The Ninth House
According to Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra
Chapter 13, Verse 10
bhaagyaM dharmam cha syaalaM cha
bhaagyaM – entitlement to a share, luck, fortune; dharmam – that which is firmly established, inherent nature, religious law, virtue, morality, sincerity; cha – and; syaalaM – the siblings of your spouse; cha – and; bhraatRi-patya – the spouse of your siblings; adikaaMs – etc.; tathaa – thus; tiirtha – good places, sacred places; yaatra – journeys; adikaM – etc.; sarvaM – all; dharma-sthaanaan – the house of dharma; niriikShayet – examine.
Examine the “House of Virtue” [Ninth House] to understand your essential virtues and the good fortune you are therefore entitled to. This house also reveals your opportunities to travel beneficially to good destinations. It even tells about your spouses siblings and your sibling’s spouses.
The Ninth House is the western section of the visible sky overhead. The focal point of the visible sky is the Tenth House, which pertains to the visible role one plays in society. The western sky, on the other hand, is the house of the people one interacts with in life. So the western portion of the overhead sky – the ninth house – has everything to do with how one’s role in society impacts on other people.
Therefore Sage Parashara names this the “House of Morality” (Dharma-Sthaana). Morality is all about being aware of and conscientious about how your actions impact the lives of other people!
Let’s look at the word “dharma.” It can be translated as morality or religion. What it really means though, literally, is that which is firmly established. Law and religion are codes of contact that are firmly established. In some cases they are literally “written in stone” as in the fabled “10 Commandments” of Moses. Dharma indicates rules which you cannot transgress without suffering.
All the systems of social, religious and philosophic ethics and morality which guide mankind are part of the Ninth House.
This is really a bit of a superficial explanation of dharma, though. The true meaning of that which is firmly established does not pertain to moral social codes, but to the inherent, inalienable nature of any person or thing. Wetness, for example is a dharma of water. Heat is a dharma of fire, etc. Human beings also have a dharma but more or less in this dark age of humanity we have no idea what it is. The ancient Sanskrit writings remind us that the dharma of all living things is to experience bliss in connection with the supreme source of bliss – “God.”
All the rules and regulations of religion and law are at least supposed to be practical guidelines helping us be in touch with our inalienable inner nature.
To be in touch with one’s dharma is to be virtuous. The 9th House shows what type of virtues a person has.
Parashara also says this is the house of “luck” (bhaagya). What is luck, anyway? It is the good fortune you are entitled to get without any extra effort on your part. What entitled you to such good fortune? Your good actions (dharma) over countless previous lifetimes.
The Ninth House is also about traveling, but not just any sort of traveling. Actually, a lot of the houses have had something to do with traveling! The Third House was about starting journeys. The Seventh House was about ending journeys. The Tenth House was about moving away from home. The Twelfth House Parashara actually did not explicitly define in relation to traveling, though almost everyone says it has to do with foreign places. It does have to do with foreign places, but only in so far as they provide one with an escape and a way to withdraw from what one dislikes about ones place of birth.
The Ninth House is about a special sort of travel – it is about beneficial travel to good destinations. In fact, a typical translation of the words Parashara uses here would be something like “pilgrimages to sacred places.” I believe it is more well rounded to conceive of this as beneficial travel to good destinations, and “pilgrimage to sacred places” is the topmost example of such fortunate and virtuous traveling.
Many people say the Ninth House is the house of “higher education.” It appears that the Sage Parashara does not have that in mind directly. It is true that the Ninth House pertains to the development of virtuous character – which in a sense can be called higher education. But this does not directly pertain to the mainly vocational training of modern universities. In my opinion, Parashara’s definition of the houses would place such university education under the Fifth House with perhaps some reference to the Second House as well (since university is about acquiring practical, supportive knowledge).
Regarding the family relations – the Ninth House shows both the wife’s siblings, and the sibling’s wives. This is due to the fact that it is three houses from the Seventh House and seven houses from the Third House.
– Vic DiCara
©2010 Vic DiCara. All rights reserved.