Hidden Mysteries Chapter 6
6 Astrology: A Door To Religiousness
It is necessary that some matters be understood. First, it is necessary to know that from a scientific point of view the whole solar family is born out of the sun. The moon, Mars, Jupiter, and the rest of the planets, including this earth, are all organic parts of the sun. Slowly, life on earth came into being - from plants to man. Man is an organic part of the earth; the earth is an organic part of the sun. It is like a mother who has a daughter, who in turn also has a daughter, and in all three of them the same blood flows. Their bodies are made up of similar cells. The scientists use a word, empathy, meaning shared sensitivity. Those things that are born from the same source have a sort of shared inner experience.
Out of the sun the earth is born, and out of the earth our bodies are born, and far away the sun is our great grandparent. Whatsoever happens on the sun creates a vibration in every cell of our bodies. It must be that way because our cells are all born out of the sun. The sun appears to be a great distance away but it is not so far. In every element of our blood and in every particle of our bones, live the atoms of the sun. We are part of the sun, so it is no wonder that in our lives we are influenced by the sun. There is a sort of empathy between the sun and ourselves. If we understand this empathy properly, we shall enter into one dimension of astrology.
Some experiments on empathy can be conducted when two children born of the some egg are placed in separate rooms. During the last fifty years many of these kind of experiments have been conducted. The twins were put into separate rooms, a bell was rung, and the children told to write or draw whatsoever they first thought of when the bell was rung. This was repeated twenty times, and it was observed with great wonder that ninety percent of the pictures drawn by the twins were similar. The thought stream produced in one child on the ringing of the bell, and the word or picture brought about by that thought, would be the same as in the other twin.
This similarity of experience is described by scientists as empathy. There is so much similarity between twins that they even speak alike. Within the bodies of two such children there is an inner communication or dialogue which flows through some unknown channels.
Between the sun and the earth also there are communication bridges like this, and every moment messages are being passed across these bridges. And similarly, communication bridges exist between the earth and man. So there is a continuous communication between man, the earth and the sun. But that communication is very mysterious; it is inner and subtle. Let us understand something about this also.
There is a research center in America known as the Tree Ring Research Center. If you cut down a tree you will find a number of rings or circles drawn across the cut surface. The beautiful decorative designs in the grain of wooden furniture are due to these circles. This research center has been working for the last fifty years on the formation of these rings.
Professor Douglas, the center's director, who has spent a major part of his life studying them, has discovered a number of facts. Ordinarily, all of us know that the age of the tree can be calculated from the number of these circles. Every year one new ring is born; one new layer is made within the tree every year. If the tree is fifty years old, if it has seen fifty autumns, then there are fifty rings formed inside the tree. But it is surprising to know that these rings also indicate what sort of seasons there were in a particular year. If the seasons were more hot or wetter than usual, the ring formation is broader. If the seasons were cold and dry, the ring is not so wide. It is possible to know when there were strong rains, when there was drought and when the seasons were very cold. If Buddha said that there was good rainfall in a particular year, the bodhi tree under which he sat would confirm the truth of it. Buddha might have made a mistake, but the tree could not. The tree ring will be wider or thinner, indicating the type of season that particular year.
While conducting his research, Professor Douglas reached still another conclusion which was far beyond anything he could have anticipated. He observed that the rings are wider every eleventh year - and every eleventh year there is maximum nuclear activity on the sun, the sun becomes more active. It is as if it has a periodic rhythm and its radioactivity is at a maximum then. During such a year a tree makes a wider ring - not in one forest or in one place or country, but all over the earth all trees behave similarly in order to protect themselves from the intensified radioactivity.
To protect itself from the excessive power that is released by the sun, the tree grows a thicker skin every eleventh year.
Due to this phenomenon, a new phrase, "climate of the earth," has been coined by scientists. The seasons are different at different places: somewhere it is raining, somewhere it is extremely cold and somewhere it is very hot. But with regard to this eleventh year, this new term, "climate of the earth" was coined by Professor Douglas. Due to the sun's radioactivity every eleventh year, there is a similarity of experience all over the earth. We might not notice it, but the trees do. There is a gradual decrease in the width of the tree rings that are formed after the eleventh year, and after five years there is again a gradual increasing in width up to the eleventh year.
If the trees are so sensitive that they can carefully record an event happening on the sun, then isn't it possible that in the mind of man also there might be some layer indicative of the sun's activity?
Isn't it possible that man's body might have a subtle sensitivity to the sun's activity? Isn't it possible that in some way rings take shape deep within the human personality? Until now scientists have not been able to find such records in man's body, but it doesn't seem possible that man's body wouldn't record such activity.
Astrology is an investigation into the possibility that changes in the universe have also been recorded in man. But it is not as easy to investigate the body of man because it cannot be cut open like a tree. To cut open a human being is a very delicate and dangerous affair. And because man has a mind, it is not the body which registers events in this way, but the mind. The tree has no mind, and so its body has to register the events.
One more point is also worth noting.... Just as there are radio-active storms on the sun every eleventh year, similarly, there is another periodic rhythm of ninety years on the sun. This has only come to light recently, but it is a scientific fact and it is as surprising as the periodic rhythm occurring each eleven years. Astrologers do not mention anything about this, but I am telling you to make it easier for you to understand astrology in a scientific manner. There is a cycle of ninety years which has been experienced, and its story is quite amazing.
Four thousand years ago, an Egyptian pharaoh told his scientists to keep a record of how often the water in the River Nile increases or decreases and by how much. The River Nile is the only river in the world with a biography four thousand years old. A record has been kept of when the water level in the river increased or decreased by even one inch. This record runs from the time of the pharaohs, four thousand years ago, until today.
"Pharaoh" is the name given to an Egyptian emperor and means the sun in the Egyptian language.
There was a belief in Egypt that a continuous dialogue existed between the sun and the River Nile.
The pharaohs, who were devotees of the sun, declared that a complete record of the Nile should be kept. They said, "We know nothing about the sun at present, but some day we will, and this record will be useful."
