'Events do not happen, they already exist but are seen on time machine only.'
Narasimha P.V.R. Rao
What is Vedic Astrology?
Astrology is a study of the correlations between planetary movements and world events, including the fortunes (or misfortunes) of human beings, institutions and nations. Ancient Vedic civilization had a system of astrology, which is called Vedic Astrology (Indian/Hindu Astrology). Some of these rules were expounded in "Vedas", the sacred scriptures, and "vedic" means "belonging to Vedas".
The main idea of astrology is: the planetary position at one's birthtime more or less determines the pattern of one's life.
Does astrology really work?
In my personal experience, I have seen several astonishing examples of the accuracy of astrology, when the principles are applied carefully.
Some astrological predictions prejudice the person concerned or give him extra mental strength and that becomes a crucial factor in the prediction coming true. In other words, sometimes astrologer ends up playing a critical role in an astrological prediction/indication coming true. This kind of cases can hardly be used to support astrology's cause.
However, there are cases too, when astrologer has absolutely no role to play in a prediction coming true. For example, I predicted Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar's performances for Oct 1995 - Mar 1996 with a 100% accuracy on USENET. Before India's cricket series in England in the summer of 1996, I predicted on USENET that Sachin Tendulkar would do well on the third day of the first test and he hit a century on that day!
You may dismiss these predictions as hit-or-miss random guesses that happened to come true. That's a valid point of view. After all, the probability of Sachin Tendulkar making a test century on a given day is probably of the order of 1/15 (assuming he makes a century once in 3 matches). This probability is not low enough to make to my prediction an "amazing" one. It might've come true "by chance"
But there were several cases in which the non-astrological probability of my prediction, which eventually came true, was of the order of 0.0001-0.001!
If, by looking at someone's chart, I figure out that he had serious digestive troubles during a month, what's the probability of it coming true if it were a random guess? Assuming that 10% people experience serious digestive troubles in life and that serious trouble comes to those for one month in a span of 3 years, this probability is 1/(3*12)*10/100=0.0028 (i.e., 0.28%).
Let me give an example from my formative years, that I am very fond of.
I once predicted three months ahead that an event important in a close friend's professional and financial life might happen during a three-day period. At that time, he was working in India and, being very satisfied with his job, he wasn't looking for a job change. He didn't even have a typed resume then! However, on the first day of the three-day period, he got a phone call from a consultant (who heard about him from someone) who had an overseas client interested in his background! Assuming that one out of thirty get an unexpected call like this and that it happens once in 3 years, the probability of a random prediction like this coming true is 1/30*3/(3*365)=0.00009 (i.e., 0.009%).
By looking at his horoscope, I asked a friend if his elder brother had a child in late 1989 or early 1990. He told me his elder brother indeed had a child in Feb 1990. I asked him if his elder brother had some failure in love, love problems and resultant emotional and health problems during late 1984 and early 1985. He told me his elder brother's girlfriend whom he had been dating for 4 years died in Jan 1985 and his brother was highly depressed. These predictions, it would seem reasonable to believe, are too good to be a mere fluke.
In my short career in astrology, I made quite a few successful predictions that had a very low non-astrological probability (of the order of 0.00001 to 0.1). While this need not prove to rational minds that astrology is true, it should atleast create doubts that astrology is perhaps not completely a superstition.
Personally, I have seen many a proof that astrology has some worth in it.
Astrology's Main Drawback
But don't get carried away! Astrology has one serious drawback that takes away a lot of shine from it! Many professional astrologers don't emphasize this, for obvious reasons. And, many fanatic supporters of astrology don't realize this or prefer to ignore this.
Astrology doesn't fix one's future - it only reduces the set of possibilities in a probabilistic manner. If an astrologer claims 100% success rate, he is cheating you (unless he is a really special spiritual person)! Even a stalwart like Prof. B.V. Raman (who is regarded as the modern day Varahamihira) had many failures (as he himself acknowledged).
Astrology is a probabilistic subject in nature. An astrologer can only say that event x is "very likely" and event y is "very unlikely" - he can never say "this will happen".
