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Much Ado About Nothing!
Indo-Pak Summit 2001

Anshumalee Sood

The much-hyped Indo-Pak summit held at Agra in the middle of July 2001 had raised hopes of some improvement in relations between India and Pakistan for the first time in the last over half a century. No one expected miracles overnight but almost every one thought, and wished, that some useful process of peace would commence. Astrologically, however, the miserable failure of the summit was a foregone conclusion. Soon after the conclusion of talks between the leaders of the two countries, the cross-border infiltration and violence from the Pakistani side has increased. Peace cannot be a unilateral process, nor can it happen when sincerity on one side is miserably lacking. Anshumalee Sood analyses the scene astrologically and tells us why this effort had to fail. – Editor

Agra is readying itself to yet again find a place in the history books, having been chosen as the venue of the forthcoming India Pakistan summit meeting to be held between Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and President Parvez Musharraf on the 15th of July this year. Press reports suggest that Agra has been accorded this distinction in deference to the wishes of Madam Sheba Musharraf though the Indian government had selected Goa as the venue. One wonders whether this will have an impact on the outcome of the talks. So much for the choice of venue!

The track record of the previous summit meetings between the two neighbours is definitely not encouraging by any yardstick. In fact in the case of Pakistan one cannot be sure that any agreement arrived at during the summit will be honoured subsequently; even in letter, leave aside being honoured in spirit. A case in point is the recent Lahore accord between the two nations admist a lot of fanfare and backslapping, which turned out to be an excellent guise for backstabbing that emerged in the shape of what came to be known as the Kargil battle. Despite this, the populace at large in the pre-partitioned India awaits with bated breath hoping for an outcome that may well put an end to the cold war of the subcontinent ushering in an era of peace and prosperity. That peace will automatically bring prosperity is likely on two counts. One, the huge budgetary outflow on defence and related operations can be reined in thereby making available the scarce resources for the development, health, education, etc., spheres vitally necessary for the progress of both the nations. Two, the trade possibilities are tremendous. In addition to the conventional import-export, the economic potential of the proposed gas pipeline from Iran/middle east throws up figures which are mind boggling. Further, the international community is also watching the summit with a keen interest. Given the newly acquired nuclear weapon status of the two countries, an outbreak of hostilities may indeed be too much to be contained.
Moving on to the issue of substance, what really can the summit be expected to deliver? Given that President Musharraf is simultaneously the Chief Executive and the Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan, he certainly enjoys all possible power that can be concentrated in one person. But how much authority he can actually bring in to play at the summit table needs to be seen. In fact despite being a defacto dictator of Pakistan, President Musharraf may have bigger baggage of compulsions as compared to Prime Minister Vajpayee, who does not even have the comfort of having a majority in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament.

Let us go on to examine astrological backdrop. The chart of Indian Independence (chart 1) is for Aug. 15,1947 at 00:00 hours, time zone +5:30, New Delhi, India, 28N39, 077E13. The Ascendant is Taurus. Rahu is in the Lagna. Mars in Gemini is in the second house. Apart from Jupiter, which is in Libra in sixth house and Ketu, which is in Scorpio in the seventh house, all the remaining planets Moon, Mercury, Saturn, Venus and Sun are in Cancer, the third house. All the planets are in direct motion apart from RKA, which is in its normal retrograde motion. None of the planets are either exalted or debilitated. The Moon is in own sign. The conglomeration of five planets in Cancer, third house, makes for some interesting combinations and Kendra Trikona Rajayogas. Atma Karaka (Sun), Putra Karaka (Mercury), who is also the fifth lord, and Dara Karaka (Moon) give rise to many Rajayogas as defined by Maharishi Jaimini.

