Sunday, October 05, 2008

Press Conference - Astrology Survey

पत्रकार परिषद

सुप्रसिद्ध खगोल शास्त्रज्ञ डॊ. जयंत नारळीकर यांची फलज्योतिषाची वैज्ञानिक चाचणी या एका वेगळ्या विषयावरील पत्रकार परिषद आयोजित केली आहे.
स्थळ:- पत्रकार भवन, नवी पेठ पुणे;
दिनांक व वेळ :- मंगळवार दि. ७ आक्टोंबर २००८, दुपारी ४.०० वाजता.


पत्रकार परिषदेचा विषय
फलज्योतिषामधील शास्त्रीय तथ्य़ांशाबाबत परदेशात अनेकविध चाचण्या झाल्या आहेत.या संदर्भातील भारतातील पहिली वैज्ञानिक चाचणी तयार करण्यात आली होती. त्याची माहिती डॊ जयंत नारळीकर यांनी १२ मे २००८ च्या पत्रकार परिषदेत जाहीर केली होती. सदर चाचणीचा निकाल आता हाती आला असुन पत्रकार परिषदेत डॊ नारळीकर सविस्तर जाहीर करणार आहेत . या प्रक्रियेमध्ये आयुका, पुणे विद्यापीठ संख्याशास्त्र विभाग व महाराष्ट्र अंधश्रद्धा निर्मुलन समिती यांचा सहभाग आहे. त्यांचे प्रतिनिधी पत्रकार परिषदेत उपस्थित असतील.

प्रकाश घाटपांडे - चाचणी प्रकल्प समन्वयक
भ्रमणध्वनी- ९९२३१७०६२५

1 comment:

jyotirved said...

Respected Sirs,
“Vedic astrology” – the greatest fraud on the Vedas
The following speech was delivered in September 2006 at Rotary Club, West Delhi. The same talk appeared later as an article in the souvenir of the seminar on “Vedic astronomy & Cosmology”—December 2006. I am sure you will find it interesting.
A K Kaul

Om tat sat brahmarpanamastu!
Om Brahmanandam Parama sukhadam kevalam gyan moortim, dwandvateetam gagana sadrisham tat-tvam asyadi lakshyam ekam nityam vimalam achalamsarva dhee sakshi bhootam, bhavateetam triguna rahitam shree gurum tam namami
"Vedic Astrology" - the greatest fraud on the Vedas!
Dear friends. Good evening to everybody!

I feel highly honoured to have been invited by Shri Ajay Bhasin for sharing my views about astrology and related topics with respected personalities assembled here. As most of us already know, we call these predictive gimmicks as “Vedic astrology” these days.

When I was asked by Shri Bhasin about the heading of my talk, I had thought of making it as “Vedic Astrology – the greatest fraud on the Vedas”. On second thoughts, fearing that it would be too explosive a heading, I made it a sugar coated bitter pill by changing it to “Do we celebrate our festivals on correct days?”.

Well, actually, both i.e., the fraud known as “Vedic astrology” and “our celebrating all our festivals on wrong days” are inter-related.

Let me start with “Vedic astrology” - as to why I call it a fraud!

There is hardly anyone in India, who does not want to know as to when his “sade–sati” will start or end or as to which Dasha-antardasha he is running and when that will end etc. etc. even if he does not know ABC of jyotisha. I have gone through all those pangs myself and made a thorough study of all the astrological works besides a lot of astronomical books! I studied Western system of astrology also and had become a sort of famous astrologer, though my predictions were as correct as anybody else’s i.e. hardly 50%. However, this is a secret that no “jyotishi” shares with anybody -- that his/her predictions are hardly more correct than fifty per cent, whatever logic or Ayanamsha he/she may use! When I analyzed the reasons for such a dismal rate of success, the conclusions were startling! And I am keeping those very conclusions before you!

Before proceeding further, I must, however, say something about myself since you are well within your rights to ask me as to what “qualifications” I have to demolish astrology that is being practised over the last several centuries, nay even millennia!

