Shri Datta Swami

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ASTROLOGY IS PART OF SPIRITUAL PHILOSOPHY

Posted on: 08 Nov 2018
O Learned and Devoted Servants of God,

Shri Parikshit Baugh asked: Is an individual responsible for his or her own actions (karma) or is the individual bound by planetary influences (astrology)?

Namaskar and Pranam Swamiji. Kindly answer the following question:

[Question: As per the great sages like Parashara, Jaimini and Varahmihira, every human being is effected by planetary movements in every conceivable aspect of life. That's how hindu astrology came into being. There are planets and houses governing each and every sphere of life. The question arises, if every individual is bound by the effects of the planets and nakshatras then obviously all his thoughts and actions are the result of such heavenly movements. In this case he merely does what the aspecting planet wants him to do. Then what is Karma? Why is the individual punished/rewarded for the actions for which he is not responsible? Either there is no concept of Karma or there is no Astrology? Pranam on your divine lotus feet.]

Planets and Their Presiding Deities

Swami replied: Astrology is a part of the subject of God (spiritual philosophy) although it is often misunderstood to be a field unrelated to the subject of God. You must also distinguish between astronomy and astrology. Astronomy deals with the inert planets that we see in the sky. Astrology deals with the subject of the presiding deities of these planets, which control the administration of the world. Your house is like the inert physical planet whereas you, the house-owner having awareness, are like the presiding deity. The planet is made of energy and matter. The presiding deity is an energetic being having an energetic body and a soul (awareness). The deity also possesses the necessary unimaginable powers granted by God for carrying out the administration of the world. The planet is visible to our eyes whereas the presiding deity is invisible to our eyes. The nine planets considered in astrology belong to the category of energy and matter. The respective presiding deities of the planets belong to the category of awareness or soul. They are divine beings having invisible energetic bodies and souls and they possess some unimaginable powers. Whenever someone refers to the moon, we understand it only in the sense of the inert planet moon (satellite). We laugh when we are told that the moon controls our mind. Here, we are missing the point that the statement refers to the presiding deity of the inert moon called Chandra. In Sanskrit and most Indian languages, the same word Chandra is used to indicate both the inert moon as well as its presiding deity (Moon). When used in the sense of controlling the mind, Chandra (Moon) means the presiding deity and not the inert moon in the sky. The same applies to all the other astrological planets. The names of the inert planets are the same as the names of their presiding deities. Atheistic scientists, mock at the field of astrology since they are not able to distinguish between the inert planet and its presiding deity. Even if they were explained about the difference between the two, it would be of no use since they do not believe in the existence of the presiding deities of the inert planets.

Officers in the Divine Administration

The nine planets are the personifications of various unimaginable powers of the unimaginable God. They form the various specialized departments in the administrative office of God and they carry out their respective function in the administration of the world. Being the unimaginable powers of God themselves, the planets are not different from the unimaginable God qualitatively; even though they are different quantitatively. This means that the planet has a part of the unimaginable power of God and is completely controlled by God like an employed officer. Each planet controls a specific aspect of the soul and of the rest of the world. Hence, the planet can be assumed and treated to be a part of God Himself. The system of planets ruling the world under the orders of God can be compared to the secretariat of the chief minister ruling the state under the orders of the chief minister. This secretariat of God has different departments, each dealing with a specific aspect of the world and of the souls residing in the world. The entire administration follows the constitution of God.

The presiding deity of the planet is called a graha in Sanskrit. Graha commonly means the physical inert planet. But the word planet (graha) when used in astrology, means the presiding deity of that planet. Graha, in the sense of its root-word, means ‘that which catches’ (Gruhnaati iti Grahah). It actually means the energetic divine being, who is an embodiment of a certain unimaginable power of God and who ‘catches’ the soul. The presiding deity of the planet (graha) ‘catches’ the soul to deliver the rewards of the soul’s good deeds and the punishments of sins at the exact stipulated time. The human soul can never escape from being caught by the presiding deities of the planets, however much the soul may try. Above these planets exist eight higher divine officers called as the Ashtadikpaalakas. They are Indra, Agni, Yama, Nirruti, Varuṇa, Vaayu, Kubera, and Eshaana. Above them exist the Five Principal Authorities called as the Panchalokapaalakas. They are Ganapati, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and Shakti. All of them are energetic beings associated with unimaginable powers of God and all of them are invisible to human beings.

