THE problem of combustion (astangata) has given rise to varied doubts and misinterpretations. For calculating longevity, Venus and Saturn are not subject to combustion. A faulty text of Satya Samhita excludes even Mercury.
It is generally taken for granted that combustion varies from six degrees to seventy degrees to seventy degrees of the Sun. Some take the orb to be twelve degrees only while a few do not go beyond eight degrees. Does a combust planet become always weak and malefic? Here, we have also to note whether the planet concerned is head of the Sun or behind the Sun. Next we should note the permanent and temporary relationship of a planet to the Sun. It is enough to take six to eight degrees for a separating conjunction, and eight (or even twelve) degrees for an applying one. The ownerships and placement of the planet with the Sun should not be ignored.
The conjunction of the two luminaries appears around the new Moon day. It was a day fixed by Lord Krishna for the commencement of the Mahabharata war. The conjunction of these two is a critical one. It denies or restricts the breadth of outlook and adjustability. The interests are determined by the house where it takes place. If Mercury or Venus joins these the balance of mind may be upset slightly. Stubbornness, emotionalism, aloofness and repression can appear. If it is the 2nd or the 12th house, eye-sight is affected. If it is in the first, the health is delicate.
The first chart is that of Dr. S Radhakrishnan. The Sun is in his own in the 12th with the Moon. For the luminaries we may have to take 12 or 7 degrees. Here these two are slightly away by fourteen and a half degrees. They are not aspected by any. His eye-sight was affected. A certain rigidity of outlook and an inability to adapt himself to his environment was evident in his life. The other malefic features did not appear as the Sun is in his own sign, though debilitated in Navamsa. But here he is ahead of the Moon.
The Sun and Mercury are never away beyond 28 degrees. The conjunction of these two is frequent. Our ancient authorities praise this as Budha-Aditya Yoga. When Mercury is left along he can upset mental stability. But a close conjunction of Mercury with the Sun eclipses mental faculties related to business and literary abilities. The other activities will flourish.
In the second chart the Sun and Mercury are within 7 degrees in the 10th house. Mercury is exalted in Rasi and debilitated in Amsa. It is the horoscope of India's greatest Engineer, Sir M Visvesvaraya. In the third chart this conjunction is in Lagna, Mercury getting exalted in Amsa. He is a very astute diplomat and administrator, a trusted aide of late Mrs. Gandhi and of Mr. Rajiv Gandhi. The Sun is behind Mercury in both. Here is a loss of flexibility, even of impartiality because of this. The feelings disturb the clarity of the Mind. In the fourth chart the same conjunction is in the same sign, Virgo. Here it is the second house. The Sun is ahead of Mercury and is afflicted by retrograde Saturn. This lady was denied marriage. In all these cases the animal nature is subdued by intellect. The great European philosopher Kant had combust Mercury. The outlook was practical and worldly. In the fifth chart the Sun is ahead by more than 32 degrees. Still it made this lady stubborn and self-willed. Probably Saturn's aspect on Lagna and Venus' aspect on Mercury deprived her of a happy married life. She is now seeking a divorce.
Venus is always within 48 degrees of the Sun. Yet combust Venus gives rise to artistic pursuits, medical education and the like. President Heidenburg and Annie Besant had combust Venus. This conjunction is not favourable for marriage. The sixth chart shows a close conjunction. Inheriting huge property he lost everything before he was twenty-five. Lord of 9 and 11 are in the 8th. Combust Venus denies a happy married life.
The Sun and Mars are natural friends. The Sun is exalted in the sign of Mars. But the exaltation of Mars in a sign of Saturn does not augur well for a combust Mars. Health gets disturbed. Accidents are possible. The native works very hard. Depending on the sign and the house, combust Mars can give opposite results. The seventh chart shows a close conjunction in the 8th house. The lord of Lagna (Mars) is with the 10th lord (Sun) in the 8th. In Amsa, Mars is exalted and he is in advance of the Sun. This lady braved many sorrows, calamities and restrictions, and ultimately she returned to power as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Can she live peacefully and be successful head of the government? The aspect (not exact) of retrograde Saturn on combust Mars is ominous.
Combust Jupiter is quite beneficial. He makes the native ambitious, religious, philosophical; literary and other activities play a major role. It is a highly benevolent combustion. The 8th chart is that of Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar. The Sun is in his own sign in Lagna in close conjunction with Jupiter and Ketu, though he is ahead of both. The aspect of Mars from the 10th has aggravated the benefic qualities to make him a celebrated musician. Venus in Lagna gave a helping hand as well. If Rahu were with Jupiter, the result would have been disastrous. In the 9th chart eclipsed Jupiter made him heir to fabulous property all of a sudden. It is Saturn, lord of the combust sign, that is now giving the desired results.
How does combust Saturn work? The moola-trikona and signs of exaltation of the Sun and Saturn are exactly in opposite signs. But the opposite signs have great similarities. Combust Saturn confers respect and material success. One becomes a self-made man. The conjunction can also make one secretive. A strong combust Saturn makes one place duty above everything else. The native may become egocentric. The tenth chart is that of Mr Jyoti Basu. There is no exact conjunction of the Sun and Saturn. But it is the be ginning of Saturn's major period that made him successful at last. In Amsa both the Sun and Saturn are exalted. In the eleventh chart the Sun in the 2nd in his own house is behind Saturn. He is a good enterprising businessman. Life has been hard on him and he is now getting out of the woods. Retrograde Jupiter's major period will see him through.
