Lesson prepared by Anshu Sood: Ansumalee Sood is an engineer and an ardent exponent of Vedic Astrology. He has authored a number of articles in Jyotish and is known for his expertise in estimating stock market turns. He is a regular at the Sunday classes at SJC, New Delhi (Guru: Sanjay Rath)
Medical Astrology is but one of the branches of the divine science Jyotisha, that has perhaps tremendous practical utility in our lives. The actual disease and its diagnosis requires a lot of research involving the medical and astrological experts since it encompasses a very vast and intricate area. Vedic Astrology has an extremely rich methodology that can be employed to decipher the occurence of events, disease in the present context, as well as their timing, very accurately. In order to do so it is essential to understand and appreciate astrological genesis of disease.
Texts on ancient Indian medicine contain certain references to planetary combinations causing specific diseases. These combinations are, however, too general to be of any great help in medical diagnosis. Nevertheless the revelation of certain principles therefrom can certainly be made use of. Similarly, astrological texts are replete with planetary combinations indicating specific ailments. These combinations are also fairly generalised and do not easily lend themselves for application to individual charts. They can be of some utility only if the essence of their underlying principles is understood. Vedic astrology is unique in another respect. It advocates remedial measures in the form of propitiation of planets in the event of an untoward planetary combination.
The term Medical Astrology at once brings to one’s mind two points:
- The occurrence of disease, or the disturbance of ones ease.
- The role of Astrology as applied to disease.
Health as defined by the World Health Organisation is a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely an absence of illness. In the present times of awareness perhaps the inclusion of spiritual well being into the list is warranted to be a part of the definition of health. As per the ancient classic of ancient Indian system of medicine, Charaka Samhita, the mind and the body are the abodes of disease. For our purpose this definition will suffice and therefore our consideration of disease would include physical and mental disease only.
There is a lot of ancient literature available separately on astrology and medicine. However on medical astrology the literature is indeed scanty. The present day medical astrology remains deficient in many ways. The primary underlying cause remains that the astrologers are generally not trained in medicine and the best of them do not have enough understanding of the functioning of the human body. On the other side it is rare to spot the combination of a medical person being an astrologer too. Till recently members of the medical fraternity had not shown much inclination towards astrology, though there is a definite perceptive and refreshing change of late. In order that there is sound research in medical astrology it is indeed essential that medical men/women take up the study of astrology in right earnest. The handling of this vital area by non-medical persons may not lead to the desired outcome.
Yet another impediment for the modern day medical man, particularly qualified in the modern allopathic system of medicine, is the variance in the understanding of disease according to allopathy vis-a-vis the classical Indian system known as the Ayurveda. The classical texts use only the standard Ayurvedic terminology those do not lend themselves to translation into the modern allopathic system. Therefore the task of undertaking appropriate research in medical astrology may prove a non-starter unless the scope of medicine is broadened to include Ayurveda and Homeopathy also. In fact good progress has been made using astrology and homeopathy in Germany and Switzerland. Any tall claims made by non-medical astrologers in this connection would leave the divine science of astrology vulnerable to ridicule.
A medical astrologer may consider the following factors while studying a chart with respect to disease:
- Timing of disease.
- Treatment and remedy.
The above factors are equally important to the medical astrologer as well as to the doctor and the patient. Each may be briefly discussed, and the role of the astrologer versus that of the medical man outlined as follows:
Timing (Onset) of disease
This is the strong area of an astrologer. A sound astrologer, on examining a horoscope, should be able to indicate the time when a person is liable to fall ill. This may help in taking some preventive steps, especially the astrological remedial measures, to forestall the malady. For a medical man, it is not possible to predict a future illness. There are certain diseases that run in families and may be expected to occur in some of the blood relations of the native. On whom amongst the relatives the suffering may befall and when cannot be predicted with any degree of accuracy on the basis of the existing medical knowledge.
Diagnosis (or the nature) of disease
This is a weak area for the astrologer. To be sound in this will require a lot of research by medical men proficient in astrology. Diagnosis of a disease is the strongest area of the medical man, with all the sophisticated investigations at his disposal to help him in this regard.
Severity (and Outcome) of disease
A patient or a consultor is, naturally, concerned about the severity of an ailment and its outcome. Generally, a medical practitioner of today, with his sound knowledge, will be able to accurately decipher the possible course that an ailment may take in a given patient. An astute astrologer, too, should be able to indicate the severity and the outcome of an illness with a fair amount of accuracy, sometimes perhaps better than the medical practitioner.
There is no doubt that medical remedies of today are far superior to and more reliable than any astrological remedies. Astrology can, however, help in two ways. Firstly, when adverse planetary influences indicate the occurrence of an ailment at a future date, and medical science understandably has no clue about it, resorting to propitiation of planets as a remedial astrological measure may be undertaken. Secondly, astrology can sometimes indicate whether or not surgical intervention is going to help, and when. In addition it is also possible that a sound astrologer may be able to point to a diseased organ or region when the medical man is finding it difficult to locate the site of illness; without doubt this happens frequently.
It is but obvious that the area clearly offers many challenging opportunities for research. Following this it is earnestly hoped that medical astrology someday, perhaps sooner rather than later, would be of great help to the medical profession and therefore to the populace at large. Further delving into the area of medicine is precluded from the scope of the present paper. I would however very much like to present a brief glimpse into the astrological side.
