Astrology

Perils of a Wrong Muhurta A Case Study By Shanmukha, India

Shanmukha Img

Shanmukha, a graduate in Electronics and Communication Engineering, works in a Scientific organization of Indian Govt. He started his study of Astrology when he was 22 years old and though not traditionally trained; he is very fond of the wonderful system of Jaimini and learns it from his Guru Sri Iranganti Rangacharya. He is now working on ancient commentaries on Jaimini and writes some of his musings on Jaimini system at his personal blog http://sutramritam.blogspot.com

his write-up is reverentially dedicated to my father Sri T. Nooka Raju, for giving me the idea to write this. A brief introduction about him is given below, which is the background story that triggered this write-up.

  1. Introduction

My father is an Ayurvedic RMP (Registered Medical Practitioner), yet practices Allopathic system for his livelihood. Though he was not trained in Astrology, he was attracted to the science since his childhood, while he was learning Ayurveda from his Guru in traditional Gurukula system, where he used to live in his Guru’s house, doing daily chores in the house. His Guru was a traditional Vaidya Vidvan and initiated my father into daily Puja, Bhagavadgita etc, which my father follows till the date. My father does the Gita Parayana Yagna and gives the discourses on Gita during Karthika month and conducts Gita Jayanti celebrations every year for the last three decades.

As he is a medical practitioner in a village, he visits the villages nearby and does his practice, so he gets the chance to mingle with various kinds of people, which enriched his knowledge. Though my father is not highly educated, but learnt various systems like mantras for snake bites, preparing Talismans from the Sanyasis roaming in our native villages out of his interest. Similarly he learnt fixing Muhurtas based on his interaction with Pandits in our village.

When I told my father that I was learning astrology, he encouraged me and at the same time cautioned me by telling an incident in his life. As my father is a well known person in our village, people come to cross check the Muhurta, even though they would have already gotten it fixed by a competent Pandit. Sometimes, poor people directly come to him and request for a Muhurta. Once, a known person came to him and asked for a Muhurta, he fixed it by looking at the Panchanga. After sometime he realized that it was a wrong Muhurta given in the Panchanga, which he missed to cross-check. My father explains that after that incident, he faced a lot of problems in his life. He says that he was running bad times like Sade-sathi etc. of course. From that day, he developed the habit of cross-checking every Muhurtha he came across in the wedding invitations he receives. So, he cautioned me “Fixing Muhurta is not an easy task; it’s like changing one’s fate from that moment, so the Astrologer needs to take extra caution while doing so.” Henceforth, even I learnt Muhurta part; I never tried to fix Muhurta for I fear I am not very competent to do that.

Recently, when I visited my village, my father drew a chart before me and asked me “What are the faults in this Muhurtha?” I explained the faults in that Muhurta based on my knowledge. Then, he told me that this was a Muhurtha given in a popular Panchanga (Almanac) in our region and explained that bridegroom died in an accident four days after his marriage conducted in the above cited Muhurtha. My father complained that he found not much strength, which is essential for the important ceremonies like marriage. This article contains two such Muhurthas from his observations which proved detrimental for the respective lives of the couple.

It is not the intention of this write up to attribute the mishap solely to the defects of the Muhurta, but to highlight the importance of selecting good Muhurta, lest the bad Yogas in the birth chart will trigger the disaster.

Basic Rules in fixing Marriage Muhurta[1]:

Any Muhurta shall be free of Ekavimshati (21) Mahadoshas. Kalidasa explains that a Muhurta sullied with any of these 21 Mahadoshas shall be rejected as it is fatal even if good placements of planets in Vargottama, exalted, or own house etc.

