Remedies in Vedic Astrology
Updated: Nov 18, 2021
I often get clients asking me what they should do to change their lives, or find love, or succeed at work and so on. And more often than not, I suggest changing their attitudes, intentions, motivations and perceptions towards these events, and direct their attention inwards, rather than attempt to change the external world. Depending on the chart, I also recommend asana and pranayama or other measures as appropriate. Such suggestions come under the broad term of "remedies in Vedic Astrology", akin to medicines in modern day Science.
But what are these remedies, and are there any general remedies that can be used by one and all? Let's start with an analogy.
Imagine you are crossing a river. It's gushing down, making its way to the Ocean. You are in a certain spot because of the way you sailed in the past, and how you sail now will determine where you end up in the future.
So the question becomes, do you know how to sail? Do you know where you're going? Only then can you steer your boat - whether you need to stay still and let the River take you with it, or adjust your sails to go against the currents. There is no right or wrong destination - if you decide to go with the currents, you reach the Ocean, something much, much larger than the River. And if you decide to sail against the currents, then you go upstream, to the very source of the river itself. Either way, you're in for a ride.
The River in this analogy, represents Life, and the currents are the vasanas that we encounter in our lives. Some are strong, others weak, they are tendencies and possibilities that are pulling us in one direction or the other; the "destination" represents the goals and ambitions in life. In this context, Varahamihira (500 AD) said “There is no better boat than a horoscope to help a man cross over the sea of life.” Meaning, the horoscope helps us understand our River - the direction, depth, intensity of the currents and so on, and if the destination is clear, an understanding of the birth chart helps us find the strategies best suited to get us there.
But how do you choose your destination? Should you surrender to the currents in your life, or should you go against your nature for achieving your goals? Only you can answer that question. There are no right or wrong goals. We need to decide our destinations, as much by ourselves as possible, free from the views and opinions of others, who by the way, are also in the midst of crossing their own rivers.
Why am I sharing all this, when the topic is about remedies in Vedic Astrology?
It's because I believe that we cannot change how the River is flowing.
It is flowing in a certain direction and speed, because of actions that we've taken in the past. We cannot change this, but, we can learn how to sail. I liken remedies in Vedic Astrology to learning to sail, strengthening our boats, changing the sails, rather than to trying to change the way the River is flowing. Or stopping it from flowing altogether. The Master Sailor can sail to any part of the river. And if we can learn how to sail like Them, then, however strong the currents in Life may be, whichever direction Life may flow, we can reach the destination of our choosing.
All the remedies are designed to help you withstand the currents in life, and navigate those currents, rather than change the currents. For instance, several would recommend the Gayathri Mantra for finding a job. Rather than changing the external world, the regular chanting of this mantra in a sincere and diligent manner, enlightens the self, making it more self aware and productive in life, because of which one gets a job. In other words, the remedy works on oneself, and better prepares the self for facing the vicissitudes of life.
Also, remedies cannot / should not be delegated to someone else. If a doctor prescribed a medicine for your illness, would you ask someone else to take that medicine on your behalf? Same in Astrology. Remedies need to be performed by the individual, and if he/she is incapable of doing so (for instance, you may not know how to perform a homa), then it is the responsibility of the astrologer to find a suitable alternative. If you are allergic to a certain substance, then the doctor must prescribe an alternative, isn't it?
The kind of remedies that are available in Vedic Astrology, range from tantra, mantra, dana, japa, homa, and yagna, to yama, niyama, asana and pranayama. Several astrologers also prescribe numbers, colors and gemstones, as well as changing one's attitudes and ways of life as a means to achieving one's goals. In Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra, Maharishi Parashara has provided the following:
Remedies for planetary periods: Ch. 48-59
Remedies for curses from previous births: Ch. 85
Remedies for inauspicious births: Ch. 87, 90, 94, 95, 96
Remedies for Amavasya: Ch.88
Remedies for Krishna Chaturdashi: Ch.89
Remedies for Nakshatras: Ch.91
Remedies for Sankranthi: Ch.92
Remedies for Eclipses: Ch.93
Remedies for unusual deliveries: Ch.97, 98
While the above are for specific cases, in Ch. 86, he provides a general remedy for each Planet, and states
"... for the attainments of placid peace, perpetual prosperity, immaculate and virtuous knowledge, adequate rainfalls, good longevity, sound health and righteous power, propritiatory measures and different Yagnas of these planets be performed devotedly" (BPHS, 86.2-3)
Vyasa has recommended alleviating the Grahas using the Navagraha Stotra, a method that can be followed by anyone. If you have the means, then this could be combined with Parashara's suggestion of making idols of each Graha in the respective material (Sun in copper, Moon in clear quartz, Mars in red sandal, Mercury and Jupiter in gold, Venus in silver, Rahu in lead and Ketu in brass), and then reciting the Stotra. A beautiful rendition below:
The Taittiriya Samhita gives 3 mantras for each Graha, as in this video below. Astrologers usually recommend these as a generic remedy to address all Grahas.
Several believe that Hanuman and Ganesha can be propitiated to counteract the evil effects of any Graha. Hanuman is said to be the "slayer of demons, evils and negative energies", and is even proclaimed as being greater than Ram Himself (Tulsidas, Ramcharitmanas 7.120.14). According to the Shaivite tradition, Hanuman is an incarnation of Lord Shiva, and His powers – strength, courage, wisdom, celibacy, devotion and the many names by which He was known – are given in the Hanuman Chalisa, recited daily by millions today (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanuman_Chalisa).
Ganesha is said to be the remover of obstacles, and is worshipped at the start of any endeavor to help the devotee find success. The Vakratunda Mahakaya shloka from the Mudgala Purana is usually used:
This has been beautifully rendered by Pandit Ravishankar in Vandana Trayee (https://youtu.be/ru_FPMkDRlc), although the second line is different from the above version.
Reciting mantras in front of a statue is a common method of worshipping Hindu deities, but imbibing their qualities is what is actually called for. In the case of Hanuman, rather than worshipping the physical form of Hanuman, can we emulate the courage, dedication, devotion and selfless surrender to the Divine that He is known for? Can we bring those qualities into our day-to-day activities, rather than merely visiting a temple? The same goes for Ganesha - in addition to reciting a mantra and offering flowers, can we also look within ourselves to find the strength for overcoming external obstacles? That would go a far longer way in helping us adjust our sails in navigating the river.
If the currents in your life are too strong to handle, show your chart to a Vedic Astrologer, and get his/her opinion. Think of "remedy" as a "strategy" to achieve your goals and ambitions in life. And just as a business strategy needs to be customized for each organization at different stages of its growth, astrological remedies also need to be customized for you, by considering the unique situation that you find yourself in, and these need to be adapted to the changing conditions of life viz. Planetary periods, eclipses, progressions and ongoing transits. Be careful not to take a one-size-fits-all approach, and instead each chart needs to be addressed using a case-by-case approach. Even the dictum "exercise is good for health" can prove to be quite the contrary for someone who has just fractured the spine. Here, it's bed rest that becomes the remedy.
I haven't addressed the other kinds of remedies here (tantra, mantra, japa, homa, yagna and gemstones to name a few). If there is an interest, I can take that up in another blog post. Let me know in the comments section below. If you enjoyed this post, consider subscribing to my mailing list, so you get these articles delivered to your email. You can subscribe by clicking here: https://www.allthingsvedic.in/blog.
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