Consepts of reality

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The Horoscope as Given by Shrila Vyasadeva
We have fixed the ascendant for the time of the beginning of the conflict as being a couple of hours after sunrise, giving each soldier time to perform ablutions, offer prayers, honor prasad and get himself ready for battle. In the positions of the planets as described by Shrila Vyasa, the exchange of aspects between debilitated Mars and Jupiter becomes the driving force behind the madness. This position is often described also as matibrahmana yoga (lit. “combination for unsteady intelligence”) and is an astrological cause of insanity. Venus is the only bright planet on the horizon, and in the 9th house dharmastan he shows that the war was based on religious grounds. However there are also indications of a great loss of spirituality as Mercury—who is in debility rules the 12th house of losses—is in conjunction with Venus.
Saturn’s drishti or vision over the 8th house or ayustan could have caused the war to last longer, though the blood bath continued for only eighteen days. Even though Saturn is complicit in the events, it was the eclipse that caused the hostility to move quickly. Still, there is no doubt that Saturn’s unhurried effects are seen in the war’s long and lingering impact on the future of humanity. Indeed, the Battle of Kurukshetra set the stage for the imminent Age of Kali. Ominously, the eclipse happened in the nakshatra of Rohini which is also the birth star of Shri Krishna. Soon after the Great War, Shri Krishna left the planet and at that very moment Kali Yuga began.
With every changing epoch the measurement of time is adjusted and even the movements of the planets change. With the advent of different yugas, even seasons shift and consequently so do the dates of celebrations. Due to Kali Yuga much there is much confusion regarding the measurement of time. As a result, from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar and others, dates have been whimsically changed not once but many times. For this reason it is very difficult to find the exact dates especially if we are to peer as far back as the Mahabharata War. The confusion grows greater still since the planets move in different ways during the different yugas. For these and other reasons, finding the exact date for the Mahabharata War has been a daunting task for many scholars.
In narrating the omens of the coming battle, Vyasadeva advised Dhritarashtra, who was also his son, “Do not do that which is disagreeable to me. O king, Death himself has been born in the form of your son.” Duryodhana is accepted as the personification of Kali and the root cause of the Mahabharata War. He was also in favor of adhering to a solar calendar which is based upon the movement of the Sun. He showed this when he did not accept the date of the completion of the exile of the Pandavas. His reasoning was that he did not accept the lunar calendar and he insisted that the sons of Pandu had not completed their fourteen year of living incognito by one day. The Mahabharata mentions that Duryodhana was born in the constellation of Purvaphalguni located in Sun-ruled Leo. It is not a coincidence that Leo or Simha rashi is also the sign where the constellation of the Sapta Rishis was at the onset of Kali Yuga. Hence in Kali Yuga, the lunar calendar is practically lost.
yada devarshayah sapta maghasu vicharanti hi

tada pravrittas tu kalir dvadashabda-shatamakah
When the constellation of the seven sages is passing through the lunar mansion Magha, the Age of Kali begins. It comprises twelve hundred years of the demigods. (SB 12.2.31)
From the officially recorded history of Kali Yuga, it is well known that the first followers of the solar-based calendar were the Egyptians. After the Romans took the solar calendar from the Egyptians, it spread throughout the world. Prior to that event, the ancient calendars were all based on synchronization of the movements of the Moon with the Sun. During Kali Yuga, society is no longer in harmony with nature, which is nourished by the Moon (as per Bg 15.13), and the world now follows the solar calendar. As a result there are mistakes in dates and it has become very difficult to ascertain the dates of events even in relatively recent times. In a calendar that considers correctly both the movements of the Moon and the Sun, proper adjustments were made to compensate for the differences in their orbits. This is logical since there is no way to artificially equalize the movement of the Moon to the Sun or ignore one or the other. In Kali Yuga, although a Sun-centered calendar is followed, the months are still considered to be modeled after the movements of the Moon (as seen from the very word “month” indicating “Moon”). Therefore confusion over the measurement of time has become inevitable in this age.
In the year 43 BC, the Roman Empire accepted the solar calendar based on the Egyptian model for it served their dates for election better. The Romans were worshipers of the Sun. Even during the reign of Constantine the Great, at which time the Romans accepted Christianity, they set the day of Makara Sankranti as the birthday of Jesus Christ (since the start of Uttarayana was a very significant festival for the Romans). Just prior to the rule of Constantine the Great, Makara Sankranti was observed on the 24th of December. Thus even today the world continues to celebrate this date as an acknowledgement to the Sun taking its northern course by celebrating the birth of Jesus and giving presents. In Vedic tradition, it is also considered auspicious to give presents on Makara Sankranti.
For almost 1700 years few have considered that the movement of the equinoxes may have changed the date of the brightest day of the year—Uttarayana—with the result that the masses blindly continue to celebrate the date but not the actual event. Thus the whole world is celebrating the darkest days of the year when the nights are the longest. This is a trick of Kali who enjoys darkness. An intelligent person should understand the strings that pull events from behind. The winter festival of Makara Sankranti should be returned to its former glory. It should be celebrated on its actual occurrence—when the Sun enters Capricorn, which for this year it is on January 14. Discussions regarding events from the Vedic Age like the Mahabharata War, or the movements of the planets in the different yugas are fertile fields for shastris. But who beside someone like Markandeya Muni—who has lived through contiguous yuga cycles—can speak of these things conclusively?