There remain the extra-saturnine planets. We plead for the inclusion of Uranus and Neptune in our system. As the great Varahamihira said: "The Ionians are Mlecchas. But this science of Astrology was nourished by them. They are being respected like our seers. Then what can we say about a Dvija who is an astrologer (daiva-vid).
Combust Uranus works both ways. The native can be rebellious, perverse and obstinate. A scientific or a literary career is possible. Changes are sudden and unexpected. One seeks his own career and his own way of life. There is great talent. Examples are P B Shelly, Louis Pasteur, Lewis Carroll, Lord Salisbury and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Uranus has great similarities with Mercury, Saturn and Mars. This can make us rethink about the natural relationship between the planets. At least we are skeptical about the Buddhist Satyakirti's clarification of friends, foes, and neutrals among the planets. A close reconciliation of the views of Yavaneswara with those of Satyakirti is very necessary at least in the last decature of this century. Uranus rules Aquarius, is exalted in Gemini and has his moola-trikona in Gemini or in Libra.
Combust Neptune is as good as Jupiter as both rule Pisces. As against the Western theoreticians we hold that Neptune is a benefic, controlling the spiritual, philosophic and religious activities. Also he rules over drugs and intoxicants, which are a part of Jupiter's significations also. Combust Neptune gives better results of a favourable nature than combust Jupiter.
Our study shows that combust Venus, Mars and Uranus are to be apprehended. Combust Saturn puts a man on trial like combust Moon. Combust Neptune appears in the charts of Edison, George IV, Richard Cromwell, Alfonsa of Spain and the Crown Prince of Germany. Any combust planet is not bad. Same are favourable. It is for the scholars to advise us about our findings.
For the sake of convenience we have given the charts as per Lahiri's Ephemeris and Ayanamsa. This does not mean we accept his Ayanamsa.
1. 1888-9-5. Lagna—Virgo with Mercury 1.10 and Venus 5.23; Scorpio – Mars 3-56 and Jupiter 7-9; Cancer – Saturn 22-3 and Rahu 5-47; and Leo – the Moon 6-9 and the Sun 20-34.
2. 1861-9-15. Lagna—Sagittarius 20-30 with Rahu 18-30; Capricorn – the Moon 18-54; Leo – Jupiter 18-00, Saturn 22-00 and Mars 25-30; Virgo – the Sun 0-50 and Mercury 7-45; and Libra – Venus 5-30.
3. 1937-7-16. Lagna—Cancer 29-20 with the Sun 0-9 and Mercury 8-55; Libra – the Moon 8-1 and Venus 28-48; Sagittarius – Jupiter (R) 28-19; Pisces – Saturn 12-9; and Taurus – Venus 15-33 and Ketu 20-9.
4. 1938-10-2. Lagna—Leo 16-40 with Mars 22-19; Virgo – the Sun 18-8 and Mercury – 8-27; Libra – Venus 29-14 and Rahu 26 -41; Sagittarius – the Moon 20-1; Capricorn – Jupiter (R) 29-54; and Pisces – Saturn (R) 22-7
5. 1971-5-7. Lagna—Scorpio 22-28 with Jupiter (R) 10-4; Capricorn – Mars 8-20 and Rahu 25-52; Pisces – Venus 22-26; Aries – Mercury 0-23 and the Sun 22-58; Taurus – Saturn 1-12; and Virgo – the Moon 20-48.
6. 1963-8-11. Lagna—Sagittarius 25-00 with Ketu 27-00; Capricorn – Saturn (R) 26-00; Pisces – Jupiter (R) 26-00; Aries – the Moon 14-2; Cancer – Venus 19-00 and the Sun 21-00; Leo – Mercury 18-00 and Virgo – Mars 16-30.
7. 1953-6-21. Lagna—Scorpio 5-00; Aries – Venus 21-21; Taurus – Jupiter 16-10; Gemini – the Sun 16-35 and Mars 11-47; Cancer – Mercury 1-45 and Ketu 10-12; and Virgo – Saturn (R) 27-00 and the Moon 25-36.
8. 1896-8-28. Lagna—Leo 11-24 with the Sun 13-40, Jupiter 1-7 and Venus 28-20; Virgo – Mercury 7-3; Libra – Saturn 21-26; Aquarius – Rahu 6-8; Aries – the Moon 16-33; and Taurus – Mars 15-16.
9. 1927-2-28. Lagna—Aries 2; Taurus – Mars 10-21; Scorpio – Saturn 14-34; Sagittarius – the Moon 25-17 and Ketu 11-0; Aquarius – the Sun 15-40 and Jupiter 16-37; and Pisces – Mercury 3-12 and Venus 9-7.
10. 1914-7-8. Lagna—Virgo 5-20; Capricorn – the Moon 0-25 and Jupiter 28-35; Gemini – the Sun 22-20 and Saturn 2-9; Cancer – Mercury (R) 5-42 and Venus 28-30; Leo – Mars 14-30 and Ketu 15-56.
11. 1950-3-3. Lagna—Cancer 20-29 with Venus 25-4; Leo – the Sun 16-42 and Saturn 27-52; Virgo – Mercury 9-11 and Ketu 5-9; Libra – Mars 20-25; Aquarius – Jupiter (R) 8-19; and Aries – the Moon 28-53.
(Courtesy: The Astrological Magazine, January, 1990)