Karma-The Eternal Mystery (part 1

)
------ © Dr. Satya Prakash Choudhary
Note: The following article has previously been published four times in print each time updated with slight changes.
It was published in 0ctober 2001 in the Australian quarterly journal 'The Vedic Light' and subsequently another
edited version was published in Express Star Teller in April 2006. It was also published in 2000 in the Australian
Council of Vedic Astrology's bimonthly magazine apart from being printed in some local newsletters/magazines.
Here I have split the original article into two parts as it is quite lengthy.
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As I grew up I started wondering about the purpose of life. Life brought with its myriad experiences, the inevitable
experience of suffering too. Why do we suffer? Why are we born? Such questions plagued my mind for a long time.
The sacred books and the wise men gave me a glimpse of the theory of karma and transmigration of the soul. It
seemed very logical, yet I could not accept it fully till I started studying Jyotisha or Hindu Astrology. It took me
years of hard work, some experience and sincere thinking to appreciate the subtleties. When I started seeing the
patterns in the horoscope manifesting in actual life, I had to accept the theory of Karma. Slowly it was no more a
belief, but a truth.
Karma means not only action, but also the result of an action. Whatever we are going through at the moment is the
result of previous actions, not just of this life, but many lives. In short Karma is the sum total of our actions both in
this life and in the preceding ones. Nothing happens by accident or chance actions. Everything happens in regular
order, the past, present and the future being interconnected and interdependent. Cause is Effect concealed, and
Effect is Cause revealed!
Now that brings us to the question of rebirth. Books written by Ian Stevenson, Hiroshi Motoyama, Raymond Moody
and many other interesting cases suggest that there is compelling evidence for rebirth. Every good astrologer
himself is proof of Karma and rebirth!
Let us examine the theory of Karma and rebirth according to Sanatana Dharma . You will not cease to exist after
death. It is the physical body that dies. The astral body ( sukshma or linga sarira ) and causal body ( karana sarira )
continue forth. The causal body has all your Karmas stored in it as seeds, seeds that result in rebirth. As long as
man has not exhausted all his Karmas , he has to be born again. All our actions and thoughts become the seeds for
our future lives.Karma is at the root of this cycle of births and deaths. Again and again Karma makes us take birth.
Countless times have we been born and countless times have we died. Very many wombs have we passed through.
This is the Hindu view. The Buddhist view is different in its approach to reincarnation and the self though it shares a
lot with the Hindu view as far as Karma is concerned.

Rnanubandha
In each life, we have mother, father, brothers, sisters, spouse, children and so on. We are born in a family as a
result of undischarged debts of past lives. Constantly we are creating accounts, debiting and crediting. We are
creating Karmic debts with all those with whom we interact. The Karmic debts ( rna ) lead to bondage or attachment
( bandha ). These Karmic attachments pull us into the wheel of existence again and again. Rnanubandha (the bond
that results from Karmic debts) is at the root of repeated lives.
Karma leads to rna and rna leads to Karma . It works both ways. If you have given something to somebody in some
life, the memory is stored in your causal body. That person will be your debtor in this birth. If you have taken in the
past, it will be taken from you in some birth. If you have given in the past it will come back to you later. The causal
body stores the memory of all of one's rnanubandhas of countless births. Till all the karma stored in the causal body
is burnt away or exhausted, there is no liberation from rebirth. Human life is nothing but a memory
of rnanubandha , the story of the countless karmas that we make, and live through. Every relationship reflects
some rnanubandha . The people with whom we have very strong rnanubandha become our parents, spouse,
children and co-borns in this life. In most relationships it is our rna that ensures a complementary fit, just like a lock
and key.