So everything about the River Nile for four thousand years has been recorded: the increase in the water level, when there were floods and when there were none.... And one Egyptian scholar, Tasman, compiled its history. Some things that were not known in the times of the pharaohs are now known and everything that has happened in the Nile has been compared with events on the sun. A ninety-year rhythm has been clearly indicated to relate to happenings on the sun. These events are quite similar to what we call birth and death.
Understand it this way: the sun grows for forty-five years and then begins to decline in age for forty- five years. For forty-five years the energy flow within the sun increases towards a peak of youth.
After forty-five years there is a receding flow of energy, as within a human being. After ninety years the sun becomes very old. During the later forty-five years, the earth is struck with earthquakes.
Earthquakes are related to this ninety-year cycle. At the end of the ninetieth year, the sun again becomes youthful.
This is a very important cyclical occurrence. There are such immense changes happening on the sun that it is natural for the earth also to be shaken. When a body as huge as the earth becomes upset by earthquakes because of changes on the sun, how can the small body of a man remain unaffected? This is the question astrologers have been asking. They say it is impossible for the body of man to remain unaffected. Children that are born during those forty-five years when the sun is growing in youth are wonderfully healthy. But those children that are born during the forty-five years when the sun is growing old cannot be in sound health.
The condition of children born during the period when the sun is on the downward path is like that of a ship that has to travel east when the winds are blowing west - a great deal of physical effort is needed to move the oars. The sails do not work so the helmsman has to work harder. It is like swimming against the current. The sun is the vital energy source for the whole solar family. When it is old, whosoever happens to be young has to swim against the current. He has to undergo a great strain.
When the sun is in its youthful period, the entire solar family is filled with energy and is moving toward its peak. Whosoever is born then is in a ship that is sailing in the direction of the wind.
No effort is necessary. Neither the oars nor the rudder have to be moved: the sails have only to be opened and the ship is moved by the winds. During this period there is a minimum of disease prevalent on the earth. When the sun is growing old there are the maximum number of diseases.
The River Nile's historical record of four thousand years shows that there is an increase of water flowing in it during the forty-five years when the sun is in its youth. When the sun is becoming old, the water level in the Nile drops. It also becomes weaker and older then.
Man is not separate from this world, he is one united whole with it.
Not even the best watches tell the time accurately. It takes twenty-three hours and fifty-six minutes for the earth to make one revolution around its axis. On the basis of this time period we have devised a day of twenty-four hours. Our man-made watches may falter, but so far the earth has not been known to have ever taken one second more or less in completing a revolution. We did not have any totally accurate means to study this phenomenon, so we only made rough estimates. But when the sun's cycle of ninety years is completed, and when the sun readjusts for a new cycle, the timing of the clocks on the earth is disturbed.
At the time when the sun experiences increased radioactivity, during its eleven-year cycle, our clocks falter. Whenever the earth comes under the influence of such external forces its inner rhythm is disturbed. New cosmic influences like a star, a meteor, or a comet passing near the earth also disturbs it. On a cosmic scale, things very far away in the sky are really very near, because everything is interconnected in an invisible way. However, the ability of our language to express this phenomenon is very weak, because when we say that a star has come a little nearer to our sun, we think about this in the ordinary sense of one person coming nearer to another. However, the distances are very great. But even a slight change in the distances between cosmic objects and the axis of the earth will be disturbed - although we may not even be aware of this. To disturb the earth, a great force is required. Even for a one-inch deviation on the earth, powerful cosmic bodies are required to pass near its orbit.
When these great cosmic bodies pass near the earth, they also pass near us. When the earth is shaken, it is not possible that the trees that grow on it are not shaken. It is not possible that the human being living and walking on it is not shaken. But the shaking is very minute, and so far we have not had any instruments to measure it. But now we have such sensitive electronic instruments that a vibration of a thousandth of a second's duration can also be measured. But the vibration of the human being still cannot be measured. So far we have not yet made any instruments for measuring that.
Man is a very limited creature - and it is necessary for him to be that way, otherwise it would be difficult for him to live on the earth. If you were able to experience and know the influence of all the surrounding forces that act upon you twenty-four hours a day you would not be able to live. We are able to live because we do not know everything that is happening around us.
There is another law also. That law is that we come to know neither influences below a certain limit nor those above a certain limit. The range of our experience is limited. For example, suppose that we measure the body's temperature as being between ninety-eight degrees at the lowest point and one hundred and ten degrees at the highest point; then it shows that we are living within these twelve degrees.
If the temperature drops below ninety-eight degrees we will die, and if it shoots up above one hundred and ten degrees we will also die. But do you think that the is limited to a twelve degrees variation of temperature, that beyond this we will die? Man lives within the limited range of twelve degrees, and beyond this range, he will die. Man lives in a sort of balance. He has to fluctuate between ninety-eight and one hundred and ten degrees. Similarly, there are balances for everything.
I am speaking to you and you can hear. If I speak in a very low tone, a point will come where you will not be able to hear me. This you can understand, but you will not be able to imagine that there is a higher point of audibility beyond which you cannot hear. It will be difficult to imagine that a louder noise can also be inaudible.
Scientists say that we have a certain range of hearing, and that we cannot hear anything below or above it. All around us great thundering noises are occurring, but we can't hear them. If a star disintegrates or a new planet is born, tremendous thundering noises are created around the earth.
If we were to hear them, then at that very moment we would become deaf. But because our ears cannot hear them, we are protected. We cannot hear below certain decibels and we cannot hear above certain decibels - we can only hear within a certain range.
There are even limits to seeing. The senses of all human beings are operating within a particular range. For example, a dog is able to smell much more than you can. Its range of smell is wider, and what we are not able to smell, a dog can. What we are not able to hear, a horse can. A horse's sense of hearing and smelling is much sharper. From a distance of one and a half miles a horse can smell the approach of a lion. It will suddenly stop, and we will not understand why it has. Its sense of smell is very powerful. But if you had such a strong sense of smell that you could experience all the smells pervading your surroundings, you would go mad. A human being is closed within a sort of capsule - he has boundaries.
