Śiva Mahā-Purāṇa Course

Devaguru Bṛhaspati Center announces its program titled “Śiva Mahā-Purāṇa Course” (SMP) to be taught online and through contact classes during 2014-15. We believe that the holy name ‘Śiva’ means ‘all auspicious’ and refers to ‘jñāna’, the perfect state of complete knowledge which gives omnipotence. Without knowledge men are simply animals leading an animal existence.

Language: Medium of Instruction for the Śiva Mahā-Purāṇa Course is English and Sanskrit words, phrases and mantra shall be used with translation and explanation in English. No other translation is permitted during the Himalaya contact course as time is very limited.

Course Content

Three Courses
We aim to teach the entire essence of the Śiva Mahāpurāṇa (SMP) in three courses mentioned below as SMP-I, SMP-II and SMP-III. These are long courses and do not coincide with calendar years. Yet they are linked and those who are not in the first course cannot make it to the subsequent courses.
SMP Introduction | 19 Jun 2014 – 19 Feb 2015
The Śiva Mahāpurāṇa consists of an introduction called ‘mahātmya’ which explains the ‘mahā’ or greatness of the purāṇa. This is followed by seven books called saṁhitā of which the second book Rudra Saṁhitā has five parts called ‘khaṇḍa’ and the last book Vāyaviya Saṁhitā has two Khaṇḍa. It can take a lifetime to read and fully digest the knowledge contained in the 24,000 śloka of this great purāṇa. Yet there has to be a beginning, and with this course we intend to set the participants in the glorious path of purāṇic knowledge.
The SMP course will start with the ‘Mahātmya’ which is the introduction to the greatness of Śiva Mahāpurāṇa.


Course SMP-I

In addition to the Mahātmya, which will precede every SMP Course, the SMP-I includes

  1. The first Śiva Purāṇa book titled ‘Vidyeśvara Saṁhitā’ and
  2. The three parts of the Śiva Purāṇa second book titled ‘Rudra Saṁhitā’. These are
    • Sṛṣṭi Khaṇḍa
    • Sati Khaṇḍa
    • Pārvatī Khaṇḍa

Future Plans

Course SMP-II: In its second course (SMP II), two books named Śata-rudra and Koṭi-rudra saṁhitā having 42 and 43 chapters respectively are to be studied in addition to the remaining chapters of the second book ‘Rudra Saṁhitā’.

  1. The remaining parts of Rudra Saṁhitā
    • Kumara Khaṇḍa and
    • Yuddha Khaṇḍa
  2. Third Book titled ‘Śata-rudra Saṁhitā’ and
  3. Fourth Book titled ‘Koṭi-rudra Saṁhitā’

Course SMP-III: Thereafter in the third course (SMP III), three books titled ‘Umā Saṁhitā’ and ‘Kailāśa Saṁhitā’ are to be studied along with the book titled ‘Vāyavīya Saṁhitā’ having two parts called Pūrva and Uttara khaṇḍa.

SMP-I Schedule

SMP-Introduction starts on Thursday, 19 June 2014 with the Shiva Purāṇa Mahātmya and ends with Mahā Śiva Rātri Pujā on 17 Feb, 2015

SMP-I (Vidyeśvara and Rudra Saṁhitā) starts on Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 with Himalaya Classes and ends in Nov 2015

Mahā Śiva Rātri Programme
Pañcākṣarī Dīkṣa: 16 Feb, 2015 (AM) Only for those who are not initiated by any bona fide paraṁparā (Details)
Briefing: 16 Feb, 2015 at 4:00 PM IST at Bhimtal, Himalayas
Mahā Śiva Rātri Pujā: 17 Feb, 2015 at Jageshwar, the holy seat of Nāgeśa jyotirliñga
Part A: 6 Days ⇒ 19 Feb – 24 Feb, 2015
Part B: 11 Days ⇒ 26 Feb – 8 Mar, 2015
Wednesdays are Holy Days
Attendance of Mahā Śiva Rātri Programme and Part-A of the Himalaya Classes covering the dates 16-24 Feb, 2015 is COMPULSORY now optional for all new members who have not attended the SMP previously. Please do not join this course if you cannot attend the Himalaya Class.
More Information about Contact Class

