The answers to my family's questions weren't always accurate, but the larger lessons were undeniable.
In , a young engineer and an aspiring English teacher wed in Chennai, in southern India. They'd met only once before, for an hour, but everyone was convinced this was it— this was the match.
Twenty-six years, a move to Canada, and two children later, they'd divorce—as bitter a separation as any you can imagine, replete with hidden bank accounts and withholding alimony. When the not-so-young-anymore English teacher broke the news to her family in India, the phone filled with silence that was more than shocked: It was also offended. Even in the early s, divorce remained relatively uncommon in India.
Unfortunately, he said nothing more. The English teacher—my mother—hung up. After that, she would not return to India. I didn't blame her; I understood. I was in high school when all of this unfolded, affording my first glimpse into the power these astrologers had wielded over my family, both then and now. I at once hated and was fascinated by these mysterious fortune-tellers. Every day after school, I started spending hours online, trying to decipher why so many Indians trusted them for decisions on something as crucial as marriage.
Quickly, I learned their power was even greater than I'd imagined: Astrologers in India are not only consulted on marriage, but also on business and financial decisions—everything from when to buy and sell stocks to branding and marketing campaigns. They're also regularly asked to advise on home building and medical issues. Astrology is a multi-million dollar industry in India, with predictions even driving disaster preparations: In , for example, Indian astrologers predicted catastrophic tidal waves, causing an entire sea-side village to abandon their houses.
No catastrophe occurred, except the houses were looted while empty.
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Where did this unquestioning loyalty come from? After the divorce, she'd taken down the small idols of Vishnu and Ganesha from the altar in the kitchen where she used to pray. Practiced by 80 percent of India's population, Hinduism, I learned, confers a sacred status to Jyotisha , also known as Vedic astrology. It differs from the Western system not only in its charts, the planetary placements, and the calculations, but also in the credentials its students can earn: In India, you can get a graduate degree in Vedic astrology.
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And despite continuing complaints by Indian scientists that this undermines India's scientific credibility, it's not uncommon to find former military, accountants, engineers and the like entering these programs. All of this shed some light on my grandfather's reaction, even if neither my mother nor I could forgive it. Predictions by the head of the Indian Astrologers Federation about war between India and Pakistan in also failed.
In , when several planets happened to be close to one another, astrologers predicted that there would be catastrophes, volcanic eruptions and tidal waves. This caused an entire sea-side village in the Indian state of Gujarat to panic and abandon their houses. The predicted events did not occur and the vacant houses were burgled.
In one test, 27 Indian astrologers, with the appropriate horoscopes, failed to determine the intelligence difference between neurotypical and mentally disabled children at a rate higher than that determined by chance alone in a double blind test. The astrologers had, on average, 14 years experience.
A team of astrologers from one astrologers' institute also performed at chance expectation. The president of the Maharashtra Astrological Society claimed to be able to predict sex and intelligence 60 per cent of the time each, but he performed no better than chance in double blind conditions. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. Learn how and when to remove these template messages.
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WikiProject Astrology may be able to help recruit an expert. November Further information: Indian astronomy.
See also: Astrology and science. Main article: Astrology and science. India portal Hinduism portal. Vedic Cosmography and Astronomy. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 6 July Astronomical Society of the Pacific. May Personality and Individual Differences. To optimise the chances of finding even remote relationships between date of birth and individual differences in personality and intelligence we further applied two different strategies.
The first one was based on the common chronological concept of time e. The second strategy was based on the pseudo-scientific concept of astrology e. Sun Signs, The Elements, and astrological gender , as discussed in the book Astrology: Science or superstition? Yano, Michio. The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. Malden: Blackwell. Gonda Ed.
University Grants Commission, Case No. He stated that astrology was a great science which was meant to be practiced in a systematic and technique centered fashion. Fortunately, astrologers have come a long way since the dawn of the 20th century with several schools of systematic astrology techniques having emerged during the 's. The greatest development, however, was the resurgence of the two great ancient astrological texts: Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra and the Upadesa Sutras of Jaimini. These texts are unique amongst all other astrological texts in that they contain complete systems of scientific astrology.
No other Jyotish texts available to us can boast of this - at best some texts have a few incomplete pages on systematic techniques.