When I wrote the main paper on gurus, I did not include the chart of Vivekananda, the favored and famous disciple of Ramakrishna. Since then I have read some of his books, and become interested in his chart. So here it is, as an addendum to the main paper.
This introduction is from the main paper on gurus: Main Paper on Gurus.
“Guru” means something like teacher. I am not sure if it always means “spiritual teacher.” In this paper I use the commonly known, often spiritual, name for most of the gurus I write about. It is [often] the only name by which I know them. Their spiritual name usually combines words that imply things like father, great, spiritual, bliss, and so on. For instance, the “Baba” in Baba Muktananda means father. “Ananda,” I think, means bliss. I am not sure what “Sri” (used below) means, but believe it is an honorific title, somewhat like Master or Mister, but with more honor attached.
In this paper I emphasize the strong benefic influence shown in the charts of gurus. It does not mean either (a) they did not work for their realization, or (b) they had no suffering and no problems. They had (or have, for those two still living) the same number and type of planets as does every one else. I presume, then, each had his own variety of pain. Their pain, however, had limitations dwindling, in some cases, to zero. Why? Because each had something every one else does not have. Each had a highly benevolent set--herein called the golden benefic set. A golden benefic set is comprised of light/venus/jupiter influencing at least one Angle and certain houses. For gurus, their golden benefic set constituted a path which, when “traveled” by them, rendered them great rewards. At the same time, because their consciousness was located primarily in their golden benefic, it minimized their astrologically implied pain. For gurus, influence of the set was to houses and charts integral to spirituality. The same benefic set (light/venus/jupiter) influencing different charts and houses has entirely different outcomes. For instance, influencing an Angle, 2nd and 8th houses in the 2nd, 7th, and 8th charts, it implies we are looking at the chart of an individual who is wealthy, whether through investment, business, or the lottery. (See footnote 1, below).
Golden benefics are comprised of light/venus/jupiter, with venus and jupiter being conjunction or square but not opposition. At least, when opposition they fight each other rather than cooperate for the "great good" they together can produce. When on an Angle, "Angle" can substitute for "light." Golden benefics are not truly golden unless they also influence an Angle, either being on it or influencing it through a ruler. When they do, they operate to produce luck and success throughout life in the areas and charts they influence.
Let’s get to the specifications for gurus:
Astrological Specifications for Gurus
[These were what I started out with]:
As stated above, the golden benefic set contains a light, venus and jupiter. The light can be sun, moon, or nodes. The set may contain other planets, but it must contain venus and jupiter. Venus is the lesser benefic; jupiter, the greater benefic. Combined in a set they produce the greatest good, the most ease of realization, in areas (houses and signs) they influence. That is true of either their conjunction or square. It is not true of their opposition: in opposition venus and jupiter are fighting each other rather than cooperating. They split the individual’s attention to opposite sectors of the chart, in effect “halving” (or worse) the beneficial influence of each.
For gurus, the two charts I have investigated so far that fit the above definition are the 7th and 9th charts.
The harmonic chart for the 7th house is involved because it is the main chart of this method. The 7th house, and the 7th chart derived from it, is primary in representing our interactions with others and the identity we achieve through our interactions with others.
The harmonic chart for the 9th house is involved because it shows the conditions which favor or disfavor the development of our higher mind and interests which point in that direction.
Some times our higher mind is represented directly as spirituality. Some times that is too direct, too much a stretch for us, and our higher mind shows itself in our interest in unusual over-views presented in areas such as law and philosophy. Law, religion, and philosophy are all subjects represented by the 9th house and Sagittarius. As it turns out, aviation and some other subjects are also under the province of “higher mind.” Aviation accidents are represented primarily in the 9th (and 7th) chart. So, too, are fatal falls from high places--whether they be intentional or accidents occurring through mountain-climbing, sky-diving, or other such pursuits. Conditions of the 9th house and Sagittarius show our interest in forming unusual, usually broader and deeper, perspectives. In contradistinction to the 9th house, the 3rd house (and Gemini) shows our ordinary, mundane, common, automatic interests--one might say matters in which we are usually mired, even if happily so. So a keyword for Sagittarius and the 9th house might be “perspective,” and the comprehension fostered by the 9th house can include but usually passes beyond information gained through 3rd house interests.
The 8th, 10th and 11th charts may show the same or similar specifications, but I have not looked systematically into them.
For famous gurus, the houses influenced by the golden benefic set are the 4th, 5th, 8th, and 9th .