For many, Pashupatinath, an area east of Kathmandu, Nepal is the birth place of Lord Shiva. In Tamil Nadu and Kerala the birth of Lord Shiva is celebrated on shukla charturhashi in the month of Paush, which falls on Ardra nakshatra. Some mistakenly think that Shivaratri is the birthday of Lord Shiva while it is the favorite day of Lord Shiva being the wedding day with Goddess Parvati. It falls on the 13th day of krishna paksha of Magh month or Sravana nakshatra. This very auspicious day shows that jyotish was well used since time immemorial while calculating favorable dates for special occasions. It is interesting to mention that this day is even celebrated in accordance to Greek and Thracian mythology and later was transferred into the tradition of the Roman Empire as the day of the God of nature and wine (soma) Dionysus or Bacchus. The God is often depicted consuming drinks remaining us of Shiva drinking the poison left after the churning of the milk ocean. On the date of Bacchus is favorable to plant trees and cut the vine creepers for the next season. In modern times this celebration has changed its name to the day of St. Valentine, or the day of lovers.
Rudra is an expansion of Shiva. He is manifested from between the eyebrows of Lord Brahma. Immediately after his manifestation Rudra demanded to have a name and residency and Brahma gave him eleven names and designated the following places as his dwellings:
The egocentric attitude is a manifestation of the Rudra principle in the heart, wherein anger is generated. This anger develops in the heart and is further manifested through various senses, like the eyes, hands and legs. When a man is angry he expresses such anger with red-hot eyes and sometimes makes a display of clenching his fists or kicking his legs. This exhibition of the Rudra principle is the proof of Rudra’s presence in such places. When a man is angry he breathes very rapidly, and thus Rudra is represented in the air of life, or in the activities of breathing. When the sky is overcast with dense clouds and roars in anger, and when the wind blows very fiercely, the Rudra principle is manifested, and so also when the sea water is infuriated by the wind it appears in a gloomy feature of Rudra, which is very fearful to the common man. When fire is ablaze we can also experience the presence of Rudra, and when there is an inundation over the earth we can understand that this is also the representation of Rudra. (SB Purport 3.12.11)
Despite the fact that Rudra is born or rather manifested from the eyebrows of Brahma, the Lord of destruction is unborn for he has to survive in order to be able to destroy the universe. There are many followers of Shiva who worship him in this indestructible form by chanting the mritunjaya mantra.
This indestructible Lord has given blessings to all nine jyotish grahas so they are able to preside over the fate of all in this universe. The grahas did their own separate penance close to the place where Shiva resides. Shiva looks after their well being even after they have finished their team of penances. He protected Brihaspati (Jupiter) by cursing the Moon on amavasya thiti when Chandra stole Tara, the wife of the guru. Those born on amavasya suffer tremendously similarly to Tara’s ordeal in the hands of the Moon god. Still, Shiva favors the Moon by wearing a crescent on his head. But not only the devatas love the favors received by Lord Shiva. Demos often approach him because of his quality to be easily pleased. The great demon Ravana also worshiped Shiva and for that was granted capability in shastra and knowledge of jyotish. The astrological branch compiled by Ravana is recorded as Ravana Samhita. This knowledge is mostly lost just like the mighty Ravana was destroyed by Shri Ram. Some jyotish scholars have tried to recover it and today it is called lal kitab or the astrology of the red book.
In Vedic astrology we find planetary combination, which reveal if someone carries the favor of Lord Shiva from previous birth:
Shiva yoga is formed when The Lord of the 5th house is in the 9th house, the lord of the 9th house is in the 10th house, and the lord of 10th house in the 5th house. The result is that the person will be a big trader, a conqueror and commander of armies. He will also possess divine wisdom and will lead a virtuous life.
When there are benefics in the 4th, 8th or 9th house from the 7th lord Hara yoga is indicated. If the benefic is Jupiter the result is happiness, the Moon satisfies mental desires, Venus give pleasures and Mercury appeases obsessions. On the overall, Hara Yoga gives fondness for sex, pleasures and conquest over enemies.
Nonetheless, personally Shiva does not favor astrology in extreme. When Siva discovered that astrologers had audaciously intruded into his personal life, he became furious and cursed all the astrologers. Since then, Siva's wrath has not permitted astrologers to interpret horoscopes identically and agree with each other on astrological interpretations. He is the greatest devotee of Shri Krishna and he is more moved by devotion rather than material knowledge.