The spouse. child. They are more like vague impressions rather than clear memories. the relationship has to end. all are born in a particular place-time together as a result of rnanubandha . friend or associate in some other life. Eventually it has to end when the debt is discharged. sister. The very strong ones are the vasanas . when a couple has . one of the two people involved grows out of the relationship once the rna (debt) is discharged. it results in a relationship naturally. • A person whom you cheated ruthlessly in a previous life is born as your child and gives you a lot of suffering. in which case. It is hard to interact with another being who has not been a parent. When the karmic accounts are settled. an inclination or an impulse only. That is why most relationships are of a mixed nature. the attachment doesn't die for some time. the old samskaras (the subliminal impressions of past acts) can generate an irresistible inner urge to enter into a relationship. But when a karmic debt is over. When rna (debt) is over. In this impermanent world change is the law of life. The memory of Karmic debts may be sweet or bitter. due to emotional attachment ( anubandha ). spouses and children have we been with. Every habit leaves an impression. But nothing is permanent. • An enemy of some life is born as a son/daughter in this life. No karmic debt can be everlasting. the relationship ends. Like the fan that turns for a while even after the power supply has been switched off. In reality most of the karmic debts are mixed. But if we have no more debt ( rna ) with the other person. siblings. These impressions are the samskaras that are more like an inclination. Countless wombs have we passed through. nothing can sustain the relationship. he/she behaves like an enemy. We still cling on. Sometimes there is bitterness also after separation. takes your money and goes away. Any act when done repeatedly can become a habit. servants. This is the easiest way to discharge our karmic debts toward one another. when the account is balanced. When you meet a person to whom you were related in a previous life. the stored impressions/memories orrnanubandha stir up your emotions and you may start "feeling" for the person. This bitterness can sow the seeds for future karma ! When the karmic debts are over. fathers. Every longstanding relationship leads to certain deep impressions. Sweet memories of karmic debts lead to a 'happy' relationship and bitter memories to an 'unhappy' relationship. once there is no more debt. But if the rnanubandha is very strong. Some possible ways in which it works: • A person whom you have helped in some life is born as a child. friends. But if there is undischarged karmic debt.The citta (unconscious mind) holds these emotional memories or subliminal impressions that drive one to act or seek. the parents. We eventually end up creating a fresh account. Once the rna is over. The second person suffers tremendously because any further attachment leads to misery and suffering only. a mixture of sweet and bitter memories. Parent /Child Relationship This relationship is the most important. Hence any further remnants of emotional attachment ( anubandha ) are bound to produce only suffering and misery. the attachment might still be there. Such a child makes you spend heavily on her/him. spouse. hates you and causes a lot of suffering to you. In some cases. which compel us to act or seek again. I will try to explain briefly two kinds of relationships that are most significant: parent/child and love/marriage relationships. But the other refuses to move on. Innumerable mothers. Sometimes even though the karmic debt is discharged. takes good care of you in the present life and discharges his/her debt. how it is born and how it ends. brother. a further karmic debt that is not advisable. it just remains a fleeting thought. it results in a long-standing relationship like marriage. This is the cause of every relationship. • A person to whom you owe a lot in some life may be born as your son or daughter and take back what you owe. Romantic Relationships/Marriage Two people can be mutually attracted to one another only if there was some relationship between them in some previous life. but anubandha (emotional bondage or emotional attachment) might still make us cling to the person.