तल्लग्नं च शुभैस्त्रिभिर्युतमपि स्वोच्चस्थितैस्स्वालय[2]

स्वांशस्थैर्यदि मित्रगैर्गुणसतैर्लग्नं च पंचेष्टिकम्।

क्रूरेषु त्रिभवारिगेषु यदि वा वर्गोत्तमांशान्वितं

लग्नं दोषविदूषितं यदि तदा मृत्युप्रदं स्यात्तयोः॥

tallagnaṁ ca śubhaistribhiryutamapi svoccasthitaissvālaya

svāṁśasthairyadi mitragairguṇasatairlagnaṁ ca paṁceṣṭikam |

krūreṣu tribhavārigeṣu yadi vā vargottamāṁśānvitaṁ

lagnaṁ doṣavidūṣitaṁ yadi tadā mṛtyupradaṁ syāttayoḥ ||

Readers can refer to any standard book[3] on Muhurta for the explanation of these 21 Mahadoshas. As name suggests, any muhurta possesses any of these doshas is strictly prohibited. 8th house from any Lagna is the place of obstacles and hence this place must be free from any malefic association. It is strongly suggested by the classics that 8th house must be free from occupation of any planet (malefic or benefic) for any auspicious ceremonies. Benefic planets in 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th, 10th and 11th is recommended. But Moon in Ascendant is strictly prohibited for any auspicious occasion. Natural malefic planets in 3rd, 6th and 11th increase the strength of Muhurta. 7th house also needs to be free from placement of any planet (जामित्र शुद्धिःjāmitra śuddhiḥ)

We give below some very basic rules in selecting a good muhurta for marriage. The readers are cautioned that this list is not exhaustive.

  • Month of Marriage:

Lunar Vaisakha, Jyeshta, Maagha and Phalguna months are best for marriage. Karthika and Margasira months are medium and the rest are bad for the marriage.

वैशाखः फल्गुणो माघो ज्येष्ठश्चैते शुभप्रदाः[4]

मासौद्वहने मार्गोमध्यो अन्येत्वशुभामताः॥

vaiśākhaḥ phalguṇo māgho jyeṣṭhaścaite śubhapradāḥ|

māsaudvahane mārgomadhyo anyetvaśubhāmatāḥ||

  • Nakshatra of Marriage:

The following Nakshatras without Vedha are suitable for marriage.
Mrigasira, Hasta, Moola, Anuradha, Magha, Rohini, Revati, Uttara, Uttarashadha, Uttrabhadra, Swati.

  • Tithi of Marriage:

Rikta tithis like Chaturthi, Navami, Chaturdasi and Amavasya are not recommended and rest are suitable. Ashtami and Shashti are also not suitable according to some savants. Sukla Pratipat, Chaturthi, Ashtami, Navami, Chaturdasi, Krishna Chaturthi, Ashtami, Navami, Shashti, Dwadasi, Trayodasi, Chaturdasi and Amavasya are not suitable for marriage.

  • Weekday of Marriage:

All weekdays except Sunday, Saturday and Tuesday are suitable. According to some experts Monday results in second marriage, which was accepted as suitable for second marriage by Kalidasa. There was a karika which allows Muhurtas during night time of Sunday, Saturday and Tuesdays. Yet, it will be wise to adhere to the most accepted norms while selecting Muhurta for important ceremonies like marriage.

न वारदोशाः प्रभवन्ति रात्रौ विशेषतोऽर्कावनिभूशनीनाम्

na vāradośāḥ prabhavanti rātrau viśeṣato’rkāvanibhūśanīnām

  • Ascendant of Marriage:

The following table gives the results of marriage various Ascendants. If lord of Asc. or the Jupiter aspects the Asc., this evil will be mitigated.

दारिद्र्यं बधिरतनौ दिवांधलग्ने व्वैधव्यं शिशुमरणं निशांधलग्ने।

पंग्वंगे निखिलधनाविनाशमीयुः सर्वत्राधिप गुरुदृष्टिभिर्नदोषः॥

dāridryaṁ badhiratanau divāṁdhalagne vvaidhavyaṁ śiśumaraṇaṁ niśāṁdhalagne |

paṁgvaṁge nikhiladhanāvināśamīyuḥ sarvatrādhipa gurudṛṣṭibhirnadoṣaḥ ||

chart 229
  • Navamsa of Marriage:

Sagittarius, Libra, Virgo, Pisces and Gemini Navamsa of any Ascendant are suitable for marriage. Pisces is prohibited by some savants. The last Navamsa of any Ascendant is prohibited except if the Navamsa is Vargottama.


