Introduction: The personality of every human being evolves from infancy to old age beginning from the birth. Astrology unravels the pattern of such an evolution through the 12 bhavas of the horoscope. Starting from Lagna , various aspects of one’s life unfold in each of the twelve bhavas. For example, Lagna signifies birth of the physical body and all its attributes like colour, stature, health, honour, etc . It is usually said that everything about a person is signified by Lagna. The second house not only signifies food, nourishment or the wealth that supports growth and sustenance of the body but also speech and family of the native. Although third bhava indicates physical prowess and courage ,etc connected to the bodily aspects, it also signifies one’s younger co-borns. The fourth being ‘sukha sthana’ connected to general happiness of the native, it also signifies the mother of the native and Gruha ,Vaahana soukya, and so on.
The word ‘Bhava’ means many things depending on the contextual use. Its generally recognized connotations are feeling, emotion, innate property, the state of being, inclination or disposition of mind, quality of existence, etc . As such , in Astrology , it connotes the various states of being , rather the different portfolios of our life. In a horoscope, Lagna marks the commencement of one’s life and succeeding Bhavas sequentially signify all other aspects of life one by one as they unfold in one’s lifetime. Not only that. Each house possesses a link to all other houses in a particular area of life. Also, many new physical realms manifest in each of the succeeding houses based on the preceding ones. Details of different portfolios of life allocated to each bhava are available in almost all the classics on astrology. But, there are some differences in these allocations.
Here, it is pertinent to point out that there is no information available in any extant literature on the subject to explain the rationale behind allotting a particular karakatwa to a particular bhava except an appreciable effort made in this direction by Sri. J. N. Bhasin in his book titled “ Astro Sutras” ( pages 57 to 62 , Sagar Publications,1996 edition). Even the explanation offered by Sri. Bhasin is incomplete as it dwells upon only a specific significance of each bhava although there are multiple significations allotted to each of the 12 Bhavas. No doubt similar research , on the lines of the one by Sri. Bhasin, is required as regards other significations as well.
However, it is generally observed that the allotment follows a natural pattern of interlink acceptable to our day-to-day pattern of living. Almost all these rulerships (except a few controversies) are time-tested , accepted and widely followed since thousands of years across the globe . This article of mine is an effort to understand and sort out one such exceptional controversy related to the bhavas ruled by our parents.
The 12 Bhavas and our Relationships :
As already hinted, there is a link between the various bhavas of a horoscope in each and every area of our life .In so far as the domain of relationships is concerned , the link is illustrated below:
The lagna bhava signifies the self. Second bhava signifies the family in which one is born and also the one he would acquire after growing of age. Third bhava governs one’s co-borns especially the younger ones and father-in –law ( being 9th to 7th ). The fourth rules mother .The fifth rules one’s siblings and paternal grandfather ( being 9th to 9th ). The sixth signifies one’s enemies and maternal uncle/aunt ( being 3rd to 4th ).The seventh rules one’s spouse and also all partners in business. The eighth rules the family of spouse. The ninth house signifies one’s father. The tenth signifies mother-in-law (being 4th to 7th ) and the husband of mother ( being 7th to 4th ). Eleventh signifies neighbours and elder co-borns The twelfth signifies paternal grand mother (being 4th to 9th ). Based on similar analogies, other left out relationships can also be deduced from the various houses of the horoscope.
But, as already stated ,out of the above , there exists a basic controversy regarding the bhavas ruled by our parents. In Vedic Astrology, 4th house is ascribed to one’s mother in a vast majority of Astrological classics . But , so far as the house of father is concerned there is a wide variation. While some classics prefer 9th Bhava , some others prescribe 10th as the house of father. Even in western Astrology , there is a difference of opinion on the houses related to one’s parents. Let us examine the issue in greater detail.
