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Buddhists say that Siddhartha was the product of eons of positive intention and action. Whenever Buddhists pray before a statue of the Buddha, they pray for inspiration. This is the positive inspiration to deal effectively with each day. Inspiration moves one to make life meaningful with positive action. Buddha attained enlightenment to show and inspire others on their path to enlightenment. The inspiration to be an enlightened individual has astrological implications.
Siddhartha's past-life birth stories, in Buddhist scripture, are a good example of the process of dealing with many different levels of influence. As a bodhisattvasomeone who works toward enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beingsSiddhartha cultivated positive qualities and wisdom over millions of rebirths. Those positive qualities helped him deal with life and all its various dimensions. The stories are read to Buddhist children to inspire them to be virtuous. They culminate in Siddhartha's final rebirth when he attains enlightenment. The glory of that last lifetime is due to the accumulation of vast wisdom and virtuous action.
A Buddhist review of Siddhartha shows that he is a multidimensional character, an archetype. There are so many ways to view the man and his life, and they are all interdependent. Siddhartha's life as a crown prince, his astrology, and his lineage of rebirths all interconnect. This is the wisdom of the Buddha, which is the wisdom of enlightenment. It sheds a wonderful new light on the practice of astrology.
Shortly after the birth of Siddhartha, the man destined to become Lord Buddha, an aged and wise Vedic astrologer visited his mother and father. It was traditional in India for astrologers to make predictions when a child was born. Siddhartha's father was the king of a small country on the border of Nepal and India. His first child was a boy, and that was auspicious. He hoped his son, the crown prince, would be blessed by the planets. The old astrologer viewed both the boy and the calculations of his planets and then started to shed many tears. Siddhartha's father was shocked. Was his son doomed to a horrible rebirth?
When the old man composed himself, he explained the tears by saying, "I cry because I will not see the great person this child is destined to become. Siddhartha can be the lord of all India or he can become an enlightened being, a Buddha in this very life." The father was overjoyed that his son would be the next ruler of India. The thought of his son becoming a Buddha was meaningless to him. Of course his son would become a great king; what cause was there for other options?
The astrologer did see the options available to Siddhartha. Buddhism holds the ideal that life is not inherently fixed or fated. All phenomena, animate and inanimate, are interdependent. The intention of this book is to present a Buddhist view of astrology.
No phenomena, sentient or inanimate, are separate from the causes and circumstances that create them. Siddhartha is an excellent example of this. He was the product of a wide spectrum of causes and circumstances. Siddhartha's parents were the first and primary cause. Their DNA, from the very start, established a set of physical characteristics that he inherited. Siddhartha's rebirth was auspicious in this way. His father was handsome, healthy, wise, and virtuous. His mother was attractive, healthy, intelligent, and virtuous as well. They were both from the warrior ruling caste of India.
Siddhartha's mother, in particular, was spiritually aware of Siddhartha's qualities. She had dreams indicating that her son's rebirth lineage was special. She dreamt on the night of his conception that a six-tusked elephant entered her womb. This symbolized Siddhartha's power and qualities. Historical accounts say that she was joyful during the pregnancy. Mahayana Buddhists say that she was the incarnation of a goddess who promised to be the mother for Siddhartha. She currently resides in Tushita Pure Land and waits for the next Buddha Maitreya. She is prophesied to be the mother for every Buddha to come. All these births will cause her no discomfort, due to the pure qualities of these beings.
Siddhartha's external life situation is another area of interdependence. This includes his physical environment, his socioeconomic situation, and his education. The physical environment was a palace in ancient India. His socioeconomic situation was one of immense wealth and prestige. Siddhartha's education was the best available at the time.
Siddhartha was also trained in a traditional manner as a member of the warrior caste. His training included literature, logic, philosophy, and arms. Historians say that he excelled in all these activities. He even won the hand of his wife-to-be on the basis of his athletic and academic skills. Siddhartha's father was careful not to stimulate Siddhartha with religious speculation. The general ideas of past and future lives, the ethics of a monarch, and generosity to the poor were taught to him. The historical references say that his father spared nothing in the worldly sense for Siddhartha's education.
The influences to stimulate, support, and create Siddhartha were innumerable. These ranged from coarse and manifest aspects to subtle and invisible aspects of influence. Coarse aspects were the physical environment and social setting. Subtle aspects were less obvious to observe. Astrology is considered a subtle influence. It is considered an environmental influence of secondary importance.
To show how astrology may have played a role in Siddhartha's life, I have cast a natal chart for him. The actual birth chart of Siddhartha can only be speculated. There are various years given for his birth, so I have picked the year that best represents historical reports.
We can surmise from the comments of historians that Siddhartha's natal chart was impressive. He was born in the springtime....(Continues)