First of all I thank the Minister for Human Resources & Development Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi for his foresightedness and initiating astrology in the universities of India. Astrology that was once a well developed science, lost its glory during the last 2000 years. Even after such a long span, when no other branch of knowledge could survive, astrology exists and India is still recognised as a master of this subject all over the world. Other countries still look for the knowledge hidden in our Vedic texts and this is verified by the fact that so many westerners are doing research on it.
As soon as astrology was introduced in Indian Universities, U K followed the suit by introducing astrology in its universities for research. In many other countries it is already a subject for last so many years. In India, though astrology was taught in many universities, it has been given an equal status with other branches of study only now.
Introduction of astrology in universities will definitely enhance the quality of the subject itself. It will open a large number of job opportunities, not only in India, but abroad as well. If we infer that one astrologer caters to 1000 clients then 10 lac astrologers are required in India alone.
We know that "knowledge is power". By knowing the future one can plan better. Astrology is probably the only solution for long term predictions of drought, floods or earthquakes. There are no methods or instruments which can tell about the happenings five or ten years later. Since these are largely due to gravitational effects of various planets, astrology can give a good guideline, if it is developed in that direction. Otherwise also, if we in India will not work on astrology which has its roots in India, who else can be expected to do it ? It will be very embarrassing for us and also undigestible if we find that it is coming back to us via the west.
As Newton said in his first law, "any change is opposed by others". So the introduction of astrology in universities has also seen opposition in various sectors. They all connect it to saffronization of education. I would like to ensure that astrology does not work for any particular caste or creed. Planets act in the same way for all. Because astrology has its roots in Vedas, it does not imply that it is meant for Hindus only. It is just like Ayurveda, which also has its roots in Vedas, but its medicines work for all.
The other thing they say is that astrology will be a drain on public money, or U. G. C funds will be wasted. I would like to state that as public money is meant for the public, and if public finds it worthwhile and opts to study astrology as subject then why should they be deprived of this option? Secondly, the very purpose of education is entitlement for job. Astrology today has ample job opportunities, so why should it not be tapped? It will also help to remove quacks from this line, who are there because of scarcity of educated persons in the field.
They are also afraid that this can lead to bumper crop of Ph. D.s on concocted data, if astrology is introduced for research. I am of the opinion that since astrology has been left untouched for the last thousands of years, researchers will discover many new rules and theories quickly for the next few years and astrology will have a new direction. Once ther are enough researches in astrology, the same will also be as scarce as in any other subject.
The critics also have a view that astrology could be taught by private institutions or NGO's. They are probably underestimating the work done by NGO's in this field. Astrology has survived through ages, without being taught in universities. There are many private institutions, or individuals, teaching astrology on no profit basis.
Astrology has progressed even without any assistance from the government, only because of NGO's. ICAS (Indian Council of Astrological Sciences) and AIFAS (All India Federation of Astrologers' Socities) are two bodies teaching astrology at all India level, former having about 30 chapters and later 55 chapters all over India. Besides these, Delhi has Bharitya Vidya Bhawan teaching astrology. Similarly different cities have different organizations, teaching astrology. Yet to formalise this teaching at university level is a must.
Critics of astrology raise many doubts about astrology. Because of these doubts they are it's critic. Let us clear them one by one :
Q. What is the correlation between planets and routine happening like education, marriage, Children etc.
Ans. Just as planets exert gravitational force, they also influence one's life through cosmic rays. Planet's effect on human life can be verified through statistical methods. However to prove, how they affect human life is the job of so called scientists. Astrologers job is to study the impact of planet on human life. The word used as cosmic rays by the astrologer's is merely to tell a layman that some unknown relationship exists between planet and human behaviour As gravitational force exists without the presence of electronic transfer or electromagnetic waves, same way the effect of planets exist without presence of any waves.
Q. If astrologer is scientific then why predictions go wrong?
Ans. A normal answer to this question is
1. Time of birth is not accurate.
2. Sometimes panchangs are not available for the proper place of birth.
3. Quacks in the field predict without using astrological principles.
I have to add to it : Time of birth and panchangs only add to the problem of accuracy of predictions. But the basic problem is that astrology was a developed science in Vedic period only and in thousands of years it has really lost it's fineness.
There are no means or methods with an astrologer to say that this prediction will be accurate to this extent only. There is a great need to revamp astrology. The very fact that some predictions come true unimaginably and that could not have been predicted otherwise, verifies that astrology works. we just have to polish astrology in the modern context and time so that we may tell the percentage of such accuracy. It was not possible in past but now with the help of computers we can do it. Team work using scientific methods is the need
etc, should the Meteorological Department be closed down?
Ans. No one branch is complete in itself. One branch excels in one direction, others in other directions. Astrology may be very good for long term planning over a wide region. Meteorology is good for small periods in small regions. Verification of predictions can be done by meteorology only.
