Divinely understanding the roots of astrology

Lesson #7

by Das Goravani

Divinely understanding the roots of astrology

Before beginning let us offer our mental and heartfelt respects to Sri Brahmaji, who is known as Aja, or the "unborn" because he emanated from a lotus flower, which grew from the naval of Sri Vishnu. Brahma is the creator of all that we see, as he is the topmost demigod, acting directly under the orders of the Supreme Lord, Sri Vishnu. Brahma is the funnel through Whom all Vedic knowledge, or original, primeval knowledge comes to us. Let us ever offer our praises to Brahma, who is one of our highest guardians (and whom really exists in fact, not myth).

I have received more kind notes of encouragement and I am very grateful as it indicates that I should continue this service to our guardians. All glory is theirs, ourselves being only temporarily empowered conduits of whatever we possess. As my Gurudev used to say "everything is but a gracious grant from divinity".

To recap: The material creation is a school in which Visnu sees fit to "raise up" new souls to the standard of spiritual interaction with each other. We are "jiva" souls (jee-va). We are not yet learned in spiritual truths and make mistakes, have greed, selfishness, fears, are not attracted to serving divinity, and other pollution's and imperfections. Hence, an ever changing, erasable classroom situation is setup by Vishnu, known as this material world, wherein we can learn our lessons in a very special format. Namely, reincarnating in temporary bodies which feel very much like our real selves, and through these carry out all kinds of imaginary lives through which, by interacting with each other in various ways, we realize the truth gradually and when qualified, are raised out of here by Vishnu and His associates, or Laksmidevi and her associates and placed in Their eternal pastimes in our pure spiritual bodies never to come to this plane of death and imperfection again.

This is the Vaisnava Vedic version of ultimate reality as it relayed to us in the Bhagavat Purana, Vishnu Purana, Garuda Purana, and other "sattvic" or "pure" Puranas. Which by the way you will find glorified in some of the classic Vedic Astrology Books. It is Parasara Muni's great son, Vyasadeva, who wrote the Bhagavat Purana for example, and when it was spoken by Sukadeva Goswami to Pariksit Maharaj roughly 5000 years ago, Parasara Muni was also present and consented fully to the entire content. Therefore, we can assume and know in our heart of hearts that the main father of Vedic Jyotish, the conduit to us, Parasara himself, accepts this Bhagavat Puranic view of reality. Vedic Jyotish supports it.

So, Vishnu wills the material creation into existence. There are many demigods, and some of them are assigned to run the affairs of the humans. The main demigods assigned to this task are as follows:

Brhaspati Jupiter
Surya Sun
Candra Moon
Shukra Venus
Kartikeya Mars
Sani Saturn
Budha Mercury
Bhumi Earth
Rahu North Node
Ketu South Node

These are actual personalities who have powers greater than you can imagine. They live as people on a higher plane which we cannot see, but the heavenly bodies we can see are their material reflections on our level of existence. But to actually understand how Vedic astrology really works, it is best to understand their personal reality as it is revealed to us in the Puranic literatures. We should go with the entire Vedic program in other words, and not try to pick just the fruits that attract us. That is not the Vedic way and will result in only a partial cure of our problem. Sincerely accepting the whole remedy results in gradual, complete purification and total happiness and ultimately, spiritual liberation.

In arranging the material world for our sustenance, maintenance, our play, our games, and our upliftment, the all knowing Brahma and his demigod assistants made a very complex system of karma. Vedic astrology is a partial map of this system. There are more layers of complexity which they chose to not reveal to us. As Parasara Muni says in his pivotal Jyotish work: "Maitreya, (his student in the book), I am giving only up to what people in Kali Yuga will be able to understand, and not more than that".

In arranging the material karmic control system, the stars were assigned powers. These powers are primeval reality. There are like icons of truthdifferent parts of the truth- some ghastly, some benefic, etc. The planets, or demigods mentioned above, have to pay homage to these stars as they transit around. Thus, it is really the stars which control the planets temporarily as they pass under them. Yet, the planets also have their natures which may be altered but not fully, by the stars.

Our demigods (the planets) own houses, which are "theirs". They feel at home there. Some of our demigods like each other and get along, while others don't. Would you want an "enemy" in your room when you weren't there or couldn't see it? No way.

That's how they feel when an "enemy" planet is in their house and they are neither in the house nor aspecting "seeing" it.

In this way, you can divinely read a chart. By knowing these personalities via the Puranas, you can understand rather quickly, naturally and in a very deeply significant way, what was going on with the Gods at the moment of some one's birth, which determines what nature they are going to reflect in this life.

For example, Capricorn is Saturn's sign, and of the two, it's the one where Saturn is at his lowest point, in the sense that he is vain, worldly, proud, and not interested in spiritual input. Therefore, it is the sign of debilitation for Jupiter. Jupiter is Brhaspati, the Guru of the Demigodsall of them. His role is to give advice both practical and spiritual. He does not like Capricorn because it is like a locker room to him. He hates it.

To understand Venus one should get to know Shukracarya. He is the Guru of the demons or Rakshasas. Yet, he is a real Brahmin, and he really does know the truth. But, he has a soft spot in his heart for the low class persons, the Rakshasas, those who are opposed at this point in their lives to surrendering to divinity. Shukra wants to help them, to protect them, to give to them.

There are many stories in the Puranas about Shukracarya's activities. He has many times done the opposite of what you would think a Brahmin would do. He has vainly tried to oppose the Lord to help the demons. He thinks "why should only the pure souls always get the Lords protection and not these poor Rakshasha fools?"

