Osho on Astrology

By OSHO "Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh"

Astrology is perhaps the most ancient subject and also in a way the most ignored. It is the most ancient because astrology has been in existence as far back as we have been able to investigate the history of mankind. Astrological inscriptions have been found on bone remnants from the Sumerian civilization which existed twenty-five thousand years before Jesus. Bone remnants have been discovered with astrological inscriptions and with an outline of the moon's orbit in the sky.

But in India this science is even older. In the Rigveda reference is made to a certain constellation of the stars which could only have occurred ninety-five thousand years ago. Because of this, Lokmanya Tilak concluded that the Vedas must certainly be even more ancient: the constellation of the stars as the Vedas describe it could only have occurred at a certain moment ninety-five thousand years ago; so that particular vedic reference must be at least ninety-five thousand years old.

That particular vedic reference could not have been added at a later period. Other, younger generations would not have been able to work out a constellation that existed many years before. But now we have scientific methods which we can use to discover where the stars were at a particular moment in the distant past.

The deepest laws of astrology were first discovered in India. In fact it was only because of astrology that mathematics was born. To make astrological calculations, first mathematics was needed.

The digits used in arithmetic were invented in India -- the numbers one to ten, which exist in all the world's languages, are basically Indian in origin. And throughout the world the decimal system has been accepted: the decimal system was born in India, and it slowly spread throughout the entire world. When you say "nine" in English, it is simply a modification of the Sanskrit word nav. When you say "eight" in English, it is simply a modification of the Sanskrit word aht. The numerals one to nine, prevalent in all the world's languages, came into existence only because of the influence of Indian astrology.

The first knowledge about the existence of astrology reached the Sumerian civilization from India.

Six thousand years before Jesus, the Sumerians were the first to open the doors of astrology to the Western world. The Sumerians laid the foundation for the scientific study of the constellation. They constructed a gigantic tower, seven hundred feet tall, and from that tower Sumerian priests used to observe the sky twenty-four hours a day. Sumerian metaphysicians soon learned that whatever happens to mankind is somehow ultimately connected with the stars -- they are the source.

Six thousand years before Jesus, it was the view in Sumeria that whenever illness occurs, whenever epidemics are born, the stars are somehow connected. These days there is a scientific basis for this view. And those who understand the science of astrology today say it was the Sumerians who began the history of mankind.

In 1920, a Russian scientist, Chijevsky, investigated this matter deeply and discovered that every eleven years enormous explosions take place on the sun. Every eleven years a nuclear explosion occurs on the sun. Chijevsky discovered that whenever such nuclear explosions occur on the sun, wars and revolutions begin on Earth. According to him, during the past seven hundred years, whenever such phenomena have occurred on the sun, there have been disasters on Earth.

Chijevsky's analysis was undeniable and, because it went against the Marxist viewpoint, in 1920 Stalin had him arrested and thrown into prison. Only after Stalin's death could Chijevsky be released. For Stalin, Chijevsky's conclusions must have seemed very strange. According to Marxist and communist thinking, whatever revolutions occur on the Earth are fundamentally caused by economic differences between men. But Chijevsky declared that the cause of revolutions is the explosions happening on the sun.

How can explosions on the sun possibly be related to the existence of poverty or wealth in the lives of men?

If Chijevsky's thesis is correct, then Marx's entire system disintegrates into dust. Then you cannot explain revolutions any longer in reference to economics and class struggle; then only astrology can explain revolution.

Chijevsky could not be proved wrong. His calculation covering seven hundred years was so scientific, the connection he established between explosions on the sun and phenomena on the Earth was so close, that to prove him wrong was difficult. But to send him to Siberia was a simple matter.

After Stalin's death Khrushchev released Chijevsky from Siberia. Nearly fifty valuable years of this man's life were lost in Siberia. After his release he only lived another four to six months, but in those few months he gathered together even more evidence for his thesis. He also linked the spread of epidemics on the Earth to solar influence.

The sun is not a static ball of fire as we ordinarily think, but rather an infinitely alive and dynamic, fiery organism. The sun changes its mood every moment. And when the sun changes its mood even a little, life on Earth is affected. Nothing happens on the Earth without something happening on the sun. When there is a solar eclipse, the birds in the forest stop singing twenty-four hours before. During the entire time of the eclipse the whole Earth becomes silent. The birds stop their singing and all of the animals in the forest become oppressed and frightened, full of apprehension. The monkeys abandon their trees and come down below. They form themselves into groups, apparently as a means of protection. And it is a surprising thing that these monkeys, who are always gossiping and making a hue and cry, become so quiet at the time of the eclipse that even meditators cannot compare with them.

Chijevsky explained this entire matter, but such thinking first originated in Sumeria. Afterwards, a Swiss physician named Paracelsus discovered more information. He made an unparalleled discovery -- and this discovery will transform all of medical science, if not today then tomorrow. Up until now this discovery could not be considered valid because astrology is such an ignored subject -- the most ancient, the most ignored, and the most respected at the same time.

Last year in France, it was calculated that forty-seven percent of the population believes that astrology is a science.

In America, five thousand leading astrologers are currently at work night and day.

They have so many clients that they can never finish their work properly -- Americans pay millions of dollars yearly to astrologers. It is estimated that throughout the world, seventy-eight percent of people believe in astrology. The seventy-eight percent who believe in astrology belong to the general public. Thinkers and intellectuals are on red alert at the very mention of astrology.

C. G. Jung said that university doors have been closed to astrology for three hundred years, but that in the coming thirty years these doors will again open and astrology will enter the university. It will happen because claims that astrology has made, which have up to now been unproved, can now be proved.

Paracelsus gave birth to one discovery -- that man becomes ill only when the harmonious relationship between himself and the constellation of stars at his birth somehow breaks down. For this, a little explanation is necessary. Many years before Paracelsus, some six hundred years BC, Pythagoras gave birth to the very valuable principle of planetary harmony. When Pythagoras proclaimed this principle in Greece he had just returned from a journey to Egypt and India. At the time when he came, India was intensely absorbed in the ideas of Buddha and Mahavir. After his return to Greece, he included in his reports a specific reference to Buddhist and Jaina monks. He gave the Jaina monks the name Jainosophists, and also reported that they walk about naked.

Pythagoras believed that every star, every planet and every satellite gives out a unique vibration through its movement as it travels in space.

Every movement of the stars gives out a vibration, and every star has its own individual movement. All the vibrations of the stars together make a musical harmony which he called the harmony of the universe.

When you are born, the melody that is created by the tuning of the stars at that time is inscribed on your mind in its freshest, most unsophisticated, and most sensitive state -- that of birth. Throughout your life this will cause good health or ill health. When you live in tune with the original musical harmony that existed at the time of your birth, then you are healthy. And whenever your tuning with this fundamental musical harmony breaks down, you become ill.

In this connection Paracelsus has done very significant work. He would not prescribe medicine to any patient until he had seen his kundali, his astrological birth chart. And it is a surprising thing that after having examined a patient's birth chart, Paracelsus would cure patients who had confused other physicians -- patients who could not be cured by any other physician. He used to say: "Until I know the position of the stars at the time of this man's birth, it is not possible to know the notes of his inner harmony. And unless I know the arrangement of his inner harmony, how can I make this man healthy?"

But what is meant by health? This we must try to understand. Ordinarily, if we ask a physician what the definition of health is, he will only say that health is the absence of sickness. But this is a negative definition. It is unfortunate that we must define health in terms of illness. Health is a positive thing, a positive state; illness is negative. Health is our nature; illness is an attack on nature. So it is very strange that we must define health in terms of illness. To define the host in terms of the guest is very strange.

Health coexists with us; illness comes occasionally.

Health accompanies us at birth; illness is a superficial phenomenon. But if we ask a physician to define health, he can only say that health is present when illness is absent.

Paracelsus used to say that this interpretation is wrong -- the concept of health needs to be positively defined. But how can we reach a positive definition, an interpretation of the concept of health that will be creative?

Paracelsus used to say: "Until the state of your inner harmony is known, you can at best only be released from your illness -- because your inner harmony is the source of your health. But when you are released from one illness you will immediately get another, because nothing has been done about your inner harmony. Your inner harmony has to be supported."

Five hundred years have passed since Paracelsus, and his discoveries disappeared into oblivion. But now, during the past twenty years, astrology has re-emerged. During this time a new science has been born. I will describe this new science a bit, and then you will be able to understand the ancient science of astrology more easily.

In 1950 a new science was born called cosmic chemistry. The originator of this science is Georgi Giardi, one of the most significant men of the century. After endless experiments in the laboratory, this man proved scientifically that the whole universe is an organic unity -- that the whole universe is one body. If my finger is hurt, then my whole body is affected. The body means that no limb is separate, all are joined together. If my eye is in pain, then my big toe also experiences that pain. If my foot is hurt, the message reaches the heart. If my mind is ill, my entire body will be disturbed. If my whole body is destroyed, then it will be difficult for my mind to find anywhere to be. The body is an organic unity: touch a single part and the whole body vibrates; all parts are affected.

Cosmic chemistry says that the entire cosmos is a body.

