JOTISH

ਝੂਠੁ ਨ ਬੋਲਿ ਪਾਡੇ ਸਚੁ ਕਹੀਐ ॥ ਹਉਮੈ ਜਾਇ ਸਬਦਿ ਘਰੁ ਲਹੀਐ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
ਗਣਿ ਗਣਿ ਜੋਤਕੁ ਕਾਂਡੀ ਕੀਨੀ ॥ ਪੜੈ ਸੁਣਾਵੈ ਤਤੁ ਨ ਚੀਨੀ: O Pandit!

Do not tell lies, speak the Truth. When egotism is eradicated through
the Gur-Shabad, then one finds His Home (Mool within-ਆਤਮਕ ਆਨੰਦ ਦਾ ਟਿਕਾਣਾਂ). ||1||Pause||
Calculating and counting, the astrologer draws the hroscope.
He studies (reads) it and announces it (to his client), but he does not
Understand Reality (ਪਰ ਅਸਲੀਅਤ ਨੂੰ ਨਹੀਂ ਪਛਾਣਦਾ). (sggs 904).
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Non-apprehension of Reality creates in us misapprehension that we are miserable, limited, helpless, tearful, desperate, weak-minded, fearful and sorrowful individuals. Our non-apprehension of Reality and the consequent misapprehensions are together called Maya — illusion, ignorance, delusion, false ego, duality, conditioned consciousness, wrong identity, etc.).

The SGGS (Sri Guru Granth Sahib) indicates that, unless one is completely surrendered to his Mool within (ਮੂਲ, Origin, Source, Jot...), most of us (over 99.9 percent) deal throughout our life in this Maya only!

The SGGS further indicates that any belief in astrology or Jotish is dealing in Maya. Therefore, the SGGS does not support any belief in Jotish and future prediction by it. Yet, the practice is becoming pretty common than before among the Sikhs!

The Divine Law points out that we reap what we sow. The effects of Mayaic efforts brings one Dukha or Sukha. Accordingly, there are certain periods of one's life when one may have to suffer ( e.g., Dukha) relatively more. These are the opportunities given to us so that we can learn new lessons and move ever closer to God-Consciousness.

The Jotish (also spelt Jyotish ) holds that it can help alleviate the unfavorable results of past actions through special measures. However, the SGGS seems to be of the opinion that the permanent and foolproof solutions to our suffering is through Realizing our Mool within (ਮੂਲ, Origin, Source, Jot...) through the Shabad-Vichaar.

Thus, we are urged by the SGGS not to indulge in Mayaic efforts. Instead, we are urged to completely surrender to the Mool within (ਮੂਲ, Origin, Source, Jot...) through the Naam (Gurmat-Aatam Giaan) . Because, when one is completely so surrendered, one's mind becomes purified and harmonized by the spiritual living (a state beyond the influence of Maya or the planetary lines). This is the permanent solution to the life's problems.

Other worldly solutions can be temporary at best and will create a new chain of Mayaic efforts. Intuitively, substituting Jotish and propitiation of the planets using prescribed measures by it for a spiritual life cannot do the trick. If it did, then Bhagti, Shabad-Vichaar, Jap, etc. have no meaning.

There is no substitute for these. In other words, there is no easy way out. True spiritual quest goes beyond dogma, religion etc. Thus, counting is meaningless when it comes to matters related to the Lord and His Grace. Now perhaps one can appreciate where the SGGS is coming from in regard to the Jotish.

As indicated in the SGGS, when complete surrender takes place within, for that person there is no need for astrology and related rituals, because the Guru-God takes over one's affairs fully and cut asunder the chains of Maya. However, as indicated by the SGGS, those with that level of complete surrender are very rare in this world. Consequently, the rest of us seek the help astrology, numerology, tarot cards, horoscope, face reading, palmistry, palm-leaf manuscripts, and so on. These systems are practiced throughout the world.

Either we are surrendered to our Mool within (ਮੂਲ, Origin, Source, Jot...) or to the false ego-sense (Haume). The SGGS indicates that all calculations are in egotism (Mayaic mind). The SGGS also indicates the Lord to be incalculable, while the entire world is within the realm of calculations.

Jotish is a Sanskrit word, which literally means "science of light". As we know, the science is changeful - new discoveries are made, and the old one either modified (changed) or repudiated or invalidated.

But not the Truth. The Truth never gets old or invalid.

The science of Jotish relates to understanding the subtle influences that come to us from the universe. Jotish considers these influences a reflection of the past Karma. Jotish holds that the periods when the results of our past actions, favorable or unfavorable, come to fruition are indicated by planetary positions at the time of birth. Jotish also holds that it can help one to understand how to optimize his potential by giving one an idea of the trends and periods of life - when to act, how to act and when not to act. Thus, Jotish claims it can help one to understand his weaknesses, where one may need to put extra attention in order to attain fullness in his life. The Jotish further holds that Saadhanaa (spiritual practices) and propitiation of the planets through special Pooja (ritual worship) and other prescribed measures can neutralize the effects of Karma. The main Upayas (remedial measures) of Jotish consist of rituals, Mantras, etc.

