Have you ever wondered if life would be different in another city or state, or even another country or continent? Well before you pack up your bags for Bali or the Italian Riviera, check with your Vedic astrologer. On the basis of your natal chart plus other methods specific to relocation astrology, he can advise you best where to live.
The approach that I use is two-tiered. First, I use a special computer program to generate various maps of the world with planetary lines on them based on the birth chart. Then, by analyzing the chart I determine which lines are most favorable. This is the more general approach, and it is useful in analyzing large geographical regions. To narrow down to a particular city I would use prasna (explained below.)
Relocation astrology is a very powerful and accurate technique which has become popular since the 1980s. This method can be used to find the best place in the world to make money, study, write a book, find a spouse, etc. (The well-known actress Shirley McClain used relocation astrology to choose where she would build her home.)
So far, we have talked about ascertaining the future from the time of birth. But suppose one is planning an important event or project and especially wants it to be successful. Logically, he should choose the best time available within a particular "window of time," to get the best results. This is called muhurta (or electional) astrology. Basically it is the science of timing, choosing the best time to start something in order to get the best result. There are certain events in life that we would especially like to see turn out successful, such as a business or marriage. If one has undergone all the trouble to match charts for compatibility, then he should also choose a good muhurta for the wedding, in order to neutralize any defects that there may be in the match.
With a little imagination, we can expand the possibilities for muhurta astrology well beyond these two items, business and marriage: When to build a house, make a significant purchase, start any important project like writing a book, when to release a book or movie, or when to begin a long journey. Vedic Kings would consult their astrologers regarding when to begin a military campaign or sign a peace treaty. Vedic parents would consult as to when to conceive a child and when to perform the child's samskaras (sacraments). Gurus and acaryas (great spiritual leaders) would choose auspicious muhurtas for conducting an initiation ceremony, installing a Deity, or laying the cornerstone of a temple (Example: Solar and lunar eclipses are considered very good for initiations.) Vaidyas (Ayurvedic physicians) would choose auspicious times for performing surgery or beginning a regimen of treatment (Example: Since the moon rules over fluids, it is considered very undesirable to have surgery near the full-moon day, because of the tendency for excessive loss of fluid and danger of hemorrhaging.)
Here is an example of a practical application of muhurta astrology. In 1992 some clients of mine had to make an important presentation to the board of directors of an important spiritual organization. By studying the charts of the men involved and the time slot available, I chose what I considered to be a perfect time. They had previously wanted a much later time, but I put pressure on them to accept the date that I had chosen. Somehow they were able to arrange their presentation for the appointed day, and it went off perfectly. They later told me that in the days following their presentation, the mood of the directors had changed drastically, so had they waited until the time originally planned for making the very same presentation, it was very doubtful that they would have been able to carry it through.
I have saved one of the most useful and dynamic branches of Vedic astrology until last--that being prasna, which literally means "question." We again remind you of the metaphor of photography, in which natal chart reading is like using a wide-angle lens. One gets the full view, but it seems far away, and one cannot see all the details. To get more detail one could zoom in and look at a smaller segment of time, say, the duration of a planetary major period or, even smaller, the planetary sub-period, or perhaps a year or six months. The real close-up shot or microscopic view would be to focus just on one question for a specific period of time. This is prasna.
Imagine parents of a traditional Indian household, who meet a particularly qualified girl who perchance is the perfect match for their son. But they don't want to make any commitment just yet or reveal their intentions; thus they certainly don't want to jeopardize their interest by directly asking for the girl's birth particulars. What to do? After suitably pondering the situation, they would ask a Vedic astrologer the question: What will be the result for my son if he marries girl X? The Vedic astrologer notes the time the question is asked, calculates the chart, analyzes it, and then gives a scientific answer.
How does it work? The conception of a question is the thought which enters one's mind. Pondering, worrying, and brooding over it is the gestation period. And asking is the birth of the question. You might be surprised to learn how accurately a trained astrologer is able to zero in on the correct answer.
Of course prasna is not limited to romantic ponderings, but can be applied to almost any situation wherein humans have questions. The following list is a small sample of the thousands of questions I have been asked in the course of my practice. I have chosen them to show the wide variety and almost endless application that is limited only by one's own imagination and personal experiences:
Which of the following three places, A, B, or C, is the best place to sink a well?
My daughter is missing. Is she all right? When will she return?
Who murdered the victim; what can you tell me about the murderer?
What shall be the result for me if I move to Los Angeles next month?
Should I file a legal suit against X?
Will the IRS come after me?
My health isn't good. The doctor recommended some treatment; should I do it?
I have lost my wedding ring; will I recover it?
What is the sex of my unborn child?
Should I take [spiritual] initiation from X?
Should I purchase the land in India?
What will be the result for me if I marry X?
Many people have heard of prasna and its power; but unfortunately they cannot always take advantage of it for two reasons:
In the first case, the seeker should carefully ascertain if the astrologer he is dealing with has had any special training in prasna. If he has not had this special training yet is consulted, the results could be disastrous. I know of one case in which a woman asked a well regarded West coast astrologer the question: "Should I approach the man I am interested in?" The untrained (in Prasna) astrologer told her yes. But it was likely the worst mistake of her life; it led to a major scandal, forcing her to leave town in a rush, hurriedly giving away all her possessions. The astrologer was untrained in prasna, so he did not charge her much; but it turned out to be a very costly consultation indeed. It cost her thousands of dollar plus the complete ruination of her reputation. The pity was that when she showed me the prasna chart, it was obvious that she should not have gone forward.
The second case simply requires some basic training on the part of the seeker as to how to ask a prasna.