Let us examine the dasha sequence when the Summit will be taking place. The Vimshottari Mahadasha operating is that of Venus, which commenced in September 1989. Venus is the lagna lord and the sixth lord posited in the third house. Third house signifies neighbours and the sixth house represents hidden foes, clandestine conflicts, etc. Venus being the lagna lord and the involvement of the Upachaya houses have resulted in the Indian economy having undergone a sea change over the last decade or so, the hostile environment in the neighbourhood notwithstanding. This was to be expected as the mahadasha of lagna lord is a significant period, more so as the lagna lord is Venus signifying luxuries, opulence, riches, etc., having lordship of an Upachaya house and posited in another Upachaya house. A stronger and growing economy has brought with it the increased stature and importance in the international arena. There is perceptible shift in attitude towards India amongst the elite nations. This can be gauged by the recent refusal by India to the pressure brought on by former US President Clinton and his bulldog Secretary of State Madeline Albright to sign the discriminatory CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty). The antardasha is that of Jupiter, which commenced on the 9th of November 1999 and continues till the 10th of July 2002. With the conclusion of Rahu the role and influence of foreign powers and foreign nationals over the affairs of India is likely to be waning. Jupiter is the eighth and eleventh lord posited in the inimical sign Libra in the sixth house. Jupiter, therefore, becomes a malefic on account of its lordship and is posited in the Ripu bhava, although the eighth lord placed in the sixth house does give rise to Vipareeta Raja Yoga. For this yoga to operate the situation needs to necessarily alternate between adversity and betterment. Out of the adversity an improvement should be emerging as per the definition of the yoga. Note that the sixth house gains particular prominence.

For Pakistan the Independence Day chart (Chart 2) is for August 14,1947 at 00:00 hours, time zone +5:30, Karachi, pre partition India, 24N51, 067E04. The Ascendant is Aries. Rahu is in the second house Taurus. Mars is Gemini in the third house along with the Moon giving rise to Chandra Mangala yoga. Apart from Jupiter, which is in Libra in seventh house, and Ketu, which is in Scorpio in the eighth house, all the remaining planets Mercury, Saturn, Venus and the Sun are in Cancer, the fourth house. All the planets are in direct motion apart from RKA, which is in its normal retrograde motion. None of the planets are either exalted or debilitated; though Venus and Saturn are combust. The conglomeration of four planets in Cancer, fourth house makes for some interesting combinations and Kendra Trikona Rajayogas.

The dasha sequence at the time of the summit will play a vital role. The Vimshottari Mahadasha operating is that of Ketu. Ketu is posited in Scorpio in the eighth house. Ketu in the eighth house is not considered conducive for longevity. Therefore, the dasha of Ketu posited in the eighth is hardly likely to produce positive results. Eighth from the eighth house is also afflicted having posited therein Mars in Gemini. Unaspected Rahu in Taurus in the second house will behave as its dispositor Venus. Venus is a poorna maraka for Pakistan having the second and seventh lordship, posited in the fourth house. The results of Ketu and Venus sub-periods have been given by Dr.K.S.Charak in his article titled Ancient Scriptures; Modern Times, published in the previous issue of Vedic Astrology. Therefore, I shall refrain from delving further into it in order to avoid an exercise in repetition. Needless to mention that now it is Ketu as the mahadasha lord and Venus as the antardasha lord. By no means a confidence-inspiring situation!

The discussion on the astrological background would remain incomplete without a reference to Chaitra Shukla Pratipada chart of the two nations. For the benefit of readers who have not been following the earlier articles on the subject, Chaitra Shukla Pratipada chart, in contrast to the beginning
of the Christian New Year, has a Luni-Solar basis. Needless to mention that it is the most popular and time-tested method of mundane predictions for the forthcoming year. This has been discussed threadbare by the author in the January-February 2001 issue of Vedic Astrology. For the current discussion the relevant extract therefrom is reproduced below, which verifies our line of analysis and goes on to suggest extreme caution:

“....The affliction of the third house and its lord suggests extreme caution in dealing with the neighbours, particularly Pakistan whose track record leaves little doubt of its intentions vis-a-vis Kashmir. Notice the positioning of retrograde third lord in exaltation in lagna, representing the north direction of India. Yet again it remains a moot query whether it will be possible to avoid heightened tension and hostility transforming itself into an armed conflict, even when exercising utmost restraint. The government will do well to keep itself from getting drawn into a sticky situation if possible....”

