What is Maharishi Jyotish? And can I really use Jyotish – Vedic astrology – to make a difference in my life?
If you’re like me, you grew up skeptical of astrology. But maybe you’re also like me in that things have changed since learning Transcendental Meditation, and you’re finding yourself more and more in tune with yourself and your environment.
Naturally, I was thrilled to discuss this with Dr Ann Crowell, a leader within the TM Organisation and the Maharishi Jyotish program.
In this first part of our two-part interview series, Dr Crowell describes Maharishi Jyotish, how it works, and describes how it’s actually a science in light of its systematic mathematical nature.
It was a fascinating conversation, and whether you are skeptical of astrology or not, I encourage you to read and learn from it.
RM: What is Maharishi Jyotish?
AC: Maharishi Jyotish is the science and technology of prediction and transformation. It’s a precise mathematical system of analysing and synthesising profound knowledge of the basic creativity, intelligence and order of Nature, and man’s position and relationship within that holistic structure.
Through the technologies of Maharishi Jyotish, these patterns and sequences of Natural Law are used to identify the timing and character of trends in the events in the life of the individual. They provide descriptions about everything in our lives from our health, relationships, and career to our spiritual development.
By knowing future trends and tendencies, we can avoid making mistakes and manage lots of areas of our lives more successfully.
RM: How is prediction possible through Jyotish?
AC: Prediction is possible because Nature is unified in its basis, and orderly and sequential in its expression. The process of transformation throughout nature is so orderly that each step of change can be predicted.
We could compare these mechanics of transformation to an assembly line. By knowing all the operations within the production process, we can see at any point which steps have been finished, which aren’t yet completed, and how long each will take.
In the same way, Maharishi Jyotish can provide knowledge of the past, present and future of any person or entity by accurately knowing one point in its history — the time and place of its birth. From this point, the Maharishi Jyotish Pandit (the trained Jyotish expert) can calculate the whole span of the person’s life and the influences yet to come.
But there’s one other important point here. Intellectual understanding of the path of these transformations in life is not enough.
Maharishi Jyotish considers the full range of life — not just our behavior, physical body and senses, or even the way we think or the way we feel. It also considers the basis for all of those things — that’s the field of consciousness.
Consciousness is the basis of all time and space and nature, everything! It’s therefore the common source of the past, of the present, and the future as well. And it’s on that level that Maharishi Jyotish functions and is able to not just predict the future, but to actually transform it.
‘Consciousness is the basis of all time and space and nature, everything! It’s therefore the common source of the past, of the present, and the future as well.’
The Maharishi Jyotish program also gives recommendations to avert dangers before they arise and to promote positive trends. One of the most powerful Vedic Technologies to improve our future is the regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique, which I’m sure you know very well.
Other recommendations that may come up in consultations are the application of the health programs of Maharishi AyurVeda, Maharishi Personal Yagyas, as well as practical knowledge about the best timing for success and how to fulfill our desires with least effort and maximum support of our environment.
Ultimately, the purpose of all Maharishi’s Vedic Technologies is to accelerate the development of consciousness and further promote the growth of intelligence, creativity, health and happiness.
RM: What areas of life do people use Maharishi Jyotish for the most?
AC: The areas of health, wealth, and happiness are natural concerns for most people — also, many questions about personal relationships. And of course, Meditators are especially interested in maximising their personal evolution.
That’s why every Maharishi Jyotish Consultation offers an opportunity to gain an understanding of your personal strengths and weaknesses, and to ask detailed questions to help you make the best decisions for your future.
For instance, you could request advice on when to sell your house, or when business opportunities might arise. You could ask how to avoid obstacles in your travel plans, or even gain insight into risk factors contributing to imbalances in your health.
Parents going to consultations often ask about their child’s potential so they can provide proper guidance in their education or activities such as their sports, music or hobbies.
I think the Maharishi Jyotish Pandits have heard every question under the sun — literally! Thankfully, every topic in relative existence can be connected back to its source in the field of consciousness. And it’s in the context of that wholeness of life that Maharishi Jyotish provides guidance.
