Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code has recently been struck down by the Supreme Court of India andthereby the offence of adultery has been removed from the statute book. This is now the law of the land in India. For this reason, there is nothing to be said further on the subject from that perspective. There is absolutely no doubt that on the touchstone of individual freedom and autonomy, the change in the law cannot be faulted.
In Vedic Astrology-
In this paper, however, we are interested in the implications in Vedic astrology of the aforesaid position in law. In other words, if this is a fated occurrence as it must be, given the doctrine of Karma and determinism, then the planets/ Grahas in question, which pertain to the subject-matter ought to be scrutinized with a careful eye to see the aforesaid change through the prism of Vedic astrology.
Significators for adultery-
The main planets associated with adultery are Mars (Mangala), directly, and Rahu, the North Node of the Moon, by necessary implication because Rahu rules cheating and deceit in general.
Mars is by very nature adulterous. This is a curious phenomenon because Mars is otherwise a soldier, or a uniformed person, and being on the side of the Devas, a great worshipper of God. Interestingly, he is also the significator of celibacy and bachelorhood. For such a planet, to indulge in adultery is surprising but not so surprising if we consider Mars deeply, including through his other name, Vakra, or the crooked one. Mars acts in crooked ways. Adultery is a manifestation of his crookedness.
Something for Mars to note-
The fact that adultery was a criminal offence in India till recently would not have stopped Mars or people strongly influenced by Mars in matters of sexuality and relationships from being adulterous, but would have obviously rendered such conduct criminal if discovered and complained against. Now, Mars does not face the impediment of the prospect of prosecution and punishment.
People Influenced by Mars, not Mars himself-
Since we are really not talking about Mars the planet in himself, but really about people influenced by Mars in the relevant areas of life, it would be prudent to assume that the threat and risk of criminal process would have either deterred such people, or would have coloured their conduct in some manner. Now, the Mars in the lives and conduct of such people is free to do as he pleases and the adulterous element in his portfolio is legitimized in criminal law.
Malefics, and Consent & Connivance-
It is interesting to note that earlier if adultery occurred with the consent or the connivance of the husband then it was outside the purview of the mischief contemplated. The crookedness of Mars in a scenario of complicit intercourse was not crooked enough for punitive measures to follow it. This was also a lower denomination of Rahu for while there was intercourse outside the marriage, there was no cheating strictly speaking, owing to the consent or connivance of the husband. This was an exception to the criminality of adulterous conduct precipitated by Mars and/ or Rahu.
Now, the scenario is whether the husband connives or consents or not, adulterous intercourse is no longer a criminal act. In other words, the adulterous nature of Mars is now socially accepted. Same goes for the deceit and cheating of Rahu. These are now brought into the mainstream as being more truly representative of current human existence as regards relations between men and women.
Consequences of Adultery, as it stands-
There are consequences of adultery which still remain possibilities. It could be a ground to seek divorce and it could be considered as furthering or abetting suicide if the latter is precipitated owing to adulterous conduct. In other words, Mars and Rahu can still formally damage Venus. Informally, of course, it is not hard to imagine that being natural malefics, they will damage Venus. Venus is the significator of marriage.
This should be read as follows. Though a couple knows that adultery is not an offence, it is by no means a desirable occurrence in a marriage. While there is no criminal consequence of adultery per se, if it should lead to a suicide or if adulterous intercourse amounts to rape, then criminal consequences can follow. Simply because there are no criminal consequences per se it does not mean that Venus goes away unscathed. The marriage and the wife will be damaged in case the husband is adulterous and the marriage will be damaged if the wife is adulterous. If the wife is adulterous, then the husband will also be damaged.
The significator for the husband is Jupiter and while Mars can damage Jupiter with the Tamas, it is Rahu which causes the Guru-Chandala Yoga. In other words, a wife more influenced by Rahu in her adulterous relationship appears to be more of a threat to the well-being of the husband than Mars simply on first principle. It is made clear that this will depend on the configurations in the charts for a more elaborate understanding and whether the principle applies by way of a modification, significant or otherwise.
The Nature & Agenda of Mars-
Mars revels in the crookedness that comprises adultery in part measure, crookedness being a deviation from the norm. The element of crookedness remains, to be sure, since the lack of criminal consequence will usually not propel adultery into full view. But the crookedness of Mars in this manifestation is diminished. However, the crookedness of Mars cannot diminish in absolute terms.
Mars will become more crooked to compensate. Mars does not hide. He will not become more covert. He rules violence and aggression. He likes to break things. More marriages will break. Mars rules the natural 8thHouse of the zodiac, which is Scorpio. It is in the nature of Mars to break marriage. His crookedness in adultery has been accepted in large measure and thereby mitigated. Mars will retaliate because he wants to be as crooked as he was earlier in this manifestation. He will add to his crookedness in this manifestation. He is likely to be more destructive of the marital bond and more violent where he manifests through domestic or other types of violence.
