There is a way of looking at events and circumstances in relation to the cosmos. This way takes into account the interconnectedness of things. In this talk we focus on some of these rhythms with special reference to Astrology.
Words of Sri Aurobindo
My first accidental contact with an Indian astrologer was not encouraging. This gentleman was the most accomplished thought-reader I have ever seen; for he asked me to think my question without speaking it and not only successfully named the unspoken question I had fixed on, but three others which had crossed my mind, one of them only in the merest flash and without leaving any impression behind: this he pretended to do by mathematical calculation, an operation which I took leave to regard as humbug or professional parade. For when it came to his answers, I found that he was still doing thought-reading and not astrology; he simply echoed the hopes or thoughts in my mind and his predictions did not come within one hundred miles of the truth. Other practitioners I have found to belong, a few plainly to the class of mere flattering charlatans, but most to the inefficient who read by rule of thumb and have made no profound study of their science. On the other hand, with capable astrologers the results have been often of such a remarkable accuracy as to put quite aside any possibility of chance hit, mere coincidence, intelligent prevision or any of the current explanations. I may instance the father of a friend of mine, a deep student of the science but not a professional, who predicted accurately the exact year, month, day, hour and even minute of his own death. In my own case accuracy was hampered by the inability to fix the precise moment of my birth; still some of the results were extraordinary. Two may be mentioned, from one and the same astrologer, which related to my public career. One, given when I had not yet plunged into the political vortex and my then obscure personality was quite unknown to the astrologer, predicted as an inevitable certitude of the future a political struggle with powerful non-Indian adversaries during which for a time even my life would fall under the shadow of danger. The other, given at the time of my first prosecution in the Bande Mataram case, predicted three successive criminal trials in each of which the prosecution would fail. I may instance also two predictions by the book in which slokas from Sanskrit astrological writings indicating the results of certain conjunctions or planetary positions were shown to be applicable to my horoscope. One foretold specific chronic illnesses for the body of which there was no sign at the time, but long afterwards they put in their unexpected appearance and persisted. Another indicated very precisely that one of my future activities would be to found a new spiritual philosophy and its discipline; at that time I had no knowledge of philosophy or Yoga and no turn or inclination in my mind which could make the realisation of this prediction at all probable. These are only the most precise examples out of a number. Supposing all well-authenticated evidence of the kind to be collected, I am convinced there would be an overwhelmingly strong prima facie case and even a body of sufficiently strong empirical proof to establish at least a nucleus of truth in astrology.
An acceptance of the truth of astrology would not necessarily carry with it a complete determinism of Fate or mechanical law of Karma. In the Indian theory at least there is room for a determination by human will and endeavour, for Fate is mainly a determination by past action and a new will and action can cancel it; only a very strong Karma is imperative and irreducible. Even that may possibly be cancelled if one can enter into the freedom of the spiritual consciousness. One instance at any rate came to my knowledge in which the life had corresponded exactly with the pre-indications of the horoscope so long as the subject remained in the world but, as soon as he left it for a spiritual life, there was no longer any correspondence.
Astrologers tell all sorts of things that don’t come true. According to one I was to have died last year, according to another I was to have gone out from Pondicherry in March or May last year and wandered about India with my disciples till I disappeared in a river (on a ferry). Even if the prediction were a correct one according to the horoscope it need not fulfil itself, because by entering the spiritual life one opens to a new force which can change one’s destiny.
22 August 1937
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It is no doubt possible to draw the illnesses of others upon oneself and even to do it deliberately, the instance of the Greek king Antigonus and his son Dimitrius is a famous historical case in point: Yogis also do this sometimes; or else adverse forces may throw illnesses upon the Yogi, using those round him as a door or a passage or the ill wishes of people as an instrumental force. But all these are special circumstances connected, no doubt, with his practice of Yoga; but they do not establish the general proposition as an absolute rule. A tendency such as X’s to desire or welcome or accept death as a release could have a force because of her advanced spiritual consciousness which it would not have in ordinary people. On the other side there can be an opposite use and result of the Yogic consciousness: illness can be repelled from one’s own body or cured, even chronic or deep-seated illnesses and long-established constitutional defects remedied or expelled and even a predestined death delayed for a long period. Narayan Jyotishi, a Calcutta astrologer, who predicted, not knowing then who I was, in the days before my name was politically known, my struggle with Mlechchha enemies and afterwards the three cases against me and my three acquittals, predicted also that though death was prefixed for me in my horoscope at the age of 63, I would prolong my life by Yogic power for a very long period and arrive at a full old age. In fact I have got rid by Yogic pressure of a number of chronic maladies that had got settled in my body, reduced others to a vanishing minimum, brought about steadily progressing diminution of two that remained and on the last produced a considerable effect. But none of these instances either on the favourable or unfavourable side can be made into a rule; there is no validity in the tendency of human reason to transform the relativity of these things into an absolute.
8 December 1949
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Words of the Mother
Mother, there are people who suffer from certain illnesses year after year, we know. Now, if we observe this illness, we see that it comes at a particular time of the year and this goes on the next year also, and it is like that. But the time is fixed. Then what is the reason, and how can one get rid of this?
