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Question about Indian astrology philosophy.

 
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Fleur



Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 769

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:58 am    Post subject: Question about Indian astrology philosophy. Reply with quote

A constant philosophical question I have with astrology is that all my observations indicate that we do not have any choice in this lifetime, that everything is already mapped out by our birth chart and its unfolding in time by transits and solar arcs.

I feel an instinctive repugnance to new age philosophy that sells the catchphrases that we can change things.

I know nothing about Indian astrology, but hopefully there are Indian astrologers in this part of the forum, as well as Westerners skilled in Indian astrology who can answer the question whether Indian astrology teaches that we have choices to change anything, or whether everything is fated as shown in the birth chart and its unfolding in time?

I believe that Indian astrology would teach re-incarnation too?

I don't have a clue about the way Indian astrology operates, other than glimmerings mostly picked up reading people's posts on this forum, but as a traditional form of astrology I wouldn't have thought it bends too much to new age speak regarding fate and free will?
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Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1438
Location: California, USA

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fleur,

The standard spiritual reference for many astrologers related to Indian astrology in general is Chapter 16 in Paramahansa Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi. ("Outwitting the Stars") Yogananda's guru was a self realized master who was also an astrologer. Quoting Sri Yukteswar's words from this chapter:

Quote:
“The message boldly blazoned across the heavens at the moment of birth is not meant to emphasize fate, the result of past good and evil, but to arouse man’s will to escape from his universal thralldom. What he has done, he can undo. None other than himself was the instigator of the causes of whatever effects are now prevalent in his life. He can overcome any limitation, because he created it by his own actions in the first place, and because he has spiritual resources which are not subject to planetary pressure.
(...)
The more [one] realizes his unity with Spirit, the less he can be dominated by matter. The soul is ever-free; it is deathless because birthless. It cannot be regimented by stars.

Chapter 16 can be read on-line. Well worth reading! Ths chapter will tell you everything you need to know about the philosophy of India's astrology. It is fascinating how specific Sri Yukteswar could be about prediction in Yogananda's life.
https://www.crystalclarity.com/yogananda/chapter-16/

In practice the problem is that most individuals don't have the inner resources or strength to change circumstances. This strength comes from inner attunement to Spirit, which meditation helps develop. Also (according to India's spiritual teachings) if one has a self-realized Guru, the Guru's grace can change karma. There are fascinating stories of how this is done in Yogananda's biography. (The Catholic church has the same teaching about how grace operates.)

We may not be able to change circumstances, but we do have control over our personal reactions. This is our true freedom. By keeping emotions and thoughts free from karma building negativity (anger, hate, jealousy, etc.), we construct clear futures for ourselves.

Indian astrology has many remedial methods to counteract or modify disruptive planetary influences. The role of the consulting astrologer is to help clients with various remedies. There are entire books devoted to describing various helpful astrological remedies for different life problems, and in India astrological teachers instruct students about these remedies.
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Stefan



Joined: 31 May 2012
Posts: 209
Location: Stockholm

Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese points out some important points here...

Karma is a concept central to Jyotish. But not only as a chain that binds us making us helpless creatures wandering in samsara

Quote:
Saṃsāra (Sanskrit: संसार) means "wandering",[2][16] as well as "world" wherein the term connotes "cyclic change".[1] Saṃsāra is a fundamental concept in all Indian religions, is linked to the karma theory, and refers to the belief that all living beings cyclically go through births and rebirths. The term is related to phrases such as "the cycle of successive existence", "transmigration", "karmic cycle", "the wheel of life", and "cyclicality of all life, matter, existence".


So even though we have certain realities which are result from previous times intended for this lifetime (prabhdabda karma), it is not so fixed set

We are actually free each moment to create a new set of future realities for us. Karma means action as well. So with our thoughts, intentions and actions there is new karma created more according to the nature of our intentions.

In the astrological chart Rahu (North node) is said to be an important player for the creating of new karma. The area of Rahu in the chart is often experienced as strong desire to expand there. Making new karma to be experienced.


But this subject is highly complicated. I guess that we don't understand this at the level of development of mind that most of us are living in now.
It's amazing to read stories of enlightenend masters who have stepped out of this linear time concept and is more present in the eternal now.
They seems to have incredibly ability to read past present and future on their fingers. Many such masters have an uncanny ability to see into the future what is about to happen for individuals, and what caused it from a karmic perspective in a mindblowing way.

