In this edition we will look into the various aspects of an “auspicious star” in the zodiac, Vishaka which falls partly in Thula and partly in Vrischika. This means Rasi sign-dispositors could be either Venus or Mars. In navamsa, the four padas of Vishaka could fall in Aries, Taurus, Gemini or Virgo and hence the navamsa dispositors would be Mars, Venus, Mercury or Moon. This helps us to draw a few inferences. The connection to Mars and Venus is very strong for Vishaka star. Even a person who is born in 4thpada of Vishaka need not be concerned about debilitation as Moon is strong in navamsa. The link with Mercury is possible only when a person is born in the 3rdpada of Vishaka. While textbooks in general speak about the characteristics of a person born in a particular star, our objective would be to analyse specific traits which follow a person while being born in a particular pada.
The general qualities of a Vishaka star as follows; wealthy, one who is interested in rituals, one who is concerned with self-respect, famous and proud. A person born in Vishaka star easily overcomes enemies. According to Varahamira, a person born in Vishaka -1 would be interested in pursuit of Dharma, one born in 2ndpada follows the verdict of scriptures, one born in Vishaka- 3 is eloquent ,while one born in the last pada is blessed with longevity (vide Brihat Samhita).

According to a little known textbook on Astrology, viz. Phalasara Samuchchayam, one born in Vishaka-1 has knowledge of past, present and future and is eloquent in Vedas and Sastras. One born in Vishaka-2 is good at both praise and censure. He is rich and eloquent. One born in Vishaka–3 is good at law and at once he is a leader or a minister. One born in Vishaka-4 follows Dharma, is handsome, has a clear mind, is empathetic, is a saint and is the best among intellectuals.

Vishakam as a star has a special connotation for devotees of lord Subrahmanya, whose birthday falls on “Vaikasi Vishakam”.“Vaikasi” in Tamil means the solar month “Rishaba’’ (mid May-mid June). This day falls on a full Moon day. Not only in India but also in foreign countries this day is celebrated with gaiety. This is a day of great importance in temples like the Thendayuthapani Temple in Singapore and Batu Caves Temple in Malaysia. In both Malaysia and Singapore, a sizable section of the population are Muruga devotees.
Kritika and Vishaka are two stars which are associated withLord Subrahmanya. Vishaka and Kritika, belong to a category of stars termed “Mishra” or “Sadhana Stars”. These two stars are useful only for events of minor importance. Anything trivial, unimportant, routine or insignificant can be done in Vishaka star. Anything that is capable of being done in an “Ugra” star can equally be done in “Sadhana Star.Just for the sake of reiteration, let me remind you that the “Ugra” stars are Bharani, Makha, Purvapalghuni, Purvashada and Poorvabhadrapada. These “Ugra” Stars favour any activity that requires recklessness, courage and needs intense ferocious action. For example, rescue of hostage by a commando operation can be done in Ugra star. By our earlier argument, the same can be done in a “Mishra” star –one of which is Vishaka, other being Kritika.

Vishaka is an “Adhomukha” nakshatra meaning “downward looking star”. An activity such as digging wells, laying sewage lines, construction of tunnels, going on submarines, drilling for oil, conducting geological survey, laying foundations for building and excavation of earth for archeological survey can all be done in Vishaka star. For consumption of fresh grains or making first use of fruits an auspicious star is needed. According to Kalaprakasika, Vishaka is a suitable and favourable star, though this view is not uniformly supported by other authors.

Ploughing is an important activity in agriculture. The first time a land is ploughed has a significant bearing on the harvest. Two views are possible. One school of scholars opine that Vishaka is not a favourable star, for this purpose while Muhurtha Chintamani and others say that Vishaka is auspicious for this activity.

The best stars for ploughing are Rohini, Punarvasu, Pushya Hasta, Uttaraphalguni, Uttarashada Uttarabhadrapada and Moola. As can be seen from this list, Vishaka is not considered an ideal star for ploughing. Muhurtha Chintamani gives a list of stars, which are middling and fit to be considered for this purpose. Ashwini, Mrgashirsha, Makha, Chitra, Swati, Vishaka, Sravana, Dhanishta and Sadabhishek are suitable for ploughing. Vishaka figures in this list, as can be seen from the abovementioned group of stars. The inference we can possibly draw is that Vishaka may not be an ideal star for ploughing but in case of urgent necessity can be considered for this purpose. For sowing seeds and planting which is the next task to be undertaken after ploughing, Vishaka is an ideal star.

Textbooks on Astrology divide business activity into two broad categories viz. buying and selling. When a transaction happens, there is a buyer and seller. Certain stars are auspicious for buying and certain others for selling. The paradox is that there is no star which is auspicious for both buying and selling. Obviously when a transaction happens, either the buyer gains or the seller gains.I will explain this with an analogy from stock market. Let us assume a share is sold on a particular Monday. On Tuesday, the share can either go up or gone down. If the share price goes up, the buyer gains and if it goes down the seller is the winner, having received a bigger profit on Monday, then what he would have gained on Tuesday.

