Some Stray Thoughts on Jatak Tatvam of Mahadeva By Daya Shanker


Some Stray Thoughts on Jatak Tatvam of Mahadeva

By Daya Shanker, Hon’y Consultant Editor, “The Times of Astrology”

Let me first clarify that ‘Jatak Tatvam’ by Shri Mahadeva, is a compilation of principles prevalent in general astrology at his time and the learned author has tried to concise a few general principles from old as well as his contemporary horoscopy in small Sutras. The book ‘Jatak Tatvam’ was meant to be a part of astrological curriculum for the persons/students who wanted to know the principles of natal horoscopy. This book was meant to be a guide for the teachers of astrology. Unless, a teacher is well versed in the science of astrology, these Sutras could not have helped him in teaching astrology as the conciseness and brevity of the Sutras had to compromise of so many things that can find place only in elaboration of the issue under consideration. The danger of misinterpretation of these Sutras, thus, is always there in the hands of the otherwise ld. scholars who have not realized fully the scheme of astrology.

The danger of interpretation of the Sanskrit text in such Sutras is also not ruled out as it happened to interpolate the similar looking  samskrit texts in such works during the Moghul dominion in Indian history. Thus, while interpreting the Sutras of ‘Jatak Tatvam’ one should not wonder if a few verses are found devoid of merit and misplaced being irrelevant or unconcerned to the topic in hand. In this backdrop, I have tried to analyse a few verses for the benefit of readers of ‘Saptarishi Astrology’ in particular and other keen students of Vedic astrology.

\\      Verse 175 – page 179     \\


The word ‘Riksh’ is used by the author in the sense of a sign or Rashi whereas it could also mean a constellation or group of stars. The ld. Translator Panditbhushana V. Subrahmanya Sastri has translated it as above.

I respectfully beg to differ with him. The reason is that the author has not used any proposition like ‘Wa’ to mean “or” or, ‘Cha’ meaning “and” as has been used by him in Verse 174 and 176 respectively.

The words ‘Paparkshe Papayute’ have to be taken into same context and according to me it means that the particular sign of a malefic planet has the same particular malefic planet posited in it; meaning thereby, this should be sign Aquarius owned by malefic planet Saturn and here as per this Sutra, the Saturn should be posited in Aquarius sign itself. Apart from this, the Sun in realization should be placed in ascendant meaning thereby the ascending should be Libra. “Yugmarkshe” means Gemini sign and therefore, Mars should be in Gemini Sign. Thus, the correct interpretation of this Sutra should be that in case of Libra ascendant, the debilitated Sun is in the ascendant, the Saturn is in the Aquarius sign and Mars is occupying the Gemini sign, the Native will have Progeny when he is above the age of 30 years. The question may arise as to how I opine that the term ‘Paparkshe Papayute’ has been taken  to mean only Aquarius sign and not Capricorn whereas both the signs are belonging to the malefic planet Saturn and also, why not Aries and Scorpio sign that are belonging to another malefic planet Mars. The answer is very simple. Since the position of Mars has already been given i.e. to be in Gemini, the ‘Paparkshe Papayute’ has to be belonging to the other malefic planet Saturn only. It is only Aquarius sign whose results are negated by the Lord of the sign i.e. Saturn itself as the other sign of Saturn Capricorn falls generally in the 12th house to the sign Aquarius.  However, the placement of Saturn in Aquarius enhances the result of Capricorn sign as Aquarius finds place second to Capricorn, second being improving house to the first. Moreover, this Sutra is finding place in ‘Prakeerna Tatvam’, ‘Pancham Viveka’ bearing the various impacts on and results of 5th house, the house relating to Progeny i.e. children, are discussed. The 5th house for ascendant Libra, normally will have the sign Aquarius and Saturn, according to this Sutra will find place in the 5th house, the house under consideration. And the placement of Saturn in Aquarius will improve the deterioration of the results of 5th house being the 4th lord also. In my considered opinion, if the 4th house is unoccupied, this situation may even deny the ‘Progeny’, at least the first conception. The sign Gemini and Mars will be in the 9th house, the 5th when counted from 5th house and whereas, the weak Sun being placed in ascendant. The author might be of the opinion that when a cruel planet, i.e. Sun though weak, placed in first house, the other malefics are placed in other Trine (Trikone) houses, the native may get at least delayed progeny, if not denied. The denial could not be predicted by the author because he is of the opinion that a house is fortified in case it’s rural occupies, the same house. I reserve my opinion on this principle too. Perhaps he has given importance to Sun more because Sun becomes the 5th Lord in the natural Zodiac i.e. the horoscope of Kaal Purush. The classical texts do not consider Sun to be a pap graha, therefore, I refrain myself to categorize Leo sign to be ‘Paparkshe Papayute’ here in this context. The readers may ponder over it.

