Some frequently asked questions on Astrology

SamirUpadhyay/AstroSamir will give answers to many frequently asked questions on astrology, ranging from relevance of astrology and remedies suggested therein, to the deep rooted questions on calculations and predictions.

What is a Horoscope ?
A Horoscope is the symbolic interpretation in form of a table (format changes from country to country as well as culture to culture) for the placement of planets in the zodiac for a particular place at a particular time and day.
Its equivalent would be a snap shot of the sky at the same specified time of birth.
Since the system of Indian Astrology recognizes the heavenly bodies in our solar system while taking the rest of the constellations and galaxies as reference points in relation to the planets, we judge the strength of the planets based on the constellation they are moving against.
For the purpose of uniformity we fix the point rising on the Eastern Horizon (called the Ascendant) so as to read the charts with constant values for judgment.
A horoscope would be exclusive to you hence an individual character and destiny for all living beings.

How can it help me?
It educates you about your present, and prepares you for the future. You can learn how to take advantage of the auspicious opportunities that come to your way. You can also learn how to minimize the bad impact of the unfortunate cycles.

Why are my date, time and place of birth important?
At the date and time of birth, you absorbed certain degrees and properties of cosmic energy. This energy dynamically influences your life.

How can you prove that planets influence us?
Your body consists of 75% water just as the ocean is. The ocean is influenced by the moon, which causes high tides. If the moon can affect such a large body of water then we cannot ignore the moons along with other celestial bodies power on us. If we get Vitamin D from the sun, we can't filter out the other elements that are also absorbed. If we throw a ball up in the air and then it falls back down, we call that force gravity. Yet, we cannot see it. The same truth applies when magnetic forces bombard our bodies atoms and influence our thinking and actions.

If I use Vedic Astrology, people may call me superstitious, fatalistic, or weak. is this accurate?
Actually you are accepting the natural order; and using natural resources is a wise and beneficial action.

If I use Vedic Astrology, people may call me superstitious, fatalistic, or weak. Is this accurate?
Actually you are accepting the natural order; and using natural resources is a wise and beneficial action.

If I don't use Vedic knowledge, what will I lose?
If someone puts you in a very dark room and asks you to find the door, you may find it, but after considerable struggle. Vedic Astrology will work as a flashlight in your hand. The road of life is illuminated.

If it is so good, why doesn't everyone use it?
At the grocery store one will find organic bread and ordinary bread. Some will select the more natural product, and others the bread with unnecessary additives. It's a matter of choice. Some individuals choose to 'work smarter, not harder.'

Why should I go to an astrologer and not a psychic?
Psychic readings can be influenced by a number of things, among them mood, and emotion. Vedic Astrology uses a natural science. It is accurate and predictive, without the risk of being influenced by the environment.

How do I know that you are the best available Vedic Astrologer?
VedicAstrology.net has many highly talented educated scholars to share their knowledge. We combine this with the advantages of modern technology to provide you with the most current resources to serve you. We regularly visit India, the land of Great Sages where Vedic Science originated, in order to augment our resources and knowledge. My personal resume includes 17 generations of Vedic advisors to royalty preceding me. We've been involved in this science for a very long time.

I believe in God. Not in Astrology.
I also believe more in God then most of you, but I take advantage of this God given knowledge. Why do we go to work? Why do we send our children to school? Why do we go to the doctor? And why do we not close our eyes and drive? Because God wants us to use our efforts and resources to succeed. He created planets and human beings are part of His universe. We use water, air, food, and all the other resources. Astrology is the most important tool and element in guiding life.

I am educated and I don't believe in Astrology. If I don't see it, I don't believe it? I believe in free choice and free will.
An 'educated' person might approach this in different ways. One may lock onto a rather shallow set of theories, usually derived from someone else's; or one may realize that penetrating the essence of his or her nature and the universe's may provide a better foundation from which to act. Our practice of Vedic Astrology does not purport a fatalistic view of life; it encourages an informed one. It would be a misconception to limit the ancient doctrines as we apply them to contemporary life, to trite rhetoric, or use them to build a case that claims on e is caught in a inescapable pre-designed life condition.

