Scientific astrology behind Kerala floods.

Earlier posted in Ind Samachar

Recent floods in Kerala will be etched in memory and in records as one in a century phenomenon due to the magnitude of damage to life and property and also in terms of the torrential down pour that triggered a cascade starting from 8th August 2018. Modern science would attribute it to climate change, but what many do not know is that this was identified by astro-meteorological features well in advance, say, on February 2018 itself.  These features were part of the knowledge on rainfall-prediction given by the Vedic rishis such as Garga, Parasara, Kashyapa, Vatsa and others and encapsulated by Varahamihira in Brihad Samhita[i]

Modern science looks at cloud formation for the arrival of rainfall. But ancient rishis were looking at the clouds well in advance, say, six and a half months before the arrival of rainfall! According to them, specific types of cloud formation or the absence of them during the four solar months from Mārgashira to Phalguna decide the nature of rainfall in the monsoon season Monsoon rains.

According to them rainfall occurs on the 195th day from the date of observation of favourable cloud and wind condition. (This pertains to each region and observation must be done area-wise to know whether or not it would rain 195 days later). For identification of the 195th day, the tithi (तिथि) and lunar phase on the date of observation must be noted. The same tithi in the alternate lunar phase after 6 solar months will be the 195th day. Favourable cloud formation would yield good rainfall on the 195th day.

The rationale of this method is that the kind of meteorological features present in a particular place is related to rainfall or no-rainfall that would occur in the same place 195 days later! In other words, the meteorological conditions seen at any place at a particular time in space is related to the rainfall conditions at the same place when earth has moved 180 degrees away from that initial place. This can be shown by a diagram as follows:


This year a peculiar formation of clouds observed in Kerala and many parts of South India on 27th and 28th February matched with the time of sudden spurt in rainfall 195 days later – i.e., on 8th and 9th August. It went for a week thereafter leading to the opening of the flood gates of all the dams in Kerala.[ii]

Pre-monsoon clouds in Kerala and other places.

From the evening of 27th February the sky was covered with clouds that looked like a blanket of neatly arranged bundles covering the entire sky from evening till next forenoon. The near full moon enhanced the cooling effect for the observer. The clouds looked like Cirrus but were low in the sky. Many weather enthusiasts reported this formation at that time. The picture below was taken in Kerala where this formation was thick and glowing in moonlight.


At the same time similar cloud formation was noticed across South India at many places.


This formation coincided with a planetary combination of Mars in one sign and Mercury and Venus at 90 degrees away from Mars while Moon was in a watery sign.

Mars signifies heat. Mercury, Venus and Moon signify water (rainfall). This was a kind of presence of both heat and water together in the air at certain latitudes / at certain angle from the sun and these planets. The 195th day from the day of observation of these clouds was on August 8th and 9th – precisely the dates that saw a spurt in rainfall in Kerala to the extent of more than 300 mm in 24 hours at many places. Other regions of south India including Chennai received good rainfall on these days.

Another interesting feature is that Moon entered Aslesha after mid night of 27th when the clouds were still crossing the sky. Cloud formation on the day of Aslesha in the month of Magha would result in continuous rainfall for 16 days, according to Varahamihira. With Aslesha happening in the 2nd half, the rainfall went on for nearly a week in Kerala causing grave impact.

This real-time experience makes us take stock of what this wisdom is all about.

Hindu wisdom on clouds for prediction of rainfall.

  1. In the four months mentioned above (observation period), cumulous clouds must be present in the sky in abundance. They should be seen with a halo around them.
  1.  Around noon time huge and bulky clouds must be crossing the disc of the sun. They must look dark underneath for the observer on the ground.


  1. The clouds must be of the colour of pearl or silver. That means they must not be milk white, but of somewhat dull white.
  2. Shape of clouds also matters. Clouds must be of the shape of aquatic animals, like swans, crocodiles, fish, turtle and the like.


      Turtle –like cloud during observation period.

This is in contrast to mountain like, castle- like and animal like formations. Such formations must be seen in rainy season, and not in the observation period.

If clouds are seen with the above features in the observation period, it ensures good rainfall during monsoon period, subject to 195-day correlation. The clouds on 27th and 28th February were low and dark from below but not aquatic shaped. They looked low and dense, resembled cumulo-cirrus but never known to have been observed in the past. That makes the resultant rainfall rare and of destructive proportions.

Science behind these clouds.

In this backdrop let us take a look what science tells about the impact of clouds on rainfall. The linking of pre-monsoon clouds to 195-day-later rainfall is unknown to science. Only now the scientific community is waking up to the importance of clouds in affecting climate globally.  A NASA publication  says that “Scientists are gaining new insights into how clouds control atmospheric and surface temperature, atmospheric humidity, and atmospheric and oceanic circulation and precipitation patterns..”.  The following illustration from the publication shows the contrasting effect of low and high level clouds.


The high clouds, or those in the nature of Cirrus clouds tend to contribute to warming of the earth, says the publication. As per astro-meteorology, the four months of observation must be cool, thereby indicating that clouds must be at the low level.

The same publication discusses the effect of low clouds.


The above illustration shows low level clouds as controlling the solar radiation and reflecting them back. This keeps the ground cool.

Interestingly this is what is expected in the observation months. These months are expected to be foggy in the morning, followed by clouds forming in the sky as the sun climbs up. The slow heating and gentle winds expected in those months keep changing the shape of the clouds which appear as neck of the aquatic animals. (On these months one can observe swan shaped cloud becoming turtle shaped within minutes!) The incoming radiation is seen as a halo or glow around the clouds for the observer on land.

The difference between the scientific article and wisdom of sages is that science detects the conditions on the day of observation of the cloud but Hindu wisdom links it with the climatic conditions later. Its time our weather forecasters take a leaf out of this wisdom.