The 4th house shows success and fame at the end of life. If the 4th is highly benefic, it means the whole life is geared, ultimately, toward success and a strong sense of accomplishment. Conditions of the 4th house, then, represent a situation where it can be said “cause” is in the future (end of life, 4th house). If an individual has a highly benefic 4th, he is less likely to fail even if he stumbles mid-life because his life is slated to conclude satisfactorily. Conversely, some one with a highly malefic 4th house is less likely to succeed, even if in mid-life he appears to be a phenomenal success, because his 4th indicates his life is going to end in troubles and discontent. This cause-in-the-future conceptualization as it relates to the conditions of the 4th house--usually used only in horary astrology for finding the “end of the matter”--is especially true regarding spiritual achievement because individuals who become enlightened are unlikely to return to total sleep and darkness.
The 5th house combined with the 9th--that is, in the same set with the 9th or overlapping the 9th--shows identification of sex and spirituality such that sublimation of sexuality is stacked to favor a gain in spirituality. Sublimation of sexuality is not right for every one and is outright harmful to some. And gurus do not have to sublimate their sexuality just because the 5th/9th connection exists in their charts, but they can profit from it.
The 8th house shows beneficence in occult matters, in touching the inner lives of others, and in financial support through the favor of others.
And, of course, the 9th house is necessary because it shows qualities of our higher mind, our blocks and aids should we attempt to enter spirituality directly. Beneficiently aspected, higher mind can flourish.
If the guru is also rich, his 2nd (and 8th) house will be so influenced. If s/he establishes a group or ashram (or several), the 11th may also be influenced. To be respected and even tolerated in his community, a guru needs to have a primarily benefic 10th house, or at least not one primarily malefic. But I have not systematically investigated these houses. Therefore, this paper does not contain conclusions about astrological specifications for 2nd, 10th and 11th houses in the charts of famous gurus.
Below in partial charts I present the specifications in the charts of Vivekananda. In the main paper, I presented charts of thirteen Eastern gurus. Most of them have been heard of in the West. I personally met two of them. Most taught spirituality in person and through books to many students. Most had ashrams. Most were understood to have reached a high, permanent level of spirituality.
For contrast to the charts of gurus, the main paper also included charts of twelve other individuals—not gurus—which demonstrated the power for good of a highly benefic 4th house. Several more charts demonstrated the 9th house or Sagittarius as it represents jurisprudence and the law, showing outcomes for both benefic and malefic 9ths. Finally, several showed Sagittarius, the 9th house, and 9th chart as they stand for matters concerning aviation--love of flight and death through it.
Before introducing the charts, I should say a few words about this method:
Astrological Method Used
This astrology uses the sidereal positions of the planets based on the Fagan-Bradley’s SVP. Here is a link to the paper on this site which discusses the practical differences between the (Western) tropical zodiac and the (Eastern) sidereal one: Discussion of Sidereal vs. Tropical Zodiac
The following two paper gives more extensive explanations (than those below) of the way this method works: Discussion of Method and Empirically-Derived Principles of Function-Establishing the Limits on What Works. The Home Page (link at top) includes a discussion of scientific method and a comparison of the way DNA works to the way this method works.
Harmonics are taken from the sidereal position of the planets. The Egyptian harmonic, discussed in the paper “About This Method” (see Home Page), is used.
”Lights” include suns, moons, and moons nodes.
This method uses only conjunctions, applying and separating squares, and oppositions. Orbs for planets with lights is 5°; without lights, about 2.5°. Orb for MC/planet or Asc/planet is 2°. Planets so related to each other are referred to as in the same “set.” A set, then, is two or more planets (or an Angle) connected to each other through conjunction, square, and opposition within the defined orbs. The set is more active if it contains a light, and less active without one. Learning to look in terms of “crosses” can be helpful in rapidly finding planets that are in the same set.
In the main paper I introduced the concept of “path” when speaking about an astrological set. Planets in a set, the houses they are in, and houses ruled by them describe an astrological path. If, for instance, planets in a set rule 4th, 5th and 9th houses, then the 4th, 5th, and 9th houses are inextricably connected to each other. Energy of learning as well as failure flows among those three houses, some times in a fixed sequence and some times with varying sequences. That energy flow can be called a path. Paths have interesting implications.
