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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Suicide: Astrological Investigation

Suicide: Astrological Investigation

Death is as natural as life. According to the Bhagavad-Gita, “For that which is born must die, and that which is dead must be born again” (10: 26-27). The end of life is accepted as a law of nature. However, the suicide of an apparently sane person is so unnatural that it evokes anguish and perplexity.

Though still aberrant, suicide is perhaps more explicable when carried out for a seemingly logical reason.  The world is replete with dramatic examples of suicide victims who have died to save themselves from disgrace or oppression.

For instance, at the end of World War II, German dictator Adolf Hitlercommitted suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot and cyanide poisoning. TheRajput Queen Padmavati chosevoluntary death to avoid dishonor at the hands of the Mughal ruler Allaudin.  Bangladeshi women leap to their deaths to avoid becoming prey to the violent and lustful Pakistani soldiers who tyrannize them. InSingapore, trafficked Indonesian maids commonly jump out of high-rise apartments to avoid a degrading life of enslavement.

As in the above examples, one might be able to make some small sense out of suicide when it is performed to save one from a life of torture and humiliation. Yet, it is difficult to fathom that contemporary students take their own lives due to stress over examinations or social conflicts.

Suicide is a voluntary and intentional act that arises from inner or outer frustration, fear, or humiliation. The high rate of suicide in modern Western culture reflects the deviance of a materialistic society. As Western materialism continues to inform global culture, so do the number of senseless suicides grow inIndia, as well.  Yet, the ancient seers of India revealed the universal law of karma that would, if followed, prevent such meaningless acts. Life is sacred and purposeful and has a natural course.

What is the mysterious karma behind such an aberrant act as suicide? Such karma is explained by the language of astrology. No action of humankind is outside the scope of this vast science, including the manner of one’s death. Whether through suicide, accident, murder, or any other way, death can be judged from one’s horoscope.

Astrological Houses Responsible for Suicide:

The eighth house from the lagna of the horoscope of the native shows the mode of death. The eighth from the eighth–that is, the third from the lagna—signifies the self and its intention and valor. One who attempts suicide needs the courage and intention to end his life. Therefore, the third house is the house of suicide.

The lagna similarly reveals the self and its intentions. When the lords of the first and third houses are well disposed—exalted; posited in a kendra, trine, own or friend’s house; aspected by benefic planets and without the influence or hemming of malefic planets—the native has the courage to bravely solve his problems and face all situations.

When there are afflictions to the lords of the first and third houses, and/or to the houses themselves, and/or to the karakas of these houses, the native does not have the courage to face his difficulties. He may become so mentally disturbed that he spontaneously decides to end his life. Such an individual is not mentally weak or a coward, but an impulsive force in the moment leads him to act in such a way.

When the lagna and the lords of the third and eighth houses are interrelated and afflicted by malefic planets, or are weak in strength, death by suicide may be indicated.

The fifth house as the abode of intellect and judgment is of secondary import.

Planetary Indicators of Suicide:

The Moon represents the mind or the mood of a particular situation. Thus, it may be involved when one commits suicide.
Mercury represents the nervous system. Without the stress and tension on the nervous system, no one commits suicide. Therefore, affliction of the Moon and Mercury by Mars, Saturn, Rahu or Ketu is of primary importance in the chart.
The conjunction or aspect of benign Jupiter, blissful Venus or a powerful ninth lord will save the situation.

A Sample of Applicable Classical Yogas:

There were rare cases of suicide in ancient India. Hence, the sages did not offer specific combinations for suicide. They did, however, reveal specific combinations for “natural and unnatural death.” As the occurrence of suicide has become more prevalent in our chaotic times, the astrologer who seeks guidance from the classical literature must broadly interpret these yogas for death. As an example, the following are given inSaravali, the ancient classic by
Kalyana Varma: [1]

Death due to fire if the Sun is posited in the eighth house.

Death due to water if the Moon is posited in the eighth house.

Death from a weapon if Mars is posited in the eighth house.

Death due to fever if Mercury is in the eighth house.

Death from a mucous disease[2] if Jupiter is in the eighth house.

Death from thirst if Venus is in the eighth house.

Death from hunger if Saturn is posited in the eighth house.

The above shloka has been repeated in other classics, as well, indicating that the influence of a planet on the eighth house indicates the mode of death, whether death is natural, accidental, or unnatural as in suicide. Additionally, according to Saravali,when Mars is posited in the fourth house and the Sun is in the tenth, the native will die due to a fall from a mountain or a blow to the head by a rock or stone. [3] Similarly, these same rules would apply to manner of suicide.

As stated in Saravali, a native will die by drowning if Mars is in the fourth house, the Moon is in the seventh, and Saturn is in the tenth. [4] We can likewise interpret this rule for deaths by any means, including suicide. All these yogas can be understood in the same manner.