Author: Gopal Singh (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
In most cases planets are those heavenly bodies that revolve around stars, such as the earth, Mars, Mercury, Saturn and so on. When several or more stars collectively resemble a certain animal or some other figure, and if they rest within the orbit of the sun and moon or other planets of this solar system then they are often called “Constellation”(ráshi). A star or group of stars located in any of the portions of a constellation is referred to as “Nakshatra”. The smaller heavenly bodies that revolve around planets are called “Satellites”. Usually heavenly bodies that revolve around stars are called planets (graha) and the heavenly bodies that revolve around planets are called satellites (upagraha). For example, the earth’s satellite is the Moon; Mars’s satellites are Deimos (daetya) and Phobos (bhaya). Because of the proximity of Saturn’s satellites from one another they appear to form a ring. Thus Saturn has a ring of satellites revolving around it. In ancient times astrologers were unable to find any satellite of Mercury so they gave it the name ekáuṋga.
In this mundane structure, this ethereal structure, the “Para” portion, the controlling portion, is the Earth, and the controlled portion, the “Apara” portion, is the Moon moving around the earth. The Apara is dependent on the Para. Again, in our solar system, the Para portion is the sun, and so many planets with their respective satellites are moving around the sun – they are the Apara. Here also the vital stage lies with the sun. The heat, the warmth, the vitality, everything, these planets acquired from the Para, from the sun. In the case of this solar system, death of the sun would mean death of the planets, the thermal death of this solar system. And similarly, for the entire universe, for this entire Cosmic world, the Para portion is Parama Puruśa, is Puruśottama, and all the “planetary systems”, all the Jiivas, are moving around that Para as satellites, getting the vitality, getting everything of the earth, from that supreme Para, from that nucleus. He is the Hub. He is the Nave of this Cosmological order. This Cosmological order is known as Brahma Chakra in Sanskrit.
It is important to know that the function and the existence of each and every entity in this universe has a certain influence on all other entities. The life, the movement, the thought-waves, of an ordinary ant affect you. Even the thought-waves of an ordinary ant affect your destiny. Nobody is alone in this universe. And this mutual attraction amongst all the entities of the world maintains the balance of the universe. If even an ordinary ant dies a premature death, the balance of the universe will be disturbed. So nobody, no entity, no human being, nothing in this universe, is meaningless. Each and every entity in this universe is valuable because it helps in maintaining the balance of the universe.
So what are these entities moving around the nucleus? Actually, as planets are mostly creations of the controlling stars – in our solar system the sun is the controlling star – similarly those animate and inanimate objects moving around the “sun” of this Cosmological order, moving around Puruśottama, are just like planets of Puruśottama. They are the Jiivas. Now in this order, just as in the solar system we see satellites moving around the planets, and planets moving around the sun, there are entities that move around Puruśottama, while the Jiivas are controlled by those entities. In the case of this Cosmological order, there are several guiding faculties. Actually they are working like planets, and Jiivas are working like satellites. So these “planets”, rather these controlling faculties, moving around Puruśottama, are called Devas. Devas are moving around Puruśottama – and that is why Puruśottama is called Mahádeva. And Jiivas are being directly controlled by the Devas, and finally by Puruśottama, Mahádeva.
So what are these Devas? Devas are emanated waves, emanated waves of the Supreme Hub. So many waves, carrying so many ideas, are emanated from the controlling hub. And these faculties are called Devas, and these Devas control the actional side of all living beings.
Dyotate kriid́ate yasmádudyate dyotate divi;
Tasmát deva iti proktah stúyate sarvadevataeh.
“The vibrational manifestations emanating from the Supreme Nucleus are known as Devatás, and these Devatás address that Supreme Nucleus as “Deva”. He with His powers vibrates the entire universe, makes the entire universe dance; and He by dint of His occult and supra-occult powers brings everything back onto His lap.”
These Devas, these waves, these vibrational expressions, actually control all the universal phenomena.. Now, so far as human psychic structure is concerned, the psychic structure is a collective expression of a certain number of Devas. In the human body there are several glands and sub-glands, and the hormones secreted from different glands and sub-glands create waves, different types of waves, in the human body; and these waves are carried by, are re-vibrated by, so many nerves, nerve fibres, nerve cells. So in the human body the number of Devas is more than the total number of nerve fibres and nerve cells. They are so many in number within a small human body – because the human body is controlled, is vibrated, by so many propensities, so many faculties, so many qualifications, so many attributions. So the entire Cosmological order is being vibrated by so many Devas. And that is why regarding the Controlling Faculty, Mahádeva, it has been said,
Sarvadyotanátmaka akhańd́a cidaekarasah
“Supreme Consciousness exists in the form of an unbroken flow of cognition, the supreme source of all kinds of emanative vibrations”.
