Exploring the Enigma of a Retrograde Graha Through the Lens of Śāstra

6th-century Brihat Samhita of Varahamihira, 1279 CE Hindu text palm leaf manuscript

Introduction

The modern discourse in Jyotiṣa regarding a retrograde (vakra) graha has leaned towards associating them with mostly negative characteristics and results; perhaps because of the etymology and the unique path that they take through the sky. However, a retrograde graha has been touted as powerful in no uncertain terms across all classical śāstra references which, with time, has lost importance within the broader Jyotiṣa community. It is my attempt herewith to highlight and perhaps bring back the focus on the underlying strength of a retrograde graha by exploring śāstra and pointing out the different devices used by the ancient seers to underscore the same. Through our exploration of the various śāstras we have access to, I would like to present a clear progression in the treatment of such grahas and the attribution of phenomenal results to them in a native’s horoscope. I will also try to address a central paradox involving retrograde grahas and their interpretation.

The astronomical reality of a retrograde graha has been explored in two other related articles, “Going Retro” and “It takes two to tango” taking into account the astronomy as well as the associated psychological characteristics. Without belaboring the point, it would suffice to say that a retrograde graha is closest in its path to the Earth and consequently is highly visible. We shall explore how this astronomical truth has been expounded in the various teachings of śāstra.

A Case for Strength

“I’ve seen this raw strength only once before. It didn’t scare me enough then.
It does now.”

Luke Skywalker

One of the first references that we find of retrograde grahas in the magnum opus Bṛhat Pārāśara Hora Śāstra (BPHS) written by the Sage Parāsara, comes under one of the most important chapters in this work. Parāśara outlines the different kinds of strengths a graha can attain. The exact chapter number depends upon which edition of the work is being cited.

Chapter 27
Evaluation of Strengths — Śloka 21-23

वक्रानुवक्रा विकला मन्दा मन्दतरा समा।
चरा चातिचरा चेति ग्रहाणाम्ष्टधा गतिः॥
षष्टिर्वक्रगते वीर्यमनुवक्रगतेर्दलम्।
पादो विकलभुक्तेः स्यात् तथा मध्यगतेर्दलम्॥
पादो मन्दगतेस्तस्य दलं मन्दतरस्य हि।
चरभुक्तेस्तु पादोनं दलं स्यादतिचारणः॥

“Vakra, Anuvakra, Vikala, Maṇḍa, Maṇḍatārā, Sama,
Cara and Ati-cara, these are the eight kinds of motions
of the grahas. The strengths allotted to the vakra is
60, to the Anu-vakra is 30, Vikala 15, Maṇḍa 15,
Maṇḍatārā 7.5, Sama 30, Cara 45 and Ati-cara 30”

The eight verses dedicated to retrogression introduce the different kinds of motions that a graha can have during its transit around the Sun. Without getting into the details, I would instead focus the reader’s attention on unpacking the first definitive hint of interpreting vakra. In this verse Parāśara has clearly associated vakra gati or retrogression to be strong, far stronger than a graha in normal motion. This is clear through his numerical allotment of values, known as virūpas, to a vakra graha giving it twice the strength of a graha in direct motion. These numerical values play an important role in determining the overall strength of a graha which is a complex, mathematical exercise involving tedious calculations. Nevertheless, the first takeaway through this verse should be that a retrograde graha has been touted to be strong.

It is interesting to note that the strength of a vakra graha (60 virūpas) is the same as the maximum possible strength given to an exalted graha which has been mentioned by Parāśara in Śloka 1 of the same chapter. There are other references as well in Parāśara which similarly lay emphasis on the inherent strength present in retrograde grahas (see Appendix).

Sārāvalī by Kalyāṇavarman is another classic wherein we again find a strong emphasis on the notion of underlying strength of a retrograde graha. This is seen by the greater number of verses dedicated to retrogression in chapters dealing with planetary characteristics, strength, planetary rays and longevity calculations (referenced in Appendix).

However, Kalyāṇavarman has gone further in his exposition of retrograde grahas through two very significant ślokas, the first of which adds an extra flavor on top of Parāśara’s statement.

