Eastern Cosmology – Soul or Atman
Pandit Sanjay Rath at Astrological Lodge of London, 29th April 2019
Eastern Cosmology, Soul or Atman and King of your Chart or Atmakaraka
Sonal Sachdeva: Thank you very much for coming. This is our first session after Easter break. We have people for whom this is their first time at a regular lodge event, the ‘Astrological Lodge of London’, so, welcome. And this is the first time Pandit Sanjay Rath is going to be speaking for the Astrological Lodge of London. And very briefly, for people, who have no idea about the lodge and what they do, I am going to bore you with literally a minute about the introduction to the Lodge.
It was set up by Helena Blavatsky in 1872, around then, along with a whole host of other people. At some point, it split up and Annie Besant made Adyar, in Chennai, India the main collaboration where all the branches of the Theosophical Society of the world are. There was the main branch and their philosophy was very open – it is about self-transformation, it is totally about unity of consciousness. And in some ways, it is interesting, that she adopted Jiddu Krishnamurti. I was told by Kim Farnell, the President of the Lodge, who has written a book on the Astrological Lodge of London and its history, that Jiddu Krishnamurti was instrumental and one of the core leaders for the Theosophical society. Most of you are familiar with Jiddu Krishnamurti, right? It is funny how the big universe is coincidences because a friend of mine just in America, I grew up with, mentioned that her great-uncle was very close to him and doing the certain meditation. So, there are no coincidences. The Lodge is an offshoot of founded by Allan and Basilio. Basilio was the first president of the Astrology Lodge. At that time, it was called the Theosophical Lodge and eventually they took their own way into astrology with the help of Alan Lee, Charles Carter and few others. And as everything it has a great lineage.
That is where the Eastern philosophies and religion come together, because Pandit Sanjay Rath also has a great lineage. It was Shri Achyutānanda Das, who was a 16th Century scholar seer from Orissa, which is where Pandit ji is from. And amongst all we have the Jaimini scholars here including his wife Sarbani Rath who is also a Jaimini scholar from his tradition. So, there is no better person to speak about one of my most favorite topics – the Eastern Philosophy and including the Atmakaraka, which I am sure, over the years people who are regulars at the Lodge have heard from me – all about the Atmakaraka and the King of the chart. So, without much ado please welcome Pandit Sanjay Rath.
Pandit Sanjay Rath: Thank you for your warm welcome. I have been looking forward to this day to be speaking to all of you at the Lodge and we have a beautiful topic to talk about – the soul. The ‘soul’ is an English word. You know there was a French expert who said that the Hindus do not have an equivalent for the soul. What exactly is the soul? Whenever I say ‘the soul’ what do the English think? What is the soul? Go ahead, anybody? What do you think is the soul? I mean, you have been coming to Theosophical Society (TS), you have been studying philosophy. So, what is the soul that you think? I mean, I need to understand.
– The consciousness of the person, that existed before his birth and will exist after death.
Correct, very correct. The consciousness is ingrain. That consciousness is what we call ‘light’, is it not? That is the light. That is what we call the ātman. Ātman is like a light. The word used is ātman. From ‘at’- the self. It is the self which is awakening to itself. So, that is the ātman.
The way the Eastern philosophies know the ātman is – they say that the karma is associated with the atman. The Karma simply means ‘action’ at a very low level. At a higher level karma has much more. It has desire, it has what we call fruits of actions, it has knowledge. So, кarman is associated with the ātman. We need first to understand, that we are actually spirits; our souls have a material experience. How many of you agree with that? Most of you do, is it? Thank you. If you do not, then you need to ask yourself: what happens after death? I mean, do you just dissolve into nothing? You do not. Because if you think you do that, read a book called ‘Life after death’. There was one Swami called Abhedananda of the Ramakrishna mission. In India you ask anybody: ‘Do you think there is ghost, there are spirits after death?’ Even a fool will saу: ‘Of course it is there, I have heard my grandfather said it.’ There are ghosts, we become ghosts after we die. And this ghost is bhūta; the word used is bhūta. And so, they are frightening. You suddenly get frightened with your same grandparent, who is dead now. So, Takur Ramakrishna told him: ‘Do not do your research over here, go to London and do research. Because there the people do not believe. If you can prove it to them, they will believe that there is a life after death.’
What happens to you after you die will depend upon the state of your soul and that is called the state of the ātman. You as a being are totally responsible for your own soul, nobody else is. You have come alone; you will leave alone. It is as simple as that.
While studying the soul different philosophers came up with different ideas, they all agree on one thing – with deep meditation they said, that the soul is a spark of light, a tiny little spark, like this, they said, like your thumb. It is a tiny little spark near your heart. They said – it is in the heart chakra. So, the heart chakra is said to be on the left-hand side. I have observed, that in London and in America many people say that the heart chakra is over here, in the center. They are wrong, that is not the heart chakra, that is the chest chakra. This is the chest, is not it? I mean, where do you have your heart in the center? The heart is slightly on the side, left-hand side. People say: ‘No, no, Sanjay, you are playing around. The heart chakra is right here, in the center.’ It is not. You as a soul are in your heart chakra and this soul is of the size of the thumb – very tiny little fiber of light.