Now, this entire Cosmological order is an ocean, an infinite ocean, of divine nectar. And the many vibrations created in this universe, so many waves, are different devas. And the life of an individual moves – goes up and down – just like a boat in the sea, according to the length of the wave.
This rhythmic expression of the divine nectar, of the divine wave, has an acoustic counterpart also. It is not only moving, it is not only dancing, it is singing also. And these movements, these vibrations, these waves, are being controlled by the divine flute of the controlling entity, Krśńa. This movement, these dances, are a creation of that supreme controller, Krśńa, according to the rhythm created, according to the rhythm emanated, from His divine flute. And He is in the centre of this ocean of divine nectar. And the ocean, this keerasamudra (ocean of keer), a sweet milk preparation, is the sudhárasam (flow of divine nectar). So He is dancing in the centre playing on this divine flute, and all the Jiivas are dancing according to His desire. One will have to dance according to that Cosmic rhythm. One may or may not like it, but one will have to dance. This liilá of Parama Puruśa, who is the controlling entity standing in the middle of this divine ocean, is known as His Rásaliilá. Liilá means Rásasamudra (ocean of bliss). Each and every living entity will have to take active part in this Rásaliilá.
Celestial bodies are glittering objects in the sky. Stars, Nakshattras, planets, satellites, meteors, comets, nebulae and galaxies are all celestial bodies. Nakshattras are also stars, with distances of many light years from our solar system. Naksha means “to twinkle”; that which helps us with its twinkling potentiality is called Nakshattra. Nakshattras influence the sidereal plexus of the human body, rather of all bodies.
The original light from stars, the reflected and refracted light from planets, satellites and meteors, and the light from galaxies and nebulae reflect on all the glands and sub-glands of the body, and especially on the Anáhata chakra. The reflecting plate of the Anáhata chakra is a bit bigger than the Anáhata chakra itself. That bigger area containing the Anáhata chakra is called the Sidereal plexus, the Nakshattra mańd́ala.
Not only is the light reflected or refracted here, but also Celestial Entities, moving along the light rays, affect the body and the twelve sub-glands of this Chakra. Positive and negative Celestial Entities move along these media. The sidereal plexus is a bit above the igneous plexus, so positive Celestial Entities are more dominant here than negative Celestial Entities. Good people, spiritual aspirants (sádhakas), absorb more positive Celestial Entities than non-spiritual people, so all their propensities move with positive vitality. In a spiritual sádhaka, all the positive propensities of the Anáhata cakra are positively strengthened as a result. Many highly evolved Yogis/Saints will occasionally apply some of the Celestial Entities on the forehead or on the Chakras. This magnificent gift is often called śaktipāt. They will by the will of the Divine, then migrate to Anahata Chara and the other Chakras in the body and start to proliferate there. Sadhaka then feels like a current has been introduced into His/Her body, and a person may go into Savikalpa-Samaadhi.
So many stars, planets and celestial bodies are influencing your sidereal plexus. You cannot remain aloof from such an influence on your sidereal plexus. Nobody can live in seclusion.
Niyati means “fate”. Is fate a guiding factor? No, it is not at all a guiding factor. Fate does not control human movement. What is fate? It is the unexpressed resultant momenta of your past actions. You have done something good or bad, so you will have to bear the consequence, you will have to face the result. And unless and until the reaction in seed form is properly satisfied, you cannot get salvation, you cannot get emancipation. Now, these reactive momenta, these unquenched reactive momenta, come before you in the form of fate. You committed some bad thing, now you will have to undergo punishment. The reactive momenta take the form of some punishment.
So-called astrologers say that because you were born when the moon and such-and-such star or planet were within the jurisdiction of such-and-such zodiac sign, you took birth in this way. No, that is not the case. Because you committed some type of action, you were born within such-and-such structure or such-and-such zodiac sign. It is because of your actions that you were born on the earth and should suffer like this or enjoy some bliss of sort; not because of the influences of the stars. These actions brought you within the structural limits of such-and-such zodiac sign and such-and-such planets. So the stars do not control you; your original actions control you. And where the original action is not known to you, but the result is known to you, the result is experienced by you, you say it is Niyati. It is also called Adrśt́a in Sanskrit. Adrśt́a means “not-drśt́a, not seen”. Where you feel the reaction, where you witness the reaction, but you cannot see the original action, it is called Adrśt́a, that is, unseen. You do not know what the original crime was that you committed, but you are driven by the reaction. So you say, “It is my Adrśt́a.”
