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RELIGION and ASTROLOGY

By Kalyan Sundaram

Is GOD is there?
The first question arose in the mind ever since man became civilized. Rishis and munis(1) were in
the hot chase for a definite answer to this question, since time immemorial. As a result of their
Tapas(2), analysis- philosophical analysis- found different explanations. But in principle they all
agreed YES there is something above and beyond what we see on earth. HE who is the almighty
an omni potent and an omni present commands the Universe. Each and every atom on earth,
planets, stars,space are all under HIS command and control.

Religion: It is a discipline, a faith, a belief or a practice in a wide society. A very well learned man
in the society or messengers of GOD set out such faiths or practices to be strictly followed by
people to co-exist and live peacefully. There are many religions in the world. It is the history as we
all know. Among all the religions, Hinduism though not started by a particular person or no known
originator still has remained till date a great Philosophy. It guides people through rituals and good
a lot of Poojas (prayers) to follow; without compelling on anyone's individuality or freedom.

VEDANTHA: It is a Philosophy, it is the Spiritual way of life shown by preachers at different times
in India and different parts of the World. Attaching ourself to that way ie. worship, prayers, tapas,
homa, yagnya(3), are being performed by us. Today there are four Vedas in practice. Rig, Yajur,
Sama and Atharvana. Majority of Indians follow one of the first three Vedas
Vedh or Vid means to know. All such findings like creation of movable and immovable are dealt in
detail in the four Vedas Subsequently it is very much elaborated in Upanishads.(4), puranas.

"Ahara mudala yezhuthellam adhi bhagavan mudatrye ulagu" said Thiruvalluvar.(5) in Tamil

"Yena bhrmyathi lokajalam akhilam" in sanskrit language means the whole magic of the universe
is moving because of HIM.

The above two quotes only give us an understanding to the ultimate reality, the strength of Super
natural power.

We can see the Sun, Moon, stars and other planets. We can feel the existence of the five
elements-often referred to as 'Pancha bhoothas" in our shastras(6) - Agni, Vayu, Water, Bhoomi
and Space. bhootha means vast enormous in size. They are called bhoothas because a person
standing in open air can never see the top, bottom, right end or the left end of these elements.

God creates, protects and destroys living and non living things. It is cycle of events. Solely
attributable to nature. The secret work of nature. Only He who knows and we can hardly decode
the time or type of such events. Among living things particularly human beings do very well can
modify their living styles.

The events what I mentioned above is only our day to day life on earth between birth and death of
a plant or animal or human. The day or night; summer or winter, amavasya (new moon) or full
moon, rain or shine all of them affect the life on earth.

Man has no choice or control over that but man devised a method, a study to predict the
changes
and take the above changes to his advantage if not at least to safeguard himself from damage.

Astrology:
Thus the epic men toiled hard for years, centuries and discovered the “Panchanga”(7). The
panchanga contains a collection of Astronomical datas/details of planets, stars and their
movements and the effect of such movements which causes and changes in plant, animal and
human lives on earth. Mainly the wisdom prevailed in Egypt, Greek and India almost
simultaneously. There was also exchange of knowledge adoption customization in their
inventions. Of course today nobody takes out his car without consulting weather reports in news
papers.

Over a period of time further observations, studies and discoveries were made by our ancient
astronomers. Like Aryabhatta, Varaha, Mihira, Parasara etc. to name a few.
Here in India, astronomers were giving predictions to Kings and to common public on all
activities. Be it timing of sowing seeds in fields (agriculture), child birth, marriage or wars. Good or
bad things to happen in one's life. This is so because Jyothisham or jyothisha shasthra (science
of astronomy) is in itself Astrology.
The study of the sky is astronomy. Calculations were made regarding the size, speed of
movement, their rotation around Sun and position with respect to our planet earth. This is purely a
mathematical calculation. Primarily jyothisha meant to guide people in their daily affairs. Finding
of auspicious times, avoiding inauspicious times became a routine in all walks of life. Depending
upon the status of Nine planets, 27 stars and twelve Zodiac signs, events were predicted.

Let us see more about in depth of Jyothisha later in a separate article.

Todays space science development has come a long way from advanced vedic
astronomical knowledge. Many religions prohibit the inquest into the secrets of nature by men.
Still it is amazing how Western astrology, Chinese astrology, Arabic, Jewish etc., in addition to
Numerology, tarrot, parrot reading and palmistry are very popular and widely being practiced in
many parts of the world.
These are all fortune telling in one way. Vedic astrology in contrast finds the past, present
and future of a mans life or the status of a country. The past is the belief in previous birth. The
'Karma' (an action or deed or activity) committed by a person in his previous birth(s) and the
result of such actions follows in this birth. An astrologer predicts from the birth chart (horoscope)
of an individual the past also. Accordingly he explains what is in store for that individual.
How and what was the basis of such predictions made by our Astrologers? The planetary
positions recorded in his/her Horoscope at the instant of his/her birth. In this way it is said that
every individual enjoys good health, pleasures, wealth, children etc. What about a man's
sufferings, problems faced in his life ? Is it also predicted from the same chart? Yes the reasons
creating such problems can be analyzed and identified by an expert professional Astrologer.
Man cannot change the fate or destiny. The karmic influences cause dismays, distress
and decide the fate. Though man cannot escape the destiny, he can prevent such impact or
course of his sufferings, by suitable remedies.(pariharas). To understand 'PARIHARAS' for
example when it is raining we can't stop the rain but can use an umbrella/rain coat. That will
protect us from becoming drenched. Another example: if there is flood we can divert the course of
flood waters by digging canals or using sand bags.
Hence the remedial measures to overcome many problems concerning business,
children, health, litigation etc. can be done by special poojas, homas, chanting of mantras, using
yanthras, talisman etc. with the help of a well qualified Pandit or Guru who knows Atharv Veda
properly..

To conclude Religion is the power to mankind. People who are religious will definitely find
Astrology very useful and can make their lives easier.
(- A brief introduction about the Author.
Mr Kalyan is a Diploma Holder in Engineering.Hailing from Tanjore district.TN. settled in Karnataka since 40 years.Retired from a
public sector undertaking in India. Coming from a family of Vedic scholors.Self aquired the spiritual/ astological knowledge as it
was a family profession.)