In fact, the secret of the Veda is basically this. They spoke of saṅkalpa: you manifest a saṅkalpa, and continue with that saṅkalpa,( sacrifice which was proposed was only an outer symbol, but basically this is the truth behind it). You take a saṅkalpa, persist with it and result will follow as you have decided as you wanted it. That is why in ancient India, the kings when they wanted to undertake a war, they wanted to have a certain result as a result of war, then they used to have a saṅkalpa, a sacrifice and that saṅkalpa was followed over days and months, yajña(s): that was the secret behind it.
Now, there may be a ritualistic, ‘mechanistic’ will and therefore it may not succeed, but if you really will it, truly, sincerely, then it has an effect. That’s why sincerity is regarded as the most important element in this process: you should sincerely want it, not mechanically, not half–heartedly, not with a division in the mind and heart. Very often we find that we make a decision and then after sometime we change the decision and then come back to the original decision, then the effects are diluted.
Now, the 15th chapter which we are doing actually which is considered to be the chapter containing the supreme Knowledge, even much greater knowledge than what was contained in the 9th chapter, because 9th chapter was also a chapter describing the supreme knowledge, the supreme word of the Gita…
Question: That would mean that we determine our own destiny?
Oh! Yes, absolutely.
Question: Then what is astrology?
This is your present will having its own consequences, then you intervene and change it.
Therefore, astrology itself recognises a science beyond astrology. Therefore, astrology also tells you remedies: ‘this is going to happen, but if you don’t want it to happen then do certain things’, of course it has become very mechanical, but there is a truth behind it. if you know the divine science, the yoga, then you can do it, you can change the whole course of events, a new course of events can arise.
Question: Sankalpa becomes the karma?
That’s right, correct. That is why Isha Upanishad says: na karma lipyate nare (Isha Upn. 2), “You do the action, it does not bind you.” So, you should not give up action. In order to be free from action, many people advise: ‘you come out of action.’ Isha Upanishad says: ‘No, kurvanneveha karmāṇi jijīviṣecchataṁ samāḥ |’, ‘By doing actions verily in this world, here, you should wish to live for hundred years.’ That is to say, hundred means: on and on, continue. This is the only way. And then it says: na karma lipyate nare, but you should do action in such a way, it does not bind you. So, action itself is the means of freedom. Go on doing actions, arrive at a point where action does not bind you, you become free, that is the secret of Karmayoga: you do action, arrive at a point where action no more binds you, you really attain to freedom. That is because…