Jyotish (Vedic Astrology) and Meditation are vast subjects that can each take many years if not a whole lifetime to fully understand. However, a reading of our chart by a qualified astrologer can open up a wealth of useful information and a few months of regular meditation practice can give us the tools to live the fullness of life. Jyotish gives us the road map and meditation brings the necessary clarity to take a diversion, proceed with caution or sit back and enjoy the scenery.
As with all aspects of Vedic teachings, everything is interwoven and everything compliments everything else. The knowledge we receive from astrology supports our meditation practice and our meditation practice gives us deeper insights into that same knowledge.
At a fundamental level, everything in the Universe is sound or vibration. Every part of the human body, every quality we experience in our life and every aspect of the environment around us, vibrates at its own specific frequency. We are all surrounded by and also an integral player in the magnificent symphony of creation. We are not separate or isolated but joined together in an organic, rhythmic Wholeness. Whatever happens anywhere in the universe affects everything else and understanding the inter-play of all these different forces, allows us to live happy, healthy, harmonious lives.
According to the Vedas, our soul chose when to be born into this physical body. At that precise moment, the planets and constellations aligned in specific positions and then progressed in such a way as to reflect the soul’s journey in human form. At the time of our birth, our Prana (breath or vital life force), Awareness (Inner Light) and our Karma (energy of past actions) were all activated for this life.
Jyotish analyses the influences of the planets and gives us a picture of our karmic possibilities or how the energies of our past thoughts and actions will manifest in the future. It helps us understand what we should be doing and when. It is said, “If you want to know why your life is the way it is now, look at your thoughts and actions in the past, and if you want to know what your life will look like in the future, look at your thoughts and actions now”. We could take this to mean that everything is pre-determined, which to some extent, it is. Many people go through life, locked in the same habits and patterns, imprisoned by their karma unfolding though their memories and desires, with little or no control over its effects.
However, the practice of meditation takes us beyond the mind, we transcend memories and desires to enter the field of Infinite Possibilities. Meditation re-kindles the flame of our Inner Light, expands our awareness and activates our power of self-will. With meditation, we are better able to navigate life’s challenges, avoiding the “potholes” and not creating new ones, while enjoying the scenic stretches. Jyotish gives us the clues, meditation helps us to solve them.
As Maharishi Mahesh Yogi used to say, “Everything is set but anything can be changed”. Paramhansa Yogananda also said, “The message boldly blazoned across the heavens at the moment of birth was not meant to emphasize fate, the result of past good and evil, but to arouse your will to escape from this universal bondage”. Ultimately, through deep meditation, when we reach the state of Self-realization, fully knowing who we are, we step out of the grip of cause and effect and into the realm of Unbounded Freedom. Our every desire, thought and action becomes One with the Divine Will of the Creation.
A simple way to enhance your meditation experience with astrology would be to identify the main element, present in your Jyotish chart. Someone with the element space, might benefit from the expanded collective harmony of meditating with a group. If your element is air, open a window and enjoy the flow of a gentle breeze. If your leading element is fire, try burning a candle during your meditation. Meditating near a lake, the ocean or a river might be helpful to those with more of the water element. If you are more connected with the earth element, try meditating sitting on the floor or with both feet on the floor.
Another way in which Jyotish and meditation interface is in the practice of Primordial Sound Meditation as taught by the Chopra Center. As we have learned, everything in creation has its own vibration and at the time of our birth, the Universe was vibrating at a specific frequency or, we could say, had a unique sound. Thousands of years ago, the ancient enlightened yogis, living in their caves and forest hermitages, became aware of these sounds. They also noticed that the sounds changed in relationship to the position of the moon and when the moon repeated its cycle, the same sounds could be heard again, in the same sequence. They therefore used the positions of the moon to document these sounds. Vedic Astrology divides the sky into 27 lunar positions called Nakshatras, each with 4 quarters, known as Padas. These 27 Nakshatras and their 4 Padas were thus used to identify 108 (27 x 4) different sounds of the Universe.
In Primordial Sound Meditation, by knowing the place, date and time of a person’s birth, we can use the mathematics of Vedic Astrology to calculate the sound predominating in the Universe at that moment of birth. This sound is then incorporated into the person’s Primordial Sound Mantra, the vehicle that will take him/her on the journey of meditation. As we have mentioned earlier, at the time of birth, our Prana, Awareness and Karma for this life are all activated. There is a transition from the non-local to the local planes of existence. We begin to become conscious of our role in this manifest creation.
Using this sound as our meditation vehicle is very powerful. Contained within that sound is the very subtle memory of the field of Silence and Infinite Possibilities, now becoming hidden deep within us. Using this sound in our meditation, draws our awareness inwards to re-connect with our essential Self.
Although the Primordial Sound mantra has no particular meaning itself, the mantra gives meaning to everything else by bringing consciousness to them, creating Unity between all things. The mantra indicates our inner Being, the Real You, before the body and mind, allowing us to pass on the imprint of our soul to our thoughts and actions, harmonizing our outer life with our inner Being. It has the power to connect us to everything, the Cosmic Mind, the unity of all things and our true nature and inner Dharma (purpose) at a soul level. Everything we do begins to reflect our soul’s deepest purpose.
There are many very qualified Vedic Astrologers now practicing in the West, including Brent Becvar, who offers consultations in conjunction with the Chopra Center. Primordial Sound Meditation can be learned from a certified instructor worldwide or from the Chopra Center’s online course.
Jyotish helps us to understand the effects of an external Universe on our lives. Meditation brings us to the realization that the Universe is within us, we are the Universe.