Exception: If Moon is in Capricorn or Libra, the Movable Asc. and Movable Navamsa are prohibited even though Vargottama.

Bad Position of Planets at Marriage:

  • Saturn in 12th, Mars in 10th, Venus in 3rd, Moon or any malefic in Ascendant are bad for marriage Muhurta.
  • Any one of Lord of Muhurta Lagna, Venus, Moon in 6th is bad.
  • Similarly, the Moon, Lord of Lagna, Mars and any benefic in 8th is bad.
  • Any planet in 7th is also bad
  • Good placements for the planets:
  • Sun, Ketu, Rahu, and Saturn in 3rd, 11th, 8th and 6th.
  • Mars in 3rd, 11th and 6th
  • Moon in 2nd, 3rd, 11th
  • Mercury, Jupiter except in 7th, 8th, 12th
  • Venus except in 8th, 3rd, 7th, 6th, 12th
  • Specific Bad Placements:
  • Saturn or Sun in Ascendant.
  • Moon in Ascendant, 6th, 8th
  • Mars in Ascendant, 8th
  • Mercury, Jupiter in 8th
  • Sun and Rahu combined in Asc.
  • Venus in 6th or 8th
  • Any planet in 7th.
  1. Case Studies:
  • Case 1:

This is the first case observed by my father. The wedding invitation was given to my father on the night of 6th April 2004, just a day before the marriage. As a habit my father checked the Muhurta in the Almanac (Panchanga) and found there is a major fault in the Muhurta. Since, it was just a day before, he couldn’t do much to explain them. The marriage was conducted on the given Muhurta. He was so scared about the Muhurta and the bridegroom resides in the same village my father practices his medical practice, he quite often visits them and inquires about his life, without telling him about his apprehensions. But, fate is so cruel that this Bridegroom died in a very peculiar manner. My father narrates the incident below.

In the village, there is a dried open deep well in which there was a bore-well fixed for agricultural water supply. There was drizzle for two days before the incident. On the day, three members including this bridegroom were repairing the bore – well. The first person went into the well and suddenly collapsed there beside the wall. Then, our bridegroom anxiously entered and also collapsed upside down. The third person entered the well using a rope, felt breathless right in the middle and wisely came out. Then, a group of farmers tried to pull out the person inside the well by knotting the rope. As the first person collapsed and sat leaning the wall, they could rescue him by gripping rope to his hand. The second person, our bridegroom, was upside down; they couldn’t do much and couldn’t save his life. They found that Oxygen was nil in the deep well by sending a cock and side and found it dead.

As the birth data is not available, let us see what is in-store in marriage Muhurta?

Case 1: April 7th, 2004 at 07:30 Hrs, at 17N41, 83E03, IST

The Pandit fixed this Muhurta which was given in a popular Panchanga in our region. The Pandit didn’t even care to do the needed time correction, which is almost +2 minutes for the place the Panchanga was prepared. The Panchanga[1] was prepared for the year 2004-2005 by Sri Butte Virabhadra Daivagna, Srisaila Asthana Siddhanti. He uses Surya Siddhanta based calculations, whose Ayanamsa is near to Dr. Raman’s Ayanamsa. The scanned images of wedding invitation card and the Muhurta mentioned in Panchanga, which are in Telugu are also given below.