So a wise person treats every living being with kindness. or spirit or even an avatar (an incarnation of a deity) is born as two people to accomplish a mission. deceive one another. The souls are so strongly identified with one another that towards the end of a successful married life. as far as possible. " More on Rna in another chapter. brothers. The karma that brings two people together into marriage can also be of many types. etc. A broader understanding of the concept of'rna' at a cosmic level unravels the interdependence of all life. care. spouse to your spouse and parent to your child. "Without rnanubandha no creature comes to you. help each other in their evolution and benefit one another. such a divine couple can take birth at times. After the accomplishment of the mission. comes because of some rna. aptitudes. Thus the anubandha (emotional bond) between husband and wife or between any two people can take many forms. Be kind and considerate to all creatures. love. fighting with one another. etc. Sanchita Karma or Total Accumulated Karma This is the vast store of accumulated Karmas of all past lives (as a human being only). I will mention a few below: • Bitter enemies can be born as husband and wife and always fight.) and the other receiving. It is very difficult to understand because karma is an eternal mystery that defies all description. • Two people who have created negative karma between them come back as man and wife and lead a life of suffering together. usually both die almost at the same time. The strongersamskaras that are very compelling are referred to as the vasanas . inclinations and desires. This is the purpose of marriage. • Two people who have created positive karma between them in previous lives come back as man and wife and lead a relatively happy life helping and supporting each other. It is because of rnanubanda that you are a child to your parents. In such a case. Kinds of Karma i. . exceedingly intricate and perplexing. In other words this is the reserve of karma that one has accumulated over many lifetimes but which is not specifically active in this lifetime. it should be done with the least negative feelings. • Two people who have created both positive and negative karma between them come back as man and wife and have a mixed life causing both happiness and unhappiness to one another. As a famous Indian saint remarked. Easier said than done. they merge back into one. one of them will always be giving (money. • Sometimes (rarely) a very highly evolved being or soul. they behave as if they are one. generally the other also dies within a few hours or days or weeks. criticize. exceedingly intricate and perplexing. guru and disciple. If one dies first. They should part in an amicable way to avoid further seeds of new karma . • A couple who has been husband and wife may come back as husband and wife again if their rnanubandha is very strong. Yet we can try to understand what little we could with the guiding 'light' of spiritual wisdom. As already stated the patterns of karma are myriad. If the rnanubandha is very strong and their destinies (lives) are so strongly interlinked. his tendencies. God will be certainly pleased if you give water to the thirsty. Sanchita Karma may be indirectly seen in a man as his character. Though very rare. The patterns of rna and karma are myriad. • One who has taken a lot in some life has to give in the present life. Whosoever or whatsoever comes to you. These inclinations are referred to as Samskaras which are akin to the 'unconscious mind' in psychoanalysis.to part ways. • Two souls who are evolving spiritually come as husband and wife. Such a high soul may be born as two separate individuals as husband and wife. block the other's progress and make each others' lives miserable. bread to the hungry and clothes to the naked. Let us now return back to Karma .

This happens not just by chance. This is the fundamental law. Synchronicity has been dealt with in a separate chapter in this book. but in accordance with the cosmic order of synchronicity. The electrons revolve around the nucleus in the atom. Thus Prarabdha is considered fate or destiny and is active karma which must be met in the present lifetime. This is where the concept of free will comes. is called Prarabdha karma . one that goes beyond the Causal mechanics of Karma . Thus Sanchita karma manifests in two ways . etc. in other words. Today's plans when executed could become a reality one day. That portion of our active Karmas allocated to us in this life. In other words the time of birth is Prarabdha (destiny)! By studying the patterns created by the stellar bodies. This is the area that man has freedom to determine the course of action. Synchronicity is 'a-causal' or 'non-causal'. because both are co-extensive. When a soul is born into a family. The orders of Synchronicity andKarma are the rationale behind why the indications of the natal horoscope work reasonably well. as Prarabdha or the so called destiny. Let us return back to Karma . the karmic pattern matches with the planetary pattern. Thus Agami (intent and planning) leads to Kriyaman (freshly executed actions of the present) which becomes Sanchita (accumulated) to later surface as Prarabdha (destiny). the way you envision the future. Planning is Agami while execution is Kriyaman . Yet the order of Synchronicity is a deeper and intriguing phenomenon. society. All of Sanchita karma will not be experienced at one time. the situations and the persons fit into the karmic patterns and the soul takes birth. new actions that you contemplate as a result of your thoughts. The horoscope thus reveals the Prarabdha karma of an individual. which is the planetary and stellar pattern. 