[i] Brihad Samhita, Chapters 21 – 28







Rainfall 2018 (Margazhi / Solar Garbottam)

The transit of Sun in the star Purvashada (Pooradam) is considered as the major phase of Garbottam indicative of the entire rainfall season of India from June to December. For easy reference I have named it as solar Garbottam or Margazhi Garbottam as this transit happens in the solar month of Margazhi. Sun travels one degree a day and as such crosses a star in little more than 13 days. (The span of each star is 13 degrees and 20 minutes). So this Margazhi Garbottam happens for 13 days plus few more hours.

Each day (degree) of Sun’s transit in Purvashada is indicative of the entire duration of Sun’s transit in a star starting from Arudra. This starts in June (in Gemini) and corresponds to roughly a fortnight. One may recall the importance of Arudra Pravesam highlighted in Panchanga based prediction. The entry of Sun in Arudra is linked to the first degree of Purvashada transited by the sun which is counted as the 1st day of Margazhi Garbottam. Each succeeding day is counted from the Sun’s entry into the succeeding degree.

The details of what to observe and how to link it with the dates of the rainy season were already given in this article.

In the current article, the nature of Margazhi Garbottam that ended recently and its likely impact on the rainfall season of 2018 are given in tabulated form and discussed. This gives a broad outlook for the entire season. The observation of this Garbottam is valid for the location where it is observed. So it is imperative that this observation is done throughout India to get an idea about the region-wise rainfall.

One disadvantage of this observation is that the night time features cannot be observed. This means a week’s duration for each period of fortnight is not backed up by any observation. But our previous experience has shown that unless the sky is overcast through the evening stretching into night, not much difference can be expected in the night time Garbottam.

Certain planetary transits happening at the time of Margazhi Garbottam are likely to influence the nature of rainfall later. The important ones are (1) Moon in beneficial stars and (2) eclipse and (3) planetary war in which 2 planets enter deep conjunction and one of them emerging ahead of the other and seen within one degree. In particular if Mars is in such a state, rainfall is affected. This year, Mars entered a planetary war with Jupiter and emerged ‘victorious’. Therefore these features also must be incorporated in judging rainfall later.

The transit of moon in beneficial stars is indicated as (+) in the table.

The spoilers (Planetary war) are indicated as (-)

For the rainfall season of 2018, the observation started in late December 2017 and continued into January 2018. The Sun entered Purvashada at 5-11 AM on 29th December 2017 and exited at 7-08 AM on 11th January 2018. This year the entry time starting from sunrise makes it easy to count the days from one sunrise to the next sunrise. The date given in the table below indicates this duration.

Day Date of Garbottam Nature of Garbottam Date of Impact (2018) Prediction
1 29th   Dec


Wind–  Mild & cool

Drizzles– Mild at 8 PM

Clouds– Good in forenoon.

V.Good at Noon and post noon

22nd June –

6th July

Good rainfall in the 1st half of the fortnight.

Good between 25th to 28th June.

2 30th  Dec 2017.



Wind – Mild & cool

Clouds – Good between 9-30 AM to 2 PM

6th July –

20th July

Good rainfall in the 1st half of the fortnight.

Good between 7th to 11th July

3 31st  Dec



Moon in Rohini at day time (+)

Wind – Mild in the morning.

Gusty post Noon from North / NW direction.

Clouds – moderate in the morning.

Good around noon.

20th July –

3rd August

Moderate rains in the 1st half of the fortnight.

Rainfall direction from South / South east. (to be cross-checked with planetary chart for system in the BOB)

Moderate between 23rd to 25th July.

4 1st  Jan




Moon in Arudra (+)

Wind – Mild & cool

Clouds – Good from sunrise to 9-30 AM

Overcast from 10 AM to 2 PM

Clouds from east

3rd August –

17th August

Good rainfall in the 1st half of the fortnight.

Rainfall from west.

Good from 3rd to 8th August.

5 2nd  Jan


Wind – Mild & Cool.

Clouds – Overcast from sunrise till 9 AM

Good and intermittent till 1-30 PM

17th August-

30th August

Good rainfall in the beginning of fortnight.

Good on 17th 18th August.

Intermittent till 22nd August.

6 3rd  Jan


Wind – Mild

Clouds – Intermittent, moderate

30th August –

13th September

Cloudy & isolated rains for a few days in the 1st half of the fortnight.

Isolated rainfall  between 1st to 3rd September

7 4th Jan


Mars enters deep conjunction with Jupiter (-)

Venus enters deep conjunction with Sun (-)

Wind – Dry


Clouds – Nil



13th September-

27th September

Dry weather
8 5th Jan


Mars enters deep conjunction with Jupiter (-)

Venus enters deep conjunction with Sun (-)

Wind – Dry


Clouds – Nil


27th September –

10th October

Dry weather
9 6th Jan


Mars wins planetary war with Jupiter (-)

Venus trails behind the Sun within 1 degree (-)

Wind – Dry


Clouds – Nil


10th October-

24th October


Dry weather
10 7th Jan


Mars wins planetary war with Jupiter (-)

Venus trails behind the Sun within 1 degree (-)

Wind – Dry


Clouds – Nil


24th October-

6th November

Dry weather
11 8th Jan


Venus in deep conjunction with the Sun(-)

Wind – Mild

Clouds – Moderate at 11-30 AM

Good between 1-20 PM to 2-30 PM

Brief at 4-30 PM

At night – patchy clouds.

6th November-

19th November


Moderate rainfall in the 1st half of the fortnight.

Isolated rainfall in the 2nd half of the fortnight.

Moderate between 9th to 11th November.

12 9th Jan


Venus overtakes the Sun (+)

Wind – Mild & cool

Clouds – overcast throughout

Drizzles – Yes. In some parts of Chennai

19th November –

2nd December

Widespread rainfall throughout the period.



13 10th Jan



Ends at 7-08 AM

11th Jan


Moon in Swati (+)

Wind – Mild & cool

Clouds – Overcast throughout.

