There are many " how to " books which have been recently produced for the Vedic ( Hindu ) astrology market, and one may question the necessity for another one. There are several reasons for this. For one thing, it does not seem that the modern astrological writers in India who have presented the science in English anticipated exactly how it would be accepted. It is all right enough to write in English for an Indian audience. Hindu readers are accustomed to receiving information about their own culture without changing it all around or grafting it on to something else; they are quite comfortable with their culture and they are very traditional to begin with. But in the West a more challenging and experimental approach is the norm. Thus, even though the Hindus writers, by and large, have done a reasonable job of making a presentation of the science of astrology to the English-reading public, they have presented it to a public lacking perpective on it.
In this sense, the present effort is truly unique. The beginning chapters practically prepare one’s intellect for reading the rest of the book. Some very unique philosophical perspectives and mindsets are presented.
initial chapters also acquaint the reader with the concept of the "
Parampara " system, a system of disciplic succession. Information received
from this disciplic succession is not empiric or experimental. It comes to us
from celestial beings who generated and fostered humanity on the earthly plane,
and through rishis and sages who were their earthly medium. Thus, this knowledge
is special as it was handed down, which precludes the need to add or subtract
from it- in contrast to the tendency to hodge podge systems of astrology, which
is so common in the West nowadays.
After presenting the reader with parampara concepts, the book then proceeds to map out before the reader the main components of Vedic astrology, giving all components their proportionate weight and consideration. In so doing, an attempt is made to support the astrological principles and concepts with both logic as well as appropriate statements from the ancient astrological writings. A constant thread runs through the book in this sense, such that a harmonic justification, peculiar to the author's style, is not lost sight of at any stage.
It may be questioned, then, why there have been so many quotes from modern Indian ( Hindu ) writers in the book, given that many modern Hindu writers have a tendency to mix up systems and depart from the standard of old. (Know that this quoting of modern writers has mostly been done in the chapter which deals with the signs of the zodiac.) The answer is twofold: first of all, the ancient writers did not typically delineate at length on the nature of the zodiacal signs themselves, although they did map out the rest of the science in great detail. This may have been due to compositional constraints, such that the information had to fit into a certain slot determined by Sanskrit meter and rhyme. It seems that the ancient Sanskrit writers composed in more of a pleasing and poetic way rather than in the modern, frank fashion.
A reason which is possibly closer to the truth would be that the ancient writers didn't have to delineate in terms of the basics. A student would usually learn sign characteristics, which was common knowledge among astrologer brahmins, from any local village astrologer. The theme of sign characteristics was perhaps too simple to warrant a display of learning, maybe as embarassing as discovering onion soup. And some works had a fairly narrow focus rather than a complete presentation of the science; they purported to preserve certain elements of the science which, for some reason, they felt needed delineation.
At any rate, an expanded description of the signs is hard to come by in the ancient writings, and there are modern writers who have done a good job of expressing the characteristics of the signs. For this reason, proper recognition of their comments has been given where due, though recognition is not necessary in the case of the observations which are not original or which are obvious or generally accepted.
in no way, however, elevates the modern scribes to an absolute pedestal
otherwise, or implies an automatic acceptance of any other comments which they
might have made. In spite of flashes of brillance, many modern Hindu writers
fall short or deviate in some fundamental way, and their writings have to be
read with a grain of salt. Thus the author has only quoted appropriate insights.
In addition to the " as it is " perspective, and the inclusion of all the main component factors -giving proper weight and allotment- the book comes to a conclusion with a sample interpretation of the horoscope of Mahatma Gandhi in which all of the lessons of the book are properly applied.
Astro Vedica on Astrological Determinism
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