Continuing a series of studies of horoscopes from Sikh history, the chart of the great uniter of yogic traditions Baba Siri Chand, the elder son of Guru Nanak Dev, is here studied….
About Baba Sri Chand
“Siri Chand is the eldest son of Guru Nanak. He was Baal Yogeswar. 151 years(1) he served the entire humanity and never looked more than 12 years in his appearance…. He was always in his subtle body. Very few people met him in physical terminology, but everywhere he appeared in his radiant body, in perfect form and shape.” ~ Yogi Bhajan
Baba Sri Chand came in 1494 as the firstborn of Guru Nanak and Mata Sulakhni…. As a child, Baba Sri Chand received timeless wisdom from Guru Nanak and was initiated by [his father, who accepted and crowned him as a detached yogi]. He was given the task directly from Guru Nanak to take care of the corrupt yogis who were manipulating and bothering the householders with their occult powers. His responsibility to protect and [re-direct the yogis] led to journeys as far as Tibet, Bhutan and Afghanistan that dispelled the negativity and united the entire Sadhu Samaj (the different yogic sects of those times) under the universal message of “Ik Ongkar” – “One Universal Consciousness”.
“He was renowned during his time as a…. figure of tremendous spiritual power. A great Yogi in the most profound sense, he relied entirely upon the Infinite for his support. He was revered by people from all walks of life and [during his incredibly extended life] interacted with six of the ten Sikh Gurus, embracing their sons when offered as sevadars to him. While his own life was a continuous miracle, he never called attention to himself. Rather, he and his followers, known as Udasis, spread the message of Guru Nanak in a non-sectarian, universalist way, through meditation on the Divine Name, hard work, and service to those in need….. Baba Sri Chand is the protector of innocent seekers and is the holder of all yogic wisdom.(2)”
Guru Nanak married Sulakhni (“Hundreds of Virtues”), whom Nanak’s older sister Bibi Nanaki found for him, in the year after he turned 18, in 1487. According to the Sudarshan method of progression to find the time of marriage, see the movement of Sun in the Navamsa at the rate of one bhava per year(3). An exception happens when the nodes are in Navamsa Lagna, showing a destiny pre-written on the brow. In the Guru’s chart, Rahu is in Navamsa Lagna, and Moon is applying to Ketu, so begin the count of years from Ketu rather than from Surya. Start from the node to which Moon applies. Counting forward from Ketu, the 13th year is Ketu itself in the 7th house. Going on, the 19th year, from age 18 to age 19, falls in the Lagna, Cancer rasi. Here the Atma Karaka Moon is found in Cancer its own sign. This Moon is exalted in Rasi and in Navamsa Lagna is joined by Rahu. Rahu becomes magnificently benefic when it is in Cancer sign where its venom is flooded away, and it is a giver of raj yoga when in Lagna and aspected by lord of a Kendra, Venus, the Matri Karaka, bringing the blessings of the Earth Mother.
Cancer Navamsa Lagna also receives the rasi dristi of Mercury which is the 7th lord of marriage in the Rasi as well as being the chara Dara Karaka, the soul of the spouse. Despite all the Rahuvian controversy around Nanak’s marriage, with struggles about what ritual would accompany the ceremony and whether he would actually get to marry his bride at all without being killed first by the hostile father-in-law, clearly this marriage was the vehicle of destiny for the Guru to begin the path of the householder that would be the template for millions of Gurusikhs to follow.
Confirming that this is the time of marriage, the very same bhava from Navamsa, Cancer, is the 5th house in the Rasi chart. Here the Guru has his Lagna lord Jupiter in a Parampara Yoga, the joining of Jupiter with Ketu forming the Kala Amrita Yoga that overcomes the Serpent of Time. Jupiter disposits exalted Venus in Lagna, and Jupiter is the chara Putra Karaka, suggesting that not only is the marriage made in heaven, but the offspring of the marriage will bring an important gift to mankind. Kala Amrita Yoga, the placement of benefic Jupiter at the Tail end of the nodal axis when all planets are trapped on one side of the fence of the axis, shows the Kundalini energy that must rise to free the native and all those he serves and protects from the tyranny of time and the times. This Lotus yoga coming in the 5th house of chelas and of children points to the many followers of the Guru and also to his own biological son who will become a great yogi.
The Guru’s elder son Siri Chand was born in Nanak’s 26th year, which by Sudarshan progression is in the 26th = 2nd house from the Sun itself in Guru Nanak’s d7, the divisional chart showing offspring.