Drizzles – Yes, at 9-30- AM

Rained in many parts of Chennai

2nd December –

16th December

Less rainfall.

Isolated rainfall likely where it didn’t rain on Garbottam day.

A glimpse of the clouds on Day 2 (30th Dec, 2017)  

Sun peeping out through overcast clouds on Day 12 (9th Jan, 2018)

pic 1

The broad outline for Chennai can be seen from the above table.

  • Rain picks up from the last week of June and goes on intermittently till the beginning of September.
  • For 2 months starting from the 2nd week of September to the 1st week of November, dry weather is indicated. The clear sky on the days of Garbottam was associated with a spoiling feature, namely the planetary war between Mars and Jupiter.
  • Rainfall picks up from the 2nd week of November and increases till the end of November.
  • December is likely to see isolated rainfall as the Garbottam day saw rainfall in many parts of Chennai. Rainfall on Garbottam day spoils rainfall later.

Now let us compare this broad outlook (for Chennai) with the overall rainfall scenario shown by Mercury- Venus closeness.


The 2nd row fits well with the rainfall prospects shown in the Garbottam table.

Between 9th August and 21st September, dry weather is indicated by the increasing gap between Mercury and Venus. The Margazhi Garbottam table concurs with this dry phase.

Day 5 in the above table shows less Garbottam only. August will see less rainfall for Chennai too as per Margazhi Garbottam.

Rains pick up 10 days before the closeness begins between Mercury and Venus.

On the whole the Mercury- Venus closeness compares fairly well with Margazhi Garbottam for Chennai.

The daily Garbottam observation for Chennai would further fine-tune the dates given above. That will be posted in the beginning of every month starting from June. The scenario until then was already posted here.

What remains to be checked is the planetary combination throughout the period from June to December. It holds good for entire India. It will be posted next.



UPDATE on 21st June 2018.

Jason Nicholls’ tweet today confirms the prediction as above based on Solar Garbottam and Venus-Mercury closeness. Early end to SWM and good NEM for Tamilnadu / Chennai.

Pic 1.png

Rainfall 2018 – (Pre-Monsoon Phase)

The basic time line of rainfall period is gauged from the closeness of Mercury and Venus, the two fast moving planets of the inner orbits. The gap between them seems to narrow down or increase for an observer on the earth. On an average they seem to get closer for 3 to 4 times in a year. In the year Viḷambi (2018-19) they are making close encounters for four times. And there is one more coming in the last part of the present year, Heviḷambi (2017-18). All these five are given below.


The first four dates are relevant for 2018. A cursory look at the dates shows how the SWM and NEM can be expected to behave.

The dates between 17th February and 1st April coincide with pre-monsoon time.

The 2nd date starting from 6th June implies a subdued or late arrival of SWM.

The end date at early August shows a pre-mature end to SWM.

The 3rd date starts at a time when SWM normally comes to a closure. The extension till the end of October looks like a repeat of 2017 NEM which was early but subdued during peak NEM.

The 4th date starts almost during the last fortnight of NEM. Its extension till the end of January next year is similar to last year’s (2017) NEM behaviour.

Overall the sequences make me wonder whether Viḷambi is going to be a repeat of Heviḷambi!!

(It must be borne in mind that the above is only one of the major rainfall yogas. This gives a broad outline of the rainfall period. Once we start analysing the other planetary yogas for the entire year, there may be additions or adjustments to the above table. The analysis of planetary yogas will be posted soon)

February 17 to April 1

Taking up the first date for analysis in this article, this seems to indicate the possibility of pre-monsoon showers. But 17th February is too early for showers as winter has not yet come to an end at many parts of India. In such a scenario, Mercury- Venus closeness is found to support cold conditions, fog or snowfall as the case may be in a particular place.

Rainfall support features:

  1. Mercury-Venus closeness. Twice they become conjunct in this period.
  2. Mercury & Venus will be together in the western sky in the watery sign (Pisces) from 2nd March to 26th March. The Sun will be towing behind.
  3. Mercury is already in combustion in this period. The combustion ends on March 5th.
  4. On 22nd March Mercury begins retrogression and on the next day (23rd March) enters another round of combustion.

Rainfall spoiling feature

  1. Mars will be in Dahana Nādi (Moola star) from 7th March to 30th March. This will reduce rainfall and increase hot conditions.

All these are analysed and formatted in the following table for easy understanding and learning purpose also. The places of rainfall are determined on the basis of star dispositors of the two planets and also the direction of the sign they are located.

Date Gap between Mercury & Venus Astrological feature Rainfall, if any Place of rainfall / fog as it applies.
Feb 17 10 degrees Venus in front of all planets in Satabhishak

Mercury just crossed the Sun and comes behind Venus. Mercury in Dhanishta.

Venus, Mercury & Sun in the same sign (windy)

Snowfall, fog, cold winds. North West India. (& Pakistan)
Feb 19 8 degrees Venus followed by Mercury from behind. Both in Satabhishak.

Moon in Pisces (watery sign)

Snowfall, fog, isolated rainfall North West India.


North India including Delhi.

Feb 27 3 degrees Both Venus and Mercury in Purva Bhadrapada

Both in west of the Sun.

Moon in watery sign in both Rasi and Navamsa.

Isolated rainfall North India at latitudes closer to Himalayas.
March 2 Within 1 degree Venus enters Pisces (watery sign)

Venus in watery Navamsa

Isolated rainfall North India  (Himalayan States)
March 3 Conjunct Mercury enters Pisces (watery sign)

Venus in watery sign in Rasi and Navamsa

A trigger / spurt in rainfall.

(First pre-monsoon showers?? )

North West India ( & Pakistan)

North India closer to Himalayas

March 3rd to 5th Conjunct Mercury and Venus in the west of the Sun in watery sign.


