INTRODUCTION : “Success, for its final conquest and glory ,depends entirely on the auspicious time at which the work begins…..When all the influences contained in time are well disposed, as they would be at the proper time, called Shubha Lagna and the planetary conjunctions are well arranged and disposed, the work begun – though under difficulties- will be helped by the invisible currents, which flow freely as the result of a good start time. Importance of time and its mysterious influences cannot be gauged, unless with the help of Astrology and when these influences are well analysed and understood success will be facilitated by the introduction of powerful currents.”- These words are written in the introduction to the Astrological Mirror, a pioneering work on Muhurtha by Prof. B. Suryanarain Rao, the illustrious Grand father of Late Dr. B.V.Raman, the renowned editor of The Astrological Magazine.
The contentions of the learned author are cent percent true. But, on mulling over the above lines, a question arose in my mind as to whether success is guaranteed in any work commenced by any body at an hour auspicious for performing such a work. If this is possible, why at all even best efforts do not yield desired results at least on some occasions in almost everyone’s life ? This article of mine is the result of my efforts to find an answer to this question.
ORIGIN OF MUHURTHA : The selection of a favourable time for performing not only Shodasa Samskaras but also all the day to day activities of importance has been in vogue right from the vedic times in order to achieve the material goals in life with minimum effort and to orient each and every human action towards the fulfillment of the final goal i.e., moksha sadhana. Muhurtha was the primary application of the science of Astrology during the Vedic times. Later on, its utility in other spheres of life has been explored, understood and practised.
The Vedas prescribe multifarious rituals for the emancipation of mankind. The whole of Rig Veda Samhita contains mantras for extolling different deities. Yajur Veda gives the practical application for these mantras in the form of worship (Yajna) and the method of performing different yajnas. The glory of Yajur veda lies in its detailed presentation of Vedic Karmas and rituals. In addition, some mantras /hymns of praise are also contained in Yajur Veda. In Sama Veda, the mantras are set to music . In Atharvana Veda, many types of mantras to ward off evils and hardships to human beings are available . Besides, some mantras pertaining to Devatas not mentioned in the other Vedas are also available.
The Vedas have been collectively personified in to a Veda Purusha with 6 body parts (Vedangas ) and many other sub parts (Upaangas). Vedic Jyothisha has been called as the ‘Veda chakshu’ meaning , the eyes of the Vedas.
In actuality , a few hundred slokas available in the “Brahmanas” portion of the Rig , Yajur and Sama Vedas containing the injunctions as to the time of performing all the vedic rights and rituals( the Yagnas and shodasa Karmas) based on the favourable planetary positions are the original basis of Astrology. But, in course of time, it has been developed in to a greater science . Today, there are more than 4 Lakhs of Sanskrit verses forming three major branches of the science viz., Siddhantha, Samhitha and Hora skandas. Electional Astrology or Muhurtha , the branch of Astrology dealing with the selection of auspicious times , falling in Samhitha Skanda .
SCOPE OF MUHURTHA : Due to various changes in the living style of human beings over the centuries and with the on set of technological advancements and the resultant inventions of newer tools, techniques and vocations for living , the necessity for muhurtha has increased many fold. Almost all aspects of life including Muhurthas related to agriculture like sowing seed, harvesting, etc, House construction related ones like Kooparambha, Gruharambha, Gruhapravesha, etc, Muhurthas related to Journeying, Coronation, oath taking /assumption of offices of power, Yantra, Mantra and Tantra related muhurthas for various types of Shanthis besides the performance of Shodasa Karmas, Homas, Yagnas, etc., and occupational muhurthas for opening different types of business establishments and trade centres are included in Electional Astrology.
All the practising Astrologers are fully aware of the difficulty in finding a good ‘dosha rahitha’ muhurtha . Even the best of Astrologers candidly admit that finding a good muhurtha bereft of the Ekavimshati (21) doshas takes a good lot of time . At times, even after burning the midnights oil, the efforts to find a dosharahitha muhurtha would not be crowned with success .The process of election of a muhurtha is so tedious and time-consuming that I am prompted to think whether it is worthwhile taking all that trouble and what is the practical relevance of muhurtha if it cannot be adopted easily ? (While saying so I do not mean those astrologers who fix all muhurthas in a couple of minutes based only on a few parameters such as Tarabala, chandrabala, etc., with utter disregard to the basic tenets of muhurtha advocated by the rishis of yore. No doubt, such Pseudo –Astrologers are causing irreparable damage to the credibility of Astrology).
CAN MUHURTHA SUPERSEDE FATE?
However, even today there are a good number of dedicated astrologers who honestly labour for many hours and fix blemish-less muhurthas or the best possible one under the extant conditions. But, whether those who adopt such good muhurthas also get the desired results? The answer is a clear “No” . Even after following the best muhurthas selected by the best of astrologers, not all people succeed in all their endeavours. There are a lot of failures. Many houses commenced in auspicious muhurthas do not see their completion, Many marriages planned on auspicious days do not take place at all or get postponed . Even if it takes place, not all those who marry live a happy married life. Many business activities launched in an auspicious hour have not flourished and were shut down within a few months of start. The list continues. Whether all these failures can be due to the incompetence of the astrologers alone?. Certainly not.
