International Journal of Yoga - Philosophy, Psychology and Parapsychology

: 2020  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 33--37

Variations in microbial growth rates explained by traditional knowledge

Prabhakar Vegaraju1, Alex Hankey1, Ramesh Mavathur2,  
1 Department of Yoga and Physical Sciences, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana University, Prashanti Kutiram Campus,Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Yoga and Life Sciences, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana University, Prashanti Kutiram Campus, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Alex Hankey
Department of Yoga and Physical Science, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana University, Prashanti Kutiram Campus, Kallubalu Post, Jigani, Bengaluru - 560 105, Karnataka


Background: Modern scientific methods have been used to test and verify statements in the ancient Vedic literature. Jyotisha astrology Navagrahas have been observed to influence results of microbiological processes. Aims and Objectives: To extend previous work by investigating exponential phase growth in easily repeatable growth experiments. Materials and Methods: 150 growth curves of a non-pathogenic E. coli strain were generated for 72 start times over an 18-month period, using OD-600 spectrophotometer measurements. Results: Variations in maximum exponential phase growth correlated negatively with Kuja (Mars) Shadbala, R2 was 0.20, P < 0.0005. Discussion: Previous research found that Jupiter and Rahu consistently exerted opposing influences. Consistent with Jyotisha tradition, Jupiter supported life, while Rahu opposed it. Kuja is malefic like Rahu. The study suggests that he plays a similar role thwarting life processes. Conclusion: Kuja's role opposing microorganism growth seems similar to Rahu's, consistent with their common malefic nature posited by Jyotisha.

How to cite this article:
Vegaraju P, Hankey A, Mavathur R. Variations in microbial growth rates explained by traditional knowledge.Int J Yoga - Philosop Psychol Parapsychol 2020;8:33-37

How to cite this URL:
Vegaraju P, Hankey A, Mavathur R. Variations in microbial growth rates explained by traditional knowledge. Int J Yoga - Philosop Psychol Parapsychol [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Aug 9 ];8:33-37
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One of the aims of the author 's institution is to identify statements in sections of the ancient Vedic literature such as Yoga and Vedanta, for use as conjectures that can be tested by scientific experiments. Many aspects of Yoga[1] have been so tested. Its medical applications,[2],[3],[4],[5],[6] such as asthma,[2] depression,[3] other mental illness,[4] lower back pain,[5] and childbirth,[6] have proved, especially fruitful. So have similar tests of Ayurveda[7] programs. Ayurveda, literally “biology,” is the Vedic science of medicine, forming a system of preventive medicine,[8] ideal for integrative practice.[9]

Such systems, when properly understood, can expand our understanding of biology.[10] One such ancient science is Jyotisha,[11] a sidereal system of astrology taking the fixed stars as its points of reference, thus differing fundamentally from the western system of astrology. Jyotisha takes into consideration nine planetary bodies, known as the Nava (nine) Grahas: Surya (Sun), Chandra (Moon), Kuja (Mars), Budha (Mercury), Guru (Jupiter), Sukra (Venus), Sani (Saturn), and Rahu and Ketu (North and South Nodes of the Moon). The first seven luminous bodies, usually visible in the night sky, are known as the Sapta (seven) Grahas, whereas the last two are known as shadowy Grahas, also as “sensitive points.” Being invisible, their precise locations must be computed by mathematical calculations.

Previous experiments designed by Dr. Rameshrao N. for his PhD thesis at S-VYASA obtained revolutionary results showing that certain Grahas strongly influence vaccine production and vaccination processes in small ruminants.[12],[13]Graha Guru, Jupiter, was observed to enhance cell growth and vaccination effectiveness. Rahu weakened both, whereas the influence of Chandra, the Moon, was to increase growth and neutralize the adverse effects of Rahu. Those experiments were conducted under the supervision of the Bangalore Veterinary College, with vaccine production runs mostly performed at its Institute for Animal Health and Veterinary Biology (IAH and VB). The latter experiments only observed end points of growth processes, however, raising the question of how, if at all, planetary bodies may influence details of the growth curves.

In 2015, new experiments were, therefore, proposed, with the aim of determining which, if any, of the nine Navagrahas may directly influence growth curves. Since the traditional texts give no indication which graha might do so, the research hypothesis was very general, namely that one or more of the Navagrahas would influence exponential growth rate of the bacterium selected for these experiments.

The main aim of the experiments was, therefore, to investigate the commonly observed variations in bacterial growth rates, which, though currently accepted as normal, are anomalous and never discussed in microbiology. The objective was to determine how much can be attributed to quantifiable parameters in Jyotisha astrology. More precisely, since the previous experiments had shown that time of innoculation (TOI) of the main growth flask represents an acceptable Jyotisha muhurta (the time at which to make detailed Jyotisha predictions), the new experiments also used the TOIs of the main growth flasks as the Lagna muhurtas, i.e., the starting time of the process for which Jyotisha predictions are tested. The predictions utilized the Shadbala of the Saptagrahas, the strength of each luminous planet, made up of six, Shat, components. A Graha's overall strength is called its Shadbala (the nodes of the moon are not attributed Shadbalas). Utilizing a nonpathogenic strain of Escherichia coli, the experiments correlated variations in exponential growth rates with variations in Shadbalas of Saptagrahas for the growth curves. This article presents its results.


