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Jyotisha Practice

The Astrological Profession

Some formal, practical, methodological, sociological, and ethical opinions

Best Practices


The eminent Jyotishi B.S. Rao ruefully observes, the disdain in which most astrologers -- even in India - are held:

B.S. Rao,

Strijataka (Female Horoscopy) .

10th ed. revisions by B.V. Raman, 1995.) p. 37

"Any brain, however intelligent it may be, reels at the stupendous labor which lies before it in astrological calculations.

It is surprising how educated people, themselves discontented with their heavy incomes, can make up their minds to overlook the dignity of the Herculean labor and offer to the really learned astrologer small sums often even less than the humble wages of a street coolie.

Such however is the logic of the learned, and they have the audacity to find fault with the astrologer for false predictions. This is something like jeering at an engineer for not building a tank bund properly when he is paid ten rupees for a work, which really costs a thousand.

What would be his reply, the readers can answer."

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Shri Rao, who was born in 1866, had to do his own mathematical calculations, either by quill pen, or stone abacus, or by elaborate memorization techniques that were still taught in Vedic-culture villages in his day.

  • Today we have the miracle of home computers which can relieve astrologers from most of the burden of that"Herculean effort" which Shri Rao so admired.

Yet the task seems no easier.

The computational effort has receded, only to reveal a cosmically massive interpretive task.

Spiritual education

Spiritual education takes a different view of life's problems. Problems are mental constructs which are incidental to personhood.

The ego-membrane is incidental to personhood.

Karma is a complex and intellectually engaging process of moral accounting, but suffering is really not the purpose of incarnation. Consciousness is.

So, spiritual disciplines tend to focus much less on the excruciating details of ego-membrane development, and a lot more on"being" in a clear space.

Unfortunately, the average person defines the self-entity only in the terminology of"problems ".

Looking for the communicative-language match, a Jyotisha reading will use a language of problems, karma, how the illusions are operating... but ideally, the reading creates opportunities for suggesting ways to escape from the entrapment of negative self-definition, of"problems ", and"what I don't have" or"what's going wrong".

This possibility of a fundamental change in self-definition provides a chance to comprehend a way out of negative imagery, victimization, servitude, the focus on scarcity and other fear-driven identity (with which we are all raised by our loving parents!) - is for me, the whole point of the Jyotisha reading service.

To study Jyotisha in greater depth, where and who are the best available teachers?

I wish I could answer that clearly. Unfortunately I can't. Personally I have been taught by spirit guides in meditation, and by absorbing Himalayan culture during my time in Nepal. I am more interested in the message than in the messenger, and I prefer to avoid those "cult of personality" environments which arise so easily when a number of weak personalities surround a strong-personality individual. As a result, I never had a Jyotish-guru per se.

Look to your own bandhu bhava and 4th-from-Chandra for the most suitable educational environment to support your own foundational learning (4) process .

Characteristics of teachers and schools:

Whatever influences are seen in 4th-angles can predict your most natural learning environment. Your teachers could be female (Shukra or Chandra) or male (Surya or Mangala) or a male appreciator of females (combination of the masculine graha with feminine graha); financially privileged and generous (Guru) or strict and regulating (Shani) or a detached mystic (Ketu) or an adventurous foreigner (Rahu). Look for the fourth-bhava lord bandhesha, condition of 4th-from-Chandra and its lord, the 4th navamsha, and in matters of spiritual education look to the 4th from the 12th from the ishtadevata = 3rd from atmakaraka in D-9.


Best route to locating any type of teacher, even the mundane types but especially the esoteric types, is through private meditation. Ask the divine to provide you the teacher as soon as you are ready. Avoid trying to specify by what means or at what time the teacher will be provided. Simply ask to be shown, when you are eligible.

Then, knowing that you have made that prayer , be aware of opportunities that arise in your environment. One place to start looking for compatible personalities and learning styles might be the biannual conventions hosted by the ACVA http://www.vedicastrology.orgor the BAVA in Britain http://www.bava.org/


Also if both Guru and dhanasthana are strong (as they are for you) the study of Sanskrit grammar will repay your efforts. If you can learn a bit of Sanskrit, you can translate some of the foundational texts for yourself. However, studying Sanskrit really is an effort for the working American, so good Jyotisha software that contains lots of Jyotisha reference material (English translations) is an excellent substitute for spending the rest of your life in the library

Do all astrologers give readings ?