Visti Larsen

Visti Larsen began studying Western Astrology in his spare time during his secondary education, a journey he began upon hearing the mention of the word ‘Ascendant’. He has been studying Astrology since an early age, beginning with Western Tropical Astrology and since migrating to Vedic Astrology or Jyotish. During his higher studies Visti came under the tutelage of Pt. Sanjay Rath, belonging to the tradition of Shri Achyutananda Dasa.

Setting his higher studies aside temporarily, he travelled to attend and present papers at several conferences and workshops across the USA, UK, Serbia and India. Studying solely through the Shri Jagannath Center, Visti was among the youngest selected to be a teacher by his Jyotish Guru and has spent considerable time at Jagannath Puri, Odisha as well as New Delhi learning personally with his guru. Completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, he has since dedicated all his time to teaching and practicing Jyotish. Under this tutelage, he has since earned the title of Jaimini Scholar after completing the five year Jaimini Scholar program. Following his completion of the program, his proficiency and dedication to the program entitled him to be the caretaker of the Maharishi Jaimini Krtam Upadesha Sūtra and the head of the Jaimini Scholar Program.

Being taught in the ancient ways of the Parampara, he besides Jyotish has been educated in several aspects of ancient Vedic knowledge, comprising topics of philosophy, Mantra Shastra, Sanskrit, Upasana and allied fields. The ancient texts that he learned, and relies on, are that of Gita, Upanishad, Purana and Veda.

Attempting to imitate his Guru’s every word and gesture, his understanding, academic and systematic approach to the topic has earned him much appreciation within the Jyotish spectrum. He, like his teacher, is a strict follower of the ancient teachings and a promoter of Sanatan Dharma, encouraging vegetarianism, a spiritual and holistic lifestyle. Having a background in other religious philosophies, he enjoys bridging the gaps between different schools of thought, and understanding the truths that unite all religious philosophies.

His teaching style is clear, thorough and systematic. Having a passion for teaching, his dedication for the topic becomes evident as he creates the building blocks for his students to climb. His students are located in several different countries, comprising mainly the continents of Europe, the Americas and South-east Asia, whilst his cliental represents almost all corners of the globe. Besides his efforts within the Jaimini Scholar Program, he runs RAMA, the Regional Academy for Mantra and Astrology wherein he holds courses and monthly webinars on various topics of Jyotish.

Presently he is active with performing Jyotish consultations, translating and decoding ancient Jyotish scripture for publication.

Sat Siri Khalsa

Sat Siri is a fulltime practitioner of Vedic Astrology and an honors graduate of Harvard University. Vedic Astrology, or Jyotish, the lore of light, is the ancient cosmology that is at the stem of astronomy, quantum physics, Ayurvedic medicine, math, numerology, and Western astrology. Sat Siri has lectured around the world on various topics including spiritual astrology, financial astrology, and how to time and predict events.

She is Vice President of the Council of Vedic Astrology and has served as faculty of the American College of Vedic Astrology. She has been named as a Jyotish Kovid by the ICAS and a Jyotish Guru by the Sri Jagannath Center. She is a Jaimini Scholar currently teaching advanced classes.

[su_heading style=”line-violet” ]Background[/su_heading]

At Harvard, I studied the History of Science, trying to find the roots of knowledge in the medieval doctors’ studies of celestial patterns. Needless to say, this was not a very supported field. I began on my own with Western Astrology, and once my spiritual trek brought me to an ashram and the path of Sikhism, things started happening. A house guest handed me a copy of Varaha Mihira’s Brihat Jataka, and further developments ensued.

