Part I: Astrology and prophecy
Question: What do you think of astrology? Is there any truth to astrological predictions?Sri Chinmoy: Astrology is a science. Even spiritual seekers call it an inner science, a spiritual science. Astrology is the song of the stars. That which has been decreed and that which has already entered into the world of manifestation is recorded in the stars. When astrology deals with the past, with what has already been recorded, it is nearly always correct. But astrology also lets us see potentiality, and it seeks to tell the future on the strength of the past. Expert astrologers are adept at entering into the truth of this realm. In most cases, when it is carefully and scientifically done, astrology is absolutely correct for ordinary people who have no faith in God or in themselves.
But if people have faith in themselves, with this faith they can transcend astrology. That is why we say that faith changes things by an unchanging will. If we have an unchanging will, fate can be changed. True, all our past deeds are recorded in the stars. But if we want to obliterate fate, it is like obliterating something on a tape recorder. I say something and it is recorded, but if I want to erase it, I can.
Astrology is one hundred per cent correct when one is totally in the physical world and is living an ordinary human life. When one enters into the inner life, the spiritual life, it is sixty or seventy per cent correct. If the aspirant is in touch consciously or unconsciously with his inner being, and if his inner being is constantly in touch with the Source, there will be many, many bad things that he can avoid. Finally, when one is consciously in communion with God, astrology does not function at all for that person, because everything in his life comes directly from God. True oneness with God is far beyond astrology. With our intense aspiration if we say, “God, I don’t want this,” and if we are one with God, then God will say, “All right, then don’t take it.” Of course this does not apply to beginners in the spiritual life. Only those who have an immediate inner communication with the Highest Being can go completely beyond the influence of the stars. But one does not remain a beginner always. In the course of time one becomes more and more advanced in the spiritual life, and more and more immune to the forces of one’s past.
Now even if one is not a seeker, an astrological prediction may still be transcended. On a deeper level there is always a higher force called God’s Grace. God’s Grace can change anybody’s fate. This Grace is almighty; it changes the occult possibilities and transcends the laws of astrology, which are God’s cosmic Laws. Sometimes an astrologer’s prediction is actually true, but it does not happen because of the divine Grace. That is why astrology is only thirty-five or forty per cent correct when it deals with the future. When we know that there is something infinitely superior to astrological law, we should have faith in this. So my request to my disciples is not to have faith in horoscopes and palmistry. Have all faith in your aspiration. If you have total faith in your aspiration and in God’s Grace, then your salvation will come. You need not worry about your future.
In India there are quite a few systems of casting horoscopes. The Bhrigu system is most significant. It was introduced thousands of years ago and now there are volumes upon volumes written about it, with everything recorded. You just give your chart to the brahmin, the astrologer who is dealing with this system, and he will turn the pages in front of you and tell you everything about your life. Very often it is true. Your life history has been written there. If the proper chart has been drawn, then he does not even have to cast a horoscope. It is already written there.
My eldest brother, who is an astrologer, went to an astrologer who was conversant with this system and who had all the old, sacred books where everything is written. When he showed my chart to this astrologer, the astrologer said that after the age of twelve, my horoscope would not function anymore. He was absolutely correct, because at the age of thirteen I realised God and became immune to all the astrological laws.
One more incident I wish to tell you about the Bhrigu system. My maternal uncle went to an astrologer to have his horoscope cast according to this system. He and his wife did not have any children. In the horoscope it was mentioned that this couple would never have children because my uncle, who had been a hunter in his previous incarnation, had killed a deer which was pregnant. While the deer was breathing her last, her soul prayed to God, “O God, he has killed my baby inside me. Please do not give him any child in his next incarnation.” God listened to the deer’s prayer and in this incarnation my maternal uncle had no children. After my realisation I concentrated to see whether or not this story about my maternal uncle in his past incarnation was true, and I found that it was absolutely true.
Now this does not mean that everything astrologers say is true. Far from it. Last March a disciple of mine came to me crying that somebody had predicted her father would die that month. I said, “Well, if your father is meant to die, he will die according to the astrologer’s prophecy.” Then I concentrated and told her, “Don’t worry. I am doing nothing. I am not bringing down God’s Grace. I am not even praying to God for your father, but the prediction is wrong.” Believe me, I did not pray to the Supreme in order to nullify the astrologer’s prophecy, but her father is still sound and healthy. Another disciple’s mother was supposed to die, according to astrologers, on the seventeenth or eighteenth of December. That disciple of mine cried bitterly. But I told him that this prediction was also wrong. His mother is still alive.
In India we know of many cases where astrology has failed, especially in situations involving a spiritual ashram. The astrologers may say that when a child is fourteen or fifteen his parents will die. But if, before the child reaches that age, his parents accept the spiritual life, they may live many years longer. Many Gurus have changed their disciples’ fate. There are many stories about this in India. For example, an astrologer once said that someone was going to die on a certain day and at a particular time. But a spiritual figure told the man to come to him. The person came and the teacher placed him on the ground and covered him with mud, then sat there meditating. When the designated hour had passed, the Guru removed the mud covering his new disciple and said, “Now go to the astrologer and show him that you still exist on earth.” There are many, many authentic cases like this one.
There are crises in our lives. Sometimes when we are young our lives are in danger. But if there is God’s Grace or if somebody such as our parents or relatives is consciously or unconsciously praying for us, then we can avoid the danger.
In horoscopes we see that many times death is written for a person. Astrologers mention that there will be danger and the person will die. But many of these people are still alive. Furthermore, we have lines in our palms that show how many years we shall live on earth. In some cases, anybody who knows palmistry will say that a person’s life-line is only for, say, thirty-two or thirty-three years, but this person may be seventy-two or seventy-five years old now. Even among my disciples there are two or three women whose life-lines are completely broken. If a palmist reads their palms he would see just the two halves and be astonished that they are still on earth. How does it happen? Some higher power has been responsible. There is nothing that cannot be changed by the infinite Grace of the Supreme.