Spurt in rainfall North India in regions closer to Himalayas.
March 5 Conjunct Mercury comes out of combustion Trigger in rainfall

(Is this first pre-monsoon showers??)

North India.


March 6 1 degree Mercury overtakes Venus .

Both in watery sign

Windiness North India.
March 7 to

March 30

Mars in Dahana Nādi Dryness and rising heat Western India.Peninsular India.
March 15 3 degrees Sun enters Pisces to join with Venus and Mercury. (watery sign)

Mercury in Revathy, Venus in U.Bhadrapada

Spurt in rainfall North East India
March 18 & 19



March 20- 21





Crosses each other

Moon + Sun+Venus+ Mercury in watery sign (Pisces)


Venus crosses Mercury.

Trigger / meteorological event

But Mars in Dahana Nādi is likely to play spoilsport.

So isolated rainfall

North East India.

Parts of North India

March 22 2 degrees Mercury (in Revathy) begins retrogression

Sun + Venus + Mercury in watery sign

Trigger to rainfall North East India.

North India

March 23 2 degrees Mercury begins combustion Trigger to rainfall

Spoiler : Mars

North East India

North India

March 26 7 degrees Venus enters Aries.

Comes in opposition to Jupiter.

Rainfall affected. East and North East India
March 30 Mars comes out of Dahana Nādi

Venus – Jupiter opposition continues

Though heat comes down, rainfall is affected East and North East India
April 1 19 degrees Mercury in retrogression crosses the Sun Isolated rainfall North East India.

Beyond 1st April, the gap between Mercury and Venus increases quickly, Sun comes in between Mercury and Venus and Venus is opposed by Jupiter. All these are rainfall deficient yogas.

In the above discussed period, Mercury and Venus were conjunct twice. In peak monsoon season, these conjunctions would trigger a meteorological event. But coming in the month of March and favouring North West / North India, the only probable explanation can be a late onset or last bout of Western Disturbance.  

  • The 1st conjunction comes between March 2nd and March 5th. With Ativrishti yogas being present then, the beneficiaries were the regions in North West and North particularly the Himalayan States. The rainfall of this period can be termed as the first arrival of pre-monsoon showers.
  • The 2nd conjunction happens between March 18th and March 21st. The beneficiaries are North East and North India. But this period falls within the Dahana Nādi- transit of Mars. We can expect a reduction in rainfall from this conjunction.

By the time Mars exits Dahana Nādi, Mercury- Venus closeness also gets over. That is a bad luck for pre-monsoon season.

Inference: Major part of March will be hot. Less rains in rest of India other than far Himalayan states in NW, N and NE India.

From April 1st  to probable date of onset of SWM.

Date Planetary feature Rainfall, if any Place of rainfall
April 10 Mercury comes out of combustion Sudden rainfall North India
April 14 Sun enters Aries (Vāyu Nādi)

Sun in opposition to Jupiter.

Sand storms North and North East India.
April 15 Mercury ends retrogression Sand storms North India.
April 20 Venus enters Taurus.

Sun in opposition to Jupiter

Hot conditions North of Vindhyas and South India
May 4 Agni Nakshatra begins

No Rainfall yogas

Hot conditions
May 9 Mercury enters Aries to join with Sun.

Opposed by Jupiter.

Heat waves East India.
May 15 Sun enters Taurus.

Venus enters Gemini to be opposed by Saturn.

Mercury in Aries in opposition to Jupiter.

Heat waves.

Dry condition.

East, South, West India.
May 25 Mercury begins combustion.

Moon in watery Navamsa.

Trigger to meteorological conditions.


North east and East India.
May 27 Mercury enters Taurus to join with the Sun Rainfall Western parts of India, including those to the north of Vindhyas.
May 28 Agni Nakshatra ends  


May 29 Sun in earthy sign,

Moon in watery sign,

Venus in watery Navamsa.

Arrival of Monsoon ?? West coast, South India.
June 5 & 6 Mercury in deep conjunction with Sun Meteorological event West-central India
June  6 & 7 Mercury moves forward of Sun,

starts moving closer to Venus

Monsoon Rainfall starts becoming widespread.

Inference: More heat and less rains in April and most of May.

First meteorological event is likely to begin on 25th May. This coincides with Garbottam effect for Chennai.

Chennai Garbottam chart.

Garbottam date Time Nature of Garbottam Rainfall date Whether supported by planetary features on the rainfall date.
Dec 11, 2017 2 PM onwards on & off. Heavy fog in the morning,

Clouds from east often hiding the sun,

Mild wind

April 23, 2018.

Night time



Moon in watery sign & Navamsa
Dec 15, 2017 11 AM, 1 PM            ” April 27, 2018.

Night time.


Mercury in watery sign, Venus is watery Navamsa.
Dec 17, 2017 11 AM Brief

Rained & drizzled at some places in Chennai

May 28th night



Mercury in combust phase.
Dec 18, 2017 11 AM to 1 PM Good May 29th night Moon in watery rasi, Venus in watery Navamsa.
Dec 19, 2017 11 AM to 3 PM V.Good May 30th night Sun in earthy sign, Moon in watery sign,

Mercury & Venus in watery Navamsa.

Dec 20, 2017 11 AM


Good, but rained in some parts of Chennai
Dec 21, 2017 From Morning till after noon Overcast.

Light drizzles post noon

June 1st & 2nd

From May 28th onwards, rainfall is indicated in some parts of Chennai. Though there was drizzle or mild rains reported in some parts of Chennai during the Garbottam period, the dates corresponding to 29th and 30th May 2018 experienced very good Garbottam sans spoiling features.

It must be noted that this period of rainfall aided by local Garbottam coincides with the first ever meteorological event of May happening on 25th, with Mercury becoming combust in a sign that indicates East.

