Social distancing and Vedic Astrology

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The concept of social distancing, when examined through the principles of Vedic astrology, is best broken down first as an expression, into its 
primary constituents- social and distancing.
Society, and all things social, amongst the Grahas, are governed by the planet Moon. Moon (Chandra) is the significator (Karaka) for society and our interaction with others in society.  
Distancing then necessarily implies something which influences the Moon to alter His innate behaviour, as it manifests through its natural significations. Distancing is a splitting apart, a moving away, which is a quality inherently harsh in its nature. Togetherness and proximity, interaction and sharing are being changed to distancing and separation. This is the work of the natural malefics. 
Interestingly, it is social distancing which is one of the most crucial strategies that are being used across the world, through lockdowns and other means, to save lives in the face of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19)- The essential takeaway is that a malefic association with, and influence upon, the Moon is serving to deliver the most benefic outcome in severely oppressive circumstances. The suffering or distress caused by distancing or exclusion in society is obvious. It then follows that at least in certain situations, suffering and its significance and consequences, stand to be misconstrued, when we take the liberty of viewing them conventionally without delving deeper and examining them with an open mind. 
A case in point, in classical Vedanga Jyotisha, is the Shani-Chandra Yoga, which is typically formed when Saturn conjoins Moon in the nativity in Vedic astrology; there are other ways in which the Yoga is formed, apart from conjunction (Yuti) but let us leave that part of it for now. When Saturn and Moon conjoin in the 4th, 10th or the 11th Bhavas reckoned from the Ascendant rising (Udaya Lagna) in the Rashi chart, a Rajayoga is formed. 
A moment’s reflection will reveal that the 4th House of the natural zodiac is ruled by the Moon, and the natural 10th and 11th Houses are ruled by Saturn. 
The Moon when unafflicted is a benefic planet and the singular most important force in the natal horoscope for any individual for it is in the mind signified by this planet that all experiences are felt. The Moon is truly the ruler of the horoscope when we speak of life experiences of human beings on planet Earth. 
When the Moon is associated with Saturn, a benefic planet is being inextricably linked with a dire malefic. Shani is the planet who signifies our bad Karma and when Shani has no punishment to deliver, there is really nothing left to suffer in a given lifetime. Saturn (Shani) is the great malefic. The association of these two planets brings suffering, melancholy and depression to the mind. The mind is constantly assailed by these significations of Shani. It is as if a constant Sade-Sati, the dreaded seven-and-a-half years’ transit of Shani, is operating in the horoscope throughout life. 
The Yoga can be one of the most significant in the horoscope because it directly influences the planet virtually running the show in life. If the mind is too heavily afflicted then the other positive Yogas may not fully manifest because the driving force itself is not functioning properly. How then can such an oppressive combination lead to Rajayoga?
The answer is contained in this Note in its basic appraisal of the concept of social distancing. Sometimes what one feels is assailing and tormenting the experience of life, is in fact the path to safety, success and fulfilment. In certain cases, these are but two sides of the same coin. Saturn signifies delays and obstacles and so the Shani-Chandra Yoga in these specific locations will give Rajayoga belatedly after initial trials and suffering are fully experienced, as destined.
There are factors in advanced classical Jyotisha which can illustrate whether a Yoga will function fully or not. In fact, the Moon Himself confirms the happening of a Yoga; however, since in this case the Moon is a constituent of the Yoga, He cannot confirm or refrain from confirming it. There are some other Yogas involving Carakarakas for instance that can show the likelihood of a Yoga functioning. However, with the Shani-Chandra Yoga, these are only ancillary facets. This Yoga will function on its own. 
Saturn, in these different locations, works with and upon the Moon to bring success in a specially cherished realm of goals and desires. These cherished goals and desire are precipitated by the Moon and the mind cherishes them. When Saturn has worked on the mind to the extent destined, the Rajayoga manifests. It manifests differently based on the significations of the three Bhavas but that discussion can be deferred for now, and the differences can perhaps be inferred after some suitable thought.  
One thing is certain. The mark of Saturn will be conspicuous in these lives and in the attainment. The malefic then, and its affliction of a benefic planet, leads to great success in severe circumstances or after such events etc. have been experienced by the person. It is not farfetched to assume that the exclusion and the intense suffering are preconditions for certain kinds of genius or special achievement to follow. These shape the mind internally, and the flux of life experiences externally, which constitute essential parts of the Rajayoga. 
The suffering, therefore, is nothing but a blessing in disguise in certain cases. Apart from the fact that all that we experience, including at the hands of others, is largely our own Karma reflected, it is also at times a gateway to all things good. Distancing and solitude, alienation and dissociation, sometimes even from one’s own self, can be catalysts for attaining the pinnacle of life.  
Is it possible to extend this principle to any affliction, at least in theory, especially of the Moon, or other planets and Karakas that define the oftentimes elusive self; there is food for thought there. There is nothing in suffering which is to be inherently celebrated or welcomed. Suffering is a malefic experience. But what we have seen today is that like life, suffering and distress can be textured and mysterious, deserving our sincere attention.  
(C) Anurag Sharma
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