Reprint with the kind permission of NZ Indian Outlook
‘By Jogyata Dallas
Humanity has always wondered about its future, devising myriad ways to look beyond the present moment to prepare and shape its destinies and its fortunes. Since ancient times, shamans have looked for patterns in the spiraling contours of smoke, taken hallucinogenic plants to unveil the mysteries of life and to access other dimensions; Tarot cards are still widely consulted and interpreted; clairvoyancy has flourished and messages channeled from Ascended Masters and psychics; and there have always been tea leaf auguries, prophecies and visions, gazing into crystal balls, interpreting the flight of birds, the prognostications of dreams.
Prediction is also now a developing science, venturing into the hugely complex world of advanced computers, with algorithmic capacity handling cascading terabytes of data. Researchers may still fall far short of predicting outcomes with the precision that policy-makers long for, but the scenarios that they can now envision are modelling outcomes used in governance and world economies.
Among these arts and sciences, astrology has always enjoyed an undying, even resurgent popularity, and many aficionados of this discipline use it to determine their way forward and guide them in their decision-making. During his lifetime, spiritual master Sri Chinmoy was often asked about astrology and the following excerpts are drawn from his responses to a number of questions about the scope and power of astrology. In a talk titled ‘Astrology, the Supernatural and the Beyond’ he comments:
“Astrology is the song of the stars. That which has been decreed and that which has already entered into the world of manifestation is recorded in the stars. When astrology deals with the past, with what has already been recorded, it is nearly always correct. But astrology also lets us see potentiality, and it seeks to tell the future on the strength of the past. Expert astrologers are adept at entering into the truth of this realm. In most cases, when it is carefully and scientifically done, astrology is absolutely correct for ordinary people who have no faith in God or in themselves.
Astrology is one hundred per cent correct when one is totally in the physical world and is living an ordinary human life. When one enters into the inner life, the spiritual life, it is sixty or seventy per cent correct. If the aspirant is in touch consciously or unconsciously with his inner being, and if his inner being is constantly in touch with the Source, there will be many, many bad things that he can avoid. Finally, when one is consciously in communion with God, astrology does not function at all for that person, because everything in his life comes directly from God. True oneness with God is far beyond astrology.
Even if people have faith in themselves, with this faith they can transcend astrology. That is why we say that faith changes things by an unchanging will. If we have an unchanging will, fate can be changed. True, all our past deeds are recorded in the stars. But if we want to obliterate fate, it is like obliterating something on a tape recorder. I say something and it is recorded, but if I want to erase it, I can.
On a deeper level there is always a higher force called God’s Grace. God’s Grace can change anybody’s fate. This Grace is almighty; it changes the   possibilities and transcends the laws of astrology, which are God’s cosmic Laws. Sometimes an astrologer’s prediction is actually true, but it does not happen because of the divine Grace. Furthermore, we have lines in our palms that show how many years we shall live on earth. In some cases, anybody who knows palmistry will say that a person’s life-line is only for, say, thirty-two or thirty-three years, but this person may be seventy-two or seventy-five years old now. How does it happen? Some higher power has been responsible.
In India there are quite a few systems of casting horoscopes. The Bhrigu system is most significant. It was introduced thousands of years ago and now there are volumes upon volumes written about it, with everything recorded. You just give your chart to the brahmin, the astrologer who is dealing with this system, and he will turn the pages in front of you and tell you everything about your life. Very often it is true. In horoscopes we see that many times death is written for a person. Astrologers mention that there will be danger and the person will die. But many of these
people are still alive. There is nothing that cannot be changed by the infinite Grace of the Supreme.
Astrology does not have the power to change our fate, but spirituality or Yoga does have this power. The difference between astrology and Yoga is that astrology only indicates; it indicates the future on the basis of the past, but it does not change it. Yoga, however, can actually defeat the past and shape the future. Astrology plays its role most effectively until one has entered into deeper spirituality. There astrology bows down. Before one accepts spirituality, astrology is very powerful, like a lion. Then when one enters into a deeper spiritual life, astrology becomes a tiny household cat.”