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House Systems in Indian Astrology
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Mark
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Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pankajdubey wrote:
Quote:
@Mark

A search for Sripati will give you Sripati Paddati as well(Sanskrit -English) by Subramanya Sastri.

There is Siddhanta Shekhar and Pingree's Jyotihsastra as well.

PD


I'm in your debt. Thank you Thumbs up

Mark
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Mark
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Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese Hamilton wrote:
Quote:
There are many references to 'bhava madhya' in the text. I'll have to do more reading later today, but obviously the reference here isn't to whole sign houses. I also have the translations of the other authors you mentioned.


Thanks for the quote above. Unfortunately, all we can tell from this is that a house system involving sign division and centralised cusps is being used. So on that basis it could still be the Sripati system.

However, if you find any subsequent 'killer quotes' that nail this subject down clearly either in this text or elsewhere that would be fantastic!

I had assumed up to now Sripati was the default house system by sign division used in traditional Jyotish prior to the 20th century. I am fairly positive I recall Martin stating on a few occasions on Skyscript that historically Sripati was the core Jyotish house system along with whole sign houses. As a Sanskrit scholar I know Martin has made a deep study of many of these texts so I would really value his perspective on Ojha's claim regarding the 'bhava madya' equal house system.

As I stated earlier in the thread I have seen it suggested that in the Brihat Parasara Horashastra there is no specific method outlined for deriving the cusps. However, the text does apparently contain passages which mention that the distance between two cusps is a variable factor, as with unequal Sripati house cusps.

Nevertheless, as I have repeatedly learned from similar discussions in western traditional astrology you cant assume anything from the second hand opinions of others. There is really nothing better than 'returning to the source' and checking out the original texts themselves.

Mark
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just saw the recent flurry of posts on this thread. To the best of my knowledge, there is no textual evidence to back Ojha's claims regarding equal houses. I have yet to see a Sanskrit text describing that system.

Mark wrote:
Therese Hamilton wrote:
Quote:
There are many references to 'bhava madhya' in the text. I'll have to do more reading later today, but obviously the reference here isn't to whole sign houses. I also have the translations of the other authors you mentioned.

Thanks for the quote above. Unfortunately, all we can tell from this is that a house system involving sign division and centralised cusps is being used. So on that basis it could still be the Sripati system.

Indeed -- and in fact, the passages Therese is referring to are not even part of the Phaladīpikā; they belong to Kapoor's initial comments to the chapter in question. He begins by saying:

Quote:
In this connection before mentioning the views of Shri Mantreswara, it will be useful to know the views of other ancients.

The point system that he then goes on to describe is probably taken from the Śrīpatipaddhati.

Mark: if there is any specific chapter or verse you want me to look at, I'll be happy to do so. I did find two verses of Mantreśvara's (Phaladīpikā 15.13-14) that use the words 'house cusp' (bhāvasphuṭa) and 'junction' (sandhi), but again, they tell us nothing explicitly about the system used.

Quote:
As I stated earlier in the thread I have seen it suggested that in the Brihat Parasara Horashastra there is no specific method outlined for deriving the cusps. However, the text does apparently contain passages which mention that the distance between two cusps is a variable factor, as with unequal Sripati house cusps.

That is true at least of some versions of the text (including, I believe, both of the versions published with English translation since the 1980s); the problem is that there is no standard text, and versions differ a great deal.
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin wrote:
Quote:
Indeed -- and in fact, the passages Therese is referring to are not even part of the Phaladīpikā; they belong to Kapoor's initial comments to the chapter in question.

This is true. In my years of reading translations of Indian classics, I can't recall the specifics of equal house division ever being mentioned. The notes in the Kapoor translation refer to shad bala strength, of which one calculation is directional strength. This calculation has to do with planets in the four horoscope angles.

However, a possible hint as to whether these are equal angles is in the following discussion of Kala Bala, the distance of planets from midnight or noon. The noon point is the M.C., the Sun's most southern point in its daily cycle (high noon). If the M.C. is the 10th angle, this calculation would in part duplicate directional strength.

Jaimini: I have two translations of Jaimini sutras, but I think Raman says it best in his Studies in Jaimini Astrology. (Raman Publications, third edition, 1966) In the preface Raman describes the various Jaimini texts at his disposal in various Indian language scripts, and concludes that it isn't possible to say how effective Jaimini's principles are when applied to practical horoscopes.

On page 19 Raman says that "Rasis in Jaimini are synonymous with Bhavas or Houses, while in Parasari the distinction between signs (Rasis) and Houses (Bhavas) is well marked." It seems to be doubtful that Ojha actually saw a reference to equal house cusps in Jaimini.