No. Some astrologers - even master teachers - are strictly researchers. They pursue a spiritual and technical study of astrology, sometimes with a guru or sometimes through conferences, but they don' t necessarily share their learning with clients.

Pure researchers reflect on Jyotisha and the practice devolving from the Vidya, as a contemplative art.

Jyotisha can be read as an esoteric language of cosmic evolution. Just reading at that level is a huge contemplative practice. Sometimes they teach, too, but only advanced students, or only within their religious lineage.

Jyotisha is my primary spiritual practice; but it is also my means of earning a living. I'm in the middle.

Jyotisha: tool of consciousness or terror of superstition ?

The ultimate goal is liberation from the cycle of lives and deaths . There are many way to:

  • gain knowledge of the subconscious inventory And skills for managing it

  • hat will generate the awareness

  • hat leads to successful achievement of complete peace, or Enlightenment

Exempli gratia,

  • Awareness meditation,

  • antric practice,

  • non-petitionary prayer,

  • selfless service/seva,

  • bhakti/karma/jyapa yoga,

  • many forms of divination,

  • etc.

Many, many ways!

One way is Jyotisha....

Jyotisha can definitely predict"events "and delight and amaze the public. Luckily Jyotisha readings are usually too complex and require too much concentration to allow them to become a mere party trick (which is unfortunately what has happened to most of tropical/western astrology).

Jyotisha is a spiritual practice, and it must be honored as a vehicle for consciousness if the practitioner and their client are to retain their spiritual dignity.

IMO, there is Absolutely no spiritual benefit to being able to predict the timing of events unless one wishes to use the information to learn what's in the subconscious warehouse (at least, the top level of storage that is active in the current lifetime), the timing of the projection mechanism, and (ideally) how to manage it.


Lacking a spiritual motivation, the user of Jyotisha and any other type of divination falls into destructive misuse of the information as a further encouragement to disempowerment through superstition.

Thus, some moral responsibility rests with the Jyotishi for ensuring that with every dose of predictive information comes strong suggestion for how to use this gift most beneficially.

Remind the querent frequently that:

  • we are looking into their OWN life path

  • hey really do own it,

  • hey can have full control over it -- when and if they wish to claim that control

  • but that gaining control does take skill and dedication to the goal.

(Ask any yogi in a cave exactly how MUCH skill and control. A lot!!)

Most Jyotishi are from India. How do they work there?

In India, traditional astrologers have primarily either academic or merchant orientation. Most are merchant type who have a public room for brief divinations on timing of business and marriage, etc.

The Indian public usually will not make a financial or political move without consulting at least one astrologer - rather in the same way the typical Westerner would not make any big business moves without consulting at least one attorney.

Q:

I heard that you changed an item in your calculations, and that now all the readings you gave to me and my family are invalid. How can I get valid replacement readings for everyone in my family?

A:

Namaste Xerxes,

Don't worry - the previous readings are "valid".

I am always adjusting small theoretical parameters. It's true that my theoretical perspective is evolving but it's not true that previous readings are "invalid".

Jyotisha is different from conventional science, in that Jyotisha readings require an explicit mix of intuition and theory. The intuitive component is divinatory and comes from meditation.

Authentic divination is highly accurate. The theoretical component comes from a 3000 year scriptural tradition, and it is mainly accurate. However there are places in the scriptural tradition where meaning is ambiguous - and these are the places where modern Jyotishi tinker with adjustments to parameters.

During my sabbatical last year I was tinkering quite a bit and having fun doing it. Vimshottari dasha timelines are slightly different as a result. That does not in any way mean that previous readings are "invalid". All readings match the psychic patterns of the recipient at the time they are given. Divinations are always valid. People always hear what they are ready to hear.

So, no cause for concern! It sounds like our mutual friend jumped to a conclusion. Many people enjoy having a new reading every so often - most frequently, at the onset of a new mahadasha or preceding major life choices.