A nonpathogenic E. coli was selected, and 72 growth curves generated over the period, February, 2017, to August, 2018. As previously, time of main flask inoculation was taken as the Jyotisha Muhurta. The microorganism utilized was E. coli strain, K-12 MG 1655, obtained from the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru, and kept in glycerol stock at −80°C. It was grown in preautoclaved Luria broth medium (catalog no. M575-500G, HiMedia Laboratories Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, Maharashtra, India) held at 37°C in a 180 rpm incubator-cum-shaker (Model: 116736, GeNei™, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India). In preparation, first, the E. coli K12-MG 1655 in glycerol stock was streaked onto preautoclaved YT agar plates (catalog no. G032-500G, HiMedia Laboratories Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, Maharashtra, India) and incubated overnight at 37°C and stored for immediate future use within 3 days.

Furthermore, in preparation, containers to be used were preautoclaved containing the correct amount of Luria broth. First, 50 ml portions of distilled water were taken and mixed with 1 g Luria broth powder. These were put directly into 250ml conical flasks (Catalogue no. 4980021, Borosil Glass Works Ltd, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India) for use as main culture, or main culture blank control. In addition, 3 ml portions were placed in 15ml falcon tubes (Catalogue no. 546021, Tarsons Products Pvt Ltd, Kolkata, West Bengal, India). All such prepared containers were then autoclaved at 120°C and 15 bar pressure for 30 min. Ten or more falcon tubes would be prepared at one time in this way and stored for later use.

The next day, a preculture was made by inoculating one of the preautoclaved falcon tubes with a single colony from the streaked YT agar plate and incubating it overnight at 37°C, starting some 12–14 h before the intended Muhurta. This preculture was then used to inoculate a preautoclaved 250-ml conical flask with its 50 ml Luria medium, as the main culture for that growth experiment. Each step of this process also incorporated a preautoclaved blank control, verifying that without adding E. coli, growth was not observed: for step one, a blank YT agar plate; for step two, a blank 15-ml falcon tube with its 3 ml Luria broth; and for step three, a blank 50 ml Luria broth in its 250-ml flat-bottomed conical flask.

The starting optical density (OD) of the main cultures was set at 0.002 at 600 nm, by measuring the OD 600 (using Thermo Scientific™ NanoDrop 2000c, Wilmington, USA) of the preculture and calculating and applying required dilution factors. The main culture was incubated in the same shaker-cum-incubator maintained at 37°C and 180 rpm. Each day that experiments were run, two or three growth curves were generated for different main culture inoculation time Muhurtas, TOIs. In this way, growth curves were generated for 72 TOIs.

Data extraction: OD 600 measurements were taken at specified time points (0, 60, 120, 150, 180, 210, 240, 300, and 360 min, after Muhurta) using 1 ml aliquots from the culture.

Jyotisha Shadbalas for each growth curve: the six constituent balas making up Shadbalas of each Saptagraha for each muhurta are set out in [Table 1] (Chapter 27, “Evaluation of Strengths”, p. 263), together with the name of the Santhanam textbook, which presents formulae given in Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra (BPHS), our main Jyotisha reference text.[11]{Table 1}

In addition, details of Lagna (rising sign), Nakshatra (star constellation), Trihi (day of the 15 days lunar fortnight), Vara (week day), and Yoga (special planetary conjunctions) are required. This enables Shadbalas of the Saptagrahas to be calculated. This experiment's full report will provide computed data for the Saptagraha Shadbalas for each muhurta.

Data analysis used SPSS 21.0 (Statistical Package for Social Sciences, IBM). OD 600 data were entered in LibreOffice Calc Spreadsheets under Ubuntu (Linux) to generate each growth curve, measurement times forming abscissae, and OD values, ordinates [Figure 1].{Figure 1}

Steepest slopes (occurring between 180 min and 360 min) were computed using the spreadsheet function to calculate the gradient of the best-fit line for the five time points at 180, 210, 240, 300, and 360 min. The mean and standard deviation were calculated for both trend-line gradients and shadbalas; four outliers with distances from means >2.5 standard deviations were removed: the two with the smallest slopes and the two with the largest Shadbalas. The number of growth curves was thus reduced to 68. Armed with the best-fit trend lines, correlations between them, and the Saptgraha Shadbalas were calculated for the final set of growth curves.


In this brief account of the experiment, we only give the strongest correlation value.

