Last blogs (part one and two of Ayurveda-the mother of Astrology) clarified that how planets and zodiacs are nothing but different levels of Ayurvedic doshas present in our body and mind and why at different times of the day, different months of the year and different locations of birth make us different from others due to the conditions we are born in. In this blog, we shall discuss a very interesting and extremely logical system of Mahadashas used in Astrology, which represent different levels of consciousness/awareness basis dominance of different Doshas (which is nothing but planets) at different points of time in everyone’s lifetime.
Now, those advanced beings who designed astrology realized:-
(a) that, since position of moon decides the flow of blood in the body and mind due to its gravitational force, it is the position of moon (in which constellation) at the time of birth, which decides the level of different doshas sitting in different parts of the body (since it is the flow of blood that decides doshas and also how will the person act and what kind of food will he/she choose e.g. a person getting less of blood towards brain will want to have sour and spicy foods to increase blood circulation thereby increasing more blood towards brain though temporarily).
(b) that, since different levels of doshas decide different levels of conscience, it is possible to find out the level of conscience of a person at the time of birth basis the position of moon. To give you a crude example a person with less of blood towards the brain is likely to have vata ridden mind and therefore be born with Saturn conscience (because Saturn means vata- read the previous blog).
(c) that, the conscience of all the people on earth keeps changing with time in a set pattern covering doshas associated with all the nine planets. To comprehend this aspect, let us understand that in its journey of evolution, every soul (which is comprising of our conscience only) goes through a cycle of 120 years constituting various periods assigned to different types of conscience (or planets). These periods for different planets (or say Doshas) were called as Mahadashas, which kept changing after a specific duration.
And here is the logic to understand how they work:-.
Let us visualize a person who is passing through conditions, which are pitta conducive. So pitta conditions will increase agni of the person. Since it is Sun that increases pitta (or say pungency) this period of high pitta is referred to as Sun’s Period (called as Sun Mahadasha in Vedic terminology). A person passing through this time will exhibit high pitta (or Sun related) characterstics vis a vis his/her other periods like intelligence, ego, analysis, pitta diseases etc. In terms of taste it will represent pungency.
However there will come a time when continuously high agni of the person will burn him/her down thereby breaking his/her inertia leading to low pitta and as a result the subject will gain kapha in the form of fluids in the body and mind as coolness brings kapha. Since moon represents kapha, especially fluids, this period is called as Moon Mahadasha representing salty taste as salt increases fluids.
But then there will come a time, when this coolness due to kapha in the mind and body will push the person out of slumber to do those activities that will increase blood flow in the body, especially peripherals e.g. eating high energy foods (especially salty) and/or exercising. Since this period represents building up of strength and energy, this period in one’s life represents the period of Mars or say Mars Mahadasha (in terms of tastes, it will be high on sweetness and medium on pungency/sourness/saltiness/bitterness).
Now, this surge in energy will throw the person in the force of inertia leading to a racing mind high on vata and pitta. Thus this period is assigned to Rahu (and is called as Rahu Mahadasha) when vata and pitta are so high that the person is in a super-excited stage (in terms of tastes it is extremely pungent/sour/salty/bitterness). A super-excited stage would mean that the person will do all that a high vata and pitta i.e. rajasic mind is likely to do. Materialism, interest in electronics, maybe addiction towards those items which give temporary relaxation to a highly excited mind etc. etc. So what shall this Rahu period do in the long run?
A super-excited stage of mind may bring fame and materialistic gains, however since such minds are racing too fast, they miss the subtle changes happening in and around them thus denting their spiritual aspects like mental and physical health, relationships, financial matters (by the way its easy to appreciate that the collective conscience of the world is passing through Rahu Mahadasha). All these dents shake the person bringing down his energy levels especially of his/her racing mind. This is where the period or mahadasha of Jupiter enters when pitta in mind and body begins to settle down thereby pushing kapha and settling the mind. However by this time, sourness has not gone down and therefore Jupiter gives bulk (not muscular but fatty since sourness expands the cells in our body). Also it has to be appreciated that now kapha is depositing over an already vata body. In terms of taste, it is sour/cold/salty/sweet. All in all, it is Jupiter that makes one realize the mistakes that he/she made in life and therefore Jupiter is called as Guru in Sanskrit, meaning a teacher. Thus, time is the biggest teacher.
Since pitta has reduced, sourness also goes down leading to astringency settling in marking the beginning of Saturn period or mahadasha. Once the conscience awakens fully during the Jupiter phase, the person subconsciously decides to stick to the teachings of life and thus remains in an introspective mode, thereby making corrections in his/her life and staying in a cocoon. As such by now, high pungency and bitterness (during Mars and Rahu phase) has already created high vata in the body and mind and therefore people reaching this period of Saturn have to stick to a disciplined life in order to remain healthy (as much as possible) since vata people are highly prone to diseases. This is also the reason that Saturn is said to possess Vakra (haywire) drishti because vata always travels haywire. While Jupiter’s kapha was due to sourness and slightly reduced pitta, Saturn loses that kapha due to sourness as astringency has set in and therefore Saturn people are usually quiet people.
***This also should suffice to understand the difference between vata of Saturn and vata of Rahu. Former arises out of astringency and coldness leading to quite and introspective attitude and settled mind, latter arises out of sourness and pungency (and sometimes bitterness) leading to extroverted attitude and excited mind.
Post Saturn’s phase, the person learns how to lead the life and thus their intellect wakes up which means buddhi in Sanskrit/hindi. Coldness of Saturn increases kapha but this time kapha deposits on existing vata only. Pitta also begins to rise a little thus VPK all are in same proportion. This period is assigned to Budh or Mercury.
And now the comes the time, when kapha is further on the rise over existing vata and even pitta has increased a little. While vata here is giving intelligence, increasing kapha gives a thicker CD of the brain, which along with increasing pitta makes a person high on absorbing and analyzing gathered information and less on communicating it out. This is the period of Ketu.
And finally comes Venus when astringency begins to fade away and sourness begins to rise thereby increasing pitta. This phase of Venus expands our consciousness to properly enjoy the life from whatever the person has learnt during the previous phases of life. Post Venus, again, the sun takes over and this cycle goes on.
Thus a person entering into a particular phase is bound to move into next specific phase of conscience only. Astrology identified that this cycle of conscience gets completed in every person in 120 years. It also realized that each phase lasts for a specific period i.e. Sun’s phase lasts for 6 yrs, Moon for 10, Mars for 7, Rahu 18, Jupiter 16, Saturn 19, Mercury 17, Ketu is given 7 yrs and Venus has been given 20 yrs.
All in all, if you carefully look at the cycle of these Mahadashas of various planets which are fixed in terms of their duration, then it’s like crests and troughs representing ups and downs of life with each crest and trough further having its own crests and troughs, as ups and downs occur in every passing moment in our life, thus subdividing each Mahadasha into Antardasha and so on. And as soul proceeds in time, from one life to another, the height/depth of these crests and troughs is bound to get lesser both in Mahadasha and smaller dashas making herself more evolved. Isn’t that exactly the way we learn to drive our vehicles making big mistakes (and maneuvers) initially and then lesser and lesser towards perfection?