Upapada Fasting


UPAPADAOften in the beginning of a love relationship there is a desire to give to the partner and share. Giving is joyful. At some point the human mind retracts back to itself and wants to be served. We get stingy, don’t want to extend ourselves and then act like there is something wrong with the other person. The nature of being open, free and giving is the nature of love. The joy of giving ourselves (our time and energy) is the nature of a loving relationship. When we contract and stop giving, we kill the life force of a relationship.

The Upapada represents marriage (or serious committed relationship), and it shows the importance of the ‘giving of yourself’ to your partner. A single person tends to focus only on themselves. This is why a student is supposed to stay single, focused on their self-progression. When marriage comes, it is about giving to and doing things for another person, surrendering one’s time and energy to the thoughts, ideals, and desires of the other person who has become a large part of one’s life.

In the astrology chart, the Upapada (UL) represents the nature of one’s giving. The Upapada is the arudha of the twelfth house, which is the house of loss (vyaya). The removal of a possession or energy can be experienced in a painful (vyayapada) way or joyful (upapada) way. It is possible to make this a point of joyful giving and sharing.

The second house is eating and the twelfth house is not eating. Fasting is a remedy related to the twelfth house and its arudha. The day lorded by the Upapada (A12) is used for fasting.The day lorded by the satrupada (A6) is the best day to feed people. And the day lorded by the mrityupada (A8) is the best day to be in silence or personal space.  This is the way to deal with the problems from the manifestation of the three negative houses (trika).

Natural medicine teaches that when we fast, the body releases toxins and cleanses itself. When we fast there is also a karmic cleansing that happens. We feel the need for food. This need is a basic human desire that arises in the base consciousness. When we feed the desire, as we unconsciously do every day, it goes away. When we resist the desire that arises, the mind enters a different state. We deal with the ‘need’ differently. This allows us to learn how to deal with our ‘neediness’.

Each day of the week (as well as lunar phase) has a different frequency. Fasting on a particular frequency brings up needs associated with that. If the Upapada lagna is in Gemini, then there are communication needs that get brought up. If the Upapada lagna is in Capricorn, there are scarcity needs that get brought up. In this way, by learning to deal with those needs, we shift a frequency within us that either attracts a relationship if we are single, or sustains a relationship if we are already in one.429162_10150669560211565_531136564_11257354_2108227685_n

By fasting, one will begin to tap into their own giving nature and start to harmonize that energy. This harmonization brings good relationships. You will notice when someone is being “needy” instead of attracting relationships they repel them, wanting to get someone so bad that it keeps people away. This is “I need this” consciousness instead of “I have the space for this” consciousness. When the ‘neediness’ is given up, they are able to find contentedness within themselves. Then one can just be present and allow the space for that which is sought to arrive. A more positive relationship enters the life. In this way, Upapada fasting helps center one in themselves—turning the needy nature into a giving nature–and when we are in a place where we are giving, a person will come to receive.

When fasting, the need for food will bring up emotions. If Saturn or Rahu associate with the UL, fasting will bring up stress and scarcity. Venus could bring up jealousy, Mercury can bring up greed, Mars will bring anger. Rahu (the north node) will bring up anxieties about commitment. These emotions need to be digested, and by digesting and assimilating them they will no longer cause issues within relationship.

Upapada fasting after a divorce can bring up resentments and anger with the ex-spouse. This is good and is required to be cleared. I often advise people to take the time when they are fasting, especially towards the end of the day, to sit with the arising emotions and get them complete. The Upapada day is generally one of the hardest days to fast, whether it is a Monday or a Saturday… it is the day that the real work happens on the fast.

The fasting is based on giving something up, so it can be a minor fast but the more you give, the more you get. It is important to feel the lack of food. For those who are too thin and have a hard time keeping weight on themselves, I advise to eat just rice and ghee. This bland diet will keep them from losing weight and still give the ‘desire’ for more. People that are working, can also do only fruit juices or only milk. But just rmember, the more you give up, the more you get.

ULWhen malefic planets are with the Upapada or the lord is in a malefic situation, then fasting becomes difficult, there is too great a ‘need’ to not fast. Too much work, too much to do, too much self-need to enter the space of giving up. In a relationship, if we are needy, our partner is not pulled to give. One wants, and the other shuts down. It’s a space that we hold, not actions that we take. When we shift the neediness, we enter a space of giving, which is reflected within the relationship.

Saturn on the Upapada lagna is called a bachelor combination. The person often does not shift into a shared space in their relationships; they live as if they are single even in a relationship. These are people who do well in long distance relationships, or living in their own house (or at least own room) when in a relationship. They are happier not sharing and not compromising their needs for another. Benefics like Jupiter will do the opposite and make a giving and sharing person who calls their spouse their better half.

When the UL is twelfth from the Arudha Lagna (AL), the individual feels like giving to the other is a waste of their time, being stingy with the energy they give to the spouse. They need to learn how giving is a path of fulfillment as well as the fructification of their desires. When malefic planets are associated with the UL or it is in the sixth or eighth from the AL, the ability to give becomes less—the individual needs to work on proper giving in their lives. Upapada fasting is good when the UL is afflicted in anyway, as well as when the seventh house or Venus are afflicted.

