Sri Aurobindo on Astrology

3. The practice of Yoga can alter our nature and change our Karma. Furthermore. it also reinforces our defeatist tendencies (“ I am always going to have this problem according to my sun-sign “). Only a great Yogi can tell you your future correctly. It also affirms our identity and increases our self-esteem (“This is my sun-sign and that is why I am good at that“). the astrologers do not know how to read the future properly. the stars are merely indicators of our future. The stars under which you are born are only “tape-recorders” of physical conditions. There is something beyond. the horoscope no longer remains a guide to the future. In such cases. the horoscope is always incorrectly made − unless a man is a mathematical genius. So far. “Today you will break your neck!” But in spite of the joke nothing happens. when people say that the stars in this or that house at the time of birth rule your life. they do not control our destiny. then all the more it should never believe in the power of the stars or in any other power. I mean more than just breathing and postures) begin to actively shape their own destiny. Secondly. I have known many astrologers both in Europe and India. they are quite wrong. those who take up the practice of Yoga (and by that. The Mother Mira Alfassa on astrology The stars have no decisive influence.We turn to astrology because it gives us hope amidst an uncertain world. Thirdly. Many jokers say things like. But even then there is the Supreme Will which alone controls and decides everything. And even for such a person it is very difficult to make a correct horoscope. It is only if one does not believe in the Divine that one unnecessarily suffers by believing that they determine one’s life. . And if it is doing Yoga. First. The following are observations of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother on the general topic of astrology. 2. 1. which rules the stars themselves and everything else. An astrologer who predicts a catastrophe for you is like a joker. nobody has been able to read the future correctly. There are three reasons for the failure. Unfortunately. This raises the question “Do stars rule our destiny?“ According to Sri Aurobindo & The Mother. The soul belongs to this Supreme Being. They do not rule the future of the soul.

And all these things are much more like languages which enable us to fix a certain half-elaborated knowledge rather than absolute rules or the notation of indisputable facts.) Sri Aurobindo says that a man becomes what he thinks he is. At an elementary stage of thought. Why do you believe in what the astrologers say? It is the belief that brings the trouble. They are attempts. to the extent that an entire system of knowledge is founded on this and. The prediction need not be ignored but one must not get obsessed by it either. . for. but it depends for its exactitude and truthfulness almost entirely upon the real ability of the one who practises it. and these relations can be altered by the introduction of a higher plane of consciousness into the material plane of consciousness. according to the different positions of the stars in the sky. you may find in the universal positions of the stars a kind of diagram representing symbolically the life of one individual or another. Palmistry is a very interesting art. if you know how to read the relations between the individual and the universal. Moreover. because the influence that works through yoga is much more powerful than the influence of the stars. If we go deep enough into mental human knowledge. endeavours to understand things as they are. it relates only to the material destiny and this destiny can be altered by the intervention of the higher forces. it makes quite complete predictions about what will happen in your lifetime. (Collected Works of the Mother. in the universal unity. Astrology) There is a fairly widespread belief that stars have a special influence on the destiny of men.The most important factor in a horoscope is the intuitive faculty of the astrologer. this is expressed by saying that the stars have an influence on our lives. Experience proves that this notation which is called in astrology a horoscope is not something absolute and that this destiny is not inevitable. everything is interrelated and. Vol 15. for by taking up yoga and developing spiritually. which is a kind of very primitive attempt to grasp the links of interdependence between universal and individual existence.e. The astrologer may be right or wrong. one escapes from the absolute law of these horoscopes. but very incomplete attempts – which have a certain attraction for some minds but which are after all only very rough approximations to the truth of things. This would be a kind of notation on the material plane of the relations between universal and individual life. (i. Horoscopes have no importance for those who take up yoga. All this is what might be called a half-knowledge. It seems more logical and true to think that it is a sort of notation or recording of the destiny of an individual. we realise that all this knowledge as we have it externally in the mental consciousness is scarcely anything more than a language – a fairly complicated one – making it possible for us to understand each other but corresponding only very remotely to the truth of things.

There is a direct approach by identity which is much more effective and. – or if their action constitutes a force. lower plane or lower source of vital and material fate of which the stars are indicators. I say vital because character can also be indicated from the horoscope much more completely and satisfactorily than the events of the life (Rishabchand. if one takes all together. the stars merely record a destiny that has been formed. are forces formidable beyond any the “inverted bowl” can muster. (Paramahansa Yogananda. But it does not follow that the stars rule our destiny. This would seem to show that there is or can be a higher power or higher plane or higher source of spiritual destiny which can. for example that one may die in mid-age. This often happens when the subject turns away from the ordinary to the spiritual life. “The deeper the self-realization of a man. the more he influences the whole universe by his subtle spiritual vibrations. but there is no longer the same inevitability. and the individual energy can modify and even frustrate fate. a direct key that needs no complicated science to express itself – something that corresponds to movements of consciousness and will. quite a mass of them. if its hour has come. Finally. it is a transmitting energy. Occasionally I told astrologers to select my worst periods. gives you the concrete key to the whole machinery of things. let us say. Sri Aurobindo His Life Unique. and I would still accomplish whatever task I set myself. p 62) Paramahansa Yogananda. Then the universal reality in its totality becomes a symbol and can be directly perceived in its essence. then apply no more. Autobiography of a Yogi) . which would not need all the mental complications to express themselves. (Collected Works of the Mother. 5 February 1958) Sri Aurobindo on astrology “Astrology? Many astrological predictions come true. so to say. not an originating Power. and the less he himself is affected by the phenomenal flux. the cessation of predictability may be immediate. fate and individual energy. override the lower power. according to planetary indications. and the right use of man’s God-given will. one can live to a predictable old age. the stars are only indications. The astrologers themselves say that there are two forces. cases are seen in which the predictions of the horoscope fulfil themselves with great accuracy up to a certain age. It is true that my success at such times has been accompanied by extraordinary difficulties. not a Force. otherwise certain results may still last on for some time. Vol 9. But my conviction has always been justified: faith in the divine protection. Someone is there who has determined or something is there which is Fate.” These words of Master’s often returned inspiringly to my mind. the stars often indicate several fatepossibilities. If the turn is very radical. but that if that determination can be overcome. daiva and purusakara. they are a hieroglyph. Moreover.

