Yogananda’s Teaching on the Power of Will

Paramahansa Yogananda’s classic book, The Autobiography of a Yogi, has a chapter entitled, “Outwitting the Stars,” that is a must read for any student of astrology in my opinion. In it he describes his own beliefs about astrology, and the attitude he recommends that spiritual aspirants should adopt towards it. Specifically, that we should never see planetary forces as more powerful than our own will power. For instance, see this quote:

“Occasionally I told astrologers to select my worse periods, according to planetary indications, and I would still accomplish whatever task I set myself. It is true that my success at such time has been accompanied by extraordinary difficulties. But my conviction has always been justified; faith in the divine protection, and the right use of man’s God-given will, are forces formidable beyond any the ‘inverted bowl’ (sky) can muster. The starry inscription at one’s birth, I came to understand, is not that man is a puppet of his past. Its message is rather a prod to pride; the very heavens seek to arouse man’s determination to be free of every limitation.”

Yogananda offers here quite a bold shift in perspective. Most of the time people see the planetary influences, especially the dashas and transits, as forces beyond their power of will to effect. However, Yogananda’s point is to recognize that our will power is God given for a reason – to change potentially unfavorable outcomes in our lives into favorable ones.

Click here to read the chapter “Outwitting the Stars” inAutobiography of a Yogi.

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Vedic Astrologer, teacher, and writer who lives in Maui, Hawaii.

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