Translation: Taurus, Aries, and Aquarius are short. Capricorn, Gemini, Sagittarius, Pisces, and Cancer are even and the long ones are Scorpio, Virgo, Leo, and Libra. Starting from Aries, signs are masculine and feminine. Starting from East, Aries and its trines, Taurus and its trines, Gemini and its trines, Cancer and its trines will represent four cardinal directions of the world. After that, signs can be differentiated as krūra (harsh) and śubha (auspicious); and also as movable, fixed and dual as their type of movement.
Length of the signs
Firstly, herein we have division based
on length of the signs. This has to do with astronomical definition of Zodiac
or Bha chakra. In reality, it is not perfect circle, it is an elliptic. Two
signs before Aries, Aries and one sign after are short. Two sign before Libra,
Libra and one sign after are long ones. Signs in between are of the even
length. Exactly opposite point from the 00 of Libra is used for
starting the Zodiac, and because of it the Aries is shortest one. Later we will
see that the author also putting the Pisces in the category of short signs.
Also, this is very useful in depicting
size of the person. For this we need to look Lagna, Lagna Lord, Moon sign and
Table 1: Length
Aries, Aquarius, Pisces
Gemini, Sagittarius, and Cancer
Virgo, Leo, Libra
Sex of the signs
Starting from Aries, signs are masculine and feminine. So, Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius, and Aquarius are male signs and Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Pisces are female. The biggest utilization of this is related to the sex of a child in the Jātaka chart. There is one exception here: Gemini and Aquarius haven’t got enough strength to produce a male child, so in the matters connected to children, we will treat them as female signs. Also, Cancer and Pisces have the power to give a son, so in these matters, Cancer and Pisces will give male progeny.
Table 2. Sex of signs
Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius and Aquarius
Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces
Table 2a. Sex of signs: related to progeny
Cancer , Leo, Libra, Sagittarius
Taurus, Gemini , Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Aquarius
related to signs are given in the chart. Directions are linked to the four
goals or ayana in the chart. There are four ayanas: Dharma, Artha, Kama and Mokṣa.
East is related to Dharma, South is related to Artha, West is related to Kama
and North is related to Mokṣa. About four ayana, see 20th śloka of
Table 3. Direction of the signs
Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
There is another division of signs based on direction.
Directions are of the crucial value for determining the place of living for a person as well as other similar questions. In this division, signs will show physical direction. Here Aries and Taurus are representing East, Pisces is Southeast, Aquarius and Capricorn are South, Sagittarius is Southwest, Libra and Scorpio are West, Virgo is Northwest, Leo and Cancer are North and finally Gemini is Northeast. In Vedic astrology, we use two different types of chakras related to direction. One is Dig chakra and another is Kala chakra. In Dig chakra, planets will give the most of their potential, and in the Kala chakra, they will show obstacles.
4. Directions, signs, planets and devatas.
Planets in Dig chakra
Planets in Kala chakra
Krūra vs śubha
All odd signs are termed as krura or harsh signs. They are active by their nature. These are also known as fire (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius) and air (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius) signs. Fire signs are acting quickly and burning, while air signs are slow and persistent. All even signs are known as śubha or mild. They are earth (Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn) and water (Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces) signs. It shows that nature is very passive and calming.
Here, the author is mentioning the trines of a certain sign. Trines or Trikona literary means three corners. For the first sign, a trine is a fifth and ninth sign, and in a similar manner, we can define trines for all signs. Trikonas are very important and they are showing the fruits that one begets in this world. For them, it is said that they are the seat of Śri Lakṣmi.
will always be same tattva or primordial element. Word tattva is translated as
a true principle, principle that causes creation to occur. There are five
primary elements or tattvas. These are:
every sign, omnipresence
and Sun (and Ketu)
Trines will be always the same tattva or the element and Kendra will always have all four manifested types. These elements come together with the gunas or quality of the Raśis.
There are three types of movement:
movable or cara, fixed or sthira and dual or dvisvabhava. These three types are
based on three Gunas or qualities, namely: Satva, Rajas and Tamas. Satva is
quality of goodness, knowledge, sustenance. Rajas show creation of thing,
movement and high level of energy inside. Tamas show ignorance, darkness. These
three Gunas are represented by Tri Murti, i.e. Viṣṇu (omnipresent), Brahma
(omniscience) and Śiva (omnipotent). They are helping us to overcome all three,
because in Bhagavat Gita, it is said that we need to go beyond Gunas to get
liberation (nistraiguṇyo bhavārjuna –
be above the Gunas, O Arjuna. BG 2.45.).
Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn
Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius
Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces
Movement of signs can be also used to determine distance from one place to another. Here movable signs will show traveling overseas, dual is indicating travel that is still between countries borders or traveling from one city to another, and fixed signs show staying in the same place. For example, if the lord of the 10th house from the Moon is placed in a movable sign, a person may need to travel far to find work. (To learn all about work, profession and karma bhava, check out Visti’s Rama course here).
Translation: Houses made of wood for
keeping horses and chariots belong to Sagittarius. Homestead where Capricorn dwells
is river and forest with a lot of water inside. Aquarius is situated in the
water pots or vessels used in the house. Pisces settlement is river, ocean or
similar quantity of water.
Commentary: Sagittarius shows horse stables or barracks for war elephants and chariots and in the modern context it is the garage, parking lots and the battlefield. Capricorn represents rivers, shallows, and marshy places. Places, where vessels are kept like the kitchen or storerooms, warehouses and other storage places, are indicated by Aquarius in addition to toilets and latrines where water has to be carried for cleansing. Pisces indicate the sea, large rivers, places of rejuvenation and cure like hospitals.
Translation: In the next ślokas will be spoken on the characteristics of the places where various signs are dwelling.
Commentary: This knowledge is very useful for Praśna techniques, where lost object needs to be found. Also by knowing this, we are able to find birth place of the native and other important information related to place.
Translation: Aries is dwelling on earth,
which is rich with the minerals and precious stones. Flat fields should be connected with Taurus.
Also Taurus must be connected with the place of agriculture, cow-houses and
forests. Places for gambling, for enjoyment and gardens are related to Gemini.
Lakes, ponds or sandbanks are places of Cancer.
Commentary: In this śloka, it has been indicated that Aries is ruling over the earth, connected with minerals and precious stones. In Bṛhat Paraśara Hora Śastra, for Aries, the term śailacārī (Parashara, 1999) is used. It means wandering in the mountains. For Taurus, Paraśara said that it rules over grāmyo vaṇija – villages and traders, while here in Jātaka Parijata, this is assigned to Libra. Taurus indicates plateaus, plains, farms, cowsheds, forests and such other places inhabited by quadrupeds. For Gemini, Paraśara specified that it is connected to villages (grāmavrajo). Gemini also represents gambling dens, pleasure haunts, bars, and such places where people meet for entertainment. Cancer indicates rivers and sandbanks, places where civilization begins. And for Cancer, Paraśara adds that he is roaming in woods (vanacārī).
Translation: Property of Leo is rock crags, caves, and forests. The abiding place of Virgo is one with a lot of grass or decorated ladies-pleasure rooms. Place where everything can be seen, bought or sold (market place), belongs to Libra. Scorpio indicates stony regions full of dirt, holes full of worms, insects.
Commentary: Mountain-caves and dense jungles is the abode of the lion or Leo. Virgo will represent pasture lands, green fields ready for harvest in addition to living rooms of women. All markets, bazaars, stock markets and areas where traders sell their valuable merchandise are indicated by Libra. The lair of the scorpion is near filthy places, noxious reptiles prefer swampy and dirty areas and poisonous snakes live in underground holes in secluded places. Deep wells and such places where the water is very stationery (Scorpio is a fixed sign) and can become poisonous is also indicated.
In the given example, lord of the fifth house (of knowledge) is placed in the twelfth house in Libra. Lord of the fifth house shows the place where somebody gives knowledge. Here Jupiter is in Libra, which represents the market place, city center, and the person was teaching a very serious course near the market place and city center. Fifth lord Jupiter is in Parivartana yoga with Venus in Sagittarius, indicating the change of the place and person went from teaching in the city to teach in the mountain area. Teaching in a foreign country is also indicated as Jupiter is in the twelfth house.
Translation: Sign Pisces is depicted as two fishes, moving in the opposite direction, with joined heads and tails. Aquarius is a man with the pot. Libra is a man with the balance. Sagittarius is a half armed man, and the other half is of the horse. Capricorn is a crocodile with the face of a deer. Gemini is described as a couple, where female is caring a vīṇā, and a male is caring mace. Virgo is a lady standing in the boat, having corn in one hand and the fire in the other. Remaining signs are described by their names. All of them are inhabits the regions appropriate to them.
Commentary: Symbols are not the creations of the mind, but rather are distinct capacities within the mind to hold a distinct piece of information. Thousands of yogas, as well as multiple informations about the world and time, can be stored in the human mind provided we master this language of symbols used by ṛṣi (Rath, Kāraka Review, 2007). Pandit Sanjay Rath said that word symbol we can use as Karaka, a doer. So, symbol of the sign will show us the traits of the sign. For example, Aries is symbolised by Ram, which will show the ability to push thing ahead, to go forward; on the other side, it can show very stubborn person, the one who don’t give up easily.