When you switch on your radio, you can listen to many stations. Do you think that the music begins only when the radio is switched on? The radio waves of music and speech are continuously flowing in the air whether you switch on your radio or not. But only when the radio is switched on can you hear them. In this very room, the radio waves of all the broadcasting stations of the world are flowing continuously, but only when you switch on your radio can you hear them. Those radio waves are there even when your radio is not switched on, but you cannot hear them.
In this world many sounds are passing by all around us. There is a great tumult. We are not able to hear it, but we cannot escape being affected by it. We are influenced by all these noises - in every nerve, in every heartbeat, in every muscle. These noises are working in us unnoticed. The smells we are not able to recognize also affect us. If those smells bring with them some disease, you will catch the disease. Your awareness or recognition of it is not necessary for something to exist.
Astrology says that around us there are energy fields which go on influencing us continuously. As soon as a child is born, it is subject to all the influences of the world. In the language of science, we can describe birth as a process of exposure.
It is just as though we expose a film in a camera. You press the exposure button of a camera and within a split second the lens window opens and closes, and whatsoever was in front of that camera is immediately registered on the film. The film is exposed without affecting the previous exposure.
The film has captured the image of the scene forever.
Similarly, when a child is conceived in the mother's womb, this is a first exposure for that child. On the day the child is born there is a second exposure. These two exposures are registered upon the sensitive mind of the child as if on a film. The world as it is at that moment is imprinted upon the child, and so there is an empathy in the child for the world as it is at that moment.
You will be surprised to know that ninety percent of children are born at night. Ordinarily - in accordance with mathematical probability - the percentage of births would be fifty-fifty for night and day. There can be a fluctuation of four to five percent here and there, but why should ninety percent be born during the night? Only ten percent of births, at the most, occur during the day. This cannot be without any reason. There are many reasons for this. Let me explain....
When a child is born at night, the first exposure of the world upon its mind is not of light, but of darkness. I am telling you this only by way of illustration, because the matter is really much deeper.
Only by way of illustration am I telling you that the first impression upon the mind of the child is that of darkness. The sun is absent, its energy is absent. All around, the world is sleeping; nothing is actually awake. This is the first impact on the child.
If we ask Buddha or Mahavira about the reason for this, they will say that most souls take birth at night because they are sleeping when they are born. These souls cannot choose the moment of their birth. There are hundreds of other reasons, but this is important, that most people are asleep.
They are in darkness and inactivity.
Whosoever is born after sunrise will be born with energy. After sunset, in the darkness of night, only sleeping beings can take birth. The birth that takes place at the time of the rising of the sun will be a birth under the influence of energy; the birth that takes place after sunset under the cover of darkness will be a birth under the influence of sleep. The exposure will be different for a film exposed at night and one exposed during light. It is necessary to understand this point about exposure more clearly, because astrology is very deeply related to it.
The scientists who are conducting research on this subject of birth exposure say that it is a happening of the utmost importance. That exposure will follow you throughout your life.
When a chicken is born to a hen, it immediately starts running after the hen. We say that it is running after the mother, but scientists say that this has nothing to do with the mother, that it is only a question of exposure and imprinting. Scientists have now conducted hundreds of experiments - one experiment was on chickens about to be born. The chickens' beaks were emerging from the eggs, and just then the hen was removed from the scene, and a balloon was placed in front of the chickens instead. When the chickens opened their eyes they saw the balloon. You will be surprised to know that the chickens loved the balloon as if it was their mother.
Wherever that balloon moved in the air, they would run after it. They did not care for the mother, wherever she might be, but they became surprisingly sensitive towards the balloon. When the chickens became tired, they would go and sit beside the balloon. They would try to love the balloon, they would try to peck at the balloon - not at the mother.
In this connection, a lot of work has been done by the scientist Konrad Lorenz. He says that the first moment of exposure is the most important. The child becomes intimately related to the mother, but because of the first exposure. It runs after the mother only because she was available to it first.
Now some more experiments are being conducted.... Those male children who are not brought up in the presence of the mother are not capable of loving any woman. There has been no proper exposure; the image of a woman has not been properly imprinted in such a child's mind.
If homosexuality is increasing in the West, one fundamental reason is insufficient exposure to one of the parents. Heterosexual love, love between opposite sexes, is becoming less and less in the West, and love between members of the same sex is increasing. Although this is an unnatural happening, it is bound to be there.
The sexual attraction between a man and a woman is also conditioned in another manner. To whom a child should be first exposed is a matter to be considered. A woman will not be happy in life if, as a baby girl, she was first exposed to the mother. Her exposure should be to a man. The first impact on the mind of a girl should be of her father; then only will she be capable of loving a man fully. If men always surpass women it is because boys and girls are both first exposed to and brought up by the mother.
The exposure of the boy is correct, but that of the girl is not. So, as long as a baby girl's first exposure is not to her father, it will not be possible for her to become equal to a man. Neither through politics, nor through employment, nor through economic independence can she become equal, because from a psychological angle the weakness in the personality of a girl remains. No civilization so far has been able to overcome this weakness.
If a small balloon can exert so much influence on a chicken, if it can enter so indelibly into its mind, astrology suggests that whatsoever surrounds us - the whole universe - also enters into our consciousness at that moment of exposure at birth, when the mental film is exposed to the world.
This determines forever your sympathies and antipathies for the entire life. All the constellations that are encircling the earth at that moment also, in a very deep way, imprint their influence on that newly born consciousness. The constellations are in certain positions: the basic significance of these constellations lies in the influence of their radioactivity which falls upon the earth at the moment of birth.
Now scientists believe that every celestial body has its own unique radioactivity. The planet Venus throws out rays which are tranquil, whereas the moon has quite a different type of radio wave. The radio waves that reach us from Jupiter are different from those that reach us from the sun. The reason for the difference is that each planet has a different combination of gaseous layers encircling it, and from each planet a different combination of rays comes towards the earth. And when the child is born, whatever constellations, stars, planets or distant super-suns are encircling the horizon, all enter deep within the mind of the child at the time of its exposure. The cosmic situation at that moment - with all its weaknesses, strengths and capabilities - influences the child for his whole life.
