Astrology is said to be the discipline that teaches us how to create horoscopes and use the positions of celestial bodies, to understand and interpret Human existence on Earth, at least that what it says on a leading astrology website. I often encounter articles and comments questioning whether astrology is a science or trying to prove or disprove astrology in scientific terms. Personally, I don’t see how an analogy between astrology and modern day science can be drawn. Science and astrology are two very different disciplines, based on very different principles. Science follows the principles of experimentation, observation and inference, scientific principles must have theoretical or mathematical proof that must always be consistent. Although astrology has it’s own set of well defined principles, they very different to those of science.
In spite of what many astrologers may claim, astrology is not without limitations and before we can go about proclaiming astrology a science or otherwise, we have to understand what these are. Astrology (Vedic) is believed to be the product of divine inspiration and was imparted to the Hindu sage, ‘Bhrigu‘ by the Goddess of wealth, ‘Mahalakshmi‘. This knowledge was recorded in ancient sacred texts, of which only remnants still remain. Astrology is not a perfect discipline and is only as good as the astrologer who practices it. His or her proficiency determines how accurate the results turn out to be and depends largely on his or her depth of knowledge, type of experience (nature of the predictions made) and length of experience. It would be still however, be logical to assume that even an astrologer, who is by all accounts well accomplished, could not claim to have complete knowledge of astrology, as his or her knowledge cannot exceed that which is contained in the texts that still exist, as these are incomplete themselves.
As explained on a leading astrology website, science and astrology are base on diametrically opposite points of view, in that science is still grappling with compelling questions about the Universe, about the creation of the Universe, the possibility of parallel Universes, that infinitesimally small fraction of a second after the Big Bang and the beginning of time.
So what was there before the beginning of time? If the Universe has continued to expand ever since it’s creation, what is it expanding into? Our knowledge is so limited that these questions themselves sound absurd. Vedic astrology on the other hand, comes from a belief system that is based on the principle that an explanation for everything that exists can be found in the Hindu scriptures, or with their help. Many Vedic scholars believe that what scientists are discovering today was known to the sages all along. For instance, the twin Vedic planets, ‘Rahu‘ and ‘Ketu‘ are unique to Vedic astrology. They are said to be represent a mythical serpent, of which ‘Rahu‘ is the head and ‘Ketu‘ the tail. These two planets are considered to be malefic and devour other forms of energy like endless pits and eclipse or debilitate the Sun and the Moon. The colour of ‘Rahu‘ is black and that of ‘Ketu’ is grey. The similarity between ‘Rahu‘ and ‘Ketu‘ and black holes is quite striking, the opposite end of a black hole is thought to be a white dwarf. Another case in point and also featured on the previously mentioned leading astrology website, is the relevance of the number, ‘108’, which is the number of beads in a Hindu prayer bead rosary. Although these prayer beads are a product of the ancient Vedic period, through modern science, we now know that the figure ‘108’ is of particular relevance, as the distance between the Earth and the Sun is approximately 108 times the Sun’s diameter. The Sun’s diameter is about 108 times that of the Earth’s and the distance between the Earth and the Moon is approximately 108 times the Moon’s diameter. Is it possible that the ancient Hindu sages were able to determine these celestial measurements, with such accuracy, long before telescopes existed?
Admittedly, none of the above proves anything scientifically, but it does question whether science is really advanced enough to explain astrology. In my opinion, in order to explain or debunk astrology, a scientist would have to first understand and be well versed with the principles of astrology and should be able to practice astrology. I feel that he or she would then understand that astrological predictions are not binary in nature, everything is not black and white, as it in science and there are authentic shades of grey.
In addition to being used to make predictions about the future, Vedic astrology also allows for remedial measures, through the use of gemstones, talismans, prayer ceremonies, chanting of Mantras etc.
According to the ancient Vedic scriptures, a parallel universe, complete with planets, stars, constellations etc exists in the human body. Obviously, this Universe does not exist in the same physical form we know through astronomy. However, it’s existence this can be experienced by the awakening of the ‘Kundalini‘, or ‘Sleeping Serpent’, a brilliant thread running through the spinal cord, the awakening of which is the highest step in ‘Tantrik‘ practices. Vedic astrology recognizes nine planets, twelve zodiacs and 28 constellations. Pandit Sarvesh Nagarvedic, the chief astrologer on the previously mentioned leading astrology website explains that the nine Vedic planets have been accorded the status of demigods, however these heavenly bodies are not all powerful and rely on offerings made on Earth for strength. When we on Earth pray to or appease the power representing a planet, by acquiring it’s gemstone or Yantra, we are actually tapping into the power of the planet, present in our own parallel universe. In this way, the planets are easily gratified and respond by bestowing their blessings on their worshippers.
So what does this all this mean? Do the same powers that control our lives by virtue of astrology, exist in the heavens or inside us? “As is above, so is within”, would seem to be the answer. Astrological influences are not far removed objects that work in isolation, they are a part of the Universe that we are also a part of and we have the means to strengthen or appease them, as we desire. This is not to suggest that we can completely alter fate, to do that would mean we have the ability to change the position of the planets in our horoscopes, which is of course, impossible. What we have to remember is that astrology notwithstanding, everybody goes through good times and bad times. The basic principle of astrology is that deeds and actions (karam) are above all. Just like God, astrology helps those, who help themselves, but using our knowledge of astrology, we can change the influences of astrological forces, so we can make more of good times and reduce the negative effects of bad times.