'As above so below'. Both the macrocosm and microcosm operate in a similar way. as theSamskaras or character or unconscious tendencies. actions and karmic entanglements in one lifetime. The horary chart reflects both the active prarabdha brought forth from past karmas as well as thekriyaman karma of this life. Anyone who is familiar with the accuracy and insights provided by astrology cannot deny that the natal birth chart reveals the fundamental pattern of life at least in symbolic language. The planets do not control our lives. It is the karma we are now making in this very lifetime. The natal horoscope reveals Prarabdha only. When everything fits synchronously. What relation does the horoscope have to destiny? Do planets dictate our lives? These are often asked questions . This determines our future lives. and secondly. What is happening at a macrocosmic level is also happening at a microcosmic level. it is because of the karmic debts with the others in that family. Only that portion which has 'become ripe' for experiencing in this life time isPrarabdha . is Agami Karma . the Law of Cause and Effect now. In other words the prasna (horary) chart is the latest karmic bank statement with regard to the query! • Agami Karma or Future Karma or Potential Karma The karma that is coming. They reflect the cosmic patterns . In other words the individual karmic pattern selected for this life has to fit in or correspond to the group (whole) karmic patterns of the family.firstly. Jyotisha or Astrology It sheds light on life by revealing our karmic patterns. By this cosmic law of synchronicity. The universe works in certain natural cyclic patterns. Agami is the power of intent. A man is born at the time when his individual karmic pattern (prarabdha) matches that of the macrocosm. It is the fruit of our past actions that are being reaped in this life. The planets revolve around the sun. .• Prarabdha or Fructifying Karma It would be impossible as well as overwhelming to encounter all the results of past thoughts. This basic destiny pattern is considered to be unalterable. Hence only a portion of our past karma can be dealt with in one lifetime. • Kriyaman or Current Karma This is the fresh karma that we do in this life. we can infer the karmic patterns of the individual.

albeit a very fine. symbolic and natural language. But never 'exactly' as it would manifest. Astrology is light on life. Finally it should be remembered that Astrology is only a language. where one can make or mar one's destiny.The Eternal Mystery (part 2) -----. Often the astrologer ( jyotishi ) comes to crossroads.© Dr. Even a very learned astrologer has access only to the 'patterns'. An astrologer can never know exactly as regards the client's spiritual merit. He has access to limited information. No one can avert it. not suffering. This is destined to happen. worrying about it. To the spiritual person. by us mortals. a language of Nature. in addition to the physical pain. It is most important to make this distinction between pain and suffering since almost all of us suffer more from mental pain than physical pain. He does not 'see' the story written there. Nothing teaches more humility as the true practice of astrology does. Often the astrologer may misjudge or even be working on wrong information (like wrong birth time)! Even if the astrologer is running a favourable planetary period ( dasa ) himself a interprets it correctly. The actual pain of the injection itself will last but for a minute though the child suffers for hours in anticipation of the physical pain. mental make-up and the situations in life are all Prarabdha indicated by the horoscope through the patterns revealed. Though the predictions can often be uncannily accurate. If one can cultivate sufficient discrimination. Prarabdha can affect the body only. Some of the effects of Kriyaman karma manifest in the future lives while some may manifest in this very lifetime. there are a few languages that we create/learn. which could be rapidly declining or growing. For instance physical pain is inevitable if one has a physical body. where two or more interpretations seem equally possible. The actual event itself may manifest in a manner totally unanticipated by the astrologer. There will be a part that will always remain an enigma. An astrologer cannot literally see every thing. the situations in which the individual may be placed in life at different times. by correcting us and most importantly it can be a Sadhana (spiritual practice) by itself when done unselfishly. Mental pain is what suffering is. Each could manifest in many ways. If the mind knows that it has to face a situation involving physical pain. the mind goes through mental pain too in anticipation of the physical pain. no astrologer can be hundred percent correct always and therefore should be humble enough in his approach to the divine knowledge of astrology. He is in the dark where a vital area like Kriyaman Karma is concerned. the Prarabdha with which