“Jyotiś Śastra” –as is Astrology termed in Indian context – draws its derivation from the root words: “Jyoti” or Light, and “Īśa” or Divine. As the name signifies, this valued discipline spreads light to dispel darkness.
Future has yet not happened. So, it can’t be foreseen exactly as it would unfold. Past is history and therefore, can’t be seen in real terms. We, however, carryover the spirit and essence (in our memory) of what we would have gone through in the past – the feel of the fruits of our good and bad actions - pleasant and painful experiences; the learnings and un-learnings; the skill sets acquired; the virtues & attributes developed; habits & attitudes; and unfulfilled desires if any.
It needs to be appreciated here that human life is bound by a “cause-effect chain”. Consequently, what we currently experience is necessarily preceded by a cause – good or bad actions on our part. How we deal with the present “ask”, sets the ground for the future.
The memory imprints carried over from the past, form the seed-potential of a human being, over which future takes off. Ordinarily, we remain oblivious to them. Astrology brings them to light. It is something like the blueprint of the whole mango tree hidden in its seed. So is said: “As you sow, so shall you reap”. These thought-seeds are individualistic and unique. The obvious implication is that there remains continuum in time and space. Life, therefore, needs to be seen in succession.
The study of Astrology accordingly begins with a look into the unique character of a person – the core strengths, limitations of the mind, and desire trends. It brings forth the preconditioning of our mind, which defines the way we are expected to negotiate life. The desire trends excite aspirational urges, which one wishes to achieve. The core strength and limitations of the mind define the quality of efforts. In tandem – they define the fruits we become due for. With this awareness, the limitations of mind could be addressed. Following which, the scope of vision and intellect can be expanded, and the indwelling potential comprehended. That can be further optimized to get better empowered. Awareness does also help discriminate between ‘what we want’ and ‘what is right’. Accordingly, we get choices to – leave the undesirables and pursue the most appropriate. So, astrology is not deterministic, as is mistakenly believed. It rather offers opportunities to shape our destiny.
To sum up, astrology serves as a very effective diagnostic tool directed towards Human Resource Development. Here a quote from Swami Vivekanand becomes imperative: “We don’t succeed or fail in life simply because we are so helplessly fated. We lose in life only when we don’t strive sufficiently to unfold the immense power within.”
Now to understand the driving principles of astrology, a look into the construct of the universe becomes imperative. It may also shed light on where we stand in the game plan of the larger world. Both the Vedic perception and the scientific vision agree that the Universe is a well-knit unified organism. In its scheme of things, no existence has a reality independent of the entirety, all existences being inseparable part of the whole. All existences, live or inert, play their part to sustain the living order. It implies that the effect of happenings at one end of the universe shall be felt far and wide. In a related sense, any change in the cosmic energy pattern shall have related bearing on a person’s journey through life. Even more, because all form existences have come into being through interplay of cosmic energy-streams flowing through nature. It may not be out of place to mention here that Modern Physics has established that energies rooted to a common source are in immediate and intimate connect with each other. Here again, both Indian philosophy and modern science agree that all cosmic energies emanated from a ‘Singularity’.
It is difficult to account for billions of energy-streams flowing through the cosmos. But a generalised view of the cosmic energy pattern can be had through visible pointers. Jyotiś Śastra, accordingly clubbed the energy-streams into two groups. First, the 12 Zodiac signs, each marked with energies made available by a particular cluster of stars in the distant galaxy, reflecting exclusive characteristics. Second, the Sun as well as the planets moving around it in the immediate galaxy, again marked with distinctive attributes. These planets are not to be seen just as physical entities moving in the cosmos. They rather symbolize energies excited or reflected by them as well as the Moons moving around them. They can all be tracked with a fair amount of precision.
The cosmic bodies are moving in continuous cycles respectively following their exclusive trajectories and at their own speed. Simultaneously, they maintain relativity amongst themselves, as if they would be moving as a family, discharging their unitary as well as collective obligations. Seen relative to the earth, which spins on its axis at a great speed, the cosmic energy pattern varies widely every moment. Evidently, the line-up of planetary bodies in the cosmos every moment is unique. To that, corresponds the uniqueness of an individual born under its influence. Following this very rationale, positioning of planets at the time of one’s birth is superimposed on the then zodiac alignment to make out the astrological chart of a person.
Here again, to correlate with the cyclic nature of the planetary movements, Indian Astrology follows Hindu Calendar system. For, in its scheme of things, all units of time – both in macro and micro scales – are set in correspondence with periodic motion of the two luminaries, Sun, and Moon – the key players acting from the front in the immediate galaxy. The planets and Zodiacal line up are then progressed in time frame with reference to a person’s astrological chart serving as the referral.
Now, emissions available from every energy provider primarily excites a particular corresponding reception point in the brain (extending sub-influence over the rest). Correspondingly every point of the brain, administers a set function of the body, mind, and psyche. This forms the basis for assigning exclusive signification to different planets and zodiac signs. What is playing at the back of mind, which drives all actions on our part, can’t be easily visualised. But planetary movements can be figured out with a fair amount of precision, which influences our mind-trends. Applying the law of correspondence between mind trends and planetary movements, astrology figures out how we are expected to negotiate the callings of life in emerging times. This is the premise on which Astrology stands.