A ”junction” as we understand in a general sense is a “point of intersection”. It can be precisely defined as “the place where two or more things come together . “We see this term frequently used in railways. A railway station which lies in between two cities in different directions is termed as a junction. Trains travel in the same direction until they reach this junction and then move in different directions towards their respective destinations. Trains leaving from Chennai towards Trivandrum and Mumbai travel till Arakkonam Junction in the same track but once they leave Arakkonam, the train which leaves for Mumbai proceeds on the track towards Renigunta while the one which leaves for Trivandrum proceeds towards Jolarpet. But railway stations which facilitate movement in one direction only are not called as “junctions”.
In astrology these “junction points” assume enormous significance. In this article, we will try and discuss these “junction points” in detail. But initially we will focus our attention on a puranic story and learn its moral.
STORY OF HIRANYA KASHIPU:
The story of Hiranyakashipu is narrated In detail in Bhagavata Purana. Brahma’s mind-born (Manasaputras) sons, Sanaka,Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanatkumara appear to be mere children (even though they are very old in age) and when they visit the abode of Vishnu (Vaikuntha) they are stopped at the gate by the gatekeepers Jaya and Vijaya. The four boys curse Jaya and Vijaya to be born on earth, (thus losing their divinity) and live as human beings. Vishnu, knowing about the curse says that the curse cannot be lifted but gives two options – to take seven births as devotees of Vishnu or to take three births as Vishnu’s enemy. After serving either of these sentences, they will re-attain their original stature and unite with Vishnu permanently in Vaikuntha. The thought of staying away from Vishnu for seven births appeared too long a period for Jaya and Vijaya (to remain separate from Vishnu )and they chose to exercise the second option. In the first life they were born as demons Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu (in the second, they were Ravana and Kumbakarna and in the third Sishupala and Dantavakra).
After obtaining a boon from Brahma Hiranyakashipu sought the gift of immortality which the former refused. As an alternate plea, Hiranyakashipu sought that he should not be killed at daytime or night, on the ground or in the sky, by a weapon, by a human being or an animal or by a demigod or a demon or by a great snake from lower planets. This boon was conferred by Brahma to Hiranyakashipu.
The form of Lord Narasimha was assumed by Vishnu to kill Hiranyakashipu without upsetting the boon given by Brahma.
1. By killing him on the lap (which neither sky nor earth) in the threshold of the building (which is neither indoor nor outdoors), the first condition stood satisfied.
3. The demon was killed using nails and therefore the condition that no
weapons should be used stood satisfied.
4. Narasimha was partly a man and partly a lion meaning that the killing was effected neither by a man nor by a beast.
The inner significance of time is brought out by the fact that Vishnu chose to manifest as Narasimha – one of ten major incarnations – at twilight, a crucial “Junction Point” in astrology. The “Sandhya Kala” is considered a favourable time for meditation for those who seek union with divine.
Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu were born to Diti (daughter of Daksha Prajapati) and sage Kashyapa. It is said that the Asuras (demons) were to them as result of their union at the time of sunset, which is said to be inauspicious for performance of such art. This is another astrological principle which emerges out of this Puranic tale.The period around sunset should be earmarked solely for spiritual activities and because Sage Kashyapa failed to follow this dictum the demons were born.
The word “Muhurtha” refers to a time interval lasting for about 48 minutes. A day has 1440 minutes (24hours x 60 minutes per hour). Dividing 1440 by 48, we get 30 muhurthas in a day. The 29th muhurtha which happens to be the penultimate of the 30 muhurthas falls about an hour before Sunrise and it is termed as “Brahma Muhurtha”. If Sunrise is exactly at 6 A.M., Brahma Muhurtha operates between 4.24 A.M. and 5.12 A.M.