Xerxes, if you're not ready for an updated reading not to worry - previous readings are perfectly "valid" and they contain information that can be used for a lifetime.

Sincerely, BPL

Beginner Jyotisha book suggestions

Here are some good titles in modern English that I have read. There are other good titles out there.

  • Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology (Vedic Astrologer's Handbook, Vol 1 ) by Bepin Behari (1993)

clearly written descriptions of basic Jyotisha material, rashi/bhava etc.

  • Planets in Signs and Houses by Bepin Behari. (Vedic Astrologer's Handbook - Vol 2) (1992)

straightforward descriptions great for the beginner and intermediate analyst. See how Behari explains Kuja; the reader can appreciate his clarity.

  • Myths and Symbols of Vedic Astrology by Bepin Behari -

    more mystical and mythical writing. Behari has a strong theosophical bent which emerges in his Jyotisha explanations. I personally enjoy Behari's views (and share many of them) however literalists and Bharati patriots like David Frawley find the theosophy offensive. Behari is one of the original articulators of Jyotisha to the west; he did a great job in his generation.

  • Light on Relationships : the Synastry of Indian Astrology by Hart Defouw, Robert E. Svoboda ( 2000)

Clearly written, humorous, introductory text with with minimal religious vocabulary (nice for beginners) and chock-full of case studies. The authors approach the study of several famous marriages from a variety of Jyotisha viewpoints, emphasizing the mutual angles of the partner's respective charts.

  • Light on Life by Hart Defouw, Robert Svoboda (1996)

Rich introductory text written in clear modern English. Svoboda's expertise in Ayurvedic medicine adds a supporting emphasis on core cultural categories that pervade all Vedic sciences. Not an easy read, but recommended.

  • The Astrology of the Seers by David Frawley (1991)

One of the first truly readable Jyotisha manuals to emerge in English. Might have a bit too much religious imagery for the Western beginner. Frawley is a leading authority in Vedic scholarship.

  • The Nakshatra : Lunar Mansions of Vedic Astrology by Dennis Harness (1999)

A very light read, easily digestible and intentionally superficial. The Nakshatra names and concepts don't translate easily into English. IMO this is a great starting book for western-trained astrologers approaching Nakshatra astrology for the first time. (Just realize that Nakshatra astrology does require much deeper study later in your development!)

You have a Tibetan surname. Do you practice Tibetan Astrology?

My readings use Vaidik Astrology, or Jyotisha, the ancient astrology grounded in the literature and traditions of ancient India.

The astrological techniques I use are strictly classical (Parashari/Jaimini) Jyotisha, primarily as expostulated by the sage Varahamihira c. 550 CE. Within Jyotisha, I use the Lahiri ayanamsha which is a widely accepted choice.


I am a corn-fed North American midwesterner who married into a Sherpa/Tibetan family from the Sagarmatha * Chomolungma * Mt. Everest region of eastern Nepal. My astrological reading vocabulary is liberally spiced with Tibetan cultural, religious and philosophical ideas. In addition, my Western university diplomas are in academic religious philosophy, ethics, and linguistics.

The language of divination comes rather naturally to me. Note my uttama-Budha in vyaya bhava. Divination is an inherently philosophical "love of knowledge" enterprise, to which the Buddhist vocabulary of consciousness is ideally suited.

How can I learn Tibetan Astrology independently?

As far as I am aware in 2010, Philippe Cornu' s Tibetan Astrology is the only substantial English text (translated from the French) on Tibetan Astrology currently available in North America.

Tibetan astrology includes a great variety of regional practices, but in general it can be estimated to contain roughly about 50% Indian cultural astrology and 50% Chinese cultural astrology. It seems that basic competency in Tibetan astrology requires knowledge of both Jyotisha and Chinese systems.

Unfortunately, Cornu' s book attempts to interpret Tibetan Astrology by comparing it to tropical European astrology. That is rather an apples-and-oranges undertaking, since those two systems have very little in common and much of the content of their mutual interpretive databases are simply incommensurable .