Planets can be in a house and participate in a path without being an integral part of it. For instance, if I have a set of moon/venus/jupiter which, through rulers, influences 3rd, 4th, and 8th houses (only), the path is 3rd/4th/8th and the path itself does not influence the 9th house. If, however, those planets, moon/venus/jupiter are conjunct in a 9th house, then they are, obviously, influencing that 9th house even though through rulership they do not have the 9th as part of their path.
More is written about paths in the main paper on gurus: Main Paper on Gurus.
Because this approach uses both a birth and conception chart and they share the same axis, birth houses usually overlap different houses of the conception chart. These are called “house overlaps.” House overlaps play an important part in this astrology as investigation of the charts below (and in other papers) will show. Throughout this paper I use the convention when writing about house overlaps of putting the birth house first, then the conception house. So, for instance, a “5th/1st” overlap refers to an overlap of birth 5th house with conception 1st house in that order.
Birth planets (including their harmonics) rule only birth houses. Conception planets (including their harmonics) rule only conception houses.
In the partial charts shown below, birth planets and their harmonics are inside the circle. Conception planets and their harmonics are outside the circle. Conception sidereal planets are red; conception harmonic ones, black. Birth sidereal planets are blue; birth harmonic ones, green. Occasionally, because of space limitations, I have had to violate this inside/outside arrangement, but the color coding remain constant.
Charts of Vivekananda
We can now take a look at the chart of the most famous of Ramakrishna’s students, Vivekananda, born Narendranath Dutta.
Vivekananda does not have a golden benefic in his 7th chart. (The usual charts to carry one for gurus were the 7th and the 9th.) I have included it here to show certain things about him. Later, I will show the two charts which do contain golden benefics.
(1) Set (1) above contains venus/mars/mars/jupiter influence B MC, C MC, and 4th, 5th, and 9th houses, but it lacks a light. Interestingly, hisguru, Ramakrishna, provides the light for this set in the form of his B Asc at 4 Capricorn 10 (the orb for venus is a bit wide, 04’ minutes beyond the acceptable orb of 2°. So, when he is with Ramakrishna, this 7th chart contains the specified golden benefic.
(2) The biography in Wikipedia
Go to Biography of Vivekananda in Wikipedia
states that “[Vivekananda] is considered a key figure in the introduction of Vedanta and Yoga in Europe and America and is also credited with raising interfaith awareness…considered a major force in the revival of Hinduism in modern India…He is best known for his inspiring speech beginning with “sisters and brothers of America,” through which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World’s Religions at Chicago in 1893.” (You can listen to that speech and hear his remarkable voice on YouTube at
Vivekananda’s Chicago Speech
That same biographical report states, “According to his professors, student Narendranath was a prodigy. Dr. William Hastie, the principal of Scottish Church College, Calcutta (where he studied western logic, western philosophy and history of European nations from 1881 to 1884) stated, ‘“Narendra is really a genius. I have traveled far and wide but I have never come across a lad of his talents and possibilities, even in German universities, among philosophical students.” He was regarded as a srutidhara—a man with a prodigious memory.’
One of the indications of his superior intelligence is shown in Set (2) above. It shows a node/mercury/saturn/uranus, with c mercury ruling c 3rd house. Mercury/uranus has consistently demonstrated high intelligence.
But he has other indications of his unusual intelligence. Vivekananda’s (Narandranath’s) two charts that contain golden benefics with the reference to 9th houses are his 3rd and his 9th charts. We saw this before in the main paper. Rajneesh’s (Osho’s) 3rd chart (rather than his 9th) showed his capacity to be a guru because it contained a golden benefic, a conjunction of moon, venus, and jupiter in Sagittarius (natural ruler of the 9th house) with both 3rd and 9th house influence to three Angles. Nikola Tesla, prolific in the expression of his genius, had two golden benefics in his 3rd chart, each with reference to the 9th house and each with influence to his B MC.
Vivekananda also has two golden benefics in his 3rd chart. One influences both 3rd and 9th houses (and 5th) as well as an Angle. Not only through rulership, but the conjunction falls in 9th/3rd houses. The second golden benefic is less powerful, influencing only a 3rd house (and 5th), without influence to an Angle. Here they are:
In this chart he also has a conjunction of NN/mercury/pluto in Aquarius (c mercury at 21 Aquarius 36, b3 NN at 23 Aquarius 07, c3 pluto at 22 Aquarius 14, and c3 pluto at 23 Aquarius 03. C mercury rules c 3rd house. That set has something to do with the fact that he studied Christianity as well as Islam (as did his guru, who also experienced the mystical states of those religions) and promoted tolerance of all religions worldwide. His collected works examine the developmental stages of religions, each serving mankind’s differing needs, each with a valid reason for existing.
