Sanatana Gosvami was a principal associate of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Before becoming a renunciate Sanatana was a prominent minister in the government of Nawab Hussain Shah of Bengal. However he decided to resign his position and ran away from custody. He was travelling with an assistant who carried with him eight gold coins. As they lodged in a roadside inn the owner came to know through an astrologer that the patron has gold on his person. That night the owner made plans to kill them both and take their gold. But Sanatana suspected that the owner was behaving in too friendly a way and decided to surrender the coins and in this way saved his life. Just five hundred years ago a common innkeeper in India had access to astrologer insights which were remarkably accurate.
Moving on to the topic of karma, we learn from the Bhagavad-gita that only in the human form of life can we change our karma. How is it possible? Certainly it is humanly impossible but Lord Krsna assures that when we surrender to Him, He can change our karma.
We can approach our future in two ways: one is by taking help of Vedic sciences like astrology, and the other is through the absolute spiritual platform of Lord Krsna. Interestingly Lord Krsna also allows some special souls to avail of this facility, of course, by His own special mercy.
Astrology is specifically offered to human society by the Lord so that we can know why we are subjected to the specific reactions of our own previous actions or where a particular incident in your life is supposed to take you. This is the point where Vaisnavas (devotees surrendered to Lord Krsna) are made aware of Lord Krsna’s promise in the Bhagavad-gita: “If you surrender to Me I will protect you from the most dangerous types of reactions. Do not fear.”
What specific tools are recommended? Chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra: Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare; associating with advanced transcendentalists; partaking of sanctified food offered to Lord Krsna, etc. will gradually change the current of one’s life from being an inert observer and victim of one’s karma to the station of giving complete charge in the hands of the Lord.
How does Krsna handle His devotee’s life? In the Gita (7.26) Krsna says, “O Arjuna, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I know everything that has happened in the past, all that is happening in the present, and all things that are yet to come. I also know all living entities; but Me no one knows.” In other words Krsna lives in the eternal present; He sees what happened in 1824, what is happening in 2011 and what will happen in 2024, 2124 as observing a present moment. He sees it all as reality.
Thus Krsna is seeing whether we have already decided to make a change in our karma; or we just followed our karma; or followed some of our karma; or completely transcended our karma. This type of vision is simply not available to any mundane astrologer but is the prerogative of Lord Krsna and those special souls empowered by Him.