How to determine longevity, step-wise.

‘How long will I live’ is a fascinating question for all of us and we can arrive to a reasonable conclusion using our horoscopes. There are a lot of technical combinations which are linked to determining longevity. But for beginners this can be complicated so here is a step wise list to help you, determine if a person is to have a relatively longer or a shorter life.

  1. For the ascendant in question, which planets are the functional benefics and functional malefics (there is a table below for reference)?
  2. Analyse the 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th houses (Kendra), are there benefics placed here? These houses and their planetary owners wherever they be placed should be strong. If so, longer life.
  3. The 3rd, 6th and 11th (Upachaya) houses, are there malefics located here?The owners of these houses should not be too strong. If so, longer life.
  4. Ascendant lord or the birth moon, is he placed in the 6th, 8th or 12th houses of turmoil? If so, shorter life.
  5. Are there malefic planets in the ascendant sign? If so, shorter life.
  6. Is the ascendant lord or the birth moon under malefic aspects? If so, shorter life.
  7. The first Mahadasha and Antardasha of this life, the one you start with at birth, are these planets capable of giving favourable results? i.e Have you made a good start in this life? e.g. if the birth is in Gandant nakshatra, or in the periods of the lords of the 6th, 8th or 12th houses, there will be problems in birth and early childhood, which will have impacts on the entire life-time.
  8. The ascendant sign, the ascendant lord, the birth Moon and the Sun are the basic energies which grant vitality and health. They should be strongly placed to give good results. If so, longer life.
  9. Then if asking about a medical emergency, or recovery.
    • The current transits, check if the malefics in transit are going to give evil results, then the life will be short.
    • If benefics in transit can provide strength to the horoscope, then recovery should be predicted.
    • Check which mahadasha and antardasha is on at the time. If these are of malefic planets or of planets capable of conferring physical death/Marak, then life will be short.
    • If the Mahadasha and antardasha are of benefics or of the ascendant lord, you can predict a longer life.
    • If you get questions on children or the very aged, the position of the Moon should be given more importance than the ascendant lord.

How to determine longevity step-wiseSome points to remember,

  1. Natural malefics are Sun, Mars, Saturn, Rahu/Ketu
  2. Natural benefics are Jupiter, Venus, Moon, Mercury
  3. If Moon and Mercury are influenced by malefics they will not give good results.
  4. If benefic planets are retrograde, they give neutral to average results.
  5. If benefic planets are combust, they give neutral to average results.

Here is a table where the functional malefics and benefics for each ascendant sign are listed out, for your easy reference.

Sr. Sign Benefic Malefic Neutrals
1 Aries Mars, Sun, Jupiter, Moon Rahu, Ketu, Mercury Venus, Saturn
2 Taurus Saturn, Venus, Mercury Rahu, Ketu, Moon, Mars, Jupiter Sun
3 Gemini Venus, Saturn, Mercury Rahu, Ketu, Mars, Jupiter, Sun Moon
4 Cancer Moon, Mars Rahu, Ketu, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury Venus, Sun
5 Leo Sun, Mars, Jupiter Rahu, Ketu, Moon, Mercury, Venus Saturn
6 Virgo Venus, Mercury Rahu, Ketu, Moon, Jupiter, Mars Sun
7 Libra Saturn, Venus, Mercury Rahu, Ketu, Sun, Jupiter Mars
8 Scorpio Moon, Jupiter, Sun, Mars Rahu, Ketu, Mercury, Venus Saturn
9 Sagittarius Mars, Sun, Jupiter Rahu, Ketu, Mercury, Venus Moon
10 Capricorn Venus, Mercury, Saturn Rahu, Ketu, Moon, Mars Sun, Jupiter
11 Aquarius Venus, Saturn Rahu, Ketu, Moon, Mars Jupiter Sun, Mercury
12 Pisces Moon, Mars Rahu, Ketu, Sun, Venus, Saturn Mercury, Jupiter

This might seem like a baby post, but this is the framework which you begin with. Only after you do this much, you shoud look for combinations/yog with complicated names to fine tune your analysis. This analysis is not very simplistic as you might think it to be, try it with the horoscope of someone in your family who is quite aged, e.g. grandparents, and if you can find reliable birthdates of people who died young. Practice.

And remember Jyotish has a significant component of intuition too. So we give special importance to Omens/Shakun in Jyotish, if while reading a chart you hear an accident on the roads outside, this has to be taken into account as a negative influence on the question being analysed. And finally, quality of life is more important than the length so try to live life with a positive and enthusiastic mindset!


How to determine longevity step-wise

Worst houses for the planets to be in!

Sometimes in life, you get assignments which make you feel that death would be better than what you are being made to do. Well, the planets also feel like this sometimes! If they are placed in their ‘maran karak sthan’, they are required to work in ways completely against their fundamental natures. This is different from debilitation of the planets, debilitated conditions are as per the characteristics of the signs and the planets. Maran karak sthan is based on the logic of the houses and the nature of the planets.

When a planet is placed in its ‘death zone house’, its vitality gets reduced and it feels suffocated, it wishes it could rather die that continue in this house! Its extreme discomfort will then adversely affect its ability to give results,

  • affect this house that it is in,
  • affect the houses that it aspects,
  • also the houses in which its signs are placed,
  • and all the things that it stands for naturally (natural karak).