Saravali Chapter 5
Miscellaneous Matters — Śloka 39

वक्रिणास्तु महावीर्याः शुभा राज्यप्रदा प्रहाः।
पापा व्यसनिमां पुंसां कुर्वन्ति च वृथाटनम्॥

“A benefic if retrograde is strong and is capable
of conferring a kingdom. If a malefic is retrograde,
it causes grief and purposeless wandering”

Kalyāṇavarman has suggested an extra dose of power to the existing beneficence or maleficence of the graha under question. Remember that a benefic graha enhances what it signifies, aspects or influences, but by itself does not confer “kingdom” or other such extraordinary results. In addition to what Parāśara says about retrograde grahas, a reading of this verse should indicate that Kalyāṇavarman has not only built upon the notion of strength but takes it further into the arena of interpretation.

Building on Retrogression

“You may write me down in history with your
bitter, twisted lines. You may trod me in the
very dirt, but still, like dust, I will rise.”

Maya Angelou

Phaladīpikā, authored by Mantreśvara, builds upon the theme of underlying strength of a retrograde grahas and further confers on them an even higher status. Specifically, there are three special developments in this treatise, which are not to be seen elsewhere, namely i) involvement of retrograde grahas in Rāja Yogas,(ii) the redemptive potential of a retrograde graha and (iii) principles expounding the role of retrogression in transits.

Below are three ślokas which, when read together, illuminate the strength as well as redemptive potential of a retrograde graha.

Phaladīpikā Chapter 4
Various Kinds of Strength — Śloka 4

वक्रं गतो रुचिरशिमसमूहपूरणो
नीचारिभांशसहितोऽथि भवेत्स खेटः ॥

“Even if a planet be in his sign of debilitation or debilitated
navāṃśa, he is vested with full strength if he is retrograde
and if his rays are full and brilliant.”

We once again not only see the notion of underlying strength of a retrograde graha, but also its capacity to overcome any other inherent weaknesses that it may have.

Phaladīpikā Chapter 7
Rāja Yogas — Śloka 3

यद्येकोऽपि विरजितांशुनिकरः सुस्थानगो वक्रगो
नीचस्थोऽपि करोति भूपसद्रशं द्वौ वा त्रयो वा ग्रहाः
एवं चेज्जनयन्ति भूपतिममि शस्तांशराशिस्थिता
स्तद्वचैद्वहवो न्रपं समतकुठच्छत्रोल्लसच्चामरम्॥

“Even a single planet, even if he be in debilitation,
is capable of making a person equal to a king if not
being posited in a dussthāna or combust, be
possessed of brilliant rays or retrograde motion.
If three or planets be so disposed, the native
becomes a king. If there are many planets
posited in auspicious houses and navāṃśas,
the native will be endowed with the insignias
of royalty such as crown, umbrella and chowries.”

It is important to point out the Mantreśvara introduces the subject of yogas with two consecutive chapters. Chapter 6 is an important and well-cited chapter on a variety of yogas. However, Chapter 7 is specifically about yogas for pre-eminence - rāja yogas.

Phaladīpikā Chapter 9
Effects of Different Ascendants — Śloka 20

वक्रं गतः स्वोच्चफलं विदध्यात्सपत्नीचर्क्शगतोपि खेटः
वर्गोत्तमांशस्थितखेचरोपि स्वक्शेत्रमस्योक्तफलानि तद्वत्॥

“When a planet happens to be in retrograde motion, he will
produce the same effect as if he posited in exaltation sign
even if he may be in his enemy’s sign or in the sign of his debilitation”

As in the previous śloka, Mantreśvara has highlighted the power of a retrograde graha by comparing it to the pristine state of exaltation and once again reiterates its capacity to compensate for weak states such as being in an enemy’s rāśi or even debilitated.

Yogas are special combinations of grahas and other conditions which manifest a variety of results, both positive and negative, in the native’s life. Even a cursory glance of the above three verses clearly indicates that Phaladīpikā has left no stone unturned in extolling the power and potential of retrograde grahas to confer greatness on a native. While the common thread of strength is once again clearly observable, the author here goes a step further by stating that a retrograde graha can overcome other inherent weaknesses that it may possess, even debilitation, which is one of the least desirable states for a graha.

Let’s examine a chart where this combination is highlighted.

Śri Rāmakṛṣṇa Paramahaṃsa

Śri Rāmakṛṣṇa Paramahaṃsa Chart

Rāmakṛṣṇa was one of the greatest saints that the world has ever seen as was his famous disciple Svāmī Vivekānanda. He was a priest at the Dakṣineṣwar Kāli Temple where his mystical temperament and deep meditative states gained him widespread fame which attracted many followers. Rāmakṛṣṇa was known for his extreme devotion to Kāli Mā – the Divine Mother and was often found in states of ecstasy which interfered with his ability to function in day-to-day life.

