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Sri Aurobindo

in Karma and Rebirth in Hindu Astrology - ch. 7

One is born with one's own samskaras (mental impression or conditioning) which are of two types: one wich have been acquired in the present incarnation and the other which has been brought from the past life. Sri Aurobindo has said that it is not all the talents and all the samskaras of the past life that one brings into his present life. For instance, in the past life he may have had a great love for music, while in the present life there may be no attraction at all.

The one samskara that seems to continue life after life is the spiritual samskara. It is for this reason that in the four ashram system of the Hindus, Brahmacharya comes first, in which training in spiritual and worldy disciples is given simultaneously. It is in late adulthood or old age that the spiritual training of early childhood leads to a life of detachment, and, if one is lucky, to a death with the mind attuned to the Divine. It leads to liberation, otherwise, there is rebirth.

The stories of rebirth in the Puranas (sacred texts) contain the essential truth that the spiritual merit is the only imperishable merit one can have, while all the other merits of money, fame, and other worldly distinctions perish easily. 

The Yogas in a horoscope are the clearest indicators of prarabdha (destined karma) along with the time of birth, the birth Moon, and birth constellation. An in-depth study of a horoscope shows how one would plunge headlong into hectic activities, sin intensely, show ingratitude, and get trapped in sinister karmas. Astrology was studied only for this purpose, and counseling given was based on the one central aim of improving one's spiritual life. There are many secrets of Jyotish which are not given in books. Rishi-like astrologers first examine this aspect (prarabdha karma through yogas) in a horoscope. 

Astrology was studied by the rishi-like astrologers for the purpose of given counsel with the central aim of improving one's spiritual life. 

reprinted with permission