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Astrology and the Doctrine of Karma Part - 1

Astrology and the Doctrine of Karma Part - 1

Dr. Shanker Adawal

Grief is the substance of which life is made of. Everywhere one looks, one sees people unhappy for various reasons. Separation from near and dear ones, disease, debts, poverty persecution of any one of many other things keep people in distress. People often wonder why they are the victims of a cruel and merciless fate when they, seemingly, have done no wrong. Good people seem to suffer much more than bad people. Morality becomes irrelevant because of the purposelessness and unfairness of life. And the universe becomes nothing more than an aimless chaos.

The ancient Maharishis speculated long and deep on this dichotomy of suffering and happiness seemingly happening at random, and came up with the idea of Karma. They defined Karma as the energy generated by the summation of all our physical, mental and spiritual actions. And that all our unhappiness or happiness was nothing but an expression of this Karmic energy.

Sage Kapila elaborated further. He said : “Man’s existence is a Karmic repetition of his previous existences and his present existence is but a link in the chain of eternal existences connecting the past with the future.” Einstein echoed this when he said that time ultimately wrapped around itself causing a finite infinity – a meeting of the Kaiplarian past with the future. Was there any escape from the shackles of space and time or was man doomed to cycle through eternity in this way? The Maharishis answered this question with yes. And that was when past, present and future blended together to annihilate space and time – an Einsteinan E = mc2 as it were. The goal, therefore, of all Hindu philosophy was to find a way to go beyond the confines of space and time and thus overcome Karma.
Karma theory teaches us that the soul enters the life, not as a fresh creation, but after a long course of previous existences on this earth and elsewhere, in which it acquired its present inhering peculiarities and that it is on the way to future transformations which the soul is now shaping. It claims that infancy brings to earth, not a blank scroll for the beginning of an earthly record, nor a mere cohesion of atomic forces into a brief personality soon to disintegrate again into the elements, but that it is inscribed with ancestral histories, some like the present scene the most of them unlike it and stretching back into, remotest past. These inscriptions are generally undecipherable, save as revealed in their moulding influence upon the new career, but like the invisible photographic images made by the Sun of all it sees; when they are properly developed in the laboratory of consciousness, they will be distinctly displayed.

The current phase of life will also be stored away in the secret vaults of memory for its unconsciousness effect upon ensuing lives. All the qualities we now possess in body, mind and should result from our use of ancient opportunities. We are indeed the heirs of all the ages. For these conditions accrue from distant causes endangered by our older selves, and the future flows by the divine law of cause and effect (Karma) from the gathered momentum of our past impetuses. There is no favouritism in the universe, but all have the same everlasting facilities for growth. Those who are now elevated in worldly station may be sunk in humble surroundings in the future. Only the inner traits of the soul are permanent companions.

The wealthy slugged may be the beggar of the next life, and the industrious worker of the present is sowing the seeds of greatness. Suffering, bravely endured now, will produce a treasure of patience and fortitude in another life, hardships will give rise to strength, self denial must develop the will, tastes cultivated in this existence will somehow bear fruit in coming ones and acquired energies will assert themselves whenever they can be the less parsimonies upon which the principles of physics are based. Vice versa, the unconscious habits, the uncontrollable impulses, the peculiar tendencies, the favourite pursuits, and the soul-stirring friendships of the present descend from far-reaching previous activities.

Overcoming Karma meant understanding it. And to simplify the problem they identified three categories of Karma, viz., (a) Sanchita, (b) Prarabdha and (c) Agami.

Sanchita is the accumulated Karma that is latent and will fructify in a future life. Prarabdha is the operative part of Karma comprised of thoughts, words and deeds whose seed has already germinated and whose machinery has been set in motion for fruition in this life. Agami is the Karma that will be done in future.

Dr. Shanker Adawal
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