Ascetics Sanyasi and Tapasvi yog

Renunciating the society and delving into your self searching for the Ultimate is what Sanyas or asceticism or Tapah, means. The Sanyasi and Tapasvi yog create asceticism in you and draw you to the Consciousness within.

Tapasvi तपस्वि is an ascetic practising austerities.

Sanyas is a compound word in Devbhasha Samskrutam. Sanyas means to precisely fix into individual consciousness what really Is. The objective of Sanyas is always attainment of the Nirgun Brahma, the Advaita, no less.

  • Samyak सम्यक् – properly, precisely, beautifully, aptly, accurately, correctly, together, in the same direction.
  • Nyas न्यास – to trust, deposit, text, writing down something, placing, painting, appropriation, assignment, impressing, finally fixing, delivering, bringing forward, pledge, etc.


Bruhat Parashari Hora Shastra,

Chapter 79 gives the combination for Sanyas/ asceticism.

  • Four or more planets in a house is the Sanyasi or Parivraja yog

BPHS follows this basic condition with combinations which indicate the choice of the specific type of Sanyas, the order that you will join, the favourite deity/ mantra that you will choose, will you continue as an ascetic or return back to the society etc. Also gives the conditions which have to be satisfied for all this to happen. Sanyas can be said to be successful only if you are able to stick to the path till you gain Moksh. But remember that our books are all in the sutra form. So there are other conditions also which have to be satisfied for the Parivrajya yog to give its full effect.

Jamini Sutra

This gives a combination called the Tapasvi yog (sutra 36), ie for someone who can perform severe austerities with the objective of attaining Moksh. If the Karakamsa with Ketu has the aspect of Sani, he will become a Tapasvi or recluse or be a dependent and servant under somebody”

  • The Karakamsha with Ketu and aspected by Saturn is the Tapasvi yog.

Let’s understand this basic condition with an example.

  • Eg suppose that in your chart, the planet with the highest degree in any sign is Mars at 28deg Leo. So he is your Atmakarak planet.
  • Now check your navamsha chart. Suppose this Mars shifts to the Libra sign in the navamsha. Then Libra is your karakamsha. (Karakamsha is the navamsha sign occupied by the Atmakarak planet.)
  • Come back to your basic birth chart and locate the Libra sign in it. See if Ketu is placed in Libra.
  • Next check if Saturn occupies Taurus, Leo or Aquarius ie then he would aspect this Ketu in Libra.
  • If these conditions are satisfied it is a Tapasvi yog combination.

(In Jaimini the system of aspects is different from Parashari. Any planet placed in the sign, aspects the planets placed in these other signs as follows.

  1. Aries aspects Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius
  2. Cancer aspects Scorpio, Aquarius and Taurus
  3. Libra aspects Aquarius, Taurus and Leo 
  4. Capricorn aspects Taurus, Leo and Scorpio
  5. Taurus aspects Cancer, Libra and Capricorn
  6. Leo aspects Libra, Capricorn and Aries 
  7. Scorpio aspects Capricorn, Aries and Cancer
  8. Aquarius aspects Aries, Cancer and Libra 
  9. Gemini aspects Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces
  10. Virgo aspects Sagittarius, Pisces and Gemini
  11. Sagittarius aspects Pisces, Gemini and Virgo
  12. Pisces aspects Gemini, Virgo and Sagittarius)

Sutras are highly condensed knowledge for advanced students who can pick up the nuances of the theme expressed so succinctly in a few words. So we have to go in deeper to understand this. There are other conditions which have to be satisfied else this same combination will ensure illness, servitude and a life of humiliation.

If you refer to Jaimini sutra 59. “If the 7th from Karakamsha is occupied or aspected by Saturn, the wife will be older or sickly or a tapasvini or engaged in meditations”. This sutra indicates a Sanyasi tendency in the spouse. Here the 7th house from the Karakamsha is spoilt by Saturn’s presence so all the constraints that Saturn brings in exist in the marriage. As its a sutra we have to go in deeper, ie if this Saturn is capable of inauspicious results then the spouse will be ill, sick, unattractive, aged, undesirable, or a marriage of compulsion, no spirituality but a miserable existence ie the spouse will not provide marital happiness. But if this Saturn is auspicious then the spouse despite all these difficulties be able to turn his mind towards the Eternal and strive to gain it, ie be a Tapasvi.

