Planet Saturn is sometimes known as Kala Raja, for he rules the passing of time and how we fill time. Time passing slowly, duroshya, is one of Saturn’s principal duties, for how we fill time is critical. Do we repeat karmic patterns, do we endlessly go around in circles doing the same thing again and again, or do we yoke ourselves to what Saturn offers and learn the lessons, love ourselves and build a sustainable life-long discipline? Here, we look to the role of Saturn as duroshya-karaka (giver of slowness), and examine how human values might be yoked to the discipline Saturn enjoins.
How everything can be lost
Saturn is the slowest of planets; Saturn is said to me lame, giver of longevity, and disposer of time, durosya karaka. Time that is not filled leads to inactivity, idleness. This can lead to loss of capacity to discriminate right from wrong. Idleness is a trap; it can lead to a loss of discrimination. Idleness generates desire, desire comes up against frustration, and Saturn is giver of persistent frustration. Desire produces an expectation that it be fulfilled, and disappointment when it is not fulfilled. Disappointment leads to anger, which then leads to a state of mind called sammoha, stupefaction of the mind. The mind loses its inner connection to the instruments of wisdom (called jnanendriayas) and is filled with aberrations. It can no longer connect to the intellect and receive guidance. Memory loss of right from wrong along the guidance of the voice of conscience are lost, the intellect is destroyed. Then everything is lost. We lose our true humanness in the unbridled pursuit of desire. We have to examine tamas, the guna or impulse to action or inaction.
Tamas – path to idleness
Saturn gives time, tamas (inertia) and vata (the air component within). Tamas causes the mind to lose its capacity to discriminate right from wrong; inertia hardly seeks to connect to the intellect and so seek inner guidance and direction. Being idle is a further trap which brings a loss of discrimination. The mind is an instrument (it is actually a bundle of thoughts) which has to be guided and led along in the right direction. An example of this is namasmarana – repetition of the Divine Name; this is one of the ways of leading the mind along the right path. Idleness is anything but guiding the mind. Idleness gives the ego free rein to seek its self-protection and to draw satisfaction toward itself. Idleness leads to desire; Saturn gives frustration. Persistent frustration. When the ego seeks to push past frustration and inaction to action without proper guidance then the drivers of action are arishadvargas (the six enemies of the mind – kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada and matsarya) then we have a recipe for disaster waiting to happen. Tamas, as we have said, causes the mind to lose its capacity to discriminate right from wrong. Here, the proper use of time and activity are needed. We can move from idleness, frustration, desire to calmness, steadiness, nischalathwa. We can move from tamas to sattva – steadiness and calm, peace and satisfaction. How can we move from tamas to the calm, peace and steadiness of sattva? This is where management of time, self-love and self-discipline enter.
An excess of time may be be bound with self-love, patience and sustained effort leading to maturity. The solution is to apply self-love to what Saturn offers. Self-love has elements of steadiness (nischalathwa), purity (nirmalathwa) and detachment (nirmoathwa). This is healthy self-regard, which manages desire, delays gratification (an important process which leads to achievement of aspirations), self understanding and self-respect. All these are elements of the human value we call Love, and the sub-value of self-love. So we examine the elements of what self-love is, what it is not, what it looks like, what others do that we see is self-love, what are the limits of self-love and more.
We begin with action: self love is inner control and exercising the intellect. Self love is self-respect which elicits respect from others. (The teaching is iti drishti iti, the seen reflects the seer. Whenever we practice self-respect, we receive the respect of others. Ditto self love.) Self love gives independence, strength and fearlessness. It gives unshakeable convictions of self-worth and steadiness on the path of life. Self love looks like confidence, respect, detachment, strong boundaries, and “time out”, the practice of taking inner space. These are things that self-love looks like in action, doing words, and what self-love does for yourself. What does self-love do for others around you? It lets other people like you, it lets other people love you, it gives equal regard to the other people in your life. Others feel good around you, they feel inspired and strong within.
When we practice self-love, we don’t let the ego or our desires drive us. We follow the inner voice of conscience within, we have inner awareness, and we are self managing. We don’t look to others to give to us in order to feel good about ourselves, for we already have a foundation of dignity, self respect and self-confidence. All these come from our healthy self-regard which we call self-love.
What are the limits of self-love? One of the limits of self-love is confidence, and not over-confidence. Self love has self-awareness and is grounded in what is real, what is possible. Healthy boundaries are also part and parcel of self-love. We have an inner space, a strong inner space for interior reflection and awareness and relationship with the Divine. We do not invade the inner space of others, we respect other boundaries. We do not have brick walls of isolation or hostility erected around ourselves. That is ego, that is keeping the world out; self love is in the world, but the world is not within a person with healthy self-regard and self love. Other limits of self-love are prudence (circumspection: not hurting others and treating them as you would like to be treated) and temperance (self-moderation and self control).