What is Mangal Dosha?
Mangal Dosha is a generic astrological term for Malefic (Bad) planets placed in certain positions as well as combinations which hamper the married as well as romantic life of a person. Mangal Dosha also contributes to a persons personality and usually makes a person with such affliction in their birth chart , not very adjusting in life and with some character defect which usually causes adversities between partners.
The planets involved in this is MARS. When Mars is placed in first, forth, seventh, eighth, and twelfth house in your horoscope, effect any of the following areas : Family, Happiness, Longevity of spouse, Fulfillment in sexual matters. These position of Mars is called Manglik Dosha.

The effects of this dosha vary as follows :
Dissatisfaction in married life, Inability to find a person suitable for marriage, Incompatible sexual preference, Inadequate longevity of spouse, low adjustment potential, lack of satisfaction with own spouse and hence looking for other avenues, frequent quarrels and fights in domestic life, Delay in marriage are a few of the effects of this dosha.
A word of caution through, just having Manglik dosha will not give all these bad effects and even the intensity will differ from person to person. So we would advise that such judgment is left to the experts and you do not fall prey to any conclusions.

What is Sade Sati? (Seven and a half years cycle of Saturn)
The period is caused in Indian Astrology when Saturn transits 12th, 1st and 2nd houses from Moon sign This period is called Sade Sati:
Sade Sati is a very dreadful word for the common masses. It occurs after every 30 years in life. People go by mere traditional convention and general belief that Sade Sati period brings dissatisfaction, disappointments, depression, differences, disputes, disharmony and undesirable results, but actually this is not the case. Sade Sati consists of 3 cycles of 2.5 years called Dhaia (2.5 years) when Saturn transits in 12th, 1st and 2nd houses from Moon sign. The three cycles are explained below as per standard dictum and should not be accepted as such, subject to other conditions laid down below:

IST CYCLE: - In the first cycle, when Saturn transits 12th house from moon for 2 years, the evil results are felt by the parents and near relations of the native. The health of grand mother will be affected and may result in her death. The eyesight of the native can be affected necessitating the use of spectacles .Saturn here puts era expenditure.

The position of Saturn may affect the financial position as Saturn aspects 2ndhouse, it may retard environmental activities. If in a birth chart Saturn is passing through the last phase of life may force native to get sanyas Viz one will be detached from his or her family, wealth, home etc. Fore sake of these worldly things amounts to Sanyas.

In addition to the above during this period, the father of native may have set back or reversal, loss etc. in his profession, and will lead to an extra, unwanted and uncalled for expenditure which may become unbearable for the native.

2ND CYCLE: - During this cycle Saturn transits the moon sign for 2.5 years. During this period, it affects the native himself in domestic and professional fields. Also denotes ill health and death of some relations, fear from enemies, journey to distant places and separation from relations like brothers, sisters, wife or family etc. May cause imprisonment, miseries, loss of wealth, fatigue and general debility, loss of friends, Obstructions and delay in undertakings, failure in attempts and increased expenditure.

3RD CYCLE: - Saturn when transits in 2nd house from Moon, third cycle of Sadi Sati starts. It affects ones health, children and may even cause death if it come in late life. During this transit, loss of health, happiness, loss of position, increased expenditure, financial stress and physical weakness might be felt. Gain of wealth from others, which will be lost, deception through wicked men. May cause death of children too if other combinations to confirm the same are present.

These are the effects of the sadhesati of Saturn.

What is Kalsarpa Yoga?
Kalasarpa Yoga is formed by the situation of all planets within Rahu ( Dragons head ) and Ketu ( Dragons Tail ).Here Rahu ( Dragons Head ) must be considered as moving in an anti-clockwise direction. The effect of this combination is general weakness of the birth chart with the good effects of favourable planets curtailed while the bad effects of evil planets are magnified. The combination works on a lifelong basis however the majority of the effects are felt by 36 years of age and thereafter the person progresses well in life.

Do gems really have an effect? How do they work?
Precious stones when properly selected and used ward off evils indicated by the planets. Different planets have different stones. A proper use of them will also help the native in favorable situations or enterprise. The gems pertaining to a particular planet concentrates the positive energies as well as the specific color of the planet and funnels the effects in the body of the person wearing it by using the system of a filter to allow that particular energy & color to get absorbed in the body.

What are the principles involved when mass tragedies like war, earth quakes take place?
When a country is subjected to evil rays the individual has no separate independent existence. He becomes a part of the whole and an astrologer is expected to keep a vigilant eye on the directions in the national chart as well as the effects of other celestial phenomena with the help of mundane astrology (which studies the influence of New Moons, Eclipses, Ingresses, planetary conjunctions and comets) upon the fate of nations, countries and peoples.