This is Leo whose lord is Sun, joined to BK Saturn, and they are in Cancer, the Rasi 5th bhava of children. Shani is Surya’s son born to Chaya, the deceitful handmaiden, and as we have seen in the combination of exalted Sun and debilitated Saturn in the Guru’s second bhava of the Rasi, there is this mystery in the relationship of Father and Son, Sun and Shadow, to be seen in the life of Baba Siri Chand, who brought together the fragmented schools of yogis and kept turning up in the careers of six of the Gurus to re-tie the knots of householders and yogis, Gurusikhs and Udasis, as was his father’s mandate for him.
Lakhmi Chand, the second son, was born 12 Feb, 1497, in the Guru’s 28th year, which is the Libra bhava in d7. Lakhmi Chand was a merchant and married man, appropriate for Libra. The second child is generally shown by the 7th bhava in d7, while the first son is shown by the 5th bhava. The second bhava has Jupiter dispositing the Mercury, Venus, Rahu combination in Dhanush rasi. Dhanush is the
astrological sign of the Punjab. Lakhmi Chand’s descendants proliferated throughout the northern regions and prospered into modern times.
Horoscope of Baba Siri Chand
Gemini is the sign of the hatha yogi. Gemini is the sign of youthfulness, freshness, flexibility. Its lord Mercury is the child, here in the 5th house of children and in the nakshatra Chitra of the perfect image, as well as endowing the being with its subtle form by occupying Navamsa Lagna. Mercury matures at 12 years, which fixed the youthful image Siri Chand retained throughout life, in an ethereal body said to have a blue hue from pranas. He had attained the “kanchan kaya”, the yogi’s “golden body” that needed no ordinary food to sustain itself.
Siri Chand’s astounding longevity is shown by numerous factors. There is a Hari Har Brahma yoga with lord of 2nd Moon in 7th, lord of 7th being Jupiter in 4th ruled by Lagna Lord, and Lord of Lagna Mercury disposited by Venus in 2nd. This means his food is ever provided by Lord Vishnu. The nakshatra dispositor of Moon is responsible for longevity, and it is Atma Karaka Venus, which is the Navamsa Lagna lord dispositing 9th lord Mercury and a benefic Ketu (in an angle with lord of a trine). Navamsa Saturn the ayush karaka is inwardly exalted while outwardly debilitated (retrograde planets have that power), plus it has dikbala. Saturn associates with a beneficial Rahu, trinal lord in a kendra in a sign where Rahu puts its mission above its splenetic predisposition.
One other factor is shown by the upagrahas, “baby grahas.(4)” The son of Jupiter is the upagraha Yamaghantaka; this is the strongest protector of life who will battle unfailingly for longevity. Baba Siri Chand’s Yamaghantaka is in Purva Phalguni nakshatra also ruled by Venus the star lord of Moon. Venus is the Atmakaraka and the Lord of 9th from Arudha Lagna; these are esoteric factors that mean life is lived close to the fountainhead of vitality. Siri Chand disappeared in the forest and was not seen again in his 135th year, said to be in the month of Magha, Sukla Pratipat, on January 13th of 1629. See a discussion of this by Sudarshan progression below.
Events of Baba Sri Chand’s Life
We can see the significant timing of the birth of this yogi son in Guru Nanak’s chart by looking at the timing in Nanak’s Rasi chart. By Sudarshan progression, we count from the Lagna of the concerned varga, and the house shifts forward at the start of each 12-year block. In d7, the Lagna Virgo covers the first 12 years, then Libra covers years through 24. The third block of Scorpio covers the years 24 to 36, and since Siri Chand was born in the 26th year, the single year is Sagittarius with Mercury, Rahu and 9th lord Venus. Carrying the sign from d7 to Rasi we find Sagittarius is the Guru’s 10th house, the house of his mission, and its lord is the Jupiter exalted in the house of child and chela. The Guru’s involvement with his children and chelas is completely personal because Jupiter is Lagna Lord. After Guru Nanak returned from his fourth missionary journey, he gave his Udasi robe to Baba Siri Chand, now grown up, and asked him to take up the responsibility for the Udasi Panth, the unattached yogis separated in as many as 12 schools. Baba Siri Chand began to travel and continued spreading the message of Guru Nanak over vast stretches of land and did unite the varying schools in space and by his long life through time.
