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WHAT IS THE TIME OF BIRTH?
Skeptics argue that it is easy to cast a chart for the time of birth and simply for this reason astrologers give importance to time of birth. We can find out the adhana lagna, from the time of birth and make a chart for adhana lagna. In my humble experience, consistent results were not found either in Hindu methods or in Bailey's pre-natal epoch theory. Further, it is hard to collect highly personal details like time of conception even for research purposes. Even the mother may not know such details. When such charts are practically not available, the adhana lagna and pre-natal epoch would become only a hypothesis!
One of my learned readers has suggested that the vedas and Upanishads hold the key to rectification of birth time. In all the four vedas, I have not come across any rough or indirect reference to rectification of birth time. As matter of fact, predictive astrology is not featured in the vedas. Did you see the logo? - 'the source of Indian astrology', I did not say, vedic astrology! Even the Upanishads (vedas, niruktas, brahmanas, aranyakas, sutras, Upanishads, smrutis and bhashyas are important pillars of Hindu religion) are not concerned about rectification of birth time. By the by, there are 26 important Upanishads out of some 150. There has been a tendency to small a small prayer for restoration of eye sight as Akshoupnishad (akshi - Upanishad) and a small treatise which describes conception etc, (it is more of a medical treatise) as garbopanishad. There are other such upanishads like Vibhutyopanishad (or bhasmopanishad) that praises vibhuti (the holly ash) and the other Rudrakshopanishad that praises Rudraksha beads. Such works are NOT a part of vedas or Upanishads and should not be regarded at par with them. After exploring all the four vedas, particularly atharvaveda, I have come to the conclusion that neither the astrological lore nor the vedas can not help you in rectification of birth time.
This question by an Australian skeptic clearly proves that the rationalists have not gone through any astrological works - either modern or ancient! A successful lawyer is the one who puts himself in the shoes of his opponents.
Conception time is known as pre-natal epoch theory in western system and Bailey stands out in this field. The same is known as adhana lagna in Jaimini system (vide 3rd adhyaya - 4th pada) and also Nisheka in Prarasari system. Several exponents like Jaimini, Parasara, Shuka, Garga, Varahamihira and Samara Simha have perused the subject.
One learned astrologer in US who has vast knowledge in the field of astrology recommends that all the charts should be rectified before venturing into prediction. He has examined all the prevailing mathematical methods and has realized futility of these methods. He suggests to correct the chart based on characteristics of the person and the events. This astrologer from Andhra rules astrological classes and has developed an excellent software. This great astrologer is also an expert in the matters of pooja, homa etc., Such great men are truly rare.
I do not rectify the birth time - have you seen any person without a wrist watch? By all means, by all the parties concerned sincere efforts are put to record the birth time. Even if there is an error, the chances are 0.99% only! Some time there may not be any event or a firm character to depend upon, say in case of a housewife or a school boy aged 10! Compared to this intricate problem, it is a better option to depend on the time of birth as the skeptics say and it would be most reliable. The birth time would be the time when the infant assumes a new life. There is not much time difference between shirshodaya, patana and cutting of the umbilical cord. Shirsodaya time is more accurate as at this instance, the baby will gasp for air, triggering independent chemical reactions in its body.