Worst houses for the planets to be in maran karak sthanSaturn (1st house) is most uncomfortable in the first house, unless it happens to be Libra where he manages to somehow pull on (is exalted here and also its Yogkarak). Planets which perform well in the 1st house are the vigorous energetic outgoing planets like the Sun and Mars. Health, beauty, energy, vitality, speed, spirituality, confidence, authority and action. Now Saturn is not much of these things! He is slow, slowest! Constricted, restricted, dour, low on enthusiasm, aged, loaded with work, under strict discipline, no personal ego, no distinct personality, work and more work. Sun is King, Mars is the Warrior and Saturn is the Servant!

In the zodiac signs too, Saturn is debilitated in the first house Aries, owned by Mars and the Sun gets exalted here. In the first house thus, Saturn cannot stand the outgoing spirit, enthusiasm and fire and goes into Maran avastha (death state).

Jupiter (3rd House) – The natural ruler of the 3rd house is Mercury and the natural agent/karak is Mars. If Jupiter is placed in 3rd house, he gives less than optimal results.

The 3rd house has the potential to become the worst house of the horoscope as it is linked to the desires of the dual mind. All forms of duality are welcomed here and converted into desires, these desires then work their way through the horoscope (Kama trikon) and are finally achieved in the 11th house, the house of gains. A philosophic graha like Jupiter feels drowned in duality and desires which are repugnant to his basic nature. Jupiter is the karmic mirror of the chatty, juvenile, number-crunching Mercury (but then who likes the reflection seen in the mirror? Jupiter is no different!) He feels out of place in the environment of the 3rd house. This is the house of courage/ Parakram, so connected to Mars. The natures of Jupiter and Mars are completely opposite can been seen from the fact that Jupiter is debilitated in Capricorn and exalted in Cancer, the exact opposite of Mars.

Brotherhood and college gangs, Mars and Mercury. Jupiter is the benevolent planet of expansion, humanitarian views, abstract philosophies and wisdom. When such a planet has to live in the house of boldness, he feels uncomfortable with the violence of Mars and the immaturity of Mercury and reaches his ‘death state’.

Doing some Jupiter related activities in the right context may help re-balance his state, e.g you can offer to teach some poor children in your free time, or write on philosophical subjects.

Mercury (4th house): Natural karaka/determinator of the 4th house is the Moon, the 4th house deals with emotions and happiness. Mercury is ‘analysis’ and logic, in every way possible. Emotions have very little to do with logic and likewise. So he feels rather lost here. The 4th also symbolizes ‘needy love’, and Mercury loves being the brash adolescent. Your kid, when he suddenly becomes a teenager, won’t like being cuddled or smothered with maternal love. Something of this sort happens to Mercury in the 4th house. Tell your teenager to sit at home and not go out with his friends/siblings and see what happens! And the other aspect of the 4th house is to provide security and emotional comfort, an immature Mercury is unable to fit in this role either, nurturing is not his thing. Looking after the house, lands, properties is a grown-up’s job.

The 4th house also represents the sum of your astral, sub-conscious, dream, other-dimensional self. This is a very huge ‘database’. Moon is the father of Mercury. He allots just that much information to his son, which he can use and analyse productively. But when Mercury is in 4th he has access to this ultra-humongous database and he starts his number-crunching and database analysis, and then drowns in the data and the analysis. And then our teenager again directly in his father’s control! No wonder Mercury feels death is better than a sojourn in the 4th house.

You can try helping your mother, write up her household accounts. Or learn a skill related to house-keeping, maybe interior designing as a hobby?pexels-photo-531360.jpegVenus (6th house): Natural karak of 6th house is Mars and its natural owner is Mercury. The 6th house is one of the dushamsthana, the houses of turmoil. This is the house of celibacy, aloneness, debts, disease, enemies and karmic servitude. Here all relationships breakdown, all fairness is lost and all partnerships are dissolved. It is just you and the karma you have chosen to resolve in this life. The worst relationship possible.

Venus is debilitated in Virgo. On the material levels Virgo is the eternal virgin young woman and Venus is the agent of relationships and the pleasures from it. Both concepts are contradictory.

On the spiritual level, Venus tries to take you to your most fulfilling relationship which is the relationship you have with your own self, this is liberation in the truest sense. But in the 6th he is forced to oversee bindings on the soul. Everything that weighs you down is the domain of the 6th. Rather than working on your truest relationship with yourself, you are made to work hard and serve others! No wonder Venus, in 6th, goes into the Maran Avastha/’death state’.

If you have time and are so inclined, maybe you can help out as a counsellor to people suffering from conflicts, or help out in old age homes and orphanages.

Mars (7th house): 7th house is equality, marriage, partnerships, fairness, business, legality. Mars is the warrior, challenger, pioneer, fighter, the ‘first’, champion, swords and blood. Can someone imagine Ghengiz Haan as a sophisticated, intellectual, fair, law-abiding equal partner? Mars in 7th house is just this image! In the 7th, he will bring in his excessive energy, aggression, loss of temper and war. All the things that are controlled by the 7th or related to the 7th house will eventually suffer with Mars in control. Also the things that Mars stands for in your chart will suffer.

If your partner thinks the same as you do, you can try competing with her/him, video games to jogging as you prefer. Then again, the gym is always an option.

Moon (8th house): Moon placed here is in Maran Karak Sthan (Death Zone). From the sign point of view too, Moon is debilitated in Scorpio, the 8th natural sign. Moon in the 8th is not considered auspicious. Moon is the nurture that creates the body and the mind both. This Moon in the house of death adversely affects the mind/body. There is little maternal love, nurture, emotional anchors, mental comforts in such horoscopes. The lens of perceptions in the house of catastrophic transformations!

