Acyuta-bhava Dasa 0:00
Hi everyone, this is Acyuta-bhava from Nightlight Astrology and today I'm hanging out again with my friend Cat from thecreativeintrovert.com. As you all know, Cat helps me to aggregate questions from all of you and then helps me do these little interviews to try to give you some answers to the questions you've been asking. So, yeah, we're added again today. Thanks for being here, Cat.
You're welcome. Good to be back. So the topic of today is going to be reincarnation, past lives and what they have to do with astrology. So maybe let's just begin with you telling us, do you believe in reincarnation? How do you understand it?
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 0:34
Yes. And the gist of how I understand it comes from the yogic scriptures and the wisdom literature that comes from the Vedic tradition. So there's some differences, you know, if you're in the Buddhist tradition, or even the Gnostic tradition, there's even esoteric Judaism that I think reflects some ideas about reincarnation that are really interesting, or hermeticism, or the Platonists. So everyone had a little bit of a different thing to say. So they're not all identical. But basically transmigration of the soul means your soul, your spirit soul, after your body dies, will incarnate in another body. And that your destiny is a result of the merits of your good and bad karma in previous lifetimes, as well as the ongoing use of your freewill in this lifetime. The birth chart is going to depict the circumstances of your karma that are continuing in this lifetime, from previous lifetimes, plural, not just the last one. But you're also interacting as a free agent within the parameters of that karma in the birth chart. The reason for this is, well, that's it's very esoteric, and it would take too long. So let me just put it like this, the souls ability to sojourn in these different experiences is important because it's like, it's like a star nursery, we all have the potential through the use of our agency to inquire about who we are and what is real, and what is love, and what is happiness. And to gradually discover and grow into more of those qualities, which are actually who we are, those qualities are actually endogenous to the soul. And that we're, by, by going through these experiences, we're growing into them, we're becoming aware of them. And that these experiences are all designed to facilitate that awakening, but we're not receiving that aid or that guidance, unless we're also actively choosing it. So it's like the whole universe is graceful, filled with grace and guidance, guiding the eternal soul along to its awakening. But we also have to open our hands up to receive it, we have to knock on the door, for it to be answered. And that's the real use of our freewill astrology was there to help guide the soul in this process by helping it to become more reflective upon its experiences, which is what this whole ancient cosmology was really rooted in, in both the east and the west.
Okay, so there was a lot there. I guess going back to astrology, you're saying that it was there to guide the soul, and to what ends? Because I know that a lot of people look to astrology to learn about past lives, so that they can kind of get something right in this life.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 3:47
Yeah, I mean, so the guidance of astrology is not there in terms of correcting things from past lives. That's not the what the paradigm was. If you're looking at the astrology of your birth chart, one of the main reasons for doing so for ancient astrologers would be specifically because this one of the reasons that the soul doesn't wake up to truth to the truth of its own nature, and that it doesn't sort of graduate into higher states of consciousness and more experiences that are more conducive to happiness, is specifically because it tends to stay hampered down by temporary material experiences that are only temporarily satisfying or temporarily painful. And it tends to get identified with those experiences not thinking about its reality beyond death or before birth. So the astrology is there to help you recognise that your experiences, all the ups and downs that you might get caught up in, are actually a part of this greater cosmos. And this greater ensouled reality. And so by actively reflecting upon that you stay in touch with the soul as it's going through its destiny. And that builds confidence in who you are as a soul. And that confidence as it develops in you, it's like a flower. It's like developing a stalk, it becomes thick, it starts blossoming. And so that that's what astrology is there to help us with. And it's thought thought of as a gift given to human beings by the gods or by God.
Yeah, well about the astrologers who, I mean, as far as I know, a lot of some astrologers believed that learning about our fate had a lot to do with just coming to terms with that fate. Which, I mean, that doesn't speak to past lives, or future lives. That's just like, how do I deal with the meal that's in front of me?
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 6:05
Yeah, and in some ways we think of that now as like this heroic, stoic journey that we have to go on to accept our fate. But really, what's beneath that is just our aversion to having anything bigger than us be in control. You know, because for the ancient people, it was, it wasn't even that big of a deal, it wouldn't have been that big of a deal. To say, yeah, the gods are in control of my fate, god's plural or God, that I've got some agency, but it's very small, and that my choices matter, but that the, as you know, you've heard you've heard different mystics say at different times, you know, "man proposes God disposes." The ancient people would be like, I'm hoping for a good life, but God is the one who's in charge of my destiny, or the gods.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 7:03
But to inquire about your fate, and to accept that your desires may or may not be gratified, and to accept that was a part of the good life like that... it's like watering a plant. You you have to live with that acknowledgement. And that degree of surrender, and acceptance. Because when you do, it gives you it fills you with prana. You know, it fills you with life to live that way, to live with agency, but also in complete acceptance of these larger forces. And to do that build, it builds, like, "confidence in the soul" which is a phrase that you'll see the ancient astrologers use.
