by Rohiniranjan © Crystal Pages, 2003

Jyotish is inextricably associated with remedies. As more begin to lean towards its teachings, many come to it with a hope, deep within their hearts, and sometimes openly expressed, that Jyotish drew them because it provided them with the possibility of remedies. While the logical and rational individual, and many such are drawn to jyotish, would shun any association with what some might call black magic or at least magic, many more come to jyotish hoping that there is hope, that their miseries are not permanent or unrectifiable and at least explainable within the framework provided by it. Unfortunately, often, such hopes are ill-founded, and even more sadly, promoted and reinforced by practitioners. Given the extremely complex and to some extent mystical matrix of jyotish, aggressively and religiously preserved so by many, and the sensitivity around total transparency and testing, all for good and even pragmatic reasons, a discussion of remedials becomes even more complex a task. In pretty much any aspect of jyotish, there is the rather simplistic view of there being a rigid, clockwork-like universe with straight-forward rules that only need to be learned in their entirety. This is almost reminiscent of science, particularly physical sciences, the world of College physics and chemistry where events are almost completely predictable. But jyotish describes ‘human experience’ that is more akin to quantum physics and quantum chemistry. The rules are different there even when they control the material universe. As we increase the complexity of rules and numbers of interactive factors that must be considered in order to give a meaningful reading, one is reminded of western astrology. The use of factors increased in it tremendously over the recent decades during which it was scientifically and rationally viewed and described. As more midpoints and then types of aspects and hundreds if not thousands of asteroids and fixed stars got thrown into the mix, explaining retroactively pretty much any given chart or event became possible. But how is the modern human to remember and test all those factors in a balanced and reproducible manner in the charts that come across his or her desk as blind tests, as questions without the answer already known! While – thousands study in modern universities and schools of astrology, get certificates and practice their craft, sometimes getting a bit carried away like any new graduate and overzealously claiming it to be science -- many more court disillusionment, clients and practitioners alike. Most of these remain silent, some turn into sceptics and embittered with the entire field. Whether it is astrology or medicine, homeopathy or ayurveda, one thing is constant. Human perception and view of reality about anything, about any field does vary quite a bit. Hence we have so many portals into the illusory maya of reality. This solves some problems but raises a few more questions, depending upon the mind-set of the individual. The Jyotish framework deals with and recognizes karma or past actions as the cause of much of our pain and confusion. Given the concept that we are all parts of the Soul which is Divine, as long as we do not go back to what could only be termed the ‘original sin’, all the guilt and selfpunitive thoughts work excellently in the framework of guilt and penance. There is also the

alternative explanation about the human journey of the divine soul in the earthly realm being a journey of learning and of doing so without losing control. Thus, the soul decides where and when to be born and to create a scenario in which, pleasure or pain, it all is supposed to teach the soul something, presumably how best to live in the material reality without losing touch with the spiritual. Something most of us through our collective human experience have been miserably failing at, in recent years (make that a few millennia!). Or one can take the chicken’s way out and not worry about beginnings and what led to now and just go with the assumption that we are all sinners and need to fix our karmic ledgers. This accountant’s model works well in our current worldly framework and being essentially optimistic (how else do you think we crawled out of the caves and forests and started building homes, agriculture and now trying to make intelligent sand (what do you think our computers, CPU and RAM is composed of?)! So, regardless of whether you are rich or poor, highly educated or not, pious or sinner, you carry a karmic burden. Feeble attempts at fitting saints and awatars into this karmic web of pain and suffering have been made. Thankfully, these lofty ones are so few and far in between that we might as well leave them out of this exercise. God knows we have ignored their lessons satisfactorily and without much problem, it seems! There is nothing that works better than guilt. Parents for the most part raise children on guilt and fear of punishment and consequences that will haunt one for centuries and lifetimes. If you are privileged to be born in an orthodox, religious family then you better not fear the afterlife. During your lifetime, you would have already paid your dues many times so there can be no possibility of your getting tossed into the pit of burning brimstone! You die a freed and heavily purged soul!! So, you have already accepted your guilt, that you are an accomplice in the undermining of your own eternal good and must now pay a price. Yes, I have remedies for you! Modern godmen being less than pure, what with the prevailing kaliyuga and all, I don’t blame if the modern, intelligent, yet tradition-seeped individual turns towards scriptures, presumably written in purer and simpler times. Now, one is doing all this scriptural research because of all these confusing statements floating on internet about remedies and their efficacy. Some jyotishis recommend gemstones, amulets, mantras, worship rituals, penance, fasting and charity and many more such rituals which in a sense are all self-punitive. They end up costing you money, often lots of it, or physical deprivation, even pain and not all jyotishis remember to remind about the medical consequences of fasting in individuals who must control their feeding or diet – for example a diabetic on mega doses of insulin! Major karma awaits the reckless and ill-informed astrology expert in that case, in this world and in the thereafter! Truth be told, many of the remedies, particularly the ones with a religious flavour are a matter of faith and when faith and belief get stirred, then something deeper than common-sense and something supernatural takes over, the inner healer. What is not guaranteed is if in a given case this inner process will jump-start. If your prescriber is accomplished and you have faith and total