In the spiritual sense, Moon is the reflection of Mahamaya, the illusion that is Creation. So when he is placed in the house of death he realises sub-consciously that the Reality is different from the Illusion he represents, thus goes into his ‘death state’.

For such a placement, some deep spiritual practice where you manipulate your vital energies, e.g Dhyan or the physical Hatha yog type of practices would help.

Sun (12th house): Natural ruler of the 12th house is Jupiter and it signifies losses of the physical manifested. Loss of consciousness, loss of ego, loss of the body, loss of everything that the personality and losses of everything that houses 1 to 11 signify. The 12th house signifies sleep, loss of health, astral travel, sensual pleasures, the diffused other dimensions, the dream and the other states and is the ‘creative’ part of the Moksh trikon. Sun is individuality, personal ego, the individual soul, creation, individual personality, sharpness, radiance, good health of the mind/soul. When he is asked to contribute to the 12th house, it goes against his fundamental nature. He becomes very uneasy and this affects his role in the horoscope. Hence 12th house is the death zone i.e. Maran Karak Sthan for Sun.

The luminaries, Sun and the Moon are responsible for creation and consciousness. Now when the Sun is placed in the 12th houses (or to a lesser degree if in the 4th or 8th) there exists a deep unrest in the soul. The soul realises that ‘creation’ is an Illusion, that it, itself is not Reality, it is bound to dissolve ultimately so that the actual Reality can be experienced. This causes deep spiritual discomfort, unless you can use these energies for your spiritual growth. For such a placement again, deep mediation is a way out.

Planets placed in the houses completely antithetical to their nature, get uncomfortable, feel like death/Maran avastha, and do not give good results on the material front. However what is bad for the material is good for the spiritual. So if you have such Maran sthan placements in your chart, do think. Analyse your life, you might see some events which have adversely affected you. But then every event happens for a reason. Ultimately everyone’s goal is spiritual advancement. If you can consciously work with your horoscope, you can make use of every placement in a positive way.


Worst houses for the planets to be in maran karak sthan





The 33 koti devata – Rudra

The 33 koti devata are 33 classes of energies linked to the Brahmanadi running along your spine. You, your body/mind, the microcosm, is created by the interaction of these 33 classes of energies. And we pray to the 33 Koti deities in the Universe/macrocosm and this resonates with their energies in the microcosm too. These are Indra, Prajapati, the 8 types of Vasu, the 11 Rudra and the 12 Aditya. Rudra is a Sanskrit word with several meanings  including – sound, terrible, roaring, vibrations, producing energy. It is also linked to – pain, crying, red color etc. And every one of the eleven Rudra have different and distinct attributes which are indicated by their names. They are the eleven forms of Shiv.


The defination of Rudra in the Jyotish context is from Maharishi Jaimini. There are 12 houses in your horoscope and there are 11 Rudra. 11 houses are allocated one to each type of Rudra – the 8th house counted from every house is ruled by a Rudra, except the one which is occupied by Jupiter in your chart. Their names are Raivat, Aja, Bhava, Bhima, Vamadev, Ugra, Vrushakapi, Aja-eka-paad, Ahirbudhnya, Bahuroopa and Mahan.

The 8th house is the mysterious house of catastrophic transformations. It indicates death, occult, the movement of praan flowing in your energy channels, deep mediations and the changes brought about by these etc. Each of these Rudra are the conscious energy/vibration which cause catastrophic changes for each one of the houses of your chart. These are generally painful for the mind and the body because these are complete transformations of identity. The identity connected to that house changes via a traumatic shocking event and for that instant there is pain and grief to the self. E.g. the eighth house counted from the 4th house will indicate catastrophic changes to your physical security, emotional comforts, or the physical death of the mother. The deepest changes are those which involve traumatic transformations are indicated by the 8th house counted from it. And the eight house counted from the ascendant/1st house indicates how the physical death will occur, the most catastrophic change.

Nothing is steady and everything changes. This rate of change can be fast, slow, peaceful, turbulent etc. Every aspect of your life goes through its own sequence of change, some of which are not pleasant but are very necessary. On the material side thus the eleven Rudra bring about pain and grief.

The divisional chart D-11 is called the Rudramsha or the Ekadashamsha, this is used to determine the destruction, death and similarly painful events in your life.

The energies of Rudra end. They end a ‘kalp’, i.e. they end ideas, thought processes, desires, manifestations and ultimately end the Creation itself. Shiv, the energy of the Hindu/Sanatan Dharm triad, is the One who Ends. But this is not a mindless ending. It is with full consciousness and grants complete and pure knowledge. e.g. In school, you pass out from one class and enter the next higher class, you change your text-books, your time-table, your classroom, you have learnt it all so you discard the physical objects. This is the same. The 11 Rudra are embodiments of Time/Kaal which ‘cuts’. And since things are in a never ending spiral, they do not stop, but continue their evolution on a different higher energy spiral.

Together the 11 types of Rudra and the 12 classes of Aditya are used to indicate change and the timing of the change. This is the predictive section of Jyotish, the timing and the transits.

But if you analyse the other side of the 11 Rudra, they are give great gains on the spiritual, they use extreme conscious force to transform you. This transformation removes transient and temporary structures associated with you so that you can more intelligently reshape yourself. Resisting these forces is not possible, it would be better if you learnt more about them and go with their flow. Participate consciously and dispassionately with the transformations so that you can experience the deepest secrets of every aspect of your chart, and thus yourself.