My credentials Though I am not laying any claims to being a scholar, however, I have actually studied all the four Vedas in original “archaic” Sanskrit with their different “Bhashyas”, besides the various Brahmanas like Shatapatha, Aitreya, Tatiriya etc. etc. I have studied, (in original Sanskrit!) about two hundred all the important Upanishads as well! I have also gone through both the epics viz. the Valmiki Ramayana and the Mahabharata --- in Sanskrit and from cover to cover, besides Adhyatma Ramayana, Ramacharitamanasa etc. etc.! There is hardly any Purana whether the Bhagavata, Shivapurana, Vishnu, Narada, Devi, Varaha, Matsya and Vishnudharmotara etc. etc. that I have not gone through in original Sanskrit. I have also studied exhaustively all the ancient astronomical works like the Vedanga Jyotisha, Panchasidhantika, Surya Sidhanta, Arya Bhati, Sidhanta Shiromani etc. etc. To crown it all, I was not a born renegade against the established traditions. On the other hand, I was initially “hypnotized” by “Vedic astrology” and “panchangas” myself and there is hardly any “text-book” of astrology either in Sanskrit or Urdu or English or Hindi that I have not studied with due reverence, as if I was studying the Vedas!

Having established my credentials thus, I CAN DECLARE IT WITHOUT ANY HESITATION AND WITH ALL THE EMPHASIS AT MY COMMAND, THAT THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO PREDICTIVE ASTROLOGY IN ANY OF THE VEDAS, UPANISHADAS OR BRAHMANAS. There are, however, some references to some odd types of predictions in some of the Puranas and the epics and therefore calling it as really a post-Vedic astrology is more correct. There is a rider there also, and that is that according to these scriptures, Makara Sankranti i.e. Pongal is nothing but a synonym of Uttarayana (the shortest day of the year) i.e. Winter Solstice and as everybody knows, it can take place these days only on or around December 21 every year. Thus the Uttarayana-cum-Makar Sankranti that we are celebrating now-a-days on January 14 is absolutely wrong and does not have any authority from any shastra or even modern astronomy. Similarly, the Vaishakhi that is being celebrated on April 14 or so also is wrong since Mesha Sankranti is nothing but Vishuva (Vernal Equinox) or Vasant Sampat and it cannot take place on any day other than March 21/22, when the day and night are equal. Actually these Makara etc. sankrantis were known as Tapah etc. months during the Vedic period as there are no rashis in the Vedas but just six seasons and Madhu, Madhava etc. twelve months. As such, we are celebrating all our fasts, fairs and muhurtas on wrong days -- thanks to “Vedic astrologers” and their “Vedic astrology”.

The first and foremost thing I learnt from our shastras is that no system of predictions has any sanction either from the Vedas or even Puranas least of all our dharmashastras etc. since all our shastras admonish us from consulting “nakshatra jeevis” so much so that the Manusmriti calls these nakshatrasoochis as outcastes and not fit to sit in any sabha of learned people.

Those who can foresee our future do not reveal it to us beforehand:

All the Ramayanas, whether Valmiki or Adhyatma or Ramacharitamanasa etc. etc. say that before deciding about the coronation of Bhagwan Rama, Dashratha wanted his guru Vasishtha to confirm the suitable muhurta for that function. It was on the advice of Vasishtha Muni that Dasharatha decided to anoint Rama as the Yuvraja the very next day, as it was “Tishya” i.e. Pushya nakshata then. From this anecdote, it is clear that either Vasishtha Muni did not know as to what was going to happen to Dasharatha by declaring Bhagwan Rama as a crown-prince or Vasishtha kept quiet deliberately since he did not want to interfere in the divine dispensation!

Obviously, being the son of Brahmaji and a highly exalted yogi as well as a jnyani, Vasishtha-muni could peep into past as well as future. It means that even if some exalted souls can foresee as to what is going to happen, they do not reveal our “bhavishya” before hand, unlike some of the astrologers of today, who masquerade as “Parasharas” and “Vamadevas” to tell us even our past and future janmas just by glancing at our birth-charts, even if those charts are wrong!

The Gita is said to be the gist of all our shastras. When Arjuna expressed his doubt by saying naitadvidmah katarnno gareeyo, yadva jayema yadi va no jayeyuh “I do not know what is good for me nor do I know whether we will win or the Kauravas will win the war”, Bhagwan Krishna neither asked him to consult some soothsayer nor did He tell him to wear some ruby! He just advised Arjuna ”hato va prapsyasi swargam jitva va bokshyase maheem” i.e. “You must fight. If you get killed in the war, you will go to the heavens and if you win it you will be the lord of the whole world”.

Thus all it boils down to is the fact that those who know (including Lord Krishna Himself!) as to what is going to happen and when do not divulge such “secrets” before hand to us.

Remedial measures are a farce: Almost all the jyotishis suggest one or the other remedial measure to their clients, and mostly these are gems like diamond or ruby or sapphire etc. etc. What is surprising is that we have become so obsessed with Jyotish that we forget the entire itihasa of our past!

