Astrology; Myths and Facts, a critical view: OP-ed

Astrology is a pseudoscience that doesn’t have substantial facts to establish it as a Science. However, astronomy and mathematics used in astrology are simply awing. We get to know about the planetary motions and complex conjunctions simplified. Traditionally, there are varieties of techniques used in astrology depending upon the role of planet or star, or constellation in space and time. When there is a mention of space and time the philosophical assumptions take place. These assumptions give rise to questioning as per the modern intellectual lifestyle.
While considering Natural Philosophy which we call ‘Science’, the question arises that whether a planet or a star or a constellation has an impact on one’s life or not? There has been much research that has given no scientific basis for astrology, but does it mean there is no role of astrology in the life of people? The answer is complex.
A recent study says individuals exposed to a positive horoscope from their own sign tend to show greater cognitive performances compared to people who summarize their negative daily horoscope. This directly means there is an influence in the psychology of individuals when they know positive stuff in their horoscope. This research was published recently in a high-quality scientific journal from Elsevier.
One can easily conclude through this research that astrology is helpful in reducing the stress levels of individuals. Though ancient Indian texts of ‘Bhrigu Samhita’, the first book of Indian Astrology also mentions similar kinds of stuff. Its introductory chapter states that it was created by the sages out of compassion for humanity so that humanity could cope with the pressures of its existence and move towards a more spiritual nature. It can be logically argued that the purpose of Indian Astrology could be the ‘management of stress’ in individuals.
‘Time’ is an integral part of Indian Philosophy. The ‘Kala’ and the ‘Mahakala’ are the time in individual level and the highest level respectively. At the level of ‘Mahakala’, there is a role of destiny or what we can call ‘determinism’. It is like whatever has to happen will happen for sure. For example motion of the planets, seasons in the earth, day and night, etc.

Although in the level of ‘Kala’ there exist some amount of ‘free will’ in individual because of ‘desires’ which is called the root cause of individual existence. Though maximum part of human existence lies in our sub-conscious system for example our breath, our heartbeat, functioning of organs, cells, neurons, brain, and many many more. The understanding of ‘Mahakala’ also lies in the sub-conscious system which needs to be ‘realized’ through proper education leading to the union of ‘Kala’ and ‘Mahakala’ or the Yoga. You can think of the popular analogy of a drop of water becoming one with the sea.

Modern Jyotisha doesn’t talk about ‘union’ but it creates a division between ‘Kala’ and ‘Mahakala’. Horoscopes are perceived in the ‘walking state’ or what Indian Philosophy calls it as ‘Jagrit Avastha’ but the union lies in the final stage of consciousness called ‘Turiya Avastha’. In the Jagrit Avastha, there is a multifold division between things because of the nature of individuals as well as the universe, ‘Prakriti’.
Here there is a direct contradiction between Jyotisha and the core concept of unity in Indian Philosophy. There can be confusion because ‘Jyotisha’ is considered within Indian Philosophy as its part. However, Mahabharata mentions in the past there was only one philosophy or ‘Darshana’ called ‘Hiranyagarbha Yoga Darshana’. In modern times this is directly the Yoga or the Union. The root of Indian Philosophy is verily the ‘Yoga’ and not the ‘Jyotisha’.
There are people who force some to believe in what they believe. Although everything comes out of some belief system itself, everyone is a part of the same loophole called ‘existence’ and ‘illusion’. So, there is no point of discussion on proving what to believe and what not be believed.

Logically goods and bads are just a matter of perception. Good for some can be bad for some. If astrology is helping someone to get rid of their perceived bad times psychologically then it’s completely fine to follow horoscopes. However, it will not lead to a perfect lifestyle of ‘beyond all good and bad. It’s up to an individual to accept and move on or to look around and fight the perceived ‘bads’ in life. This is achieved with the help of measures of getting self-satisfaction, astrology can be one but not all.

By Arpan Sharma. The author is a Research Scholar at Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology. He can be contacted at arpansharma@outlook.com

SC Bureau

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