The holy rudraksha tree (Elaeocarpaceae family) is found today in eastern slopes of the Himalayas in Nepal. Some diversions are also found in India, Indonesia and by human transfer on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. In Sanskrit the word rudraksha means “the eyes of Shiva”. For this reason this tree is also very dear to the demigods.
It is mentioned in Shiva Purana that Shiva, the great devotee of Shri Krishna, once went into meditation. His desire was to help all conditioned souls achieve moksha or liberation from the pangs of material existence through devotional service. He meditated on the Absolute Truth and emotion overwhelmed his heart. Tears fell from his eyes. They hardened and upon entering the soil produced the rudraksha trees. The beads of this special tree are famous for giving alleviation to all kinds of suffering. Different varieties of rudraksha beads (from 1 to 14 mukhis or faces) are described in Shiva Purana. Some of them have affiliation with the nine planetary deities and give alleviation to planetary afflictions as found in a horoscope. The faces of the beads are distinguished by the number of lines that they have on their surface. Miraculously, all mukhi rudrakshas are produced from a single tree.
The one and twelve mukhi rudrakshas are affiliated with the Sun. The difference is that the one mukhi gives the blessings of detachment pertaining to a king who has everything while the 12 mukhi fully empowers the person to shine like the Sun in his chosen field. A combination of these two beads is a good representation of Lord Surya, the demi-god of the Sun who has the ability to give life and control time. When the Sun’s power becomes overwhelming he can also diminish life and create deserts.
The two mukhi rudraksha is associated with the Moon god or Lord Chandra. It gives the ability of the wearer to understand inter-personal relationships and helps the wearer to mainain control over his mind. A person with an afflicted Moon or who was born with the Moon in the 8th house is advised to wear this bead. As the subtle body is shaped after the mind, an afflicted Moon has the bad propensity to gradually form our future births. The future embodiment may not be as elevated as our present one and can lead to further degradation within this material world. Thus controlling the mind is of utter importance for gaining liberation from the material world.
The Hare Krishna mahamantra is the only sure method of attaining not only liberation but also loving service to the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna. At times when the mind does not allow one to start the chanting process, the two mukhi rudraksha is helpful. Rudrakshas work very well for corrections of bad planetary placements while gems can only enhance the power of a planet just like a radio transmitter that catches a particular wave and delivers it to the listener. Thus gems are not very appropriate for altering planetary influences while rudrakshas can effect changes without harmful consequences.
The three mukhi rudraksha is assigned to the planet Mars. It has the power of Agnidev and the ability to burn everything inauspicious, including accumulated sin. This bead is recommended for individual who have mangalik dosha (affliction of Mars to the 7th house of marriage) in their horoscope. The three mukhi rudraksha is effective for curing diseases that are associated with fire imbalance like fever and colds.

