tadyatha om gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha
Some suggestions for the aspiring Western Jyotishi
"If you're going to have a complicated story, you must work to a map, otherwise you can never make a map of it afterwards."
~~ JRR Tolkien in 1971,
comments on the 12 years writing plan for The Lord of the Rings
painted by Raja Ravi Varma, c. 1896
"And there appeared a great wonder in heaven;
|Topics related to Practice, client behaviors, belief systems, etc.||
Koeln Digital Sanskrit Lexicon
What are the best Jyotisha Beginner books in English?
|See the Annotated Bibliography|
|I want to learn Vedic Astrology. Where should I begin?||
Traditionally, Vedic astrology is a family business.
Secret formulas, the family Ayanamsha, other protected techniques, have been passed from astrologer elders to their apprentice children Over the generations.
Also, the practice of Jyotisha has been taught by guruto sishya- from religious teacher to devotee-student. In both cases, absolute authority of the teacher is unquestioned.
Computers now offer beginning students the opportunity to learn and practice Jyotisha in a much more objective, data-tested way. Jyotisha is a very complicated body of knowledge (vidya); the professional software is not yet perfect.
Nevertheless, the availability of good-quality, affordable beginner Jyotisha tutorialswritten in modern vernacular language (primarily English) makes it possible to "skip" the traditional devotee/apprentice step and get straight to the vidyaitself.
Eventually, a student *will* need to develop one's intuition through meditationin order to make consistently good Jyotisha judgments. However, the principles of the science and introductory, standard planetary calculations -- previously available only to the initiated -- can now be accessed by anyone with a personal computer.
IMO, t he best way to begin education in Jyotisha is to calculate The charts of your friends and family members.Start with their lives, their histories, which you already know. That will give you some solid comparative data to work with. Live in a balanced way, and meditate. That is the first and most important step toward making accurate predictions.
Barbara, I really love your site. It is one of the most thorough and
rich resources I have come across. I've really been getting into Jyotish for the past 3 months, and have read through a number of
books: Light on Life; The Greatness of Saturn-- both Svoboda, William
Levacy's introduction to Vedic Astrology, and James Braha's Hindu
Astrology for the Western Astrologer. I've come to understand that it is
a very complex field very capable of helping someone spiritually,
emotionally and psychologically. I just purchased the Das
Goravani Program--Goravani Jyotish and started entering in birth
information of some of my friends. In the program it provides a score
for different charts, and I was surprised and now bummed out that my
chart--which I was somewhat pleased with--received a rather low score
(29). I then entered in my ex-girlfriend's info and she received a 99.
This is higher than almost every person who's birth info was provided
with the program--which I then started to look up.
understanding, jyotish is a very vast and deep practice--one that defies
being condensed into a single score. But my understanding of jyotish is
also very limited. And this little blip is throwing a wrench into my
whole spiritual practice--not just of jyotish, but of meditation,
yoga--all things of spiritual exploration. I know that jyotish is part
of the vedas, connected to ayurveda and a significant part of a
spiritual tradition that I've really been getting into. It's been
opening new doors, and I've been learning a lot about myself. I'm a
recovering alcoholic and since I've become sober about 8 months ago have
been trying to create or rekindle a spiritual connection.
Anyway, this score really bummed me out and threw into question all that
I have been studying--and ultimately threw into question a lot of my
spiritual beliefs. It seems foolish--to get this upset something like
this, and I've been able to let it go to some extent. But I would like
your input on this, if you are familiar with that program, etc.
I apologize if I went on too long. I'm sure you get a lot of people
telling you a lot about their lives. Thank you so much.
I really love your site. It is one of the most thorough and rich resources I have come across. I've really been getting into Jyotish for the past 3 months, and have read through a number of books: Light on Life; The Greatness of Saturn-- both Svoboda, William Levacy's introduction to Vedic Astrology, and James Braha's Hindu Astrology for the Western Astrologer. I've come to understand that it is a very complex field very capable of helping someone spiritually, emotionally and psychologically.
I just purchased the Das Goravani Program--Goravani Jyotish and started entering in birth information of some of my friends. In the program it provides a score for different charts, and I was surprised and now bummed out that my chart--which I was somewhat pleased with--received a rather low score (29). I then entered in my ex-girlfriend's info and she received a 99. This is higher than almost every person who's birth info was provided with the program--which I then started to look up.
From my understanding, jyotish is a very vast and deep practice--one that defies being condensed into a single score. But my understanding of jyotish is also very limited. And this little blip is throwing a wrench into my whole spiritual practice--not just of jyotish, but of meditation, yoga--all things of spiritual exploration. I know that jyotish is part of the vedas, connected to ayurveda and a significant part of a spiritual tradition that I've really been getting into. It's been opening new doors, and I've been learning a lot about myself. I'm a recovering alcoholic and since I've become sober about 8 months ago have been trying to create or rekindle a spiritual connection.
Anyway, this score really bummed me out and threw into question all that I have been studying--and ultimately threw into question a lot of my spiritual beliefs. It seems foolish--to get this upset something like this, and I've been able to let it go to some extent. But I would like your input on this, if you are familiar with that program, etc.
I apologize if I went on too long. I'm sure you get a lot of people telling you a lot about their lives. Thank you so much.
You are right; I do get a lot of people telling me about their lives (my L-10 profession = Chandra in bhava of service-ministry, 6)
About the sudden self-doubt or even self-contempt at the moment, here are 3 observations which might be helpful :
1- When the programmer wrote that little scoring module, I suspect he was just playing around with some value-weighting systems.
2- In his professional autobiography "My Experiences in Astrology," the famous literary Jyotishi B.V. Raman tells some sweetly funny stories about becoming obsessed with all the negative potential in his own nativity.
3- Cardinal rule in Jyotisha = don't keep looking at your own charts. I know it's fascinating but its very misleading until you know the Jyotisha rule-base. You run the risk of negative readings that can hurt your self-esteem just when you are trying to heal. You need faith right now not criticism or self-doubt!
Just like doctors when they get sick go to another doctor for diagnosis, astrologers know that there is too much anxiety and subjectivity in the mind when we see our own charts. When an astrologer wants a reading s/he goes to another astrologer for perspective.
Take my advice: do not speculate about your own chart. In regard to your own life, have complete unshakable faith in Divine Providence, ground your existence in the light of Divine Intelligence, and live to serve. Forget using Jyotisha to understand yourself spiritually, at least forget that until you know 20-50 charts backwards and forwards enough that you can identify the main principles in action, on the spot, when you walk through a nativity.
This study takes years not days not months but years and years; but if you keep at it (remain fascinated with it) eventually you'll earn some sharp pattern-recognition skills and you'll make some accurate predictions.
As a beginner, exactly as you report, an aspiring student of the vidya can get attacked by an onslaught of negative value judgments (a "score") which hurts much more than it helps. The whole reason to undertake Jyotisha studies is to help guide other people along their own paths, when they ask for guidance only.