Śri Rāmakṛṣṇa Paramahaṃsa
Śri Rāmakṛṣṇa Paramahaṃsa

At first glance, we see Saturn as the lagna lord exalted and retrograde in the 9th bhāva of devotion to divine beings and adherence to dharma among other significations, and Rāmakṛṣṇa achieved stupendous results in this area. We also see that all of the dharma trines are occupied by strong grahas and each of the dharma lords has a form of strength – Saturn is exalted as lagna lord, Mercury is retrograde and digbala as the 5th lord, and Venus is exalted as the 9th lord. From a young age he associated with wandering saints and became well-versed in the Rāmāyaṇa, Purāṇas, Mahābhārata, and other sacred scriptures. He performed worship and is said to have attained oneness with many deities including Rāma, Jesus, Kāli Mā, Śiva and Prophet Muhammed1. He completed sixty-four major tantric sādhanas, each of which only took him three days, which in itself astounded his teachers2.

Saturn also happens to be the twelfth lord in this chart which gave him his extraordinary meditative states from the young age of six. One could argue that he achieved salvation or complete freedom while being a Jivanmukta. Such levels of results can also be seen because of the recurrence of these patterns from all three lagnas (Sun, Moon and Ascendant), known as Sudārśana Lagna.

It is often difficult to make authoritative astrological statements for beings such as Rāmakṛṣṇa for they have transcended mundane life and the seizers (grahas) may not “grab” such exalted souls in normal ways. I submit that the retrogression combined with exaltation of Saturn gave him unprecedented experiences (Saturn as twelfth lord) and a total dissolution of his ego (Saturn as lagneśa) while still occupying his physical body. Indeed, he was so immersed in transcendental states, that outsiders began to think that Rāmakṛṣṇa was deranged and unstable on account of his spiritual practices.

Do notice that while the grahas in his chart are strong and in highly dignified states, they aren’t forming some of the flashier or famous yogas that one would typically expect for a person of his stature. There is no Mahāpuruṣa Yoga and none of the kendra and trikona lords form yogas. I submit that the very presence of three retrograde grahas in Rāmakṛṣṇa’s chart qualifies for a Rāja Yoga as per Phaladīpikā, which certainly had the effect of propelling him towards becoming a “King” of the spiritual realm.

Keep in mind the presence of an exalted retrograde Saturn in the 9th – we shall return to his chart to further elaborate upon the condition of Saturn and comment upon a seeming paradox which has plagued many a Jyotiṣi.

The Great Debate

“One must not think slightingly of the paradoxical,
for the paradox is the source of the thinker’s passion,
and the thinker without a paradox is like a lover
without feeling: a paltry mediocrity”

Soren Kierkegaard

One of the most controversial positions regarding retrograde grahas is entrenched within a paradox. It has been responsible for many a debate between scholarly Jyotiṣis, one that is necessary to wade into in order to clarify some key notions.

The basis for the paradox is found in the two verses in Sārāvalī and Kālidāsa’s Uttarakālāmṛta presented below:

Sārāvalī  Chapter 5
Miscellaneous Matters — Śloka 14

उच्चराशौ विलोमे च फलं नान्यैरिहेष्यते ।
कालस्यातिबहुत्वाच्च तथा स्वोच्चेतिवक्रिते॥

“If a planet is retrograde while in exaltation it
produces no effect. Even if it is in exaltation by
its entry in retrograde motion from the next sign,
the effect is the same, for it takes an unduly long
time in such motion”

Uttarakālāmṛta Chapter 2
Determination of the Strengths — Śloka 6

वक्री स्वोच्चबलः सवक्रसहिते मध्यं बलं तुङग्भे
वक्री नीचबलः स्वनीचभवेन वक्रीबलं तुङग्जम्।

“The strength of a graha retrograde in his motion, should
be taken similar to that when he is in exaltation. When
a graha is in association with a retrograde graha, the
strength he gets is medium. When a graha occupies its
state of exaltation, but is retrograde in motion, he is without
strength. Should a graha be retrograde while in its state of
debilitation, his strength would be akin to that of exaltation.”