The four mukhi rudraksha is associated with Mercury. This bead is favored by small children as it helps them with concentration and development of intelligence. A person who wears this bead is found to improve his memory and communication ability. Mercury is the planet of intelligence and naturally has connection to Shri Vishnu or Paramatma from whom all remembrance and forgetfulness originate. This fact is mentioned personally by Shri Krishna in Bhagavad-Gita (15.15):

sarvasya chaham hridi sannivishto mattah smritir jnanam apohanam cha

vedaish cha sarvair aham eva vedyo vedanta-krid veda-vid eva chaham
I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas am I to be known; indeed I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.

The five mukhi rudraksha is the most common and for this reason most rudraksha malas are made from the five mukhi beads. This bead is governed by Brihaspati or Jupiter, the guru of the demigods. The five mukhi bead feels weightier than the others because becoming heavy with wisdom and experience is an important quality of a genuine guru. The five mukhi rudraksha assists the wearer by making him take wise actions and in this way keeps him on the path of purity. Pandits recommend the five mukhi for one who was born under an afflicted or debilitated Jupiter.

The six and thirteen mukhi rudrakshas are associated with Venus or the crafty Shukracharya, the guru of the demons. He not only favors the demons and guides them to victory at times but he has to apply a secret ability to lure them to ajnata sukriti (devotional service to the Supreme Lord which is rendered without personal knowledge of its goal). Thus Venus, when well positioned, endows a person with abilities in arts. Applied devotionally, the arts are the most effective and subtle way of changing one’s outlook whether of the individual or the world. The six mukhi gives the power of active application of artistic ability while the thirteen mukhi rudraksha turns the person into an object of art and attracts others to him or her. Ladies prefer these two beads.

The seven and fourteen mukhi rudrakshas are associated with the planet Saturn. Saturn is the strict master of everyone’s fate. Of the nine planets, he is the most remote and distant. Saturn is the planet of tapasya and he gives the highest fruit of material renunciation in the form of material gain as well as spiritual achievement. By wearing the beads of Saturn a person can come closer to achieving distant goals as specified in his personal portfolio. The seven mukhi rudraksha gives easy attainment of material desires and is a tool of security for the working class of men. The fourteen mukhi assists with granting spiritual aspirations in the form of moksha and devotion. Both beads are highly recommended in the case when a person is undergoing the 7 ½ year transit of Saturn over the Moon in the horoscope known as sade sati.
The eight mukhi rudraksha is associated with the north node of the Moon or Rahu. Rahu is famous for creating obstacles in one’s life in the form of all-consuming desires. Rahu is never fully auspicious in ones horoscope and for this reason the eight mukhi rudraksha is a desirable augury in fighting the obstacles creates by self-sabotage. Some say that the fifteen mukhi rudraksha is also associated by Rahu but here we would stick to the rudraksha beads (up to 14 mukhis) mentioned in shastra. It is noteworthy that there have been findings of rudrakshas which have even the rare 31 mukhis. By personal experiences some rudraksha experts associate those beads with different deities and demigods.

The nine mukhi rudraksha is associated with the south node of the Moon, Ketu. Ketu is the headless and the most spiritual graha in the pantheon of the nine planets. Ketu creates insurmountable problems in the person’s life, especially when he is not completely surrendered. From practice we know that nobody is fully surrendered in the material world. The lesson of Ketu is that this material world is a malefic place and can never be comfortable. Thus Ketu is never seen as fully auspicious in anyone’s horoscope though his goal is to break material attachment. The nine mukhi rudraksha bead is very desirable in gaining the favors of Mother Durga, who is the controller of material nature and a dedicated devotee of Shri Krishna. Mother Durga, or Vaishnavi, is the one who opens the door to liberation once the living entity is fully surrendered to the Supreme Lord.

There are two other beads that are worth mentioning. The ten mukhi rudraksha is associated with Lord Vishnu and is the favorite of the Vaishnavas. This bead is simultaneously associated with the dashavataras (ten incarnations) of the Supreme Lord and the nine grahas. Whoever wants to get rid of bad planetary influences and all kinds of fear is advised to wear this bead. Shri Vishnu controls all planets and deities in the universe. Those who are His devotees do not fear even death.