So, he has a soft heart for the low persons. And what does he do? He gives them luxury, and directives on how to get happiness now, in this plane. The forward looking more truly religious souls simply know that this is not our permanent home and hence try to make sure that they are fixing up a proper situation in the eventual reality of the next life. But, the Rakshasha mentality is "happiness now". So, Shukra gives advice. Inside his real hope is that, after buying these peoples happiness, maybe they will calm down and come around to the real Vedic ideal and worship Vishnu without any grudge.

Believe me, that is His real intention. So, how does this effect astrology? Here's how: Wherever you see Venus in the chart- don't see Venus, see Shukracarya, and knowing at least the little bit I've told you, see that. See that here is coming their pleasures and their worldly drives, but ultimately it will be frustrating- that's the inbred divine plan of Venus. You can take now, you can try to enjoy it, but ultimately the fact is that this world is only a school and the lessons are intended to eventually lead you OUT OF HERE- so you're never going to find the perfect Venusian situation here- that's part of the plan!

So Venus's placement is where the person is going to try to enjoy, and ultimately get frustrated. It's the point of attachment to matter through which subtle but true spiritual lessons will come. This is the way of Shukracarya.

Now if it is debilitated, as it is in Virgo, then this means that Shukracarya is very frustrated there. He is not able to do his pleasing giving to the person. The person is too mental around the Venusian things. Virgo is ruled by Budha, and Venus doesn't like it when people think too much. That's not his program. His program is "enjoy, be happy, be peaceful, and find God in this beauty". He doesn't like "Gyan" (knowledge). Therefore, he and Budha, the thinking planet, have total disagreement over which signs are "cool". Venus loves Pisces, and Budha hates it, and Budha loves Virgo and Venus hates it.

So, to begin the study of Vedic astrology it is best if one first reads the entire Bhagavat Purana and Bhagavad Gita. The Purana will train you in Vedic Cosmic reality (the Gods and Goddesses, their lives and ways of interacting) and the Gita will teach you the Supreme Lord's conclusions about why He allows this material creation, what is it's purpose, what is the purpose of human life, and so on. Then you are best suited to learn to read the karmic maps presented by Vedic Astrology. These books are available in good English translations. I am more than willing to help anyone interested in any way.

Then, after that, you can trust that Vedic astrology primarily consists of the Nakshatras which are 27 in number, and the signs, which are 12, and the planets, which are 9, and the varga or divisional charts, which are 16 including the Rashi or main chart, and using these primordial elements there are techniques such as Ashtaka Varga and Dasha systems etc., which provide the predictive tools.

Buying a computer program that does everything or learning the rules anyone can do. But having actual deep insight into the nature of the Signs, Stars, and Planets can only be done by one submissive and sincere. We are talking about reading divine game plans. If we rule out the divine, then how smart are we?

Brhaspati is the noble and learned Guru of all the Gods.

Surya is the Sun God and is the father of the warrior class on Earth.

Chandra is the Moon God, in charge of many things indeed.

Shukra is the God of the Venus planet, and is a noble but too soft hearted Brahmin.

Kartikeya or Kuja is a fierce God, Mars.

Sanaiscarya is Saturn, brother of the God of death, Son of the Sun.

Budha, son of the Moon, is youthful, in charge of intelligence.

Bhumi, the Earth Mother Goddess, she is well aware of all that we do on her.

Rahu was a demon but has been rectified largely by getting his head cut off by Vishnu.

Ketu is Rahu's severed body. Rahu is just the head of the original person.

The greatest demigods are not these personalities. Brahma and Indra are leaders amongst the Gods. Brahma is the Supreme. Some think of Siva amongst these but that is not correct. Siva is eternal, and all of these others are not. Even Brahma is "mortal" in the sense that he has a body which is part of this manifest realm and it is also absorbed back into Vishnu at the end of Vishnu's breath.

Only Siva and the Vishnu Tattva Personalities (such as Rama, Nrsingha, Sankarsan, Krishna etc.) are beyond the temporary creation. All the demigods and ourselves are within the material creation. The material creation is only 1/4 of the Supreme Lord's potency, though such numbers are only for our benefit of understanding. He is not bound to them.

So, the demigods who rule all these matters are also living out temporary lives, which are billions of our years long. To them we are like bacteria that come and go faster than you can care and who are smaller than anything you'd care to look at. They see to our environment as a very easy part of their day. It is on automatic pilot you could say. The creation is embedded with super-excellent, loving, automatic lesson giving time. Time is our friend in that is WILL liberate us ultimately, we just have to put with it the hard lessons in the meanwhile. That is why the process of detaching ourselves from our attachment to our bodies- liberating our minds from the false ego of being these bodies- is always the essential Vedic practice or Sadhana in all the levels and forms of Vedic "religion".

I am not harping on religion to avoid talking astrology. If you just want the science, you can easily buy such books at many book stores. I am trying to remain faithful to Parasara who says that only those who believe in God and Guru should be taught the science. I am trying to do it right according to them. Thank you for appreciating this important point.

I have to go get ready for the East Coast Vedic Astrology conference. While there, over the week of June 7 to 14th I probably will not be able to post any lessons til I return. Sorry. I will feel some pain in not being able to do so as this has become an important part of my daily service. I shall continue when I return.

May you be able to make progress in devotion to the center, Vishnu, from which all other things will naturally flow.