Astrological Classics and Bhavas related to parents :
In all the widely followed Vedic Classics such as Brihat Parashara Hora, Brihat Jataka, Jataka Parijatha, Phaladeepika, Shambu Hora Prakasha, Uttara Kalamruta, Jatakabharanam, Hora Makarand, Bhavartha Ratnakara, Maansagari, etc 4th house is unanimously allocated to one’s Mother. To signify mother , the words like janani, Amba, ambu and Mathru have been used .In Saravali, the word ‘Bandhava’ has been used which is a common term for all relatives and in Daivagna Vallabha, both Janitri and Janaka are used for 4th house , meaning both parents relate to the same house. In Brihat Jataka, 4th house is called as ‘Bandhu’( meaning Relatives) and ‘Griha’(meaning house or residence).
As regards the bhava signified by one’s father , there is no such commonality. Brihat Parashara Hora, Shambu Hora Prakasha, Jatakabharanam, Maansagari, Jatak alankara, etc assign 10th bhava to father (Janaka, Pithru). Phaladeepika, Uttara Kalamruta, Bhavartha Ratnakar, etc assign 9th Bhava to one’s father. Besides, almost all the Astrological classics available in vernacular languages of South India including the Nadi Texts in Tamil and a vast majority of modern day practitioners of the science even in North India, consider 9th Bhava as the house signified by one’s father. But, Jatak Parijata by Vaidhyanatha allots both 5th and 9th houses to father.
A perusal of some of the famous works in western Astrology ( both by a few pioneers and modern authors ) reveals a complexity existing on the issue. The opinions of some authors is tabulated in the chart given for easy reference :
Thus, in western Astrology , the following five different opinions are seen :
1. 4th house rules mother and 10th house rules father.
2. 4th house rules Father and 10th house rules Mother.
3. 4th house rules one of the parents , usually the parent of the opposite sex as that of the native and 10th house rules the other parent , usually the parent of the same sex as that of the native.
4. 4th house rules one of the parents , usually the one who has least influence over the native and 10th house rules the other parent .
5. 4th house rules both the parents.
Here, it is significant to observe that 9th house is not considered at all either for father or mother in western Astrology. And in Vedic Astrology , 4th house is never considered exclusively for father although the house is assigned to both parents in a texts like Daivajna Vallabha ( uses the words ‘Janitri Janaka’), etc.
The Bhava for Mother : 4th or 10th ?
As could be seen from the facts stated above , there exists a good conformity in fixing the Bhava ruled by one’s Mother. Although there is some deviation, both the systems Vedic and Western, broadly agree in assigning 4th House to the Mother. The basis for assigning this lordship is again the rulership of planet Moon in the natural Zodiac. The planet Moon signifies Mother and it is the lord of Cancer, the 4th house of the natural Zodiac. The rulerships of planets are assigned based on their Geocentric placement in the cosmos and any discussion on its validity is beyond the scope of this article. Here, it should be noted that 4th house also signifies the living place and domestic environment. In all parts of the globe, undoubtedly it is the Mother who influences the child first and hence, mother signifies domesticity also, although in later years changes do occur depending on the individual tendencies of the child and its parents. As the allotment of 4th house to mother and its related considerations like domesticity, etc abide by the basic empirical rules adopted in Astrology, it is acceptable to us.
But, the opinions listed at Sl. 2 to Sl. 5 above are at variance with the majority opinion which do merit a closer examination. The claim that 4th house rules father is not falling ‘in line’ with the general scheme of the empirical rules adopted in Astrology. That is, Sun ,the planet signifying father, is the ruler of 5th house in natural Zodiac and is not connected to 4th house. Hence, it is not acceptable. However, there is some substance in the claim that the 4th house rules the parent of the opposite sex as that of the native. It is an acceptable fact that generally children get more attracted towards the parent of the opposite sex possibly due to the natural affinity among the sexes. But, it is always the mother who wields a special domestic influence on the child and the father in most cases “ has much to do with influencing the choice of profession or calling” (Astrology : Its Technics and ethics by C. AQ. Libra ) . More over, mother is the first family link to the child and through the mother only the child starts knowing the very world around it. Hence, 4th house ruling domesticity also should be the domain of Mother only.
