For the Students of Hindu Vedic Astrology by Dr. A. Shanker

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Encyclopedia of Vedic Astrology: Planetary Transit: What is Transit, Chapter I, Part - 3

Dr. Shanker Adawal

1.3 Lagna

1.3.1 The word “lagna” in Sanskrit means to be `fixed to’ or a reference/ contact point or beginning in general. It most commonly refers to the ascendant, which is the sign (Rashi) `fixed to’ the intersection point of the ecliptic (the path of the stars/ planets and the eastern horizon at the time & place of birth of a native, epoch or query). When we speak of lagna, we normally mean the first house of the horoscope or the rising sign at the time of birth. The lagna determines the pattern of the other houses moving anti-clock wise. The lagna, however, is not synonymous with the ascendant, though they are often used interchangeably. There are other important lagna also, notably “Chandra (Moon) lagna” (the sign where the Moon is posited in the horoscope) or “Arudha lagna” lord as the lagna lord is from the lagna). Then there are special lagna like Brava lagna, Ghatika lagna, Hora lagna, Vrinda lagna, karkamsha lagna and Indu lagna etc.

1.3.2 Among the classical texts, Phaldeepika written by Mantreshwar is the most authoritative. In the very first Sloka of Gochar-Phalam (chapter-26, he states that “Sarveshu Lagneshwapi Sastu Chandra Lagnam Pradhaam Khalu Gochareshu” i.e. “Though all the lagnas are available, the Moon lagna is the Prime lagna for the delineation of the transit results”. At another place, Shri Mantreshwar says “Chandram balam Tu Nikhil Graha Veerya Beejam” i.e. “It is the strength of Moon that seeds the strength of all other planets”. The probable reasons for allocating the prime importance to Moon are as under:

i) The Moon sign or Chandra lagna is most important alternate lagna to delineate the basic promises inherent in a chart. The Nakshtra wherein the Moon is posited at birth forms the basis of dasha system, which is required to make the package of the promises for delivery. So The Moon lagna is the natural choices for using as the reference point for the Transit.

ii) Secondly Moon is the swiftest of the planets as it takes only one day to pass through a Nakshtra and two & a quarter days to rush through a sign. Thus making it most suitable for the job of the divine messenger to deliver the package of promises.

iii) Thirdly the Moon represents the mind or consciousness (Mana). The mind is what makes us perceive/ feel the emotions, the sense of happiness/ misery/ dejection or the merriment of an achievement rather than through the physical self. The Moon affects the entire psychology of the native and has a relevance of the mind.

iv) Another classic “Mansagari” says that whereas the ascendant is the body, the Moon is the “Prana” (the subtle force that keeps the life flowing through the body). In the next Sloka, it states in a symbolic form pertaining to the good/ evil results as a tree whose seed is the Moon.

1.3.3 In Western astrology, transits of planets are judged vis-à-vis the natal longitudes of the planets and the ascending degree. Western astrologers extensively use Sun lagna in their transit calculations of progressed horoscopes. The Varshaphal whether by western or Vedic astrologers uses Sun lagna for predictive purposes. Vedic classics like Brihat Parashar Hora Shastra, Jaatak Parijaat, and Mansagari has recommended the use of the ascendant or mid-heaven (10th house) as well for transit purposes. However, by and large, in Vedic astrology, it is believed that all influences of planets fructify through the Moon i.e. the Moon being the nearest heavenly body to the Earth, all transit results filter through the Moon only. The sign in which the Moon is at birth is popularly called the Rashi or Chandra lagna of the native.


Shanker Adawal
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