I have two translations of BPHS. Santhanam (Ranjan Publications, 1984) translates the section on Digbala or Directional Strength like this:

"Deduct the 4th house (i.e. nadir) from the longitudes of the Sun and Mars; the 7th house (i.e. descendant) from that of Jupiter and Mercury; the 10th house (i.e. meridian) from that of Venus and the Moon..."

Here Santhanam has switched reference points as the nadir is the point opposite the zenith point (nonagesimal), but the meridian is the M.C. In his notes Santhanam also says that planetary strengths are full on the cusp of a house.

In the notes in his translation (Sagar Publications, 1994, p. 390) Girish Chand Sharma references the mid spashta and bhava sandhi spashta in the calculation of directional strength, but doesn't indicate the house system he is using.

There also seem to be differences in how Kala Bala (time of day) is calculated.

If the translations are reasonably accurate, then a cuspal degree is necessary in order to calculate directional strength. But BPHS doesn't note a house system in this regard. The translators don't enlighten us as to which system of house division they are using. We do know, however, that taking the cusp as a house midpoint was common practice in India. But how old is that tradition? Does it date from Sripati?
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Last edited by Therese Hamilton on Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:34 am; edited 2 times in total
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Mark
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Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin Gansten wrote:
Quote:
Mark: if there is any specific chapter or verse you want me to look at, I'll be happy to do so. I did find two verses of Mantreśvara's (Phaladīpikā 15.13-14) that use the words 'house cusp' (bhāvasphuṭa) and 'junction' (sandhi), but again, they tell us nothing explicitly about the system used.


A bit of a chicken and egg problem here as if I knew what texts or sections to focus on I would a lot better off! I dont really have a translation of the text I am happy with at present. If nothing else this topic has highlighted the need to get more up to date translations of a lot more of the classical texts.

Mark
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Mark
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Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese wrote:
Quote:
The translators don't enlighten us as to which system of house division they are using.


Thanks for all your hard work checking out the Phaladeepika, Jamini Sutras and BPS. It seems we have nothing to support Ojha's view of an equal bhava madya set out in the source texts to date.

Therese wrote:
Quote:
Raman describes the various Jaimini texts at his disposal in various Indian language scripts, and concludes that it isn't possible to say how effective Jaimini's principles are when applied to practical horoscopes.


Hardly a ringing endorsement of the Jaimini approach is it? Laughing

Therese wrote:
Quote:
We do know, however, that taking the cusp as a house midpoint was common practice in India. But how old is that tradition? Does it date from Sripathi?


If we take Śrīpati (1019–1066) as our source we can date back the tradition nearly 1000 years. There seems to be a general consensus that his Jatakapaddhati aka Śrīpatipaddhatiḥ had an enormous impact on the tradition of Jyotish and its use of houses.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%9Ar%C4%ABpati

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/853512/Shripati

Mark
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin wrote:
Quote:
Mark: if there is any specific chapter or verse you want me to look at, I'll be happy to do so. I did find two verses of Mantreśvara's (Phaladīpikā 15.13-14) that use the words 'house cusp' (bhāvasphuṭa) and 'junction' (sandhi), but again, they tell us nothing explicitly about the system used.

I was happy to see that these verses have been translated with the house references intact (Kapoor). It would be interesting to test planets at house midpoints and house sandhis to see if they really are very effective or ineffective. Does anyone here have examples from their own birth chart? I do, but I prefer staying in the background in personal matters.

Mark, a while back on this or anther thread you asked questions related to this issue. If we are looking only at planets and aren't referencing house lords, the zodiac question has little importance. I just set up my chart with Porphyry cusps, which is the house system we have to ask for using Western software. We have to visualize the bhava sandhis. My cuspal planets are vastly different with Prophyry cusps--almost the opposite from equal house cusps.

Anyone for providing examples from their own birth charts?
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pankajdubey



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Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese Hamilton wrote:
Martin wrote:
Quote:
Mark: if there is any specific chapter or verse you want me to look at, I'll be happy to do so. I did find two verses of Mantreśvara's (Phaladīpikā 15.13-14) that use the words 'house cusp' (bhāvasphuṭa) and 'junction' (sandhi), but again, they tell us nothing explicitly about the system used.

I was happy to see that these verses have been translated with the house references intact (Kapoor). It would be interesting to test planets at house midpoints and house sandhis to see if they really are very effective or ineffective. Does anyone here have examples from their own birth chart? I do, but I prefer staying in the background in personal matters.

Mark, a while back on this or anther thread you asked questions related to this issue. If we are looking only at planets and aren't referencing house lords, the zodiac question has little importance. I just set up my chart with Porphyry cusps, which is the house system we have to ask for using Western software. We have to visualize the bhava sandhis. My cuspal planets are vastly different with Prophyry cusps--almost the opposite from equal house cusps.

