March 2004

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Compatibility in Vedic Astrology

by Anindita Basu
 

Marriages, they say, are made in heaven.

Compatibility ratings in Vedic astrology are meant solely to check the chances for success of a proposed alliance between a girl and boy. Therefore, this system is not to be used for checking compatibility of any other kind — between friends, for example. A star-pair is rated on a 36-point scale on the basis of eight criteria. The compatibility may also be viewed from a few other angles, but those additional indicators only come into play once the basic scoring system discussed in this article is completed.

Before you begin, you may want to know your birth star. In Vedic astrology, or Jyotish, the most important aspect of astrological identity is the placement of one’s natal Moon within one of the 27 constellations known as Mansions of the Moon.

To find which of the 27 Mansions is your birth star, you will need to know the position the Moon was in at the time of your birth — as measured by the sidereal zodiac. For people born in our era, the sidereal position of their natal Moon will be roughly 24 degrees earlier in the wheel than in the western zodiac. For instance, a Moon at 25 degrees Leo in the western zodiac is at about 1 degree Leo in the sidereal. A western-measured Moon at 1 degree Leo would be at approximately 7 degrees Cancer (as every sign is 30 degrees). Most astrology software has a setting to change a chart to the sidereal system.

The root symbolism of the 27 constellations is discussed in a three-part series in the August, September and October 2003 issues of Metamorphosis, titled Vedic Star-way of Heaven, and you may want to check that series for additional information about your birth star, or that of your beloved. But here’s a brief review of the constellations’ sidereal positions before delving into the stars’ compatibility ratings for potential marriage matches.

The first nine Lunar Mansions, by sidereal measures, discussed in Part 1 of the earlier series:

Ashwini

0° to 13°20' Aries

Bharani

13°20' to 26°40' Aries

Krittika

26°40' Aries to 10° Taurus

Rohini

10° to 23°20' Taurus

Mrigashira

23°20' Taurus to 6°40' Gemini

Ardra

6°40' to 20° Gemini

Punarvasu

20° Gemini to 3°20' Cancer

Pushya

3°20' to 16°40' Cancer

Ashlesh

16°40' to 30° Cancer

The second group of Lunar Mansions, by sidereal measures, discussed in Part 2 of the series:

Magha

0° to 13°20' Leo

Purva Phalguni

13°20' to 26°40' Leo

Uttar Phalguni

26°40' Leo to 10° Virgo

Hasta

10° to 23°20' Virgo

Chitra

23°20' Virgo to 6°40' Libra

Swati

6°40' to 20° Libra

Vishakha

20° Libra to 3°20' Scorpio

Anuradha

3°20' to 16°40' Scorpio

Jyeshtha

16°40' to 30° Scorpio

The final nine Lunar Mansions, by sidereal measures, discussed in Part 3 of the series:

Moola

0° to 13°20' Sagittarius

Purva Ashadh

13°20' to 26°40' Sagittarius

Uttar Ashadh

26°40' Sagittarius to 10° Capricorn

Shravana

10° to 23°20' Capricorn

Dhanishtha

23°20' Capricorn to 6°40' Aquarius

Shatabhisha

6°40' to 20° Aquarius

Purva Bhadrapad

20° Aquarius to 3°20' Pisces

Uttar Bhadrapad

3°20' to 16°40' Pisces

Revati

16°40' to 30° Pisces

Remembering that not only the degree of your natal Moon “birth star” is different when measured by the sidereal system, but also that its zodiac sign is probably one sign previous from its western (tropical) zodiac position, you’re ready to look at your star’s attributes in the Vedic system of compatibility. The eight criteria that carry scores are explained in the following paragraphs, in increasing order of importance.


(1) Caste refers to whether the star is essentially a Brahmin, a warrior, a trader or a menial. This one gets a maximum of 1 point on the 36-point scale.