From the astrological point of view the ascendants Aries and Libra are the signs who have birth – death – rebirth inbuilt in their personality and their environment. Their ascendant sign lord and the lord of the 8th house sign is the same, Mars and Venus. Their undergo through a series of rapid and ever changing transformations. Natives of these two ascendants should worship the Rudra-s or any form of Shiv which appeals to them, or if they are more drawn to feminine energies then Shiv’s wife, Parvati preferably in her Kali form.

Destruction carries with itself the seeds of the new. The opposite of ‘birth‘ is not ‘death‘, it is ‘rebirth’. To be free from this cycle, knowledge is essential. And when the stakes are so high it does not come easily. This is the energy of the Eleven Terrible Vibrations, the Ekadash Rudra.



Planetary war, Graha Yuddha

Planetary war is a peculiar astronomical condition where several planets are together in one sign at once. In terms of speed, the Moon is the fastest graha, next is Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Rahu/Ketu and then Saturn which is the slowest. And then the fast-moving ones catch up to the slower planets and the distance between the two becomes less than one degree, this is Graha Yuddha. This peculiar conjunction affects the powers of the planet who has the lesser degrees, it is considered to have lost the war! The Sun, Moon, Rahu and Ketu do not involve themselves in such fights. Only the five, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn are involved in Graha Yuddha.

The logic behind this is quite simple. A planet is considered to give more results, the deeper he advances into a sign. e.g. A Jupiter which is placed at 4 deg in Leo and a Mercury placed at 5 deg Leo. In this case, Mercury is more capable of giving results related to Leo than Jupiter based on their degree placement in the sign. And in terms of war, Mercury is the the victor.Planetary war, Graha YuddhaThis ‘planetary war’ concept is not very important in analysing birth horoscopes but is applicable in Prasna, in analysing the effects of transiting planets and in mundane astrology. There are four types of planetary war,

  1. Occultation – In this case the two planets have the same direction of movement and the lie on the same degree. And the planet nearer to the earth completely obstructs the one who is farther away. (Chhadan or Bhaed)
    • can cause failure of rains, discord among prominent people, clashes between nations,
  2. Apasavya – This is occultation but when one of the planets is moving in a forward motion and the other in a retrograde motion.
    • Internal flights among the ruling class
  3. Obstruction – In this case the planetary spheres touch each other but do not overlap. Just their edges touch. (Ullekh or Rodh)
    • can cause confusions in government, internal unrest, civil war, famines,
  4. Anshu-mardana – This is when the planets are 1-5 deg from each other and their energies/rays clash with each other.
    • disease and poverty can spread among the populations.

In the present time, in June/July, a planetary war will occur in Gemini and then in Cancer as Mars, Mercury and Venus are going to move together, in forward and also retrograde motions. During this period they will also be with Rahu while in Gemini. They will also accompany the Sun and occasionally go combust. The present times are highly confused with retrograde Saturn and Ketu in Sagittarius and a retrograde Jupiter in Scorpio.

This confusion in the Gemini – Sagittarius axis will create war like situations in the world, with religion – fueled aggression. When it hits the Cancer – Capricorn axis it will cause problems for homeland security and social issues which will affect large sections of the society.

In analysing transits, also remember that the planet which has advanced more into the sign dominates, so in June you have Mars in Gemini leading the Sun, Mercury and Rahu. Two fiery planets, Sun, Mars and one airy, Rahu with the impressionable adolescent Mercury. As Mars dominates all these, summers have been intense, forests have been on fire, people have been very passionate about causes (Indian elections!), rains are late, people will have been suffering heat-related health issues etc. The situation will marginally improve as Mercury overtakes Mars and till he exits Gemini. And this is all happening with Rahu, the agent of desire, in Gemini aspected by the agent of constriction, i.e Saturn from Sagittarius.

People with ascendants or birth moon sign, Gemini, Sagittarius and to some extent Virgo are badly affected, ‘heat’ in all its possible forms will be after them. Aries and Scorpio are better off as Mars is the winner of the Graha yuddha. Taurus should take care especially, of the health and avoid accidents while driving, might be required to live away from home for some time. Cancer is not in a very favourable position either. Pisces will feel the heat and body/mind fatigue. For the rest of the signs it is average.

To get more personal, look into your birth-chart and check out what the Gemini-Sagittarius means to you, which houses it falls in. Expect problems from this axis and its keywords.

The present times till September 2019, when Saturn will turn forward again, are very happening, with events moving very fast. Do keep notes and keep track of what is happening, it is going to be quite educational. But in your personal lives try to keep calm and work through situations as they present themselves. It is the ideal time to study the effects of transits, retrogrades, planetary war, combustion etc as so many planets are involved.


Planetary war, Graha Yuddha

Ayurved – Sapt Dhatu, the 7 elements of your body

Ayurved is the science of life and the living body. As per Ayurved, the human body is composed of the Sapt Dhatu. These are the seven primary ingredients, roots, subtle essences, causes, constituents etc which create the human body, ie. the visible Anna-mai-kosh or the sthool sharir, the visible material physical body and its functions.

