Brihat Samhita

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

This page describes signs of the five great men (panca-purusha or panca-mahapurusha) which is the sixty-ninth 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 69 - Signs of the five great men (pañca-puruṣa or pañca-mahāpuruṣa)

1. When the five non-luminaries viz. Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn, possessed of strength, occupy their own or exaltation signs identical with kendras (1st, 4th, 7th and 10th houses), five illustrious personages (pañca-puruṣa) are born. I shall now describe them.

2. When Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Mercury and Venus are strong, the five exalted men who come into existence are called in order Haṃsa, Śaśa, Rucakā (Rucaka?), Bhadra and Mālavya.

3-4. A person’s excellent Sattva, inner strength, is derived from the Sun endowed with strength; physical lustre and mental strength (or qualities), from the Moon’s strength. A persons’ characteristics depend upon the lords of the Zodiacal signs and their sub-divisions (viz. Horā, Drekkāṇa. Navāṃśa, Dvādaśāṃśa and Triṃśāṃśa) in which these two luminaries are stationed (as well as upon the planets with which they are conjoined). Persons will be blessed with the particular physical constituent, great element, nature, lustre, colour, mettle, appearance etc. belonging to the planets owning the particular sub-divisions of signs occupied by them. When both the luminaries are weak in respect of the signs and sub-divisions, the characteristics would be of a mixed type.

5. People derive their valour from Mars; physical growth and weight from Mercury; voice from Jupiter; glossiness from Venus; and colour or complexion from Saturn. As a result of the merits and demerits (strength and weakness) of these planets, the above things (viz., valour etc.) become good and bad respectively.

6. Men who are born with mixed characteristics can not hope to become Kings, but they will lead a happy life in the major periods (Daśās) of the Yoga-producing planets. These differences (between the Excellent and Mixed types) occur as a result of the concerned planets (among the five non-luminaries) being aspected by benefits occupying inimical signs or debilitation ones or being fallen from exaltation, or by malefics. [or as a result of benefics in inimical houses etc. being aspected by malefics].

7. The height and extent of the two arms out-stretched (from one end to the other) of a man belonging to the Haṃsa clan are 96 digits; and those of Śaśa, Rucaka, Bhadra and Mālavya are 99, 102, 105 and 108 digits respectively.

8-9. A person who is endowed with the quality of goodness (Sattva) in abundance, becomes kind-hearted towards all beings, firm or steady in his attitude, courageous, straightforward and devoted to Brāhmaṇas and Gods; one in whom the quality of passion or intense activity (Rajas) predominates, is greatly interested in poetry or literature, fine arts, sacrifices and women (sex), and is very heroic; and one in whom the quality of darkness or ignorance (Tamas) is predominant, is deceitful, foolish, lazy, hot-tempered and addicted to sleeping. People of mixed characteristics are born as a result of the intermingling of these three qualities. With the varieties of the Mixed persons there are altogether 7 categories (i.e., four categories of the Mixed and three of unmixed nature).

10. A person belonging to the Mālavya type (caused by Venus) possesses arms that are long like the trunk of an elephant (or nose like the elephant’s trunk and equal arms) and hands that touch the knees, limbs and joints (or joints of limbs) full of flesh, the body even (symmetrical), attractive and slender in the waist, the face 13 digits in height, the ear-holes 10 digits apart, shining eyes, fine cheek, equal and white teeth, and not a very fleshy lower lip.

11. One belonging to the Mālavya type becomes a monarch of cultured mind and rules over the Mālavā (Mālvās), Barukaccha (Broach), Saurāṣṭra country, Lāṭas, Sindhu country and the regions of the Pāriyātra mountain, having amassed wealth by his prowess.

12. A person of this Mālavya class lives for 70 years and shuffles off his mortal coils in a sacred place through yoga or penance. Thus have I clearly explained the characteristics of this class, and now I shall proceed to define the remaining classes.

13. One who belongs to the Bhadra class (caused by Mercury) possesses well-developed, equal, round and long arms; height equal to the length of his out-streched arms; and temples densely covered with tender and fine hair.

14-15. The person of Bhadra class has strong skin and semen, large and muscular breast, a lofty disposition, tiger like face, steady mind, forbearance, attachment to meritorious activities, gratitude, gait like that of a lordly elephant, knowledge of many branches of learning, acute intelligence, a handsome personality, beautiful temples and forehead, proficiency in fine arts, courage, a fine belly, hands and feet with the lustre of the interior of lotus, love for contemplation (or meditation), a lovely nose and equal and well-knit brows.

16. His person gives out the smell of the earth sprinkled with fresh rain, Laurus cassia, saffron, ichor of lordly elephants and Aguru (Commiphora roxburghii); his hairs are dark, curly and single in each pore; and his genital organ is hidden like that of a horse or elephant.

17. His hands and feet are marked with the figures of ploughs, staves, maces, swords, conch shells, wheels, elephants, crocodiles, lotuses and chariots. His wealth is fully enjoyed by the people. He has independent ideas and does not tolerate his kinsmen.