[1] It shall be noted here that the Panchanga makers use either Purva Paddhati or Drik Paddati methods in preparing their Panchangas. In Purva Paddati scheme, they apply necessary Bija Samskaras (Corrections) to comply with Observatory results and don’t apply the necessary Bija Samskara (Corrections) for Sun and Moon. That means the Tithi, Karana etc. are done from their own calculations based on various Karana Granthas, which means the longitudes of Sun and Moon can’t be justified with Observatory results. The Drik Paddati method applies all Bija Samskaras for all planet that is in accordance with the Astronomical Observatory results. The above cited Panchanga is based on Purva Paddati, which means the longitude of Moon as well as tithi etc. need not match with the software based calculations, let what ever be the Ayanamsa. Readers can read any standard work or Calander Review Committee reports for much understanding of the concept.

chart 230
  • Analysis of Muhurta Chart:

We shall not dwell into the Ekavimshati Maha Doshas in this article since it itself takes more than an article. Readers are requested to refer to any standard text on Muhurta. We shall concentrate on very basic rules that were not followed in this Muhurta.

  • First and foremost, there is no जामित्र शुद्धिः (jāmitra śuddhiḥ) for the Aries Ascendant and Libra Navamsa Muhurta as Ketu and Moon are occupied in 7th house of marriage. For a marriage muhurta, this is of utmost important factor along with Asthama Suddhi.
chart 231
  • Of late, new research scholars are advocating that benefic planets in 7th is acceptable, yet the classical literature always denies any planet in 7th which is unfortunately not followed. The following verse of Sage Vasishta explains the same.

सर्वे जामित्र संस्थाविदधति मरणम्

sarve jāmitra saṁsthāvidadhati maraṇam

This Jamitra Dosha can be mitigated when a strong benefic aspects the Ascendant. This case Jupiter placed in Vargottama aspects Aries, but he similarly had malefic aspects from Mars and Saturn.

  • Ascendant was occupied by Rahu and retrograde Mercury. According to some classical literature, Rahu, Ketu being shadow planets doesn’t have malfeasance for Muhurta, yet being malefic associating Moon proves strong malefic for this Muhurta. Mercury being associated with Rahu Ketu axis also becomes malefic & reduces the strength of Muhurta Ascendant.
  • It is a known fact that at least 5 planets shall be strong for any Muhurta by occupying the respective houses from Asc. For example, malefic in 3, 6, 11th and benefics in Kendra and trines etc. In this case, Jupiter in 5th Leo and Saturn in 3rd Gemini were strong and the remaining all planets were not anyway fortifying Ascendant.
  • Refer to exception in point 2.6 above. This case Moon in Libra and hence any Movable Ascendant or Movable Navamsa is prohibited for marriage Muhurta, which unfortunately not followed.
  • Though it is not a complete Kartari Yoga, but Mars in 2nd and Sun in 12th from Muhurta Ascendant weakens the strength of the Muhurta.
  • The Karaka for marriage Venus is conjunct with inimical Mars and also subjected to Kartari of malefic planets.
  • The 7th from Moon is also occupied by malefic planets.
    • Case 2: 5th November, 2009 at 19:03 hrs 17N41, 83E03, IST[1]

This is another case of Muhurta, where the Bridegroom died after a couple of days of marriage. This Muhurta was given in one of the famous Panchangas of Coastal Andhra Pradesh districts, published from Kakinada. It seems the almanac maker uses Ayanamsa near to Lahiri. The Pandit, who fixed the Muhurta as given in the Panchanga didn’t care to cross-check the important factors in fixing up a Muhurta. He, unfortunately, even didn’t do the necessary correction in Ascendant time required to adjust the Muhurta to the Pushkaramsa of the Lagna. As a tradition, the Muhurtas are fixed for the respective Pushkaramsa of the signs. The following table gives the Pushkaramsa for the signs.

[1] For correct Pushkaraamsa, the Asc. should be at 14˚, which needs correction in time.

Chart 232
  • Analysis of Muhurta Chart.

Let us check the important factors that were unfortunately over – looked in fixing up the Muhurta. Since, we don’t have the birth details of the couple, we can’t deduce the Longevity and compatibility factor in the charts of the couple, which is very important in marriage.

