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Death of Rajiv Gandhi and the horoscope of Sonia Gandhi
A transit analysis based on "Ashtakvarga" principle of Vedic Astrology


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Incident analysis by Shyam S Kansal

The present article is an exercise in exploring the possibilities of predicting the events from the horoscopes of very near and dear ones, as an alternative, instead of  the horoscope of native himself

Rajiv Gandhi, the former prime minister of India, died on 21st May 1991 (Tuesday) in a bomb explosion at Sriperumbudur (near Madras) in Tamilnadu, when a human bomb Ms. Dhanu, an activist of Liberation Tigers of SriLanka, activated explosives strapped to her body, while pretending to garland him.

The present article is an exercise in exploring the possibilities of predicting the events from the horoscopes of very near and dear ones, as an alternative, instead of  the horoscope of native himself.  For the analysis of the crucial date, on which Rajiv Gandhi lost his life, his wife Mrs. Sonia  Gandhi's  horoscope  was  examined  in  the light of Ashtakvarga method, a crown jewel of Vedic Astrology.

Date of birth   :

9th Dec.1946 
Time of birth    : 21:30 hrs. ( Italian Zonal Standard Time) 
Place of birth  : Turin (Italy)      45N03, 07E40

The horoscope drawn for this data, using Chitrapakshiya Ayanamsa, is as follows:

Vimsottari Dasha on 21st May 1991 :

The Vimsottari dasha on the fateful day was of Sat-Rah-Sat-Mars-Sun.
(taking Dasha year = 365.25 days)
(Calculated as per Varamihira's method)

The Sarvaashtakvarga (based on D01 or 'Lagna chart' ):

(Calculated as per Varamihira's method)

  Sun Moon Mars Merc Jupi Venu Saturn   House Planets
Aries  5 6 5  5 4 4 4 33 10th  
Taurus  3 6 3 4 3 6 4 29 11th Rahu
Gemini  4 4 1 2 4 4 2 21  12th Moon
Cancer  4 2 4 6 7 5 2 30  1st Satu
Leo  6 6 4 6 5 5 5 37  2nd  
Virgo  5 6 6 5 4 5 7 38  3rd  
Libra  4 2 2 6 4 6 3 27  4th Jup,Ven
Scorpio  2 3 1 3 6 4 4 23  5th Sun,Mer,Ketu
Sagittarius  3 4 2 3 7 1 3 23  6th Mars
Capricorn  3 5 4 5 4 3 0 24  7th  
Aquarius  3 3 1 3 4 6 3 23  8th  
Pisces  6 2 6 6 4 3 2 29 9th  
   48 49 39 54 56 52 39 337    

In the above horoscope,  30 points in Ascendant indicate a good personality; 37 points in 2nd house signifies steadiness of mind, close followers, quest for learning; the most strong 3rd house with 38 points indicate courage &  valour,  tolerance and stability of mind in adverse conditions; a low 24 points in 7th house and 23 points in 8th house indicate short span of married life of the native. The house of  marriage(7th) determines the degree of happiness and success the native derives through marriage.  She has got 33 points in 10th house. The 10th house signifies political power, fame, self control and dominance; it being 4th from 7th, also signifies the mother of the spouse (in this case  Mrs. Indira Gandhi).

Venus is very strong in her horoscope Shadbala-wise and has got 6 points in natal chart. Venus signifies Calm, pleasing, level-headed, never irritating person. It also signifies beauty, fame, love marriage and radiance. Direction of Venus is South-East and perhaps the very strong Venus, Significator planet for spouse, caused her to marry in a South-East country. In her horoscope, sign of 7th house is Capricorn and coincidentally the moon sign of India is also Capricorn, therefore choice of spouse narrowed down to India in whole of South-East region. Her 5th house and the Sun (both significator of father) are very weak. She could not  have  remained  in  the father's country.

The micro analysis of planetary transits on 21st May 1991:
The planetary position was as follows on 21st May 1991, at 20:00 Hrs. IST
( Chitrapakshiya Ayanansh: 00:23:44:27):

Dg:Mt:Sc Nakshatra Pad Lord SubLord Kakshya Comb.Rel.
Lagna Scorp 19:10:26 Jyeshtha 1 Merc Ketu Mercury
Sun Tauru 06:18:20 Krittika 3 Sun Merc Jupiter AdhiMitra
Moon Leo 16:07:09 PoorvaPhalguni 1 Venu Sun Venus Shatru
Mars Cance 03:23:50 Pushya 1 Satu Satu Saturn Shatru
Mercury Aries 12:11:13 Ashwini 4 Ketu Merc Sun Sama
Jupiter Cance 13:42:42 Pushya 4 Satu Rahu Sun AdhiMitra
Venus Gemin 20:05:03 Punarvasu 1 Jupi Jupi Mercury AdhiMitra
Saturn(R) Capri 13:05:06 Shravana 1 Moon Rahu Sun AdhiShatru
Rahu Sagit 26:31:47 PoorvaShadh 4 Venu Ketu Ascend
Ketu Gemin 26:31:47 Punarvasu 2 Jupi Ketu Ascend

