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Astrology: A Door to Religiousness

It is necessary to know that some matter be understood. First, it is necessary to know that from scientific point of view, the whole solar family is born out of the sun. The moon, Mars, Jupiter, and the rest of the planets, including this Earth, are all organic parts of the sun. Slowly, life on Earth came into being -- from plants to man. Man is an organic part of the Earth; the Earth is an organic part of the sun. It is like a mother who has a daughter, who in turn also has a daughter, and in all three of them the same blood flows. Their bodies are made up of similar cells. The scientists use a word "empathy" meaning shared sensitivity. Those things that are born from the same source have a sort of shared inner experience.

Out of the sun the Earth is born, and out of the Earth our bodies are born, and far away, the sun is our great grandparent. Whatsoever happens on the sun creates a vibration in every cell of our bodies. It must be that way because our cells are all born out of the sun. The sun appears to be a great distance away but it is not so far. In every element of our blood and in every particle of our bones live the atoms of the sun. We are part of the sun, so it is no wonder that our lives are influenced by the sun. There is a sort of empathy between the sun and ourselves. If we understand this empathy rightly, we can enter into one dimension of astrology.

There is so much similarity between twins that they vibrate alike. Within the bodies of two such children there is an inner communication or dialogue which flows through some unknown channels.  This similarity of experience is described by scientists as empathy.

Between the sun and the Earth also there are communication bridges like this, and every moment messages are being passed across these bridges. And similarly, communication bridges exist between the Earth and man. So there is a continuous communication between man, the Earth and the sun. But that communication is very mysterious; it is inner and subtle. Let us also try to understand something about this.

There is a research center in America known as the Tree Ring Research Center. If you cut down a tree, you will find a number of rings or circles visible across the cut surface.  Professor Douglas, the center's director, who has spent a major part of his life studying them, has proven that these rings also indicate what sort of seasons there were in a particular year. If the seasons were hotter or wetter than usual, the ring formation is broader. If the seasons were cold and dry, the ring is not so wide. It is possible to know when there were strong rains, when there was drought, and when the seasons were very cold.

If the trees are so sensitive that they can carefully record an event happening on the sun, then is it not possible that in the mind of man there might also be some layer...that man's body might have a subtle sensitivity to the sun's activity that creates ripples in his psyche? Until now scientists have not been able to clearly find any effects in man's body -- yet it seems impossible that the body would not record such activity.

Astrology is an investigation into the possibility that whatever is happening anywhere in the universe also affects man.

In this article, the word ‘astrology’ refers to Hindu or Vedic astrology, and not to the Western astrology. Western astrology is not accurate because it does not take the shifting of the earth's axis into account when calculating the longitudes of the planets and constellations, like Vedic astrology.

It is not as easy to investigate the body of man because it cannot be cut open like a tree. To cut open a human being is a very delicate and dangerous affair. And because man has a mind, it is not the body which registers events in this way but the mind. The tree has no such mind, and so its body has to register the events.

There is another law also. This law is that we cannot be aware of influences either above or below a certain limit.

The range of our experience is limited. For example, suppose we measure the body's temperature as being between ninety-eight degrees at the lowest point and one hundred and ten degrees at the highest point, that shows that we are living within these twelve degrees. But do you think that the temperature range of the universe is limited to just twelve degrees? He has to fluctuate between ninety-eight and one hundred and ten degrees. Similarly, there are balances for everything.

Scientists say that we have a certain range of hearing, and that we cannot hear anything below or above it.

There are even limits to smelling. The senses of all human beings operate within a particular range. For example, a dog is able to smell much more than you can. A human being is closed within a sort of capsule -- he has boundaries.  

In this world many kind of radio sounds are passing by all around us. There is a great tumult. We are not able to hear it, but we cannot escape being affected by it. We are influenced by all these noises -- in every nerve, in every heartbeat, in every muscle. These noises are working in us unnoticed. The smells we are not able to recognize also affect us. If those smells bring with them some disease, you will catch the disease.

Your awareness or recognition of something is not necessary in order for it to exist.

Astrology says that there are energy fields around us which go on influencing us continuously. As soon as a child is born, it is subject to all the influences of the world. In the language of science, we can describe birth as a process of exposure.

When a child is conceived in the mother's womb, this is a first exposure for the child. On the day the child is born there is a second exposure. These two exposures are registered upon the sensitive mind of the child, as if on film. The world as it is at that moment is imprinted upon the child, and so there is an empathy in the child for the world as it is at that moment.