I knew a very spiritual guy years ago who threw a beautiful and precious book of ancient divinations - the I Ching - right into a burning trash heap one night because he was so upset. He could have been a great guide for others if he had first objectively studied I Ching readings in reference to world events or to more impersonal questions like his job but instead he kept obsessively asking about "himself" as if a little book could provide the core soul validation that he was seeking. Being so vulnerable at that time in his life, he was wounded by the negative readings and he dumped the whole spiritual guidance thing, slipping into a terrible materialism which delayed his spiritual progress for decades.
It was a tragic mistake but one that you can avoid if you WAIT until you have a good body of objective real-world examples in your repertoire before making any value judgments about yourself. The Divine loves everyone equally from criminals to saints so do not worry whether you will be good or bad, rich or poor, handsome or ugly, healthy or sick. It does not matter! What matters is that you believe unshakably in the fundamental rightness and goodness of your being here on Earth. You can and should PRESUME that everything you are doing is good and correct so that language about error and failure is not allowed when talking about the self. No I don't mean clinical narcissistic anxiety: ) I mean having that unshakable "abhaya" faith in your own unquestionable goodness securely in place BEFORE dabbling in any sort of value judgments, weightings, predictions, scores, etc.
Stabilize your core in absolute trust of the universal beneficence and make sure that you are completely protected from self-doubt before taking even a tiny peek at your own Jyotisha nativity!
So... maybe your ex-girlfriend is going to be a rich old lady. Nifty. And maybe you will have a smaller bank account, along with a bigger treasury of wit and wisdom.
Human material social moral and aesthetic value judgments are psychically charged and they can be used either to hurt people or to encourage them. Whatever the Jyotisha prediction is, make sure it gets used to encourage always, never to hurt.
Indeed the only values worth cultivating are those that are portable across incarnations, such as wisdom and compassion. As the Christian gospels say, 'it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to pass through the gates of heaven." Predictions of wealth, beauty, glamour, etc are fun but those values are fleeting. Encourage the values that really count.
Wishing you very best success in Jyotisha studies,
Barbara Pijan Lama, Jyotisha
I have a background in tropical, western astrology. I've started reading books in Indian astrology (English language) but I find some of the explanations confusing and contradictory.
Is knowledge of the European astrological tradition an advantage in learning Jyotisha?
A: Learning Jyotisha from books is a little bit challenging because of the Indian cultural concepts, but not impossible if your divinatory intuition is strong.
It seems like there are more and more good learner books in English entering the literary market, every year. (See recommended list at the top of this page.)
Background in tropical/European astrology (since Ptolemy) can be a help or a hindrance. It's a help for familiarity with the 12 zodiacal signs and the 7 planets, which have many similar characteristics across the two traditions.
Also, people have commented that they resist or resent losing their tropical-astrology "psychological profile". Having become accustomed to a certain validation, e.g., "I am a Gemini so I am very social" a person may feel their profiling skills are invalidated in Jyotisha.
If you're ready to make the leap into another worldview, Jyotisha is fascinating.
I have read your astrology website and am really impressed with your depth of understanding and insight into this complex science. I am a student of vedic astrology myself and own Goravani's software. I have also done the correspondence course by Dr. David Frawley of American Institute of Vedic Studies.
Although I have studied astrology and have the basic knowledge of independent situations of houses, lords, aspects, varga charts and vimshottari dashas, I have not yet developed the art of putting it all together and intuitively arriving at a whole picture.
I am interested in getting a reading done by you. With all due respect, I would like to know if the tape you create is like the interpretation that is available in Goravani software or do you put it all together and intuit a reading out of the effects of all houses, lords, aspects and vargas together?
Please let me know? Looking forward to your reply. Thanks
Thanks for your inquiry.
As to whether there is a difference between noting the individual effects of graha, bhava, rashi, varga placement, Nakshatra effect, etc. versus weaving all the items together (and eliminating many factors which are not relevant to the question at hand) - as you might suspect, the answer is yes. There is a big difference.
The difference is, as you suggest, a matter of personal intuition. Intuitive selection directs you as the diviner to select the dominant "themes" in a chart by coordinating the principal effects of the current dasha and relevant transits with the basic components (graha, bhava, drishti) of the chart. This intuition comes directly from the soul. It is only "turned on" when the spirit of compassion is running strong.
A successful reading combines knowledge of the vidya of Jyotisha, with deep personal intuition developed in meditation, caring for others, and prayer.
Knowledge-wise, I find that reading a Jyotisha chart is very similar to critically analyzing a theatrical play. (Perhaps my viewpoint is skewed by years of reading Shakespeare!) My style is to identify the theme, the historical setting, the protagonists and antagonists, and the potential outcome. Of course we never *really* know the outcome until we get to the last line, but human nature is fairly predictable, and the broad themes of karma and dharma, sin and redemption, life and death, are eternal.
As you can probably tell, my style is profoundly humanistic, notably Western, and very much influenced by my academic training in philosophy, religion, and languages. I am profoundly aware that most people are sleep-walking in this life and therefore most people will "act out" their astrological charts in perfect goose-step. (These people are very easy to read for. I simply remark on the nature of the bars in their cage, and they say Oh! Astrology is so accurate! Yes, it is.)
On the other hand, even a little drop of consciousness permits some people to begin making active changes in the way they respond to the karmic reality around them. These intentional changes signal the end of the "default" karma and the beginning of very positive potential outcomes. I always pitch my readings to this potential higher consciousness, noting where an individual might adjust their attitude toward an impending event or longer-term condition.
In this way I try to accommodate the "fatalistic" component which says that the conditions of our lives are fixed (and, for sleepwalkers, they definitely are!) -- while opening the possibility of a fresh viewpoint, free of resentment, which might allow the person to *own* their karma in a neutral state of awareness.
A healthy by-product of having been introduced to a Jyotisha explanation of the forces currently structuring our material and psycho-emotional lives, is that by owning, accepting, even embracing one's own obligations and limitations, one may easily develop compassion for people in worse conditions than oneself.
As Socrates said, the unexamined life is not worth living. Jyotisha is a wonderful tool for self-examination. That's mainly how I use it - in the reflective, psychological, western tradition of self-inquiry.
traditional Jyotisha also provides fairly robust predictive tools, and these are fascinating. However, the ultimate purpose of knowing (some aspects of) the future is to adjust one's reactions to the inevitable, as karma unfolds. Everyone has easy periods and difficult periods. Everyone enjoys a degree of social approval, and a degree of marginalization. Everyone carries some type of stigma; everyone receives some element of praise. Everyone experiences birth and death, gain and loss, health and sickness. We can look for timing of marriage, children, periods of illness, deaths etc. - it's all in there, on schedule. Stage left, stage right.
Naturally, people have plenty of anxiety about the future. Although this anxiety clouds their judgment and prevents much compassion, it is often possible to allay fears about "negative" future events by pointing out that these are, after all, the completely mechanical roll-out of past-life karma. Of course people clamor to know when they will receive praise, sense-gratification, money, etc - and we can certainly find the periods of favorable house-lords to suggest the arrival-time of these blessings. But in general my style is to emphasis the recurring patterns in the person's life, the ups AND the downs, so that the native may take whatever steps they can to appreciate the outlines of their "fate". I believe that Acceptance is fully necessary. Acceptance is the required first step toward Change!