a person is born. Pain is natural. Astrology can guide us in our lives by giving hope. And Nature can never be unraveled in full. and based on that. an honest astrologer can still guide us to a reasonable extent. one . Satya Prakash Choudhary COUNSEL FROM THE SEERS There are a few ideas that emerge from a sincere study of the ancient texts and the revelations of the seers. He has to analyse the patterns and infer what it could possibly mean. Prarabdha cannot be changed by any one. Herein lies the usefulness of astrology. One's prakrti . Karma. but one need not suffer psychologically. One only needs a little intellectual honesty and some astrological experience to appreciate this. This is the invisible area. Astrology is one such language. In our attempt to understand the world around us. rebirth and the goal of life.An intelligent astrologer can analyse to a reasonable extent. it gives proof of karma . First only the Prarabdha is revealed through a horoscope. Only the general or specific trend may be understood. Areas like daiva cikitsa (spiritual healing). not the mind.muhurta (electional astrology) and even jataka (predictive astrology) can be of immense help in our day to day lives. character. The best way is to accept things as they are and surrender to the Almighty. Hence study of Jyotisha or astrology can shed light on the unknown aspects of life and is very illuminating. This is like the child who suffers from mental agony three hours ahead of the injection that he knows the doctor will give him. Limitations of Astrology Astrology has its limitations too. that too in a veiled manner. Used wisely astrology can guide us and help us in our spiritual ascent. In spite of these limitations. he should remember that he has access only to the individual's Prarabdha .

There can be no state in which a man is not performing karma. and doing virtuous actions. Rajas. karma is being done. Instead of running away from action. First there arises a desire. but mentally he may not have any sense of agency. Finally you exert to attain it. sleeping and walking. Desire. you can act. Surrendering oneself to God. In other words. but mentally one can remain unaffected by adopting a spiritual attitude. while gnanis like Ramana Maharshi and JK advocated 'sakshi bhava'. thought and action always go together.removing the idea of agency. Karma is three fold. This is the essence of the Gita sloka. In reality each of these alternatives has its own value. one should carry on with his duties. The sense of 'I'. Agami karma can be destroyed by expiatory rites or Prayaschitta ( Poorva Mimamsa or Ritualistic path). At times we may not have freedom to determine the results. and by removing the idea of agency through Nimitta Bhava ( Bhakti yoga ) and Sakshi Bhava ( Gnana yoga ).'Attaining knowledge of Brahman or the Eternal'. All the saints. In other words. inaction will help them. give up all sense of agency. No human being can ever remain without performing karma. Though the paths seem different. So thought itself is subtle karma. Karma does not bind one. divine thoughts. if one acts without any attachment to the results. in which case karma cannot bind him. one should instead. they cannot bind you. Do it without any sense of agency. Karma can be done through the mind (thought). In 'nimitta bhava' the sense of agency is removed through adopting an attitude that one is an instrument in the hands of God. To start with let us look at agami karma. Hence adopting either of the two attitudes advocated by the seers can be of immense help. thinking. And stop not till the goal is reached"! There is no contradiction in all this. 'You have no Bhoga-svatantrya (freedom to determine the result of action) but you have Karma-Svatantrya (freedom to determine the course of action) '. the identification with karma. We are constantly performing karma through the mind. Some people take a wrong message from all this. While the devotee predominantly prefers the 'nimitta bhava'. But I will discuss the last two here. Then you think of how to attain it. who advocated the way of bhakti spoke exclusively of 'nimitta bhava'. because your signature is not there. They feel that doing no work. is a yogi' . speech (words/verbal) and the body (the actual act). Seeing. This is impossible. A careful perusal of the vast body of Hindu literature gives us three possible alternatives. the end is the same. These are three threads. which make the rope of karma that binds all men. or a combination of both. with a Nimitta bhava. but we are totally free to determine the course of action. he may still be doing karma at a thought level. it is not going to bind you. By moving in the right direction according to Dharma. Similarly if you do not put your signature on your actions. an impulse within. As long as thoughts are there. As Swami Sivananda said. the vedantin prefers the 'sakshi bhava'. If you write a check for a hundred thousand dollars and do not sign it. speech and body in all the three states of dreaming. So one moment we see him crying in front of Kali with the yearning of a devotee and the second moment we hear his clarion call in Upanishadic fashion asking us to "Arise. But the ultimate solution that can destroy the entire storehouse of previous karmas (Sanchita) is the most difficult. prarabdha karma too can be greatly modified by entertaining lofty. one may go beyond the results of karma. 