Yogi Bhajan encouraged me to study Jyotish or astrology and I have been fortunate to encounter so many fantastic people who helped expand my thinking in every direction. An early Jyotish teacher was Hart DeFouw and so many others, too many to name, have led me along until I met Pandit Sanjay Rath, who is the exponent of a great lineage descending from masters of over a thousand years ago. He has accelerated my learning and has labored to open up so many students all around the world to the vast and ancient Vedic knowledge in terms that are unforgettably significant, useful, and mind-altering.

Students should realize that Jyotish is a vedanga, a sacred pursuit that demands that you efface your own preconceptions and presumptions so that your mind can develop a sensitivity to intuition and higher guidance. It is a tool that changes you as you use it. The higher levels of knowledge only open with spiritual practice, meditation, mantra, yoga.

Jaimini is a great Maharishi who elaborated on the tradition of Parasara as his most distinguished disciple. His Upadesa Sutras are a dazzling multidimensional spinning ball of skeins of truth which remind me of string theory in particle physics. Each sutra is a packed-up world. I feel truly fortunate to have found the guidance of a trained master such as Pandit Sanjay Rath, who was born into a lineage of pandits going back generations and yet can translate these sutras into modern language and can understand their gnomic implications. He has about 25 students who are studying Jaimini in depth over a five year course, and now that our final year is here, will be certified to share the knowledge with any qualified students who want to approach this. Jaimini “does a Ketu” on the brains, we joke, because his deep meld of logic and intuition can drive one to distraction on the way to enlightenment.

About Us

vyasa yantraDevaguru Bṛhaspati Center (DBC) is a subsidiary of Śrī Jagannāth Center (SJC) that was established (1998) in India with the objective of teaching in the tradition (jyotiṣa paraṁparā) of Śrī Acyutānanda Dāsa of Oḍisā. We emphasize and adhere to the wise teachings of the Maharṣi’s like Parāśara and Jaimini. Mentors are called jyotiṣa gurus who are well qualified and participate or head study centres.
SJC attempts to infuse the highest standards of integrity through the strict discipline of yogic practices of Vedic tradition including training in remedial measures. Meditation including dhyāna, dhāraṇa, and pranayama is taught to ensure spiritual discipline while classes on scriptures and Sanskrit ensure a balanced spiritual growth along with the knowledge of astrology.

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jagaWelcome to the Parāśara Jyotisa Course

You have taken a monumental decision to study this great classic of Maharṣi Parāśara. It contains 100 Chapters and although we have planned to complete it in 6 years, we shall do our best to stick to this schedule. However, you can take more or less time depending on the amount of time you have to devote to jyotiṣa every day. My advice is to take out an hour at least for this study every day and do not try to study this only on weekends as the memory falters if not replenished with more information that will help to digest what you have already learnt.

Balanced Learning

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Expansion of Nārāyaṇa – Directions

In the lesson Foundation of Vedic Astrology, the first division of the body of Nārāyaṇa was divided into four parts. If we consider the entire body to be represented by an endless circle, then dividing by 4 would give quarters of 90° each. Let us use a special word called KENDRA for this. This Sanskrit word केन्द्र (kendra) simply means a center like a focus. If we talk of directions, then we have ONLY FOUR Cardinal directions – East, West, North and South. We call each of these a Kendra because at any point of time, when we face one of these directions, the other three directions completely go out of our vision. Try standing facing east and notice how much of west or north or south you can actually see when you are looking forward. Now, this is an exercise and everyone must attempt it –
There are four names mentioned – (1) Param-Brahma, (2) Maha-Vishnu, (3) Sada-Shiva and (4) Vāsudeva; I want each of you to think calmly and choose one of these names for one of these directions.

In order to reply to the question about the kendra and the four expansions of Nārāyaṇa, we need to have some information about some important charts used in vedic astrology.

First is Niṣeka, the copulation which produces the baby. The timing of this can be back calculated form the birth chart and it is a tedious process and the chart is called Niṣeka Chakra. However, what is of more relevance is the Conception chart called Ādhāna Chakra. In this chart the Lagna rising must be the sign which is the 7th house of the birth chart.