(i) If these gems are that efficacious, why was then Dasharatha not suggested some “ruby” or “coral” to ward off the evil Dasha that was going to kill him when Rama would leave for the forests? Well, because our Rishis did not believe in such gimmicks at all!

(ii) Bhagwan Krishna was born in a prison --- I wonder why He could not use some “sapphire” to be born in a palace!

(iii) Vasudeva and Devaki---the parents of Bhagwan Krishna--- were in chains when He was born! It is said that Lord Krishna was a complete – 16 kala sampoorna --- divine incarnation of Vishnu and was thus really Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient! But in spite of His Omniscience, Omnipotence and Omnipresence, Lord Krishna could not relieve the miseries of his parents, Vasudeva and Devaki, who had to remain in chains till Krishna killed Kansa!

What does it demonstrate? Just the fact that if the Omniscient, Omnipresent and Omnipotent Krishna could not relieve the miseries of His own father or mother before the appointed time, how can a ruby or a sapphire---or some Mangala or Shani yagya--- remove all our miseries or fulfil all our ambitions? Obviously, we are being taken for a ride by such Jyotishis!

iv) Then not in the distant past, Smti Indira Gandhi would run after astrologers for knowing her future. She wore a rare and original ekamukhi rudraksha, which only either the Maharaja of Nepal had or she was wearing! It is said that some top-notch jyotishis had suggested that rudraksha to her! Ironically, both the King of Nepal as well Mrs. Indira Gandhi were assassinated “by the people” they “had trusted”----ekamukhi rudraksha not withstanding! What does it prove? That we should not be hoodwinked by soothsayers!

v) Then again a well known Tantrik of yore---highly respected by the then PM--- is out on bail, not by dint of his “Tantra-Kriya” but because of some legal loopholes in FERA!
Similarly, Dhirendra Brahmachari, another high profile “Tantrik”, met with an accident in the plane he was flying himself! If he could not see his own death looming large how could he forewarn others!

What does that prove? Obviously, it warns us against relying on any soothsayers, especially if they call themselves “Vedic Jyotishis” since they are taking us for a ride literally.

Kalasarpa Dosha -- a non-existent fear psychosis: These days we hear a lot about Kalasarpa Dosha! It is said to be present in any horoscope if all the planets are between Rahu and Ketu! My God! What a humbug! Rahu and Ketu are actually nodes of the Moon! That means they are just mathematical points without any dimensions ---therefore without any physical existence whatsoever! So according to “Vedic astrologers” even such “non-existent” phenomena can make our lives miserable for which we must do some upay! Do you need any other proofs for the jugglery that these cheats are indulging in?


Fake Brighu Samhitas and Parasharis:

We find a Brighu Samhita or a nadi Jyotishi or Aruna Samhita etc. in every Muhalla these days! However, there is no mention in any of the Puranas or shastras that any Rishi like Vasishtha or Garga or Brighu etc. have ever written any books on predictive astrology. The Vishnu Purana by Parashara is full of astronomical references ---and that also sayana i.e. the seasonal year when Mesha sankranti is another name of Spring Equinox and so on, but we do not find any mention of any Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra there! Obviously, it is the worst concoction that can ever be had, and may be that is why such a Parashari is the bible of “Vedic astrologers”

India has gone downhill because of astrology and astrologers: In India, we have started going downhill ever since our rulers started running after Jyotishis. In ancient days, during the time of the Mahabharata, it was a dharma yudha that we had to fight against our own Duryodhanas but ever since the advent of astrology almost simultaneously with the invasion of Alexander the Great, and then the “Yavana Jatakam” of Sphujidwaja and the Surya Sidhanta of Maya the Yavana (mlechha!), we had to fight outsiders! The more the foreigners invaded us the more our rulers, instead of making a united effort against the invaders, started consulting soothsayers whom they called Rajajyotishis!

Varahamihira the worst culprit:

The maximum credit for creating such a fear psychosis of omens and ghosts and ghouls and storms and even clouds goes to Varahamihira of 5th century AD through his Brihat Samita and Brihat Jatakam and Panchasidhantika! Before venturing into the battlefield, our monarchs would ask their soothsayers to prepare “narpati jaya charya” and consult Brihat Samhita etc. to see whether the “ketuchara” was favourable at that time or not! No wonder with such a preliminary and hopeless knowledge of astronomical facts, we were being pushed back into dark ages by Varahamihira and his followers!

