Published On: Sun, Mar 31st, 2013

Book Review: Astro Vedica

March 31, 2013 (VNN) by Dharmapad Das/Dean Dominic De Lucia


A book review of Astro Vedica by Dharmapad das/Dean Dominic De Lucia.

This book review has appeared in the magazine Modern Astrology, published in Bangalore, India. The magazine is edited by none other than Gayatri Devi Vasudev, India’s leading lady-astrologer. Her father was India’s most notable astrologer of the 20th Century, Dr. B.V. Raman. His magazine was vaulted to national attention in India when, at the height of Hitler’s success, B. V. Raman predicated his downfall, and when. Raman was also the first to spread Vedic astrology across the seas in the form of his many books in English, and his grandfather had been the first in India to write on Vedic astrology in English (this was during the 1800s).

From the January, 2011 edition of Modern Astrology

The mere fact that the title first appeared in Portuguese and then appeared in two quick editions in English should speak for the attention it has attracted to a readership totally alien to the subject. Presenting the science of Jyotish in a different perspective is no easy task but the author succeeds in doing it in a disarmingly simple manner. In the process, he produces an easy to assimilate text that is a mix of the technical as well as esoteric aspects of Indian astrology.

Drawing from the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita and the Puranas, the author whose focus is primarily on the non-Indian reader introduces determinism and how to deal with it. For a readership that believes in individual effort as omnipotent, the philosophy of astrology may seem unacceptable but only till the author comes up with convincing ways to handle determinism and destiny through esoteric methods. After a brief dive into what qualities make for an astrologer, it is a gallop through the basics to the more advanced technicalities of Jyotish in a manner that is both terse and lucid. There is also an attempt to show how to cast the horoscope.

There are extensive quotes from Dr. B. V. Raman, apart from a few other Indian astrological savants, that enrich the volume. The author draws heavily from classical works like Horasara, Bhrihat Jataka, Saravali, Bhrihat Samhita and other texts throughout to explain different topics. As an introductory text to the study of predictive astrology, the volume is indeed commendable and strikes the right note with non-Indian readers who may otherwise not be able to comprehend some of the concepts of astrology that are so alien to their own cultures. In this respect, the author scores well.

The reader may feel free to e-mail Dharmapad

Books by Dharmapad:


An excerpt from Astro Vedica:


Astro Vedica on Mars in the Signs

Mars In Aries: Mars in Aries stands for challenge. It indicates a temper, a martial spirit, and an element of cruelness. Frankness, logic, muscular development, activity, energy, and recklessness are called to mind by Mars in Aries. This placement suggests knocks, wounds and scars and such to the head.

In Taurus: The stubborn nature of Mars is reinforced in Taurus because it is a fixed sign. The independence of each is mutually reinforced. Mars in the sign of the bull suggests a commanding personality, even bossy. And the sensuality of Taurus is energized by the Martian fire. In itself, this is an indication for aggressive speach.

In Gemini: Mars in Gemini gives a rational and logical outlook, the kind which lends itself to science and engineering. Mars is naturally aggressive and Gemini is a masculine sign, so this element of Mars gets reinforced here. Musical skills are indicated in the classical texts, in keeping with the musical nature of Gemini.

In Cancer: Mars occupies a watery sign in Cancer where his fiery nature is not comfortable and where he is deemed to be debilitated. Mars becomes agitated here, so to speak, for which reason the fire and energy of Mars becomes destructive and angry. Brihat Jataka mentions ” wicked ” for Mars in Cancer. The more negative side of Mars becomes more prominent; in other words, the aggression, irritability, and rashness.

This placement is not good in terms of the maternal relationship. Depending on other combinations, there could be separation from the mother or she could be quite aggressive towards one.

In Leo: Mars in Leo suggests independence because Leo is a sign of independence in the first place and Mars is a planet which bows to none. An active, logical and even rebellious role in politics is suggested.

A combative nature and aggressive, imperial outlook is produced by this placement. Ability in relation to firearms and ammunition would come naturally to a person with Mars in Leo.

Classic texts warn that Mars here is negative for children and that it produces stomach troubles. This is because Mars is a malefic and Leo is the fifth sign, the fifth being the place of children and the stomach. But one wants to judge these things and find confirmation in relation to the houses and the chart in general, not just by sign position.

In Virgo: The classic texts opine that Mars gives skill in music and art here, just as in the other sign of Mercury.

Again, just as in the case of Mars in Gemini, placement in this sign gives a dimension of rational thought which lends itself to science, mathemetics and engineering. Mars here suggests a craftsman.

Saravali deems that ” Should Mars occupy Virgo the subject will not be … very valorous and will fear enemies very much ” ( R. Santhanam, chapter 25, text 11 – 12 ). This makes astrological sense as the brave and fiery Mars finds himself in a sign symbolized by a little girl. In other words, one’s bravery and boldness suffer. If Mars is strong in Virgo, however, the placement will give skillfulness in fighting because Virgo is a sign of skillfulness.

In Hindu Predictive Astrology, Dr. B.V. Raman mention that Mars here makes one “pretentious and ceremonial minded ” ( P – 145 ).

In Libra: Mars is back in an masculine sign where his aggressive side is heightened. Libra, although a sign of balance, is also a sign where balance is easily disturbed. So here the Martian anger is easily provoked and disproportionate.

In Libra, Mars contributes a calculating and businesslike nature; businesslike in the sense of being efficient. This is because Libra is an airy, intellectual sign ( these signs are calculating in the first place ), and Mars is logical and frank by nature, hence the calculating and businesslike nature.

