Each planet, Rasi (Sign) and Bhava (house) are assigned natural signification (Naisargika Karkatva). Similarly, the each nativity also has its own natural signification as a whole. This signification is indicated by Nabhasa Yogas.
What is the universe? The Bhagwatam Purana says the Universe is bigeningless, endless (Sanatana) and immortal cycle of Karma. It has only two fruits (1) Renunciation - be part of the one (Self), (2) or be part of the immortal cycle of Karma (unending Vasanas).
All Jeevas (living beings) are a part of this immortal cycle of Karma. No one seems to be aware of the purpose of human existence. Most of the human beings crave to get something material, something gross, and something substantial. Humans are attracted by superficiality like other creatures, but in a more sophisticated manner.
Ancient seers and sages had experienced within themselves deep personal knowledge of the Self. Sound logic and reason supported every statement. They went about it with mathematical precision. They teach us gAction is the insignia of life.h The law of life proclaims that none can remain even for a moment without performing activity. Everyone is made to act helplessly according to one's own inner temperament. Natural law indicates that if one chooses to remain idle one is petrified and perishes.
The basic nature of man is the cumulative effect of all his past thoughts, desires and actions. Past activities are the cause. Present nature or constitution is the effect. This is indicated by Nabhas Yogas.
Vedic astrology divides the Karma (action) in three categories namely:
i. Sanchit - Total accumulated Karma or remaining unexhausted Karma Phala (Fruits of action) from all previous births. These are identified with the help of various Yogas formed in the nativity.
ii. Prarabdha - Bhagya (Fate and Destiny) - This is indicated by various Dasas (directions) operating at a given time.
iii. Kriyaman - Actions that manifest into fruits in a given period on a specific time of the life of individual. These are ascertained with the help of Transit of planets.
The word 'Yoga' is derived from its root Yuj, which means to join, to unite. In astrology, Yogas means a special planetary combination, which reveals inherent inclinations, possibilities of political power and influence, wealth, asceticism, misery, debts, dishonesty, corruption etc. If special Yogas for aristas or misfortune are present in a horoscope, the person will face miseries in life, even though according to ordinary astrological rules, such a horoscope is a promising one. Thus extensive knowledge of Yoga is very necessary for proper assessment of horoscop's indications.
There are innumerable Yogas expounded in Jataka Granthas. Dr. Sukhadev Chaturvedi, head of the astrology department of Shri Lal Bahadur Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, New Delhi, made a compilation of 832 main Yogas. Even, these do not include such Yogas which are based on some specific principles like :(1) Yogas of two, three planets and so on, (2) Yogas in Vargas, (Divisional Charts), (3) Raj Yogas, (4) Sanyas Yogas, (5) Female Jataka Yogas, (6) Yogas for finance and poverty, (7) Yogas for service and business, (8) Yogas based on Char Karkas, (9) Yogas based on Pada Lagans and (10) Graha Arudhas.
Prasana Marga gives the following definition on the formation of astrological Yogas of various categories in Chapter 9:
स्थानतो भावतः स्थानभावनभश्चरै।
स्थान भावसभयोगाद्भावखेचर योगतः।।49।।
योगाः स्युः पड्विद्याः स्थानखेचराभ्यां तु सप्तमः।
उच्चमूलत्रिकोणादि ग्रहाणां स्थानमुच्यतै।।50।।
भावा लग्नादयः प्रोक्ताः खेचरा भास्करादयः।
भावस्थानग्रहैः प्रोक्ते योगे ये योगहेतवः।।51।।
तेजां वली यः कर्ता स्यात्स एवास्य फलप्रदा।।52।।
There are seven ways for formation of various Yogas: (I) Those formed by position, (ii) by houses, (iii) by planets, (iv) formed with the help of all the three - position, houses and planets, (v) by position and houses only, (vi) by position and planets, (vii) and those formed by houses and planets. The position means the placement in 12 Rasis(signs)- Aries etc. (The signs are also identified as Exaltation, Mool -Trikona etc. for planets). The houses mean the 12 houses commencing from the Ascendant (Lagna). The planets mean the nine planets Sun etc. The combination of these constituents causes the formation of various Yogas of different categories.
The strongest constituent in forming a particular Yoga is called the Yogakarta and it is this which gives the results of Yoga (in its directional piriod-dasa and during transit).
