The chart is visualized as a pond of water which is the center of life for the city/village. It gives water that sustains life and irrigates the fields for food. It gives fishes which the village folk eat. Sometimes the pond has a huge bloom of beautiful lotus flowers which are offered to Lakshmi (goddess of Venus) as this goddess of good fortune loves the lotus. There is another deity who loves the lotus flower and that is Sūrya, the sun god. These planets Sun and Venus are the significators of the first and seventh house respectively. In mantra śāstra, lotus as a weapon is associated with the fourth house and is the weapon of Brahma, the digpāla of the downward direction (coming to planet earth i.e. rebirth). Thus whenever we talk of the lotus we are talking about the lagna kendra houses.

Lotus PondWisdomOptionsExamineLokapalaExample
Kamala (Lotus) Yoga
Yoga is a formation of planetary positions in the sky that causes inviolable associations between the planets. These planets involved in a yoga cannot escape the overbearing dictate of the yoga. If the yoga spells good, then the planets have to deliver it and if it is doom, they have little say but to deliver what is written.

Kamala Yoga, the yoga which causes the beautiful lotus to bloom, is formed when planets are in all the lagna kendra houses. In simpler words, planets must be stationed in the 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th houses. Technically, a perfect formation requires that all the planets from Sun to Saturn must be in kendra houses. Even if all seven weekday planets are not so placed, it is necessary that planets must be in all four kendra houses for this yoga to occur.

Results pronounced for this yoga are “one born in Kamala yoga will be rich and virtuous, long-lived, very famous, pure, will perform hundreds of auspicious acts and be a king.”

Vāpi (Pond) Yoga
Vāpi yoga is very similar to the Kamalā yoga requiring planets to be in kendra but not to lagna. These are kendra to 2nd or 3rd houses i.e. either (a) all four paṇapara houses 2, 5, 8, 11 must have planets or (b) all four apoklimas houses 3, 6, 9, 12 must have planets. Once again, a perfect formation requires all seven planets from Sun to Saturn to be in all paṇapara or apoklimas, but the yoga is still formed if four or more planets occupy all four paṇapara or all four apoklimas. Vāpi means the pond or such large water body which sustains life. It refers to the power of the paṇapara and apoklimas in supporting the life blooming in the kendra.

Results of Vāpi yoga “one born in Vāpi yoga will be capable of accumulating wealth, endowed with lasting wealth, happiness and sons, he/she will be free from eye afflictions, and be like a king is stature”.

Understanding the Yogas

Visnu with Sri and Bhu Devi – unmanifested Vasudeva

Most astrologers stop short at this point, but the tradition urges us to delve further. Let us start with the Vāpi yogas. Technically there are two types of Vāpi yoga – Paṇapara Vāpi and Apoklimas Vāpi yogas which occur when the planets are in kendra to each other occupying either the four paṇapara or apoklimas respectively.

We had learnt in the previous lesson that the lagna kendra was the Viṣṇu sthāna and the trines were the Lakṣmī sthāna, where sthāna simply means seat or position. Therefore the Kamala yoga refers to the power of Viṣṇu to bring forth and sustain life represented by the monosyllable ॐ [om]. This becomes the seed (bīja) mantra for Kamala Yoga as it brings forth life and sustains it. Lakṣmī śaktī manifests in two forms – the paṇapara 5th house trine is ‘Śrī Śaktī’ having the bīja mantra श्रीं [śrīṁ] and the apoklimas 9th house trine is the ‘Bhū Śaktī’ having the bīja mantra ऐं [aiṁ]. Further, the wealth given by the Paṇapara Vāpi yoga is material wealth like money, business or such material things whereas the wealth referred to by the Apoklimas Vāpi yoga is the wealth of knowledge. In this manner the two Vāpi yoga are completely different and their results, seeming similar, are actually very different.

The next thing to note is that the pond can exist without the lotus whereas the lotus cannot exist without the pond. Thus planets in lagna kendra can indicate fame and success of a high order but they also indicate many struggles in life to have these high achievements of name and fame. Planets in paṇapara or apoklimas sustain life and support the struggle for survival and success promised in the lagna kendra houses.

Yoga Modifications

The next natural question is whether the results of both malefic and benefic planets in kendra is the same? How is this modified? Definitely not. The results can vary considerably based on the nature of the signs forming the Kendra in addition to the nature of planets involved. We are not studying all these yoga right now but the illustration given for Kamala and Vāpi should show how the houses work together. The kendra work together to sprout and sustain life. They draw knowledge from the apoklimas and material resources from the paṇapara with the help of Bhū (aiṁ) and Śrī (śrīṁ) respectively.

