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IS ASTROLOGY A SCIENCE?
Evidently there are influences of other galactic bodies on the life of earth, for instance sun causes seasons and moon, the tides - be whatever the names one refers to them like planets or stars. In scientific terms, the solar or lunar effects are SAME for all and unlike in astrology, they do not handpick certain people. Thrice in history attempts were made to study the effects of lunar phenomenon on lunatics. All the three studies have not yielded any conclusive result to end the controversy. Cold wind effects everybody uniformly. But my friend does not take this argument. While I go for a morning stroll, he avoids cold days - he is asthmatic. Not all suffer sunstroke but only few. This means there are certain other factors involved and just because we all breath oxygen, we can not be termed as the 'same'. We can extend the same argument to other planets also. But unfortunately, we do not have any precision instruments to measure effects on individuals like radiation, magnetism etc, that fall on earth. Earlier people did not believe in the existence of astral body (body light) until Kirilian photographs were taken! Perhaps, one-day science will advance much more than it is today. Almost all the cosmic rays from outside (including sun's) are filtered by the atmosphere. The photographs by whatever the way it is taken of black holes or planets show that some light or otherwise is coming out or going into. So, the earth can not be isolated by that phenomenon.
As the present day science does not have resources to measure infinitesimally small individual effects, no such study has taken place. It is said that gravitational attraction is the cause of the planetary influences. Every thing that has weight is subjected to this influence. The gravitational influence on the newborn caused by nurse, the hospital building is much more than the gravitational force from the planets! Perhaps, though infinitesimally small they effect the individual behavior. When asked, "Do you believe in the existence of God?" Bhagwan Buddha said, "I do not know". Until we know for sure, let's not talk about the method of influence. Let's behave like intellectuals who want impartial and well thought view point - and not like rationalists of India, bent upon biting every age-old belief. Classical texts do not mention about the radiation (vikirana) being the cause of planetary effect on individuals. If I talk about radiation effect or gravitational attraction, I do not have ANY SANCTION from the classical works. Yet, we find references to 'dristi' (aspect) in all most all classical texts on astrology which implies that the angle of incidence of the rays from the planets would cause the effect on life. Pending investigations, for such ultra-minute forces of galactic influence, we have to shelf these arguments. Position of planets in the heaven are used like the pointers on clock dial. Mind you Maharaj, astrologers do not use any measuring instruments to read a janmapatri. The non-living watch does not give out any force whatsoever on the body. Yet, we have scheduled ourselves by the clock without our knowledge. Every activity in the world is governed by the time. Exceptions are also subjected to certain other rules.
The ancients correlated the planetary movements to the individual happenings on earth. In scientific terms mere correlations between two configurations DO NOT give validity, as they are not having a CAUSATIVE relationship. This means according to science, there could be some other event, which has caused both - planetary movements and supposed changes in behavior of humans, by a force unknown to man so far. As such, astrology cannot be termed as science - not at all (in terms of what we call as science of the day).
For that matter, Ayurveda and Homeopathy are also not science as the correlation of disease and cure is not causative. As any scientist knows microbes cause the diseases. In Ayurveda, the causes of diseases are put forth as the imbalance of kapha, vata and pitta - body fluids. The cause is wrongly postulated in this case. As the potency of a homeopathy drug goes up, the particles of medicinal substance comes down and the process of cure can not be explained by the present day scientist and so both Ayurveda and Homeopathy do not deserve to be called as science. Yet, we have subjects like Political Science. God only knows who coined the word, when we see how politicians behave!
Just because we do not know how ayurveda, homeopathy or astrology work, calling these subjects as mere humbug would be unwise and thereby the knowledge acquired through generations and generations would not come to use. In such subjects individual studies, experiences, own analysis etc, would help to discover the new things in the world. Yet until the end, the argument - whether astrology is a science a mystic art or a mere humbug formed by some Zionists to exploit the society - will go on and on. As science does not take into account the individual experiences, individuals also do not bother much about the scientists' opinions but do depend on their own individual experiences. As per science, there is no difference between you, Mahatma Gandhi, Nathuram Ghudse or I. We all have same chemical and physical characteristics!
"There are two kinds of forecasters: those who don’t know and those who don’t know they don’t know" said John Galbraith, US Ambassador to India 1961 - 1963. It is easy to make amusing statements. Socrates says, "It has become a fashion to adopt my methods, the rich and useless show off this way!" No wonder, it was Nehru epoch and perhaps the stand of Pt. Nehru prompted the ambassador to heave an attractive statement. Nehru was a man of letters, I mean, he went on writing letters - 'you ask me, I know it all' kind of. Nehru "hated many of the things which most Hindus hold dear—cow worship, subordinate status for women, temples, sadhus, astrology and caste" - Walter Crocker, the former Australian High Commissioner to India (Nehru : A Contemporary’s Estimate). No wonder like Nehru, the US ambassador thought, India is a bunch of people who are foolish and the rest who do not know they are foolish. When we write so many letters, we make slip of tongue (of finger, most appropriately). "Nehru says that he had written to his daughter Indira to make a proper horoscope of his grandson by a competent person" (letter numbered 74, written on 29.8.1944 - Krishna Hutheesing in Nehru’s Letters to His Sister).