* * * Today's actions (karma) are tomorrow's destiny (karma). One will be pulled in certain directions. Yes. While the destiny as frozen at the time of birth (and as reflected in the horoscope) is like the rope tying the goat and the surroundings of the goat.) > Ramakrishna Paramahamsa compared the results of past actions to be like > a rope tied around the neck of a goat. However. Another person may hate one an. one can still choose between different actions. It may now be unable to reach places it was able to reach earlier. Irrespective of the mental conditioning and one's circumstances. The actions taken by one are not . Similarly. One's surroundings and life situations faced by one are influenced by one's destinty. drink that water in the bucket and be happy. make things worse and reduce one's options. abuse one and throw obstacles.Ramakrishna's analogy on destiny & free will (Re: Horoscope. Another thirsty goat may realize that it cannot reach the river. It may try and struggle continually. but does not determine where the goat goes and what it does! That is upto the goat's free will. some good acts of free will in this life may improve the destiny and make more things possible.e. accept that. destiny only shows how one (and one's mind) is pulled in various directions and what life situations one finds oneself in. One faces different life situations at different times and in different matters. Some of today's actions may impact destiny in a future life. It may go around the tree a few times in another direction and the rope may get longer. It may now be able to reach places it was unable to reach earlier. Ramakrishna is a master of explaining the toughest of philosophical points using the simplest of analogies. A thirsty goat may look at a river nearby and despair as it cannot reach the river due to the rope. Free will is restricted to the > amount of freedom the rope allows one. His analogies are usually quite apt and brilliant. the actions of free will after birth are like the actions of the goat . It may turn back. find a small bucket of water behind it within reach if it negotiates with the rope and the obstacles. Similarly.. karma or destiny (i. * * * One's mind is conditioned based on one's destiny. some bad acts of free will in this life may tighten the destiny. And so on. look around. A goat tied to a tree with a rope may go around the tree a few times in one direction and the rope may get shorter. One may not have enough money to live happily. it accepts and negotiates the rope and its surroundings to get what it wants. free will. without reaching the river. One may feel attraction for another person. Some of today's actions may modify destiny for tomorrow (in this life itself!). One may be adored by millions of people. Let me extend Ramakrishna's analogy to explain it. The rope restricts the movement of the goat. the result of past actions) is like a rope tied to the neck of a goat.

The scope and options available to free will can be estimated from the horoscope. the prediction that he would come into politics in 2007-2009 and enjoy some kind of power was made using astrology. Acts of free will are like how the goat negotiates the rope and moves around within the possible area to do its stuff. it has fewer options. Horoscope is the frozen list of past karmas that form one's destiny for this life. The exertion of free will until now may have modified the destiny. * * * Please note that the Sanskrit word for destiny is karma and the Sanskrit word for action is also karma. until the current birth. all on account of a previous karmik debt. when one's free will has very few options and/or one reacts to life situations thrown up by the destiny in predictable ways. What you do in those situations is based on how you use your free will. * * * Anybody who tells you that so and so houses show acts of free will does not understand what free will is. When someone's free will works in a predictable way. Each action of yours that impacts other beings and objects of this universe will go towards forming your destiny for future. usually. how exactly free will has been used until now in this life (which cannot be seen from the horoscope) has an impact on the scope and options available to free will at this time. we have all seen many cases where astrology worked spectacularly. committed physically or mentally to other beings. You will get reaction in future to your current actions and destiny is the sum total of those actions that will come back to you. when badly provoked. one can either succumb to the temptation and fight back or just ignore and move on. Such a low probability prediction made 7 years ahead using astrology came true. To complicate things further. You have the ability to make different choices at important crossroads. Going back to the original Chiranjeevi prediction. even a random prediction of success or failure has a 1/2 or 1/3 probability. one person may abuse one badly and one may feel great anger towards that person. i. Any emotions you feel towards someone else and do not necessary express outwardly will also impact that person in a subtle manner and hence counts as an action. which are to give their reactions in this life. But. actions of today become destiny of tomorrow. when free will has a wide range of options and/or one used the free will . (Here please note that both physical and mental actions count. free will has a lot of wiggle room and many options and. That is in the hands of the goat. They may either impact your current life itself. or become part of the destiny (as reflected in the horoscope) in the next life. But I am saying that we do not attempt to understand its shortcomings. I am not saying astrology is nonsense. job of an astrologer is easier. This is also known as destiny. Destiny places you in different situations. It is like the rope tying the goat. But. It does not fix what you do in various situations in your current life. But.) Horoscope captures the good and bad actions.fixed based on the horoscope. a prediction on one's political entry in a specific timeframe has a very low probability. For example. in some cases. When someone is already a candidate. * * * I am not downplaying astrology. But. In some cases. Moreover. The choices you make are your karma (actions) and they shape your destiny for future.e. Basically. when there are no signs on the ground. you do have several options that may or may not be obvious and the action you finally choose shapes your destiny in a future birth. but the exact acts of free will are unpredictable based on horoscope.

.powerfully. the gap between the destiny as reflected by horoscope and the actual destiny as a result of those actions may make an astrologer fail.

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