\\verse 216 page 184-185\\


The ld. Translator Panditbhushana V. Subrahmanya Sastri has translated it as above.

This Sutra is also finding place in Pancham Vivek in “Prakeerna Tatvam”. According to me, it is to be noted that all the words are singular form i.e. ekavachan of Samskrit in this verse. Therefore, it is not advisable that the words “Yavat” and “Tavat” should be interpreted to give the sense of plurality. In my opinion, this Sutra should be interpreted that if, the Navamsa falling in the 5th house is aspected by a malefic as much as it is also unaspected by a benefic planet, it should result into an abortion or miscarriage, especially of the first conception as 5th house denotes only first conception.

Verse No. 44 Page No. 218


The ld. Translator Panditbhushana V. Subrahmanya Sastri has translated it as above.

To my mind this verse appears to be an interpolation as neither the 9th house nor the Moon has any relation with the age of life partner or a partner in a co-habitation to be older. In fact, 9th house legalizes the co-habitation and therefore, traditionally, it is considered for legal marriage and the wife is called Dharmapatni in Samskrit as well as in common parlance in India. Moon is always considered beautiful and younger in age. Therefore, the verse cannot be interpreted as that if the Moon be in the 9th house, the union will be with the women far advanced in age. No doubt, the phrase, ‘Vayodhik’ means literally older in age but when it has to be addressed with a woman to qualify, then the phrase would have been ‘Vayodhika’ in place of ‘Vayodhik’. Therefore, if at all, it is given to be any little credence, it should qualify the male native only and then, the translation would be that if the Moon be in the 9th house, the native will be able to co-habitat with the women even in his advanced age. Nevertheless, this principal is, according to me, is absurd and has no relevance and applicability. Just to point out to the readers how it is not applicable and how it is incorrect to believe it to be part of original text of ‘Jatak Tatvam’. I would refer to the horoscopes of Adi Shankarcharya, Amitabh Bachchan, George Washington, Ian Thorpe, Lokmanya Tilak, Lord Curzon, Chandra Babu Naidu, M. G. Ramchandran, Sant Tulsidas, Samarth Guru Ramdas, Satya Sai Baba, Swami Shivanand, Maharshi Mahesh Yogi, Raman Maharshi, Ramanujacharya, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Shami Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor, Shatrughan Sinha, Rashtra Kavi Ramdhari Singh Dinkar and Industrialist V. H. Dalmia who are all having Moon in their 9th house and their life partners were not elder to them. Moreover, Mahatma Gandhi was having his Moon in 10th house and his wife Kasturbha Gandhi was elder to him. Similarly, the wife of Sachin Tendulkar is elder to him whereas Tendulkar has his Moon in 4th house and definitely not in 9th house. All these horoscopes are easily available in the Book published by Nishkaam Peeth Prakashan, the publication division of The Times of Astrology, by the title ‘The Times Select Horoscopes’ from New Delhi. Therefore, my suggestion is that the astrologers and the readers should not waste time in testing the veracity of this verse in ‘Jatak Tatvam’.

Verse No. 158 Page No. 235


The ld. Translator Panditbhushana V. Subrahmanya Sastri has translated it as above.

To my mind this verse points out very general proposition. According, to me Moon in 12th does not always give instable mind and similarly, Venus in 9th house does not make a person always obsessed with the ideas of sex. There must be some other combinations more prominent than this to suggest that such a native will kill his own wife. According to me Moon in the 12th house will keep the person in more peace of mind and his spiritual leaning to inculcate wisdom in him not to be much haunted & affected with association of women that are interpreted with the placement of Venus in 7th house. This combination alone cannot empower & allow native to kill any of the women in his association, what to talk of his own wife. According to me, if readers find any of such example, that should be analyzed for other reasons properly in that horoscope as killing his own wife would engage the native into an act of volition denoted by the 11th house and 3rd house simultaneously, alongwith the 6th house the loss of wife.