Brihat Parasara Hora Shastra' is an ancient and extremely comprehensive treatise on Vedic Astrology. In fact, this book lays down the basic fundamentals of Indian Astrology. Maharishi Parasara narrated this Shastra to his disciple Maitraye around 1800 B.C. (According to Vishnu Purana, V.E. point was in first quarter of Krittika Nakshatra in that Era).
After describing the characteristics and effects of (i) planets, (ii) signs-rasis, and (iii) houses or bhavas (in fact Sixteen Division Charts are basically bhava charts of different categories), Maharishi
Parasara expresses the importance of Yogas in following words as a concluding remark in Chapter 36 of 'BPHS':
एवं भावाध्पित्येन जन्मलग्नशादिह।
शुभत्वमशुभेत्वं च ग्रहाणां प्रतिपादितमर्।।45।।
प्रन्यार्नाप पुनर्योगान् नाभसादीन विचिन्त्य वै।
देहिनां च फलं वाच्यं प्रवक्ष्यमि च तानहम्।।46।।
Up till now, I have explained the methods to judge the auspicious and inauspicious results of planets based on the twine principles: number one, based on the ascendant (Lagna), the rising sign at the time of birth; and number two, based on the lordship of the houses. However, there are different categories of Yogas like Nabhasa Yoga etc., which are to be considered in depth before arriving at a final judgment and prediction for a nativity.
Parasara has, therefore, laid extra emphasis on the consideration of Yogas, out which the Nabhasa Yogas attain an apex position.
There are 32 main Nabhasa Yogas, which are classified in four categories.
The word Nabhasa means the sky. As such, the Yogas are formed in the sky with the help of all the three constituents, namely all the seven planets (excluding Rahu and Ketu), all the 12 signs and the 12 houses (including all shodhas vargas - 16 divisional charts), are called the Nabhasa Yogas. In these Yogas, all seven planets participate simultaneously. Each nativity will have at least one yoga out of 32 main Nabhasa Yogas.
The main question which arises is that why are only seven planets are considered and Rahu and Ketu are excluded ? There are fundamental reasons for excluding these two Chhaya Grahas (nodes of the moon). This aspect needs to be examined in some detail as it contains the key to understand the purpose and utility of the Nabhasa Yogas .
The Jeeva or the individual soul or self is in reality Pursha , who operates in this world through the causal, subtle and gross (physical) body. The causal body is the combination of soul and the mind (manah) - the sun and the Moon. This represents the creative principle in the Universe .The causal body is constituted of mere desires (Vasanas). Therefore this body is the seed of one's personality in the unmanifested form. The causal body manifests and functions itself as the subtle (astral) body (the linga sareer), which operates with the help of five senses of perception represented by Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn. In other words, the subtle body is composed of feelings, emotions and thoughts generated on account of accumulated Vasanas from past births. Thus, the linga sareera represents the personality of an individual. This personality functions through the Gross body.
Nabhasa Yogas indicate basic traits and personality represented by the subtle body. The subtle body is like a sapling. It can be made to grow any way one likes. Similarly, the indications given by
Nabhasa Yogas can be changed, modified or molded into any direction based on the vibration generated by the placement of Rahu and Ketu along with other Yogas in the nativity operating from time to time.
The causal and subtle body operates through the Gross body. The gross body is like fully grown tree, which cannot be modified. As much, you can change or modify your feeling, emotions and thoughts manifesting in the Gross body, if you can control at the level of the subtle body, which supports the Gross body. Thus, Nabhasa Yogas contain and provide basic information that ultimately helps the individual to operate and use his own free will for the improvement of his lot.
Parasara narrated 32 Nabhasa Yogas. These are divided in four categories; there (3) are called Ashraya Yoga, two (2) Dala Yogas, twenty (20) Akriti Yoga and 7 (seven) Sankhya Yogas. These 32 Nabhasa Yogas again have 1800 different varieties (sub-divisions).
These numbers-32 and 1800 are of mystic nature as they represent subtle body (and not the gross body). The soul is immortal and never changes, it is the manah- mind that is responsible for the cycle of Birth and death, creation and destruction.
The Moon returns to the same point in the Zodiac in about 18.60 years, (which is the sidereal the period of Rahu and Ketu). If 32 is divided by number 1800, the remainder will always be 14. The number 14 represents 14 bhuvans(mansions) in which soul reappears as jeeva to exhaust his accumulated karma . Therefore, these numbers indicate the universal and immortal cycle of Karma.