The Śiva Sutras teach that the kendra themselves are all not formed by the ॐ [om] bīja. In fact ॐ [om] is only for the lagna. The kendra are formed by the four seeds emanating from ॐ [auṁ] – first house ॐ [om], fourth house ह्रीं [hrīṁ], seventh house क्लीं [klīṁ] and tenth house स्त्रीं [strīṁ]. How do we use this information? In the previous lesson we learnt –

Red Sun: Brahma, Āditya
Yellow Sun: Durgā, Śaktī
Blue Sun: Rama, Kṛṣṇa
Black Sun: Rudra, Kāla

Now we can simply add the seed syllables (bīja mantra) for their names and awaken the life sustaining and creating powers of the kendra.

Once again consider the chart of the United States. In the late1960’s the nation was reeling under a severe drug abuse lifestyle that the people had developed without any remedy in sight. This was the fallout of a little understood hippie subculture which originally started as a peace movement – ‘open the heart’ kind but became abused into sex and drugs. At least that is what most of the world viewed it as. Read more about it from Wikipedia[1]. In the US Chart four planets are present in the 7th house lead by a powerful yoga of lagneśa and 9th lord Sun and Jupiter while Saturn in the 10th house (throne) is also involved in the kendra rājayoga. It was at this time that a few monks arrived at the shores of America and changed their world. Since the 7th house is strongly involved, the क्लीं [klīṁ] bīja spread with the effort of Srila Prabhupada who was also born in Sagittarius Lagna [lagneśa Jupiter]. Prabhupada has his janma rāśi (birth moon) in Taurus which is a fixed sign and is in “kendra” to the natal janma rāśi of America (Aquarius).

Another great effort at giving them pure renunciation and meditation was made by Maharṣi Mahesh Yogi indicated by Saturn who is his lagneśa. Saturn is the king of the celibates and saṅnyāsa. Saturn is placed in the 10th house of the US Chart and will surely struggle to sustain life against diseases of the mind. Further, Maharṣi Mahesh Yogi also has the Moon in a fixed sign Leo and is in “kendra” to the natal janma rāśi of America (Aquarius).

Kriyā yoga was the path of cleansing and preparation of final journey brought to the USA by Paramhaṅsa Yogānanda. Paramhaṅsa Yogānanda was born in Siṁha Lagna with his lagneśa Sun in 5th house and his Moon is also in a fixed sign just like the others in “kendra” to the natal janma rāśi of America (Aquarius). Thus we have three stars born under the signs of Jupiter, Saturn and Sun who arrived in the shores of America to prevent the blooming lotus of good fortune in the US from withering.

Additional Notes

The avatāra take colors based on the yuga as is stated in the sacred books.
asan varnastrayo’hyasya grhnato’nuyugam tanum
suklo-raktas-tatha-pita idanim kṛṣṇatam gatam

Translation: This boy, Kṛṣṇa, has three other colors: white, red, and yellow, as he appears in different ages. Now, in this Dvapara-yuga, he has appeared in a transcendental blackish color. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.8.13)

sukla, rakta, kṛṣṇa, pita – krame cari varna
cari varna dhari’ “kṛṣṇa” karena yugadharma

Translation:In the four ages, (yugas) Satya, Treta, Dvapara, and Kali, Kṛṣṇa accepts four different colors: white, red, black, and yellow respectively. These are the colors of the different incarnations of Kṛṣṇa in different milleniums. (Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya 20.330)

Kendra Examination
By now you realize the importance of the kendra and Parāśara asks us to always examine the strength of the lords of the kendra[2] especially in the rāśi and varga charts to determine the strength of the horoscope. This study tells us how powerful the horoscope is with respect to the concerned lagna. We have different lagna for different purposes and we learn to see the special ascendants from a completely different perspective this time – the perspective of Karma.

Karma bhāva is the tenth house and the ten digpāla are the guardians of the karmic directions.

Janma lagna shows the brains (intelligence) of the native as given by Śrī Brahma, the creator as the direction ruled by Lagna is the vertical downward direction of which Brahma is the digpāla. The giver of the fruits is the śaktī of Brahma which is Sarasvatī and his weapon is the lotus.

Chandra lagna shows strength and longevity given by Vāyu, the wind god. It’s easy to understand this when we know that the NW direction is ruled by the Moon and Vāyu, the wind god is the digpāla of this direction. He gives us the breath through which the prāṇa come and consequently strength and life to the body.

Sūrya lagna shows the well-being and prosperity promised in the chart by Indra, the king of the devas and digpāla of the eastern direction ruled by the Sun.