(The next article will be on Margazhi / Solar Garbottam that will give an overall picture of the entire rainfall season till Dec 15, 2018)



Update on 25th Feb, 2018:

From IMD website



pic 1

Update on 22nd March 2018:

An important planetary combination started on the day Mars entered Sagittarius (Moola in Dahana nadi) – something I failed to notice early. On that day Mars joined Saturn in Sagittarius and continued to stay in that sign. At the same time Sun was in Aquarius – the immediate alternate sign from them.  Their respective positions are shown in the following diagram.

Saturn, Mars and Sun transiting alternate signs is a strong Rainfall support yoga (Read here) When Moon transits at certain degrees from them rainfall occurs.

With another rainfall yoga of Mercury – Venus closeness, this combination gets potency. The directions of the signs of these planets are east and west. When both east and west get associated simultaneously with rainfall supportive combinations, Peninsular India stands to benefit. Both the east and west coasts of Peninsular India get rain from this positioning. It did happen.

On March 7th, when Mars entered Sagittarius to make this combination, Moon was 12th from Sagittarius. On 10th March Moon entered Sagittarius and was conjunct with Mars and Saturn. At that time a low pressure trough started forming south of India.


Pic credit:

It moved west- north west giving rains to both western and eastern parts of South India. The rains started on 13th March when Moon was approaching Ketu in Capricorn. From that time onwards it started raining here and there in east and western parts of South India until Sun broke out from the combination.

On 15th March Sun entered the next sign, Pisces. Until it crossed the 1st degree of Pisces, it was raining.

A notable comparison with last year (2017) was that this kind of alternate-sign position was there in 2nd half of December 2017 along with Mercury- Venus closeness. But at that time it did not give rainfall to South India or Tamilnadu. One reason could be that the NEM season was over – even by Solar (Margazhi) garbottam.

For a brief period of one week, the same combination came up in the first half of March this year (2018) – which is too early for pre-monsoon season. So the rainfall output was not much.

The position of Mars at the same period was in Dahana Nadi (transit in star – Moola). In the face of two strong rainfall yogas, Dahana nadi did not upset the rainfall, though it coincided with unfortunate forest fires in Theni hills and mid air plane explosion. Fire accidents occurred at many places. Mars was in Aries Navamsa during this time, and Aries signifies forests in hill / mountains or regions above.

Once Sun had moved out of the combination and entered Pisces, rainfall stopped and hot conditions rose up.

The deep conjunction of Mercury and Venus between 18th to 21st March saw isolated rainfall in North east and parts of North India as predicted in the article. Mars had spoiled the prospects of heavy rainfall.

Rainfall 2018 – (Panchanga-based)

The basic or the first level prediction of rainfall season is done from Panchanga features, namely the Year-verse, Nava nayakas, Megha of the year, Meghadhipati and Arudra Pravesa. We will check these features for 2018 in this article.

  1. Verse of the Year.

The Hindu calendar year of 2018-19 is known as “Viḷambi” which starts in mid-April 2018. The years have been named to reflect the nature of events to occur, particularly with reference to rainfall and the resultant impact on agriculture. The name of this year ‘Viḷambi’ means late, slow, delayed or measured. The Year-verse given by Idai-k-kādanār reflects the same.


Meaning: Rainfall will be in measured quantities. There is less agricultural produce. Ruler(s) would be disgraced. The rulers would have health issues. (Or there will be diseases in the country). Mean-mindedness would prevail. Not possible to utter the hardships faced by people.

  1. Nava-nāyakās.

Mantri (for general rainfall prediction):- Saturn – Reduction in rainfall

Arghādhipati – (for prediction of price level of agricultural products):- Venus – Plentiful rainfall, stable and normal price level.

Sasyādhipati – (for prediction of growth of crops):- Moon – Timely rainfall, good for agriculture.

Dhānyādhipati – (for prediction of grain production):- Sun – Water scarcity – Production of red-coloured items flourish.

  1. Megha of the year

The ‘cloud’ of the year is Droṇa Megha which brings heavy rainfall from troughs and in valley formation. Its direction is South East. If supported by planetary features, could give rise to cyclones in South East direction (Bay).

  1. Meghadhipati.

Venus is the Megahdhipati of the year indicating good cloud formation and plentiful rainfall.

  1. Arudra Pravesam

Arudra Pravesam (entry of Sun in Arudra) occurs at 11.03 AM on 22nd June 2018. The predictions for this time are as follows:

Day of the week: Friday. Venus = very good for rainfall.

Tithi : Sukla Dasami = very good for rainfall.

Star: Chithra = Not good for rainfall.

Yoga: Parigha = Good for rainfall

Karana: Taitula = Good for rainfall

Lagna: Leo = Fiery sign = hot climate and less rains.

Kaala: 11.03 AM = around noon = Bad for rainfall. Scorching effect.

Moon in watery signs? = No.


1.Verse of the year = Bad

2. Nava nayakas = Mixed (50%)

3. Megha = Very good.

4. Meghadhipati = Very good.

5. Arudra Pravesam = Venus as lord of the day is very good, but other features particularly time (kaala) at noon is not good.

Overall effect:

Venus is the only planet taking positive control of rainfall prospects. It also happens to be the Meghadhipati of the year dominated by Droṇa Megha. If supportive planetary features are there, the overall monsoon will be average or above average.

The planetary features will be discussed in another article.

Sapta- Nādi Chakra to judge rainfall.

So far we have discussed 2 types of planetary transits, one, exclusively on Mercury – Venus and the other on planetary yogas called as Ativrishti an Anāvrishti. The third type pertains to the star dispositors of the planetary transits. This will be explained in this article.

This transit was better known as Sapta Nādi Chakra – which was common knowledge about a century ago. Though planets like Venus are supposed to give plentiful rainfall, if they pass through certain stars, the rainfall may not materialize. Having observed this in the past, our ancestors had grouped such star-dispositors into 7 Nādi as a ready reckoner. It was like sensing the ‘pulse’ of the planets in supporting rainfall.