So fate cannot be the controlling factor, cannot be the creative factor, and so fate must not be your object of meditation, your object of adoration, or your object of worship. Human destiny is not controlled by fate. A human’s destiny is his or her own creation. You have to fight against bondage; you have to fight against fate and do something original by your personal effort.
After kála, svabháva, niyati: yadrcchá (accident). Some people of misguided intellectual outlook say, “It is something accidental.” Just to conceal their ignorance, they say it is accidental. There is nothing accidental in this universe. For each and every incident there is some cause. We may or may not know the cause, but we must not say it is accidental just in order to conceal our ignorance. Everything is causal. Nothing is non-causal in this universe of causality.
Sometimes it so happens that the cause is translated into effect in a very short span of time; the translation period is very short. In that case, the effect is called “accidental”. But is it really accidental? And sometimes you see the result but you do not know the cause; in that case also you say it is an accident. You do not know the cause, so you say, “It is an accident, it is an accident.” In reality, there is no accident; everything is Incident.
Is Fate (Niyati) the primordial cause of creation? The word Niyati means “fate” or “providence.” The accumulated reaction of the action you once did will definitely be expressed one day. This reaction is called Niyati. It is true that human beings are controlled by Niyati or fate. The environment into which one is born is the most congenial for the expression of the unexpressed reactive momenta, and the circumstances in which one exists must be accepted as the result of one’s actions – this constitutes one’s fate or Niyati. According to their fate, people are born under particular planetary positions, but they are not guided by those planets: they are guided by their own fate which they themselves have created. Hence Niyati or fate also cannot be the Supreme Reflecting One (carama pratisaḿvedii). I would like to add further that those who are fatalists are also misguided. It is wrong to leave everything to fate without taking any initiative at the time of grave danger. Once a person has created his or her fate through his or her own actions, it is certainly not proper to completely surrender to that self-created fate.
If time (kála), nature (svabháva) and fate (niyati) are not the Supreme Factor, then is action (yadrcchá) the primordial cause? In fact in the world there is no accident – everything is an incident. The seed of a mango becomes a tree in due course, but when the cause is quickly transformed into effect, we call it an “accident” because we can see the effect but not its cause. In fact, the concept of accident is a defective notion created by our ignorance. Many people consider an earthquake to be an accident, but this is incorrect. Perhaps a huge stone took ten million years to move from one place to another, but when it really did fall then the action of falling took place in only a few seconds; whereas the cause of the action was preparing to reach this consummate state for many years. Hence you should bear in mind that this vast and varied universe was not created accidentally, otherwise in the process of analysis we could have attributed it to accident.
Many of our priests /astrologers would normally recommend a kavacha or tabeeg to ward off some negative effects. A mystic amulet or ornament is called kavaca – for example, Sarasvatii kavaca, Mahákálii kavaca, Shani kavaca, etc. The earring of Karńa as mentioned in the Mahabharata was a kavaca. According to the story, Krśńa approached Karńa’s wife, Padmávatii, in the guise of a Brahman and got Karńa’s kavaca by begging. Thereafter Karńa was slain by Arjuna and as a result one of Arjuna’s attributes is karńári or karńaráti. Ári and aráti both mean “enemy”.
The religious ceremony that is performed to ward off the effect of malefic planets is also called kavaca.
The recitation of mantras which is done for rescuing from danger or for survival is also called kavaca.
Kavaca means rakśákavaca (safeguard, or an amulet used as a safeguard).
Those who predict the future by scrutinizing a particular individual’s mode of living, conversation, the letters of their name, certain solar or lunar dates, traditional ideas, etc. based on certain processes, or else those who are able to give some hint of the future after having visualized it by dint of a little concentration of mind, are called iikśańaka or iikśańika or Astrologer or in typical West Indian lingo, “Pandit who opens book” . This science of iikśańa has yet to become a fully developed science, even today. It is still in the research stage. In other words, it sometimes gives results and sometimes does not. Really speaking, the science of iikśańa is still like a child tentatively taking their first steps. Fingernail gazing, crystal gazing, numerology, science of breathing, black-magic killing, enchantments, magic incantations, stupefying, hypnosis, wards – directly or indirectly all of these come within the scope of iikśańa-vidyá. At one time people used to think of the so-called Dákini Tantra (witchcraft) as a part of iikśańa-vidyá. That misuse of Avidyá Tantra that comes within the scope of iikśańa-vidyá cannot be used on those who are firm believers in Vidyá Tantra, or if used will prove fruitless – this the sages and knowers of the truth have said since ancient times.