Okay, so it's almost like that's part of it, that's not the whole part of it. Okay, so I'm assuming somebody does want to look at their chart, and literally figure out what was the previous past life. I mean, where would you begin? Could you begin?
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 8:06
Yeah, you know, it's funny. I've heard many Swamis, in the Bhakti tradition, say this: if you want to understand what your past lives were, like, look at the life that you're living right now. And that doesn't mean that it's exactly that what you're doing right now is similar. It just means that the problems that you have, right, and the blessings that you have are a perpetuation of previous karma. So like, for example, I was born into a religious family, right? With a pastor for a father. This means probably then, in a past life, I was thinking about religious matters, right? So it doesn't have to be too complicated. If a person is born, and they really, really love music, and they're just naturally really, really drawn to music probably means that they had an affinity for music in a previous lifetime, on some level, do you see so it's on the simplest level, you can just be like, look at what you're doing. Now, if you want to see what you were doing before.
It changes things doesn't it? It makes you think less, "This is what I'm doing. Now. This is what the birth chart says. Therefore, I should be doing more of that."
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 9:18
Yeah. There's this big myth in modern astrology in particular, that the birth chart is like, filled with these messages about your past lives and these messages about what you should do. And it's like, you know, you have to remember is that ancient astrologers, especially in India. I've used this word many times before, but the karma is anadi, it's without beginning. You know, there can be an end to a soul's karma, but there was no beginning to it. And there is no end itself to the karmic reality. It gets sucked into Vishnu, into his navel every once in a while and then these universes blast back out and they just do that. And that's that there is no beginning or end to that itself. It's like a merry go round. That's always been merry go rounding.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 10:09
And so from that standpoint, people when they're like, Oh, yeah, the chart tells me that in the, in the last level of my DND choose your own adventure novel, you know, I was doing this and then I stepped in, I stepped in a trap, and I lost my crossbow, and I lost 10 you know, points and I died or whatever, like, and then this lifetime, we've got to get it right, like go kill the ogre, or whatever. I'm not to be not to make it like too mean, but it's like it from the standpoint of ancient astrology, if that's the game you're going to play, it really doesn't matter what you did, and what you're going to do, because it's all the same game, it's been going on forever, and it will go on forever. As long as you're thinking about, there's something I have to do in the material world results and outcomes to correct level up, blah, blah, blah, all of that. It's just part of the never ending DND game, you know what I mean? So that's not it, and people that look at their charts, and they're like, oh, there's some step I have to get in my chart, or there's some quest that I have to go on, or whatever it's like, that's gonna happen automatically. That says, that is like the laws of physics, all of that stuff is gonna play out. And you have very little choice in that kind of stuff. Where your choice actually lies is whether or not you want to choose to cultivate a different kind of consciousness in relationship to that entire programme. And so that's where that's where the actual agency is, and it has to be done in in through the plot lines that are playing out. But the plot lines aren't the point. And if people go into their chart, trying to get obsessed with what happened in previous lifetimes, and that we're obsessed with what they should do now, in contrast to previous lifetimes, typically, they're going to completely miss the boat, which is like, Just shut up and go meditate for a while. I'm not tryin to be rude, but like... my teachers would be like, you know, just try to try to chill the "Days of Our Lives" of the birth chart, you know, and just, like try to develop a spiritual practice, try to develop spiritual community try to try to develop a spiritual lifestyle, because that's the answer. That's the answer. That's the answer.
I'm trying to figure out why it's so hard for us.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 12:16
Yeah, because we're addicted to the game. It's called maya, in you know, Indian astrology, maya means illusion, and it's incredibly intoxicating.
