The Gift of Love

As Valentines Day approaches we consider the joy of having loving relationships in our lives. We all want to find that special someone, and once that time comes, to live together happily for life. At least that is the ideal. But love comes in so many varieties and flavors. We dream of becoming carried away by it, imagining an ecstatic wave of joy in our hearts. But to define this all-encompassing desire for love inside us seems almost impossible.
The ancient Vedic culture of India gave varying names for different kinds of love, as did the Greeks. The Greeks actually had as many as thirty different words to describe shared love, but seven were most prominent.

Bhakti Yoga

Agape to the Greeks or Maitri for the Hindus, meant the love we have for all others in the world, like when we feel compassion for people suffering due to a lack of basic resources, war or natural disasters. It brings a desire to be charitable to others that we have never met, just on the basis of being part of one extended family. Agape was also the Greek word used for love for God. In ancient India the word Bhakti was used for such transcendental love, love that can only be for and shared with the Supreme Lord of all creation. I feel it is no accident that Bhakti Yoga is now experiencing resurgence, especially among the younger population.

Love of a Parent

Love of a Parent

Storge to the Greeks, or vatsalya for the Hindus, meant love within the immediate, or extended, family. It is the love of a parent for their children, grandchildren, adopted children, uncle or other relations that is special because of family ties. This is why healthy family love is so important in our emotional growth and wellbeing. Something that is severely lacking in today’s disjointed, and often lonely world.
Pragma in Greece, or Preyo in India, is the love that endures the test of time. This is love that develops over time, such as that between a married couple that stays together through thick and thin. Or, perhaps the love that we feel for an old friend, caring for them when they have trouble later in life.

Self love or self esteem

Philautia to the Greeks, or Svabhista in India, is self-love, or self-respect. Not in the sense of being vain or narcissistic, but that caring love to do right by ourselves, that gives us our principles, values and strength. This in turn then allows us to care for others. This is another love that is lacking in today’s society. Often, if others have not loved us, we find it hard to even like ourselves, let alone love ourselves.

Working as a team

Philia to the Greeks, or Prita in ancient India, is the love that we share with others when we cooperate to achieve something, like with our co-workers, other players on the same sports team, or soldiers in a unit of the armed forces. We may call it camaraderie, but it is love all the same. Ask any soldier returning form war, how strongly they feel about the men or women on their unit. It is indeed, a very strong, special love.

Ludus is actually a Roman term, madhurya in India, for the love that we flirt or play when we meet someone we’re attracted to, the feelings in the heart (and stomach) that often brings a strong sense of euphoria.

Strong sexual desire

Eros to the Greeks, or Shringara to the ancient Vedic civilization, is the love that most of us think of and wish to stoke the fires of, on Valentines Day. It is romantic, and erotic. Carried on the winds of imagination, its magnetism brings our sexual desires to the forefront of our minds and bodies. The Greeks actually considered eros as dangerous and irrational, it could take hold of and possess you. Let this be food for thought.

There is no feeling, sensation or thought that can compare to the sheer joy of sharing love with another. It is an affair of the heart, and as we call upon our heart’s vast resources with which to love we find that as we give more love, we get more love in return. The more loving we become with others, the more love we have to give. Rather than becoming depleted of love we become nourished and filled with it!
For love is the true ground upon which we live; it is the only environment that any of us truly desire. It should be shared with everyone on some level, creating an environment of peace and joy. We naturally think of being more caring with those we know, that are in our circle of friends and family. But to exercise those same heart muscles with other souls outside this circle will not only bring more light into their lives, but it increases our own.

A smile for someone you don’t know, helping a distressed animal,

Caring for a distressed animal

giving in charity in a way that you become emotionally involved, or a hug for someone that’s feeling lost and alone, will bring feelings of joyfulness to the heart. The more we share love with others, the more love fills and overflows our hearts. When we give of our hearts freely the realization comes that we are all a part of one big family.
For the most intimate of personal relationships having synastry between you on a soul level is essential. Being able to see the arrangement of the heavens at the time of the persons’ birth will tell the tale. When we use an accurate Vedic horoscope, we can see right away if there is enough compatibility (synastry) for the marriage to be successful. Not only that, but we can look at the future career and social statuses of the couple, as well. We all want to meet with success, and knowing the synastry between you can make the difference between having a fulfilling marriage and home life, or not.
So this Valentine’s Day plan for that special event, dinner or night out with your special someone, but don’t forget to call Mom, or Dad. For that one day resolve to express only warmth and kindness, try to keep a smile on your lips whenever you see anyone and try to feel yourself as part of one Earth family. Not only will you have one of the best days of your lives, you’ll realize forever more that love really is all we need. If we have that, then the world looks bright. For to love and be loved, is life’s greatest gift. Happy Valentine’s Day!

HAPPY VALENTINES
FOR ALL THE LOVES IN OUR LIVES

You can reach me at Howard@vedicworld.org or call me on 352 629 3156 and I will be happy to answer questions you may have.

