents in general.

Mundane Predictions for Solar Eclipse on 22nd July 2009 (International)
According to Western astrology Scotland, Holland, New Zealand, North and West Africa, Isle of Mauritius, Paraguay are some of the countries related to the sign Cancer. These places, and more specifically the places which are close to sea (due to eclipse in Cancer sing) may be affected by this eclipse. Same results that are ascribed for India can also be mentioned for these countries like danger to crops and rulers, drying up of water sources etc.

Routine to be followed During Solar Eclipse
Solar Eclipse has given a lot of importance in Hinduism. At the time of the eclipse, people are suggested to observe fast, bathe in the sacred rivers. They should do charitable acts. They should donate cows, money and gold. One is suggested not not to take food during the eclipse. One should take food only after seeing the sun free from the eclipse. Pregnant women are advised not to see the eclipse otherwise the child born may have some kind of defect. Householders are forbidden from sexual intercourse on the day of the eclipse, for the same reason. Eclipse time is also considered very auspicious for sadhana (spiritual practice).
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Monday, July 06, 2009

Three Eclipses in a Row - Good or Bad?

Whenever there is an eclipse astrologers find some method to term it as rare as well as disastrous. Upcoming three eclipses are no exceptions. We are hearing all sort of scaring predictions and prophesies for the upcoming eclipses. TRP hungry and ignorant electronic media due worsening the whole scene by showing all sort of different stories.

One article on Rediff says, "The world will witness a rare astronomical event- a series of triple eclipses starting July 2009. The fist in the series of triple eclipses will be a lunar eclipse on July 7 which will be followed by a solar eclipse on July 22 and then a lunar eclipse on August 6." The same article quotes D K Hari and his wife Hema Hari mentioning events like Kurukshethra war, destruction of city of Dwaraka, World War I, and World War II - all were followed by triple eclipses.

The first eclipse will occur on July 7, 2009, which will be visible in Australia, the Pacific and Americas. The solar eclipse on July 22, 2009 will be visible in India, Nepal, China and Central Pacific and the lunar eclipse on August 6, 2009 will be visible in America, Europe, Africa and West Asia.

Eclipses are very significant in astrology especially Mundane astrology (branch of astrology used to predict world affairs and world events, as opposed to individual's events). Generally eclipses give indications of bad happenings and that is the reason astrologers haste in predicting mishaps and destructions. For the present eclipses, we must note some very important point before we reach to any conclusion. Firstly, both the lunar eclipses on 7th July as well as 6th August are Penumbral which means partial and not fully darkening the Moon's light. Penumbral Lunar Eclipse is not regarded as eclipse for astrological as well as religious purpose, so should not be used for any astrological predictions. Any astrologer making lunar eclipses of this year as a basis of his astrological predictions is making a mistake. Also the magnitudes of Lunar eclipses are so less that it is almost insignificant even for astronomical purposes.

What will be the impact on me?
Nothing measurable. Firstly, the magnitude of lunar eclipses are insignificant. Secondly, eclipses makes noticeable impact on nations and not on individual. I'll write more about only significant eclipse on July 22nd, 2009 here so don't forget to subscribe.

Will I have to follow religious daily routine (din-charya) prescribed for eclipse?
For Lunar eclipse, No. For Solar eclipse on 22nd July, Yes. You can know more about the daily routine needs to be followed on the day of eclipse here.

Related Articles
1. Solar Eclipse on 22 July 2009 - India and World Forecasts
2. PDF of NASA's graphic illustration of visibility of Lunar Eclipse on 7th July
3. When is the Next Solar Eclipse
4. Solar Eclipse (Surya Grahan) Calculator & Daily Routine
5. Lunar Eclipse (Chandra Grahan) Calculator
6. My articles on Mundane Astrology