Parashara’s Encyclopedic Scripture of Astrology
The Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra
Chapter 13, Verse 6
“The Fifth House”
yantra mantrai tathaa vidyaM
buddhesh chaiva prabandhakam
pashyet putraalayaad budhah
yantra – instrument, apparatus, engine, machine, magical/ mystical diagram/ talisman/ amulet; mantra – instrument of thought, formulas of knowledge, confidential designs & plans, concil, advice, spells; tathaa – thus; vidyaM – knowledge, science, learning, scholarship, philosophy; buddheh – the power of forming and retaining conceptions, intelligence, reason, discernment; cha – and; eva – certainly; prabandhakam – forming of connections, editing, authoring, managing, designing; putra – children; raajya-apabhraMsha – preventing a fall from sovereignty: adi – etc; pashyet – see; putra-aalayaat – the house of children; budhah – the wise;
From the “House of Children” [Fifth House] the wise can see your rational intelligence. Thus they can discern your education, your ability to to work with formulas and engineer designs, your ability to prevent a fall from sovereignty, and your ability to make creative connections. From this house they can also understand your children.
Parashara, the original author of this Sanskrit definition of the Fifth House points to “rational intelligence” as the primary theme of what the Fifth House of a horoscope describes. He lists some corollaries of that rational intelligence which are also therefore discernible by examining the Fifth House: your capacity for education, and thus your ability to utilize formulas and operate mechanisms.
The ability to “make connections” is also strongly connected to ones level of intelligence.
Among the relatives in life, the Fifth is the house of children.
First and foremost the Fifth House is about your Intellect (buddhi). Your ability to form an opinion, to perceive a thing or an idea and develop a clear concept of it – this is the type of intellect we are talking about in the Fifth House.
Your ability to “sort things out” – clearly discerning subtleties – is also what we are talking about when using the word intelligence in reference to the Fifth House.
Related to intelligence is your education (vidyaa). This refers to your ability to acquire knowledge & scholarship; your skill in sciences and the scientific process itself; and your ability to comprehend philosophy.
Mantra – Formulae
As a result of your education you will be be able to make use of formulas (mantra) and mechanisms (tantra). These have a modern as well as ancient application – or you may say a practical as well as mystical connotation.
The Fifth House holds the power of mantra. This is a fairly popular Sanskrit word. You might think of people saying “Om” or “Hare Krishna” etc. These are mantras, yes. But that’s not all that a mantra is.
Mantra literally means an “instrument of thought”! In Vedic India, knowledge and thoughts were codified into concise poems called sutras (“threads”) which are used as mantra or verbal formula which contain condensed, codified thoughts and knowledge. All other types of formulas, including mathematical ones, etc. are also “mantras” and the ability to utilize these is a principle to be examined in reference to the Fifth House.
In Vedic India, an advisor and planner is called a mantri. This is because the word mantra broadly indicates formulas of knowledge – including plans, designs, council and advice. Ones ability to deal with plan-making, designing, and counseling must all be examined in the Fifth House of the horoscope.
Yantra – Mechanisms
If you have good education you can utilize formulas and you can also make good use of machines like computers. A yantra is a “machine, an engine, apparatus, or instrument.” In an ancient or mystical sense it refers to the magical and mystical diagrams, amulets and talismans which invoke the protection of divine powers and protect one from demonic ills. Such diagrams and talismans are instruments, physical apparatus used to deliver the power of mantra the power of knowledge-formula, which ward off ignorance.
In a modern or practical sense yantra refers to engines, machines, and physical mechanisms. The Fifth House of the horoscope shows not only how well one can deal with mystical diagrams, but equally it shows how well one can utilize modern machinery and computers. It shows ones skill in designing and engineering things which actually work.
If the horoscope is very mystical overall, and/or especially the 5th House is very spiritual, then you can emphasize the mystical sides of the words mantra and yantra as they pertain to magic spells, sonic formulas, mystical diagrams and talismans. If on the other hand the chart and particularly the 5th house is more practical and modern you can emphasis the practical sides of the words mantra and yantra as the pertain to philosophical and mathematical formulae and the understanding of complex engineering and computers.
In charts with very bright and strong Fifth Houses, you will find that all of the implications of mantra and yantra are at the native’s disposal.
In popular astrology the Fifth House is known as the creative center. Perhaps this is slightly overblown. I say this in deference to the fact that the sage Parashara has not really explicitly made mention to it here in his definition of the Fifth House. However he has used the word prabandhakam which indicates a person who “makes connections.” I will explain how this Sanskrit word does support the popular conception that the Fifth House is the seat of creativity.
The word literally means “making connections.” This is certainly a function of intelligence – the main theme of the Fifth House. When a person is intelligent, they can see how things are connected. When they are at a genius level of intelligence, in fact, they see connections that others are blind too. So the Fifth House shows one’s potential for genius.
Genius is a creative thing.
The Sanskrit word for “making connections” is also the word used for “author.” This clearly shows the inherent connotation of creativity in the Fifth House. Authors connect ideas together and write them out to create stories. This creative process is a function of the Fifth House.
Albert Einstein’s horoscope – a great example of Fifth House genius and creativity – has an extremely exalted Fifth Lord in the prominent and empowering Tenth House combining with both the First and Tenth Lords.
Creative planets in creative signs and nakshatras in the fifth house will, for example, bring out the creativity of the fifth house more than practical planets in practical placements.
To be clear – in my opinion it is not really the Fifth House that is the seat of creativity. The Fourth House, being the center of the person’s emotional being, is the true seat of creativity. But the Fifth House is how the Fourth House reaches out towards other people in the world (the Seventh House), and therefore it does indicate how well one can express one’s creativity to others.
Preventing a Fall from Sovereignty
This is usually mistranslated as “falling from sovereignty” or “losing ones career.” However there is no way that the House of Intellect could cause one to lose ones status, success and career!!! The only way this mistranslation could be supported is to resort to the very tangled and misused system of arbitrarily counting “houses from houses” and saying that since the 5th House is 8 houses from the 10th House, it causes a fall from career – being an 8th House influence on career. This is a nonsensical proposal in the long term – for if we stick with such logic we must concluded that the mother is the undoing of the child, since the 4th house is 12 houses from the 5th. In fact just the opposite is true. This principle is therefore not solid and only works in specific contexts such as the examination of family relatives and a few other specific cases.
The mistranslation arises because the Sanskrit word is “Rajyaapabhramsha.” Even if you don’t know Sanskrit you can see this is a mouthful. Without teaching you Sanskrit, let me just say that in this language, vowels blend together. So the word is a compound of two words connected by their vowel. It is “Rajya-apabhramsha”. Rajya means sovereignty, and specifically refers to the 10th House (because Parashara used the identical word in defining that house). Apabhramsha is the confusing word which has been mistranslated by many.
Apabhramsha is itself a compound of more basic units. The root of the word is bhram which means to “move about” – it denotes unsteadiness. So the connection of the word here to sovereignty leads many translators to say “unsteadiness in career.” However, the prefix in front of bhramsha is apa which means “away from” or “anti-“. So the complete word means “anti-unsteadiness”. Rajya-apabhramsha therefore means, “that which leads one away from unsteadiness in ones career.”
This makes clear and simple sense! The fifth house is the house of intelligence, which allows us to make good use of advice and planning – and as a result to avoid unsteadiness or loss of stature, self-sufficiency, and career.
– Vic DiCara
©2010 Vic DiCara – All Rights Reserved.