Anyone for providing examples from their own birth charts?



NB: I am not this person or his ghost.

KIng George VI.
http://www.astro.com/astro-databank/George_VI,_King_of_England

http://www.astrojyoti.com/calculatoroflagna

Mercury lord of speech, in Bhava Sandhi of 2nd/3rd house.
Speech difficulties- stammer, died or lung problem- lung cancer.
Mercury mahadasa- 1914-1931

hard times, 9th lord father/perceptor(mercury) involved in WWI,duodenal ulcer, trained pilot, marriage to a commoner.

PD
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pankajdubey wrote:
[KIng George VI.
http://www.astro.com/astro-databank/George_VI,_King_of_England

http://www.astrojyoti.com/calculatoroflagna

Mercury lord of speech, in Bhava Sandhi of 2nd/3rd house.
Speech difficulties- stammer, died or lung problem- lung cancer.
Mercury mahadasa- 1914-1931

A very good example for Sripati. In the future, can we note the degree of the ascendant, equal house or Sripati, bhava sandhi degree, and longitude of the planet? (Plus tropical zodiac or ayanamsa.)

Leafing through Jataka Parijata translated by V. Subramanya Shastri (Ranjan Publications, undated) I found this quote, noted by Shastri [Sastri] as a sloka taken from Sripatipaddhati:

"A planet produces the full effect of the bhava in which it is when its distance from the bhava-sandhi is equal to that of the bhavamsa (semi-bhava). When the planet has less or greater distance from a bhava-sandhi than a bhavamsa, it's effect must be ascertained by a rule-of-three process." (p. 713)

Unfortunately, there is no follow-up as to what the rule-of-three means. So we'd have to stay very close to the precise bhava-sandhi degree to test this principle. In practice I've kept the bhava sandhi orb to two degrees. So if a bhava sandhi is 7 degrees, I'd count from 5 to 9 degrees for a planet's position. It may be that the orb should be only one degree, from 6 to 8. It's probably best to stay within 1.5 degrees or less.
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pankajdubey



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Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese Hamilton wrote:
pankajdubey wrote:
[KIng George VI.
http://www.astro.com/astro-databank/George_VI,_King_of_England

http://www.astrojyoti.com/calculatoroflagna

Mercury lord of speech, in Bhava Sandhi of 2nd/3rd house.
Speech difficulties- stammer, died or lung problem- lung cancer.
Mercury mahadasa- 1914-1931

A very good example for Sripati. In the future, can we note the degree of the ascendant, equal house or Sripati, bhava sandhi degree, and longitude of the planet? (Plus tropical zodiac or ayanamsa.)

Leafing through Jataka Parijata translated by V. Subramanya Shastri (Ranjan Publications, undated) I found this quote, noted by Shastri [Sastri] as a sloka taken from Sripatipaddhati:

"A planet produces the full effect of the bhava in which it is when its distance from the bhava-sandhi is equal to that of the bhavamsa (semi-bhava). When the planet has less or greater distance from a bhava-sandhi than a bhavamsa, it's effect must be ascertained by a rule-of-three process." (p. 713)

Unfortunately, there is no follow-up as to what the rule-of-three means. So we'd have to stay very close to the precise bhava-sandhi degree to test this principle. In practice I've kept the bhava sandhi orb to two degrees. So if a bhava sandhi is 7 degrees, I'd count from 5 to 9 degrees for a planet's position. It may be that the orb should be only one degree, from 6 to 8. It's probably best to stay within 1.5 degrees or less.


Good point.

I use this scanning technique.
Generally, I just go visually, first spot the planets which are in the mid house in a tropical placidus chart then look if that quadrant appears to have houses crowded together(shorter) then think Bhava sandhi as 10-12 degrees from cusp, if all appear equal go for 15-17 degree +cusp and adjust for the adjacent quadrant (will be bigger or smaller than the neigbouring quadrant).

Then go for the actual working out by the software.

PD
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Mark
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Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese Hamilton wrote:
Quote:
Does anyone here have examples from their own birth chart? I do, but I prefer staying in the background in personal matters.
Anyone for providing examples from their own birth charts?


I dont mind sharing data on a one to one basis with people here on PM but I am reliuctant to share on a public forum like this. Especially, as I have a profile that gives out my name, email etc. Too many issues with identity theft these days.

Therese Hamilton wrote:
Quote:
I was happy to see that these verses have been translated with the house references intact (Kapoor). It would be interesting to test planets at house midpoints and house sandhis to see if they really are very effective or ineffective.


Frankly, my motivation for creating this thread was just to get a better understanding on the use of house systems and their historical roots. I am researching a talk on house systems I plan to give next year to my Association and I realised I needed to fill out some details on the Indian outlook. Thanks to the replies I have received here I have a much better understanding of the topic.