The current transit of Saturn in Rohini is yet another cause for concern. This aspect too has been covered in detail by Dr. Charak in his article titled Ancient Scriptures, Modern Times published in the previous issue of the Vedic Astrology. Readers may refer to the same for details. In this backdrop yet another notable astral event in the offing is the conglomeration of seven planets in Taurus, in the lagna of India and the second house of Pakistan’s natal chart, on the 15th of May 2002 at 02:40:03 hours. With the exception of the great benefic Jupiter who will be in Gemini, and Ketu being in Scorpio naturally since Rahu is in Taurus, the remaining seven planets including the two luminaries come together in Taurus. Much has already been written about this conglomeration earlier and understandably not very much hopeful or positive either.

We move on to study the chart of the summit and attempt to decipher the likely outcome. As per information available the summit is to commence at noon on Sunday the 15th of July 2001 at Agra 27°N11' 78°E01'. Since this is akin to a Muhurta chart the Panchanga variables assume an enhanced significance. Hence it will be prudent to examine the Panchanga variables at the outset itself. The tithi is navami, or the ninth, of the Shravana Krishna Paksha. Navami is a Rikta tithi, which by definition is inauspicious. Rikta means ‘devoid of’. Rikta tithi muhurta is never selected for any auspicious activity. The day or Vaara is Sunday having Sun as its lord. The Sun though not a malefic per se, is definitely a kroora or harsh planet. The separative quality and tendency prominently displayed by it is indeed well known. Hardly the need of the hour at the summit meeting. Nakshatra is Bharani ruled by the planet Venus. Notice how Venus is surfacing again. Amongst the listed significations of Bharani nakshatra are outcast, looking downward, violent, nefarious activities, swindling, killing, work related
to weapons, fire, etc., to name a few. Hardly desirable for the occasion, you will agree. To top it all, the ruling diety of Bharani is Yama, also known as the lord of Death. The Yoga and Karana become less important in the light of overwhelming adversity detailed earlier.

Moving on to the chart itself (Chart 3), the ascendant is Virgo. Retrograde Mars in own sign Scorpio in the third house and Ketu in Sagittarius in the fourth house are the only two occupants of the invisible half of the horoscope. Since both are malefics we may infer that whatsoever be the outward demeanour the latent intent is malefic without doubt. Eleventh lord Moon is in Aries the eighth house. Such a placement is indicative of separation, death of the counterpart, etc. Saturn and Venus are conjunct and involved in a planetary war in Taurus the ninth house, and the winner is Venus. The remaining four planets Jupiter, Mercury, Rahu and the Sun are in a conglomeration in the tenth house Gemini. The chart tells us that a lot of show and fanfare will surround the summit and serious efforts will be made towards having tangible results perhaps on account of the political compulsions of both the players. However, a certain degree of confusion and ambiguity will remain on account of Rahu and the presence of the twelfth lord Sun with lagna lord and seventh lord may well lend a touch of discontinuity to the process. Retrograde third lord Mars indicates the probable repeal and the need to rework the prospective agreement. That too not under congenial circumstances given the seventh aspect of the sixth lord Saturn. Icing on the cake is the Vimshottari dasha of the summit. It is Venus-Moon. Notice the role of Venus yet again. Venus is severely afflicted by Saturn and Mars while the Moon is in the eighth house and they are placed mutually in two twelve position.

Perhaps astrologically it would be difficult to choose a worse time. The overall picture certainly does not generate a feeling of comfort and refuses to consolidate itself into a definite vote for peace and harmony to prevail. But then the time that has lent itself to be chosen for the historical summit has to be indicative of the sequence of events likely to follow. Let us maintain a hope against all hopes that something positive may emerge from the summit, though astrologically we are definitely on a loosing wicket. ¦