These seven constituents, Sapt Dhatu are created from the energy of the food you eat. You take in the food with the energies of Praan Vayu. Then the ‘fires’ of digestion/Jathar-agni in your body convert the food into the following three parts first,

  1. The solid /Sthool part – the dull, material part with very dim energy, this will be converted to feces and urine and removed from the body. The Apaan vayu will be responsible for this elimination.
  2. The liquid part which will be converted to ‘Rasa’ – This is the essence of nutrition, the actual liquid absorbed by the intestines and also its vital energies. This is that part of your food which will be actually converted to the Sapt Dhatu which make up your body.
  3. And finally the ‘airy’ and ‘fiery’ part of the food you eat will be converted into the mind. These include the sub-conscious impressions that the food has absorbed. Now these impressions will create your mind.

Ayurved Sapt Dhatu the 7 elements of your bodyFor creating the physical body, the energies of Rasa will be used to create the seven primary ingredients in sequence as follows,

  1. Rasa –
    • There is ‘Rasa-agni’, the intelligent ‘fire’ which converts the nutrition supplied by it to the various parts of the body. Rasa-agni is also responsible for the transformation of the ‘essence of food’ to Rasa. Food takes 6 hours to be converted to Rasa in the stomach/ intestine.
    • This is all the liquids in your body, intracellular fluids, the fluid the intestines absorb, the plasma in your blood, the mother’s milk, lymph, tears, saliva etc.
    • Rasa is responsible for providing nutrition and taking away the wastes produced in every cell of your body. It is the major primary component of the body, i.e. a significant percentage of your body is water! It is connected with immunity. It also your capacity for affection.
    • It is connected to the Kapha dosh of the tri-dosh of Ayurved.
    • Some foods which help Rasa formation are Tulsi, Ginger, Milk (from a Indian desi cow which has a prominent hump).
  2. Rakta –
    • This is all the solid components of blood (except the liquid plasma which is Rasa). Rakta is the blood components, red blood cells, white blood cells, the platelets, and the molecules and enymes which are carried in the blood and circulated in the body.
    • This is the function of life! Oxygenation to enthusiasm in living.
    • It takes Rasa, 15 days to be converted to Rakta. That means that the food you eat should have enough ‘essential energy’ first create and work as Rasa for 15 days and if there is any left over, then it gets transformed into Rakta.
    • Transformations related to Rakta dhatu are mediated by the Rakta-agni.
    • Rakta is connected to the Pitta dosh.
    • Some foods which help Rakta formation are Pomegranates, Ghee.
  3. Mansa –
    • This is all the muscle, the flesh and skin. This includes the organs and the tubes that are the soft tissues of the body. The plastering and the gap-filling stuff! It grants form, strength, movement and protection.
    • Converting the essences of Rasa and Rakta into Mansa/flesh takes a further 27 days. So you need to eat nutritious food for at least 2 months to see a visible difference in the ‘fleshy’ components of your body.
    • This is the structure of the body thus linked to the kapha dosh. The intelligent energy of conversion associated with it is called Mansa-agni.
    • Ghee and Honey help in formation of Mansa.
  4. Medha –
    • This is the fatty tissues of the body, the ligaments, tendons and includes the lubricants in the joints.
    • It has an important role in brain function and normal intelligence and is used to build the brain, spinal cord and the insulating fats on the nerves.
    • It is responsible for lubrication, bulk, personal love and beauty
    • As per modern dietary standards, body fat is viewed as dangerous. In my opinion, one should be at the higher side of the recommended weight range. Medha is also the stored nutrients which are utilised in cases of emergencies e.g. falling ill.
    • Converting the essences of Rasa, Rakta, Mansa to Medha will take a further 41days. And the ‘fire’ of conversion here is called ‘Medha-agni’.
    • Medha is linked to the Kapha dosh.
    • Honey and drinking warm water helps in formation of Medha.
  5. Asti – .
    • Asti is the skeletal frame of the body – the bones, the cartilages and includes the teeth, nails and hair.
    • This supports and protects the vital organs.
    • Converting the essences of Rasa, Rakta, Mansa and Medha to Asti takes 52 days. The intelligent energy related to conversions of Asti is called Asti-agni
    • Asti is linked to the Vaat dosh of Ayurved.
    • Milk (desi cow) helps in Asti formation.
  6. Majja –
    • Majja is the marrow inside the bones and the innermost red/yellow cells of the nervous tissues, brain and spinal cord in the body. It ‘fills the spaces, and is responsible for sensations, memory and communication.
    • The processes linked to these are mediated by the “Majja-agni’.
    • 64 days required to convert the other essences to Majja. If you look at the time-frame, the cumulative days required to convert the energy of food into bone marrow is over 200 days!
    • Majja is linked to Kapha dosh
    • Ghee and honey are easily available foods which help Majja formation.
  7. Shukra –
    • And then finally, an additional 96 days are required to convert the essences of these six Dhatu into your reproductive cells, the seventh Shukra dhatu.
    • So this means that, first you have to eat food with sufficient ‘essential nutrition’.
      Then Rasa, Rakta, Mansa, Medha Asti and Majja are created in sequence, used in life, plus the daily wear, tear and repair. Then the remaining if sufficient in quantity will be used to create Shukra dhatu. No wonder problems related to reproduction are on the rise these days!
    • The bulk of this energy is used in creating the reproductive cells, the sperm/Shukra and ovum/Shonita. And a very minor portion used in creating the stem cells in small children. After adolescence, stem cells production drastically reduces as the sperm/ova/reproductive cell production starts in real ernest.
    • Shukra is linked to Kapha dosh and is responsible for reproduction, production of Ojas and emotional contentment.
    • Shukra-agni mediates the conversion processes associated with the Shukra-dhatu.
    • Milk (desi cow) and almonds help in formation of Shukra dhatu.

