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How Will the Forthcoming Eclipses Affect You?

Wednesday, 09 December 2009 / Published in Articles / 9,935 views

By Patita Pavana das Adhikary

Thus Spake Shrila Prabhupada: “In this connection, the darkness occurring before the full moon, the lunar eclipse, can be explained as being another planet, known as Rāhu. According to Vedic astronomy, the Rāhu planet, which is not visible, is accepted. Sometimes the Rāhu planet is visible in the presence of full moonlight. It then appears that this Rāhu planet exists somewhere near the orbit of the moon. The failure of modern moon excursionists may be due to the Rāhu planet. In other words, those who are supposed to be going to the moon may actually be going to this invisible planet Rāhu. Actually, they are not going to the moon but to the planet Rāhu, and after reaching this planet, they come back.” (Shrila Prabhupada’s Shrimad Bhagavatam Purport to SB 4.29.69)

ECLIPSE SURPANAKHA—LUNAR ECLIPSE IN GEMINI 31 DEC 2009: As you read this, the Moon has already entered into an eclipse cycle. This means that the present lunar month ends with an eclipse of the Full Moon in Gemini or Mithuna rashi occurring at 19:21 Greenwich Mean Time, in the last few hours of 2009. As a result, even now the orbital path of the Moon is surcharged with static energy that can “cause” weird disasters and sudden global misgivings at any step along the way. Expect to see some screaming headlines and bizarre news stories in the months to follow.

This coming New Year’s Eve black-out is a partial eclipse, and therefore it is not of much interest to myopic astronomers and atheistic “scientists” awed by the “marvels of the heavens”. But for Vedic astrologers, Eclipse Surpanakha is a signal of further ongoing Kali Yuga disasters that have been created by a world of five billion tamasic individuals, each one maddened by greed for personal sense gratification for his own dead body. From the point of view of Vedanga Jyotish—when Eclipse Surpanakha is considered in tandem with Eclipse Jagai to follow it in a fortnight (see below)— it is understood that the interest now due on the earth’s collective karmic debt is a serious retribution indeed. Despite glowing smiles from the White House, there is serious cause for concern.

It is a common misconception that eclipses effect only those places of the world where their dark paths are visible. True, places where they are visible are prone to suffer reactions regardless of the sign or rashi involved. Still, an eclipse can affect any country of the earth, even places that cannot see it, especially if a particular event occurs in the ruling sign of that country or region. It takes more than gross instruments like telescopes and satellites to measure the subtle influences of an atmosphere surcharged with the hostility of Rahu and the One Hundred Ketus.

Eclipse Surpanakha will occur on the full moon night of Narayana-masa or Pausa Purnima. It will be visible in the Eastern Hemisphere which means it will be seen throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, India, and Australia. Since it occurs on New Year’s Eve, it is expected that there will be horror stories for revelers at parties-from-hell on January the first. The lunar event occurs in the sign of Gemini, an air sign, which indicates a likelihood of headlines announcing a higher occurrence of air disasters or bomb blasts than usual. Since eclipses “electrify” the atmosphere with tension, disasters can erupt at any point during the cycle and for weeks following it, and not only on the day of the eclipse. As an example of this, the nakshatra sullied by an eclipse is generally forbidden for yagnas for an entire year following an eclipse.

This means that devotees traveling to Mayapur should depart under nakshatras that “allow” for safe journeys. Beginning a journey under ugra (horrific), krura (cruel) or tikshna (sharp) nakshatras is strongly discouraged in the interest of safety. While—even during times of eclipse—the chance of a mishap is relatively small, still the overall effects of a journey begun without the help of a panchang must be taken into consideration. For example, leaving during a cruel nakshatra can “invite” the proximity of thieves, cheats or other unpleasant circumstances that can vex pilgrims.

From the worldview, fighting and wars will be intensified in an atmosphere of increased hostility, and there might be an instance of air piracy or hijacking. A big jet may go down. Armed conflicts will spark at higher altitudes, in mountainous regions, such as along the Hindu Kush ranges of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Communication networks will be upset as the web goes down here and there. Disastrous fires, explosions and freak accidents will grab the headlines. Incidents of savage “serial killers” roaming the streets in American cities will increase along with gangland activities. Mob violence will rise from anarchy in places like Africa or Indonesia. Wind storms may strike at random. Conflicts involving armed “liberation” movements for places you’ve never heard of will spring to prominence for a short time.

Expect a New Year’s Eve horror story to greet the “new year”. It goes without saying that Jan 1st does not begin a new year. It is an arbitrary date that was randomly picked some few centuries back by the Vatican. A true new year is demonstrated by the movements of the demi-gods Lord Surya, Lord Chandra or even Shri Brihaspati (Jupiter), as established by Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, when He created this universe. However, lunar, solar of Jupiterian new years are the subjects of a different essay.

Even Shakespeare noted that eclipses foreshadow the fall of the great. Already the eclipse cycle has spurned freakish news stories like the Tiger Woods scandal, the night club fire in Russia that incinerated over a hundred party-goers, or the Chinese school stampede that killed several children. In Africa, Guinea’s dictator was shot in the head in an assassination attempt and Malawi has been rocked by deadly earthquakes. Freakish news from Britain: a convicted sex offender burned his family of seven to death in a house fire and the Queen’s florist drowned her daughter and then herself. There are riots in Iran, huge increases in suicide bombings in Iraq and Pakistan. In Afghanistan, Pres. Obama has promised a nudge of 30,000 more American troops for Afghanistan. THIRTY THOUSAND TROOPS! And it’s going to get worse because vikarma will not be cancelled by additional vikarma, and neither will wars created as a result of slaughter houses go away until the slaughter houses are shut down. Uselessly sacrificing young lives in the pursuit of the unobtainable is no solution.

ECLIPSE JAGAI–SOLAR ECLIPSE IN CAPRICORN JAN 15, 2010: Makara Sankranti, the day that the Sun turns from his southern course or dakshinayana and heads north into uttarayana occurs next month on Jan. 14th. Makara translates as “Capricorn”. However, Capricorn is a poor translation by Vedic standards since a makara is not some goat, but is a wondrous creature that is inconceivable by modern so-called “intelligence”. Sankranti means “change” or even “revolution”. Thus, Makara Sankranti is the date when the Sun “changes” from Sagittarius and moves into Capricorn, as well as also turning north. On this day, the shastras tell us, the demi-god of the sun Lord Surya-Narayana turns from the region of the forefathers into the region of the demigods. Therefore the southern movement of the Sun is also called pitrayana and the Sun’s northern movement is also called devayana.

Obviously an eclipse at Makara Sankranti magnifies the unwelcome augury, and Eclipse Jagai occurs when the Sun is barely one degree into Capricorn. One degree means the distance the Sun travels in one day, so the eclipse occurs the day after Makara Sankranti. It will be visible throughout Asia, and at one point will last eleven minutes, the longest eclipse predicted for a thousand years.

Capricorn is ruled by the greater malefic, Saturn or Shanideva. This year, Saturn (in the sign of Virgo) actually stops moving in the heavens from the 9th till 19th Jan. Hence, the planet of karmic retribution and sweeping social changes will be stopped dead in his tracks at the time of sankranti and the eclipse. Saturn will be just sitting above pouring the results of past accumulative misdeeds upon the great nations of the earth. And Capricorn is also the sign under which America was founded, and is a co-ruler of India. Saturn will be sitting in judgment in Virgo, India’s primary sign. So the picture that emerges from the scene is not a rosy one for either America or India.

Regarding America, it should not be forgotten that this “friend of the world” was founded on war. Neither have the unmitigated sins of the country’s savage beginnings been expiated. Just as Roman Polanski, the popular film director now in his seventies, is paying for a crime committed in America thirty years ago, so America’s karmic visitation from past sins is long overdue. “The debts of the father are left to the son,” and the colonial sins of America’s founding fathers have been bequeathed to the world. Since America has grown from atop the slain bodies of the land’s original inhabitants—the slaughtered “Indians” who taught British “pilgrims” how to grow crops and live in their new “free world”—war has been the nation’s fuel that has kept “the land of the free” running for hundreds of years.

Considering themselves as free in a fool’s paradise, American slaves to debt sit in huge traffic jams on the way to work. There they sit hypnotized by six-speaker stereos in order to pay off the interest to the banks for the very cars they are locked inside of. We wonder what happens when those banks—and even the companies that made those fancy cars—go bankrupt? We are sure to find out even more on this subject after the two forthcoming eclipses, with the continuing domino effect of corporations and banks becoming swallowed by larger ones in a vicious cycle of ongoing corporate bankruptcy. Eclipses are times when the real leaders of the earth, the demonic elements that operate behind the scenes like unseen giant Rahus, emerge from their smokescreens. With ever grander schemes to increase their endless wars and create more global subservience to artificial financial strategies, they offer ever-fresh promises of economic security in a rehearsed stage-play of pretended compassion for the common American. A generation ago Shrila Prabhupada warned, “It is not democracy, but demon-crazy.” And it is worse now, much worse.

America and India are not the only places on earth that will suffer the ravages of Eclipse Jagai with Saturn stalled like a million-ton lead weight overhead. Saturn is the planet of the people. Rioting mass movements that seek to topple third world governments in Africa and Asia will face harsh opposition. The shadowy swath of the eclipse cuts right through Somalia and heads out into the Arabian Sea for the Makdives and Southern India, from where it moves into China. Somalia will reach new levels of lawlessness as seen by the suicide bomber that killed three government ministers last week. India can look forward to tribal rebellions and the border areas will grow increasingly tense. Tantric sadhus will perform black rites and terrorize villages. Random acts of sabotage will again raise their ugly visage in the “free world” and many police forces will be sent into high alert against clandestine plotters. Governments, informed about the terrible situations at hand will continue to sing soft lullabies to their subservient masses through their deputies in the news media, though the public is buying into their sanitized stories less and less.

In any battle when there are losers, there are winners. When the battles of Lanka or Kurukshetra began, eclipses tainted the sky overhead. As the outcomes whould prove, these were bad omens for those who stood in opposition to the Supreme Lord, but not for the Lord’s devotees. Therefore, eclipses can have a bright side, too, though we should always keep in mind the dangers they foretell, protecting ourselves by remaining karma-free and transcendental.

As devotees, we are not so concerned with the woes governments create for themselves as we are with fixing those woes through hari nama. For Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, an eclipse at the time of His birth not only forced His countrymen to take shelter of the Lord’s holy name, but it foretold that the Supreme Personality of Godhead had now appeared and would reveal Himself as a renunciate. What a beautiful sight to devotees: the very Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself “eclipsed” of His aishwarya or opulence, a beautiful sannyasi armed with only with the weapon of His holy name, the yuga dharma for the Golden Age of Kali Yuga. In this way Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu “eclipsed” the false and erroneous philosophies of mayavadism culminating in absorption, and engaged everyone in the simplest yet highest truth, unalloyed service at the lotus feet of the Divine Couple Shri Shri Radha and Krishna.

Shrila Prabhupada writes in the Introduction to his Shrimad Bhagavatam:

“So the Lord advented Himself on the Phālgunī Pūrṇimā evening of 1407 Śakābda, and it was by the will of the Lord that there was a lunar eclipse on that evening. During the hours of eclipse it was the custom of the Hindu public to take bath in the Ganges or any other sacred river and chant the Vedic mantras for purification. When Lord Caitanya was born during the lunar eclipse, all India was roaring with the holy sound of

Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/

Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.

These sixteen names of the Lord are mentioned in many Purāṇas and Upaniṣads, and they are described as the Tāraka-brahma nāma of this age. It is recommended in the śāstras that offenseless chanting of these holy names of the Lord can deliver a fallen soul from material bondage. There are innumerable names of the Lord both in India and outside, and all of them are equally good because all of them indicate the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But because these sixteen are especially recommended for this age, people should take advantage of them and follow the path of the great ācāryas who attained success by practicing the rules of the śāstras (revealed scriptures).”

Planning a trip? Want to know how the eclipse will affect you? For a prompt answer you can rely on, please contact us:

Mithuna Twiins Astrological Services

www.vedicastrologers.org

dhimanakrishna@yahoo.com

63 Responses to “How Will the Forthcoming Eclipses Affect You?”

  1. I am especially thankful and grateful to the negative and pessimistic people of this world. I have found what usually happens is the most unexpected and unpredictable of things. Looking back in hindsight, it was so obvious, and bound to happen, and yet few knew or properly prepared themselves for the events. When I read articles like this, I generally do nothing now, after spending many years (decades really) running for cover, scared for my life, and only to see nothing that was predicted to be so dire actually taking place. The art of prediction is to say when something is going to happen, just not exactly what; and what is going to happen, just not exactly when. Then you will always stay alive in the prediction business.