At the same time, since Libra is a sign of mercantile caste, business skills in the typical sense are indicated by Martian occupation of Libra. But they wouldn’t be along the lines of a soft sell; fast talking and arm twisting might be more appropriate for Mars in this masculine, business sign. And business mathematics, along with its concomitant professions in fields such as finance and accounting, are supported by the logical Mars in an airy sign.

An aggressive malefic in this sign augurs poorly for marital harmony and peaceful relationships. Why is this? Well, the seventh place is the place of relationships and the opposite sex, and Libra is the seventh sign and Venusian. In fact, Saravali ( R. Santhanam, chapter 25, text 13 – 14 ) goes as far as to say that when Mars occupies Libra one will ” lose his first wife, will deal in liquors, and earn through prostitutes.” These are simply negative Venusian indications, which a malefic such as Mars in a Venusian sign is likely to bring about.

Lastly, it would be easy to imagine all the ways in which Mars could energize the artistic element of Libra. The specific way in which the Martian energy would be channeled would be indicated in the chart.

In Scorpio: Resentful, logical, sharp, touchy, aggressive, violent, and tactical are the type of qualities which manifest when Mars occupies Scorpio. Actually, these are simply the essential qualities of Mars; they become prominent and highlighted when Mars occupies his own sign. The sign Scorpio adds sensitivity and sensuality, which the occupation of Mars heightens.

If the combination or the chart itself is otherwise afflicted, it is only logical that an aggressive planet like Mars in such a vicious sign would suggest plunder, thievery, or acts of violence of some sort.

On the other hand, when not otherwise blemished, Mars in Scorpio can be supportive of such positive things as mining, engineering, chemical engineering, pharmaceuticals, police work, firefighting, metalworks, the armed forces, or working in kitchens.

As far as the military is concerned, Scorpio is a watery sign. So Mars here would tend to involve one in the Navy or Coast Guard.

Scorpio is a secretive sign and very fortified when occupied by its lord. So this placement activates strong karma in relation to secrets and secret activities.

And, as in the case of Mars in Aries, if centrally placed, Mars in Scorpio suggests hits, wounds, and scars on the body.

In Sagittarius: The fiery, Martian energy in such a fiery sign gives an aggressive leader. Ambition and executive talents are suggested. The drive to achieve is certainly communicated by this combination of sign and planet, and know that Sagittarius channels the Martian energy in a positive manner.

Mars in a fiery sign always suggests fighting and argument, but in Sagittarius, a challenging element is added. The idea of going out and provoking an argument for a good cause is suggested, which is the opposite of the previous sign Scorpio, which is introverted and resistent.

Both Sagittarius as well as Mars have been described as frank, forthright and such, so this is even more so when they combine.

As both Mars and Sagittarius correspond to the warrior caste, a military bearing is indicated. If other combinations are supportive, and/or if the Mars-in-Sagittarius combination is centrally located, actual military activity might come about. In accordance with the mounted archer symbol of Sagittarius, involvement with calvalry, mechanized infantry, missiles or artillary is suggested.

In Capricorn: Mars is exalted in Capricorn even though it belongs to an inimical planet, Saturn. Why is this? The basic idea is that the earthy, moveable Capricorn provides dry, pliable terrain for the fiery and dominating Mars. Compare this situation to Mars in Cancer- Cancer is a watery, emotional sign, where the fiery, logical Mars isn’t able to carry out his agenda very well.

But in Capricorn the basic Martian qualities shine through well. That is why the classical astrological literature is replete with adjectives such as brave, independent, bold, and militaristic for Mars in Capricorn.

The ” indefatigable ” energy of Mars from Capricorn has been well noted by Dr. B.V. Raman in Hindu Predictive. ( P – 145 )

In addition, both Brihat Jataka ( Usha & Shashi, chapter 18, text 7 ) as well as Saravali

( R. Santhanam, chapter 25, texts 19 – 20 ) correspond wealth and high status to Mars in Capricorn. Actually, any exalted planet supports high status.

Success would be along general Martian lines, something which has already been delineated upon. The fact that Capricorn is a Saturnian sign suggests labor, machinery and mechanics.

Ownership of property would also be a natural consequence of the exaltation of Mars.

In Aquarius: Aquarius is a masculine sign with a bit of harshness to its credit. In fact, it is cold and calculating while Mars is blunt, rough and fiery. So the combination of the two is not productive of affection or comaradarie. Rather, a very conscious type of meaness is produced.

Not only anger, but anger tinged with depression is produced by Mars here as Aquarius is a sign of sadness par excellence. Therefore, an aggressive complainer is suggested, someone bitter about things.

Once again, Mars in a Saturnian sign indicates labor, industry, machinery, engineering, steel-working, and motors. Since Aquarius is an airy sign, one with this combination might work with aeronautical engineering or airplane machinery in some way.

In Pisces: The natural energy and boldness of Mars becomes reduced in this watery sign, such that indolence and timidness result.

Uncertainty comes about because Pisces is a dual sign. Unless Mars is strengthened here, indecision is indicated and the person doesn’t know which way to go.

Due to the pious nature of the sign, the tendency would be to expend energy along proper channels. Since Pisces is the ” basis ” of the zodiac’s beginning, maybe such effort would be spent proping up good causes. If Mars is at all well placed, this would certainly be the tendency.

But if Mars is not well disposed in this sign, or if the chart is impious, the opposite would result. In this sense Brihat Jataka ( Usha & Shashi, chapter 18, text 7 ) and Saravali ( R. Santhanam, chapter 25, texts 23 – 24 ) warn that one is disrespectful to religion and elders when Mars occupies Pisces.

And if other combinations in the chart are supportive, a naval career may be indicated by having a warrior planet in a watery sign. Marine construction, engineering or demolition could result, too.