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Though air travel is considered the safest mode of travel, the spate of accidents in the Far East has revived the age-old fear of flying, which some consider risky as it involves defying the law of gravity. It also gives the student of astrology, the need to assess the astrological rules for travel and see how it applies in the fast-paced world of today.Could the science of Muhurtha safeguard the lives of travelers, who entirely trust the airline companies for their safety? This and other connected issues, we will discuss in the course of this article. The Trans Asia flight GE 235 which took off from Taipei Songshan Airport at 10:53am

on 4 th February, 2015, crashed into the Keelung River shortly after takeoff killing at least 31 people on board. This was a flight scheduled to fly from Taipei to Kinmen, which is about 300 kilometers to its west. The Hindu Week Day is Wednesday, the thithi is prathama, star is Ashlesha and the Ascendant is Aries. To know the panchakam, one has to add these four, divide by 9 to get the reminder.

Day – 4 (Wednesday)
Thithi – 1 (prathama)
Star – 9 (Ashlesha)
Ascendant – 1 (Aries)
Total – 15

Dividing by 9, we get the reminder 6 which stands for Chora panchakam, a time specifically forbidden for travel.

The following table indicates activities that are forbidden in specific panchakams:

Reminder Name of Panchakam Forbidden Acitivty
1 Mrityu Marriage
2 Agni Construction
4 Raja Occupation
6 Chora Travel
8 Roga Upanayana

The Lagna lord Mars through in the 11 th is involved in an exchange of signs with Saturn, ominously placed in the 8 th . Though Moon is supposed to be well placed, while in conjunction with Jupiter in its own house, the same placement loses its beneficial quality with Moon coming under the “Sagraha Chandra Dosha“. In any muhurtha chart, the 8 th house should be vacant but unfortunately here the 8 th from Ascendant has Saturn while the 8 th from Moon has Mars.

The Dasa, Bukthi and Anthra lords happen to be Mercury, Moon and Jupiter. Mercury by occupying 7 th from Moon becomes a powerful Maraka while Moon and Jupiter prove Marakas for air travel by occupying the 4 th (2nd house from the 3 rd , house of air travel).The 10 th denotes work and benefits therein prove to be harbinger of success or successful completion of ventures. Here the 10 th lord Saturn is in the 8 th while its dire enemy, Sun occupies the 10 th with the 6 th lord Mercury.

The Hora belongs to Mars which is suitable only for war- related activities. Travel is advisable in Venus Hora but unfortunately here, even the Hora lord is inauspicious. The “Adhomukha” stars such as Moola, Ashlesha, Vishaka, etc are essentially “downward- looking stars” which favour digging of wells, laying the foundation etc and are pretty unsuitable for flying an aircraft which is intended to fly or show upward movement. Ashlesha star is prohibited for all auspicious activities.Prathama as a thithi is equally inauspicious.In olden times the schools teaching Vedas( Vedapatasalas) used to have “prathama “ as a holiday because the recitation of Vedas on that day could eventually lead to the student forgetting the mantras or finding it difficult to recall them when a religious function is in progress.

The sign Aries as Ascendant is indicative of danger to life and unsuitable for commencement of travel.Losses and destruction are caused when a person starts a westward journey when the rising sign is Aries, Leo or Sagittarius.

One should not travel on a weekday whose lord is retrograde. Here Mercury, the weekday lord is retrograde. For a successful westward journey the stars from Anuradha to Sravana are favourable while Aslesha is specifically suited for a northward journey. Here again the aircraft GE 235 was travelling westward from Taipei to Kinmen.

The concept of Nakshatra- Kaal- Shoola also worked against the muhurtha. During day time, if we divide the diurnal duration into three equal parts, then the middle part is specifically forbidden for travel in the stars, Jyeshta, Moola, Ashlesha and Ardra.

There are several factors which influence a muhurtha and there are many parameters which need to be taken into consideration. It is impossible to fulfill all the conditions. Needless to say a perfect Muhurtha in kaliyuga is a mathematical impossibility. Our rishis in their infinite wisdom advise us to choose a muhurtha which has more of merits (gunas) and less of demerits (doshas).

This principle can be explained in just two sentences:

  1. A good muhurtha is one where there are more number of gunas and fewer doshas.
  2. A bad muhurtha is one where the doshas outweigh the gunas.

The muhurtha under discussion obviously falls in the second category. But the broader discussion, which I leave it to the intelligentsia to decide is, how is Astrology going to benefit the public, when its rules are not followed by say, the railways, the airlines, the space agencies, or by the Government?Acceptance of Astrology as a science is perhaps the only way the public can benefit out of Astrological principles. So long as the validity of Astrology remains an area of skepticism, there is no way the adverse implications of evil Muhurthas could stop throwing their influence on the laymen.

The lunar ingress chart is one concluding piece of evidence foreboding inauspicious events. The lunar month commenced on 20 th January, 2015 at 21:13 hours at Taipei with Leo as Ascendant. The 3 rd lord Venus occupies a dustana, namely the 6th and is also debilitated in navamsa. At the bhava level, there is an exchange of signs between lords of 3 and 6, while the presence of Saturn in the 3 rd bhava from lagna with ketu in the 3 rd from Moon, indicating a turbulent month for air travel. The presence of ketu in 8 is a sinister indicator of mass tragedies.

The chart for Republic of China (Taiwan) is taken as midnight on 1 st January 1912. In this chart the sign Virgo rises and the chart can be analyzed using the” Inclusive Methodology’ by keeping the ascendant as Virgo and superimposing the planets on muhurtha day on this chart. On the day of tragedy, Mars was in Aquarius and Saturn in Scorpio. With Virgo as ascendant, this implies an interchange between lords of 3 and 6, a sure indication of an aerial disaster.

The Muhurtha chart for the ill-fated chart when read in conjunction with the lunar chart and the Republic day chart gives enough evidence to conclude that an adverse destiny played a key role in the unfurling of the tragic event.

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