~ Subhamoy Das
The unpredictability of future has always driven mankind willy-nilly to the soothsayers. But can the future be truly foretold? The question is highly debatable. Fortune-tellers read the palm and the forehead, the stars and the planets, and most essentially a person’s heart and mind. Then they magniloquently state the fate of the person and enlightens her, as they say, by attempting to focus the cosmic light on an individual’s true life path.
‘Jyotish’ – Dispeller of Darkness
The Indian ‘science’ of foretelling the future – which has become popular as Vedic Astrology the world over, is called ‘Jyotish Vidya’ or the ‘Science of Light’. ‘Jyotish’, (jyot = light, ish = god) can also be defined as the ‘Light of God’. Sacred scriptures refer to Jyotish Vidya as the key to understanding the soul’s intention for incarnation. And the Vedic Astrologer or ‘Jyotishi’, is considered the “dispeller of the darkness.”
Parashar’s Predictive Philosophy
The founder of Vedic Astrology Parashara, who was one of the first astrologers to actually cast natal charts for individuals that reflected health, disease, and longevity issues, lived around 1500 BC. It is fascinating that the science this great sage fathered is still in action in the twenty-first century.
Is Jyotish a Science?
Jyotishi Asish Kumar Das, says: “Astrology is the mother of all sciences, in which the Earth has been considered as a unit of the solar family and the effects of the other members of the solar family on our planet and vice-versa. All these have been taken into account for analysis and its pros and cons are used for the benefit of people. Astrology is not magic! It’s purely based on astronomy and mathematics. It is the most beautiful palace of knowledge with the most puzzling entrance. The basic difference between the work of an astrologer and that of a doctor or a lawyer is that an astrologer should only narrate what he sees in a horoscope…” because everything is predestined.
Is Destiny Predetermined?
Famous Jyotishi Jagjit Uppal says: “Astrology presupposes destiny. It is believed that at the time of birth of an individual, his/her, life pattern is determined. It is an ancient belief that all existence follows a pre-determined course, and man’s life pattern can be determined through the study of planetary configuration present in the universe at the time of his birth. It is through deep meditation and intuitive sight of seers, they discovered that there is an order in the universe and all heavenly bodies, and life form on earth, as also the seasons and weather, follow a chartered course. A further study and probe led to the philosophy of astrology.”
Can Jyotish Guidance Change Destiny?
Dr. Prem Kumar Sharma, another well-known Vedic astrologer has the answer: “My reply is that at the right time, the right code of conduct and the right method to perform a task always aid success whether in a career, business, marriage or even life. I firmly believe in the Indian tenets, which say that the actions of our past lives determine the present and on the whole the events in our life are predetermined by the combination of stellar positions at the time of our conception, birth and then at the time of the happening. Can my astrological guidance change the course of events? No, but the right remedy… can diminish the impact of a miss-happening or bring in pleasure back into your life after a span of discord.”
What About Karma and Free Will?
“It is believed that just like our voyage in life gets determined at our birth, similarly, the very time we elect to do anything, will determine its outcome. If life is preordained then what role does ‘free will’ play. As long as man is tied down to his ‘karma’, he has to follow his destiny,” says Uppal. “And as long as he is actively pursuing his objective, he will use his free will and choice to determine his path. The outcome of his actions may or may not be under his control, but it will always be his endeavor to do his utmost to achieve his desired goal.”
How Can Jyotish Help?
Bejan Daruwalla, India’s most celebrated astrologer says: “Astrology is a mirror to life. It is also a guideline. It is certainly not 100% correct. No discipline is. But it helps within limits, just as psychology, economics, psychiatry does. Nothing is absolutely final and completely certain. But the chances of predictions coming right are good. Also, character analysis of Astrology often helps. Astrology is not a crutch. It is to be used to heal one’s self.”