Astrology is the science that deals with the influence of celestial bodies on man and his environment. It represents the vast body of knowledge gathered over ages through the study of regular movements of the Sun, the Moon and the other planets in our Solar system and their influences upon man in particular.
In Sanskrit Astrology is called Jyotisha which means the Light of Knowledge. The English term Astrology is derived from the combination of Latin terms Aster (star) and Logos, which means reason or logic.
Astrology, the most ancient of all sciences developed into the status of a sublime body of knowledge providing an invaluable guide for man to discover his potential as a human being and to foresee his future in life, several thousand years before the birth of The Buddha.
Astrology in ancient civilizations
Although Astrology has been nurtured over ages and preserved to date as a vast body of knowledge in India, it has not been established yet that it is the original home of the science. For historians have uncovered evidence that Astrology had flourished as a well-developed science in ancient civilizations in Greece, Sumer, Babylon, Mesopotamia and Egypt. Great sages in these civilizations had acquired the knowledge relating to the influence of planets (Sun and Moon included) through empirical studies.
However, in India, the Rishis who lived in Himalayas appear to have imparted the principles relating to the relationship between planets and man and terrestrial phenomena that form the core of Vedic Astrology from the knowledge they had acquired through psychic powers. For example, Maha Rishi Parasara who lived about 5000 ago before the advent of Kali Yuga had propounded Astrological principles which later formed the bedrock of the science.
Even celebrated authors and commentators like Varahamihira, Bhattopala and Venkatesa who greatly enriched the science of Astrology had based their writings on the principles enunciated by Parasara.
It is believed that the Maha Rishis in ancient India had gained much more knowledge about the cosmos with their extra sensory perception or psychic powers than what scientists had acquired in recent times with the aid of highly developed modern equipment.
Great Indian Astrologer Dr. B.V.Raman says in his celebrated work, Hindu Predictive Astrology:” Astrology is the science that comprises foretelling of the regular movements of the planets, fortunes and misfortunes of men, fates of empires and kingdoms, inundations, earthquakes, plagues, volcano eruptions, pestilences, and other incidents relating to terrestrial phenomena.”
According to Dr. Raman, a certain ethereal power derived from nature pervades the entire universe and the earth we inhabit is too subject to this mysterious and subtle power. The Sun, the Moon and the other planets are really agents’ carrying out the inexorable power.
Great men in human history like Dante, Pythagoras, Kepler, Bacon, and Democritus are said to have mastered Astrology.
The two main objectives
By acquiring a thorough knowledge of the influence of the planets on man, one would be able to correctly prognosticate the mental and physical qualities of any person and the fortunes and misfortunes that are in store for him, says Dr. Raman.
By foreseeing the future, one can become forearmed to cope with adversity and take timely action to ward off evil effects produced by planets. On the other hand, discovering one’s potentialities would give one motivation and inspiration to realize them. This would give one a sense of direction in life.