As we think, so we become. ~Buddha
Several years ago, when I started my Saturn Dasha , I was facing many challenges and a mountain of responsibility and work. My life was changing pretty dramatically and I was resisting the changes.
At a spiritual retreat with my guru, Amma, I got the opportunity to ask her about Saturn. Usually, I am very careful to use this time to ask deep spiritual questions that only an enlightened master can answer. However, this time I simply told her that my Saturn dasha had started.
She first told me that she was also in Saturn Dasha. This was not very helpful to me. If you have seen Amma in action, she is literally the incarnation of Saturn – in the last 30 years she has embraced over 25 million people, 20 plus hours a day without rest, food or, breaks and simultaneously run one of the largest charities in the world. Like, Saturn she carries the burdens of millions of people on her shoulders, without any respite.
Then she laughed and made a joke “Saturn is also transiting my fifth house, I think I am going to have a lot of trouble on account of my children”. Amma of course has no biological children but she considers all the millions of people around the world who come to receive her hugs daily as her children, so I knew this was Amma’s way of telling me to lighten up.
I continued to sit patiently by her watching her embrace people - A few hugs later she turned to me and added, “don’t worry daughter the burdens and obstacles Saturn will bring will make your spiritual practice stronger”. I was a little alarmed because in the past when I had approached her with a problem she always showed concern. I conceded that my seventeen year Jupiter dasha (also known as Guru Dasha) had clearly come to an end and Amma was throwing me at the mercy of Saturn.
I sat silently meditating by Her for some time, when I opened my eyes I caught her eye. She smiled and said, “Why do you worry so much about the planets?”… Huh, Amma you asked me to study astrology?
Then she added.. “Why do you worry about Saturn… When you have the Sun?”
That was the end of our conversation.
Amma, like most spiritual masters often speaks in enigmas, because there are no simple answers to our complex cosmic situations. You have to do much study and internal work to decipher her words and allow the wisdom to seep deep into your subconscious, where the planets operate.
There are many levels at which Amma’s question can be understood. This is one.
The Yogic view of our psycho-spiritual place in the greater universe of consciousness starts with Our True Self, represented by the SUN in the Vedic horoscope, whose nature is Pure Consciousness. This higher Self is unfortunately hidden from us and encased in three layers – Physical, Astral and Causal, or what we refer to today as conscious, unconscious and sub-conscious.
The Physical layer is the body and is built by the food we eat, air we breathe and water we drink and sustained by the senses.
The Astral layer is the mind and is built by the impressions, sights, sounds and the ideas we ingest. It is sustained by emotions.
The Causal layer is the accumulated karmas over lifetimes which are reflected in our horoscope, as deep seated ingrained patters of behavior called Samaskara. They are the automatic, mechanical, or habitual ways we respond to situations. They are our karmic residue, old unfinished business from past lives and the excess baggage we carry in this life. They skew our behavior and we are seldom aware they are operating. This is because the Causal layer is sustained by thought, and our thoughts are not separate from us.
The fourth layer is the True Self – it transcends the three layers and is untouched and Pure. This is the Sun Amma was referring to – the thinker behind the thoughts.
Each layer interacts with the other but the deeper we go the harder we have to work to access it or alter it. Relative to healing, our physical layer can be altered by what we eat drink and breathe. The mental by altering the impressions and ideas we ingest.
The Causal layer is the deep subconscious part of us, which is mapped in the horoscope. It can only be accessed or altered by recognizing our Samskaras and dropping our deepest held beliefs and desires. The more you are attached to your thoughts, likes and dislikes, the stronger your Samskara and the more Saturn periods will push your buttons.
Evolution from the physical to spiritual is a slow process. It requires a lot of cutting, polishing and remolding. It requires immense patience, discipline, self-sacrifice, humility, solitude and hard work, which are all the qualities of a healthy Saturn in the horoscope. If you want to acquire these traits, there is no better teacher.
May we all someday master our Saturn and live through our Sun, as Amma does.
The thought manifests as the word;
The word manifests as the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
And habit hardens into character.
So watch the thought and its ways with care,
And let it spring from love
Born out of concern for all beings.
As the shadow follows the body,
As we think, so we become.