Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) is very rich in its iconography and deities. It is a condensed form of the formless nature of existence (Brahman) and very symbolic. Its foolish to take the literal meanings or what is apparent. But even the condensed forms are characterized by multiple layers of complexity and subtlety.

Let us look at the iconography of Lord Dakshinamurthy from a Jyotish angle. He is shown as keeping his right foot on the Rakshasa (demon) Apasmara. Smarana in Sanskrit means recollection or memory, and Apasmara is understood as Apa (loss) of Smara (memory), meaning forgetfulness, delusion or confusion. The Apasmara also symbolizes ignorance (Avidya). What is Karma? it is a collection of all types of vasanas (memory/tendencies/ignorance etc.) from previous lives. Here I would like to paraphrase what Sadhguru often says “You have your great grandfathers nose on you”, which is nothing but a memory or Apasmara.

Lord Dakshinamurthy

Take Dhanu rashi for Lord Dakshinamurthy, who is a form of Lord Shiva as a Guru. He has his right foot (12th) on Apasmara which is the natural 8th house Vrischik rashi. This rashi is like a deep dark well or blind spots in your life, where once you fall in it, only a Guru can pull you up. It is a Jala rashi and all Jala Rashi’s carry memory (look up Dr. Masaru Emoto’s experiments on water carrying memory). Apasmara is also referred to the Ayurvedic disease concepts related to neurological disorders. The 8th house and the Bhavat Bhavam of it the 3rd house both rule sub conscious mind which has been programmed from past lifes based on our karmas. Observe that Apasmara is clasping a snake representing Maya (illusion), and Vrischik rashi’s co lord is the half snake Ketu.

Lord Dakshinamurthy’s left leg is folded in a sitting pose and the feet is touching the Mooladhara chakra. This means that this form is controlling this chakra and gives clarity in thought and emotions especially related to basic necessities of life. The right leg is in Vrischik in Jyeshta nakshatra and the left leg in Dhanu rashi and Mula Nakshatra. Hence this form of Shiva is an excellent remedy for all 8th house and Jyeshta/Moola nakshatra matters.

Sri Adi Shankara Bhagwat Pada in his Dakshinamurthy Stotram aptly describes this Maya in these words “Rahu grastha divakarendu sadrusho, Maya samachedanath”.






Vinayaka Vijayam is a 70’s Telugu movie that they used play on Doordarshan (Indian Government run channel) every Vinayaka Chathurthi when I was a kid. Yesterday, my wife was reading the Katha (story) on the birth of Ganesha as part of the ritual. Gajasura was given the boon by Lord Shiva that he would reside in Gajasura’s stomach. This caused commotion with the Devas and Maa Parvati pleaded with Lord Vishnu to help. Lord Vishnu took the help of other Devas and Nandi and went to Gajasura incognito. They performed various acts and Nandi gave a wonderful dance performance to Gajasura (reminds me of the many 70’s bollywood plots like “Amar Akbar Anthony” etc. where the good guys dress up as performers and go to the villians). Gajasura was very pleased by Nandi’s dance and asked them for any boon. He had the ego that I am no less than Lord Shiva. The devas (who came in as Jangama performers a Shaivite sect mostly in Karnataka) asked for the Linga in his stomach. He wanted to keep his word, but said the Devas can take the linga out of his stomach as he will not be able to take out with his own hands. Nandi charges into his stomach with his horns and lets Shiva in the form of the linga come out of Gajasura stomach. Now why am I telling you this story? It reminded me of what my Jyotish Guru Shri Deepanshu Giri ji taught about a 12th house Guru in the Rashi Chakra. This yog is formed if one was not careful about giving away knowledge to undeserving people.

Maa Parvati meanwhile creates a boy (prana Prathishta) out of the Turmeric paste that she uses for bathing. She keeps the boy as a guard at the entrance and asks him not to allow anyone in. When Lord Shiva returns after the death of Gajasura, the boy does not allow even Lord Shiva inside. All Hindu stories are symbolic like its iconography. Now this hindrance to even Lord Shiva is symbolic of first getting the blessings/permission of Lord Ganesha (how the boy became Ganesha with an elephant head is another sub story) who was standing as a guard (Kshetrapal) for achieving Shakthi. Ketu is the connection to the Para and Shakthi Sadhana which one cannot achieve without its blessing in a Rashi Chakra.

