So a horoscope is simply this, it is a reflection of the accumulated karmas of your past births. The Sanskrit word 'Karma' means action. Action can be mental or physical and its origin lies in a action in the past and is itself the progenitor of another action in the future. The 'Balance sheet' as on date and time of birth of each individual is the horoscope chart. Rishis believed that this balance sheet can be read, and that is the basis of astrology. From my limited knowledge and experience, I have observed that traditional or vedic astrologers use planetary characteristics and sign characteristics to divine the results. For example, Jupiter is said to represent self, Sun the father etc. But this requires a superhuman level of intellect, as each sign or planet has multiple connotations. Stellar astrology, almost completely ignores the planet and sign but concentrates on the house significations of each planet. As readers must have figured out through the months from reading my posts.
In general terms, for most people 90% or more of our life is fixed in my experience. Usually, the dominance of houses 4 6 7 8 12 indicate the fixed aspect of our lives while houses 1 5 9 10 11 indicate the availability of free will. In terms of planets, I have read that Jupiter indicates free will while, the hard taskmaster Saturn shows a fate dominated person. Even in terms of free will, I sometimes give a slightly facetious example (but one that drives home the point): Lets say I slapped you in a past life, you swore revenge. And in this life, our horoscopes put us in a position where you can slap me. Whether you will slap or you will forgive and walk away will be determined by whether the 4 6 7 8 12 dominate or 1 5 9 10 11 dominate. If you choose to walk away, that karma, that runanubandha is broken. If you choose to slap me, I will swear revenge and the story continues!
This is also the reason why I do not prescribe remedies to everyone who comes. Whether the remedy will work or not can also be seen from the horoscope. I have touched upon the conditions (for remedy to be effective in my post on Cursed or Baadhit horoscopes). But if Karma is Karma then why should one prescribe remedies in any case at all?
Karmas are classified as Drudha karmas (fixed), Adrudha karmas (malleable) and Drudha-Adhruda karmas (mixed). Fixed karma represents actions that inexcusable (say, murder), such karma cannot be altered by any remedy or shaanti. Even in such cases, as the act of remedy is also a karma, it will have effect but to an negligible extent as the size of the karma is so huge. For Drudha karma it is best that people accept the pain, it is not a loan to be repaid but it is a process that must be undergone.
KSK says that people who have done Drudha karma, the Dasha lord, the Bhukti lord, Lagna and Moon will be devoid of the beneficial aspect of Jupiter and from the 9th cusp lord (as 9th cusp is poorva punya sthan - good deeds of past lives).
Drudha-Adrudha Karma is an excusable mistake committed in the past life. Say, a mistake was committed, but it isnt grave or was committed through ignorance. In such cases, KSK says either the lagna or the Moon or the Dasha lord or the Bhukti Lord will receive favourable aspects from Jupiter or 9th lord or both.
Adrudha Karma is one where the sin committed is very negligible. Maybe, the actual action was not committed but it ended only at planning stage. In such a persons horoscope, Jupiter or lord of 9th will be in Ascendant (lagna) or conjoined with Moon or Dasha lord or Bhukti lord. Such people usually sail through life without much shocks whether they do remedies or not. In fact such people can use their life for spiritual pursuit but due to lack of discomfort, they seldom do. Such is the game!
So if very few things can be changed, then what is the point of Jyotisha? Let me illustrate this with an example. Let us say you are travelling by car to a distant location. The road seems to be good so you rev up the engine, go into the 6th gear and enjoy the speed. Suddenly the road becomes bad and that can damage the car or even worse the driver! Alternatively, you are driving on an extremely bad road, you get sick and tired of the slow and bumpy ride and want to simply stop the car, or continue on with a scowl. This is an equally bad scenario, death by a thousand cuts!
Jyotisha and indeed, Jyotishi is that person who you may meet on this journey who may warn you of the road turning bad ahead. Alternatively he may tell you that the current patch is bad but it will become better as you travel on. In both cases you can either be exercise caution or take heart and limit the damage to yourself. In both cases the road cannot be changed, maybe a few big potholes can be avoided, but largely the status of the road will remain the same, but what the native can do is limit damage. What I meant about free will and fate above is that those who with more fate centric horoscopes will never meet jyotisha or an honest/ intelligent jyotisha in their life. Or if they do they will not heed his advice! Such is the human nature!
Which brings me to the subject of Grace. What is Grace? Grace is nothing but lubrication. Lubrication of the individual with the rest of existence. If you imagine yourself to be a small cog of this machine known as reality, the more lubricated you are the less friction you will experience with life.While you will still face the vagaries of your karmas they will operate in a different manner.