  2. dhimana_krishna says :

    And I am grateful for your gratitude, Prabhu,

    …For “Pessimist” is my middle name. My spiritual master, the World Acharya His Divine Grace A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada informed me that I am the greatest of fools because I consider that this perishable lump of matter I mistake to be my self will live eternally. He advised me that my fate is to become either the stool of worms or of savage animals. After being so enlightened, I found very little cause for hope as far as enjoyment in this fool’s paradise is concerned.

    He said that even though I am the greatest of rascals, nonetheless, there is indeed cause to rejoice because I am part and parcel of Shri Krishna the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore am entitled to the eternal bliss of spirit if I can just forego my attachment to the lump of waste matter I have been mistaking as my self.

    My spiritual master ordered me to go forth armed with the holy name of God and try to entice other fools sleeping on the lap of the witch Maya to chant the Hare Krishna mantra. We are in a very dark interval of world history, and only the holy name of God can awaken the sleeping masses foolishly thinking that they will eventually squeeze a droplet of pleasure from their dead bodies. At last I have become convinced that the world is indeed inhabited by rascals in the dress of learned men parading their discoveries based upon mental speculation as solutions to all the world’s problems. For every convenience they create, Guru Maharaja said, ten more inconveniences are required.

    Shrila Prabhupada even credited sankirtan with stopping the awful war in Viet Nam. Now, a generation later, history is repeating and only the brave and spirited souls preaching on the street corners armed with the message of Bhagavad Gita As It Is can open the dark cloud of Rahu overhead and bless the suffering world with the soft, gentle Moonlight of the Golden Avatar. There is no other solution, and those who look towards science, mental speculative processes, material adjustments, body-conscious religions or accumulation of wealth are all on the path to the handshake with the Yamadutas. Only a nincompoop changes his bedsheets when the house is on fire.

    I have recently completed a study of every eclipse of the Twentieth Century including a look each disaster that has occured concomitant with each eclipse. However, this study only proves the spotless veracity of the Bhagavat’s version.
    Your servant,
    Patita Pavana das

  3. Yugal Kishor Dasa says :

    Mithuna Twins Astrological Services,
    Prabhus,
    PAMHO. Hare Krishna! All glories to Srila Prabhupda.

    After reading your article, this is my two-cents worth observation:

    Most of the philosophical statements you made are found in the Srimad Bhagavatam.
    Moreover, you have quoted Srila Prabhupada in your article; that was quite nice. However, one does not need resort to astrology to find out how bad the material world is; nor to find the ultimate solution to our material existence.

    Having said that, What is the use of the astrological technicality your article mentions throughout? It makes it hard to read. It would have been better to directly address the relevant issues of philosophy to enlighten us, your readers.

    What is the purpose of this article?

    Your servant, Yugala Kishor dasa (Alachua, FL)

  4. worship of Lord Narasimha and chanting Hare Krsna counteract the effects of all eveil planets in the Narayana kavacha it is stated :
    yan no bhayaḿ grahebhyo ‘bhūt

    ketubhyo nṛbhya eva ca

    sarīsṛpebhyo daḿṣṭribhyo

    bhūtebhyo ‘ḿhobhya eva ca

    sarvāṇy etāni bhagavan-

    nāma-rūpānukīrtanāt

    prayāntu sańkṣayaḿ sadyo

    ye naḥ śreyaḥ-pratīpakāḥ

    SB 6.8.27-28: May the glorification of the transcendental name, form, qualities and paraphernalia of the Supreme Personality of Godhead protect us from the influence of bad planets, meteors, envious human beings, serpents, scorpions, and animals like tigers and wolves. May it protect us from ghosts and the material elements like earth, water, fire and air, and may it also protect us from lightning and our past sins. We are always afraid of these hindrances to our auspicious life. Therefore, may they all be completely destroyed by the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.

    Lord Caitanya advised to chant 64 rounds as has many of our acaryas, like Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhu ,Srila Prabhupada also tried to introduce 64 rounds into ISKCON.We we seriosuly chant Hare Krsna there is nothing to fear..obviously the more we chant with attention and free from offences the more Radha and Krsna will personally protect us

  5. Sankarsana das says :

    Thanks for the heads up with your article Patita Pavana Prabhu. Although much of it describing astrological influences was beyond me what I certainly gathered from it is I have to step up my Krishna consciousness if I hope to be pardoned from the grimness of this situation.

  6. Madhusudana says :

    For a devotee who is convinced that their dependence on the Holy Name is all they need and are prepared to accept whatever circumstance Krishna arranges, perhaps they can do without any astrological guidance. As for myself, I would not reject a simple astrological reading from an devotee Vedic astrologer when embarking on any serious, potentially life-changing, situation, i.e., travel to India, starting a new business, investing a large sum of money, etc. And I still pray to Radha and Krishna to kindly engage me in Their service.

    While Sri Patita Pavana has dazzled us with his astrological erudition, the concluding portion of his article (and his subsequent comment) shows he is a serious devotee at heart, and one who knows that the goal of life is pleasing the Lord of us all. Then he ends with a simple entreaty: If anyone would like some reassurance of proper timing to start some event, his services are available. I thought his purpose was quite clear.

  7. dhimana_krishna says :

    Suresh das: My article nowhere advises running and hiding as you admit to doing before taking shelter of Krishna consciousness. The article merely says that things get a little worse, as if they weren’t bad enough, under an eclipse. Read it again, you’ll see that it is not a doomsday prophecy, but offers sound hope for devotees. The disaster for Ravana was a victory for Shri Ram.

    Jugal Kishor, You like the “Bhagavatam aspect” of the article. But even the Bhagavatam is not easy to read. One must think over each verse, and the Bhagavat is also replete with astrological data here and there. Ultimately the purpose of the article is to get devotees to travel safely so that we do not hear of any more car accidents after the festival. They are heart breaking. Be safe, Prabhu. Devotees are precious.

    Varahanarasimha: Your view is correct. IF only I was advanced enough to follow your advice. Of course, devotees will be protected, but in traveling some circumspection is called for. Eclipses are rarely auspicious, but this one on Jan 15th will have a very Golden lining for devotees and the cause of Krishna consciousness. Thanks for your input.

    Sankarshan das, Since you do not live in Somalia, I am sure you will be protected. Obviously Krishna is watching over nice devotees as you who shelter yourselves only in His Holy Name above all other things. The astrological aspects are from the Bhagavat and will become clear to you in time, I assure you they are very simple. It is not hocus pocus. Jyotish means light.

    Madhusudan Prabhu, You see the practical side, since you are from New York and understand the basics of any situation. I recall our forays forty years ago from 61 2nd Ave. to Times Square each night with Brahmananda banging away on the mridanga, Jayadwaita preaching to everybody,me dancing out front (as per Prabhupada’s order!), you selling pamphlets to the crowds, Kanchanbala a high school teenager completely transcendental as the crowd looked on with awe. So as far as exemplary service is concerned, I look to you both. This eclipse, is also a special event occuring just at the time of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s 500th aniversary of accepting sannyasa. The Supreme Lord demonstrating to a world of body-attached people the need for renunciation to achieve the transcendental realm. Both you and Kanchanbala demonstrated an understanding of that renunciation 40 years ago and that is “How I Came to Krishna Consciousness.” Thank You. -PPd

  8. I mean no disrespect for the devas. I believe in Vedic astrology, and have a reading each year from Nalini Kanta Prabhu for the last 23 years. What I am asking you though is for specific information. What exactly is going to happen, on what date, and in what location of the world, as a result of the eclipses. If you can provide specific information, then devotees can somewhat prepare themselves. Obviously, living in the material world, is always dangerous – padam padam vipadam. But to live in a state of constant hysteria, out of fear of predicted possible future events though, is of little help, and counter productive for living a healthy life.

  9. dhimana_krishna says :

    My dear Suresh das,

    Shrila Prabhupada has settled the issue of the “pessimists to whom you are grateful” with his famous quote, “Optimism is a dog’s life.” Therefore, all glories to the Pessimists Amongst Us who understanding that this life is perishable, and who therefore take shelter of the Eternal Spiritual Domain by surrendering to Vrindavana Shri Radha-Krishna through the medium of Their Holy Names.

    I am glad that “you believe in Vedic astrology” but one man’s belief does make a thing so. People believe in so many things, you can meet people who believe a rascal is God because he pulls a watch from the air. Still their “god” is subject to the four fold miseries pessimists like me acknowledge.

    Everything I mentioned in the article is in the Bhagavat, eclipses, nakshatras, rashis, vakri Shanideva, etc. So where is there a question of either belief or objection to these truths? This Krishna Consciousness Movement is not a belief, like other mundane religions. Krishna consciousness is the Absolute Truth, beyond faith, speculation and belief.

    Neither have you asked for specific information in either letter, but now “this is all you want. ” If you had wished for such information, then why did you not contact me at the e-mail at the end of the article?

    You have said that knowledge of forthcoming events is counterproductive to a healthy life. Can you say you are healthy? Where is there a question of health when the souls is encaged in a bag of stool and doomed for millions more such bags of stool unless he surrenders to Hari Nama? There is no health here. You can see so many joggers, so many people exercising for health. Eating health candy bars, Which one has escaped disease, old age and death? Not one. So health here is a fallacy. We are not here to promote bodily health. If you chant Hare Krishna and understand the spiritual nature, you will automatically feel healthier.

    So I have noted that you like astrology. Therefore, regarding the effects of eclipses, may I suggest that you read my book when it appears. For example, if the Crown of England had known what is inside this book, they could have avoided a century of scandals and tragedies. The assassination of Kennedy might have been avoided, and even great wars. And that is why more important that the clouds of Rahu is the Sunshine of the Bhagavat.

    My email address appears below.
    Patita Pavana das
    dhimanakrishna@yahoo.com

  10. Somayaji says :

    Yugala Kishor dasa wrote:

    “What is the purpose of this article?”

    Dear Yugal Kishore Prabhu,

    Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    I think that the purpose of this and all the articles posted by this author is very clear as pointed out by Madhusudana Prabhu in #6 that being that Patita Pavana Prabhu is marketing his astrological services.

    I hope it is now clear to you.

    Your humble servant
    Somayaji dasa

  11. My only complaint with astrology is that it does not seem to provide accurate predictions as to dates, times, and places. Predictions tend to be vague, in my experience, stating that they will take place some time during the year, if they don’t occur during the stated period. How can you plan for that type of contingency? A big, catastrophic event is coming, but no info is provided as to where, what and when, even when requested. Only heavy philosophy is provided to try to throw me off, instead of answering the question.

    I have an astrologer that I consult with. Sometimes in uncanny ways, he is dead on, and then at other times the predictions don’t come to pass in the time he said they would. If you lived your life by negative astrological predictions (and even positive ones), you might miss many opportunities. I notice many of the devotees, who follow the astrologers, and are generally pessimistic about life, tend to stay poor, and the non-devotees (who often tend to be atheistic and discard things like astrology as bunk) seem to get richer and richer. I have always wondered why that is?

  12. the general advise on these things is not to look at the ecplise if possible take bath in Yamuna and Ganga on these days and hear and chant about Krsna..chant the holy names and read Srimad Bhagavatam, many prayers to Lord Narasimha also counteracts evil planets, I have priviously posted the prayer to Lord Narasimha here on Dandavats.com by Sani devi Saturn.
    your servant
    Payonidhi das

  13. dhimana_krishna says :

    THE MARKETPLACE OF KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS

    And thanks for marketing your opinion, Somayaji das,

    The concept of “marketing” has sprung upon society since the 80’s, when it became fashionable and hip-sounding to turn nouns into verbs. Athletes now speak of “medaling” in the Olympics. Raising children is now “parenting”. Such “Verbing” of nouns was not so common when Shrila Prabhupada opened the market of sankirtan in 1966 in America. Back in India, his countrymen had only ridiculed his efforts to “market” Krishna consciousness in the bazars of Delhi, so His Divine Grace opened his shop in the market place of America where purchasers of the holy name could find themselves transformed into devotees of the Lord without sales tax.

    The concept of “marketing” carries with it a sense of “profit-for–motivation” and implies therefore greed. But Shrila Prabhupada taught us that the tools of the karmis–their dollars, their buildings, their computers–can be used in such a way that marketing Krishna consciousness becomes an act pure and unsullied. It is a question of dovetailing our desires, not negating them. Therefore the connotation of marketing in Krishna consciousness, if that is what it takes to distribute books or Vedic knowledge or merely to join the world wide e-sangha of devotees, is not a sinful activity. Shrila Prabhupada often spoke of the marketplace of the holy name. The idea is that people are going out to the market to purchase so many things simply for sense gratification. Why not make Krishna consciousness available in the same marketplace? Would you call that marketing? See this:

    “The dancing features of His face surpass all other full moons and expand the MARKETPLACE of full moons. Although priceless, the nectar of Kṛṣṇa’s face is distributed to everyone. Some purchase the moonrays of His sweet smiles, and others purchase the nectar of His lips. Thus He pleases everyone.”