The contention that 4th house is ruled by both the parents seems apparently acceptable because of the other associated significations of the house such as Comforts (sukha ), Domesticity ( homeliness), etc over which both the parents are certainly influential. As Sri Dane Rudhyar writes: “The mother may dominate the home (4th house) , but the father may form the Psychological home: the soul ”(The Astrological Houses) .But, mother’s influence precedes that of the father in the present birth and hence, we must give extra credit to the mother. For the same reason, the other claim that 4th house rules the least influential parent is unacceptable . Besides, it is an irrefutable truth that both parents influence the child in its formative years in one way or the other and neither of them could be weighed less. As such, in my opinion, assigning 4th house to the mother is quite logical and convincing .
Father: 5th , 9th or 10th Bhava ?
Once the bhava ruled by mother is fixed as the 4th, 10th bhava being the 7th from 4th (mother’s husband ) naturally becomes the house of father. This logic followed by some scholars has an inherent flaw in it. Is it absolutely necessary that one’s mother’s husband should always be one’s father ? The answer is an obvious ‘no’. Hence, 10th house for father is unacceptable on this premise. There is another reason also adduced to assigning 10th house to father. In olden days sons invariably followed father’s profession . Those days, it used to be a family tradition of following a particular profession. But, in modern times , this is lo longer applicable. The availability of multiple avenues in modern society has changed the age-old tradition of many a family and sons treading in the footsteps of fathers is no longer universally applicable, although in some isolated families the old tradition is still continued. Thus, assigning 10th house to father in today’s world is unacceptable for it is not universal in its application.
Now, let us examine the next option of 5th house as the bhava ruled by father. The planet Sun ruling the 5th house of the natural zodiac is taken as the Karaka for father and Pitrus and hence, some assign 5th house itself to father. But, 5th house proper is widely considered as the house of children by a vast majority of the practitioners of the Science . 5th house is also regarded as the house signifying one’s poorva punya. According to vedic lore, we get either good or bad children based on our poorva punya only . If punya is more, we get children worthy of the name and if our sins are more , we get such children who would make us suffer and reap our karmaphala through them. However, there surely exists a link between lagna as the self, 5th house as his child and 9th house ( being the 5th to 5th ) as his father . Possibly, due to this link only, the custom of naming children after the names of one’s parents / grand parents is still prevailing in our countryside. Hence, considering 5th house as the house of children is more apt.
Then, the 9th house is the final option . Prof. K.S. Krishnamurthy, the founder of ‘KP System’ of Astrology, while discussing the significations of 9th Bhava in his book ‘The fundamentals of Astrology’ writes thus : “ Hindus attribute the 9th house to father because the 9th sign of the Zodiac Dhanus is ruled by Guru , the preceptor and spiritual teacher. In ancient times, the father was invariably the spiritual preceptor or Guru of the children to whom he did initiate ‘Brahma Upadesham’ and transmit his siddhis or psychic powers. Counting the 9th as the 1st, we find that the 5th therefrom indicates the native. Some persons advocate the 4th house and the 10th house for father. It is incorrect. Always take the 9th house for father”. This argument, in my opinion , is totally irrefutable and thoroughly convincing. Also, some of the other significations of 9th house such as Bhagya (luck), Dharma , etc are inter-connected to the role of one’s father and Pitrus.
According to Hindu Shastras, our present birth in a particular family lineage is based on the karmic results that operated at the end moments of our previous life.. Some factors like our unfulfilled aspirations in that life , our eligibility to get them fulfilled in this life or otherwise , etc are said to create an ambient suitable for the same in the present life as a result of which we take birth to a particular parents . This , in other words , is called as luck or Bhagya. In fact, our very life is under the control of our prarabda. 9th house signifies the influence of this prarabda. Thus, 9th house is rightly called as ‘Dharma, Pithru, Bhagya sthana’.
Conclusion : It is evident from the foregoing discussion that 4th house is the house of Mother and 9th house is the house of father. Although 5th and 10th houses do have some links to the parents in general, they cannot be considered for either father or mother . Both 5th and 10th houses have other stronger significations i.e., Putra and Karma Sthanas respectively.