By counting years in the rasi chart of the Guru we come to Aries –for Sudarshan counting from Lagna, again we have to apply special rules when the chart has Kala Sarpa or Kala Amrita yoga. Guru Nanak’s Kala Amrita yoga dictates that the counting starts from Rahu, the opposite node to Ketu, in the rasi chart, and goes through a spiral in which after each set of 12 years we skip ahead one bhava for the next cycle. The first 12 years begin in Capricorn, the years to 24 begin in Aquarius, and the years 24 to 36 begin in Lagna, while the 26th year itself is Aries.
Pisces is the powerful Lagna of Guru Nanak’s chart with exalted Shubapati (Moon’s sign lord providing all kinds of nurture and prosperity) Venus, and in this cycle his enlightenment in the river Bein and the beginning of his mission arose. The birth of the son to whom the Guru would give the Gaddhi (spiritual throne) of the Udasis came at the moment of Aries bhava where the exalted Sun and neecha Saturn exchange with Mars the wandering detached yogi in the sign of the deep philosophers Aquarius. Baba Siri Chand’s Arudha Lagna (how the self-image projects into the world) is Aquarius with Mars in the 7th showing his long journeys, Venus in the 6th showing his lifelong celibate status and Saturn in Mulatrikona in the first showing his longevity, the power of his spiritual work, and the incomprehension and lack of fame that were his worldly fate.
Baba Siri Chand’s Pitri Pada—the linkage to father found by counting nine houses from Moon and then finding the projection of that house—is in Libra, 9th from the Arudha Lagna, showing the self-same identity of father and Guru. Baba Siri Chand composed many verses in praise and devotion to Guru Nanak.
Baba Siri Chand Meets Five of Nanak’s Successor Gurus
“Guru Nanak was heard, followed, listened to by thousands, hundreds of thousands and there was only one who could succeed him, Lehna. Guru Nanak’s own sons, Baba Sri Chand and Baba Lakshmi Chand, were perfect. Don’t think that there was anything less in them. But Guru Nanak wanted to give grace to the householder. One Gaddhi or throne of spirituality was given to Baba Sri Chand for the Udasi Panth, the unattached sect of that time. Therefore the other throne was to be given to a disciple, and that was Lehna who became Guru Angad.” –Yogi Bhajan
In a future article we will study the horoscope of Guru Angad. In the chart of Guru Nanak, we see his successors in the 5th bhava, and here the two planets Ketu and Jupiter denote the path of the Gurusikhs who were to be householders and the Udasis who would live apart. Guru Angad was a founder of schools (Jupiter) and refined the Gurmukhi script. He got the Janam Sakhi –the biography–of Guru Nanak Dev written. He was a vigorous preacher, and he propagated wrestling arenas for the Sikhs to improve their physical strength. Guru Angad and his wife Mata Khiwi expanded the langar, the large-scale community kitchen. And while Guru Angad developed the Khalsa Panth, Baba Siri Chand connected to the tradition of the Nath Sampradaya which was descending from the guru incarnate Sri Dattatreya.
Baba Siri Chand worked and traveled to consolidate the Udasi culture from the foundation Guru Nanak had laid by traveling to the four corners of the world. “Udasi” means those wandering transcendentalists, free from the ties of household and community, who were numerous but had been scattered in the medieval Punjab. “Asin” means to sit in meditative posture, and “Ud” means to rise up. Baba Siri Chand traveled to many regions including Afghanistan, where a Gurdwara in Kabul still commemorates his visit. Baba Siri Chand composed various hymns and commentaries explaining how to live on the mystic path. Among these were stanzas he wrote in praise of Guru Nanak.
After Guru Nanak left his body, Baba Siri Chand had a monument built to his father and guru. Relations with the Gurus continued in good force henceforward. Guru Angad sent annual gifts of a horse and 500 rupees to Baba Siri Chand at Barath, and the Guru’s elder son Baba Dasu became a disciple of the Udasis. Baba Siri Chand referred to Guru Angad as “Saroop ji,” the one who is of the same form as my father and my guru.
One of the most famous encounters of Baba Siri Chand with the Gurus was his visit to Guru Ram Das, the Fourth Guru.
