Agni the Base: Maha Muni Suta explained to Sages some basic concepts before delving deep into the Science of Astrology. Solar Movement which is stated to be responsible for the origin of all the Planets is strongly believed to be based on Agni by the Vedic Age. Rig Veda precscribed various Agni Karyas and Puranas also endorsed the belief. It is not only to determine the Solar Movement but also to the preservation of Tri Lokas that Agni is rudimentary. The rays of Surya which are able to captivate water from various sources are indeed due to the absorbtive capacity of Agni of the Sun Rays and hence the cycle of rains, the Ritus or Seasons, Ayanas, Samvatsaras, Kalamaana, Planetery positions, and the eventual impact brought about on the human and other beings. There are three types of Agni viz. Devata related, Bhoutikaagni and Water generated Earth-related Agni called Vidyut Sambhava or Born out of Lightning or Abyoni; as the night is over the Unknown Brahma desired to visualise water and Earth in the darkness and asuumed the form of a tiny ‘Khadyota’ (glow-worm) and viewed Agni for illumination and named it as ‘Parthivaagni’ or Terrestrial Fire and divided into three forms viz. ‘Vaidutaagni’, ‘Jatharaagni’ and ‘Souraagni’. Vaidyutaagni is not assuaged due to rains nor human bellies but only due to friction ofwood. Jatharaagni has no illumination and is not visible. Souraagni gets terminated by the Sun Set and enters Agni and gets revived at Sun Rise. Illumination and Heat promote and increase each other. Alike in the Northern and Souhern hemispheres, when Sun rises the night enters water and water gradually gains heat and radiation ; at the time of Sun Set the day enters waters and thus the latter gains transparency next morning. Thus in this order the Earth’s hemispheres the Sun Rise and Sun Set or the day and night respectively enter water. Surya Deva absorbs water through his rays and hence called ‘Shuchi’ or pure.This is related to Earth-related Agni and hence called Shuchi; the latter means Agni with thousand rays which absorb water from various sources like oceans, rivers, wells and all water-bodies. The rays of Agni create both cold water and hot water as also four hundred peculiar forms; those rays which could produce heavy rains are called chandana, Sadhya, Kutana, Akutana and Amrita. Besides these rays, there are three hundred other rays which produce snow. The Snow-fall creating rays are known as Drisyaas, Meghaas, Yaamyaas, Hradinyaas (resounding ones) and they have limited illumination and such rays are called Chandras. Those rays which create heat are white in colour numbering three hundred are called Shuklas, Kuhakaas, and Vishvabhruts. Surya Deva distributes these rays to human beings as well as Pitru Devas equitably and satisfy them. Surya helps utilise these rays to Human beings by way of herbs and vegetation, to Pitras by way of Swadhaa-Homas and to Devatas by way of Amrita. In the Vasanta or Spring and Greeshma or Summer seasons, Surya blazes three hundred rays of Agni to heat up the World while he showers in Sharat Kaala or rainy season by four hundred Agni-Kiranas ; in Hemanta or early winter and Sishira or late winter Seasons three hundred rays are utilised.
The Dwadasha Rudraas are Indra, Dhata, Bhriga, Pusha, Mitra, Varuna, Aryama, Amsha, Vivashwanta, Twashta, Savita and Vishnu. In the month of Maagha, Surya assumes the name of Varuna, in Phalguna as Pusha, Chaitra as Amsha, Vaishakha as Dhata, Jyeshtha as Indra, Ashaadha as Savitah, Shravana as Viviswata, Bhadrapada as Bhriga, Ashwiyuja as Aryama or Parjanya, in Kartika as Twashta, Margasisa as Mitra and in Pushya as Vishnu. In Vasanta Ritu, Surya has Kapila Varna or of ochre (yellowish-brown) colour; in Greeshma golden colour; in Varsha or rainy Season Surya has white colour; in Sisira Rutu, Sun has red colour; an in Hemata Ritu, he has copper colour. Surya provides strength to herbs and medicines, facilitates enhancement of power to the offerings of Swadha to Pitras and potency to Amrita to Devas. Thus Sun bestows Shakti to Human beings, Pitras and Devas for the benefit of every Being in the Surya Mandala.