Verse No. 93 Page


The ld. Translator Panditbhushana V. Subrahmanya Sastri has translated it as above.

To my mind this verse suggests that ascendant should be Capricorn having Jupiter in it and the 9th Lord Mercury should be in Leo sign in the span of from 16 degrees 40 minutes to 20 degrees in the Nakshatra & navamsa owned Venus to have the benefit. The author is of the opinion that such person will be equivalent to a King. This is also a general combination. However, Mercury, apart from being 9th Lord would also be 6th Lord and the degree occupied by Mercury would fall in the Nakshatra of Venus, the 10th Lord. Thus, despite Mercury being in 8th house, would confer prominently the results of 10th and 5th house which according to the traditional astrology constitute purely ‘Rajyoga’ as Venus is considered ‘Rajyoga Karaka’ for Capricorn ascendant. Jupiter in ascendant Capricorn even in debilitation would be in the Nakshatra of Mars, the 11th and 4th Lord and such Jupiter would enhance the status of the person by bestowing large income and lot of assets in his possession. However, this combination would work only if the position of Mars and Venus is in the improving houses i.e. either of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 10th and 11th houses.

Verse No. 36 Page No. 319

The ld. Translator Panditbhushana V. Subrahmanya Sastri has translated it as above.

Though in “Sangya Tatvam”, Verse No.30 on Page No.7 ‘Swa’ has been used to mean 2nd house, I do not think that the same meaning should be imported to for this ‘Swa’ to be here. Here it should be first house being the native’s own individual identity. Similarly, ‘Anka’ in the phrase “Sutankayo” should mean the 4th house instead of 9th. Hence, the correct translation according to me would be that if out of the following pairs: 1) 1st and 2nd ; 2) 5th and 4th ; 3) 6th and 12th ; 4) 3rd and 11th and 5) 4th and 10th are having same number of planets respectively, the native may suffer imprisonment or chained to be in isolation. The logic according to me is that 12th negates first and 4th negates 5th permanently whereas 12th negates 6th and 4th negates 10th temporarily and therefore the position of planets in these houses in pairs would not yield good results to the native. The pair of 3rd and 11th house signifies violation and therefore, it may be treated as instrumental in such adverse periods.

The author appears to have done some rationalization towards the general principles of Parashari wherein similar Yoga by the name of ‘Shrankhalabandh Yoga’ is prescribed to form if equal numbers of planets are posited in the pairs of house i.e. 2nd and 12th; 3rd and 11th; 4th and 10th; 5th and 9th; 6th and 8th and 1st and 7th. The veracity of such ‘Shrankhalabandh Yoga’ is hardly proven. No such yoga is formed even in the horoscope of Charles Shobraj, the biggest cheat who has been jailed so many times. Apart, from this nowadays many Bolywood heroes, bureaucrats and politicians are being taken into judicial or police custody but none of them has such ‘Shrankhalabandh Yoga’.  At best, it can be inferred from this verse that such a combination would hinder the chances of the native to achieve liberation, the Moksh as they will only be chained in the material world.

Verse No. 74 Page No. 232

The ld. Translator Panditbhushana V. Subrahmanya Sastri has translated it as above.

To my mind, neither this principle is based on sound logic of astrology and fits in astrological scheme nor is it found to be true. It has self contradictory status i.e. the native is supposed to be having very little virility and at the same time is supposed to bring happiness to the family. In a traditional family atleast in India, if the person is devoid of virility is hardly supposed to have his own children to complete the family and such persons are not supposed to be liked by their spouses. Therefore, it cannot be expected that both the observations of the author be fulfilled in case of mutual exchange of Lords of first & 3rd houses present in a horoscope. Such combination is found in the horoscope of George W. Bush, who became the most powerful President of America and had decent family with children.  Another example is of veteran film actor, Shashi Kapoor who had this combination and has completed his family with two sons and one daughter. These two persons are having the mutual exchange of lords of 1st and 3rd houses as mentioned but in no way can be said that they have very little virility. Thus, according to me this verse is also an interpolation in the original text of astrology. Neither the 1st nor the 3rd house is related to the virility and nor are these houses detrimental to each other.