Sunday 8 November 2015

Sanskrit and Astrology

The following news item in a leading Indian newspaper ( Hindustan Times ) today prompted me to write this article :

I have been a strong supporter of Sanskrit, as much of our nation's culture is connected with it, and no natiion can progress if it overlooks its own culture.

The problem with Sanskrit is the same as that with much of our national culture: part of it is rational, and part irrational. We have to sift the rational part from the irrational, and promote the former while rejecting the irrational..

 In my article " Sanskrit as a language of Science "( which can be seen online, as well as on my blog ) I have mentioned the rational and scientific features of Sanskrit.

 But there is also a lot of irrational mumbo jumbo in Sanskrit, and astrology ( not to be confused with astronomy, which is scientific ) is one of them.

 Astrology is pure humbug, superstition and nonsense. Even a little commonsense tells us that there is no connection between the movements of the stars and planets and our lives ? How can the movement of the stars, the planets and other heavenly bodies determine whether one will become an engineer, a lawyer, a doctor, etc. or whether one will die at the age of 50 or 80 or whether one's business will succeed or fail ? There is no connection between the two.

It is true that the vast majority of our people, perhaps over 90% ,believe in astrology. But that does not prove anything. The majority are often wrong. At one time the vast majority of Christians believed in the theory of Ptolemy that the sun goes around the earth instead of the other way around, because the Bible apparently supported that view, and scientists like Galileo faced persecution for supporting the theory of Copernicus that the earth revolves around the sun. Later, the theory of Copernicus was found to be correct. Many people denounced Darwin for his theory of Evolution as it was believed to be against the Bible. As late as in 1925 an American teacher, John Scopes, was prosecuted in the famous ' monkey trial ' in an American state for teaching Darwin's theory.

   When I went to take oath as Chief Justice of Madras High Court I was told that I should not take oath at the 'rahukaalam' tiime ( inauspicious time, according to astrology ). The vast majority of Tamilians, who are otherwise very intelligent people, believe in rahukaalam, as I learnt later when I was in in Tamilnadu.One senior Supreme Court lawyer, who was earlier practising in Madras High Court, told me that when his clients, most of whom are educated, come from Tamilnadu  they request him to start reading their brief at a time which is not 'rahukaalam' time.

 And this belief is not confined to Tamilnadu alone. It is prevalent almost all over India. Many Ministers, Judges, etc. take oath at the 'auspicious' time, and consult their astrologer for finding out the auspicious date and hour. Marriages are often finalized after seeing the 'janam kundali' of the boy and girl, and fixed on an 'auspicious' date after consulting the Panditji. ' Grah pravesh '( entering a new house ) is done after consulting an astrologer for an 'auspicious' date. Many people wear certain gems on their necks or rings on the finger in accordance with the 'raashi' ( to ward off evil influences of 'shani', etc ).

  Why do so many people believe in astrology ? After all, they are not crazy. Even many eminent scientists believe in it.

  The reason is that the chance factor is still a very powerful factor in our lives. We plan one thing, but something else happens. Thus we are often unable to control our lives. So we start believing that there is some supernatural force controlling our lives.

  But that is not so. It is because of the low development of science as yet in the world, as compared to what it will be a 100 or 200 years hence, that we are unable to control our lives.

 As of today, science is still very undeveloped and at an embryonic stage. After 100 or 200 years from now it will have developed tremendously, and then we will be able to largely control our lives, and then what we plan will usually happen.

 It is said that many scientists believed in astrology. But that is not because astrology is a true science, but because for a long period scientific and unscientific ideas will often co-exist in the same person. For instance, Newton, one of the greatest scientists in the world, believed in alchemy and occult, which are nonsense and unscientific.

  I know that I will be attacked furiously by many for what I have said above, but that does not matter. I will say what I believe to be in the interest of my country, even if I am a solitary voice and even if I am castigated by many. It is in the interest of my country that superstitions be attacked and a scientific temper developed if we wish to progress and solve our country's massive problems. Science alone is the way out for our country if we wish to abolish poverty, unemployment, malnutrition ignorance and healthcare problems, and emerge as a modern, highly industrialized and prosperous nation.