An afterthought. Perhaps I belong to the first category of those who do not know. I do not know what I am going to forecast, I am influenced neither by the appearance nor articulate mannerisms and I do not know what I am going to say, until I open the horoscope. I depend only on astrological concepts and intuition, which flashes when you do not expect. But intuition is hard to come, it requires out-tuition, pouring in many ideas by repeated study, investigation and practice. Dr. Karl and Naked Scientists is one of my favorite programs on BBC radio 5. In late September 2015, one listener - a scientist himself wanted to know from Dr. Karl, the reasons for his grand father's successful dowsing. The scientist had found greater accuracy in his grandfather's dowsing beyond coincidences. There was a villager too who could tell the sex of chicken by shaking the eggs! Dr Karl Kruszelnicki replied, "Such knowledge can not be expressed in words and shaking of dowsing rod or eggs serves as mere tools". He went on to say, "You can pass on your knowledge and experience of cycling in words but there is hidden face of it which can not be passed on with words." In the universe there are some concepts which can not be reasoned out but work. Many scientists would not acknowledge non-verbal knowledge where a stick or a sketch serves as mere tool. Open minded curiosity is very scarce.
In 1975, 186 scientists including 18 Nobel Prize winners –condemned astrology in the American journal, The Humanist. The Press wanted to interview at least one of the Nobel Prize winners concerning their own personal views regarding astrology. However, they refused to be interviewed. They are also the ones who do not know or do not know, they do not know and had they given an interview - at least one of them - it would have been a fatal day for scientific community! 186 intelligent people (perhaps, there were none, earlier to 1975) decided for the whole seven billion earthlings and believed they would be believed! The software you download offers updates. Since 1975, these scientists have not offered any updates. We believe in what we believe not knowing why we believe. Many consider astrology as mere chance game. But when we discover the other dimensions, our long held impressions shatter. Alan Turing, was a British pioneering computer scientist and mathematician. Turing played an important role in interception of coded messages with high precision and super fast computer devices. Otherwise the World War II could have continued for two more years. This narrative is given by the daughter of Turing's friend, aged 17 years then. "Turing was very friendly, he entertained me very much. We went to a carnival one day. He was very jovial all along. We came across a gypsy fortune teller and Turing explained permutations and combinations how future projections are given. For fun sake, Turing entered the gypsy's tent. He came out after sometime, downcast and uncommunicative. All the way back he had fallen silent. My father did not bother him by asking what came out of gypsy" (Witness, on BBC World Service). Obviously the gypsy had thrown some unexpected future possibility, unanticipated. Turing was found guilty of a (then) criminal act in 1952. He opted chemical castration with estrogen injections as an alternative to prison and died in 1954.
The gypsy or any fortune teller uses well established principles to dig into future. Highly enlightened rationalists aka basic physics teachers (who still hold Newtonian principles as gospel that apply to everything and every space) claim there is no such force exerting from the outer space. So far, we do not know how weak forces operate within the atom. We do not know whether gravity is a field or a particle. Dark matter, dark energy, black holes, parallel universes, string theory, supposed worm holes in space-time dimension still elude our comprehension. Particle zoo is such a wizardry place where various possibilities galore. As of now, no one knows how the planets influence us. To investigate whether astrology works or not, the inquirer should assume of certain force (unknown so far) may influence human affairs, as the physicist assumes a single poled magnet. In absence of clear causative factors, instead of dismissing the claim like the noble laureates and company did, they should try statistical methods for verification. John Graunt developed early human statistical methods that became a hallmark for modern demography. Graunt was one of the first experts in epidemiology. He analyzed pattern of morality in London based on which government created a system to warn of the onset and spread of bubonic plague. However, statistics is quite misleading. If you keep one hand in boiling water and the other in freezing water, on average, you are in moderate 50°C. The parameters shall have to picked out carefully. It should not be the percentage of one legged or three legged persons playing foot ball! In case of astrology, it should not be rahu kala / durmuhurta / chougadhia/ varjya etc., which do not have anything to do with planets. These depend on name of the day and time of sun rise only. So, any experiment involving planets and placement in house would be more appropriate.
