|Study of astrology has been branded by the neo-scientists as a belief in superstition. Greater criticism has been heaped on astrology by those who have never bothered to study the subject. Many critics have questioned the basis of astrology, ignoring the fact that an understanding of a basis has to succeed and not precede an observation. The basis of gravitational pull was determined after the existence of the force of gravitation was recognised. Anyone who studies astrology with an open mind cannot but appreciate the fact that astrology is a highly developed science.|
|By definition, science means a knowledge ascertained by observation and experiment, critically tested, systematised and brought under general principles. Astrology strictly fulfils all these criteria. Two aspects of astrology deserve a special mention:|
|(a) The cause and effect phenomenon: Critics of astrology boast that physical sciences depend upon a cause and effect relationship, which astrology apparently lacks. They, however, fail to appreciate that astrology is a cosmic science and not bound by the limitations of a laboratory. In physical sciences, there may be a gross cause or a subtle cause, producing a physically visible or gross effect. Gravitation, which is a subtle cause, produces a gross effect of attracting a physical body towards the earth. In the case of astrology, the cause is always subtle while the effect is appreciable and predictable according to rules, which have been developed and refined over the centuries. The subtle cause in case of astrology is the cosmic force represented by the disposition of the various heavenly bodies or ‘planets’. Physical scientists can only trace the cause from the apparent effect.
It may be noted, however, that astrology deals with a multitude of phenomena on the earth. This being so, there are numerous parameters and a methodology more elaborate than any known physical science can boast of. Making correct predictions, therefore, is difficult and demands hard labour on the part of an astrologer. Unfortunately, the failure of an astrologer has been often misinterpreted as a failure of the science
|(b) The phenomenon of replication: Astrology is also criticised on the ground that its principles do not yield results, which can be invariably replicated or reproduced. Physical sciences can, on the other hand, boast of a reproducibility of their various principles. It may be pointed out here that every correct astrological prediction, in fact, underscores the principle of replication in astrology. Since astrology is a complex science, its every known principle has to be applied carefully, considering the numerous parameters and weighing the various pros and cons. In the ancient Indian scriptures, for example, numerous astrological dicta lie hidden. Unfolded and carefully applied today, they prove their eternal applicability and give dazzling results, which the open minded scientists of today can only marvel at. It is no coincidence that a planetary combination present at the time of the Mahabharata war, and described by Karna to lord Krishna, also obtained, in a modified form, in .914 when the World War I started; in 194. when World War II was in progress, and again in 1971 at the time of the Indo-Pak conflict. During all these occasions, India got involved in the mess quite intimately. In 1965 too, when India and Pakistan clashed, a similar but modified planetary disposition arose. Before heaping any criticism on astrology, it will be interesting to which when such a combination is likely to obtain in future, and in what form.|