The Law of Karma : Our astrology chart is a map, plan and blueprint of our “karma” which means “action”. It refers to the actions that we have sown in our past whether in this life time or in previous life’s, this can be positive or negative and follows us possibly in many life times until it is reaped. Just as a calf can find its mother even if its wondered into another herd. This is called the infallible justice and will be metered out to us exactly at the time when it is due. On the other hand the present life is experiences of the past and doings of the present which make it flexible and can be changed by our own free will. This can happen to that individual who is aware of his sufferings or enjoyment as a result of past action and makes amends accordingly. This is the purpose of human life, to look at our defects and remedy them so as not to incur bad Karma once again and to end the vicious cycle of birth, old age, disease and finally death.
The Four Kinds of Karma : Our karma consists of that which is our fate and our free will. There are four kinds of karma – two that represent our fate and two that represent our free will. The two kinds of karma that represent our fate are:
1. Sanchita Karma – All the actions we’ve performed in all our past lifetimes.
2. Prarabdha Karma – Our current life karma.
The two kinds of karma that represent our free will are:
3. Kriyamana Karma – This is our free will to take current actions to change our current life situation.
4. Agama Karma – This is our free will to make a choice and firmly act accordingly in the future.
The dasa shows how our karma unfolds in Astrology. Of the many dasa systems the Vimshottari dasa system is the most prominent and most widely used by astrologers. It makes use of a 120 year cycle where each planet rules a certain number of years. This is broken down into sub periods called bhuktis which appear in the same order as the dashas and are divided relative to the dasa length as will be decribed hereafter. For instance Ketu dasa starts with Ketu / Ketu, then Ketu / Venus, then Ketu / Sun. From this combination of the Dasha and Bhukti one is able to precisely predict the unfoldment of one’s karma now and always.
The following indicate the unfoldment of the dasha system.
Ketu 7 years, Venus 20 years, Sun 6 years, Moon 10 years, Mars 7 years, Rahu 18 years, Jupiter 16 years, Saturn 19 years, Mercury 17 years
From time immemorial many theories of exactly why the dasha’s unfold in this order have been thrown around but this is totally unknown. What is amazing is that they seem to work perfectly and this can only be attributed to something that is divine and beyond understanding.
Karma and Free Will : In the Western world they seem to believe that they create their our own destinies and are able to do as they choose however in the east it is firmly believed that one has to walk on the path of his Karma that has been created by him in his previous life. The difference in the two ways of thinking can largely be attributed to cultural conditioning.
The dasa system starts with Ketu, when the child is closest to God in and in a state of purity and love. Therefore Ketu is the dasa where we are satisfied with the basic essentials like a child that is satisfied with what is offered to him. Age 0-1 years
Venus dasa is when the child is being nurtured and cared for as she is the nurturer. It is during this most important period of cultivation that one goes through the paces of learning about life and to love and care for others. Age 1 -3 years
Sun dasa bring about the emergence of our individual identities where one does not require the support of anyone and is able to grow on one’s own strength and ability. The individual becomes strong and empowered to act as he pleases. Age 4-12 years
Moon dasa brings about a deep sense of wanting to connect the individual mood with others as we see ourselves and compare them with the experiences of others. It is a period of sensitivity like that of a teenager. Age 13 - 19 years
Mars dasa is when we learn through courage and discipline about the world and our interaction with it. This is when one is faced with the realities of this material world and it’s temporary nature. Age 20 - 27 years
Rahu dasha bring about a complete change after enjoying our youthfulness one becomes absorbed in the illusion of the material existence and is trapped in Maya. Here the individuals energy is sapped in accumulating wealth and worldly possession, Marriage, children and career advancement clouds the ability to recognize the inner being, the soul and the purpose of life. Age 28 - 40
Jupiter dasa is where we feel that we are back in control after Rahu has pushed us through the paces. He is the Guru and the teacher and comes in our life to impart wisdom and insight into life and it’s lessons. Age 40-55
Saturn dasa makes us fully aware of our limitations and how we have to face the dark realities of birth, old age, disease and death. It is a time to work through our Karma individually,as it bring us to the ground. Age 55 - 65
Mercury dasa follows after the deep cleansing period of Saturn. One becomes fully aware, practical, full of knowledge and at the same time down to earth like a child. He is non-judgmental and an advisor full of discrimination and clear thinking. Age 65 onwards
A Janam Kundali draw up at the time of birth is able to predict precisely every happening of the future. From the horoscope one is able to relate to ones past life and determine the nature and qualities of the individual as he was and what is to become of him in this lifetime. One spends and entire lifetime preparing for the moment of death. All our actions in the entire lifetime manifest as a singular thought at the time of death and this takes the living entity, the soul, to that part of the universe, to that country, to that city to be born to a particular set of parents who will become part of the Karma of the newborn child that enters this world. This is so perfect therefore one can be born either in a well to do home or in an environment where they are poverty stricken and that can change at any given time during the lifetime of the individual depending upon the unfoldment of one’s Karma.
Therefore Karma and astrology are partners and go hand in hand forever. In predicting the birth of a child astrologically one becomes fully aware of the past, present and future of the living entity. It therefore becomes the duty initially of the parents and later that of the child to be fully aware of our actions at every moment of our life, to be aware that we are reaping the fruit of our past actions and simultaneously sowing seeds for our future life. Astrology is that blue print that is able to guide the individual to plan for a brighter and better future.
I bring good tidings and felicitations from the people of South Africa and pray that the historical bond that exists between our sister lands will grow from strength to strength. May the good karmas of great personalities like Gandhiji shine like beacons of light in the lives of generations to come forever.