'He. A man may be acting. Bound by Prakriti (Nature). talking. All spiritual aspirants aim at either of these attitudes (either Nimitta bhava or Sakshi bhava ). Both the paths are equally valid. the only area where we have a choice is the present. the seed of karma. Tamas). and inaction in action. hearing. who sees action in inaction. Irrespective of the results. Hence even if a man is inactive and refrains from action. As Swami Sivananda reiterated time and again. Can one really go beyond karma? While one may not be able to go beyond karma. one that might take many more lives. while in 'sakshi bhava' the sense of agency is removed by adopting an attitude that one is a silent witness of the actions of the senses and the mind. In other words disasters happen. 'mine' and selfidentification are our signature. Awake. Our minds will compel us from within to perform karma. Vivekananda had streaks of both a bhakta as well as a gnani. is it valid? No. When you do any karma without your signature. but do not be attached to the result.can avoid unnecessary mental suffering. all are karmas. surrendering to the Lord. one can alter the course of the future (especially . man is forced to do karma by the three gunas (Sattva.

But this is often very difficult.future lives). since the body translates the thoughts into actions.Adridha (Mixed or Medium strong) Karma As the name suggests the Dridha karmas are very difficult or almost impossible to be changed. engaging the best pundits to do costly yagnyas or even a temporary chanting of stotras cannot be the end in itself. Hence.If your actions of hundred lives have resulted in an adverse condition. practically almost impossible. you can still undo it. Generally Upayes or Pariharas (spiritual remedies) are effective in the 2 nd and 3 rd types. over which we have no control.Adridha can be altered through concentrated efforts. . Hence. as an insight. even the best astrologer can do nothing. Divine intervention or Grace can always do what human efforts fail to achieve. Chanting can be of immense value. It starts as an inspiration. When the planetary patterns change. when the time is ripe. The situations that we find ourselves in are due to Prarabdha. if you want to change your life you always have the freedom to determine the course of action. synchronously the karmas ripen to fruition. so he becomes' (V 4. both conscious and unconscious. the quality and quantity of effort required to alter destiny (Prarabdha) depends on how strong our previous karmas were. How does karma actualize? All our karmas are stored in the causal body. Apart from Purushartha (Self efforts) there is another very important concept that the scriptures offer . with emphasis on individual efforts or purushartha. And this does not happen overnight. "As is a man's will. much like evolution. it starts with the right resolve. thus. What you shall be in the future will be the result of what you think and do now'.Kripa or Divine Grace. the seeds of karma in the causal body sprout and project into the astral body where they influence the mind. As the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad tells us. An occasional visit even to the most famous astrologer cannot substitute for a change of life style resulting from a change of consciousness. You have built it. As long as there is no change of nature from within. Some bitter experiences and a good astrologer or a spiritual adept can spark off this inspiration. 'What you are now at present is the result of what you thought and did in the past. so is his action. However effecting a change of consciousness is a slow and gradual process. Adridha karmas can be easily altered while Dridha . as is his action. Either we encounter obstacles even in implementing the remedies or a life long attempting of the remedies is required! Change can only occur when Agami and Kriyaman Karmas neutralise Prarabdha. • Dridha (Fixed or Strong) Karma • Adridha (Not Strong/Non Fixed) Karma • Dridha . But what we have done can be undone nevertheless. greed etc is indeed a Yogi. We are victims of our own action There is no delusion in the vedantin's extortion calling us to take the responsibility on our own shoulders. But wearing gem stones. But we have freedom as far as our reaction to the situation is concerned. When an astrologer sees a confluence of factors. Karma can be classified into three types based on intensity. What we do everyday determines who or what we are. Intensity of karma Here a very important point has to be kept in mind. But it requires a hundred times more effort to balance the actions of previous lives. is very difficult. One who gains total mastery over emotions like anger. if not the results. Only you can undo it.5). to act in a manner that is in accordance with the karmic patterns. he predicts confidently for he knows that he is looking at Dridha Karma or Fixed Karma. Most often we are victims of our own actions. lust. There must be a change of consciousness. Expiatory rituals work to some extent. Yet. The thoughts stimulate animate the physical body. Thus any undesirable seed of karma spotted in the horoscope can be prevented from actualizing itself at the mind level if one exercises enough control. destiny is your own doing. But to change very strong (Dridha) karma. Since it has to start somewhere.

