Among the most common and most useful of the yogas are the "Mahapurusha" yogas, the planetary combinations that create "great people". These occur when planets are located in their own sign or exalted and at the same time in an angle from the ascendant or the Moon. Only the five major planets are considered, not the Sun or the Moon, but these also benefit from such positions. Such positions serve to magnify the qualities of the planet involved and stamp the chart with its nature, character and force. They may make the person of the type belonging to the planet. People with such charts often have the physical characteristics of the planet.
The Mahapurusha Yoga for Mars is called "Ruchaka Yoga", the "radiant combination". It endows a person with strong martian qualities like courage, daring, force of will, decisiveness, determination, independence, leadership, power of action and achievement. Naturally it is common in the charts of martian type people; military leaders, generals, politicians, lawyers, scientists, executives. It gives much success but the tamasic qualities of Mars may come out, including tendencies towards domination and violence. The Mahapurusha Yoga for Mercury is called "Bhadra Yoga", the "auspicious combination". It gives strong mercurial qualities like good powers of speech, communication, commerce, intellect, wit, humor, mental sensitivity, humanism and a balanced psychology. It is common in the charts of intellectuals, teachers, writers, businessmen. It gives many powers and talents to the mind but may augment the rajasic, agitated or commercial side of Mercury; the acquisitive mind and its seeking to grasp life in terms of names, forms and quantities. The Mahapurusha Yoga for Jupiter is called "Hamsa Yoga", the "swan combination"; the swan being the bird of spiritual knowledge in the Vedas. It gives strong Jupiterian qualities, an ethical, moral, philosophical or religious nature, optimism, creativity, health, faith, prosperity and affluence. It is common in the charts of religious people, of teachers, of more liberal social and business leaders, sometimes entertainers. It gives much joy and compassion and can give spirituality but may just serve to make us self-promoting, Jupiterian on a superficial level.
The Mahapurusha Yoga for Venus is called "Malavya Yoga". It gives strong venusian qualities like comfort and prosperity in life, command of vehicles and material resources, beauty, charm, grace, artistic talents. It is common in the charts of artists, beautiful women, those possessing wealth or social influence, sometimes even politicians. Again it can give lower or higher Venus affects depending upon its placement. On a higher level it gives powers of devotion. The Mahapurusha Yoga for Saturn is called "Shasha Yoga". It gives strong Saturn qualities like power over people, positions of authority, control of material resources, strong work and achievement capacity. It is common in the charts of political and business leaders. As Saturn is a cruel planet, unless the Moon or Jupiter are strong the individual may be selfish, ruthless or destructive (Saturn in an angle is usually looked on with some suspicion). Benefically placed it gives detachment and spiritual insight, the capacity for silence.
These yogas are prominent in the charts of famous people. However, they are not uncommon; many charts have at least one of them. To really work they must be well-placed. Such yogas are stronger when the planet is in the tenth, the best angle, or if they occur both from the ascendant and the Moon. If the planet involved is the final dispositor in the chart or rules over many of the other planets also helps. Additional strength can be gained if such planets combine with friendly planets or planets of like nature, like Mars with the Sun or Jupiter with the Moon. Poorly aspected these yogas can show the destruction of the qualities represented by the planet (as both the planet and its sign may be ruined). While giving strength and power in the outer world, these combinations do not always give spiritual knowledge or an ethical disposition. Strong malefics in Mahapurusha Yogas, like the Mars and Saturn, can create tyrants (see the chart of Hitler for such a yoga for Mars).
An important principle in planetary yogas is that stronger affects may be created when a planet exchanges signs with another planet, than if it is simply in its own sign. For example, if one chart has a Saturn-Moon opposition with Saturn in its own sign Capricorn and the Moon in its own sign Cancer, and another has Saturn in Cancer and the Moon in Capricorn (both planets exchanging signs), the latter chart will tend to be stronger. The reason is that the power of the planets is more integrated. In this regard the Raja Yoga in Napoleon's chart is stronger with this placement than it would have been if the Moon and Saturn were in their own signs. For this reason some charts are very powerful even without any Mahapurusha yogas.
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