Surya the Sourcer : Surya Deva is the originator of Moon, Stars and Planets. Chandra is the Chief of Nakshatras and Surya is the King of Grahas. Angaraka Graha or the Planet of Mars is stated to be Skanda the Commander-in-Chief of Devas. Budha is stated to be of Narayana’s Amsha. Yama is of Rudra’s Form and is also the son of Vivaswanta or Surya Deva himself. Shani Deva is a significant Planet of slow pace but very dominant. The other two prominent Planets of Shukra and Brihaspati are the Mentors of Asuras and Devatas respectively. ----
Adityamula makhilam Trailokyam naatra samshayaha/
Bhavatyasmaa Jagatkrustram Sadevaasura maanusham,
Dyutrir -dyutimataam krutsnam yattejah Sarva loukikam/
Sarvaatmaa Sarva Lokesho Maha Devah Prajaapatih/
Surya yeva triloukasya mulam Parama Daivatam,
Tatah Sanjaayatey Sarvam tatra chaiva Praliyatey/
Bhaavaabhaavouhi Lokaanaamaadityaa trihsrutou puraa,
Jagajjeyo Graho Vipraa Deeptimaanaasuprabho Ravih/
( It is doubtless indeed that Aditya is the source of the entirety of Three Lokas. The whole Universe of Devas, Asuras and Manushyaas is originated from Surya; the grandeur and glory of Rudra, Vishnu, Mahendra and Chandra, Devatas and Luminaries is all due to Surya. He is the Soul, the Lord, Prajapati and the highest of all who is the Creator and Destroyer of Everything. The very existence or otherwise of the Totality is due to him).
The Sapta Rashmis or the Seven Rays of Surya are Sushumna, Harikesha, Vishwakarma, Vishwashrava, Sampadvasu, Arvaavasu and Swaraat. Sushumna resuscitates the waning Moon and spreads up and sideways; Hariksha which is in the front of Surya is the originator of Nakshatras; to the South of Surya is Vishwakarma which sustains Budha or Jupiter; Vishwashrama from the western side of Sun is the originator of Shukra or Venus and promotes the cause of Panditas or or the Learned Human beings; Sampadsawa Rashmi of Surya is the originator of Kuja; the sixth Rashmi Arvavasu is the birth place of Brihaspati and the seventh Rashmi Swaraat is the originator of Saturn. All the Planets and Stars exist due to the magnificence of Surya Deva. Nakshatra literally means that it has no decadence and it is called Taraka as it redeems the Punya of those persons who performed extraordinary deeds.
Abodes of Planets: Through out various Manvantaras, the Abodes of various Planets are fixed and permanent. They are named after each one of them like Soura Sthaana or the Abode of Surya, Sowmya Sthana (Abode of Chandra), Shukra Sthana, Brihaspati (Jaiva) Sthana, Lohita Sthana (Kuja), Shanaischara Sthana, Budha Sthana, Swarbhanu (Rahu) Sthana, and Jyotirgana or Nakshatra Sthanaas. In the current Vaivaswata Manvantara, the Planets are called ‘Vaitanikas’. Aditi’s son Vivaswanta is Surya; Dharma’s son Twishi the Vasu is called Chandra; belonging to Shukra Vamsha, the Rakshasa Guru Shukra is famed as Yajna Yaajaka for the Daanavaas; Angiras’s son Brihatteaja or Brihaspati is popular as Deva Guru; Twishi’s son Budha is also reckoned as a virtuous Graha; Sanjna and Surya’s son Shanaischara is in his abode too; Lohita or Kuja was born toVikesi Devi and Agni Deva; The Stars called Rikshas are known as the daughters; and Rahu the son of Devi Simhika also called Swarbhanu is the originator of troubles. The Abode of Surya is full of Agni and white where as Twishi or Chandra is full of water and white; Budha or Mercury who is Pancha Kirana or of Five Rays too is full of water and of dark colour; Shukra Sthaana is a Lotus again with water and has sixteen Rays; Kuja also is full of water but of blood red colour; Brihaspati has a big Place and watery in green colour with twelve rays; Saturn has eight rays of black colour and Jalamaya or full of water; and Rahu Sthaana is of dark colour and is the tormentor of Praanis or Beings. All the Nakshatras are ‘ jalamayas’ or full of water and of white colour glitterting with illumination thanks to Surya Deva and these Stars were as old as Kalpa and are shiny due to the interaction of Surya.’