18. His height is 84 digits and weight a bhāra (200 palas). He becomes the ruler of the middle country; but if his height and extent of outstretched arms be each 105 digits, he would be an emperor of the whole earth.

19. A person of the Bhadra class lives for 80 years, rules worthily over the country conquered by valour and abandoning his mortal coil in a holy place, ascends to the abode of the Gods.

20. A person belonging to the Śaśa class (caused by Saturn) has slightly raised and small teeth, thin nails, large eye-balls, brisk gait, is attached to learning pertaining to minerals and metals, engaged in trade, of plump cheeks, and a rogue. He is a leader of armies, fond of sexual pleasures, addicted to others’ wives, fickle-minded, heroic, devoted to his mother, and a lover of forests, mountains, rivers and fortresses (or, impenetrable areas).

21. His height is 92 digits; he acts with apprehension, knows others’ weaknesses, has marrow as the dominant feature of his constitution, walks steadily (or quietly) and is not very corpulent.

22. A person of the Śaśa class has a slender waist and vertical lines on the soles or palms resembling a shield, sword, lute, cot, garland, tabor and trident.

23. A person of this class becomes the lord of foresters or the governor of a province; his body will be afflicted with colic or a fistula in the buttocks; he will consequently go to Yama’s abode at the age of 70 years.

24. A person belonging to the Haṃsa class has a reddish face with fleshy cheeks, raised nose and a golden hue; his head is round; eyes are like honey in colour; all nails red; has the marks of a garland, goad, conch, a pair of fish, sacrificial appurtenance, pot and lotus. His voice is as sweet as that of a swan, feet beautiful and limbs (organs of action) clean.

25. A man of the Haṃsa class loves to sport in water; his semen is thick and copious; his weight is 1600 palas; and his height and extent, as stated by the wise, are 96 digits.

26. This person of the Haṃsa type rules over the Khasas, Śūrasenas, Gāndhāras and the countries lying between the Ganges and the Yamunā. He holds sway for 90 years and meets his end in a forest (penance-grove).

27. A person belonging to the Rucaka type (caused by Mars) has fine brows and hair, dark and red complexion, conch-like neck and an oblong face. He is heroic, cruel, a leader among men. a minister, leader of a gang of thieves and hard-working.

28. The girth of the waist of a men of this class is equal to the length of his face. His complexion is good (or his skin is thin). He has blood and flesh as the strongest elements in his constitution. He destroys his enemies and accomplishes his objects through his adventurous spirit.

29. His hands and feet are marked with the figures of a club, lute, bull, bow, diamond (or thunderbolt) spear, Indra (hall) and trident. He is devoted to elders, Brāhmaṇas and Gods. His height and extent are 100 digits and weight 1000 palas.

30. He is a proficient in spells and black magic; his knees and shanks are lean. He becomes a king and rules over the regions of the Vindhyas, the Sahya mountain and Ujjain. He dies at the age of 70 years by weapons or fire.

King’s Attendants:

31. There are five other classes of men who are the attendants of the five above-named monarchs (Mālavya and others) viz., Vāmanaka, Jaghanya, Kubja, Maṇḍalaka and Sācin. Now listen to the characteristics of these types that are known as the ‘Mixed ones’.

32. A person termed Vāmanaka possesses all the limbs well-developed except the thighs, waist and between the armpits, which are undeveloped. He is hunch-backed, a famous servant of the king of the Bhadra type, very rich, lordly and devoted to Lord Vāsudeva.

33-34. A person called Jaghanya is a servant of the Mālavya king; he has crescent-like ears, good joints and thick and copious semen. He is a tale-bearer and a poet. His complexion is rough and fingers thick. He is cruel, wealthy, unintelligent, well-known, copper-coloured, of humorous disposition, and marked with the figures of a sword, spear, noose and axe on the chest, feet and hands.

35-36. The one named Kubja (literally, hunch-backed) is well-developed in the lower limbs, but slightly weak and bent in the upper part of the body. He is the attendant of the Haṃsa class of kings, an atheist, wealthy, learned, brave, grateful and a talebearer. He is highly learned in fine arts, fond of quarrels, served by many servants and vanquished by women. He honours the people and forsakes them suddenly. He is ever energetic.

37-38. Now listen to the characteristics of the Maṇḍalaka person. He is the follower of the Rucaka class of kings, expert in black magic, clever, adept in witchcraft, creating magical women and ghosts, and in similar lores. He has the appearance of an old man with rough and hard hair; he is capable of destroying his enemies; he is devoted to Brāhmaṇas, Gods, sacrifices and yoga (meditation); is controlled by women and intelligent.

39. The Sācin puruṣa will serve under the Śaśa puruṣa and will be of the character of his master; his appearance and colour will be disagreeable; he will be generous and will successfully execute every great deed commenced by him.

40. Thus have I explained succinctly the characteristics of men, after studying the opinions of the Sages. By learning this, one could become the favourite of kings and a beloved of all the people.