To step into the world of Vedic Astrology there is a need to have some understanding of Indian philosophy. Its stories, rituals, values and attitudes have been a source of fascination to all who are touched by them. While it may be arrogant of me to presume I know something of this extraordinary culture I feel what I do know is worth sharing and those with more knowledge can forgive my irreverence and correct my mistakes.
W.B. Yeats tells us that A.E. was 40 years quoting the Upanishads to him saying “he expressed in his ceaseless vague preoccupation with the East a need and curiosity of our times”
Yeats with Shree Purohit Swami translated the Ten Principle Upanishads and gave the reason for doing it was due to the lack of an understandable text in English. He describes them as the “the oldest philosophical compositions of the world, compositions, not writings, for they were sung long before they were written down.”
The Upanishad (literally means ‘at the feet of’)are the wisdom or doctrine attached to the VEDAS . The following prayer is taken from the first chapter:
“That is perfect.
This is perfect.
Perfect comes from perfect.
Take perfect from perfect, the remainder is perfect.
May peace and peace and peace be everywhere.”
‘tell the mind that there is but ONE;
they who divide the ONE,
wanders from death to death’
katha - Upanishad
‘that boundless Power,
source of every power,
manifests itself as life,
entering every heart,
living there among the elements,
that is Self.
The triple fire: knowledge, meditation, practice;
The triple process: evidence, inference, experience;
The triple duty: study, concentration, renunciation;
Understand that everything comes from spirit,
that Spirit alone is sought and found;
attain everlasting peace;
mount beyond birth and death.
When humans understand themselves,
understands universal Self,
the union of the two, kindles the triple fire,
offers the sacrifice;
then shall be, though still on earth,
break the bonds of death,
mount into heaven.
‘some call the sun our protector,
with five seasons or feet,
twelve moons or bodies,
who lives beyond the sky and sends the rain.
Others call Him the year,
reckoner of time,
who rides in the chariot of seven colours or seven horses,
and of 6 wheels considering that the number of seasons.’
The month too is the Creator,
its bright half is life,
its dark half matter.
Wise people perform their rituals in the bright half;
fools in the dark.
The round of day and night is the Creator;
Those that couple by day, waste life;
those that couple by night, preserve it.’
‘God made sense turn outward,
people therefore looks outward,
not into oneself.
Now and again a daring soul,
has looked back and found herself.’
with minds eye on the world made a couple in meditation,
life and matter,
thinking they would do the rest.
Sun is life, Moon matter;
World moveable and immoveable is matter,
all shape matter
Life burns in the fire, shines in the sun.
Rain, cloud, air, earth, are life.
Matter is life.
All that has shape or no shape is life.
Life is immortality.
Everything is fixed in life,
As are spokes in the hub of a wheel –
the Vedas, all sacrifices, all soldiers, all priests.
God created life
From Life knowledge
From Knowledge Air
from air Wind
from wind Light then
From Water then
From Earth then
From Sense then
From Mind then
From Food then
From Vigour then
When rivers mingle with the sea they lose their names and shapes
and people speak of the sea only,
so these sixteen phases, when they mingle with god,
lose their names and shapes and people speak of god only;
man becomes the phaseless, the timeless. Here is my authority:
God is the hub of the wheel where the sixteen phases are the spokes,
know Him and die no more.
as interpreted by Shree Purohit Swami and W.B.Yeats in
The Ten Principle Upanishads
OM! Essence of the Veda, revealed in the Wedas, revealed in the world, sprung from immortality!
Lord, fill me with intelligence, that I may grasp immortality!
Make my body strong, my tongue sweet, my ears keen .
You are the Spirit’s armour, hidden by sensuality. Keep me from forgetting.
May spiritual riches come of their own will. May they increase, then send me Spirit itself.
May I never lack clothes, cows, food, drink, that I serve you the better.
May pupils come, may people gather round, may pupils listen, that I may serve better.
May they in peace, control mind and sense, that they may serve you better.
May I become famous, may I become richer than the richest, that I may serve you better.
Lord! May I enter into you, may you enter into me!
May I merge into your thousands of shapes, for my purification.
As water flows downwards, As months mingle with the year, Guardian!
May pupils come from everywhere, that I may serve you better.
OM is the fold. Take me. Enlighten me
This chapter deals with the world, heavenly bodies, education, generation, language.
