”What’s in the way IS the way”
Jyotisha - The Gift of Lakshmi DEVI
The Vedic tradition speaks of the seven great seers known as the Saptarishis. They were all the sons of the mind of Lord Brahma, the Creator. He created these sons to watch over his creation and maintain the welfare of the universe. He taught them all Vedas and left them to carry out their duties.
Six of the seven devoted themselves to the worship of Saraswati Devi and successfully cultivated her grace. However, they soon learned that wisdom alone does not appease hunger and their lives became embittered. The seventh son was named Bhrigu. he sought further understanding and approached Lord Varuna who taught him that the world is divided into those who eat and that which is eaten, emphasizing the necessity of paying attention to the Purushartha of Artha. It is the mandate of every living creature to first secure its survival. Only then are other pursuits possible.
Bhrigu began the practice of invoking Lakshmi Devi and the goddess of abundance blessed him. His brothers noticed and implored him to share the secret to his prosperous life. Out of compassion for Bhrigu’s brothers and for all creation, Lakshmi Devi instructed Bhrigu to compose the The Bhrigu Samhita, the great treatise on Jyotisha.
Studying this venerable work led to the ability to practice this precious skill thereby ensuring a dharmic livlihood for the brothers and anyone else who was dedicated to the path of knowledge. Many will seek out one who has the knowledge of past, present and future. Therefore it was Goddess Lakshmi who was instrumental in giving the divine knowledge of Jyotisha through Bhrigu to those who tread the path of dharma and knowledge and with it, the means to support themselves by helping others through the light of Jyotisha.
The Limbs of Jyotisha Part V - Muhurta
Muhurta is the art of creating the best cosmic environment to support the start of an endeavor. My teacher Hart deFouw described this in such a charming way that I really can’t match it with a better metaphor. He spoke of the benefits of having a cosmic valet who would ensure that you went out to whatever event you had planned outfitted in the most appropriate way.
The Bible reminds us in the beautiful passage “to everything there is a time and a purpose under heaven”. In the vast complexity of our human lives, it is true there is a time for everything but do we arrive at an event in chaos and ignorance or have we planned it so we can have the best and most appropriate relationship with that particular moment in time?
I have heard concern that studying and applying this limb of Jyotisha can result in a tendency to micro-manage one’s life and lead to stultification. Nothing can be further from the truth. Muhurta applied properly and without fanaticism creates flow in life and improves the karmaphala. Even in so called “inauspicious” time periods, the compassion of the tradition allows for simple adjustments that will give a much better outcome.
When there is flexibility in scheduling a major life event, there are a number of considerations that are to be applied but even in the absence of that flexibility, it is still possible and preferable to accentuate the positive and show up well dressed.
Pradosham is considered sacred to Lord Shiva and typically refers to the bimonthly occurrence of Trayodashi Tithi – the 13th lunar day which occurs once in the Moon’s waxing cycle and once in the Moon’s waning cycle. It is considered highly auspicious to worship Lord Shiva on this day and it is also recognized as a powerful day to remove negative karmaphala. Observing Pradosham with meditation, prayer or spiritual practice of any kind is very auspicious.
There is also a daily Pradosham which occurs just before sunset and is considered a time of day when ‘negative’ energy runs most powerfully. It is not uncommon to find in India that many traditional people use this time of day for their worship and prayer. Consider setting aside 45 minutes before sunset for puja, meditation or your yoga practice. Alternatively, you can simply light a candle and say a small prayer everyday just before the sun sets.
Whenever Trayodashi Pradosham happens to occur on a Monday or Saturday, these are considered especially effective periods for the removal of ‘dosha’.
Pradosham is the day that Lord Shiva drank the poison during the churning of the ocean. Therefore on this day, he is capable of absorbing the greatest of doshas – for our benefit. According to the Shiva Purana, the one who regularly observes a fast from sunrise to sunset on Pradosham and worships Lord Shiva with great sincerity will be granted all of life’s glories, including wealth, children, contentment and honor.
Astronomy Picture of the Day
There is a wonderful website by NASA that features a gorgeous new picture every day of some fascinating feature of the cosmos. The photos are commented on by professional astronomers. In addition, there is an archive treasure trove of past photographs. It’s a great site to wake up to every morning.
A big thanks to the folks at Kalamrita for contributing articles for this newsletter. Be sure to check out their beautiful website