“Marriages are made in heaven”, is a well-known saying. So too can be said,”Divorces happen in hell”. The fabric of Indian society weaves itself strongly around the well-established and time-tested institution of marriage built upon a well-thought of procedure and societal sanction. It is as rigorous as any ISO certification. “Once married, married for life”, is the slogan or motto of Indian society. It is very strongly believed and rightly so, that marriage between a man and a woman approved by law, is not just a civil and social contract between two people but is also a union of two different families and their harmonious relationship into the future.
The starting point before a boy’s family ‘sees’ a girl of similar status for mutual agreeability to the marriage proposal is the involvement of an astrologer for judging the astrological ‘matching’ or compatibility of horoscopes. In the so-called ‘love marriages’, this aspect is of no significance and hence, only a suitable ‘muhurta’ as per electional astrology is fixed (if required) for the marriage ceremony performance. That the ancient Hindus had devised a method to judge the marriage compatibility of the bride and bridegroom in all aspects – physical, mental, spiritual and biological – speaks immensely of their foresight, insights and skills in social architecture.
As soon as a ‘middleperson’ brings up a likely ‘match’, the families refer the horoscopes of the boy and the girl to their astrologers for their astrological examination with regard to compatibility, commonly known as ‘matching’. There are three main factors to be considered:
1. The longevity of the boy and the girl
2. The strength of the 7th and the 8th houses
3. Agreeability of 12 factors or ‘Koota Milan’
The seventh house in a horoscope pertains to one’s partner. If Venus and Mars are in the 7th, the boy or the girl will have strong biological urges and so, such a person should be married to a similar one for compatibility. Judgement of longevity requires expertise and novices should not even attempt it. Once the minimum requirement of agreeability is achieved, the astrologer gives the go-ahead to the family, otherwise, he suggests skipping the proposal.
In ‘Koota Milan’, twelve (12) factors of matching are considered. The sixteen ‘Kootas’ are Dina, Gana, Mahendra, Stree-Deergha, Varna, Vasya, Graha-Maitri, Yoni, Rasi, Rajju, Vedha, and Nadi. Of them, the most important are Yoni, Rajju and Nadi. The maximum ‘marks’ or units of agreement are 36 (thirty-six) and a minimum of 18 (eighteen) are considered essential apart from the satisfactory matching of Yoni (sex), Rajju (duration of married life) and Nadi (physiological temperament). For the matching process, only the birth stars of the boy and the girl are needed. There are 27 (twenty-seven) ‘nakshatras’ or constellations in Indian astrology, not counting ‘Abhijit’. Each ‘nakshatra’ is sub-divided into four ‘padas’ or quarters. The constellation in which the moon happens to reside at a given moment is the ruling star of the moment. The one at the time of birth is the birth star. Some astrologers attach greater importance to ‘Graha-Maitri’ or friendship between the lords of the ‘Janma Rasis’ (sign of the moon in the horoscopes) since this determines the psychological dispositions of the couple. Some exceptions are also provided as otherwise marriages would not take place at all!
What happens if the ‘Janma Rasis’ and/or the ‘Janma Nakshatras’ of the couple are the same ? The commonly accepted verdict of the ancient Indian astrologers and sages, in case the ‘Janma Rasis’ are same, is that the boy’s birth star should precede the girl’s. In case the ‘Janma Nakshatras’ of the couple happen to be the same, they should belong to different ‘Padas’ (quarters). It is essential to avoid the match if the common star is one among Bharani, Aslesha, Swati, Jyesta, Moola, Dhanista, Satabhisha or Poorvabhadra. If, however, the common birth star relates to two different ‘rasis’ (signs), and the ‘Pada’ of the girl relates to the preceding sign, it is acceptable. In case, the common birth star belongs to two signs equally (Mrigasira, Chitta etc.), the ‘Pada’ of the boy should relate to the preceding sign. Some more exceptions have been laid down to make allowances for matching if there is a strong demand for the alliance. However, the honest and sincere astrologer should put forth his objections without any bias.
‘Kuja Dosham’ or ‘Mangalik’ is one major obstacle to marriages in India. This arises due to certain placements of Mars (‘kuja’ or ‘mangal’ or ‘angaraka’) in a horoscope with respect to the Ascendent, the Moon, and Venus. Certainly, this ‘dosh’ or evil is dreaded by any father, particularly, of a girl! Mars in the 2nd, 4th, 7th, 8th or the 12th house causes this incompatibility. There are two flaws committed by most astrologers. One is to reckon the position of Mars in the ‘Rasi’ (sign) and not the ‘Bhava’ (house) while the other is to ignore to ascertain whether this ‘dosh’ exists from the Moon and Venus. The evil is stronger if it is from Venus, less stronger from the Moon, and least from the ‘Lagna’ (Ascendent). Further, not every position of the above-mentioned five placements will endanger the life of the spouse. The 2nd house signifies family, the 4th happiness, the 7th spouse, the 8th longevity, and the 12th pleasures of the bed. ‘Kuja Dosh’ gets annulled if it is present in both the horoscopes. There are several other exceptions which have to be carefully considered before declaring incompatibility of the horoscopes.
The Western astrologer can greatly benefit from a deeper understanding and application of the methods of compatibility adopted by his Indian counter-part and save the great number of disastrous marriages in the West which has an inerasable effect on the unfortunate off-springs of such marriages. Of course, the new Indian generation has started emulating the undesirable pre-mature practices of the West. They will do good to themselves and the nation if they try to fathom the time-tested value system of India and avoid the pitfalls of the Western society.