Q. If fate is a must, why are remedies suggested in astrology?
Ans. Astrology does not tell you to do nothing. It gives direction for work. Remedies are partially psycological solution to the problems of the person, so that he is distracted from the worry he has. This area of astrology needs thorough testing.
Q. Different systems give contradictory predictions-Parashara System, Gemini System, Tajak system and others.
Ans. Different systems are to be adopted under different conditions only. Further research in this direction will clearly define such condition or eliminate unwanted systems.
Q. Weekly or monthly predictions in magazines or newspapers divide the entire humanity in 12 sections only. Is it correct ?
Ans. This is an example of 'pop astrology'. Similarly most predictions printed in newspapers also come under this category, where predictions are done not on the basis of full data, but on the knowledge of one or two variables only. Such predictions can not be relied upon fully, yet they provide a tentative direction.
Q. If two children are born in the same city, at the same time, or twins are born with little time difference, will their fate be the same?
Ans. It has been found that their fates are very similar, if we look into broader perspective. Minute details differ from person to person. Rise and fall tally in such cases. However extent of rise or fall depends upon their original position.
Q. Astrologers take advantage of the fact that belief in astrology is universal, whereas it is based on superstition and fear of the unknown.
Ans. Astrology is purely an emperical science, whose results depend upon statistics. However, it is wrongly understood to be a superstition, because of its underdevelopment and its closeness to traditions.
Q. Does astrologer has to have sixth sense, or supernatural powers?
Ans. Pure astrology does not require supernatural powers and if something is predicted by using sixth sense, then it is not astrology.
Astrologer is required to have a positive attitude towards life, like a good doctor, because people come to him only when they are in trouble. He must have patience to listen to the client and advise him in such a way that he leaves with a positive attitude towards life.
Q. Is it correct to say that astrologer can be wrong, but not astrology?
Ans. It is correct that astrologer does not know each and every rule of astrology. Further all the rules which govern the relationship between planets and human behaviour are not listed in the books of astrology. Hence, it is not right to say that astrology is perfect in today's perspective. It also needs research and improvements.
Q. Will introduction or spread of astrology not cause social and psychological damage to the society ?
of time to polish it.
Q. If astrology can predict rains, earthquakes
Ans. Astrology, if linked with religion, will help bring moral values back, which have been damaged by the invasion of western channels on T.V. If astrology is not linked to religion, it will act like any other branch of science. It will become a support tool for medical and meteorological sciences.
Besides above questions, scientists have some other queries regarding the astronomical aspect.
Q. Planets revolve around sun but astrologers yet consider planets revolving around Earth!
Ans. In astrology, we are studying effect of celestial bodies on human behavior who are resident on this earth. Our sages knew that earth revolves around sun and they knowingly studied the effect of planets revolving around the Earth.
Q. Sun is a star, Moon is a satellite, Rahu Ketu are nodes only, yet they are called planets!
Ans. planet in astrology is defined as " a celestial body or a point which has importance on human behavior."
Since there is no word available with this definition so the nearest available terminology has been used - not a fault of astrologers but limitation of language.
Q. Planets beyond Saturn are not considered in astrology!
Ans. There are billions of celestial bodies and it is practically impossible to study the net effect. The complexity increases exponentially like 12n where 12 indicates number of houses and n is number of planets.
Effects of other planets is very small and by taking only 9 planets, we account for over 90% of celestial effect, e. g. Uranus, the next planet after Saturn has only 4% effect in comparison to Saturn.
Mass of Uranus * (distance of Saturn)2 =15 * (9.53)2 = 3.93%
Mass of Saturn * (distance of Uranus)2 95 * (19.1)2
In astrology we study the effect of planets by repetition of their position in the sky. Planets beyond Saturn are very slow and do not come back to same sign in one's lifetime.
Q. 13th rashi or planet has been found - will the astrology change!
Ans. There are only 360 degrees in a circle. All stars always existed (since origin of astrology). Search of a new planet or sign does not change astrology. We are otherwise also ignoring so many which we know.
Q. The solar system also rotates around the center of Galaxy, what about that?
Ans. Sages knew solar systems movement around the Galaxy and they accounted this by using ayanamsha. In astrology we study planets position in the background of stars. In sky also we see planets or moon in Aries etc. according to nirayan calculation and not according to sayan calculation as done in the west. This is why we take sun's entry into Aries on 14th April and not 22nd March.
Q. Now we can go to Moon. If a person is born on Moon how will the astrology work?
Ans. Astrology, as defined by our sages, is for people born on earth. It will have to be redefined for natives born on other planets.
Summary : Introduction of astrology in universities has been an excellent step for revival of this Vedic science. In a short span of time, I am sure, astrology would be able to show its worth on the scale of statistics and then scientists, who are not ready to accept it today, will openly accept it as a science, like any other stream of science. That wil be the day when it's accuracy and usefulness will be seen, as in the Vedic period.