    CC Madhya 21.130

    Undeniably savvy marketing is required to to interest others in this wonderful philosophy of Krishna consciousnss. The senses are like poisonous serpents, but by engaging them in the marketing of Krishna consciousness, then the fangs of the serpents are broken. Hence marketing for Krishna is a transcendental activity as every devotee who has marketed books to the public from his/her shoulder bag will tell you. Try it you’ll like it.

    Thanks again for your interest.
    Patita Pavana das

  14. dhimana_krishna says :

    Suresh,
    From your answer it seems that your problems are with your personal astrologer, and these are not issues that I am qualified to discuss since they are between you and him. However, you do give him some credit. Shrila Prabhupad told Pradyumna (regarding astrology) “If you know it is going to rain, then carry an umbrella.” Sometimes you take along the umbrella uselessly because it did not rain as expected. Is this to be lamented? Forewarned is forearmed.

    To understand astrology means understanding Krishna consciousness first. Astrology is a Vedanga or “limb”. A limb without a body is useless. Hence 99% of all astrologers, since they are not Krishna conscious, are utterly useless. It is a given that this is a field riddled with mayavadis. An astrologer first and foremost should be a Vaishnava, but this is true of any occupation, not just astrology.

    Shrila Prabhupada spoke of astrology as “lost.” Yet His Divine Grace also enjoyed the reading I prepared for him and to this day his servants in Vrindavan will show you that horoscope and tell you “Shrila Prabhupad said that this is the correct one.” (Dhanush lagna).

    However, due to ayanamsa miscalculations of the planetary positions even in today’s Vedic version , astrology has lost some efficacy. Further, inaccurate times of birth are a factor. It is like ayurveda which has suffered in Kali Yuga but still has some value. Next, and this is obvious, the astrologer is also a conditioned human being with the same defects as others. Hence, the use of astrology is of a general value, though that general value is there. A flashlight with dim batteries is better than no flashlight. And as in all things, Vaishnava philosophy is paramount. We are all individuals and are responsible for our own decisions. Those who leave their fates up to other conditioned souls are doomed.

    My personal astrologer, the illustrious PN Oak (who, incidentally, I arranged to meet Shrila Prabhupada), did provide me with invaluable guidance when I really needed it and I still remain grateful. So if a good thing is there why should that good thing not be shared?

    The pure and perfect Vedic shastras are multi-faceted and appeal to all classes for an infinite variety of reasons. One who is attracted to some other facet of Krishna conscious wisdom should by all means cultivate that attraction because bhakti yoga is universal. However, it is we who are imperfect in the final analysis.

    PAtita Pavana Das

  15. That’s a reasonable explanation. When something is predicted to be calamitous and catastrophic, but it fails to materialize, who can really complain about it – Krishna’s mercy. But often beneficial things fail to materialize as well. When something goes wrong I try to go back to the drawing board to figure out what went wrong and why. Is astrology random (hit-or-miss), or real science, with verifiable evidence? Is anyone ever held accountable if they make a wrong prediction.

  16. radharamana says :

    I have being following this debate since yesterday. It’s up to individuals whether they have faith in a particular astrologer or no. I don’t understand why to debate. I am forced to comment since one devotee has accused Patit pavana prabhu of marketing his services. I haven’t meet prabhu in person but we have chatted 7-8 times on the net .when I came to know that prabhu is an astrologer I asked him to predict about my new born children’s future. He mailed 2-3 pages long list of details about their future activities. He didn’t ask me any money for his services. Now whenever I am on the net he inquires about them and tells something or the other about their future. Just a week back he asked me my date of birth the time and the place and gave told me few thing that will take place in the future of my life without demanding any money. The point is that I don’t think prabhu is after marketing his services. His astrological predictions could be right or wrong (as he is not god) but to me he comes across as a nice vaisnava who want to help devotees by his astrological knowledge which he has acquired by the blessing of the lord.

    gaurav

  17. Somayaji says :

    Part 1

    Dear Patita das,

    Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    First of all thanks for the lesson in the history of converting nouns into verbs, but it was irrelavant with the point I raised.

    Second I find your attempt to compare the marketing of your astrological services to be on par with Srila Prabhupada’s marketing of Lord Caitanya’s movement to be over the top.

    What I really find disagreeable is not astrology or that you market your wares but the way that you do it.

    First you scare innocent and naive readers who are for the most part completely ignorant of Vedic astrology with your dire predictions of doom and gloom based on the effects of forthcoming eclipses which you have fancifully named as “Surpanakha” and “Jagai” to give them even more sinister connotations.

    Readers, there is no such thing as a “Surpanakha eclipse” or “Jagai eclipse”, Patita just made up the names.

    Then after sufficiently frightening your readers of impeding peril you then make your pitch:

    “Planning a trip? Want to know how the eclipse will affect you? For a prompt answer you can rely on, please contact us:”

    So that the scared ones (who scared them?) will come to you and be assured that with your guidance they will be protected. I find this to be a very unethical way of dealing with people, especially devotees. You first create an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty, and then exploit the devotee’s ignorance to peddle your wares.

    If the innocent reader knew that there have been 3-7 eclipses every year since the Sun and Moon have existed and that eclipses are only important in Mundane astrology not Natal astrology and that the Mundane effects are only present in the areas of the world where the eclipse is visible for Lunar eclipses or close to the path of the eclipse for Solar eclipses they would soon realize that there is nothing to worry about beyond the natural miseries of this material world. A person will experience whatever is destined in their horoscope regardless of what the eclipses indicate on the Mundane level. And, for the edification of the reader the Mundane effect of a Lunar eclipses is for as many months as the eclipse is long in hours and for a solar eclipse for as many years as the eclipse is long in hours.

    continued…

  18. Somayaji says :

    Part 2

    I did a search of the web on how to choose good astrologers and avoid bad ones. I found the following links useful:

    http://www.gryphonastrology.com/badastrologers.html

    KN Rao today’s most famous Indian astrologer wrote the following to explain why many astrologers are “thugs” who use scare tactics to cheat the gullible public.

    http://tinyurl.com/y95k5bv

    The following two links also give advice on how to choose good astrologers and avoid unethical ones.

    http://tinyurl.com/y8dohc7

    http://tinyurl.com/y89xjwd

    I repeat, I have nothing against astrology, nor do I have anything against marketing your services, I do however, find your scare tactics unethical. There must be a better way to market your services which may or may not be valuable, but the way you are doing it now needs improvement.

    Your humble servant

    (Arka) Somayaji Dasa

  19. WillemV says :

    Patita Pavanaji,

    I started reading your article with great interest, but then, with every paragraph, I got more and more of a sense of unsubstantiated doomsday-saying extruding from your observations and conclusions.

    First I failed to see the connection between your introductory quote from Srila Prabhupada and the rest of the article. Technically, the darkness before full moons is not a lunar eclipse. As a matter of fact, lunar eclipses always take place on full moon nights. The orbit of the moon crosses the ecliptic twice a month. These crossings are called nodes. There is an ascending and a descending node, which, as I am sure you know well, in jyotish are referred to as Rahu and Ketu respectively. When the full moon occurs in the same position as a node, an eclipse can occur — allowing for two to five eclipses per year. Rahu and Ketu are not physical planets or objects.

    Next, I’m stumbling into a plethora of adjectives worthy of Ragnarok. You indicate there will be “horror stories” for “revelers at parties-from-hell” on the first day of 2010, but I am missing in what way these horror stories of party goers will differ from any other given New Year. I am likewise curious as to what sets the disasters that can “erupt at any point during the cycle and for weeks following it” apart from disasters between eclipses, of which there have been many.

    Sadly, the rest of your text almost reads like a bad movie script in which you link fairly common phenomena to technical jyotish that is lost to the layman — as if to whet the appetite of the gullible.

    According to W. J. Durant there have only been 268 years without war in the last 3,421 years of documented history. So, basically some armed conflict is going on somewhere all the time, with increase and decrease in intensity flowing like waves. The majority of these currently take place in mountainous regions. To “predict” events that are and have been taking place in these realms already is therefore a pretty safe bet.

    Continued…

  20. WillemV says :

    Continued…

    I find even more safe bets in the “predictions” that follow on things that have been going on throughout the year, also in between eclipses. Nothing here stands out of the ordinary. The examples you give, ranging from Tiger Woods to the Afghan troop surge, also mean little in the context you provide. Celebrity and political scandals are almost at the order of the day. This last troop surge isn’t the first one, either. There have been several night-club fires with high fatality rates worldwide, including in the US (Remember the Station nightclub with 100 dead? February 2003, while 2003 lunar and solar eclipses were only in May and November), as well as stampedes with high fatality rates (Bilaspur, 145 dead of which 30 were children; Jodhpur, 197 dead; Delhi, 5 children died; Rabat, 11 dead; Abidjan, 22 dead. None of these were during or after eclipses.).

    I therefore don’t see any value here other than shock value.

    “Capricorn is a poor translation by Vedic standards since a makara is not some goat, but is a wondrous creature that is inconceivable by modern so-called ‘intelligence’.”

    Capricorn is not a translation. Makara is merely the name of the rashi that happens to correspond with Capricorn in the western zodiac. What exactly a Makara is doesn’t seem to be conceivable by any kind of intelligence so far. The general translation is “sea-monster” and it is often depicted as a fish with an elephant-like head. Curiously, Capricorn doesn’t mean goat, but goat-horned, and was in Babylonian times often depicted as a so-called sea-goat – half goat, half fish.

    “Regarding America, it should not be forgotten that this ‘friend of the world’ was founded on war.”

    But wouldn’t anyone be hard pressed to name a currently existing nation that wasn’t founded on war or the results of war? Of course, by now you have singled out the US for a demeaning tirade, almost as if you are happy that it is finally going to get what it apparently in your eyes so richly deserves.

    If this article was meant to market your jyotish skills and services as an objective practitioner, steeped in soberness and compassion, I humbly suggest you try a different approach. This kind of gloomy pop astrology, with its highly condescending tone, is more befitting the likes of Sylvia Brown, et al.

  21. Somayaji says :

    Dear Willem V,

    Hare Krsna.

    Very good analysis of the text. I am glad to see that some people could understand what was really going on. Gives me some hope for the human race. (-;

    This kind of presentation of Jyotish by Patita das is a great disservice to the field of Jyotish and why it has come into disrepute, I can imagine that it gives sincere scholars in the field nightmares.

    Dasan

    Somayaji Dasa

  22. dhimana_krishna says :

    Relax, Prabhus,

    It is only an article which points out the fragile cycles of natural activities and is therefore it is nothing to get so disturbed about that we should begin mud slinging and name calling. No one denies that such disasters are not concomitant with life in the egg of Brahma.

    That we are agreed upon the Vedic science of planetary cycles is worthy of modern scientific analysis is not subject to debate. We have established above that this is a body of natural wisdom approved by the holy Bhagavat, one that deserves further systematic attention. In this forum we have examined not only eclipses but the retrogression of Mercury vis a vis world events or Mundane Astrology as seen in my previous Dandavats contributions on “Astrology of the Gita” and “Astrology of the Bhagavat”. For example, the influence of Mercury moving in retrogression in separation from the Sun, as described in the Bhagavat, gave torture to the Earth as recently as last October just as the spotless Bhagavat proclaimed 5100 years ago! If I, a lone voice, have called attention to such auguries as foreshadow certain events which tend to gather under certain astrological phenomena, with language that is deliberately not bland as seen in this article, it should be no cause to cry “thug”, and that, too, in bold letters! As far as this writer is concerned, if the scientists can name Hurricanes, then astrologers can name eclipses. If I have any contribution to offer, it is this!

    However, it is not true that my sole business is marketing myself and I view this accusation as wholly unjust and cruel bordering upon character assassination. I stand on my Krishna conscious writings which the editors of Dandavats have been kind enough to run since earlier this year. My goal is to preach the message of my spiritual master to the world e-community through writing as ordered by His Divine Grace Shrila Prabhupaada. Those who do not like my approach are welcomed to avoid my writings. I am not the only writer who appears regularly on Dandavats. Life is nothing but the choices we make, and I invite others to choose to avoid my articles if they find my style offensive to them, although I promise an identical conclusion of Krishna’s lotus feet with each contribution. There can be no other purpose for taking pen to hand.