–Smiling Kaur Khalsa, 1999
Baba Siri Chand’s yoga of Rahu, Sun and Jupiter in the fourth house of the heart chakra combines the Chara Karakas of Bhratri Karaka, Pitri Karaka, and Putra Karaka. These chara karakas show the level of soul functions of the grahas. The Bhratri Karaka relates to the soul link to the Guru. The Pitri Karaka shows the hukam or command, the will of the divine Father operating in the horoscope, and the Putra Karaka shows the fulfillment of the mission, by the holy Son.
The yoga exactly ties to the Lagna of Guru Ram Das, where also there is Venus in its sign of greatest humility, Virgo. Baba Siri Chand in his 86th year, 1579, came and met the Guru at the site of the Harimandir Sahib to be, where the Sikhs were digging the sacred pool. Baba Siri Chand, looking no older than a teenaged boy, while Guru Ram Das was in his 46th year, let his gaze fall on the Guru’s long, full beard. Their debate had been about the merits of the renunciate life versus life in the midst of society, marriage, and maya. One writer describes it this way:
“Raj Yog [is] a very particular state of consciousness. It is living as a yogi on the inside, and as a king on the outside. It is being able to see the unseen, known the unknown and hear the unheard. The throne of Raj Yog was given to Guru Ram Das because he achieved this state of consciousness. Did he achieve it by leaving the world behind and doing severe yogic practices? No. He achieved it by meditation on the Shabad while living as a husband, father, and son-in-law, who earned his living and served his community. No one knows what personal yoga or meditations Guru Ram Das may have practiced. …(5)”
Baba Siri Chand came to visit the Fourth Guru in 1579; the enchanting encounter was described in the Gurpratap Suraj Prakash Granth as follows:
Sri Chand the kind one questioned the Guru
with an intention of testing him,
“Why have you grown the beard so long?”
Hearing this Guru looked at the ground.  The Guru held the feet of Baba Sri Chand with topmost devotion
And began to sweep it again and again with his long beard.
“This is the reason for growing it so long;
Hear oh, the great son of my Guru.”  Seeing the humility of [Guru Ram Das] Baba Siri Chand was totally pleased
and remarked, “Guru Angad earned the Gur-gaddhi through service,
and you got it through devotion.  Your glory is higher than the highest:
What more can I say–
Whoever shall come into your fold,
Even the greatest sinners shall be saved .
Baba Sri Chand in return bowed at the feet of Guru Ram Das. Under Baba Sri Chand’s guidance, the heads of all the schools of yoga (which he had united under the instructions of Guru Nanak) also came and bowed to Guru Ram Das. This sealed the future. From that moment forward, the lineage of the royal throne of Raj Yoga would come through the subtle and radiant bodies of Guru Ram Das. Thus, Kundalini Yoga as Raj Yoga was brought through the House of Guru Ram Das.(6)”
‘The difference between a man and a yogi is that man can listen to the feeble sound of the soul. But a yogi listens only to that sound (of the soul.) It’s like an alarm, a fire brigade going. The guidance becomes absolutely intuitive. Every person has that capacity. Nanak’s religion, or reality, is Raj Yoga. In Raj Yoga the individual is a union of the polarity. It’s not a duality. Kundalini Yoga was developed so that married people, family people, real people, can also experience God. Baba Siri Chand, the eldest son of Guru Nanak was given the Guruship of the Udasis, the detached sect. And Guru Angad was given the Guruship (of the Shabad). The ‘grist ashram’, this married life, is the greatest life. The angels and goddesses worship to be in it.(7)”
This encounter happened in 1579, Baba Siri Chand’s 86th year, and yet he appeared as a beardless boy to the Guru. Counting by the Sudarshan Chakra method from Baba Siri Chand’s Lagna, we find that this 86th year from Lagna goes to the block of 12 years 84-96 which is situated in the 8th bhava. The second year of that 12-year block (counted like an antardasa starting from the 8th house) falls in the Arudha Lagna in the 9th house, where Saturn the AmK is. The AmK is the antya karaka or replacement karaka for Venus the Atma Karaka. One becomes a Karma Yogi with a special mission when the Atma Karaka degree is usurped by a planet within the same degree. Aslesha nakshatra of Venus yields place to Purva Bhadrapada of Saturn, the place for profound tapas because this nakshatra afflicts prthvi tattva, completely reforming the earthy physiognomy. For Baba Siri Chand, this was the change to the kanchan kaya, golden body. Saturn in AL shows the image Baba Siri Chand must present to the world, and with Mars in Leo in the 7th, his leadership over the detached yogis is illustrated.
