Śrī Caitanya, the world-famous saint and avatar of divine love, was born February 27th 1486 at 17:55 in Mayapur, India. He is an excellent subject to illustrate the nature of the Moon in Leo because the Moon in Leo was rising as a full moon during an eclipse when he was born.
There are several excellent biographies of Śrī Caitanya. Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta (“The Immortal Nectar of Śrī Caitanya’s Life”) is a particular favorite, originally written in Bengali poetry by Kṛṣṇadās Kaviraj.
The primary effects of the Moon in Leo are to create a peculiar temper, high-mindedness, masculinity, obedience to one’s mother, and certain physical features. I will first explain each trait and then, in these indented italics, cite illustrations from the life and character of Śrī Caitanya.
Temper: Leo’s fire and the decisiveness of its ruler, the Sun, cause the mind to become hot tempered when the Moon is in this sign. However, the fixed nature of Leo causes the mind to become emotionally and intellectually steady and grave. The resulting temperament is one which is deep and steady, but once triggered results in an anger that subsides very slowly.
The deep intellectual nature and fixed contemplation of any Indian saint is a given. To illustrate this from Śrī Caitanya’s life could fill up a book. So I will pick a single incident which really nicely exemplifies this trait of the Moon in Leo.
At the age of 24 Śrī Caitanya accepted “sannyāsa” – a lifestyle in Indian culture which revolves around completely giving up all personal comforts, the foremost of which is the security and comfort of marriage and of intimate association with the opposite sex. The depth and steadiness (characteristics of Moon in Leo) to which Śrī Caitanya embraced this ideal was extreme even by the high standards of the time.
A follower of Śrī Caitanya invited him to come to his home to eat lunch – the main meal in India. As he was preparing the meal with exquisite loving attention to the fabulous details, he felt he would like to offer a higher grade of rice than what he had. He called for his friend, another “sannyāsī,” and asked him to go to the home of a very advanced spiritualist who was a great devotee of Śrī Caitanya to ask her for some of her best quality rice.
Later on, Śrī Caitanya was deeply appreciating the extreme care and love put into making the meal. In particular the rice struck him as being exquisite. He mentioned this to his host and asked, “Where did you get this rice?” When he was informed of its origin he asked, “Who went to ask her for the rice?” His host told him the name of his sannyāsī follower.
When Śrī Caitanya returned to his small room near the Jagannātha temple he told his assistant, “Please do not let me see the face of that sannyāsī ever again. A man who has renounced the world but still speaks directly to women in private should be shunned.”
I feel that this is an excellent illustration of the grave temperament of the Moon in Leo. Normally Śrī Caitanya is very forgiving, calm, etc. but when something occurs that he cannot tolerate, his anger at it is great and surprising, expressed in a reserved yet powerful manner. This is the temper of the Moon in Leo.
Śrī Caitanya’s followers were completely shocked at his reaction. Many people, including those Śrī Caitanya held in superior esteem, attempted to dissuade him, but he dramatically refused to relent. Once the temper of the Moon in Leo is triggered, it endures powerfully. In fact it took Śrī Caitanya slightly more than an entire year before his anger at the transgression of principles subsided and he called for the sannyāsī again to forgive him. This illustrates that the anger of Moon in Leo, once set off, is very durable and slow to subside.
Now let’s consider another trait of the Moon in Leo:
High-minded: Leo was created by the Sun, which is the soul, and has a fixed nature making it very deep. When the Moon is in the Sun’s sign the mind acquires spiritual desires and likes to contemplate deep spiritual subjects.
It might be almost ridiculous to pick any single thing about Śrī Caitanya which illustrates the spiritual depths capable of the Moon in Leo. Perhaps it is important to note that Śrī Caitanya is the avatar of divine love (“bhakti”), a yoga that works by creating emotional connections to the divine via spiritual desires to satisfy and please the Beloved Personality of Godhead. To say that the Moon in Leo creates “spiritual desires” and then point to the life and teachings of Śrī Caitanya as the paramount example of what these desires are and just how profound and elaborate and real they can be, is highly appropriate.
One may ask why this particular trait of the Moon in Leo is amplified in the life of Śrī Caitanya to such a volume. I will now list several facts which compile to explain this. If you are not an astrologer or familiar with the workings of astrology you may want to skip to the next section. It is not an entirely exhaustive list. I attempt to order it in order of importance.