Chakras are focal or energy centers in the subtle energy body inside our physical bodies. Mutthuswami Deekshitar was a famous carnatic composer and a contemporary of Tyagaraja and Syama Sastri a musical trinity of the 17th century. All three were realized souls. Deekshitar in his popular composition “Vaatapi Ganapatim“, praises Lord Ganesha as ” Moolaadhaara Kshetrasthitam” i.e. residing in the Moola Chakra, note that the Moola Nakshatra is ruled by Ketu. Mooladhara Chakra is at the base of the spine near the anus. This is a Gandanta (knot/chakra) in the Rashi chakra and in the subtle body from where the Kundalini Shakthi rises up to the Shasrara Chakra at above a few inches above the head. This is symbolic of Maa Parvati rising up from Muladhara to meet Lord Shiva at Sahasrara. The potential energy residing as a coiled serpent transforms/rises (Vrischik) up as kinetic energy. So Ganesha’s blessings are necessary for both Shakti to meet Shiva and Shiva to meet Shakthi since he is the Kshetrapal (Gaurdsman).


Imagine Shakthi rising up as traversing from Vrischik (Moola nakshatra) to Mithun (Ardra Nakshatra) and Shiva coming down to meet Shakthi (Ganesha story above) as traversing from Vrishabha (Lord Shiva needs his vahana/vehicle Nandi to travel) to Dhanu. The opposite rashis form the spoke of the Kala Chakra. When one is pursuing higher spiritual goals, they are traversing from Shakthi to Shiva and when one is on materialistic pursuits then one is traversing from Shiva to Shakthi. Both must be balanced and represented by the Yin-Yang principle. The following is an attempt (no experience just limited knowledge of mine) to map the chakras and their emotional balance wheel. These may not map exactly to each of the 30o of the rashi but rather the junctions between the rashis and you would see some overlaps. There may be a lot more emotions than these.

MooladharaFeeling secure, grounded in reality, food, basic necessities in life i.e. food, shelter, money etc. Vrischik (fears)-Vrishabh(material security) axis.
SwadhishtanaSexuality, Creative energy, Good things in life, ego, harmone imbalance. Tula-Mesh axis.
ManipuraGut Feeling, Determination, Judging, Letting Go, sense of wisdom, personal power, control. This is called the warrior chakra i.e. taking action. Kanya-Meena axis.
AnahataRelating to other people, love, Bhakthi, addiction, uplifting others. Simha-Kumbh axis.
VishudhaEmpathize, Clarity in Speech, Speak with love, speaking the truth, shutting down not speaking out. Karka-Makara axis.
Agnya3rd eye. Psychic, Subconscious, Paranormal. Equally in tune with the outer and physical worlds. The Mithun-Dhanu axis. The Arudra and Moola nakshatra axis. These are gateways to the portals. Lord Bhairava for Arudra (for higher planes) and Lord Ganesha for Moola (for lower planes).
Chakras Rashi Axis

The Sahasrara is outside the physical body a few inches above the head in the aura of the person and hence not mapped to the rashi chakra. This is the pure consciousness where Shiva and Shakthi are in perfect union.

Birth Time Rectification

Nashta Jataka (Lost Horoscope) is one of subjects in classical Jyotish literature where using Prashna techniques the horoscope of the native is constructed, who has either lost the birth details or doesnt know their birth day and or exact time. But even if you have a fair awareness of the birth date and approximate time, having the precise time up to the second becomes important. When I first started learning Jyotish and going to Jyotishi’s for consultations they were blindly predicting with whatever time I gave, without giving any thought to the accuracy of the birth time. I started realizing that accurate time is required to predict accurately especially if the lagna degree is on the border of the rashis or if one wants to go into the divisional charts. The higher Amshas (divisionals) are very sensitive to the exact time up to the second.