If you have completed the Frawley correspondence course, you already own a considerable knowledge base in Jyotisha. I haven't seen that course myself but I have heard many people praise it; and Dr. Frawley himself has such an excellent reputation. Consider yourself lucky!
Your next step toward practicing Jyotisha is to let your intuition guide your choice of what to focus on. There are hundreds - really thousands - of factors inter-operating in any chart. In real life, I select fewer than ten to use in any given reading. My choice is guided by my intuition. My intuition arises through meditation, prayer, and most importantly, through caring for others. With a beautiful name like Scholastica, you are no doubt a very loving and careful person. Use that love - in the sense of compassion - to guide your intuition (your "inner teacher"). External gurus are very helpful of course but in the end, it is the inner teacher who prevails.
I would be happy to do a reading for you if you would like. However, I would also encourage you to use the Goravani software to construct charts for all your friends and relatives. Look at their Vimshottari dasha timelines and compare to the known events in their lives.
In the beginning, Jyotisha study is similar to homeopathy study. The unique requirement to combine intellectual analysis with spiritual intuition means that you will learn much faster using sample subjects that you can read BOTH intuitively AND analytically. I.e., you have a solid psycho-emotional impression of close friends and relatives; you can sort out quickly what their main motives and behaviors are; you know alot about "how they are". Then add in the analysis, which is everything you learned from the Frawley correspondence course, and the little mini-readings that are included in the Goravani software.
I actually kept Excel spreadsheets for several years, comparing column-to-column the hard-core real events (marriages, illnesses, promotions, children etc.) against the current lines of their Vimshottari dasha. (I don't use other dashas in normal practice but I have "general family practice" - other dashas can be excellent tools for specific purposes. ) I found this practical template to be a very effective "proving" method. Importantly, it helped me weed out some historic Jyotisha claims that don't seem to work in real life.
There is a huge volume of poorly understood traditional Jyotisha literature, most of it from the medieval period 600CE-1600CE, that circulates in Sanskrit, Tamil, Mayalam, Bengali, Hindi, and - these days - English. There is a plethora of modern Jyotisha literature in Hindi and English. It is not feasible to read all or even most of it. Frankly, I read very few books.
For most of us in the west, it is also not feasible to sit at the feet of the guru. Although, truth to tell, the guru's job is to say "weed out all the unnecessary stuff and focus on the ten things that work for me." I feel that vigorous testing of basic principles - using charts of people you know well! -- combined with a grounded meditation practice -- is a perfectly fine way to learn Jyotisha in the modern world.
Good luck to you, Scholastica. I hope this viewpoint on "the difference" between knowledge-base and intuition, and how they must be combined to achieve a successful reading, is helpful to you.
Barbara Pijan Lama
I've been studying Jyotisha on my own for about 2 years. I have to get out there and start doing readings... but I'm afraid to make a mistake and hurt someone.
A: Building a knowledge base
As with all Jyotisha practice, looking at a variety of charts is the best path to understanding of varga significance. Be sure not to fixate on one or two emotionally charged nativities.
There is too much anxiety associated with the nativities of persons regarding who one has powerful expectations (positive or negative).
Rather, study a variety of nativities of persons well-known to you such as parents and grandparents, siblings and cousins, co-workers and neighbors, in order to establish a neutral and data-driven knowledge base.
The vidya of Jyotisha is not a strictly rational empirical science. Jyotisha vidya engages both lunar intuition and solar reasoning. However t it is important to see a substantial database of charts showing wide variety of Jyotisha nativities in order to validate the teachings of the classics. Otherwise, unfortunately, the whole enterprise falls into lineage interpretive conflict and village superstition.
|Getting started - first-step essentials||
Read lots of charts!
Read lots of charts!
Read lots of charts!
It is not necessary to be an "expert". When one is just beginning to offer readings and one can only say a few things for certain, the spiritual validation inherent in recognition of the unique qualities of each incarnations is still helpful to the client. Even the minimum acknowledgement will be appreciated so long as your language is positive and constructive.
At the level of simple soul validation, something is always better than nothing! Many people wander through life never receiving recognition that they are a soul and they have a purpose. Even if your reading is a bit off about the details of their path, simply validating the truth that there *is* a unique path for this individual is indeed a spiritual service!
At the beginning when you are building your collection of nativities in order to validate the effect of vargas, dasha timelines, graha character, etc.
I recommend to accept a very small fee, and to *donate this fee to your favorite charity*. When you are established in the practice, it will be OK to start earning personal income as the fruit of your dedicated Jyotisha studies. However, in the beginning, the best psychic protection against inadvertently harming someone's peace of mind is to ask for the indulgence of the spirits - and give the money to a compassionate cause.
Also - this is REALLY important - do not give any negative predictions.
Make it that your sole objectives are
Be sure to advise your earliest clients that:
Be sure to give ALL of your profits (except to cover the cost of materials) to a worthy cause.
Q: Which ayanamsha should I use? The different ayanamsha choices seem to produce very different charts?
A : Most practitioners use Lahiri Ayanamsha. That is by far the most common, probably more than 90% of astrologers use Lahiri.
The other specialty ayanamsha choices are rather esoteric and the beginner student should wait until one has some expertise before experimenting with them.
|Q: - Can I base predictions upon my navamsha? I think my navamsha is a stronger chart.||
A :Material-social Predictions should be made from the D-1 kundali. Emotional-spiritual predictions can be made from the D-9 chart. The two charts can never be separated. They are absolutely interactive. Predictions made on the basis of one without the other will not hold up.
A few material predictions related to marriage are based on the navamsha - for example, the timing of marriage ceremonies can be predicted via the D-9 lagna and its axis. Similarly, a highly accurate yet somewhat broad prediction of the course and special knowledge involved in the native 's professional career is indeed derived from the 10th navamsha.
Nevertheless career predictions must coordinate with the grosser functions of the karma-bhava of the D-1 and marriage predictions from D-9 must coordinate and mutually confirm with the general patterns of the 7th from Chandra and the yuvati bhava.
Most material outcomes such as finance, health, education, children etc. are predicted directly from the radix chart. Once a graha's effect has reached the Bottom, grossest level of manifestation which is the D-1 radix root chart, then it is wuite unlikely to reverse itself. It has already entered the "chute" en-route to the material plane and it would take a great deal of effort to reverse that natural impetus toward manifestation.
Yet the more conscious the person has become -- the more your client is aware that our thoughts and the emotional charge upon each thought are the machine which generates our reality -- the more meaningful the D-9 navamsha chart becomes. If one comes to understand and appreciate that everything in the navamsha chart is the direct precursor and immediate active cause of the outcomes which will manifest via the D-1, then one can gain a tremendous understanding of the mechanics of our incarnational process.
