Controversy of the Yugas and the Zodiac
Astrology like any other field of science is a field of research. Different astrologers use different settings and techniques based on what works best for them. After several years of research my teacher Ernst Wilhelm has arrived at the Dhruva Galactic, middle of Mula ayanamsa which uses tropical rasis and sidereal nakshatras. I have tested the same settings over a long period of time and found it very reliable. So I use these settings too. You can learn more about this on his webpage Ayanamsa and Rasis. In addition, I recommend you and any other interested astrologers researching the ayanamsa watch the below video where the speaker eloquently explains Sri Yukteshwar Giri Maharaj’s Yuga theory and arrive at a rational conclusion.
Many times our prejudice or our neurological wiring can cause confusion in our minds leading us to misinterpret information but what will not lie is statistics. There are people and astrologers out there who still believe we live in the Kali yuga (dark age) of consciousness. In the aforementioned video the speaker has presented arguments on spiritual and theological level using Sri Yukteshwar’s Yuga theory to convince people that their notion about the Yugas is wrong. In the next section I will also present the scientific side of the argument to bolster the same fact. I encourage you to watch the next video and be prepared to be mesmerized at the information cause it will surely make you question your approach to ayanamsa and the yugas. In conclusion, it takes an optimist and rationalist to look at the same glass of half-filled water and arrive at the conclusion that it is at least half-filled while a pessimist looks at the same and convinces himself and people around him that the glass is not completely filled with water.
Why middle of Mula nakshatra?
The galactic center is in the middle of mula nakshatra and it is very important we take this as the point because it is 180 degrees opposite ardra nakshatra. All the Indian classical books mention the importance of sun’s ingress to ardra nakshatra and for more theoretical information related to this, refer to this link Ayanamsa and Rasis. But in this section I will try to elaborate a little more on why specifically Mula nakshatra is chosen among the 27 available nakshatras. Mula literally means roots and this nakshatra is ruled by Ketu. Ketu is related to bacteria, the first form of life or the unit cell that originated on the planet. A root is the basis of a plant and it is the place where all the nutrients enter the plant from the soil leading to the growth of the plant. Similarly all creation has originated from the Mula nakshatra. I did a little bit of more digging on the mantras given in the classics and one shloka that is of relevance to this topic is the Aswtha Vryksha or Banyan tree (shloka). Like the sacred lotus flower , the banyan tree is extremely sacred in Sanathana dharma philosophy. In the shloka there is mention of Varuna who is the God of the cosmic ocean and one who is responsible for placing all the Nakshatras in the sky. Then there is also mention of the fact that all three vedas – Rig, Yajur and Sama have their roots in the Banyan tree. Click here for more information on significance of the banyan tree.
The Banyan is famous for housing the Rahu and Ketu along with Lord Ganesha idols in the temples of South India. It is very clear from astrology that Rahu and Ketu represent the serpent of time and Lord Ganesha – the Universe itself. The banyan tree in my opinion represents the tree of life . It is a symbolic of creation. Co-incidentally woman who are deprived of children are advised to go many rounds like 108 everyday to improve their chances of bearing a child by chanting the shloka along with ingesting a medicinal preparation from the tree. Again pointing at creation of life. Pay attention to just the first mantra of the shloka. It states the first word Moola/Mula (root) of the tree represents Brahma, the Creator. The middle portion of the tree represents Vishnu. The top portion of the tree represents Shiva. It is clearly stated in the scriptures that – Brahma was born from the navel of Maha Vishnu. Navel is the middle portion of the body. Creation although started at the root (Mula) beginning of the nakshatra, it only did sustain (Vishnu) until the Vishnu force was prevalent. So in this regard it sort of makes a lot of sense when we use the perspective of Banyan as tree of life, that middle of mula is the right placement. At least I am convinced that Mula is the right nakshatra to place the Galactic Center (GC). It then just comes down to which works best middle of mula or the beginning of mula.