The caste is determined by the sign in which the birth star is situated. Since there are 27 Vedic constellations in 12 signs, some Mansions over more than one sign. Let us take the example of the star Krittika. One part of it falls in Aries, while the remaining three parts fall in Taurus. So, if you are an Aries Krittika, your caste will be Warrior (Aries being a Warrior sign), but if you are a Taurus Krittika, you will be a Trader (Taurus being a Trader). The castes of the 12 signs are given below. They follow the pattern of the elements in western astrology. Where western astrologers see Fire, Earth, Air and Water, Vedic astrologers see Warrior, Trader, Menial and Brahmin.

Warrior

Aries

Leo

Sagittarius

Trader

Taurus

Virgo

Capricorn

Menial

Gemini

Libra

Aquarius

Brahmin

Cancer

Scorpio

Pisces

In ancient tradition, castes were taken to be indicators of the spiritual development of a person, which manifested itself in what he did for a living. Brahmins were meant to impart education, interpret religious and moral codes, and also perform ritualistic worship on behalf of all others. Warriors were the ones who, with their might, upheld the moral code by establishing and maintaining law and order in the land; consequently, they were most frequently the rulers. Traders kept the economy moving, and they were also, by virtue of their trade, the ones who often brought in the foreign influences from far-off places. They dealt with money. Menials fulfilled their station in life by serving these other three classes; they were the ones who rarely had either the inclination or the time to dwell upon the past or the future. They lived in the present, for the present.

Vedic astrology suggests it is better for a couple to belong to the same caste. This criterion gets the least number of points, probably because in ancient India, castes were not very rigid, thus affording a degree of dynamism for anybody who wished to follow his or her natural inclinations and choose, for example, to be a warrior despite being born a Brahmin.

(2) Vashya measures the extent of control or influence exercised by one partner over the other. This criterion is given a maximum of 2 points.

For this, the stars are divided into the classes of quadruped, human, insect, aquatic or forest dweller, based upon their sign placement. These are essentially reflective of the symbols of the signs. For instance, Sagittarius, the half-human, half-horse centaur, and Capricorn, the goat with a fish tail, are split across two categories. This criterion gets a maximum of 2 points.

Quadruped

Aries

Taurus

Capricorn
(first half)

Sagittarius
(second half)

Human

Gemimi

Virgo

Libra

Sagittarius
(first half)

Aquatic

Cancer

Aquarius

Pisces

Capricorn
(second half)

Forest Dweller

Leo

 

 

 

Insect

Scorpio

 

 

 

The general idea is that stars of the same group get along better. The forest-dweller seems to get along least with other groups, since it scores 0 points with humans, quadrupeds and insects.

(3) The relative distance of one person’s star from the other’s, on the 27-star cycle. This one gets a maximum of 3 points.

Why this is calculated and is important in compatibility isn’t entirely clear. It is calculated by counting the number of stars from the boy’s to the girl’s, then dividing this number by 9. If the remainder is 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8, it is considered to be good.

(4) Animal nature gets a maximum of 4 points.

Each star is assigned an animal nature, as shown below. The basis of such assignment is obscure.

Horse

Ashwini

Shatabhisha

Elephant

Bharani

Revati

Ram

Krittika

Pushya

Snake

Rohini

Mrigashira

Dog

Ardra

Moola

Cat

Punarvasu

Ashlesh

Rat

Magha

Purva Phalguni

Cow

Uttar Phalguni

Uttar Bhadrapad

Bull

Hasta

Swati

Tiger

Chitra

Vishakha

Deer

Anuradha

Jyeshtha

Monkey

Purva Ashadh

Shravana

Mongoose

Uttar Ashadh

 

Lion

Dhanishtha

Purva Bhadrapad

This is essentially a check to measure the inherent sexual compatibility between two persons. A deer would, for obvious reasons, not be very comfortable with a lion, would he/she? And what is a marriage relationship without the spark that sets heavens afire?

(5) Planetary-friendship is based on the planet that owns the house where the natal Moon is placed. Vedic astrology reckons only 7 planets for sign rulerships. The maximum point-value for this criterion is 5.