Those who are born at night, their first exposure of the world upon their mind are not of light, but of darkness. The sun is absent, its energy is absent. All around, the world is sleeping -- nothing is actually awake. This is the first impact on the child.

If we were to ask Buddha or Mahavira about the reason for this, they would say that more souls take birth at night because they are sleeping when they are born. These souls cannot choose the moment of their birth. There are hundreds of other reasons, but this is important; that most people are asleep. They are in darkness and inactivity.

Whosoever is born after sunrise will be born with energy.

After sunset, in the darkness of night, only sleeping beings can take birth. The birth that takes place at the time of the rising of the sun will be a birth under the influence of energy; the birth that takes place after sunset, under the cover of darkness, will be a birth under the influence of sleep. The exposure will be different for a film exposed at night than for one exposed during the day. It is necessary to understand this point about exposure more clearly, because astrology is very deeply related to it.

The scientists who are conducting research on this subject of birth exposure say that it is a happening of the utmost importance. That exposure will follow you throughout your life.

When a chick is born to a hen, it immediately starts running after the hen. We say that it is running after the mother, but scientists say that this has nothing to do with the mother, that it is only a question of exposure and imprinting. One experiment was on chicks about to be born. The chicks' beaks were emerging from the egg, and just then the hen was removed from the scene and instead a balloon was placed in front of the chicks. When the chicks opened their eyes they saw the balloon.  Wherever that balloon moved in the air, they would run after it.  

Konrad Lorenz, the scientist who has done a great deal of work in this connection, says that the first moment of exposure is the most important.  If a small balloon can exert so much influence on a chicken, if it can enter so indelibly into its mind, astrology suggests that whatsoever surrounds us -- the whole universe -- also enters into our consciousness at that moment of exposure at birth when the mental film is exposed to the world. This determines your sympathies and antipathies for your entire life. All the constellations that are encircling the Earth at that moment also, in a very deep way, imprint their influence on the newly born consciousness. The constellations are in certain positions: the basic significance of these constellations lies in the influence of their radioactivity falling upon the Earth at the moment of birth.

Now scientists believe that every celestial body has its own unique radioactivity. The planet Venus throws out rays which are tranquil, whereas the moon has quite a different type of radio wave. The radio waves that reach us from Jupiter are different from those that reach us from the sun. The reason for the difference is that each planet has a different combination of gaseous layers encircling it, and from each planet a different combination of rays comes towards the earth. And when the child is born, whatever constellations, stars, planets or distant super-suns are encircling the horizon, all enter deep within the mind of the child at the time of its exposure. The cosmic situation at that moment, with all its weaknesses, strengths and capabilities, influences the child for his whole life.

One great scientist, Michael Gacquilin, has been carrying out research on the forces in the universe.

He tells us that we are not able to understand even one percent of the things that are caused by the forces coming within our experience. Since we have begun to send space satellites beyond the Earth, so much information has been transmitted to us for which we have no words to describe, nor is science yet able to decipher the transmitted information. We never imagined that so much energy and so many forces might be operating all around us.

In this context, let us understand one more thing. Astrology is not a new science that is still developing. The position is quite the reverse.  Astrology is like the ruins of a great building that once existed.

It was a complete science which has been lost. It is neither new nor is it in the process of construction. From the walls that have remained it is not possible to judge how big that building once might have been. Many times truths are realized only to become lost again. Astrology was one such great truth: it was once known about, but subsequently lost. There are difficulties in the way of knowing it again; that is why I am talking to you from many different points of view.

My intention in talking on astrology could be misunderstood. It is not as if I intend to talk on the same subjects that are discussed by an ordinary astrologer. To such an astrologer you can pay a dollar and be told your fortune. Perhaps you think that I am going to talk about him or be in support of him.

In the name of astrology, ninety-nine percent of astrologers only bluff.  Only one percent will not dogmatically assert that an event will definitely happen. They know that astrology is a vast subject -- so vast that someone can only enter into it hesitatingly.

When I am talking about astrology, I want you to have a picture of the whole science from many angles, so that you can enter it without any fear or hesitation. When I talk about astrology, I am not talking about the ordinary astrologer -- such small matters. But the average man's curiosity regarding astrology is just to know whether his daughter will get married or not.

