The Point of Deepest Fall
By Balaji Narasimhan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
NOTE: What we are discussing is more philosophical than practical, and application should be tempered with the proverbial pinch of salt.
In an ideal world, nobody wants to have any afflicted graha in his chart, but then again, we do not live in an ideal world.
Among all the possible afflictions, perhaps nothing scares a person more than knowing that some graha is neecha in his chart. Immediately, people start looking out for neecha bhanga or better still, neecha bhanga raja yoga.
If one may compare a graha to one's own eyes, then a neecha graha is like an eye incapable of seeing clearly. Neecha bhanga may then be compared to using spectacles to improve one's vision, but, just as spectacles cannot give perfect vision, similarly, neecha bhanga can never completely overcome all ills. Neecha bhanga raja yoga is like using binoculars, but just as one cannot go around with a pair of binoculars always pressed to one's eyes, similarly, even neecha bhanga raja yoga cannot always deliver good results.
BEYOND THE BASICS
What is it that makes a graha neecha? We need to understand this thing first. For this, we must look beyond the obvious fact of "graha X is neecha in rasi Y." To get to the heart of the matter, we should look at the point where a graha is at its lowest ebb, and study the related issues carefully.
While the relationship between the neecha graha and the lord of the rasi in which it is neecha is of paramount importance, we could gain further by studying the relationship between the neecha graha and the nakshatra in which it is neecha. This helps us to fine-tune the results, and enhances our lucidity.
At another level, we could consider the nakshatra pada in which a graha is neecha, and study the lord of that pada, which will correspond to the lord of the navamsa in which the said pada falls.
For additional illumination, we could also consider the drekkan in which a graha is fallen. Why, some might wonder, are we studying the drekkan after studying the nakshatra and the navamsa? The reason is simple - of all the divisions, only the drekkans have descriptions, and an understanding of these visual metaphors can perhaps enable us to understand the true affliction of a neecha graha that much better. The descriptions of the drekkans given herein have been taken from Shri BV
Raman's book "Hindu Predictive Astrology."
FEAR IS THE KEY
To understand a neecha graha, it is best to assume that some form of fear possesses it. In a way, this may seem funny-after all, what could perhaps cause fear to Sani, who himself causes fear to all men? Technically speaking, a graha many not be "afraid" in the sense people are afraid of tigers or the Inspector of Taxes, but there is an affliction caused by the fact that something that the graha stands for is not in good shape. If this were not the case, then there is no reason to pronounce that the graha is neecha!
Understanding the cause of the fear of the graha may take us one step closer to comprehending what is actually wrong. Therefore, we will start with the fear concept, not because a graha is "afraid," but because fear is something that we all understand so well. After all, does not knowing that we have a neecha graha in our chart make us feel scared?
THE NEECHA GRAHAS
Surya is at the point of deepest fall at 10 degrees, Tula rasi. This corresponds to Swati, which is ruled by Rahu, in the 2nd pada, which is ruled by Sani, and in the 2nd drekkan, which is also ruled by Sani.
Both Rahu and Sani are inimical to Surya, and their combined might means that Surya feels very low indeed. Sani is humble and relates to equality, and so does Rahu as per "Sani vad Rahu," and Surya, as the king, cannot digest this!
The description of the 2nd drekkan of Tula is:
"A man hungry and thirsty, with the face of a vulture, and attached to his wife and children."
In the above context, it is worth noting that Sani is Surya's son, and the vulture is said to be Sani's mount.
Chandra is at the point of deepest fall at 03 degrees, Vrichaka rasi. This corresponds to Vishaka, which is ruled by Guru, in the 4th pada, which is ruled by Chandra, and in the 1st drekkan, which is ruled by Kuja.
It is easy to understand Surya's neechatva, but Chandra's is more perplexing. Why is he neecha in association with Guru and Kuja, with both of whom he forms the Gaja Kesari Yoga and the Chandra Mangala Yoga respectively?
Guru represents wisdom, and Chandra, who personifies the mind, doesn't like wisdom, and prefers pleasurable pursuits. Chandra in his own pada means the mind dwelling on itself, not positively as in the "I consciousness" but in terms of trying to fulfil the pleasures that the mind suggests. Chandra is also afflicted by the rashness of Kuja.
The description of the 1st drekkan of Vrichaka is:
"A beautiful young woman, quite naked, emerging out from an ocean towards the shore, feet bound up by a serpent."
This is a sarpa drekkan, and the snake allusion indirectly links it to Rahu and Ketu, the nodes, whom Chandra fears.