The first part of Kālidāsa’s śloka once again underscores the strength of a retrograde graha by giving it a status akin to an exalted graha in terms of raw strength. In the very next line, he goes on to say something which prima facie seems logically improbable. He states that a doubly strong graha, by means of being retrograde and exalted, somehow loses its strength! Clearly, there is no logical grounds through which an exalted graha, if given a shot of equal strength, would somehow lose all its strength. We see a similar train of thought in Kalyāṇavarman’s verse as well.

It is important to keep in mind that traditionally, śāstra wasn’t (and isn’t) meant to be read like a bedtime novel or even as an exposition of intellectual thought. The teachings were orally communicated and to be memorized by the attentive student. Since memorization uses a different mechanism of activating the buddhi (intelligence), the teacher used several tools and keys to aid in this process of memorization which consequently led to better internal digestion and illumination. Many of those tools are not in sync with modern methods of education and hence causes, under certain circumstances, great confusion to the intelligent but unaware reader.

Consequently, it could be held that the authors here are trying to use a specific device which needs to be understood before one can logically interpret this verse. While an exposition of such devices is outside the scope of this article, it would suffice to say that the authors are trying to grab our attention through means of a device traditionally known as “Arthavāda” which roughly translates as hyperbole. In a text filled with literally thousands of verses, this device is often used as a tool for the listener to keep such verses highlighted in their memory.

This paradox put forward by the authors who were fully aware of traditional devices for capturing attention, leads to the conclusion that Kālidāsa and Kalyāṇavarman use hyperbole to make the reader (listener) sit up and take notice of such a graha and carefully examine the role that they are playing and interpret accordingly. Therefore, what the authors are trying to indicate here is to beware and watch out for such a graha, as this extra dose of strength could cause it to run amok and give extraordinary results in the sphere of its operation for better or worse.

How then should one interpret the statement made by Kālidāsa and Kalyāṇavarman? Does the presence of an exalted retrograde malefic indeed cause “debilitated” results? The retrograde exalted Saturn in the 9th bhāva of Rāmakṛṣṇa sure displayed its ferocity in connected areas of his life and indeed in some ways, did act like a debilitated graha. His father died early, when Rāmakṛṣṇa was only 7 years old. Rāmakṛṣṇa wasn’t fortunate by worldly standards by any stretch of imagination. In fact, he rejected traditional schooling remarking that he wasn’t interested in a “bread winning education”. He was born to a very poor but pious family and there are many recorded instances of him having to struggle to make ends meet. So, clearly, the presence of an uber strong malefic definitely did not help him to get success in worldly or mundane matters.

Let us take another example to drive home the point:

Michael Moore

Michael Moore's Chart

Michael Moore provocative American documentary filmmaker, author and activist who has made a name for himself for his stances against globalization, large corporations, capitalism in general, assault weaponry and the American Health system.

We see an exalted retrograde Saturn in the 4th bhāva forming a strong Śaśa Mahāpurṣa Yoga while aspected by Jupiter and Sun who is strong by virtue of exaltation and digbala. The whole chart is layered in a bevy of Rāja Yogas as a fairly bright lagna lord Moon is in sambandha with yogakāraka Mars as well as 9th lord Jupiter.

Michael Moore
Michael Moore

Another interesting yoga which gets created in his chart is the Asura Yoga – where the lord of the 8th has gone to a kendra, is aspected by a benefic (Jupiter) and the 8th bhāva is also aspected by a benefic (Jupiter). The phala of the Asura Yoga has been listed as “a native who will be mean, a tale-bearer, will spoil others works and will always be intent on securing his own interests”3. And these results have certainly showed themselves to be true in his life.

A strong Saturn in opposition to a strong Sun usually indicates trouble and criticism against authority and Moore has made his entire career by spinning out documentaries and movies against government (authority) which is typified by the exaggerated 4-10 axis of his horoscope. His most famous and highest-grossing movies, documentaries and books have taken on subjects like gun violence in the USA, America after the 9/11 attacks, and the Bush administration.

His works have been responsible for raising tremendous awareness in these areas and shifting mainstream conversations in the political sphere towards the left. He was named as one of the world’s 100 most influential people by Time Magazine in 2005. His artistic style predominantly relies on making strong claims against the authority in question but at the same time has been accused of exaggerating facts and timelines to have the intended polarizing effect on the audience4.

