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Jyotisha Practice


Remedial Strategies & Techniques

Sincere prayer, disciplined spiritual practice, mantra, gemstones and talismans, intervention of realized beings...

Targeted Compassionate Service

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A Brahmin fortune-teller and his wife , circa 1770 - Thanjavur

collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum = http://collections.vam.ac.uk

What are the most effective remedies for infelicitous configurations in the Jyotisha chart?

~~ 14th Dalai Lama 1935- Policy of Kindness Tenzing Gyatso

and Renuka Singh. (2002). The Path to Tranquility.

"Buddha never mentioned that the problems we have encountered are the result of misconstruction of a house or starting a project or work on an inappropriate day or time.

Buddha always talked about the negative experiences as a result of having performed negative actions.

So for a good practitioner there is no new year, there is no good or bad day."

Q: How does prayer, sincere practice , and the intervention of realized lamas affect a person's path as indicated by a chart?

Is it possible for a highly realized person to be able to dissolve their own karma so that they are 'off the chart' so to speak?

A : Great question!

Charitable Service:

Nothing burns off karmic ignorance faster than compassionate service. Karma yoga * selfless action toward helping others is the best and fastest remedy on Earth.

Folks do ask me for gems and mantras and talismans. Yes I can provide these remedies, and I doubt they do any harm to the user.

But consider that wearing a gem or talisman, or chanting mantra, is only helping oneself.

In truth, the gems may have flaws and the mantras must be properly pronounced in a foreign language. In general, external remedies encourage superstition.

Seva is always the best remedy!

Q: What are the most effective remedies for infelicitous configurations in the Jyotisha chart?

A: The single most effective, easiest and cheapest! remedy is *targeted* selfless service . Selfless service does not need to be "volunteer" work, although it usually is.

Seva and Money

It's OK to get paid for helping people especially if one serves through a service-ministry profession. Seva is all about providing support and guidance to those who need precisely one's own educated skills, so if your conscious Seva is part of your career it is quite reasonable to earn some economic profit in the process of delivering Seva. However money-profit should be an outcome not a motive .

The power of Seva as a remedy comes not from pay or no-pay, but from the psychic match of one's own sadness/frustration/criticism/anger with a person or group who has one's own predicament, but worse, and help them.

Exempli gratia:

  • Financial struggles? Help out in a free tax clinic in a low income neighborhood.

  • Suicidal depression? Put in some hours on a suicide hot line.

  • Feeling unattractive? Work with some burn victims.

  • Infertile, trouble creating life? Help families grieving the loss of a child, or hold teeny premature babies that may not be able to love.

  • Can't afford a college education? Teach someone to read.

  • Angry at your parents? Interact with destructively angry teens.

Whatever the problem is, there is someone who has it worse... and it's amazing how fast one builds compassion -- the antidote to ignorance -- when working with people who have a problem that one really does understand . From your slightly higher perspective, you can see the structure of the problem, and you have the personal experience to give straightforward, accurately targeted help.

Compassion for the slightly less fortunate comes fast, then gratitude for one's own knowledge. Suddenly, one's own situation (by comparison) seems rather more cheerful. And another being was helped.

Remedial Gems and talismans and protective mantra can be wonderful assets -- but only if they serve as *reminders* and *energy boosters* for the native whose life is focused on service.

The service itself is sufficient And service tends to strengthen itself through practice. So the gems etc. are quite optional whereas the service is essential and sufficient unto itself.

"The only proof of spiritual progress is the increasing ability to serve."

Q: Prayer?

A: : yes to prayers of praise and gratitude, no to petitionary prayer (asking for stuff).

In English, the verb"to pray""to tell".

Telling is a form of report or announcement - usually in the form of a statement of request (petition), such as "I want __________."

A statement of request is still a statement. Petitionary prayers merely announce the presence of a personal desire. The divine perspective is not solicited. Nor, sadly, can the toddler-minded announcers of petitionary prayers likely comprehend that

Petitionary prayer is a demand for an external force to facilitate materialization of an object. Petitionary prayer tends to have a narrow self-focused perspective, not a broad awareness of the big system in which all thoughts and actions coordinate into a coherent whole.

Petitionary prayer clogs up the blessing-receiving channels with petty demands.

If it is necessary to Say Something (and we humans do love to talk! sing! declare!) it is actually more effective to simply say thank you for what is.

Mature minds offer prayers of thanks and appreciation for the privilege of physical incarnation; requests for light and guidance; and performative blessings such as "may all beings be free".

Q: Sincere practice?

A: :Sure, the heart of all practice is compassion. As one builds compassion for oneself, all the resistance ignorance fades away, understanding comes, and trust in divine protection deepens.

Yes yes yes.

Q: Realized teachers?

A: Sure, because they are teaching by example. It doesn't matter what they actually say, they are role-modeling, on a completely inarticulate non-verbal level, a highly positive psychic behavior of permission to access divine truth, so every moment spent in their presence is a teaching on how to Be. Not morally, but spiritually, mentally, and psychically.