Sun

Leo

 

Moon

Cancer

 

Mars

Aries

Scorpio

Jupiter

Sagittarius

Pisces

Mercury

Gemini

Virgo

Venus

Libra

Taurus

Saturn

Capricorn

Aquarius

This criterion judges the emotional basis of the relationship. Stars that are in signs ruled by mutually friendly planets are said to be more psychologically attuned to each other. Generally speaking, Sun, Moon, Mars and Jupiter are friends with each other and form one friendly group, while Mercury, Venus and Saturn form another friendly group. The two groups generally do not see eye to eye, but do not necessarily come to blows either. Sun and Mercury, for example, are in different groups but are neutral towards each other. Sun and Saturn, however, (also in different groups) cannot stand each other.

(6) Nature is described as being human, demonic or divine. The maximum point-value is 6.

The divine nature is described as one that is striving towards entitlement; consequently, those of divine nature will be the ones most likely to live in their own world, oblivious to their surroundings. At the more evolved levels, this takes the form of love and compassion for all; at the lower levels, this manifests as supreme indifference. Human nature is one that is firmly rooted to earth and is, therefore, active and materialistic; it strives to make things happen, it is the do-er. A demonic nature is essentially inert. Un-evolved demons like to remain in whatever state they are in, secure in the status quo. The evolving (or evolved) demons question why there is darkness when there can be light and, utilising the tremendous strength that is innate in a demon, strive towards that light. An evolved demon is virtually unstoppable and even gods bow down their heads before him. The classification of stars, on the basis of nature, is:

Divine

Human

Demonic

Ashwini

Bharani

Krittika

Mrigashira

Rohini

Ashlesh

Punarvasu

Ardra

Magha

Pushya

Purva Phalguni

Chitra

Hasta

Uttar Phalguni

Vishakha

Swati

Purva Ashadh

Jyeshtha

Anuradha

Uttar Ashadh

Moola

Shravana

Purva Bhadrapad

Dhanishtha

Revati

Uttar Bhadrapad

Shatabhisha

The ancient astrologers considered it desirable that couples belong to the same nature-group or, at least, that the girl's nature be superior to that of the boy; the order of superiority (decreasing) being divine, human and demonic. You see, it has always been expected that the female be more willing to compromise and adjust than the male. The ancients, in their wisdom, thought that such adjustments could only be made by the superior-nature half of the couple. It is easier to lapse than rise, but if a rising demon has, midway in his ascent, met a falling god whom he marries and sets up house with, the match is not really as doomed as the ancient score-card would make it out to be, would it?

(7) Natal Moon sign compatibility. This gets a maximum of 7 points.

This is a criterion to judge the compatibility between the zodiac signs of the couple’s Moons. It is generally considered auspicious if the sign of the girl’s moon follows that of the guy’s.

(8) Nadi has been variously described as life force, pulse and inborn strength. A maximum of 8 points are reserved for this criterion, making it the most important consideration in judging compatibility.

There are three life forces, called Adi, Madhya and Ant (literally, beginning, middle and end), under which the stars are grouped. Marriages between stars with the same life force are a strict no-no.

Adi

Madhya

Ant

Ashwini

Bharani

Krittika

Ardra

Mrigashira

Rohini

Punarvasu

Pushya

Ashlesh

Uttar Phalguni

Purva Phalguni

Magha

Hasta

Chitra

Swati

Jyeshtha

Anuradha

Vishakha

Moola

Purva Ashadh

Uttar Ashadh

Shatabhisha

Dhanishtha

Shravana

Purva Bhadrapad

Uttar Bhadrapad

Revati

Sadly, not much information is available as to why this criterion is given so much importance. Some say that the life force denotes the Ayurvedic constitution (bilious, phlegmatic or airy, corresponding to Adi, Madhya and Ant respectively), and thus affects a couple’s ability to have healthy children. One guess that I may hazard is that life force is something one is born with, and we are born on this Earth to unite with our life-mates, and therefore, only a complementary life force would make one a whole. Maybe this is why this criterion is the least explained but the most important. Perhaps the more important things in life defy explanation.

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