He has made a living through routinely excoriating the capitalistic system through his works, but at the same time is himself one of the richest individuals in the world with a net worth of over $50 million5. Do note that while Saturn’s strength has been greatly responsible for Moore’s success in the world, it also has colored his manner of success through misrepresentation, an indicator of Saturn’s excessive strength in the 4th bhāva of morals aspecting both the 10th bhāva and 10th lord Mars. When questioned about this seeming contradiction, he has on occasions side-stepped the issue or even prevaricated

In conclusion, we can see in both Ramakrishna’s and Moore’s charts that the presence of an uber-strong malefic can act like a double-edged sword. It is up to the skill of the jyotiṣi who can: 1) look the paradox in its face 2) evaluate the utilization ability of the native 3) understand the strengths and exaggeration for what they are 4) sense which way the winds of karmaphala are blowing by understanding confluent and contrasting patterns in the chart and 5) deftly weave the areas of life in which it all plays out.  And that’s how the paradox can be resolved!

Dynamic Analysis

“Time is an illusion; timing is an art.”

Stefan Emunds

The third development that we see in śāstra is the enhanced role given to retrograde grahas during transits and the strong effects they can bring about in a native’s life.

Phaladīpikā Chapter 20
Effects of Dashas — Śloka 14

वक्रगस्य्स् निजतुग्ङसुह्य्त्सुस्थानगस्य दशाफलमेवम्।

“The good effects described in the above verses will come to pass
only if the lord of the bhāva concerned is auspiciously disposed
(not in dussthānas), in its own sign or exalted, or is retrograde”

Phaladīpikā Chapter 20
Effects of Dashas — Śloka 37

पाकप्रभुगोर्चरतः स्वनीचं मौढ्यं यदायाति विपक्शभं वा।
कष्टं विदध्यात्स्वगृहं स्वतुङं वक्रं गतः सौख्य्फलं तदानीम्॥

“If a planet whose antardaśā is in operation should on the course
of his transit pass through his sign of debilitation, an inimical
bhāva or become eclipsed, there will be much misery. Should he
pass through his own sign, exaltation sign or be retrograde, the
effects will then be good”

As can be seen from the above verses, the notion of strength is again underscored, and the device used by the author is to compare a retrograde graha with an exalted or svastha one. Hence, one should also carefully consider the results which could be given by a retrograde graha while in transit.

Here is an example of these principles.

Matt Damon

Matt Damon's Chart

Matt Damon is one of the most talented and famous actors in Hollywood known for his bankability and versatility of roles that he has played.

Here we see Saturn as the lagna lord debilitated and retrograde in the 4th bhāva. For a person of his stature, fame and success, it is highly unlikely he would have achieved his success without other strong compensatory indications. There are several factors that contribute to modification of the debilitation but in and of itself, this would not be enough. His chart does have a bevy of yogas which are among the best that a native can have, but they do require the presence of a qualified lagna lord for them to fructify.

The presence of a debilitated retrograde graha, while not being in a dussthāna, or afflicted otherwise, clearly qualifies in toto as the Rāja Yoga described in Phaladīpikā. And this very Rāja Yoga is made by the lagna lord, furnishing the missing piece of the puzzle.

Matt Damon
Matt Damon

We can now layer on the fact that Saturn is aspected only by benefics, one of them being svastha. This further gives Matt Damon the ability to effectively utilize the multiple yogas that exist in his chart – namely the Rāja Yoga of 9th lord in the 9th and 10th lord in the 10th, the Gaja Kesari Yoga formed by Jupiter in a kendra in sambandha with Venus in the 10th, and Rāja Yogas formed between 1st and 5th lords as well as 1st and 10th lords.

However, retrogression isn’t a phenomenon that can overcome or cancel debilitation, and Matt had to face the effects of his debilitated Saturn in the 4th. He has a kuhu yoga (Phaladīpikā Chapter 6:61) whereby the lord of the 4th goes to a negative bhāva and is afflicted while the 4th bhāva itself is afflicted by a malefic. It is attenuated somewhat by the aspects of Venus and Jupiter but the daśa sequence of Moon and Mars in his childhood years tell the story of how Saturn has contributed its malefic side to the destiny pattern indicated by the Kuhu yoga.