As I found my Jyotish Guru Shri Deepanshi Giri ji and started learning the basics of Kala Chakra Dasha (KCD) from him, I started applying those principles to reverse engineer the life events onto KCD. As suggested by Deepanshi ji, if I used the SM Singh option on Jagannath Hora software and apply the KCD techniques, I was getting excellent results sometime up to the hour in my own chart. Although I must confess that I am completely oblivious to the actual calculations of KCD, but it works like a clock (literally) in some cases. Imagine the wheels of the clock machinery behind it to be the dasha periods on the KCD. The biggest wheel is the Maha Dasha, the next smaller wheel the Antar Dasha and so on.

Symbolic of KCD

Please find here an example of using KCD and other techniques to rectify the birth time. https://www.lunarastro.com/post/birth-time-rectification

The making of the Mridangam

The Mridangam is an acosutic double sided drum like instrument always used in Carnatic music performances. This instrument has all the characteristics of Makar rashi and Shani Maharaj. Let us see how.

First of all it is an ancient instrument often depicted on sculptures, paintings, wood work and mythology. It is the instrument of choice for Ganesha and Nandi. It is hollow inside with air in it and Shani rules over Vayu tattwa. It is a percussion instrument where it is beaten/struck or scraped by the artist, similar to the nature of Shani who represents the down trodden/beaten/ often blamed people. It is traditionally made by hand and laborious to make it. The artist usually places the instrument on his legs and ankles representing Makar and Kumbh rashis of the Kala Purusha.

Image result for mridangam free image
Thamizhpparithi Maari / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_Miruthangam.JPG

There are three nakshatras in the Makar rashi. Uttarashada, Shravana and Dhanishta. The Mridangam is made out of Jack Fruit tree wood by hollowing it out. Uttarashada is ruled by Surya and whose ego is hollowed out by Shani and Uttarashada is represented by Jack Fruit tree (see Nakshatra Vana reference below). After hollowing it out the sides of the instrument are covered by Goat or Buffalo skins. The aperture in the middle is anointed by Iron Oxide. The skins are tied/braided with ropes made out of Buffalo skin. Both Goat/Buffalo skins and Iron are signified By Shani. It is said that the sounds made out of the Mridangam pleased Lord Shiva when it was played by Nandi and it is known as a “Divine Instrument”. This signifies Shravana nakshatra the star of hearing. And in Jyotish the symbol associated with Dhanishta nakshatra is a drum and flute again hollow acoustic (Vayu tattwa) instruments. The akshar “Ma” is ruled by Shani which is the starting letter of this beautiful instrument.

I am pretty confident that Makar Rashi and Shani Maharaj play an important role on the charts of famous Carnatic Mridangam artists of the past, but that is for another day.



Ashtakams are a form of poetry which includes eight stanzas and four line each. Sri Aadi Shankaracharya wrote many popular Ashtakams on various dieties. By their nature of having 8 stanzas they are very transformative and I think this was Sri Aadi Shanakra’s intention as well, to transform the devotee at a subtle level. From my experience I think each diety’s Ashtakam could also be mapped to the rashi chakra. Here I attempt to map the Kaala Bhairava Ashtakam.

व्यालयज्ञसूत्रमिन्दुशेखरं कृपाकरम् ।
नारदादियोगिवृन्दवन्दितं दिगंबरं
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥१॥
Vyaala-Yajnya-Suutram-Indu-Shekharam Krpaakaram |
Naarada-[A]adi-Yogi-Vrnda-Vanditam Digambaram
Kaashikaa-Pura-Adhinaatha-Kaalabhairavam Bhaje ||1||

Rashi: Mithuna
This Ashtakam starts at Mithuna since Ardra is in Mithuna and Kaala Bhairav being represented by Ardra nakshatra. The 3rd house is all about “earning your stripes”. Here Sri Shankaracharya starts with Narada and other Yogis praising Bhairava. 3rd house is also about arms and protection. Bhairava is Digambara i.e. he doesn’t have any clothing a form of protection. The directions are his clothing.

