ave you ever asked yourself if you were on the right path? Most people question their life direction and personal actions at some point in their lives and are left wondering, what is my purpose? Am I doing what I am meant to do and how are my actions affecting myself and others?
Karma is a Sanskrit term which means “action”. In fully understanding action one is able to ultimately understand the Self. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna explains to Arjuna that we must act in this world in every single moment; we have no choice but to act; we cannot stop action as long as we are alive.
Karma is a Sanskrit term which means “action”.
However, with every action there is an effect, a result or a fruit of that action. Some of the effects of our actions are obvious, but other effects may be adrishta, or invisible, to us and outside of our awareness. The accumulation of both positive and negative results through our actions becomes the momentum of our lives. Because it is impossible to know all the results of our actions, we lose sight of this momentum and we call this fate. The concept of karma moves beyond the mere notion of fate as it implies the ability to act in every moment while still experiencing the accumulation of our personal and cultural momentum. The question is whether or not our actions are ones that leave subtle traces which accumulate into a desirable or undesirable momentum in our life, called punya and papa respectively.
Dharma is the mechanism that determines whether we will experience our momentum as desirable or not. Dharma means universal law or ethic. Essentially we can think of this as the greater good, that which serves the whole rather than just the individual. Alignment with this principle in action will result in an accumulation of the desirable punya and misalignment will result in the undesirable papa. Agama, or the principles of Vedic Tradition, hold us on course, like the north star guiding and directing us onward towards greater alignment.
Dharma determines whether we will experience our momentum as desirable or not.
Alignment has become a key term in the popular world of yoga in reference to the body and is a gross representation of the more subtle, yet all important, theme of being in tune with, and in balance with, the whole world around us. Everyone is unique, and balance for one is not necessarily balance for another. Therefore one’s own dharma is an individual practice and yet must be understood and aligned with the greater good. This is the ultimate guideline for determining if one is on the right path or not.
However, the path can be long and at times it can difficult to navigate through the inevitable twists and turns of our own personal momentum and that of others and the natural world we live in. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a means for plotting our course, for knowing our purpose and for making visible that which has remained adrishta, invisible, to us thus far?
Jyotisha, or Vedic astrology, is such a road map for our journey. The astrology and astronomy of India, Jyotisha through its many branches is an invaluable tool for being able to both identify and project the effects of our actions, both past and present.
Vedic Astrology is like a Karmic blueprint of our Punya and Papa…
Jyotisha is like a karmic blueprint from which we can map the underlying desirable trends of an individual’s punya and the undesirable trends of one’s papa and through identifying these areas understand an individual’s path and thus give direction and greater meaning to one’s life and relationships.
Jyotisha is the open secret in the East for understanding karma and sacred India. Every yogi, priest and saint in India has a working knowledge of Jyotisha as it is the definitive means for accessing the various cycles of life, both mundane and spiritual. If on your path you are interested in the mysteries of karma and India then Jyotisha should be your first stop—after all, why leave home without a road map?