Our Vaasnaas: psychological conditionings, latent memories, innate tendencies, inherent inclinations, self-limitations, dispositions, obstinate clinging to a fancy or deluded imagination, old memories or subtle impression, etc., produce thoughts and thoughts produce actions (Mayaic efforts). These Vaasnaas seek their exhaustion through further causative or fruitive actions. For which, in doubts (Bharam-ਭਰਮ), man moves from one field of activities to another within the span of his life; creating unending barrage of more Vaasnaas in the process. The system of Jotish is based on the premise that man's these tendencies are recorded under the astrological signs in which he is born. In other words, the man takes birth through an astrological conglomeration of signs. By preparing and interpreting one's birth chart, a Jotishee (astrologist) predicts the future events of one's present incarnation. Card readers, palm readers, face readers, etc., do essentially the same.

As indicated by the SGGS, we harvest exactly what we sow. If there is a cause, there is an effect. If there is Mayaic effort (cause), there is a reaction or result (effect). This is the Kaarmic principle that brings back the results of one's actions to him, to be worked out later. The Gurbani indicates there is no escape from this, and we cannot blame anybody else for it. However, those who are not completely surrendered to Guru-God within always think that they can circumvent the system! For example the Jotish considers that it cannot only predict the good and bad events in one's future, but, by maneuvering the planetary influence through some paid prescribed actions or rituals, it can also remedy the negative situations or their effects!

Before the final marriage vows are spoken, before taking a journey or before starting a new business, etc., many pay to Jotishees to judge astrological compatibility of their undertaking. This is one example of how an unsurrendered (a conditioned, doubt-ridden etc.) mind functions. Under the influence of body-bound inclinations arising from emotional attachment to vanishing worldly objects, one loses his reasoning and discriminating intellect (Viveka Budhi), and ends up not knowing Real from unreal. Who is likely to worry about good and bad omens? According to the SGGS, those who worry about Shubh or Ashubh (auspicious and inauspicious, Sagan and Apsagan) are devoid of the Divine Name (Naam: Gurmat, Aatam Giaan...) and complete surrender to his Mool within. Therefore, as indicated by the SGGS, they do not have the understanding of the sublime essence of the Gur-Shabad (Naam ). Only a fully surrendered being is above and beyond the influence of Shubh and Ashubh, thus immune from their results. By thinking and worrying about auspicious and inauspicious omens, one falls victim to fear and anxiety. The Jotish or Mayaic efforts cannot release man's personality from its misapprehensions. It's the unbroken Naam-Simran on the Divine Essence that can set one free from the dualistic principle of Maya such as Shubh and Ashubh. So long the ego-mind entertains its fancies, one subjects himself to be taken for ride by Jotishees, bogus Sants or Saadh, mentally blind religious scholars, deluded priests or Bhaais, and so on. Baabaa Nanak spent all his life trying to set us free from doubts (Bharam), Karamkaands (Mayaic or worldly entanglements), empty rituals and superstitions. He urged us to live by the Hukam (Divine Law, Will etc.), thereby, take the life as it presents itself to us. He urged us to live a surrendered or Divine Life as a Spiritual Being (the Gurmukh) — the state beyond the influence of the planetary lines, and fear. For our true Mool (Joti-Svaroopa) is not a bundle of fear and temptations. Instead, it's a Blissful-Conscious-Existance. As indicated by the SGGS, only upon Realizing this Truth the moss of doubt (Bharam) will leave us alone. Tthe human being has been endowed with the power to think (Budhi) before acting. However, in bondage, ignorance and greed we misuse or abuse this capacity and freedom and then blame some outside agency such as God, fate or destiny for Shubh and Ashubh omens. Thus, it's not the fault of the Gurbani if we keep falling back into doubts (Bharam), again and again.

Our ego-mind is the culprit. If we want to end our misapprehensions once and forever, then the Gurbani's advice is to continuously read the "horoscope" of the mind. This may lead us to a question: since mind is nothing but thoughts-stuff, how can one go about reading its horoscope? What is that tool which can help us read the mind's horoscope?

The SGGS has given us a very simple tool for this purpose! Every moment, there is a Spiritual and psychological battle going on between the Soul and the blind sense-infatuated mind under the delusive influence of the false ego. We can invoke this God given power of introspection to review the battle of the day in our mind in order to determine who won the battle - the good or the evil. "Good" being that which expresses Truth and Virtue and attracts the consciousness to God; and "evil" being ignorance and delusion, repels the consciousness from God. Thus, we, the material beings, can realize the All-auspicious within, here and now, only if we side with "goodness" and win the battle between the good and evil inclinations that guide our activities on the external bodily field of actions. Maintaining continuos contemplation and association of the Sat (Truth) within and without are sure aids to transcend the fancies of Shubh and Ashubh.

As indicated in the SGGS, only that time is Shubh which passes in remembrance of the Divine; only that place is Shubh where the Divine is remembered; and only that breadth is Shubh which is utilized to meditate on the Divine Essence. All else is just the working of one's false ego-sense.

If we want to release our personality from its misapprehensions, the SGGS urges us to become the Gurmukhs (Spiritual Beings who are completely surrendered to his Original Source or Mool within).

All calculations are for the Manmukhs (material beings who are not surrendered to his Original Source or Mool within) for his world is in the realm of calculations (egoism or Maya). There is no accounting or calculations for the Gurmukh; because he is relieved of all egoistic mental calculations through the Shabad-Surti, or Naam-consciousness. Instead of reading the horoscopes of others, the Gurmukh reads the horoscope of his own mind to find the Highest Joy, here and now.

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org


Updated on Thursday, March 1, 2012 4:08 PM (PST)

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