I do feel the empirical test you are proposing comparing Sripati and Vehlow-Raman house cusps opens up quite a different issue. Maybe this topic deserves a proper thread on its own?

Therese Hamilton wrote:
Quote:
Mark, a while back on this or anther thread you asked questions related to this issue. If we are looking only at planets and aren't referencing house lords, the zodiac question has little importance. I just set up my chart with Porphyry cusps, which is the house system we have to ask for using Western software. We have to visualize the bhava sandhis. My cuspal planets are vastly different with Prophyry cusps--almost the opposite from equal house cusps.

Your probably thinking of this recent thread I created:

http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7612

However, on that thread I was wondering how you coped with different planets ruling the signs on the Sripati and Raman house cusps and junction points. I wasn't actually, comparing the two systems as such.

Mark
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Quote:
I do feel the empirical test you are proposing comparing Sripati and Vehlow-Raman house cusps opens up quite a different issue. Maybe this topic deserves a proper thread on its own?

I was thinking more about such a test and realized that the perennial problem would surface: There are so many factors to consider and synthesize in reading a birth chart that it would generally be difficult to isolate one factor (bhava centers/sandhis) from the many other planetary factors. This is why I've been surprised that ANYTHING has turned up in my current study of the Sun and Ascendant in lunar mansions. http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?p=82152#82152

Even beginning such a test would be difficult as it would be necessary to clearly define characteristics of each planet. Also in practice the most important factor in bhava position seems to be the house ruled by each planet. As for example, a chart in my collection of a man who has no children has the 5th lord (Sun) on a bhava sandhi (equal cusps). A nun (no children, of course) has Pluto on the 5th bhava center point (cusp) and 5th lord in the 8th, but not in a sandhi position.

Without the metaphysical key, we're operating more or less in the dark....little bits and pieces of reading the birth chart. That's all we have in my opinion. Event timing is a much more fruitful endeavor. Timing events may the key to what each planet actually represents in the natal chart.
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is part of a very interesting post today (7 September) by Rohiniranjan on the Yahoo Sidereal Astrology forum:

"I learned Jyotish in India some 40+ years ago, through books, articles and discussion with practicing jyotishis, I do not recall any time when *Vehlow* was not used in India! Only, we called it "Equal House Division."

"In Jyotish for the strength determination (Bala nirnay), Sripati's unequal house division is employed. This is identical to what is known as Porphyry house-division in west, although the cusp forms the beginning of the house, KP is probably the only Indian system that uses placidus and places cusp at the beginning of house. Whether it was influenced by the available Tables of Houses (Raphael's etc) is anyone's guess."

Posted by Rohiniranjan, 7 September 2013 on Sidereal_Astrology@yahoogroups.com
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astrocorreia



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Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
I have been doing a bit digging around on the net. I managed to find an online copy of Johannes Vehlow's monumental 8 volume work Lehrkurs der wissenschaftlichen Geburts-Astrologie. Vehlow discusses his proposed equal house system (which cusps in the house centre) in Volume 1 which was published in 1933. This was two years before B.V. Raman's book appeared.

Vehlow had obviously been working with this system for several years before this publication. He doesn't mention any Indian influences in proposing this house system. Instead he seems strongly influenced by the Solar cycle and Egyptian mysticism. Vehlow points out the traditional orb of the Sun is 15 ° right and 15 ° left and imagines it rising on the ASC degree.

However, Vehlow does quote an English astrologer called EH Bailey who had written two articles in the ''British Journal of Astrology" from 1928 who advocated equal houses with central cusps. Bailey himself does attribute the idea to 'Hindu astrology' and quotes the astrological text of Sripati. At present he appears to be the first astrologer to propose this system in writing.

Although, from the quote Therese gave B.V. Raman may have been using the system successfully for much longer in private.

Mark


The main influence on him appears to be the world horoscope with mid cancer rising.If the cusp is not the middle why wouldn`t the Babylonians have started it at 0 Cancer?
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Mark
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Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The main influence on him appears to be the world horoscope with mid cancer rising.If the cusp is not the middle why wouldn`t the Babylonians have started it at 0 Cancer?


Interesting point.

There does seem evidence that many ancients thought the solstice/equinox was located in the middle of signs not the beginning. But whether that is relevant to this question is debateable.

Moreover, do we know for sure the Thema Mundi has mid cancer rising? From sources like Firmicus Maternus in his Mathesis (4th century CE) it is all the planets in the Thema mundi that are at 15 degrees including the Moon in Cancer in the first house. The Sun falls in the second house in the Thema Mundi not the first. That surely, rather put any link between the rising sun on the ASC with the Thema Mundi in serious question.

Mark
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