KARMA AND DHARMA
Predestiny has always been a subject of debate in the field of astrology. Both theories are given great credence by our rishis. That is one of the paradoxes of Hinduism. Each is a real force in life—one’s karma on the one hand, and his freedom of choice and power of decision on the other. Each individual enters physical life with his own karmas created through his actions in the past. The bundle of karmas can be visualised as a bag of seeds. Life progresses, decisions are made, and for certain seeds ideal conditions are created. These seeds begin to sprout, further affecting the course of life. Astrology plays a vital role, impacting the mind and emotion of the individual, thus helping to influence the fruition of karma. But the individual has the power of choice in each circumstance.
Satguru Yogaswami, the great sage who initiated Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami in 1949, chided those who place too much emphasis on astrology, “Every day is an auspicious day for the Sivanadiyar.” By this he meant that for the true devotee, by living in a high conscousness state of mind at all times, all days are good days. The forces of karma take on new meaning as opportunities for advancement, from the mountaintop perspective, rather than stumbling blocks to personal comfort. This reference point is maintained in a life of dharma, of right living. Karma is, then, regulated naturally. Fertile conditions are created for the emergence of positive karmas, while certain negative karmas (caused by harmful actions of the past) are atoned for, ameliorated or burnt up without even sprouting through good deeds, penance and austerity. In a life such as this karma is faced in the right spirit, accepted with the trust that all that happens is “Siva’s Will,” and with the knowledge that we grow spiritually through loving acceptance of all that comes to us. What astrology provides in tools such as Vedic Calendar and one’s personal horoscope is the knowledge of what each individual can expect to face as the days, years and decades go by and karma is played out in the events of life. There was once a maharaja who was so perplexed by astrological indications that he became caught in the middle of a staircase, not knowing whether to go up or down. Finally, he died there. Then there are people who will fear getting out of bed on certain days if their horoscope indicates that they are prone to meet an accident. As Sage Yogaswami recognized, the forces of the stars are real, but they are not the be-all and end-all of existence. Astrology can provide many useful keys to understanding the forces at work in one’s life, lending a greater appreciation of the cosmic scheme of things so we can maintain the mountaintop perspective. Our advice is to use astrology, like any tool or body of knowledge, with wisdom and care. Its primary purpose is to enable you to begin ventures in “good timing,” when the forces are working with you rather than against you, and to provide you the knowledge of when the forces are “congested” so you can relax and not push too hard or become upset when this congestion manifests in daily activities.
HOW TO USE THE CALENDAR
Let us understand where to start with the Vedic calendar. The best time to refer to the calendar to learn about the current day is in the morning, before you begin your morning worship or sadhana. Begin by asking yourself the following:
1) Which of the four yogas is indicated for the day, e.g. “Siddha Yoga—Creative Work”?
2) What is the nakshatra, and what is its nature?
3) What is the tithi and its nature?
4) What is the paksha (is the moon waxing or waning)?
5) What is the loka indication, e.g. Devaloka?
6) What are the most auspicious (Gulika Kala) and inauspicious times (Rahu and Yama) of the day?
Then intuitively put the answers together and pray to the Deities for guidance and blessings throughout the day. You will be better prepared for the energies you are likely to face, by becoming aware of and attuning yourself to these indicators. If all of the above factors are positive, you know this is is an exceptionally good day for beginning new ventures.