Confirmation of Vedic Astrology

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    Sai Saurab

    I was browsing through Mystic Universe and found the section about the modern practice of Vedic Astrology. There you point out that due to a lack of understanding of the deeper science behind astrology, we are only left with some tools which are applied in ad-hoc manner and that leads to incorrect predictions.
    My question is related to how good/bad the current understanding is. Could we for eg., construct a double blind experiment and show that astrology can predict significantly better than random chance? And could we leverage this to bring about a scientific interest in karma and related concepts? I would really appreciate your thoughts related to this.

    Ashish Dalela

    There are many fundamental issues at the present:

    • The method of planetary positions must be according to Surya Siddhanta, but mostly the Drik Siddhanta is used. The former talks about the true positions of planets in space, not the visible positions, as seen by our vision. For the most part, modern astrologers only use the Drik Siddhanta, which is based on the visible positions of the planets. This creates significant differences in all charts as planetary positions in the systems differ.
    • Each planet has an innate nature, but these natures are changed as the planets move through the zodiac and Nakshatras. It is not the combination of the planet and the zodiac or Nakshatra that produces an effect. That is a mistaken idea and it assumes that a physical object is moving. The real thing is that the planet changes its nature itself. In effect, a planet in a different place is a different planet, and that change affects everything else.
    • The order of the effects of planets is not understood properly. The Nakshatra are said to drag the sun, which drags the moon, and then are subsequent drags on the other five planets, namely, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury. There is a specific order in which the effects must be prioritized, but this order is not used. As a result, many people say that the planets Sun and Moon become weaker or stronger as a result of the other five planets, but that should not be the case according to the cosmological system.
    • Rahu and Ketu are not visible from Earth, so they are assumed to be the North and South ‘nodes’ of the Lunar motion (i.e. the places where the moon’s orbit around the earth crosses the ecliptic). I haven’t studied this as well, but the role of Rahu and Ketu is very unclear.
    • The concept of ‘dristi’ has no explanation in terms of cosmology. Why is one planet “looking” at another planet? There has to be a clear understanding of this. Accordingly, all strength calculations are based on some heuristics, without a real explanation.

    The main point is that astrology has to be identical to cosmology. We cannot have special things happening in a chart that are not happening in the real world. But at present, cosmology says one thing, the chart assumes other things, and there is a limited understanding of what it means.

    So, I’m not in favor of any types of experiments. We have to first understand cosmology, and then astrology will automatically become clear. Nothing extra is needed for astrology.

    Sai Saurab

    Hi Ashish! If I may probe a little deeper, what convinced you that it is Surya Siddhanta which has to be used instead of Drik Siddhanta? Isn’t ayanamsa correction sufficient to transform observed positions to true positions? Also, I understand that the estimates that Surya Siddhanta gives for events such as eclipses can be off by as much as few days. Are observed eclipses different from true eclipses too?

    Ashish Dalela

    Have you read Brihat Parashara Hora? If not, please read it. You will find thousands of rules. Nobody can even remember these rules, then what to speak of applying them. And they don’t know which rule takes priority in which case. Just because we get a collection of hundreds of rules doesn’t mean we understand why THOSE rules and not others. If the government in society made hundreds of arbitrary rules, won’t you want to know why those rules and not other rules? How will the judge know which rule to apply when?

    The fact about astrology is that people can see general trends and personality aspects etc. But they cannot make accurate predictions. NOBODY is able to make accurate predictions consistently. When Corona Virus started, practically everyone was saying that it will be over in 3-4 months. Then few were saying that it will over by Oct/Nov last year. I did not find a single person who said that it will go on for many years. And it will mutate in many forms and keep going up and down for a long time. So, if they cannot predict something that is so widespread, then what can they predict? You don’t even need a chart for this because we are talking about the chart of the Earth planet, and that chart is nothing other than the time from which this chatur-yugi begins.

    So whatever astrologers say, I take it with a pinch of salt. And that is because nobody knows the science properly. Some people do a slightly better job by doing astrology with palmistry with face reading etc. But nobody understands how a planet affects our life. At best they are just selectively picking up some rules, and when it gets overwhelming, then they just say that we don’t know. It is no better than stock market predictions. One guy says it will crash, and another guy says it will boom, and one or the other thing happens once in a while, and we think they really know. They do know the macro trends, but they cannot predict anything accurately.

    So, just try to understand the philosophy and science behind it. That’s what we can do today.

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