Lagna Shows Devatā Karma Direction
Janma Brains, intelligence Brahma Creator Vertical down*
Chandra Longevity, Strength Vāyu Wind North West
Sūrya Well-being, Prosperity Indra King East
Guru Wisdom, God Iśāna Guru North East
Budha Learning, Speech Kubera Wealth North
Venus Beauty, Form Agni Fire South East
Mars Courage, Anger Yama Death South
Saturn Sorrow, Disease Varuṇa Water West
Rāhu Fear, Sin Nirṛti Disorder South West
Ketu Mokṣa, Spirituality Ananta Endless Vertical Up*

* These directions are reversed for the unborn where Zenith is ruled by Brahma and Nadir by Ananta Nārāyaṇa (Viṣṇu)

Name Direction Bīja Astra Weapon Consort Graha Matrika
Kubera North Shaṃ Gadā mace Ṛddhī Budha Kumari
Yama South Maṃ Daṇḍa staff Yami Maṅgala Varahi
Indra East Laṃ Vajra thunderbolt Śacī Sūrya Aindri
Varuṇa West Vaṃ Pāśa noose Nalani Śani Varuni
Iśāna Northeast Haṃ Triśūla trident Gourī Bṛhaspati Māheśvarī
Agni Southeast Raṃ Śakti Spear Svāhā Śukra Nārasiṃhī
Vāyu Northwest Yaṃ Aṅkuśa goad Bharati Chandra Yogeśvarī
Nirṛti Southwest Kṣaṃ Khaḍga sword Khaḍgī Rāhu Cāṃuṇḍā
Viṣṇu Nadir Klim Chakra discus Lakṣmī Ketu Vaishnavi
Brahmā Zenith Hriṃ Padma lotus Sarasvatī Lagna Brahmani

This list of Mātṛkā and their correspondence is not final as the Mātṛkā have different names and different groups like pañca-mātṛkā to aṣṭa-mātṛkā. Vināyakī (śaktī of Gaṇeśa) and other such mātṛkā names exist. A detailed study will be made later.

The word lokapāla means the world-protector, guardian of the world and refers to the regent of the four quarters of the world – commonly of the four cardinal directions including East (Indra), North (Kubera), West (Varuṇa) and South (Yama) guarding the four āyana called Mokṣa, Artha, Kāma and Dharma respectively. However, others extend this to the eight or ten digpāla while others take it further to the fourteen guardians of the fourteen loka and tala. Technically, lokapāla can also refer to the guardians of the sapta-loka (seven worlds) and seven under-worlds being derived from ‘loka’. However as guardians of people of the four castes they are again based on the āyana. These are the four kendra of the chart.

Āyana Tattva Dṛg Digpāla Kendra Planet Tattva Gives Devatā
Dharma Agni East Indra Lagna Mercury
Creates Brahma
Artha Jala North Kubera Jala Moon
Sustains Viṣṇu
Kāma Vāyu West Varuṇa Asta Saturn
Destroys Rudra
Mokṣa Pṛthvi South Yama Ākāśa Sun
Agni Karma Indra

Due to the flip between the 4th and 10th houses (discussed earlier due to the apparent Sun moving in the anti-zodiacal direction i.e. rising in the east, going through the 12th, 10th houses and setting in the 7th house), in the horoscope the 4th house shows mokṣa and the 10th house shows Artha. However, the devatā do not shift and the 4th house is Viṣṇu sthāna while the 10th house is still the Indra sthāna. These sthāna are very critical in jyotiṣa. The devatā for lagna is Sūrya-Āditya instead of Brahma whose worship seems to have become prohibited as it causes rebirth which is the anti-thesis of the purpose of spirituality. Similarly, the confusion between Indra digpāla and Indra-deva was superseded by the worship of the Śaktī (literally Power) who is Durgā. Therefore, the four lokapāla are Sūrya, Viṣṇu, Rudra and Durgā.

Also note that there is a difference between the Indra digpāla and the Indra as the giver of artha āyana. Also note carefully the planets giving these āyana.