The goal is wisdom, which requires psychic"tuning" to bring in to our bodies, and they are"tuned" in a very optimal way to bring in lots of deity-sponsored wisdom into the field of awareness.

Realized lamas or high yogis or other super-practitioners are often not optimized for other things, like physical health or family relationships or emotional balance. When we do the monkey-see-monkey-do exhilarating matching of the lama's psycho-mental channeling, so that every moment in the lama's presence is an incredible healing, it's good to keep in mind that there may be some parts of the lama's life and personality that one does *not*want to match.

But that's another subject!

In general, if a capable tantric master grants you a big boost up in awareness, that empowerment should (1) be scheduled in the Jyotisha timelines and (2) increase your wisdom and decrease your resistance. (Ignorance= resistance to truth.) which (3) makes your life much, much easier.

Q: Do realized beings still in human bodies get" of f the chart" when they achieve enlightenment ?

A: No, humans don't get"off the chart". As they move toward enlightenment, they stop judging and resisting their script and start enjoying the movie.

The suffering in life comes not from what happens, but how we respond to what happens. The more enlightened, the more conscious and skillful the response to life events, the more comfortable with the flow.

Enlightened or not, anyone who has earned the privilege of flesh-birth has their roll-out schedule activated when it is supposed to get activated.

However without a lot of resistance to the scheduled events caused by ignorant lower emotions (anger, grief, guilt, anxiety, fear of death) most events can be experienced in a state of amused neutrality.

The flow continues, but -- relative to the scale of enlightenment/unburdenment - one does not waste much energy in trying to change it or react to it.

Normally the basic reptile-brain instincts remain active for life, so even an enlightened sage will have the reflex to protect herself against attack, seek food, avoid extreme hot and cold, etc.

But these things are handled much more skillfully (and typically more successfully) because one has great compassion for others and for oneself.

Q: I'm a deeply committed dharma practitioner.

How things would differ if I'm 'on the path' vs. if I stray from the dharma?

A: You can't really stray from the dharma, since the dharma = all phenomena, all that is.

However it is possible to lose consciousness and lost the capacity to set intention.

You could stray from the culture of organized religion and formal retreats and teachings. I'd guess that, with Ketu in the dharma house, at some point the tantric graha randhresha-8 Budha could indeed distract you from the dedicated practice path. If so, then so. You'd then feel the release from ritual duties and organizational tasks, as well as loneliness being away from the practice community. That lifestyle would then *be* your path.

At some point all religious practitioners in all faiths must assess whether their committed practice is still working.

After the crisis of faith, they go two ways: into self-destructive lifestyle believing they have"fallen", or into guru-free, fully satisfying and skillfully compassionate relationship with the Truth. In your case the navamsha suggests you posses a deep detachment.

This detachment will be a major asset at the moment when you have to strip off the"practice"and the"path"and the"teacher"and just live your truth. You will do very well in the detachment crisis and succeed in making the dharma your own, without psychological or ritual dependence on outside imagery.

Indeed, one can never stray from the path - the person is the path - but one can change one's dancing style as one is ascending!

All the best,

Barbara Pijan Lama, Jyotisha

Q: Is it beneficial to * worth-ship * worship Jyotisha deities?

A: Yes!

Meditation upon the deities (including planets as deities) is of huge benefit. Allow the deities to speak with their own voice (they will use a feedback or echo sort of voice) and to guide your path.

Once the unshakable commitment to compassionate action is in place, then meditation upon deities cannot slip into superstition or petitionary prayer. Meditative communication with the planetary and cosmic deities can be richly rewarding and calming and supportive and enlightening as one moves higher upon the path of service and light.

As decisions become less urgently driven by survival anxiety, choices become more discriminating, more delicate. And one's choices begin to influence a much larger downstream of the increasing numbers of people whom you are serving. Divine guidance is essential!

There are many, many deities available and "on call" (pray-able) to those who ask for guidance.

One of the great benefits of Jyotisha is that one can know the deities "in charge" of one's graha, key lagna, Chandra's Nakshatra, etc. and request to be in communication with those specific guides at times when their Jyotisha elements are active. Daily puja to the lord of Chandra Nakshatra, and the current bhukti-pat are much recommended.

The nature of the puja should be appreciative and welcoming, never superstitious. The gods are never outside oneself; their beings are huge and subtly interpenetrating into the interstitial spaces within our own bodies.

The gods are literally within us, so during puja one is simply requesting an awakened consciousness of a power which resides within.

The gods are of course delighted to receive recognition and invitation to guide, and they usually respond when it's "their turn" to help manifest the genius inherent in the Jyotisha nativity.

On a practical level, the mental engagement with a name and a visual or sound symbol is only the"calling card" to get you into the non-mental psychic communication channel with the Jyotisha deity. This channel opens a conversation that should feel stimulating and comforting like a conversation with a smart and trusted old friend.

I do very much recommend setting aside meditation time and arranging space on the puja altar for honoring and communicating with the Jyotisha deities! We humans like to get empowered and the deities like to extend their influence, so Jyotisha deity * worth-ship * worship is IMO a win-win!

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updated:04 February 2017

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