    Continued, please…

  23. dhimana_krishna says :

    Since I am a born follower of my Guru’s follower, most of my words here on Dandavatts have been devoted to the glorification of my dear Godbrothers. Therefore, in their sacred memory, I find it offensive that such words praising Vaishnavas who have gone before us and who have joined the ranks of immortals would be for the mere cause of “marketing.” I am referring by this to my literary glorifications my stalwart Godbrothers Their Holiness’ Vishnujana, Devananada, Suhotra, Shridhar, Gour Govinda and just two days back to Shriman Jayo das for whom I contributed a memorial poem, now posted. The dust of their lotus feet is equal to the Land of Vrindavana. That offensive person who would dare to take the names of such splendid Vasihnavas as a means for personal “marketing”, or who would level such rabid accusations, does so at the risk of causing himself grave harm at the Lord’s lotus feet.

    Neither was I concerned with personal marketing when I scribed “No More Car Accidents” and freely offered the Hora Shastra system of personally finding a good muhurta for a safe journey, which a number of devotees, finding it useful, have written to me about. Therefore, my interest is in the sangha of Vaishnavas. It is my hope that that the bona fide astrological science can be studied in the future as subservient to Vaishnava science and theology and that members of this e–sangha do not run to misleading non-Vaishnava astrologers whom Shrila Prabhupada characterized as karmis. Many of these so called “astrologers” have their intelligence stolen away by offensively worshipping demi-gods and material Nature as on par with the Supreme Lord and are therefore not fit for association, no matter how ethical they appear.

    Now for few words on good and bad muhurtas, if you do not mind. Recently a friend asked me to get him a proper muhurta for visiting India. His previous journey there had been marred by travails of various sorts, and I pointed out the unfortunate stars under which his earlier journey had been undertaken. So I gave him a suggestion, which he followed. When he returned a few months later, he called to say that his trip had been a dream in every way, He had even met an old friend from America in a remote village in the Himalayas. There are hundreds of such examples. India is a dangerous place, with a full 6% of all road accidents occurring on India’s cow-trails turned into motorways.

    Continued, please

  24. dhimana_krishna says :

    ..Continued
    Many devotees have been seriously hurt or killed traveling there, more it seems than other places. Sometimes the difference between a fatal collision and safety is a mere second. And that second makes the difference between a bad and good muhurta. I personally turned to muhurta jyotish after being in a car accident, this one not in India, in which devotees on either side of me were killed.

    There have been many great Vasihnava astrologers among the acharyas blessing this immortal Shri Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya. It is my hope that qualified and devoted pandits more learned than I can ever hope to be will spring up over the next generations so that our members do not need to run to bogus mayavadis for advice.

    Incidentally, as predicted by the article—and since it was written a few days back—Mother earth has indeed reacted (and will continue to do so). A volcano in the Philippines has caused the evacuation of entire towns, an air disaster in Russia killed an entire team of sky divers and a wind storm in Fiji has left a swath of death and destruction. And that rock that bloodied the face of the Italian Prime Minister: what an example of Rahu’s terrible handiwork!

    I am merely one lone individual without resources or any support whatsoever involved in a Bhagavat-based overview of eclipses. I encourage other qualified persons, such as astrologers or members of the Bhaktivedanta Institute, to come forward with the perspicacity of Vaishnava reason. Seedling research performed by a lone individual like me will have its flaws and can speak only in a general sense, and is therefore subject to such rants as seen above. But when the demon Rahu attacks the very life-giving “eyes of the Supreme Lord” who knows what can expected.

  25. dhimana_krishna says :

    …Continued

    But what is certain that the science of Mundane or Worldly Astrology will be best employed by enlightened rulers. The astrology of Nations is meant for the Krishna Conscious guidance of the leaders of nations. Brahmanas are meant to advise kshatriyas.

    It is interesting you mention that sometimes as many as seven eclipses occur in a year. Indeed, that is true, and the years around such times in the past Twentieth Century were horrible, as shown by my research in my forthcoming book Horoscope for Disaster.

    This article has sparked a lively discussion, and while asking for a civil atmosphere, I thank each of you form your thoughts and wisdom for Vaishnava sangha alone is the means of sifting facts from fiction and the panacea for arriving at the lotus feet of the Supreme Absolute Truth. All glories to the Holy Names of the Supreme Lord for They alone can chase the fearsome Rahu from the dark skies of Maya. Hare Krishna.

  26. Maheswaradas says :

    Namaskar Dhimana Krishna Das and other devotees! Please accept my Humble obeisances!!
    Jai Shri Krishna!!! AGTSPP!!

    As any one well versed in the ancient Vedic sciences and conclusion of spiritual and material may know, tools such as astrology are given to man through the divine intent to know about his life. It is like a blueprint. A map. Simple as that. When you know the map, you know the way too. And you may also know if there is a river after 5 miles or a highway. If there is a river, you prepare yourself for crossing it.

    For one who indulges in the workings of the consciousness, (and Krsna Consciousness is not exempted from this), the Gurus and advanced sadhaks know that Bhakti and sadhna also gives rise to arrogance and pride, IF the false ego is not understood and curbed with humility. Even though we say “your servant prabhu” are we actually ready to behave like a servant?? lol.. hell no!! We need to make that statement and make it clear that you are wrong and I’m right!! So what happens to the humble servant???

    We are discussing astrology. An astrologer posts an elaborate study on eclipse. Rest of the people run out to bash him and astrology or its purpose or whatever it is connected with, diplomatically clarifying their positions and reasons for it. Are you above nature?? You think you chant some 54 rounds and turn the sun around?? What arrogance!! Where does Lord Krsna say that?? Where does Srila Prabhupad say so? Is it in the Bhagwatam?! Or the Bhagwad Gita?? Maybe try n lift a boulder over your head to save from rain? Dear brothers, As most of the devotees above have stated, chanting is good and can protect one from bad effects etc.. we all agree on that. Sincere chanting helps protect us and let us have Srila Prabhupad’s and Lord Krsna’s mercy. But we can also use the important tools as Astrology and other.. that the Lord gives us through the eternal Vedas. In one’s zest to focus solely on chanting, one must not put down the other goodies provided for the very benefit of mankind by the all merciful Lord who wants us to excel and get out of this prison or rather I should say exam of the worldly life with ‘A’ grades.

    Our very lives depend on his mercy. But HE is the one who has given the different branches of knowledges to cut our weeds of ignorance and shortcomings holding us, so that we can move ahead and meet him, be able to serve him. Please accept my apologies, for any hard tone. I bow before all the devotees. Hare Krsna!

  27. Somayaji says :

    Dear Patita,

    Jaya Prabhupada.

    As I said at the end of my text and was echoed by Willem V, I am not against astrology nor am I against your marketing your services. I simply object to the way that you do so by employing scare tactics. We both suggested that your purpose would be better served by using less “over the top” rhetoric. I continue to stand by that.

    On another point, I do strongly object to this absurd statement of yours:

    “Incidentally, as predicted by the article—and since it was written a few days back—Mother earth has indeed reacted (and will continue to do so). A volcano in the Philippines has caused the evacuation of entire towns, an air disaster in Russia killed an entire team of sky divers and a wind storm in Fiji has left a swath of death and destruction. And that rock that bloodied the face of the Italian Prime Minister: what an example of Rahu’s terrible handiwork!”

    According to the dictionary: React — To act, or display some form of energy, in response to a stimulus; to undergo a change under some influence.

    In your statement above you ascribe things which have happened more that 2 weeks before the eclipse has even taken place to be the handiwork of the eclipse. Previously you also included things that that happened several weeks ago.

    In other words you are saying that the response to the stimulus took place BEFORE the stimulus even exists. That is impossible.

    Your so-called predictions are based on the resulting influence of the eclipses which have not even occurred yet and are not due to take place till the end of the year. You can not ethically include phenomena that occurred before the eclipse took place to be considered as a result of the eclipse. This is completely absurd.

    A pregnancy is the result of the union of the opposite sexes, in other words only AFTER the sexes unite can there be pregnancy, not before. What you are saying is akin to stating that pregnancy takes place before they unite. This is not only absurd but in the present context of your so–called predictions it is downright dishonest. You can not have a result BEFORE the phenomena which gives the result takes place.

    By this “smoke and mirrors” technique you will have a very high success rate in predicting things for you even include things that happen before the time period of the astronomical phenomena.

  28. dhimana_krishna says :

    My dear Maheshwar das,

    Brilliant! Dandavats at your feet. And here is why I say “brilliant”:

    Forty years ago I met a great Vaishnava pandit in India, not an initiate of ISKCON, but a broad-minded and genuine brahmana who understood the mission, qualities and divine empowerment of Shrila Prabhupada. Yes, India has tens of thousands of such learned sages who literally worship Shrila Prabhupada for his (apparently) miraculous transformation of the world, and they understand it well when they see his horoscope.

    (As a side note, I feel that two of the greatest astrologers ever were Shri Nilambhar Chakravarti who understood the Absolute Supreme Divinity of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhhu at the time of the Lord’s Divine Appearance and thereby understood the flip side of these dreaded eclipses. And, two, the astrologer who appeared at the household of Shri Gour Mohan De just after Sept 1, 1896 when the World Acharya took birth. Shri Bhakti Charu Maharaja had portrayed this event very nicely and accurately in his “Abhaya Charan” series. What he has depicted in this episode is what I witnessed many times when showing Shrila Prabhupada’s chart to genuine pandits.)

    So once, playing the Devi’s Advocate, I took the view before such a learned Vaishnava pandit and argued against astrology. He succinctly made the same points you have so expertly spelled out. Then this holy sage amongst the twice born asked, “So Who has given us this eye of the Vedas? And by Whom are all the Vedas to be known?”

    If the science appears at fault, look to the astrologer, not to the science.

    Recently I was listening to a fine lecture by our exalted Godbrother Shri Bhakti Vikas Swami to a graduating class of ayurvedic students. He asked, “So you know everything about ayurveda?” They smiled and nodded in agreement. Then he told of his encounter with Dr. Panheri, the great physician who has cured “incurable” diseases. Dr. Panheri told our Prabhu that he knows only about 1% of ayurveda.

    Therefore, no one can know astrology but the Supreme Lord Krishna because every soul in unique, and therefore each of the billions of births and muhurthas are unique. A Vaishnava astrologer recognizing this defect we have,can simply point to trends and impulses, while urging the seeker to ultimately shelter in the Divine Nectar of Hari Nama alone.

    Maheshwardas Prabhuji, I bow my head to you as on par with the great pandits I have met. Thank you,

    Patita Pavana das

  29. Somayaji says :

    Dear Patita das,

    Jaya Prabhupada.

    In #14 you make the following statement:

    Shrila Prabhupada spoke of astrology as “lost.” Yet His Divine Grace also enjoyed the reading I prepared for him and to this day his servants in Vrindavan will show you that horoscope and tell you “Shrila Prabhupad said that this is the correct one.” (Dhanush lagna).

    In which you claim the chart that you made with Dhanur Lagna (Sagittarius Rising) was accepted by Srila Prabhupada as correct and supported by his servants in Vrndavana. However, that is not what the record states. The following quotation is from:

    The Transcendental Horoscope of Srila Prabhupada

    Questions for the Governing Body Commission
    of the International Society for Krsna Consciousness

    written by Shyamasundara Prabhu in 1995 for Srila Prabhupada’s centennial (where were you when this was going on?) to resolve the debate about Srila Prabhupada’s rising sign. He conclusively proves that Prabhupada’s rising sign was Makara, that is, Capricorn. Whether or not you or anyone else accepts this conclusion is not the point of my quoting this text. The reason I quote it is because he shows documented evidence that Srila Prabhupada accepted the chart done by Ojha as being most accurate and for this reason Ojha became famous in ISKCON as an accurate astrologer (not you). This is significantly different from what you have stated.

    [begin quote]

    We should accept as very strong evidence what ever Srila Prabhupada has said regarding his birth time and horoscope. Srila Prabhupada has consistently used September 1, 1896 at 4:00 PM in Calcutta as his bio data. This is confirmed by Tamal Krishna Goswami, he states:

    “Prabhupada became noticeably enthused and said: ‘Let us consult an astrologer—whether I should go? Whether I shall be cured? How long I shall live? I was born in the evening at 4:00 p. m. It was Nandotsava. You can consult an old panjika to see the day. It was a Tuesday.’” Section 6.1.

    Srila Prabhupada also accepted the horoscope drawn up by Asutosh Ojha as accurate. Ojha used the 4:00 PM time and with that a Capricorn rising chart. That Prabhupada accepted Ojha is again confirmed by Tamal Krishna Goswami and also Nanda Kumar Prabhu. Tamal Krishna Goswami states:

    Continued…

  30. Somayaji says :

    [quote continued]

    “The 30th July entry: ‘Srila Prabhupada had asked for us to consult an astrologer regarding whether or not he should travel. This afternoon reports came from three different astrologers. These were presented by Yasodanandana Swami, Dr. Sharma, and Bhakti Prema Swami. I had each give their reports separately so that we could see how they agreed and how they differed. Bhakti Prema’s was useless, Dr. Sharma’s was fair, and Yasodanandana Swami’s most reliable.’” Section 6.1.