  • Note 1.The highest wealth is given by Moon and Venus forming the Annapūrṇā yoga where Kāśi-Viśvanāth takes the form of Vitteśvara-Śiva and blesses Kubera. This yoga produces leaders of every kind and is called ‘yānavanta yoga’ by Maharṣi Jaimini.
  • Note 2.The highest seat (Mokṣa) is indicated by Jupiter and Mercury forming the combinations that lead to the establishment of lineages with Sundarī śaktī. In the charts of all the great spiritual leaders who have headed and established lineages, this combination will surely be found. Śrī Kṛṣṇa has this combination in the fifth house and establishes the lineages through the Bhagavat Gītā. This is the dream yoga for the best brāhmaṇa.
  • Note 3.The highest enjoyment comes from Rāhu and Saturn when the wine of Varuṇī (Nalinī) flows into the goblets of Varuṇa and the sense-enjoyment reaches a great high. This is simply called ‘getting high’ in the west. Connoisseurs of every kind must have this śrāddha yoga as they cannot stop enjoying even at the face of definite death.
  • Note 4.The highest duty calls for sacrifice (Ketu), courage (Mars) and adherence to the truth (Sun). Yama dharmarāja is always testing this in all creatures and Indra is constantly tempting and testing the indriya (sense organs).

When we examine charts we need to see whether

  • lords of kendra houses are exalted and strong in ṣaḍbala
  • planets in kendra are strong and
  • what āyana are they indicating.
  • Final confirmation comes through the navāṁśa (D9 Chart) and other varga charts

Seven of the nine planets are in kendra houses promising that the lotus will bloom. Four of these are malefic planets – Mars, Saturn, Rāhu and Ketu.

Longevity estimate
Good longevity is promised by the placement of the lords of the lagna, 8th house (Venus) and tenth house (Moon) in kendra. Yet to some extent this is reduced by their association with Saturn (and nodes). If we consider the full longevity span of 108 years given to human beings by the sky-father (Śiva) and earth-mother (Kali), we can divide this into three parts of 36 years each (36×3=108) with short life from 0-36 years, middle life from 37-72 years and long life from 73-108 years. Since the three kings lagneśa (1st lord) aṣṭameśa (8th lord) and karmeśa (10th lord) are afflicted by Saturn without any relief from Jupiter, our original estimate of long life from 73-108 years has to be reduced to middle life 37-72 years. Aldo Moro was assassinated in his 62nd year confirming the accuracy of our estimate.

Aldo Moro (September 23, 1916 – May 9, 1978) was an Italian politician and the 39th Prime Minister of Italy, from 1963 to 1968, and then from 1974 to 1976. He was one of Italy’s longest-serving post-war Prime Ministers, holding power for a combined total of more than six years. A leader of Democrazia Cristiana (Christian Democracy, DC), Moro was considered an intellectual and a patient mediator, especially in the internal life of his party. He was kidnapped on March 16, 1978, by the left-wing Red Brigades (BR), and killed after 55 days of captivity.

Dirty Pond
Politics during Italy’s so-called “First Republic” was the dirty pond where umpteen political parties played all kinds of games. In 1963 he was nominated Prime Minister of Italy for the first time. His government was unevenly supported by the DC, but also by the Italian Socialist Party, along with the minor Italian Republican Party and Italian Democratic Socialist Party. The centre-left coalition, a first for Italian post-war political panorama, stayed in power until the 1968 general elections. His 3rd cabinet (1966–68) stayed in power for 833 days, a record of sorts which only the kamala yoga could promise as the strength of the ākāśa keeps the various forces together. They start working together, even if they dislike each other, and this is called “Paraspara kāraka” meaning “mutual co-workers” in jyotiṣa.

The historic compromise which was opposed by both the USA and USSR and which ultimately led to his kidnapping and death is worth reading about keeping in view the two planets Sun and Mercury (aspected by Rāhu), which did not support his “kamala yoga”. These planets were responsible for his death by gun-shot (Sun) aspecting the 3rd house from āruḍha lagna (AL). What is āruḍha? We learn about this in a later year, but you will be constantly exposed to terms that you will learn about and use gradually.

Examine Kendra
Lesson: In horoscopy, we examine the houses – Lagna for dharma, 4th for mokṣa, 7th for kāma and 10th for artha. Planets which get digbala in lagna are Jupiter and Mercury, which take the native towards mokṣa indicating the primary purpose of birth itself and that dharma of lagna must have this as its primary objective. Planets which get digbala in 4th house are Moon and Venus ruling artha (wealth, comfort, emotions) showing that this is the impediment to mokṣa ruled by 4th house. Planets which get digbala in 7th house are Saturn and Rāhu which are the cause of suffering due to excessive enjoyment of the senses (kāma). Planets which get digbala in the 10th house are the dharma indicators Sun, Mars and Ketu and artha ruled by this house forms the basis of the test of dharma as well as its fall.

Lagna has the 7th lord Mars in it which is very conducive for dharma although as the lord of kāma bhāva it does promote multifarious associations and the ability to prevent fights by bringing disparate groups together. Study the charts of Mahatma Gandhi and others who have Mars as 7th lord in the 1st house in Libra and you will see this ability to bring about compromises among different castes, creeds and divergent groups. Why does this happen? It’s the rule of Agni, the god of Bhū-loka who rules through the first of the three kings Prajāpati [refer lesson: Method of Three Kings].

