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This is the third time I am writing about transit of nodes in various signs. It was never ever my intention to magnify the effects of nodes. These are shadow planets and represent other planets and do not have any specific characteristic of own. Suddenness of any event, whether good or bad is represented by rahu while ketu causes mild problems. So, there are elusive and faint differences in the results of rahu in 5th and ketu in 5th! And any result offered by rahu and ketu are not distinctive but are assimilated in the results of other transiting planets. But then, these days TVs are making loud noise about these transits. My esteemed readers wanted to know the facts not causing undue alarm.
Brihat Jataka sets down that major planets are eight in number (mukhya saptaha) while the remaining do not play a major role. For assessment of lifespan Bharana and Harana system does not consider rahu and ketu at all as they are shadow planets (chaya graha). The rationalists are always have a thoughtless tiff, claiming the basis of astrology is wrong as these are not planets at all. Not only the high school rationalist but our ancestors too were well aware that rahu and ketu are not substantial heavenly bodies with other planets. I would not go in to purnic episodes of churning the ocean (samudra mathana), everybody knows it. It is said, rahu and ketu attack or swallow ravi and chandra, as these were the devatas who exposed the demons. Rahu Ketu are celestial points which intercept the path of sun. Some 30 years ago, Indian Scientific astrologers brought the name Dh (Dragon's Head - Rahu) and Dt (Dragon's tail - Ketu) into the boxes of horoscopes. The two points at which the orbit of the Moon cuts the orbit of the Sun are called nodes which are exactly 180 degrees apart. The point of intersection formed when the Moon's motion is from South to North, is said to be ascending node and named Rahu, and the point of intersection formed when the Moon's motion is from north to south is called the descending node or Ketu. It has been observed that the nodes have a retrograde and Rahu stay in a sign for about 18 months.
Shri Sharma, a very orthodox brahmin went to US (obviously, all intelligent Telugu brahmins land up in US - the distance between India and US being less than the distance between Siddipet and Hyderabad) and fell in love with Sabina Williams and enjoyed western life style for some years. No, it was not a marriage of western and eastern thoughts. Sabina was not a religiously inclined person and did not come to Mysore to conduct shraddha for the people who died in Tsunami debacle in Japan. But then the problem started - they could not have children and the search for a solution started. Shri Sharma realized his what he calls 'mistake' (he is resigned to his fate but does not want a separation) and became a dedicated orthodox brahmin. He went to all the temples in India - to the great temple in Kedarnath and also the small & remote temple in Kalasipalyam and visited all the famous and infamous astrologers of India while his wife remained in the hotel. Shri Sharma fasted and fasted but it did not trouble Sabina, who used to come late from the parties! By the grace of God and his firmest faith in rituals, he was blessed with a son, by name, CH. PSSSVNKRK Murthy. And praise the Lord, Shri Sharma became an ardent believer in Rahu kalam, Ketu kalam as well as Tuesdays and Saturdays. True astrology is hard to crack, he did not go beyond these topics. He had to conduct upanayana for his son and they came to India as such rituals should be done in the country where Ganga, Kaveri, Krishna flows and not on the banks of Mississippi. Considering the time constraints, I decided a muhurta but could not avoid a portion of Rahu kala overlapping, despite my best efforts. Shri Sharma is very knowledgeable in astrology and I tried to explain to him why I do not consider Rahu kala or Choghadiya while making a muhurta. Half heartedly, he went to Tirupati and consulted another world famous astrologer cum priest there for a muhurta. World famous astrologer-priest made some correction, considering overlapping of rahu kala for a function at the start of the function is better than overlapping at the culmination of the function. Sharma was not fully convinced. "OK", said Sharma, " Then we will have upanayana next year". But what is the guarantee that he comes to the same priest? Astrologer cum priest quoted a Tamil song, "How dare rahu and ketu move over the Head of My Lord, Balaji? They go every where but not over seven hills". According to this text, Tirumala is exempt from rahu kala! The upanaya was conducted and these days Sharma goes to Tirupathi for muhurtas and comes to me only for prediction work! I did not try to explain the concept of rahu kala again to him - he did not ask for it but had said, "మంజునాథ్ గారికి predictive astrologyలో చాలా ప్రభుత్వం ఉంది కాని ముహూర్త భాగంలో అంత పరిణితి లేదు!" ("Manjunath has competence in predictive astrology but does not have expertise in election astrology") to his brother.
While working out a muhurta, I do not go by Tuesdays, Saturdays, astami, rahu kala, durmuhurta, choghadiya etc., These rahu kala, durmhurta, amrita ghadiyalu are not used in North India while in South, choghadiya is not followed, they are not universally applicable and defy any logic when it comes to predictive utility. I go by what the planets, signs, aspects and conjunctions as well as status signify and examine whether the planets in muhurta promote the desired events. When you are talking of the size of the pockets and where you want them, the toiler takes important measurements to fit your belly rightly inside the shirt, pocket size does not matter to his success. Likewise, I select the muhruta and then scan for such bad muhurta breakers like rahu kala that are hell bent upon damaging my reputation! (I am not world famous yet!). In this article, we are not discussing about the empirical time division named after rahu - they are merely combinations of certain time and names of the days. We talk about the effects of rahu and ketu, the points in zodiac.
There is lot of ambiguity regarding the signs owned by Rahu and ketu and signs where these planets are exalted or debilitated. For example, according to Uttara Kalamrita an ancient classic on Hindu Predictive Astrology Rahu is exalted in Vrishabha and debilitated in Vrischika and the reverse holds good for ketu. Own sign of rahu is kumbha and vrischika is owned by ketu, according to this classical text. Sanketnidhi takes Mithuna as the exaltation sign of Rahu, Kanya as his own sign while Dhanus as the exaltation sign of Ketu and Meena as its own sign. Well, my candid and well considered opinion is, the shadow planets do not show any specialty in so called own signs, exaltation signs or debilitation signs. After serious study of hundreds of charts, I have not found a single horoscope where exalted rahu in 10th has given great benefits! There is another opinion that Rahu acts like Shani and Ketu acts like Kuja (kodanda rahu and kujaved ketu). They are merely malefic planets - rahu is more malefic than ketu - and they are able to do good in the houses 3-6-11 with traces of some bad effects! Some classics postulate that rahu can also be yogakaraka [If Rahu is in either the 4th, 5th, 10th or 11th houses, fame and affluence are guaranteed (during his dasha) - Bhavartha Ratnakara]. I am yet to come across such lofty results. These planets represent their star lords, associations (by aspect and conjunction) and lastly rasi lord. So, it is very knotty postulate to decipher their roles, as they largely depend on individual charts. The effects described here are general in nature. Rahu transits in mithuna rasi from 07.03.2019 to 24.09.2020 while Ketu transits in dhanur rasi. The results are based on my humble practical experience as well as classical texts like Phaladeepika, Chamatkara Chintamani and Saravali.