भानुकोटिभास्वरं भवाब्धितारकं परं
नीलकण्ठमीप्सितार्थदायकं त्रिलोचनम् ।
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥२॥
Bhaanu-Kotti-Bhaasvaram Bhavaabdhi-Taarakam Param
Niila-Kannttham-Iipsita-Artha-Daayakam Trilocanam |
Kaashikaa-Pura-Adhinaatha-Kaalabhairavam Bhaje ||2|

Rashi: Karkataka Cancer (Karkataka) rashi is the natural fourth rashi signifying death, the real “home”, one of the moksha sthanas, where we find peace. Bhairava is the death of death. Sri Shankaracharya here mentions Bhairava’s lotus eyes. The left eye is ruled by Moon. 4th house is also about worldly pleasures.

श्यामकायमादिदेवमक्षरं निरामयम् ।
भीमविक्रमं प्रभुं विचित्रताण्डवप्रियं
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥३॥
Shyaama-Kaayam-Aadi-Devam-Akssaram Nir-Aamayam |
Bhiimavikramam Prabhum Vicitra-Taannddava-Priyam
Kaashikaa-Pura-Adhinaatha-Kaalabhairavam Bhaje ||3||

Rashi: Simha
The weapons used by Bhairava are used to create order in the universe. Simha (Leo) is all about governance, name, fame and authority. Bhairava creates order in the universe by his destructive dance and whose methods of operation are strange like the strategy used by the kings of yore. Bhairava is famous for his strange dance and big eyes (Sun is right eye).

भुक्तिमुक्तिदायकं प्रशस्तचारुविग्रहं
भक्तवत्सलं स्थितं समस्तलोकविग्रहम् ।
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥४॥
Bhukti-Mukti-Daayakam Prashasta-Caaru-Vigraham
Bhakta-Vatsalam Sthitam Samasta-Loka-Vigraham |
Kaashikaa-Pura-Adhinaatha-Kaalabhairavam Bhaje ||4||

Rashi: Kanya Like the shining golden bells around Bhairava’s waist (Kanya/gut area) which jingles creating a variety of pleasing Sounds, life on this earth plane is like this, binds us with Rog/Rna/Shatru.

धर्मसेतुपालकं त्वधर्ममार्गनाशकं
कर्मपाशमोचकं सुशर्मदायकं विभुम् ।
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥५॥
Dharma-Setu-Paalakam Tu-Adharma-Maarga-Naashakam
Karma-Paasha-Mocakam Su-Sharma-Daayakam Vibhum |
Kaashikaa-Pura-Adhinaatha-Kaalabhairavam Bhaje ||5||

Rashi: Tula Tula (Libra) rashi is where one makes choices, that is between what is Dharma and Adharma. Shani Bhagawan (the rope of karma/paasha) is judging your karmas, but Bhairava, who is the guardian of Dharma can free us from all the karmas and give us great joy.

नित्यमद्वितीयमिष्टदैवतं निरंजनम् ।
मृत्युदर्पनाशनं करालदंष्ट्रमोक्षणं
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥६॥
Nityam-Advitiiyam-Isstta-Daivatam Niramjanam |
Mrtyu-Darpa-Naashanam Karaala-Damssttra-Mokssannam
Kaashikaa-Pura-Adhinaatha-Kaalabhairavam Bhaje ||6||

Rashi: Vrischik The natural eighth rashi is another moksha sthana and signifies death. Life and death are two sides of the same coin. Bhairava is the destroyer of death (metaphorically its a mirror/Darpan of life) with his terrible fangs. Bhairava is the eternal non-dual (life/death) and thus the favorite deity.

दृष्टिपातनष्टपापजालमुग्रशासनम् ।
अष्टसिद्धिदायकं कपालमालिकाधरं
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥७॥
Drsstti-Paata-Nasstta-Paapa-Jaalam-Ugra-Shaasanam |
Asstta-Siddhi-Daayakam Kapaala-Maalikaa-Dharam
Kaashikaa-Pura-Adhinaatha-Kaalabhairavam Bhaje ||7||

Rashi: Dhanu It is the ninth natural house signifying the belief system, principles and higher knowledge. Bhairav here is granting us the boon of Ashta Sidhi after crossing the duality of life and death in Vrischik. The garland of skulls represent all the intellectual pursuits and higher studies.