The second bead worth mentioning is the eleven mukhi rudraksha. It is associated with Shri Hanuman, the ultimate servant of Lord Ramachandra. Hanuman has shown the ability to control different planets, including the most severe of all amongst them, Saturn. Saturn does not touch those who follow in the footsteps of Hanuman and worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Saturn promises that whoever is engaged in the service of Shri Krishna during their sade sati will never experience the usual bad results associated with this period, but instead will be favored by the master of fate Saturn.

Some scientific research has proven that the rudraksha beads vibrate to alpha waves of the sound spectrum. The alpha waves are beneficial for meditation and ultra experiences bordering with the subtle dimensions. Powders ground from the different rudrakshas reportedly have miraculous effects and can even combat snake poison and other extreme emergencies. Thus we may not fully understand the power of rudraksha and how the bead works but we can count on the authority of Lord Shiva who himself wear rudrakshas and who has described for our benefit the miraculous effects of the different beads.
That Lord Shiva is the greatest amongst of the Vaishnavas is confirmed in many places in Shrimad Bhagavatam. See these:
“We have many times mentioned the names of twelve selected authorities (dvadasha-mahajana), of which Brahma, Narada and Lord Shiva head the list as the first, second and third in order of merit of those who know something of the Supreme Lord.” (From the Bhaktivedanta Purport to SB 2.6.37)
“One must follow in the footsteps of great authorities like Brahma, Shiva, Narada, Manu, Kumara, Kapila, Prahlada, Bhishma, Shukadeva Goswami, Yamaraja, Janaka, etc. By mental speculation one cannot ascertain what is religion or self-realization.” (From the Bhaktivedanta Purport to Bg 4.16)
“Of all the Rudras I am Lord Shiva”. (Bg 10.23)
Devotees who wear rudrakshas may sometimes be accused of being mere Shaivites and indeed Shaivaites are fond of Rudrakahsas, though exclusive worship of Lord Shankar is never the intent of the Vaishnava pandit. The desire of Lord Shiva in creating the Rudrakshas was to offer a means to all as an aid on the path of liberation. The Shaivites do not understand that Shiva is the best of Lord Krishna’s devotees and that he accepts Shri Hari as the Supreme Lord. Only the Vaishnava has a correct attitude towards Lord Shiva. With a right attitude a devotee of Shri Krishna can use the rudraksha to further his service to Shri Krishna by alleviating karmic burdens that interfere with his chanting and devotional activities. Even the head of the Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya Lord Brahma is seen to wear rudraksha beads. In a similar regard, Shrila Prabhupada mentions in his book Krishna the Supreme Personality of Godhead that the gopis of Vrindavana worshiped goddess Katyayani but their actual intent was to gain the favor of Shri Krishna:
“The gopis, for example, worshiped Katyayani, a demigoddess, but the only benediction they wanted from the goddess was to have Krishna as their husband.” (Bhaktivedanta Purport to SB 4.12.9)
“Lord Shiva drank poison to the extent of swallowing an ocean, but if any common man tries to drink even a fragment of such poison, he will be killed. There are many pseudo-devotees of Lord Shiva who want to indulge in smoking ganja (marijuana) and similar intoxicating drugs, forgetting that by so imitating the acts of Lord Shiva they are calling death very near. Similarly, there are some pseudo-devotees of Lord Krishna who prefer to imitate the Lord in His rasa-lila, or dance of love, forgetting their inability to lift Govardhana Hill. It is best, therefore, that one not try to imitate the powerful, but simply follow their instructions; nor should one try to occupy their posts without qualification.” (Bhaktivedanta Purport to Bg 3.24)
No true Vaishnava would ever equate Rudrakshas to wearing tulasi beads. These two different beads signify two different worlds. For a Vaishnava there is nothing dearer than wearing a tulasi bead and this practice should never be abandoned. A rudraksha bead is an optional remedial measure for mitigating planetary influences that interfere with devotional practices. Those who choose to wear a rudraksha should do so with the attitude and understanding that the great devotee of Shri Krishna, Shiva, intended.

