Extract from “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramhansa Yogananda
A young student asked “Master, should I believe in Astrology?”
Sri Yukteswar replied….
“It is never a question of belief; the only scientific attitude one can take on any subject is whether or not it is TRUE.
The law of gravitation worked as efficiently before Newton as after him.
The cosmos would be fairly chaotic if its laws could not operate without the sanction of human belief. Charlatans have brought the stellar science to its present disrepute. Astrology is too vast, both mathematically and philosophically, to be rightly grasped, except by people of profound understanding.
If ignoramuses misread the heavens, and see there a scrawl instead of a script, that is to be expected in this imperfect world. One should not dismiss the wisdom with the ‘wise’.
Everything links together
All parts of creation are linked together and interchange their influences.
The balanced rhythm of the universe is rooted in this reciprocity. People, in their human aspect, have to combat two sets of forces:
The tumults within their inner selves – caused by the admixture of earth, water, fire air and ethereal elements
The outer disintegrating powers of Nature
So long as people struggle with this mortality they are affected by the myriad mutations of heaven and earth.
Astrology and Karma
Astrology is the study of human response to planetary stimuli.
The stars have no conscious benevolence or animosity; they merely send forth positive and negative radiations. Of themselves, these do not help or harm humanity, but offer a lawful channel for the outward operation of cause-effect equilibriums which each person has set into motion in the past.
A child is born on that day and at that hour when the celestial rays are in mathematical harmony with that child’s individual karma. The horoscope is a challenging portrait, revealing their unalterable past and its probably future results.
But the natal chart can be rightly interpreted only by people of intuitive wisdom, and these are few.
The message boldly blazoned across the heavens at the moment of birth is not meant to emphasize fate – the result of past good and evil – but to arouse the Will to escape from this universal thralldom.
What you have done, you can undo.
Each individual is the only instigator of the causes for whatever effects are now prevalent in their life.
They can overcome any limitation, because they created it by their own actions in the first place, and because they also have spiritual resources which are not subject to planetary pressure.
The power of the Spirit
Superstitious awe of astrology makes one an automaton, slavishly dependent on mechanical guidance.
The wise individual defeats their planets – which really means they defeat their ‘past’ – by transferring their allegiance from what they have created, to the Creator itself.
The more they realise their own unity with Spirit, the less they can be contaminated by matter.
The soul is ever-free; it is deathless because it is birthless. It cannot be regimented by stars.
Each person IS a soul, and HAS a body.
When they properly place their sense of identity, they leave behind all compulsive patterns. But so long as people remain confused, and in a state of spiritual amnesia, they will find themselves chained by the subtle fetters of environmental law.
God is Harmony
The devotee who attunes themselves with this, will never perform any action amiss. Their activities will be correctly and naturally timed to accord with astrological law. Deep prayer and meditation bring them in touch with their own Divine Consciousness – there is no greater power than that inward protection.
It is only when a traveller has reached their goal that they are justified in discarding their maps.
During the journey, they should take advantage of any convenient short cut that the world has given them. The ancient Rishis discovered many ways to curtail the period of human exile in delusion.
There are certain mechanical features in the law of karma which can be skillfully adjusted by the fingers of wisdom. All human ills arise from some transgression of Universal Law.
The scriptures point out that people must satisfy the laws of nature in the incarnate world, while not discrediting the Divine Omnipotence.
They should say – “Lord, I trust in Thee, and know that you can help me, but I too will do my best to undo any wrong I have done.”
And thus, by a number of means – by prayer, by will power, by meditation, by all these things – the adverse effects of past wrongs can be minimised or nullified.
The deeper the self-realisation, the more the person influences the whole universe by their subtle spiritual vibrations, and the less they are affected by conditions of karma.”
(This extract has been adapted for the web by Jenni Shell)