Why Indian Astrology is Timeless?

By Athmanathan

“In science there is no perennial truth, engraved in everlasting stone. There are only working hypotheses which inevitably have to be modified or even totally rejected when another more workable hypothesis comes along”. Karl Popper, Philosopher

Indian Astrology is definitely not a science in the strictest sense of the above definition of what science is. But it remains to this day the perennial doctrine as its followers vouchsafe. They are thousands of years old, be it Brihat Parasara Hora Shastra or Jaimini’s Upadesa Sutras, written in Sanskrit. The Sanskrit word Shastra is roughly translated as science but the meaning is exceedingly inscrutable as it can only mean a permanent sacred scripture of lasting value which stands the test of time and can never be modified. Not a word in the ancient texts can be replaced without distorting its meaning.

The rejection of its hypotheses by even the diehard agnostics are never attempted as they have never done a deep study of the subject. Interpretation of Hindu astrology also requires common sense and logical thinking. Yet it is mysterious and contains concealed wisdom. Examination of a large number of horoscopes is a must to substantiate the rules and exceptions stated in the sacred texts. The conviction that it is useful to humanity will arise only after its practical application.

The necessity for the study of astrology stems from the fact that people are ever curious to know what is destined to happen in future. Even if it is not practical to avoid the event altogether, atleast lessening its impact is completely within human endeavour. Any conscious and purposeful living adult definitely knows where lurks the danger and avoids it scrupulously. It will be most unfortunate if divining the future is restricted to winning in lotteries or stock market speculation. Even attempts to know one’s longevity in advance will be futile as this ultimate event is designed not only by the stars ruling at the time of birth but also modified by the merits and vices that have accumulated in an individual’s Karma during one’s present and past lives. Future is shaped with freewill. It is up to a native to act with determination in counteracting the evil effects of a bad karma. There is provision for this stipulation in the horoscope which is of course known to a keen astrologer who looks for a strong third house and its lord which signify self-effort. One of the great teachers in Hindu Predictive Astrology Dr.Bangalore Venkata Raman used to say fatalism has no place in astrology. It is akin to a alert motorman averting a train accident.

Hindu astrology is based on Surya Siddhanta and differs from the Western astrology in several respects. This system is based on Nirayana as opposed to Sayana or tropical zodiac followed by westerners. Nirayana is the fixed zodiac followed since ancient times. The precession of the equinoxes (caused by wobbling in the orientation of the earth’s axis of rotation) is calculated and reduced from the Sayana degrees to arrive at the Ayanamsa which keeps increasing slowly at about 50 seconds every year. Westerners have shown great interest in learning Vedic astrology and their tribe is ever increasing in Europe and America.They conduct classes on the subject and also offer consultancy services.

That the planets have influence over humans and on the terrestrial phenomena has been admitted by unprejudiced and unbigoted individuals. Astrology is called Jyotisha or Knowledge of Light, a predictive science employed in foretelling the regular movements of the planets including the Sun and the Moon. How the ancient seers made all these calculations without the help of instruments remains a mystery till date. Even the fate of the nations and the misfortunes visiting large populations like pestilence, floods, earthquakes and wars too are foretold to warn the powers that be to be vigilant and take precautions to avert or minimise the repercussions. Jyotisha is one of the six limbs of the Vedas the latter being four in number.

Timing of events is solved to a great extent by the Dasa system which yields reasonably satisfactory results. All the twelve houses in a horoscope indicate results pertaining to a particular activity depending upon the malefic or benefic influences on them. In addition there are special yogas or planetary combinations in a capsule form or a cut and dried formula that help in deducing the results in a fairly accurate manner.

Medical astrology is another area useful in interpreting the diseases a man is subjected to. Who gets cancer or arthritis and who becomes insane are easily revealed in their natal horoscopes. Muhurta or election is another branch coming to the aid of an astrologer in selecting good Muhurtas or auspicious time for marriage, coronation, swearing in, surgical procedures, traveling etc.

Waning Moon, Sun, Mars, Rahu and Ketu (the ascending and descending nodes) and Saturn are considered malefic planets while Jupiter, Venus, waxing Moon and well associated Mercury are treated as benefics. Each planet and every house has special significations and do not overlap each other in general. Planets are supposed to be strong when placed in quadrants and trines. The houses 3, 6, 8 and 12 and their lords are evil. Hindu system of planetary aspects also differs from the Western system. Opposite aspects are not necessarily evil in Hindu astrology. But square aspects are held to be bad in Western astrology.

Interpretation is done by a judgement of Bhavas or houses. Planets in houses from 1 to 12, planets in different Rasis or signs are all dealt with in detail in the old texts. Before venturing into a prediction, characteristics of signs and planets are taken into consideration. Intuition is involved in successfully forecasting the future events. An astrologer meets with success if he is pious, god-fearing and keeps his mind pure.

Hindu astrology lays emphasis on Moksha or emancipation of the soul which is the ultimate bliss a person can aspire for. In avoiding rebirths lies great merit. Material aspirations and spiritual leanings never go together. You cannot have best of both the worlds.

Here are some Slokas translated from Saravali a great classic and held in great esteem. Readers can test the theories after casting their horoscopes as per Hindu method. Nowadays there are many computer programmes and mobile apps available to facilitate this.

1.Moon in Cancer ascendant aspected by Mars and Saturn makes one short statured.

2.Rahu in the ascendant while Sun is in the 7th house the child is born blind.

3. Mars in the 12th from the Moon causes the native to be arrogant in disposition, fond of quarrel, given to anger and proud.

The purpose of this article is only to kindle the interest of the Medium readers in Hindu astrology.



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Athmanathan Seetharaman

Athmanathan Seetharaman

Political comments, Religion, economics, equity, astrology are the topics I like.