Jyotish shastra is a vedanga – part of the Vedic knowledge and therefore an important pillar of Santana Dharma . Your kundali gives a picture of your cycle of Karma – from all your previous births and therefore the Prarabdha karma that will impact the current life . Our sages could map out each breath of life , with the help of 9 planets in 12 houses and 12 rashis . Sounds Simple ?
Sorry , but that’s 9^12^12 combinations -hardly a number that’s easy to decipher even for the most gifted mathematician . Add to it the fact that the predictions are not linear . Planet and house combinations form Yogas and then bhangas or combinations for the destruction of these yogas . Also these are just the static number of combinations at birth . Current forecast depends not just on these but also the current Mahadasha ( and there are several dasha systems ) and the dynamic planets movements – called Transits or Gochar .
Yet starting with Sri Ganesha, the deity of astrology, to Mahrishi Parashara , Bhrigu and then a multitude of others charted out clear rule sets and principles to make accurate forecasts from the arcane combinations . Swami ji talks in his memoir about how he could arrive at the exact date of his Mama’s demise and various other bang on predictions . But he defied the most important prediction of his own longevity .
The famous mathematician Bhaskaracharya was an accomplished astrologer too . He saw in his daughter Lilavati’s horoscope , the possibility of her being a widow. Being the Master of astrology and science both – he resolved to overcome this predicted misfortune by marrying her in a muhurta that promised akhanda saubhagya ( literal meaning -eternal good fortune and meant metaphoricallyas the good luck of always having your life partner around- although I doubt in this century people would think of it as saubhagya 😊) So, he constructed a sun dial himself to see the muhurta and monitored it carefully , marrying his daughter at the precise hour for this saubhagya yoga . It was only after the rituals were solemnized that he realized the sun dial was showing the wrong time -since his shadow fell on it and hence all his efforts to change the destiny were in vain.
So, is your fate cast in stone ? Irreversible ? I am not qualified enough to answer this question authoritatively . But from what I have learnt thus far there are 3 categories of people , who escape unscathed from the jaws of destiny
1. Yogis or those who are masters of their own life energy and hence no longer constrained by the hamster wheel of karmic compulsions. Such as Swami ji himself or other self realized enlightened beings
2. Those bestowed with Guru’s grace – which is a powerful blessing that can change the direction of the Universe -Paramhansa Yogananda describes in Autobiography of a Yogi how his Guru Sri Yukteshwar holds him through life threatening illnesses and events
3. Those who are ensconced in the cocoon of meditation – and hence those who look at life as a river and don’t get swept in by the tides of emotions caused by karmic energies . Meditation and mindfulness therefore ,serve as a shield against the ups and downs brought by Prarbdha .
Astrologers often scare people out of their wits with statements like ,your Shani ( Saturn) is maha papi(super sinful) or very strong , your sadhe sati ( 7.5 year period of Saturn in transit around your birth rashi) is a killer period , your marriage cannot happen due to you being a mangalik , your rahu is a killer and so on and so forth . Once the fear over whelms you – they offer what seems like a life support raft – like – you should wear XYZ gem or your should do ABC Puja to placate the stars.
Ofcourse , one stop shops are in vogue not just at airports but also for your fixing your destiny – they only provide you with the gem and they only do the puja for you . Quick fixes have become a way of life in this century and it is no surprise therefore that quick fixes for your destiny are thriving too
The alternate tactic taken by astrologers is to praise your fortune to the stars bestowing you with all known wealth and happiness and then when you are swimming in the ocean of contentment and happiness , listening to these happy predictions , they let loose on you the shark of the impending disasters (most of which may be their own creation )
And hence it’s a much maligned and hated community with rare qualified , knowledgable and pure souls -who show the right path without fear or favour .
As I wrote in my previous post , the motivation for me picking up astrology came from the stark difference between how I saw my Tataji practicing it and how I saw the professional astrologers abuse the vidya .Despite being forthright and blunt , when it came to astrology , in keeping with the tenet of being optimistic and sweet – Tataji always inspired hope . He never charged a penny and nor do I no matter how rich or poor the questioner is
I resolved therefore to never scare or frighten anyone with any predictions or to predict recklessly but to put hope in hearts and stay true to my purpose of learning the vidya . From whatever I have learnt , predictors should first outline the positive and happy aspects and address the negative aspects only if there is a specific question around it . In extreme situations ,this is very difficult to do – such as when parents of a dying child ask about their child’s remaining life . I pray to my Guru for strength then and try to land the prediction as softly as possible .
As Swami ji insists , the so called upayas don’t work and hence its cheating to encourage people to go chasing gemstones or pujas or other remedies . The peace brought about by surrender to the almighty is the only upaya that works. Swami ji made us take the pledge at his astrology workshop.
Kindness and compassion is a must, as is equanimity, for life’s current will not always be favorable . No planets are absolutely good or bad as professional astrologers often make them out to be .They are just the instruments of the divine to give you the fruits of your own actions – so if your actions or karma becomes good- so will the fruits . So, indeed we create our own destiny .
When I am able to bring a smile on a sad face or inspire someone who has been frustrated – it makes my effort worthwhile .Sometimes all you need to know is that there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel. And Jyotish – the divine light – instils that hope . Jai Sri Hari