It is both purposeful and significant that the word used in Jyotiṣa for the planets is grahas, a Sanskrit word whose root meaning is “to seize or grasp.” Like all the technical terms used in Jyotiṣa, this word is plainly suggestive of the universal forces it describes in so far as their effect. If the planets can be said to “grasp” us, it should be clearly understood that they do so with our own attachments and aversions born of the residue of impressions from experiences over many lifetimes. These residual impressions, known as karma samskāras in the Vedic tradition of knowledge, are what the planetary patterns at birth indicate. Through the examination of an individual’s birth chart, a jyotiṣi assesses the quality and intensity of these karma samskāras, and what experiences they are likely to give rise to in this lifetime. The prescriptive side of Jyotiṣa is about methods for pacifying these cosmic agents, which is another way of saying methods by which karma can be modified. This is what is meant by the phrase graha sānti, or “making peace with the planets.” The Jyotiṣa śāstra makes it very clear that the sages of ancient India cognized this body of knowledge so that the karmas that were likely to manifest in a person's life could be known, along with timing. Why? For the same reason a doctor wants to accurately diagnose a health disorder, which is to say, in order to prescribe an effective remedy. The prescriptions in Jyotiṣa are practices that come from the spiritual tradition of India and they can be utilized to overcome negative karmas, or even to enhance positive ones. In this informative article master jyotishi Marc Boney outlines the different approaches to upayes and recommends the most effective ones based on his experience.