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Astrology and Enlightenment, Part 2

As discussed in part 1 of this post, one of Krishnamurti’s final requests was not to have any monuments or temples built for him after his death. So, following Krishnamurti’s death, Osho instructed his disciples to promptly get to work on a grandiose monument. Osho’s explanation was that the only sort of person who deserved such a tribute was one who insisted against it, but I wonder if he was partially just being mischievous.

Krishnamurti and Osho never actually met. They were geographically near each other (i.e. within a short drive) on multiple occasions and their disciples and enthusiasts tried to arrange meetings, but an impasse always resulted. Osho would say there was no point since they were both enlightened. Krishnamurti was interested to meet Osho, but as Osho’s elder he felt it appropriate for Osho to come to him. Osho, true to his nature, had no interest in following any sort of tradition or protocol… which, of course, annoyed Krishnamurti.

Throughout his life, Osho seemed to delight in baiting both Krishnamurti and their fellow sage, Nisargadatta Maharaj. While Krishnamurti and Nisargadatta were friendly with each other, they generally gave as good as they got when responding to Osho’s lack of decorum. When Osho’s disciples, who regularly wore maroon robes and necklaces with a photo of Osho on them (known as malas) would attend Krishnamurti or Nisargadatta’s satsangs, the two older more traditional men frequently singled them out for criticism and harsh questioning. Yet, Osho would encourage his disciples, clad in their maroon robes, to keep returning to the other gurus, joking that doing so was like waving a red flag at a bull and delighting in what he seemed to consider a sort of cosmic practical joke.

According to people close to both Krishnamurti and Nisargadatta, each of them acknowledged Osho as enlightened but were confused and annoyed by his techniques and attitude. I find this distinction hilarious, as it seems rather like saying, “Sure, that guy’s a direct window into the mind of God… but what an asshole!” I also think it’s a great reminder that people are and always will be people, with personality quirks, preferences, likes and dislikes, even if enlightenment happens.

Osho’s chart provides an abundance of clues as to why he was more eccentric and mischievous – and also far more community oriented – than Krishnamurti or Nisargadatta. While Krishnamurti and Nisargadatta lived humbly and focused on the individual, Osho formed a massive commune, initiated his disciples into “neo-sannyas” and reveled in life’s sensualist pleasures. Osho’s natal chart demonstrates that he was destined to be contrarian in nature, deeply interested in taboo topics such as sex and death and involved in occult groups.

Osho’s Natal Chart: Note the 8th-House “Planetary Commune”

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As you can see, most of Osho’s planets are in the 8th house, which represents sex, death and all things taboo, secretive, occult and esoteric. Among Osho’s other planets, Jupiter is in his third house of communication, exalted and serving as his atmakaraka (indicator of the soul’s highest purpose) while in parivartana (mutual reception) with his 8th house Moon. This exchange of signs between his 3rd-house Jupiter and 8th-house Moon expresses his gift for communicating (3rd house) higher spiritual knowledge (Jupiter) via occult and esoteric practices (8th house) in an emotionally resonant manner (Moon). Not only that, but Osho was especially interested in expanding the role of women in his commune, celebrating the divine (Jupiter) aspect of the feminine (Moon).

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Is It Your Karma to Change Your Karma?

Karma probably confuses people from Western and Judeo-Christian cultures more than any other Eastern spiritual or philosophical concept. Most just seem to dismiss it as the simplistic idea of “what comes around goes around.” I remember a friend – a loyal, well-intentioned guy who could, nonetheless, get quite worked up when he felt somebody had taken advantage of him or personally wronged him – exclaiming about the downfall of a man he felt had cheated him in some way, “That’s karma! Karma will always get you!”

I almost brought up holocaust victims or school shootings, but decided I could get across the same general point without creating such an awkward mood. Making it into a bit of a joke, I asked, “What happened? Was this guy mean to you, so he got eaten by a tiger?” My friend knew I was teasing him – and probably also knew I was trying to get him to think more deeply about what he’d said. His reply was something along the lines of, “Come on… of course he didn’t get eaten by a tiger, but he screwed me over, and now it’s his turn. What do you think karma is?”

The problem with many people’s conception of karma is that “bad things” happening to “good people” seems unfair to them (and “fairness” is a modern cultural ideal), so some just dismiss the idea of karma completely because they see “unfairness” happen too often throughout the world; others, perhaps even more misguided, figure there must be reasons that fit their limited frame of reference. (e.g. “That baby must have really been an asshole in a past life to end up with spina bifida!”) The concept of some sort of inevitable “punitive” karma destined to smite evildoers is also used as a comforting mechanism by many who feel bitter and/or vengeful.

However, what we think of as “good” and “bad” is actually quite subjective. Most people have no problem eating animals kept in horrible conditions and slaughtered for (unhealthy, unnecessary, environmentally problematic) food or with buying products made by child slave laborers. If you want full disclosure, I’m quite careful not to do the former and pay very little attention to the latter. Maybe a tiger will only eat half of me?

A hundred years ago, a doctor willingly performing an abortion would be seen as an evil act by most people, but now the majority of developed nations feel abortion should be a woman’s personal choice. Blasphemy is considered a serious crime by most Muslims, yet perceived as an indispensable element of free speech by most Westerners. Social programs Americans and Europeans currently take for granted, such as emergency medical care and public schools, used to sincerely worry well-meaning traditional capitalists.

Still, you may ask, what about more “basic” morals, such as not killing, stealing or committing adultery? Well, what about other old standbys involving specific rules for how to sell one’s daughter into slavery or the correct way to torture witches to death? Stuff changes. And we have far more trouble predicting what will change, why and when than most people like to admit.

In other words, the world is in flux. Constantly. And that’s okay.

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