What is this world?
Earth below, heaven above, air between,
wind joining them.
What are the heavenly bodies?
Fire on one side, sun on the other side, water between,
lightning joining them.
What is education?
The teacher on one side, pupil on the other side, knowledge between,
discourse joining them.
What is generation?
Mother on one side, father on the other side, child between,
procreation joining them.
What is language?
The lower jaw on one side, the upper jaw on the other side, words between,
tongue joining them.
This is the summary.
He who knows them all,
shall have children, cattle, food, knowledge, heaven,.
is the bow
– Self is the arrow
– Spirit is the target
– Aim accurately
The following are some other powerful recommendations from the Vedas:
- Speak sparingly and be selective about who and what you listen to.
- Singing sacred songs aloud helps overcome distractions, clears our mind, purifies the atmosphere around us and helps to awaken awareness in the mind of the listener.
- Let your mantra become your background music and it will bless all of your activities as well as the food you serve and eat.
- Practise silence and fasting with fruit one day a week to cleanse and rejuvenate the mind and body. It is especially powerful during eclipses and new or full moon days.
- Meditation on a holy image or someone you admire will help you to acquire those qualities. Best time is dawn or dusk and during the night when there is less noise in the atmosphere making it easier to concentrate. Maintain silence for 15 minutes after meditation to enrich the experience.
- Writing a journal or spiritual diary gives a place for the expression of your inner life and helps to reassure the mind that it is being heard.
“How to get rid of the lower self:
The blossom vanishes of itself as the fruit grows,
so will your lower self vanish as the divine grows in you.”
The whole Universe is sustained by the Divine syllable AUM.
If you have ears to hear beneath the surface of things,
you can listen to this syllable everywhere
God gives strength to the weary, comfort to the sick and food to the hungry
Every horse and every cow is under his command.
He made the villages in which people live,
and the chariots on which warriors ride.
At dawn each morning he gives birth to the sun.
Each day he causes the sea to rise and fall.
Some Gurus are like shallow ponds, while others are deep lakes.
Find a deep lake in which to swim.
If your friends refuse to share their food with you,
they are not genuine friends.
If your companions refuse to share their knowledge with you,
they are not true companions.
Drive away mean friends, and rid yourself of false companions;
seek new friends and companionship whose generosity and honesty
you can trust.
The Sun, which moves without feet,
is greater than any man or woman, who moves on two feet.
The young person on two feet walks faster than an old person on three feet.
Babies on four feet depend on their mothers on two feet
should protect and care for those with more.
It follows that human beings should protect and care for animals and
Our different abilities suit us for different occupations and cause us to seek different opportunities.
Those with ability in carpentry seek furniture that is broken
so they can mend it.
Those with ability in healing seek bones that are fractured,
so they join them together.
Those with ability in spiritual matters seek places of solitude,
so they can pursue wisdom without distraction.
They all serve God in different ways.
There are many ways of sharing knowledge.
Some can compose poems;
a good poem is like a tree,
in which each line is a branch bearing a blossom of divine truth.
Some sing songs,
whose melody and rhythm form the music of divine love.
Some can remember
and repeat the words of ancient gurus.
The Universe is a trinity: name, form and action.
Names are given through speech; and
all speech is an echo of the soul’s speech.
Forms are discerned by means of sight; and all
sight comes from the light of the soul.
Actions are performed by bodies, and all bodies
are moved by the soul’s power.
Thus, since there is a single soul,
the universe is also a
The syllable AUM expresses the desire for enlightenment,
and is the means of becoming enlightened.
When you pronounce this syllable,
you say that you want to know God and the soul,
and you come to know God and the soul.
There are five ways in which you may perceive the truth:
– if you train the faculty of sight through meditation,
you see the spiritual unity amidst diversity.
– if you train the faculty of hearing through meditation,
you can hear the spiritual harmony amidst material cacophony.
– if you meditate on words,
you can hear and understand the word that embraces all words.
– if you think only about thought itself,
subject and object merge.
– if your breath is slow and calm,
you can enter the presence of the soul.
In the heart there is a tiny lotus;
in this lotus there is a tiny dwelling;
and in this dwelling is the soul.
Yet that lotus,
and that dwelling,
and the soul itself
are as vast as the space that contains the earth and the sky,
the sun and the moon.
The soul only desires what is real.
And it only thinks what is true.