Astrology, Some modern perspectives:
Astrology dates back from the origin of man. The word Astrology is derived from two Greek words Astra (Stars) and Logos (Study). So, Astrology is the study of Stars. Astrology is Astronomy brought to earth and applied to the affairs of men. It teaches us that the Universe is governed by a perfect system, accurately timed with marvelous precision and accomplished with unerring exactness. It is a noble Science included under Vedangas as early as around 50,000 years ago. Astrology, they proved, is an empirical science like that of Physics or Chemistry, thanks to the presence of the Sun, Moon and the stars as typical and visible evidences. The tools to prove its veracity are very limited and handful, only the Sun, Moon, Stars, the 12 signs of the Zodiac, and some planets in all, in our Solar system, which can not be brought into a test tube or a laboratory. They stand far away from us. One can not touch and feel them, but their impact on us is tremendous and foretelling.
The Impact of Planets:
It is not a secret now that each planet has its own unique polarization /frequency which all living things in the universe are affected on a cellular level. The influence of time and space of an event stamps then and there, a permanent seal on it through the planetary alignment, the forces of which are flowing around us in invisible channels directing our lives towards certain conditions, some of which can be adjusted and or modified by knowing them well in advance in the right time, some times for our favor. Astrology gives us a vague picture of almost the whole of life. It is more sophisticated and more useful than any other Science. It is really the science of the Absolute. Albert Einstein once said:
“The more I study the Universe, the more I believe in a Higher Power.”
In concluding the introduction to his Autobiography, ‘Wings of Fire’, Shri: A.P.J. Abdul Kalam writes:
“We are all born with a divine fire in us. Our efforts should be to give wings to this fire and fill the world with the glow of its goodness”.
The planets in the sky, which are within our Solar System, have impact on earth. The most important of them are the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Jupiter, Neptune, the North Node (Rahu) and the South Node (Kethu). Their route is the Zodiac, which is divided into 12 Signs, from Aries to Pisces. From the earth we see the Sun rising, moving across the sky, and setting, because of the rotation of the earth. The time it takes for the earth to rotate completely around the Sun once at a speed of around 1000 miles per hour, is what we call a day or 24 hours. Earth’s rotation gives us day and night. The earth, in its turn, revolves round the Sun, at a speed of 67,000 miles/ hour, once in around 365 days and this is the year. Since we are on the mother Earth, it is Geocentric.
Stars cannot compel; they only impel:
There are so many branches in Astrology like Jathaka or Native Chart, Prasna or Horary, Muhurta or Electional Astrology, Vana Nireekshana or Meteorology, Nashta Prasna or Missing persons or things, the affairs of Sanctum Sanctorum of temples and churches, and the like.
Horoscope or Natal Chart, as pointed out above, reveals the influence of time and space of a birth, stamped permanently on it, through the planetary alignment, their relations with the cusps and angles etc. In this context, we must always remember the Universal fact that Stars cannot compel, they only impel. Sometimes, as William Shakespeare said, we may feel that:
“The fault is not in our stars, but in ourselves”.
Destiny and Fate :
However, it is seen that stars help us shape our Destiny, but the ultimate Destiny or Fate is unto HIM, the Supreme Lord, the Brahman. Fate mostly depends on Karma, which is the law of consequences – of merit and demerit. Karma depends on Character. When we change our Character, we change our Karma. Character, in its turn, depends on habits. One may say that when character is lost, every thing is lost. Habits, attitudes and behaviors are closely linked to our unconscious. Do not turn the normal law of self-preservation inside out by bad habits and addictions. Again, Astrology is the only available proof for ‘Karma Theory’, which is the reason for all the happenings in the world. The three time periods namely past, present and future are supposed to be the transcendence of time and space in Astrology. It is therefore a true knowledge. It is the path of eternal bliss. The conscious, unconscious and subconscious are contained in it. Old Sages used to say that no knowledge is complete with out the knowledge of Astrology. It is therefore considered as the supreme knowledge granted to human being by the Gold, Almighty. If it is not properly and divinely used it will definitely cause ‘ tantra virodha’ to the Astrologer, causing havoc in his life. It should therefore be used only with utmost discretion after deep study, dedication and full providence.
