Sandhi or the transition zone between one bhava and another and between two rashis, is a problematic field of study in jyotish. It is a nebulous area where astrologers have so far failed to throw light on the reasons behind the peculiar nature of planets in sandhi and their effects on people’s lives. Being transitional in nature, sandhis are fuzzy and grey areas and planets placed in them are extremely fragile. They not only provide troublesome lives to their natives, but continue to torment them throughout their lives by being unable to provide the results of their bhavas or their rashis. The asymmetrical juxtaposition of the rashi and bhava chakras complicates the situation further whereby bhavas and rashis overlap each other and planets caught in these points, affect both their rashi and bhava positions. Astrologers have tended to overlook this aspect entirely where planets in sandhi occupying different rashis and bhavas will not yield results of one or the other. It is therefore necessary to examine this phenomenon from closer quarters.
There are two existing methods of defining bhavas. One is the universally accepted method of Parasara and the other is the Sripati Paddhati. The Sripati Paddhati recognises the midheaven or the tenth house as a very crucial point in a horoscope and one, which cannot be ignored. He therefore charts his path from the lagna to the 10th house, or from Prajapati (the ruler of lagna) to Indra (the ruler of the 10th house), and divides the area into three parts. This comprises half the lagna, the 11th and the 12th houses and a half of the 10th house.
Parasara’s position on the other hand begins with his object of worship, namely Surya and Brahma. Surya the sun god, the source of all light, is but another name for jyotisha, or the light of god. Brahma is the creator of this universe. Together, Brahma and Surya represent Prajapati or the lagna. To Parasara, everything in the horoscope is based on the lagna, a point depicting the moment of creation. The horoscope is thus nothing but a map of the heavens at the time life began. Since the lagna is the entirety, it is but only natural that bhava should be based on the lagna and the lagna lord. Bhavas portray a person’s perceptions regarding his own life. The self or the created being (which is lagna), once created, begins to perceive and bhavas represent his perceptions of the different aspects of his life, as characterised by separate houses. The Sripati Paddhati therefore fails here as it cannot be applied to the created being, but only for the devas like Indra.
A bhava or a rashi may be defined as nine navamshas. Navamshas are fixed and comprise one fourth of a nakshatra. The last navamsha of a bhava which is 3° 20´ and the starting navamsha of the next bhava, which is again 3° 20´, comprise the areas delineated as bhava sandhi.
Lagna being a sensitive point, any planet placed in rashi sandhi loses its power to do any good for its own house, and subsequently destroys the house. A planet in bhava sandhi on the other hand, will only be concerned about saving its own house and not be bothered about its environment. Bhava and rashi sandhis therefore act in opposite ways while meting out their negative results. The lagnadhipati when placed in the lagna, usually gives a person name and fame, but if placed in bhava sandhi, it will not do anything remarkable for him. Let us take the example of the native given below.
Chart 1 Male
The native in Chart 1 was born with an unrecorded but an approximate birth time. Upon his birth it was predicted that he would achieve great fame for himself. On this basis the placement of lagnadhipati Jupiter in Pisces lagna was ascertained outside the bhava sandhi boundary. For a lagnadhipati placed in bhava sandhi would not have made it possible for the native to have written several books and acquire a name for himself as he did internationally in astrology. The lagnadhipati in this case has not only protected the bhava, but being the lord of the lagna placed in its own house, reached the native to great heights of intellectual creativity and fame.
Chart 2 Female
The above chart is an example of rashi sandhi, whereby the planet placed in rashi sandhi has destroyed its own houses. Mars, lord of 2nd and 9th houses is placed at rashi sandhi at 0°5´ Taurus, the transitional point between the rashis Aries and Taurus. Being lord of the 2nd and 9th houses, it has denied the native the fruits of these houses at a physical plane. As lord of 2nd house, Mars at bhava sandhi has prevented the native from creating and sustaining a home and family. While as lord of 9th house it has denied her pitrisukh, as she lost her father when she was 21 years. This is a clear example of how a planet placed in rashi sandhi destroys the houses it owns.
The worst forms of rashi sandhis are known as gandantas. Parasara has identified 3 gandantas, namely, Pisces-Aries, Cancer-Leo and Scorpio-Sagittarius overlapping their nakshatra gandantas at Revati-Ashwini, Ashlesa-Magha and Jyeshta-Moola. Of these he considers the Jyeshta-Moola gandanta to be the worst afflicted and the Revati-Ashwini to be the least problematic. The deity of the nakshatra lord is to be propitiated for the solution to this predicament.
One must note that a planet placed in rashi sandhi may or may not occupy the same bhava. If the planet is in rashi sandhi and in the same bhava, it will give the result of the bhava rather than the rashi. If it is placed in a different bhava, the results of the ownership of the house will prevail. In the case there are too many planets in one rashi, the native will be confused as to what he truly desires. In this instance the placement of the lords of the bhavas in the different houses becomes very important.