But the Śankara and the other great teachers of the Hindu philosophies, they said that to know the ātman, you have to understand that it is not just one fiber of white light, that you see in your deepest meditations. In your deepest meditations, when you reach that level of the rishis, what you will see is a tiny little fiber of white light, like the filament of a lamp, like a lamp burning. What you are seeing is white light. Actually, it is not just one filament; there are eight such tiny-tiny wires. And these eight are tied around it like a core. And these are seven colors and there is 8th, which is black. So, therefore, these seven colors and the black light together are forming the white light.
This is something, coming at least a few thousand years back. And when did we get to know that light had seven colors? We always said: light has seven colors. But did you know that there is a color which we do not talk about, called the dark energy, which was only recently discovered? So as science advances, we realize that the Eastern philosophies (we call them ‘Eastern’ because they were recorded in the East, the West also had this knowledge), that there is some truth in this light, the eight lights of the soul. And that is what we are going to examine today, and how this was incorporated in the subject called Jyotish. Vedic Astrology is the Western name given for the subject. That is not the original Eastern name. The Eastern name is Jyotish. Jyoti means ‘light’, Jyotisha, Isha is ‘God’. So, the ‘Light of God’, to study these eight lights is the essence of the subject.
So, to say that ‘I am studying Vedic Astrology and I do not agree on the soul or I do not know’… We can agree or disagree, argue, but the idea is to start studying it. That there is a soul, that we have not come here by mistake, we are not just random creatures, who like, you know, just rain fell, and the tree came up, – it is not like that. We are passing through cycles of reincarnations where there is right from the birth chart and to the death chart. Did you know there is a death chart? I hope some of you are studying the death charts also. I really love that subject of death charts, maybe next time I am with you we will talk of death charts. And with the birth chart we get an idea of the karmas of the soul till now. What we should be examining is how this karma is going to manifest, what are the things this soul will like, what is his nature? This is the inner nature of the person, not the outer being that you are seeing from an Ascendant. So, the rishis call this the Kāraka Lagna, the predominant ascendant of the soul. There is a whole subject for the soul and the study of the soul, the Kāraka Lagna, the ascendant from the soul’s viewpoint, the chart from the viewpoint of the soul. You may like something but does your soul like it? A very peculiar conscience. When you like something – is it your soul that is liking it or your mind that is liking it, that has been trained in a certain way by going to a certain school or by some friends around you? Our likes, our dislikes, what is manifesting in our life, what is not going to manifest in our life – the soul has an important role to play in that.
And we will divide this karma into eight directions. You know, there are eight directions that we use: the four cardinal, what we call kendra. There are four kendras, or four cardinal directions, and four intermediate directions – 45°. So, totally there are eight directions for the soul and these pipes of light are in these eight directions. Each pipe has a role to play in our life. It controls one aspect of our life, a direction of our life. For example, the ātmakāraka. It is the king. The word used is king, it is the dominant thing. It is what we are, what our tastes, what things we like.
Amātya kāraka is the minister. What I like to work as, what kind of a work will I do? From a soul level what can I excel in? What work can I take up, that my soul force will be behind that work? How interesting. Rather than just looking at, say, the 10th house or just looking at what is giving me money, income to motivate me to work. Is everybody motivated by money? Does money really make you that good? Mozart. Do you think, Mozart could have been motivated by money? It is impossible. When people excel in what they do, they go beyond normal, what you call ‘normal human’, that is a soul level push, that is coming. So, if for every human being, from the childhood, we can quickly know ‘okay, this direction should be good for him’ and push them in that direction, they will succeed. They will succeed like nothing else. If you only knew which planet governed this particular soul level push.
What about spirit? What do you believe in? Do you believe in one God? Why does everybody not believe in one God or oneness of God? There is a difference between oneness of God and one God. You ask somebody, who is from the Muslim world, he will say: ‘I believe in Allah. There is one God and His name is Allah.’ So he believes in one God but not in oneness of God, you see the difference? Person who believes in oneness of God will believe as much in the Holy Father as in Christ – they all one. That is called śaiva. The concept of śaiva is oneness, advaita – the word. So, what causes a person to truly believe in that? That is how we get to know, that is bhrātṛ kāraka, the next level. So, like that we have different levels.
From a soul level, what do you think, what kind of a partner are you looking for? And are you destined to meet your soul level partner? How can you answer such a question, if you do not know how to look at the soul? Do not you think is something worth examining, trying to at least get into the subject? What is this thing called soul? What is this ātma? That is what we are going to look into.