The strongest correlation, R2 = 0.201, with P < 0.0005, was for Kuja (Mars) [Figure 2]. This Kuja Shadbala correlation was by far the most significant – sufficiently so to report as a standalone result; particularly, as a simple interpretation of it can be presented. Other planets showed far weaker trends contributing to an overall statistical model. Analysis of the combined effects will be reported in a full account of the experiment.{Figure 2}


The value of the correlation between the mean slopes of exponential phase growth and the Kuja Shadbala suggests that Kuja accounts for 20% of the observed variance. That naturally raises the question, “To what can be attributed the other 80%?” Further analysis of the data shows that (1) a large fraction is intrinsic and is present among growth curves started at the same time; (2) the other six Saptagrahas have lesser correlations, but nevertheless take up a further fraction of the variance; and (3) so does another condition: the presence of Rahu (the north node) in Lagna, as a number of TOI muhurtas selected. Unlike the Upagrahas, for example, Mandi or Gulika, the outer planets, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, are not considered by traditional Jyotisha as laid out in BPHS, as they are not visible to the naked eye. However, they are widely accepted to exert significant influences on people's lives. Thus, they should also exert some influence in our experiments; so also should eclipses, the other condition extensively investigated by Dr. Rameshrao N.

Results reported here are qualitatively different from those on vaccine productions runs at IAH and VB.[12],[13] Those experiments reported microbial growth in terms of final vaccine output measured by nephelometric turbidity or cell mass index. Most involved multiple production runs on the same day; many on several days, spaced out over 10 days or so.[12] They demonstrated that Jupiter increases bacterial growth and decreases virus propagation,[12] whereas Rahu, the north node of the Moon, does the opposite, increasing virus propagation rates and inhibiting bacterial growth.[12] For both bacteria and viruses, the presence of a strong moon tended to negate the effect of the north node. Significance levels were extreme: P was less than one-in-a-million, P ≤ 10−6, for all experiments; for some, far better.[12] Cumulative significance over the eight experiments was P ≤ 10 −65.[12] Four concerned solar eclipses, which were observed to strongly increase virus production.[13] Cumulative significance over the eight experiments was P ≤ 10−65.[12]

Some opine that Dr. Rameshrao's results were conclusive. Microbiologists should not doubt the observed effects, no matter the understandable skepticism that they may bring to the experimental hypothesis. Interestingly, influences of Jupiter and the north node were consistently opposed to each other: Jupiter was prolife, whereas the north node was inimical to it, agreeing with the ancient texts.[11] The experiments' success led to the framing of a rigorous scientific theory of how planets can influence cellular processes based on quantum astrophysics and complexity biology.[14]

That earlier research was based on study hypotheses aimed at obtaining support for statements in the traditional Jyotisha literature, which were treated as conjectures to be tested by experiment. They, thus, offer empirical evidence for influences on microbial growth by Jyotisha Grahas in the rising sign at TOI. All that research suggested that planetary bodies influence single-cell processes. The proposed physics[12],[14] is quite simple and is based on the complexity biology result that all biological processes are regulated from criticality, i.e., critical instability, a condition sensitive to systems with which they are correlated. Jyotisha Grahas all embody high levels of quantum correlations dating from their formation, including the nodes of the moon. Constructing a physical theory of how Grahas can influence regulation of organisms is quite straightforward.[12],[14]

High variability is always seen in vaccine production runs, even those carried out under stringent conditions specified in vaccine production manuals published by authorities such as Merck Corp. ( leg Accessed 2019.04.10) or Terrestrial Manual OIE ( 2019.04.10) The current theory of such variations[15] is that they depend on “Small Numbers of Large Molecules.” However, for growth processes, such a theory is a nonstarter. Each organism varies independently; so, the large numbers of organisms involved, usually more than 108, would reduce the original variance by the square root of the number of organisms, i.e., by at least 10−4. Reducing variations by a factor of 104 would clearly leave little residual variance in growth rates to be observed.

The previous experiments' results may be summarized by stating that they supported the roles traditionally attributed to Guru and Rahu. Here, a completely new correlation has emerged that between exponential phase growth rate and the Shadbala of Kuja (Mars), a scientific discovery in its own right.

The innovative vision of these recent experiments is the relevance of the time, space, and consciousness dimension embodied in Jyotisha astrology, which is a higher dimension than those so far incorporated in modern bioscience. The result gives rise to the question: How does it fit in with the roles traditionally attributed to Kuja, a naturally malefic Graha? Although the general role of Kuja is a natural leader, his malefic nature can cause problems to life and inflict great harm.[11] Evidently, the latter property manifests here. during maximum exponential phase growth, Kuja Shadbala reduces growth curve gradients.


This novel result, though a Post hoc discovery, fits information about the nature of Kuja from India's ancient Jyotisha tradition. He is genuinely malefic and that quality applies to competitive growth processes in challenging environments. This insight, together with its intuitive explanation, seems an important result of the present experiment. It is consistent with the day-to-day practice of many traditionally minded Indians today, who avoid undertaking important activities on Tuesdays, Mangalwara, because Kuja is Lord of the Day, and his influence is significantly increased and felt.


We should like to acknowledge the advice and help of Dr. Rameshrao N., Dr. Ragavendra Samy, and Dr Judu Ilavarasu, and the support of Dr. H. R. Nagendra, Chancellor, S-VYASA.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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