Despite the speculations, rumours – and condemnation by non-believers – over using astrology as part of the election nomination process, BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is poised to be his party’s political saviour. Over the past three weeks, there have been several discussions over the pros and cons of the muhurta (“auspicious time”) during the nomination. But Modi squashed them all by choosing a relatively non-auspicious date according to the traditional Hindu calendar. Thursday, April 24, 2014, was supposed to have a big time frame of inauspiciousness popularly known as “bhadra”.
According to basic Indian astrology, one Hindu “tithi” (date) comprises two “karna”. Of these two, the presence of Vishti karna in any time period of any date is known as “bhadra”.
Similarly there are two “paksha” (fortnights) in the Hindu calendar, the Shukla paksh and Krishna paksh. The bhadra occurs four times in a paksha of the month.
Bhadra usually occurs in the eastern half of the full moon (“poornima”) and the ashtami (eighth day) in the Shukla paksha. In the same manner, it also occurs in the northern half of the chaturthi (fourth day) and Ekadashi (eleventh day) of that particular month.
In the Krishna paksha, the bhadra occurs in the northern half of the tritiya (third day) and dashami (tenth day). In the same way, it occurs in the eastern half of the saptami (seventh day) and chaturdashi (fourteenth day).
According to the findings quoted in the “Muhurt Chintamani”, a famous book on astrology, and other noted scriptures of astrology, many activities are prohibited and restricted during bhadra, especially all auspicious ones. Also, according to “Muhurat Martand”, another great astrological scripture, any auspicious activities carried out in the bhadra always give inauspicious results.
The famous verse from “Muhurt Chintamani” goes:
“Swarge bhadra Shubham Kuryaat, Patalecha Dhanagamam, Mrityulokam yadaa Bhadraa, Sarwkaarya Vinashanen.”
This means bhadra is influential wherever it resides. But it has a negative effect when it resides on Earth. Bhadra gives auspicious results when it is in Heaven or if it is in the Underworld.
Bhadra resides on Earth (Mrityulok) when Moon is in the Cancer, Leo, Aquarius or Pisces signs. Bhadra resides in Swarg Lok (heaven) when Moon is in Aries, Taurus, Gemini or Scorpio signs. And when Moon is in Virgo, Libra, Sagittarius or Capricorn sign, Bhadra resides in Paatal Lok (underworld).
But another vision of Hindu astrology claims there are many activities that can be carried out during Bhadra. These include using fireworks, going to war, capturing a prisoner, use of poison, arguments, use of weapons, activities related to animals, beginning a court case, defeating enemies, among others. So another sniff was in the air that Modi chose this period to make sure about his victorious thoughts.
“This was the primary reason for Modi to choose “bhadra”, as he is going to start a war against his rivals, and against who are rivals of the entire nation as well,” said a senior BJP leader in Varanasi on condition of anonymity. “He is a senior leader, we can’t comment on his plans and proceedings very often in public.”
On the other hand, some astrologers still believe his choice of April 24 as the date instead of the relatively easier and auspicious April 22 is also part of a styled and customised usage of astrology. Although just another hot day according to the Gregorian calendar, the Hindu calendar claims April 24 is a bitter day.
According to the panchang April 24 is the tenth day (dashmi) of the Krishna paksh in the month of Vaishakh. From from 8.18 am to 7.07 pm, Thursday had a special inauspicious span which is known as Bhadra. Modi entered the premises of the nomination centre around 1.59 in the afternoon and left around 2.30 pm. This time band had the Sinha lagna, which was later followed by the kark lagna and had two cruel nakshatras of Ghanishtha and Shatbhisha respectively, which are also considered to be good for war and war-like activities.
Pandit Deepak Malveey, acclaimed and noted astrologer of Varanasi who has also done a detailed research on the Narendra Modi’s kundali, is quite sure about this classic usage of astrological references. He claims Modi can overcome any bad dates because his personal stars are in a great position.
“As per the planetary positions in Mr Modi’s personal chart, he is said to have three auspicious “yogas” which are “Neech Bhanga Raj Yoga”, “Gaja kesari Yoga” and the most auspicious “Roochak Yog” which is one of the five best yogas poularly known as “Panch Mahapurush Yogas”, so there is no question of getting any adverse result .” he said.
“Moreover, he is running into a period of Chandrama (Moon) and the transit of Brihaspati (Jupiter) along with a very confident and static position of Mangal (Mars) in his chart, which also has a close connect with the moon. And as Mars is considered to be the God of war, there is no point questioning the result, he will be victorious at any cost. But he may find some small and big hurdles in between, though those will be tackled easily,” he added.
Pandit Malveey also claimed that even if people are supposed to wear yellow coloured clothes on Thursday to get good results, Modi on the other hand wore a white kurta-pyjama on Thursday during his nomination, which can be inauspicious. “His Chandrama (Moon) is very powerful and is in a static condition, the colour white is also said to be associated with moon so he might have had chosen that on purpose.” And when someone is having such good planetary positions there is no question of colour, he ended.
Other local astrologers and brahmins who belong to different priestly clans had different perspectives. They claimed April 24 was inauspicious being the Bhadra as well as “Panchak dosh” (bad time) and they feared this may cost the BJP, but none of them said so officially, in order to avoid any kind of difference.
Ram Narayan Dwivedi, an eminent Sanskrit scholar and acharya at the famous Kashi Annaporna Temple, had an entirely different perspective on the astrological uproar: “The Hindu residents of Gujarat follow the calendar which is based on the transit of moon and it is called as “Datey panchang”. We on the other hand in this part of the world follow the calendar based on the transit of the Sun, known as the “Rishikesh Panchang” or the “Kashi Vishwanath Panchang”, which starts from poornima (full moon). So, the Gujarati calendar is around a fortnight behind us, and we are almost a fortnight ahead of them. It starts from amawasya (new moon). So, on April 24, they had the date of dashami of the Chaitra month and Krishna paksh which is considered to be a very auspicious date, so his selection of date is unquestionable.”
He further said, “The Gujarati calendar also says on April 24, the Moon is in meen (Pisces) sign, considered to be a dual-natured and believing in unity. The placement of Jupiter is in mithun (Gemini) sign and the Sun is in the Aries sign, which is suitable as per Modi’s astro chart, because the Sun is in a confident position and is also considered to be a self-governed planet. That is why Modi is also a self-governed politician. And the Gujarati panchang also shows an auspicious “Shukla Yog” in Thursday’s date which is a victorious Yoga again.”
“Even if you consider his nomination according to our calendar of the solar transit, some selected verses of the primitive scriptures say the inauspicious period of Bhadra and even the Panchak Dosh is ineffective due to these movements of planets. So when we do a micro and unified study of the entire timeline of his nomination process, we find both the ways of calculation plus the day along with the dates are all good for him,” he added.
Modi’s close adviser in such occult religious subjects who lives at Balsad in Gujarat refused to take questions when he was contacted, and said they were not allowed to give versions on any such proceedings. However, he did not deny the fact that astrology was being considered in the political process.
All views mentioned here are of the writer's alone and do not represent that of this newspaper.