Nothing in it stands alone, all things are joined together. So no matter how distant a star may be from us, when it changes, our heartbeats also change. And no matter how far away the sun may be, when it becomes very disturbed our blood circulation is also disturbed. Every eleven years an atomic storm occurs on the sun. The last time such a great atomic storm and fiery explosions were going on, a Japanese doctor named Tamatto made an amazing discovery.

This doctor had been doing work on women's blood for twenty years. There is one property unique to female blood which is absent in the blood of males. At the time of menstruation the blood of women becomes thin, but men's blood always remains the same. Women's blood at the time of menstruation grows thin; at the time of pregnancy also their blood grows thin. According to Tamatto, this is the one basic difference between the blood of men and women. But when atomic energy storms were occurring on the sun with great intensity, the blood of men also grew thin. This was a very novel phenomenon. Before this it had never been recorded that men's blood was affected by disturbances on the sun. And if blood can be so affected, then anything can be affected.

There is an American thinker, Frank Brown, who has been working on the safety and facility aspects of space travelers. For half his life, he has made it his task to ensure that the men who travel into space will face no difficulty. The most serious problem is how they will be affected as they leave the Earth. No one knows how much atomic radiation they may encounter or how it may affect them.

For two thousand years after Aristotle, in the West it was thought that space is empty, that nothing is there: two hundred miles away from Earth the atmosphere ceases and there is empty space. But the investigations of space travelers have proved this notion to be wrong. Space is not empty, it is very full. It is neither empty nor dead -- it is extremely alive.

The truth is that the two-hundred mile wide layer of the Earth's atmosphere prevents many harmful influences from reaching us. But in space all kinds of strange currents are flowing, the effects of which man may not be able to withstand.

You will be surprised to learn this, and you will laugh, but before he would let a man be sent into space, Frank Brown sent a potato into space. It was Brown's contention that there is very little essential difference between a man and a potato. If the potato rots, then man cannot survive; if the potato survives, then man may also survive. The potato is a very hardy organism, and man is very sensitive. If even a potato cannot survive in space, then there is no hope of survival for man. If a potato returns alive, and if it sprouts after being sown in the ground, then man can be sent into space. However, there would still be concern about man's ability to survive.

From his experiment Brown proved one more thing -- that a potato seed lying in the ground, or any seed lying in the ground, grows only in relation to the sun. The sun alone arouses it and encourages it to emerge. The sun alone summons the embryo plant and induces its growth.

Brown also did research in another field. This other subject has even now not been given a suitable name, but at present it is called planetary heredity. There is another word in English, horoscope, which comes from the Greek horoscopos. The meaning of the word horoscopos is: I observe the emerging planets.

At the moment a child is born, many stars are emerging all around the Earth's horizon.

Just as the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, so stars rise and set in space twenty-four hours a day. If a child is being born at six o'clock in the morning, at that time the sun too is rising. At that time some stars are also rising, and other stars are setting. Some constellations are ascending, some constellations are on the decline. This child is being born into a certain arrangement of stars in space.

Up until now we have doubted -- and even now many people not deeply familiar with the subject still doubt -- that the moon and stars can have anything to do with man. Wherever the stars may be, what difference will it make to some child being born in a village? And then too, on the same date, under the same constellation, not just one child but thousands of children are born.... Among these one may become the president of some country, but the remainder will not. Among these one may die after one hundred years, and another after two days. Among these one will be a genius and one will be an idiot. So from a superficial viewpoint, one might ask how a child can be related to a horoscope just by being born under a certain constellation and planetary pattern.

The logic of such a question seems clear and direct: Why would the stars be concerned with the birth of a single child? And then also, not just one child is born; under the very same stars many are born who are not all alike. From such logic it seems that the birth of a human being has no connection with the stars.

But from the investigations of Brown, Picardi, Tamatto and others, we can draw a great conclusion. All these scientists say that while we cannot yet claim that a child as an individual is influenced by the stars still we can now say for certain that life as a whole is affected. Whether a child is influenced as an individual we cannot now say or know, but life as a whole is. And if life as a whole is, then as we investigate the facts of the matter more deeply, we will discover that the individual too, is affected by the stars.

One thing more must be considered. It has been thought that astrology is a science which, because it originated in an earlier time, could not develop. But in my view the situation is just the opposite. Astrology was an infinitely developed science in some extremely advanced civilization, but that civilization has been lost and only incomplete fragments of its astrology have remained in our hands.

Astrology is not a new science which needs to be developed, but a science which was at one time very advanced.

Then the civilization which developed it was lost. Civilizations come and go every day; the fundamentals, the basic sayings and the basic principles of those things which have been developed by them, become lost. Today, science is approaching the point where it will accept the thesis that life as a whole is affected by the movements of the stars.

At the time of birth, the condition of a child's mind is exactly like a very sensitive photo plate. Two or three things need to be thought about if we want to understand how life is affected. And only if life is affected can there be the possibility of astrology -- not otherwise.

We should try to understand the phenomenon of twins. Two types of twins exist: One is identical twins -- those who are born from one egg; the other type is of those who, although they are twins, are born from separate eggs -- in the mother's womb two eggs become fertilized, and two children are born. The first type is more rare -- two children from one egg. They are very significant subjects to study because they are born at the same time. Out of necessity we call the children born from separate eggs twins, but the moment of their birth is not exactly the same.

It must be understood that birth is an ambiguous phenomenon. The first aspect of birth is conception -- the actual birth takes place on the day when the fetus is conceived in the mother's womb. This is the actual birth. What you call birth is really birth number two -- when the child comes out of the mother's womb.

If we were to carry out a complete astrological investigation -- as the Hindus alone have done, and done very thoroughly -- then our actual concern would not begin when the child is born. Our actual concern begins when the child starts its journey in the mother's womb, when the conception takes place -- because that is the actual birth. So Hindus have also come to feel that if a particular type of child is to be born, it will be born if intercourse and pregnancy occur under an arrangement of planets and constellation most suitable for that type. Now I will explain to you a little of the background of this, because much work has been done in this area and many things have become clear.

Ordinarily, when a child was born at six o'clock in the morning, we thought that the constellation which existed at that time influences the child. But those who know astrology deeply say that the stars do not cast their influence over a child just because it is born at six o'clock in the morning. No, rather, the child chooses to be born under those stars which will influence him as he wishes to be influenced. This is a radically different thing.

When the child is taking birth, it chooses the planets and stars, and the moment at which it will take birth.

And if we go still more deeply, then the child also chooses the time of its conception.

Every soul chooses its own time of conception -- when it will accept a womb, at which moment. The moment of conception is not insignificant. It is significant in that it is a question of how the entire universe exists at that moment, and to what sort of possibilities the universe opens the door at that moment.

When two children are conceived together from one egg, then the moment of their conception is the same and the moment of their birth is the same. It is interesting that the lives of the two children who have taken birth from one egg are so alike, that it is difficult to say that the moment of birth has no influence. The IQ of twins born from one egg is just about equal. And those who know, say that the fractional difference which arises is because of our faulty measuring devices. Even today we have not been able to develop adequate criteria by which we can quantitatively measure intelligence.

If twins born from the same egg are brought up far apart from each other, their IQs still do not differ. Even if one child is raised in India and another in China, and neither is aware of the existence of the other, this will still be true. Cases have occurred where such twins have been raised far apart from each other until they have attained maturity, but their IQs did not differ. It is surprising that the IQ can be associated with the child's potential at birth.

When the twin who lives in China suffers from a cold, at that time its twin in India also suffers from a cold. Generally, twins born from one egg die in the same year. At the most, three years elapse between their deaths, and at the least, three days -- but never more than three years. If one twin has died, then we can assume that after three days or within three years the other will die. Their attitudes, their behavior, their feelings are parallel, and it seems that the two live in almost exactly the same way. Their similarity is seen in many other things also -- each acts like a copy of the other.

Everyone's skin is individual. If my hand is damaged and new skin needs to be grafted, then your skin cannot be grafted onto my hand; it will be necessary to use a piece of my own skin. On the entire Earth, there will be no one whose skin can be grafted onto my hand. My body will give signs of rejection; it will not accept another's skin. However, the skin of twins born out of one egg can be transplanted. This is the only exception. If the skin of one is grafted onto the skin of the other, the other's body will not reject it. Why is that? What is the cause? We cannot say that it is because they have the same parents, because even though two brothers may have the same parents, their skins are not interchangeable. The only exception is found in those children who were conceived at the same moment. Even between them no other common factor exists.

Their brothers also came from the same mother and father, but their skins cannot be interchanged -- the skin of one brother cannot be grafted onto another brother's body. Only the moment of their births differ; the mother and father are the same, everything else is the same. They differ greatly in only one thing, and that is the moment of their conception.

Is the moment of birth so influential that the life span is of about the same length, that their IQs are almost equal, that their bodily behavior is the same, that when the two fall ill it is from the same illness, and that when the two become well again, it is from the same medicine? Can the moment of birth be so influential?

Astrology has been saying that the moment of birth is even more important than this.

Up until now science has not agreed with astrology, but it is now beginning to do so. In coming to this increasing agreement, some new experiments have been helpful.

