Finding Guru and Seeking Knowledge
Transcribed by Natalya Fedorova
Dr. Andrew Foss: Sanjay, we were wondering, if someone does not have a guru to teach some Jyotish, how today he can start it?
strong>Pt. Sanjay Rath: Guru as such means anyone or anything which removes the darkness of ignorance. In the West there is a concept that guru must only be a living human being which is not really-really right. The guru is a book, the guru is knowledge. The person who carries the knowledge is called a guru for he is carrying the knowledge in his head. As I say, that all charts have Jupiter. And if all the charts have Jupiter so everybody has a guru. That guru is already there in your chart from the day you are born. And what you are looking for is a human being who already has this knowledge in his head. When you mentally accept somebody as a teacher, a guru, then only will the knowledge flow towards. Water always flows from a higher level to a lower level. For that you have to accept that you are at a lower level. When that acceptance comes in the student that ‘I do not have this knowledge and I go to the knowledge’, then that knowledge will flow to you.
Then, when you start learning – it is like learning ABCD; you really do not need a Ph.D. scholar teaching you ABCD. You go to a school like so many other students and you learn your ABCD, you learn your language, you learn your various subjects.
< A stage comes in life where you are now ready for that level of Jyotish, which is called the classical top level like, let us say, you want to now study Parāśara Hora Śāstra. Parāśara Hora Śāstra is not the beginning of Jyotish really, Parāśara Hora Śāstra has to do with a slightly more advanced level, not a beginners’ level. At that point of time you could consider taking a Jyotish guru who walk you through the course. And that is how the first guru comes. Then there is a very high Ph.D. level, like the Jaimini sutras. These are sutras for which you need maybe a higher level Jyotish guru. You seek the permission and basically the contact of such a high level guru from your first guru and then go to him and learn. So, gurus will come one after the other and teach you. If you have the ahaṁkāra, the ego, you believe that you have the knowledge, it is tilted the other way. The water is flowing away from you, it is not flowing towards you. It is your own ego, which is chasing the knowledge away. That is how we have a Jyotish guru and we gain some knowledge from the Jyotish guru. The guru is the same for all students, it is the individual student’s level of ahaṁkāra that decides whether you really get the knowledge or do not get the knowledge.
Sonal Sachdeva: Is there something in your chart – whether it is a yoga teacher or a spiritual guru or Jyotish guru – is there something in the chart, that is point to the master coming to you?
Pt. Sanjay Rath: Yes, that is true, also levels of Jyotish. Levels of Jyotish is what we are talking about. Are we talking about Vedic Astrology at the level of the fifth grade, tenth grade or are we talking about Vedic Astrology at the level of a PhD scholar? What we call the Jaimini scholar program is like a PhD scholar program.
So, when we are talking of levels, we have different levels of knowledge and we say:
- one is a body level knowledge;
- then there is a mind level knowledge, where you are playing with things in the head to understand the logic behind things happening;
- and then there is a supreme level, which we call the soul level where the knowledge is just expanding inside you.
For the body level we look at what is Lagna, or the first house, and from there we look at yogas, which will give you this knowledge. And there are yogas which can give you this knowledge, for that we need a yoga of the Sun. Unless there is a yoga of the Sun or yoga of the eyes… You see, we say that Jyotish is the cakṣu, or the eyes of the Vedas. In Vedic Astrology, we know that the eyes relate to the 10th house. So, unless there is the yoga, which is giving the knowledge of the eyes, Vedic eye, to you, it does not show getting the knowledge very well at the body level.
Then we go to the mind. There are yogas, which will show getting this knowledge at a mental level, when you are talking about yogas, the combinations, deciding what is right, wrong, working with a teacher, who is guiding you through the nuances. You are working very hard, making notes – that is the second level. There are yogas for that.