(I did not want to mix Jaimini in this blog devoted to Parashari but this is just one exception).


The conditions

First and foremost, these yog-creating planets have to be powerful and capable of auspicious results. If they are afflicted in any way or unable to give their results, then they will grant a life of frustration. Then you will neither be able to fit in regular society nor will be able to take Sanyas. 

  • For Sanyasi yog, there are 4+ planets concentrated in one single house. This is technically a graha yuddha, planetary war. They are all going to be friends/enemies or of varying powers, controlling several houses from this one single house. Several planets together in a house causes an imbalance in the personality. A mish-mash of planetary forces acting in the same environment of one sign/ house is very intense and creates problems in regular life. These issues will eventually disenchant you with life as a whole and force you to search for the Eternal Truth.
  • For Tapasvi yog, again it is Ketu aspected by Saturn which can generate very intense karma. It can manifest as suffering in the early life. The karakamsha with Ketu is an internal disconnect from existence. Such a karakamsha aspected by Saturn is going to put more restrictions on the personality which will not be conducive to happiness in regular life. It will be frustrating and thus you will be encouraged to realise the Eternal.

The ascendant lord/ sign and the birth Moon has to be powerful and capable of auspicious results. This is a basic condition applicable throughout astrology. This elevates the power of the personality and allows you to tide through tough times without losing your composure.

Analyse the main birth chart and also refer to the D3 Dreshkona D9 Navamsha and D20 Vimshamsha charts for determining the power and capability of the planets in giving results. If the combinations repeat or gain power in these detailed divisional charts too then the tendency is deeply rooted and you will gain what the chart promises.

The timing of the event should naturally be seen from the Dasha/ transit of the enabling planet. So you can look out for dasha or significant transits of Saturn, Ketu, the Atmakarak and the ruler of the karakamsha sign for the timing in Tapasvi yog. For the Sanyasi yog, this timing may be derived from the dasha/transit of the strongest planet in the group of planets or the ruler of the sign in which this group is located.


And if you have this sort of combination in your chart, then do think on why this fascination with becoming a Sanyasi/ ascetic? It is not glamorous nor fashionable in the least. This road is quite hard, turbulent and generally painful. You are at war with your own instinct, your Mind, your existence in this world. You are fighting the charms of Prakruti with every breath. The Kurukshetra war is raging inside you. You have declared that you do not belong in this Creation and the Devi will test your this resolution to the max, only then allow you to travel beyond her. The initiation to Sanyas generally involves a ritual which intends that after taking formal Sanyas you are no longer someone’s son, daughter, you are no one to no body in this world. You are dead to them and they are also dead to you. This is isolation of the highest degree. Sanyas is not for everyone. 

You become a Sanyasi because of one of these two reasons,

  • You are in a hopeless situation in life thus want to ‘escape’. A negative motivation so the effect is temporary, ie as long as the negative situation in your life persists you will want to embrace asceticism. Eg, you are going through a painful divorce, want to escape the situation, thus start exploring spirituality. But once the divorce is final and you feel relaxed, you will want to again meet new people etc and spirituality takes a back-seat. 
  • Or you genuinely wants to know your own Self and resolve to do so with full force, this is a positive motivation. The purpose is clear, Self-realisation, Moksh. You are willing to face whatever may come as you are focussed on the final prize. You know that the creation is an illusion and the only real thing is the Advaita, and you desire to experience this reality. Now you are a real sanyasi. You might actually physically move away from the society and affect a final separation, ie take a formal Sanyas. Or remain in the world but internally separated from all worldly affairs, an internal Sanyas. Both ways are equally valid.

A genuine Sanyasi takes up this path only and only because he wants to realise himself, gain Moksh, attain the Nirgun Brahma, achieve Sadyo Mukti, ie the Advaita. This is the only possible motivation.