For example, when we launched man-made satellites into space, we discovered that a wide range of radioactive rays from space, and the constellations are continuously bombarding the Earth. Nothing on the Earth is unaffected by this phenomenon. We know that the ocean is influenced by the moon, but we have not taken into consideration the fact that the same proportion of water and salt that occurs in the ocean also occurs in the human body -- the same proportion. Seventy percent of the human body consists of water, and the proportion of salt contained in that water is the same as is contained in the Arabian Sea. If the water in the ocean is affected by the moon, then how could the water inside the human body remain unaffected?

Now in this connection, two or three facts emerging from recent investigations must be kept in mind. For example, as the day of the full moon approaches, the amount of insanity in the world increases, whereas on the last day of the darker fourteen days, the least number of people go insane. As the moon grows brighter the level of insanity also begins to increase. On the day of the full moon, the greatest number of people enter madhouses; and on the last day of the moon's waning period, the greatest number of people are discharged from madhouses. Statistics are now available....

In English there is the word lunatic; in Hindi we have the word chaandmara. Chaand refers to the moon, just as lunar does in English. Chaandmara is a very ancient term, and the word lunatic also is some three thousand years old. Some three thousand years ago, people realized that the moon affects the insane. But if it affects the insane, then how can it avoid affecting the sane?

In the final analysis, the construction of the brain and the internal composition of the body are the same for all.

Yes, it may be that the moon affects the insane to a greater extent, and the sane to a lesser extent, but this is simply a quantitative difference. It is impossible that the sane remain completely unaffected by the moon. If that was true, then nobody would go mad -- because everyone who goes mad was once sane. The moon must first affect those who are sane.

Professor Brown made an interesting study. He was a man completely without faith in astrology. He was a skeptic, and in his earlier writings he had very much ridiculed astrology. Yet despite his skepticism he began some investigation. He gathered together the birth charts of many famous generals, doctors, and other professionals. But then he found himself in great difficulty because he discovered that members of particular professions were born under a specific planet, under the same constellation. For instance, among all famous generals the influence of Mars upon their lives is very strong, whereas in the lives of academics the influence of Mars is completely absent.

The study which Brown carried out on some fifty thousand men who were army officers reveals that the influence of Mars is very strong in the lives of these men. Generally, when such personalities take birth, the planet Mars is ascending. The moment of their birth is the moment that Mars begins to rise. Exactly opposite to this, no matter how many pacifists were studied, they were never born at the time when the planet Mars was ascending. If it happened only occasionally, you could think it a coincidence, but there cannot be thousands of cases of coincidence. Mathematicians are born under a specific constellation; poets are never born under this same constellation. In an occasional case there may be a coincidence, but when it happens so often it cannot be a coincidence.

Mathematicians are born under a specific constellation; poets are never born under this same constellation. In an occasional case there may be a coincidence, but when it happens so often it cannot be a coincidence.

In fact, there is a great difference in behavior among people of different professions and occupations -- for example, between poets, mathematicians, warmongers, generals and pacifists. On the one hand, there may be a man like Bertrand Russell who says that there should be peace in the world, and on the other hand, a man like Nietzsche who says that the day war ceases the world will cease to be meaningful. Is it only an intellectual dispute between them, or also a dispute of the stars? Is there only an intellectual dispute between them, or does the moment of their births also separate them?

The more research is done, the more it is being realized that the special talents of a person are revealed by the time of his birth.

Those who know about astrology even superficially would say that this happens because he is born under a specific constellation. But I want to say to you that man chooses the constellation under which he is to be born. He will be born under the appropriate constellation according to what he wants to be -- whatever his innate possibilities, whatever the shape of his last life taken in its entirety, whatever his motivating consciousness. Every child, every new life, insists on a specific moment for birth. It wants to be born at a specific moment; it wants to be conceived at a specific moment -- both are interdependent.

As I have told you, the water of the ocean is subject to certain influences. But all life is created out of water; without water, no life is possible. In ancient Greece, philosophers used to say that only from water is life born, that water is life. Ancient Indian, Chinese and other mythologies also say this. Today scientists who believe in evolution also say that life was born in the water, that perhaps the first life on the planet lived in the water as algae. This was the first form of life, and then out of this, man eventually evolved.

Water is the most mysterious element of all. Whatever influences reach man from the stars, from the universe, from outer space, reach him through the medium of water. Only after affecting the water in a man's body, can any radiation gain access to him. Much work is being done with water, and many mysteries concerning water are coming to man's attention.

The biggest mystery about water which has come to the attention of scientists in the last ten years, is that water possesses a lot of sensitivity. Whatever influences are active, from whatever direction in life, they first move through the medium of water. The water in us is the first thing to be affected. Once the water in us is influenced, then it is very difficult for us to avoid being influenced.

You will be surprised to learn that when the child floats in the mother's womb, he floats just as if he were in the ocean. The water in which the child floats in the mother's womb possesses the same proportion of salt as is present in the ocean. Influences from the mother's body do not reach the child directly; there is no direct connection between the mother and the child growing in her womb. The medium is water; whatever influences reach the child from the mother, do so through the medium of water -- there is no direct relationship. Then throughout our lives the water in our bodies behaves just like the water in the sea.

Fish in the ocean have been much studied. There are fish which come onto the seashore and lay their eggs at low tide when the ocean is receding. Riding with the waves the fish come onto the sand, lay their eggs, and return with the ocean waves. At a fixed time the tide returns, and by then the eggs will have hatched, and the spawn will have come out. Then the incoming tide will take the spawn back out to sea.

Scientists who studied these fish were very surprised, because the fish always come to lay their eggs at low tide.

Scientists are very puzzled as to how these fish know when it is going to be low tide. If there were even the slightest mistake in timing, the eggs would be washed away. But in hundreds of thousands of years they have never made a mistake. If they had made a mistake they would have disappeared as a species. But they have never made a mistake. What equipment do these fish possess by which they can know about the tides? What sense organ do they possess that tells them when the tide will ebb? A hundred thousand fish will be gathered together at one time over the entire seashore.... These fish must possess some kind of signaling system, some kind of transmitter. A hundred thousand fish will come from thousands of miles away to lay their eggs on the ocean beach -- and all at the same time.

Those who have studied the phenomenon say that there can be no source of information other than the moon. The moon is the source of the fish's intuition, nothing else -- the fish know intuitively when the tide is ebbing and when it is rising. The impact of the moon is the only way they have of knowing the tides.

There was another possibility. It has been conjectured that these fish might somehow be influenced by the waves of the ocean. So scientists put them in a place where there are no ocean waves: in water, in an unlit room. But the results turned out to be really surprising. The fish were enveloped in darkness, the moon was not in view -- there was no light visible at all -- but when the moon reached the exact point at which the fish in the ocean would go and lay their eggs on the shore, at exactly the same moment the fish in the laboratory laid their eggs. What does this fact show...? That it is not a question of the ocean waves.

Someone may suggest that the race only begins when the fish receive signals from each other, but this hypothesis does not hold water. Scientists have witnessed the fish when they were isolated from each other. They have tried to disturb the brains of these fish in every way. They have placed the fish in darkness for twenty-four hours, so that the fish do not know when it is morning and when it is night. They have observed these fish after placing them under a bright light for twenty-four hours so that the fish would not know when it is day. They have observed them after setting up an artificial moon, and daily either decreasing or increasing its brilliance -- but these fish could not be fooled. When the real moon came to the right point, only at that moment the fish laid their eggs; wherever they were, they would lay their eggs at that moment.

Every year hundreds of thousands of birds fly thousands and thousands of miles.

Winter is on its way and soon snow will fall, so the birds begin to migrate from the areas where snow will fall. They will fly to a place thousands of miles away to reach this winter home. So these birds migrate exactly one month before the coming of the snow. At the time they are migrating the snow has not yet begun to fall, but exactly a month later it will fall. How do these birds calculate the date on which snow will fall? Our weathermen, who have the most elaborate observatories, cannot come up with such exact information.

I have heard that some weathermen first ask astrologers sitting on the roadside: "What do you think -- will it rain today or not?"

The arrangements which man has made seem childish. Birds know a month and a half, even two months before the first snow falls. After thousands of experiments it has been observed that the day on which birds migrate is fixed for every type of bird. And every year the date changes, because there is no fixed date for snow to fall. But it is certain that every bird will migrate one month before the snow falls. If snow is to fall ten days later than in the previous year, they will migrate ten days later than they did in that year. If the snow falls ten days earlier, they will have migrated ten days earlier. If the date of the first snowfall is uncertain, then how are these birds informed?

In Japan there is a bird which will evacuate a town twenty-four hours before an earthquake occurs. It is just an ordinary town bird -- there are many of them in every town -- but twenty-four hours before an earthquake these birds will evacuate the town. At present, scientists are unable to accurately predict whether an earthquake is coming even two hours beforehand; two hours before they are still uncertain, they are still unsure. There is only a probability, a possibility, that an earthquake may happen. But in Japan people know twenty-four hours in advance that an earthquake is coming. When this bird flies away, the people of the town know that now there is only twenty-four hours' time. The bird has left -- not a single one of this species remains in the town. How does this bird come to know?

For ten years now, scientists have been saying something new: that every living organism possesses an internal sensor which feels the cosmic influences. Perhaps man too possesses it, but has lost awareness of it through depending on his intellect.

