Thanks for bringing this up Hari.
I believe that we indeed bring with us all of our past karmic tendencies but we can VERY MUCH do something about it.
The purpose of our lives is to OVERCOME things, so that we may learn the lesson from each experience and neutralize our feelings/desires towards it. We have to get to a 'desireless' state - which means we have to neutralize karma (positive karma brings as much of a consequence as does negative karma).
So what is astrology? In my view it is like a traffic sign - that tells you if there is a hairpin bend ahead or not. The best predictions can tell you what kinds of challenges you might expect in life.
But astrology does not calculate/or take into account what your will power can do.
By making right choices WITH sufficient prayers it is possible to change/alter certain circumstances. It is also possible to reduce the intensity of negative karma (you might get a scratch in place of a fracture). Case in point, Markandeya who prayed to Shiva when he was about to die at 16 - Shiva slayed Yama to save Markandeya.
One thing we fail to believe in our terribly busy, crazy lives is that we are LOVED so much by the Lord, astrology or no astrology. I don't mean to say that astrology doesn't have its merits; just that I don't believe God wants us to suffer any more than we want to. He is patient, waiting for us to call upon Him - just so He can come swiftly, faster than the blink of an eye, to help us.
Of course there are certain rules that one must observe in our pursuit of Him. I think all of us follow at least some part of those rules, perhaps in differing degrees. If we make a more intense effort we will get better results.
Karma is after all a law. It can be circumvented. But only by love. In my view if we accept the consequences with grace, learn our lessons and vow not to repeat the negative things we have won half the battle. The other half is won by loving the Lord with all of one's might. Just love, nothing else.
God is almighty. Great. He has everything...
...except our love.
He doesn't want to force us. He accepts it only if we give it to Him out of our own Free Will.
As long as you have Free Will your life is very much in your hands. If you manage to touch the Divine your entire life will transform.
Our ancestors were not idiots to put Divine attainment before everything else (otherwise they would have placed astrological achievement before God). Read any spiritual guru's works (I mean the god-realized ones) - read it without fear - willing to believe things that might seemingly contradict rationality. You will notice that those truths operate by a different kind of rationality - unlike the western rationality that we are used to.
Yogic practices obtained from a true guru actually help in burning up one's karma - so that is another way of dealing with 'destiny'.
If you try to change your perspective into seeing life as a romance with God - going through trials and tribulations only as a testimony of love for Him (much the same way parents put up with the offences of their children) - you will see the hand of the Divine work miracles in your life and bring you inexpressible happiness.
You are the shaper of your own destiny. If you accept that job with love you will not find the need to believe anything else.
P.S. I wish to state upfront that I am no spiritual heavy weight, just someone who has been curious about these things for a very long time. Much of the above message is a reflection of PY's teachings (and other spiritual big weights too; I have been interested in this subject ever since I was a child) but what I have written is the result of my own experiments and tests of his words. The results I have obtained are very, very little (perhaps a tiny speck) but they have been enough to inspire these words.
KRS Sir / Chintana ji,
I don't know what category i fall into - i read the astrology sections of magazines with interest but i detest astrology -
Here is why :
a) KRS Sir, you have made several points in this thread but i am unable to quote them here as i am technologically challenged. However the essence of what you wrote is that there is no running away from "Karma Phala" & no force on earth can prevent the happening of what will happen. Then why astrology ?
b) If astrology helps one only to know what is in store as per his KP without any mitigating powers, then is it supposed to be used as a crash bag ! you are anyway destined to be involved in a crash, may be you could get away without hurting yourself too much....is this the purpose of astrology ?
c) Don't you think astrology has given birth to so many biases - to quote one i know of - the ubiquitous 'sevvai dosham'
d) Is Astrology an exact science ? I think not. The reason : Why there should be so many branches of Astrology ? After there is only one KP for an individual....Or is this the "multi dimensional view" of KP (afterall i am from the Business intelligence practice !)
e) Why the predictions vary with different astrologers ? Here i am not referring to the quacks....even if you were to approach say 3 eminent astrologers of the same branch, my (educated ?) guess is that there will be hardly 10% in common between them.
f) I am reminded of a scene in the movie Sri Raghavendra. Presuming this is an actual takeoff from the savant's life - 3 astrologers (different methods) estimate the life of Sri Raghavendra & come up with 3 numbers (they are no different from Economists are they ?)....78, 300, 1000 (approx)....in the final scene Sri Raghavendra reveals that 78 years was referring to his physical life, 300 years represents the number of years for his principles to be adopted & 1000 years representing the number of years the principles will stand the test of time. My question is : is this an "intelligent explanation" or does it highlight the fact that the conclusions are not right....
g) One serious doubt. Can Astrology say at the time of a child's birth give exactly the "brought forward balance" of the "Karma Phala" ? Can it also estimate the cycle of the child's birth ? Also can it provide the "Still to Go efforts" that the child needs to put in for Mukthi / Moksha ?
h) Taking of from what Chintana wrote, if the purpose of our life is to find our way to the "Bhagwan" why do we need astrology ?
i) Doesn't Astrology undermine the significance of effort in a human's life ? Sage Valluvar wrote : "Deivathal aaagadheninum muyarchi than mei varutha kooli tharum". But our man now is busy giving "kooli" to the astrologers & avoiding "muyarchi"........My grouse is if astrology was to be used as an "enabler" it has now been reduced to the level where i am afraid it is the biggest "disabler" in the path of progress
j) Is there any emphirical / scientific proof of the planets influencing life on earth ? If several decades later, humans successfully migrate to other planets (i wonder what will be the sq ft rate ?), will that mean disproving the effect theory ?
with respectful pranams,