The birth chart, called Jātaka (from the word jāta, meaning birth) has the head of the native mapped to the first house. This sign is always opposite to the sign rising at the time of conception. At least this is the view of the majority of the maharṣi and jyotiṣa classics. For example, if the Lagna of a person is Pisces, then his Ādhāna (Conception) Lagna must have been Virgo, the 7th sign in his natal chart.

Finally when a native dies, his body is always kept with the head in the south direction as this is the direction of the god of death, Yama and the soul travels in this direction after death. A chart drawn for the moment of death is called Puṇya Chakra.

The Ādhāna Chakra (conception chart) represents Sṛṣṭi, Jātaka Chakra (birth chart) represents Sthiti and Puṇya Chakra (death chart) represents Laya.

Home Work: Study these words and try to understand them ādhāna, niṣeka, janma, jāta, jātaka, puṇya, mṛtyu, sṛṣṭi, sthiti, laya, pralaya

Expansion of Vāsudeva

adhana_vasudevaComing to the concept related to the expansion of Nārāyaṇa, the evolver is Vāsudeva and the jīvātman is carried by him through the moment of birth. Birthing is associated with the concept of वाह (vāha) which literally means flowing and simultaneously bearing, conveying and carrying. This is an important word-stem in Sanskrit from which many words that we use in jyotiṣa spring up; Words like vivāha, vāhana or vāhaṇa all come from vāha and this is the action of the principal evolver Vāsudeva in his expansions. In order to accomplish this, we must mark Vāsudeva to be in the 7th bhāva from the ādhāna lagna, which becomes the janma lagna (ascendant) in the jātaka (birth chart).

adhana_sadashivaSadāśiva is the parameṣṭhi guru who gives intelligence to all creatures. He must sit on the head to accomplish this enormous task. The brain is one of the few organs in the human body which has the power to regenerate and stay alive – this ability comes from Amarnāth Śiva. However, the head must ultimately control and harmonize all the parts of the being. For this purpose Sadāśiva expands in five forms. He starts from his seat on the head of the foetus in the west taking the form ‘Sadyojāta’ from where the impulses related to the creation of the being are triggered from the brain; then he moves to the north where he takes the form ‘Vāmadeva’ which is a joint form of Śiva and Viṣṇu; then to the east he takes the form ‘Tatpuruṣa’ to match the ‘Kālapuruṣa’ form of Vāsudeva; then to the south he takes the form of ‘Aghora’ which removes the blemish of impurity as the name implies anti-impurity and removes the blemish that will come when Brahma takes his seat here to create the body and all sorts of waste are produced. A final form of Sadāśiva is ‘Iśāna’ which is upward and out of this chakra which gives the permanent spiritual direction. When the creature is in peril this is automatically activated to bring about harmony between all the kendra so that it can survive and accomplish its tasks.

adhana_allFrom the above, it is obvious that Param-Brahma takes the form of Brahma the creator to create the body of the creature, for which purpose he must sit in the 4th house from ādhāna lagna. This represents the major part of the body – the torso.

Finally Mahā-Viṣṇu takes the form of Viṣṇu so that he can decide the delivery of the child, an act called ‘tāraṇa’ which means causing or enabling to cross the hurdle of being trapped in the womb and liberating the foetus from the murky womb it is trapped in. This concept continues into life and is the path of liberation from this world as well, for which we call him the avatāra.

Later we learn what happens to these devatā at birth and later.

Vidya, Jnana and Mantra

As you know we have a contact class for a short period where we teach some of the topics of the PJC and get an opportunity to meet with the students. The interaction is very beneficial for both as in the end, this is a guru-shishya parampara or ancient Indian traditional method of teaching. The Gurukula system envisaged that the ‘Guru’ or plural ‘gurus’ or female ‘gurvi’ would be like the elders of a joint family system and the shishya would be like the children. Age was never a factor as learning was allowed at all ages and all stages. It is the knowledge alone that was respected as all knowledge is ‘Shiva’ – after all Shiva is jnana-rupa. Many times the students were much elder than the guru. Knowledge is the only consideration here for defining who is the guru – the one who has the knowledge and who is the shishya – the one seeking that knowledge.