Beginning of Mula is also a strong candidate for this placement of GC attributed to the fact that a tree grows from the root at the beginning but it cannot start it’s growth from the middle. However if we take the concept of Yajurveda which states that – “Yatha pinde tatha brahmande, yatha brahmande tatha pinde” which means that “As is the atom, so is the Universe” then whatever applies to the universe also has to work on the atomic level and organism scale. The nucleus of an atom is also at the middle and is the focal point of everything inside an atom. The navel of an human being and mammals (organism) is at the middle and it is the navel that connects the fetus to growth. As a baby develops inside the mother, he or she floats in fluid inside the mother’s womb. While the baby is in there, he or she can’t breathe air or eat food. That’s where the umbilical cord comes in. The umbilical cord is a flexible tube that carries oxygen and nutrients from the mother to the baby. It also carries wastes away from the baby back to the mother, so she can get rid of them. A person’s belly button marks the spot where their umbilical cord was once attached.
Taking all these factors into consideration middle of Mula nakshatra seems to be a very strong contender to place the GC. More research needs to be done to qualify if beginning of Mula or middle of Mula works best. The best method is to qualify this research with both Vimshottari and Kalachakra dasas.
Moolatho Brahma roopaya , madhyatho Vishnu roopine,
Agratha shiva roopaya Vruksha rajaya they nama.
Aswatha sarva papani satha janma arjithanicha,
Nudhaswa mama vrakshendra , sarva aiswarya pradho bhava.
Ayurbalam yaso varcha , praja pasu vasooni cha,
Brahma prajnam cha medham cha thwam nodehi Vanaspathe.
Sathatham varuno raksheth thwamarad vrushtirasrayedh,
Parithasthwam nishevantham thrunani sukhamasthu they.
Akshi spandham bhujaspandham duswapnam dhurvichinthanam,
Sathroonam cha samuthanam hyaswastha samaya Prabho.
Aswathaya varenyaya sarva aiswarya pradhayine,
Namo duswapna nasaya , suswapna phala dhayine.
Yaam drushtwa muchythe rogai,
Sprushtwa papapai pramuchyathe,
Yad ashrayath chiran jeevi,
Tham Aswatham namamyaham.
Aswatha sumaha bhaga , subhaga , Priya darsana,
Ishta kamam cha may dehi shatrubhyascha parabhavam.
Aayu prajam dhanam dhanyam soubhagyam sarva sampadam,
Dehi deva maha Vruksha , thwam aham saranam gatha.
Rig yaju sama manthrathma, sarva roopi, parathpara,
Aswatho veda moolo asou rishibhi prochyathe sada.
Brahmaha guruha chaiva daridhro vyadhi peeditha,
Aavarthya laksha sankhyam tham sthothram yedath sukhee bhavth.
Vyaktha avyaktha swaroopaya , srushti sthithyantha karine,
Adhi madhyanth soonyaya vishtarasravase nama.
Ravim rava vadharaogye,
Shivam some Shivaya cha,
Shakthim bhoume jayarthi cha,
Vanijyarthi budhe saran,
Gurou gurum cha Vidhyarthi,
Dhanarthi bhargave sriyam,
Sarva dukha vimoksharthee,
Sarvesam mandha vasare.
Sarvada sarva devam scha ,
Aswatha roopino devan,
Vruksha rajo prapoojayeth.
English translation :
My salutations to the king of trees.
Whose root is the form of Brahma,
Middle is the form of Lord Vishnu,
And top is the form of Lord Shiva.
The holy fig (banyan)tree pushes away , all sins earned,
In several hundred births, and Oh king of trees,
Please grant me all different types of wealth.
Would you not give me, Oh product of the forest.
Long life, fame, splendor , children , cattle and riches,
As also knowledge of God and intellectual wisdom.
You are always protected by Varuna as you are rain dependent,
And you do not allow any grass to grow in the shade round you.
Oh Lord Aswatha , please control pain in the eye,
Pain of hands , bad dreams , bad and evil thoughts,
And help me in destruction of my enemies.
Oh Aswatha who blesses us and grants all type of wealth,
My salutations to you , who destroys bad dreams and grants good dreams.
I salute that Aswatha ,
Seeing which diseases flee,
Touching which sins are destroyed ,
And surrendering to which ,
You get long healthy life.
Oh great Lord Aswatha, who is pretty and looks pretty,
Please fulfill all my desires and give disappointment to my enemies.
I surrender fully to you and ,
So be pleased to give , oh great tree,
Long life, sons, wealth , cereals,
Great luck all types of wealth.
Great sages go in search of Aswatha ,
As it is the soul of Rig, Yajur and Sama Vedas
And takes all forms , greater than the greatest,
And is the root of all the three Vedas.