Ayurved Sapt Dhatu the 7 elements of your bodyNow for the spiritually inclined, Ojas. Ojas is created when Shukra is converted further. Shukra is the subtlest and most ‘refined’ dhatu of the body. If it is not utilized by the person it converts to Ojas, this takes 108 days. Ojas is the conscious essence of Kapha dosha. Nutrition and the ‘fires/Agni’  both need to be perfect to form Ojas. Ojas is the divine vitality, the ‘shine’ that you see on the faces of persons who follow a highly spiritual life-style. This process is faster when you exercise control over your senses and eat nutritious, vegetarian, simple food which you have cooked with your own hands. This is the real reason why over-indulgence in sexual activity ‘drains’ the body. You are using up the Shukra dhatu and very little remains for conversion into Ojas.

  • In men, if sufficient Shukra is created in the first place and no or reasonably limited sexual activity occurs, then significant amount of Shukra converts into Ojas.
  • In women, while she is in the reproductive age-group, a significant proportion of Shukra dhatu is lost every month with the monthly cycle. After menopause however, the essences of Shukra dhatu are not lost like this. So if she refrains/limits sexual activity similarly larger quantities of Ojas will be created from Shukra dhatu.

Ayurved is not just ‘Indian medical science’. It is a science of consciousness first taught by Bhagwan Dhanvantri. It discusses not only the physical body, but also the conscious layers of the body, the mind, the vital energy/pran flowing through the energy channels of the body and the soul. The body and its structure is linked to Astrology and also to Ayurved. Medical conditions can be diagnosed using the chart. And if you have ever seen a Nadi Vaidya (a doctor of Ayurved is called a Vaidya, ‘the one who knows’) in action, he can tell you the precise haemoglobin levels in your blood by reading your nadi/vital energy channel at your wrist. Sapt-dhatu, Panch-kosh and Panch-pran are how your body and mind works with your consciousness at the deepest levels. And so Ayurvedic treatments though slower than allopathic ones cure on the very deepest levels.Ayurved Sapt Dhatu the 7 elements of your body



Panchkosh, the five energy layers of the Soul

The human body is made of five energy enclosures called the Panch-Kosh. These are the Anna-mai-kosh, Praan-mai-kosh, Mano-mai-kosh, Vidnyan-mai-kosh and the Anand-mai-kosh. These 5 sheaths create Conscious Intelligence, humans are the most conscious of the living forms on earth because all five of these sheaths are complete and present enclosing the jivatma/individual soul. Only when you are aware of these sheaths can you consciously and intelligently dissolve them and re-experience your Reality/Parabrahma.

Everything on earth is alive, from the mountains, rivers, plants, animals and of course us humans, but the degree of life consciousness in each of these forms is different and the difference lies in these Kosh/sheaths.Panch-kosh the five energy layers of the SoulAnna-mai-kosh – The sheath of ‘Matter. This is the sheath of the lowest possible consciousness. It is also called the Sthool Sharir. Sthool means physical, dense, dull, dim etc. Sharir means body or manifestation. Energy slowed down to such an extent that it becomes ‘matter’. The rocks, soil, metals, mountains are just matter, they are alive but the intelligence is extremely dim. These forms of life have just this one layer thus appear to be ‘non-living’ and ‘non-conscious’. They do not have ‘karma‘ operating at this lowest level of intelligence. You can ‘wake’ stones using your own energy, programme them and use them.

Sthool sharir is the function of the Ascendant lord. This planet primarily decides how your physical material body is going to be like.

Praan-mai-kosh – The dimension of ‘vital energy‘. This is the next higher level of intelligence and consciousness. Vital energy/pran is active in this layer. Plants and the ‘mindless’ animals like worms etc have 2 conscious layers, the Anna-mai and the Praan-mai. They are alive and grow and do some activities related to ‘movements‘ of the material body. They have no mind. Karma starts operating from this layer, but this is a life form where the soul endures (bhog yoni). No new karma is created but the karma created earlier is rebalanced here. You keep a garden and take care of your plants, here too karma is operating!

Mano-mai-kosh – The dimension of the ‘Mind’. In the next stage of evolution this third layer of the mental processes adds to the material and vital bodies. Animals. Conscious animals which reproduce by producing shukla/sperm and shonita/ova have a ‘mind’/Mann. The praan/vital energy from the universe is used to animate and move the material body, the vital body and the processes of the mind. This mind is however at the very basic stages of evolution and works at the survival levels. In this layer too, the soul endures under situations which rebalance the karma and cannot actively work to create new karma. Nature/Prakruti’s laws operate. You love your pet, that is also a karma which is being resolved.

Vidnyan-mai-kosh – The dimension of ‘Discrimination’. The fourth stage of evolution is the addition of the power of discrimination/Vidnyan. The power to differentiate between two things, between desirable/non-desirable, good/bad, (Yukta aayukta vishishtha gnyan) is called Vidnyan. Normal humans have this power of mental discrimination and have reached the 4th stage of intelligence. They have access to the 4 layers/ kosh of consciousness. Here self-ego makes its first appearance. The human soul thinks that it is different from other persons, and also different from the Parabrahma. Here now with this intelligence of discrimination, the jivatma can create new karma if it acts with a sense of self.