And, finally, the topmost level, I say, is coming from the soul. Do you have a strong enough desire from your soul? Because if you have that, you can continue Vedic astrology maybe 20 years, 40 years, it can become your life path. We know that this is a knowledge of the Sun God. And the Sun God has his natural house in Leo, which is the 5th house of the natural Zodiac. And desire as a function for any planet or anything has to do with the opposite, the 7th house. If my soul has a link to the 11th house then the knowledge should be in the opposite, my desire should be in the opposite. So, if the Ātmakāraka has an association with the 11th house or is in the 11th house, then naturally it will push you towards the 5th house to get that knowledge, your desire will be on the 5th house. So long, when people asked me what is the sign that you choose somebody learning Jaimini, I gave a very small dictum – the Ātmakāraka must be associated with the 11th house. I said try it out all the charts and tell me whether I am wrong. They were surprised, they said: ‘No, no, this is wrong.’ I said: ‘Why did not you try it?’ When they tried it, they were surprised – it was there in their charts also. You cannot become a Jyotishi at that level if your soul is not dedicated to the knowledge, if that is not what your soul is seeking.
Beautiful statement I have read: ‘Every sinner has a future as every saint has a past.’ There is no saint, who does not have a past, there is no sinner in this planet who does not have a future. That is the whole concept behind rebirth and reincarnation. Why are we born again? If you talk of rebirth – why? Let us say, there is rebirth, then why are we being born again? Let us come and play soccer and go away.
Sonal Sachdeva: So, essentially we are in the territory of Rāhu-Ketu, when we talk of reincarnating…
Pt. Sanjay Rath: That is nothing called a territory. It is all about – why are we coming, why are we coming back? For what purpose? Because there is hope for a better future. There is hope that we can overcome ourselves. ‘Give me another opportunity.’ Use another opportunity, do good karma and overcome you sins. Simple like that. That is why we are being born. If there is no hope, you would not even have agreed to being born again. Because there is hope that is why we have been reborn. That is essence. Rāhu, Ketu, that, this – that is the Jyotish aspect of it, that is the mathematical aspect of it, where we are synchronizing star positions and planet positions to what we are talking about. Let us be clear about the theory in the first place. All nine planets are involved in our rebirth, not just Rāhu-Ketu.
Religion is a language to talk to God. God is one for all human beings and the religions are nothing but different languages to talk to that one God. Are you trying to tell me that just because you call bread as ‘bread’ in English and I call it ‘roti’ in Hindi it is a different thing? No, the thing is the same. You see the point here. So long as I know what I am asking God, I will get what I am asking. Let us assume that you do not know any of the languages. Are we saying that you cannot address? You can address. Are we saying that some of these Vedic vibrations will not work? The advantage of Vedic mantra… See there is a difference between a prayer from the Rig Veda or a hymn from the Rig Veda and others, because the Rig Veda is not a smṛti, it is not something which was remembered, it is a śruti, it is something which was heard. Nobody really knows who first said it, but we know who recorded it. For example, the famous mantra:
– that was first recorded by Vaśiṣṭha and Śiva says, that whoever shall be the student of Vaśiṣṭha – that means whoever shall hear this mantra – will be healed and protected all the time. An experiment was carried out where people who did not even understand, who did not even know that Sanskrit as the language exists, there were terminal patients and some of them they put headphones and they played the mantra – they started healing. And many of them have benefited very much from merely hearing this sound. So, there are certain Vedic prayers, which are originally from the Rig Veda, those are absolutely different from the ones which have come from smṛtis. Because those hymns have a different level of power, they have a certain chandas, which is the vibration, which we really do not fully understand, but the way that works is that, it works absolute miracle. And it cuts across all languages. Honestly, Vedic Sanskrit is not fully understood by anybody. So, even today on this planet there are very few who really understand what that means. It works, but how it works? So, there is no restriction, the beauty about a Vedic mantra that there is absolutely no restriction, anybody can do it and it will work.