Part of this. Factors that determine the outcome of Prarabdha The agama sastra is clear about how one can make the best of one's prarabdha by adopting the right course of action. of our identity with the Cosmic. Let Dharma guide you. It is never too late to change the course of action. do good deeds. not avert it! But there is one area where you have total freedom. but don't be totally dependent on it. WHERE TO PLACE ASTROLOGY From the above points. And a sincere jyotishi (astrologer) who is firmly grounded in Yoga-Vedanta can. For this we should assume responsibility for our own karma. Surrender yourself to God and do your duties with a Nimitta bhava. lapses into inaction or makes half-hearted attempts. Other remedies which involve huge costs are not reliable and are mostly suggested by dishonest astrologers. Some times there may be a conflict between free will (Kriyaman) and destiny (Prarbdha). . In the Kriyaman area. inspire as well as facilitate the individual in making the 'right resolve' . Choosing favourable time in accordance with the planetary patterns can also augment or maximise the effectiveness of human efforts. through proper counsel and example. Do not underestimate the role of Kriyaman Karma. 1.First we must have the 'right will'. However powerful Prarabdha is. Kripa or Divine Grace: Divine Grace can intervene and change things. It all depends on how we take it. Advanced people do not need astrology. the true resolve. a current of noble. But saints like Sri Ramakrishna who was Swami Vivekananda's guru. your free will to change the course of action. According to the agamas there are two factors which influence the outcome of Prarabdha. chanting stotras ( stotra parayana ). 1. Know that you cannot escape your Prarabdha. it becomes clear how a wise person takes astrology. spoke positively about astrology because they had the attitude of a bhakta (devotee) and see all this as a 'play of the divine' . I will explain those factors here for the benefit of those interested. There are two ways: Seek astrological guidance. You can determine the course of action. Do your duties cheerfully without being excessively attached to the fruits of your actions. No astrologer has the final say in any matter. The spiritual remedies are partly aimed at drawing divine grace and partly at awakening the forgotten memory of our true nature. DO NOT DESPAIR . They accept Prarabdha as God's Will while the ignorant person develops pathological dependence on astrology. contemplative reading of sacred myth ( purana katha parayana ). remembering the astrologer's advice. Great Yogis like Bhisma and Vasishta have placed Purushartha or exertion (free will) above destiny. Accept your Prarabdha and do your duties cheerfully. Sadhana of a chosen deity with a mantra ( ishta devata mantra sadhana ). Any pariharas (remedies) suggested by the astrologer can be adopted as long as they are spiritually oriented and do not involve unnecessary expenditure. Plan intelligently. thoughts guided by Dharma. That is your current karma (Kriyaman). Even Yogis can help you only to postpone it. starts despairing. Selecting an auspicious muhurta too comes under Kriyaman karma. Since jyotisha is firmly rooted in the veda and the agama. Such remedies (as per Parasara the father of Indian astrology) are prayers and chanting of Mantras. is seeking spiritual remedies (Pariharas) that the agamas recommend. You can bring in an anti-current of thoughts. It is perhaps for this reason that reformist thinkers like Swami Vivekananda and Swami Dayananda Saraswati were opposed to astrology. The astrologer has many limitations. A strong current of favorable thoughts combined with sincere efforts can go a long way. Agami & Kriyaman Karma: The thoughts and present efforts can be initiated in the right direction sincerely. spiritual thoughts. devotional contemplation are all part of the transpersonal psychotherapeutic approach of the Agamas which takes the individual progressively from ignorance and suffering to knowledge of the Self and the cessation of suffering.