Symbol of the rāśi is important for the study of Astrology because they are not picked randomly. For example, sign Pisces is described as two fishes eating each other’s tails. So, they are going in cycles, and they will show natural twelve house, which is house of emancipation, liberty from one side (so, going above the circles of saṁsāra) and from the other side it will represent the bondage, imprisonment and closed institution. Also, same sign can tell us a lot of information related to flows that every sign has. Fish can not stay alive on the direct Sun, so there is a problem with Agni (fire) tattva. Like this each sign and its symbol holds a wealth of information about that sign.
If you want to learn about the signs, the meaning of each symbol and more, consider rama-edu.com lectures done by Visti Larsen. He has dedicated 12 lectures teaching 12 sun signs covering different aspect of each sign.
If you have missed the previous śloka, śloka 8, you can read it here.
कालात्मकस्य च शिरोमुखदेशवक्षोहृत्कृक्षिभागकटिबस्तिरहस्यदेशाः। उरू च जानुयुगलं परतस्तु जङ्गे पादद्वयं क्रियमुखावयवाः क्रमेण॥ ८॥
kālātmakasya ca śiromukhadeśavakṣohṛtkṛkṣibhāgakaṭibastirahasyadeśāḥ |urū ca jānuyugalaṁ paratastu jaṅge pādadvayaṁ kriyamukhāvayavāḥ krameṇa || 8||
Translation: The parts of the body of
the person Kala (kāla) beginning with
Aries, are respectively the head, the mouth, the breast, the heart, the belly,
the hip, the groins, the private part, the two thighs, the two knees, the two
calves and the two feet.
Commentary: The term Kalapuruṣa here
stands for Time-personified or Time itself presented as a human being; Kala
indicating time and Puruṣa indicating the concept of the male energy. This
concept is coming from the unity of creation wherein Puruṣa and Prakṛti are the
two main forces, male and female energy of the nature, which are cause of the
all creation just like mother and father are needed together to create a new
life. This male energy is thereafter assigned to Sun (being a father, giver of
the life, providing Agni or fire for ignition) who is also governing signs in
horoscope and the Moon (being the mother, sustainers, providing necessary
nurturing and feeding for sustenance) who is governing over nakṣatras. All
created world is product of these yoga’s of the Sun and Moon on the sky which
are formed at certain point in time decided by the movement of these
luminaries. This yoga’s are being studied in Vedic astrology as Pañcāñga or the five limbs of time i.e. Vara,
Tithi, Nakṣatra, Karana and Yoga.
In the śloka number 7, the author is mapping Signs and the nakṣatras in the Kalapuruṣa chart. Kalapuruṣa chart is a special chart in which all twelve signs are indicating different parts of the body of Lord Viṣṇu, Janardana, starting with Aries as a first sign, representing the head, whilst other signs are following in regular order indicating the other body parts assigned to other signs. This is therefore also a generic chart for all human beings wherein in any chart despite person’slagna, Aries is still indicating head, Taurus mouth, etc.
Herein are described the limbs and
their allotment to the twelve signs. This is also applicable to the twelve
houses from the ascendant. It may be pertinent to ask why the author has not
mentioned the arms anywhere, and therefore hereunder is given an image for easy
memorization of the signs and limbs.
Gemini has been attributed to the
chest and upper torso. This also includes the arms as can be seen in the
illustration. Notably the sign Scorpio indicates the genitals, but specifically
covers the entire hidden portion from the pelvis to the anus. Therefore the
image is slightly misleading as Sagittarius covers the entire thigh portion
until the knees begin.
Libra covers the visible portion from
the lower abdomen to the pelvis. Due to this some allot the visible genital
area to the sign Libra.
The distribution of body parts is
different when dealing with Praśna or horary charts, thus further confirming
the focus on natal horoscopy.
This knowledge is further essential in studying medical Jyotiṣa wherein disease related planets and planetary yoga’s afflicting certain sign and/or house are likely to impose their effects on that part of the body. For example, afflictions on sign Capricorn are likely to give health problems with knees, Aquarius ankles, Leo stomach, etc. On the other side, we can go a step ahead and note that these signs also have very specific indications when it comes to health, for example, Aquarius is known to be hridayaroga or the one which indicates heart diseases, being the 8th sign from the Cancer (8th placement indicates the disease) or the sign which represents heart. In the same way, all the other signs/houses are carrying potentiality to afflict or improve certain parts of the human body. Whilst in case of houses it is important to take into account the Drekkana of the house to define the affected body part (Parashara, 1999).
This article is an attempt to provide deeper understanding of Jyotish through the monumental classic Jataka Parijata, by the author Vaidyanatha Dikshita. The work consists of original Sanskrit slokas translated into English with a detailed commentary on the same.