The Nature & Agenda of Rahu-
Rahu on the other hand will devise ways to keep up his levels of deceit and shock which cannot be readily foreseen, for then they would be that much less deceitful and shocking. Adultery is by definition covert, and therefore still in the realm of Rahu. But Rahu is emboldened by the lack of criminal consequence when he is adulterous, either in a male or female nativity. The nastiest plans and machinations will be let loose by Rahu in appropriate cases to compensate for his pleasure which has been taken away to a degree by illuminating the shadows. While Mars is likely to be more openly adulterous, because he never cared for the continuance of marriage anyway, Rahu will be ready with a myriad explanations, apart from being ready with the sort of things that have been mentioned above.
The Transit of Venus-
It is quite interesting to note that the change in the law has come when Venus is transiting the sign of Libra. This is the Moolatrikona Rashi of Venus. The decision has been said to be a departure from the Victorian mindset and in favour of the sexual autonomy of a human being. The reason is not far to seek. Venus is at work in the sign of Libra, which is the 7thHouse of the natural zodiac and relates to marriage and sexuality. Venus is very strong in Libra and being at work here largely represents working women. It is such a woman who participates in the marketplace of the world who has been at the forefront of the thinking on the subject. She is free to act on her own, and in the context of the actions of her husband as well. The change has come through the law because Jupiter, the significator of law, is joined Venus in Libra. Venus also exalts in the sign of Jupiter and there cannot be any doubt that the decision is truly founded on the premise that a woman is not the chattel of man, but instead of stopping at making the erstwhile provision gender-neutral, the provision has been struck down in its entirety.
Men & Women of Signs and Planets-
What will happen to the Taurus woman who bears the brunt of adulterous conduct in some way or the other. Taurus is the other sign owned by Venus, but is vastly different from the sign of Libra. Ironically, the Taurus woman is the Victorian woman.
What will happen to the Mars man, the man who is not criminal, or undesirable or crooked in any other way, apart from the sexual and the marital for the simple reason that Mars influences these aspects in the chart. What will happen to the Mars woman, one with independence of means, and one without.
What will happen to the Rahu man and the Rahu woman.
These questions are rhetorical. All discerning astrology readers will know the answers to these. The simplistic answer is furnished only for the Libra woman, for whom the bell has tolled.
If people are free, the malefics working in freer people are themselves a trifle freer to act now, than they were earlier.
Obviously, what is of major importance is the way these planets will play out in various charts, which is to say, how they will react in individual lives and impact the institution of marriage.
Real Vedic horoscopes and thus Real Lives-
Let us consider Mars as the planet bringing a serious relationship of a personal nature in a male nativity. Let us further restrict ourselves to the more physical dimensions of compatibility in this example. In a male nativity, Mars may bring relationships, in fact, he certainly will but it is always with an element of crookedness. He may be looking elsewhere, and now he may do more than simply look elsewhere, while bringing about a relationship or even marriage. The force of Mars gives energy to the relationship but as the breaker of marriages, now the situation is even more fraught with danger, because there is no fear of punishment. The only realistic and proximate consequence is that of the relationship or marriage breaking but that never deterred Mars in the first place.
Therefore, Mars in very personal areas in the chart, such as the 7thHouse and the 12thHouse, needs to be watched carefully. This was always the situation, but is altered in the manner stated above.
In the female nativity, Mars is exactly as Venus is in the male nativity. Mars directs the passions and the attractions. Not much changes here though since there was no culpability in law for female adultery in the first place.
In places such as the Lagna, or the 4thHouse or the 8thHouse the dangers of Mars will reflect in tune with the other configurations in the Vedic horoscope. In the Lagna, it is the very nature of the person to imbibe some of the characteristics of the malefic planet. What those characteristics are, here and in any other situation in the Vedic charts, will depend on the overall nature of that chart, and of the horoscope on the whole. In the 4thHouse there are control issues in the matrimonial home. In fact, since even from the Lagna, owing to the 4thHouse aspect, these issues can arise. These are the real reasons for the placements to go by the name of Mangalika Dosha. In the 8thHouse of the horoscope, the longevity of the marriage and the spouse can be threatened by Mars. He wants to break and end something, and whatever the 8thHouse can offer, Mars will take it.
Rahu is much worse in these places in many respects. A strong Mars is a straight forward fighter. There is no deceit in a strong Mars. He does not care for machinations. A weak Mars can resort to very bad things. Rahu by his very nature is devious. His pleasure is not in mere crookedness but in shocking departures from the norm. People influenced or ensnared by Rahu in delicate positions in the horoscope influencing personal life are more at risk because Rahu will more readily step into criminality, convinced that he will get away.
The Navamsha chart is the specific area of the horoscope where the exact turn of events, intentions, actions, and results can be captured. It is this chart which rules relationships and marriage. The placement of these two malefics in this divisional chart are of the utmost importance.
Of course, the discussion has the potential to be never-ending but this is an initial survey of the impact on planetary energies and how they are likely to play out in individual nativities vulnerable to the mischief under traverse.
© Anurag Sharma
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