Vedic Astrology, or Jyotish, the science of light, is a wonderful system of counseling and prediction, as well as for prescribing remedies and actions to better our lives and optimize our karma on all levels. There is probably no other system of such depth and efficacy in this regard. Vedic astrology used rightly can help us to perform almost whatever we sincerely wish to do in life in a better and more spiritual manner. It can help us understand ourselves, our society and determine the right timing for important actions, so that these are more likely to succeed.
However, some times Vedic astrology is misapplied and can confuse people, particularly if taken as a kind of fatalism. I can say this as a Vedic astrologer with several decades of experience. Vedic astrology does not promote fatalism or see our lives as predetermined, as sometimes people are inclined to think that it does. Yet Vedic astrology does recognize that we have particular temperaments, capacities, and karmas that affect the range of possibilities that are open to us – and that these must be considered carefully before we can really understand what we can realistically achieve.
Marriage compatibility is an important part of Vedic astrological readings and can be very helpful, if done correctly. Particularly today, we need to be very discriminating as to our partners and our relationship needs, given the high rate of divorce everywhere. But this is not just a matter of accepting or rejecting potential partners as good or bad for us like choosing consumer goods. It also involves helping us understand how to better improve our own ability to relate to others and make our relationships, which will all have their ups and downs, work out better in the long run.
It is true that certain planetary positions can harm or delay the prospects of marriage or prevent it altogether. These start with difficult placements of Mars (Mangala), but also those of other malefics (difficult planets) like Saturn, Rahu, Ketu and the Sun. A poorly placed Moon or a difficult chart in general may not favor happy marriage. Even if two charts are good in themselves, poorly placed planets between them can cause problems, particularly the Moon in unfavorable Nakshatras.
Yet marriage compatibility is often pushed too far or approached in too simplistic a manner. If we look only at all possible difficult placements for marriage, every chart will have several of these, and no one will be an entirely suitable partner for anyone. We also need to look at favorable astrological potentials for marriage as well. For example, Jupiter placed in angles or trines, or a well-placed Venus in the chart can go very far to counter negative relationship combinations, as can a well-placed Moon. And there are various Vedic astrological remedial measures of mantras, rituals, and gems that can help counter negative planetary placements that do exist.
Vedic astrology marriage compatibility can also teach us how to adjust our lives for possible relationship difficulties, which to some extent must occur for everyone. It can help us understand our personal strengths and weaknesses in relating to others, so that we are likely to approach relationship with greater wisdom, adaptability and understanding of others.
As in all things in Vedic astrology, one should always look at the chart as a whole, and not merely rely upon a formula. Merely looking for Kuja Dosha (bad placements of Mar) or good Nakshatra Kuta points (favorability of Moon Nakshatras) is not enough. You can find two charts that have no Kuja dosha but the people don’t even know each other. A third of the people on the planet will have good Nakshatra points, but obviously not many of these can be realistic marriage prospects.
If the astrologer only has these mechanical methods to offer, one should go elsewhere. Unfortunately, some Vedic astrologers use marriage compatibility as a tool to make money, control or frighten clients, much like lawyers do with divorce cases. Other often self-styled Tantric astrologers claim that through their special techniques or mystical powers that they can change any karmas in life, and can exploit their clients for money. One must be careful with all such claims.
Another important point to consider is that marriage today is not what it was in traditional India , from which time such traditional systems of marriage compatibility arose. Similarly, one cannot entirely rely on the rules of traditional Vedic astrology for determining a person’s vocation today, because such vocations as we have today in the high tech world did not exist a thousand years ago. Vedic political astrology rules from the age of kings have also had to be changed in this age of democracy, when the dominant planets in society are now very different.
Similarly, the old rules of marriage that emphasized marriage when young and the early having of children cannot entirely apply to modern marriage or social situations. These traditional astrological rules were largely for arranged marriages, when the bride and groom had not met. They also reflected family interests as much as the interests of the couple involved. Today marriage and having of children often commences later in life and the individuals involved have other more direct means of knowing their partners.
Planetary positions for marriage cannot always be read in the same way today either. For example, a strong Mars in the seventh house may not deny marriage for a woman as it might have in the past, but it may give her a strong career focus as well that needs to be considered. Particularly to pronounce a woman as unsuitable for marriage based upon her chart, usually emphasizing such a position of Mars as a fatal flaw, styling her a Mangalik, can be quite destructive and may not adequately consider the chart as a whole or changed marriage situations today.
The stars only indicate energies and potentials. It is up to us to work with these in good or bad, constructive or harmful ways. The chart is like a weather report. If it is going to rain, you bring an umbrella, you do not need to lock yourself inside the house in order not to get wet, unless a hurricane is forecast! So too, if one has some relationship challenges in life one can undergo counseling to help overcome these. If there are severe karmic obstacles, one can do pujas, yajnas, mantras or other propitiations in order to help. But here too it is the sincerity of the heart that matters. To organize expensive rituals to handle life’s inevitable difficulties can be insincere and fail by that reason alone. The Divine powers honor humility first of all.
Many non-Hindus are also finding the benefits of Vedic astrology, including its compatibility methods. Vedic astrology shows us how to improve our karmas and transcend them. It does not make us the slave of our karmas or inhibit our efforts to grow in life. Yet we must respect the law of karma and learn how to work with it with both wisdom and grace. All the Vedic sciences help us do that!