It is like knowing the exact effect of what would happen when an atom bomb explodes amidst a populated area like Hiroshima. Before the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, it was only known that hundreds of thousands of people would die. But it was not known that this would also effect the future generations and everything else too. For those who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki it was just a matter of one moment. But the trees that remained behind, the animals, the birds, the fish and the human beings that remained behind, were all permanently affected in an unknown manner. The total effect of this will be known only after about ten generations pass, because deep radioactive forces are still at work.
A woman who survived had all her ova affected by radioactivity. Now these ova are incapable of reproducing normal children such as they would have done before they were affected by the radioactivity. A child born of these ova could be lame or blind, it could have four or even eight eyes; it could be anything - one cannot say. Its brain may be diseased or it may be a genius such as has never been before. We are not certain what it will be like; only one thing we know for certain is that it will not be like an ordinary normal being.
If the power of an atomic bomb - which is comparatively not a very great power - can cause such great harm to life on earth, then you can imagine the power of the sun. It is as if millions of atom bombs are bursting on it simultaneously. In Hiroshima and Nagasaki an atom bomb killed one hundred and twenty thousand human beings - in comparison, can you imagine how much radioactivity exists on the sun?
The sun has been heating the earth for four billion years, and scientists say that there is no possibility of its beginning to grow cool for millions of years. Each day it gives out tremendous heat to the earth, and that too from a distance of almost one hundred million miles. Whatever happened in Hiroshima could have an effect only up to a radius of ten miles, whereas the sun has been giving us heat from a distance of one hundred million miles and for so long; still it is not exhausted. But compared with other suns in the universe our sun is just a tiny star. The stars that we see in the sky are much bigger than our sun, and each one of them has its own individual radiation which is flowing towards us.
One great scientist, Michael Gacquilin, has been carrying out research on the forces in the universe.
He tells us that we are not able to understand even one percent of the things that are caused by the forces coming within our experience. Since we have begun to send space satellites beyond the earth, so much information has been transmitted to us that we have neither the words to describe it, nor are we able to develop the science to decipher the transmitted information. We never imagined that so much energy and so many forces might be operating all around us.
In this context, let us understand one more thing. Astrology is not a new science that is still developing. The position is quite the reverse. If you have seen the Taj Mahal, you may have noticed some incomplete walls beyond the opposite bank of the River Yamuna. The current story is that Shahjehan not only made the Taj Mahal for his wife Mumtaj, but that he was also constructing a tomb for himself, from the same marble stone as the Taj Mahal, on the opposite bank of the River Yamuna.
However, that tomb could not be completed, according to the story. But now some historians have done research, and they tell us that those walls which look incomplete are not the walls of some tomb that was being constructed, but are the remains of a big palace that existed long ago.
We have been told for the last three hundred years that those walls were the incomplete walls of a tomb that Shahjehan had begun to construct. But the walls of a tomb being newly built and the remains of some old palace would look similar, so it is very difficult to decide what exactly those walls are. Historical research now indicates that not only were they once a complete palace, but that the Taj Mahal itself was not constructed by Shahjehan. It was an old palace constructed by Hindus which Shahjehan converted into a tomb. But it often happens that we can't believe anything that contradicts what we have always heard.
No tomb like the Taj Mahal has been constructed anywhere else in this world. A tomb is never constructed like that. All around the Taj Mahal there are places for soldiers to stand, and for installing rifles and guns. Tombs are not needed to be protected by rifles and guns. It was an old palace that was converted. On the opposite bank of the Yamuna there was also an old palace which collapsed, and its ruins remain as a witness.
Astrology is also like the ruins of a great building that once existed. It was a complete science which is lost. It is neither new nor is it in the process of construction. From the walls that have remained it is not possible to judge how big that building once might have been. Many times truths are realized, only to become lost again.
About two hundred years before Christ, Aristarchus, a Greek scientist, discovered that the sun is the center of our universe and not the earth. This principle of Aristarchus became known as the heliocentric principle - that the sun is in the center. But afterwards, about 100 A.D., Ptolemy again changed this discovery and said that the earth was the center. After that, it took over one thousand years until Kepler and Copernicus again established that the sun is the center of our universe. The truth discovered by Aristarchus remained hidden for a very long time, until Copernicus opened the old book of Aristarchus and declared it again - and people were shocked.
Westerners say that America was discovered by Columbus. Oscar Wilde made a joke about it that has become well known when he went to America. He said that America had been discovered much earlier by someone else. This is true - America was discovered many times and was lost again and again when relations with it were cut off. Someone asked Oscar Wilde, "If Columbus did not discover it the first time - if it had already been discovered - why did it become lost every time?"
Oscar Wilde jokingly replied, "He did discover America, it was discovered many times, but every time it was hushed up. Every time it was necessary to keep it quiet, because such a troublesome thing is best forgotten and put away!"
In the Mahabharata epic there are references to America - one of Arjuna's wives was from Mexico.
There are ancient Hindu temples in Mexico with idols of Ganesh chiseled on them.
It happens many times that the truth comes within our grip and then is lost again. Astrology was one such great truth: it was once known about, but was subsequently lost. There are difficulties in the way of knowing it again - that is why I am talking to you from many different points of view.
My intention in talking on astrology could be misunderstood. It is not as if I intend to talk on the same subjects that are discussed by an ordinary astrologer. To such an astrologer you can pay a coin and be told your fortune. Perhaps you think that I am going to talk about him or be in support of him. In the name of astrology, ninety-nine percent of astrologers only bluff. Only one percent will not dogmatically assert that an event will definitely happen. They know that astrology is a vast subject - so vast that someone can only hesitatingly enter into it.
When I am talking about astrology, I want show you to have a picture of the whole science from many angles so that you can enter it without any fear or hesitation. When I talk about astrology, I am not talking about the ordinary astrologer - such small matters. But the average man's curiosity regarding astrology is just to know whether his daughter will get married or not....
Astrology can be divided into three parts. The first part is the core, the essence; it is the essentials, and cannot be changed. It is the part which is most difficult to understand. The second part is the middle layer, in which one can make whatever changes one wants. It is the semi-essential portion in which you can make changes if you know how, but without knowing, no changes are possible at all.