The Moon is Śrī Caitanya’s 12th lord. It is conjoined Ketu. His 9th lord is exalted, and his 9th house occupied by the 3rd lord (desires), who is Venus (love). His Jupiter is in Sagittarius in a trine. In the navamsha: Moon is in the 12th house, Mercury is the Moon’s lord and is the lord of both the 12th and 9th houses and occupies the 1st house with Jupiter who is the lord of the 6th and 3rd.
Masculine: Moon in Leo puts our inner self in a mature masculine environment. This results in a feeling of independence from romance, ability to live alone and wander without deep roots, personal power, and a positive, outgoing, giving, magnanimous, self-sacrificing nature.
As we already mentioned, Śrī Caitanya was an extremely ardent sannyāsī renouncing all direct contact with the opposite sex since the age of 24. At that time he gave up his home and wandered about India for 6 years on foot and usually alone. All his associates were males.
Obviously he was an extremely powerful individual otherwise we would not be talking about him more than 500 years later. His biographies constantly reveal that his personal influence was enormous and without any effort to do so he amassed thousands of followers from all backgrounds and all walks of life throughout the entire Indian subcontinent. His followers continue to increase and thrive today. Thus his personal power is an extremely good illustration of what the Moon in Leo can contribute to.
Śrī Caitanya was known and is remembered as “maha-vadanya” – the topmost jewel of all magnanimous and generous people. The Moon in Leo is like the emotions feeling they are kingly and have lots of wealth and resources to distribute. The magnanimity of this placement springs therefrom. Śrī Caitanya was a mystic saint, an avatar who realized the spiritual ecstasies of divine love to a previously unknown, impossible extent and who tirelessly worked to share the ecstasy of that divine love with the world – primarily by holding public song regarding the object of divine love, Śrī Kṛṣṇa in which he would dance for hours, with eyes pouring rivers of tears, singing heartfelt stories and names of Śrī Kṛṣṇa which completely revolutionized the hearts and minds of all those who came within hearing and sight of these events (“Saṁkīrtana”). Thus he gained access to the greatest, most mysterious, deepest spiritual treasures and, like a billionaire throwing thousand dollar bills to the crowd, showered them upon humanity through the emotional content of his transcendental singing and dancing. Thus Śrī Caitanya exemplifies the great magnanimity the Moon in Leo can contribute to.
Obedient to Mother: Leo is a royal environment fostering loyalty and obedience to superiors. Whatever planet is in Leo, the person that planet represents becomes an object of increased respect, reverence and loyalty. Moon in Leo indicates such feelings towards the mother. You can extend this principle to every planet like so: Sun – father, Mercury – children, Venus – spouse, Mars – siblings/friends, Jupiter – teachers, and Saturn – the elderly.
It is not expected for a sannyāsī to remain connected to his mother. Nor is it expected that Moon in Leo, which grants masculinity and a feeling of independence from the opposite sex, should also foster obedience and reverence for one’s mother. Nevertheless this is the case and Śrī Caitanya’s life exemplifies it.
In fact, some of the most touching and easily accessible parts of his biography are those which depict his deep love and respect for his mother, Sacī. He could not do anything that his mother did not approve. His clandestine taking of sannyāsa is the one exception, but immediately after doing so he went to her to beg her forgiveness and allowed her to order him to remain in the nearby city of Jagannātha Pūrī, in which he faithfully spent the remainder of his life despite the fact that his deepest heartfelt need and desire was to live in the much more distant village where his beloved Śrī Kṛṣṇa previously displayed his divine pastimes on the face of the Earth. In short, Śrī Caitanya forego his deepest spiritual desire for the sake of obeying the order of his dear mother.
Physical Effect: Two physical effects accrue from the Moon in Leo – (1) power and (2) acidity. The features become more powerful and commanding, strong and broad. Acidity causes appetite and thirst to be higher, fertility to be lower, and can be noticed by the body and eyes having a yellowish hue.
The biographies state that Śrī Caitanya’s body was unusually large, long and broad, and especially powerful. It is said that he resembled a lion. This is a reference to both stature and strength. Another name of his is Gaurāṇga which means “Golden Body.” His beautiful, powerful body had a distinct yellowish hue. He had no offspring, despite being married twice prior to taking sanyāssa. The amount of food he could consume sounds impossible when described in the biographies, but is yet another illustration of the Moon in Leo in a heightened condition such as it is in Śrī Caitanya – rising full during an eclipse.