If this prayer is repeated one hundred thousand times,
Even those cursed by Brahma or the teacher,
And those who are poor and diseased,
Would get cured of all ills and lead a pleasant life.
Salutations to the very stable one,
Who has clear and unclear forms,
Who creates , looks after and destroys,
And who does not have beginning, middle and end.
Go round on Sundays and worshiping Sun to get health,
Go round on Mondays and worshiping Shiva to get pleasant life,
Go round on Tuesdays and worshiping Parvathi ,to get victory,,
Go round on Wednesdays and worshiping devas , to get luck in business,
Go round on Thursdays and Worshiping Guru to get good knowledge,
Go round on Fridays and worshiping Goddess Lakshmi to get wealth,
Go round on Saturdays and worshiping the greatest god , to get rid of all sorrow.
Always all gods especially Saturn and the moon,
Worship the God in the form of Aswatha,
And offer prayers to this Lord of all trees.
For more useful information one may refer to this link . It explains the banyan tree’s sacredness to the Buddhists and also it’s relation to breaking the chains of life and death. Below is an excerpt from the above link :
“The Vat, Bargad or Banyan tree is one of the most venerated trees in India. It has the ability to survive and grow for centuries and is often compared to the shelter given by God to his devotees In Hindu mythology, the tree is called Kalpavriksha, the tree that provides fulfillment of wishes and other material gains. It symbolizes Trimurti – Lord Vishnu is believed to be the bark, Lord Brahma the roots, and Lord Shiva the branches
The Banyan tree is mentioned in many scriptures as a tree of immortality. Its aerial roots grow down into the soil forming additional trunks and is therefore called Bahupada, the one with several feet. It symbolizes longevity and represents the divine creator, Brahma
The Banyan is associated with Yama the god of death and the tree is often planted near crematoria
Indians knew the Banyan tree as the vat-vriksha. When the British came to India, they noticed that members of the trading or Bania community used to gather under a large shady fig tree, which they named the Banyan, from Bania
The Banyan does not let a blade of grass grow under it. Thus it does not allow for rebirth and renewal. That is why it is not part of fertility ceremonies like marriage and childbirth.
In iconography, Shiva is visualized as Dakshinamurti, he who faces the south, that being the direction of death and change. He sits under the Banyan, the botanical embodiment of the universal soul, facing the terror of death and change stoically, unafraid because of his profound understanding of the world
This tree is also sacred to the Buddhists. After attaining enlightenment, Lord Buddha is believed to have sat under a Banyan tree for seven days, absorbed in his new-found realization
Medicinal value of Banyan tree
* The bark and leaf buds of the tree are useful in arresting secretion or bleeding.
* The fruit exercises a soothing effect on the skin and mucous membranes, alleviates swelling and pain, and serves as a mild purgative. It is also nutritious.
* The leaf buds of Banyan are beneficial in the treatment of chronic diarrhea and dysentery. The buds should be soaked in water’ overnight and taken as infusion in the treatment of these diseases. The latex is also useful in the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery
* A few drops of the latex of the banyan tree mixed in milk and taken daily helps cure bleeding piles. With this treatment, the diet of the patient should contain liberal quantities of green vegetables especially fenugreek and manattakkali or black nightshade leaves.
* Tender roots of Banyan are considered beneficial in the treatment of female sterility. These roots should be dried in the shade and finely powdered. This powder should be mixed 5 times its weight with milk and taken at night for three consecutive nights after menstruation cycle every month till the conception takes place. No other food should be taken with this
* A regular douching of the genital tract with a decoction of the bark of the Banyan tree and the fig tree is helpful in leucorrhoea. A tablespoon each of the powders of the bark of the two trees should be boiled in a litre of water till it is reduced to about half. Douching with the lukewarm decoction will keep the tissues of vaginal tract healthy
* Cleaning the teeth with the aerial roots of the Banyan is beneficial in preventing teeth and gum disorders. As one chews the stick and brushes, the astringent secretion from the root-stick cleanses and strengthens the teeth and gums
* The latex is commonly used locally for rheumatism, pain and lumbago
* A hot poultice of the leaves can be applied with beneficial results to abscesses to promote suppuration and to hasten their breaking. The milky juice from the fresh green leaves is useful in destroying warts. The latex is commonly used locally for sores, ulcers and bruises
* An infusion of the bark is a specific medicine for diabetes. The tender ends of the aerial roots can be taken to stop vomiting ”