Brahma bole c
hatur mukhe Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Mahadeva pancha mukhe
Rama Rama Hare Hare

-Bhaktivinoda Thakur


Gems are only transmitters and not transformational tools. They reflect the power of the planet to which they are assigned. Gems are not intelligent entities that know what to do if something is wrong in a horoscope.”
Gems are known to possess tremendous remedial powers in Vedic astrology. Owning gemstones has been very popular through the ages. The wealthier one is the more gems he adorns himself with and keeps in his treasury. But only a king could dare to wear the regal navratna formation of all nine gems assigned in Vedic astrology because the horoscope of the ruler is supposed to be flawless. For someone to have achieved the position of a king he should have donated crores of flawless rubies to the Deity of Shri Krishna in his previous embodiment. In other words, a righteous king is a person who has accumulated a large amount of positive karma while worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead in some of His forms. We know that today the rules have changed and no longer do the royal families adore themselves with precious gems as in times past. Royals wear precious gems mostly on special occasions and with great reserve. The almost forgotten use of precious gems in the courts of kings reveals the diminished power of royalty in the world.
Gems have the special power to transmit frequencies and may be compared to a radio interpreting signals. When a person is exposed to radio waves for a prolonged period, his mood will be affected according to the quality of the frequency. An alpha frequency causes the person to feel relaxed; delta signals induce sleep; while the high intensity beta wave may even cause madness. Gems offer a similar effect. Gems used in Vedic astrology should be of topmost quality, of excellent color and transparency. They must have excellent luster and be without flaws like scratches or black spots.
Has Kali Yuga diminished the quality of gems? Frequently we hear that nowadays gems do not have the potency in they carried in previous yugas. This is not surprising because nothing really works in Kali Yuga except the Hare Krishna mahamantra. Today it is the greed within the jewelry market that makes the rules: and this greed is all-pervasive whether in mining, polishing, distributing of retailing the gems. Artificial processes like heating and treating with oil makes it almost impossible to buy a jewel of suitable quality. And even if a high quality gem is found in nature, it is usually not handled properly. In seeking to maximize their profits, the owners of the mines may cut dozens of pieces from the same gem.
In the past if a proper gem was found it might even be worshiped as seen in the episode regarding the Shyamantaka jewel described in the 10th canto of Shrimad Bhagavatam. Such gems were even able to produce profuse amounts of gold. Even today, if a person acquires the right gem as recommended by a skilled astrologer, he can make a good turn in his life.
In the realm of astral gem therapy, there are two main schools for prescribing planetary jewels. One prescribes the gems of the weak and afflicted planets in hopes of strengthening their influence. The other group recommends the gems that strengthen the good planets in the horoscope. The latter is most logical as confirmed by practice because gems are only transmitters and not transformational tools. A jyotish quality gemstone only reflects the power of the planet to which it is assigned. Gems are not intelligent entities that know how to fix a horoscope. Rather they simply enhance the power of what is already there. Thus a weak or debilitated Saturn cannot arbitrarily be made to give positive influence simply by wearing the jewel of Shanideva.
When we are confronted with a weak planet in our janma chakra, instead of wearing the ratna for that graha, we should donate the same to someone who has a good resonance with the gem, or--even better--offer it to a pujari of Shri Krishna’s Deity form. In this way even our bad karma is dissolved while nourishing devotional advancement. Moreover, decorating the deity of the Supreme Lord with precious gems brings great jubilation to the heart of a sincere devotee.
There are nine precious gems assigned to the nine grahas. The ruby (manikya) is for the Sun; pearl (moti) is for the Moon; coral (moonga) is for Mars; emerald (panna) is for Mercury; yellow sapphire (pushkaraja) is for Jupiter; diamond (hira) is for Venus; blue sapphire (neelam) is for Saturn, hessonite garnet (gomed) is for Rahu and chrysoberyl cat's eye (lasuniya) is for Ketu. These nine gems cover all colors in the spectrum including the rays they emit. They are also classified as hot and cold in constitution. For example, the pearl is cold and the coral is a hot gem. The seven gems (excluding the ones pertaining to Rahu and Ketu) also correspond to the seven chakras: the first chakra is ruled by blue sapphire, the second by the coral, the third by yellow sapphire, the fourth (heart chakra) is ruled by the ruby, the fifth chakra is controlled by the diamond, the sixth chakra is assigned to the emerald and the 7th chakra is controlled by the pearl.
Apart from the precious gems, we have experiences that the even semi-precious gems also work in one way or another. Some astrologers recommend substitutes from the array of semi precious gems, but the substitutes--despite a similar appearance--often have very different influence. Ruby and spinel promote two different things in life, despite the fact that both are red gems. Ruby expands love and spinel attracts money. Another substitute for ruby is garnet which is a stone of assertion and passion which some equate to love.
The many varieties of semi-precious gemstones are controlled by different demigods and they can help a person in a variety of ways. Nonetheless, the nine gems specifically assigned to the nine grahas have the power to oversee greater areas of our lives ruled by one or all of the nine planets. And because the nine planets are ultimately under the control of the Supreme Lord and His main nine incarnations, their gems even have the power to help develop devotion. Shri Krishna Himself has appeared in the dynasty of the Moon god on the day of the Moon’s favorable wife, Rohini. Born under such an exalted Moon Lord Shri Krishna has the quality of nurturing for all living entities. To further stress this quality He is wearing the Kaustubha gem which is a moonstone the color of the cow milk, and which appeared from the churning of he ocean. The gem even has an engraving of a cow on it. Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.3.11) describes the beautiful Form of Lord Narayana as He appeared in Mathura:
Vasudeva then saw the newborn child, who had very wonderful lotus like eyes and who bore in His four hands the four weapons shankha, chakra, gada and padma. On His chest was the mark of Shrivatsa and on His neck the brilliant Kaustubha gem. Dressed in yellow, His body blackish like a dense cloud, His scattered hair fully grown, and His helmet and earrings sparkling uncommonly with the valuable gem Vaidurya, the child, decorated with a brilliant belt, armlets, bangles and other ornaments, appeared very wonderful.”
Gems should be worm not just like a fashion for an hour or two. Gems can become a part of our existence that speak to others about who we are. After we have worn them for a long time their power comes to us and we blend with their beautifying appearance. In this way gems have the ability to bring good things in our lives and we have to be wise to offer all bestowed to us back to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna. Only then, we can experience the joy of wearing precious gems.


