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Jyotish – Why do predictions go wrong sometimes? Role of Karma

Role of Karma in Phalita Jyotish

Karma as an Endless Knot

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There are two foundational theories that anyone interested in the evergreen wisdom of India, i.e. the Vedic Sciences and the three main applications of Vedic knowledge, i.e. Ayurveda, Jyotish, and Yoga, should be aware of. They are; a) Sankhya Yoga and b) Karma Siddhanta.

Sankhya yoga is a bit involved. In one of the articles published on this site, I’ve briefly introduced the central concept of Sankhya Yoga, i.e. Purusha-Prakriti theory. The link to that article can be found here.

The Theory of Purusha Prakriti

However, there is much more to Sankhya Yoga than Purusha and Prakriti, which I intend to discuss in my future articles.

In this article, our focus is going to be on understanding how predictions work in Jyotish and what role does Karma play in those predictions?

Again there is a lot to Karma Siddhanta. To get a primer on Karma Siddhanta, please refer to the following articles that I wrote a while ago. Here’re the links to those articles.

What Is a Horoscope and Who Am I? Purpose of Phalitha Jyothish (Predictive Astrology)- Part 2

Beyond The Veil

Here’s a brief review of Karma Siddhanta. Whatever the acts that we perform across multiple births get accumulated and we need to expend all the karma to get moksha, i.e. salvation from the cycle of births and rebirths. Karma gets back to us duly. If we do the deeds as per dharma, then we accumulate Punya (can be loosely translated as ‘good karma’), otherwise, we accumulate pap/papa (the nearest translation that I can think of is ‘bad karma’).  

The question then becomes is this. We take birth to expend the accumulated karma. If so, does that mean our lives are predestined and we’re just mere puppets in the hands of fate?

The answer is Yes and No.

To expand further, we need to discuss the types of karma.

There are 4 types of karma.

  1. Sanchita karma. This is the entire karma that got accumulated across all births until now.

  2. Prarabdha karma: This is that portion of Sanchita karma that we chose to spend in this particular birth.

  3. Kriyamana Karma: Kriya means action. So it is that karma that we’re currently doing that will be experienced in the future, and finally,

  4. Agama karma. This is that karma that we’re planning to do, but yet to do.

So as can be seen here, we do not have control over Sanchita Karma or Prarabdha Karma, but we do have good control over Kriyamana karma (we can stop doing or do something else instead of what we’re currently doing) and we can control a lot the agama karma (we can alter our plans as agama karma is only in the planning stage).

For example: Say we’re born in a particular place. That’s our fate. We can’t change it. But whether or not to continue to live in that place is our free will to a large extent. Similarly whether or not we have widowhood in our lives is fate, but how do we respond to the loss of the spouse is free will.

Now the question becomes,’ suppose I somehow come to know that there is widowhood in my life, can I change it’? , i.e. is the so-called fate fixed or is there a way to work around it?

That is the whole point of Jataka, aka Phalita part of Jyotish; is to understand how fixed our fate is and if there is a way to avert the danger before it occurs?

How fixed is your fate? Welcome to the crux of Phalita Jyotish

There are three subtypes of Prarabdha karma; Dridha, Adridha, and Dridha-Adridha

Anyone with basic knowledge of Sanskrit or any of the Indian languages should be able to understand what those terms literally mean. Dridha means ‘firm’. Adridha means ‘not firm’. Dridha-Adridha means somewhere between firm and not-firm.

So let’s see what do these types of karmas mean in our life journey.

Dridha karma is that part of our fate, actually is that part of our Prarabdha karma, that cannot be changed by remedies. It’s so firm that it’s very difficult to overcome.

Adridha karma is that part of our fate, that can easily be altered by doing remedies or acts to avert the same. Like canceling out bad karma with some good karma or reducing the impact of the bad karma by preparing for the same.

Finally, Dridha-Adridha karma is that part of our fate that is changeable but requires more effort than the non-fixed part of the karma, but not as impossible as firm karma, i.e. the absolute fate.

Before we can plan on averting or altering the fate, we need to understand when an event is indicated in our lives, which category does it belong to? For example, let’s take the example of potential widowhood.

Suppose we somehow come to know that there is a potential break in the marriage and we want to avert that. Before we can apply remedies, we need to understand how fixed that event is in our lives?

  1. Is that already destined that no matter what I do, I cannot avoid that?

  2. Or is it something with some considerable effort like, going to the doctors and/or counselors and/or lawyers or by compromising a lot in the relationship, I can avoid that?

  3. Or it may be as simple as living apart for a year, which happens to the year that the break is indicated, and avoid the ultimate break?

Whether we’re looking at the case 1 or 2 or 3 is something that experienced Jyotish should be able to tell. By the way, usually, Jyotish won’t tell you something like ‘Well! bad luck. I can see that this break in marriage thing is dridha karma and hence you cannot avoid it’.

Good teachers train their students of Jyotish in human psychology and they train their disciples to use palpable language to give the same messages in a more agreeable and less frightening way to the clients’. Btw, when you see the word client, do not immediately jump to the conclusion that all Jyothishis charge their clients for sure. Some Jyothishis (like myself) take that upon themselves as their dharma and do it for free (at least for now).