  1. sir,
    our country is ruled by people who dont have any common sense and knowledge. In india we can have scientific temper and knowledge only through people like aryabhatta ,varahmihira ,einstein galileo, darwin every year we produce cheap labour (more graduates ) with no demand in market and lack of scientific temper.Bogus rote learning education system and marks(grading based)education system has to thrown out to evolve scientific temper among our youth.

    1. Kenalkan nama saya Pak ,Beny Sutomo betul-betul mengakui bahwa ramalan AKI SAIF bener-bener top dan di jamin “JITU” 100% tembus adapun ramalan ini di dapat melalui “RITUAL KHUSUS” jadi anda jangan ragu-ragu lagi untuk mengikuti ritual AKI SAIF karena nomor ritual AKI SAIF meman selalu tepat dan terbukti, jika anda mau bukti bukan rekayasa silahkan HUBUNGI/SMS di 081355048468 dan cukup bergabung dengan AKI SAIF untuk menyelesaikan syaratnya anda sudah bisa mendapatkan angka 2D 3D 4D yang bisa merubah nasib anda sekeluarga karna saya sudah membuktikanya 3X putaran bener-bener langsung tembus dan kini sekarang giliran anda Semua untuk membuktikan Trima Kasih.

  2. Indians are very happy to serve the "white skin", but we don't accept that in public because of false prestige. If you see people are happy to say "My son is working and settled in USA, Europe, London or Australia... etc..." So if that is the case why did we want the freedom? Look at all the laws and the constitution of this country, including the democratic way (parliament, justice system, the driving on the left of the road etc...) all copied from the British (thanks to Ambedkar for his copying, he has also become a hero by way of plagiarism). The laws and the system you are quoting Mr. Katju is also from the British. The SC judge that you are proudly saying is also a British way of life. So what are you crying about? Why did we need freedom? We could have happily served the British people and lived among the white skin. We are already 90% British slaves, only physically we are independent. Look at the nephews of Gandhi (the fake father of the nation), his nephews are all settled in Europe/England.
    We will continue to produce cheap labor so that they can serve the white skin (physically and mentally). All these engineering graduates who come out from IITs and other colleges are not engineers but cheap labor, ready to be used by the white skin. Every year more than 1 lakh students come out of IITs, how many are real engineers who have "invented" something that the world can remember? So what is the difference between IIT and other colleges? Practically nothing, both are good for serving the white skin as cheap labor.
    So my friend Mr. Katju, there is nothing you can do to change this country. Look at the epic "Mahabharata", the ruler was a blind king and his wife also blindfolded herself. This country is in the same phase, a blind ruler and blind people. Nothing will change even after 100 years (oh of course we will have more people, less space and more fights).

    1. @JagiChanSir. You said it well!
      But about astrology. It is a pseudo science as long as it links human lives with stars and other celestial bodies. But quite interestingly, there is a relationship between the time of birth and the place of birth in the life of a human being which has not been researched by the science so far. And for many reasons it could also be difficult to prove by simple methods. Astrology, however unknowingly addresses some aspects of these relationships, though not fully factual. Read these great realizations that I found true in life!

    2. @Mathew: Nice post about your realizations. About astrology, this is my understanding. Here is a question "What does the watch show?" It shows the time. Correct. Now, is the watch controlling the time? No. Next question "A speedometer on a car or bike shows what?". Speed of the vehicle. Correct. "Is the speedometer controlling the car or bike?". No. Similarly, the horoscope of a person "indicates where the stars are pointing in the persons life. It is wrong to say, that the planet's are controlling one's life. The life of a person is already decided at birth, it is only we don't know and we assume we are doing everything". I don't know if it science or pseudo science, but I have predicted thru astrology the lives of many people within my circle well in advance (about 1 year) and things just happened as I told them. I predicted that one boy who was in class XI will become a doctor. His father wanted him to become an engineer, but alas he has become a doctor. As I said earlier, the life of a person is pre-written, it cannot be changed even with the best effort.