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What is Astrology ?
What is known, what is hard to explain and what I would love to know
Here are my attempts to answer a few frequently asked questions about astrology and I have tried to answer it the way according to my understanding.
My answers could be very different from what you may expect from a typical astrologer. Since I am not a professionally practicing astrologer but a seeker in the quest for knowledge, I have always tried to find answers which satisfies the scientist in myself. The job for which I am trained. Believe me that I used to be, and still am, a much more a skeptic than you think I could ever be and expect from a person who maintains a web site on astrology as a hobby.
I learned astrology when, a prominent Buddhist priest who knows astrology very well told me the following. "How can you criticize a subject which you know nothing of ?. Want to disprove astrology ?. Then you have to learn it first. If you genuinely wish to learn, I am happy to teach you". That is how I met my "Guru" Rev. Nakiyadeniye Gnanuttara Thero for whom I am eternally grateful for the Initiation & knowledge.
Is there something mysterious in astrology ?
People attribute mystery to things due to lack of their knowledge. For an example thousands of years ago people assumed that the lightning and thunder are the acts of gods and also thought that the pyramids were built by giants. Likewise astrology also got it's bit attached as the knowledge of the planetary movements are not everybody's cup of tea. This is true even 10- 20 years ago. When calculations were carried out manually with out the aid of computers.
Planets in the solar system are like an accurate clock in the sky. Their revolutions and movements are very precise. Planets rise and set at definite times. Effects of certain planetary influences are plainly visible such as day and night, change of seasons and tidal effects. It surely have influence on everyday life of all of us. But subtle effects on people are not so clearly evident at a glance.
Astrology What is it ?
Astrology (I mean the system of astrology, founded by Sage Parashara thousands of years ago, which I practice) is a system of observations gathered through ages (Similar to meteorology) indicating such and such things are highly probable to happen to the people when such and such planetary positions are prevailing.
An analogy is like looking at a colour traffic light system and decoding what each of the colour light such as red , yellow and green are meaning and saying, that if some one goes when the red light is shining he or she is highly prone to be met with an accident or when green light is shining it is highly probable that he or she will have a safe passage.
Stars only indicate your past "Karmas"( or the actions ) and depending on the past actions, the direction of the path of life you are going to take while in the journey, towards the ultimate goal the: "Natural evolution process towards the Perfection of Mind" * "kingdom of heaven", "Moksha", "Nirvana" or where ever according to your personal belief. It is as same as, depending on the lane you have stopped, the direction you should turn will be indicated by a traffic signal.
*(If the body can evolve with the natural law of survival of the fittest, then why not the mind ? As there is always body - mind relationship, like the body is constantly changing and evolving , the mind is also changing and evolving. This is the fundamental difference between Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. While the Hinduism says that Athma or the Soul stays the same, lord Buddha went further and said, that the soul or the force of life or the qualities that define particular character of a person are also subject to gradual change and since, it changes he added, it is impermanent or "Anithya" which is the basic quality of everything in the universe ), More explanation on this line is now at the bottom of this page under P.S.)
Can planets influence people ?
If you ask me whether there is an effect from that red colour light on a person's life my answer is both "yes" and "no". No, because it is just a light. Yes, because it indicates a bad period to cross. But if you attribute a godly character to the traffic light pole and starts worshipping it or think that there is a mystery in it. Then it is the lack of true knowledge and understanding. That is why, about 2500 years ago Lord Buddha said "Kim Karrisatthi Taraka ?" What stars can do ? It is not stars doing any thing to you. It is your own actions and the reactions of past actions (Karmas) are shaping your destiny. Your true savior is none but yourself as it is your duty to steer your life on the correct path.
Possible or impossible ?
Please note that, though the debate on the existence of all powerful almighty one creator being as such is out of the context of this subject of discussion, I do not exclude the possibility of that there could be (Now we call them as ET's and those days Deities or Angels) highly evolved powerful entities (and also some lowly evolved but powerful entities ) in other dimensions or worlds. A true scientist will never ridicule any possibility. However it may look impossible. Remember, that a few decades back prominent scientists of the time said, it is impossible for an aero plane to take off the ground as it is heavier than the air. Compared with the vastness and the complexity of the universe, what we have discovered and rationally understood is similar to a grain of sand. If you find something mysterious or something which is hard to explain, that does not mean it is not happening or it is impossible to happen. But that means our current understanding, senses, knowledge and the instruments are not yet developed enough to detect, measure and understand the phenomenon.