Man is the only living being in the world who has, through his so-called intelligence, lost many things which he once had.

Through the same intelligence he has also obtained many things he never had before -- but the outcome is that he has ended up in danger of self-destruction. What he had he has lost, and what he did not have he has invented. But even the tiniest living organisms possess an inner intuitive source, and now scientific data is becoming available which proves that such an inner source exists. The discovery of an inner source makes us aware that there is nothing alive on Earth which is isolated or separate -- everything is joined to the cosmos. Whatever happens anywhere, the effects of it are felt here.

I was talking about Paracelsus.... Present-day physicians are also coming to the conclusion that whenever sunspots emerge and grow on the sun, illness on the Earth increases, and that whenever the sunspots decrease, illness on the earth also decreases. As long as sunspots continue to happen we will never get rid of disease on Earth. Every eleven years there is great turmoil on the sun and huge explosions take place. Whenever explosions and turmoil occur on the sun, wars and disturbances occur on Earth. The wars that take place on Earth follow a ten-year cycle. Epidemics also follow a ten or eleven-year cycle. Revolutions also follow an approximately ten or eleven-year cycle.

Once you have become aware that we are not separate or isolated but joined together in an organic way, then it will be easy to understand astrology. This is why I am explaining all this to you.

In the past some people have thought, and even now think, that astrology is superstition and blind faith. To a great extent this seems to be true. Those things for which it is difficult to find a scientific explanation seem to us to be based only on blind faith. But astrology is very scientific. The meaning of science is the investigation of the relationship between cause and effect. Astrology says that whatever happens on this earth is not uncaused; however, we may not be aware of the causes. Astrology says that the shape which the future will take can-not be isolated from the past but must be connected to it: what you become tomorrow will be connected to what you are today; what you were until today is connected to what you will be tomorrow.

Astrology is a very scientific way of thinking.

It maintains that the future will emerge only out of the past: your today has emerged out of your yesterday and your tomorrow will emerge out of your today. Astrology also maintains that whatever happens tomorrow is in some subtle way present even today. Now try to understand a little about this.

Three days before his assassination, Abraham Lincoln had a dream that he had been murdered, and that his corpse was lying in a special room in the White House. He even noted the number of the room. At that point his sleep was broken, and when he woke up he laughed. He said to his wife: "I dreamed that I was murdered and that my body was lying in room number such-and-such, and in the such-and-such wing of the White House" -- he was sleeping in that wing of the White House. "You stood at my head, and these people were standing all around."

It was a joke, a laughing matter to him. Lincoln and his wife went back to sleep. Three days later Lincoln's assassination took place. Three days later his body was lying in that number room, in that very place, and people were standing around his body in that sequence

If what was to occur three days later had not in some way already occurred, then how could such a dream have taken place? How could the dream resemble what actually took place, in such detail? Such a glimpse is only given in a dream if in some way it is already existent in the present moment. Only then can we get a glimpse of what will take place in the future.

If we open the window of the present we will be able to see that the future is just outside this window. It is the hypothesis of astrology that the future is simply our ignorance -- hence we call it "the future". If we were able to see it, then the future would not happen for us -- we would know it is already present here and now.

There is an incident in Mahavir's life over which there has been much dispute.

Because of this dispute a group of his disciples broke away from him in his very presence. Because of this dispute, five hundred of Mahavir's monks created a separate order. Mahavir used to say that whatever is happening has in some sense already happened: if you are walking, then in a sense you have already arrived at the destination; if you are growing old, then in a sense you have already grown old. Mahavir used to say that whatever is happening, whatever is in process, has already occurred.

One long-time disciple of Mahavir lived far away from him during the monsoon. He was sick, so he asked a newer disciple who was present to spread out a mat for him. So the newer disciple began to spread out the mat and he was just unfolding the rolled-up mat when the older disciple remembered Mahavir's saying. He said: "Stop! Mahavir says that what is happening has already happened."

The mat was in the process of being rolled out but it had not yet been completely opened. It had suddenly occurred to him that Mahavir had said a very wrong thing. The mat was half-opened, but in what sense was it already completely opened?

He left the mat there. After the monsoon he went to Mahavir and said: "You are mistaken when you say that what is happening has already happened, because right now the mat is lying half-opened. It was being opened but it has not been opened. So I have come to prove that your saying is wrong."

Mahavir told him that he had not understood what he had said. This disciple must have had a very childish mind, otherwise he would not have spoken that way. Mahavir said: "You have stopped the process. It was happening but you interrupted it. The mat which you prevented from unfolding was already actualizing itself in the very process of unfolding. It had, in fact, already been actualized. You only saw the mat in the process of unfolding, but one more process was going on, and that is what has already happened. Now for how long will your mat remain folded? It is becoming opened, and it will open. You go back."

When the disciple returned he saw that a man had opened the mat and was lying on it, resting. This man had upset everything; he had destroyed the disciple's whole theory.

When Mahavir was saying that whatever is happening has already happened, he was saying that whatever is happening is the present, whatever may be is the future. The bud which is coming into blossom somewhere has already blossomed, so it will blossom, it will become a flower. Right now the bud is in the process of flowering, right now it is only a bud, but if it is in the process of flowering, then it will flower. Its having flowered has also in a sense already occurred somewhere.

Now we should look at this from another angle. It will be a little difficult.

We always look from the viewpoint of the past.

The bud is blossoming...but our thinking is generally past-oriented, bound to the past. We say that the bud is blossoming, that it is becoming a flower, that the bud will become a flower. But the reverse may be the case. For instance, if I push you from behind, I am making you go forward. But it may also be that someone is pulling you from ahead. The motion can be in both directions. I am pushing you from behind and you are going forward. It may be that someone is pulling you from ahead, and that no one is pushing you from behind. In this case too you will move forward.

Astrology recognizes the incompleteness of the perspective that the past gives the impetus and that the future happens as a result. If one views a phenomenon in its totality, one sees that the past is providing the impetus, but that the future is also exercising a pull, an attraction. The bud becoming a flower is not all that is happening. The flower is calling out to the bud to become a flower -- it is exercising a pull. The past is behind, the future is ahead. Now, in the present moment, there is a bud; the entire past is pushing the bud to become a flower, and the entire future is calling on the bud to become a flower.

Under pressure from both the directions, past and future, the bud will become a flower. If there were no future, the past by itself would not be able to create the flower because the future must provide the space for the bud to become a flower. In the future a place, some space, is necessary. Only if the future provides the space will the bud be able to flower. If there were no future, then no matter how much the past tried, no matter how much it pushed you, it would be in vain. No matter how much I push you from behind, if there is a wall in front of you, I cannot make you move forward. Space is needed to move forward. If I push you and the space ahead accepts you with the invitation: "Come, be my guest," only then can my pushing be significant. For my pushing a space in the future is needed. The past does the work; the future gives the space.

It is the view of astrology that looking from the standpoint of the past alone is insufficient and only partially scientific.

The future is calling all the time, drawing us all the time.

We do not know, we are not aware. This is the weakness of our eyes, this is our shortsightedness -- we cannot see very far. About tomorrow, nothing is revealed to us.

If you looked at Krishnamurti's birth chart, you would be surprised. If Annie Besant or Leadbeater had cared to look at Krishnamurti's birth chart, they would have seen that it was wrong to work with Krishnamurti, because his birth chart clearly shows that whichever organization Krishnamurti was to belong to, he would be its destroyer. It shows that whichever organization he was to belong to, he would bring about its disintegration; whichever organization he was to join, it would die. But Annie Besant was not ready to accept this. No one could think such a thing -- but this is the way it happened.

The theosophical movement tried to groom Krishnamurti as its leader. Theosophy made such an effort on Krishnamurti's behalf that the movement died for ever. Annie Besant created a large organization called the Star of the East, just for Krishnamurti. Then one day, after having inspired the organization, Krishnamurti separated himself from it. Annie Besant had dedicated her entire life to putting the organization on its feet, and had destroyed herself over it. But Krishnamurti cannot be blamed for this. The star under whose influence he was born clearly announced that he would be a destructive and disruptive force within any organization.

The future is not utterly uncertain. Our knowledge is uncertain; our ignorance is weighty. Nothing of the future seems to be revealed to us. We are blind -- nothing at all of the future is revealed to us. And because nothing seems to be revealed to us, we say it is uncertain. But something of the future is revealed to us -- astrology is not merely the study of what the stars and planets say, or of calculating their significance. This is only one dimension of astrology.

Then there are other dimensions of knowing the future too. People have lines on the palms of their hands, people have lines on their foreheads, lines on the soles of their feet -- but this too is superficial.

In the human body there are hidden chakras.

Every chakra has its own unique sensation; every chakra vibrates in its own unique fashion, at its own frequency, all the time. There are ways to check what these are. Human beings have concealed within them the mental impressions or seeds of the past.

Ron Hubbard has brought a new word, a new science, to the West. For the East it is ancient. The name of this science is "time-track". Hubbard thinks that in whatever form a man has lived -- whether as man or beast, whether as plant or stone -- in whatever form he has lived throughout his infinite span of lives, this entire stream of memories is still contained within him. This stream can be exposed, and a person can even be made to re-experience those memories.

