Published: 21st January 2011
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Astronomy is the science that deals with the physical phenomeena of heavenly bodies, their constitution, motion, attraction and the resultant manifestation which are perceptible to the physical eye. The eclipse, the new moon, and the full moon, are illustrations in point.


Astlorogy however treats about the influence of those heavenly bodies we mean the planets and the stars on human life and affairs connected with it. It is a science in the sense that its whole edifice is built on scientific data. Its is an art in the sense that man interprets the influence of these bodies on life.

It is a much debated question whether the stars have any influence at all on human life. While we do not propose to concern ourselves with that controversy here, we may be permitted to express our opinion that, judging from recorded facts and our own experience, we are forced to the conclusion that the heavenly bodies do exert a considerable influence on life in this world. Not only that, they give us an inkling as to the nature of our past as well as future. It is the business of us mortals to be guided by such indications towards a better adjustment of our lives.


Astrology has been successfully handled both in India and in the West for several centries. Like many other things the systems by which the ancients predicted events both in India and the West look different. But it is worthy of note that the fundamentals of both the systems are identical and the results almost the same. It matters little therefore which system is followed.


We can at the outset indicate where exactly these two systems differ. The distances of the planets West East are measured from a certain point in the celestial path called the Vernal Equinox or the First Point of Aries which is considered by Indian astronomers that this point is not stationary but moves back every year about 1 due to what is called the Precession of the Equinoxes. Hence they calculate longitudinal or West East distances of the planets from the retrogressed position of the First Point of Aries.

This is not to say that Indian astronomers had been or are ignorant of this phenomenon. They have given the name Ayanamsa to this preession and have devised quite a number of methods to calculate the same. Indeed Indian astrologers take this factor into consideration whenever accurate results are required.

It follows from the above that, barring the Ayanamsa, the two systems are identical for practical purposes.


The most common term we come across in matters connected with astrology is the Horoscope. Now what is this horoscope? In plain language it is a map of the heavens for a given moment. Supposing we had a camera that could take a cosmic view of the sky, as it were, the photograph taken by such a machine at a given moment - the birth of a child, the opening of the stock market, the sailing of a ship projected on a plane surface will mean the horoscope of the respective event.

Of course there will be the planets in this photograph situated at different places, far and near, together or opposite. It is the function of the astrologer to interpret the language these bodies speak.

While over optimism is certainly to be discouraged as much as pessimism, caution on the part of individuals on the lines of astrological indications will considerably help them in patterning out events after their hearts.

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