Hope For The New Year 2016

It’s that time of year again. Here we are at the end of another year, which seems to have flown by, and getting ready for the next. We all hope for a good year ahead. “Good” to most means a comfortable living situation, no lacking in the necessities of life and opportunities for experiencing pleasure in our lives. Yet there’s an air of apprehension today.
The world is in turmoil and as every day passes we see more people displaced from their homes, forced to migrate into the unknown and all simply to find a situation where they can live peacefully, to find a home where they can have the opportunities in life that the multifarious warring parties have stolen from them.
Although I see a continuation of violence, both abroad, and within our borders to a lesser degree, the New Moon charts are giving me hope. The USA will certainly prevail this year. The political blood lust for power amongst the various parties will have our government flexing its muscles…with devastating consequences for those living in fear in war torn countries.
After all, it’s an election year. Both of the political parties must try to show the people that they are capable of bringing security to the population, both in terms of protection from terror and crime, as well as stimulating a sluggish economy.
Though the means that allows them to create an illusion of prosperity will have the result of scarcity down the road, the economy will indeed become stronger, at least in some sectors.
But the greatest hope that I see for 2016 is that I expect more and more people to question the dry, tasteless and unpalatable philosophy of “work harder, spend more money” and you will become happy. That’s what our leaders imply, don’t they? When the economy is churning along the news reporters tell us how great everything is, and when the economy is depressed we’re told to be afraid. Our happiness and distress depends on the state of the economy, pure and simple! That is what they would have us believe.
But anybody with the slightest bit of thoughtfulness will realize, if they carefully consider this unholy philosophy, that our inner hearts and minds can never be satisfied with “things”. But the bulk of the populace mindlessly and thoughtlessly accept this philosophy of life blaring at them through the television.
In this year more people are going to raise their heads out above the fog and ask themselves, their “higher” selves, for a better way. We will begin to see an ever-growing movement to retreat to a simpler lifestyle. As Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada said, “Simple living and higher thinking nurtures the path to both material satisfaction and spiritual realization.
The “Back to the Land” movement will grow exponentially in popularity as people begin to realize that this hard, unending struggle for existence in an environment that completely stress us out is not only unnecessary, but it reduces our life span, while it completely negates any bit of pleasure we might find along the way.
The pleasure and pain, happiness and distress, and ups and downs of our lives are the result of what we have “earned” in our previous “roles” in life. As Shakespeare said “All the world is a stage and all the people merely players”. Our identities outwardly change with each succeeding birth that we take in the world, but inwardly we are the same. Yet our true identity is covered.
So in this year I see that many persons are going to all of a sudden feel like they’ve awakened. As if they never really saw themselves and the world for what it truly is before. Those persons are going to begin their search for reality in great earnest. Churches and temples that are welcoming will find that more inquisitive seekers will cross their thresholds. Spiritual groups of all persuasion will see a resurgence in their membership.
This year holds an opportunity for us all. An opportunity to make changes in our lives, in our very consciousness, that will allow us to at least understand what we want in life and most importantly what we do NOT want. Knowledge, my friends, is what we all desire. Knowledge of ourselves, the universe and how to find that elusive state of consciousness called “peace of mind”. But to begin to find the truth we have to use all the tools at our disposal…and to stop accepting the material philosophy that is used to control our minds, and thus our very lives.
I will leave you with a word-for-word reprint of the very poignant words spoken in a movie called “Network” from 1976.

Howard Beale: I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV’s while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We know things are bad – worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, ‘Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.’ Well, I’m not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot – I don’t want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say, ‘I’m a HUMAN BEING, God damn it! My life has VALUE!’ So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, ‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!’ I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell – ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Things have got to change. But first, you’ve gotta get mad!… You’ve got to say, ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Then we’ll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: “I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”

Arthur Jensen: You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won’t have it! Is that clear? You think you’ve merely stopped a business deal. That is not the case! The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back! It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity! It is ecological balance! You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU… WILL… ATONE! Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale? You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state, Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions, and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that… perfect world… in which there’s no war or famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock. All necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangel.
Howard Beale: Why me?
Arthur Jensen: Because you’re on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.

How we will fare in this year individually depends on our own personal circumstances. Whatever we’ve earned in life comes back to us, for that is the law of karma. But I see a great opening for those that want to find their inner hearts in this year. For anyone desiring to make a change in life, this is the time. Don’t wait any longer.

Have faith. With faith all things are possible. But we must listen very hard, strain our inner ear to hear the calling of our heart. And with knowledge of and faith in our destiny we can push forward. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, we can “be the change you wish to see in the world”.

If you are MAD AS HELL and would like to discuss it with me over your astrological consult, then contact me on Howard@howardbeckman.com or order on line at http://www.howardbeckmanvedicastrologer.com/consultations.html
Happy New Year

Been Feeling a bit down these days? Blame it on the Planets!