In all of Hubbard's research, this is the most valuable discovery. Hubbard has said about time-track that within man there are engrams. On the one hand, we possess a memory by which we recall what happened yesterday and what happened the day before. This is our "working" memory, this is our everyday memory. Just as every shopkeeper or office worker keeps a daily register, this is our working memory. It becomes useless every day, and then no longer exists -- it is not at all permanent. This is the working memory through which we do our work every day, and then every day we throw it out.

But deeper than this is a memory which is not merely for getting work done: a memory which is our life, which sums up our entire experience, the accumulated essence of our experience throughout countless lives on the path. Hubbard has called this an "engram" -- it has become ingrained within us. It lies there in its entirety, locked deep within, just as if a tape is kept locked up in your pocket. It can be opened, and when it is opened it becomes what Mahavir used to call past-life remembrance. Hubbard calls it time-track -- it makes it possible for you to go back in time. When it is opened, the experience is not that you are remembering; it is not as though you are remembering, you relive the experience.

When it is unlocked, when the time-track is unlocked, you do not feel that "I am remembering." No, you relive it. Try to understand. If your time-track is unlocked, this reliving will not be difficult. In fact, without it astrology is incomplete. The deepest realization of astrology is that your past must be unlocked, because if you become aware of your entire past then you will be aware of your entire future; your future will emerge out of your past.

Without knowing your past you cannot know your future, because your future will be the child of your past, your future will be born out of your past.

So first it is necessary that your entire memory track be exposed to view. If your memory track is unlocked -- and for this there are techniques and methods -- you are mistaken if you think that you will remember how your father slapped you when you were a six-year-old child. You will not remember how you were when you were six years old -- you will relive it.

You will relive the event. Also, at the time you are reliving it, if I ask: "What is your name?" you will reply "Junior," not "William Smith Junior" -- a six-year-old child will be replying. You will be reliving the event at this time; you will not be remembering it. William Smith Junior is not remembering when he was six years old. No...William Smith Junior has become six years old. Now he will answer "Junior;" whatever reply he gives will be the reply of a six-year-old child.

If you were brought back to a past life and you remembered that you were a lion, then if you were disturbed at this point you would begin to roar just like a lion. You would not speak like a man. It is possible you would even attack someone with your fingers and nails. If you remembered that you were a stone and someone asked you a question, then you would remain completely silent. You would not be able to speak, you would remain like a stone.

Hubbard has helped thousands of people. For instance, if a man cannot speak, Hubbard would say that this person has been blocked by some childhood memory and cannot move on. He would then take him back along his time-track and break open his engram at the time when he was six years old, or the point at which his growth became blocked and he could not proceed. As he returns to this point, the influence of this childhood memory will disperse. Then this man will again return to being thirty years old and the twenty-four years' difference will be put aside. The surprising thing is that thousands of medicines might not help the man to speak, but by going back along the time-track and then returning, he becomes able to.

Many illnesses come to you only because of this time-track.

Many illnesses fit into this category: for instance, hay fever or asthma. For the patient who suffers from hay fever, a fixed date exists: every year on the same date, at the same time, his hay fever returns. So there can be no remedy for this hay fever. Why?...Because hay fever is not actually a bodily illness, it is a time-track illness. Somewhere a memory has been fixed, somewhere a memory has been blocked.

For instance, a man has a memory related to the twelfth of the month during the rainy season. When the twelfth comes, when the rainy season comes, the man is getting ready; he is already afraid of what will happen. You will be surprised that the hay fever which will now attack him is just something he is reliving -- it is not really hay fever at all. He is only reliving what occurred on the twelfth, the previous year. If you give him any treatment now, you will only be putting him in more trouble. Medical treatment is of no use because he is not the same man who existed a year ago, and who at that time could have been treated. You are unnecessarily throwing the medicine away, because it is going into the man who exists now, not into the man who was sick a year ago. There is no connection between the two, no relationship. Every medicine will fail, every medicine will only increase his hay fever and so he will say that nothing is working. He is again getting ready to repeat what happened the previous year.

Seventy percent of our illnesses happen through the time-track. They have been caught and grasped so tightly that we relive them again and again.

Astrology is not merely the study of the stars, although it includes that. We will talk about this. Besides the study of the stars, there are other, separate, dimensions through which astrology tries to probe man's future, by which it can get hold of the future.

In order to become aware of the future, it is necessary to become aware of the past. In order to be aware of the past, it is necessary to read the inscriptions traced on your body and on your mind. There are inscriptions on your body and there are inscriptions on your mind. From the time astrology became obsessed with these bodily inscriptions, it could no longer go very deep, because these bodily inscriptions are very superficial.

If your mind undergoes a change, then the lines on your palm will immediately change.

If under hypnosis you are assured that after fifteen days you will die, and if every day for fifteen days you are made unconscious and assured in your unconscious state that you will die after fifteen days...whether you actually die or not, your life-line will be broken at the proportional length of fifteen days. A gap will have appeared in your life-line; the body will accept the notion that death is on its way.

The lines traced on the body are a very superficial phenomenon. Deep within is the mind. However, the mind with which you are familiar does not exist deep down; it is superficial. Deep down there is a mind which you do not know at all. The centers that exist deep within this body, which yoga calls chakras, are the accumulated forms of many lives. One who knows can, by placing his hand on a particular chakra, discover how active it is. By touching your seven chakras, it can be known whether you have ever experienced them or not.

I have experimented with the chakras of hundreds of people and I have been surprised to find that at the most one or two, and only rarely three, chakras have begun to be activated; generally, they remain dormant. You have never used them, but they are your past. If a man who has experienced them comes to me, and I can see that all his seven chakras are active, then it can be said that this is his last birth. Then there will not be another birth, because if all seven chakras are active, there is no possibility of another life. This life will be nirvana, this life will be liberation.

If someone came to Mahavir, he made it his concern to discover how many chakras were active in the person -- how much work must be done with him, what his possibilities were, when and whether his labor would bear any fruit or not, and how many more births he would need.

Astrology is an attempt to probe the future by many, many paths. Among these -- and the most commonly used path -- is the study of how the planets and stars influence man. For this, more scientific evidence is becoming available every day. This much has been decided: life is affected and cannot avoid being affected by these influences. Only the second part remains difficult to determine: whether each person is also affected as an individual. It worries scientists a little whether each person is affected individually, whether the three or four billion people on this planet are each affected as individuals. But they must realize that it is so. But why are they so troubled?

Nature gives each person a thumb which is uniquely his, which is individual and unrepeatable.

Nature keeps such a subtle account that it gives each person a thumb which is uniquely his, and a thumbprint which can never belong to anyone else, neither now nor in the future. Several billion people may have lived on the Earth, several billion people may live on the Earth in the future, but my thumbprint will not be repeated. You may be surprised to learn that even in the case of twins born out of one egg their thumb-prints will differ from one another.

If nature can bestow so much individuality on each person with regard to a worthless thing like a thumb -- a thing which is of no special value and which seems to fulfill no special purpose -- if nature can even give a thumb a uniqueness, then can't it give each man a unique life and a unique soul? There seems to be no reason why it should not. But science moves in slow motion -- and it is good! For science, slow motion is good. Until a fact has been completely proved, it is not good to move forward even an inch. But prophets can take a leap. They can declare what will happen in a thousand or even a hundred thousand years -- right now.

Science moves forward inch by inch. It sees only facts, facts that can be experimented upon. Dreaming is of no use to science, but prophets can discover truth even in dreams. For them, even the future is simply the expanded present.

Astrology is basically an investigation of the future. And science is basically the investigation of the past. Science is the investigation of the cause of all that exists today. Astrology is the investigation of the effect of all that exists today. Between the two there is a huge gap. But every day science experiences new things, and the theories which seemed impossible have begun to seem possible.

As I have said, science has only recently accepted that every person is born with a built-in individuality. For a long time it has been reluctant to accept the validity of this idea. But astrology has always been saying this. Just try to understand....

For instance, take a seed, a mango seed...when we sow the mango seed, contained within it there must be some sort of built-in program, there must be a blueprint. If this were not so, the seed would be helpless. It neither takes advice from a specialist nor does it study at a university.... How then can a mango tree develop out of this seed? Still, it produces the mango tree leaf, it bears the mango fruit. Concealed in the stone-like seed there must be a complete program. Without such a program what could the seed do? Everything must be present within it. Whatever the tree will be, must somehow be concealed within the seed. It is not visible to us. We can smash it and dissect it, and it will still not be visible. But it must be there somehow, otherwise a neem tree might possibly emerge from the mango seed.

It seems that there is never a mistake.

Only a mango tree emerges; everything is repeated correctly. Stored in this tiny seed is all the information which relates to what the seed must do -- how it must sprout, what type of leaf and how many branches to produce, how big a tree to become, for how long it will grow, how tall it will grow -- all this must be hidden within the seed. How many mangoes, how sweet, whether they will ripen or not -- all this must be concealed within the seed. If all this is concealed just within a mango seed, then when you come into your mother's womb will there be nothing latent in your seed?