Our historical records are witness to the fact that we were vanquished in every battle, whether it was with Alexander the Great or Muhamud of Gazni or Chengiz Khan or Nadir Shah or the Moguls or finally the East India Company, thanks to the dependence of our monarchs on soothsayers (Rajajyotishis, huh!) instead of the principles of war strategy and statecraft as adumbrated by the Vedas, the Manu and even Chanakya, who chided kings for consulting soothsayers!

BJP the latest example:

The fate of the BJP has not been any better than that of our earlier monarchs by depending more on their “Vedic Jyotishis” who were responsible for getting “Vedic Jyotisha (sic!)” prescribed in Indian Universities! It is that very move that boomeranged on the party and even the “Minister of astrology” did not win his own parliamentary seat from Allahabad, let alone being the Union Minister again. Do you need any other proofs of the fact that these “Vedic Jyotishis” will make you lose your seat of power well before the appointed day just by making you advance your elections?

If we continue to follow the trend of our “monarchs” of having blind faith in our soothsayers, then sooner than later we will become Babylon of yesteryears, which is known as Iraq today!

Kashmiri Pandits were the worst affected by their blind faith in Jyotishis:

Another reason for my revolt against the so called “Vedic astrology” is that as a Kashmiri Pandit, I have more to blame panchanga makers and soothsayers and their predictive gimmicks than anything or anybody else since they never forewarned us about any calamities that were going to befall us! On the other hand, just to prove their astrological gimmicks, they just made ---and are still making --- us celebrate all our festivals, including Mahashivaratri, Vasanti Navratras, Ramanavami, Janmashtami and Sharadiya navratras etc. on wrong days. It is these very jyotishis, whom we had treated as our friends, philosophers and guides, who are responsible for our downfall as Kahsmiri Pandits, since they proved neither our friends, nor philosophers least of all our guides! These Panchanga makers/jyotishis were the first to flee from Kashmir in 1990--- like the king Hari Singh at the time of Pakistani raid in 1948--- since they had already made their alternate homes in safer places like Jammu and Delhi. Those Jyotishis just proved to be Shylocks, who were only interested in their Pound of flesh by way of Dakshinas for janmapatris and matching of horoscopes -- all cheating and nothing else!

These soothsayers have such a hypnotic grip on us that initially even I was brain washed to believe that the Vedas had nothing else to do excepting teaching us predictive astrology! I was so convinced that it appeared that even the principle of Secondary Progressions must have been exported from India to Western countries as the principle of “A day equals a year” was mentioned in our Vedas! But thank God, I woke up to the situation and could see through their tricks.

There are no Mesha, Vrisha etc. Rashis in the Vedas:

Leave alone predictive gimmicks, actually there are neither rashis like Mesha, Vrisha etc. nor planets like Mangal, Shani etc. in the Vedas, Upanishads, Brahmanas etc. Similarly, the Vedanga Jyotisha, the first indigenous astronomical work of 14th century BCE, just tells us only as to how to calculate tithi, nakshatra and Uttarayana-cum-Tapah-cum Magha etc. months. It does not list any Mesha etc. rashis nor any planets like Mangal, Budha etc. Same is the case with Yajur Jyotisha of about 11th century BCE and later Atharva Jyotisha of about 5th century BCE, which does not have any Rashis though it talks of planets. As such, it is really a fraud on the Vedas being played by some charlatans to call any predictive gimmicks as Vedic astrology and hail themselves as “Vedic Jyotishis”. It is a crime under “The Consumer Protection Act” as it is a misrepresentation of facts to a client and is thus a deficiency in service.

Our predictions in the past also could never have been correct:

It is said that over the past about 2000 years, our ancestors like Varahamihira or his son Prithuyashas etc., could make marvellously correct predictions. THAT IS NOTHING BUT HOGWASH! Let us see how: prior to the advent of scientific astronomy into India, i.e. about a couple of centuries back, panchangas were based on astronomical works like the Surya Sidhanta or Aryabhati or Sidhanta Shirmoani etc. etc. I have prepared a software called “Mahesh”. It calculates, apart from the actual tithi, nakshatra, yoga, karna etc., the mean longitudes of all the planets from 10000 BCE to 12030 AD i.e. for more than 22,000 years as per the Surya Sidhanta, Aryabhati or Sidhanta Shiromani etc. besides comparing them with the longitudes as per modern astronomy. Anybody can download it freely from my discussion forum

Unfortunately for these jyotishis, we find that the very fundamental arguments of these sidahntas like the Surya Sidhanta, the Aryabhati, the Sidhanta Shiromani etc. etc. are absolutely wrong! .