According to the Ayurvedic treatise “Ashtanga Hridhayam” one who is desirous of health and longevity should wake up during Brahma Muhurtha and perform his daily duties. It is the time which is highly conducive towards performance of spiritual activities. Visitors to Puttaparthi might as well recall that the chanting of “Omkar” in the Poornachandra Auditorium commences at around 4 A.M. and emphasis seems to have been laid by His Holiness Sai Baba for awakening the spiritual powers by having the daily schedule of his Ashram to commence at around the time Brahma Muhurtha operates. A table of Muhurthas (table 1) is given here for reference.
|1||06:00 _ 06:48||Rudra||Bad|
|2||06:48 _ 07:36||Ahi||Bad|
|3||07:36 _ 08:24||Mitra||Good|
|4||08:24 _ 09:12||Pitr||Bad|
|5||09:12 _ 10:00||vasu||Good|
|6||10:00 _ 10.48||varah||Good|
|7||10:48 _ 11:36||Visvadeva||Good|
|8||11:36 _ 12:24||Vidhi||Good|
|9||12:24 _ 13:12||Satamukhi||Good|
|10||13:12 _ 14:00||Puruhuta||Bad|
|11||14:00 _ 14:48||Vahini||Bad|
|12||14:48 _ 15:36||Naktanakara||Bad|
|13||15:36 _ 16:24||Varuna||Good|
|14||16:24 _ 17:12||Aryama||Good|
|15||17:12 _ 18:00||Bhaga||Bad|
|16||18:00 _ 18:48||Girisa||Bad|
|17||18:48 _ 19:36||Ajapada||Bad|
|18||19:36 _ 20:24||Ahira Budhnya||Good|
|19||20:24 _ 21:12||Pushya||Good|
|20||21:12 _ 22:00||Asvini||Good|
|21||22:00 _ 22:48||Yama||Bad|
|22||22:48 _ 23:36||Agni||Good|
|23||23:36 _ 24:24||Vidhat||Good|
|24||24:24 _ 01:12||Kanda||Good|
|25||01:12 _ 02:00||Aditi||Good|
|26||02:00 _ 02:48||Jiva||Good|
|27||02:48 _ 03:36||Vishnu||Good|
|28||03:36 _ 04:24||Yumigadyuti||Good|
|29||04:24 – 05:12||Brahma||Very Good|
|30||05:12 _ 06:00||Samudram||Good|
Just like junction point around Sunrise has the Brahma Muhurtha, the junction point between fore-noon and after-noon gives rise to the Abhijit Muhurtha. Abhijit muhurtha starts 24 minutes before local noon time and 24 minutes thereafter. An example of how Abhijit Muhurtha operates is calculated is given as follows:
Sun rise (estimated time) 7 AM
Sun Set (estimated time) 6PM
Duration of day time = 11 hours = 11 x 60 = 660 minutes
Duration of each Muhurtha = 660/15 = 44 minutes
Local Noon time = 7AM + 660/2 = 7AM + 5 1/2 hours = 12.30 PM
Abhijit Muhurtha = (12:30PM – 22 mts) to (12.30 PM+22 mts) = between 12.08 to 12.52 PM
Abhijit muhurtha is also used as an “Emergency Muhurtha” – some times when auspicious days are not available and events have to happen at short-notice, then this Muhurtha is usually recommended.
The period 12 minutes prior to Sunset and 12 minues after Sunset is trmed as Godhuli lagna and this period is considered to be extremely auspicious.
(a) Nakshatra Gandantham:
The last two ghatikas of Ashlesha and the first two ghatikas of Makha constitutes Nakshtra Gandantham. So also Revathi – Aswini and Jyeshta – Moola give rise to gandanthams. (Please note that 1 ghatika = 24 minutes)
(b) Thithi Gandantham:
The last two ghatikas of Panchami,Dasami, Full Moon and New Moon constitute Thithi Gandanthams.
(c) The last navamsas of Cancer, Scorpio, Leo, and Saggittarius are Rasi Gandanthams.
Nakshtra Gandanthams adversely affects the native, parents and brothers, while Rasi Gandanthams affects the family. Thithi Gandanthams affects parents.