A recent example of grace is my experience with the traffic policeman.My 8th house could have operated as a minor accident or a fine. Afterall my Dasha lord was Saturn and Bhukti lord was Rahu (responsible for sudden events). Two malefics and the 8th house. But Grace allowed the 8th house to operate as a fine and a minor insult rather than an accident (which may not have been physically bad but certainly financially and in terms of time wasted and blood boiled would have been infinitely worse). In fact those who have read An Autobiography of an Yogi by Swami Yogananda may remember the story where Yogananda's guru Sri Yukteshwar was sitting with a disciple at a yagnya and suddenly took a burning wood from the havan kunda and singed his disciples foot with it. To an in-pain, irate disciple he explained that his karma was satisfied by this burn which had otherwise planned on a proper fire on him.
There is another story I have read in a book but I cannot remember the name (I think the author was a Parsi gentleman who is a Sai Baba Bhakta). The story goes something like this: A young man comes to this person and says that he is in love with a girl who is of a completely different financial status (extremely poor) and his family is unlikely to agree, so what should he do. The protagonist asks the boy if he truly loves the girl? The boy says yes,of course, they are virtually married already. The next question is can you prove that love to me by making a fixed deposit of Rs 50 lakhs on her name? The boy agrees to do that the next day. After that the man says you are a devotee of Swami Samartha of Akkalkot, do his sadhana for 40 days and you will be benefited. After the boy leaves the protagonist explains that the boy is slated to be in a very bad car accident after 40 days and will become a vegetable all his life. The sadhana for 40 days is to invoke the 'grace' of Swami Samartha to take his life in the accident instead of the indignity of being a vegetable for decades to come. The reason for demanding he give 50 lakhs to the girl, is she she completely loves him and will remain alone her entire life after this incident. This monetary will ensure that she is not forced into anything without her will. The couple is destined to unite in the next life. I do not recall the details of story, but this is substantively correct, if memory serves. This again uses (maybe a morbid) example to highlight the importance of Grace. As long as you are in Grace, its operation may be secret to you, but it will operate and lubricate your life in many ways. In fact it reminds me of the verse:
Jananam Sukhadam Maranam Karunam
Milanam Madhuram Smaranam Karunam
It means, to be born is happiness, death is compassion.
To unite is sweet, the memory of it is compassion.
So how does one gain this Grace. One way could be being in the protective shade of an authentic, realised Guru. Someone like a Sri Yukteshwar who could reduce his disciples karma enough to save his life. The other could be through devotion to God, like the example I gave above of the boy who was asked to do a Sadhana of Swami Samartha of Akkalkot.
Another way to be in Grace is through practicing some spiritual process. Whether it is reading of a pothi, or chanting of a mantra or something like that. However, I believe that best results are possible only if someone with spiritual authority tells you to do something like this. A person on his own cannot hold someone as a 'manas guru' and make up his own spiritual path. The basic thing you have to understand is that in this culture, the Guru chooses his disciple and not the other way around. I have seen most people using the spiritual process to add to their ego and identity when it is supposed to do the exact opposite. I have seen people make modifications to yogasanas too (extremely dangerous), so the ability of ego to delude people is infinite!
A simple way of getting into Grace is to try and learn authentic classical yoga and practice it daily. It need not be kriya, even something like Suryanamaskar, if learned EXACTLY the way it is to be done, can align ones existence in such a way that Grace will naturally flow. The person will recognise it within a year of practicing it daily. There will be situations when the native himself to say "normally this situation would have ended this way for me...but wow...it didn't get that bad!" That is how you know you are in Grace. We are all part of this universe. Grace is a state of being, it is not strictly a favour done by someone to us. If you keep yourself in a certain way, it will flow to you. And when it does, you will know. Your horoscope will operate, but it will not give the worst possible outcome. Like I said in my case, 8th house could have meant accident or fine, and it went with fine. That too a small one. The policeman was exceedingly polite to the point I was surprised! He could have just as easily slapped or abused me and extorted money for what was clearly an honest mistake on my part. This is Grace!
On this International Day of Yoga, I wish my readers 'Grace' and acceptance. May you all find your paths. This will not appeal to everyone, I know. Because their own horoscopes will drive their mentality. But for those with 5 9 10 11 or any combination thereof, needing a push from destiny, this is it.
In passing, what is Yoga?
Sage Patanjali describes Yoga as "chitta vritti nirodhah". In other words, yoga is the interruption (nirodhah) of the tendencies (vritti) of the mind/ psyche (chitta). When the natural restlessness of the psyche is interrupted, the person is said to be in yoga.
Yoga is not something you do, yoga is a state you become. The asanas are what prepare you for that state.
May Bhairavi give everyone, whatever is the best for them!