But then for becoming a genuine ascetic check which of the following additional indications are there in your chart, 

  • Genius levels of intellect and logic. You need to have Vivek, ie a sense of what is right. Also the ability to find what is right for you and to think for yourself. There are so many fake guru-s and charlatans who are just waiting to drain your energy, so many wrong practices which will destroy your nadi-s, books filled with trash and false information doing the rounds. So you have to be able to choose the correct option, to discern the right path. You are chasing Moksh, the subtlest and highest energy, your own Self. The path is not easy. This is possible if the 5th house/ lord, Mercury and Ketu grant you these abilities.
  • The 5th house is about mantra siddhi. Whatever mantra you are going to practice has to give its results for you to attain Moksh. This will happen if the 5th house/ lord is strong in the birth, Navamsha and D20 charts. The enabling dasha/ transits will be of the planets connected to the 1st 5th 9th houses.
  • An ability to understand philosophy. ie to be able to sit with the Guru and absorb the teachings. Or to pore endlessly over the books and glean the true wisdom hidden in them. This is possible if the 9th house/lord, Venus and Jupiter are supportive. The 9th house/ lord should be powerful and supported by benefics etc in main chart, in Navamsha and in the D 20. This will ensure you will be dedicated to his Guru and whatever the Guru teaches will help you. Any affliction to the 9th house/ lord means that you will be a traitor to the Guru and his teachings will be of no use to you.
  • An ability to question things on the basis of logic and analysis. To put forward arguments which will further your understanding without being argumentative for the sake of it. To courageously walk the path. To incessantly fight against your own desires, your own mind and emotions. Also to drive the pran into the subtlest of nadi-s, ie the Brahma-nadi within the Sushumna. This will be granted if Mars and the 3rd house/lord supports you.
  • An ability to cleanly ‘separate’ from all things without regrets and without looking back. Once you realise that something is not right, you should also be able to remove it firmly by its roots from your life, this is called Vairagya. This is possible only if the 12th house/lord, Saturn and Ketu support you.
  • Then there will be innumerable sources of pain and disappointments. The closer these hurts are to your heart, the more effective they will be for inducing asceticism. This is not a physical pain, it is an emotional and mental torment. This is essential and will be granted if,
    • 2nd house damaged – no comfort, support or recognition from the family, always an outsider looking in. 
    • 4th house damaged – no comfort, no nurture, denial of maternal support, needs are not satisfied
    • 7th house damaged – no comfort in partnerships, no equal love from another person in life, desires are not satisfied. Not interested in money or intimacy with another person, nor in getting married and in raising a family.

Most importantly, the ascendant sign and its lord have to be exceptionally strong, ie the personality has to be firm enough to tolerate this pain, to rise above the disappointments, to assimilate the lessons being taught by these deep sorrows. The Moon has to be strong enough to endure. If this is missing, you will break down, blame others, suffer from psychological issues which will take you to the psychiatrist rather than the inner Self. Or your well-wishers try to point out your issues or try to help, you will instead blame them for being unsympathetic to you. (You will get these sorts of clients in your practice, people with combinations for asceticism but in weak charts. Suffering, as they can neither make the leap to the spiritual nor can be satisfied in the material.)

Check these above conditions from the birth Moon sign too. If they exist here too, then the Sanyasi mind-set is very deep, ie originating from the astral body. And the Moon must have enough power of his own to ensure that the psychological framework is stable and capable of going through several traumatic episodes without breaking down. 

Finally the Sun must have some exceptional quality about him, ie exalted, vargottam, high ashtakvarga score, high strength in shad-bala, placed in Abhijit nakshatra, anything which helps bring out his power. This will indicate that the spark which animates you comes in very strongly from the Eternal. If you can interpret the Sudarshanchakra it will grant you some insights.

So do not get carried away by mentions of Tapasvi yog Sanyasi yog and asceticism. If these combinations do exist in their full form in your chart, you have chosen to take the Test in this life. Be prepared for the exams and act with faith/ Shraddha in your Sat-Guru to gain the Ultimate prize.