Astrology can be divided into three parts. The first part is the core, the essence; it is essential, and cannot be changed. It is the part which is most difficult to understand. The second part is the middle layer, in which one can make whatever changes one wants. It is the semi-essential portion, in which you can make changes if you know how, but without knowing how, no changes are possible at all. The third part is the outermost layer which is nonessential, but about which we are all very curious.

The first is the essence, in which no changes can be made. When it is known, the only way is to cooperate with it. Religions have devised astrology in order to know and decipher this essential destiny. The semi-essential part of astrology is such that if we know about it, we can change our lives -- otherwise not.

If we do not know, then whatsoever is going to happen it will happen. If there is knowledge, there are alternatives to choose between. There is a possibility of transformation if the right choice is made. The third, nonessential part is just the periphery, the outer surface. There is nothing essential in it; everything is circumstantial.

But we go to consult astrologers only for the nonessential things.

Someone goes and asks an astrologer when he will get employment -- there is no relationship between your employment and the moon and stars. Someone asks whether he will marry or not. So these are nonessential questions....But because astrologers were busy talking only about these kinds of superficial things, the great establishment of astrology collapsed. This was the only reason.

At one time or another we have all wanted to know such things from astrologers, yet these things are nonessential. But there are certain semi-essential matters such as the birth or death of a person: if you can know everything about these, you can take precautionary measures. If you do not know anything, you cannot do anything.

If our knowledge about the diagnosis of diseases was improved we would be able to increase the life span of human beings -- we have already been doing it. This semi-essential world presents a possibility that we may be able to do certain things if we know in advance what is going to happen. If we do not know, nothing can be done. By our knowing in advance, alternatives can be sorted out and selected.

Beyond this exists the world of the essential -- and that you cannot do anything about. However, our curiosity is to know only about nonessential things. Seldom does someone reach out to know the semi-essential. And our curiosity or desire never extends to knowing that which is essential and unavoidable, that which cannot be changed even if known.

Mahavira was passing through a village with his disciple, Goshalak -- who later became his opponent -- when they came across a small plant, and Goshalak said to Mahavira: "Listen, here is a plant. What do you think? -- will it grow to produce a flower, or will it die before it can flower? What is its future?"

Mahavira immediately closed his eyes and sat in front of the plant.

Goshalak cunningly said: "Do not avoid the issue. What will happen by closing your eyes?"

He did not know why Mahavira had become silent and closed his eyes -- that he was looking for the essential. It was necessary to go deep down into the being, into the soul of that plant. Without doing so, it would not be possible to say what was going to happen.

After a while Mahavira opened his eyes and said: "This plant will survive to flower."

Goshalak immediately pulled the plant up by its roots, threw it away and laughed mockingly. There was no better way to refute Mahavira's statement.

Mahavira had nothing more to say now, because Goshalak had uprooted the plant and thrown it away as a challenge. He was laughing, Mahavira was smiling, and they continued their journey.

Then it began to rain heavily. There was a storm, and for seven days continuously torrential rains fell, so they were not able to go out for seven whole days.

When the rains had subsided and they were returning, on the way they reached the same spot where seven days previously Mahavira had closed his eyes to know the inner being of the plant. They saw that the plant was again standing with its roots in the ground. Due to the heavy rains and winds, the earth had become wet and loose, and the roots of the plant had dug in.

Mahavira again closed his eyes and stood beside the plant. Goshalak became very embarrassed -- he had uprooted and thrown away the plant. When Mahavira opened his eyes, Goshalak said: "I am surprised and confused. I uprooted this plant and threw it away, and it is growing again."

Mahavira replied: "It will survive to flower. I closed my eyes to see the inner potentiality and the condition of the seed: whether it was capable of taking root again even though it was uprooted, whether it was suicidal or not, whether it had a strong instinct or desire for death. If its instinct was suicidal it would have used your help to die. I wanted to see whether it was yearning to live; if it was determined to live, it would live. I knew that you were going to uproot it and throw it away."

Goshalak asked: "What are you saying?"

Mahavira said: "When I was looking into the inner being of the plant with my eyes closed, I also saw you standing by, determined to uproot it. I knew that you would uproot the plant. That is why it was necessary for me to know the inner capacity of the plant to live, how much self-confidence and willpower it had. If it was waiting to die and looking for an excuse, you would have been excuse enough for it to die; otherwise, the uprooted plant would take root again."