Let us take a look at the two groups.

BUYING: Ashwini, Chitra, Swati, Sravana, Sadabhishek, and Revati.
SELLING: Bharani, Kritika, Ashlesha, Vishaka, Poorvaphalguni, Purvashada and Purvabhadrapada.

As we can infer from this list, Vishaka is favourable for selling. There is a perception in Tamilnadu that Bharani and Kritikaare inauspicious for all activities. But is it true ? It all depends upon whether you are trying to buy or sell a share or a commodity, Vishaka is auspicious and so is Bharani or Kritika. But if you are planning to buy, then these stars are inauspicious. So, the inference is that per se, stars cannot be good or bad but depending upon the nature of activity, they become auspicious or inauspicious.

Borrowing is an important activity for a business but the same can be dangerous if the debts remain unpaid while interest commitments start mounting. Hasta star and weekday of the Sun are strictly prohibited for contracting debts. Vishaka is a favourable star to borrow and so also are Ashwini, Mrgashirsha, Punarvasu, Pushya, Chitra, Swati, Anuradha, Sravana, Dhanishta, Sadabhishek and Revati. However, things lent on Vishaka tend not to return, You can see the immediate contradiction between the aforesaid rules. On Vishaka, the lender starts to lose while the borrower starts to gain. If both lender as well as borrower go by the rules of astrology, the business of borrowing will never get transacted!

When a loan is repaid, the first instalment of the loan can be repaid in Vishaka Star. Other stars similarly beneficial are Ashwini, Punarvasu, Pushya, Swati and Sadabhishek. Vishaka is a favourable star for adoption of children. The chowla or tonsure ceremony if undertaken in Vishaka would entail loss of money. I would expand this concept here to say that, one might suffer pecuniary loss by opting for shaving or hair cutting on a day ruled by Vishaka star. One gets mental happiness by wearing new dress on Vishaka star.

Vishaka is basically an inauspicious star. Criminal activities are favoured in this star. This is not a licence to steal or kill. What it means is that one should be doubly careful when this star operates since it favors the thief more than the house owner. Vessels can be used for the first time on Vishaka star. Archery is an event in Olympics and other contests such as Asian games. This sport is there since time immemorial. We know Rama and Arjuna is capable archers. To learn archery, Vishaka is favourable, while the same is true for Dhanishta, Anuradha and Jyeshta. Hunting is an activity is wholly opposed to Ahimsa. Nevertheless, Kings in ancient times used to go for hunting. Vishaka is a favourable star for hunting.

In markets in ancient times, one comes across fairs for selling cattle, horses and other animals. Vishaka is a star that favours both buying and selling of cattle. For this purpose, villagers used to take their cattle from the village to the place where they are sold. For movement of cattle, Vishaka is a favourable star. Similarly purchase or sale of donkeys, camels or mules are favoured by Vishaka star. When a person is sick, the physician will usually suggest that the patient should avoid taking bath. Once the patient is normal, he starts taking bath. The first time one bathes after an illness is significant as this is what conduces to his well-being. Vishaka is a good day to bathe after an illness. When a person falls sick in Vishaka star, the illness lasts for 25 nights. This view is sought to be contradicted by the learned author of Muhurtha Chintamani. where he says that the illness lasts for 11 days only.

Agnihotra is a fire ritual performed by Vedic pundits Such people who do Agnihotra are known as Agnihotris. I remember reading a newspaper article during the Bhopal gas tragedy in 1984, that a person who was doing Agnihotra was unaffected by the gas leak in which thousands lost their lives. Vishaka is a favourable star to commence Agnihotra.
Vishaka is an inauspicious day to go on travel. One should not return home after a journey in Vishaka star. If he does so, then it brings harm to one’s wife. To commence driving a vehicle Vishaka is moderately good.

Certain padas of nakshatras are supposed to be unfavourable in day time. This yoga is called “Dina Mrtyu” yoga.When Moon occupies the 2ndpada of Vishaka in daytime the “Dina Mrtyu Yoga”operates. As the name suggests this is a highly unfavourable yoga.
Let us assume the Thithi as Dwithiya, Saptami or Dwadashi. If that weekday is Sunday, Thursday or Saturday and the ruling asterism is Kritika, Punarvasu, Uttaraphalguni, Vishaka. Uttarashada or Poorvabhadrapada, then the event will get repeated thrice. So, on such days it is necessary to indulge only in good matters, so that repetition only augurs well for the future.This Yoga is called “ Tripushkar “ Yoga.