The Western student may be better able to step from tropical astrology first to Jyotisha. Only as a third step would the educated Westerner comprehend the work of du-shay-wa (du-shey-pa) the remarkable astrology of Tibet. It seems dysfunctional for an introductory text to compare Tibetan astrology to tropical, since the two zodiacs are at variance and the two cultural frameworks are so very different. There is simply too much complexity to negotiate.

  • Snow Lion Press offers a beautifully designed book by Jhampa Kalsang called Tibetan Astro Science. This lovely piece of art including astrology paintings by Buchung Tsering is not a student textbook. However it is very attractive and reading it may stimulate past-life memory of the practice. Gorgeously printed in Italy.


IMO, it helps tremendously to be able to read classical Tibetan in order to access Tibetan astrology texts. If you are deeply interested in Tibetan Astrology it seems necessary to make a substantial language proficiency commitment. Also one would benefit from investing time at Men-Tse-Khang Institute for preservation of traditional Tibetan Astrological texts in Dharamshala, India, where the partially restored Tibetan classical libraries are now located.

However, even with solid reading skills, sorting through the many and contradictory classical Tibetan "astro-medical" texts could take a dedicated researcher several lifetimes!


The lamas I know who practice what they call astrology actually rely much more heavily upon intuitive divination than on the application of rational astrological principles. This is perfectly fine and gives an accurate and useful reading if the lama is gifted. Perhaps an exceptionally accurate reading if the lama is exceptionally gifted .

However, intuition cannot be learned from a book. It requires diligent meditative awareness . Therefore the meditative consciousness should be firmly in place before the study of any divination system can be reasonably undertaken.

If you are interested in learning Tibetan astrology, I would recommend first developing minimal linguistic and literary competence in Sanskrit or Chinese. Or, undertake to apprentice directly with a skilled lama.

The word "lama" is typically an appellation given to teachers and educated practitioners of various cultural arts. bLa-ma means "superior person" and its application is not completely limited to conventionally robed vow-holders. As one of my favorite teachers once said, "the most powerful lamas don't even look like lamas".

Skillful diviners may be foundin a variety of religious lineages, some of them quite eccentric!

How can I learn Jyotisha independently?


Studying the Jyotisha tradition of Vaidik India is an interesting undertaking in the modern world.

There are several ways to approach the project: some innovative and some traditional.

Traditional:

Classical teaching methods involve a massive amount of memorization within the medieval apprenticeship model. Practice skills develop within the guru-sisya relationship, with the guru passing along the totality of their view as unquestionable, authorized knowledge. This model is becoming outdated, due largely to the miracle of computers, but it still has proponents.


The main reason that Jyotisha is still taught this way in traditional temple settings is strictly historical. During the sequence of Kali Yugas that spanned approx. 700 BCE to 1600 CE in the modern west (but is still ongoing in many parts of the Earth) the vidya of Jyotisha pretty much went underground. Indeed, most forms of human spiritual knowledge were forced to take camouflage.

Threads of the Jyotisha vidya were preserved by diligent chanting of long lists of Sanskrita shloka that had been set to an extremely regular syllabic meter. The meter works to self-correct most errors of oral transmission.

It is said that listening to shloka chanting in a village temple in India today, may be compared to listening to a tape recording of the same chants from the early centuries of the descending Kali Yuga (approximately 700 B.C.).

This literary meter-controlled chanting method overcame the cultural disaster of catastrophic knowledge loss during the 2400 years of descending then ascending Kali Yuga. It is a very accurate transmission vehicle, and when the clock rolls around to the next Kali Yuga it may indeed be used again.


Because memorization and chanting repetition of the shloka describing planetary characteristics and yoga did preserve the tradition, those who live in a time of an emerging Dwapara Yuga owe these dedicated conservationists a huge debt of gratitude.

The effect on praxis from the chanting method is similar to memorizing a dictionary in order to learn a language. Under this method, the practitioner hopes to match some yoga that was burned into memory from chanting with the real nativity one is reading at the moment. But the chances of finding an exact match are slim, and slippage into blanket generalizations is inevitable.

