How Do You Know It’s True?

I finally got the hardbound Sanskrit version of one of the most important astrological books in history. It’s name is really long. Would you like to try to say it? Ok, try this: Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra.

Good try.

In English it means something like “Parashara’s Encyclopedic Scripture of Astrology”. Parashara, by the way, is a person’s name. You see, according to the legend at least,  astrology was first only known to the person who actually created the stars and planets, the god Brahma. But he taught astrology to his son, the sage named Narada. Of course, this was billions of years ago – but these sorts of beings live a very long time, to say the least. So Narada eventually taught the secrets of Astrology to his own disciple, a student named Shaunaka, who in turn taught it to Parashara – the person who is the author of the book I got in the mail from India yesterday.

Well sort of.

Brahma instructs his son, Narada

The book was written over a dozen centuries ago, one might estimate. Predating the press by a lot. It was lost for centuries. We knew it had existed, but we had no copies of it. Then (I think about 400 years ago more or less?) a supposedly complete version of it was found.

So honestly, we have no way of knowing for sure if this is the real book in it’s original form. And in fact we are pretty aware that it is a modified form of what the original probably was.

But still – it is a seriously awesome thing to hold in your hand.

An “Encyclopedic Scripture of Astrology” written by a man who learned astrology from the student of the student of the son of the universal creator, Brahma!

So, as you would expect, the whole book is stunning through and through. I mean, extremely stunning. But I particularly have been struck by the 10th chapter, and that’s what I specifically wanted to write about today.

How Do You Know It’s True

More or less you could use this as the title for the 10th chapter. This chapter discusses how the astrological birth chart will confirm exact and specific situations during the birth itself. For example, you can count how many people were involved in assisting the birth, and then look at the chart with a special rule. If the rule does not match, there must be something wrong with how the chart was calculated, it must be recalculated.

You see we may have lost a lot of things over the ages, but we have gained a lot in terms of technically accurate tools. We have atomic clocks, for example. In the old days they told the time by the position of the Sun over special instruments. It was not always easy to get an exact time, not easy at all. So the 10th chapter of the book talks about how to infer the conditions of the chart on the basis of what you physically see around you at the time of birth! With these conditions you can verify that you have an accurate and true birth time or not. You can know if the chart is “true.”

Location of Birth

Some of the conditions are astounding. For example, where did the birth take place – in the maternal home, the paternal home, or in transit. You can tell this from the nature of the chart… Sun/Saturn representing paternal, Moon/Venus representing maternal, (Sun for day births, Saturn for night births. Moon for night births, Venus for day births) the stronger of the two planets in the horoscope describes if the child was born in the maternal home or paternal home.

If however the Moon is rising, and the benefics are debilitated without helpful aspects – the birth occurs without a proper shelter at all; “in transit.”

Unfortunately times have changed quickly in recent years and some of these principles therefore become confusing in how exactly they should be applied – since most kids today are born in hospitals away from home.

Lighting in the Delivery Room

There are other things too. If The Sun is strong and connected to Mars there would have been a lot of light in the room. But if the Moon was strong, (for example in a water sign in the 4th house) and connected to Saturn there would have been a darkened environment in the delivery room.

Again, I don’t think this can be applied literally to modern situations – since the practical environments have changed so much so quickly. But still this means that I should have been born with a lot of lights shining on my mom, and my first son should have been born in a fairly darkened room. I can confirm that he was.

The Lights

It goes into so much detail it is astounding! In those days lights were earthen bowls full of oil with a cotton wick. The sign of the sun being movable, fixed or dual is supposed to be visible in the nature of how the flames would waver (or not) at the time of birth!

Even the direction of the door of the delivery room should corroborate to the chart!


The number of nurses is supposed to equal the number of planets between the Ascendant and the Moon’s sign. In my older son’s case this would be a lot: 5 or 7 (I am not sure if Parashara would have us count the nodes as planets for this purpose).

Vedic scripture is always written in what is called sutra format, which means just the main thread of the idea is given, not the full deal. This is because they want to protect their knowledge from falling into the wrong hands. So they write it in an encoded, thread-only format – and it requires a living guide to expand upon. So just reading the book, you always have a lot of unanswered questions.

It seems to me that the above is to be the general number of nurses observed to be assisting with the delivery. I was not counting nurses when my boy was born, but memory does corroborate that there were about a half dozen.

Now there is more detail. Some nurses would be inside the delivery room at the time of birth, while others would be outside. The planets in the visible sky (from Ascendant to Descendant) indicate how many nurses are visible inside the delivery room, while the planets in the invisible sky (from Descendant to Ascendant) indicate how many are working outside in support.

Again, I would love to ask Parashara questions directly. Does he mean that planets we already identified as nurses (i.e. which fall between the ascendant and the moon) should be the only ones included in this count? Or does he mean that all the planets should be counted?

Anyway, assuming it’s all my son should have had  2 or 3 of them should have been active inside the delivery room when he was actually born. This is true as far as I can recall.

The majority of the nurses (4 or 5 of them) should have been doing things outside the room at the time.

Looking at this Sanskrit which describes all this – I think he next gives two alternative verification methods if this main one does not yield correct results, yet other things incline us to believe that the chart / birth time is accurate. It really gets fantastically detailed.


Astronomy of the Ancients

I hope this glimpse into an overlooked chapter of an ancient Sanskrit scripture on astrology at the very least gives you some idea of just how much substance and thoroughness the science of Vedic Astrology possesses. Also I hope it makes you more aware of the fact that this system of astrology intends itself to be verifiably accurate and reliable.

– Vic DiCara

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