WRITTEN BY DHARMAPADA DAS (DEAN DOMINIC DE LUCIA)
Hridayanada Das Goswami, Acharyadeva, has always been an intriguing personality to me. My first encounter with him was in the Washington, D.C. Hare Krishna temple on Q Street. Wearing a yellow, broadcloth dhoti, he visited with his wife and they both gave some Bhagavad-gita classes. Later on, I served in the Hare Krishna temple in Puerto Rico when it was under his authority. Throughout my adult life, I have always kept in touch with devotees from Latin America and would sometimes hear an odd comment or two about Srila Acharyadeva. Currently, I have been living in Brazil, Acharyadeva’s main area of influence, for almost 15 years, hearing about him and seeing the practical results of the Hare Krishna Movement that he developed in this country.
Because he organized and gave shape to the movement in Brazil from the very beginning, I feel that Srila Acharyadeva deserves due credit for the good things here in Brazil. He is still involved, especially as an initiating guru. I have to admit that devotional life is rather fair to the average Brazilian devotee of Krishna. Any fanaticism that there might have been in the 70s and 80s are things of the past. There is a good amount of balance in terms of religious book distribution, sadhana and the reading of Srila Prabhupada’s books. Srila Acharyadeva deserves much credit for this.
So, it was with a bit of dismay that I read the recent articles criticizing Acharyadeva on one of the online Vaishnava news services. There seems to be some slant in the writings against him, and this has been more obvious in the exposé-type, Google video. Some eminent fall-down or straying from the path seemed to be suggested by the writers of these articles and the maker of the video. I am not Acharyadeva’s guardian angel, I only know who he is from a distance. Because I don’t like to see anybody receive unfair treatment, I decided to take a look at his horoscope to get an objective perspective. It goes without saying that much of his life was written in the stars when he was born, so if we can read comments by others, we can read the writing in his horoscope, too.
We are not exactly going to engage in a full-scale interpretation of his life vis-a-vis his horoscope because biographical details are not abundant. But, we may project a little bit about the man and what we may expect from him as he runs down the home stretch of life.
Srila Acharyadeva Hridayananda das Goswami was born on November 5, 1948, at 1:25 A.M. in the Los Angeles area, in or close to Beverly Hills. Therefore, the longitude of 118* 24’ West, and 34* 4’ North latitude were used in the calculations.
Leo was on the horizon when Acharyadeva was born as Howard Resnick, and this sign corresponds well to his personality. He is a natural leader and has an elite outlook. His tendency is to be very straightforward and frontal in his dealings with others, and Saturn in the ascendant reinforces this direct tendency with bluntness and abruptness.
The ascending star was the generous Purva Phalguni, which contributes towards the philanthropic aspect of his life. He has worked to provide a field for his disciples in the form of cultural centers for Krishna conscious activities, to inspire sadhana, and to establish rural communities for doing the same. His goodwill has freely rained down on both the public as well as his disciples through the widespread distribution of religious literature on Vaishnavism that he has organized, in which the distributor as well as the recipient both accumulate pious credits.
That Saturn is placed in the star Makha is something that reinforces the tendency to generously bestow the gift of Krishna consciousness, as indicated by Purva Phalguni; but Saturn in the ascendant made him strict about the preaching network that he set up, as evidenced by the fact that he worked towards setting up a serious, bureaucratic framework for the movement, specifically in Latin America.
Vedic astrology makes use of planetary periods for the timing and prediction of events, and a perusal of these should be enough to give us a certain idea of things past, present and future.
Acharyadev became a devotee of Krishna by joining the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, whose acronym is ISKCON, during the planetary period of the Sun. The Sun sits next to Mercury, whose predominating planetary deity is Vishnu.
In 1969, he had actually dropped out of college to have the time in order to more fully pursue Krishna consciousness. This decision was probably taken at the tail end of the Venus period, in Venus-Ketu. His studies may have been initiated during Venus-Mercury, thanks more to Mercury than to Venus since Venus is debilitated in the second house, a house associated with education in the classic literature. And this venusian debilitation has no amelioration to speak of, either. Ketu sits in the twelfth from the house of formal education, the fourth, with the debilitated Sun while receiving an aspect from a rather negatively placed Saturn. So in spite of an initial spark from the sub period of Mercury, Venus as the lord of the major period was able to bring his studies to an end, so to speak, with the help of Ketu, so to speak.
During the sub of period of Sun-Mars, he took initiation from His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of the Hare Krishna Movement. Mars was able to indicate this event as the sub period lord because Mars is the lord of the house of dharma and preceptors, the ninth.