Even, in the days of Varaha-Mihira and Kalyan Varma, the Nabhasa Yoga are given due importance. But, it is little surprising that Saravali says;
यवनाद्यैर्विस्तरतः कथिता योगास्तु नाभसा नाम्ना।
अष्टादश शतगुणितास्तेषां द्वात्रिंशदिह वक्ष्ये।।22/2।।
"Yavan and other Acharyas indicated 1800 Nabhasa Yoga. I, Kalyan Varma indicate their 32 main categories."
Bhattotpala in his famous commentary on 'Brihat Jataka', mentions that he could not get the opportunity to study such monumental work- "Brihat Parasara Hora Shastra".
There was a state of neglect of Nabhasa Yogas in last 1500 years. We have even forgotten that Parasara was actually the original and primary source of information on Nabhasa Yogas.
This article is mainly based on following classics:
1. "Brihat Parasara Hora Shastra, translated by Girish Chandra Sharma-Chapter 37. (Published by Sagar Publication New Delhi)
2. "Brihat Jataka by Varaha-Mihira, Chapter12
3. "Saravali by Kalyan Varma-Chapter 21
4. "Horaratnam" by Balbhadra, Chapter 6 (Published in Hindi by Motilal Banarasi Das, Delhi)
5. "Hora Sara" by Prithuyasas-Chapter 19
The Sanskrit Slokas are not included is this article. These can be referred from original texts.
The following points are very important and should always be kept in mind while considering Nabhasa Yogas :
1. All the seven planets-Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn take part in these Yogas. Any Yoga, which considers less than seven planets or also includes Rahu and Ketu, will not generally be considered in the category of Nabhasa Yoga. This principle is adopted at many places in Hora Shastra e.g. (1) Determination of the longevity (Ayurdaya) of planets by the methods of Pindayu, Nasargayu and Ansayu (2) Astaka Varga System.
2. Nabhasa Yogas basically recognize three groups of signs moveable, Fixed and dual. The signs of a particular group always fall in angular Houses from each other. The emphasis is not placed on the signs of exaltation, mooltrikona etc. of the planets. This is on account of the fact that Nabhasa Yogas indicate basic traits of personality i.e. the feelings, emotions and thoughts generated in the subtle body (linga Sareera) on account of one's sanchit karmas. The other Yoga tries to amend or mould these traits.
3. Similarly Parasara gives importance to angular houses and the Graha Mallika Yogas. All indications of the subtle body manifest in the Gross body, through the actions of individuals. This makes the angular houses most important. Furthermore, the angular houses are greatly influenced by the planets, which are placed in their adjacent houses. This is the principal that makes the Graha Mallika Yogas very important and effective.
4. The Sun and the Moon operate on the level of creative Principle. They cannot be branded either Malefic or Benefic while considering Nabhasa Yogas. The Sun will act as Malefic or Benefic if it is conjoined with Malefics or Benefics respectively. The Sun, when placed alone in a house, will act as krura (a mild malefic) as Atman-the Soul is neither enemy nor friend of the Jeeva. The Moon is the cosmic and pure Mother and , as such,will act as benefic; the principle of waxing or waning Moon does not apply while considering Nabhasa Yogas.
5. Jupiter, Mercury and Venus will act as benefic, and Mars and Saturn will act as malefic.
6. Lordships of planets, their combustion, interplanetary war etc are also not considered in Nabhasa Yogas.
7. The above observations may be explained in another manner. The natural signification of planets, signs and also houses do not change but the same manifest with the help of other Yoga's or placement of planets in certain houses or signs. Similarly, Nabhasa Yogas indicate the natural traits of the personality of an individual and these never change. These traits manifest in the life of an individual with the help or superimposition of other Yogas. This is an important point, which should not be lost sight of.
NABHASA YOGAS AND THEIR SIGNIFICATIONS (EFFECTS)
Parasara indicted following 32 Nabhasa Yogas, devided in 4 categories:
1. 3 (Three) Asharya Yogas: Rajju, Musala and Nala.
2. 2 (Two) Dal Yogas: Maala (Srik)and Sarpa(Bhujang).
3. 20 (Twenty) Akriti Yogas: Gada, Shakata,Vihag(Pakshi), Shringataka, Hala, Vajra, Yava, Kamala(Abja), Vapi, Yupa, Shara(Ishu or Vana), Shakti, Danda, Nauka, Koota, Chattara, Dhanushi(Chapa), Ardha Chandra, Chakra, and Samudra.
4. 7 (Seven) Sankhya Yogas: Vallaki, Daama, Pasha, Kedara, Shoola, Yuga, and Gola.