What Shri Raman probably means is that occasionally a graha which is very weak in radix gains major strength in navamsha. In that case don't expect the graha to act weak because it has a sort of secret strength that will emerge during its periods. In fact if its only strength is in navamsha then a partner is required to help realize the outcome of the period. The partner's being-ness (their thoughts, actions, etc) not the native 's will control this particular manifestation.
Is Vedic astrology part of Hinduism? Very little of your reading referred to Hindu gods or concepts, but once or twice you did talk about Hindu gods.
That bothers me. I really don't like cults, especially foreign religious cults. Is Jyotisha tied to missionary Hinduism or "airport" cults?
Ancient Vaidik roots of Jyotisha
Yes, you're right about Vedic Astrology (called "Jyotisha" in Sanskrit) being related to Hinduism. However, Jyotisha is much older than Hinduism as we know it today. The canonical Veda pre-date "Hinduism" by several thousand years.
"Veda" means "knowledge". (Esp knowledge via seeing and hearing.)
The ancient roots of Jyotisha are actually found in "Vaidik" culture. Jyotisha is called a "limb" or "branch" of the Vedas (vedanga). In pre-literate times, Jyotisha was mainly a system of describing omens found in in acts of nature. Movements of the Moon formed certain omens, and a system was developed to predict what the Moon would do (omen-wise) over the period of a lunar year.
Vedic times historically are somewhere approximately around 3000 BCE-600CE, although dating of the era is *extremely* contentious! It's a fairly big jump from the Moon-omen-system (Nakshatra) to the medieval/modern Jyotisha that we use today, but the roots of Jyotisha definitely go back that far. Best book on the Vaidik origins of Jyotisha is Valerie Roebuck, The Circle of Stars.
The knowledge preserved in the "Vedaa" (including the Moon-omens), was passed down by memorized chanting. From ancient origins in the mists of pre-literate time, the stanzas were kept significantly intact by strictly regulated meter which guaranteed purity of sound transmission.
Jyotisha is a huge and ancient branch of the vaidik transmissions which has little direct relationship with the curious modern developments of evangelical Hinduism including the "airport cults" and other syncretic missionary movements.
Unfortunately, in a passion of patriotism, some of the more recent Bharati Jyotisha commentators, writing in international English, have asserted that Jyotisha is an expression of modern Hinduism. Shri BV Raman especially liked the terminology of "Hindu Astrology". However Jyotisha is a 'vidya' = 'knowledge-base'. Jyotisha not a religion, nor is it intimately connected to nor encompassed by any modern religion.
One way to mentally segregate these two cultural activities - Jyotisha vs. missionary religion - is to watch for the occurrence of 'deontic modal verbs' in the discourse. The English-language preaching discourse of the modern evangelical cults is peppered with words like 'should', 'have to', 'must'. (or the Germanic equivalents of these terms in Dutch, German, Scandinavian etc.) "Should" and similar terms are guilt-driven socialization directives and have little to do with truth.
What is the relationship of Vedic Jyotisha to modern Hinduism?
The patchwork-quilt collection of many different Indian religions that we currently call by the umbrella-name idea of "Hinduism" was an "umbrella concept" created by British colonial scholars in India in the 1700's. In practical terms, however, most of the multiple religions which are grouped together as "Hinduism" also trace their roots to the ancient Vaidik cultures. Therefore Jyotisha, as a "branch" of the sacred Vedaa, is completely accepted in all the religions called "Hinduism" - as well as Jainism, and most schools of Buddhism.
From a certain perspective, we could possibly compare the role of the Vedas in Hinduism to the role of the Hebrew Bible in Christianity. the Christian sacred scriptures include the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament).
Hebrew Bible is a document (actually, many documents knitted together) which originated in the religion of Judaism. Judaism is ritually and theologically different from Christianity, and also MUCH older. Hebrew Bible is at least 1000 years older than Christianity itself. Yet, Christians universally respect the Hebrew Bible, and they take many of their core teachings from that holy scripture.
Just as Christians venerate the canonical teachings (scripture) of the ancient Jewish religion, Hindus venerate the canonical teachings of the ancient Vedic religions. traditional Hindus treat the Veda as their respected teacher, and try to follow its guidance. However, just as Christians are clearly not pure Jews, so Hindus are clearly not pure Vaidik.
Unfortunately in recent years, a wave of patriotic Hindu chauvinism in India has caused some Bharati astrologers to call Jyotisha by the name of "Hindu Astrology."
But, we who seek the truth of Jyotisha need not be concerned with the linguistic politics. Jyotisha is an ancient "vidya" or body of knowledge, accessible to all sincere seekers regardless of current politics or religious dogma. Bottom line: there is no need to be Hindu in order to understand or practice Jyotisha.
This is of course entirely my personal opinion. Hope this perspective is helpful to you.
I browsed through your website and found the material extremely useful. I am keen to learn vedic astrology and was wondering if you had any tips or advice that could help me develop building blocks of Astrology.
If you know of any websites or books that will help me develop structured understanding of astrology and am also curious about how you managed to enrich yourself with the knowledge.
Thanks so much for your compliments on my Jyotisha website. It is very much a work in progress! I am always happy to know that students of Jyotisha like myself find the information and perspective on the site to be useful in studies.
TThe best books in English are very simple ones by Bepin Behari: Planets in Signs and Planets in Houses. These might be more helpful for western-minded folk. Behari also wrote more esoteric stuff but that is confusing in the beginning of studies. David Frawley's early books are also well organized for the intermediate-beginner.
I think the most important components are (1) to have a passion for the Vidya (become a little bit obsessed with it!) and (2) to trust one's intuition. Without firm confidence in intuition, one will drown in a sea of conflicting instructions./p>
The second most important tool is good software. Getting one's own Jyotisha software and reading the nativities of one's own friends, family, and celebrities is the best possible study. The best packages are expensive (300-400 USD) but they are worth it. There are less expensive s/w packages in India and a quite good free one, from Pandit Narasimha Rao, downloadable from Boston.
Eventually, it helps to start reading the Jyotisha classics. However, the old method of memorizing shloka is not very effective since the shloka are very cryptic, only a skeleton. The skeleton-keys must be supplemented by explanations from a teacher. In the old days a living talking teacher was essential. In modern times the skeleton can be fleshed out with teachings from internet and books. However all praises - the chanting-memorizing method did preserve the Vidya in skeletal form during centuries of worldwide darkness.
Nor is it necessary, I believe, for the sincere and reflective practitioner to have a guru in the traditional arrangement. That custom too had obvious historical validity, but software and books have considerably replaced the master's knowledge base. It will help (hugely) to have willing spirit guides, but one need not have a physical master.
Luckily we spend almost no time on computations these days, so we can spend the greater effort on interpretation. This is where meditation and compassion are essential. Examining a nativity, one can see right away the good and evil in any lifetime.
The question is, having seen that, what to say about it? If astrologers are going to be useful members of society and not just dilettantes, we ought to be able to help people live better, more conscious lives through the insights of the Vidya. Therefore compassion is key!