Knowledge is Shiva

dakshinamurthyNo human being in this world can have all the knowledge in every subject. If he did he would be Shiva. Therefore all gurus are also shishya in other subjects and they too are striving to increase their levels of knowledge in that subject. The day any human being stops learning and arrogates that he is the repository of all knowledge, he is actually mocking Shiva. His foolishness will only be his own downfall as what other purpose can any soul have in this planet other than to acquire knowledge. Everything else we do is only meant to support his continuous learning of all subjects and all knowledge. Why are we doing this? Because we want to become like Shiva, we want to become enlightened … in all subjects – that’s important. The entire basis of Advaita is that when we have such knowledge, we become like Shiva and then we can merge in Him. This is one of the types of Moksha. Now don’t get caught up with the advaita-dvaita debate … both are taking place simultaneously. Isn’t that what Chaitanya said? One point is clear now that the subject matter is Parvati and is called ‘vidya‘ and that the knowledge in the subject is Shiva and is called jnana.
In jyotish these are the 4th and 5th houses respectively – 4th is the Vidya Mandir or temple of learning while 5th is the Jnana Bhandara, the repository of knowledge. Since the natural 4th sign is Cancer, we say the Moon, the lord of Cancer, has the Mother Parvati as its pratyadi-devata. Similarly since the natural fifth sign is Leo, we say the Sun, the lord of Leo, has Lord Shiva as its pratyadi-devata.

Vishnu is Relationship

There are millions of subjects, some known and others unknown to mankind. How do we even get to know of them? How do we develop a liking for a subject, then find a teacher, then get admission into a course and then start learning? How do we continue to learn the subject? All this happens by the grace of Vishnu. He is all that and much more as He sits in the heart chakra and makes us like something by giving us the right information based on which we get to know and then gradually start liking. It is only by his grace that we can continue to learn the subject as he ensures that the relationships with the subject, the books, the time, the teachers, the gurus are all being maintained. By the flick of his little finger he can cause the like to be converted into dislike – be it for the subject, time or place or even the teacher. Then the learning stops …and sorrow envelopes the shishya as well as the guru. It was a good opportunity lost for both. The shishya missed the learning opportunity while the guru will not get more knowledge as he failed to share.


chaitanyamantraVidya is Jala tattva, Jnana is Agni tattva while Sambandha (relationship) between all that is Akasha tattva. In all we learnt above, the one thing which is the hand of destiny, which can change and is subject to human vagaries as well as destiny, is the sambandha which is controlled by Vishnu. Vishnu takes multiple forms, in fact countless forms. For our jyotish studies we have ten principal forms we call ‘yuga-avatara’. There are many other forms and each is very important – we learn this much later as Parashara has devoted a chapter to this topic but the tradition shall devote much more time and resources.
We have previously determined that Vidya → 4H → Parvati → Cancer → Moon. Now we have also been taught by Parashara that the holy avatara name associated with the Moon, the Chandra-avatara is Krishna. This name has the power to ensure that our sambandha with the Moon is always going to be good. This has multiple implications including eating good food, respecting family and home besides always respecting and loving Vidya. Similarly, Jnana → 5H → Shiva → Leo → Sun. And Parashara also teaches that the holy name associated with the Sun is Rama. Now we bring these two names together in a mantra, called the Janaka Sadakshari.

हरे राम कृष्ण
hare rāma kṛṣṇa

As soon as we awaken, even without putting the weight of our body, the weight of our sins, on the Mother Earth, we recite this mantra a hundred and eight times. This mantra is for people who are born to a Hindu father. But what about those who are not born to a Hindu father? What about those who do not know about their father? Based on the teachings of Chaitanya for bhakta Salbeg, the mantra is reversed. Recite this mantra is exactly the same manner as the previous till the day you get the gayatri mantra. Thereafter, you can do the Janaka shadakshari.