Of the 7 planets, Saturn and Mars spoil rainfall. If they pass through the stars specified in the Sapta Nādi chakra during the rainy season, and /or when other planetary combinations are conducive for rainfall, they are likely to upset the expected rainfall.

From our observation in the past, the transits of Sapta Nādi had worked. The long term planet namely, Saturn was in adverse transit of this Sapta Nādi during the rainy season of 2016 spoiling rainfall prospects.

In 2017, the expected rainfall from NEM in Nov-Dec was spoiled by the transit of Mars in an adverse star of the Sapta Nādi. Mars in Sapta Nādi star would increase hot conditions.

Similarly in the pre-monsoon season of 2018, Mars is going to be in adverse transit of this Sapta Nādi between 7th and 30th March. That will be discussed in a separate post.

Fortunately Saturn will not be in adverse transits of this Nādi throughout 2018. But the other long term planet, namely Jupiter which can give plentiful rainfall is not going to be in the Nādi that can give plentiful rainfall.

Mars is the only spoiler for the year 2018 as far as Sapta Nādi Chakra is concerned, and its spoiling work will be confined to pre-monsoon season.


1 Vayu Nadi Kri, Vishaka,  Anusha, Bharani Saturn Windy,

No rains

2 Vayu Nadi Ro, Swati, Jyesh, Aswini Sun Windy, Rains
3 Dahana Nadi Mri, Chith, Moola, Revathy Mars Heat,

Dry weather

4 Sowmya Nadi Aru,  Hastha, P-shada, U-Bhadra Mercury Windy,

Less rains

5 Nirjala Nadi Punar, U.Phal, U-shada, P-Bhadra Venus Cloudy,

But no rains

6 Jala Nadi Pushya, P.Phal, Abhijit, Shatabhishak Jupiter Plentiful rainfall
7 Amirtha Nadi Aslesha, Magha, Sravana, Dhanishta Moon Excessive rainfall

This Sapta Nādi Chakra is also known as Varsha Phaṇi Chakra – varsha referring to rainfall.

This Chakra along with two other chakras were of vital knowledge for agriculture according to our ancestors. The other two are displayed in the front cover of a panchanga, now popularly known as Pāmbu Panchanga.


The snake represents “Rāhu Phaṇi chakra” which is helpful in identifying the days for sowing so that pests and threat from floods and fire are averted. Nowadays, every time a cyclone hits, there is widespread damage to crops due to flooding and winds. This chakra gives clues on choice of days for sowing so that the crops raised on those days (stars) do not suffer damage from floods.

pic 1 snake

The farmer’s image above the snake, represents the “Hala” or “kalappai Chakra” which helps in identifying the ploughing-days for reaping good crops.

pic - kalappai

The writers of this Panchanga got a copy right for this cover even before our Independence. This tells about the popularity of these two methods in raising crops among the farmers and this could not have happened had this not been a reliable guide to safe and bountiful farming.

Those days are gone and that knowledge is gone.

How many are aware of these now?

How many farmers of today are following the guidelines of these two along with Sapta Nādi Chakra?


Planetary yogas for rainfall

Knowledge of planetary combinations that support or spoil rainfall is very old in India. The combinations for excessive rainfall are known as Ativrishti yogas (अतिवृष्टि) and those that support lack of rainfall are known as Anāvrishti yogas  (अनावृष्टि).  In the past people have ‘blamed’ Anāvrishti whenever droughts occurred.

One finds references to these combinations in Tamil Sangam texts also. There is repeated reference to planetary combinations in Paditru Patthu, the Sangam text on Cheran kings who ruled the regions that form today’s Kerala.

Kerala being the first outpost to receive the monsoon rains, the people of ancient times in the Cheran lands had developed an uncanny ability to judge the timing of the monsoon or its delay by connecting them with planetary combinations.

Venus in southern declination as a pointer to drought conditions finds repeated mention in this text only.

Another verse of the same text expresses elation that Venus did not join Mars so that rainfall could be expected in time.

A verse in Paripadal gives a complete picture of all the planets that were “positioned in the way they ought to be” which resulted in rainfall coming up in Saiya Mountain, a reference to Western Ghats, in the month of Āvaṇi. Monsoon picking up momentum was connected with sighting of the star ‘Agastya’ (Canopus) rising just before sunrise in the month of Āvaṇi

Saturn appearing as a smoky disc finds mention in Silappadhikāram as a spoiler for rainfall.

It seems repeated observation and verification for many centuries had given rise to a set of rainfall yogas which are given below.


Ativrishti (अतिवृष्टि)Yogas (plentiful rainfall)

Location of Venus

  • Venus appearing in eastern sky (before sun rise) transiting the stars Magha, Purva Phalguni, Uttara Phalguni, Hastha and Chitra. The major rainfall of 2017 between 15th September and 8th November occurred when Venus was transiting these stars in the pre-dawn sky.
  • Venus appearing in the western sky (after sunset) transiting the stars Swati, Vishaka and Anusha brings copious rains throughout the transit period.
  • If Venus is in front of the Sun, there will be good rainfall. For the entire duration of the year 2017, Venus was lagging behind the Sun and other planets. After nearly a year, Venus has just overtaken all the planets including the Sun on January 31st, 2018. This onward march ends by 1st August 2018.
  • At the time of Solar ingress into Gemini, if Venus is in the 2nd (in front of the sun) or 12th (behind the sun) in such a combination when Moon transits watery navamsa (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces), there will be copious rains on those days.