These three layers, Praan-mai-kosh, Mano-mai-kosh and Vidnyan-mai-kosh together form the ‘subtle body’/Sookshma Sharir. Organisms like plants, animals and common humans are bound by the rules of karma, but they do not have an understanding of it. They are bound to rebalance karma by actively going through the associated experience. When the soul leaves the body it takes with it this Sookshma sharir, the baggage of Karma. When you travel astrally in your dream/swapna states you are travelling in your sookshma sharir. Sookshma means intangible, precise, accurate, subtle, strict, acute which it has to be as it maintains a record of karma among other things.

Sookshma sharir is the domain of the Moon. The power and position of your birth Moon, the sign he occupies and the results he is capable of giving. This ‘astral body’ is your Moon. In Indian /Vedic Jyotish the Moon is given importance just for this reason.Panch-kosh the five energy layers of the SouljpgAnand-mai-kosh – The dimension of ‘Happiness when the knowledge of the End of the Drama is known’. Now this is the final layer which tightly wraps the individual soul. The consciousness of this layer is available to those humans who begin enquiring into the spiritual. If you start reading about the inner self, thinking about Divinity, contemplating about Reality, practicing Dhyan etc. you will be granted access to this highest possible intelligence. This is the subtlest consciousness called the Kaaran Sharir. Kaaran in a Sanskrit word which means the ‘reasoning’ or ’cause’. Once you are conscious of this inner most layer you understand the workings of Karma. You can actively ‘burn’ your unresolved karma in the internal fires of your spiritual practice. This complete rebalancing of karma requires time, dedication and regular practice. Soon a time will come when you will gain a complete understanding of this final Kosh and be granted access to your Jivatma. But by now as you have completed your karmic debts, your Jivatma/individual soul is not longer an ‘individual’. It has experienced and thus become the Paramatma/the Ultimate Reality i.e. Moksh.

This tightest dimension, the karan sharir is a function of your birth Sun. His position in your horoscope will determine if you will be able to access its Intelligence or not. As most humans are not concerned with spiritual growth the Sun need not be analysed on priority. But if in the off-chance you get a spiritually oriented client, do analyse his birth Sun and the results he is capable of giving. For realisation of Moksh, the ascendant lord, Moon and the Sun are required to work together so that all the enclosing dimensions are successfully unlocked.

And then there is a class of beings who do not have the material body layer. Their bodies are composed of the non-material higher layers. You must have seen them sometime or the other. Astral beings or the beings whom you meet when you travel astrally or the individual souls who have left their physical body or ghosts or the departed loved ones who reside in Pitrulok but come to this Martyalok occasionally or the residents of the other dimensions (Yaksha, Gandharva, Pishachya, Vetal etc). These beings do not have the material dimension i.e. the Anna-mai-kosh thus are residents of the ‘astral realms’.

So the Panch-kosh is how your consciousness has evolved over countless births. Your soul has gone through this process too! You have been a mountain, a tree, a crab, a dolphin, an elephant and now you are a human. If you do your spiritual practice you will further evolve. The Panch-Kosh, the five Conscious dimensions are created and then they ultimately dissolve into the Ultimate Intelligence. The final step is thus Self-realization/Moksh.


Panch-kosh the five energy layers of the Soul

Panch Pran, vital energies and your Health

Ayurved is the intelligent energy of vitality. The concept of Panch-praan, the five types of vital energy, is one of the fundamental principles of Ayurved. The other being the Tri-dosh (Vaat, Kapha, Pitta) balance. The five important movements in the body are called the Panch-praan. These movements are called Praan, Apaan, Samaan, Vyaan and Udaan. These are intelligent energies of movement which run the body/mind. Here is how these work, logically.pancha prana the five vital energies.pngPraan – You take in food, water, breathe-in, sensory inputs from your sense organs etc. Anything that you take in is with the intelligence of Praan. ‘Intake’ is Pran. It moves inwards and downwards from the top of the head till the navel. Praan protects the mind/body in all ways, it is a smooth flowing vayu, no turbulence. The deity ruling over Praan is called Vishishtha. Praan is linked to the Aakash tattva (ether).

If praan gets imbalanced, you will suffer from unexplained anxiety, worry, anger, shortness of breath, breathing related illnesses like asthama, heart and lung related problems, fears, a general dullness of the mind/body. You can try doing some of these things to help balance Praan vayu.

  • Mindful breathing exercises, pranayam
  • Retain the breath (kumbhak) for a few seconds mindfully after you inhale.
  • Visualise golden/silvery energy entering your body as you inhale
  • Take a vacation in high pran areas like hills, seashore, forests especially pine forests, wide open spaces with less human habitations, be with nature away from the pran depleted cities.
  • Keep an open mind and accept new impressions, learn new skills, read a new book!
  • Spiritual practice

Samaan – You then convert these things, you digest the food, you process the sensory inputs to gain information. These actions of ‘conversion’ are carried out by the intelligence called Samaan. This is concentrated around your navel area and moves in a continuous powerful turbulent spiral. Samaan brings things together, it is in a way, contraction, focus and interconnection. It creates new cells and tissues to replace the ones which have been damaged or dead. Its ruling intelligence/deity is called Jaya. Pruthvi tattva (solidity) is linked to Samaan.

If Samaan is out of balance, you will suffer from digestion related problems, metabolism will be affected, bloating, appetite related issues. Mind will be unable to think clearly, foggy mental processes, lack of concentration etc. To get it back into balance you can try,

  • Perform the Kumbhak after you exhale, i.e. maintain the lungs in their empty position for a few seconds before inhaling again.
  • Exercises which strengthen the abdominal muscles, simple exercises.
  • ‘Energy goes where the attention goes’, so focus on your navel and the abdomen, doing a self-massage on your stomach is also a good option.
  • Putting coconut oil in your navel, just a few drops as you go to bed at night.
  • Eat nutritious food, avoid junk food and practice fasting, maybe once a week/fortnight?
  • Spiritual practice, especially something as simple as Tratak which is simply focussing.
  • Breathing exercises, pranayam.