In the sub period of Sun-Rahu, he married Ananga Manjari, who was also an American that had accepted A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, as her guru. The Sun sits in Libra, the kalatra sign, and Rahu sits in the Martian sign Aries, whose results he must pass on. Mars aspects the house of marriage powerfully, as yogakaraka from his own sign. In addition, Rahu receives an aspect from the lord of the kalatra bhava from Chandra, Mercury; and the lord of the seventh from karaka-Venus, Jupiter. For all these reasons, Rahu was empowered to bring about marriage during his sub period, under the aegis of the ascendant-lord Sun in the kalatra sign.
In 1972 though, during Sun-Saturn, he took sannyasa and renounced married life. Although Saturn owns the house of marriage, surely its affliction in Leo in the ascendant caused the idea of marriage to sour with him, in keeping with Saturn’s disposition in Leo; we can astrologically surmise that marriage became hackneyed and claustrophobic to him.
In 1975, he entered the major planetary period of the Moon, which lasted for ten years. The Moon is strong and pious because it sits in a very favorable trinal house, the fifth, together with a strong Jupiter, and in Jupiter’s sign! Additionally, the fifth is a house relating to Vishnu worship as per Parashara Rishi, and Jupiter is the planet of dharma, i.e., it is none other than Brihaspati, the preceptor/guru of the demigods. These two planets form an expansive combination, so he became an initiating guru during the sub period of Jupiter/Brihaspati in the Moon’s major period and came to have a rather vast number of disciples. This new expansion of his horizon of his took place in the sub period of Moon-Jupiter, right in the beginning of 1978.
His major Mars period ran from 1984 to 1991. Mars is an extremely strong and influentially-placed planet in his chart, and the owner of the house of dharma. Those were strong times that allowed him to sit at the helm of the Hare Krishna movement, certainly in Latin America. He became one of the two or three most influential leaders of the Hare Krishna movement during the Mars period.
The Rahu period lasted from 1991 until August of 2009, until just now, practically speaking.
He received a bachelor’s in religious studies during the period of Rahu in the sub period of Rahu, (Rahu-Rahu). This is explained by the fact that Rahu’s dispositor, Mars, sits in his own sign in the house of education. Rahu must mimic this Martian indication.
During Rahu-Jupiter, he received his doctorate from Harvard in Sanskrit and Indian studies. This can be accounted for by the fact that Jupiter claims the title of Dharmakaraka as well as Vidyakaraka, and sits in his own sign in a trine. In addition, Jupiter owns the house of formal education from the Moon.
In the sub period of Rahu-Mercury his father passed away. Rahu’s occupation of the house of father certainly indicates, in and of itself, an eclipse of this karma. But in addition, the lord of the sub period Mercury is a thoroughly malefic and maraka lord; and it sits with the Sun, the indicator of one’s father in any chart, plus it aspects the house of father. When both the lord of the major and the sub period strongly indicate an event, it certainly comes to pass. In transit, Jupiter, a benefic whose aspect on the house of father in the birth chart gives support to his father karma, was passing through the evil sixth house; so Jupiter’s protection was largely neutralized at that time, so to speak.
Mercury is a tremendous financial planet, though, so the strong inheritance karma was able to manifest through it. The reader may note that Dhanakaraka Jupiter is the lord of the eighth-house-of-inheritances, sits in his own sign in a trine, aspects the other trine being the house of fortune as well as the ascendant.
In spite of all this, though, Rahu is not so favorable in his chart for spiritual matters, and eclipsed and held back his spiritual affairs; Rahu put a damper on the way that he is perceived within the Hare Krishna movement and distanced him from mainstream ISKCON.
In August of this year, 2009, the planetary period of Jupiter started, and it’s a brand new ball game. To carry the metaphor a bit further, what a ball game it will be! Acharyadeva has already been one of the most noteworthy leaders in the Hare Krishna movement, but his best is yet to come during this major planetary period of Jupiter, which will last 16 years.
What can we expect from Jupiter? As we have already gone over, Jupiter is the planet of dharma and religion, and sits in a pious house having to do with Vishnu worship, Jupiter is extremely strong in terms of house and sign, so his sadhana should be strong throughout the period. His conduct will be proper and dharmic, in keeping with Jupiter’s nature and overwhelming influence in the chart.
This house also has to do with one’s intelligence and the way a person thinks, so his thinking in terms of the philosophy will all be according to the disciplic succession.
Jupiter is the guru planet, so his success as a guru, both in terms of spiritual success, and success in terms of the number and general well-being of his disciples, is assured. In fact, only two or three months after Jupiter’s period started, he came to Brazil and spent a few weeks traveling and meeting with his many disciples. It was all very positive and spiritually invigorating.
By the same token, his academic activities will be successful and will expand.
Jupiter is the dhanakaraka, the planetary indicator of wealth and assets, such that these will grow during the period because Jupiter is so very well-placed.
The good humored Jupiter will see him be much more positive in his outlook and dealings during its period; more than in the past when the general influence of Saturn saw him relate to others much more as a rigid bureaucrat, at least to the apparent vision of onlookers.