RM: You refer to Maharishi Jyotish as a science. What do you mean by that?
AC: Well, science by its nature is a system of gaining knowledge, and Jyotish is certainly that. ‘Science’ comes from the Latin root ‘to know,’ and every science has two aspects. Theoretical framework, that’s the intellectual understanding, and then the experiential value, or the level of testing or validating whatever has been proposed in your theoretical framework.
The two aspects of science — intellectual understanding and direct experience — are components of Maharishi Jyotish as well.
Jyotish is a precious discipline of Vedic Science, and is part of the branch known as the Vedangas. It describes this underlying field of pure intelligence that is responsible for supporting, maintaining, and nourishing every expression we see around us in Nature and in our own human nature as well.
The subtle mechanics of this field of consciousness were discovered or cognised by the ancient Vedic Scientists who directly experienced how Natural Law functions in its least excited state. They gained this knowledge of prediction and transformation on the level of their own pure awareness. Based on this insight, they recorded the mathematical formulae which have been preserved throughout time and used by the Maharishi Jyotish Pandits today.
Due to their refined awareness, the Vedic Seers were able to simplify the innumerable influences affecting an individual at any given time down to a few essential elements. These are the basic constituents of the Jyotish horoscope, which is known as a Kundali. These constituents of Jyotish are the nine Grahas, 12 Rashis, and 27 Nakshatras.
This insight into the subtle mechanics of Nature’s creativity and order is captured in the relationships of these constituents, and forms the basis of the technology of prediction. But we should remember that the constituents of Maharishi Jyotish are in their essence the vocabulary of the quantification and functioning of Natural Law at some specific time and place.
Ultimately, they are the expressions of the field of Transcendental Consciousness, which we experience as our own Self in Transcendental Meditation.
This source of Nature’s intelligence is available for all of us to research each time we transcend. So, we are really Vedic Scientists, too!
RM: Many people are familiar with other types of astrology – maybe Vedic astrology, or maybe just ‘newspaper astrology.’ Can you explain how Maharishi Jyotish is different?
AC: The discipline of astrology has a much more dignified, esteemed tradition than what you might have seen in the back of fashion magazines while waiting in the dentist’s office!
Throughout the ages, humans have recognized and recorded this intimate relationship between himself and the cycles and rhythms of Natural Law that are demonstrated in the beautiful orderliness of the planets and stars.
Based on their knowledge of the movements of the sun and moon, cultures around the world and throughout history have tried to calculate the timing of events for greatest success in life.
Traditional cultures have considered the patterns of the cosmos for planning all types of events, from the planting and harvesting of crops, to the construction of buildings, to marriage, festivals and other major events in family and social life.
Each traditional system has some value of accuracy, depending on how closely it has remained connected to the underlying administration of Nature, what modern science has called the Unified Field which gives rise to everything in creation.
Now Jyotish comes from the Vedic tradition, the oldest tradition of knowledge on earth. It is Vedic Astrology and it has a very specific and unique system of calculation and interpretation.
The calculations of Jyotish of course vary from those used by the ancient Chinese, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, and other cultures. But ultimately, the common goal of all these systems was to study these patterns of Natural Law exhibited by the planets and stars and apply this knowledge to improve life on Earth.
So, you could say the degree of effectiveness of any system of prediction is based upon its purity, its authenticity, and its connection to the totality of Nature’s intelligence. And just like different systems of meditation, this knowledge gets lost or distorted over time. In some cultures and bodies of knowledge such as the Vedic Tradition, it is preserved in more of its totality and effectiveness.
‘The degree of effectiveness of any system of prediction is based upon its purity, its authenticity, and its connection to the totality of Nature’s intelligence.’
Over the eons of time, even the Vedic discipline of Jyotish lost its connection to the direct experience of Natural Law.
So in re-introducing Vedic Astrology to the world, Maharishi took great care to ensure that it would be offered in its original precision and effectiveness.
His first step was to reconnect the discipline of Jyotish to its source in pure consciousness — to what we would call in the Vedic language Yoga. Maharishi revived the understanding that Yoga is not just asanas or physical postures or positions.
