Astrology And Karma - Fatalistic Or Deterministic?

Dr A.P.Rao 

Astrology and Karma - Fatalistic or Deterministic?

The major question of astrology is if the future is predetermined (fatalistic) or one can control it (deterministic). Hindu philosophy answers this question intelligently. If the future is deterministic one should know the type of actions and their conditions. The birth and death cycle depends on one's own karma. By one's karma, one accumulates credit and debit balances by good and bad deeds. In financial dealings, all assets are not of equal utility. One may be very rich in assets but cash-starved on a day – even if money is in the bank like on a holiday. It may be in the fixed deposit which cannot be withdrawn. Similarly, karma also consists of three types. Prarabdha, Samcita, and Agami.

Prarabdha karma is the deep accumulation of very heavy-duty karmas of long-lasting effect accumulated though a number of janmas. This is like an ESHCREW ACCOUNT – where the inheritor as per the stipulated conditions can enjoy the fruit of the investment. Prarabdha is almost impossible to change. Samcita karma is the result of immediate past janmas – it is like a fixed deposit – One can enjoy the interest but may not able to touch the principle. Changing the investment is unprofitable if not impossible. Thus the change in the fruit of Samcita karma may be possible but to change it may be unprofitable. Agami is the most important of all karmas – it is what we do today that affects tomorrow. As is said commonly “Today is the tomorrow you were worried about yesterday”. What we sow today we will reap tomorrow. Hindu karmic rituals concentrate on doing this karma in the right way. The purpose of puja is to achieve the four aims “PURUSHAARDHAS” of (1) Dharma, (2)Ardha the means livelihood (3) Kama the fulfillment of desires and (4)Moksha God Realization. Thus it is not a taboo to desire and have materialistic things. An only important condition is to see that both means and ends of acquisition of materialistic things are done in right or dharmic way. If one carries such disciplined life, Agami yields good results and this makes one follow the perfect righteous path – which leads to eliminating bad effects of samcita and increasing its good effects and which again puts one at a higher pedestal of spiritual life so that the Prarabdha is totally rectified – leading to Moksha. Thus total knowledge of karma and their good practice leads to the evolution of a person to a higher state of happiness at both physical and spiritual levels.

Another way of looking at the problem is our concept or understanding of God. as “AHAM BRAHMASMI” and “BRAHMAHAMASMI”. (Realising the identity of Jeevatma and Paramatma – referring to the fructification of sadhana). There are three “Rs” involved in this

  1. Recognition – wherein one agrees to the identity in principle but has no experience of that identity- Constant reinforcement of this is sadhana.
  2. Revelation – Where in by one's sadhana or divine grace the identity is revealed to the person.
  3. Realization – wherein one realizes the identity.

Corresponding to one of the above stages of sadhana one's own ability lies in changing not only the future but the whole universe itself.

So good karma or good sadhana will lead to an elevation in small quantity if not in a day but in a few janmas. By this one can definitely control one's future. This is aptly said in the sentence “Yat bhavoo tat bhavati” How one conceives (plans or imagines) so it will happen.

For daily life, it is important to know if astrology can really foretell the future and if some shanti or parihara can change the possible unwanted events. It is again the greatness of hindu sages that the question is answered – astrologer has to analyze purva punya and uttara punya. It is this reading of this balance sheet which gives the answer to what events are fatalistic and what events can be changed. Reading the annual balance sheet of a company shows which expenses of the company are a waste for achieving an objective. The balance sheet of purva punya and uttara punya(9th house and 5th house) and his present status of dharma (9th bhava) and karma (10th bhava) gives an insight of fatalistic events. Even with full knowledge of all these the astrologer has to be a tactician – in deciding what to tell and what not to tell and should not be a catalyst if not a causing agent of the event. The astrologer should definitely advise possible avoidable events and pariharam for the same. But for the really inevitable like death, at least one is reconciled for the inevitable and will have more peace. As an example if one has to forecast a possible accident say by a vehicle while traveling – with proper one may reduce the effect of the accident. If the client has spent considerable energy shanti (Both in quantity and quality) physically like not traveling etc. or by shanti or parihara the intensity or effect of the accident maybe less. Instead of a fatal accident, one may have a sprain– thus meeting the conditions of prediction as well as the result. Similarly, for kuja dosha of marriage – the result may be multifaceted – instead of becoming a widow, divorce etc. one may have an affair or canceling of an alliance for marriage at the last minute. Thus astrology can offer predictions which can be changed by human effort.

This is why while giving the prasada of holy water in temples one is blessed by saying “Akala mrutyu nivarnaardham” – for avoiding untimely death. Thus it is one's effort which can make future deterministic.