Let us consider some epic instances. The muhurtha for coronation of Sri Rama in Ramayana was fixed by none other than the renowned Rajarishi Vashishta who was an adept in Astrology. But, why did the day of coronation turn in to a day of mourning? The crown prince Rama , instead of being crowned as the King, had to move to forest in exile for 14 long years . Was it because the sage Vashishta was an incapable astrologer or the muhurtha fixed was faulty ? No. Absolutely not. Vashishta maharishi was the most respected of all gurus in those days for his erudition of shashtras , whose recognition even the renowned Vishwamitra is said to have longed for.
Let us consider another example from the Mahabharatha. All of us are aware that, at the request of Duryodhana, the muhurtha for commencement of Kurukshetra war was finalized by Sahadeva , the best of all Astrologers who lived then. Is it not because of Sahadeva’s matchless qualities as an astrologer that even Duryodhana chose him to fix the time for that decisive battle ? But, what happened ,did Duryodhana achieve victory in the war although the greatest of the warriors of those days like Beeshma, Dronacharya , Karna and many others fought for him? We all know the result. Duryodhana not only lost the battle but also his life in it alongwith the lives of his other brothers as well. Was it because of a faulty muhurtha? No. Absolutely not.
Then, what is the reason?. Why success eludes some persons even if the work is commenced in an auspicious muhurtha?
The answer to this question lies in the Karma siddhantha. The Fate or Karmaphala of the individuals being the ultimate deciding factor what if the work is carried out even in an auspicious hour . Unless one is destined to get success even the best efforts would go in vain and success keeps eluding the person attempt after attempt. Only when one has endured ones karma phala and the time is ripe for his wish to materialize one would meet with success in any of his endeavours. In fact, it should be remembered that one will not even get a good astrologer for suggesting the proper time for commencing the work unless his time of success is around or has arrived. That is why our ancestors have said – “ Buddhi Karmaanusaarini” – meaning, the mind works according to ones karmic influence. Thus, it is needless to reiterate that every individual is driven by his fate in each and every one of his actions . The individual is ‘only mentally’ made to believe that he had done the right thing although he was actually wrong. This , in fact , is the role of this “Maya Jagat” in shaping one’s destiny and making one reap his karmic fruits.
THE NEED FOR MUHURTHA : Now, there arises another question .If fate is exerting such an irrevocable influence, what is the need for muhurtha? Well. Muhurtha certainly has a role to play in shaping the future destiny of the individual ,for it is the method of electing both the conducive time for proper completion of any work as well as an auspicious time for providing the native with the rightfully desired results at the deserving opportune moment by harmonizing the moment of work with a conducive environment created by the particular set of combination of Vara, thithi, nakshatra ,yoga, karana, and other limbs of time tuned to the indications of the native’s horoscope. Thus, the Quality of the Moment of Muhurtha becomes capable of influencing the fate of the individual . Although the end-result is guided by Prarabda karma, at least by doing our works at right time we will not be attracting the provisions of Agami Karma , for we reap later the fruits of what we sow today.
Not only that. Let us think for a while whether it is wise to resign to fate leaving everything to destiny’s clutches neglecting the possibility of at least minor modifications through human effort by way of adopting a good Muhurtha . Our ancestors have already answered this question . Even if one wishes to rule the whole world, his wish would be fulfilled if he puts his efforts only at the right time , at the right place. Couplet 4 of Chapter 49 of Thirukkural by Sage Thiruvalluvar , translated into English , reads thus:
“Choose proper time and act and place Even the world you win with ease” .
Also, Vishnu Sharma , author of the renowned ‘Panchatantra Tales’ avers-
“Udyamena hi Siddhayanthi Kaaryaani Na mano rathai hi” - meaning, efforts can only grant success in endeavours and not only thinking of it. Sage Yagnavalkya says in his ‘Smiriti’ thus-
“ Daivee Purusha kaare cha Karmasiddhi vyavasthitha
Thathra Daivam abhivyaktham Powrusham Powrvadhehikam”
• meaning, the success of any work depends both on luck and the human effort . In this, the person’s karma phala ( gained from past births) is only called as god’s grace or luck .
In the words of Maharishi VedaVyaasa -
“Yatha Beejam vina Kshetramuptham bavathi nishphalam
Thatha Purusha Kaarena vina Daivam na siddhayanthi“
( Mahabharatha , Anusasana parva ,sl.6&7)
• meaning , If we plant a crop without a seed it does not yield anything. Similarly, if human effort is not made, God’s grace (luck) will not yield anything.
There are hundreds of such axioms by our ancestors who have understood the real nature of life through their sadhaka jeevana. Therefore, unless one puts ones right efforts at the right time , one cannot hope to succeed in ones endeavours. Simultaneously,one shall not also desist from trying for fear of failure because we have the chances of success if only we try and not otherwise. It is Electional Astrology (Muhurtha) that guides ones efforts to the right way at a right time . The chances of success are surely amplified by adopting a good muhurtha.
CONCLUSION : Thus, Muhurtha is a marvelous tool available for us to prepare a proper ground for playing our roles rightly in our present incarnation. If we neglect it, we are sure to miss the bus. Only by following the standard principles of Electional Astrology propounded by the great maharishis and adopting a Dosharahitha muhurtha and by putting our efforts in such auspicious and favourable times we are facilitating proper completion our activity besides harmonizing it with nature in order not to attract any negative impact on our future karma phala .
So, let us take care of the means which would take care of the ends and adopt Electional Astrology for all our endeavours in life. Shubhamasthu!