Astrology, Science, Astrological Science... and Destiny
Understanding Life and Existence
Ram Ramakrishnan, who is a computer programmer as well as an astrologer, has been compiling sets of birth data for members of families, with the view to ascertaining with a computer the predetermined, karmic elements involved in our relationships. Having established the principles by examining existing sets of genealogical relationships, he hopes to make this a predictive tool, using basic principles of Vedic Astrology. This article sets out to explain his work in this area to date.
Every situation has innumerable perspectives. Each being as true as any other, from their respective points of reference and yet none of them being the absolute truth. Many such perspectives on astrology have been and continue to be expressed – some balanced and some biased. And I have one too.
No body of knowledge can exist or be studied independently without reference to all other bodies of knowledge – whatever may be the extent of reference. Perhaps, the underlying philosophy of every subject is the same. If religion talks of sin and salvation, physics talks of action and reaction being equal and opposite. In one there is no attempt at quantification, as most humans (as of today) believe that arbitration on this matter is in the hands of an incomprehensible higher power, while there is a need for quantification in the other, as arbitration here is within the domain of human comprehension – at least we consider it to be so. It is like studying one subject – life and existence -- in different languages.
Understanding Life and Existence
If students of science are skeptical about astrology, perhaps the fault lies with us students of astrology. We are not able to express ourselves in their language to communicate to them about the similarity in the basic philosophy. Or perhaps it is our own inadequacy of knowledge or weakness of conviction about astrology that makes us hold back and not reach out to our brethren in the 'scientific' community who are engaged in the same pursuit as we are – that of understanding life and existence. Maybe I have been a bit too severe on us. But how many of us can claim that we have been correct in our reading of charts every time? That we have been accurate many a time is beyond doubt. We do remember with satisfaction and a sense of fulfilment, occasions where our computations of events and happenings have come true.
The human mind has this uncanny ability of conveniently forgetting unpleasant situations and happenings. For many of us the score of correct and incorrect readings may be just about even – if we were to make an honest tally. There may have been so many near misses among the incorrect readings, which in retrospect may be attributed to oversight, a slightly imperfect interpretation, or a hundred different reasons. The fact however is that we were wrong – whatever may have been our basic approach to and understanding and interpretation of astrology, whatever standards or system we may have followed. We indulge in dialogues such as these only because of the incompleteness of our knowledge and our recognition of this deficiency – whether or not we accept it openly. Masters, if there were any, would have no need for dialogues and interactions. In their state of blissful completeness they would be synonymous with knowledge, they would be IT – which would include all of us with our imperfections. That we could attain the status of a Master seems quite unlikely, because being born is in itself an immutable sentence of incompleteness.
Is Today "Inevitable"?
Coming to the subject of astrology itself, the basic idea that steers my study of astrology is that today is inevitable. Many practitioners of astrology approach this pursuit with the concept that life is a divine play, moving as it should, playing out complex and interesting themes which we may learn from or not, as it suits us. Logically however, the latter part of the assumption that we may or may not learn from it, will find no place in my assumption. If all is a divine play and we have the choice to learn from or not as it suits us, then we should be independent of this divine play and that would be illogical and would not coalesce with the idea of the inevitability of today.
If today were to be inevitable, then a student of astrology has two reference points – a birth and an event in time connected with the entity that has taken birth. It should be possible to connect these two with the help of a standard set of mathematical procedures. Further, if in addition to the possible validity of the first supposition, the idea that such mathematical procedures can be evolved using planetary positions as the control variables is also valid, the procedures should work for any two related reference points. The realm of standards and interpretation of astrological edicts pose their own problems in formulation of procedures. As in western astrology, vedic astrology, which I follow, has its own share of multiplicity of standards and differing interpretations. But the wonderful point is that adherents of all schools of vedic astrological thought make correct and accurate predictions – and, as usual, never always (I guess this should be so with other systems of astrology as well).
Planes of Reference
My opinion on this paradox is that standards are merely reference planes. Each plane of reference is associated with a definite set of rules to arrive at the same and correct prediction. The problem, therefore, is not with the existence of a number of standards. Problems crop up when a set of rules is applied to an incompatible set of standards. It should be possible to connect the two reference points in question by many alternative sets of mathematical procedures. Perhaps this opinion is born out of helplessness in coming to grips with this situation of multiplicity of standards and systems. But this is the best that I can offer within my ken and also that which does not contradict my basic assumption of today's inevitability.
For the last few years I have been attempting to see whether this idea is workable considering the specific area of genealogy. Within the ambit of the aforesaid basic assumptions, birth of a relative is hypothesised as follows: planets attain a certain potential to give an event based on their natal positions and associated functional attributes, and the date corresponding to a specific planetary combination in accordance to the said potentials gives rise to the event in question. This formulation is specific to the features of vedic astrology where every moment of an individual's life is seen as being controlled be a sequence of planetary combinations that impart their qualities to that moment in varying degrees commensurate with their position in the sequence of operation.
The first presentable outcome of this effort of attempting to evolve standard mathematical procedures to account for the birth of immediate relatives from a person's chart based on the above hypothesis, was a paper titled 'A Child – Biologically conceived, Emotionally perceived, Mathematically derived'. This paper was hosted on the website of the International Society for Astrological Research (ISAR) www.isarastrology.com in June 2001. Subsequently three sequels to this paper titled 'The differing fates of birth-date mates' where two or more charts of persons born on the same day but a few minutes or hours apart have been analysed to account for the dissimilarities in the number of their children and the children's birth dates, have also been hosted on this site.
Some Indian practitioners that I have interacted with (as well as some western practitioners) hold the view that astrological edicts applicable to social phenomena are region, community or ethnicity specific and have to be interpreted accordingly. I however believe that they should apply uniformly to any person anywhere in the world and by a similar interpretation. With a database that has about 1500 charts today, the concepts seemingly hold good. And my suspicion that the process of quantification of planetary attributes is seemingly going in a desired direction, is getting stronger. I may still be entirely wrong as the possibility exists that my view is clouded by incomplete understanding, by incorrect interpretation and inadequate computational validation and safeguards. What is being aimed at is not a statistical confirmation that astrology works. It is an attempt to quantify planetary attributes and devise precise deterministic mathematical procedures for each event in life connected with genealogy, that would work on any chart and consistently too.
Recently, I have completed another presentation titled 'Astrological Genealogy' that describes a possible procedure to compute the birth date of the mother from a given chart.
I will be happy to share what I have learnt and continue to, with anyone who may be interested. With this thought in mind, I extend this invitation to all those who may be interested to interact in this research exercise by way of questioning my assumption and techniques and also contributing genealogical birth particulars to swell the database.