Births and Re-births:
The planets are supposed to be hereditary transmitters from one generation to the other. Births and re-births are taken place to complete the cycle of life. The horoscope shows the residues of the results of the deeds of the past births or ‘karma phala’. In this birth one will carry three sorts of karma; ‘sanchitam’ that is stored from the past birth; ‘prarabdham’, accumulating in this birth and ‘aagami’, stored for the future. The doctrine of karma says so. When the ‘karma phala’ is exhausted there will be no more births. The microcosm becomes one with the macrocosm, which is the materialization of life, as if a drop of water becomes one with the sea.
Children and Character:
If a child grows in the habit of getting unconditional love from his parents, getting situations to help develop self-esteem, values, morals, and good traditions of life, enjoyment, good health, secure surroundings, chances to develop skills and abilities, of course coupled with strict discipline, he will have strength of character, which leads him to proper Karmas, the consequences of which will be a meaningful life. One thing is certain that unto every violation of law of the nature, there is meted out a penalty and it is inevitable. We can then try to resort to genuine, harmless and good processes of actions to mitigate evils, hoping for comfort and certainly with the ultimate aim of raising the level of our mind to a little more God-head, bearing in mind that the result of which depends on many other factors also, like the time for fructification of our prayers, the bank balance of our ‘papa-punyas’or merits and demerits, transcended from our previous births, if any, etc.
Some laws of Nature :
In this context, since we came to know that the violation of nature’s law is the primary and most important cause of grief in life, we should try to understand at least some of the major laws of nature, so that we may not purposely violate them and invite unnecessary troubles and worries into our lives, although it is a cosmic fact that a prick of conscience is instilled in us by the mother nature when ever we try to think or do an evil thing. People with wisdom and virtue will realize it easily that it is against the law of nature and they avoid it at once, when recognized. Wisdom is knowing what to do and virtue is doing it. The most conspicuous nature’s law, I think, is its vicissitudes. Nature is indifferent, it is not constant, and it exhibits no freedom in its existence, but only necessity and contingency. Some split seconds are enough for the utter annihilation of a part of the world, or even the whole world, for that matter. Second one is that this variety of the Nature is under constant change owing to time, space and causation, which cannot be predicted exactly by any one. Because of the intensity of variety in nature, not even two leaves in a big tree are exactly similar, not to speak of humans. This phenomenon of the Nature teaches us a lesson that the expectations of two persons, whether it be husband and wife, father and mother, brother and sister, or two lovers, so to say, will never be on the same level. Very often this is the root cause for beginning all troubles. So, we should not expect anything and every thing from the other. We should learn to contain ourselves and try to be happy and contented with what we have, and share the excess.
Astrology is really like a vast ocean. A famous Vedic Astrologer once said that he is only a particle of sand on the bank of the great ocean of Astrology. Astrology is spiritual, mystical, magical, and it is the music of the cosmos. A true and learned Astrologer can guide one to do the right thing at the right time and can guide to avoid the wrong thing at the tempting time. It is a Divine Science too, though empirical predictive in nature. It s purely based on mathematics, if the time and calculations go wrong, every thing will go wrong. The most important thing to be borne in mind about Astrology is that it should never be taken on any level other than the level of Vedanta, since it contains the quintessence of the philosophies of the entire world. Also, it is true that no better boat than a well written Horoscope can help a man cross over the troubled sea of life. Astrology ultimately helps our Atma (soul) to become Jivatma (manifested soul) and eventually to be one with Paramatma (The God), through deliverance or Liberation (Moksha or Sayoojya), which alone is supposed to fulfill or materialize the purpose of human birth. The higher the soul evolves, the more spiritual the understanding becomes until perfect rapport with the Divine Spirit is attained. This is the atonement, which makes a man perfect. Astrology, if approached in proper perspective, will be most helpful to achieve this goal. Astrology also reveals the greatest fact that the God, Almighty, is atonce transcendent and immanent, the principle emphasized in Sanatana Dharma, which is followed in countries like India, from time immemorial, by people of all caste, creed and color, irrespective of young and old.