The third part is the outermost layer which is nonessential, but about which we are all very curious.
The first is the essence, in which no changes can be made. When it is known, the only way is to cooperate with it. Religions have devised astrology in order to know and decipher this essential destiny. The semi-essential part of astrology is such that if we know about it we can change our lives - otherwise not.
If we do not know, then whatsoever was going to happen will happen. If there is knowledge, there are alternatives to choose between. There is a possibility of transformation if the right choice is made.
The third, nonessential part is just the periphery, the outer surface. There is nothing essential in it; everything is circumstantial.
But we go to consult astrologers only for the nonessential things. Someone goes and asks an astrologer when he will get employment - there is no relationship between your employment and the moon and stars. Someone asks whether he will marry or not.... There can be a society without marriage. Someone asks whether he will remain poor or become rich.... There can be a socialist or communist society where there will be no rich and no poor people. So these are nonessential questions....
An eighty years old man was walking along when his foot slipped on some orange peel thrown onto the road. Now, is it possible to inquire of an astrologer and know from the moon and stars on which road and on which orange peel the foot will slip? Such queries are foolish, but you are curious to know in advance whether your foot will land on an orange skin and slip if you go out on the road today. This is nonessential. This has nothing to do with your being or your soul. These events happen on the periphery, and astrology has nothing to do with them. But because the astrologers were busy talking only about such things, the great establishment of astrology collapsed. This was the only reason.
No intelligent person will be prepared to believe that when he was born it was written by destiny that on a particular day on Marine Drive his foot would land on some orange peel and he would fall....
Neither the falling down nor the orange peel have any relationship to the stars. Astrology has lost respect because it became connected with such things. At one time or the other we all have wanted to know such things from astrologers - but these things are nonessential. But there are certain semi-essential matters such as the birth or death of a person: if you can know everything about these, you can take precautionary measures. If you do not know anything, you can't do anything.
If our knowledge about the diagnosis of disease is increased, we will be able to increase the life-span of human beings. We have been doing it. If our research to make deadlier atom bombs succeeds, we will be able to kill hundreds of thousands of people at a time - we have done it. This semi- essential world presents a possibility for our being able to do certain things, if we know in advance what is going to happen. If we do not know, nothing can be done. By our knowing in advance, alternatives can be sorted out and selected.
Beyond this, the world of the essential exists - you cannot do anything about it. However, our curiosity is to know only about nonessential things. Seldom does someone reach out to know the semi-essential. Our curiosity or desire never extends to knowing that which is essential and unavoidable, that which cannot be changed even if known.
Mahavira was passing through a village with his disciple, Goshalak, who later became his opponent, when they came across a small plant. Goshalak said to Mahavira, "Listen, here is a plant. What do you think: Will it grow enough to produce a flower, or will it die before it can flower? What is its future?"
Mahavira immediately closed his eyes and sat in front of the plant.
Goshalak cunningly said, "Do not evade the issue. What will happen by closing your eyes?" He did not know why Mahavira had become silent and closed his eyes, and that he was looking for the essential. It was necessary to go deep down into the being, into the soul of that plant. Without doing so, it was not possible to say what would happen.
After a while, Mahavira opened his eyes and said, "This plant will survive to flower."
Goshalak immediately pulled the plant up by its roots, threw it away and laughed derisively. There was no better way to falsify the statement of Mahavira?
Mahavira had nothing more to say now, because Goshalak had uprooted the plant and thrown it away as a challenge. He was laughing, Mahavira was smiling, and they continued their journey. It began to rain heavily. There was a storm and for seven days continuously torrential rains fell, so they were not able to go out for seven whole days.
When the rains had subsided and they were returning, on the way they reached the same spot where seven days previously Mahavira had closed his eyes to know the inner being of the plant.
They saw that the plant was again standing with its roots well below the ground. Due to the heavy rains and winds the earth had become wet and loose, and the roots of the plant had dug in.
Mahavira again closed his eyes and stood by the plant. Goshalak became very embarrassed - he had uprooted and thrown away that plant. When Mahavira opened his eyes, Goshalak said, "I am surprised and confused. I uprooted this plant and threw it away, and it is growing again."
Mahavira replied, "It will survive to flower. I closed my eyes to see the inner potentiality and condition of the seed - whether it was capable of taking root again even though it was uprooted, whether it was suicidal or not, whether it had a strong instinct or desire for death. If its instinct was suicidal it would have used your help to die. I wanted to see whether it was yearning to live - if it was determined to live, it would live. I knew that you were going to uproot it and throw it away."
Goshalak asked, "What are you saying?"
Mahavira said, "When I was looking into the inner being of the plant with my eyes closed, I also saw you standing by, determined to uproot it. I knew that you would uproot the plant - that is why it was necessary for me to know the inner capacity of the plant to live, how much self-confidence and will power it had. If it was waiting to die and looking for an excuse, your excuse would be enough for it to die; otherwise, the uprooted plant would take root again."
Goshalak lacked the courage to uproot the plant again; he was afraid. Previously Goshalak had gone laughing to the village; this time, Mahavira marched ahead with a knowing smile.
Goshalak then asked, "Why are you laughing?"
Mahavira said, "I was watching, just thinking about your capability - whether you could uproot the plant a second time or not."
Goshalak said, "You could see whether I would do it or not?"
Mahavira replied, "It was nonessential. You might have uprooted it, you might not have uprooted it. But it was essential and unavoidable that the plant still wanted to live. Its whole being, its whole vitality, wanted to live. That was essential. What was nonessential was your throwing it away or not, and that was dependent on you. But you have proven weaker and less determined than the plant.
You are defeated."
One of the reasons for Goshalak being displeased with Mahavira was this incident concerning the plant.
The astrology I am talking about concerns the essential, the fundamental. At best your curiosity as far as the semi-essential. You want to know how long you will live or whether or not you will suddenly die. But you are not curious to know what you will do if you live - how you will live. You do want to know how you will die when the time comes or what you will be doing at that time. Your curiosity extends to events, not to the soul. That I am living is just an event, but what I am doing while living, or what I am, is my soul. When I die it will be an event, but at the moment of death, how I will be, what I will do, is my soul. We shall all die, the event of death is similar for all, but the manner of dying, the moment of death, will be different for everyone - someone can even die smiling.
