Brihat Samhita

by N. Chidambaram Iyer | 1884 | 135,584 words | ISBN-13: 9788171104215

This page describes planetary years (grahavarshaphala) which is the nineteenth Chapter of the English translation of the Brihat-samhita. This work, written by Varahamihira in the 6th century, is classified as jyotisha literature, also known as Indian astronomy. It contains however, also content regarding astrology, palmistry, agriculture, gardening, perfumes, medicines and various other encyclopedic topics.

Chapter 19 - On planetary years (grahavarṣaphala)

Summary: The years presided over by each of the planets and their results.

Note: The rule is that the planet in whose week day the new-moon falls in the lunar month of Caitra, is the regent of the year which then commences. This chapter is written in beautiful Sanskrit.

1. If the Sun should be the lord of the year, month or day, there will be crops here and there, the forests will be full of wild, carnivorous animals seeking for prey; springs will yield but little water; rivers will fall; and diseases and medicine will not gain much in strength.

2. The heat of the Sun will be felt intolerable even in the dewy season; clouds though resembling mountains in size will not yield much rain; the sky will be full of heavenly bodies of lost lustre; ascetics and cows will be afflicted with miseries.

3. Princes will range over the land in military order with proud elephants, horses, foot-soldiers and other strength, armed with bows, swords, cudgels and engaged in attacking countries as they march.

4. If the Moon should be the lord of the year, the sky will be filled with clouds moving like mountains and of the colour of black cobra, collyrium or the bee and filling the whole Earth with water and the skv with the roar of thunder

5. The tanks will appear beautiful by the presence, in them, of the lotus and the white lily, the groves will be full of flower trees rendered charming by the humming of black bees. Cows will yield abundance of milk, and will thrive; and wives will please their husbands by acts of love forever.

6. There will be an abundant growth of wheat, rice, barley and other grains and also of excellent sugar-cane; the towns and mines will flourish; the surface of the Earth will be marked by the construction of raised brick-works over the sites of sacrificial rites, the sky will be filled with the sound of Vedic hymns chanted by persons engaged in such rites; and the Earth will be under the protection of good rulers.

7. If Mars should be the lord of the year there will be fear from destructive fires gaining in strength by the winds that blow over them and consuming villages, towns and forests; mankind will suffer from the attacks of robbers, and there will be heard everywhere cries of distress and there will also be loss of property and cattle.

8. Though gigantic clouds might float together in the sky, they will yield little rain. Crops, even though they might be grown in wet places, will become dry and if they happen to grow and ripen at all, they will be cut and carried away by robbers.

9. Rulers will little attend to the protection of their subjects; bilious complaints will afflict mankind; there will also be deaths from snake-bites and crops will suffer blight or be otherwise injured.

10. If Mercury should be the lord of the year, the arts of jugglery and sorcery will thrive; rogues will prosper; towns and villages will flourish; musicians, writers, mathematicians and persons skilled in the use of arms will abound in the land and rulers will exchange rare and valuable gifts.

11. Mankind will be truthful; Vedic studies will flourish; criminal courts will administer justice according to the code of Manu; there will be found students of the higher metaphysics—Yogavidyā and Brahmajñāna—in many places seeking their way to salvation and there will also be found students of Logic and the like sciences.

12. Buffoons, messengers, poets, children, hermaphrodites, makers of perfumes and persons living near banks, over waters and mountains will prosper; medicinal plants will thrive.

13. If Jupiter should be the lord of the year, the sound of Vedic hymns chanted aloud by Brāhmaṇas in sacrificial rites will fill the sky, cause distress to the enemies of the rites and bring joy to the minds of the Devas that partake of the offerings.

14. Abundance of excellent crops will mark the Earth, large numbers of elephants, horses, cows and foot-soldiers will thrive; there will be an increase of wealth; mankind will be happy under the protection of just rulers and the Earth will assume an appearance quite as bright as the starry heavens.

15. The sky will be full of various huge clouds yielding abundance of rain; crops will thrive and there will be prosperity in the land.[1]

16. If Venus should be the lord of the year, rice-crops and sugar-canes will flourish, low grounds will be filled with rain water, tanks will appear beautiful on account of the lotus growing in them; and the Earth will assume an appearance quite as charming as a lady bedecked with jewels.

17. Rulers will achieve success in war; the sky will be filled with the sound of the joy of triumph from the soldiers of the army; all good men will be happy and wicked men will dwindle and perish; towns and villages will thrive and the earth will be under the protection of just rulers.

18. The spring season will be marked by husbands frequently imbibing delightful honey (wine) in the company of their wives; pleasant music from the flute and the lyre will delight the ear and mankind will partake of their meals in company with visitors, friends and kinsmen and the god of love will revel in triumph.

19. If Saturn should be the lord of the year, the land will suffer from wicked men, bands of robbers and big wars; cows will perish; wealth will disappear; there will be heard the cries of people mourning for the death of their kinsmen in civil strife; severe epidemics will break out and afflict people.

20. Clouds will be dispersed by winds; trees will suffer from disease; the sky will be filled with dust concealing from view the discs of the Sun and Moon; tanks will become dry and rivers will fall.

21-22. Crops found growing here and there will perish for want of water; and in other places they will thrive only when fed by the slight rain sent down by Indra. Generally, if the Lord of the year should appear of small disc or dim or in his Nīca house or if he should suffer defeat in conjunction, he will not produce all the evil effects assigned to him. If he should be otherwise, the effects will be good. If a year already known to be a bad one (vide ch. on Jupiter) should also be found bad under this chapter, there will be an increase of adversity; if found good in both ways, then, an increase of prosperity; if found to be both good and bad, there will be a mixture both of prosperity and adversity.

Footnotes and references:


The above are special effects for Jupiter; to these must be added the effects described for the year in the ch. on Jupiter.

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