Author Topic: Young Ramana's Death Experience - Astrologically Analyzed:  (Read 2465 times)


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(The above article appeared in October - December 2009 in Mountain Path.  The author is
Gayatri Devi Vasudev, a prominent astrologer from Bangalore.)



What the ancient Vedic system known as Jyotisha has come under the assault of modern academic science,
it should be stressed how rich and far reaching its contributions to the earliest scientific observations
pertaining to the planetary motion and calendar making have been.  Still today,  Jyotisha plays an
important role in modern India and is regularly used in marriage compatibility decisions.  Muhurtas
regarding civil and religious functions and other similar concerns. While its usefulness in diagnosing
individual karmic tendencies is time tested, within the discipline there is some debate as to what extent
karmic factors are operative and therefore discernible in the birth chart of a Jnani.

As the greatest sage in Indian history and as a fully Self Realized soul, it is not clear to what extent
planetary influences would impact the later life of Bhagavan Sri Ramana.  It is striking, however, that
events and conditions that augured the liberation of a young Tamizh boy in the late 19th century are
identifiable in the boy's birth chart and offer hints about the early formative conditions that gave rise to
the birth of a Sage.

Given the space limitations, the following is not an exhaustive analysis of Sri Bhagavan's Rasi chart
but rather confines itself simply to attempting to determine the probable timing of -- and the astrological
factors that contributed to -  the death experience of young Venkataraman in July 1896.  Over the years
devotees have speculated about the precise date for the event, sometimes using 17th July as a rule of thumb.
Bhagavan's own comment on the subject -- 'about six weeks before I left Madurai for good'  -  arouses
our curiosity and begs our attention in hopefully pin pointing a specific day.


Arunachala Siva.               


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Re: Young Ramana's Death Experience - Astrologically Analyzed:
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2016, 04:50:32 PM »
The Great Experience:

As a young boy of about 16 years, Sri Ramana had an unusual experience of death after which a great
change came over Him.  After six weeks later,  He left His home for Tiruvannamalai and took up the
renunciate life in quest of the Ultimate Truth.  The date of the experience has not been recorded but there
is a record of the date He left His hometown.  Piecing this information together with astrological factors,
the date of experience can be traced. The chart of Sri Ramana Maharshi is based on the birth chart obtained
by Dr.B. Raman, from the Maharshi's own brother, Swami Niranjananada Swami, and therefore, its
accuracy is beyond reasonable doubt.  In order to understand what  this experience was, we quote from
Self Realization by B.V.Narasimha Swami. The following is Bhagavan,s description:

-- It was about six weeks before I left Madurai for good that  the great change in my life took place.
It was so sudden. One day I sat up alone on the first floor of my uncle's house.I was in my usual health.
I seldom had any illness.  (...) But a sudden and unmistakable fear of death seized me. I felt I was
going to die.  Why should I have felt so cannot be explained by anything felt in the body.  Nor could
I explain it to myself then.  I did not however trouble myself to discover if the fear was grounded. I felt
I was going to die and at once set about thinking out what I should do. I did not care to consult doctors
or elders or even friends.  I felt I had to solve the problem myself then and there.                             

The shock of death made me at once introspective (..) I said to myself mentally, without uttering the words
--'Now,death has come. What does it mean?  What is that is dying?  This body dies.'  I at once dramatized
the scene of death.  I extended my limbs and held them rigid as though rigor mortis had set in.    I imitated
a corpse to lend an air of reality to my further investigation.  I held my breath and kept mouth my closed,
pressing my lips tightly together so that no sound might escape. Let not the word 'I' or any other word   
be uttered. 'Well then', I said, to myself, am I dead?  Is this body 'I'?   This body is silent and inert.
But I feel the full force of my personality and even the sound I am a spirit, a thing transcending the body.
The material body dies, but the spirit transcending it cannot be touched by death.  I am therefore a dealth-less


Arunachala Siva.