Venus & Mercury

  • Mercury and Venus close to each other bring copious rainfall. (Discussed in previous article)
  • Mercury and Venus in the same sign and the same Navamsa and in combustion.
  • Sun joining Mercury and Venus in the same sign and the same Navamsa it gives heavy rains. If the sign and Navamsa are watery signs, very heavy rains.
  • Mercury and Venus close to each other in the western sky (evening) or to the west of Sun or in a fixed sign (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio) or in watery signs (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces)
  • Mercury (in front of Venus) under retrogression and Venus coming to direct motion after retrogression. (This motion reduces the gap between them)
  • With this closeness, sun also joins them before or after in the same sign and in the same navamsa.
  • In the above combination (Mercury and Venus close to each other with sun in the front or behind) these two planets (or one) are in combustion.
  • In the above combination (of the three) Venus is in front of Sun.

(The above combinations imply that the close proximity of Mercury, Venus and the Sun in direct line with the earth has a positive impact on cloud formation and air circulation resulting in copious rainfall during the time period when Indian monsoon is on. So far scientific research on impact of celestial bodies on cloud formation and rainfall is scanty and restricted to Moon only. Research on the impact of inner planets and the sun on cloud formation on earth might open a new understanding of rainfall scenario globally)

Sun in relation to other planets

  • Sun in earthy sign (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) and Moon, Mercury and Venus in watery signs or Watery Navamsa.
  • Sun, Moon, Mars, Saturn and Rahu are in watery signs and Venus and Mercury conjoin in a fixed sign (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius).
  • All planets behind the sun.
  • All planets in front of the sun. When the above two happen in rainy season, heavy floods occur, when they happen in winter, heavy snowfall occurs.
  • Sun, Mars and Saturn in alternate signs. At that time, when moon is transiting at 150 or 180 or 270 degrees from two of them there will be heavy rains for 2 days before and after those degrees. Flood like situations happened in the past in this combination.
  • On any day of the rainy season, if the sun rises with a halo around it and the midday experiences intense heat, there will be rains later on that day.

New Moon & Full Moon

  • Every new moon and Full moon must be observed. If it rains on a new moon day and the next day, there will be no rains in the dark half.
  • If it rains when the moon is within 8 to 15 degrees from the sun after conjunction (New Moon) or opposition (Full moon), then it will rain for a month till moon reaches the same position again. (In other words if it rains starting form the last 15 ghatis of Pratipat / Pradhamai / first thithi until the first 15 ghatis of Dwitheeya / 2ndthithi, there will be rains for the 2 pakshas or the full lunar month.) If there is scarce rain within these degrees, same weather condition will be experienced for a month. If it does not rain during this period, there is no rain for the rest of the month.


  • When Moon occupies watery sign or watery Navamsa and Mars and Saturn are in earthy signs or earthy Navamsa, there will be good rains.
  • Mercury –Jupiter closeness or Venus – Jupiter closeness with no planets in between.
  • In the rainy season, Mars coming in between Sun and Venus in Leo, Virgo and Libra.
  • Mars in Leo with Venus behind it.
  • Mars behind the sun.


Anāvrishti (अनावृष्टि ) yogas:- (lack of rainfall)

About Venus

  • The first two Ativrishti Yogas pertaining to Venus (mentioned above), if reversed results in dry climate.
  • Venus appearing in the western sky (after sun set) transiting the stars Magha, Purva Phalguni, Uttara Phalguni, Hastha and Chitra reduces rainfall.
  • Venus appearing in the eastern sky (before sun rise) transiting the stars Swati, Vishaka and Anusha reduces rainfall

Mutual opposition

  • Mutual opposition of planets (180 degrees apart) spoils rains.  In other words when the planets are exactly at equal distance from each other, they result in reduced rainfall. The onset time of SWM in 2016 had this combination. Saturn and Mars were exactly opposite to Venus and Sun.
  • Mutual opposition of Mars and Jupiter.
  • Mutual opposition of Venus and Jupiter.
  • Mutual opposition of Sun and Jupiter.
  • Mutual opposition of sun and any other planet.

About Mars

  • Mars in front of any planet including the Sun scorches the earth (in astrological terminology Mars wins a planetary war). Between August 2016 to July 2017, Mars was in the lead of all the planets including Sun.
  • Presence of Mars in Leo during the rainy season reduces rain-cloud formation.
  • Transit of Mars in Rohini, Arudra, Aslesha, Magha, Swati, Uttara phalguni, Uttrashada, Uttara bhadrapada and Jyeshta reduces rainfall

Transits in the front

  • Since Mercury and Venus are the sensitive planets helping in rainfall, outer planets namely Jupiter or Mars or Saturn moving in front of them in rainy season causes famine like situations.
  • When Jupiter moves in front of Venus, famine-like conditions prevail.
  • When Saturn is in front of Venus, there will be less rainfall.
  • When Mars is in front of Venus, hot conditions will prevail.
  • When Mercury is in front of Venus, windy conditions will prevail.



Planetary transits at the time of Monsoon season (Mercury- Venus)

The overall picture given by the Panchanga-based features such as Year- verse, Nava Nāyakās, Megha, Meghādhipati etc may be positive or adverse. But what matters most is the ‘climate’ present at the time of monsoon season. This ‘climate’ is mostly determined by the planetary transits and combinations occurring at the time of rainfall season.

They can be classified into three categories based on past experience.

  1. Mercury – Venus closeness (Budha- Shukra sāmīpyam)
  2. Ativrishti and Anāvrishti yogas.
  3. Sapta Nādi Chakram.

The first one is explained in this article and the rest in the next article.

Mercury – Venus closeness (Budha- Shukra sāmīpyam)

Mercury and Venus are the inner planets that are always seen close to the Sun for an observer on earth. They will appear together with the Sun – with the Sun in between them or in the front or back of these planets. Their close togetherness seems to have a direct bearing on rainfall in India. (The features discussed in this article and on planets in particular are applicable only to India). If other planets come in between them, rainfall gets affected.

The closeness between Mercury and Venus is a prime feature in influencing rainfall.

