Astounding Evidence that Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Used the Tropical Zodiac
In Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava, a biography of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati written by Bhakti Vikasa Swami, there is a chapter dedicated to short biographies of prominent disciples. The section on Sridhar Swami is delightfully long and has one astrologically relevant episode:
The acarya, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati – in his youth a renowned and influential astrologer in Bengal, chanced upon Sridhar Swami’s horoscope lying in an open notebook. He picked it up, examined it, and gave an interpretation. Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava reports the relevant data involved in that interpretation as:
“Rahu in the house of fortune.”
Let’s try to look at the same horoscope!
Sridhar Swami’s horoscope fortunately comes bundled with some commercial astrological software. Mine has his birth data as October 12th, 1895, at 23:38 in Navadvip, India. That birth time “23:38” seems shockingly “accurate” – it certainly seems like an astrologer has “rectified” it. So I searched for some confirmation of the birth time. A kind soul directed me to Sridhar Swami’s own description of his birth data – from an autobiographical interview done with him.
“I was born at midnight, Saturday 10th October, 1895. Navami tithi [lunar day] under the same sign as Lord Ramchandra. Krsna-paksa [dark moon fortnight]. Sriman Mahaprabhu was also born on a Saturday.”
Well, the first problem is that there was no “Saturday, October 10th” in 1895. It was a Thursday. Saturday was the 12th, like my software has it. Also, the Navami tithi was on the 12th, not the 10th. So we can assume it was a slip-up in the transcription. We have to assume that Sridhar Swami means Saturday, 12th October, 1895, Navami of Krsna Paksa.
He says he was born at midnight of that day. The chart that comes with my software says about 20 minutes before midnight. Pretty close. Lets work with that range.
Here is the horoscope of B.R. Sridhar Swami:
Seems right… Cancer rises, the same rising and lunar sign of Lord Ramchandra, as Maharaja said. And there is Rahu in the 9th house, the house of fortune. Just like Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava reports Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati observing it.
But here is the really shocking thing, shhhhh….. this is a TROPICAL chart!!!
Well that’s really absurd right?! Everyone knows Bhaktisiddhanta must have used a Sidereal Zodiac… right?
Well, here’s Sridhara Swami’s chart in the Sidereal Zodiac:
It still has Ramchandra’s sign, in fact its a more exact match… but look at Rahu… it’s nowhere near the house of fortune, its more than 10 degrees away from it, in the 8th house, not the 9th.
What do we conclude? Either we have to dismiss the account in Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava or else… or else it seems to me that we have to conclude Bhaktisiddhanta read the tropical chart, not the sidereal one. That also means that Sridhar Maharaja had a tropical chart in his notebook, not a sidereal one. Unless Bhaktisiddhanta corrected it to tropical coordinates in his head before interpreting it, which is not at all unlikely for the genius. In fact it does objectively seem likely (because of the tithis and the literal statement that, “my sign is the same as Lord Ramchandra”) that Sridhar Swami thought of his chart as sidereal, but Bhaktisiddhanta interpreted it from a tropical perspective.
This is earth-shattering evidence that Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati used the tropical zodiac.
The system I personally recommend is that all sign (rashi) related data is computed by tropical coordinates, and all star (nakshatra) related data is computed by sidereal coordinates.
As a parting note, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati’s most famous disciple, Bhaktivedanta Swami described his own birth data like this [In a letter from Vrindavana on 6 December 1975 to Jaya Krishna Thakura]:
I was born September 1, 1896, Tuesday at about 4:00 in the afternoon. My rasi is Mithuna.
Mithuna, by the way, is the Indian way of saying “Gemini.” Saying, “My rasi is Mithuna” means, “My Moon sign is Gemini.”
Here is the chart of that time (Calcutta):
Sure, Moon in Gemini – just like he said. But guess what… shhhhh… it’s tropical!
If you calculate a sidereal chart for the birth data Bhaktivedanta Swami gives, you wouldn’t get the Moon into Gemini until close to 8pm that day! So guess what… this is also evidence that not only Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati and Sridhar Swami, but also Bhaktivedanta Swami all made use of the tropical zodiac.
Let’s see what kind of pandora’s box this one opens up!
– Vic DiCara