We have another precedent beside Rajneesh to demonstrate that a guru’s golden benefic can be in the 3rd chart (as long as it influences the 9th house). Chariji (there is a link to his chart at the bottom of the main paper), a contemporary enlightened man with students all over the world, had the combination of 3rd and 7th chart golden benefics. That of his 3rd chart influences the 9th house and two Angles.
After I discovered these variations, I went back through charts of gurus covered in the main paper. Most of them involved the combination of 7th and 9th charts, but Deepak Chopra’s worked through a Sagittarian golden benefic in the 10th chart. The rest had the more usual combination of 7th and 9th charts. Of those, three also had golden benefics in their 3rd charts: Ramakrishna, Vivekananda’s teacher (both 3rd and 9th house influence to one Angle), Baba Sitaram (both 3rd and 9th house influence to one Angle), and Krishnamurti (both 3rd and 9th house influences to two Angles). Another American guru, Mary Baker Eddy, also considered very bright, had a 3rd chart golden benefic with influence to the 9th house and one Angle. (Her chart is in a separate paper, link on Home Page.)
This is going to come up sooner or later, so I guess now is the time. In the 3rd charts of retarded children, one also sometimes sees golden benefics. Since their mars and saturn are so often together, that leaves the venuses and jupiters more likely to be together. Their retardation is signified by the light/mars/saturn influence to a 3rd house and an Angle. (There may be more significators, but those are common.) Their unusual abilities—like remembering the words to all the songs they hear, or some other such specialized talent, is most likely represented by their golden benefics. That is, when a retarded child, or idiot savant, has the astrology for retardation but also has a genius, or an unusual mental talent, the talent is shown by a golden benefic. It is just that their genius is working against the gradient of their retardation.
We can close this paper as soon as we have viewed Vivekananda’s 9th house golden benefic. Here it is:
The set above includes moon/moon/venus/mars/jupiter/jupiter/neptune. C9 moon rules C Asc. B venus rules B MC and b 5th house. B mars rules b 4th. C Mars rules C MC and c 4th, 5th, and 9th houses. B9 neptune rules b 3rd house. This set includes all the significators that is in the 9th chart of all the gurus.
Actually, before we close, we should look to see if we can see the astrological basis for Vivekananda’s health problems. He had predicted he would not live to see age forty. He died at age thirty-nine on July 4, 1902 at ten minutes past nine while meditating. While cause of death was not given, he reportedly suffered from various maladies, including dyspepsia, asthma, and diabetes.I did not find the significators for asthma in his 1st chart that I reported in the paper on asthma. He did, however, have serious indicators for health problems in his 6th chart. Here is that chart:
The set above includes moon/mercury/mars/mars/saturn/uranus/pluto/pluto and influences two Angles. C moon rules C Asc. B mercury rules b 6th house. B6 mars rules b 4th house. C6 mars rules C MC.
Among other sets, on the date of his death pB MC was at 18 Scorpio 37 conjunct c6 saturn at 18 Scorpio 22 in b 4th house, with co-rulership (26 of 30°) of c 6th house. Return mars was at 18 Taurus 34. Return Asc was at 10 Aquarius 55 square pb6 uranus, ruler of c 8th house, at 10 Scorpio 28 in b 4th house. His followers stated he died in a state of Mahasamdhi, that is, the final liberation from the time/space/cause universe.
Vivekananda, among other gurus, has stated that even if an individual reached total freedom in a lifetime, he still had to finish off his karma. Therefore, his life would keep going until that was worked out to what I call “zero sum,” that is, no more good or bad effects of his lives left in this universe.
Christ and his disciples, and later, Mary Baker Eddy and her followers, demonstrated that at a certain high spiritual level disease does not exist (nor discord, nor evil). Vivekananda also saw the space/time/causation universe as an illusion. (In fact, as far as I know, every one who reaches an elevated spiritual level sees it that way). Having read some of Vivekananda’s remarkably clear books, I do not doubt he achieved a truly superior spiritual level. That leaves the question, were his health problems part of a karma he was working off in order to reach Mahasamadhi? Does the guru have the capacity to rise above his health problems, but not do it because he understands it as the burning off of karma?
Looking at results from this paper and the main one on gurus, it is not absolutely clear that golden benefics in two charts are necessary as the astrological significators for individuals who reach enlightenment.