His parents separated early and he lived with his mother and brother in a communal housing situation. He has recounted on numerous occasions that his childhood and adolescence was very lonely and as he wanted to belong somewhere and it eluded him. He felt overly defined by his mother, an early child development professor who raised him by the book. This delayed his self-development to a great extent. He found relief through school plays and an aware drama teacher. He never did completed his education (a 4th bhāva matter) dropping out of school to pursue his career in Hollywood6.

And then on the other side, it is interesting to note that his burst into stardom occurred during his Rāhu-Saturn period, which was when his mega hit Good Will Hunting was released (December 1997). Rāhu in his chart imitates that same retrograde debilitated Saturn which participates in the many yogas mentioned above. Even more stunning is the fact that at that point of time, Saturn as the antardasha lord was in its retrograde motion in Pisces. Both these facts show that retrogression is an accountable principle which has both static and dynamic implications in a native’s chart.

Details of the timing of such events and the awareness of when and how Saturn in its double role will cause benefic and malefic results is outside of the scope of this article. However, it is worth reiterating that a great key to resolving this kind of paradox is to understand that a graha will contribute its strength in a more auspicious way when it is part of auspicious patterns such as yogas if the timing is ripe.  This kicked in big time for Matt Damon when Rāhu-Saturn ran.  And the same graha will add to the misery and lend its more malevolent results when it configures with an inauspicious pattern when grahas creating that pattern are activated by the daśa sequence. This was the case during Damon’s growing up years when Moon and Mars, contributors to the Kuhu yoga were back to back daśas during Damon’s growing up years.

Conclusion

That a retrograde graha is powerful has been clearly indicated in all classical texts without any question. This fact is established through multiple mechanisms of repetition and hyperbole, but as we also see a certain elevation in the treatment of a retrograde graha conferring strong results by means of involvement in yogas, redemption of weak planets and strong results during transits. Since Sārāvalī and Phaladīpikā, as well as many other texts, have referenced Parāśara’s name in their works, we can trace this development through the ages.

Embedded in the tradition is the idea that Dharma is personified and depicted as a bull standing of the 4 legs (virtues) of Austerity, Cleanliness, Mercy and Truth. In the Hindu view of circular existence, in the age of Kāli, the Bull is left standing on only one leg which gradually disappears as time passes. Perhaps because of the times we live in, when Dharma stands on just one leg, a retrograde graha which certainly has psychological characteristics of going against the grain as well as raw, undignified strength is greatly correlated with achieving worldly success.

This article has presented substantial evidence with respect to how śāstra regards vakra grahas as catalysts of powerful results. Hopefully it will inspire more respect for the strength of such grahas when they are found in a chart and lead to more nuanced and insightful interpretation.

Born and brought up in a typical Indian middle-class family, it is no surprise that I completed my engineering and MBA to acquire the proverbial tick mark. I have since a young age been passionate about the Vedic tradition and consider myself incredibly fortunate to have been learning Jyotisha for the last 4 years under the tutelage of Penny Farrow. I consider it my life’s purpose to spread the little knowledge that I have gained and keep the fire of the tradition burning.

Author: Nikhil Sharma

Nikhil Sharma

Born and brought up in a typical Indian middle-class family, it is no surprise that I completed my engineering and MBA to acquire the proverbial tick mark. I have since a young age been passionate about the Vedic tradition and consider myself incredibly fortunate to have been learning Jyotisha for the last 4 years under the tutelage of Penny Farrow. I consider it my life’s purpose to spread the little knowledge that I have gained and keep the fire of the tradition burning.

Appendix 1 — Consolidated Śāstra references

Below listed are some of the important references to retrogression in BPHS, Sārāvalī and Phaladīpikā.