absence of doubts, good things may happen. How do most of us, particularly the rest of us establish that, though? I have looked in scriptures that are available to me and nowhere I find a recommendation for wearing of gemstones to allay the whip of Karma. There are instances, however, where giving gemstones in charity (Jatakabharanam, by Dhundiraja) or simply association of gemstones with planets (Uttarakalamrita by Kalidasa) is given. At what point in ‘modern’ times did this get translated into wearing of the prescribed gemstones is unknown to me. Now, I realise that all of us have the Divine DOKTOR inside us and there have been so many psychology books written about pampering and extolling the self but gifting or giving in charity a gemstone to oneself in order to fix and rectify one’s karmic burden is simply stated too “rich” a concept to absorb or accept, folks! And, yet it thrives as jewellers at times working with jyotishis offer high quality gemstones to medicate karma into submission. And, such is the maya that some clients experience benefits and assume that they improved their karma and now have a seat in heaven or that jackpot of all spiritual bonanzas: Self-Realization! I have written about a friend of mine in the Starteller magazine. He used to wear gemstones and most of these came from his earnings in the satta lottery. He was very sensitive in a psychic sense and came upon signals and symbols in nature that made him pick the numbers and for the most part he won large sums of money. While the rest of us were poor students, he was lush, and I mean really lush by Indian standards. He died in an accident – all the gemstones that he wore could not save him his ghastly earthly fate and painful end. Worse still, the pain probably lasts longer in his wife of but a couple of years and his new-born infant who never got to know her father. And, yet we hear all these gemstones and magical amulets being sold all over the place and even charities made to trusts and religious organizations and rituals taking place on your behalf thousands of miles away with only your pocketbook receiving the pain, while you munch on the sweet prasadam and wrap your deity with the spiritual gifts sent by the organizer of the pooja. Has karma become such a commodity, some say even a joke? Pay the price and watch the show! Better still, participate in the show and hone your acting skills! And, despite all the fuss we make, there will be those who will choose the simpler route. Rather than suffer, through volunteering their time and service or do penance, they would conveniently pay a priest or buy a gemstone and sometimes it would work even then! Is there no justice in this reality or do we not understand HIS leela fully? I find the Goddesses more upfront and direct, than the Gods – the <HE>, but then I have moon in fifth in a female sign and my fifth lord in 6th with venus in an earthy practical female sign in vimshamsha! I have always taken the planetary recommendations as a call for alms, charity and not for personal adornment. The latter just never made sense to me in a practical, rational or spiritual sense! The texts recommend the following (not a comprehensive list, by the way):