Goshalak lacked the courage to uproot the plant again. He was afraid. Previously Goshalak had gone laughing to the village; this time, Mahavira walked ahead smiling.

Goshalak then asked: "Why are you smiling?"

Mahavira said: "I was watching and just thinking about your capability -- whether you could uproot the plant a second time or not."


Goshalak said: "You could see whether I would do it or not?"

Mahavira replied: "It was nonessential. You might have uprooted it, you might not have uprooted it. But it was essential and unavoidable that the plant still wanted to live. Its whole being, its whole vitality wanted to live. That was essential. What was nonessential was your throwing it away or not, and that was dependent on you. But you have proven weaker and less determined than the plant. You have been defeated."

One of the reasons why Goshalak was displeased with Mahavira was this incident with the plant.

The astrology I am talking about concerns the essential, the fundamental.

At best your curiosity goes as far as the semi-essential. You want to know how long you will live, or whether or not you will die suddenly, but you are not curious to know what you will do if you live -- how you will live. You want to know how you will die when the time comes, or what you will be doing at that time. Your curiosity extends to events, not to the soul. That I am living is just an event, but what I am doing while living, or what I am, is my soul. When I die it will be an event but at the moment of death, how I will be, what I will do, is my soul. We shall all die; the event of death is common to all but the manner of dying, the moment of death, will be different for everyone. Someone may even die smiling.

At the time of his death, someone asked Mulla Nasruddin: "What do you think, Mulla? -- When people are born, from where do they come?"

Mulla replied: "I've seen every child weeping at the time of birth, and at the time of death also everyone seems to be weeping. So I surmise that people are neither coming from nor going to a good place. As they come they are weeping, and as they go they are also weeping!"

But people like Nasruddin die laughing. Death is an event, but that which is laughing at the time of death is the soul. So when you go to an astrologer, ask him how you will die, weeping or laughing? This is worth asking -- but it is connected to essential astrology. No one on this Earth has asked an astrologer whether he will die weeping or smiling. You are asking when you will die -- as if dying is of value in itself. You are asking how long you will live -- as if just living is sufficient.

Why will I live? For what shall I live? What shall I do while living? What shall I become if I live? Such questions are not asked by anyone. That is why the structure of astrology has collapsed. Anything which is constructed on nonessential foundations will certainly collapse. The astrology I am talking about, and what you understand to be astrology, is different.

The astrology about which I am talking is qualitatively different and of much more depth.

Its dimensions are different. What I am saying is that something which is essential between your life and that of the universe is connected, is in a rhythmic harmony. The whole world is participating in it -- you are not alone.

When Buddha became enlightened he placed his hands together in salutation, and bowed his head until it touched the ground. The story goes on to say that the gods came from heaven to pay their respects to Buddha because he had found the ultimate truth, but upon seeing him with his head touching the ground, they were surprised. They asked Buddha to whom he was bowing. They said that they had come from heaven to offer greetings to him because he was enlightened, and that they did not know that there could be something to which even Buddha had to offer salutations, as enlightenment is the ultimate attainment.

Buddha then opened his eyes and said: "I am not alone in whatsoever has happened to me; the world has also participated. So I bowed down to the earth in thanksgiving to the whole world."

This is a matter connected with essential astrology. That is why Buddha told his disciples that whenever they attained to inner bliss, they should immediately give thanks to the whole world because they would not be alone in that experience. If the sun had not risen or if the moon had not risen, or if the chain of events had differed just slightly, the experience they had would have been missed. It is true, it was they who had the experience, but everything was instrumental in it -- the whole of existence contributed to it. The name of this interconnected cosmic relationship is astrology.

Buddha would never say: "I have become enlightened."

He would only say: "The world has experienced this through me -- this event of enlightenment, this supreme light is known to the world through me. I am only an excuse, a pretext. I am only a crossing where all the roads of the world have met."

Have you ever thought that although a crossroads looks significant, it is in itself nothing? If the four roads that meet are removed, the significance of the crossroads will also disappear. We are each a crossroads where the forces of the world touch and meet at a point. At that point an individual is formed, a person is born.

The meaning and essence of astrology is that we are not separate, we are one with the universe.

Not only are we one with the universe, we are also participants in every situation and event.

So Buddha said that he was offering salutations to all the Buddhas who had come before him, and to those who would come after him. Then someone said to him that it was understandable that he should offer salutations to those born before him, because knowingly or unknowingly Buddha might be in their debt -- their knowledge might have helped him -- but why would he salute those who were not yet born? What could he have gained from them?