Now scientists agree that even at this stage the color of your eyes must lie concealed, that the color of your hair must lie concealed, that the height of your body must lie concealed, that the possibilities of health and ill health must lie concealed, and that even your IQ must lie concealed -- because without all this how would you develop? And by what means? You must have a program that is built-in in advance. How will certain bones join together as a hand, and others as a foot? One part will begin to see, another part will begin to hear. How can all this happen?

Scientists used to say that it is just coincidence. But the word coincidence seems very unscientific. Coincidence means chance. By chance a foot might begin to see and a hand to hear. But there does not seem to be much coincidence; everything seems to be in order, prearranged.

Astrology says a more scientific thing. It says that every-thing is available within the seed. Astrology says that if we study the seed, if we can discover the language of the seed and if we can decode this language -- if we can ask the seed: "What is your intention?" -- then we will be able to draw up the complete blueprint of a human being too. Scientists have already begun to draw up such blueprints for plants. Up to now we have considered astrology to be superstition, a matter of blind faith. But if science draws up such blue-prints, it will in fact become astrology -- and certainly science has already begun to draw up such blueprints.

Astrology declares that if by divine grace we can come to know the whole, then the future as such will not exist. But because we do not know the whole -- we know only a small fragment -- what we do not know becomes the future. We are obliged to say: "Perhaps it will be like this." Because much is unknown to us. If the whole were known then we could say: "It will be like this." And it would be exactly so.

If everything is latent within the human seed, then it is only a matter of studying the seed.

What I am talking about today must in some form have existed in my seed as a potentiality; otherwise, how could I talk about all this? If some day it becomes possible to observe a human seed, then after observing my seed, a blueprint could be drawn up indicating what I will say in this life, what I will become, what I will not become, what I will make of myself, what I will not make of myself, and what will happen. All this could be forecast. It will not be surprising when, maybe tomorrow if not today, we have the capacity to peep into the human seed. The first steps have already been taken in this direction.

Birth charts and horoscopes are only a probing into all these matters. For thousands of years when a child is born, we have tried to find out what he will become. If we could get some idea, then perhaps we could make some arrangements, and perhaps we could increase the child's opportunities. Then whatever is to happen, we could become accepting of it.

Towards the end of his life, Mulla Nasruddin declared that he had always been miserable, but that suddenly one day he had become happy. The entire population of the village was struck with wonder that a man who had always been depressed, who had always seen the dark side of things, should suddenly have become cheerful. He was a man who had always been pessimistic, who had always looked for thorns.

Once there was an excellent crop in Nasruddin's garden. There were so many apples that the trees were overloaded. One man in the neighborhood inquired whether Nasruddin could now have any complaint. He said: "This time the crop is such that it will rain gold. What do you think, Nasruddin?"

In great sorrow Nasruddin said: "Everything is okay, but where will I get rotten apples to feed the animals?"

Such a man always remains miserable: "Where will I get rotten apples to feed the animals?" All the apples were good, none were rotten -- this was his difficulty.

Suddenly one day this man became happy, and so the people of the village were curious. They asked: "You are happy, Nasruddin? What is the secret?"

Nasruddin said: "I have learned to cooperate with the inevitable. After many years of struggling, I have realized something. Now I have decided that what must be, must be. Now I cooperate with the inevitable, so now there is no reason to be miserable. Now I am happy."

Astrology investigates many things. It lends a cooperative hand to whatever is inevitable. It does not unnecessarily struggle against whatever is to be. It does not demand or reach out towards whatever is not to be.

Astrology was a means for making man religious -- for bringing him to suchness, for bringing him to an ultimate acceptance.

It has many dimensions, it has many aspects. We will gradually discuss each dimension. For today, just this much: that the universe is a living body, an organic unity. In it nothing is isolated, all is connected. Whatever is far away is connected to that which is near, nothing is separate.

So no one should remain in a fallacy that he is an isolated island, separate, aloof. Each one is connected to the whole, and each one is all the time affecting the other and being affected by the other. Even when you pass by a stone lying on the road, it is throwing its vibrations in your direction. The flowers too are throwing out their vibrations. And you are not just passing by, you too are throwing out your vibrations.

I said that we are affected by the moon and the stars. Another idea that astrology has is that the moon and the stars are affected by us, because influence comes from both directions. Whenever a man like Buddha is born on the Earth, the moon may not realize that it is because of him that storms are not arising on its surface -- that because of Buddha the storms have subsided. The moon is affected and the sun is also moved.

When spots occur on the sun and storms arise, diseases spread across the Earth. When a person like Buddha is born on the Earth, a current of peace flows, the pillar of consciousness grows strong, and the deep beauty of meditation moves over the Earth; which also makes it difficult for a storm to arise on the sun because everything is joined together.

A tiny blade of grass has an impact on the sun, and the sun has its impact on the blade of grass. The blade of grass is not so tiny that the sun can say: "I do not care about you," nor is the sun so big that it can say: "What can this blade of grass do for me?" Life is interconnected. Here nothing is big or small; everything is one organic unity.

Life is a whole. You will only understand astrology if you can perceive this wholeness, otherwise you will not.

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

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

Yesterday I talked to you about twins. Some experiments on empathy can be conducted when twins born of the same egg are placed in separate rooms. During the last fifty years many of these kinds of experiments have been conducted. Twins were put into separate rooms, a bell was rung, and the children were told to write or draw whatsoever they first thought of when the bell was rung. This was repeated twenty times, and it was observed with great wonder that ninety percent of the pictures drawn by the twins were similar. The flow of thoughts produced in one child on the ringing of the bell, and the word or picture brought about by that thought, would be the same as in the other twin.

This similarity of experience is described by scientists as empathy.

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

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

There is a research center in America known as the Tree Ring Research Center. If you cut down a tree, you will find a number of rings or circles visible across the cut surface. The beautiful decorative designs in the grain of wooden furniture are due to these circles. This research center has spent the last fifty years working on the formation of these rings.

Professor Douglas, the center's director, who has spent a major part of his life studying them, has discovered a number of facts. Ordinarily, all of us know that the age of a tree can be calculated from the number of these rings. Every year one new ring is grown; one new layer is made within the tree every year. If the tree is fifty years old, if it has seen fifty autumns, then fifty rings have formed inside the tree.

But it is surprising to know that these rings also indicate what sort of seasons there were in a particular year. If the seasons were hotter or wetter than usual, the ring formation is broader. If the seasons were cold and dry, the ring is not so wide. It is possible to know when there were strong rains, when there was drought, and when the seasons were very cold.

If Buddha had said that there was a good rainfall in a particular year, the bodhi tree under which he sat would confirm the truth of it. Buddha might have made a mistake, but the tree could not. The tree ring will be wider or thinner, indicating the type of season that particular year.

While conducting his research, Professor Douglas reached still another conclusion which was far beyond anything he could have anticipated. He observed that the rings are wider every eleventh year -- and every eleventh year there is maximum nuclear activity on the sun; the sun becomes more active. It is as if the sun has a periodic rhythm, and its radioactivity is then at a maximum. During such a year a tree makes a wider ring -- not in one forest or in one place or country, but all over the Earth all trees behave similarly in order to protect themselves from the intensified radioactivity. To protect itself from the excessive power that is released by the sun, the tree grows a thicker skin every eleventh year. Due to this phenomenon, scientists coined a new phrase: "global climate".

The seasons are different in different places: it will be raining in one place, cold in another, and hot somewhere else; and the idea of there being a global climate has never existed before. So in referring to the effects of this eleventh year, Professor Douglas coined the term "global climate". And while we may not notice it, trees do. There is a gradual decrease in the width of the tree rings that are formed after the eleventh year, and after five years there is again a gradual increase in the width up to the eleventh year.

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

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

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

One more point is also worth noting. Just as there are radioactive storms on the sun every eleventh year, there is similarly another periodic rhythm of ninety years on the sun. This has only come to light recently, but it is a scientific fact, and it is as surprising as the periodic rhythm occurring each eleven years. Astrologers do not mention anything about this, but I am telling you to make it easier for you to understand astrology in a scientific manner. There is a cycle of ninety years which has been experienced, and its story is quite amazing.

Four thousand years ago, an Egyptian pharaoh told his scientists to keep a record of how often the water in the River Nile increases or decreases, and by how much. The River Nile is the only river in the world with a "biography" four thousand years old. A record has been kept of when the water level in the river increased or decreased by even one inch. This record runs from the time of the pharaohs, four thousand years ago, until today.

"Pharaoh" is the name given to an Egyptian emperor, and in the Egyptian language it means the sun. There was a belief in Egypt that a continuous dialogue exists between the sun and the River Nile. The pharaohs, who were devotees of the sun, declared that a complete record of the Nile should be kept. They said: "We know nothing about the sun at present, but we will some day, and this record will be useful."

So for four thousand years everything about the River Nile has been recorded: the increase in the water level, when there were floods and when there were none.... And one Egyptian scholar, Tasman, compiled its history. Some things that were not known in the times of the pharaohs are now known, and everything that has happened in the Nile has been compared with events on the sun. A ninety-year rhythm has been clearly indicated to relate to happenings on the sun. These events are quite similar to what we call birth and death.