Even so, Jupiter’s eighth-house lordship will continue an element of hidden adversity. The inimical nature of Saturn’s sixth-house lordship and the negative third house situation will find some expression during Jupiter’s major period in the form of bad media exposure, as has been the case since the period started.
But all in all, this is a strong horoscope, both materially and spiritually, and now Acharyadev is coming into one of the most pertinent and strongest planetary periods of his life.
He has the overwhelming approval of the average devotee in Brazil, the whole ISKCON hierarchy in Brazil has a warm relationship with him, too.
Brazil is a country of the future, it is as big as the United States, it has more fresh water in its rivers than in all of North America, a vast, vast aquifer below its crust, hydroelectric potential galore, much petroleum wealth, huge natural gas deposits, astounding mineral deposits, it is the world’s largest food exporter – in fact, one of the federal ministers, Mangabera Unger, recently stated that Brazil could double its food exports from one year to the next and triple them with a little bit of investment in infrastructure, all without cutting down one tree – and Brazil has a young population, and a population which speaks the same language from one end of the country to the other, something that India, China and Europe surely don’t have.
The Brazilian Hare Krishna yatra is distributing books at a pace reminiscent of the 1970s and snowballing, and young devotees are joining at a good pace. There is much new blood in Brazil, and the presence of older devotees is not as absent as it is in North America and Europe. There are several nice temple properties, even some that have been more recently acquired, and several farm communities, too. Nice pieces of land, all within the tropics.
Over the next 16 years, Jupiter’s period could actually see Acharyadeva rise to greater heights in this very unique part of the world as a preceptor and spiritual leader. It is possible that something like what Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami achieved in North America might be possible over the next decade or so. With the exception of perhaps India, no ISKCON region in the world is heading into such resurgent preaching, and no ISKCON personality outside of India is poised to watch over such growth and point the way as is Acharyadev in Brazil. There is nothing negative about this per se; he is the glue that helps hold the movement together in Brazil.
I know that in North America and out and about in ISKCON, Acharyadeva is not always so well understood. A mainstream ISKCON comment, for example, is that he has “fallen off the radar.” Well, he may have avoided the radar by keeping to himself and his academic activities during his Rahu period, right up until this Jupiter period which has just begun, but his horoscope certainly doesn’t indicate that he is going to fall off his horse or anything like that.
Things could actually manifest the other way around; the Jupiter period in his horoscope will be so overwhelming that the question is whether or not the Hare Krishna movement is actually going to become so successful in Latin America, where he is prominent, that he ends up looming large compared to the rest of the movement.
Acharyadevg is going to be a positive force in the world of Vaishnavism, and for a long time because his horoscope indicates as much. Good longevity is implicit. His great Jupiter is the lord of the house of longevity, the eighth house, and aspects the planet of longevity, which is Saturn. So it is guaranteed that Acharyadevg will live until the end of the period, for another 16 years, and even then a bit further on into the following Saturn period.
How many other disciples of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who are leaders in the movement, and/or gurus that initiate, will still be exercising their influence 16 or 20 years from now? He will be extremely unique among ISKCON leaders, certainly among those original 11 that began to initiate after Srila Prabhupada’s departure.
One’s next destination is to be seen from the twelfth house, the last house of the horoscope, and the eighth house, the house death. Sri Krishna explains in the eighth chapter of Bhagavad-gita that the state of mind one manifests at the time of death is deterministic of one’s future destination. In the case of Acharyadeva, the Moon is the lord of the twelfth house and sits in the pious fifth in a sign of the Dharmakaraka, Sagittarius, and with the very Dharmakaraka, Jupiter. And the lord of the eighth house is Jupiter itself, who, again, sits in a pious trine in his own sign. The great beneficent Venus aspects the eighth with his drishti. There is a noticeable lack of negative influence. Need we analyze anymore? Acharyadeva’s next destination will be a tremendously pious one.
All things said and done, some good and objective astrological advice for those who are being so negative with him is that they might as well cool their jets because his horoscope is too strong; he is not going to fall down or be deviated from his agenda. It is not as if he has been dwindling and now he is ready to go off the deep end, Jupiter’s planetary period indicates everything to the contrary. His 16 year Jupiter period has just begun, and it is a new ball game.
So, love Acharyadeva or hate him, what is the use of trying to drag a man down who will not fall? Srila Prabhupad’s way was to engage people, not to be so negative with them, certainly not in public. The movement in Acharyadeva’s main area of influence, Brazil, is growing impressively. The devotees here are oblivious to the problems in other parts of the world – they don’t want to hear one negative word about him. Because Acharyadeva is engaging in nice work on the academic level, he is in a position to get things done that nobody else can, so why be so negative about him?
Let us leave him be and wish him success!