    It should be noted that it was Yasodanandana Swami who was bringing the report from Ojha. TKG also stated:

    “4th August entry: ‘After lunch Srila Prabhupada had me read again the astrologer’s report brought by Yasodanandana Maharaja. Prabhupada found it to be quite accurate regarding his past.’”

    From various room conversations and the letter of Hari Sauri Prabhu (6.3) we see that Srila Prabhupada had Ojha’s report read to him on at least two occasions after the initial consultation and indeed Prabhupada personally sent Hari Sauri Prabhu to consult Ojha a second time. This clearly indicates as TKG has noted that Srila Prabhupada found the horoscope done by Ojha to be quite accurate. This became so well known and established that on this basis Ojha became a minor celebrity with ISKCON devotees. It became well known that Prabhupada clearly favored him as an accurate astrologer and thus others in the movement consulted him. Nanda Kumar Prabhu states:

    Nanda Kumara: He had many charts done and I had heard that there was one astrologer that he worked with. He [SP] said that this man is the bona fide astrologer—Asutosh Ojha.

    Shyamasundara Dasa: Oh, he said that? Prabhupada actually said that?

    NK: Well, I didn’t hear it. I heard that he had said that.

    SD: From who did you hear that?

    NK: I don’t remember. It was, you know, back in that time. But, I remember that it was mentioned that out of all the astrologers. Because then, I remember right after that I went to see him in Delhi.

    SD: Ahaa.

    NK: And I have this [indistinct]. . . I remember the word that I heard, which was what sparked me to go to see him, was that he [SP] said this man [Ojha] is a bona fide astrologer.

    continued…

  31. Somayaji says :

    [quote continued]

    I suggest that the way that the GBC should answer this question is to simply accept the answer that Srila Prabhupada has given to this question. This is the strongest evidence and should be accepted as the last word. He gave 4:00 PM as his birth time, and since he stated that Ojha was accurate we should also accept the horoscope that Ojha used. This was a chart drawn for 4:00PM with a Capricorn rising. Not any other sign rising. By doing this we accept what Srila Prabhupada has said about himself, avoid speculation caused by inexperience in astrology, and concur with Srila Prabhupada, who is the authority on himself, that the 4:00PM chart with Capricorn rising was “most reliable” and “quite accurate.” We should definitely not accept any horoscope with any rising sign other than Capricorn.

    [end quote]

    The complete and comprehensive text written by Shyamasundara Prabhu with many references can be found at

    http://krishnascience.com/Vaisnava%20Library/Astrology/Horoscope%20of%20Srila%20Prabhupada.htm

    or

    http://tinyurl.com/225sy6

    In conclusion we find that you have wrongly stated as fact that:

    Srila Prabhupada accepted the chart that you did as most accurate.

    That the chart that you made had Dhanur Lagna (Sagittarius Rising) hence this is the accurate chart for Srila Prabhupada.

    In reality it was the chart done by Ojha that was actually accepted by Srila Prabhupada as bona fide and this chart had a Makara Lagna (Capricorn rising).

    Yours in the service of Hari, Guru and Vaisnavas

    Somayaji das

  32. LavangaRadhika says :

    Dear PRABHUs,
    Pamho-Agtsp Re-Patita Pavanas das’s How Solar Eclipses affect you ?
    FIRST–Calm Down ! Its only astrology for petes sake !
    There is merit in good astrology,even for devotees !!!!
    Second I want to comment,its Unfair to attack and criticize him AS IF
    he was some mundane CRASS Salesman and I dont think its his aim or nature to be like that at all ! See his many other articles on Dandavats .com Which are heartfelt true life stories and His realizations as a senior Prabhupad disciple.
    Its obvious His loyalty and love and concern is for the devotee’s in our Iskcon Movement
    and for HDG Srila Prabhupada !!! Just read his other articles to see this !!!
    It just so happens,he is married and a householder and astrology is his service and occupation-SO WHAT ???? Big Deal ,he make’s a PLUG for Astrolology ! Like I said ,He is not a crass salesman and I dont think his aim is to scare us Poor devotees and take our cash
    Arn’t we ALL GROWN UP ADULTS ?? I think we can take what ever he dish’s out for the
    future and YES…its Bleak ! !As grown up adults we can all take this advice as we like….
    take or leave it without emotional insults or attacks to his sincerity or motivation for his presenting astrology If you search Dandavats.com Patita Pavina is giving inspiring heartfelt stories and true life stories as only a senior devotees can..Appreciate that too !
    Im sure his PLUG for astrology at the end of the article was not to Exploit or Fears…Like I said we are all adults RIGHT ?
    Why attack the Messenger ? He is right…its Obvious thing get worse Day by day and year by year as Kali Yuga and Maya Rages ON and ON and ON……Good cause to be concerned
    Bad Karma is heading for America and the world..Kali Yuga is getting worse and worse
    So What to do ? Get Knowledge-From Srila Prabhupada Not mundane PHD Scholar’s and ,Meating eating Clergy,Lieing politicians who are running things to HELL !
    We should arm ourselves with real knowledge-know the possible future and PREACH !
    THE TRUTH–As `Prabhupada Preached ! YES- Kali Yuga is getting much worse and ONLY By DISTRIBUTIING PRABHUPADS BOOKs as much as possible Can we have any hope of Reverse or slow the worlds sins and Bad Karmic future .
    In my sincere humble opinion Go out and distribute books arrgessively again
    EVERY DEVOTEES,,To Every Iskcon Temple
    REVIVE- Prabhupadas Movement and BBT Book Distribution
    Like it was in the 1970’s and Keep it that way
    Your servant,
    Jaya Madhava das(acbsp) Moscow

  33. I think all the negative comments in this thread must be due to the influence of these inauspicious eclipses. Otherwise why would anyone criticize the wonderful efforts of Patita Pavana Prabhu to inspire all the devotees with his interesting articles?

    We should congratulate him and not envy him. It pains me to see him having to defend himself against such criticism, but I feel a little helpless and unable to find the right words to say on his behalf.

    There are many advanced and brilliant devotees here with so many good qualities. [I am especially impressed by Varnadi and look forward to meeting him someday and/or reading his positive realizations about Srila Prabhupada's books.]

    I am sure we can find ways to interact and display our sharp insights and talents without criticizing and disturbing other Vaisnavas. (I sincerely hope I am not disturbing anyone by this suggestion). This will surely please our common father, Srila Prabhupada.

    Sure, an important part of learned discourse may be the pointing out of flaws, disagreements and dislikes. (I remember Gore Vidal wrote a column in some newspaper that began something like: “Hear that sound? It is the sound of literary and film critics sharpening their knives and axes.” And that was before the internet blogosphere! He was talking about the weekend newspaper articles, I think.)

    Yet in the assembly of devotees things go much nicer if we do our criticism very carefully, if at all. (We really could almost do entirely without it most of the time). Otherwise egos flare and we noticeably come less under the control of the internal energy and more under the control of material nature and her various malevolent planets. At least that has been my experience.

    If we have to criticize someone, there is plenty to criticize about those who encourage people to ignore Krishna and His devotional service, and the arguments they make. Those who read and glorify Srila Prabhupada’s books and his followers are our rare treasures, and if we can all cooperate nicely together there are no limits to what we may achieve.

  34. sudama sakha dasa says :

    Hare Krishna!
    This debate has called my attention for several reasons, and the most prominent one is a lack of vaishnava etiquette. It is said that in this age of Kali we have this tendency to make quick judgments, base in personal experience. This only brings quarrel and hypocrisy, and makes harder to attain the sweetness of the holly name.
    Please have fear to misjudge people, specially devotees of the Lord. This is the most dangerous obstacle in devotional service. Check these pastimes: Daksha curses lord Siva, Gadadhara pandit meets Pundarika Vydianidhi, etc.
    Concerning Patita Pavana prabhu, as in post 16, I also have a good appreciation of him, he has helped me, and also did my astral chart. And it was quit extended work for a fair price. I do not think he is doing this to become a rich man. We should see his good intentions, and remember that astrology has a very important place in our culture, so if he wants to preach in this area we should support him, and not discourage his endeavors.
    Patita Pavana prabhu, there are many, as me, who wants to keep reading your nice articles.Thank you very much.
    Your servant
    sudama sakha dasa

  35. WillemV says :

    Comment on #24:

    “Incidentally, as predicted by the article—and since it was written a few days back—Mother earth has indeed reacted (and will continue to do so). A volcano in the Philippines has caused the evacuation of entire towns, an air disaster in Russia killed an entire team of sky divers and a wind storm in Fiji has left a swath of death and destruction. And that rock that bloodied the face of the Italian Prime Minister: what an example of Rahu’s terrible handiwork!”

    With all due respect prabhuji, but anyone could predict this without astrology. Why? Because these are all repetitive phenomena.

    Besides the currently 16 decade-volcanoes that can and/or have shown destructive eruptions, there are about 50 to 60 volcanic eruptions per year all over the globe — 9 in October 2009 alone — that do not show any specific time-correlation with lunar or solar eclipses.

    This year, 2009, saw 50 plane crashes worldwide so far, spread fairly evenly over the months, with a total of 1,076 fatalities. Out of those only 2 are within several days after this year’s prenumbral lunar eclipses of February 9 and July 7. The rest does not coincide with the 5 lunar and solar eclipses that have thus far occurred.

    Several regions on this planet are prone to repeated atmospheric disturbances. The Caribbean and Mexican Gulf region has a yearly hurricane season. Japan and the Philippines have their typhoon season, the West European coast its North Atlantic storm season, the USA Mid West its tornado season, etc. The destruction that comes with these weather phenomena often does include fatalities. Here, too, however, there is no statistical correlation with lunar or solar eclipses.

    If every time a political figure is harassed is Rahu’s handiwork, he must indeed have thousands of hands. Again, you can find instances of this kind of violence throughout the year and on every level. It’s not just the kind that makes world headlines. Not all of the close to 200,000 yearly murders in 83 countries make the headlines, nor do all of the tens of thousands of global yearly suicides.

    What I am pointing out here, prabhuji, is the very shaky relation between the sensationalized daily news that you purport to be proof of your “predictions” based on astrology, and the reality of bare facts.

  36. WillemV says :

    Comment on #26:

    “We are discussing astrology. An astrologer posts an elaborate study on eclipse. Rest of the people run out to bash him and astrology or its purpose or whatever it is connected with, diplomatically clarifying their positions and reasons for it. Are you above nature?? You think you chant some 54 rounds and turn the sun around?? What arrogance!!”

    Maheswaradasji, with all due respect, but isn’t this judgment a bit far-fetched?

    Your premise may rest on the notion that “an elaborate study on eclipse” is being bashed, together with its author, by arrogant people who need to “diplomatically” clarify their motives, but I’m sure that this premise is not shared by everyone – least by me.

    I do not know Patita Pavana personally, nor the extent of his jyotish skills, so I have to go by what is presented in his article, which is *not* an “elaborate study on eclipse.” I would expect an elaborate study to be objective, include historical cross-references and source references, and, if meant for public presentation, simple explanations of technical jargon. The article, on the other hand, reads as sensational pop-astrology with a jyotish slant, sauced up with “predictions” so generalized that they can impossibly not come true. One does not have to be “above nature” to see that.

    In this way I can predict the following for the coming year:

    – 20 airplanes will crash! (because the average is 50 a year)

    – More that 100,000 people will be murdered! (because the average is 200,000 a year)

    – A hurricane will strike Florida! (because it happens every year)

    – Multiple volcano eruptions worldwide! (because the average is 50 a year).

    – Ongoing armed conflict in mountainous regions! (like it has been for centuries)

    – A significant terrorist attack! (because a 75% chance is worth the gamble)

    – Massive forest fires on the US West coast! (because it happens every year)

    – Massive flooding in Bangladesh! (because it happens every year)

    – Draught and famine in East Africa! (because it has been getting worse since 2006)

    – Draught and water shortage in California! (because that has been an ongoing issue since the mid 80s)

    Mark my words… ;-)

    Just like using pseudo-scientific conspiracy material to “disprove” the moon landings is a disservice to the open dialog of understanding puranic cosmology, presenting jyotish in a sensational pop-astrology fashion is a disservice to the art. It makes devotees come across as cult weirdoes.

  37. Regarding comment #27, it raises an interesting point about causation.

    I do not know anything about astrology, Vedic or otherwise, but the question of whether a coming eclipse can influence earthly events that take place *before* the eclipse is an interesting one.

    Our common notion of cause and effect is that the cause precedes the effect and exerts some kind of force or influence that determines the effect. This is a very limited and mechanical notion.

