How Does Vedic Astrology Work?
To understand Vedic Astrology we must understand the Vedic concept of Time and Karma. In the Vedic tradition, Time itself is God. Time (Kala/Kali) is the divine breath that creates, sustains, and destroys the cosmic life.
Each moment of Time contains within it a specific karma, a unique destiny or synchronicity and everything that happens at that precise moment shares the nature of that moment. Vedic Astrology aims to interpret the possibilities contained within any moment of time.
The purpose of Vedic Astrology is not to emphasize fate, but to arouse the free will to escape fate. In the yogic tradition, fate and free will are two sides the same coin. The destiny which controls our lives is one we created ourselves; therefore, we have the power to change the actions of the past with equivalent and appropriate right action in the present.
While Vedic Astrology is a formidable tool for prediction it is not designed to be used as a fortune telling. It is not the best divination path for the those who have a tremendous amount of fear and dread about what the future holds, or for those looking only for “yes” and “no” answers.
What is Karma?
Every birth is sacred and brings with it both favorable and adverse karmas, which influence different aspects of our life. The soul can be defined as our 'karmic being,' as opposed to merely a human personality, which is its mask. When our soul passes from the womb into a new life, the mind wipes clean of all memories of our past life. However, the soul continues to carry all its karmas from one body to another. The soul's karmic code is based upon the life patterns it has created: habits, tendencies, influences, and desires it has set in motion over its many births, which influence our present life. This cycle of reincarnation can only be stopped with the final liberation or enlightenment of the soul, when all karma is dissolved. This is the final goal of Yoga.
There are several different types of karmas; some are more fixed than others. If many astrological factors point to the same thing in the birth chart, then that karma is more fixed. If there are only one or two indications, that karma may be more flexible and easier to overcome. Fixed karma usually indicates the events that the soul has chosen to undergo in this incarnation.
What is an Upaya (remedies)?
The purpose of Vedic Astrology is not just to point out the difficulties in our chart, but to also provide us with the tools to improve the quality of our lives. Upaya is a Sanskrit word for remedies that the astrologer gives to help balance the planetary energies in our chart that are causing disharmony.
Yogic practices, such as pranayama (breath control), Asana and meditation are a type of upayas. Other forms of upaya are the wearing of certain gems, repeating specific mantras, sacred vows, scriptural studies, visualizing the energies of the planets, forgiveness, discipline, self-sacrifice, selfless service, pilgrimages and yagyas (special Vedic rituals).
I prefer to avoid "quick fix remedies". Changing our karmic blueprint is possible but requires much effort, commitment and willingness to let go and surrender. In my experience, becoming a witness to your karma by understanding your Vedic Horoscope and acquiring knowledge of your pre-programmed expectations from life, is perhaps the strongest remedy.