Innovative

As the light begins to just barely peek over the horizon in these early centuries of the emerging Dvapara Yuga, the knowledge is returning and new vehicles for using it has begun to appear. Computers are a major innovation for culture overall, and they have transformed the practice of Jyotisha.

It is no longer necessary to cautiously search one's mental memory for a particular shloka memorized and handed down by the guru. Press a keyboard, do a Boolean search of digitized the Jyotisha literature, and start integrating rational with intuitive systems.

of course, access to an increasing array of classic and modern Jyotisha writings does not create a capable astrologer. One absolutely must cultivate a lifetime character of intentional, ethical practice and reflective awareness to even begin to have access to the intuitive power to detect one nativity from amongst billions. The intuitive component remains prerequisite.


Intuition and reason are partners in Jyotisha. The new access to information created by computers has dramatically speeded up the rational component of practice.

The modern Jyotishi is no doubt calling upon his or her parallel lives of Jyotisha practice and thus re-entering a thought world full of subconsciously familiar and attractive patterns. No one practicing Jyotisha these days is doing it for the first time! Anyone attracted into this vidya-practice has a legacy investment in it anyway. The intuitive component is probably"up to speed"already.

It is the dramatic increase in access to the rational discussions - digitized versions of the classics, modern chat boards, international conferences and podcasts and all the modern informational networking - which create the innovative option.

Which learning path works best for you?

It is human nature for conservative thinkers to distrust innovation and vice versa. Traditionalists continue to insist that Jyotisha cannot be legitimately practiced outside an authorized guru lineage. Innovative Jyotishi insist on their right to learn independently, through peer discussions, private study, and computers.

IMO: choose the style which suits your personality, and enjoy!

Language proficiency:

Basic reading competence in Sanskrita is recommended. However Sanskrita skills are not as critically important as they used to be, due to emerging translations into English and (less commonly) other European languages.

BTW, some Westerners are not as aware of Jyotisha scriptures which are recorded in other ancient and beautiful languages of India, such as Tamil and Mayalam. Study in classical Dravidian languages in addition to Sanskrita will also richly repay the student of Jyotisha.

Related traditions may lead you into the ancient languages of Persia and other regional classics.

Some next-step suggestions :

Dr. David Frawley's Astrology of the Seers Distance Learning Program in Vedic Astrology has received consistently good reviews since its inception.

Ernst Wilhelm also offers a Jyotish Academy International Correspondence Course

The internet offers abundant resources, including Pandit Narasimha Rao's great gift of Free Jyotisha Software!

Q: A young man struggles with modernization and new roles for knowledge in a changing world:

Dear Barbara Namaste and wishing u even good knowledge of vedic jyotisha...

But i protest that why foreigners are learning this divine science which our saints and sages who developed this science thousands of years ago and gave this to us for the benefit of mankind and why this business flourishes in foreign land.

If u do a small search in net about hindu astrology u will get 50 percent of the websites and astrologers who are located outside india and many of them are foreigners.....!!!!

By commenting here i am not blaming u directly but this divine science is only practiced by brahmanas(brahmins).

But sometimes i feel ashamed that i have no knowledge of Sanskrit which our forefathers spoke while this flourishes in other countries.

Infact ever since i realised the importance of jyotisha i am very much in love of learning hindu vedic jyotisha(astrology) and even yoga in United states of America is a multi billion dollar business....!!!!

But my conscience says that certain people must do their jobs..... like brahmanas who are real protectors and they only are the real people to practice this ancient science and we can to them only for advice. I think that day is far away we have come to a foreigner to know our fate......????!!!!!!

Thank you, R.

A: Namaste,

Thanks very much for your comments and compliments.

Best wishes to you, in support of your studies of Sanskrit language, Brahminical culture, and the vidya of Jyotisha.

The Jyotisha wisdom of Lord Brihaspati and Professor Ketu is offered to all students of good character who meditate and study. The wisdom of Shri Guru is freely given, without restriction, to all who have commitment to study and faith.

Faith is stronger than blood lineage. Faith is stronger than ceremonial priesthood. Faith is stronger than any other force in human life.