So is everything predestined or not ?
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Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1438
Location: California, USA

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Stefan. Any concepts regarding Rahu are strictly astrological (original source unknown), and aren't part of India's spiritual philosophy. I think we can summarize India's spiritual philosophy regarding reincarnation as follows:

(1) Reincarnation is accepted as a fact of existence.

(2) Our actions, thoughts and intent in past lives have determined our circumstances in this life. (Karma = action)

(3) Life problems and circumstances can be at least partially mitigated by applied self effort, the blessings of God or Guru and by various remedial measures such as mantras, pujas (Vedic ceremonial rituals) or other types of assistance.

(4) How we live our lives now determines our future lives.

(5) It's possible to end the cycle of re-birth and balance out past karma by the practice of various spiritual exercises, primarily the right kind of meditation. We can't know how close some individuals may be to freedom from re-birth (liberation) due to past life merit.

(6) The ultimate goal of life for everyone is final liberation from re-birth and union with the Divine. New age lingo calls this returning to our original Source of Being.
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AJ



Joined: 01 Nov 2018
Posts: 221

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:17 am    Post subject: Re: Question about Indian astrology philosophy. Reply with quote

Fleur wrote:
who can answer the question whether Indian astrology teaches that we have choices to change anything, or whether everything is fated as shown in the birth chart and its unfolding in time?

I believe that Indian astrology would teach re-incarnation too?

I don't have a clue about the way Indian astrology operates, other than glimmerings mostly picked up reading people's posts on this forum, but as a traditional form of astrology I wouldn't have thought it bends too much to new age speak regarding fate and free will?

As far as fate vs. free will in Indian astrology here are some thoughts... Therese and Stefan have given great expositions so I will try not to repeat much.

The basis of Jyotish or Indian astrology is the theory of Karma. Classical Jyotish uses only the seven visible planets known since antiquity and the Lunar Nodes in interpretation. The planets are known as "Grahas", which can be literally translated as "the Seizers." The English word "planet" is a very poor exchange of terms for this concept. The Grahas (planets) within Jyotish are regarded as Deities. Maharishi Parashara, in the Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra (one of the main treatises on Jyotish), states that God incarnated in the form of the Grahas to administer the results of karma to mankind. The Grahas as individual Deities then can "seize," or act upon everything within the created world and influence their actions and result in life. This concept is not present in modern Western Astrology.

The karma we have to bear in this life is unveiled in the planetary forces operating in our horoscopes. From this horoscopic "road map" (read Thereses's link to ABoY*) the planetary powers that affect us is studied including the amount of free will implicit in each chart for that individual. The power of the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and the lord of the third house or the planets in the third house show the magnitude of free will for each person.

The influences of the Grahas are indicators of the circumstances encountered in life and it is beleived that their influences can also be mitigated to some extent through planetary remedies or upayas.

*Autobiography of a Yogi
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 519
Location: Switzerland

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To me, astrology (whether modern, traditional or 'Vedic' - I have looked into all of these) is a system of archetypal symbolism. And as C.G. Jung constantly emphasized, every archetype inherently has two sides.

For instance, a strongly positioned Mars in a natal chart may indicate someone hot-tempered and prone to anger. Well, look at predestination any way you want: it can hardly be called 'accidental' if such an individual keeps running into obstacles - and into similarly self-assertive people that just love to oppose their views!

However, by the same token, someone of that nature also tends to be spirited and courageous. Qualities that distinguish, let's say, a good leader. Moreover, qualities that are obviously an expression of Mars as well!

But a good leader must also be sensitive to the needs of their own people and to the needs of those others they encounter in their ventures. So in order to manifest aforesaid qualities to their full potential, they must at once possess or develop empathy and compassion. In other words, Venusian qualities are called for! It is one of the unique features of the astrological system (regardless of its expression in any particular tradition) that it has those insights into the nature of balance built into it.

In all things, there is a need for a balanced approach. It can be something someone is gifted with (or may have developed it in another existence), or it may be cultivated by various approaches. In case of the latter, an individual will automatically alter their external experience in this life and in subsequent ones as well. This is simply a matter of cause and effect - that's all there is to karma, really.

Personally, I subscribe neither to Fatalism nor to a New-Age-ish 'anything goes' kind of thinking. To me, even in this - balance is key! Wink
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Fleur



Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 769

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your replies, I am still thinking about them.
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