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Re: Young Ramana's Death Experience - Astrologically Analyzed:
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2016, 05:01:53 PM »
Bhagavan's saying continues:

All this was not a mere intellectual process, but flashed before me vividly as living truth, something
which I perceived immediately, without any argument almost.  I was something real, the only real
thing in that state, and all the conscious activity that was connected with my body was centered on
that. The 'I' or my Self was holding the focus of attention by a powerful fascination from that time
(onwards). Fear of death had vanished once and forever.  Absorption in  the Self has continued
from that moment right up to this time.  Other thoughts may come and go like the various notes
of a musician, but the 'I' continues like the basic or fundamental Sruti note, which accompanies and
blends in talking, reading, or anything else.  I was still centered on 'I'. Previous to that crisis I had no
clear perception of myself and was not consciously attached to it.  I had felt no direct perceptible interest
in it, much less any permanent disposition to dwell upon it. The consequences of this new habit were soon
noticed in my life.


Arunachala Siva.               


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Re: Young Ramana's Death Experience - Astrologically Analyzed:
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2016, 05:52:18 PM »
Chart: Loss of Father and Affliction to the Sun:

Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi:

Tiruchuzhi 29/30 Dec.1879, 1 a.m (LMT), 9N56, 78E07, with a balance of four years,
one month, and 20 days of Jupiter Dasa  (Raman Ayanamsa):

Pisces -  Saturn       Aries  Mars  Vrishaba --  Gemini Kethu and Moon.

Kumbha - Jupiter    Kataka  --  Simha --  Kanya --   Thula - Ascendant

Vrischika  - Venus   Sagittarus  Sun and Rahu  Makara ---


Pisces - Jupiter

Mesha -  --

Vrishabba  -- Ketu

Mithuna   -- Moon

Kataka - Venus

Simha Nil

Kanya - Sun

Thula -  Ascendent

Vrischika -  Rahu and Mars

Dhanur -   Saturn

Makara -   Nil

Kumbha   Mercury

Meena   Jupiter.

Young Ramana's father died in 1892, leaving the family in indigent circumstances. The family shifted
residencies -- Venkataraman and his eldest brother to live with an uncle in Madurai and his mother
and younger brother to live at Manamadurai.  This was during Venus Bhukti of Saturn Dasa.  The 9th
house is quite heavily afflicted and it is occupied by Moon and Ketu and aspected by Pitrukaraka Sun
afflicted by Rahu.  The Sun is further afflicted by Saturn's aspect.  The Dasa Lord Saturn is the 2nd
Lord from the Karaka Sun.  Venus is with the 7th Lord Mercury, again with reference to the Karaka.
The death of the father not only dealt a blow to their already modest financial circumstances but also
drove the family from the family home to live with relatives.  Venus and Saturn in their mutual periods
invariably bring major set backs and in this case, as the two planets are also in mutually adverse positions
in the Navamsa, forced the family to shift residences.

Natural Aptitudes in Youth: Mars and A Sturdy physique:

The young Ramana was an expert swimmer and gifted at sports including wrestling.  Though he was
intelligent and had an excellent memory, he was not particularly interested in school lessons.  Mars,
the planet of vitality, occupies the 7th house and aspects the Ascendant.  Ramana was a strong boy
but consistent with the influence of Mars on both Lagna and the Lagna Lord, he was an abnormally
heavy sleeper.  In fact, while once while asleep, the door of the room had to be forced open because no
amount of calling would wake him up.  His friends often took advantage of this unusual trait and played
tricks on him such as pulling him out of bed when he was asleep and leaving him somewhere else.  This
quality of deep sleep was a gift from Mars.  But, because of the other factors in the chart, it was not a life
long feature.  Later on, in fact, very few devotees could ever testify to have seen the Maharshi asleep.

As for studies, the family was disappointed in young Venkatraman.   They had been counting on him to
do well in school in the hope that he might gain a position of influence to aid in their maintenance. 
Four years of Jupiter Dasa were remaining at the time of birth.  Jupiter in this case, is a malefic being the
3rd and 6th Lord. He exchanges signs with the 5th Lord Saturn forming Dainya Yoga and thus affecting
educational performance and attainments.  Saturn is the 4th Lord too so that the Dainya Yoga permeates
the signification of the 4th Bhava as he had neither a home nor a property of his own.  Saturn Dasa
diminished the academic activity too as we shall see next.