In Vedic Astrology the 2nd house shows one’s preference in food. The planets influencing it may decide one’s favorite taste. In addition, one should avoid the tastes of the planets who are likely bring disease. Suppose one is running a dasa or antardasa of the Moon in the 6th house ruling deceases. Then some suffering related to Moon is possible. Moon can give problems related to blood pressure as he governs liquids in the body. So eating too much salty food during such a period may result in high blood pressure. Similarly, one should cut down on sweets during a period in which Jupiter related troubles are indicated. Or, one may develop too much fat (Jupiter) or get other Jupiter related diseases.
When we offer food to the deities we want those preparations to be palatable and accepted by the Lord. In Nectar of Instructions (1) Srila Prabhupada states: “There are six kinds of rasas (tastes), and if one is agitated by any one of them, he becomes controlled by the urges of the tongue.” For this reason it is desirable that we offer all 6 tastes to the Lord while making an offering of food to Shri Krishna. Nonetheless the offering should contain only foodstuffs pleasing to the Lord and not be offered to Him with the intention of our enjoyment. Only then liberation from the material world is possible. The deity of Shri Krishna is not a machine for producing prasadam.
The 7 planets (excluding Rahu and Ketu) rule the tastes as follows:
Sun rules pungent

(sharply affecting the organs of taste or smell, as if by a penetrating power; biting; acrid.)

Pungent taste is present in spacey foods and digestive enzymes. Pungent spices stimulate by irritating the lining of the digestive tract and other membranes. Made of fire element, pungent taste is sharp and concentrated, fast acting and intense, spreading quickly to all tissues. The forceful, constant contact of fire element penetrates, burns, ulcerates, cuts and cauterizes. Black pepper and chilies are quintessential pungents. The body flushes pungent irritants by thinning the blood, dilating blood vessels and increasing the heart rate. Pungent taste thus improves circulation and liquefies, softens, secretes and flushes breaking up and dissolving thick or hardened masses such as mucus. Pungent taste stimulates courage and valor because blood flow is movement of prana. The immune system is in the blood. Good circulation, stimulated by ginger, black pepper or other pungents, helps improve immunity and resolve sore throats.
Moon rules Salty

(tasting of or containing salt; saline.)

