jyotiṣām ayanaṁ sākṣād
yat taj jñānam atīndriyam
praṇītaṁ bhavatā yena
pumān veda parāvaram
jyotiṣām—knowledge of astrology (along with other aspects of culture in human society, and specifically in civilized society, there must be knowledge of astrology); ayanam—the movements of the stars and planets in relationship to human society; sākṣāt—directly; yat tat jñānam—such knowledge; ati-indriyam—which an ordinary person cannot understand because it is beyond his vision; praṇītam bhavatā—you have prepared a perfect book of knowledge; yena—by which; pumān—any person; veda—can understand; para-avaram—the cause and effect of destiny.
O great saintly person, you have compiled the astrological knowledge by which one can understand past and present unseen things. By the strength of this knowledge, any human being can understand what he has done in his past life and how it affects his present life. This is known to you.
The word “destiny” is now defined. Unintelligent persons who do not understand the meaning of life are just like animals. Animals do not know the past, present and future of life, nor are they able to understand it. But a human being can understand this, if he is sober. Therefore, as stated in Bhagavad-gītā (2.13), dhīras tatra na muhyati: a sober person is not bewildered. The simple truth is that although life is eternal, in this material world one changes from one body to another. Foolish people, especially in this age, do not understand this simple truth. Kṛṣṇa says:
“As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.” (Bg. 2.13) Kṛṣṇa, the greatest authority, says that the body will change. And as soon as the body changes, one’s whole program of work changes also. Today I am a human being or a great personality, but with a little deviation from nature’s law, I shall have to accept a different type of body. Today I am a human being, but tomorrow I may become a dog, and then whatever activities I have performed in this life will be a failure. This simple truth is now rarely understood, but one who is a dhīra can understand this. Those in this material world for material enjoyment should know that because their present position will cease to exist, they must be careful in how they act. This is also stated by Ṛṣabhadeva. Na sādhu manye yata ātmano ’yam asann api kleśada āsa dehaḥ (Bhāg. 5.5.4). Although this body is temporary, as long as we have to live in this body we must suffer. Whether one has a short life or a long life, one must suffer the threefold miseries of material life. Therefore any gentleman, dhīra, must be interested in jyotiṣa, astrology.
Nanda Mahārāja was trying to take advantage of the opportunity afforded by Gargamuni’s presence, for Gargamuni was a great authority in this knowledge of astrology, by which one can see the unseen events of past, present and future. It is the duty of a father to understand the astrological position of his children and do what is needed for their happiness. Now, taking advantage of the opportunity afforded by the presence of Gargamuni, Nanda Mahārāja suggested that Gargamuni prepare a horoscope for Nanda’s two sons, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma.
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