    If we believe in destiny, we may see causation acting “backwards” in time. E.g., It was “because” he was destined to be king that Arthur could pull the Excaliber sword from the stone. Karma may really work like that. I have some fate to marry or kill a certain person, and for that reason (among others) I go to a certain dinner party or get sent to a certain battle.

    Some philosophers (e.g., Hume) have suggested that there may not be a determining force or influence at all, but that because certain events always (in our experience) precede other events, we develop the notion of causal influence. Every time I flip the switch, the light turns on. Therefore I think the switch influences the light. The word “coincidence” literally means two things appearing at or near the same time.

    In astrology we hear that different planets have different personalities and influences, but I have heard some devotee astrologers put forth the theory that the universe is like a giant clock, and one who knows how to read the clock can tell things about the way events will unfold. In other words, it may not be so much that Mars or Jupiter is shining his rays which have particular mechanical influences on us, but just that when these planets are in these locations there is a corresponding atmosphere. One who knows how to read the “clock” uses the language of personality and influence as a convenient shorthand.

    But whether it is really a mechanical influence or a coincidence in time, it makes sense that the so-called “cause” can be a proximity of two “planets” (e.g., Moon and Rahu) within certain degrees of arc, and that this situation exists as much before the eclipse occurs as after it.

    At any rate among the five factors of all actions the Supersoul is the ultimate cause. He is so clever that He can arrange everything expertly to happen when it is supposed to happen. It is inconceivable, really. Even the planets are moving under His direction, and they do not *have* to move by material laws (like gravitation).

  38. Hari Bol says :

    Just a quick few words. This is a brilliant article. It really doesn’t matter what happens next. If something was to happen will happen.We are always attacked anyway by three attackers… Demigods & other living entities,Mother Nature and our own body.I feel that I should keep chanting no matter whatever happens. Hari Haribol!

  39. Somayaji says :

    Sentimentalists:The sentimental habit of mind; the disposition to attribute undue importance to sentimental considerations, or to be governed by sentiment in opposition to reason; the tendency to excessive indulgence in or insincere display of sentiment.

  40. Somayaji says :

    Response to #32

    Jaya Madhava das (acbsp) Moscow said:

    FIRST–Calm Down ! Its only astrology for petes sake !
    There is merit in good astrology, even for devotees !!!!

    Thank you, I agree with you. But this is not good astrology. As Willem V and myself have tried to point out Patita Prabhu has made a presentation of Jyotish not worthy of a serious astrologer.

    I shall repeat what I have said before I am not against astrology, I have also consulted astrologers in the past and found that there are many grades, nor am I against Patita Prabhu making a plug for his services. Why should he not do that?

    Do we have that clear now?

    What I find disturbing is his presentation of this great science. He is not presenting “good astrology” but “bad astrology.”

    So we should accept as true the false statements that he makes as pointed by Willem V. or what Patita das said about Srila Prabhupada’s horoscope that I pointed out in #29-32 just so that we are not seen to be offenders?

  41. Somayaji says :

    Response to #33 and 34

    Akruranatha said:

    …I am sure we can find ways to interact and display our sharp insights and talents without criticizing and disturbing other Vaisnavas. …

    Sudama Sakha Prabhu shared similar views.

    I have noticed over the years a tendency of some aspiring devotees to wander into niyamagraha when it comes to the point of pleasing speech as mentioned in Bg 17.15

    “Austerity of speech consists in speaking words that are truthful, pleasing, beneficial, and not agitating to others, and also in regularly reciting Vedic literature.”

    Those who have wandered into niyamagraha regarding sweet speech have developed an affectation beyond the needs of civility where the form of speech is more important than the topic. And, they will use claims of breach of etiquette as proof that the opposing party is wrong when in fact the real issue is that they have no response. And, they will stifle all meaningful discussion by such tactics and go off in useless tangents. Thus the one who is the most diplomatic, polite, urbane, graceful and humble is considered correct.

    Such grace is successful in small matters but it is not the essential or fundamental thing; it is only an ornament and must therefore be used sparingly and only in little things. It is not an end in itself. It is beauty which is only skin deep.

    Such diplomatic behavior is more suitable to courtiers who are amiable, have very good manners and are very agreeable. But as Samuel Johnson said about the writings of the successful courtier Lord Chesterfield: “They teach the morals of a whore, and the manners of a dancing master.”

    Manu describes such false gentlemen thus:

    “That Brahmana, who with downcast look, of a cruel disposition, is solely intent on attaining his own ends, dishonest and falsely gentle, is one who acts like a heron.” Manu Smriti 4.196

    While I am in no way advocating barbaric crudeness I do want to point out that being a stickler for manners can be more of a fault than a virtue. It is a form of niyamagraha.

    continued…

  42. Somayaji says :

    part 2

    Vidura was an expert in Vaisnava etiquette and Niti sastra yet when it came to important matters he didn’t mince words or wring his hands worrying that someone may be offended by his lack of empathy and compassion. Another quality of a devotee is that they are straightforward so Vidura directly told Dhrtarastra in public not once but at least twice that Duryodhana must be killed to save the Kuru dynasty. How do you sweetly tell a father “your son should be killed?” How do you say it with out agitating people’s minds?

    ‘They are abundant, O king, that can always speak agreeable words. The speaker, however, is rare, as also the hearer, of words that are disagreeable but medicinal. That man who, without regarding what is agreeable or disagreeable to his master but keeping virtue alone in view, sayeth what is unpalatable, but medicinal, truly addeth to the strength of the king.” Vidura to Drtharastra, Mahabharata, Book 5: Udyoga Parva: Section 37

    So while speaking sweetly is an art we should all cultivate it should always be second to speaking the truth at all costs no matter how bitter that truth may be. If we can speak the truth gently so much the better, but such over stressing of the form at the cost of the substance has a corrupting influence on the truth. It will inhibit people from speaking the truth. Sweet speech is an ornament of truth, but it should not be used to waylay the truth and thus become the ornament to a dead body. We do not want to become “damned smiling villains.”

    Chanakya advises that:

    “You should humor a sudra, give gifts to a vaisya, flatter a kshatriya and to a brahmana you can tell the truth.”

    And Bhishma said:

    “Thy words, however, are exceedingly sharp,– the reason, I suppose, being that thou art a Brahmana.” Bhishma to Drupada’s priest who was sent by Yudhisthira. Mahabharata, Book 5: Udyoga Parva: Section 21 [Brahmanas speak the truth, Kshatriyas and others dissimulate via diplomacy.]

    continued…

  43. Somayaji says :

    part 3

    We note that in the exchanges so far Patita has not responded to Willem V.’s texts #35-36 nor my text #27, and #29-31. These texts focus on patently false statements made by Patita, according to you we should just ignore them because he would be offended if we pointed this out in a straightforward manner. Instead you say that we have to find ways of sugar coating what we say so he wont be offended. This is preposterous.

    We have seen a flurry of attacks on us because we have “offended” Patita. What is our offense? We dared to tell the bare faced truth without any sugar coating that he is making a misrepresentation of Jyotish as well as some patently false statements. If this is what it means to be an offender – to stand up for the truth then so be it. Truth is the last leg of dharma in Kali. If you protect dharma then dharma will protect you from any so-called offense.

  44. Tungavidya dd says :

    Dear Patita Pavana Prabhu,

    Please accept my humble obeisances.
    All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

    HDG Srila Prabhupada said that his chart was done immediately after his birth. It was Makara lagna, and according to this lagna, the astrologer was able to predict Srila Prabhupada’s glorious mission in the West and all around the world, as well that he would write his transcendental books. So Srila Prabhupada said it was according to Makara lagna. Not Dhanus lagna.

    Could you present any proof (written or recorded on a tape), that Srila Prabhupada said to you what you are claiming that he did say about your reading of his chart?

    Second what I have noticed is that you are not responding nicely or not at all to devotees who asked you questions, or expressed their doubts, or just have different perception than you do. Somayaji Prabhu and Willem V made some excellent points and obviously are both knowledgeable in this matter, but interestingly you are not responding. You responded only to devotees who sent you flattery words, and it has to do nothing with the original point. And that is that it is not a problem that you advertise you services, but the problem is *how you did it*. So devotees pointed it out to you as a positive criticism. But you ignore them.

    Your servant,
    Tungavidya Devi Dasi

  45. Somayaji says :

    Comment on #37

    Dear Akruranatha Prabhu,

    Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    You seem like a nice, intelligent guy. I was therefore wondering why you would write such a statement:

    “I do not know anything about astrology, Vedic or otherwise…”

    And then write the rest of what you wrote? Please clarify.

    Your humble servant

    Somayaji das

  46. Sankarsana das says :

    I heard a recent class given by Radhanatha Swami in Los Angeles in which he was speaking about an important quality of a devotee is being non-envious. He said in the mundane world if a painter rises to success a farmer does not care. It is only another painter who becomes envious and tries to discredit the success of his competitor. He went on to say that in Krishna consciousness a devotee should appreciate the accomplishments of another devotee who excels in a service similar to their own. The purport of this is that the mean-spirited and righteous articles submitted by a couple of devotees who have some knowledge of astrology have missed the essence of the Krishna conscious spirit of appreciating the credibility and efforts of another prabhu knowledgeable in their field. Such antagonists may see this comment and think “Who’s this simpleton?” and continue on their rampage of discrediting Patita Pavana in some form or other and go on attempting to prove who is right. But vaisnava aparadha is never right and this is a much more critical matter to get right along with appreciating other devotee “competitors” and giving them the benefit of the doubt. This is especially applicable to such a senior devotee as Patita Pavana Prabhu who should be respected and honored for his long standing service to Srila Prabhupada. This is not to say that questions, doubts and corrections can’t be introduced, but these should be done with humility or vaisnava etiquette for bringing forth a deeper understanding of the matter for all. Amen.

  47. dhimana_krishna says :

    My dear Prabhus,

    “An astrologer’s job is to point to planetary trends and cosmic influences as they act upon a native. Once having understood this, it is up to the individual to use that information to make his own intelligent choices. Eternal individuality of the jiva and each soul’s right to make personal decisions is a concomitant philosophical understanding that accompanies the science of jyotish shastra. ”

    This thread is going nowhere and frankly I have no time for such fruitless debate. I simply presented a situation of eclipses because of disturbances in the atmosphere that coincide with the traveling of thousands of devotees. This has caused quite a reaction. Some one wrote me that this is called Dandavats, but I’m just getting the danda. As Newton said, “Sir I have studied the matter and you have not.”

    If sadhu-sangha becomes a source of pain and insulting words, then we must return to the association of those who remind us of Shri Guru’s divine plan for World Krishna consciousness. Vaishnava devotees who respect one another should not be unkindly characterized as “flatterers” as one lady has written. Such demeaning comments have no place in sadhu-sangha, which is a “confidential” matter.

    I have no time to nit pick details, there are few moments left in life. I am the elder member in this discussion yet I am treated as though I am obligated to provide extensive explanation on a variety of relative points which some of you do not agree with in advance. That is the definition of a kangaroo court and not sadhu-sangha.

    As Shrila Prabhupada said, “You can do any damn thing for Krishna.” But if our service becomes the focus rather than Krishna, then we must exchange it for some activity that stimulates the heart and soul on the way to the Lord’s lotus feet.

    I consider Shri Ashutosh Ohja as a friend, and 35 years ago I knew his father. He has been to my house and I have been pleased to share his warm hospitality many times at his place. As gentlemen we have agreed to disagree on some points, but our discussions shall remain private.

    The astrology of Sage Vyasadeva, Shrila Parashara, Shri Bhrigu, and Shri Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaja shall remain our focus in these matters, however. We can only marvel in awe of their sagacious understanding and beg for their blessings. Our learning is nothing by comparison.

    I thank all of you for your input. Hare Krishna.

    -Patita Pavana das Adhikary

  48. Regarding comment # 45,

    Somayaji Prabhu, I will always make a point of trying to answer any question someone puts to me here. I just do not know how to answer you because I do not know exactly what you are asking.

    The truth is, I have never made any study of any form of astrology.

    I do like congenial discourse, though, as you might have noticed. I really champion the idea that devotees ought to be able to sit together in a friendly mood and turn over relevant philosophical questions and examine them from all angles.

    There are certainly limits to analytical reasoning, and Lord Caitanya has brought us the Religion of Love, not of philosophical inquiry and analysis, but we should never shy away from discussing things reasonably, as long as it does not disturb our mood of good fellowship and camaraderie in Srila Prabhupada’s service.

    I thought your comment #27 raised some interesting questions about cause and effect. I did not mean to pretend to be an authority on astrology, but just a participant in an interesting philosophical discussion about fatalism that must (I imagine) have relevance to astrologers as it does to physicists and authors of classical Greek tragedies.