Understand it this way: the sun is youthful for forty-five years and then begins to decline, to age, for forty-five years. For forty-five years the energy flow within the sun increases towards a peak of youth. After forty-five years there is a receding flow of energy, as within a human being. After ninety years the sun becomes very old. During the latter forty-five years, the Earth is struck with earthquakes. Earthquakes are related to this ninety-year cycle. At the end of the ninetieth year, the sun again starts to become youthful.

This is a very important cyclical occurrence.

There are such immense changes happening on the sun that it is also natural for the Earth to be shaken. When a body as huge as the Earth becomes shaken by earthquakes because of changes on the sun, how can the small body of man remain unaffected? This is the question astrologers have been asking. They say it is impossible for the body of man to remain unaffected. Children that are born during the forty-five years when the sun is growing, in its youthful phase, are wonderfully healthy. But children that are born during the forty-five years when the sun is growing old cannot be in sound health.

The condition of children born during the period when the sun is on the downward path is like that of a ship that has to travel east when the winds are blowing west -- a great deal of physical effort is needed to move the oars. The sails do not work, so the helmsman has to work harder. It is like swimming against the current. The sun is the vital energy source for the whole solar family. So whenever the sun is on the decline, whosoever is youthful must swim against the current. He has to undergo a great strain.

And whenever the sun is on the incline, the entire solar family is filled with energy and is moving toward its peak. Whoever is born then is in a ship that is sailing in the direction of the wind. No effort is needed; neither the oars nor the rudder have to be moved. The sails have only to be opened and the ship is moved by the winds. During this period the least number of diseases is prevalent on the earth. And when the sun is on the decline, we get the maximum number of diseases. So for forty-five years on Earth there is an increase in diseases, and for the next forty-five years there is a decrease, and so on.

The River Nile's historical record of four thousand years shows that there is an increased amount of water flowing in it during the forty-five years when the sun is in its youth. Whenever the sun is on the decline, the water level in the Nile drops and its current also becomes less strong and more sluggish.

Man is not an island, he is part of this whole unity.

Not even the best watches that man has made tell the time as accurately as the Earth does. It takes twenty-three hours and fifty-six minutes for the Earth to make one revolution around its axis. On the basis of this time period we have devised a day of twenty-four hours. And so far the Earth has never been known to take one second more or less to complete its revolution. But the reason is that we have not had any totally accurate means with which to study this phenomenon so we have only made rough estimates. But when the sun's cycle of ninety years is completed and it readjusts for a new cycle, the Earth's clock is shaken.

At the time when the sun experiences increased radioactivity, during its eleven-year cycle, then too the Earth's clock is disturbed. Whenever the Earth comes under the influence of such external forces its inner rhythm is disturbed. Any new cosmic influence like a star, a meteor, or a comet passing near the Earth also disturbs it. On a cosmic scale, things very far away in the sky are really very near, because everything is interconnected in an invisible way.

However, the ability of our language to express this phenomenon is very weak, because when we say that a star has come a little nearer to our sun, we think about this in the ordinary sense of one person coming nearer to another. Yet, these distances are very great; even a slight change in the distances between cosmic objects and the axis of the earth is disturbed -- although we may not at all be aware of this. To disturb the Earth, a great force is required. For even a one inch shift on the Earth, powerful cosmic bodies are required to pass near its orbit.

When these great cosmic bodies pass near the Earth, they also pass near us. When the Earth is shaken, it is not possible that the trees growing on it are not shaken. It is not possible that the human being living and walking on it is not shaken. No, everything is shaken, but the shaking is very minute, and man had no instruments to measure it with. Now however, we have such sensitive electronic instruments, that a vibration of a thousandth of a second's duration can also be measured. But the vibration of the human being still cannot be measured. We have so far not made any instruments to measure this with.

Man is a very subtle creature and it is necessary for him to be that way; otherwise it would be difficult for him to live on the Earth. If he was able to experience and be aware of the influence of all the surrounding forces that act upon him twenty-four hours a day, he would not be able to live. We are only able to live because we are not aware of everything that is happening around us.

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

The range of our experience is limited. For example, suppose we measure the body's temperature as being between ninety-eight degrees at the lowest point and one hundred and ten degrees at the highest point, that shows that we are living within these twelve degrees.

If the temperature drops much below ninety-eight degrees we will die, and if it shoots up above one hundred and ten degrees we will also die. But do you think that the temperature range of the universe is limited to just twelve degrees? Man lives within the limited range of twelve degrees -- outside of this range he will die. Man lives in a sort of balance. He has to fluctuate between ninety-eight and one hundred and ten degrees. Similarly, there are balances for everything.

I am speaking to you and you can hear me. If I speak in a very low tone, a point will come where you will not be able to hear me. This you can understand, but you will not be able to imagine that there is a higher point of audibility beyond which you cannot hear. It will be difficult to imagine that a louder noise can also be inaudible.

Scientists say that we have a certain range of hearing, and that we cannot hear anything below or above it. All around us great thundering noises are occurring, but we cannot hear them. If a star disintegrates or a new planet is born, tremendous, thundering noises are created around the Earth. If we were to hear them, then at that very moment we would become deaf. But we are protected because our ears cannot hear them . We cannot hear below certain decibels and we cannot hear above certain decibels; we can only hear within a certain range.

There are even limits to smelling. The senses of all human beings operate within a particular range. For example, a dog is able to smell much more than you can. Its range of smell is wider; a dog can smell what we are not able to smell. What we are not able to hear, a horse can. A horse's sense of hearing and smell is much sharper. A horse can smell the approach of a lion from a distance of one and a half miles. It will suddenly stop, and we will not understand why. Its sense of smell is very powerful. But if you had such a strong sense of smell that you could experience all the smells pervading your surroundings, you would go mad. A human being is closed within a sort of capsule -- he has boundaries.

When you switch on your radio you can listen to many stations. But do you think that the music begins only when the radio is switched on? The radio waves of music and speech are continuously flowing in the air, whether you switch on your radio or not. But you can only hear them when the radio is switched on. In this very room, the radio waves of all the broadcasting stations of the world are continuously flowing, but you can only hear them when you switch on your radio. Those radio waves are there even when your radio is not switched on, but you cannot hear them.

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

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

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

It is just as though we expose a film in a camera. You press the exposure button of a camera, and within a split second the lens window opens and closes, and whatsoever was in front of the camera is immediately registered on the film. The film is exposed without affecting the previous exposure. The film has captured the image of the scene forever.

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

You will be surprised to know that ninety percent of children are born at night. Ordinarily, in accordance with mathematical probability, the percentage of births would be the same for night as for day. There might be a fluctuation of four to five percent here and there, but why should ninety percent be born during the night? Only ten percent of births, at the most, occur during the day. There must be a reason for it -- there are many reasons for it. Let me explain....

When a child is born at night, the first exposure of the world upon its mind is not of light, but of darkness. I am telling you this only by way of illustration, because the matter is really much deeper. Only by way of illustration am I telling you that the first impression upon the mind of the child is that of darkness. The sun is absent, its energy is absent. All around, the world is sleeping -- nothing is actually awake. This is the first impact on the child.

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

Whosoever is born after sunrise will be born with energy.

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

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

When a chick is born to a hen, it immediately starts running after the hen. We say that it is running after the mother, but scientists say that this has nothing to do with the mother, that it is only a question of exposure and imprinting. Scientists have now conducted hundreds of experiments.... One experiment was on chicks about to be born. The chicks' beaks were emerging from the eggs, and just then the hen was removed from the scene and instead a balloon was placed in front of the chicks. When the chicks opened their eyes they saw the balloon. You will be surprised to know that the chicks loved the balloon as if it were their mother. Wherever that balloon moved in the air, they would run after it. They did not care for the mother, wherever she might be, but they became surprisingly sensitive towards the balloon. When the chicks became tired, they would go and sit beside the balloon. They would try to love the balloon, they would try to peck at the balloon -- not at the mother.

Konrad Lorenz, the scientist who has done a great deal of work in this connection, says that the first moment of exposure is the most important. The chick becomes intimately related to the mother because of that first exposure; it runs after the mother only because she was available to it first.

Now some more experiments are being conducted.... Male children who are not brought up in the presence of the mother are not capable of loving any woman. There has been no proper exposure; the image of a woman has not been properly imprinted on such a child's mind. If homosexuality is increasing in the West, one fundamental reason is an insufficient exposure to one of the parents. Heterosexual love, love between opposite sexes, is becoming less and less in the West, and love between members of the same sex is increasing. Although this is an unnatural happening, it is bound to be there.

The sexual attraction between a man and a woman is also conditioned in another way.

To whom a child will be first exposed is a matter that should be considered. A woman will not be happy her whole life if, as a baby girl, she was first exposed to the mother. Her exposure should be to a man. The first impact on the mind of a girl should be of her father; only then she will be capable of loving a man fully. If men always surpass women, it is because boys and girls are both first exposed to and brought up by the mother.

The exposure of the boy is correct, but that of the girl is not. So, as long as a baby girl's first exposure is not to her father, it will not be possible for her to become equal to a man. Neither through politics, nor through employment, nor through economic independence can she become equal, because from a psychological perspective, the weakness in the personality of a girl remains. No civilization has so far been able to overcome this weakness.

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

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

It is like knowing the exact effect of what would happen when an atom bomb explodes amidst a populated area like Hiroshima.