Buddha replied that he had received help not only from those Buddhas who were born before him, but also from those who would be born after him -- because where he stood at that moment, the past and the future were meeting and becoming one. Those who had passed were meeting those who were coming, right where he was. The sunrise and the sunset were meeting at that one point. So Buddha was also offering salutations to those who were still to be born; he was indebted to them too because if they were not being projected into the future, Buddha also could not have happened.

This is a little difficult to understand. It is connected with essential astrology. I would not exist if anything from my past is dropped or lost; I am a link in a long chain. It is understandable that if my father had not been born I could not have been born, because my father is an essential link in the chain reaching up to me. Even if my grandfather had not been there I could not have been born, because the link is essential. But it is difficult to understand that if there were no link attached to me leading into the future, that then too I could not have been born.

What do I have to do with that future link? -- I have already been born. But Buddha says that if whatsoever is going to happen in the future were not already there, then too I could not have been born because I am a link between the past and the future. If there were even a slight change in the past or the future, I could not be the same as I am now.


Yesterday has made me and tomorrow has also made me: this is astrology.

Not only yesterday, but also tomorrow; not only what has already arrived, but also what is coming; not only the sun that has risen today, but also the sun that will rise tomorrow -- all are participants.

The future moments also determine the present moment. This present moment could not be if there were no future moments. The present moment can only occur with the support of future moments. Our hands are resting on the shoulders of the future; our feet are standing on the shoulders of our past. It is very obvious that if that which is below me -- on which I am standing and which I can see -- slips away, I will fall. But if the shoulders of the future -- on which my outstretched hands are resting -- slip away, I will also fall.

Once a person finds himself connected with this inner unity of the past and the future he is able to understand astrology. Then astrology becomes religion, then astrology becomes spirituality. Otherwise, by becoming related to the nonessential, astrology becomes merely a subject for pseudo fortune-tellers on the roadside, and then it is of no value. Even the highest science is just dust in the hands of those who are ignorant. Its value is determined by the use to which we are able to put the knowledge.

Hence I am trying to push you from many doors to one objective, so that you may understand that everything is joined together, interconnected. This universe is like a family, like one organic body. When I am breathing my whole body is affected; likewise, when the sun breathes the Earth is affected. The Earth is even affected by what remote suns do. Even the smallest cell vibrates in unity with those giant suns. If you can understand this, we will be able to enter into essential astrology, and then we will be spared the uselessness of the nonessential.

Astrology can become a tool in your hands only if you distinguish the essential from the nonessential.

I will tell you a very interesting story so that you may understand.

Mohammed had a disciple named Ali. This Ali once asked Mohammed's opinion about whether a man is independent and free to do what he wants, or whether he is bound by his destiny in everything he does. Ali asked: "Can one do as one wants to or not?"

Man has been asking this question for a long, long time....

"If a man is not able to do as he desires," Ali said, "then it is useless and foolish to preach to him not to steal, not to tell lies, not to be dishonest. Or is it destiny that one man should always be there to preach to others not to steal or not to do this or that? -- while knowing full well that it is also destiny for a dishonest man to remain dishonest, for a thief to remain a thief, for a murderer to remain a murderer. All this appears to be absurd. If everything is predestined, all education is useless, then all prophets, all saints, all teachers are useless."

If anyone came near him he would, so to speak, break open his head to remove all the rubbish that was lying inside.

Mohammed did not give any metaphysical reply. He asked Ali to lift one leg and stand on it. Ali had just asked a question about whether a man is free to do what he wants -- why should he stand on one leg? Mohammed said: "First lift one leg."

Poor Ali lifted his left leg and stood there on one leg.


Mohammed then asked him: "Now lift the right leg also."


Ali was puzzled and asked how it was possible. Then Mohammed said: "If you had wanted to you could have lifted the right leg first but now you cannot. A man is always free to lift the first leg -- it can be whichever he wants -- but no sooner has the first one been lifted than the other becomes bound to the Earth."


With regard to the nonessential part of life, we are always free to lift the first leg. But once that is done it becomes a bondage for the essential part. We take steps that are non essential, become entangled, and then we are not able to do the essential. So Mohammed said to Ali that he had all the freedom to lift the right or the left leg first. But once he had exercised that freedom and lifted his left leg, he was incapable of lifting the other leg. So freedom is there within certain limits, but beyond those limits there is no freedom.