A Very Important Technique in Jyotish: Confluence of Factors

Now the question becomes; how do Jyothishis know how fixed an event is in a horoscope? What Jyothishis do is, they look for what is known as ‘confluence of factors’. Suppose a Jyotish sees widowhood in a woman’s chart from one factor. And by using the gochara and dasha technique, the Jyotishi points to a particular time period as to when that event is likely to take place. Rather than immediately jumping to the conclusion that the client will definitely suffer from widowhood based on one factor, the Jyotish checks the client’s horoscope to see if the same event is indicated in a different way during that time period.

For example, we can check the longevity of the spouse in a horoscope from the spouse’s perspective by looking for potential bodily harm to the spouse. Now, whether or not this event will lead to the break in the marriage, we need to look at the horoscope from the marriage perspective. This we first check from the Rasi Chart, i.e. the main birth chart. Then we need to see the Navamsa chart, aka the D-9 chart, which is one of the divisional charts that is created from the birth chart to focus on just the marriage part. Whatever is indicated in the Rasi chart, we will check whether the same thing is indicated in the D-9, i.e. the marriage chart or not. If the widowhood is indicated in a client’s life, then the same should be indicated in the client’s marriage chart also. The same event should be indicated as the loss of father in the client’s child’s chart or the client’s D-7 divisional chart, which focuses on the client’s children’s life. If the client is losing her husband, then the same event is indicated as the child losing the father. It’s also indicated as a break in the marriage. It’s also indicated as bodily harm to the spouse. It’s also indicated as some kind of weakness in the relationship. It’s also indicated a negative impact on the family. Family is a different domain than the spouse in a horoscope.

Suppose we see that during a given time period, we see many related events taking place, i.e. bodily harm to the spouse, end of the marriage, a child losing the father, negative impact on the family and sometimes negative impact on the finances or properties, marriage going through extreme stress, etc. That means we’re seeing many factors indicating the same. Then we know that this event is related to Dridha karma, i.e. the fixed fate. When so many factors are indicating the same event, it’s almost unavoidable. However, the client can somehow reduce the massive fallout from such an event by doing certain things like securing finances, getting close to the extended family, getting the insurances and bank accounts in order, etc. At the same time, by doing other things like yoga, meditation, following Ayurveda lifestyle, joining new clubs and support groups, the client can prepare for the emotional loss that’s unfillable but will make it bearable.

So in summary, to come to the conclusion that an event is a fixed event, we need to see many related factors pointing to the same. Of course, usually experienced Jyotish won’t inform their clients in a blunt way about an impending negative or even positive event. They first try to understand the psychology of the client and prepare the client for the potential challenging event by saying something like ‘I can see some challenges lie ahead, so you may want to get your finances in order and start getting more support from the extended family, etc.”.

Suppose we see that some factors are indicating the event, but not all. For example, Bodily harm to the father and weakness in the relationship is indicated. But no loss of father for the child or no break in the marriage. That means this type of karma is dridha-adridha karma. By performing a number of remedies this event can actually be avoided or the impact minimized. For example: By doing some poojas, yagyas, preparing for the potential bodily harm by getting fit, taking good care of the vehicles, etc. that harm can be a minor accident which may last for a short while and things get back to normal after that. This also Jyotishis can see and explain the remedies to the client in a palpable way.

Finally, if only one factor is indicated and there is no other related event is indicated, then that karma is adridha karma and that can easily be avoided or modified via some simple remedies. For example, a break in the marriage is indicated, but no bodily harm or no big impact on the children or extended family is indicated. Such situations can be easily handled by staying away from each other for the said period or by one of them traveling more to avoid a full break. Technically it’s a break, but it’s not divorce. When times turn around, life is back to normal.

Now, why does karma even bother with giving us the opportunity to correct ourselves? Because as humans we’ve got buddhi, i.e. discriminatory intelligence. We can differentiate between dharma and adharma and we can choose to act either way. And at the same time, not all karmas from the past are so bad that we have to pay for them in a particular way. By doing good karma, we can still suffer but relatively in a simpler way. For example, living apart for some time to avoid divorce in the case of adridha karma. So not all of Prarabdha karma is fixed fate and even when a portion of it is fixed fate, we can always prepare for the unavoidable event and minimize the negative fallout from the same.

Why do predictions go wrong sometimes?

There are two reasons why predictions sometimes go wrong in Jyotish.

  1. Some Jyotish fails to understand the concept of this dridha, adridha, dridha-adridha karma and ignore the importance of checking for the confluence of factors. So they may come to a conclusion that fixed karma is avoidable or vice versa, i.e. non-firm karma is unavoidable. Some Jyotishis look at just one factor and come to big conclusions and such predictions tend to go wrong.

  2. The way Jyotish puts the point across. Because of the psychology involved in a Jyotish-Client relationship, not all Jyotishis, not in all cases, can talk about especially an impending negative impact bluntly. They only indicate at a high level and prescribe some remedies. So in this case, Jyotish was right, but because by putting the message across in a mild and agreeable manner, they appear to have gone wrong. Where in fact, they knew very well all along.

So as clients, what should we look for in a Jyotish reading? First, ensure that your Jyotish is well versed in these foundational concepts and techniques. Second, follow the remedies that they’re suggesting to the best of your ability. But don’t expect the Jyotish to blurt out a bad event to you. They won’t, even when they can actually see that. They’re like doctors. Many doctors won’t tell you that their client is going to definitely die. They will only indicate how critical the case is and how to prepare for the same. It’s in our best interest to prepare rather than be sorry later.

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