- Astrology started of as a sibling of Astronomy.
- Astro means “pertaining to the stars”.
- There are numerous books and courses on Astrology.
- Astrology is considered as pseudo-science by some.
- Astrology is relied heavily by some.
- Astrology may be studied for profit or for leisure.
There are several flavors of astrology. The list is not exhaustive.
- Natal Horoscope
Western, Eastern and variants
- Pyat tha na Zartar (Ad-hoc query)
- Maha Bote
- Sann Bedin
- Inga Weikkza
- Predictions based on sun sign
- Predictions based on moon sign and/or transit
- Saya Bedin (specializing in Health and Medicine)
- My beloved father had a decent collection of Bedin books.
- I learned how to construct a natal horoscope from a sayadaw and found it was very time consuming to do by hand.
- I learned how to do predictions from another sayadaw (whose specialty was in prescribing protective verses and Yadaya for those who are “Kan Khe”).
- I had a chance to help the Bedin Community when my childhood friend U Myint Sein (PBRS, Principal of BARB) asked me to help develop some computer programs (for Veda).
- Some systems require data about the place, date and time of birth. Using a person’s date of birth and the birth place, a natal horoscope can be constructed.
- Some systems do not expect exact data.
In the early days, there was no standard practice to record the date and time of a birth. Some old people say, “I was born at ‘soon khan chein’ (time when the monks go on alms)”.
The date of birth is sufficient to use Maha Bote.
- A few systems allow relaxations.
The “day of week” when one was born might be good enough to figure out the characteristics of a person, or whether there is opportunity for business.
Some terminology and fundamentals
A Zartar is most commonly a natal horoscope. It is a horoscope constructed for a person using his/her birth details.
An Eka Sekka Zartar uses one circle to map out the positions of the Gyohs — in the Geo-centric model — at the time of birth. It includes the Lagna (Leik or Ascendant) which represents the “horizon”.
The Geo-centric model places the Earth in the center.
A Gyoh refers to one of the following : Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Rahu, Ketu
A Tri Sekka Zartar uses three circles to describe Yathi, Bawa and Nawin.
“Than Deik Hta Pyeik Ka Dein” and equivalent are tables used for interpolating the position of the Gyohs.
Astronomy prefers the Heliocentric model with the Sun in the center. In AIn the Heliocentric model, the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto orbit the Sun with elliptical paths. The Moon orbits round the Earth.
Rahu is known as the Dragon’s Head (or the Northern Node). Ketu is known as the Dragon’s Tail (or the Southern Node). Rahu and Ketu are diametrically opposite in the Zartar.
Note : The imaginary line connecting the two Nodes depict the relative placements of the Sun, Earth and the Moon.
Variations in the depiction of a horoscope
- Use of “Fixed Zodiac” (in the Eastern systems) vs. “Moving Zodiac” (in the Western systems)
- Use of “Precession of the equinoxes” for conversion between the Fixed Zodiac and Moving Zodiac
- Method used to determine the Lagna (Ascendant) and the Houses
e.g. Placidian, Lahiri, KP
RIT and UCC Sayas and Alumni
- Sayas and alumni who are well versed in Astrology include :
- Sayagyi U Min Wun
- Saya U Aye Win Kyaw (GBNF)
- U Win Latt (UCC)
- U Zaw Tun (UCC)
- U Aung Myint (UCC)
- U Kyaw Myint (Tex)
- U Hla Win (M)
- U Aung Kyaw Myint (Eddie, EE)
- U Aung Myint Oo (EC84, UCC)
U Myint Sein (PBRS, Principal of BARB, GBNF) requested me to help with BARB courses by
- developing computer programs to construct Zartar (Tri Sekka and beyond)
- guiding BARB teachers (in charge of “Ganita”) and advanced students the use of programmable calculators and hand held computers (e.g. ZX80)
- asking selected Computer Science students to study Veda
(In addition to the BARB courses, there were special “Ah Hor” sessions for friends seeking Veda advice.)
- Under my supervision, U Win Latt (UCC) implemented WinHoro in BASIC and U Zaw Tun (UCC) implemented a Prolog program to interpret the charts.
- U Aung Myint Oo (EC84, UCC) implemented WinHoro using C.
- U Aung Myint (UCC) wrote : Done the horoscope (Tre Satka Zartar) with your guidance in 1975 with our first computer ICL.
Some claim that Bedin (Astrology) is a pseudo-science.
My father’s experience
My father sent his assistant to Dat Pone Zon Aung Min Gaung Pagoda to see a Bedin Saya (who was visiting the Pagoda).
The assistant showed the Bedin Saya a zartar (Natal horoscope) of my father.
The Bedin Saya said, “The spouse of the Zartar’s owner is pregnant. She will give birth to a boy on a specified day of week. The boy will be known for his Pyin Nar Ye.”
The assistant was surprised. He did not know that my mother was pregnant at that time.
Was it an educated guess? Or a random prediction?
Probability and Statistics give
- a low probability in guessing if someone is pregnant (without a medical test)
- a 50 – 50 chance on guessing the gender correctly
- one in seven chance on guessing the Day of Week correctly
- a low probability in guessing one’s strength and occupation correctly.
Despite the long odds, the prediction was correct on all counts.
U Khin Aung Bo (GBNF) was President of MARB. He was a teacher.
U Kyaw Myint (T72) is an expert on Veda and Traditional Medicine. He is a associate member of “Myanmar Pyeikkdadein Ah Kyan Pay Ah Phwe.”
U Soe Thein took courses at MARB and later taught courses.
Dr. Aung Myin Bo and several volunteer sayas and sayamas teach Veda courses.
I was requested to give a guest lecture during my visits to Yangon.
U Than Htay and U Hla Win were not present at the simple lunch gathering.
U Hla Win (M73) is busy not only with his work, but also with SPZP and “History of University Engineering Education in Burma/Myanmar”. He managed to teach Veda courses and serve as member of “Myanmar Pyeikkdadein Ah Kyan Pay Ah Phwe.”
- Stands for Change.
- Similar to fire
- Can be a good servant or a bad master.
U Myint Sein (BARB)
- According to U Myint Sein (GBNF), former Principal of BARB, ladies are excellent at Yadaya.
- They change their appearance (e.g. with the aid of cosmetics).
According to folk lore, a student went to study at Tekkatho (Tekka Sila) to study under Ditha Par Mauk Kha (Professor). The professor was an expert in Veda. He saw that some calamity (probably death) will fall soon on the student. So, he told the student to return to the village for a while and come back at a later date.
The student did some good deeds on the way back. He moved some fishes from an almost empty pond to nearby stream. He pruned the hanging branches and righted some bent trees. He used some planks to create a make-shift bridge.
On his subsequent visit, the student told the Professor about his actions on the way back to his village. The Professor was pleased to know that the student’s Yadaya had thwarted the ill effects.
Extreme belief in Yadaya
The following may be attributed to some then higher authorities who believe too much in the power of Yadaya.
- A classmate told us that there was a night walk on Minn Lann by the high authorities. The lights were out during the walk.
Some other events (e.g. the construction of Karaweik) allude to a Kingdom.
- The change to Nyar Lann Maung without making revisions to the road and the vehicles may be a Yadana to simulate a change to the right (from left [or Socialist]).
- The issue of bank notes such as 45 Kyats and 90 Kyats may be due to the belief of Nawin or “Nines”.
- The issue of bank notes honoring Saya San and Thakin Po Hla Gyi may be a Yadana to simulate the revolutionaries throughout the nation, and thereby thwart revolutions.