भूतसंघनायकं विशालकीर्तिदायकं
काशिवासलोकपुण्यपापशोधकं विभुम् ।
नीतिमार्गकोविदं पुरातनं जगत्पतिं
काशिकापुराधिनाथकालभैरवं भजे ॥८॥
Bhuuta-Samgha-Naayakam Vishaala-Kiirti-Daayakam
Kaashi-Vaasa-Loka-Punnya-Paapa-Shodhakam Vibhum |
Niiti-Maarga-Kovidam Puraatanam Jagatpatim
Kaashikaapuraadhinaathakaalabhairavam Bhaje ||8||

Rashi: Makar Bhairava is the leader of all goblins (Mars the leader is exalted in Makar) and bestows glory (ones reputation is earned by their deeds). He destroys both merits and demerits and is the most ancient (Shani) lord of the universe.

कालभैरवाष्टकं पठंति ये मनोहरं
ज्ञानमुक्तिसाधनं विचित्रपुण्यवर्धनम् ।
प्रयान्ति कालभैरवांघ्रिसन्निधिं नरा ध्रुवम् ॥९॥
Kaalabhairavaassttakam Patthamti Ye Manoharam
Jnyaana-Mukti-Saadhanam Vicitra-Punnya-Vardhanam |
Prayaanti Kaalabhairava-Amghri-Sannidhim Naraa Dhruvam ||9||

Rashi: Kumbha At the end Sri Shankaracharya gives us the Phala Sthuthi (fruits of dedication) in Kumbha rashi the natural rashi of desires and wish fulfillment. He says Bhairava gives us the strange results according his own ways like the quality of this rashi. One must overcome sorrows, delusions, infatuations, depressions,desires, passions and anger before the final moksh in Meena rashi.

Observe that Bhairava is a lower amsha of Mahadeva and hence it starts in Mithuna and ends at Kumbha one rashi short of the final rashi – Meena. We can similarly map, Shankara’s Mahalakshmi Ashtakam starting from Mesha Rashi (Adi Lakshmi).

Credits: https://www.greenmesg.org/stotras/shiva/kalabhairava_ashtakam.php

Rambo and Dhanur Lagna

My earliest memories of Stallone are the wall posters of First Blood Part 2 on the streets of Hyderabad during my early teens. Wow! what a hulk with a bow wrapped around him and a machine gun in his hands. Yesterday I watched his latest movie Rambo: Last Blood and wondered if somehow Dhanu rashi would be prominent in his chart. And lo! and behold, when i plugged in his date and time of birth (Astrodata Bank) into JHora, his lagna indeed was Dhanu!

I immediately started checking his filmography and wanted to see how his dashas correlated to his films. His first commercial breakthrough came with Rocky released on December 3rd, 1976. I adjusted his time of from birth from 19:20 to 19:09:05. This would place his Kala Chakra Dasha as Sag-Sag-Gem between November 16 to December 18 of 1976. The Sookshma Antardasha is again of Sagittarius on Dec 3rd the release date. I use SM Singh option on KCD in JHora. The Dhanu-Mithun axis playing out is very clear. Lagna always shows some new beginnings. Mithun is the natural 3rd house showing boxing and sports. Mithun also has Arudha Lagna with the natural karaka for fame Surya the 9th lord of Bhagya. Surya is the dispositor of Mangal who is aspecting the 3rd house of fights/hands/boxing.

Budh shows the circumastances during childhood, it being in the 8th house with Shani and in Kark rashi shows his difficult and emotionally traumatic period. If you take his lagna cusp degree in Mesh rashi it is in the 2nd pada of Bharani. Many of his commercial successes came by him being creative and writing his own character. 5th house of creativity and Bharani showing life and death situations. Mesh rashi has the Arudha Padas of the 11th and 9th. Its an Agni tatwa rashi again showing creativity. All his commercial hits have been made as sequels again showing the dual rashi nature of Mithun with the Arudha Lagna and Surya. This duality also shows up in his personal life with multiple wives and divorces.