Wishing you all the best in your studies,
Barbara Pijan Lama, Jyotisha - www.barbarapijan.com
I admit to intellectual difficulty with some concepts like reincarnation and karma, especially those relating to fatalism. I do not want to be a negative person, and those concepts seem very negative to me.
I don't accept escapism or passing the buck. I believe we have one life and our job is to live that life with full moral responsibility. I also believe we have a choice as to how we live, at every step along the way.
Isn't Karma a fatalistic concept? Won't thinking like that, believing that this life is sort of "disposable" because we have infinitely more chances to clean up the hurt we inflict on others, won't this prevent people from taking responsibility in their lives?
There are multiple unmistakable elements of truth in your reading, relating to past events, present realities and future visions. I really didn't want to get involved in this type of speculative thinking since I am deeply committed to a moral path of life.
So now I am fascinated and would like to know more. However, I don't want to get involved in negative thinking. I was raised to believe that we are given only One Life - make or break - and I want to make this life as good as possible.
With sincere confusion,
Excellent questions! You are clearly a reflective moral thinker. We need more astrologers like you!
Your worries about the negative moral effects of believing in reincarnation are very old indeed. In fact, at the Council of Nicea in 325CE, the bishops of what had recently become the Holy Catholic Church denounced reincarnation as heretical. They didn't say exactly why, but their decision stuck, and many people think it's because of the moral complications you note.
However, looking more closely, we can see that subscribing to the concept of reincarnation can have some powerful moral advantages. If we have multiple incarnations that accumulate karma as we go, it is very much in our interest to work diligently to reduce that karmic "heap" as much as possible in each.
My own view is that there is no absolute fatalism in Jyotisha.
The basic concept of karma is that a thought or action put in motion in a "previous" life, will cause a re-action in a "future" life.
Western culture is comfortable with the idea that a thought or action put in motion in one's childhood will affect one's adulthood. It takes only a slight expansion of that concept to entertain the possibility that if there were past lives, they probably would affect current and future lives.
Albrecht Durer woodcut circa 1497
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypsefrom the Book of Revelation
There is however a principle of relative fatalism in Jyotisha.
It only applies to low-consciousness people.
It works like this:
Folks who live without reflection, addicted to one sensual experience after the next - or one fear to the next - (but either way trapped into thinking only about themselves) will be spending all their attention on food, money, sex, entertainment, getting status, etc. etc.
They are always in the grip of fearing something or desiring something. they never pull their head out of the sand to get the "big picture" of how their actions are affecting self and others.
This sort of person is essentially on auto-pilot. their choices at every juncture are dictated by fear - especially fear of death - or desire for short-term sensual experience. We see them playing the game of "The who dies with the most toys, wins" or obsessing about their health or finances, overrun by one wave of anxiety after the next. they have no peace.
However, they are very easy to predict because the Jyotisha chart shows where the past-life fears and desires are stored, and when those ancient seeds will sprout.
I'll bet you know people like this. They actually form the majority of our global population. These people's lives are *very* easy to predict with their Jyotisha charts, because these low-consciousness folks are essentially sleep-walking through a maze of experiences. that maze is constructed unfortunately from nothing but the sprouting seeds of fear and desire. these folks simply do not have the conscious awareness that their minute-to-minute choices regarding *how to respond* to the sprouting seeds, are directly affecting future unfoldment of their lives. they are not yet mature enough to even be aware that they are making choices! they simply experience things happening *to* them from the outside. Mentally these folks live in a victim state throughout life. It's not very pleasant but it is very easy to predict!
Luckily, there are some higher-consciousness on our planet as well. You, are likely in this higher group.
Higher consciousness folks can, occasionally, pull their head out of the sand. they are blessed with the capacity for reflection. they enter this life with a higher level of spiritual and emotional maturity. Interestingly, higher consciousness folks often have a very difficult first half of life. their lives improve dramatically after the gochara Saturn opposition,approx age 42-45.
Higher consciousness folks sometimes "wake up" from the victim state, and become aware that their decision on *how to respond* to their current pressures is completely under their control.
True, the sprouting seeds of past life fear and desire will sprout on their own natural timeline. they're sprouting all around us, in 3-D, 24/7, real-time reality. that we can't so much control. But our mental, emotional, and often physical experience does not depend so much on what is objectively happening. Our happiness comes from how we respond to what is happening. the more a person "wakes up" and seizes the moment, making a conscious decision to respond not with anger but with neutrality and compassion - the more that person starts to "outgrow" the defaults in his or her Jyotisha chart.
Each time the outside happening is greeted with aware, accepting responsibility (not guilt!) of knowing that this circumstance, whatever it is, is simply the natural karmic reaction to whatever seed was planted -- the cycle if action-reaction is broken. It is not necessary to know anything about the seed. It is only necessary to train one's awareness to respond with neutrality - with higher love - so as not to get stuck in the action-reaction that binds us to the "world." I believe this is what Jesus was saying.
If you are curious, you can find out about the seeds through Jyotisha, or past-life regression, or meditations on past lives. But, as H.H. Dalai Lama often says, there is no need to waste time exploring past lives. Our work lies here, in the current life.
|The nature of that work is to stop the all the cycles of constant anxiety, constant fear, constant reaction -- and replace those cycles with a deep, trusting peace.||
The higher-consciousness person actually wants opportunities to "practice" their maturity. that is why more spiritual people often have much more difficult lives, especially in the first half of life. Eventually, the spiritual person gains the strength through practice, to expand their attitude of aware, accepting responsibility (not guilt!) into every area of their life.
Eventually, they replace every victim experience with the experience of being in complete control. By controlling their reactions to the cycle of outside experiences which was put in motion long before, they make themselves completely free. As we move toward spiritual freedom through responsibility for our actions are reactions, our Jyotisha chart has increasingly less predictive power. Eventually, it will mean nothing.
Yet, for you and I who are "on the path" but not quite there, the Jyotisha chart is a valuable document, which can assist our spiritual awareness and inspire us to deeper moral commitment.
One of my favorite examples of a person who was seen "growing out" of his Jyotisha chart, is Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi's Chandra-yuti-Rahu in the 10th bhava of leadership signals a lifetime of urgent ambition to be seen at the elite top levels of governance (Rahu), along with an emotional connection to the vast numbers of beings who reside in the layers of the hierarchy positioned below him (Chandra).
Soma-10 connotes great fame as one becomes a "household (Chandra) name". Chandra is also Gandiji's atmakaraka which adds a spiritual purpose to the parenting, sheltering, Old Ways, habitual, rhythmic (spinning) behaviors which caused this great but humble leader to become an international icon of peace.
Rahu + Chandra indicates sympathetic affection for polluted outcastes, and expedient utilization of that recognizable familiarity to assuage one's own leadership desires.
Yogakaraka L-4 + L-5 Shani in bhava-2 can a workhorse attitude toward study. Shani induces a fear of scarcity wherever He is placed. Shani in the bhava of Treasuries of Knowledge makes one to feel ignorant of some precious truth. It is always the sign of a lifelong diligent student when yogakaraka Shani occupies the dhanasthana.