At the time of death, someone asked Mulla Nasruddin, "What do you think, Mulla? - when people are born from where do they come?
Mulla replied, "I've seen every child weeping at the time of birth, and at the time of death also everyone seems to be weeping. So, I surmise that people are neither coming from nor going to a good place. While they come they are weeping, while they go they are also weeping!"
But people like Nasruddin die laughing.... Death is an event, but that which is laughing at the time of death is the soul. So, when you go to an astrologer, ask him how you will die - weeping or laughing?
This is worthwhile asking - but it is connected to essential astrology. No one on this earth has asked an astrologer whether he will die weeping or smiling. You are asking when you will die - as if dying is of value in itself. You are asking how long you will live - as if just living is sufficient.
Why will I live? For what shall I live? What shall I do while living? What shall I become if I live?
Such questions are not asked by anyone. That is why the structure of astrology has collapsed.
Anything which is constructed on nonessential foundations will certainly collapse. The astrology I am talking about, and what you understand to be astrology, are different. The astrology about which I am talking is qualitatively different and of much more depth. Its dimensions are different. I am discussing that which is essential in your life - in total harmony. It is not separate, the whole world participates in it - you are not alone in it.
When Buddha became enlightened, he placed his hands together in salutation and bowed his head until it touched the ground. The story goes on to say that the gods came from heaven to pay their respects to Buddha because he had found the ultimate truth, but upon seeing him with his head touching the ground, they were surprised. They asked Buddha to whom he was bowing. They said that they had come from heaven to offer greetings to him because he was enlightened and that they did not know that there could be something to which even Buddha had to offer salutations, as enlightenment is the ultimate attainment.
Buddha then opened his eyes and said, "In whatsoever has happened to me, I am not alone, the world has also participated. So I bowed down to the earth in thanksgiving to the whole world."
This is a matter connected with essential astrology. That is why Buddha told his disciples that whenever they attained the inner bliss they should immediately give thanks to the whole world, because they were not alone in that experience. If the sun had not risen or if the moon had not risen, or if the chain of events had differed just slightly, the experience that they had would have been missed. It is true it was they who had had the experience, but everything was instrumental in it - the whole existence contributed to it. The name of this interconnected cosmic relationship is astrology.
Buddha would never say, "I have become enlightened"; he would only say, "The world has experienced through me - this event of enlightenment, this supreme light, is known to the world through me. I am only an excuse, a pretext. I am only a crossing where all roads of the world have met."
Have you ever thought that though a crossroads looks significant, by itself it is nothing? If the four roads that meet are removed, the significance of the crossroads will also disappear. We are each a crossroads where the forces of the world touch and meet at a point. At that point an individual is formed, a person is born.
The meaning and essence of astrology is that we are not separate, we are one with the universe.
Not only are we one with the universe, we are also participants in every situation and event.
So Buddha replied that he was offering greetings to all the buddhas who had come before him, and even to those who would come after him. Then someone said to him that it was understandable that he offer greetings to those born before him, because knowingly or unknowingly Buddha might be in their debt - their knowledge might have helped him - but why should he salute those who were not yet born? What could he have gained from them?
Buddha replied that he had received help not only from those buddhas who were born before him, but also from those who would be born after him - because from where he stood at that moment, the past and the future had met and become one. Those who had passed were meeting those that were coming right to where he was. The sunrise and the sunset were meeting at one point. So Buddha was also offering greetings to those who were still to be born. He was indebted to them also - because if they had not been projected into the future, Buddha could not have occurred.
This is a little difficult to understand. This is connected with the essential astrology. I will not be if anything from my past is dropped or lost - I am a link in a long chain. It is understandable that if my father were not born I could not be born, because my father is an essential link in the chain reaching up to me. Even if my grandfather were not there I could not be born, because the link is essential.
But it is difficult to understand that if there were no link attached to me leading into the future, then also I could not be born.
What have I to do with that future link? - I am already born. But Buddha says that if whatsoever is going to happen in the future were not already there, then I could not be born because I am a link between the past and the future. If there were even a slight change in the past or the future, I could not be the same as I am now. Yesterday has made me and tomorrow has also made me: this is astrology. Not only yesterday, but also tomorrow; not only what has already arrived, but also what is coming; not only the sun that has risen today, but also the sun that will rise tomorrow - all are participants.
The projections of the future also determine the present moments. This present moment could not be if there were no future moments. Only with the support of future moments can the present moment occur. Our hands are resting on the shoulders of the future, our feet are on the shoulders of our past. It is very obvious that if that which is below me - on which I am standing and which I can see - slips away, I will fall. But if the shoulders of the future - on which my outstretched hands are resting - slip away then I will also fall.
When a person finds himself connected with this inner unity of past and future he will be able to understand astrology. Then astrology becomes a religion, then astrology becomes spiritual.
Otherwise, by becoming related with the nonessential astrology becomes merely a subject for pseudo fortune-tellers on the roadside, and then it is of no value. Even the highest science is just dust in the hands of those who are ignorant. Its value is determined by the use to which we are able to put the knowledge.
Hence I am trying to push you from many doors so you might understand that everything is joined together, interconnected. This universe is like a family, like one organic body. When I am breathing, my whole body is affected; likewise, when the sun breathes, the earth is affected. The earth is even affected by what remote suns do. Even the smallest cell vibrates in unity with those giant suns. If you can understand this, we shall be able to enter into essential astrology, and then we shall be spared the uselessness of the nonessential.
We have associated the most trivial matters with astrology. Those matters have no value, and because of our connecting them with astrology, difficulties have arisen. For example, we have connected the matter of a person being born into a poor family or a rich family with astrology.
If you do not understand that such things are nonessential, astrology will remain connected with them. Astrology can become a tool in your hands only if you distinguish the essential from the nonessential.