BPHS Chapter 9
Evils at Birth
Śloka 3-6
षष्ठाष्टरिप्फगश्चन्द्रः क्रूरैः खेटैश्च वीक्शितः । जातस्य मृत्युदः सद्यस्तवष्टर्षैः शुभेक्शितः॥ शशिवन्मृयुदाः सौम्याश्चेद्व्क्राः कूरवीक्शिताः। Should the Moon be in the 6th, 8th or 12th from the Ascendant and be in aspect to a malefic, the child will die soon. If there is a benefic’s aspect then the child may live till 8. If a benefic is retrograde in the 6th, 8th or 12th being in aspect to a malefic, the death will occur within a month of birth.
BPHS Chapter 43 — Longevity — Śloka 9 अस्तगस्तु हरेत्स्वार्ध विना शुक्रशनैश्चरौ। वक्रचारं विना त्र्यंशं शत्रुराशौ हरेद् ग्रहः॥ Half of the longevity of the planets, except in the case of Venus and Saturn, is snatched away if the planet is combust. In the same way, if a planet is situated in an enemy’s sign the third part of his longevity is reduced. However, this doesn’t happen in case the planet is in retrogression.
Sārāvalī Chapter 4 — Planetary Characteristics — Śloka 36 मित्रद्वादशभागे द्विगुणास्क्त्रिगुणाः स्वके च दीधितयः। वक्रे पुनस्तयोच्चे स्वराशिगे तद्भवत्येव​॥ वक्रान्तस्थे द्विगुणा वक्रत्यागेऽष्टभागहीनाश्च​। वैरिद्वादशभागे नीचे च भवन्ति षोडशांशोनाः॥ If the planet is in the dvadaśāmśa of its friend, double the product as obtained above. If in its own dvadaśāmśa, own rāśi, retrograde or in its exaltation sign, the product should be trebled.
Sārāvalī Chapter 36 — Planetary Rays — Śloka 7-9 जीवाकस्फिुजितोऽहिग् विच्च सततं मन्देन्दुभौमा निशि होरामासदिनाब्दपाशच बलिनः सौम्याः सितेऽन्येऽसिते। संग्रामे जयिनो विलोमगतयः संपूर्णगावो ग्रहाः सूर्येन्द्रू पुनरुत्तरेण बलिनौ सत्योक्तचेष्टाबले॥ The planet that is victorious in war, that is retrograde in motion, or that is not combust becomes strong. The luminaries get strength in the northern course. This is how Satyācārya detailed motional strength.
Sārāvalī Chapter 40 — Longevity — Śloka 6 वर्गोत्तमे स्वभवने स्वद्रेक्काणे नवांशके। द्विगुणं सम्प्रयछन्ति त्रिगुणं वक्रतुंगयो॥ Contribution made by a planet that is Vargottama, own sign, own drekkāna, or own navāmśa should be doubled. If retrograde or exalted, the figure should be trebled.
Sārāvalī Chapter 40 — Longevity — Śloka 7 यदा तूपचयः सर्वः स्वराश्यादिस्थितर्ग्रहैः। समस्तवर्गणा तत्र कर्तव्या शास्त्रचिन्तकैः॥ If a planet’s contribution gets doubled by virtue of its own sign, own decante, own navāmśa and further warrants trebling by virtue of retrogression/exaltation, the trebling should be done. So say the contemplators of śāstra.
Sārāvalī Chapter 40 — Longevity — Śloka 16 पूर्वोक्तं विन्तयेत्सर्व वक्रं मुक्त्वारिराशिषु। क्श्यस्तत्र प्रकर्तव्यो नीचेऽर्घ वृद्धिरुच्चगे॥ In the case of Pindayurdaya also, the same multiplications and rectifications apply. Leaving aside a retrograde planet, one in an inimical sign loses a third while the one in fall retains only half of the contribution. The planet in exaltation retains the entire contribution.
Phaladīpikā Chapter 4 –Ṣadbala — Śloka 2 राकाचन्द्रस्य चेष्टाबलमुदगयने भास्वतो वक्रगानां युद्धे चोदकिस्थतानां स्फुटबहुलरूचां स्वोच्चवीर्यं स्वतुङे । The Moon gets Ceṣṭābala when it is full. The Sun gets this strength when he is on the northern course. The other planets get Ceṣṭābala when they are in retrograde motion.

End Notes

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Isherwood and Neevel, Walter G; Bardwell L. Smith (1976). "The Transformation of Ramakrishna". Hinduism: New Essays in the History of Religions.
  2. Neevel, Walter G; Bardwell L. Smith (1976). "The Transformation of Ramakrishna". Hinduism: New Essays in the History of Religions.
  3. Phaladīpikā Chapter 6 verse 52 Ranjan Publication note: error in translation which says astra yoga not asura yoga. Astra yoga is verse 50
  4. https://web.archive.org/web/20110715233749/http://blogs.salon.com/0001137/2005/04/16.html and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQwt_GiiVi8
  5. https://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-celebrities/directors/michael-moore-net-worth/ and https://www.newsmax.com/pre-2008/michael-moore-owned-halliburton/2005/11/03/id/681654/
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Damon

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