Salt brings out the flavor in food and brings enthusiasm for life. It stimulates secretions improving digestion. Salt is a laxative breaking up all hard masses in the digestive tract. Salt in excess obliterates all other tastes and causes thirst. Excess salt increases flabbiness and wrinkling of the skin. In excess salt damages fluids, decreases libido, hardens muscles, damages bones, causes premature aging and spoils the blood.
Mars rules Bitter

(having a harsh, disagreeably acrid taste, like that of aspirin, quinine, wormwood, or aloes.)

The body perceives bitters as a poison and stimulates various organs for protection. In case of edible bitters, this has a beneficial, stimulating effect on digestion. Bitters stimulate peristalsis, release of bile in the liver and gall bladder, and clears the blood. Bitters are the missing taste in the modern diet but they are the most common taste in nature. Bitters are drying to the body, increase metabolism, and scrape fat. Bitter purifies the body and dries up all secretions. Bitter resets the taste buds and destroys food cravings. It increases ether element. Bitters are light, cooling, clearing and drying. They cleanse the body of toxicity. Bitters create a descending action that alleviates dizziness and fainting from heat conditions including fevers. Bitters are used to treat fever because they also clear the blood plasma of impurities and sweet taste. Bitter taste clears wounds and purifies the skin and muscle tissue. This was the favorite taste of Lord Chaitanya.
Mercury rules mixed taste
Every food has a 'taste personality'. Generally eating a food daily for two weeks will help discover the personality of the food. Emotions come from the mind but they are express with the mouth. As stated by Srila Prabhupada in Nectar of Instructions (1), the tongue, belly and genitals are all situated in a straight line, and they fall in the same category. Lord Caitanya has said, bhāla nā khāibe āra bhāla nā paribe: “Do not dress luxuriously and do not eat delicious foodstuffs.” (Cc. Antya 6.236) Those who suffer from diseases of the stomach must be unable to control the urges of the belly, at least according to this analysis. When we desire to eat more than necessary we automatically create many inconveniences in life. However, if we observe fasting days like Ekadashi and Janmastami, we can restrain the demands of the belly.
Jupiter rules Sweet

(having the taste or flavor characteristic of sugar, honey, etc.)

Sweet taste includes nourishing foods like carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Sweet taste means good tasting not necessarily sugary. Sweet taste is rare in nature and desirable. We need sweet taste to survive. After the agricultural revolution sweet taste became abundant. It dominates the modern grocery store. Sweet taste is cooling, heavy, oily, and sticky. It brings softness and stability. Sweet taste coats the tongue and throat. It facilitates elimination of bowels. It is beneficial to children, in old age, and in debilitated persons. Sweet taste alleviates thirst and nourishes the mind. Sweet taste helps in wound healing as long as the wound is not infected. Excess use of sweet taste, especially refined grains and refined sugars, thicken blood plasma. Thick, sticky blood plasma bogs circulation causing stagnation and high blood pressure. Poor circulation also causes swelling in the hands and feet. Healthy lungs depend on good circulation to keep them hollow. Otherwise, the lungs fill up with mucous and water. Excess sweet taste causes mucous buildup in the lungs and back of throat.

Venus rules Sour

(having an acid taste, resembling that of vinegar, lemon juice, etc.; tart.)

When something spoils or goes rotten it becomes sour. Sour foods include yogurt and pickles. Generally sours spoil the blood. Fortunately, nature provides us with healthy sours as well including acidic fruits like citrus and subacidic fruits like peaches. Acidic fruits include citrus fruits like lemons, limes and oranges. Subacidic fruits include peaches, apricots, cherries and apples. Subacidic fruits are the most sattvic of all sours. Sours moisten and refresh a dry palate, encouraging salivary secretions which improve taste. Gastric secretions in the stomach improve digestion.
Saturn rules astringent

(cool, rough, dry taste)

Foods with astringent taste make the mouth feel rough or dry. Astringent taste cleanse the mouth but causes difficulty swallowing. Leafy greens, green bananas and cranberries are astringent. Astringent taste makes an apple crunchy. It makes lentils and peeled potatoes stick to each other. Emotionally, astringent taste helps someone cool and collect scattered thoughts. Astringent is the physical analog of fear causing the cells of the body to withdraw.
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