There is no room for any doubt in the fact that Vedic Astrology has come to be associated with Indianness. India and Vedic Astrology are two sides of the same coin.
To the Western world, India means backwardness, hunger, snake-charmers, rajas, beggary, sleaze, dust, dirt, poverty etc. In Indian soil, there is no dearth of such disc jockeys who go round denouncing the subject and content of vedic astrology simply because these elitists feel self- aggrandized by toeing the western line.
The roots of Indianness lie deeply embedded in Vedas. Being prehistoric in nature, no written or printed treatise is available but in sum and substance, the average Indian has been moulded by the tenets of Vedic wisdom. The classical Indian credo took birth in the four main goals of life namely Dharma, Artha, Kaama and Moksha.
Artha denotes material well -being and Kaama, at best, is mental satisfaction. When the attempt is to regulate Kaama and Artha in such a way that it leads to Moksha is nothing but the avowed Dharma of an enlightened Indian.
Every individual pursuit in attaining Purushartha (signified by Dharma, Artha, Kaama and Moksha) sets into motion a certain cycle of Karma or Action. We all know that all Karma results in Karmaphala. Good results in good and vice versa.
All activities of man are basically aimed at achieving happiness within the framework of designated Purushartha. It is here that Jyotisha or Astrology acquires its primordial role in helping to realize the Purushartha based meaning of one’s life.
Jyotisha is nothing but the study of planetary movements and terrestrial happenings. All the nine planets through their ceaseless movement in the Zodiac influence human life and activity. It is the study of this connectivity between planetary motion and human endeavor, which we call Jyotisha, or the science of light. We are affected by the radiation effect of the planets. Hence Jyotisha and human life are intricately inter-linked.
Vedic Astrology in modern times : If we frog-jump from Vedic period to modem times, we find that Astrology of today has a definite punch of Astronomy and Mathematics (which otherwise are offshoots of science).
The construction of a birth-chart requires precise and accurate calculations in finding the ascendant, the planetary degrees, other celestial factors such as tithi, vaar, nakshatra etc.
Based on the birth chart are then erected the sixteen varga charts, the dasa scheme, the shadabalas, the ashtakvargas, bhinnashtakvargas and a host of other enabling data before any prediction and interpretation can become a possibility. In order to avoid chances of errors in calculations, the modern practitioners of astrology chiefly employ a computer. The very fact that softwares are floating in the market by the dozens points to the fact that astrology is truly being treated as “Science” and not merely a tendentious subject.
The spread of Astrology : In the last few years, many western astrologers have shown monumental interest in Vedic Astrology. They hail it as one of the most profound sciences of prediction.
The first International Symposium on Vedic Astrology was held in Oct 1992 at San Rafael, California, USA.
Dr. B. V. Raman delivered the keynote address at this symposium and left the audience spell- bound by his rich knowledge of the subject.
In fact, this symbolizes the advent of a new era in Vedic Astrology in USA. Such telling was the impact of this symposium that another symposium followed in 1993 and AMERICAN COUNCIL OF VEDIC ASTROLOGY was formed in 1993. Pioneering work in West has been done by dedicated persons such as Carl Fagan, David Frawley, Denniss Harness, James Kelleher, Linda Johnsen, Robin Armstrong, Richard Houck etc.
Britain too, has a body by the name of British Association of Vedic Astrology with Andrew Foss as its President. Another illustrious personality Komilla Sutton is deeply involved in promoting Vedic Astrology and is on the advisory board of a leading astrological outfit of India.
It is worth mentioning that when princess Diana died in a car accident, Ms. Edith Hathaway wrote an illuminating article, giving purely astrological logic for the tragic end of Diana. Mireille-josephine of France is also deeply committed to the cause of Vedic Astrology. She is French.
A Look at its distractors : It so appears that astronomy registered a rapid advance as compared to Astrology. There were doubting Thomases even in accepting certain astronomical phenomena like when Galileo propounded the theory of earth being round, he was pelted with stones by the crowd he was addressing.
Robert Fulton invented the steamboat. On the banks of Hudson river he was displaying his new invention. The pessimists and the skeptics were gathered round to observe. They commented that it would never start. Lo and behold, it did. As it made its way down the river, the pessimists who said it won’t go, started shouting it would never stop. This exposes the attitude of doubting minds.