  • Moon occupies the Ascendant in Taurus. Have a look at the section 2.7 above, which prohibits Moon in Ascendant for marriage Muhurta. Moon with full digital strength is highly benefic, yet Moon in Lagna is not a welcome factor. Any other benefic like Jupiter with strength is welcome.

The following verse of Brihaspati explains Moon is not acceptable in Ascendant while explaining about Vishaghati Dosha.

चंद्रोविषघटीदोषं हंतिकेन्द्र त्रिकोणगः।

लग्नं विना शुभैर्दृष्टः केन्द्रेवा लग्नपस्तथा

caṁdroviṣaghaṭīdoṣaṁ haṁtikendra trikoṇagaḥ |

lagnaṁ vinā śubhairdṛṣṭaḥ kendrevā lagnapastathā

  • Venus in 6th is a very important Mahadosha that shall be considered for any Muhurta. There is an exception mentioned by Kashyapa vide the following.

नीचगेतु तुरीयेवा शत्रुक्षेत्रगतोपि वा।

भृगुषष्ठोद्भवो दोषोनास्तीत्यत्रन संशयः॥

nīcagetu turīyevā śatrukṣetragatopi vā |

bhṛguṣaṣṭhodbhavo doṣonāstītyatrana saṁśayaḥ ||

Venus in 6th dosha can be mitigated when Venus is debilitated or in inimical signs Cancer, Leo, and Sagittarius.

In this case, the Venus occupied his own sign, which is not tune with the exception, thus making a major Mahadosha. In fact, other savants like Kalidasa don’t approve this exception, though.

  • Lord of Ascendant (Venus) occupying 6th itself is another fault, which was unfortunately over – looked. The following verse explains the important factors to consider

व्यये शनिः खेऽवनिजस्तृतीये[1]

भृगुस्तनौचंद्रखला नशस्ताः।

लग्नेत्कविर्गौश्चरिफ़ौमृतौग्लौः

लग्नेट् शुभाराश्चमदेच सर्वे॥

vyaye śaniḥ khe’vanijastṛtīye

bhṛgustanaucaṁdrakhalā naśastāḥ|

lagnetkavirgauścarifaumṛtauglauḥ

lagneṭ śubhārāścamadeca sarve ||

Translation: Saturn in 12th, Moon or any malefic in Ascendant, Mars in 10th, Venus in 3rd is not acceptable. Similarly, anyone among Lord of Muhurta Lagna, Venus, Moon in 6th is bad for marriage muhurta. Any benefic in 8th, Lord of Muhurta Lagna or Mars in 8th is also not acceptable. Any planet in 7th is not good for marriage Muhurta.

  • For any Muhurta, the strength is decided by the placement of benefic planets in quadrants and trines, similarly, malefic planets in 3rd, 6th, and 11th. In this case, only Ketu, Mars and Sun had the respective placement. For the people in the southern region like Andhra Pradesh, the strength of Jupiter is a must. Even Jupiter occupying 9th house, he is very weak by debilitation and close conjunction with Rahu. As indicated above, important ceremonies like marriage, at least five planets shall be in strength by occupying respective places, which gives the strength to the Muhurta. In this Muhurta, only malefic planets occupy some good placements, no benefic is in good position. Look at the chart, no benefic occupied any quadrant, even if Moon in Ascendant which is not acceptable, no benefic in trine except Jupiter in 9th sullied by Rahu resulting Guru Chandala Yoga.
  1. Conclusion:

It is shown in the above two charts how important is selection of Good Muhurta for auspicious ceremonies like marriage. There are a couple of divergent views by the ancient savants regarding the selection of Muhurta for various occasions, yet all agree to the point that Ekavimshati Mahadoshas shall be checked for any Muhurta. Since the birth details of the natives were not available, only Muhurta charts are analyzed for any major faults in the Muhurta. If the charts are available, the picture would have been much clear as to which led to catastrophic effects on the bridegroom.

[1] Muhurta Kalpadrimamu (Telugu) – Iranganti Rangacharya. Page No –  108

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