Is astrology an exact science?

CAN FUTURE BE PREDICTED?

When the great Julius Caesar entered his palace on the fateful day of his murder by his own beloved friend, he had ignored the warning of the cobbler, "Beware the Ides of March "

The sage Mihira predicted that King Vikramaditya's son would be killed by a pariah (pig) at the age of eighteen, so accurately that he was then after called Varahamihira .

We have numerous instances where predictions of seers, sages and astrologers have come true. There are various methods of prediction. Here are some.

1. Inspired predictions: Some persons invoke (or, are possessed by) Divine Souls and offer predictions. They employ certain 'mantras' which when chanted with reverence as prescribed in the scriptures, help them to invoke the spirits. But they do not remember the predictions once the spirits leave them. 2. Intuitions: Every man is endowed with this power. It will simply strike in your mind that something is going to happen and it will! 3. Dreams: It is a common experience of all of us that we dream events of the past and the future. 4. Omens: Belief in the omens is widespread in most countries. 5. Numerology: Numbers represent planets. Predictions are offered based on the date of birth etc

There is also a technique called" Astro Numerology" which employs not only numbers but also the positions of planets.

Some fore-tellers also use playing cards, marbles etc.

6. Palmistry: The palm of a man is said to reveal his future. Lord Christ has said in the Bible, "And God made marks upon the hands of man that he may know".

7.

Physiognomy: There is also a system of prediction, which is based on the physical characteristics of a person

8.

Astrology: It is the most popular method of prediction, based on the horoscope cast for the moment of birth or enquiry.

In this article we are concerned with astrology.

ASTROLOGY vs SCIENCE

From time immemorial, man has been observing the objects of the sky and correlating their movement to the events in his life. Great men, Philosophers and sages have asserted their belief in astrology. But there is a lobby in some quarters that astrology has no scientific basis. According to them, it is superstition to believe that the planets have any say in human activities.

What is science? According to "Encyclopedia Americana" , it is "a systematized positive knowledge". Our sages and seers have observed the movement of celestial bodies, and with their knowledge, wisdom and inspiration put forward many theories proved "positive" by experience. It has become a fancy for some to scorn astrology as superstition. These men include scientists, rationalists and politicians. Those in power secretly consult astrologers for their personal and political fortunes but do not have the courage to include the subject in the curriculum. In ancient times great astrologers adorned the royal courts and the kings consulted them on all matters. We have instances where our sages had offered astounding predictions. Belief in astrology is a part of our culture.

Let us discuss the reservations of scientists for not recognizing astrology as an exact science.

KNOWLEDGE IS TRANSFERABLE

A scientist is able to split water into two gases namely oxygen and hydrogen. He can teach the technique to anybody, and the latter can obtain the two gases from the given quantity of water. Suppose an astrologer says by studying a horoscope that the native would marry an educated girl, he should be able to tell us what combination of planets made him come to that conclusion. And anybody who knows that particular combination should make the same inference in any chart. But, the astrologer miserably fails to transfer his knowledge and escapes by saying that 'intuition' also plays a vital role in predicting events. Unfortunately, astrology lacks clear-cut theories, which help us make definite inferences.

TEST OF PROBABILITY

Modern Science, like Chemistry or Physics, is based on theories, which stand the test of probability. Imagine that you toss a coin. The Probability that you get a head is 50%. It may vary from 40% to 60% by mere chance. But only an event with 70% probability is considered a significant event by Scientists. They accept that some factor is influencing the event. If 100 persons suffering from throat cancer are examined and at least 70 are found to be smokers, then we can conclude that smoking causes the disease. "Are the dictums of astrology universally true?" Let us take the statement - "Persons born with the Moon in Aries are short-tempered". To know the truth of this statement, we have to study 100 persons having the luminary in Aries at the time of birth. If at least 70 of them are shorttempered, then we can make confident predictions.

FREE WILL

Another argument against astrology is that man has a free will. He can plan, endeavor and achieve his ends. Success depends on his will power, self-confidence hard work and knowledge. There are two schools of thought. According to Dr.B.V.Raman, the eminent astrologer, "Planets impel us, but they do not compel". Knowledge of astrology helps us know in advance any impending danger. We can resist, modify or even overcome the impulsions of the planets. But, there are others, like the elite astrologer late professor K.S.Krishnamoorthy, who say that fate is inevitable. Man has a free will but how freely he

can exercise his will is already destined. You know the rules of the road and are an able driver. But if the other man comes on the wrong way and dashes against you, it is fate! According to the Karma theory of Hinduism, man's life in this birth is the result of his past deeds in the previous birth. Unless the scientific basis of astrology is established, we cannot know the truth.

RELIGION AND ATHEISM

Astrology has long been associated with religion. The religious colour has kept the elite of the society away from the subject. While rationalists tar the image of astrology, quakes and clairvoyants exploit the public. There has been neither a serious study nor research. It is not an exaggeration if one says that the veterans, who held the field of Indian Astrology for the past few decades, did not encourage new findings. Krishnamurthy System based on the constellation and sub- theories is scientific and has been found very accurate in experience by many astrologers. But these theories have found a place only recently in the astrological arena.

VEXED QUESTIONS

There is a lot of disputes among astrologers regarding Ayanamsa and house system. This is also a reason why the subject remains unattractive. “Which is the correct time of birth?", "Which ayanamsa is correct?", "Is the cusp the beginning or the midpoint of a house?" are some of the vexed questions hitherto unanswered. For a beginner, the theories are too many to comprehend and apply. It is high time that astrologers not only quote the old books but also do their own research and publish their findings.

MY RESEARCH

I took interest in astrology sometime in the early seventies. For quite sometime I had been testing the dictums of Vedic and Western astrology with actual events in the lives of my relatives and friends. The post mortem revealed that the theories were not universally applicable. I started my own research with the profession of a person as the subject. My aim was to find out whether any particular combination existed in the horoscopes of persons engaged in any particular profession. I collected the birth particulars of a number of bank employees and teachers. I cast their horoscopes accurately and tested the various theories.

DISCOVERY ABOUT ASPECTS

By God's grace a great discovery was made by me. I found that whenever the Moon signified the X house, the house of profession, it was invariably in aspect by the planet indicating the profession, Jupiter in the case of bank employees and Mercury in the case of teachers. Sometimes the aspects were harmonious and other times adverse. I tried to know how an adverse aspect could bring the native to the profession he was engaged in. The fact was that the aspects were not actually good or bad and the result depended on the aspecting planet and the aspected planet. So I termed the aspects (Western) as positive or negative.

SIGNIFICATION OF HOUSES BY PLANETS

Later I made another discovery more interesting than the previous one. Planets gain polarity by ruling or occupying a house.

AYANAMSA

There are a number of ‘panchangs’ in vogue owing to the different ayanamsas followed by different authors. This has resulted in lot of confusion as the ‘nakshatras’, ‘thithis’ etc differ on any particular day. The horoscopes cast by different followers are different, for one and the same person.

HOUSE DIVISION

There are various systems of house-division. The cusp of a house is taken as the beginning by westerners whereas Vedic astrologers take it as the midpoint.

TWIN BIRTHS

Children born with a few minutes’ difference have different characteristics. Sometimes one survives and the other dies though they have the same Rasi and Navamsa charts.

RECTIFICATION OF BIRTH TIME

Which is the actual time of birth? Even the sages have different opinions. One says that we have to take the cutting of the umbilical chord; another asks us to take the first cry of the baby and yet another advocates the method of pre-natal epoch. Again there are numerous ways of rectifying unknown birth times. My technique sets all these disputes at rest!

A novel technique!

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