SUN: ruby, wheat, cow with her calf, cloth of red colour, jaggery (gud), gold, copper, red sandalwood, lotus flower. MOON: rice in a vessel made of bamboo, camphor, pearl, white cloth, bullocks with ploughshare, silver. MARS: coral,wheat, masoor lentil, red bullock, jaggery, gold, red coloured cloth, flower of Kaner, copper. MERCURY: green cloth, gold, silver, vessel of bronze, moon lentil, ghee, emerald, all kinds of flowers, maid servant (not socially or legally acceptable in these degenerate kali yuga times, I am afraid!) and ivory objects. JUPITER: Sugar (khand), turmeric, hourse, gram lentil, pale coloured cloth, topaz, salt, gold. VENUS: multicoloured cloth, white horse, cow, diamond, silver, gold, rice, ghee, perfumes. SATURN: Urad lentil, mustard oil, beautiful sapphire, sesame seeds, kulthi lentil, buffalo, iron. RAHU: Gomed, orse, blue cloth, rug, sesame seed, mustard oil, iron. KETU: cat’s eye, sesame, mustard oul, rug, musk (Kastoori), sword. The days, just to simplify things, to give these alms would be: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Saturday, and Tuesday. Not all things need be given away if the planet indicates a karmic problem. The ancients were kind and considerate. If you cannot give away a buffalo because you cannot afford it or know where to find it if the land you live in has no buffalos, give the iron sculpture away instead if you have Saturn in taurus in a difficult position! The point that I get from this and other sources is that certain activities and objects are associated with specific planets and there is something almost magical in this association and giving up willingly and with some difficulty (always too easy to give up what we do not need in the first place!) objects that are associated with the planet. Commonsense dictates that it is quite possible that your Saturn might be less afflicted than mine! Should we both be required to donate a thousand dollar gemstone? Or can you get away with giving away a kilogram of mustard seeds or sesame buns if you live in North America {watch out for that animal lard that the baker might have used! It may nullify your gift to the deity}? This is where the problem and variability starts! Jyotishis would sometimes tend to advice you based on your ability and affordability and quantity of karma you have in your chart. It is not based on a solid foundation, though! That causes problems of conceptualization, particularly for the student. Many practitioners would not discuss it any further, even writers of popular pocket books being published by the dozen. The lineage goes back to the early fifties and sixties and the trend of

publishing quickie notes and cheatsheets like these continues in one or other garb. And they criticise each other and this makes it even more difficult, though juicy for sceptics and the followers of the politics of jyotish, but of little use to the knowledgeable student who would rather read the originals such as Uttarakalamrita (almost a pocket book itself) than the unacknowledged interpretation of a current guru icon. [For non-Indian readers, the reference to pocket-book is not in the western sense of a wallet {money-bag} but a small, a generally abridged and affordable, soft-cover type of book very popular in the east. In all fairness, though, some of the small books and booklets in recent times have had a few grains of useful wisdom and helpful tips, so please be selective in any blanket judgments.] Depending on the state of your suffering, you may take this all somewhat cynically and even amusingly or you may not really have a choice. The pain might be so severe that you would not have a way out even thinking or hoping for an escape. I speak from personal experience and was there at that stage at one time when I did not have a way out, and moreover, had absolutely no money to buy gems or to give charity and even if I did, it would not have worked at all, given my perspective towards life, creation, karma and jyotish. I did have a cerebral {and some visceral!} knowledge of mantras. Ketu dasha was operating and so one morning in my isolation, I simply gave in. I recited the ketu mantra and just relinquished control. Whatever happened to me and my young family had no consequences at that point. I fully realized how tiny I was in the Grand Scale of things and amazed at why I had not realize that so far, so long. I felt totally powerless and yet in a strange way very powerful. I felt like the child who suddenly realized his tiny status, his inability to change anything, his minute existence, in his perceived scheme of things. And, simultaneously, I felt like a parent. Powerful, able to give a lot, and yet able to realize that what the child is experiencing is really not such a big deal or consequential in a lifelong way. That moment of submission, when the child finally connected with the Parent and both perceptions were felt by the human, nearly simultaneously, removed the karmic roadblock. Only I know how liberating that moment was, and I share this for the first time with you all. There was a lot of free-will and do or die drama that happened before, during and after that, but I KNOW, the magic spell was broken at the moment when the child became one with the Parent perceptually and truly. One such experience and personal realization of what Karma is about and how it gets dissolved and much of it not even cerebral but spiritual is what spiritual growth is about, simple and subjective realization is all about. The key point in my experience about this karma thing is about really being able to give up, to give in TOTALLY and this is easier done by bhakti yogis, those on the devotional path and by those who despite life experiences and what others think about you have truly been able to give up ego. Who have faced embarrassments and yet do not think any less of themselves for the experience for in viewing themselves and their actions & initiatives, they have given up OWNERSHIP, totally! The intensity of experience is what the soul strives for. The intensity of experience is clouded by mind-games that our cerebral apparatus plays around perceived reality. It is a protective device for the ego but a speed bump for the soul. Only after you remove all the speed-bumps and security blankets would you face the spirit and it would appear completely naked. Make sure you are too, when You f-i-n-a-l-l-y meet YOURSELF!

The real REMEDY, my dear reader friend, is about coming home to YOURSELF. No book, no article can tell you how exactly to prepare yourself for that experience or the need for IT! Only LIFE can, and WILL!! Give it time!!! -==O==-

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