Can we really reduce the bad effects of planets?
Yes bad effects can be reduced although not fully reversed ( Since we cannot change destiny ) by various remedies prescribed in our ancient Indian texts.
These include recitation / chanting of esoteric words in harmony with the god governing the malefic planet. This is called a Mantra.
Then we have ancient symbols with are imprinted or embossed on metal or other material plaques and then meditated upon to give them the power to ward of the adverse planetary effects. This method is used for peculiar planetary combinations and usually is used at place of work or at home. This is called a Yantra.
Of course the most popular remedy has been the wearing of gems & metals to give strength to the planet causing troubles and hardships.
Lastly is the method of remedies which include various ancient practices ( too detailed for discussion here ) which provide relief from various planetary adversities. Collectively these practices have provided relief to mankind provided the person does not forget that there is no alternative to action and honesty in intentions to overcome adverse periods in life.

Why is it important to match horoscopes for marriage?
Marriage is one of the most important aspects of life and it is with the help of astrology that we are able to check various issues like the chances of the relationship continuing without a break, harmony in life, whether one person is causing hurdles or pressure on the life of the other partner.
With these cleared the marriage can be performed with much more ease in the mind.
Since we all know a bad relationship can put a person back by a few years so getting the horoscope matched is like buying insurance for a happy and peaceful life.

What principles are checked while matching compatibility for marriage?
The method of checking compatibility is a very scientific method. The following areas are checked for compatibility and the cumulative total after giving a weighted importance to each area is 36 points. As per ancient Indian texts the minimum points allowed for the match to be approved is 18 points or 50 %. The different areas are:
* Promotion of luck for each other * Temperaments (Intellectual Compatibility)
* Longevity of husband and wife. (Growth of family) * Sexual Compatibility. *Mutual attraction. * Comfort & mutual relationship.
Spiritual & ego development of partner (In relation to each other) Children prospect
Since every person cannot have harmony in all areas so the ancient texts prescribe at least 50 % compatibility so as to give the marriage a chance to work.
There is empirical evidence to show that the marriages between people with a compatibility factor below 50 %have a lower success rate than ones with figure higher than that

Are planetary effects predominant? What is the human effort is the whole process?
Ans:It is true that the science of astrology is a science of indication. Provided there is a strong will and requisite effort is brought into play, certain indications in the horoscope can be overcome. Of course, the strong will in such a case will be indicated in the nativity itself. Just as unfavourable indications can be overcome. In the above manner, the promise of good effects can also be spoiled in various ways. A weak and vacillating mind will not be able to take advantage of the planetary vibrations and brings them to fruit. For example if the man acts perversely, he can prevent a good alliance of marriage. It is to some extent within the range of prediction too.

Can you change my destiny through astrology remedies?
Ans: Astrology remedies can not change the position of planets and the results given by them. It can only help you to prevent yourself from its effects. Let us take an example. If you're going to market and it's start raining, you may feel very uncomfortable. But if you knew it before, you would have taken umbrella to protect yourself; although facing rain is your destiny. Same way, astrology and astrological remedies can help you to forecast future and take necessary steps to prevent yourself from unnecessary botheration.

How much you can tell me about my destiny?
Ans: It depends upon number of factors - the accuracy in your birth particulars especially in time of birth, your problem, dasha (period) you are currently running, strength of planets in your horoscope and many other factors. Knowing your destiny is also a part of your destiny.

Can you predict the death of someone?
Ans: It is said that it's very difficult to come out with exact moment (or even day) for someone's death. Even great demi-gods (devta) and demi-goddesses (devi) can not tell the death of someone. This secret is with God Himself. Although, Sage Jaimini has mentioned many rules for predicting death in Jaimini Sutras, it requires lot of astrology knowledge, spiritual power, intuition power and all above the grace of God to know it. For obvious reasons, I never tell anyone regarding the death of anyone, even if I know it.