The transit of Saturn:

Saturn is very weak in natal chart with only 2 benefic points in Cancer  where  it is posited and that too in the kakshya of Venus (the significator planet of spouse), which is not one of the contributors of these points. It has become even more weak in Navamsha Ashtakvarga where it has got only 1point. Saturn is the 7th and 8th lord hence its transit will always be crucial to the well-being of husband and results would be reflected on her spouse. Now see the following facts on the fateful date:

(1)  Saturn was transiting in Capricorn with ZERO benefic points, and that too in the kakshya of its bitter enemy Sun, as 7th lord. Capricorn is the 7th house in natal chart, and it is also 7th if counted from Saturn's own posited situation in natal chart (because it was in Ascendant itself). By both theories of transit, it had to give results pertaining to 7th house.

(2)  Saturn being the 8th lord also, has special propensity to do evil. Eighth house is the 12th from 9th (indicating loss of  "Bhagya" or "Fortune"). Whenever  Saturn will be in distress during transit, it will directly affect the Spouse, Married Life and "Bhagya" in general. Saturn was transiting the 8th house, if counted from natal Moon (in Gemini). The weak Saturn, in natal chart as well as in transit,  would invariably invoke negative significances of concerned houses. 8th house is considered for the marital status of a woman, suddenness and unexpectedness. Some of the negative significances of this house are misery, loss of limb, cause of death and severe mental anguish. Saturn was under heavy stress on 21st May 1991 to cast its most evil effect on Sonia. Rajiv's death brought all of these negative Significances for Sonia.

(3)  Saturn was transiting the 3rd house if counted from the Kakshya lord Sun's natal position (in Scorpio). Sun is bitter enemy (Adhishatru) of Saturn, as reckoned from Sonia's horoscope. The 3rd house is also termed as "House  of Sorrows". The lethal effect of Saturn was even further enhanced in its bitter enemy's kakshya.

(4)  If there was still some auspiciousness left in Saturn,  that  was wiped out by its retrograde motion on that day. Any astrologer with little knowledge of Ashtakvarga system would have said after considering all these factors that the spouse of the native was in grave danger.

(5) Vimsottari Dasha (upto 3 levels) operating at that time was of Sat-Rahu-Sat.  Saturn and Rahu, both are natural malefics. Saturn was malefic by all corners, as analyzed earlier,  hence fructification of inauspicious results could only be anticipated in its Mahadasha and Pratyantardasha operating simultaneously. Antardasha was of Rahu, which normally behaves like Saturn. Rahu is posited in the kakshya of Venus (the significator planet of spouse) in natal chart, hence, Rahu's transit results will always be reflected on her spouse.

(6) Yogini Dasha running at that time was Bhraamari-Sankata (Mars-Rahu). Both are again natural malefics.

The transit of Mars:

Mars, though a Yogakarak for Cancer Ascendant, is very weak in natal chart with only 2 benefic points and that too in the kakshya of enemy Saturn, which is not one of the contributors of these points. It is posited in Sagittarius at 01-10' degrees. The 2nd degree in Sagittarius has been termed "Mrituansh" (the degree of death) for Mars. It is also combust. Now see the following facts on the fateful date:

(1)  Mars was transiting in Cancer, his debilitation position, in the Kakshya of its enemy Saturn. Saturn itself is most adverse to the spouse in natal chart as well as in transit, as explained above.

(2) Mars was transiting the 8th house, if counted from its own posited situation in natal chart (Sagittarius). Negative significances of 8th house has already been described above in Saturn's case.  Mars added the "explosives" factor to these significances.

(3) The Sookshma Dasa of Mars was operating on the fateful day.

(4) The day of Rajiv’s death was a Tuesday, the day of Mars.

The transit of Venus:

Venus is very strong in natal chart with 6 benefic points and posited in the kakshya of Moon, which is one of the contributors of these points. Venus is very strong Shadbal-wise also. Venus being significator planet of 7th house and the spouse, the quality of married life of the native had to be very good, whatever the span of married life was. But being the 11th lord it has become malefic. Now see the following facts on the fateful date:

(1)  Venus was transiting in Gemini, with 4 points, in the Kakshya of Mercury. Mercury is not one of the contributor of these points. Venus's transit in a kakshya, void of contribution by Kakshya lord's point,  causes troubles and affliction to the spouse, ancient scriptures says so. Now count its position in transit from Kakshya lord's position in natal chart (Scorpio). Venus, the significator of conjugal bliss, was in 8th house (Gemini) which is significator of marital status of a woman, invoking negative significances of this house due to its transit position explained above.