हरे कृष्ण राम
hare kṛṣṇa rāma

Jyotiṣa Devatā

karttikeya2As a subject, Jyotiṣa has a few major heads which include –
• Lakṣaṇa Śāstra which means study of the omens and signs on the body and around. This includes Hastā-rekhā śāstra or palmistry which is the forte of Subrāhmaṇya or Kārtikeya
• Horā Śāstra is the forte of Gaṇeśa
• Gaṇita Śāstra including Vedic Numerology is another head
…. All these come under the three wings called Gaṇita, Horā and Saṁhitā
Once there was a debate between Kārtikeya and Gaṇeśa and Lord Śiva was the judge. Kārtikeya wrote the entire Lakṣaṇa śāstra whereas Gaṇeśa wrote Horā śāstra. Śiva judged horā to be superior to aṅga-lakṣaṇa (palmistry as well as all body study). In anger Kārtikeya threw the entire book into the ocean and from there it was retrieved partially by various teachers. Hence palmistry is also called samudrikā śāstra or that which has been retrieved from the samudra (ocean). That word samudrikā can also mean that which encompasses all the mudrā and mudrikā.
Praśna requires a study of aṅga lakṣaṇa and good ability in that as well as study of omens etc. which are a part of saṁhitā (nimitta śāstra). Hence anyone wishing to learn this has to worship Kārtikeya else he cannot learn this subject just as without Gaṇeśa, Horā śāstra will become very difficult. They are the original writers of these śāstra and they alone can teach what they have written.
In addition, Jyotiṣa is ruled by grīṣma ṛtu (among the six vedic seasons). Grīṣma ṛtu is ruled by Mars. Hence it is necessary to worship some form of Mars devatā for this study. Our tradition recommends the Narasimha sādhanā for this purpose. You are also taught Gaṇeśa sādhanā.
When we teach praśna course, then we will teach the worship of Kārtikeya as ‘Subrāhmaṇya’ and also the Praśna Upaniṣad … see the link. Kārtikeya is the teacher of this upaniṣad where Maharṣi Pippalāda is the śiṣya.
Jñānī Bhava ~ Namaskāra

New PJC Members

  • Some of you have joined PJC Year-1 and have made direct debit payments to the bank account. Since the details provided by the bank are quite difficult for us non-bankers to figure out, you are requested to email the director Pt. Sanjay Rath at sanjayrath@outlook.in so that the needful maybe done.
  • The course is about to start and you will have access to the pre-PJC lessons called ‘Subharambha’ under PJC Year-1 which is meant to get you into tune with the course work.
  • You must ensure that you have access to the PJC Forums for all discussions. In case you cannot access the forums, let me know

Bhagavat Gita Sloka 10-20

अहमात्मा गुडाकेश सर्वभूताशयस्थितः।
अहमादिश्च मध्यं च भूतानामन्त एव च॥ १०-२०॥
ahamātmā guḍākeśa sarvabhūtāśayasthitaḥ |
ahamādiśca madhyaṁ ca bhūtānāmanta eva ca || 10-20||

Simple Translation: O thick-haired (Arjuna), I am the Ātmā (soul) abiding in the heart of all beings. I am also the beginning, the middle, and the end of all beings.
Jyotiṣa Notes: The sun represents the soul and the life force in all living beings. It defines the inner nature as well as reveals the form, of all beings. It is the source of creation of everything manifest, as well as the source of their continued existence (sustenance) and finally their dissolution when the sustenance ends. These activities are defined by the three guṇa rajas-sattva-tamas respectively and the guṇa avatāra Brahma, Viṣṇu and Rudra. The three sounds A-U-M define the source of each of these states of every being as well as the source of their creation, sustenance and dissolution.

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Devaguru Bṛhaspati Center is committed to the highest standards of vedic astrology, and we can say with confidence that we have the finest, most rigorous courses and most erudite scholars to teach the same.
15B Ganga Ram Hospital Road, New Delhi 110060
Sarbani Rath
SARBANI RATH Jaimini Scholar (DBC)
+91 9810449850