Rather than protesting or blaming, may I recommend that you start studying? Perhaps you will develop the promise of your lineage and become a great Samskriti Jyotishi some day! Sincerely, BPL, Jyotisha

Dear Mrs. BPL,

Hello!

I know you are very busy so I won't take up much of your time. Can I please ask of you if Jyotisha is for real? In that, what all has been written about a person's life will manifest in their lifetime, or if Jyotisha is simply a guideline (a sort of plan that could happen but not necessarily come true altogether).

More specifically: "Will I only marry the person that I am destined to marry as per Jyotisha and GOD's word? Or I can simply marry anyone I want to marry, irrespective of Jyotisha, GOD, and destiny?”

I hope you can please provide a brief response to my question.

I am experiencing a crisis of faith in Hinduism and questioning the existence of GOD. I am emotionally troubled and I need answers. Please help me. Thank you.

Namaste ,

You are correct: Jyotisha is a guideline. It works about 99% of the time. The reason Jyotisha works is that most people are sleepwalking through life, and most people do not use their conscious intelligence to make creative choices.

If people would learn to use their conscious mind, and listen to the advice * in meditation * from their subconscious mind (intuition) and act on that intuition using their conscious rational mind, then the principles of Jyotisha would not work very well because there would be too much individual creativity.

But luckily for us working Jyotishi, most people do what they are told to do, fear what they are told to fear, believe what they are told to believe, and look outside for truth. Therefore Jyotisha works very well. In fact, the more a person is trapped in materialism and fear, the more accurate is their Jyotisha prediction.

Again, if people would look inside for truth, they would see quickly that most of the things of which they are afraid are not real. Outside reality is only a mirror. However so long as people look outside themselves for truth and power, rather than looking inside where the divine creative intelligence resides, all Jyotisha will have excellent job security!

You will marry the person( s ) whom you chose to marry. That decision you made regarding whom to marry indeed occurred before you took birth. Similar to all other encoded choices, the choice of a marriage partner is a default pre-programmed choice that most people follow instinctively during each incarnation.

Like all other encoded choices, the marriage partner choice can be changed during the present lifetime if the person is sufficiently conscious to control their own creative powers. This is quite rare however because most people cannot concentrate their own mind sufficiently to make such a mid-course correction.

Is it possible? Yes. Do most people do it? No. Most people follow along with the beliefs of the herd, and the herd is not usually very smart. You have to be highly individualized in order to realize that God lives within you, that you are composed of God and that your intelligence is not"directed by God" but rather your intelligence"is " God.

If you can realize that fact, that every atom of your body is God and every particle in the world around you is also God, then you can make any type of changes to the original pre-birth plan that you desire. However the great majority of people follow along with their original pre-birth plan while they are waiting, waiting for changes to occur in the outside mirror.

Imagine if you are standing in front of a mirror and you are making a frowning face. Try to use your fingers to push up the mouth-corners of the face in the mirror. Go ahead, push on the mirror and try to make that mirror smile. What? The mirror does not change even when you are trying your very best to push it and force something to happen? What if you keep frowning but you pray - very hard - for the mirror to smile? Now, make the decision to smile. What? The mirror is smiling now?

That is how reality works. There is no one outside of you that has the power to control you. YOU control what happens in the mirror. But if you want to keep praying to the mirror or shouting at the mirror or creating some big crisis drama about how the mirror will not cooperate with your desires, please feel welcome to continue doing that. God is very patient.

I hope you will undertake the practice of meditation and allow yourself to hear the answers from your inner self. Meditation has nothing to do with sacred doctrine. The answers that you seek are waiting for you, waiting in your inner awareness. Look within.

Wishing you every happiness and success in your studies of the samayavidya,

Sincerely,

BP Lama Jyotisha

Hello.; Hope you are having a good bhukti.; I had a question that I could not find the answer to on your site.;

Today, I had a friend ask me to be their"mentor".; This is the word he used.; I told him that I did not have enough knowledge to be his guru/mentor.; He insists that I should be, and told me his problems about not ever being married at his age of 42.;

I reiterated that I did not know enough to be a guru, but I could imagine what a guru would say.; A guru might advise to do seva with others in worse circumstances. =;

My question about this situation is:; Did I do him any harm in telling him this?; Should one relay information if they don't have enough knowledge to do so?