Before the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, it was only known that hundreds of thousands of people would die. But it was not known that this would also affect future generations and everything else too. For those who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki it was just a matter of one moment. But the trees that remained behind, the animals, the birds, the fish and the human beings that remained behind, were all permanently affected in an unknown manner. The total effect of this will be known only after about ten generations pass, because deep radioactive forces are still at work.

Any woman surviving had her ovaries affected by radioactivity. Now these ovaries are incapable of reproducing normal children, such as they would have done before they were affected by the radioactivity. A child born of these ovaries could be lame or blind, it could have four or even eight eyes; it could be anything -- one cannot say. Its brain may be diseased, or it may be a genius such as has never been born before. We are not certain what it will be like; we know only one thing for certain, and that is that it will not be like an ordinary, normal human being.

If the power of an atomic bomb, which is comparatively not a very great power, can cause such great harm to life on Earth, then you can begin to imagine the power of the sun. It is as if millions of atom bombs are bursting on it simultaneously. In Hiroshima and Nagasaki an atom bomb killed one hundred and twenty thousand human beings. In comparison, can you imagine how much radioactivity exists on the sun?

The sun has been heating the Earth for four billion years, and scientists say that there is no possibility of its beginning to grow cool for millions of years. Each day it gives out tremendous heat to the Earth, and that too from a distance of almost one hundred million miles. Whatever happened in Hiroshima only effected a radius of up to ten miles, whereas the sun has been giving us heat from a distance of one hundred million miles, and for so long; it is still not exhausted. But compared with other suns in the universe our sun is just a tiny star. The stars that we see in the sky are much bigger than our sun, and each one of them has its own individual radiation which is flowing towards us.

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

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

In this context, let us understand one more thing. Astrology is not a new science that is still developing. The position is quite the reverse. If you have seen the Taj Mahal, you may have noticed some incomplete walls beyond the opposite bank of the River Yamuna. The current story is that Shah Jehan not only made the Taj Mahal for his wife Mumtaz, but that he was also constructing a tomb for himself, from the same marble stone as the Taj Mahal, on the opposite bank of the River Yamuna. However, according to the story, that tomb could not be completed. But now this has been researched by historians who tell us that the walls which look incomplete are not the walls of a tomb that was being constructed, but the ruins of a big palace that existed long ago.

For the last three hundred years we have been told that these walls were the incomplete walls of a tomb that Shah Jehan had begun to construct. But the walls of a tomb being newly built and the ruins of some old palace would look similar, so it is very difficult to decide what exactly these walls are. Historical research now indicates that not only were they once a complete palace, but that the Taj Mahal itself was not constructed by Shah Jehan. It was an old palace constructed by Hindus, which Shah Jehan converted into a tomb. But it often happens that we cannot believe anything that contradicts what we have always heard.

No tomb like the Taj Mahal has been constructed anywhere else in the world. A tomb is never constructed like this. All around the Taj Mahal there are places for soldiers to stand, and for installing rifles and guns. Tombs do not need to be protected by rifles and guns. It was an old palace that was converted. On the opposite bank of the Yamuna there was also an old palace which collapsed and its ruins remain as a witness.

Astrology is also like the ruins of a great building that once existed.

It was a complete science which has been lost. It is neither new nor is it in the process of construction. From the walls that have remained it is not possible to judge how big that building once might have been. Many times truths are realized only to become lost again.

About two hundred years before Christ, Aristarchus, a Greek scientist, discovered that the sun is the center of our universe and not the earth. This principle of Aristarchus became known as the heliocentric principle -- that the sun is at the center. But later, in about 100 AD, Ptolemy again changed this discovery and said that the earth was the center. After that, it took over one thousand years until Kepler and Copernicus reestablished that the sun is the center of our universe. The truth discovered by Aristarchus remained hidden for a very long time, until Copernicus opened the old book of Aristarchus and declared it again...and people were shocked.

In the West it is said that America was discovered by Columbus. When Oscar Wilde went to America he made a joke about it that has become well known. He said that America had been discovered much earlier by someone else. This is true; America was discovered many times, and was lost again and again when relations with it were cut off. Someone asked Oscar Wilde: "If Columbus did not discover it the first time, if it had already been discovered, why did it become lost every time?"

Oscar Wilde jokingly replied: "He did discover America. It was discovered many times, but every time it was hushed up. Every time it was necessary to keep it quiet, because such a troublesome thing is best forgotten and put away."

In the Mahabharata epic there are references to America -- one of Arjuna's wives was from Mexico. There are ancient Hindu temples in Mexico with idols of Ganesh carved on them.

It happens many times that the truth comes within our grasp and then is lost again. Astrology was one such great truth: it was once known about, but subsequently lost. There are difficulties in the way of knowing it again; that is why I am talking to you from many different points of view.

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

In the name of astrology, ninety-nine percent of astrologers only bluff.

Only one percent will not dogmatically assert that an event will definitely happen. They know that astrology is a vast subject -- so vast that someone can only enter into it hesitatingly.

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

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

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

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

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

Someone goes and asks an astrologer when he will get employment -- there is no relationship between your employment and the moon and stars. Someone asks whether he will marry or not -- a society without marriage is possible. Someone asks whether he will remain poor or become rich -- a socialist or communist society where there will be no rich and no poor people is possible. So these are nonessential questions....

An eighty-year-old man was walking along when his foot slipped on a banana peel that had been thrown onto the road. Now, is it possible to inquire of an astrologer, to know from the moon and stars on which road and on which banana peel the foot will slip? Such queries are foolish. But you are curious to know in advance whether your foot will step on a banana peel and slip if you go out on the road today. This is nonessential. This has nothing to do with your being or your soul. These events happen on the periphery, and astrology has nothing to do with them. But because astrologers were busy talking only about these kinds of things, the great establishment of astrology collapsed. This was the only reason.

No intelligent person is going to be prepared to believe that when he was born it was written in his destiny, that on a particular day, on Marine Drive, his foot would step on some banana peel, and he would fall. Neither the fall nor the banana peel have any relationship to the stars. Astrology has lost respectability because it became connected with these kinds of things.

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

If our knowledge about the diagnosis of diseases was improved we would be able to increase the life span of human beings -- we have already been doing it. If our research to make deadlier atom bombs succeeds we will be able to kill hundreds of thousands of people at a time -- we have done it.

This semi-essential world presents a possibility that we may be able to do certain things if we know in advance what is going to happen.

If we do not know, nothing can be done. By our knowing in advance, alternatives can be sorted out and selected.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Goshalak asked: "What are you saying?"

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

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

Goshalak then asked: "Why are you smiling?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We have associated the most trivial matters with astrology. These matters have no value, and difficulties have arisen because we have connected them with astrology. For example, we have connected astrology with questions about a person being born into a poor family or a rich family. Until you can understand that such things are nonessential, you will continue to connect them with astrology.

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

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

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

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

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

People have asked both Mahavir and Buddha such questions. If what is going to happen is predestined, why should Mahavir or Buddha have taken so much trouble to explain what is right and what is wrong? So Ali asked Mohammed what he thought about this controversial matter. If Mahavir or Buddha had been asked such a question, they would have given a very complicated and deep reply, but Mohammed gave a reply which Ali could understand. Many of Mohammed's replies were direct and straightforward.

Ordinarily, answers given by people who are uneducated or less educated, by people who are simple villagers, are direct and frank. People like Kabir, Nanak, Mohammed and Jesus were simple in that way. Answers by people like Buddha, Mahavir and Krishna were complex -- Buddha and Mahavir were the cream of a rich and highly developed civilization. The words of Jesus were direct, like a blow on the head. Kabir has actually sung: "Kabir is standing in the open market with a hammer in his hand to hit you!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is an old conflict for the human mind.

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

I remember a story about Mulla Nasruddin: Mulla was passing by a mosque when suddenly, someone fell down from the minaret of the mosque where he had climbed to say his prayers. The man fell right onto Mulla's shoulders, and Mulla's spine was broken. So Mulla was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Some of his disciples came to see him, and because Mulla used to interpret all events they asked him: "How do you interpret this event? What does it mean?"

Mulla replied: "It is very clear that there is no relationship between an act and its fruit. One person falls and someone else's spine breaks. And so from now on never enter into any controversy about the doctrine of karma. It has been proved that one person may fall and that the spine of another can break. The person who fell was healthy and hearty: he fell on me and I got in a mess. I had not climbed the minaret to say my prayers; I was just returning home. I was not in any way concerned with the prayers, but still I got involved. So from now on...no more talk about the doctrine of karma! Anything can happen. There is no law -- it is all anarchy."

Mulla was very unhappy, naturally, because his spine had been unnecessarily broken.

There are two hypotheses. On the one hand there is the astrologer who is sitting on the side of the road being asked about the nonessential.... Whether he is the astrologer of a poor man or of Morarji Desai, the finance minister, it does not make any difference -- all astrologers who deal with the non- essential, with questions like whether or not one will win the elections, are ordinary. How are the elections connected with the moon and the stars? The ordinary astrologer who replies: "Everything is predetermined and no changes, not even as much as one inch can be made" -- is making a false statement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The heaviest blow of astrology is upon the ego.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mulla Nasruddin replied that he was in a hurry.

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

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