We need to also consider other actions, attitudes and beliefs and what self love is not. A person with self-love is never driven by peer-pressure. They do not follow the leader, they make their own choices based on their healthy self-regard and the inner voice of conscience. Persons with self love are not clingy nor are they dependent on others. Self love is not vanity; self-love is not narcissism (overweening pride and self-conceit), nor is it engaging in attention-seeking behaviour and actions. A person who has self-love never has to prove themselves to others for acceptance into the tribe or the peer group; they have their own self-acceptance and inner maturity. So you will understand that there is nothing to prove, for dignity, self-control and self-respect are all fruits of this healthy self-regard and self love, within.
Role of Saturn
Saturn as slowest planet gives time. We can make choices what we will do with the time that Saturn gives to us; we can be responsible with our time, we can make effective choices, we can keep the limits of self-love, we can be reliable and practice steadiness. With Saturn, this can be something of an endurance race, where we have patience with ourselves, manage our attention, accept responsibility for our situation (self-love never evades responsibility)(Saturn wants us to have responsibility without guilt) and pay good attention to detail in our routine activities. Endurance, self-love, patience and sustained effort with all the time that Saturn bestows leads to maturity.
We began by saying that Saturn is sometimes called Kala Raja – the Raja or King of Time. When we use time well, we make better, more conscious choices. When we come up against persistent frustrations (Saturn’s starting point with time and the karmic patterns that are presented to us) then self-love aids us with prudence and temperance. Effective limits are in place, we accept responsibility for our situation, we follow our inner routines and our values (values guide choices which guide behaviour), we have stability and reliability that serves us well. Where there are difficulties (such as scarcity of material resources), chronic disappointments, doubts, denials and distance from our aspirations, instead of falling to indignation and decay (decay of the inner instruments of wisdom, the jnanendriyas leading to desire and anger which destroy the intellect and its guidance) we can turn within toward our healthy self regard and self-love and obtain that endurance, that persistence, that personal austerity which delays gratifications and achieves its goals over the long term. Short-term gratification does not lead to long term self-satisfaction.
The planets are graha’s; they are luminaries which reflect the light coming through our Sun and redirect the energy streams from the Sun to our mind, body and spirit. Each planet combines and recombines light (note that the colour for Saturn is blue sapphire) and then directs that light and magnetism of the Sun to ourselves. Grahas are seizers; graha means to grasp, to seize. They can raise us up, they can pull us down. Whether we rise or fall depends on how well we utilise the light and energy coming from the planets to ourselves. What is it that Saturn directs-redirects-combines-recombines (what do all these materialize as in our lives?) and how may we take that up to our profit and benefit?
Saturn, as we have told, gives tamas – inertia, and vata – the windy or air component within the mind and body. A vata mind can move very quickly, very fast. A vata-flooded mind may seek action for action’s sake and find inactivity, idleness unbearable. Frustration can emerge very quickly. A strong foundation of self-love, self-respect, self-control and self-discipline are the only antidotes to this. Time can be used for building up of reliable routines, conserving our inner resources of energy, being responsible and self-sacrificing. We may cultivate a neutral attitude towards our circumstance, the karmic patterns that are presented to us and practice self love with humility. Humility puts the ego out of place and brings the self-sacrificing delay of impulses and gratifications and places them front and centre.
Steadiness and the coming of the 4th Dimension;
Light bodies of the Human
Nischalathwa – steadiness gives us purpose in life. A healthy self-regard and self-love produces self-knowledge and enables us to follow our soul-blueprint on this karmic – action filled – journey through life. Self-knowledge builds discrimination (about desires and frustration and idleness) and detachment (nirmoathwa). We are able to walk our path towards destination, towards the goal of life, with discipline, duty and devotion. All the tools are within us from birth.
As time moves faster in the 4th and 5th Dimensions, a healthy self-regard and self-love give us the tools to use time well. 4th dimensional time is faster and not reckoned in in the 365 day solar cycles of the 3-dimensional world we live in. Vibrational frequency, atoms and molecules are quickening, as a result of changing dimensions. As we move forward, the engineers and scientists will be able to measure the faster vibration and frequency. Time will be faster than what we have been in the Earth’s 3rd dimension.
Fruit of frequency, vibration and atoms quickening is the re-activating of the so-called “junk dna” within the human, and the light body begins to form. It is well know that we have a 12 strand DNA of which geneticists and researchers are unable to find functions for 10 of these strands. These are related to light bodies that the humans, the Earthlings, have. We have a certain number of sheaths or kosas around our bodies; these will become more manifest and visible as human life moves toward its inheritance of life in the 4th and 5th Dimensions. Saturn gives time, tamas and vata speed. We may take up these impressions from Saturn and the circumstances caused, and with self love, in a disciplined and responsible matter, take up life in these new dimensions.