Generally there is never enough money due to the native constantly investing whatever funds are available into knowledge-obtainment such as time for study, travel for study, books for study etc. (and not much in funds either due to Shani-2).
L-11 Sun in Virgo in 12thhouse indicates low earnings. Surya the karaka for confidence and entitlements who is also indicator of income is plunged into iniquity in vyaya bhava, effectively ensuring a life of penury. Albeit Shani could, as the diligent yogakaraka, produce capability in languages which would ultimately bring the knowledge-treasure so much sought. But money? Very little. And his affinity (Chandra) for foreigners (Rahu) looked to produce a grand notoriety - perhaps a famous criminal!
At Gandhi's birth, the local astrologers issued his light-skinned wealthy merchant parents a dire warning for their older son: tightly control him, else he will end up imprisoned through criminal association with dark foreigners (Rahu) - and die in penniless disgrace...
Although he is now revered as a great saint and the moral father of modern India , Gandhi was in and out of nasty prisons his whole life due to L-12 sanctuary-including-prisons in the Thula lagna. However, he had increasingly high consciousness from boyhood.
Every time he was beaten, spit on, or imprisoned, he did not take it
He remained focused upon the obtainment of that Pearl of Great Price; he gained strength each time
another ego-obstacle to that obtainment was removed.
did consort with the polluted outcastes of
Becoming emotionally identified (Moon) with the isolated, marginalized, despised Indians of South Africa, he abandoned his parents' anxious-for-status lifestyle in favor of the activist's poverty. But he met poverty with neutrality (not fear or judgment) because Shani-2 occupies the favorable 5/9 angle from Chandra-10. Ultimately, accepting the harshness of his circumstances allowed Gandhi to stop wasting energy in trying to change reality -- and this essential decision gave him more strength!
Eventually he had enough strength to overthrow the British in India!! He did suffer imprisonment, squalor, mixing with low people and casteless foreigners, and he did die penniless. In widowhood he was not able to remarry due to Shani-2. So his middle-class parents certainly had reason to worry :)
But did Gandhi suffer personal agony from these sprouted seeds? No! He lived and died a centered, prayerful man. He used loss as fuel to energize his highest goal: returning consciously to the heart of God. Many of us believe he arrived.
|The Exploding Backpack: a tale of Inner Narrative||
A few years ago I picked up my young son from kindergarten. I witnessed a scene that reminded me about consciousness and karma!
But he surely felt like a victim. Many things had happened *to* him, in a very short time!
|Belief in reincarnation is not absolutely necessary for appreciating a Jyotisha chart.||
We can see the micro-version of the action-reaction-repercussions-on-other people cycle quite clearly in the current life alone. that little boy probably has a strong Mars - running, getting hit, explosions, etc. If the boy wants to avoid future "explosions," angry hitting moms, etc. he will need to be aware that his desire to run out first must be counterbalanced by attention to shoelaces and backpack zippers. He will need eventually to take responsibility for his desire-nature and how he chooses to act it out.
In Jyotisha readings, I never suggest that folks restrain their desire-nature. Desire-complexes are natural "sprouting seeds" that must run their course. Life will always be complicated! But, we don't need to hyper-explain the mystical roots of that desire nature, unless we are naturally interested in those ancestral complexities. On a practical level, we just need to be aware of the effect our actions and thoughts are having on us and the people around us.
It is true that the Jyotisha chart is an effective spiritual tool for seeing the complexity of one's desire-nature, and thereby being prepared for the moral work when it arises. Blessedly, it is also true that the essence of that work -- applying the Golden Rule -- is extremely simple. (Not easy, but simple!)
It is quite possible to use the Jyotisha chart in real-time of the current lifetime, without any reference to reincarnation, and still have full benefit of being forewarned, and forearmed!
H. H. Dalai Lama says often, that our decision to treat each person (especially ourselves!) with kindness, while simultaneously resisting the urge toward anger and blaming, is a moment-to-moment moral commitment which does not require any complex philosophical explanation. Clearly our true purpose here on earth is to apply that higher-love rulenot in any past life or future life, but right now!
However I personally find that at the level of technical Jyotisha, reincarnation is essential for my understanding. I am by education and by trade, a philosopher. On the tapes, I talk about past life seeds sprouting in the current life as a way of historically explaining things.
Also, I find that the reincarnation idea therapeutically helps folks to gain a little emotional buffer against their lifelong guilt. Many people subtly believe that bad things only happen to bad people. the old western morality (esp. Calvinism) has made a lot of folks doubt that they will ever be accepted by a loving God. Fearing rejection from God if they can't fix all their problems in one lifetime, they often reject God entirely.
Reincarnation is a nice buffer for these victims because it allows multiple lifetimes to fix all the problems, and therefore releases fear of rejection. the concept of reincarnation may help them rebuild their trust that they too will someday be mature enough to accept guilt-free responsibility for their actions/reactions, and thereby ultimately be free enough to merge into the heart of a loving God. So, I think reincarnation can be a very therapeutic teaching when intelligently and lovingly applied.
But for folks who do not need the concept, it remains true that to stop the endless cycle of reaction, one needs only to control one's response to the current event. It is not necessary to know anything about the seed.
I think we can have it both ways, according to taste!
Regarding Tibetan traditional astrology:
Philippe Cornu' s Tibetan Astrology book is (at the time of this writing) the only substantial English instructional text (translated from the French) currently available in the USA in the broad field of Tibetan Astrology . (There are plenty of descriptive texts written by non-astrologers, but unfortunately few instructional manuals available in English.)
Therefore first let me say that the very existence of this book is a service to the scholarly astrological community, and I am grateful to the author and translator for their attempt.
Now: the difficulties.
I too have trouble understanding the presentations in this book. Since Tibetan astrology is about 50% Indian astrology and 50% Chinese astrology, it seems critically important that any author of Tibetan astrology books for the Western audience be educated in both Jyotisha and classical Chinese systems.
Unfortunately, the examples and references in Cornu' s book are from tropical European astrology. This is a show-stopper for me. Also, I agree with you, there seem to be some calculation errors in the book, which is also a show-stopper for beginners. Nevertheless I' m sure it was a huge undertaking to write it, and the author/translator deserve congratulations for getting the first major western (French/English) offering to market.
IMO, it helps tremendously to read classical Tibetan in order to access the (literary part of) Tibetan astrology. If you are deeply interested in Tibetan Astrology it seems necessary to make this language commitment (and to spend lots of research time in Dharamshala, where the partially restored Tibetan classical libraries are now located).
However, even with literary skills, sorting through the many and contradictory classical Tibetan " astro-medical" texts would take several lifetimes. I can read rudimentary classical Tibetan. Because of my family connections, I have access to certain texts.
evertheless, the texts themselves do not make too much sense without a guru to filter out the nonsense (to an English-accustomed reader) of the loopy, off-topic descriptions that are meant to display the writer's erudition and test the reader's preparedness to enter into a practice where denotational meanings can shift levels (material-emotional-social-mental-spiritual) suddenly.