You rejoice in everything. It comes to experience a state of misery because of its association with a body. the jyotishi who is firmly grounded in Yoga Vedanta views it differently. salvation. ups and downs. that you are one with the Brahman The cessation of suffering The root cause of all suffering and Karma is ignorance. ' Seeing' or 'experiencing' how jyotisha works. by preference to certain objects and aversion to some. Through Purushartha.the root of all misery Human life is a story of the alternating patterns of duality. to become one with the Cosmic Consciousness. a practical science. the only solution is to go back to our cosmic roots. whatever you call it. Misery is not natural to the Jiva. Yet there is no fatalism in this. so that we may be free.The first step in this direction is to change one's attitude. without this pair of opposites. The infinite seems to be entrapped by the finite body and mind. Markandeya conquered death. but only within the limits of the field. Ignorance. It leads us to the unknown through the known. This birth affords us a chance to exhaust our karmic debts. Both are correct for these are two sides of the same coin.The devotee (bhakta) sees only Prarabdha. Neither is knowledge burdensome. Purushartha combined with Prarabdha brings effects. to retrace one's steps along the same path that we have come. depends on our world view. There is great joy in the knowledge of Jyotisha. A sincere study of Jyotisha can be a great spiritual education. for it partly reveals the eternal mysteries of the cosmos to us. a Sadhana in itself. • Indiscrimination. Prarabdha is only Purusharta (efforts born of free will) of previous births. the Jiva (individual) suffers because he is entrapped by the limiting adjuncts (upadhis) of body and mind. It is inspiring to be part of this grand cosmic play. Jyotisha is the light that reveals this great truth to us so that we may be free. It shows us the way and ultimately sets us free. A jyotishi has access to one of the best languages of Nature. this play of Consciousness ('Chidvilasa')! Once you really experience astrology this way. We have limited freedom depending upon how much we can stretch our Karma. of happiness and suffering. is like watching Prakriti (Nature) in Her grandeur. We have limited freedom like a cow that has been tied to a post in a field with a rope. the eye of the Veda. joy and misery. • So the cause of misery is a body • The body (birth) is due to karma (previous actions) • Karma arises from attachment and hate. It can move freely. The vedantin (gnani) sees only Purushartha. Everything feels like a play. The bhaktha (devotee) feels it is all Prarabdha only. While the existentialist astrologer has this frustration of being a helpless observer. We are neither totally bound by destiny nor are we totally free. A man who is sick has to take the medicine (Purushartha) and leave the results to Prarabdha. . with its myriad pairs of duality. That is liberation. The only way to go beyond this is to bring the light of knowledge. Whether we perceive ourselves as helpless victims or witnesses or insignificant specks or rejoice in this grand play. life is no more a suffering. Though the Atman is identical to the Brahman who is ever-radiant and blissful. Jyotisha is a pratyaksha sastra. Vasishta advocates Purushartha to Sri Rama throughout the Yoga Vasishta. provided one is truly grounded in Yoga Vedanta. In other words. There is not a single life without this admixture. from ignorance of your true nature. by taking us back to our cosmic roots. • Attachment and hate arise from Egocentricity (sense of 'I' and 'Mine') • Egocentricity comes from indiscrimination or lack of discernment. It guides us out through the intricate labyrinth that life is. There is neither sin nor virtue in being part of this. that is moksha. This is the law of life.