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v&;É< c;R[Ina< ivñêpmda_ym!, b&hSpit< vre{ym!.

Tattva (Part one)

By Visti Larsen – Guide and Guru: Sanjay Rath


‘Tattva’ means element, or nature, and is used to define the constitution of an entity and the
energies surrounding the entity. Tattva is a base energy that resonates in all creation, and
using Jyotish will help us define the quality of time of the entity under scrutiny.

In the scriptures of Vedic lore, the tattva came into being in the following way;

“The perceptible portion of Väsudeva, which is only one eighth of the unlimited portions of
Näräyaëa, merged with Bhu-Çakti1 and from this Näräyaëa expands as Pradyumna. The
expansions of Pradyumna then evolve into Ahamkära and the individual ego is born.

From Ahamkära, the more Sattvic2 expansions become the 33 prime Deva3, the Rajasic4
expansions become the 10 Indriya5, the Tamasic6 expansions become the Païca Bhüta, which
are the 5 states of physical existence, known as Agni (Fire/energy), Påthvé (earth/solid) , Jala
(water/liquid) , Väyu (wind/gas) and Äkäça (sky or vacuum).”

From this description it is worthwhile to note that the 5 tattva were born of Tamas guëa. Of
the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, Shiva presides over Tamas guëa and as Rudra with
his Triçüla (trident), he causes the destruction of the tattva, and hence the death of living
beings. It is for this reason that the 7 sthira käraka are used to see the quality of health or
Äyur (longevity) of beings, and the Çüla Daçä is excellent in timing such incidents.

In all cases the best remedy for any ailment is the Mrityunjaya Mantra, recited 108 times in
the morning and evening:

` Çy<bk< yjamhe sugiNxm! pui:tvxRnm!,

%vaRêkimv bNxnan! m&TyaemaeR]Iy mam&tat!.

om trayambakaà yajämahe sugandhim puñtivardhanam|
urvärükamiva bandhanän måtyormokñéya mämåtät||
Calculation of Tattva and Yama

The 5 Tattva repeat in the following sequence;

(1) Påthvé, (2) Jala, (3) Agni, (4) Vayu, (5) Akasha.

The 5 Tattva occupy periods of the day. These tattva take up time-periods in increasing
orders with Mercury taking up 1 period, whilst Jala, Agni, Väyu and Äkäça, take up 2, 3 ,4
and 5 periods respectively.
This adds up to: 1+2+3+4+5=15 periods of Tattva.
This moves in an increasing (Aroha) and decreasing (Avaroha) order, i.e.:
1+2+3+4+5+5+4+3+2+1, corresponding to 1 cycle of 30 periods.
Table 1: Tattva periods
Tattva Period
Påthvé 1
Jala 2
Agni 3
Vayu 4
Akasha 5
Akasha 5
Vayu 4
Agni 3
Jala 2
Påthvé 1

These 30 periods repeat four times between Sunrise and Sunset, giving us 120 periods,
corresponding to the 120 years of life.
The same 120 periods repeat another four times between Sunset to Sunrise again, giving a
total of 240 periods in a day and night, and 8 cycles.

These eight cycles in a day and night, correspond to the eight Yama. The eight Yama are
lorded by the eight grahas from Sun-Rähu, beginning with the Vära (weekday) lording the
day. The deity lording the Yama should be reckoned from the Käla Chakra.
Figure 1: Käla Chakra (source: Freedom Cole)

Tattva starts depending on the Väreça (Lord of Weekday), i.e. if it is a Sunday, then the first
tattva of the day will be that of the Agni, because Sunday is ruled by the Sun, and is also Agni
tattva. See the table for the grahas presiding over the tattva.

Table 2: Tattva and Graha

Tattva Graha
Påthvé Mercury
Jala Venus (and Moon)
Agni Mars (and Sun)
Väyu Saturn
Äkäça Jupiter

Hence also on Mondays or Fridays, the Tattva will begin with Jala.

Example of calculations:
Date: August 7, 1963
Time: 21:14:00
Time Zone: 5:30:00 (East of GMT)
Longitude: 84 E 01' 00"
Latitude: 21 N 28' 00"
Weekday: Wednesday
Sunrise: 5:29:20 (next day)
Sunset: 18:29:27

1. We must first identify the Tattva ruling the weekday:

As birth happened on a Wednesday, the Påthvé tattva was dominating, hence sequence is: påthvé, jala,
agni, väyu, äkäça.

2. The native was born at night, hence we should calculate the span of night:
5hr 28m 27s – 18hr 29m 27s = 10hr 59m 53s

3. Now to find the span of one tattva, we merely divide the result by 120:
10hr 59m 53s / 120 = 5m 30s

4. Now we should find the amount of night progressed, until birth, by subtracting the birth
time from Sunset:
21hr 14m 00s – 18hr 29m 27s = 2hr 44m 33s

5. From amount of progressed time and span of one tattva, we can find out the birth tattva:
2hr 44m 33s / 5m 30s = ~29,92

Hence the native was born in the 30th tattva which is the birth tattva.

