Re karma, responsibility always rests with me because I have the freedom. What is proper is within my physical, emotional and mental limitations. Eg, a teacher has limited time and energy to devote to his students, but some need more attention than others, and so it is appropriate to make a special effort. Always we are attempting to accommodate the demands of the world against one’s personal ability to meet those challenges.
Anecdote: the father with the mentally challenged kid who questioned why God should have imposed such a handicap on any kid. One day the father takes his son to the park where the local kids agree to let the kid play, and it happens that he comes to bat when a critical run is needed. And everyone conspires to pitch an easy one, fumble the play and let the kid hit the winning run. And all the kids picked up the kid and carried him around on their shoulders and the father was very touched by their compassion. And in this he saw a certain Godliness – what children could do in their own little way to make a beautiful moment and a happy memory for that kid.
Lesson: look for what is appropriate and act accordingly. For most people, freedom means doing what you feel like doing. The higher notion, however, is the freedom to say “no” to what you should not be doing. Eg, Nancy Reagan’s “Just say no.”
To exercise the freedom gives one the feeling of a bird in flight. Moral codes are not there to restrict our freedom, but to give us guidelines on how to best take care of ourselves and find meaning in our lives.
Mid-December to mid-January is the month of Mrigashirsha. In the temple when they pass the flame around, the idea is, this is the light of the Lord given so that we can better see God. Prasad is anything that comes from the altar – banana, coconut, tulsi leaf, water, bhasma.
As a child, we’re often imposed upon – to take need oil for the digestion, to study Latin, to do things that are supposedly good for us. Extending the notion of Prasad, all events and relationships that come to us should be regarded as gifts received on the altar of life. Once we appreciate the order of the world, we see everything as Prasad, and recognize beauty and Ishvara in all things.
Vedanta is not an abstract philosophy, but a means by which we can appreciate the fragrance of the flower of life. Vedanta is not theory but wisdom, and if we can learn to live within this wisdom, it can become a practice.
His New Age Noir crime novels (Scorpio Rising, Felonious Monk, Soma County) feature astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.”
He’s also the author of several non-fiction books. Stellar Astrology offers a compilation of Vedic astrology techniques, in-depth celebrity profiles, and analysis of world events. Parivartana Yoga is a reference text for one of the most common yet powerful planetary combinations in jyotish. Mutual Reception is an expanded companion volume for western practitioners, covering the same subject of planetary exchange through the lens of traditional astrology.
Websites: www.navamsa.com, www.sextile.com