This is an old conflict for the human mind.

If man is a slave to his destiny -- as astrologers generally seem to assert -- if everything is predestined and inevitable, then all the religions are of no use. If a man is free to do everything, as all so-called rationalists say, and if nothing is predetermined or inevitable, then life will become just a chaos and an anarchy; then it is also possible that a man may steal and still attain to liberation, that he may murder people and still realize the divine. When nothing is related, when one step is not related to the other, then there are no laws and nothing is binding anywhere.

There are two hypotheses. On the one hand there is the astrologer who is sitting on the side of the road being asked about the nonessential.... Whether he is the astrologer of a poor man or rich man, it does not make any difference -- all astrologers who deal with the non- essential, with questions like whether or not one will win the elections, are ordinary. 

On the other hand there is the rationalist. He says that nothing is inevitably connected: whatsoever happens is coincidental, circumstantial and a matter of chance. There is no law, everything is anarchic. He is also making a false statement.

There is a law: A rationalist is never found to be as full of joy and bliss as a Buddha.

The rationalist denies God, the soul and religion with the help of logic, but he can never attain to the joy of Mahavira. Certainly Mahavira must have done something that earned him his joy, Buddha must have done something that liberated him, and Krishna must also have done something which made it possible for him to give out such distinctly unique and magical notes through his flute.

The real thing is the third, which is the quintessence of everything, which belongs to the innermost and which is absolutely predetermined. The more one moves toward one's center, the nearer one comes to the essential, predetermined part. As we move towards the periphery we move towards coincidence. The more we talk about external happenings, the more there is coincidence. When we talk about inner phenomena, things begin to appear scientific, as if based on a definite law; they become more and more decisive.

Between these two conditions -- the essential and the peripheral -- there is ample room to effect changes by exercising one's freedom of choice. Here, someone with awareness will make the correct choice; whereas a person who is in the darkness of ignorance will drift into his destiny, putting up with whatever comes his way.

So there are three areas of life. In the area which is the essential core, everything is predetermined. Knowing this is knowing the essence of astrology. In the area which is peripheral everything is uncertain. To know this is to know the everyday, unpredictable world. There is another area which is in the middle. By knowing this, a person can save himself from trying to do the impossible, and he can do what is possible. If a person lives in the peripheral and middle areas in such a way that he begins to move towards the center, he will become religious. But if he lives in such a way that he is never able to move towards the center, his life will remain irreligious.

For example: a person is preparing to steal. Stealing is not predetermined; it cannot be claimed that stealing is inevitable or unavoidable -- there is complete freedom whether to steal or not. But once the theft has been committed, it is as if one foot has been lifted and the other foot remains on the earth: after doing it, you cannot undo the act. And the total effect of the act of stealing will spread over the personality of the person who did it. But as long as stealing does not happen, the other alternative is present and available.

The mind swings between yes and no. If he says yes to stealing he will be thrown towards the periphery; if he says no to stealing he will move towards the center. Thus, in the middle, there is a choice. If he makes the wrong choice he is thrown towards the periphery; if he makes the right choice he moves towards the center, towards that part of astrology which is essential in life.

I have told you certain things about essential astrology. I have told you that we are the outstretched hands of the sun, that the Earth is born of the sun and we are born of the Earth, that we are not separate, but all united. We are branches and leaves that have spread out from the sun. Whatsoever happens at the core of the sun will vibrate and spread throughout and within one's being, through every cell and nerve. If we can understand this properly, we will realize that we are one family on this planet. Then there is no need to live encased within ego and pride.

The heaviest blow of astrology is upon the ego. If astrology is right, the ego is wrong. 

Let us understand it this way: if astrology is wrong, then nothing remains to be right but the ego. If astrology is right then the world is right, and only I as an island am wrong. I am only an infinitesimal and trifling part of the world -- I am so minute that I cannot even be included in the count. If astrology is right, then I am not there. There is a huge flow of forces in which I am only a small ripple.

Sometimes as we ride a big wave, we are under the illusion that we too are something special, and we forget about the big wave. This big wave is also riding upon the ocean of which we are completely unaware. If the ocean disappears below it, the wave will disappear and we will also disappear. Without any reason we become unhappy about the possibility of our disappearance, only because we have contrived to be happy through our belief in our own separate existence. If we had realized that there is only a big wave and the vast ocean, and that we are not -- that it is the wish of the ocean that we arise on it, that it is the wish of the ocean that we die....