Planets Deliver the Fruits of the Soul’s Deeds

Astrology helps a person accept the existence of God. It helps souls experience the unimaginable powers of God that control various aspects of the life of any living being. When souls receive the fruits of their deeds, they realize the existence of the unimaginable powers of God. The existence of God’s unimaginable powers ultimately establishes the existence of the unimaginable God, who is the Source and Controller of those powers. This case is similar to the case of miracles establishing the existence of God. Witnessing unimaginable miracles in this world establishes the existence of the unimaginable power of God, which in turn establishes the existence of its Source. This ultimate Source of the unimaginable power is the unimaginable God (Parabrahman). Hence, astrology should not be treated as a field that is independent of spiritual philosophy. Some astrologers, eliminating God, treat the nine planets to be the most supreme powers. They treat them to be the highest authorities like a board of directors. Actually, God is the supreme authority and He controls all the presiding deities of the planets. These only planets work under the orders of their Chief Boss called God.

It is a total misunderstanding that planets give results due to their movements. The planets do not give accidental results by their movements. The results that the planets give to souls are only the fruits of the deeds of the souls. The movements of the planets are just incidental in giving the fruits of the deeds of the soul. A thief says that he was arrested by the policeman, who was walking on the road since he (thief) went on that road! This is absurd. This fellow had committed the crime of theft and policemen were already searching for him. This search for the sinner is expressed as the movements of the planets. Actually, in the real concept, the planet (deity) need not search for the sinner. The planet has the unimaginable power to locate the sinner on the stipulated date and at the stipulated time. Philosophers and scholars say that God punished the sinner. Ordinary people say that the planets punished the sinner. Both are one and the same. It is one and the same whether one says that the government or the chief minister punished the criminal or whether one says that the police punished the criminal. Some astrologers feel that the whole administration functions due to the governance of this board of nine directors called the planets. For these astrologers, God is irrelevant and they act like atheists. But since they accept the existence of the unimaginable power of the planet in doing its administrative task, they are theists indirectly!

The difference between astrologers and priests arose due to the difference in their business activity. The priest says that your difficulty will be removed if you worship God. The astrologer says that your difficulty will be removed if you worship the planet. It is just the difference between their ways of earning money from people. A partnership in business also exists between the astrologers and priests. The astrologer sometimes says that a certain planet should be worshipped with the help of the priest. Thus, a partnership business is established. The doctor writes a prescription for several tests to be conducted in diagnostic laboratories and receives a commission from the laboratories. Business and the cheating of the innocent public have spread everywhere. People want to earn money illegally but they do not realize that it will only lead to the destruction of themselves and their families in the course of time.

Shri Swami’s Father: A Great Astrologer

My father was a very famous astrologer. He never said that the planet should be worshiped through a priest. He always advised the clients to directly perform the worship of the planets on their own. The priest will not have much interest in your issue because the attention of many priests is only on the remuneration that you will give to them. So, My father always advised people to worship the forms of God, which preside the planets as per the Jaimini Sutras. Note that the inert planet has a presiding deity by the same name of the planet. But that presiding deity of the planet is also presided over by higher divine beings and forms of God. For instance, God Viṣṇu presides over Sun. Here Sun means the presiding deity of the inert sun. Similarly, Goddess Lakṣmi presides over Moon and Venus. God Shiva presides over Jupiter. God Viṣṇu presides over Mercury and Saturn. God Skanda (Subrahmaṇya) presides over Mars, Rahu and Ketu. Goddess Durga also presides over Rahu and Ketu. In this manner, My father would introduce devotion to God through astrology.

Another remedy suggested by him was the distribution of food items to beggars. The food items to be distributed are made from grains that are specific to each planet. For example, wheat is for Sun, rice is for Moon, red gram is for Mars and so on. This remedy encourages donation to the poor. If anybody offered money to My father, he would refuse it saying that he is already getting a salary from the college, where he worked as a lecturer of Telugu and Sanskrit. He used to say that since he is not rich, he is performing this free service to earn the grace of God with the help of his brain. If such an attitude exists in every astrologer, society will be reformed shortly. At least astrologers and priests should not demand money from their customers. They should accept whatever is given by the customer. Due to this selfless service, every prediction made by My father would come true, due to the grace of God. There would always be a lot of rush of people before My house, waiting for the consultation with My father. The death of My father was also wonderful. On Vyaassapurnima (Guru Purnima) day, he took a bath in the evening, worshiped God as usual, gave his astrological consultations to all his clients, and suddenly breathed his last at 7.00 pm, upon seeing the full moon.