    Saturday evening on book distribution I encountered a friendly Christian missionary and his family who were asking me to show where Bhagavad-Gita says we are saved by grace and not by works. Hard pressed to think of a specific sloka, I answered as follows:

    The Bhagavad-Gita deals in detail with the principle of karma, or reactionary work. In response to Arjuna’s question “What is karma?”, Krishna says in 8.3 that it is action pertaining to development of the material bodies. The material deeds we do now will influence what type of material bodies and fates we will achieve later, in our next life. The body and material situation we have now is an effect of certain causes in the form of works we did in previous lives. Otherwise, why is one person born with a silver spoon and another on a battlefield? It is not simply some inscrutable, mysterious trick of a sadistic God.

    However, God Himself is not the effect of any cause, nor is the transcendental living entity or soul. God’s pure, beautiful, loving devotional service, which is the most precious treasure and highest goal of life, is certainly not the effect of any material cause, and we can never “deserve” such service.

    Then I told them about how Narada’s meditation broke in S.B. 1.6. They liked it.

  49. I do not know if I have answered your question Somayaji Prabhu. If not, please further clarify the question.

    Now, if you will trouble me to answer a question of my own, it seems to me that in your comments Nos. 39 – 43, your are feeling defensive, as if devotees like myself and Sudama Sakha (and maybe Jaya Madhava and Sankarsana) have been “attacking” you. Is that what you think? (I hope not. I do not see it that way).

    You seem to be suggesting (I hope this was not your intention) that I and perhaps some other devotees here have “morals of a whore”, “manners of a dancing master” (whatever that means), “cruel disposition”, am “only intent on achieving my own ends” (i.e., selfish), “dishonest”, “falsely gentle”, a “damned smiling villian”. Can you please clarify if that is what you meant to say? I am sure it must not have been. Could you really think that of me because of anything I said?

    Vidura was indeed an expert in Vaisnava etiquette and niti, and he was dealing with a very grave situation in which Duryodhan et al. were repeatedly conspiring to murder the divine, virtuous, rightful heirs to the throne. Yet he was very careful and circumspect about when and how he spoke (e.g., he warned Yudhisthira about the house of lac privately, with coded words).

    I would say this little Dandavats flurry is really quite a different situation from that of Duryodhana’s dastardly plots, calling for a different approach. I could be wrong.

    You say, “[W]hile speaking sweetly is an art we should all cultivate it should always be second to speaking the truth at all costs no matter how bitter that truth may be.” I question that. It seems a little over-the-top and absolutist.

    I do not mean to say that we should go around lying all the time, but surely we do not have to publicly decry every fault we see in others, do we? “Aversion to faultfinding” (“apaisunam”) is one of the divine qualities listed in B.G. 16.2. Judgment and discretion is required, and when it comes to pointing out others’ faults, I think discretion is usually the better part of valor.

    If this is some kind of ideological dispute or turf war among professional astrologers, maybe it would be better handled in private. What harm to the general welfare would occur if Patita Pavana’s article were allowed to stand without being publicly criticized?

    I do not mean to find fault in you. Really, I welcome this important discussion about etiquette and candor.

  50. Padmapani_das says :

    Hare Krishna. I don’t know too much about astrology, but having consulted a few over the years — both in and outside of ISKCON — I know that their approaches differ greatly and they often disagree on methodologies. However, aside from that, it’s important to recognize that whatever one may think about Patita Pavana Prabhu’s astrological abilities, he’s a devotee. Not only a devotee — but one of the first devotees in ISKCON. Whether we agree with him or or not, the fact that he joined Srila Prabhupada’s mission on 26 Second Avenue in 1967 means something. Despite being heavily chastised by Srila Prabhupada, Patita Pavana — perhaps unlike others who may have been in the same position — still loves and glorifies Srila Prabhupada, the world acarya. I humbly think it’s important to keep this in mind when dealing with any devotee who stands the test of time. We all have faults, but it’s one’s intentions which must be ascertained, and not the human frailties, which we all have. After all, it is said: “A pure devotee never thinks himself as great; he always thinks that other devotees are greater than himself.” (Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 1) It appears to me, that for whatever reason, Patita Pavana Prabhu’s feelings have been hurt. It’s up to each devotee to decide whether this is right or wrong, for I can’t speak for anyone but myself. However, in the 1970’s, Patita Pavana Prabhu tried very hard to save my life in India, for no apparent reason whatsoever but for the goodness in his heart. That’s something I can never forget, and a few differences in astrological opinions will never change that outstanding feat on his part.

  51. Madhusudana says :

    Sankarsana prabhu,

    Thank you for expressing exactly what I would have liked to say but didn’t.

    Patita Pavana prabhu,

    You dazzled me with your astrological descriptions. I did not have the knowledge to pick apart (as others may) whether every detail was correct or not. But you always enliven me with how you quickly connect what you say to some Krishna centered context. It is purifying to hear and pleasing to the heart.

    Varnadi and Somayaji prabhus,

    You both dazzled me with you sharp intellect and knowledge. I did not have the knowledge to pick apart whether every detail was correct or not. But you did not enliven me in Krishna Consciousness. Rather, it aroused my anger at the way you were so intent to “tear apart” the person of Patita Pavana prabhu. Where was the Vaisnava etiquette? Many of the other prabhus’ comments painted a picture of PP prabhu as someone who was not a “Marketer” but a “Servant of the Servant.” Did that make any impression? I think you have misjudged PP prabhu, and harshly at that. Might that be taken into consideration? Or, are your criticisms, and being right, the only things you are interested in?

    Hoping to be your humble servant,
    Madhusudan das (ACBSP)

  52. Matsya says :

    I am glad a number of devotees pointed out the flaws in the original article. I had also been having difficulty making a connection between the eclipses and what ever is currently in the news cycle. Many more similar “horrific” events occur daily, but if the western news media does not deem them newsworthy we don’t hear of them. Almost 5.5 million people have died in the last six years in a war in the Congo. That is greater than the number of Jews killed in the holocaust in a similar period, yet hardly anyone hears of it. The random events used in the examples, for the effects of the solar eclipse, pale in comparison to the hundreds and thousands who are dying daily in that one war.
    Having said that, I believe that the tone and delivery of some of these rebukes has been anything but proper Vaishnava behavior. I perceive some of the attacks to be very bitter, personal and hurtful. It is my perception, but judging from other comments, I am not alone. Why not make these valid points without the (perceived) sarcasm, judgment and criticism.
    Trying to justify Vaishnava apparadha with an unrelated excerpt plucked from the Mahabharata is almost laughable were it not so serious. It is apples and oranges. Vidura’s position was an advisor to the King.( a far cry from our lowly state) His job, was to advise the King. (Maybe Patita can confirm, if he has you in his employ:-) )
    You cannot compare this with an online Vaisnava forum. There are many more differences. Like Lord Siva drinking poison, while also taking drugs, it would mean that we would have to follow all the examples set by the pure devotees in this pastime. Would we humbly sit by, as our wife was disrobed and dishonored? Would we return for another gambling match when Dhritarastra beckoned again? Would we ask for blessing from Dhritarastra and still honor and take care of him after he had caused the murder of all our children? If we are to follow the example of the Mahabharata, then surely it is unbearable tolerance, humility and (to my modern day mind) an insane level of respect for elders that we must copy. This conversation with an older Godbrother would not even exist if we did that. You ask “what is our offense”. It is not the pointing out of the flaws in the original article (that was a good service), but the manner, language, words and way that it was done, which often comes across to me as nasty and spiteful. Hoping my perception is clouded and incorrect :)

  53. Somayaji says :

    Dear Prabhus,

    Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    What is the lesson that I have learned from this?

    In the present forum:

    1: If you present yourself sweetly and play the victim it doesn’t matter what nonsense you say you will be accepted.

    2: On the other hand if the truth is not spoken drenched in sugar syrup you are an offender and not appreciated.

    Since I am not skilled in flattery, sycophancy or purple prose but prefer not to waste time and get right to the point I am perceived as an offender — I submit my defeat and leave this arena so you can enjoy your sweets without interruption from aparadhis such as my worthless self.

    Your humble servant

    Somayaji das

  54. veda says :

    Haribolo

    Although I agree with Patita Pavana’s detractors concerning his tabloid style presentation of astrology in this article, I also agree with Matsya’s comment (52).I did get a feeling of spite, sarcasm and frustration in Somayaji’s latest responses. We can point out our disagreement with his writing style and presentation without getting personal. Maybe Patita Pavana took your point and doesnt want to continue this discussion. No need to get upset about that. No need to throw the Mahabharata or scripture at his head.
    I dont think that having joined ISKCON in a certain year gives us more rights than another devotee or that we should be more forgiving when that devotee makes mistakes compared to say one who joined in the 80’s. However it seems to me that Patita Pavana has a lot of respect from devotees he has helped over the years, his articles (wether you like the style or not) tend to turn the reader to Krsna consciousness, he’s obviously served Srila Prabhupada and he probably made alot of mistakes like the rest of us too – however he is not a Duryodhana purposely trying to harm. Pointing out a mistake is ok – getting personal over it involves false ego and is detrimental.

    jaya srila prabhupada

  55. Sankarsana das says :

    Dear Somayaji Prabhu,

    Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    Coming from someone who did a course at Krishna’s School of Hard Knocks for being a perpetrator of vaisnava aparadha I was not surprised to see that you belittled the good counsel offered you by some devotees regarding your mood of presentation in your articles in this colomn. No one has recommended you to be a sycophant or to be untruthful. That is a cop out on your part to suggest this and it really is just another offense since it suggests you are dismissing yourself from the association of those who advocate untruthful sycophancy. The devotees have your interest at heart and they want you to come to a deeper level of spiritual understanding for your own good. We are on the path of bhakti and that means applying what is favorable for the advancement of bhakti. That requires spiritual intelligence. Just like in the case of Yudhisthira Maharaja when he failed to lie on Krishna’s order to say “Asvattama is dead” his attachment to truthfulness was his spiritual misfortune. The important thing was to carry out Krishna’s interest over all other considerations. For representing truth Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita 17.15: “Austerity of speech consists in speaking words that are truthful, pleasing, beneficial, and not agitating to others, and also in regularly reciting Vedic literature”. Srila Prabhupada also said, “Discretion is the better part of valor”. So a devotee is not crass or oblivious in his presentation. What we also have to consider is that Krishna is the giver of bhakti and He is also the withholder of bhakti. If we are offensive to Krishna’s devotees there is no hope of achieving bhakti. We should also be able to appreciate devotees since they are dear to Krishna. This is so important because without this understanding we will have difficulty staying on the path of bhakti. When I was going through my dark period of vaisnava aparadha many years back I saw my bhakti lata drying up and I realized if I didn’t change my attitude I would not remain a devotee. So when I see a devotee display similar unhealthy devotional symptoms I hope to lend a hand (as other devotees have done for you) so that you can progress spiritually. I saw an intellectual devotee friend do down a negative spiral with vaisnava aparadha and he has yet to resurface after some years. He was speaking near the end like someone out of touch with reality. Krishna let him go.

    ys, Sankarsana das

  56. Dear Somayaji Prabhu,

    Please don’t go away mad and sulking. Nobody is trying to “defeat” you. Nobody wants to turn you into an insincere flatterer or sycophant. We just want to keep the discussion friendly and mutually respectful.

    It seems to be one of the dynamics of internet fora that people take them as an opportunity to “conquer” each other with their own opinions and rhetorical skills. Sometimes “flaming” and sarcastic language erupts.

    I do not know why that is, but I am sure the false ego is involved. We are no longer having a private discussion with someone sitting across the table from us, but we are publishing our comments to be viewed by a larger audience. We start thinking about what the general audience will think of us more than about what the person “sitting across the table” thinks of us. Before you know it, we start “debating” with him and seeing him as an adversary, hoping the “audience” sides with us.

    In face to face discussions, there is usually some genuine affection exchanged. Even if there is disagreement on some points, there is an attempt to win over our interlocutor by acknowledging and highlighting shared common ground and mutual respect. Also, there is the help of facial expressions and tones of voice to assure the other person of our friendly feelings and pleasure in meeting and sharing ideas with him.

    Now, you might say, “This all sounds a bit diplomatic and insincere. Why should we care what anyone thinks of us? We should only be interested in the truth.”

    However, the fact is we are social creatures, and concern for the feelings of others — the desire to be appreciated and to find affection, friendship and love — is part of the underlying dynamic of all human behavior. If we are really interested in the “truth” we have to be “honest” enough to admit that about ourselves.

    Krishna consciousness is primarily about relationships, not about philosophical inquiry. We should philosophically inquire, “Why are my relationships so unsatisfying?” (“Who am I and why am I suffering?”) The answer all of us know is, of course, “They are based on forgetfulness of our real identities as eternal loving servants of Krishna.”