Again, the second part is the faith. The lady who is in a semi-conscious state, who can barely even know where she is and is listening to the mantra playing through a headphone or speaker on the side. She does not even know she just thinks it some sound happening on the roadside. She gets cured. Why do you need belief for it to work? That is my question. People say: ‘You do not believe so it is not working’. No. When you take a medicine you believe that the medicine will cure you? No, you take the medicine because the doctor gave you the medicine. You have belief on the doctor not on the medicine. You see the difference between the two? Here you have come to a Vedic astrologer, because you have faith or belief on the Vedic astrologer, that he knows his subject and he is giving you some medicine. The believe is with the astrologer, the believe is with the doctor, because honestly you do not understand the medicine here or here.
Sonal Sachdeva: So, the patients or the persons believe in the…
Pt. Sanjay Rath: … in the doctor that cures him. The patient must believe the doctor. In the villages of Orissa in India sometimes the person comes and says ‘I have got a terrible fever, I have got the stomach upset’. Doctor listens to him calmly, he says ‘you need an injection immediately’, he takes distilled water, gives him an injection, the fellow becomes OK next day. What cured him? It was a distilled water? Distilled water does not cure. It was faith in the doctor. See the point. Human. There is an energy, which we do not understand, we call it a psychic energy or whatever energy, when we have faith in someone, that faith is faith in God, for God sits in the heart of the doctor. You go to a guru to learn; if you have faith in the guru, you are having faith in God – it is that, that teaches you.
Sonal Sachdeva: And then the remedy will start working.
Pt. Sanjay Rath: Everything will start working. The problem comes when you do not have faith in the teacher or on the doctor and you are looking for faith in God. You know, sometimes I joke to the students – you cannot trust a human being, you really think you can trust someone you have never seen?
Sonal Sachdeva: On technical level or even on emotional and psychic level, what are those qualities that you think have to be there for a successful Jyotishi to heal people essentially? Quality, which is not just as learning Jyotish, but as practicing Jyotish, like giving people the remedies.
Pt. Sanjay Rath: There are two things in Jyotish: one is healing and one is predicting. You could be a very good predictor, but you cannot heal anybody; you could be a very good healer but you cannot make a single prediction. Or maybe you can do both. You see my point? For prediction you need to be technically very strong, you need to have a very well-grounded system of studying a certain aspect of astrology or Vedic Astrology which focuses in a certain type of prediction. Then your predictions will be right. You may be able to predict the disease of somebody – ‘such and such diseases coming’, but you will not be able to heal it, because to heal you first need to have faith in your own self. Because God is in your heart. If you do not have faith in yourself, you do not have faith in God. And if you do not have faith in God, your healing powers are absent.
Such a faith can only come when you are pure enough. See, you can lie to a hundred people; you cannot lie to yourself. We all have belief systems. If in my belief system I believe that consuming alcohol is spiritually not good, let us say, if somebody is taking – it is his problem, not mine; it is his wish. I am not being judgmental, whatever you want to do you do, I do what I want to do. If I have faith, let us say, in my guru and my guru says that ‘look, do not take this because you lose your spiritual bounds, you cannot heal anyone.’ So, having faith in my guru and faith in myself, I do not take that. Then what happens in due course of time is I build my faith in myself, ‘look I have not taken that, I am following the rules, I am doing my prayers.’ That is nothing but faith building. When you do your mantras, you build your spiritual energy. They are like building blocks, each mantra is an energy, energy packet. I built it up over time and that places back on me. Therefore, I will have the faith. When you give a mantra, that mantra has what we call an energy transmission. It is like shining a torch, you take a little torch and the battery is half dead – nothing is going to be visible but if that torch has a battery which is absolutely as powerful as the Sun, it cannot fail. So, for healing you need personal spiritual energy, that is the difference.
Sonal Sachdeva: So, then that leads me to the other question on karma. Can that karma actually be altered?