  • They will be seen moving one behind the other, or moving towards each other when one of them is in retrogression. When they move towards each other, there will be plentiful rainfall.
  • When they move away from each other, rainfall will come down, dryness will prevail. If they move away at the time of onset of monsoon, there will be delay in the monsoon or the monsoon will be subdued as long as they are away from each other.
  • When this moving-away takes place in August, September or October one can expect a hiatus or an end to SWM.
  • When they are close to each other during peak SWM or / and peak NEM, the monsoon would be satisfactory. If they come closer towards the end of a season, say, SWM, then that is also good for both SWM and NEM regions. But if that closeness comes at the fag-end of the NEM season as it happened in the year 2017 (started closeness on Dec 13th), then nothing much can be expected.
  • In winter months, the closeness increases the coldness and snowfall where it is due. In pre-monsoon months, the closeness gives pre-monsoon showers.

Predicting cyclones.

  • At the point of crossing each other, a meteorological event such as formation of a Depression or a cyclone is mostly noticed. In other words, the conjunction and crossing each other triggers a meteorological event.
  • At times one of them crosses the other from behind. This was found to have triggered rainfall but not any meteorological event.
  • When one of the crosses the Sun, then also a trigger effect can be noticed.
  • Of the two, Venus crossing the Sun and coming in front of the Sun and Mercury, triggers a meteorological event.
  • In rainy months when they cross over to the next sign, on the day of crossing, there will be heavy rains.
  • If one of them crosses backward in retrogression to the previous sign, no such trigger is seen.
  • In the pre-monsoon months, if they cross each other, the first showers followed by floods can be noticed.
  • The day of beginning of combustion also triggers rainfall or a meteorological event in the rainy season. In the pre-monsoon season, one of them entering combustion triggers pre-monsoon showers.
  • Of the two, Mercury controls wind and Venus, rainfall. If Mercury is in the front of Venus, and Venus is nearing it from behind, sand-storms or hail storms can be expected in pre-monsoon months.
  • If Venus is in the front of the two and the gap between them is getting lessened day by day, then one can expect heavy rainfall due to presence of Venus in the front.

Heavy rainfall

  • When all the three – Sun, Mercury and Venus occupy the same sign (zodiacal sign), there will be rainfall. If they happen to be in the same Navamsa, there will be heavy rainfall. If the sign and Navamsa occupied by them happen to be watery signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces), then the rains will be very heavy.
  • If Venus and Mercury occupy the same sign and the same Navamsa and in combustion, and Venus happens to be behind Mars, there will be plentiful rains.
  • If the Sun is an earthy sign (Taurus and Virgo are applicable for rainfall) and Moon, Mercury and Venus occupy watery signs and watery navamsas, and if at that time rainbow is seen in the western sky, there will be plentiful rains.

(A note on rainbow:- In the rainy season beginning from the breaking of Monsoon season, if the rainbow is seen on any day in the West, it would rain. Rainbow must not be seen in the east in this season. If seen, it means less rains.)

Combustion (Asthang / Asthamana)

A planet is said to be combust when it is closer to the Sun. The combustion starts at a certain degree when the planet is nearing the Sun. Then the planet crosses the sun and moves away from the sun at a certain degree. That marks the end of combustion.

Any planet that enters combustion will trigger rainfall on the days of entry. Similarly on the days of re-emergence from combustion, one can expect rainfall. In the rainy season when other positive features are present (such as Mercury – Venus closeness), the entry and re-emergence of a planet from combustion will trigger heavy rainfall.

The degrees of combustion for different planets are given below. They signify the distance from the sun before and after they cross the Sun.
Mars = 17 degrees

Mercury = 14 degrees

Jupiter = 11 degrees

Venus = 10 degrees

Saturn = 15 degrees.

Of all these planets, the entire period of combustion of Mercury from entry to exit will ensure regular rainfall in the rainy season.

In the case of Venus, the entry time and the days of crossing across the Sun would trigger heavy rainfall in the rainy season provided Mercury is also close by. For re-emergence there are certain rules pertaining to the star in which Venus re-emerges from combustion.  In this scheme, the sky is divided into 6 Mandalas of stars. They are as follows:

1st Mandala  = Bharani, Krittikai, Rohini, Mrigashirsham (4 stars)

2nd Mandala =  Arudra, Punarvasu, Poosam, Aslesha (next 4 stars)

3rd Mandala = Magha, Purva phalguni, Uttara Phalguni, Hastham, Chittrai (next 5 stars)

4th Mandala = Swathi, Vishaka, Anusha (next 3 stars)

5th Mandala = Jyeshta, Moola, Purvashada, Uttara shada, Sravana, (next 5 stars)

6th Mandala = Dhanishta or Avittam, Shathabhishak or Sadhayam, Purva bhadrapada, Uttara Bhadrapada, Revathy, Ashwini (next 6 stars).

If Venus re-emerges after combustion in the 1st and 2nd Mandala, rains will be below average.

If it re-emerges after combustion in the 3rd and 5th Mandala, there will be little rain and famine conditions will prevail.

If it re-emerges after combustion in the 4th and 6th Mandala, there will be copious rains.

Inference from this is that only in the months of Aippasi and karthigai, re-emergence of Venus from combustion gives copious rainfall. In other words, re-emergence helps only NEM. The same happening in SWM reduces the rainfall.

The other time of positive rainfall is when re-emergence happens in pre-monsoon months.  

Declination of Venus.

An important feature about Venus is its location in the sky – whether it is more towards north or towards south. In scientific parlance this is referred to as declination. Declination maps for each month are available in the internet. The declination map for the current month (Feb 2018) is given below for illustrative purpose. The path of Venus can be checked in this map.


Venus is moving in Southern declination at the time of writing this.

But during the monsoon season it must be moving in Northern declination. Ancient Tamils gave important to this feature. There are verses in Tamil Sangam texts on the path of Venus in north or south relating it to the non-arrival or arrival of rains.

All the above discussed in this article are applicable for the time of monsoon months.