There are good cricketers in India and Pakistan, great people in pandava and kourava factions. Impartially we should appreciate aptness, whether the argument supports astrology or not. Most of the rationalists talk like middle school kids, their tongues lash out at anything and everything. Unfortunately, their logic and arguments are charvita chavarna - betel leaves chewed again and again! Do they know of an experiment conducted by a psychologist? Michel Gauquelin, a graduate in statistics and psychology conducted experiments of 576 birth charts for the first time and 508 birth charts in second attempt, spread over a period of 23 years (1949 –1973) and he found that there is a relationship between the planets’ positions at the moment of birth and the profession of individual takes up. In those days the registry in the church contained the birth time also. The first study was on personality traits while the second was on the profession the natives choose. In 1955, he published L‘influence des Astres. Gauquelin opined that significant number of sports champions were born just after the planet Mars rises (i.e. in lagna) or culminates (in 10th house). The Belgian Para Committee ridiculed the findings in 1965.
Gauquelin proposed same study by both he and the Committee, separately. After agreeing to methodology the study was conducted and the results of these two tests matched. But the committee abstained from publication of outcome but said there were errors which they did not identify! In 1975, a manifesto signed by 186 eminent scientists appeared on the horizon. Marvin Zelen, professor of statistics at Harward University and member of Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal thought Gauquelin theory was based on location and not planets. He examined the charts of average individuals born on the same day and in various locations. The results upheld Gauquelin theory, but CSICOP did not publish the findings. Scientific methods are stronger and stringent. Only through repeated experiments lead us to precise conclusions. There was one more round of critical examination. Paul Kurtz, Chairman collected the data and astronomer Dennis Rawlins conducted the statistical analysis. The study found 22% accuracy but it later declined to 16% and ended up at 13% as Kurtz had accidentally forgotten to send some data to Rawlins! In the mean time, Suitbert Ertel professor of psychology in Gottingen University made another study. He separated athletes into groups with varying degrees of eminence, he found that the results tally Gauquelin's experiment. The controversy still continues.... With advanced computing technology (which can give simulation of even Big Bang) it is possible to frolic with millions of charts, forget 576 charts or 508 charts. In the mean time what happened to those 186 eminent people? They did not participate in any research - simply they had signed the warrant without going through the law books! With my grand mother's herbal decoction, I am cured of cough and while medical journals publish conflicting results doubting efficacy of those herbs!
So, astrology is not well established as per scientific cannons beyond doubts. People concerned with astrology - astrologers, believers, rationalists et al should make their own thinking and then stick to their guns pens. Eliminating somebody does not eliminate the thought and similarly the savage remarks. One Mutri gained nothing by declaring he had relieved himself on a God's idol, when he was a child. Every baby does the same on the lap of parents but not when they are grown up. This is a frivolous act and nobody takes pride but this man did. Liberalism is easy to talk. Suppose Mutri has done the same on the idol of a respected national leader or on a regalia like Book of Constitution, would the Government of India keep quite, in the the name of freedom of expression? Mutri (ದ ಇನ್ಫೈನೆಟ್) the Infinite was selective and he knew when and where to loose the pinchcock!
Man watches nature to deduce the methods the nature works. He laughs at the discoveries of his previous generation and his present day advancements are truly great. Little does he realize - his future generation will laugh at his discoveries!
|Hevalambi nama samvatsara Ugadi|
|Navagrahas - Overture|
|Guru in Kanya||Graha sankalpa|
|Mantras for Ravi|
|Mesha Personality||Mantras for Chandra|
|Vrishabha Personality||Mantras for Kuja|
|Mithuna Personality||Mantras for Budha|
|Kataka Personality||Mantras for Guru|
|Simha Personality||Mantras for Shukra|
|Kanya Personality||Mantras for Shani|
|Tula Personality||Mantras for Rahu|
|Vrischika Personality||Mantras for Ketu|
|Makara Personality||Devata Mantras|
|Kumbha Personality||General mantras|
|Meena Personality||Classical texts|
|Why do people believe in astrology?||Meditation|
|Can death be predicted?||Diabetes Management|
|Specialty of Indian astrology||Pranayama|
|Is astrology a science?||Yoga Gallery|
|Mundane astrology||What are the skeptics up to?|
|Does an astrologer know his own fate?||Twins & validity of astrology|
|Why the chart is made for the birth time?||Matching of horoscopes|
|Ever increasing scientific temper||Transit from moon sign and vedha|
|Social relevance of astrologers||Astrology, numerology, palmistry & tarot|
|Prophecies in scriptures & practice of astrology||Was nobody born on that day?|
|Some more planets in outer orbit||Pralaya - Dooms Day|
|Inaccuracies in panchanga||Placement holds the key|
|Combustion & its implications||What to look for in a gem stone?|
|What is the time of birth?||Shanti kriyas for planets|
|History of astrology||Reincarnation & salvation|
|Yantra (talisman) - does it work?||Idolatry|
|Purusha suktam||Science, philosophy & arts in ancient India|
|Freedom of expression||Holy see did not see!|
|Vakchaturya, vamachara or intuition||Morality, courts, men & media|
|Eid ul-fitr||Ratha Yatra|
|Planets in scriptures||More mantras|
|Remedial measures||Worship of planets|
|Shivarathri||Sri Ramakrishna Jayanti|