I will tell you a very interesting story so that you may understand.... Mohammed had a disciple named Ali. Ali once asked Mohammed's opinion about whether a man is independent and free to do what he wants, or whether he is bound by his destiny in everything he does. Ali asked, "Can one do as one wants or not?" - and man has been asking this question for a long, long time. "If a man is not able to do as he desires," Ali said, "then it is useless and foolish to preach to him not to steal, not to tell lies, not to be dishonest. Or is it destiny that one man should always be there to preach to others not to steal or not to do this or that, knowing full well that it is also destiny for a dishonest man to remain dishonest, for a thief to remain a thief, for a murderer to remain a murderer? All this appears absurd. If everything is predestined, all education is useless - all prophets, all saints and all teachers are useless."
People have asked such questions to Mahavira and to Buddha also. If what is going to happen is predestined, why should Mahavira or Buddha take so much trouble to explain what is right and what is wrong? So, Ali asked Mohammed what he thought about this controversial matter. If such a question was asked to Mahavira or Buddha, they would have given a very complicated and deep reply, but Mohammed gave a reply which Ali could understand. Many of Mohammed's replies were direct and straightforward. Ordinarily, answers given by people who are uneducated or less educated, or who are simple villagers, are direct and frank. People like Kabir, Nanak, Mohammed and Jesus were simple in that way. Answers by people like Buddha, Mahavira and Krishna were complex - Buddha and Mahavira were the cream of a rich and highly developed civilization. The words of Jesus were direct, like a blow on the head. Kabir has actually sung: "Kabir is standing in the open market with a hammer in his hand to hit you!" If anyone came near him he would, so to speak, break open his head to remove all the rubbish that was lying inside.
Mohammed did not give any metaphysical reply. He asked Ali to lift one leg and stand on it. Ali had asked a question about whether a man is free to do what he wants. Why should Ali stand on one leg? Mohammed said, "First lift one leg."
Poor Ali lifted his left leg and stood there on one leg.
Mohammed then asked him, "Now lift the right leg also."
Ali was puzzled and asked how it was possible. Then Mohammed said, "If you had wanted to, you could have lifted the right leg first, but now you cannot.... A man is always free to lift the first leg - it can be whichever he wants - but no sooner has the first been lifted when the other becomes bound to the earth."
With regard to the nonessential part of life, we are always free to lift the first leg. But once that is done it becomes a bondage for the essential part. We take steps that are nonessential, become entangled, and then we are not able to do the essential. So Mohammed said to Ali that he had all the freedom to lift the right or the left leg first. But once he exercised that freedom and lifted one left leg, he was incapable of lifting the other leg. So freedom is there within certain limits, but beyond those limits there is bondage.
This is an old conflict for the human mind. If man is a slave of his destiny - as the astrologers seem to assert - if everything is predestined and happens inevitably, then all the religions are of no use.
If a man is free to do everything, as all so-called rationalists say, and if nothing is predetermined or inevitable, then life will become just a chaos and an anarchy. Then it is also possible that a man may steal and still attain liberation, that he may murder people and still realize the divine. When nothing is related, when one step is not related to the other, then there are no laws and nothing is binding anywhere.
I remember a story about Mulla Nasruddin.... Mulla was passing by a mosque, when suddenly someone fell down from the minaret of the mosque where he had climbed to say his prayers. The man fell right onto the shoulders of Mulla, and Mulla's spine was broken. So Mulla was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Some of his disciples came to see him, because Mulla used to interpret all events. They asked him, "How do you interpret this event? What does it mean?"
Mulla replied, "It is very clear that there is no relationship between an act and its fruit. One person falls down, and the spine of someone else breaks. And so from now onwards you should not enter into the controversy of the doctrine of karma. It has been proved that one person may fall down and that the spine of another can break. That person who fell down was hale and hearty: he fell on me and I got in a mess. I had not climbed the minaret to say prayers, I was just returning home. I was not in any way concerned with the prayers - but still I got involved. So, from now onwards no more talk about the doctrine of karma. Anything can happen. There is no law; it is all anarchy."
Mulla was very unhappy, naturally, because his spine had been broken unnecessarily.
There are two hypotheses. On the one hand there is the astrologer who is sitting on the side of the road being asked about the nonessential.... Whether he is the astrologer of a poor man or of Morarji Desai it does not make any difference - all ordinary astrologers are asked about nonessentials.
An ordinary astrologer is asked questions like: "Shall we win the elections or not?" How are the elections connected with the moon and the stars? The ordinary astrologer who replies, "Everything is predetermined, and no changes, not even as much as one inch, can be made," is making a false statement.
On the other hand there is the rationalist. He says that nothing is connected inevitably: whatsoever happens is coincidental, circumstantial and a matter of chance. There is no law, everything is anarchic. He is also making a false statement.
There is a law: A rationalist is never found so full of joy and bliss as a buddha.
The rationalist denies God, soul and religion with the help of logic, but he can never attain the joy of Mahavira. It is definite that Mahavira must have done something that earned him his joy, Buddha must have done something that liberated him, and Krishna must also have done something which made it possible for him to give out such distinctly unique magical notes through his flute.
The real thing is the third, which is the quintessence of everything, which belongs to the innermost and which is absolutely predetermined. The more one moves toward one's center, the nearer one comes to the essential, predetermined part. As we move towards the periphery, we move towards coincidence. The more we talk about external happenings, the more there is coincidence. When we talk about inner phenomena, things begin to appear scientific, as if based on a certain law, and they become more and more decisive.
Between these two conditions - the essential and the peripheral - there is ample room for changes through the exercise of choice. Here, a person of knowledge makes the correct choice, while a person who is without knowledge, who is in the darkness of ignorance, drifts to his destiny. In darkness, circumstance catches hold of him.
So there are three areas of life. In one area, that which is the essential core, everything is predetermined. Knowing this is knowing the essence of astrology. In another area, that which is peripheral, everything is uncertain. To know this is to know the everyday unpredictable world. There is another area which is in the middle. By knowing this, a person can save himself from trying to do the impossible, and can do what is possible. If a person lives in the peripheral and middle areas in such a way that he begins to move towards the center, he will become religious. But if he lives in such a way that he is never able to move towards the center, his life will remain irreligious.
