Wednesday, November 30, 2011

India's Astrology

Materialistically speaking, India may not be a rich country today, but India has
extremely rich cultural heritage. The depth of some of India's ancient knowledge
(like astrology) is just amazing and it makes one wonder if the history of this great
civilization is correctly represented in the pages of modern history. Astrology of
India is the most comprehensive and complete system of astrology available today
and it is the only one that comes close to answering the just mentioned “twins
puzzle”. India's astrology can explain how twins can be different. The principles
used in India's astrology are so sensitive to changes in birthtime that people born
within 1-2 minutes can be significantly different in some aspects and similar in some
others. This approach distinguishes between what a person truly is, what a person
wants to be, what he thinks he is and what the world thinks he is. It has enough
parameters, tools, techniques and degrees of freedom to model the extremely
complicated human life.
This astrological approach is known in the world by many names. Early pioneers of
modern Indian astrology, like Dr. B.V. Raman, called it “Hindu astrology”, because
this system was first taught by ancient Hindu sages. However, some people do not
like this expression because “Hindu” is not a Sanskrit word. This word was later
coined by the western invaders from the name of a river flowing on the northwestern
border of India (river “Sindhu” or “Indus”). They used the word “Hindu” to describe
the land and the people on the eastern side of this river.
The religion practiced by a majority of Indians is known as “Hindu” religion today,
but the fact is that there is no name for this religion in India's Sanskrit language, the
language in which most of the literature of this religion – and astrology – appeared!
Most other religions are known by the name of their main propagator, but India's
ancient religion had no single propagator or prophet. This religion consisted of
knowledge that revealed itself to spiritual masters of many generations. So there was
no name for this religion and the word “Hindu” coined by western invaders was
accepted by the world. However, as already stressed, this word finds no place in
Sanskrit literature. Some people do not like using a non-Sanskrit word to describe
India's astrology, considering that most of India's classical literature in astrology
appeared in Sanskrit.
Later day authors came up with the name – “Vedic astrology". The word “Vedic”
means “pertaining to Vedas". Vedas are the sacred scriptures of, what is known
today as, Hinduism and they are supposed to contain knowledge of all subjects.
Moreover, astrology in particular is supposed to be a “Vedaanga” (which means a
limb of Vedas). In particular, it is said to be the eye of the Vedas. So the name
“Vedic astrology” is becoming popular these days. This author also suggests using
“Vedic astrology” or “Jyotish” (meaning “science of light"). Jyotishi is a practitioner
of Jyotish, i.e. a Vedic astrologer.
(Excerpts from Dr. PVR Narasimha Rao)