Sizes of Planets: Surya’s diameter is stated to be nine thousand yojanas and its circumference is three times more. Chandra’s circumference three double that of Surya’s. Rahu’s circumferenc is equal to that of Sun and Moon. Rahu rotates underneath both Surya and Chandra. Taking after the spherical nature of Earth’s shadow, Rahu’s form too is spherical full of darkness. From his abode full of darkness Rahu comes out of Sun during fesdtive days like the New Moon and Full Moon and proceeds to Moon. During Solar Festive days, Rahu goes back to Sun from Moon. Shukra Mandala is one-sixteenth of Chandra Mandala and Brihaspati is one-fourth of that of Shuka. Kuja and Saturn occupy three fourths of Brihaspati while Budha is three fourths of Kuja or Saturn. Stars are of thesize of Budha. Stars are normally associated with Chandra and the former are some five hundred yojanas or lesser distance from each other although the minimum disatance from each other one and half yojana; in other words, there is no Nakshatra of lesse than one and half yojana. There are as many Stars on the sky as there are constellations.
Positions of Planets in ‘Ayanas’: Surya’s travel depends on the Ayana; in Uttarayana Chandra’s movement looks faster than that of Surya because the former happens to be on a higher position compared to that of Surya. While in Dakshinayana Sun takes to the lower elevation compared to Bhumi; It is aligned with the line of Earth or horizon during the New Moon and Full moon days though not normally visible regularly. On a New Moon day, Moon stationed in the Northern path becomes visible on the Southern path. Only on the Vishu days or Equinotical days, Sun Set and Moon Rise are at the same time but not otherwise. In the Dakshinayana, Surya is positioned under all the Planets: Moon orbits above Sun and so does the entire Galaxy of Stars; Budha orbits above the Chandra; Shukra orbits above Budha; Kuja orbits above Shukra; and Guru orbits above Kuja and Shani orbits above Guru. The Sapta Rishi Mandala or the Great Bear is above Shani and Dhruva or the Pole Star is situated above the Sapta Rishis. It is stated that the distance from the Nakshatras and the Planets is two lakh yojanas.
Planets and Nakshatras: The various Nakshatra Mandalis or Star Constellations responsible for the beginnings of the various Planets were narrated by Suta Maha Muni quoting Veda Vyasa as follows: Vivaswan the son of Aditi was Sun the first Planet was born in the Constallation of Vishakha. Chandra or Tvisimam the son of Dharma originated in Krittika. Shukra the son of Bhrigu Maharshi was born in Tishya or Pushya. Brihaspati, the Deva Guru and the son of Angirasa Maharshi was born in ther constellation of Purva Phalguni. Kuja Deva the son of Prajapati is lit up with nine ‘Agni Jwaalas’was born from the Star Constellation of Purvashadha. Shani Deva the son of Surya is full of seven Flames of Fire was born in Revati ‘Nakshatra Mandali’. Budha Deva the son of Chandra too has five fires of illumination and was born of Dhanishta. Rahu the enemy Surya and Chandra of Tamasic trait was born in Bharani while Ketu the son of Mrityu who was full of darkness at his abode was born to Aslesha Constellation; his characteristic is known for destruction and death. As Rahu and Ketu were born in these Stars, those humans born in these Stars do have evil effects during the specified Nakshatras and would to well to worship the respective Stars and Almighty as well to ward off the impact.
In sum, Aditya is the Prime Planet; Shukra is the Prime of Taraagrahas; Ketu is the Prime of meteors; Dhruva is the Prime fulcrum of all Luminaries scattered in all directions; Shravishta (Dhanishtha) is the best of Nakshatras; Uttaraayana is the Prime Ayana; Sisira is the Prime of Rithus; Magha is the best of ‘Maasaas’or Months; Shukla is the Prime of the Pakshas or Fortnights; Pratipat is the Prime Tithi; between Day and Night, the Day is better of the two; and the best of Muhurtas is that which is governed by Rudra Deva. Among ‘Kala Pramanaas’ or the Measurements of Time, the best indeed is ‘Nimesha’. The best Pancha Varsha or the Period of FiveYears called a ‘Yuga’ is what starts from Dhanishta to Shravana. Indeed, Divakara is identified as ‘Kaala’or the ‘Chaturvidha Bhuta Pravartaka’ or the Top Controller of Time. Indeed, this Universe is made and managed by Paramatma; and the Science of Jyotisha is unfathomable by those who could very well see and think:
Aagamaadanumaanaas –cha pratyakshaadupa pattitah,
Pareekshya Nipunam Buddhayaa Shraddhaatavyam vipaascitaa/
Chakshush Shastram Jalam Lekhyam Ganitam Buddhivittamaah,
Panchaitey hetao Vipraa Jyotirganana vivechaney/
(No human being could grasp or even guess the Form, Substance, Feature, Position and Movement of the Extra-Terrestrial Entities by mere vision. One has to perceive, guess , imagine and believe by various media like Scriptures, Interpretation, discernment and logic. The possible means are vision, water, picturisation and computation.)