I'm not gonna argue with that. But I'm just thinking about the word meaning, and how this kind of story of, even if it's a past life story of, you know, I'm here to do this thing. And even if the spiritual part is part of that, finding meaning along that path, I think can be quite difficult for people, if it really is just shut up and meditate.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 12:54
Yeah, I mean, it's not that there's no meaning in it. It's that there's no meaning in it unless you're meditating. And I don't mean just meditating. Of course, there could be, you know, the list of different ways in which a person can spiritualize their consciousness are many. And you can, you can spiritualize your consciousness by the way that you do things by the way that you're a mom or by the way that you're a sibling, or by the way that you live your life you can certainly do it that way to life is prayer life is a moving meditation. So I don't want to create like a false dichotomy. But at the same time, if a person isn't intentional about asking, Who am I? Why am I here? What is real, what is real happiness? If cultivating awareness of our source of love, and of intentionally trying to live and develop that consciousness, if that's not being done consciously and intentionally, it really doesn't matter what we do. It'll just keep recycling the same and we'll experience, like I said in recent video, we'll experience a mixture of highs and lows, some good, some bad, but that alternation won't stop, it just keeps going. And anything, absolutely any path in the material world whatsoever can be dovetailed meaningfully to spiritual life so that if you're meditating, if you're living a life of some mindfulness, a spirit I'll just call it a spiritual lifestyle then absolutely anything depicted in a birth chart, will become meaningful will become conducive to the spiritual path. And so all of it is deeply meaningful once these things are incorporated.
And what if we know this, maybe intellectually, but we still have doubts about just the setup of all of this, maybe there are people listening and they're just like, Yeah, I just don't think I can buy the past life thing right now.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 14:56
Yeah, well, it doesn't matter. I mean, you know, you don't have to believe in past lives, or even any of the metaphysics, or other religious or spiritual perspectives to practice astrology, because many people don't you know, and then they use it for the sake of self reflection, self help self understanding therapy. So I mean, many things that are, I would say, maybe more agnostic in nature or something like that. So, you certainly can, I have lots of friends, you know, in the astrological community, or, you know, or at conferences, and we're talking, you know, at lunch or something like that. And they're reflecting on their relationship with astrology as an atheist or as an agnostic, you know what I mean? So, and so yeah, you can. The truth doesn't care to sell you on it. You know what I mean? So people will eventually find the truth, if they want to know, and until they really want to know and are really desiring to know, there's probably not going to be anything that really satisfies. But when people really want to know when people really knock on the door and say, I want to know what's real and true, eventually, they're going to come to a conclusion. And like, what I find really interesting is that even in yoga, you know, in the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says, whatever faith that people choose, whatever conclusions that people come to, I reciprocate to them in that form. Because if one asks sincerely what is true, what is real? What is my purpose of being here? And you keep following that in the insistence that there is an answer, even if you end up coming to the conclusion that I searched and I found out that there is no answer. Well, no, you did. You just found out that there was no answer. And that became your answer. Even then, Krishna says, I'll just start speaking to them through the conclusion that they reach if they've been honestly seeking,
I love that. And that, to me, does bring meaning to the maya, right? So the fact that somebody might get into astrology, let's say Krishna has given that person that path, the astrology path. And so it is meaningful that that person chose astrology in the first place. Because because that was their path to that place.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 17:24
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Maya, of course, is a servant of God. And remember, everything in this universe is there facilitating our growth, and is inherently meaningful and beautiful, is inherently divine. So there's no there's nothing that we experience that's ever really cut off from that. But it also we, it's a matter of how are we able to receive it or not, you know what I mean? Like, because it's a two way street. The universe is alive. It's a being, it wants to speak. In order for it to give us something, we also have to say, Wow, thank you for that, I recognise it. And that's how you actually receive something. So all I'm saying about spiritual life is that if you want your life to be meaningful, the karma of your chart, the karma of your past lives don't matter at all, the only thing that matters for you to receive the lessons you need is for you to open your hands. And however you open your hands, they just you just have to open them to receive or if you want to know answers or something about the universe, you have to knock and really want to get a response and then even if the response that you receive evolves or changes over times, because you are sincerely seeking and because you have allowed an answer to arrive in your heart, the ideas in again in the Gita is that Krishna or God will speak to you through that. And that's why maya is not only illusion, but is also a servant of God and the double meaning of the name is mercy. That's what my also means is mercy.
Okay, I that's all of my questions.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 18:59
That was a good one. That was really good one. I'm guessing that at some point, like if I want my daughters to ever get interested in meditation, that shut up and meditate won't work. Well.
It'll be, Elmo really likes to meditate.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 19:14
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Exactly. Find a clever way because yeah, my impatience won't get anywhere with them. So anyway, thank you for being here. This was another really, this is a fun one to record. So check that out at thecreativeintrovert.com check out my upcoming course, Ancient Astrology for the Modern Mystic, it comes up starting in November and early bird discount is in effect there is need based tuition available. Check it out on my website, nightlightastrology.com. Alright, that's what we've got for today. Thanks, everyone. Bye.