It is clear that they often occur in at least two charts, and that the path they usually describe is 4th/5th/9th house (and can include more houses). Even of these, I am guessing that only the 9th is absolutely necessary.
The 5th house becomes involved because sexual energy is especially useful for spiritual achievement—be it through intelligent use of it, or sublimation of it. At any rate, individuals without it are going to have a seriously hard time trying elevate their consciousness.
The 4th is involved because achievements in consciousness do not usually reverse themselves to a lower level. Therefore, whatever is achieved is what one dies with (4th house). But the 4th house also may be involved simply to show that the individual is famous (light/venus/jupiter/4th) at the time of their death.
All of the individuals whose 3rd charts were involved in demonstrating their spiritual genius had golden benefics therein with influence at least to 9th houses.
Vivekananda came from a country, India, where astrology was far more in ascendancy than in the West. Unlike some Western gurus, the Indians have usually been quite up front about their birth data. All Indians are used to the chart showing potential achievements as well as karma. It was also used (still is?) for making good marriage matches.
However, so far I have seen two references to astrology by Vivekananda in his complete works. In essence, he said “it doesn’t help, in fact it makes things worse.” That is, he was not saying that it is not valid. He was saying it gets used in a way that ends up to our disadvantage. I am not clear how the people of India have used their astrology. Did they use it as a justification for fate, becoming passive to their own lives? I also do not know if their astrology contains the medical and psychological material available through this particular method, and the capacity for the better ordering of data. There is no doubt this astrology could be used badly. There is also no doubt, for me, it provides information available no where else, some of it quite iconoclastic (which cannot be all bad). Unquestionably, if this astrology were widely developed, every individual’s birth data would have to be kept completely confidential, to be used only if they wanted to use it. No individual should ever have to receive unsolicited astrological opinion. (Studies could be done with names kept absolutely anonymous.)
Vivekananda wanted to encourage in every way our capacity to realize we are not the body, that is, not this little body/personality, that is, not this set of specifications for an identity through time/space/causation, that is, not this chart with its identification of individual consciousness and its sponsored physical manifestation, the same thing Mary Baker Eddy called mortal mind. At the same time, each understands that unless each individual develops his spiritual faculties, he is, indeed, completely identified with same.
Vivekananda was wonderfully eloquent. Here are some more quotes from his complete works:
"The karma yogi is the man who understands that the highest ideal is nonresistance, and who also knows that this nonresistance is the highest manifestation of power in actual possession, and also what is called the resisting of evil is but a stop on the way toward the manifestation of the highest power, namely, nonresistance. Before reaching this highest ideal, man’s duty is to resist evil; let him work, let him fight, let him strike straight from the shoulder. Then only, when he has gained the power to resist, will nonresistance be a virtue." (From volume 1, page 39, Collected Works of Vivekananda.)
"…This is the only way to reach the goal, to tell ourselves, and to tell everybody else, that we are divine. And as we go on repeating this, strength comes. He who falters at first will get stronger and stronger, and the voice will increase in volume until the truth takes possession of our hearts, and comes through our veins, and permeates our bodies. Delusion will vanish as the light becomes more and more effulgent, load after load of ignorance will vanish, and then will come a time when all else has disappeared and the sun alone shines." (From volume 2, pp. 201-2, Collected Works of Vivekananda)
"You believe in God. If you do, believe in the real God. “Thou are the man, Thou the woman, Thou the young man walking in the strength of you…. Thou the old man tottering with his stick.” Thou art weakness. Thou are fear. Thou art heaven, and Thou are hell. Thou art the serpent that would sting. Come, Thou as fear! Come Thou as death! Come Thou as misery! All weakness, all bondage is imagination. Speak one word to it, it must vanish. Do not weaken! There is no other way out….Stand up and be strong!" (From volume X, pp. xx, Collected Works of Vivekananda—I forgot to write down volume and page number)
Dedication on the frontispiece of his book Living at the Source:
"This book is for Vivekananda’s 'other God'—you, and the whole of humankind."
Photo of lotus is by Michael Babcock.
Letters following his name indicate the Rodden rating.
Birth: 1/12/1863, 6:33 a.m. LMT, Calcutta, India. From Astrodatabank0 by Lois Rodden and Mark McDonough. Modern Astrology 11/1908, data from F.C. Dutt in Calcutta who quotes B.R. (P.C. gives 6:45 a.m. as “recorded.”)
Conception:4/1/1862, 2:16:56 p.m. LMT, Calcutta, India.
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