Chapter 6: Astrology: A Door to Religiousness
The astrology I am talking about concerns the essential, the fundamental. At best your curiosity goes as far as the semi-essential. You want to know how long you will live, or whether or not you will die suddenly, but you are not curious to know what you will do if you live - how you will live. You want to know how you will die when the time comes, or what you will be doing at that time. Your curiosity extends to events, not to the soul. That I am living is just an event, but what I am doing while living, or what I am, is my soul. When I die it will be an event but at the moment of death, how I will be, what I will do, is my soul. We shall all die; the event of death is common to all but the manner of dying, the moment of death, will be different for everyone. Someone may even die smiling.
At the time of his death, someone asked Mulla Nasruddin, “What do you think, Mulla? - when people are born, from where do they come?”
Mulla replied, “I’ve seen every child weeping at the time of birth, and at the time of death also everyone seems to be weeping. So I surmise that people are neither coming from nor going to a good place. As they come they are weeping, and as they go they are also weeping!”
But people like Nasruddin die laughing. Death is an event, but that which is laughing at the time of death is the soul. So when you go to an astrologer, ask him how you will die, weeping or laughing? This is worth asking - but it is connected to essential astrology. No one on this Earth has asked an astrologer whether he will die weeping or smiling. You are asking when you will die - as if dying is of value in itself. You are asking how long you will live - as if just living is sufficient.
Why will I live? For what shall I live? What shall I do while living? What shall I become if I live? Such questions are not asked by anyone. That is why the structure of astrology has collapsed. Anything which is constructed on nonessential foundations will certainly collapse. The astrology I am talking about, and what you understand to be astrology, are different. The astrology about which I am talking is qualitatively different and of much more depth. Its dimensions are different. What I am saying is that something which is essential between your life and that of the universe is connected, is in a rhythmic harmony. The whole world is participating in it - you are not alone.
When Buddha became enlightened he placed his hands together in salutation, and bowed his head until it touched the ground. The story goes on to say that the gods came from heaven to pay their respects to Buddha because he had found the ultimate truth, but upon seeing him with his head touching the ground, they were surprised. They asked Buddha to whom he was bowing. They said that they had come from heaven to offer greetings to him because he was enlightened, and that they did not know that there could be something to which even Buddha had to offer salutations, as enlightenment is the ultimate attainment.
Buddha then opened his eyes and said, “I am not alone in whatsoever has happened to me; the world has also participated. So I bowed down to the earth in thanksgiving to the whole world.”