From past to present
Astrology is a heritage of all of us, which stood the test of time. If astrology was absolute rubbish, then it would have gone out of circulation many hundreds or perhaps thousands years ago. Since there was some substance in to it which had proved to many people for generations about it's usefulness. Astrology had managed to survive through those generations. Now the time had come for it to engage in the test of time once again. This time a test carried out by a new breed of seekers living in the era of information age, who are armed with new technology, new ways of thinking and interested in investigating finding and presenting the knowledge of the past in a manner applicable to the present. If anybody wish to learn Vedic Astrology, here is a good place to start.
Can astrology foretell any thing for sure ?
As same as in Meteorology, in Astrology also, there is no definite saying. Because many things can not be told hundred present accurately. As I said in the previous example, even when the green light is shining you can not give a hundred present guarantee of safe passage as accidents may occur due to various other reasons. Life is a very complex thing many influencing factors are taking part during the course of a persons life It is dynamic, constantly changing just like clouds and weather patterns.
Mystery or siddhi ?
There are certain components in astrology and other related areas, the mechanism of how it happens is hard to explain. One such phenomenon is called as "Siddhi". Siddhi comes with the constant practice and somewhat akin to sixth sense. When a person with a siddhi says something, it is more likely to happen the way he predicts it. But if you ask the person where in the original source texts ( such as "Brihath Parashara hora Sahastra " Saravali or Garga Hora") it says such a thing or what rules he had applied to come in to that conclusion, most probably he will say, I just felt it at that moment. So how does a person feels future is a bit gray area.
How do they do it ?
I know one retired graduate teacher in Kandy suberbs who has a very remarkable ability. I can not say whether his predictions are true or not but I am convinced of one thing. That he can say rather accurately the reason you came to meet him, as soon as you sit in front of him. He puts that ability in to very good use. Every day he consults 100 people. No more. No matter how many more are wanting or how far they had come to see him. To get an appointment, you have to go at 3 o' clock in the morning and get a number and no prior bookings for any body. He allocates only 5 minutes for each consultation. If you were not present at the time he calls you, the next in the queue is called and you have to come again an another day.
When I went there last year, I got the number 52. Since I was curious, skeptic and suspicious of any listening devises which may have been planted, I never told or indicated in any manner the reason I wished to consult him. From the inquiries I made from the people who went in and came out before me I found that he had accurately told them the reason they had come to see him that day. If it is pure chance or guess, with so many various kinds of problems people are having and wanting advice, how it is possible to guess it correctly each and every time ?. I also learned that his father also had practiced the same. That means it is a some kind of a knowledge or method that could be transmitted from one person to another. So what is it ? I too would love to learn. But I am sure of one thing. That it is not Astrology he is practicing.
Where are the techniques ?
There is an another branch of prediction system called "Nadi Jyotisha" or the Nadi system of astrology. Which in many occasions can correctly say even the names of the people who are concerned. Unfortunately the techniques used are not revealed to people outside their immediate family. You must understand that such knowledge could be harmful if come in to the hands of wrong people. May be that is one of the reasons it is still kept in secret. Selfishness or greed is also a possibility. But if somebody will come forward and reveal at least some of the techniques at least to those who deserve and who will use it for the benefit of those who really need guidance such an act will be a great service to humanity as whole.
Need for proper research
A friend of mine and a colleague at Vet. Research Institute, spent a number of years researching for his PhD. The theme of the research was about the reproductive organs of a certain tiny nematode. Which lives in the bovine intestinal track. That particular species has little economic significance in regard to it's effect on animal production so up to now nobody had bothered to take any notice of that worm. I used tease him about it telling that he should have selected even more tinier and more remote subject for his research. And used to wonder that in 50 years to future, what will be left for vet's to research in to for their PhD's when they even finish researching in to the tiniest organ of the tiny worm.
It is unfortunate that such a valuable subject like astrology was not able to gain the attention of any university or a funding agency which will agree to support a solid 5 -10 year research project at least, Ok - say, to disprove it once and for all scientifically and statistically.
Suppose, if proved that there is a correlation between some planetary movements and happenings of certain events in peoples life. Then think what new area of knowledge will be opened.
If the money which goes in to the production of one distractive weapon like a modern tank, a big bomb or one fighter plane can be invested in such research ?
Lakshman Abeykoon M. Sc. (Moscow University) Grad. Cert.(Melbourne University) Graduate Diploma (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology)
After I wrote the above, I received a number of emails specially, from people living in UK and USA. Below is such a letter which I received today and beneath is my answer. I placed it in this page believing that it may be of use to some others and that, I will not be asked the same question again and again. But our topic had changed direction from Astrology to the theory of Karma which is the corner stone of both Hindu and Buddhist philosophy.