While “Gandantham” is based on lunar ingress, “Sankranthis” are based on solar ingress. The most important of them are the ingresses of Sun into Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. The solar ingress into Cancer is termed “Dakshinayana Punyakalam” while the ingress into Capricorn is celebrated as “Makara Sankranthi”. It is said that Japa, Homa or Charity done on these days fetches merit multiplied one crore times compared to a normal day.
We have heard of various lords such as lord of grain, lord of clouds, lord of paddy crops in the reading of almanacs undertaken at the time of Ugadi. All these portfolios are allocated to these planets on the basis of solar ingress into various signs.
The planet which denotes the lord of the day on which sun enters into first point of Aries is the King of the year. The day-lord on the day of solar ingress into Taurus becomes Minister. The complete significations can be comprehended from table 2 as follows.
|Solar Ingress into sign||Solar Ingress into Star|
|Libra||Fruits & vegetables|
|Solar Ingress Into Star||Portfolio|
|Ardra||Regent of Clouds|
In Hindu philosophy, Death is also considered as an auspicious occasion when a person merges with the divine. There is an adage, “Ekadashi Maranam, Dwadashi Dahanam” (Death on Ekadashi day and cremation on Dwadashi day). This is considered highly auspicious for the welfare of the departed soul.
This is very rare but it would be beneficial to one and all if the phenomenon could be described elaborately here. According to Shastras, the corpse has to be cremated without time delay. So let us say a person departs on Monday (which has Ekadashi thithi for the full day), then it is not permitted by the Shastras to wait till Tuesday for cremation. Sometimes on a certain day Ekadashi may be there till, say, 10 AM. Assuming the person departs at 8 AM. Then the funeral rites are performed and by the time cremation starts (by say 11AM), Dwadashi thithi would be operating. This according to Shastras is highly auspicious as Ekadashi is a special day for worshiping Lord Vishnu. However it needs to be emphasized here that the time of death will depend mainly on poorva janma karma as well as merits of deeds committed in present birth.
BHAVA SANDHI AND DASA SANDHI:
The effect of a planet in Bhava Sandhi is said to be Nil. Malefics in Bhava sandhi lose their power to do evil and benefics lose the power to do good. Let us take the case of a girl in whose horoscope Mars occupies the 30th degree of Mithuna in the 7th house. Now the evil attributable to Kuja dosha stands nullified as Mars is in Bhava Sandhi.
“Dasa Sandhi” is a concept peculiar to horoscope matching. If the boy’s chart shows, that he ends Rahu dasa and commences Jupiter dasa in august 2009, and the girl’s chart shows a changeover from Sun dasa to Moon dasa in September 2009, then the two charts should not be matched. Between a boy’s chart and girl’s chart these dasa sandhis should not occur for both of them within a six-month interval. This is to ensure that simultaneously both do not run into adversities since it can also prove fatal. This example is intended to show that the period when a particular dasha ends and another commences is also a crucial junction. There are certain Homas like “ Rahu-Brihaspathi” Homam to ward off the evil due to Dasa sandhi – the abovementioned Homam is done at the fag end of Rahu dasa.
Among astrologers, there are many who have strong reservations about recommending girls born in Moola Nakshatra. As discussed earlier, the taboo associated with Moola nakshatra is mainly due to the “Gandantha” concept. The former Pontiff of Kanchi Mutt, fondly called as Paramacharya has exhorted all astrologers not to perpetrate this taboo because it was leading to a situation where lots of girls born in Ashlesha, Moola, Jyeshta and Visaka stars were remaining unmarried giving anxious moments to parents. The evil yoga called “Gandantham” stands nullified if Moon is in its own varga, in friendly sign or in conjunction with benefics or aspected by benefics. Without assessing the various factors influencing the Moon, lots of doomsday predictions are being issued by Astrologers in a superficial manner and this was the reason for the Paramacharya’s advice to all astrologers in general.Further the taboo associated with “ Moola “ merely takes into account the asterism occupied by the moon and ignores the strength of the chart as a whole which is based on the positions of all the Nine planets.