Budha is at the point of deepest fall at 15 degrees, Meena rasi. This corresponds to Uttarabadra, which is ruled by Sani, in the 4th pada, which is ruled by Kuja, and in the 2nd drekkan, which is ruled by Chandra.
Budha is a highly intellectual graha, and it cannot stand the gloom of Sani, or the anger of Kuja, or the fickleness of Chandra, all of which are inimical to rational thought. No wonder it is neecha!
The description of the 2nd drekkan of Meena is:
"A beautiful woman, sailing in a boat with long flags towards the other coast."
The flag is particularly interesting because it flies at the highest point, and represents the acme. Ironically, with Budha fallen, intelligence, which differentiates humans from beast, no longer reigns supreme!
Sukra is at the point of deepest fall at 27 degrees, Kanya rasi. This corresponds to Chitra, which is ruled by Kuja, in the 2nd pada, which is ruled by Budha, and in the 3rd drekkan, which is ruled by Sukra himself.
Sukra represents highly refined things, and this is the good aspect. The negative thing about Sukra is his excessive pursuit of pleasure, which leads to a lowering of morals and general dissipation. In particular, Kuja corrupts Sukra and turns love to lust. The fact that Budha owns the concerned pada is also inimical to Sukra though Budha is friendly with Sukra because those who love pleasures do not like listening to reason. The drekkan being owned by Sukra implies a vortex of pleasure, which
can only lead to lassitude.
The description of the 3rd drekkan of Kanya is:
"A fair woman, with a yellow cloth on her body and exposing her breasts and going to a sacred place."
What an apt description! Sukra is feminine, yellow represents prosperity, and as a Brahmin graha, the visit to the sacred place is also appropriate. The vulgar reference to the breasts implies the profaning of the sacred, caused by Sukra being neecha.
Kuja is at the point of deepest fall at 28 degrees, Kataka rasi. This corresponds to Aslesha, which is ruled by Budha, in the 4th pada, which is ruled by Guru, and in the 3rd drekkan, which is also ruled by Guru.
Kuja is a warrior, and doesn't like to heed either Budha's intelligence or Guru's wisdom. All he wants to do is fight meaninglessly, and this makes him neecha.
The description of the 3rd drekkan of Kataka is:
"A man in a boat amidst an ocean, with a serpent around his waist."
This is a sarpa drekkan, and indirectly refers to Rahu and Ketu, who, being daemons, are inimically disposed towards the commander of the Gods. Since there is no reference to a storm, we may safely assume that a boat in an ocean depicts serenity and perhaps boredom because there is nothing to do but steer the boat. Since there are no prospects of war, Kuja is highly frustrated!
Guru is at the point of deepest fall at 05 degrees, Makara rasi. This corresponds to Uttarashada, which is ruled by Surya, in the 3rd pada, which is ruled by Sani, and in the 1st drekkan, which is also ruled by Sani.
Guru is a unique graha in Jyotish because it is the only graha that is not treated as an enemy by any of the other grahas. So, it is a little intriguing to consider why it is neecha. Perhaps, it is neecha because both the grahas concerned, Surya and Sani, can't stand each other. Also, Surya is arrogant and Sani represents humble activities, and neither of them seems too capable of appreciating the wisdom that is so dear to Guru.
The description of the 1st drekkan of Makara is:
"A man with much hair, pig-bodied and faced, and carrying a rope and a net."
Nothing threatening about the above, but it hardly seems to be
the height of wisdom!
Sani is at the point of deepest fall at 20 degrees, Mesha rasi. This corresponds to Bharani, which is ruled by Sukra, in the 3rd pada, which is also ruled by Sukra, and in the 3rd drekkan, which is ruled by Guru.
Sani is responsible for grief, and as such, he doesn't appreciate Sukra's propensity for merrymaking. Guru symbolises wisdom and so may be called a good teacher, but Sani is more practical. The lessons he teaches are learnt in the University of Life, and not from books. Thus, Sani may not be very pleased by Guru's teachings, because he likes to teach people by humbling them with sorrow and suffering.
The description of the 3rd drekkan of Mesha is:
"A cruel hearted man, red in colour, active, wearing red garments, unprincipled and angry."
The above description seems to fit Kuja, who is inimical to Sani, to a T!
It would be arrogant to presume that the above descriptions are accurate, and represent the only way of looking at the neecha state of a graha. However, it is a good starting point, and the author hopes that even points above that are not agreeable to the wise will promote thought, and lead all of us to greater clarity and to the light, which is Jyotish.
Author, Sherlock Holmes: Solutions from the Sussex Downs
Editor, The Partial Art of Detection