(2)  Venus was in 12th house (Gemini) if counted from natal Ascendant (Cancer) invoking negative significances of this house such as mental anguish, loss of spouse, fear from overt and covert enemies.

All five malefics were in "Evil" Nakshatras:

Ashtakvarga method prescribes a system in which Sarvaashtak totals of various signs are summed from Ascendant to the position of malefics in natal chart (both signs included). This sum is multiplied by  7 and product divided by 27. The remainder shows the asterism (from Ashwini), which itself or its trines, when transited by malefics brings misfortune and other afflictions to the native. Applying the above mentioned method, we get the following results:


Ascendant to Saturn = (30) x 7 = 210 
210 divided by 27 = 7.777
Remainder = 0.777 x 27 = 20.98  or 21

21st asterism is Uttarashadha and its trines are Krittika and Uttaraphalguni.  

Sun was transiting Krittika at that moment.

b. Mars to Ascendant = (23+24+23+29+33+29+21+30 = 212) x 7 = 1484 
1484 divided by 27 = 54.96
Remainder = 0.96 x 27 = 25.92  or 26

26th asterism is Uttarabhadrapad and its trines are Pushya and Anuradha.

Mars was transiting Pushya Nakshatra at the time of incident lord of which is Saturn. Mars's transit in Saturn's nakshatra (even sub-lord was also Saturn) at a time when Saturn itself  was highly malefic in transit for her and running its Mahadasha also, again helped in adding the "Blood",  "Violence", "Explosives" factor to the incident.

c. Ascendant to Mars = (30+37+38+27+23+23 = 178) x 7 = 1246 
1246 divided by 27 = 46.148
Remainder = 0.148 x 27 = 3.996  or 4

4th asterism is Rohini and its trines are Hasta and Shravana.

Saturn was transiting Shravana.


Rahu to Ascendant = (29+21+30 = 80) x 7 = 560 
560 divided by 27 = 20.740
Remainder = 0.740 x 27 = 19.98  or 20

20th asterism is Poorvashadha and its trines are Bharani and Poorvaphalguni.

Rahu was transiting Poorvashadha.

e. Asc.to Rahu  =  (30+37+38+27+23+23+24+23+29+33+29 = 316) x 7 = 2212 
2212 divided by 27 = 81.926
Remainder = 0.926 x 27 = 25.002  or 25

25th asterism is Poorva Bhadrapad and its trines are Punarvasu and Vishakha.

Ketu was transiting Punarvasu.

All the five malefics were transiting simultaneously in such Nakshatras which according to Ashtakvarga principles would have brought misfortune to the native, even singly. An unimaginable situation really.

A  striking feature at this time was that all planets (including Ascendant); except Venus; were in asterisms whose Sub -lords are also malefics. Remember, Mercury is a malefic for Cancer Ascendant being the 3rd lord, and in this horoscope, also associated with two natural malefics, Sun and Ketu.

The "South-East" direction was most inauspicious to her:

The distribution of strength among eight directions; reckoned from Sarvaashtakvarga and the cardinal directions of planets; in Sonia's horoscope; as per fixed Zodiac system (Sthirachakra) applied in "Prashnamarga", is as follows:

East    :    13.798%   Rahu
South-East            :     9.347%   Moon
South    :    14.911%   Saturn
South-West            :    16.914%
West :    11.128%   Sun, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Ketu
North-West :    10.237%   Mars
North :    10.460%
North-East :    12.908%

As it is evident from the above chart that  South-East direction is highly inauspicious to her, having least strength, and it has proved so. Sriperumbudur, where Rajiv died and Sri Lanka where from the assailants hailed, both are in exactly South-East of her place of residence New Delhi. Moon is situated in South-East and is posited in 12th  house (which signifies "Loss of Spouse" and "Loss in Travel") in natal chart in the Kakshya of  Mars (which  signifies "Explosives"). It was transiting the 3rd house (House of sorrows) on the fateful day, if counted from the natal self. Therefore the loss of spouse due to explosives in South-East direction was quite indicative in her horoscope during an inauspicious period.  The next inauspicious direction for her is North-West where the Punjab is situated. The whole Gandhi family has remained threatened from this region after “Operation Blue Star”.

The horary principles and the event :

As per horary astrology principles, Saturn has dark complexion, stiff hairs, large teeth, windy temperament and cruel nature. Just remember  the photograph of Rajiv's assassin Ms.Dhanu, and you will find a striking similarity in her personality with above description. Saturn's direction is “South” and inherent nature is "Earthly". The assassination was in 'South' and on the 'Earth'. The Capricorn sign signifies "Low lying area" and  the sign Cancer signifies "Sea". Saturn's transit in Capricorn and Mars's transit in Cancer ensured that assassination took place at low lying area near the Sea (Sriperumbudur is at sea level).

Also read a Vedic numerology based article showing astrological connection between Rajiv Gandhi's horoscope and the names of his assassins.