There could be many reasons. It depends on the person you ask.
If you ask an astrologer he will tell you, “It is the stars, when the stars come into the same position, the same conditions recur.” Well, this is not so wrong. It can be like that. It can also be the individual’s reaction to certain types of climate, you see, or to the sun’s position; or it may be quite simply a bad habit. That’s all.
And if one forms… If by chance it has happened to you twice consecutively, then you form… you have a good formation, you see, which remains like that (gesture) in the subconscient, without showing itself—if you don’t observe it! And then, just when the time draws near, quite gently it pushes up from within and tells you, “Take care, the time is coming, the time is coming, the time is coming!” So naturally, that comes along too. Usually these things are like that.
But almost everything that happens in the physical is like that. The first time it may be quite simply a concurrence of circumstances; then, the mind intervenes and makes a construction. Now, if one accepts the construction, one is sure that it functions with clockwork precision. But even if one says, “Oh, nonsense, it is only an idea!” and does this (gesture), still the idea, instead of going away, enters inside, into the subconscient, simply the subconscious mind, and there it remains quietly. And then, when the time comes to manifest itself, from inside, like this, it makes a kind of… as though it were tickling the memory a little, nothing more than that, just that. If it rubs the memory just a little, like that, then suddenly one day you remember: “Why, last year, at this time I was ill.” And crash! There it is, it has entered. It has entered the zone of the active consciousness, and a few days later the thing happens. But when you have had either an experience or, like this, some kind of phenomenon or an illness (above all in the case of illness or even an accident), the body remembers for a very long time. If you want to be completely cured, you must cure this memory in the body, this is absolutely indispensable. And whether you know it or not, you work in order to cure the memory in the body. When the remembrance is effaced, the body is truly healed.
Unfortunately, instead of destroying the remembrance, you push it back. Most of the time you push it down into the subconscient and sometimes into the inconscient, still more deep. Well now, if it is pushed back, if it is not completely effaced, then very gently, very gently, without seeming to do so at all it comes up to the surface; and something of which you have been cured for years, if by chance it crosses your mind simply like that, just like a little dart, as fast as that, like a passing dart: “Why, at this time I had that”, you may be sure that sooner or later—a few seconds, a few minutes, a few hours or days later, it will return. You can… It may come back in a much milder form, it may come back in the same form, it may come even more strongly. That depends on your inner state. If you are in a pessimistic state, it will come back more strongly. If you are in an optimistic state, it will be much weaker. But it will come back and you will have to begin the battle all over again against the memory of your body so as to destroy it—if this time you are more attentive. If you can destroy it, you are cured. But if you don’t destroy it, it will return. It will take a longer or shorter time, it will be more or less total, but it will return. It can come back in a flash. If you are wide awake and, when it returns, if you have enough knowledge and indeed enough clear-sightedness to tell yourself, “Well, here is that wretched remembrance come back again to play its tricks”, then you can give, can strike a violent blow and indeed destroy its reality. If you know how to do this, then it is an opportunity to get rid of the thing immediately. But it is not very easy to do this.
Pavitra: How to do it?
How to do it? (Mother laughs.)How to do it? It is the same thing as, the same method as, knowing how to destroy a formation, you understand. It is a certain strength to dissolve things, which can undo formations. It depends on the nature of the formation. If it is like this, a formation of an adverse kind, then you need the force of a perfectly pure constructive light. If you have this at your disposal, all that you have to do is to bombard the thing with it, and you can dissolve it. But it is an operation which must be performed with inner forces; it cannot be done physically.
That is why all physical remedies, you see, are simply palliatives; they are not cures, because they are not strong enough to touch the living centre of the thing.
The same phenomenon occurs with moral difficulties. If one could succeed in destroying their remembrance, destroying in oneself the memory of the state one is in when in that difficulty, if one is sincere it would be the end of all difficulties for ever.
13 October 1954
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The stars have no decisive influence. It is only if one does not believe in the Divine that one unnecessarily suffers by believing that they determine one’s life. I have known many astrologers both in Europe and India. So far, nobody has been able to read the future correctly. There are three reasons for the failure. First, the astrologers do not know how to read the future properly. Secondly, the horoscope is always incorrectly made—unless a man is a mathematical genius. And even for such a person it is very difficult to make a correct horoscope. Thirdly, when people say that the stars in this or that house at the time of birth rule your life, they are quite wrong. The stars under which you are born are only “tape-recorders” of physical conditions. They do not rule the future of the soul. There is something beyond, which rules the stars themselves and everything else. The soul belongs to this Supreme Being. And if it is doing Yoga, then all the more it should never believe in the power of the stars or in any other power.
An astrologer who predicts a catastrophe for you is like a joker. Many jokers say things like, “Today you will break your neck!” But in spite of the joke nothing happens. Only a great Yogi can tell you your future correctly. But even then there is the Supreme Will which alone controls and decides everything.
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Horoscopes have no importance for those who take up yoga, because the influence that works through yoga is much more powerful than the influence of the stars.
8 September 1961
Apr 28, 2015