Jyotish (Vedic Astrology) and meditation are vast subjects that can each take many years, if not a whole lifetime, to fully understand. Jyotish helps you understand the effects of an external Universe on your life. Meditation brings you to the realization that the Universe is within you; you are the Universe.
A reading of your Jyotish chart by a qualified astrologer can open up a wealth of useful information and a few months of regular meditation practice can give you the tools to live the fullness of life. Jyotish provides the road map and meditation brings the necessary clarity to take a diversion, proceed with caution, or sit back and enjoy the scenery.
As with all aspects of Vedic teachings, everything is interwoven and everything compliments everything else. The knowledge you receive from astrology supports your meditation practice and your meditation practice gives you deeper insights into that same knowledge.
At a fundamental level, everything in the Universe is sound or vibration. Every part of the human body, every quality you experience in your life, and every aspect of the environment around you vibrates at its own specific frequency. You are surrounded by and also an integral player in the magnificent symphony of creation. You are not separate or isolated, but joined together in an organic, rhythmic Wholeness. Whatever happens anywhere in the universe affects everything else and understanding the interplay of all these different forces allows you to live a happy, healthy, and harmonious life.
According to the Vedas, your soul chose when to be born into your physical body. At that precise moment, the planets and constellations aligned in specific positions and then progressed in such a way as to reflect the soul’s journey in human form. At the time of your birth, your Prana (breath or vital life force), Awareness (Inner Light) and Karma (energy of past actions) were all activated for this life.
Roles of Jyotish and Meditation
Jyotish analyzes the influences of the planets and gives you a picture of your karmic possibilities or how the energies of your past thoughts and actions will manifest in the future. It helps you understand what you should be doing and when. It is said, “If you want to know why your life is the way it is now, look at your thoughts and actions in the past, and if you want to know what your life will look like in the future, look at your thoughts and actions now.” You could take this to mean that everything is pre-determined, which to some extent it is. Many people go through life locked in the same habits and patterns, imprisoned by their karma unfolding though their memories and desires, with little or no control over its effects.
However, the practice of meditation takes you beyond the mind, transcending memories and desires to enter the field of Infinite Possibilities. Meditation re-kindles the flame of your Inner Light, expands your awareness, and activates your power of self-will. With meditation, you are better able to navigate life’s challenges, avoiding the “potholes” and not creating new ones, while enjoying the scenic stretches. Jyotish gives you the clues, while meditation helps you solve them.
As Maharishi Mahesh Yogi used to say, “Everything is set but anything can be changed.” Paramhansa Yogananda also said, “The message boldly blazoned across the heavens at the moment of birth was not meant to emphasize fate, the result of past good and evil, but to arouse your will to escape from this universal bondage.” Ultimately, through deep meditation, when you reach the state of Self-realization, fully knowing who you are, you step out of the grip of cause and effect and into the realm of Unbounded Freedom. Your every desire, thought, and action becomes One with the Divine Will of the Creation.
Using Jyotish to Inform Meditation
A simple way to enhance your meditation experience with astrology would be to identify the main element, present in your Jyotish chart. Someone with the element space might benefit from the expanded collective harmony of meditating with a group. If your element is air, open a window and enjoy the flow of a gentle breeze. If your leading element is fire, try burning a candle during your meditation. Meditating near a lake, the ocean, or a river might be helpful to those with more of the water element. If you are more connected with the earth element, try meditating while sitting on the floor or with both feet on the floor.
Primordial Sound Meditation
Another way in which Jyotish and meditation interface is in the practice of Primordial Sound Meditation as taught by the Chopra Center. Everything in creation has its own vibration and at the time of your birth, the Universe was vibrating at a specific frequency or, you could say, had a unique sound.
Thousands of years ago, the ancient enlightened yogis, living in their caves and forest hermitages, became aware of these sounds. They also noticed that the sounds changed in relationship to the position of the moon, and when the moon repeated its cycle, the same sounds could be heard again in the same sequence. They, therefore, used the positions of the moon to document these sounds. Vedic Astrology divides the sky into 27 lunar positions called Nakshatras, each with four quarters, known as Padas. These 27 Nakshatras and their four Padas were thus used to identify 108 (27 x 4) different sounds of the Universe.
In Primordial Sound Meditation, by knowing the place, date, and time of a person’s birth, you can use the mathematics of Vedic Astrology to calculate the sound predominating in the Universe at that moment of birth. This sound is then incorporated into your Primordial Sound Mantra, the vehicle that will take you on the journey of meditation. As mentioned earlier, at the time of birth, your Prana, Awareness and Karma for this life are all activated. There is a transition from the non-local to the local planes of existence. You begin to become conscious of our role in this manifest creation.
Using this sound as your meditation vehicle is very powerful. Contained within that sound is the very subtle memory of the field of Silence and Infinite Possibilities, now hidden deep within you. Using this sound in your meditation draws your awareness inwards to re-connect with your essential Self.
Although the Primordial Sound Mantra has no particular meaning itself, the mantra gives meaning to everything else by bringing consciousness to them, creating Unity between all things. The mantra indicates your inner Being, the Real You, before the body and mind, allowing you to pass on the imprint of your soul to your thoughts and actions, harmonizing your outer life with your inner Being. It has the power to connect you to everything, the Cosmic Mind, the unity of all things, and your true nature and inner Dharma (purpose) at a soul level. Everything you do begins to reflect your deepest soul’s purpose.
There are many very qualified Vedic Astrologers now practicing in the West, including Brent Becvar, who offers consultations in conjunction with the Chopra Center. Primordial Sound Meditation can be learned from a certified instructor worldwide or from the Chopra Center’s online course.
Whether through Primordial Sound Meditation or other practices, incorporating Jyotish and meditation into your life can have healing benefits. Open yourself up to the possibilities and start your journey.