On a spiritual level, giving is the true path. Some people are constantly praying to god to get something, “God, please give me more money, god, I need a better job, god, please, just this one time, let me have it.” These types of prayers end without any fulfillment in the heart of the individual. Instead, a prayer giving thanks to god(des) reminds one of the beauty of life and how much they have already been given, “God, thank you for my family, for this food, for the roof over my head; Earth Mother, thank you for this beautiful creation and bearing my weight upon you every day.” In this way, through the giving of praises and appreciation, the mind is guided to contentment and peace. Therefore, Upapada fasting is beneficial even for a monk to attain the highest level of unattached giving the heart can experience.

524173_277408545672672_100002105865181_665246_853312549_nThe blessing the householder has over the renunciate, is the need to give up their own personal pursuits for the service of the family’s needs. The weakness of the renunciate life is the tendency to value personal independence which can actually be a way for the ego to hide; the day to day need for submission of your ‘needs’ for another is not present. Upapada fasting helps protect the renunciate from becoming stingy and self-centered. It can open the doorway to liberation. The renunciate must be firm in their space of celibacy though, as it makes anyone who fasts more ‘attractive’ to others.

Upapada fasting is often done to help improve a marriage. During a divorce, when one is clear it needs to end, the fasting needs to stop, as it will drag out the divorce and make it take a much longer time. [If you are trying to save a marriage, then find out your Upapada fasting day quickly.]

When a relationship changes, the Upapada giving the relationship indications changes to indicate the nature of the next spouse. Though the marriage partner and specific relationship dynamics change, there are always some fundamental aspects of how one interacts with a marriage partner that remain the same; these basics are seen from the root Upapada. The root UL is used for fasting as it is the original foundation of relationship. Other relationships may grow from this point and evolve as a person enters into different relationships but the fundamental roots of the tree remain, and issues here affect the whole balance of relating, thinking and acting in committed relationship.

Like a tree with roots, the tree will grow with one central trunk and its main branches. If the tree is in good soil, it will grow strong and fast–if it is in bad soil, it will grow weak and slow. When it bifurcates and grows more branches, they will be separate from the others, with a distinct nature and a different quality of fruit. Each branch of a tree bears a unique quality of fruit depending on the nature of the branching (skandha) and the light it receives from the Sun. A healthy tree, with good soil and plenty of water, will bear good fruit, some branches will be better than others, but the overall nature depends on the roots. While a tree in poor soil will bear small fruit even as they vary on different branches.

vishnu_lakshmiThe Upapada, being placed in a specific sign with the corresponding planet as lord, will have various beneficial or negative aspects associated with it. We intend to bring out the beneficial aspect of that planet by invoking its saatvik energy. When fasting, a sattvik deity may be worshiped to enhance this energy. Women utilize a form of Visnu and men utilize a form of Laksmi (in both hetro and homosexual relationships).

A standing form of the deity represents new beginnings and rising up in life. If one wishes to get married, they worship a form of Visnu or Laksmi in a standing form indicated by the Upapada lord. The UL lord starts a serious relationship and represents that partner. If the UL lord is weak, a UL may not manifest as a legal marriage, as the circumstance won’t have the energy to tie the two individuals together. Fasting and worshipping that deity will strengthen the UL. It is also good to give donation (dana) to the significations of any planet conjunct the Upapada. For example, if Venus is conjunct the UL, then donating money to a women’s shelter or women’s help organization will improve the results of the UL. If the Moon is conjunct the UL, then giving to a service that helps pregnant women or mothers will improve the UL; any person or people significated by the planet will work. Any planet with the UL ‘needs’ to be given/donated to. If there is no planet, then the lord can be donated to.

Vishnu-Lakshmi-DeviIn order to meet one’s Upapada, the person should perform the activities of the house of the UL placement. The ninth house is the house of higher education and spirituality. This shows a person who meets their spouse while getting their higher education or while visiting temples, or other ninth house activities.

Once a person is married and they need to improve/sustain marriage, they worship Visnu or Laksmi as indicated by the second from the Upapada lord, preferably in a riding form (with vahana), indicative of sustaining. The importance of the second house from the UL is critical, and to make the lord strong is to sustain the relationship.  For example, a woman with the UL in Cancer, should fast on Mondays and worship Kṛṣṇa (Cancer-Moon) to get married. Once she is married, she continues to fast on Monday but instead does puja to Lord Rāma (Leo-Sun). The day to fast is always based on the root Upapada Lagna. The deity to worship will change according to the relationship. The intention is to exalt the lord of the second house from the UL with Visnu mantras to sustain the relationship. This will also improve the health of the spouse.

Being aware of the nature of the UL sign and the second house from it is like watering a sapling—providing the best essentials so it can grow strong and healthy. UL fasting is similar to adding fertilizer to a tree. If it is already a good tree, it will be better, bigger and bear more fruit. If it is a poor tree, it will be given a chance to bear some fruit.

Where the husband is pleased (santuṣṭa) with his wife and the wife with her husband,
There will remain continual happiness/prosperity (kalyāṇa) in that family. –Manu Smriti III.60