Yogaactually means ‘Union,’ or Unity, and is the integration and perfection of all areas of life through the full development of consciousness. Our daily practice of Transcendental Meditation is a technology to help us achieve this. It opens our awareness to the Unified Field of Nature’s intelligence that gives rise to time and space.
Maharishi called Transcendental Consciousness the “Home of All Knowledge”. In terms of Jyotish, when we contact this level of intelligence, we are enlivening all these traditional formulae and mathematical calculations recorded by the ancient Vedic Seers within ourselves.
So this is the first feature that makes Maharishi Jyotish unique — re-connecting Jyotishto the field of Yoga.
Then, as we discussed earlier, it’s not enough to just be able to predict the future. We would also like to avoid problems and maximize our good fortune. We can of course do this using our good judgement in activity.
But as the next step of revival, Maharishi integrated Jyotishto the traditional discipline of Yagya, the Vedic technology to connect our individual life with higher intelligence so that our path is more supported by Natural Law.
So, when we say ‘Maharishi Jyotish,’ we’re really referring to all three Vedic Technologies: Maharishi Yoga, Maharishi Yagya, and Maharishi Jyotish, which together create a very powerful system of prediction and transformation.
It’s a complete and comprehensive science of consciousness, based in that unity of Nature which underlies and supports all of life. This is the profound and unique value of all of Maharishi’s Vedic disciplines which support our experience of Transcendental Consciousness and growth towards enlightenment.
RM: Some people might not be convinced that something which seems so removed from us (like planets) have an effect on us. What would you say to them?
AC: Well, it’s a good point, but I would first mention that we are all aware to some extent how the cycles of the sun and moon influence our physiologies.
However, what we’ve understood from modern science is that everything in creation is connected on the level of the Unified Field of all the laws of nature. Vedic Science takes this one step further and says that this cosmic level of creative intelligence is a field of consciousness.
In this light, the constituents of Jyotish — planets and stars — aren’t just big balls hanging in space. They really are embodiments of the cosmic administration of Nature. They are forces of Nature, and their orderly movement is an expression of the patterns of intelligence which shape and govern life.
‘The constituents of Jyotish — planets and stars — aren’t just big balls hanging in space. They really are embodiments of the cosmic administration of Nature. They are forces of Nature, and their orderly movement is an expression of the patterns of intelligence which shape and govern life.’
In fact, modern science now suggests that the constituents of Jyotish are not really ‘way out there’. Tony Nader, MD, PhD, MARR, has shown in his research that these constituents actually have precise correlates in the structure and function of our brain physiology which gives rise to our thinking, feelings, behavior and our experience of everything in life.
This is a remarkable insight into how Nature’s intelligence is lively inside and outside each one of us. As Maharishi was fond of saying: The Individual is Cosmic.
So, Maharishi Jyotish is not about outer space. It’s about inner space, too. Or we can say it is the knowledge of both inner and outer existence, based in the field of all-knowing consciousness.
Think about when you look at the sky. You feel a sense of awe, don’t you? There’s this kind of resonance with the vision of these patterns and rhythms of nature. You feel it almost reverberating within yourself.
And that’s what creates that happiness and joy — the recognition that the intelligence of Nature is deep within me, and it’s also functioning all around me. It’s almost as if I recognise myself in all of Nature, including on that grand scale of the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars.
Maharishi actually commented that of all the Vedic technologies, Jyotish is the most charming, because it demonstrates correlation between the magnificence of Natural Law and every facet of our everyday experiences. And of course, that concrete reminder of the connection between the individual and the universe always creates a feeling of expansion and bliss.
Want to learn more about Maharishi Jyotish?
Dr Ann Crowell and her husband, Raja Chris Crowell, will be giving a course on Maharishi Jyotish at MERU from 26 April – 3 May. This course offers an in-depth, immersive look at this fascinating field. Go here to find out more.
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About the Author
Rebekah Mays is from Austin, Texas and currently lives in the Netherlands. She is thrilled to be working as MERU’s Content Director, and her aim is to help make Maharishi’s vast knowledge more accessible to people from all countries, ages, and backgrounds.