In India, most Indian intellectuals (generally they are educated in West) pass as rationalists. They control the print and the electronic media. These people tend to couple religion with superstition. Similar treatment they mete out to astrology at least in public. But even a slight crisis in their life makes them run to an astrologer for advice. Therefore this class of rationalists criticize astrology in public but consult in private. In the biography of his illustrious father Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, Dr. S.Gopal describes an incident which is quite significant. Circa 1930, Prof. Radhakrishnan happened to meet the great european palmist Cheiro. After studying the palm of Dr. Radhakrishnan, Cheiro forecast that
“ he would reach the top, be the head of a state, but before his death lose his mind “. It became a family joke because the label that the family carried was that of rationalists. But bashing astrology and ridiculing astrology was a popular pastime in the Indian Intelligentsia. If astrology had critics in India itself, what to speak of west? There they were by dozens with their tongues loose and verbiage lethal. They would go to any extent, even concoct to run astrology down. An eye opening instance was highlighted by Mrs. Gayatri Devi Vasudeva, Associate Editor, Astrological Magazine, Bangalore. Prof Bernard Silverman, psychologist at Michigan State University, USA got records of 2978 married and 478 divorced couples between 1967 and 1968 and found no correlation with astrological predictions. Mrs. Vasudeva wouldn’t let such litany pass. She addressed a letter to Professor Silverman on 31-01-1995 which came back on 25-02-1995 marked in red ink by postal authorities - Not at MSU -return to sender. She again wrote on 18-05-1995 to the H.O.D. of Deptt. Of Psychology of MSU. Prof Gordon Wood, Chairperson Deptt. Of Psychology replied.
“I have never heard of Prof Bernard Silverman. He was never the Head of the Deptt of Psychology at MSU. I was unable to find his name in the directory of American Psychological Association. So I cannot provide you with any information about him.”
Sd- Gordon Wood 31-05-1995
This ruse was played by an Indian journalist in one of Sunday columns simply to run astrological dicta down. Pitiful indeed.
Recent Attack On Astrology In and outside Parliament : The NDA govt. at New Delhi took a decision to introduce doctorate, PG, graduate and under -graduate level courses on astrology in Indian universities w.e.f 1.7.2001. There was wholesale condemnation by the opposition political parties in the parliament. They were reminded that when they ruled at the centre, 20 odd universities were running such courses. But decisions taken by BJP led coalition had to have the colour of being "Hinduistic". Outside the parliament, people of the stature of Dr. Jayant Narlikar, an eminent astronomer of India, opposed the idea. Apart from Dr. Narlikar, several others belonging to “ rationalist “ stream went in for wholesale condemnation of this idea.
It is sad commentary on the way of life we live in India. We tend to dissociate ourselves from the very root which gave us form and existence. We are missing a grand opportunity to reunite ourselves with our rich past, what is commonly called culture. Our young generation is getting amorous of the western way of life. One of the attributable reasons for this westward drift is absence of proper curriculum in our universities. We can only imagine an India of say 2040 AD, when very select few shall be living and telling the needy about Astrology and its vast repertory of knowledge/wisdom.
Astrology and Its Scientific temper, its Foray into Medical Science : Dr. B. V. Raman had the good fortune of remaining associated with the subject matter of astrology for more than 60 years. He propounded through his unique research that the physical “Man” sticks to our globe due to gravity and is influenced by celestial bodies. The thinking of our ancient sages visioned through their proverbial third eye that “Man” and Universe are inseparable. In other words these sages made a startling revelation by means of their astrological wisdom that the gulf between astronomy and biology was bridgeable. An ayurvedic doctor was also supposed to know the basic rules of astrology. It helped him in treating the patient meaningfully. The zodiacal signs are connected with various parts of human body. Likewise the planets possess relation with various ailments of human body. Ancient texts on astrology hold that health depends upon harmony and disease upon discord. The body and the mind had vast amount of interaction in striking a balance between harmony and discord. Moon thus played a stellar role. Its affliction indicates discord while its strength signified harmony. Even Dr. Carl Jung advocated hectic interface between astrology and medical science.
The latest addition to grant a linkage between astrology and medical science comes from studies/research whereby the Neuron Principle of the electronics puts astrology on a firm scientific footing. Among other things, it stipulates that:-
(1) The smallest cell of human brain is the neuron.
(2) Several types of neurons perform different functions.
What has emerged out of this research is the amazing relationship between 12 major parts of the brain and the 12 Houses of the horoscope as strikingly similar and forecasting is possible on the functioning/treatment of brain disorders through this new found linkage. It is hoped that humanity shall witness many more such advances in the research because nobody has yet said the last word on astrology.
Does Astrology need patronage? : Astrology has remained nascent for a number of years. Its practice fell into the hands of quacks who charged fabulous sums of money from the gullible customers. This brought untold disrepute to this Divine subject and science. Now a trend is clearly visible that macro level bodies are coming forth with well laid out syllabii to impart education in Vedic Astrology. The response of the scholars is heartening. But in order to lend respect and acceptability to such studies, there is definitely the need to have affiliation of a University. This will serve the cause of astrology in yet another way. it shall impart a sense of awe among the scholars.
Mewar University and All India Federation of Astrologer's Societies have moved in this direction and studies are in full swing since June, 2004. It augurs well for the cause of Vedic Astrology