My mother too never pressed My father for earning more money even though several other astrologers were earning a lot. Due to this, My mother also breathed her last upon seeing the full Moon at 7.00 pm on Ashviyuja Purnima, which comes just after Vijayadashami, the festival of the Divine Mother. She passed away holding a small picture of God Datta in her closed hand.

Avoid Mixing Astronomy with Astrology

The concepts of astronomy should not be confused with the concepts of astrology. The eclipse of the sun and the moon are astronomical events and not astrological concepts. Priests, who are supported by astrologers, extend their concepts to the field of astronomy saying that you should not eat food during the time of an eclipse. If the astronomer mocks at the priest and the astrologer for this unduly extended concept, there is no harm. But if the astronomer is an atheist and due to his atheism, proceeds to mock at the presiding deities of the planets and God, he will surely face punishment for it. This punishment received by such atheists is again misinterpreted by the priest who is supported by the astrologer. They again extend their concept of God’s punishment into the field of astronomy by saying that the punishment received by the atheist came for eating food during the forbidden time of the eclipse. In reality, the punishment was for mocking at the planetary deity and God. Even if you speak against the planet (deity), you have insulted God since the planet is part and parcel of God’s power.

Punishments Cancelled Upon Reformation; Not by Worship

Now let us take the issue raised by you. You are wondering how the punishments for one’s sins, which come in the form of worldly problems, get cancelled by worshiping the planets or God? Are we trying to flatter the planets or God, so that we can be excused from the punishment? In that case, a criminal would only have to flatter the judge to get his punishment reduced or cancelled! Does God cancel the punishments of sin by such flattering worship and prayers? Absolutely not! This concept is totally wrong. When you worship God (or the planet), God merely postpones your sin to a later period of time with increased interest. You think that God has cancelled your punishment because you are unable to differentiate between postponement and cancelation. After removing your immediate difficulty through this postponement, He also gives you the benefit for which you had prayed. Receiving the desired benefit gives you happiness. You think that God gave you your desired benefit due to your talented and well-acted flattery in your prayers, even though you had not done any good deed. Again, this concept is also wrong! God prematurely withdrew the fruit of one of your good deeds, which was supposed to be enjoyed by you in the future. That future benefit is granted to you in the present time, in the form desired by you. But in this premature withdrawal, there is a loss in the value of the benefit. It is like the premature withdrawal of a bank deposit, in which there is a reduction in its value.

Actually, God arranges the punishments for our bad deeds and the rewards for our good deeds in an alternating manner in each of our life cycles. In this arrangement, the actual sequence when we performed the good and bad deeds is neglected. This alternating arrangement gives maximum enjoyment to us. One gets maximum enjoyment on tasting sweet and hot dishes in an alternate manner. If one eats only sweet dishes one after the other or only hot and spicy dishes one after the other, one gets bored. The sweet dishes are like the good fruits and the hot dishes are like the bad fruits. Their alternate arrangement made by God in each lifetime for our maximum enjoyment, is a favor done by God the Father, who has boundless love for His children (souls). By praying to God to remove present problems and give some benefits, we are praying for God to reduce our enjoyment! God in His infinite wisdom and kindness has already made the best possible arrangement of the fruits of our deeds, which will provide us with maximum enjoyment and benefit. By such prayers, we are only proving our own foolishness!

God is not a fool to be flattered like a king by poets in his court! The question comes why God is cheating us like this? We pray to Him to remove our problems and give us our desired benefits. But He merely prepones and postpones some of our fruits, which causes a loss to us. Of course, the straight answer to the question is that you tried to cheat Him through your flattery, so you are being cheated in return! But apart from this simple answer, there is another point. Even though you are cheated by God in return for your cheating, the rearrangement of the fruits of your deeds has a beneficial angle. You will develop a lot of faith and devotion to God due to it. Since you do not know the actual background or rearrangement, you think that God did both these favors to you even though you did not deserve them. You think that God removed your present punishment, which as per the rule, must be suffered by you. God also granted you a good fruit even though you had not done any good deed from your side. Even though it is a crooked path in which you get undeserved favors from God, it gradually increases your faith and devotion in God. When your devotion increases sufficiently, you may get spiritual knowledge from God. The spiritual knowledge is the only solution that will reform you permanently. Once you have reformed permanently, there is no further need to punish you. So, all the pending punishments, which had been postponed from previous births and have grown in interest, will be cancelled. The logic behind the cancelation of the pending punishments is that punishment is meant only for reformation and not for revenge. As a lawyer, you will understand all this legal procedure of the divine constitution. Hence, worshipping God does not in any way interfere with the doctrine of the cycle of deeds and fruits (karma).

 
   

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