So many of us have been feeling these intense emotional “waves” during 2013, especially in the past few months or so. Many more clients than usual are confiding in me that they’re worried they’re becoming depressed by it all. Yet although some have tragedies or trials and tribulations they can point to as the catalysts, others are simply feeling low and can’t put their finger on the reasons why.
Well, you really can blame it on the planets this time, at least for a great many. When malefic planets like Saturn or Mars become powerful they increase the potencies of negative forces. However, at this time we have several combinations of planetary influences that together are affecting our collective minds and emotions quite heavily.
Saturn has been very powerful for a few years now, being exalted in the sign of Libra, ruled by Venus. Rahu joined him here in the beginning of this year, thus promising to instigate trouble in many individuals’ lives, and globally further instigating fighting, unusual storms, etc. Although the exact degree of conjunction was last week, it will still be a negative force for trouble until Rahu moves into Virgo in July of 2014.
Recently Mars also moved into Cancer, his weakest sign of debilitation, causing epic storms and floods. Unfortunately it is also a house position that allows Mars to cast his malefic aspect onto Saturn, while at the same time it also allows Saturn to cast his malefic aspect onto Mars. Both are great malefics and in this instance portend much evil in the world. Venus is also here now with Saturn and Rahu, and in less than a week Mercury will also join the party in Libra.
This is not great for relationships, so keep your cool in communicating with your significant other. This goes for business partnerships, too, so maintain diplomacy in all of your dealings. Although Venus will have moved to Scorpio by the 17th of October, the Sun will now enter Libra. There he finds three enemies, Saturn, Rahu and Mercury, all putting pressure on the situation. The one mitigating factor is Jupiter’s benefic aspect coming from his position in Gemini.
We may not have had the biggest hurricane season, but the fun’s not quite over yet. There will still be violence ongoing, storms and shake-ups on the planet to test your equanimity. And Venus’s sojourn into Scorpio won’t help on the relationship scene much, either. As even before Sun moves into Libra with his enemies, Mars moves into Leo. Here he becomes very powerful and now casts his aspect with renewed strength and vigor directly onto Venus. Watch your emotions, don’t let yourself become angry and put a “disconnect switch” between your mind and your tongue! Better not to say everything you are thinking, as you will regret it. Tempers and emotions will very easily flare up, causing unnecessary arguments and fights.
So, how does all this affect you as an individual? Those with planets in Libra, Cancer, Capricorn and Aries are feeling it heavily for sure, but not only there. The affectations run the gamut of the zodiac and the only way to see which planetary influences will be great forces for gain, change, or problems, for us individually is to have a personal astrological consultation. “To be forewarned is to be forearmed!”

OF COURSE OBAMA WON!

I’ve received many congratulatory e-mails about my prediction that Obama would win the election. Most came from clients, friends and well-wishers that receive our newsletters, so received the April 26, 2012 edition of my “Planetary Perspectives” in which I detailed the astrological reasons why he most certainly would.
I’ve received comments such as “you must be happy”, “you should be proud” and many different versions of “congratulations” or “well done”. I do appreciate the vote of confidence and thank all of you that have taken the time to let me know you appreciate my work.
However, I also want to say that I am completely aloof from elections and politicians in general. My writing articles on national or world events in which I make predictions is simply an exercise to show the efficacy of the Vedic astrological science when practiced by those willing to devote their lives to it while also treading the razor sharp spiritual path. I take no credit for my seeming accuracy and give all credit to my teachers and mentors, and especially to the great saints and sages who have bequeathed this holy science to us here on earth.
As regarding politics and politicians I am of the opinion that almost all of them alive on the planet today are incapable of understanding what human life is for, incapable of directing themselves towards lives of honesty, compassion, fairness and love for all creatures upon this earth. Therefore how can they possibly do anything to better the development of human society or to even preserve the gifts of Mother Nature?
As long as the world is ruled by greedy and impious men, there will be greater and greater travails affecting our societies and the planet as a whole. Just see how wonderful a job that the most dastardly of corporations’ influential and powerful leaders have done in California in this last election! Monsanto somehow convinced the majority of the voting public sector that they need not know what is in the food they eat! No need to know, just believe in them, their honesty and their integrity. Maybe my article of 4/29/12 “A Society of Mushrooms” might better delineate my feelings on such things.
I also predicted in my article of April 20, 2012 that this year’s storms would be far worse than last. Nobody congratulated me on that, nor would I wish them to. It certainly brings me no pleasure to see the suffering of our brothers and sisters in NY and NJ. Again, I write such articles because I know certain things will transpire and doing so shows how Vedic astrology can forewarn us of events, thus allowing us to take precautions.
We human beings are meant to be caretakers of this planet on which we dwell. We are meant to show kindness and compassion towards all others, meaning not only of the human species, but animal species, as well. When we wantonly abuse, destroy and needlessly slaughter all others how can there be any glimmer of peace on earth? Human beings need to wake up. Those that realize the folly of life as it is being perpetuated need to take a stand. First and foremost in their own lives, and then when possible to share your realizations with others. When we change ourselves we begin to change the world. It’s true. A journey starts with the first step.
These and other such articles of mine are available on my blogs at www.vedicworld.org and www.HowardBeckmanVedicAstrologer.com. Soon I will begin to write about what I see coming for 2013. But no matter what negative “events” I may or may not see transpiring, my fervent hope is that more and more people will open their eyes, contemplate realty (both the temporary of this world and the eternal of the spiritual beyond this one single lifetime) and resolve to make a change for the better. Namaste.
HOWARD BECKMAN 11/8/2012