That naturally means that any panchanga based on them would also be wrong, with the result that any horoscope prepared on the basis of those panchangas could never be correct. Thus it is impossible for any astrological predictions to have been correct in the past! As such, it is all like the famous couplet of Ghalib “yoon to hai hamko janat ki haqeeqat maloom lekin; dil ke bahlane ko Ghalib yeh khayal achha hai”

Astrology cannot be a science Predictive astrology is supposed to be a “science”! What a preposterous statement! When the data on which predictions were based or are based these days are not correct, how can the results be correct and how can we call it a science at all?

Stars do not affect us:

It is said that stars affect us! It appears either these astrologers have gone honkers themselves or they suppose that the whole world has really gone mad! Let us see how:
I am a puny human being on this small planet called earth. The sun is hundreds of thousands of times larger than the earth! And there are other stars of our nakshatra/rashichakra that are supposed to affect me individually as per the Dasha-Bhukti that is running in my horoscope! However, this fantastic statement has no leg to stand upon since the nearest star of that Rashichakra is Shravana! And do you know its distance from me? It is seventeen light years! And it is several times larger than our sun! In other words, if that star wants i.e. Shravana wants to “affect” me individually, it will take it at least seventeen years to do so even if that “effect” travels at the speed of light! And by then, my Rahu or Shani or whatever Dasha it may be must have been over! Then how can such a star which is trillions of times larger than me send its rays in a concentrated form just to haunt me at a particular point of time! Can you imagine what type of laughing stocks we are making of ourselves by believing in such hocus pocus!
Similarly, the next nearest star of our Rashichakra is Swati ! It is away by 26 light years from me

and is again several times larger than our sun!!

It thus defies imagination as to how we can call astrology a science or how it can be said that the “Stars affect us”.

Patri Melapak (Horoscope Matching) is not warranted by shastras nor astrology books:

Now coming to the fad called Patri Melapak i.e. horoscope matching! This fad is the rage of the day! You will be surprised to know that none of our shastras, whether the Manusmriti or the Ramayana or the Mahabharata, leave alone the Vedas, have anything to do with Patri Melapak even by mistake! We do not find any instances that any Vedic Rishi was addicted to such a fad, since may be then most of them would still have been looking for a “suitable Patri” for melapak! Not to speak of Dharma shastras, there is no mention of this type of a malady in any of the astrology books like the so called Parashari, or Mansagari or Phala Deepika or Jataka Parijata or any other work! It appears to be a creation of the jyotishis of over the last one hundred years or so. Aleberuni, who visited India in 1030 AD and recorded quite faithfully all his experiences about Jyotisha and other things in India also has not mentioned anything of any “Melapak” in his work!

“All India Calendar Reform Committee”:

Summing up, as we have just seen, not only are we subjected to non-existent fear psychosis like Kalasarpa Dosha and Patri Melapak etc. but we are compelled to celebrate all our festivals on worng days. There are quite a few people who agree with my point of view that these days we are celebrating Pitra Amavasya on the day of Dipavali and marriages during Pitra-Paksha! Similarly, we never celebrate Makar Sankranti on correct days i.e. December 21/22 but we celebrate it on January 14. We also celebrate Vaishakhi on April 14 instead of the day of Spring Equinox i.e., March 21 or so. This has been all because of the so called “Vedic astrology”

To put our festivals back on the right track, I made quite a few representations to the Hon’ble President of India, the Prime Minister of India, various ministries besides the Positional Astronomy Centre at Calcutta, who publish our Rashtriya Panchanga. I also made similar representations to all the reverred Shankaracharyas of all the six peethas, besides other saints and Mahatmas, but sorry to say, there has been absolutely no response from any quarter!

We have now formed an “All India Calendar Reform Committee” and are enrolling members for the same. Those interested can log on to for entering into discussions regarding the same. You can also get a list of correct dates of festivals for 2006 and 2007 from that forum. As an alternative, you can get in touch with me whenever you want to for any further clarifications.

Thank you very much for listening to this “exhortation” against “Vedic astrology” and the efforts I am making to streamline our calendars. Om tat sat brahmarpanam astu

Avtar Krishen Kaul


All India Calendar Reform Committee

H. No. 5, MIG, 00-A,

Sector-2, Avantika, Rohini, Delhi-110085.;; Tel. 011-27516483