Remedy rectifies to a certain extent:
Being known that there are sins in our deposit, we are expected to do ‘pariharas’ as remedial measures and ‘prayaschithas’ or amends, to mitigate the evils. If we believe God as the most powerful and all pervasive, kind and merciful, HE will accept our prayers and will pardon us for our mistakes. There is no man in this world who has not sinned in one way or other. Guilty conscience will never boost you up. It must be remembered in this context that for anything and everything we should not try to bring down God to our level and try to get things done as we wish. It is bad.
Bhagavat Gita says :
“ Udharedatmanatmanam, natmanamavasadayet,
meaning, let one raise the self, by the self and not let the self go down, because the self is the friend of the self and self is the foe of the self. You should not degrade yourself. The inner urge should be kept up. There is conflict of Dharma and Adharma in our mind. All your enemies are with in you first. With diligent perseverance and persistence, we should hold on to Dharma and raise ourselves. It is nice to remember Shakespeare here, where Cassius reminds Brutus, in his Julius Caesar:
“Men at sometime are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our Stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings”
Some General Rules:
The Astrology Chart consists of 12 Bhavas. Some of the important things, amidst the hundreds of thousands, represented by each bhava can be put briefly in general, as follows:
First Bhava (Tanu bhava) :
Happiness, longevity, age, birth, caste or community, health, characteristic mark, virtues, sufferings, physique, form, shape, complexion, fame, prosperity, success, sex etc. This bhava is called Lagna (Rassenamudayo lagna:). This is known also as Ascendant and is supposed to be the Key to all other bhavas.
Second Bhava (Dhana bhava) :
Wealth, family, clothes, pearls, ruby, gems, minerals, horses, business, path, science, art, speech, right eye, penury, rise and fall, all movables, court cases, death of husband and wife, common enemies etc.
Third Bhava Bhratru bhava) :
Younger brothers and sisters, communications, servants, slaves, laborers, courage, valor, wicked intention, right ear, help, neighbors, small journeys, hearsay, letters, children of friends, friends of children etc.
Fourth Bhava (Sukha bhava) :
Pleasures, garden, fields, mother, friends, caves, maternal uncle, nephew, treasures, vehicles, cot, seat, cleverness, winsome manners, place of birth, education, estates, property of diseased etc.
Fifth Bhava (Putra bhava) :
Children, Intelligence, resourcefulness, genius, discriminatory faculty, merits of past lives, mantras, ministers, cheerful mind, pregnancy, spiritual practices, literary composition, charters, lotteries, clubs etc.
Sixth Bhava (Satru bhava) :
Thieves, enemies, obstacles, diseases, physical injuries, serious illness amounting to death, fear, battle, donkey, cruel deeds, get-well from illness, demise of friends, shepherds, enemies of wife etc.
Seventh Bhava (Kalatra bhava) :
Marriage, passion, partner, husband, wife, companion ship, union of lovers, inward and outward movements, bad chamber, ladies’ apartments, war, lost articles, business, litigation, dispute etc.
Eighth Bhava (Ayur bhava) :
Death, cause of death, total destruction, disaster, scandals, place of death, hostel, hermitage, difficulties on the way, fortress, corruption, fight, vulnerable points, deed of will, relations of servants etc.
Ninth Bhava (Bhagya bhava) :
Fortune, religion, merit, compassion, good luck, penance, father, grand children, charity, worship of gods, spiritual practices, Vedic hymns, noble conduct, wells, temples, voyage, insurance, health of father, tenants etc
Tenth Bhava (Karma bhava) :
Profession, all kinds of services, cities, assemblies, street, residence, command, support, refuge, kingship, position, utility, magistrate, great men, reputation, father in-law, enemies of friends, lawyers etc.
Eleventh Bhava (Labha Bhava) :
Gain of wealth, acquisition of desired objects, elder brother, one’s own progeny, left ear, elephant riding, crops, gold, maidens, trusts, perfidy of friends, ambassadors, advisors, cattle, death of father ec., and,
Twelfth Bhava (Vyaya bhava) :
Loss, sinful deeds, fall, hell, left eye, loss of position, physical handicap, defective limbs, renunciation, expenditure through charity, luxurious living, sacrifices, agricultural operations, tribulations, accidents etc.
‘Sarvesham Santhir Bhavathu’