Riddles of horoscope

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The riddles of horoscope; where the Sun is a planet and your Moon can get angry.

Every morning, people start their day with a fanatical eagerness about their horoscope as the first thing on the to-do list, of many people, is to check the horoscope by using whatever means possible – be it the newspaper, television or the radio.  But, it’s not on us to choose which planet to be, as they say, there is a mechanism. And, just for the heads up, the mechanism is puny and a bit funny.

To tell you, there is no affirmative scientific evidence for any of the claims of astrology and its branches. It works on the most mundane mechanism. The distant stars and planets somehow exert their influence on our lives through some kind of an unknown force. And if this is not spooky enough, I would be humbled if someone explained to me how, by wearing rings and garlands of special stones and animal bones, you can even control your destiny. I, personally, have seen some mighty stupid claims of different people, but none of them are as stunningly rubbish as astrology.

This is the prediction for Libra for September 17:

Give people the benefit of the doubt, Libra. Don’t be so hasty in your actions, and take the time to think things through. You have a special connection with your feelings today that can aid in clearing some of the fog in your thinking. Your sensitivity to others is remarkably strong. People will be particularly drawn to this side of you, especially tonight.

Doesn’t it look more like an advice from your mom? And speaking of predictions, where do the astrologers go just before huge fatalities, natural disasters and suicide bombings? Oh right! They don’t deal with ‘those kinds’ of matters. What an easy escape.

Here is an extract from a research by Phil Plait:
“Master skeptic James Randi performs a wonderful demo of how easily people are fooled by astrology. He went into a classroom, posing as an astrologer, and cast horoscopes for all the students. He had them read and rate the accuracy, and they almost overwhelmingly rated the horoscopes as accurate.  He had them pass around the horoscopes, and the students saw that every horoscope was exactly the same. It was worded vaguely enough that nearly everyone in the room thought they were being well-described. The horoscopes were so vague they matched nearly everyone, and so their predictive power was meaningless. It was all in the students’ heads.”
Now, this explains something, right?

However, we all have been brainwashed. We have been made to follow the stereotypical traditions and to accept superstitions as a part of our culture ever since we were brought here in the earth by a special force (Mind the pun.) The media, our ancestors, our parents and the society fill our heads with made-up truths without any logical or mathematical evidence. And, it’s a pity how hastily we accept it.

The national television starts its day with a confident horoscope prediction from a wise-looking VJ, the backstreets of Patan and Bhaktapur in Nepal are filled with self-proclaimed astrologers who cover themselves in red, yellow and maroon ‘Lungi’ and here, in Nepal, the rich, the poor, the politicians, the ex-royal family and basically, everyone believes in the hoax – Jyotish Bidhya.

On the other hand, astrologers relish in calling themselves scientists by persuading people with their fallacious arguments about astrology being a total science. Astrologers, as they say, use the locations of planets to predict and even determine some of the important events that are yet to happen in our lives. This in turn, ruin marriages, friendship and people get stuck to a routine where they have to do a ritual at a particular time of the day that certainly increases stress and eventually, people stop living for themselves. That is how easily we can lose our lives and beloved ones to nothing but a hoax!

Sorry astrologers, but people like us exist too. And, we don’t believe you when you say that the Jupiter, which is 588 million kilometers away, is bringing us bad luck for the next four years of our lives.
Here is some explanation. According to astrologers, these are following nine planets which can make an impact on our lives –
1. Surya
2. Rahu
3. Ketu
4. Chandra or Som
5. Mangal
6. Budh
7. Brihaspati
8. Shukra
9. Shani

But wait, Surya(the Sun) and Chandra(the Moon) are not planets. And just for you to know, ‘Rahu’ and ‘Ketu’ are imaginary planets. Even though we are provided with vague answers by the astrologists to our different questions, they get abashed because they fail to answer how a specific planet is associated with a specific person.  So, where is the science? And, then they put their well built argument of faith and belief system. Another easy escape for them; Jyotish Shastra lives!

In Hindu culture, ethnicity (caste-system) is considered as one of the main attributes of astrology. The hierarchy of Hindu caste system is – Brahmin, Chhetri, Baisya, Shudra. The ‘Jyotishs’ take Shani as an ugly planet with bad fortune which is frequently considered of being the ‘Shudras’ . Similarly, ‘Brihaspati’ planet is said to be holy and hence, it is considered to be the Brahmins. Then, the Surya ‘planet’ is said to be the Chhetris and is told to be the centre of the universe. Oops! That sounds groundless. But, never mind.

But, hasn’t this tendency of keeping alive the caste-based discrimination been dragging our society backwards? Isn’t this superstitious trend of believing and promoting astrology in the name of science also a reason of underdevelopment? Aren’t we helping people earn black money with their easy ways? Aren’t we assisting the frauds? Yes, we are.

It is frequently said that Astrology is mentioned in the old book of Hinduism, the Vedas. But, it is not. And, we focus more on how great the Vedas is instead of reading it by ourselves. Hence, believing in whatever is told to us taking a reference from Vedas. For example: According to great Hindu mythology, the Vedas says that the writer of this article is the creator of the universe. Do you believe it? No? Oh, come on, it’s written in the Vedas!

During ancient times, the Babylonians and Egyptians were the founders and primitive users of Astrology. But, by the time it reached India along with Alexander the Great in 327 BC, it began to evolve as Hindu Astrology which exists until now. It is a great source of income for well-established Gurus and Jyotishs and it also covers a fairly large space in the newspaper – the horoscope section.

If not for the truth, if not for the science and the furtherance of mankind, just for business, we should allow Hindu Astrology to continue and even suggest the future generations to pursue Jyotish Shastra as a career choice, just for money, just to fool people, just to keep things going just the way they are. Let the Jyotish Shastra survive for the sake of business and so that the markets don’t crash.

And, don’t forget to check your horoscope tomorrow. Because, JUPITER IS COMING AFTER YOU! YES, YOU!

– Rajiv Chaudhary