The fourth house has Rāhu which is not a good planet to have in the Jala kendra. This shows the amount of ‘heavenly love or hellish hatred’ one will see in life. Rāhu indicates the worst hellish depths of cheating and back stabbing that Aldo Moro is destined to see. It can make the person suffer very much and develop trust issues where they tend to trust everyone without testing them only to be back-stabbed. Now look at the trines to the 4th house which Rāhu controls. We have an empty Taurus and Virgo has Sun and Mercury in it. Mercury will fight against the machinations of Rāhu but the Sun will only be eclipsed. This combination led to his kidnapping and assassination. It also shows a home (Italy, his karma home) in constant disorder and him struggling to bring balance. Mokṣa is unlikely as the Moon is not in the 12th house. There is a peculiar dictum about Rāhu.

“In whichever house Rāhu, the cause of rebirth shall be, if the kāraka of that house is in the 12th house (of mokṣa), then Rāhu shall be fully checked by the powers of Viṣṇu (avatāra)”.

In this chart Rāhu is in the 4th house but Moon is not in the 12th house thereby indicating that when it functions, Rāhu shall lay the foundations for rebirth and mokṣa is denied. The only effective check for Rāhu is Viṣṇu as when Rāhu consumed the nectar of immortality and thereby continued to live and cause all creatures to rebirth and continue to exist, the Sūrya saw him. This is the power of the Sun – its vision to see everything. Sūrya informed Chandra who rushed to Viṣṇu (12th house) and Viṣṇu came and cut off the head of Rāhu. This resulted in the head separating from the trunk which is Ketu. Both these nodes Rāhu and Ketu constantly seek each other and feed on the foods they symbolize like Rāhu feeds on fish symbolized by Ketu and Ketu feeds on red-meat of the animals symbolized by Rāhu. They are in constantly circumbulation of the zodiac trying to catch up with each other. And they never meet, which means none can get mokṣa. Yet there are a few divisional charts where they do meet showing us that these divisional charts hold the key to mokṣa. Rāhu is the lord of the 5th house (Aquarius) and its placement in the 4th house shows that “power and position” and very dear to his heart. Note that I have not included children as Rāhu is the co-lord of Aquarius. If Saturn, a bodied planet was so placed, I would have included children as well in this. The lord of whichever house is in the 4th house, shows what we hold dear to our heart.

The seventh house has Jupiter in it which is the lord of the 3rd and 6th houses showing a dutiful spouse who gave him four children. In 1945 (Jupiter daśā Sun antardaśā) he married Eleonora Chiavarelli (1915–2010), with whom he had four children: Maria Fida (b. 1946), Agnese (b.1952), Anna and Giovanni (b.1958). As such the lord of beating (3rd) and enemy (6th) is not welcome in the 7th house as it shows the natives attitude towards marriage in general and spouse in particular. They will try their level best to thrash and control the spouse. Since the planet in Jupiter it will never be physical but a lot of such mind games with verbal and facial expressions will happen. Kasturba Gandhi also had problems with Mahatma Gandhi but the marriage continued till end of life as the 7th lord, the promise of kāma, is strong in lagna. For this we should give credit to the spouse as normally with the 6th lord in 7th or lagna, the spouse will run away. The seventh house is not just about spouse but also about all those who we partner with. Of course the spouse is the strongest life partner here. But it does show the attitude towards partners who would be constantly bickering as the 6th lord happens to occupy this place.

The tenth house has the most powerful Annapūrṇā yoga of Venus and Moon which is strengthened by the conjunction of yogakāraka Saturn. A yogakāraka is a planet that owns a kendra and koṇa in the horoscope. Saturn is the lord of the 4th (kendra) and 5th (koṇa) houses qualifying as yogakāraka. Yet it reduces longevity by conjoining the three kings. He is famous for his high office as Prime Minister of Italy.

Now compare all the four kendra. Which do you think is the strongest? How to know? The first thing to check is the number of planets and we find the 10th house with 4 planets is the strongest as all others have one planet each. Therefore life shall flow from this house and it shall be the kings throne in the horoscope. This is the house from which the Lotus (Kamala) will bloom.

[2] स्वारुढात्‌ केन्द्रनाथानां वर्गा ग्राह्याः सुधीमता॥ svāruḍhāt kendranāthānāṁ vargā grāhyāḥ sudhīmatā ॥ BPHS Chapter 6.52