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Astrology- the ancient science
Dr. Raj Shree Dhar1/12/2018 10:37:03 PM
We human beings cannot through our natural consciousness and intelligence know anything of God, the Creator's hidden secrets. The divinity and regularity of the movements of the sun, moon, planets, and stars were taken by many ancients as evidences that these celestial bodies influence various kinds of changes on earth and dictate events on earth so that we can make predictions about events on earth. Connection between religion, astronomy, astrology, and predictions are very ancient.
One motive for wanting to predict the future is the removal of anxiety, temporary though it may be, but it can be very consoling to know in advance what an outcome will be. There was Nostradamus (1503 - 1566) who has played an extraordinary role in people's attempts to know the future. He told his son that God had revealed future events to him by means of astrology and astronomy and the perfect knowledge of such things cannot be acquired without divine inspiration, given that all prophetic inspiration derives its initial origin from God Almighty, then from chance and nature.
Modern popular astrology runs directly back to Ptolemy. A typical excerpt from Ptolemy's astrological book 'the Tetrabiblos', reads: Saturn makes his subjects in appearance dark skinned, black haired having an excess of the moist. Most of his philosophy rests upon the belief that planetary influences derive from the planets relationship with the Sun ( the source of heat and light) and the Earth ( the source of moisture). In this way the moon is regarded as a cool and moist planet because it lacks the warmth of the Sun and lies in the proximity of the earth. Saturn is cold and dry because it is farthest from the warmth of the sun and again from the moisture of the earth. Warmth and moisture promote health and vitality and hence Saturn becomes the principal agent of destruction and death.
Astrology remains an important facet in the lives of many Hindus. In Hindu culture, newborns are traditionally named based on their jyoti?a charts, and astrological concepts are pervasive in the organization of the calendar and holidays as well as in many areas of life, such as in making decisions made about marriage, opening a new business, and moving into a new home. Astrology retains a position among the sciences in modern India. Following a judgment of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in 2001, some Indian universities offer advanced degrees in astrology.
The major aspect of astrology is of Hindu folk belief in contemporary India. Many Hindus believe that heavenly bodies, including the planets, have an influence throughout the life of a human being, and these planetary influences are the "fruit of karma." The Navagraha, planetary deities, are considered subordinate to God, i.e., the Supreme Being, in the administration of justice. Thus, these planets can influence earthly life. Certain unique placements of planets/house-lords give rise to excellent and exceptional Raja yogas by the angular positions of the planets which enable persons born under such combinations to become kings (i.e. acquire ruling powers).
The University Grants Commission and the Ministry of Human Resource Development of the Government decided to introduce "Jyotir Vigyan" (i.e. jyotir vijñ?na) or "Vedic astrology" as a discipline of study in Indian universities, saying that "Vedic astrology is not only one of the main subjects of our traditional and classical knowledge but this is the discipline, which lets us know the events happening in human life and in universe on time scale." The decision was backed up by the Andhra Pradesh High Court, despite widespread protests from the scientific community in India and Indian scientists working abroad.
In 2004, the Supreme Court dismissed a further petition, concluding that the teaching of astrology did not qualify as the promotion of religion. In February 2011, the Bombay High Court referred to the 2004 Supreme Court ruling when it dismissed a case which had challenged astrology's status as a science. Despite continuing complaints by scientists, astrology is still taught at various universities in India, and there is a movement in progress to establish a national Vedic University to teach astrology together with the study of tantra, mantra, and yoga.
In the ancient times, astrologers were held to be in great esteem by the people. There was no difference between astronomers and astrologers. In fact, astronomy and Astrology were not considered to be two different subjects. Many will be surprised to know that most of the renowned scientists of the past, including Sir Isaac Newton, were astrologers too. In ancient India , Astrology was known as "Jyotish Shastra" which included predictive Astrology as well as what we know as Astronomy.
Astronomy is a science- the study of the universe as it is. Astrology is the pseudo-science- a claim in the absence of good evidence, or a conjecture regarding the effect of the planets on our everyday lives. The sun and the stars controlled the season, food, warmth etc. Everything in the sky has some real effect on the human life. The knowledge of mathematics is an essential part in astrology in studying quadrants, degrees, angles, elliptical and spherical rotations etc.
Buying a magazine on astrology at a newsstand is easy but it is harder to find it on astronomy. The development of astrology is practised by placing the twelve constellations as rulers over the members of man's body and soul and predicts the dispositions of men by the course of stars. Personal astrology is based on the investigations of the planetary positions at the time of birth, i.e. when man comes out of the womb and takes its first breath from the atmosphere, profoundly influences his future. Thus astrology has both narrow and broad meanings. In a narrow sense, it has to do with predicting character, fate and events on the basis of signs and houses, and planetary aspects. In a broader sense, it is study and knowledge of influences of the celestial objects in human affairs. This might include gravitational influences of the moon on earth e.g. we can predict tides. Astrology is developed by a strange combination of observations, mathematics and careful record keeping with fuzzy thinking.
But if the planets can determine the destinies of nation, how could they avoid influencing what will happen to you tomorrow. Astrology has been rejected by the scientific community as having no explanatory power for describing the universe. Astrophysicist Neil Tyson commented on astrological belief, that those who continue to have faith in astrology have been characterized as doing so "in spite of the fact that there is no verified scientific basis for their beliefs. Without any proof of that knowledge, without that capacity to think, you can easily become a victim of people who seek to take advantage of you".
The mathematics of Kepler was awakened in him by the cosmos. His pictures and geometric diagrams were the projections of the correspondences between geometrical relations and images in his mind. Kepler took geometry to be fundamental to God's creations and God's geometrical relationships to be the basic feature of the cosmos which can be acquired in us by our sensory contacts with the world around us.
Astrology has been criticized for failing to provide a physical mechanism that links the movements of celestial bodies to their purported effects on human behaviour. In a lecture in 2001, Stephen Hawking stated "The reason most scientists don't believe in astrology is because it is not consistent with our theories that have been tested by experiment. The foundation of Hindu astrology is the notion of bandhu of the Vedas (scriptures). Practice relies primarily on the sidereal zodiac, which is different from the tropical zodiac used in Western (Hellenistic) astrology. Indian astrology includes several sub-systems of interpretation and prediction with elements not found in Hellenistic astrology, such as its system of lunar mansions (Nak?atra), Ashtakavarga system of predictions, yoga system of predictions.
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