Vyaan – After this you absorb the nutrition, you understand the information, this ‘absorption’ is the work of the Vyaan vayu. This is mainly concentrated in the upper chest areas but moves throughout the body/mind for its ‘distributing’ function. It moves outwards from the chest area in pulsating movements. This is in a way ‘expansion’, moving outwards. Vyaan keeps the naadi system functional and governs the movement of vital energy in all these energy channels. The intelligence called Vishvayoni rules over Vyaan. Agni tattva (heat) is linked to Vyaan.

Imbalance of Vyaan will cause ‘blockages’, so medical conditions like, poor circulation, varicose veins, cardiac arrest, blocked arteries, water retention, blood pressure, nervous complaints, anaemia, etc. Some of the things you can do to balance the Vyaan vayu are

  • Doing Suryanamaskar is the best option, do one set a day to being with, increase one set every week if you can (maximum is 108 sets) or any of the more vigorous yogasan/yogic postures. This will help circulation of the blood, lymph and the vital energy in their respective channels in the body.
  • If your health does not permit you to do these yogasan do simple warm-up type of exercises at least.
  • Do things which give you joy, you ‘open up’ in your happiness.
  • Breathing exercises, pranayam.
  • Spiritual practice

Apaan – You then give out undigested food, urine, breathe-out, remove the things that you dont need. This ‘elimination’ is through the intelligent energy called Apaan. This energy moves downwards from your navel and out and is concentrated in your lower abdominal area. It is responsible for removal of toxins, cancerous cells, negative energies and influences on the body/mind and all possible wastes created in the body/mind. Its ruling intelligence/deity is called Vishvakarma. Apaan is linked to the Vayu tattva (movement).

If Apaan gets out of balance, the reproductive health, kidney and excretory system, intestinal health and functions of these lower pelvic area organs will be affected. Apaan is related to disease, ageing and its imbalance tends to lower the level of consciousness, it is a turbulent vayu. A simple example, too much Apaan will result in dysentry and too little Apaan will cause constipation!

  • Perform the Kumbhak after you exhale, i.e. maintain the lungs in their empty position for a few seconds before inhaling again.
  • Do pranayam, breathing exercises.
  • Eat nourishing and proper food, avoid junk and processed food.
  • Do the Moola bandha, i.e. the Kegel exercise, where you exercise the muscles of the lower pelvic region.
  • Mentally release whatever has been holding you back, mindsets, emotions, thoughts, anything, in a gentle way.
  • Do not over-indulge in sexual activity. Too frequent and it will cause imbalances as it tends to drain the vital energy downwards and outwards.
  • Spiritual practice

Udaan – And finally you grow both in mind and body as you assimilate the information and the nutrition. This is the function of the Udaan vayu, this moves upwards throughout your body/mind. It regulates growth in all possible ways. e.g your body should grow as much it is supposed not keep on growing1 This is the intelligence of Udaan.

If the other four vayus are functioning properly Udaan automatically works as it is supposed to. However if there are imbalances here they will result in retarded or too much growth, dull mind, lack of creativity, no focus, no desire, no goals in life etc. Pranayam and spiritual practice, Dhyan, Mantra, Yantra, Tantra, Jaap, Tratak or any of the simpler regular mindfulness exercises and the re-balancing techniques of the other Vayus will help in re-balancing Udaan. Its ruling intelligence/deity is called Aja. Udaan is linked to the Jal tattva (fluidity). pancha prana the five vital energies.jpgNow these 5 types of praan are derived from the Mukhya-praan/main vital energy of Om. The Hindu/Sanatan dharm deity named ‘Maruti’ is a representation of these Panch-pran. He is often depicted with one single peaceful face but then often with 5 faces, each of a different color. The central face is peaceful and the remaining 4 are terrible, with fierce expressions. The central face represents Praan, the peaceful smooth flowing Vayu and the other four Vayu are really very turbulent, fierce and can be quite scary to look at/experience individually.

If you really wish to ‘see’ these vayu within you, here is a rather simple way, on any Saturday evening, recite any Maruti stotra/mantra of your choice in any language you want. Face east or north and sit on your asan. If it a Sanskrit mantra it needs to be recited 108 times and if it a longer stotra you should recite it 27 times at least, to entrain the mind. As always focus in your third eye, You will see the Panch-Praan roaring through your mind/body in their full majesty.

In addition to this classification of the vital energies there is another classification of sub-energies/Marut/upa-vayu. These are 7 types of 7 vital sub-energies thus a total of 49 classes. These sub-energies are linked to the tiniest of movements of your body from sneezing, to blinking, yawning etc.

For a spiritual aspirant, the equilibrium between the Praan and Apaan is vital. Praan is the upward moving energy which increases consciousness and dissociates from the bindings of the mortal shell. Apaan is the downward moving energy which binds more strongly to the body/mind and lowers the consciousness. If there is a perfect balance of these two you will realize the Ultimate, experience Moksh. So all the spiritual exercises finally culminate in Dhyan where we mindfully use the power of Om (mukhya-praan, the Ultimate vital energy) to balance these two, Praan and Apaan, within our Brahmanadi, the thinnest and subtlest energy channel of our energy body.