Tibetan texts are very playful, but it is hard to be allowed to enter this play until one is quite familiar with the context. The writers lived in medieval times when it really was possible for a lifelong monk-scholar to know "everything" thus the texts often bring in as references examples that do not make sense to the modern positivistic mind.
Tibetan astrology has a medieval viewpoint absolutely and is almost entirely dedicated to finding auspicious times for events. It is a Nakshatra -paksha system. The Nakshatra part of the legacy is represented by a vocabulary which draws heavily upon the IE (Sanskrit-Prakrit) vocabulary of the Kashmiri missionary monks who brought Buddhism into Tibet. The paksha or magical diagram part of the legacy is from Chinese geomancy and its terminology is Chinese in origin.
The Nakshatra part of the Tibetan tradition is accessible for the thinking Jyotishi. For example, a particular Nakshatra might give auspicious timing for dropping animal dung into the fields for fertilizing; the same Nakshatra is good for combing and cutting a nun's long hair before she enters the convent. Why? If you can follow along
with what modern people would call "symbolism", the reason is their association with the hole or hollow place. In Sanskrit, 'Kumbha' = a hollow place (drum, pot) which can be beaten to make a signal from the effect of the impacted air.
In the Celtic language Welsh, still spoken today, the same root 'Kumb' makes "cym" a hollow place between steep mountainsides. And of the few Celtic word-roots surviving in modern English, 'cym' matches "comb" = the tool with spikes and hollows that humans worldwide use as a hair management device.
Traditionally in subsistence farming, the plow digs a hollow furrow in the field into which the dung is dropped then mixed with top soil. Also in the close-to-the-earth language of old Tibet, there is nothing wrong with implying "closing the hole" of impregnation that is part of the nun's celibacy vow. The English word "cun*" which was once a word in non-stigmatized usage but is now considered vulgar, represents the female's hollow 'cym'.
Also importantly, the lamas I know who practice what they call astrology actually rely much more heavily on intuitive divination than on the application of rational astrological principles. They don't use manuals and they don't all agree on which rules should guide a planetary reading.
This cultural diversity of opinion (depending on the lama's lineage and tutors) is perfectly fine in the end, since the proof of the pudding is the divinatory result. Despite the apparent chaos and conflict in scripture, the system produces accurate readings - more so if the lama is gifted.
However, since intuition cannot be learned from a book. Intuition requires diligent meditative awareness, constant conscious practice of interior vision. This defining skill is unlikely to be learnt from a book! (Mr. Cornu' s or anyone else' s!).
Vedic Jyotisha has a different practice style and apparently no cultural contact with Chinese divinatory systems. The Sanskrit written tradition is long, consistent, rational, and not broken into warring sects. (Jyotisha traditional features variations on interpretation over the past 5000 years, but never ideological conflict.)
Anyone with a basic reading knowledge of Sanskrit, a good memory, and a strong personal intuition can get started independently. Jyotisha traditional scripture is stored in several languages however and eventually one will want to develop Jyotisha literacy in Telugu, Tamil, Mayalam, and Kannada as well.
It is of course immensely helpful to have a master teacher for any esoteric subject. However, because the Jyotisha is (generally) internally consistent, the rules can indeed be learnt from books. Of course, the rules gives us the sciencebut successful practiceof Jyotisha rules forces creation of an art. To master the art, one generally needs an artful master teacher.
Intuition is undeniably a vital and irreplaceable component of Jyotisha readings, but the rational framework of Jyotisha is very straightforwardly intellectual.
If you are interested in learning Tibetan astrology, I would recommend pursuing the Sanskrit or Chinese literature first. Or, undertake to apprentice directly with a skilled translator lama.
Respected Madam, Namaskar.
I read about the Jamini aspect of astrology. There happens to be several astrological studies, eg. Hindu, Vedic, Chinese, Arabic, Jaimini etc. Do all reveal the same results? Which system of astrology should one follow, or can all be used together at a time.
I find Shri Sanjay Rath, using completely Jaimine, Is it more accurate than the Vedic. Jaimine is based mainly on the soul aspect (Karkas) of native. Best Regards
These are all very good questions. IMO: all world systems are complementary, but each system is immersed in its own local culture.
Within the Vedic tradition, Jaimini system and Parashara system are compatible and not contradictory, but the student should master one system first, before starting the other one.
All world traditions of astrology can give accurate results according to the sincerity and intuition of the astrologer. All respond to the seven graha, fundamentally, then some systems add more pieces such as Rahu-Ketu, or Uranos/Neptune/Pluto. I myself prefer to stick with the seven classical planets.
Any opportunity for Divine Intelligence to penetrate the darkness of human mind is a good thing. All of these systems are channels for Divine Intelligence to manifest along pathways that match the planets in the sky.
Unfortunately during the long dark centuries of the Kali Yuga there was much accrual of fear and superstition upon the bright and truthful knowledge of astrology. Even today many societies and individuals have not climbed out of this pit and do not see even the first rays of the brilliant sun. So, it is necessary to remove the junk of superstitious claims and practices from all world astrology systems in order to find the truth underneath.
It does seem like some of the systems have become nothing more than false religion, warding off evil spirits and wearing amulets and talismans. Actually, there is nothing to ward off, All reality originates in one's own thoughts! But digging out the truth from some of these legacy systems can be a huge task.
If you like the Jaimini approach then that is a fine place to begin training. I myself use the Jaimini karaka assignments as a tool in my toolkit of Parashari techniques, but I do not use Jaimini rashi drishtibecause it complicates my view of the nativity.
However Jaimini drishti is quite legitimate. Indeed, every item in the chart will eventually "see" every other item, so whether one draws in the Jaimini drishti first and overlays Parashara, or the reverse, the full picture is very rich and authentic.
In consulting practice, I don't want my view point to be overly complex. If the nativity begins to look too complicated, I won't be able to pick out the salient points which I need to mention to the client, the answers to their immediate questions. I like Parashari techniques because they are simple.. However, I fully appreciate that Jaimini techniques give valid results. And Mr. Sanjay Rath has done a great service in explicating these texts for a modern audience.
I personally have some familiarity with western tropical astrology and Tibetan classical astrology. I personally think these two systems are flawed due to internal contradictions in the tradition (the damage of time, syncretism, and text transmission errors) yet I have known extremely skilled practitioners of these systems who can give correct predictions because their intuition is so finely tuned. In the end, each astrologer works within the system which appeals to one's personality - logically, culturally, and intuitively.
All astrologies use the same sky-screen,viewed from earth, as their map of "as above, so below; as within, so without". They all address the same human conditions: birth, marriage, children, parents, social approval, wealth, illness, loss, and death. IMO all the historic systems are rationally legitimate, but the accuracy of their predictions depends on the skill and intuition of the practitioner.
Barbara Pijan Lama, Jyotisha
I have been looking for a qualified Jyotish Guru for years... have no luck in finding the right teacher. I feel so frustrated and grumpy about this blockage on my path. What is stuck? Can you help me find a teacher here in my area?
Personally I don't know of any guru-guide to whom I might refer Jyotisha students, but as always I can recommend the method of offering a bit of service to those who are "students needing teachers".