Guru Ram Das received this visit from the head of the Udasis during Jup/Moon. The antardasa in Vimsottari dasa shows the people we are concerned with in the given time period. Moon in Rohini nakshatra is the same exalted Moon as in Guru Nanak Dev’s horoscope but in the foundation Guru’s chart Moon is the Atma Karaka and here it is the Putra Karaka, showing the son entrusted with the mission. The Moon in the 9th house of the Gurus is the sign dispositor of Saturn in Cancer whose aim is to establish an undying lineage, with Rahu the Pitri Karaka establishing a dynasty that goes beyond time boundaries. Saturn Rahu is a Shraddha Yoga showing the linkage to the elders, re-establishing bonds of faith across generations.
Baba Siri Chand’s final contact with the Sikh Gurus was with Guru Hargobind, the Sixth Guru and son of Guru Arjan Dev. Guru Hargobind’s oldest son, Baba Gurditta, was blessed by Baba Siri Chand who named Baba Gurditta to be his successor to lead the Udasis. Baba Gurditta had been married at the age of 8, and his second son became the Seventh Sikh Guru, Guru Har Rai. Baba Gurditta established four new preaching centers for the Udasis. Many stories are told of his courageous and extraordinary feats; he left his earthly frame in his 25th year.
Mantra and Matra
Baba Siri Chand’s compositions are prolific, powerful, rhythmical, befitting his Lagna lord placed in the mantra bhava and dispositing the Gopal Yoga of Sun and Jupiter, only expanded by the addition of 9th lord Rahu. Mercury, the writer planet, is the Lagna Lord and the Dara Karaka, which shows what a person treasures and longs for.
Baba Siri Chand gave the mantra Ad Sach Jugad Sach He Bhay Sach Nanak Hosi Bhay Sach to Guru Arjan, the Fifth Sikh Guru, which was incorporated in the Peace Lagoon, Sukhmani Sahib, when Guru Arjan was in the process of writing(8). Guru Arjan had written only 16 astapadis and Baba Siri Chand gave him the mantra and asked him to add another 8 astapadis. The focus of this mantra is to remove blocks. In the words of Yogi Bhajan, “Now suppose something you want to move and it’s not moving. There is a block and it’s not movable…..then chant this mantra. It’s a lever. It is the biggest lever available to you as a mantra.(7)”
Baba Siri Chand’s Sri Matra(9) is a great poetic and brief rendering of the saint’s mission, cosmic view, purpose and projection of tolerance which is the daily paath or prayer for the Udasis. With a study of this prayer, there dawns understanding of why Baba Siri Chand is loved and revered by the Sufis, Vaishnavs, yogis, celibates, Sikhs, Shaivites, householders, Muslims and westerners as well.
This chart set with Karaka Lagna rising on the date recorded in the Bhatt Vahis for his passing shows the view from soul vantage point of the saint’s disappearance into the infinite. The event would be in the Sudarshan Chakra progression of the 12th 12-year block in Baba Siri Chand’s natal chart, which falls in the 12th house of moksha, from age 132-144. The individual house for the 135th year would be in the second, the maraka bhava, and conjunct the Venus Atma Karaka. This Venus has only a rasi dristi on Rahu, the forcer of rebirth; rebirth is not sought by the soul…. In Navamsa from Navamsa Lagna, the 135th year is Scorpio bhava. Scorpio’s lord Ketu is in Lagna with Mercury the 12th lord, and Ketu is the one graha that can dissolve itself prthvi tattva completely. But there is no graha dristi from Rahu, so in the rules of Sudarshan Chakra it shows a clear passage to higher realms with no return, like a dewdrop dissolved in the sky.
1 Various historians have different calendar methods for rendering this timing, and various dates are given in various sources.
2 Yogi Amandeep Singh. See: http://blog.invinciblemusic.com/baba-sri-chand-the-holder-of-all-yogic-wisdom-2/
3 [cf Pandit Sanjay Rath workshop on Sudarshan Chakra at the Council of Vedic Astrology conference, Seattle, 2014, recording available from email@example.com]
4 Pandit Sanjay Rath has taught in depth about the upagrahas in his Parasara course as well as in his Jaimini Sutras course.
7 Yogi Bhajan, 7/15/91 See http://www.3ho.org/kundalini-yoga/kundalini-yoga-sikh-dharma/guru-ram-das-throne-raj-yog