Arunachala Siva.                 


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Re: Young Ramana's Death Experience - Astrologically Analyzed:
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2016, 06:08:02 PM »
First Stirrings:

The epochal event in July 1896, where a sudden fear of death overtook him occurred in Saturn Dasa,
Moon Bhukti.  With reference to the Moon, Saturn is the 9th Lord in exchange of signs with the 10th Lord
Jupiter. The Moon as Bhukti Lord is with Ketu which led to a fear of death preceding the experience.
After the experience, young Ramana was healthy but completely lost all interest in studies.  About 6
weeks later he left home requesting in a note that no one look for him.  This is when he set out to be
with his Supreme Father Arunachala.  When he reached Arunachala, he threw whatever money he had
-- a little over Rs. 3/- -- into the temple tank.  He never again handled money.  For some weeks after
that he was absorbed in Samadhi in an underground vault of the temple. In May 1898, his relatives finally
tracked him down.  His mother and uncle pleaded with him to return home but he simply remained silent.
This was in Rahu Bhukti.  Rahu is aspected by Saturn.   The Moon and Sun influence Rahu.  After that he
moved up the Hill where he remained until moving to the foot of the Hill after his mother's death.

The Lagna (the Central point, the Ascendant), Jupiter (the Jnanakaraka), the Moon (Manokaraka) and
Ketu (the Kaivalyakaraka)  are all in airy intellectual signs which indicate the path Venkataraman would
take -  Jnana  - and leading to this metamorphosis of 1896.  Let us take a closer look.


Arunachala Siva.           


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Re: Young Ramana's Death Experience - Astrologically Analyzed:
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2016, 07:54:36 PM »
Sannyasa Yoga from Mars:

Mars, apart from his malefic properties, is good for renunciation.  A natural malefic in the 7th is a
Yoga of Sannyasa.  In November 1895, just some 7 or 8 months prior to the death experience,
an elderly relation casually mentioned he had just come from a pilgrimage to Holy Arunachala.
As soon as the word 'Arunachala' fell on the young boy's ears, a whole new world opened up in
his heart and he knew he had to go there.  That was the seed for his eventual decision to leave
for the Holy Hill. 

This happened in Saturn Dasa.  Saturn is ruled by the Adi Devata Siva.  Arunachala meaning, 'pink
and immovable', is deemed to be Siva Himself.  The Lord of the temple of Arunachala at the base of
the Hill is Arunachaleswara, Arunachala in the form of Lingam.  Of course, Sri Ramana never talked
of an Ishta or a mantra or a sadhana.  But he was immensely fond of the Periya Puranam, an ancient
Tamizh  work on great devotees of Lord Siva.  His love for the Hill can be attributed to the 5th Lord
Saturn also being the Dasa Lord. 

Journey to Self begins:

The 9th house factor is all pervasive.  The Lagna Lord Venus is with the 9th Lord Mercury.  The 9th
Lord Mercury is in his own nakshatra,  Jyeshta.  The 5th Lord Saturn is in Revati, ruled by the 9th
Lord Mercury.   This is why the experience that occurred in Saturn Dasa was not a mere passing event,
but long lasting, impactful and tremendously successful.  It is said that the young Ramana left Madurai
on 29th August, 1896, about 6 weeks after the great experience.  Let us see if we can track the date of
Self Illumination:  Starting with 29th August 1896, and going backwards by 6 weeks, takes us to mid
July.  The planetary positions for Wednesday, 15th July at 2 p.m. (IST) for Madurai show the Tithi to be
Sukla Pakshami.  The previous New Moon fell on 10th July, the next on the 9th August.  Panchami is
favored for spiritual matters.  The Moon in Virgo, on the other hand, is not compatible for spiritual
occurrence of any kind.