My name is (Name Removed) and I have just discovered your site. I found it most informative and interesting and it piqued my curiosity. First off, is it the same as Vedic astrology, as I am a novice Hindu who worships Ganesh and Shiva. At the moment it is really hit and miss as I have no Guru and am living in the West of Ireland where they are not very plentiful! I am intending to spend several months in India in the Autumn of this year as a spiritual journey. The big question I have really is, I am 62, have had a triple bypass and recently discovered a myriad of other things wrong with my health, is it too late for me to have an astrological reading done? What good would it do for me at this late stage? I had such a good feeling from your site I trust you to give me the right answer.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
XXXXXXX (Name Ommitted)
PS I was adopted and don't know my exact time of birth. For what it is worth my birth date was October 2nd 1939 and it was in the East coast of America, Philadelphia to be exact.
Thanks for your letter. You have asked a lot of questions and will answer them one by one.
Yes, this is the same genuine Vedic Astrology, which originated in South East Asia and it is one of the Ancient Vedic Sciences.
XXX, if you are not in good health, I think it is not a wise decision to go to India at this period. It is hard and harsh unless, you find a good genuine teacher and a good ashram. Otherwise, it is not worth. But believe me a good teacher and a good place are very hard things to find. Which I know from my personal experiences and about 90% are imposters and are not true "Gurus". The best option for you is, finding a good place in UK or USA try www.hindu.org for a ashram of true seekers. In this age, physically you do not have to be in India or any other place to search for spiritual development.
The other best option for you is to read books such as "Bagavath Geetha" and look for answer your self. But what you should read depends on what you are searching for. Therefore first of all you should have a clear idea about what are you searching ?.
Mainly, people look for the answer for their existence in this world. Whether it is a one time journey or a journey with many parts or many existences?. What ever it is, one thing is certain. That is, your actions in turn brings reactions. It is the theory behind "Karma". Since you are the creator of your own actions, then your are the decision maker about your spiritual journey through birth, death and rebirth. Nobody else can decide any thing for you.
This is the core of both Hindu and Buddhist philosophy and if you bother to read some Buddhist books you will find out that Lord Buddha had explained it in a more rational and acceptable way. Though it was originated in India about 2500 years ago, it is still a profound theory and I doubt whether you will be able to grasp it. But if you wish to study Buddhism there are good links in http://jyotisha.00it.com/favorits.htm page
In short, that both Buddhists and Hindus believe that, people are born again to this world because they wanted to be born again. Once they were born here, they have to under go a lot of hardships, pain and suffering as it is the natural condition in this existence. Why they want to be born again ? Because they think they have unfinished business here and therefore they have created hard bonded attachments in their mind which in turn causes "Karmas" (actions and reactions) to be generated. For an example, If you create an attachment to your body, then you will come back to get a body. It was your wish and it is the effect of the cause of the attachment to your body.
What creates hard bonded attachments in the mind ? The wrong conceptions create such attachments. What are the wrong conceptions ? It is the belief that things or persons are yours. Why that belief is wrong ? because there is nothing in this world, you can truly say that, it belongs to you. Not even your own body. If it is truly yours you could have stopped aging or being sick.
Since, it is not truly yours you can not stop aging nor being sick. No need to say about other things. The true nature of every thing that exists in this world and the universe is that, it does not belong to any thing or any body and is subject to constant change. This constant change can be described as the Dynamic Evolution or the Shiva - creator destroyer as explained in Hinduism and this is the same as what you call the nature of impermanence in Buddhism as there is nothing permanent in this universe (So the consciousness of Shiva means, the consciousness about the impermanence, or the consciousness about the true nature of things or the "Anithya" as explained in Buddhism).
The delusion or the wrong concept is the belief that things are permanent or stays the same and thus creating hard set attachments for those, which compels you to return with a body to possess it. (It does not mean that you have to throw away your business, car, house or family, it only means that you should not create hard set attachment for those implying that, they are yours and only yours. But by understanding that they do not belong to you. For an example understanding that, their love for you is subject to change with time or the ownership of properties or the condition of those are subject to constant change etc. You will cease creating attachments. ) So if you do not create attachments by knowing and deeply convincing your self about he true nature of the things, then you will have no reason to return. That is what you call "Moksha " in Hinduism, "Nirvana" in Buddhism and "Kingdom of Heaven" in other religions.
I suggest that you should read the book "Life after Life " by Dr. Raymond Moody a Penguin book about the research in to NDE (Near Death Experiences) of some of his patients and the book called "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" by Evans Wendz.
Since, you do not know your time of birth, Unfortunately I can not give you a reading. I can make a brief reading in connection to the particular positions of planets prevailing on your date of birth but it will be very short and devoid of important details. It is like taking a photo with out focusing the lens. To focus the reading you need the time more accurate more better.
Since you said that you have no "Guru" and it is a hit and miss, I sincerely hope that I have given you the right answers to set you in proper direction and wish, that you may find the correct path for your spiritual journey.
With best regards from Melbourne Australia.