Astrology & Mahabharat!

9 planets, 12 houses, 27 nakshatras!

Astrology has been a hot-shot topic in the spiritual community and in general, the masses. It goes without saying that there is a lot of fear-mongering in the name of astrology.

It is a general notion amongst people that astrology is more like a mathematical science, but extremely tough to study, and students of astrology need to lead a disciplined life to be able to grab the intuition and insight to decode the nature of planets and charts.

In Mahabharata, Pandavas were exiled for 14 years, with the last year as agyatvas (disguised exile). If they are traced and found in their last year of agyatvas, they were supposed to be exiled for 14 another years, with the same condition of last one year as agyatvas!

Since they had not stood by dharma of protecting Mother Draupadi from the disrobing episode, the 14 years of exile was basically the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna's arrangement to teach them to stand by dharma no matter what! During the exile, Mother Draupadi was happy internally as she was always in remembrance of Krishna, but the Pandavas were often having a tough time.

In the last year, that was of agyatvas, the Pandavas had taken shelter at Virat kingdom. The five Pandavas took various roles there in the kingdom - Yudhisthira Maharaj took role as guide named Kanka to the King, Bhima worked as cook named Ballabha, Arjuna acted as eunuch named Bruhannala, Nakula being a charioteer named Grantika, Sahadeva acted as cowhered named Tantipala, and Draupadi Maiya known there as Sairandhri worked as an artisan.

The Queen's brother Kichaka, who was the general of the army there was mesmerised by Draupadi Maiya. He had tried to force himself on her once but was unsuccessful. This made all the Pandavas, specially Bhima angry.

Few last days were remaining for the agyatvas to be over but this time, the Pandavas decided to stand up for dharma, as taught by Krishna, and ignored the concerns to be found by Duryodhana in the last few days of their 14 year exile period. They killed Kichaka. The information was soon picked up by Duryodhana's spies.

Duryodhana attacked Virat, and on last day of their agyatvas, the Pandavas were spotted, not before neutralising the attack.

The next day, in the court, Duryodhana claimed that the Pandavas were found on the last day so they need to go on 14 years exile again, and that he won't return the kingdom to rightful heir, Yudhisthira Maharaj.

Krishna took charge on behalf of Pandavas and mentioned that the astrologers had made a calculation error, and that as per lunar calendar, the exile was over the last day before the Pandavas were spotted, though by solar calendar, the last day was not over, and as the counting of months and year is done based on lunar calendar, hence the exile was over!

To this, the astrologers realised their mistake in their calculations! Thus, the Pandavas were saved from going back to exile again simply for standing for dharma as per teachings of Krishna!

So, even the best astrologers can get it wrong as it is all complex mathematical calculation. It is all a Vedic science created by Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When one is engaged in His service as per His instruction (in Bhagavad Gita), or His dear intimate associate's (in form of Rasika Acharyas like Srila Prabhupada) instruction, everything else is taken care of, by Him!!!

Hence Srila Prabhupada recognised the science but didn't encourage devotees to study it, and rather take shelter of chanting Hare Krishna Mahamantra, and following the four regulative principles.

Astrology is a science majorly meant for kings, and not common people usually. It is meant for welfare of society in general by preparing for the tough times beforehand. Earlier attacks on enemy adharmic kings used to be timed based on favourable astrological calculations apart from other local factors as well.

"The king should be always accompanied by a first-class astrologer."

Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk Conversation (December 29, 1973, Los Angeles)

The nine planets are dear servitors of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna. They store our prarabdha karma from previous lifetimes, and give results based on it.

It is often seen that some children know a lot of elegant dancing moves from a young age, and some are good with arts, while others may be excellent with mathematics even without any endeavour or much teaching. How can it be so? As each of them have it from their previous births! (Please refer to get a scientific perspective of reincarnation, rebirth and karma)

The planets placement in the birth chart reflect the karmas from previous births and how it will shape up this birth. If somebody has completed 99% devotional life in past births but somehow if they were unable to finish it, their next birth begins with that 99% and they get opportunity to be born in favourable families where they don't have to focus on other activities and instead focus only on completing their bhajan (devotional life).

Akarma, or all knowledge of scriptures and devotion they acquired from previous births is carried forward, and at right time it takes shape in present lifetime without much endeavour or study!

Therefore it is seen that sometimes, all of sudden, without any devotional background, a devotee advances in spiritual life in no time owing to Guru Kripa from earlier births!

The very simple remedy, genuine and humble astrologers give is, to trust Krishna. Simply surrender unto Krishna and Guru Tattva, just be drista (observer) and not the karta (doer), chant Nama and see the magic unfold on own. What awaits the sincere seekers is beyond words! Srila Prabhupada says (paraphrasing it a bit here), "Simply by clapping in kirtan, our destiny lines are changed."

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