Sunday, January 15, 2012

Astrology and the Spiritual Path...

Below is a Vedic astrologer's perspective to Yogananda ji's take on astrology..
Later more excerpts abt astrology from the book,,,The Autobiography of a Yogi..

"Paramahansa Yogananda's classic book, The Autobiography of a Yogi, has a chapter entitled, "Outwitting the Stars," that is a must read for any student of astrology in my opinion. In it he describes his own beliefs about astrology, and the attitude he recommends that spiritual aspirants should adopt towards it. Specifically, that we should never see planetary forces as more powerful than our own will power. For instance, see this quote:

“Occasionally I told astrologers to select my worse periods, according to planetary indications, and I would still accomplish whatever task I set myself. It is true that my success at such time has been accompanied by extraordinary difficulties. But my conviction has always been justified; faith in the divine protection, and the right use of man’s God-given will, are forces formidable beyond any the 'inverted bowl' (sky) can muster. The starry inscription at one's birth, I came to understand, is not that man is a puppet of his past. Its message is rather a prod to pride; the very heavens seek to arouse man's determination to be free of every limitaton.”

Yogananda offers here quite a bold shift in perspective. Most of the time people see the planetary influences, especially the dashas and transits, as forces beyond their power of will to effect. However, Yogananda's point is to recognize that our will power is God given for a reason - to change potentially unfavorable outcomes in our lives into favorable ones."

A Further excerpt from the Book..

“Mukunda, why don’t you get an astrological armlet?”

“Should I, Master? I don’t believe in astrology.”

“It is never a question of belief; the only scientific attitude one can take on any subject is whether it is true. The law of gravitation worked as efficiently before Newton as after him. The cosmos would be fairly chaotic if its laws could not operate without the sanction of human belief.

“Charlatans have brought the stellar science to its present state of disrepute. Astrology is too vast, both mathematically 1 and philosophically, to be rightly grasped except by men of profound understanding. If ignoramuses misread the heavens, and see there a scrawl instead of a script, that is to be expected in this imperfect world. One should not dismiss the wisdom with the ‘wise.’

“All parts of creation are linked together and interchange their influences. The balanced rhythm of the universe is rooted in reciprocity,” my guru continued. “Man, in his human aspect, has to combat two sets of forces—first, the tumults within his being, caused by the admixture of earth, water, fire, air, and ethereal elements; second, the outer disintegrating powers of nature. So long as man struggles with his mortality, he is affected by the myriad mutations of heaven and earth.

“Astrology is the study of man’s response to planetary stimuli. The stars have no conscious benevolence or animosity; they merely send forth positive and negative radiations. Of themselves, these do not help or harm humanity, but offer a lawful channel for the outward operation of cause-effect equilibriums which each man has set into motion in the past.

“A child is born on that day and at that hour when the celestial rays are in mathematical harmony with his individual karma. His horoscope is a challenging portrait, revealing his unalterable past and its probable future results. But the natal chart can be rightly interpreted only by men of intuitive wisdom: these are few.

“The message boldly blazoned across the heavens at the moment of birth is not meant to emphasize fate—the result of past good and evil—but to arouse man’s will to escape from his universal thralldom. What he has done, he can undo. None other than himself was the instigator of the causes of whatever effects are now prevalent in his life. He can overcome any limitation, because he created it by his own actions in the first place, and because he has spiritual resources which are not subject to planetary pressure.

“Superstitious awe of astrology makes one an automaton, slavishly dependent on mechanical guidance. The wise man defeats his planets—which is to say, his past—by transferring his allegiance from the creation to the Creator. The more he realizes his unity with Spirit, the less he can be dominated by matter. The soul is ever-free; it is deathless because birthless. It cannot be regimented by stars.

“Man is a soul, and has a body. When he properly places his sense of identity, he leaves behind all compulsive patterns. So long as he remains confused in his ordinary state of spiritual amnesia, he will know the subtle fetters of environmental law.

“God is harmony; the devotee who attunes himself will never perform any action amiss. His activities will be correctly and naturally timed to accord with astrological law. After deep prayer and meditation he is in touch with his divine consciousness; there is no greater power than that inward protection.”

“Then, dear Master, why do you want me to wear an astrological bangle?” I ventured this question after a long silence, during which I had tried to assimilate Sri Yukteswar’s noble exposition.

“It is only when a traveler has reached his goal that he is justified in discarding his maps. During the journey, he takes advantage of any convenient short cut. The ancient rishis discovered many ways to curtail the period of man’s exile in delusion. There are certain mechanical features in the law of karma which can be skillfully adjusted by the fingers of wisdom."

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