Long Course

BPHS takes 5 months to read, max! why does this course need 5 years?

Mukteswara Temple, Bhubaneswar

Every subject has levels of knowledge and the same book can be taught at different levels. I studied Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar’ for my 10th Grade and am pretty sure that the Masters level students in English Literature who study the same book would be doing more justice to it. Consider the pronunciation of words.

When I was four, I dropped a book on the floor and my mother taught me to pick it up and place it back. Then to touch the book and say ‘विष्णु’ (viṣṇu), to touch my head and say ‘विष्णु’ (viṣṇu) again and finally a third time, to touch my heart and say ‘विष्णु’ (viṣṇu). I was too small to understand the value f such an important lesson, a lesson that would change the course of my life, a lesson that would bring the wealth of knowledge to my head. I was so small that I could not even pronounce the holy name ‘विष्णु’ (viṣṇu) and would say biṣṭu-biṣṭu-biṣṭu …

Don’t look for short-cuts as that is the surest way to delude yourself. Hurting your intelligence is the surest way to hurt yourself. Ādi Śaṅkara called jyotiṣa the ocean of vedic sciences and refused to debate on this topic as one lifetime is not sufficient to finish the debate. By accepting that you can read this huge secret vedic science in just about six months is a sign that your ahaṁkāra has definitely got the better of you. Please do not delude yourself. It has taken me more than three decades of sincere study every day to fathom some of the depths of this ocean. It will take you as much time and you can choose to start today, or maybe in ten years, or maybe in the next life. This choice is yours – and this is really the freewill you can exercise.

Jyotiṣa is the safest path through the terrible darkness in this age of ignorance (Kali Yuga). Very often I meet people who are so tied down with the chore of earning money and survival, so caught up in their daily life that they just cannot find any time for study. Well, that is exactly what Kali Yuga is about. You will become a slave of Kubera, the god of wealth and will be dragged around the planet like a draught animal and will spend the rest of your existence either pitying yourself (most of the time) or patting your back (rare) when you think that you pulled the cart (job) better than your colleagues. How long will you live under this carrot-and-stick formula of this Kali Yuga? Is it not time to say a prayer to Lord Śiva, the great Tryaṁbakkaṁ who shows the path to emancipation?

ॐ नमः शिवाय नमः मुक्तेश्वराय
om namaḥ śivāya namaḥ mukteśvarāya

And we are only saying that we need ‘a few academic years’ and will allow you to learn at your natural pace while we will keep urging you on. We expect you to take about 15 months and would advise you to keep a target of 12 months to finish the first year of PJC. Work systematically and the you will finish this academic year in time and will join the rest of the batch in PJC Year-2.

BPHS Path

Why are we approaching the topics of BPHS in this manner?

This is the manner in which we have learnt Bṛhat Parāśara Horā Śāstra and that is the exactly same manner in which we intend to teach this vedic classic. The present form of BPHS is the result of the efforts to bring together the lost book. Even at the heights of his fame, Varāhamihira did not have access to BPHS which can only mean that the book was not publicly available and only certain brāhmaṇa families held this sacred knowledge in secrecy. Later, fragmented chapters were recovered from all over North India and various versions of BPHS has been published, each with a few more chapters. We believe that the original had 108 chapters of which about 100 chapters are available.

In fact the way BPHS is taught is that it starts with Chapter 3. Planetary Characteristics and then we arrive at the incarnations of the Lord Viṣṇu only at the end. Only then can we be in a position to understand the difference between the various incarnations.
In fact we have a very definite plan for PJC Year-1 in which we cover 28 Chapters of BPHS, which itself is no mean achievement, in a systematic manner. We first learn about the Graha, the Upagraha (including Aprakāśa graha), the signs (rāśi) and bhāva (houses).

We then bring these factors together in learning how the graha affect the rāśi and the bhāva, starting with the lordship of the rāśi and the effect of the placement of these rāśi lords as owning different bhāva, in other bhāva. This is critical to proper judgement of the chart.

Dṛṣṭi (aspect) is an important topic in this year. Rāśi dṛṣṭi is learnt in a very natural manner followed by graha dṛṣṭi. We also learn the exact difference between the two thereby being able to appreciate the reasons for having these two so different types of dṛṣṭi. We also learn to derive various significations of the planets based on these dṛṣṭi. For example, everyone knows intuitively that Mars, the warrior, also rules celibacy as boxers must remain celibate to be able to battle well in the ring. Yet can we derive this logically? Without the logical derivation of why Mars rules celibacy, we can never understand its power and influence. We can never extend this to brahmacārya.

There is so much more in the very first year or Parāśara Jyotiṣa Course. Are you willing to take the leap into this ocean of Jyotiṣa, then … start PJC Year-1.

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Sarbani Rath
SARBANI RATH Jaimini Scholar (DBC)
sarbanirath@gmail.com
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