    I actually appreciate your concern that devotees should not be insincere and say one thing while thinking another. We should learn to see what is essential about each other: i.e., that we are really devotees of Krishna (covered perhaps). Then we can stop trying to defeat each other.

  57. Communication is difficult. I am often amazed we can do it at all. Language is a miracle. These sounds and symbols somehow produce ideas and impressions in someone else’s consciousness that are similar to those in my own. Wow! Mind boggling!

    But it is also very easy to be misunderstood, especially on the internet.

    What compels us, motivates us to talk, to blog, to seek out friendships and relationships, and create works of art, compose poems and prayers? There are many motivations, but deep down there is the laudable desire to communicate, to be truly understood and appreciated.

    There is a kind of union in communication (communion? yoga?) that promises to deliver us from the duality that separates us from our fellow living beings. How wonderful it would be to have someone else (another conscious mind!) perceive what is good, pure and noble in me, to really understand and appreciate it!

    [And all the while, Supersoul is sitting and observing everything, the good and bad, the foolish and wise, like the friendly, quiet bird, waiting for us to turn to Him.]

    Somayaji, I *love* that you quoted “Hamlet” (“damned, smiling villain”)! Shakespeare is the master of English authors, and for me this is one of his most interesting plays, wherein he explores the duality between what is in our heart and how we act, of how diplomats and plotters (for good or ill) often must act and speak differently than they truly feel, concealing real intentions, and of how the “melancholic” writers and thinkers (jnanis), fearful of action, spend their time and energies struggling with words and thoughts. [I wish Shakespeare heard Krishna's poems about karma and jnana!]

    I can relate, being more of a Hamlet myself than a Laertes or a Fortinbras, confused and doubtful, trying to unpack my feelings in mere words instead of noble actions.

    And yet you seemed to suggest I am more a pompous Polonius, or even a Claudius (he was the dastardly murderer whom Hamlet called “damned, smiling villain” after all). You never answered my question. I was not trying to defeat you, but asking you to explain what you really feel. I know you did not mean to call me a villain, but it would be nice if you could say so. Let’s be friends.

    Real, honest communication may be only fully available in Vrndavana. In Dwaraka there is the Sudharma assembly, where certain courtly manners must be observed. But in the arena of the rasa dance all reservations can be completely abandoned. :-)

  58. One of my complaints regarding astrology is the seeming lack of clear answers regarding my present and future destiny. I have been in a mode for quite some time of what feels like partial blindness and confusion regarding who I am, and what I should be doing in life, that will bring more peace-of-mind, and feelings of well-being. I reach out every year to my chart and to my astrologer, as well as to all kinds of other sources of direction, including Krishna Consciousness. At the end of the day though, I often feel lost, without an improvement to my mental state.

    The Vedic philosophy states you can not increase your destined happiness or decrease destined suffering. I often wonder what that means, and if that is the only way to view life, as fatalistic, and hopeless. My astrologer states that to improve things I need to increase charity, chant more, and read Srila Prabhupada’s books. I have already been doing all those things for years. I wonder at the same time, why I don’t feel better. If everything is predestined, and no one can expect improvement in their conditions, no matter what they do, why do anything at all?

    I want something to save me, or just give even the slightest feeling of relief, but nothing seems to work for me, or to make me feel better. The Krishna Conscious answers are difficult and long term – no quick and easy solutions. The answers I receive through astrology include continued suffering and struggle, due to birth and life under bad planetary combinations. The answers always point to extreme negativity and struggle. I often wonder if that is the only way to view things, and if there might be alternative ways to approach life’s problems and dilemmas that don’t have to include living in this way.

    In all likelihood, it is just that I don’t want to hear the answers. I have been following the same prescription in life, for many years, without noticing what appears to be tangible progress (similar in feeling to the process of washing coal).

    Behind everything is a person though. We learn that the universe is not run by an impersonal force. The Paramatma witnesses your charity, performance of yajna, study of Vaishnava philosophy, and performances of austerity, which alone is meant to please Him. Perhaps understanding astrology, as well as Vaishnava philosophy, requires the eyes and intelligence to see and understand. But how does one receive such intelligence?

  59. Padmapani_das says :

    Please don’t worry, Somayaji Prabhu. We can take the sauce with the sweet rice. Kindly forgive any offences on my part. I didn’t mean to offend you at all. My comments were based on love for a sincere Godbrother and friend, that’s all. For example, Srila Prabhupada once wrote about Patita Pavana Prabhu:

    “Please convey my appreciation to Patita Uddharana [Patita Pavana] for his nice letter of January 1, 1969, and for his poem which he has sent to me via Rayarama. I have very much appreciated his poetic skills which he has shown in writing this poem, and thus I have requested Rayarama to print it in Back To Godhead as soon as possible. Encourage Patita Uddharana to compose more of such poetries. He is a good boy, and I am pleased that he is doing so nicely.” (Srila Prabhupada letter, January 11, 1969)

    Sometimes we may agree or disagree over various matters, but Srila Prabhupada’s opinion is paramount and we must all respect that. That’s what keeps us together as a family of brothers and sisters in Prabhupada’s great worldwide mission of Krishna Consciousness. So yes, you’re right — incidental matters are subject to varying opinions — but we must see the essence of a devotee’s heart despite any possible mistakes or misunderstandings which may ultimately be corrected by good advice, humility and the time factor. You should be treated and respected in exactly the same way, as should all others, from whatever era of the movement one may have joined. It makes no difference, although out of common courtesy and respect, we do hold dear our elders quite naturally, for they led the way before us, often making our devotional lives possible, or at least easier.

    Srila Prabhupada himself upheld this view when he famously stated that even if we see Brahmananda Prabhu standing on a street corner smoking a cigarette, we must offer him obeisances.

    So although Patita Pavana is an astrologer, he’s much more than that. He’s a Vaisnava devotee of the Lord and should be seen and respected in that light. After all, don’t you feel your heart chakra opening when reading some of his delightful devotional articles? I sure do. So in my humble opinion, he’s a jewel among men — as are you. So let’s try and stick together despite a few minor differences of opinion and personality. I humbly think that we’ll benefit from it and have an easier go of getting back to Godhead, where we all belong together. Hope you agree, best wishes and Godspeed on your journey back home.

  60. pustakrishna says :

    Truly, this has been an interesting blog to read, full of opinions and spice. I know Patita Pavana/Udharana das from February 1971 in NYC when I passed through there en route to preach in Dacca, East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. He is a very good-hearted devotee. It is not unusual to “market” or offer services to other devotees. The Nama-hata, market of the Holy Name, is an invitation to take up the glorification of the beautiful Sankirtan Movement of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

    I, too, do not know much about the science or art of astrology, but we know that it exists in the Vedic culture both in the time of Sri Krishna as well as in our contemporary vaishnava culture. Srila Prabhupad used to comment that his Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad, was also expert in astrology.

    Whether he is a good or bad astrologer, I do not know. Astrology I think involves interpretations that deal with the planets and stars. We know this much. And, we know that Krishna intercedes for His surrendered souls (tesam evanukampartham & mokshayisyami ma sucah).

    When I first encountered Srila Prabhupad in Bombay in March-April 1971, His Divine Grace gave me the following advice personally: “Trust Krishna…He will never let you down.” I have tried my best to take that advice to heart. It is sound advice, and when Srila Prabhupad spoke this to me, I felt that he was acting as a perfect Guru: Krishna says to surrender to and depend upon Me, and Sri Gurudeva echos this: Surrender to and depend upon Krishna. I have never considered that Srila Prabhupad was trying to exploit me in any way.

    I hope that you will also understand my friend Akruranath Prabhus mentality. He is an intellectual devotee with a big heart. He does not like to see conflict amongst the devotees. As a trained and skilled attorney, he is also expert at trying to achieve compromises. I, as a doctor and a bhakta, treat diseases…hopefully with compassion and some degree of expertise.

    Things that are absolute (ie philosophical issues related to the parampara) must not be challenged. Things that are temporal, subject to change, bring us into the realm of duality and opinion. This leads us to the concept of the Dialectic: Thesis is countered by Anti-thesis…which later gives rise to a Synthesis of some sort…that in turn becomes yet another Thesis…and is countered…and so on. Hare Krishna. Pusta Krishna das

  61. Suresh asks, “If everything is predestined, and no one can expect improvement in their conditions, no matter what they do, why do anything at all?”

    Well, in the first place, if you ever tried not doing anything at all, you will find that it is impossible. We are stuck in these bodies. We are breathing, eating, drinking, thinking, and we cannot stop.

    In the “To be or not to be” soliloquy in Hamlet (probably the most famous speech of any English drama), the Prince asks, why not just kill ourselves? Then perhaps we could stop the travails of life. But what if there is an afterlife? (Of course there is). Therefore, making our quietus “with a bare bodkin” (i.e., plunging a naked dagger into our hearts) is hardly a solution.

    “Naive kincit karomiti, yukta manyeta tattva-vit…” (B.G. 5.8-9) Those who really see things as they are never engage in material action. Even while breathing, eating, sleeping, etc., they are aware that these are external activities of the body, that their material senses are simply interacting with sense objects in accordance with the interactions of material nature, and that their own spiritual existence is untouched by such things. This is the factual realization of perfect yogis. Yogis act, with body, mind and senses, only for purification, without attachment to the results. (5.11)

    It does not mean that they sit still in one place and stop breathing or stop thinking (making their thoughts “void”). That is not possible. Even realization of undifferentiated brahman involves an awareness of “I am.” And, such variety-less existence is not stable (“aruhya krcchrena param padam…pataty adho ‘nadrta-yusmad-anghrayah”) (S.B. 10.2.32) Unless one becomes a devotee one will eventually engage in material activities.

    So…why do anything? We should recognize that ultimately we should be motivated only by pure love for Krishna. Activities performed with such motivation are all-blissful and are the activities of the spirit-soul proper.

    In the mean time, although pure devotees do not even desire liberation — (that is how high devotional service is! It stands far above liberation!) — we should recognize our “bound-up” condition and try to act in such a way that we can gradually become liberated from impure motivations achieve love of Krishna (devotional service).

    Chanting, associating with devotees, discussing Krishna, worshiping, supporting the mission through service, etc., will help us become pure and happy.

  62. It is not necessarily that such actions will increase our material wealth or sense gratification. Actually, increasing our wealth and material sense gratification might even be against our best interest (it might cause us, in our diseased condition, to become neglectful of our determination to become pure devotees).

    But by engaging in Krishna consciousness we become happy independent of the external miseries and enjoyments in the vicissitudes of material fortune. We may still have to endure the fates chalked out for us according to our “stars”, which may be the result of millions of lifetimes of previous material actions, but we will experience them differently because of our recollection of Krishna.

    Actually, we do not necessarily have to endure our fate. Although we have kali yuga bodies that generally do not live more than 100 years, if Krishna wishes we can life for 1,000 years or for 100,000 years, as was the case for humans in previous yugas. Krishna always stands above the actions and reactions of material nature, and He can do absolutely anything.

    But as devotees we find it easier to accept our “material” destinies, such as the death of our external bodies. We begin to identify more and more with the activities of spirit, and with our spiritual bodies (which in our current condition we have forgotten).

    These questions about fate, predestination, knowledge of the future (which entails the idea of some unchangeable course of events) have been a central theme of philosophical inquiry throughout human history. The classical Greco-Roman Stoics and Cynics and Neoplatonists struggled with these questions, and Christian philosophers have wrangled to reconcile the idea of fate with spiritual redemption by the Lord’s mercy.

    After further reflection on my conversation with the Christian minister I mentioned in #48, above, trying to think of a verse in the Gita describing that we are “saved by grace”, I came up with 2.64. “Prasadam adhigacchati” means that the self-controlled yogi, following the regulative principles and becoming free from attachment and aversion to all kinds of material destinies, becomes eligible to receive the Lord’s grace. It is that grace which is the “Higher Taste” that enables us to give up lower material engagements.

    I always hated the name of the Festival of India booth, “Vegetarianism–the Higher Taste”. Actually, *prasadam* is the higher taste. It is the Lord’s grace, by which we are saved.

  63. Atmavidya Dasa says :

    Patita Pavana Prabhu said:

    It is a common misconception that eclipses effect only those places of the world where their dark paths are visible. True, places where they are visible are prone to suffer reactions regardless of the sign or rashi involved. Still, an eclipse can affect any country of the earth, even places that cannot see it, especially if a particular event occurs in the ruling sign of that country or region. It takes more than gross instruments like telescopes and satellites to measure the subtle influences of an atmosphere surcharged with the hostility of Rahu and the One Hundred Ketus.

    Dear Patita Pavana Prabhu,

    Hari Bol.

    I found this to be an interesting. Is this statement based on your own experience or can you support it by some sastric pramana say from Brhat Samhita or the works of the famous mundane astrologer BV Raman.

    Your humble servant

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