[Advaita-l] Interpreting Jyotishya and their effects in Advaita vedanta

jaldhar at braincells.com jaldhar at braincells.com
Sat Feb 20 01:15:11 EST 2021

On Fri, 19 Feb 2021, Vishesh Bhat via Advaita-l wrote:

> What is the position of Advaita Vedanta on Jyotishya?? Since the Navagrahas
> and the Nakshatras are mentioned in the Vedas, does Jyotishya too have any
> basis in Advaita Vedanta??

As jyotisha has a Vedic basis and is a mainstream part of Smarta Hinduism 
it is fair to say that all acharyas and vidvans of the past have accepted 

> I ask this in order to better understand Karma. For Jyotishya claims that
> the poorva janma karma is manifested as the placement of the Grahas in the
> jAtaka also influences the mind and thus determines the actions of the Jiva
> in any given life at any time. But if this is so, then wouldn't it be wrong
> to attribute bad Karma to these deeds as they are essentially not done with
> free will, but compulsion, one could say vAsana??
> I could also probably extend my question to understand problems that are
> sometimes associated with the influence of Pitr, Preta, Yaksha, etc. How
> does Adavita address these issues??

Yes all these things can have positive and negative effects.  And the 
remedies for the same offered in the shastras have effects on those.  But 
the problem from the Advaita perspective is that karma is in infinite 
regress.  Some misfortune may have happened because of ones previous karma 
but that in turn may have been the result of some previous karma and so 
on.  At no point can you say *this* is the cause.  Ultimately the only way 
to avoid the sukha and duhkha of samsara is to renounce karma altogether. 
This is why sannyasa is the requirement for mukti.

As for free will, technically you do not have it because "you" are by 
definition nothing more than the effects of prior karma.  But again, 
because karma is infinite in scope, you can never account for it 
completely so in practice you are free to act as you wish.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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