Against astrology


Astrology was taught east of the Indus by the Greeks ("Yavanajataka") whose superstitious and irrational practices not only do not conform to a theory of Dharma, but contradict the Dharma.  It is a fundamental and essential understanding that every person may, with sufficient skill, strength and intelligence, in Karma Yoga master their destiny: every effect may be linked to a cause through Karma, and by skillful action and inaction, we produce desired or undesired effects.  Krishna and the Buddha Gotama both taught against the use of prayers to relieve or prevent distress: and they said it is not by prayer that one becomes a better person.


Rama and Sita did not consult an astrologer before they were married, nor did anyone else in the old stories, and yet these superstitions were twisted to enforce a hereditary caste system which was as foreign as those who taught it as a means of domination in occupation.  These superstitions appear no where in the Vedas.  There is no proper timing for festivals or holidays, which are themselves foreign traditions.  Astrology has been frequently taught against, and we also teach against it now, to advocate for the practices of Karma Yoga.

There are no helpful gods whose help we require, nor any antagonistic demons who seek our harm.  And their help, such as it may be, could not be obtained by prayer, any more than their harm, such as it maybe, could be averted by prayer.  There is no such thing as enemies, there is only opposition - and the natural resolution of this opposition is in collaboration, through friendship.  It is not the prayer that resolves our problems, but our own efforts, and the basic nature of our reality: it is merely coincidence that constant prayer will coincide with the resolution of our problems.

The animals were not made for our use, nor to our pestilence.  They are not under the control of invisible spirits: they respond to us, because they interact with us, and can see and hear our commands.  We train them to come to our aid, and prevent their hurting our children, not by invisibly praying to them, but by interacting with them and understanding their nature. 

No person is alone, we are all interdependent, and equal; we all are capable of loving - and receiving love.  And we may by proper Yoga, cultivate and develop that love, even between opponents.  Even between those who are married, contrary to their astrological signs.  There is an art and science to friendship: it is not by coincidence of birth that friendship is cultivated.

Though calendars are useful tools for understanding a proper time for ritual and activity, the reality is that there is no precise time to farmers to plant seeds or for a Yogi to seek the first leaves of spring. It is the understanding of the proper timing for our actions and inactions that is the object of our training.  It is the understanding what must be done if our timing is forced early, or delayed which is the object of our training.  These things cannot be predicted by superstition or revealed by prayer.  Only by reason and logic.

If there is any god or demon at all, we are each of us our own personal god, our own personal demon, Ishvara.  And if you can understand you are not actually godly, nor demonic, you will understand both the necessity for your own action and inaction through Karma Yoga, and also the dangers of superstition, especially of astrology.