If an attitude arises in which we realize that we are only a fraction of the great design of existence, then there will be no unhappiness.

And with such an attitude, the so-called happiness which we want to enjoy will also not be there.

The feeling of happiness over such thoughts as: "I have won or I have attained" will no longer be there. Nor will there be a feeling of unhappiness over such thoughts as: "I am dying, I am finished, I have drowned, I have been destroyed or defeated."

And when neither happiness nor unhappiness remains, we enter into the world of reality -- the essential -- where there is bliss. Astrology then becomes the door to bliss.

If we look at astrology as a melting of our pride, or as a disintegration of the ego, then astrology becomes religion. But we go to the ordinary astrologer, and in order to protect our egos we ask: "Will I run into a loss? Will I win the lottery? Will I succeed in the new business I am undertaking?"

These questions are asked in order to save our egos, but the fact is that astrology is entirely in opposition to the ego. The significance of astrology is this: you are not, but the universe is; you are not, but the cosmos is. Very powerful forces are operating, and you are absolutely insignificant.

You can only see astrology in this light, if you think and feel that you are an integral part of this big world. That is why I have told you how the whole solar family is connected with the sun. If you can realize this, you will also realize that our sun is connected with many larger suns in the universe.

Scientists say that there are four billion suns, and all are born from some bigger sun. We have no knowledge of where that supreme sun may be. We do not know how this Earth is rotating round its axis and also revolving around the sun, nor do we know where that center is around which our sun with its family is revolving. A great universal merry-go-round is in swing.

In Hindu temples there is an aisle called parikrama encircling the image of the deity. This aisle is symbolic of the fact that everything is rotating by itself and also revolving around something else. Then these two together revolve around a third thing, and these three in turn revolve around a fourth thing, and so on, ad infinitum.

The ultimate center of infinity is referred to by those who know as brahman, the absolute reality. This ultimate center is neither rotating nor revolving around anything else. Whatsoever is rotating itself will definitely revolve around something else, but that which neither rotates nor revolves is the ultimate. It is also known as the supreme silence or void. This is the axis, the pivot around which the whole universe expands and contracts.

Hindus thought that just as a bud becomes a flower and the flower withers, similarly the universe also expands and then disintegrates; that just as there is day and night, the universe also has its day and night.

As I told you earlier, there are cycles of eleven years and cycles of ninety years. Similarly, Hindus thought that there are cycles of billions and trillions of years. During such a cycle a universe is born, passes through youth and grows old; earths are born, moons and stars spread across the universe, populations grow, and millions of living creatures are born.

This is not only happening on the Earth; now scientists say that there must be a minimum of fifty thousand planets on which there is life. There may be more, but this is the minimum. In such an infinite universe it is impossible that only one earth should have life. There are fifty thousand planets or earths on which there is life -- it is an infinite expanse. And then, everything contracts again.

This earth was not here from the beginning, nor will it last until the end.

Just as I was born and I will cease to exist, this earth and the sun will also cease to exist; a time will come when these moons, stars and planets will also cease to exist. The circle of their being and not being continues. We are just infinitesimal, rotating and revolving somewhere on this cosmic wheel. And if we still think that we are separate, then we are like Mulla Nasruddin who was traveling in an airplane for the first time....

Mulla Nasruddin entered the airplane, and as it took off he started walking along the aisle in the plane. He wanted to reach his destination very fast and was in a great hurry: naturally, if you want to reach somewhere quickly you will get there quicker if you walk faster!

His co-passengers stopped him and asked him what he was doing.

Mulla Nasruddin replied that he was in a hurry.

He was traveling in a plane for the first time and he was using the same logic which worked on the ground. There, he always arrived more quickly when he walked faster. He did not realize that walking in the plane was useless -- the airplane itself was flying, and he would only exhaust himself by walking. He would not arrive any earlier, and it is possible, that by the time he arrived he would be so exhausted that he would not be able to stand up. He should rest; he should close his eyes and rest. But neither Mulla nor any other pundits would agree to such advice.

I call someone religious who is at rest within this cosmic circular movement of the universe. Someone who knows that the universal forces are at work and that there is no hurry, that his hurry is of no use, is religious. If we can simply be one with the universal harmony, that is enough -- and it is blissful.

I have told you some things about astrology, if you understand these things, then astrology can become a door to spiritual attainment.