Death Experience:

Two Charts:  Chart I - 15th July 1896.  2 PM.

Meena - None

Mesha -  Mars
Vrishaba None

Mithuna   Mercury
Karkataka - Venus, Sun and Jupiter. 

Simha - Ketu

Kanya - Moon.

Thula - Ascendant - Saturn

Vrischika -  None

Dhanus - None

Makaras -  None

Kumbha - Rahu.

Chart II -  10th July 1896, 2 PM.

Pisces  - None

Mesha - Mars

Vrishaba - None

Mithuna - Mercury, Moon, Sun and Venus

Karkataka - Jupiter

Simha - Kethu

Kanya - None

Thula - Ascendant - Saturn.

Vrischika -  None

Dhanus - None

Makara - None

Kumbha - Rahu.

New Moon as Catalyst:

Is there anything striking in this charts?  The major planets remain in the same signs during the
whole week.  So, we are not concerned with them.  What about the Moon  and the Sun? Do they
enjoy a special relationship to warrant such major change?  Usually for major spiritual experiences,
New Moon and Full Moons become important, especially New Moon.

Let us track the positions on the previous New Moon.  We will still be within of a six week time frame from,
29th August.  So, let us look at the New Moon day 2 pm. (IST) on 10th July, 1896, for Madurai -
Chart 2.

This is very interesting chart.  The New Moon has occurred on young Venkataraman's Moon and Atmakaraka.
It has occurred in the 9th house in Punarvasu, Sri Ramana's Janma Nakshatra.  Transiting Mars is on the
natal Mars.  Saturn stationary is on natal Lagna and influenced by Mars.  Except for the Nodes (Rahu-
Ketu), all the planets are in the 9th house from the Janma Lagna  -- Sun, Mercury, Venus and the Moon.
Jupiter in the 10th exalted .

Saturn and the Moon, the Dasa and Bhuki Lords, are in airy signs involving the natal Lagna - so a great
ferment began in the mind of the young lad.


Arunachala Siva.                     



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Re: Young Ramana's Death Experience - Astrologically Analyzed:
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2016, 08:14:35 PM »
If you superimpose this chart on the birth chart, you find the Dasa Lord is caught between transiting Rahu
and transiting Mars. It was tremendously challenging and revealing experience.  Transiting Moon is on   
the top of the natal Moon (who is also the Bhukti Lord) and moving towards conjunction with the natural
Atmakaraka Sun.  It tore him apart at the inner level -- split the body and soul (chit jada granthi bheda).
The New Moon  often brings about restlessness and uncertainty.  The young Ramana was overtaken by
these states as evidenced by his questioning.

A Seer is Born:

Jupiter in Cancer in the 10th from the Lagna (Janma) in a deeply spiritual sign heralds great transformation.
Jupiter is aspected both by Mars and Saturn -- Mars from his Moolatrikona and Saturn from his exaltation
-- highlighting the epochal event.  The experience shifts to the Moon Bhukti, to the borderline Antara
of the Sun.

In the Moon Bhukti, the Moon as Atmakaraka becomes a very difficult period.  The Moon being in a cuspal
degree assumes great significance. The Moon rules the mind and ego.  Being in the 7th from the radical
Sun, the ego is dealt with a death blow by the experience.  The 9th house being involved, the death of ego
is the triggering point for the spiritual transformation of the native.

With Moon Bhukti, the Amavasya day assumes great importance.  The Bhukti Lord Moon is merging
into the Sun, the Soul Force or Atman.  The Moon ruling the mind is disappearing into the Sun, the
Soul Force not only of the individual but also of the Cosmos.  The Desa Lord is Saturn and there is
complete renunciation and detachment -- a dissolution of the body mind from the soul.  The Maharshi
from this moment ceased to be young Venkataraman, ceased to identify himself with the body or the
mind, and became a Seer, pure Witness of the little 'I'.

The date 10th July, 1896, was, therefore, in all likelihood the day of the Great Experience.

(I am personally happy in giving this article on the day next to  Maha Aradhanai Day.)


Arunachala Siva.        .