Namaste

Whenever the English word "should” occurs in a sentence, "should” is signaling guilt. Your intuition can confirm. The person may using guilt to lure you into an obligation that you might not want to acquire.

Effective boundaries are essential to a healthy healing practice. Whether the healing modality is providing skillful touch, silent validation, or interpretive frameworks for analyzing copious information, no human can fully solve the problems of another human.;

By design, everyone has their own unique configuration of problems, purposely, and everyone finds their own solutions, intentionally and intelligently. If one person could solve another person's specifically signed problems, the Earth Classroom would not function properly.

Therefore it is essential for one who is attempting to made headway within their own problem-set to avoid confusing or conflating one's own karmic situation with the situation of another person. In particular, guilt must be studiously avoided, since guilt not only interrupts one's own advance (by imposing a"do-again" loop) but also the gluey psychic substance of guilt tends to merge and meld one's own problems with the issues of the guilt-wielder.

In other words, he has his problem. You do not need to have his problem. If you do want to offer a consulting opinion upon his problem, there must be some mode of exchange of value. Typically, he would pay you to offer an opinion. If you do not want to offer an opinion that is a clear boundary. Stop there. If you are willing to offer an opinion, he must pay you in some fashion for the opinion. If you are willing to accept the currency of"gratitude" that is your professional choice, but make sure that being paid in gratitude is acceptable to you (and BTW I don't recommend offering professional advice without receiving payment unless it is a very specifically defined seva.)

If he is not willing to pay you, there can be no exchange. Case closed. If he is willing to pay you, do not negotiate. Know your pricing and state your price. Anything less clear and precise opens the door to manipulation by guilt.

Also be super-aware that no one can solve another person's karmic problem. The system is designed for each person to have a specific curriculum tailor-made for the individual. In the process of solving their chosen problems, the native may consult with many, many authorities, from astrologers to attorneys to surgeons to parents to priests any beyond. However after the long process of gathering information is completed, each individual will make their own decisions and create their own balanced closure in a state of wisdom and justice. Nothing less will do.

Naturally consultants can support and guide those who seek advice along the path-of-problems.

What mentors do

Mentors are persons of senior experience who can provide guidance, advice, and interpretive frameworks to younger practitioners of their discipline. As their name suggests, mentors assist the querent with the mechanics of the thinking process, including logic, method, and systematization; as well as details of getting socialized within the profession.

Clear topical boundaries are mission-critical in the mentoring process. Senior scientists mentor junior scientists about science or about scientific careers. Senior scientists do NOT mentor junior scientists about real estate, cooking, or dancing.;

Mentors communicate about the defined expertise. Senior Jyotishi mentor junior Jyotishi about the practice of divination and interpretation. Senior Jyotishi do NOT mentor junior Jyotishi about politics, nutrition, or intimate relationships. BTW it sounds like your friend could be using"mentoring"as a false pretense for wanting to spend more privileged time with you. (Is he in a Rahu bhukti?)

What gurus do

Guru can be a name for ‘teacher'in human society. When I taught 4th-grade geography in Nepal, my job title was Guru."Guru" does not imply omniscience or even superior wisdom. It means teacher. There are gazillions of teachers in this world serving at all levels of access.

The Guru-role is usually nothing fancy. Depending on the cultural environment, one designated as a vehicle of Professor Guru is recognized socially as a living container of broad understanding.

Brihaspati is *not* concerned with transmitting information.; Information is a province of Professor Budha.; Brihaspati is concerned with breadth of perception, diversity, inclusiveness, developing an expansive view. Guru is more about the scope of the view, less about the contents. Guru's doctrine is based on a few core principles (love, faith, generosity, wisdom, compassion) which then expand and expand and expand into detailed manifestations. Budha is the detail-conductor.;

Guru generously; offers the core teachings, again and again, to all who attend, without exhaustion. As a result, a person who is socially identified to be playing the Guru role is respected as an expression of generous and all-inclusive Brihaspati.

