Astrology – A New Meaning

By G. K. Gurtu

April 2011

Astrology has been in the news from time to time. It is being aired on many TV Channels. But I have a feeling that we are missing the woods because of the trees. I am of the view that it is a moot point whether astrology is a science –exact or otherwise – or an art or even a hoax and that its propagation or teaching will be beneficial or not. The main question is of its usefulness in the larger perspective. And here opinions differ. Sri Paramhans Yoganand in his book “The Bhagwat Geeta: Royal Science of God” says “The true science of astrology is mathematics of one’s own actions, not the mathematics of brainless stars. Karma governs the stars and one’s destiny, but Karma is governed by one’s will power. Man’s free will and divine determination which can change the course of events in his life, or at least mitigate adverse aspects. One whose body and mind are very strong is impervious to adverse astrological influences; there may be no outwardly reaction at all, even when evil vibrations may be radiating from negative configuration of the stars.”

To start with, it can be stated with some certainty that, with a spectrum of nine planets, twelve Rashis, twenty- seven Nakshtras, the four Charans of each, coverage of 360 degrees and on top of it their numerous combinations and permutations, it is very difficult, even for a good astrologer to analyse, evaluate and arrive at a correct and infallible prediction within, say, an hour or so of the perusal of the horoscope keeping at the same time one eye on his fee and the other on those waiting in the queue, because as Sri. K.N. Rao in the special introduction to the book ‘The Mystery of Rahu in the Horoscope ’ by Sri. Shiv Raj Sharma says, “every planet has to perform all the three activities of creating (The Brahma Principal), of preserving (The Vishnu Principal) and the destructive principle (The Rudra Principal). Unless all the three sides of a planet in a horoscope is understood the interpretation of a horoscope is bound to be lopsided.” The prediction becomes, at best, a good guess work based on some learning, experience and the knowledge of the working of human psychology. Further, some astrologers, knowing that fake gems are in the market, are dabbling in prescribing and selling these to the gullible public at fantastic rates.

Secondly, a person, being endowed with a conscious mind and thus in a state of constant evolution, is sent to the earth – as a child is sent to the school to learn, grow and move ahead – for two reasons, that is, to reap the harvest of his/her good or bad Karma in his/her previous life and, secondly, to endeavour to learn what LIFE is. That is why Dr. T. Lobsang Rampa in his book ‘Twilight’ said that a person “comes not merely in the sign but in the quadrant of the sign which will afford him the best opportunity for learning in that life that which he has to learn in that life.” The quicker he/she learns the earlier he/she breaks the cycle of births and deaths and achieves salvation by merging with the Godhead which is his/her ultimate goal. Osho opines that each person comes in to this world with a specific destiny—he/she has something to fulfil, some massage to be delivered, some work has to be completed. You are not here accidently—you are here meaningfully. There is a purpose behind you. The Whole intends to do something through you.

Thirdly, in view of the above, the placement of the planets in a horoscope and the resultant course of various events in the life of a person is, therefore, pre-fixed in accordance with the lessons he had learned or unlearned or refused to learn during his previous life and which he is required to learn during his present life so that he can evolve further, and cannot be altered by recourse to Puja and Tirthyatra, or by wearing precious-stone, rings, Rudraksha, amulets, charms etc. These may cause a little slowing down of the process or even by-pass slightly the eventual course of events and thus provide a psychological relief to a person of weak and wavering mind but it is of a little consequence on a large canvas. Actually, the events in the life of a person are milestones of learning in the journey of life. So, if a person is denied some pleasure he is also spared of some pains. The best option, open to a person, therefore, is to thank God for His bounties in his good days and to surrender to Him to pray and do acts of charity and thus to seek His mercy in times of adversity.

It is here that astrology can be of some use as it can throw some light. The benefits of astrology are that a person comes to know in advance the occurrence or non-occurrence of various events in his life, the role he is assigned and the allotted path his life is to traverse, provided of course, the horoscope is correctly prepared, the astrologer is well-versed, the prediction is truthful and unbiased, and lastly, the person concerned is receptive. This foreknowledge need not lead him to fatalism, rather generate in him a confidence in his ultimate redemption. This knowledge may be employed in preparing him to develop a sense of objectivity (DRASHTA BHAV) so as to enable him to move in life with calmness and without frustration and heartburning. Thus equipped and enlightened he may attain a stage where he becomes oblivious to love or hate, joy or sorrow, pleasure or pain and greed or miserliness. The internal turmoil subsides and serenity prevails. He starts showing love, compassion and forgiveness and, helping the needy. Otherwise, whatever he does without learning this lesson, LIFE will pull him back to the chartered course as a horse is by the rider through the use of rein. God does not desire one more lifespan to be wasted. In the end the geometrical truth, therefore, is that the course of events can neither be changed nor influenced either way even if the horoscope is correct, the astrologer is good and the prediction is true. A person is helpless either to extend the joy or avert the pain. He has to bear with it. Astrology cannot override the Karmas of a person. He must reap what he has sown. However, the only advantage of astrology is the awareness of the course of LIFE and to try to follow it with a Buddha-like smile on the face and in place of pursuing the mirage devote himself to the evolution of the soul.

*(G. K. Gurtu, whose ancestors were the residents of Tankyapora, Srinagar, belongs to that group of migrants which settled in Kashmiri Mohalla, Lucknow (UP) around 1780. Presently he is living at Faridabad and pursues creative writing.)