Astrology is a probabilistic study of natural tendencies. It is a probabilistic study of the "gravity towards destiny". Just as the gravity towards earth can be overcome, this "gravity towards destiny" can be overcome by several means ("will power" being one of those).
In other words, astrology is merely a system that enables one to guess the future, but with a higher success rate than what can be achieved without using it. The two words in bold letters here summarize the weakness and strength of astrology. Astrological predictions are, after all, "guesses"! But then, they are "better" guesses (from the point of view of long-run success rate)!
There is a sloka (poem) in Sanskrit that says that only Creator knows what is going to happen - others can only guess it!
How to use astrology in real-life
Then, the obvious question is: How should we use astrology in real-life?
Astrological information/feedback has to be used positively in a mature fashion. One should consciously recognize the fact that astrological predictions can go wrong. Even if an astrologer did a great job with the horoscope of someone you know, there is no guarantee that he (or she) will be successful with your horoscope. Actually, even if (s)he did a great job with your own horoscope sometime back, he need not be successful in future! Astrological predictions are merely intelligent guesses - more intelligent (in the long-run) than your most intelligent (non-astrological)guesses.
If you have a good time, you may not hesitate to take a risk or two. If you have a bad time, be extra careful and be mentally prepared to tackle unpleasant situations. Astrology should make you robust, prepared and adaptive, rather than prejudiced.
Why should astrology work at all?
"Why should astrology work" is the obvious question in the minds of curious readers and unfortunately I have no satisfactory answer.
Some people try to explain it by resorting to the arguments of cosmic/electromagnetic waves and energy etc. They say that the bio-magnetic cells in human bodies respond to the electromagnetic waves of planets. Well, it sounds interesting because it uses the technical terms we are familiar with - man, after all, tends to explain new phenomena in old technical terms, but it is not "technical terms" that makes something "scientific", it is "logic" that does it. Sadly, these arguments lack logic. They merely make you think,"well, that's possible." They don't go beyond that.
As far as I am concerned, there are some statistical correlations between planetary movements and world events, that are extremely interesting. I will just work on refining my understanding of the correlations and modeling them as precisely as possible. I am not bothered about why those correlations work. I hope that it will be known to mankind in foreseeable future. Even if it's not known, it shouldn't stop the work on modelling those correlations.
After all, science is based on some fundamental observations that seem to hold true in practice (e.g., F=MA (Newton's first law)). In science, we have some statistical observations that seem to hold in practice and then some theories (and "technical terms") evolving from these fundamental observations. It is possible that astrology cannot be explained in terms of known theories - it is conceivable that astrology consists of a new set of fundamental statistical observations.
Misuse of astrology
Exploring these correlations and modeling them mathematically requires scientific temper. But, unfortunately, most people with a scientific frame of mind shy away from astrology. It is no secret that astrology is regarded as a "superstition" in many parts of the society.
The main problem is that astrology, unlike other branches of knowledge, is not a regulated field. Anyone with a pocketbook on astrology can claim to be an astrologer. (For that matter, one without even a pocketbook can claim to be an astrologer!)
This gross misuse and abuse led to the fall of astrology in the last two centuries in the eyes of intelligentsia. It reduced astrology to a superstition.
Astrology is not a superstition - it is a subject worthy of study and research. But, believing in every road-side astrologer is certainly a superstition.
If you are an astrologer, kindly keep the good name of astrology above your personal interests. Don't exploit the ignorance of your client with tall claims (that can crash later). Educate your clients about the drawbacks and strengths of astrology. Give them a realistic picture (as a doctor would do). You don't want him to think he is getting x, when he is in reality getting y.
Author: Narasimha P.V.R.Rao
"As you sow, so shall you reap"
What is the day today accordnig to Jyotish? -Description of today and tomorrow on the basis of Jyotish - Vedic Astrology.
Grahas [planets] - Description of grahas -- planets of Jyotish.
Jyotish softwareJagannatha Hora version 8 (Free) - http://www.vedicastrologer.org/jh
Курс Махариши-Джйотиша в Ведическом Университете Махариши - Львов (Брюховичи), март-май 1998
Maharishi-Jyotish course in Maharishi Vedic University - Lviv (Bryuhovichi), March-May 1998