Astrologically, disease may be classified into the following two categories: –
1. Nija or due to self.
2. Agantuka or acquired. Would include inherited.
This type of disease can again be classified into two broad areas. First the physical type, namely relating to the physical body or the shareera. The eighth house and the eighth lord of the natal horoscope govern these. Second are the diseases effecting the mind or the chitta. These fall under the purview of the fifth house and lord, Moon and the eighth house and lord of the natal chart.
type of disease can also be categorised further into two broad areas. First the drishta, or that which is visible and due to known causes. The sixth house and lord and the shadripu are responsible here. Next is the adrishta, or the invisible and ostensibly caused due to unknown reasons. Problems related to evil spirits and like would also fall here. The badhak house and lord take charge here.
Systems of the Body
The main systems in the human body are governed by the planets as under:
No. PLANET SYSTEM
1. Sun Skeletal (Bone)
2. Moon Circulation
3. Mars Muscular
4. Mercury Nervous system (& Skin)
5. Jupiter Digestive
6. Venus Reproductive
7. Saturn Excretory
Problems in any particular system in the human body are likely to be caused by the planet inimical to the ruler of that system. The effect of Saturn, for instance, is virtually non-existent at birth and progressively goes on increasing with age. As a result any bone injury in early years tends to heal immediately while a similar injury in old age may prove stubborn and not heal at all sometimes. Jupiter is the naisargika karaka for growth. Cancer is unchecked growth of toxic cells in the human body. It is indicative of Jupiter having become malefic and having withdrawn its benign protection. Let there be no ambiguity, problems/disease are caused as a result of the atma having become agitated and desiring to leave the body. Further detailing of disease, its causes and remedies may form the subject matter of an entire book and is therefore beyond the scope of the present paper. Readers desirous of more expansive study on the subject are referred to the Medical Astrology books by Dr.K.S. Charak.
According to Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, there are three basic humours that need to be in balance for the maintenance of health. Any imbalance in these three humours leads to bodily illness. The technical terms for the three are Vaata, Pitta and Kapha. The closest but inadequate translation would be wind, bile and phlegm respectively. Accordingly the Vaata element produces ‘windy’ complaints, neurological disorders, joint pains etc. The Pitta is concerned with ‘heat’, inflammations, fever, liver and gall bladder problems etc. The Kapha element concerns with most of respiratory ailments, colds, asthma etc.
Any mental level disease caused due to any one of the three humours can be cured with relative ease. On the other hand such a mental disease resulting out of a combination of two or more of the three humours cannot be addressed that easily and is known as sannipatta.
Koluka (Special Shastamsa)
Koluka is a very important subdivision of the rashi. Each rashi comprises six kolukas of 5o each. Kolukas are associated with the drekkana, i.e each drekkana has two kolukas. The effect of the planets causing disease is relative to the drekkana/koluka they are are posited in. Planets in the first drekkana effect the upper part of the body, mainly above the neck, while those in the second drekkana effect the middle part of the body also known as the trunk and lastly the ones in the third drekkana effect the lower parts of the body. The key here is that planet in the first koluka in any drekkana effect the interior working of the concerned body part while a planet posited in the second koluka of any drekkana effects the corresponding external organ. A typical example would be a planet in the first koluka of the first drekkan will have an effect on the brain internally while the same planet posited in the second koluka of the first drekkana will manifest its effect externally, maybe on the skin of the skull or the hair etc.
Chart A: Female born on 8 March 1921, 3 PM, New Delhi, India
Chart A (Cancer ascendant) belongs to a lady having a clear cancellation of balarishta, note day birth and waning Moon. Further take note of the 3 retrograde planets namely Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury holding out an adverse for health. Jupiter and Saturn are the 6th and 8th lords respectively, afflicting the ascendant lord Moon, Sun and Mercury. Amongst others Moon signifies anemia and Sun signifies stomach ailments.
An extremely serious illness developed during Vimshottari mahadasha of Saturn and antardasha of Jupiter. The illness started in the pratyantar of Jupiter and peaked in the pratyantar of Saturn and gradually disappeared in the pratyantar of Mercury. The stomach ceased manufacturing vitamin B12 during this period, resulting in an extremely severe anemia, with a dangerously low count of red blood cells. Due to below-par medical treatment, the nature of the illness was not detected/treated in a timely fashion, resulting in extreme weakness and inability to eat and continuous vomiting, forcing this lady to keep to her bed for months. The lady also suffers from chronic sleep disorders. Note that Jupiter is the 9th Lord ruling sleep.
Chart B – Female born on 31st May 1957; 1: 16’ PM, New Delhi.
Venus signifies amongst others endocrine and hormonal disorders, reproductive organs etc. Note also the Taurus-Scorpio axis, representing the same theme. Ketu and Mars indicate surgical intervention. Venus also stands for part of the pancreas; Mercury signifies the throat while Ketu can bring viral/infective diseases and poisoning.
The lady has suffered from a hyperactive thyroid on an on going basis. During the Vimshottari dasha of Saturn Mercury Venus she was hospitalized for a 2-week period for treatment of a pancreatic infection. The apparent cause was toxic food intake leading to bacterial infection; while in the hospital, she was, on the spur of the moment, also subjected to a radio-active iodine treatment to remove part of the thyroid on a permanent basis, a form of surgical intervention.
Later during the Vimshottari dasha of Saturn, Rahu antar, Mercury pratyantar, she was operated upon for an ablation of the endometrium [lining] of the uterus was determined to be too thick. Note that at the time of the surgery, the Narayan dasha running was that of Taurus main period having A7 (Darapada), Venus and Sun in it, aspected by Capricorn having A8 (Mrityupada), opposite Saturn and in kendra to Jupiter. The sub-period was that of Capricorn having A8 in it, being aspected by Saturn, Venus, Sun and Jupiter.