One who might be an exemplary Guru-role-player, such as HH Dalai Lama or Thich Nhat Hanh, generally does not develop complex argumentation. In their wisdom, they generate many teaching examples which help to show the application of the core principles. They offer exegesis (looking into sacred texts to find those core meanings) and guidance regarding application of the principles to daily situations. However their "message” does not vary. Budha likes speed and variety, but Brihaspati patiently preaches the core set of principles. Mainly, those holding the Guru role embody the core beliefs and role-model while they preach numerous (Guru) examples and parables.

The role of a Guru teacher-preacher is not logically complex but it is deeply compassionate to the listeners, always developing nice ways to illustrate the main points (again and again and again!).;

Defining Roles

With this understanding of the Guru role,; it might be easier to decide for yourself whether this sort of illustrative, exemplifying, application-of-principle teaching is what you see yourself doing at this time in your life. If you feel like you might have a strong grasp of the core principles of Jyotisha (or of another divinatory or healing discipline) and feel ready to create a learning environment in which motivated others can strive for understanding of the vidya, then it might be fair to say that you're ready to call yourself a teacher. However if you're not ready that's just fine! (unless it's a Rahu bhukti in which case the Chandala will make that 'readiness' definition much slipperier...)

The main point is that there in nothing in the Guru role which provides for taking on other people's problems and certainly no Guru figure can remove other people's karma. No Guru-figure can solve that guy's problem for him. He needs to discover what he is doing with his thoughts that is creating his reality. He could be using guilt to try to mask a problem which is causing him pain or embarrassment, and since guilt is so toxic the guilt-holders are always trying to foist their shame onto others, get other people involved in their drama.

First, avoid guilt. If he says "If you won't help me solve this big life problem then you're not a good friend. You should help me." that"should" is a big red flag. Even if there is a payment arrangement, don't take the case if you intuitively don't want it.

Second, consider what mentors do and see if you feel ready to mentor. Make sure that you are mentoring with topical boundaries. Is he a junior Jyotishi who seeks mentoring in order to improve his practice with an aim to serve others? For you to consider being a mentor (even a peer mentor) the answer to that question would need to be a definite 'yes'. Otherwise, the ploy is exposed.

Third, evaluate what the Guru-role typically involves, and see whether you feel ready to accept such an abundantly generous and giving role. I'd guess that you need some further preparation to be ready.

Whatever the answers to the above defined questions about Roles, be ready to give yourself the gift of time - and healthy boundaries.

Wishing you every happiness and success in your study of the samayavidya,

Sincerely, Barbara Pijan Lama Jyotisha

Specificity of Calendar-Date predictions "But our village astrologer predicted the exact date of my parents'marriage!”

There is more involved in this exquisitely accurate calendar prediction. Much of the village soothsayer's accuracy derives from a database that is not part of Jyotisha.

Consider that your village astrologer very likely knew your parents, their parents, and their parents-parents, going back generations for both lineages.

He knew the religious calendar, the agricultural cycle, and the histories of the families that settled the area along with their household deities and the days/times sacred to that family's protectors.

He would have known which dates were considered inauspicious not via Jyotisha-vidya but via local traditions of deity worship.

Given this very high level of familiarity with the usual patterns of the micro-culture, it would be possible to identify a particular day and even time of a wedding ceremony.

Weddings traditionally coincide with harvests and the fallow-times after harvests, due to the feasting involved. Traditionally, times when everyone is busy with agricultural work are unusual for weddings. For example, when I was growing up as a Northern European Roman Catholic, people were forbidden to marry during Lent. Lent means "slow time". It was the cold, dark time of food shortages that used to occur annually at the end of winter; in the religion, it was a designated 40 days of privation and penance.

Thus, a Jyotishi predicting the timing of a marriage feast within that historical situation could eliminate the entire Lenten period and very likely he could assume a marriage occurrence in spring (after planting) or fall season (after harvesting) since that was the cultural norm. This type of non-Jyotisha cultural information about beliefs and practices would be a guide to identifying specific weeks and days.

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~~ Epistle to the Philippians 4:8