Sunday, June 27, 1999
IN simple terms, astrology means the science of the influence of stars on human life or the influence of the heavenly bodies on human affairs. The word astrology is derived from Aster, meaning a star, and Logos meaning logic and reason. In Indian terminology it is called Jyotish Shastra, which forms a part of the Veda (Vendanga) comprising three broad divisions: (1) Siddhanta, (2) Samhita and (3) Hora. Siddhanta deals with the astronomical side of the science, Samhita with world events, and Hora with the horoscope of the human and animate objects.
Tradition has it that Lord Brahma had created this divine science for the sages who were endowed with spiritual powers to have a direct communication with him for the benefit of humanity. Astrology was taught as a subject by the Guru (teacher) to the Shishya (disciple) in the Gurukula form of education in ancient India, and in this field, valuable contribution was made by Varahamihira, Kalidasa, Varunchi, Vashista, Vyas, Parashara, Kashyap, Ganapathi, Satyacharya, Bhaskaracharya, Aryabhatta and host of others.
It is believed that Pita Maha, one of the early authors of Vedic astrology, had produced a treatise on astrology called the Pita Maha Siddhanta, written about 3,000 years BC. About 500 years later, another famous astrologer, Vashista contributed substantially to astrology by his important work, Vashista Siddhanta, which became an authoritative reference work. At the University of Takshashila, where the students from Babylon, Greece, Syria, Arabia and China came to study, astrology formed a part of the syllabus and some of the remarkable authorities like Kautilya, Panini, Jivak and Vishnu Sharma gave masterly exposition of the subject.
Jyotish attempts to forecast the future of man, the fate of empires, wars, revolutions and all the features connected with human life. To learn more about the intricacies of this unique science, its range, scope and its limitations, Imet three learned astrologers who highlighted the importance of astrology in the scheme of human life.
Joginder Tuli, Senior Editor, CWN, Newstrack, defines astrology as, "an art through which we can analyse the position of stars, its movements and its effect on human body."
Can astrology predict the future?
If we have the right chart, that is the right date, time and place of birth of a human being, then we can draw an astrological chart, from which we can calculate the effect of different planets of the human activities and predict.
Should astrology be taken only as a profession?
It is a pesonal matter. With 6 years of experience in astrology, I have seen that as a hobby it is more helpful to mankind than as a profession.
Are astrology and palmistry interrelated?
Astrology and palmistry are dependent on the planets. The basis for both is the same. The basic laganchart in astrology is static whereas the lines of the palm are changeable as per your Karmas or actions.
Can astrology change the destiny of a person?
It can certainly reduce the ill-effects of the destiny. For example, death can be defined in two ways. One is natural death, which comes at a ripe age and the second one is unnatural death, which is accidental or sudden. In the case of the former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajeev Gandhi, I had predicted a rough period in their lives, which threatened them. To some extent destiny and astrology are intertwined.
Why are astrologers mostly the guides of politicians?
Generally, they are the guides of politicians because once the politician loses his election he has to wait for five years, for the next go. Naturally they need astrology to guide them in order to attain success.
Would you agree with the statement that astrology is a tool of solace used only for the rich?
No, poor people also go to astrologers. True, they are vulnerable, and tend to get exploited, if they approach an astrologer who is not genuine.
Why do astrologers differ in their interpretations?
Every astrologer has his own way of prediction, which is dependent on his or her experience in the study of the planets.
How do you view the role of astrological tantriks today who advertise a lot about their miraculous power?
Astrologers and tantriks are also two different personalities. An astrologer predicts after seeing the horoscope, whereas a tantrik claims to have attained powers or strength from the goddess of power or from other spirits. One should avoid going to tantriks as they go against nature.
Author of 25 books on astrology, and a guide and Editor of the journal of astrology, K.N. Rao is a retired Director-General of the Indian Audit Department. A professor of astrology at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, New Delhi, Rao defines a genuine astrologer as, "intellectually well-equipped and sharp, technically sound, morally excellent and non-materialistic in nature."
What is the main objective of the astrological courses conducted during weekends at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan?
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan is the worlds largest institute where we conduct astrological courses for about 600 students during Saturdays and Sundays. We are able to make astrologers who are sound and can become brilliant in prediction through their own hard work.
Do you find any difference between the ancient astrologers and the astrologers of today?
In the ancient times astrologers were genuine and astrology was not practised for a material gain. It was a tradition to accept whatever the disciple offered but the new generation of astrologers has become ruthlessly exploitative, commercial and like some pseudo medical men, prescribe medicines without knowing how to diagnose to the disease.
What is the best method to solve a problem?
Self-effort is the key to any problem. A man seeks an astrologers advice when he is faced by the challenges of life, but if a man prays to God regularly and uses his common sense, he can overcome 80 per cent of his problems.
How helpful is astrology in changing an individuals life?
When we study the horoscope of an individual we do it like a case study. Astrology becomes helpful as a guide.
N.P. Thareja retired as a high executive of the State Bank of India in 1985 and is the Chairman of the Indian Council of Astrological Sciences, Delhi, Chapter III. He is also the managing trustee of the Human Care and Charitable Trust, engaged in welfare and care of the needy.
How is astrology different from other sciences?
Astrology originated in India and is the Vedic science based on astronomy and on the observation of planets in the orbit. Other sciences deal with only one particular aspect whereas astrology deals with all the aspects of life.
What is the difference between Indian astrology and western astrology?
Western astrology is calculated on the basis of the sun, and Indian astrology is worked out on the basis of the moon. They differ in their methods.
What are the limitations of this intricate science?
Astrology can have negative side effects. If you start depending on it totally, your will power will diminish.
Which is the best method to learn astrology?
You need a preceptor for learning it, and one becomes so by ones knowledge, experience and goodwill.
What are the kinds of remedial measures that an astrologer recommends?
Remedial measures are of three types; Mantra, Jantra and Tantra. Mantra and Jantra help minimise the severity of the incidents in ones life, devised by our ancient Munis. The best methods to overcome obstacles are by offering prayers, doing good deeds and giving charity.
What is the reaction of foreigners towards this science?
In foreign countries, foreigners make use of this science more honestly and openly as compared to Indians who are reserved in their approach towards astrology.
Those who are trained in the austerities of scientific discipline may ridicule astrology and dismiss it as a ploy to mislead people. Science is based on observation and experiment. But even scientists have come to acknowledge the mystery of human existence, and recognise the power of intuition and faith in things that defy scientific explanation.
The test of any credible
discipline is verification, and there is much evidence,
which shows the predictions in a number of cases have
come true. Astrology as a remedial measure has a positive
bearing on our psychology and kindles faith in us, which
in turn pushes our will to open the doors of success in
| Interview | Bollywood Bhelpuri | Sugar 'n' Spice | Nature | Garden Life | Fitness |
| Travel | Your Option | Time off | A Soldier's Diary | Fauji Beat |
| Feedback | Laugh lines | Wide Angle | Caption Contest |