The 30th tattva in a Wednesday cycle is Påthvé, which will lord the birth.

6. The Yama should also be calculated on the basis of the day of the Vära.
Four Yama have already passed before sunset, and the native was born on the fifth Yama of
Wednesday. The order beginning with Mercury is: Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Moon, Rähu... Hence the
native is born during the Yama of Rähu.

Use of Tattva
i)The tattva have the following relations:
• Påthvé and Väyu are inimical towards each other.
• Agni and Jala are inimical towards each other.
• Äkäça has no enemies, but can cause problems which will influence all the other
ii)The tattva inimical to birth-tattva will show some problems in the natural houses it lords.
This is to be seen from the planet presiding over the tattva. Example: if the birth tattva is
Jala, then the signs lorded by Agni tattva grahas will suffer, i.e. the signs lorded by Sun
and Mars.
The lordships of tattva are: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter, for Påthvé, Jala, Agni,
Väyu and Äkäça tattva respectively.

iii)Birth during Tattva Sandhi (not cycle sandhi), will cause health problems, especially
during gaëòänta (between Jala and Agni Tattva).

iv)The Païca Devata which lord these Tattva, are important for keeping the Tattva strong.
These are: Gaëapati, Devi, Sürya, Çiva and Viñëu, lord the Tattva from Påthvé, onwards.
Table 3: Tattva and Deva
Tattva Deva
Påthvé Gaëapati
Jala Devi
Agni Sürya
Väyu Çiva
Äkäça Viñëu

From the five tattva, we offer elements for worship of the deity. Similarly choosing the right
mäla (rosaries) for worship of a deity is based on the tattva.

Example charts
Example 1:

The following natives birth tattva is Påthvé Tattva, hence Mercury is the lord, and
Gaëapati/Gaëeña should be worshipped to keep the native free from ailments.
The Native was born during Rähu-Yama, who sits in the North Easten direction in the Käla
Chakra, opposite Mercury in the South West. This causes definite problems with
Mercury/påthvé tattva.
Mercury lords the Påthvé Tattva, and is placed in the 6th house under a papäkartari Yoga by
Mars and Sun, confirming troubles to the native’s health.
Påthvé and Väyu Tattva are inimical towards each other and Väyu Tattva is lorded by Saturn.
Saturn lords the natural 10th and 11th houses, of which the 10th house rules the knees, whilst
11th rules the calves.
The native has problems with his knees; also he was bit by a dog during a Mercury Antara
Example 2:

The native was born shortly before sunrise in the 120th period of the previous day. The birth
tattva is Påthvé. The native has strong bones and an otherwise strong body, showing that the
characteristics of påthvé tattva are strong in the native. Birth is during a Friday in the last
Yama which is that of Mercury. There are no conflicts between the Yama and the Tattva in the
käla chakra, hence no major flaw in the health is there.
Because Påthvé tattva is inimical towards Väyu tattva, disorders such as excessively dry skin,
eczema or such disorders can be prominent in the native. Väta disorders such as dry skin, and
stiff joints are very common in the native, which they should overcome through the worship
of Gaëapati.
Mercury being the lord of the birth tattva is joined Jupiter who is in a parivartana with Venus.
Venus is placed in the märaka sthäna in Sagittarius; again there is Papäkartari Yoga in this
chart. During Mars Daçä – Venus Antara Daçä, the native developed chronic eczema in the
ear-ways (physical ear is seen from 3rd house). This happened simultaneously with a
relationship occurring (Venus is seventh lord).
Moon the bädhakeña is joined Saturn who is inimical towards the birth tattva.
During Moon Daçä, which is Bädhakeña7 in this chart, the native has suffered 2 near death
incidents in water. This is confirmed due to the placement of Moon in the eighth from ärüòha
lagna. Contrary to his experiences, the native is very fond of water and has been so since

It can be inferred that the Tattva is essential to see the ailments troubling the native, as well as
pinpoint important and possibly fatal events in a native’s life. Tattva also has its place in the
rectification of birth time which will be dealt with in a later issue.
Om Tat Sat

Literally earth-power, representing the Guna of Rajas which is the power of passion and discrimination
Sattwa Guna is the nature of goodness, causing preservation. This is personified as Maha-Lakshmi.
DwadasaAditya, AsthaVasu, Ekadas Rudra, Indra and Prajapati (Brahma).
Rajas Guna is the nature of passion, causing creation. This is personified as Maha-Saraswati.
5 senses related to knowledge (Gyanendriya): smell, taste, sight, hear and feel. 5 senses related to actions (Karmendriya):
speech, grasping, walking, evacuation/cleansing and procreation.
Tamas Guna is the nature of ignorrance, causing destruction. This is personified as Maha-Kali.
11th lord from Movable signs, 9th lord from Fixed signs and 7th lord from Dual signs, becomes the Badhakesh, or lord of
obstacles for the rasi.