What kind of remedy should be adopted in what situation? Do all kinds of remedies like mantra, yantra etc. be performed equally for any problem, any time?
Ans. Remedy is normally required for a planet which is active by virtue of dasha or transit, but is benefic and weak, or is malefic and strong. That is, it is not either able to give good results to its full capacity, or is giving bad results, which have to be checked. If that planet is sitting in a earthy sign in the natal horoscope, stone should be suggested, if in fire sign, yajna should be performed, if in airy sign, Mantras are useful and if in watery sign, alms or throwing things in water helps.
Normally, stone wearing enhances power of a planet and throwing items in water reduces power of a planet – whether the planet is good or bad. So if a planet is malefic but strong, then stone should be avoided and if a planet is benefic but weak then stone should be worn and its items should not be thrown or given in alms. Mantras and Yajna increase the benefic power of the planet only, without creating any loss. So whenever a planet is active, its Mantra jap and yajna should be performed for better results.

Do different systems on astrology or predictive sciences give same results?
Ans. There are various systems of prediction like palmistry, numerology, astrology. In astrology too, there are various systems, like Jaimini Parashar, Neel kanthi etc. Every system has its own benefits and shortcomings. Some systems are better than the others. If the fact of life is represented by a straight line then the various systems can be denoted by various graphs like A,B,C, which touch the reality of life only at few points.
At some points they are far off. However, when one system is at a distance from the truth, other system touches the reality. This is the reason why we believe in so many systems. However, taking average may not always give us better results, e.g. if system A is at + 10% level of accuracy and system B at +20% level then the average is +15%, which means averaging has spoilt the results of system A. Averaging may be good if one system is at negative level of accuracy and other at positive level. But we never know where we stand in our prediction for any future event, whereas for past we can always take average, or apply different systems to know why that event happened.
So it is suggested that one should adopt one system and practice more and more to bring it close to the line of reality.

Why does astrology sometimes fails?
Ans. Unlike Physics and Chemistry and like any behavioral science, astrology is an empirical science; that is the rules are based on statistics. They are not correct for any horoscope any time. This is true not only for astrology but for any predictive science. Further, the rules that we are using have not been checked for accuracy and relevance in modern times. We are using them as we found in old texts, even when many correlating factors have been lost during the last 2000 years or more. The rules when tested on large data in future will definitely give rise to better framed rules and accuracy in astrology will be more.

Which is the best predictive science – astrology, palmistry, numerology or any other and why?
Ans. Compared to all other predictive sciences, Indian system of astrology is known for its accuracy, reliability and in depth analysis. Other systems are used either in the absence of reliable birth data, or in the absence of its interpretation. Astrology is the only system where predictions can be made precisely with time.

Many exalted planets have been seen in the horoscope of a poor man and debilitated planets in a rich man's horoscope. how does this happen?
Ans. Normally many debilitated planets in a horoscope make "Neech Bhang Raja Yoga" and similarly many exalted planets give "Uccha Bhang Daridra Yoga". Moreover, the native with many exalted planets is a man of principles and unfit for worldley success. One or two debilitated planets help the native to aquire wealth by improper means in this kali yuga.

It is said that Lagna calculation is dependent on place, whereas planet degree calculation is independent of it. But when we compute lagna by converting time to IST and compute planet degrees without conversion, we get wrong values,Why? What is the correct method?
Ans. It is rightly said that Lagna is dependent on place of birth, whereas planet degrees are independent of it, because they are computed for the centre of the earth.
Ephemeris shows planet degrees for a given time zone like IST. So the time of birth must be converted to IST to use such tables. But Lagna must be computed for the place of birth only, because changing the place, say from London to Delhi, will create an error of 5 ½ hours later in U.K. similarly other signs also rise 5½ hours later there.
Accuracy of the results computed can be verified by checking that Sun has to be in 10th house at noon, in 1st house in the morning, in 7th house in the evening and in 4th house at midnight. This is irrespective of the place of birth.

We take muhurta for something. Does it change the fate of the person?
Ans. Muhurta gives us an idea about the future of the task that we do; for example, oath ceremony of ministry gives idea about the government; starting moment of business gives us knowledge about how the business will go etc. To have a good future we select a good muhurta. Knowledge is strength and knowing the future of deeds in advance can definitely guide our future better. However, we can not totally reverse the direction of the fate.
So many times we find things do not happen at the time of best Muhurta, or after the event we come to know that the computations were wrong. This clearly indicates we cannot change the destiny. Still nature has provided us with hands to do something and mind to think. We should use it optimally, but without having keen desire for the best ; it will occur only if it is in fate.