It is indeed heartening to hear of Mewar University granting Astrology the status of a subject in it's curriculum. However it is difficult to foresee other universities following suit. The reason is there are some strong and valid objections from various quarters, apart from the scientists and rationalists. The bone of contention is whether such action will be a deterrent to the advancement of science and technology in the country.
It is to be noted that even the judgments of the Hon High Court of Andhra Pradesh and the Supreme Court does not confirm in any manner that Astrology is a science. It merely says that there is no harm in teaching this subject in universities. Therefore it is time that we astrologers have a critical look at the ground realities arid takes some positive and constructive steps to make Astrology acceptable as a subject by the universities.
The universal dictionary describes the word science as “Learning, or study concerned with demonstrative truths, or observable phenomena and characterized by the systematic application of scientific methods.” The question is does Astrology, in its present form and structure, meet this parameter?
According to Maharishi Badarayana, believed to be the teacher of sage Jaimini, “Human intellect can never fathom the nature of the ultimate principle by logical inquiry and analysis. Never can there be certainty”. Perhaps we should take the clue from here to look at Astrology in its right perspective. Like Astrology, Ayur and Yoga also have their roots to Hindu Vedas. While Yoga and Ayurveda has been accepted as natural sciences, Astrology is not, though it is considered as the eye of Veda. The reason is Astrology is not only linked to religion, but also fictional and imaginary mythological stories, which have no scientific basis.
In Chemistry if potassium is added to permanganate in a prescribed manner, ten times out of ten, will become Potassium Permanganate. In Astrology we can never produce such consistency in view of the inbuilt irrationalities and irrelevances. This is what gives added weightage to the arguments of the opposition.
We should realize that this controversy will not end and the world will not accept Astrology even as indicative or predictive science, unless it is completely freed from its present mythological and fictional aspects.
Take for instance the advent of Rahu and Kethu in Hindu Astrology. What could have been scientifically explained has been needlessly linked to an unbelievable and impractical mythological incident. In fact who ever sage discovered these nodes must be commended, as they play such a major and deciding roll in Hindu Astrology, as compared to the ineffective Uranus and Neptune in Western Astrology.
The time of birth being the fundamental factor in determining the correctness and accuracy of a horoscope, Astrologers are yet to arrive at a consensus on the correct recording of birth time. They are yet to decide whether it is the time of conception, appearance of head, out coming of the head, or cutting of the umbilical chord of the newborn?
Similarly we have failed to adjust to the changing time, otherwise we will not be persisting with several Yogas and Doshas, which have no relevance in the present day context. In fact the day man landed on Moon, way back in sixties, followed by his conquest of Mars, we should have prudently dropped all mythological stories connected with planets. Today Cassini, a Euro-American satellite, has successfully entered the orbit of the most feared Saturn and we are still harping on it being the son of the Sun, so on and so forth.
Fortunately, both the scientific and the medical communities, by and large, accept the fact that planetary movements do affect the individuals on Earth. This is what is the core of Astrology discovered by Maharishis thousands of years ago. In other words the objection is not for the product as such, but for the process. Therefore the task is not as complicated as it looks to be to redeem the situation.
Firstly it is imperative to try and remove numerous uncertainties, irrationalities, contradictions and irrelevances prevailing in the present format. Traditionalists among us may not like the idea of a change. But the message is loud and clear for the Astrologers' community to unite as one and put their heads together to find ways and means to make this wonderful gift of God to ascend to the prime of place, it so richly deserves, instead of trying to put up vague and weak defenses in various forums and medias.
The idea is not to damage, or destroy, in any manner, the scripts, the divinity, it's spiritual values, or even the religious purity of the Vedic Astrology. In fact the suggestion is to preserve it with all its ancient glory, but use it as the Magna- Carta for reforming and enriching the modern Astrology in a scientific way; just like what Adolphe Desbarroles, Comte Saint Germain and later M M Gaffer William Benham did for Palmistry. These scholars were responsible for
converting the Gypsy palmistry to scientific hand reading. In fact, today Palmistry has a better case to be taught in universities than Astrology in its present form.
The need of the hour is to call for a meeting of eminent scholars of Astrology worldwide, to seek their consensus on ways and means to restructure and reform Astrology.
Once this is agreed upon a high-level reforms council, in the nature and structure of India’s Constituent Assembly, may be convened with the task of reengineering Astrology in its entire entity:
Immediate Objective : To make Astrology an acceptable subject in, universities, purely on its merit.
Ultimate objective : To make Astrology an acceptable science.
Numerous meaningful words are available in Hindu Veda itself, for various aspects of teaching Astrology. For example, Gauthama defines “Nyaya Sastra” as “the science of all logical proof — a correct method of philosophical inquiry into the objects and subject of human knowledge.” Similarly, terms like Tarka Vidya, meaning “science of reasoning” and Veda Vidya meaning “science of discussion,” can also be considered.
These are only thoughts. Perhaps eminent scholars and leaders in the field may have better ideas. Established organizations like All India Federation of Astrologers, Societies and Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan can take the lead in this regard.
Conclusion : The task may look Himalayan, particularly in the context of unwieldiness and disagreements prevailing among the Astrologers' community. Nothing is impossible if all of them come together on a single forum for this noblest of all causes.
If thev don’t, I am afraid, this great gift of God may continue to remain a science confined only to the astrologers. giving dominance to quacks, fakes and bucket shop owners.