Pt. Sanjay Rath: The question you asking me is basically that: can we overcome this karma? Rephrase the question in simple way – can I burn all the trash in this world at one go? Forget about karma, this is a complicated concept. Think of all the trash that is collected in London every day. Can you burn all of it in one go? Some people would say: ‘Oh my god, that is impossible task.’ But someone said: ‘Maybe it can be done.’ Because there is a possibility, it can be done, if you have the technology. Maybe I have a very powerful laser beam and I can send it over there, and it will just burn everything out. Right? So, that is a possibility and that shows that, yes, all karmas can be burnt in one stroke and that burning of all karmas in one stroke is what we call the Third Eye of Shiva. Just as it destroyed Kama Deva. People translate Kama Deva as the God of Love. I would look at him as more the God of Desire. It is desire that causes rebirth. What is the root of desire? The Deva. So, if in one stroke I destroyed the very root of desire, then from where will desire come? There is no desire left. That means no more karmas. It is the third eye, that can do it. So which part of your body is the third eye? It is agya chakra, keep that in mind. So, when we study chakras and we need focus on chakras, focus on the agya chakra for the agya chakra has the power to destroy all sins. All the sins in one stroke – that is the power it has. There is a beautiful prayer:
The Uddisa Tantra, there is the prayer that is given. ‘Lord open that third eye and in one stroke finish it.’ Beautiful. HAUṀ bīja is this Śiva bīja. Why is it so auspicious? Because it is one of the petals in the third eye. The other side is the KṢAṀ, which destroys everything and you put them together – HAṀṢA.
 smṛti [ स्मृ॑ति ] – remembrance, reminiscence, thinking of or upon, calling to mind, memory; Memory (personified either as the daughter of Dakṣa and wife of Aṅgiras or as the daughter of Dharma and Medhā); the whole body of sacred tradition or what is remembered by human teachers (in contradistinction to श्रुति or what is directly heard or revealed to the Ṛṣis; in its widest acceptation this use of the term Smṛti includes the 6 Vedâṅgas, the Sūtras both श्रौत and गृह्य, the law-books of Manu &c. [see next]; the Itihāsas [e.g. the Mahābhārata and Rāmâyaṇa], the Purāṇas and the Nītiśāstras; the whole body of codes of law as handed down memoriter or by tradition (esp. the codes of Manu, Yājñavalkya and the 16 succeeding inspired lawgivers, viz. Atri, Viṣṇu, Hārīta, Uśanas or Śukra, Aṅgiras, Yama, Āpastamba, Saṃvarta, Kātyāyana, Bṛhaspati, Parāśara, Vyāsa, Śaṅkha, Likhîta, Dakṣa and Gautama; all these lawgivers being held to be inspired and to have based their precepts on the Veda. Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary (MW)
 śruti [ श्रु॑ति ] – hearing, listening; the ear, organ or power of hearing; that which is heard or perceived with the ear, sound, noise &c.; an aggregate of sounds (whether forming a word or any part of a word); rumour, report, news, intelligence, hearsay; saying, saw, word; that which has been heard or communicated from the beginning, sacred knowledge orally transmitted by the Brāhmans from generation to generation, the Veda (i.e. sacred eternal sounds or words as eternally heard by certain holy sages called Ṛṣis, and so differing from स्मृ॑ति or what is only remembered and handed down in writing by human authors; it is properly only applied to the Mantra and Brāhmaṇa portion of the Vedas, although afterwards extended to the Upaniṣads and other Vedic works including the Darśanas; pl. ‘sacred texts, the Vedas’, also ‘rites prescribed by the Vedas’). MW
 mahāmṛtyuñjaya mantra https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahamrityunjaya_Mantra
 chandas [ छन्दस् ] – deceit, desire, longing for, will; intention, purport; a sacred hymn, incantation-hymn; the sacred text of the Vedic hymns; metre (in general, supposed to consist of 3 or 7 typical forms; to which Virāj is added as the 8th [ŚBr. viii, 3, 3, 6 ]; छ॑न्दस् opposed to गायत्रि॑ and त्रिष्टु॑भ्; metrical science. MW