Are you friends of Anmarie of England................Who wrote Circle of Stars??????
Thanks for your note.
"The Circle of Stars" was written by Valerie J. Roebuck Ph.D., published by Vega Books (orig. 1992, republished 2002). Currently out of print, but worth looking for in used-book shops.
I am not a personal friend of the author, but I admire her scholarly work.
Thanks for your interest, and best wishes for success in your Jyotisha studies.
Barbara Pijan Lama, Jyotisha www.barbarapijan.com
|Q: Hi Barbara, ... I'm interested in learning jyotish and wanted to start by looking at my own chart. ...||
A : Namaste,
...In regards to starting the study of Jyotisha with one's own nativity, I would strongly recommend against doing that.
It is almost impossible to take an objective view regarding one's own nativity. The emotional ego usually wants to romanticize one's personal nativity. In the first wave of study, before the student has a sense of the normal range of applications for the Jyotisha principles, beginning students can attribute all sorts of extreme results to the natal geometry. Nervous anticipation about terrible mysteries being "discovered" can disrupt the rational assessment process, and the anxious beginner can lapse into superstition or despair.
To avoid being misled about what knowledge Jyotisha can and cannot provide, begin your study upon the nativities of your family relatives. Also, utilize the nativities of celebrity leadership figures whose life events and character are well known. Only after obtaining Objective confirmation of the core principles of Jyotisha, through observing the "range of normal" results of the various yoga, can one's own nativity be apprehended with a cool and scientific view.
Sincerely, Barbara Pijan Lama, Jyotisha
|Q:OMG, there is so much to learn and I am getting fixated into little yoga meanings and going around in loops and loops! I want to know EVERYTHING about my chart so that I can map out my future. Can you answer these 25 questions? (below)||
A: Sorry, although I wish I did have time to answer all your questions. They appear to be very well formulated, and it looks like you have just the right kind of analytical mind to learn the principles of the vidya and start applying those principles to individual nativities.
In particular, examine the Jyotisha nativities of historical and celebrity figures who have demonstrated success in the behaviors that interest you.
Studying successful examples from history and contemporary life is the best way to avoid subjectivity and to see how the principles manifest in the lives of real people.
Also remember to keep it simple: always consider the karaka graha before getting into the logic of fancy planetary yoga-combinations.
Best wishes for your success in Jyotisha studies,
Q:I've been studying Jyotisha and offering readings to friends and family for a few years. Yes, I still have a lifetime of learning ahead of me but I know the basic principles. Also there are Jyotishi in my family tree, going back several generations to the old country. My readings for family have been spot-on.
Here is my problem: I did a very time-consuming (free of course) reading for a demanding friend-of-a-friend and that person, who received my free reading, said evil things about the reading and about me. According to her I got everything wrong and I am a shrew. I wonder if she faked her birth time or some other stupid thing ... just to trap me? Anyway, want to know if I should quit readings now, since this experience was just nasty and I feel really bad about it. Maybe Jyotish is the wrong path for me.
A:Thanks for your lovely, reflective observations. All practicing Jyotishi will recognize your self-doubt. We all struggle with it. Luckily there are some useful techniques that can smooth the communication channels and transform apparent failures (like your off-target divination) into win-win spiritual success.
Astrologer's Faith in Vocation
Money-Price and Establishing Material Value
Tithe = an Essential Component of Successful Practice
|Free Readings - useful or not?||
Sorrows of the Victim Hell, and requests for Free Readings
Often people who ask for readings are living in a moment of being crushed by their own karma: they are suffering awful diseases or otherwise severely out of balance physically, mentally, financially and emotionally.
For the truly indigent it is generally true that: those stuck in severe victim state cannot utilize a full reading because their severe temporary imbalance makes it impossible to absorb new information. Therefore they do not need a free, full reading even though they assert so.
Those enslaved into a materialistic victim mind often chronically confuse
The victim-minded are trapped in 'super-stition' which means literally 'standing outside'. Superstition is a horribly debilitating mentality that asserts a (fantasized) outside agent and places this agent in control of one's own creative intelligence. Victims of superstition positively and accurately know intensely acutely urgently FEEL that they must have "more".
Sadly, the fact of being in a victim state indicates that this population is not yet ready to appreciate the fact that they are minute-to-minute creating their own reality.
Compassion and Skillful Limits
If Divination is not useful or appropriate, what can be done?
I do offer this type of brief (2-3 short paragraphs) validation to dozens of incoming email queries from victim-minded folk every month.
The requests usually begin with a request for sympathy followed by a statement of the querent's certainty that these readings are surely quite easy for me to do and that my reasoning process can't possibly take much time. In other words, the person requesting a free reading usually starts the request by saying how little value the reading possesses.
Naturally when I read this sort of language, I register that this person is not aware of their own inner value. Such a person has what moderns call 'low self-esteem' on the inside. Sadly, then, nothing coming from outside sources will be able to take root in their consciousness because there is no interior 'matching picture' of self-value to anchor the outside information in place. There must be matching values for outer information to 'stick'.
At this point in the victim's life, there is nothing that any outsider can do to alleviate their suffering. Mechanically speaking, the native must begin to alleviate this condition on one's own volition, from the inside.
Luckily, this is quite easy to do! There is an absolutely FREE and always-available process which helps people dig out of their own narrative of disempowerment, unworthiness, unattractiveness, and fear. It is Seva.
The "seva" method of empowerment = selfless service to others. The recipient Others must specifically match the type or class of persons who are suffering from precisely one's own troubles, however the beneficiary of one's charitable help should have the condition in a slightly worse degree.
For the victim-minded, I will not deliver a complex and at the moment useless divinatory reading. Rather, I strongly recommend Seva as a powerful destroyer of ignorance and voluntary force of personal upliftment.
Dear one, if you are called to the vidya, then you are on the right path! Brihaspati the Preacher-Teacher -- so strong and generous !! -- will protect you.
Keep studying, keep meditating, keep validating yourself and others. We are all here for a reason and indeed there are no mistakes.
Although criticism of your early efforts may be embarrassing and hurtful, it is also not a mistake.
Consider the 90-10 rule, consider the benefits of consciously choosing a gracious vocabulary, and above all please consider charging a fee! All of these techniques will help to clean your delivery channels so that the divine can work more effectively through your divinatory genius.
Wishing you every success in life and in Jyotisha practice,
Barbara Pijan Lama, Jyotisha
file update: 24-Apr-2013
Barbara Pijan Lama Jyotisha Vedic Astrology Surya Sun Chandra Moon Mangala Mars Budha Mercury Guru Jupiter Shukra Venus Shani Saturn Rahu Ketu Graha Planets Dasha Timeline Nakshatra Navamsha Marriage Children Wealth Career Spiritual Wisdom Cycles of Death and Rebirth
"And now my friends,
all that is true, all that is noble,
all that is just and pure,
all that is loveable and gracious,
whatever is excellent and admirable -
fill all your thoughts with these things."
~~ Epistle to the Philippians 4:8