Vedic astrology has pros and cons. On the plus side, it can be very accurate, and it can pinpoint the lucky and unlucky phases of your life. This is because it is a deterministic system, and unlike modern Western astrology, it’s hard to sugar-coat its message. On the downside, Vedic astrology can be depressing. You can literally tell someone that the next ten years or more are going to be at best challenging, at worst miserable. So what do you do? If you’re a Westerner with Western beliefs, you might just move on and find another astrologer. Or tell yourself that astrology is superstitious nonsense.
Yet Vedic astrology has an escape route, which Western astrology lacks. Western astrology doesn’t usually have a religious framework, whereas Vedic astrology is embedded within the Hindu religion. By connecting with the spiritual underpinning of the horoscope, you can strengthen its weak elements, and in theory make your life a whole lot better. And one way of doing this is through a yagya.
A yagya is a Hindu religious ceremony, that can supposedly boost your luck. It’s a ceremony that you don’t have to attend, which can be based on one’s Hindu horoscope.
The word ‘yagya’ is cognate with the English word ‘ignite’ – so it’s connected with fire. One makes an offering to the gods, and fire consumes it.
To illustrate how a yagya might be used, let us say that you’re going through a period of life ruled by the Moon, and your life is falling apart. Your Moon is in Scorpio, the sign of its fall, and it’s also aspected by Mars and Saturn.
We can therefore say, all things being equal, that the Moon is weak, and needs to be helped. One way of helping the Moon is to have a yagya done. So you get in contact with a Hindu priest, or some religious or spiritual organisation, and you get them to do a yagya for you.
The yagya will be focused on the person’s Moon. It will typically start on a Monday, which is the day of the Moon, and mantras will be recited, and offerings made, that have relevance to this planet. The yagya could last for a day, but it may be longer, for example a whole week.
Although you don’t have to be present when the yagya is taking place, you must make sure that while it’s happening you lead a moderate and well-balanced life. You shouldn’t drink, smoke or eat excessively. Also, you shouldn’t have sex.
You can understand how powerful a yagya can be. Priests are intervening on your behalf, and they are directly addressing the source of your bad luck.
However anyone considering having a yagya performed needs to be careful.
An astrologer, or a priest, will decide which yagya should be done. If a yagya is designed to strengthen a planet, will this strengthening be beneficial? If we’re going through a Saturn period, and we’re feeling frustrated, then a Saturn yagya might make us feel even more frustrated. In other words, a yagya could actually increase the malefic potential of a planet, unless it’s carefully chosen.
Yet there’s another problem with yagyas. If they are done properly, they’re going to be expensive – because they’re a labour-intensive activity, where a priest, or sometimes a group of priests, will have to focus on your horoscope for a lengthy period of time. In other words we’re talking about a price tag of hundreds of dollars.
Now if you’re going to a reputable provider, that’s linked with a mainstream spiritual organisation, you’ll know that a yagya is being done on your behalf, with a high level of care and attention. Whether or not the yagya will work is another matter, but at least it’s being performed, to a minimum standard.
However if you get a yagya done by someone who you don’t know, who doesn’t have a reputation, then you’ll have no idea what’s going on. You might be told that a ceremony is being done on your behalf in a temple in India, but how do you know? It’s quite possible that someone is taking your money and doing nothing. Even if they are doing something, the yagya might be incorrectly performed.
We therefore have the basis of a major rip-off. People who are going through difficult times will often trying anything, and they could pay money they can’t afford to an unscrupulous provider, for a useless service.
Yet I’m not saying that you should never have a yagya done. Instead I’m saying that if you make the decision to have a yagya, you should firstly be ready to pay hundreds of dollars for the service and secondly you should do a lot of research, and this includes talking to providers on the phone, and establishing that their temple or religious grouping really is reputable.
But can you fix your horoscope yourself, without recourse to priests and yagyas? You can certainly try. Going back to the example of an afflicted Moon, you can chant mantras connected with the Moon, wear appropriate gemstones and do charity work on Mondays. You’re honouring the Moon, and through your own efforts you may be mitigating its weaknesses.