For example, a person is preparing to steal. Stealing is not predetermined; it can't be claimed that stealing is inevitable or unavoidable, there is complete freedom whether to steal or not. But once stealing has been committed, it is as if one foot has been lifted and the other foot remains on the earth: after doing it, you cannot undo the act. And the total effect of the act of stealing will spread over the personality of the person who did it. But as long as stealing is not done, the other alternative is present and available.
The mind of a person swings between yes and no. If he says yes, he will be thrown towards the periphery; if he says no, he will move towards the center. Thus, in the middle, there is a choice. If he makes a wrong choice he is thrown towards the periphery; if he makes a right choice he moves towards the center, towards that part of astrology which is essential in life.
I have told you certain things. I have told you that we are the outstretched hands of the sun, that the earth is born of the sun and we are born of the earth. We are not separate, we are all united. We are branches and leaves that have spread out from the sun. Whatsoever happens in the roots of the sun will vibrate and spread throughout and within one's being, through every cell and nerve. If we can understand this properly then in this world we will realize that we are one family. Then we have no need to live encased within ego and pride.
The heaviest blow of astrology is upon the ego. If astrology is right, the ego is wrong. Let us understand it this way: if astrology is wrong, then nothing else remains - but the ego - that can be right. If astrology is right then the world is right, and only I can be wrong. I am only an infinitesimal and negligible part of the world - I cannot even be included in the count, I am so minute. If astrology is right, then I am not there. There is a big flow of forces in which I am only a small ripple.
Sometimes, as we ride on a big wave, we have the impression that we too are something special and that big wave is forgotten. That big wave too is riding upon some sea, but even that sea is forgotten. If that sea gives way underneath, the wave will disappear and we will also disappear.
We unnecessarily become unhappy over the possibility of our disappearance because we became artificially happy through our belief in our own existence. We should have realized that there is only a large wave and a vast sea, and that we are not - that it is the wish of the sea that we arise in it, that it is the wish of the sea that we die.
If an attitude arises in which we realize that we are only a fraction of the grand desire of the infinite, then there will be no unhappiness. And with such an attitude, the so-called happiness which we want to enjoy will also not be present. The feeling of happiness over such thoughts as, "I have won, I have earned," will no longer remain. Nor will there be a feeling of unhappiness over such thoughts as, "I am dying, I am finished, I have drowned; I have been destroyed or defeated." When both happiness and unhappiness no longer remain, we enter into the world of reality - the essential - where there is bliss. Astrology then becomes the door to bliss.
If we look at astrology as a melting of our pride or as a disintegration of the ego, then astrology becomes religion.
But we go to the ordinary astrologer, and in order to protect our egos we ask, "Will I run into loss?
Will I win the lottery? In this new business I am undertaking, will I succeed?" These questions are asked in order to save our egos, but the fact is that astrology is entirely in opposition to the ego.
The significance of astrology is this - that you are not but the universe is, that you are not but the cosmos is. Very powerful forces are operating, and you are absolutely insignificant.
You can see astrology in this light only if you think and feel that you are just a very small part of this big world. That is why I have told you how the whole solar family is united with the sun. If you can realize this, then you will also realize that our sun is united with many larger suns in the universe.
Scientists say that there are forty million suns, and all are born from some bigger sun. We have no knowledge of where that supreme sun may be. We do not know how this earth is rotating round its axis and also revolving around the sun, nor do we know where that center is, around which our sun with its family is revolving. A great universal merry-go-round is in swing.
In Hindu temples there is the practice of pradakshina, circling around the image of the deity. This pradakshina is the symbol of the fact that everything is rotating by itself and also revolving around something else. Then these two together revolve around a third thing, then these three together revolve around a fourth thing, and so on, ad infinitum.
The ultimate center of infinity is referred to by those who know as "the supreme center of Brahma."
This ultimate is neither rotating, nor revolving around anything else. Whatsoever is itself rotating will definitely revolve around something else, but that which neither rotates nor revolves is the ultimate.
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It is also known as the supreme silence or void. This is the axis, the pivot around which the whole universe expands and contracts.
Hindus thought that just as a bud becomes a flower and the flower withers, similarly the world also expands and then disintegrates..that just as there is a day and a night, there is a day of the world and there is a night of the world also. As I told you earlier, there are cycles of eleven years and cycles of ninety years. Similarly, Hindus thought that there are cycles of millions of years: during such a cycle a universe is born, passes through youth and grows old; earths are born, moons and stars spread across the universe, populations grow, and millions of living creatures are born.
This is not only happening on the earth, now scientists say that there must be a minimum of fifty thousand planets on which there is life. There may be more, but this is the minimum. In such an infinite universe it is not possible that only one earth can have life. There are fifty thousand planets or earths on which there is life - it is an infinite expanse. Then everything contracts again.
This earth was not here from the beginning, nor will it last until the end. Just as I am born and I will be no more, so will this earth and sun be no more - and a time will come when these moons, stars and planets will also be no more. The circle of their being and not being continues. We are just infinitesimal, rotating and revolving somewhere on this cosmic wheel. And if we still think that we are separate, then we are like Mulla Nasruddin who was traveling in an airplane for the first time....
Mulla Nasruddin entered the airplane, and as it took off he started walking along the aisle in the plane. He wanted to reach his destination very fast and was in a great hurry; naturally, if you want to reach somewhere quickly you will reach sooner if you walk faster...! His co-passengers stopped him and asked him what he was doing. Mulla Nasruddin replied that he was in a hurry.
He was traveling in a plane for the first time and he was using the same logic which worked on the ground. There, he always reached earlier when he walked faster. He could not realize that walking in the plane was useless - the airplane itself was flying and he would only exhaust himself by walking. He would not arrive any earlier, and it is possible that by the time he arrived he would be so exhausted that he would not be able to stand up. He should rest, he should close his eyes and rest. But neither Mulla nor other pundits would agree to such advice.
He who achieves rest within this cosmic circular movement of the world, I call religious. He is religious who knows that universal forces are at work and there is no hurry - that his hurry is of no use. If we can only be one with the universal harmony, it is enough - and it is blissful.
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