Hindu Astrology vs Western Astrology

Prof. K. S. Krishnamurti compares the two and offers the differences and relative weaknesses. Read them now.

Tue Jun 1, 2021

What is Hindu astrology and Western Astrology?

Planets are constantly in motion with respect to earth in the skies. The positions of the Sun, Moon, and some planets close to earth can give important clues about the fortunes of individual human beings and groups of human beings. That is the basic premise of astrology. How exactly we can make guesses about the fortunes of individual human beings and groups of human beings based on the positions of those planets in the skies is the question that we will attempt to answer in this book. While astrology is the subject that deals with this question, there are many theories and philosophies in vogue and they are significantly different from each other.

Sun sign astrology, for example, is based on categorizing people into 12 groups based on the solar month of birth. Some people may be convinced, based on their experiences, that people born in the same month share certain qualities. It is, however, not very logical from a rational perspective – there are just too many people in this world, who are different from each other. So the month of one's birth is inadequate for guessing one's nature or fortune. Even the date and the hour of birth are not enough. We know that there are many twins in this world, who are significantly different from each other!

What we mentioned just now is, by the way, a very important question to be answered – it is like an “acid test” for any astrological doctrine. It is a known fact that there are many twins in this world, who are significantly different from each other and who lead different lives. Of course, some twins may have some common qualities between them, but the fact remains that several twins are significantly different. An astrological doctrine should be capable of explaining this fact to be considered as a meaningful subject.

Most astrological doctrines of the world fail this acid test. If an astrological doctrine assumes, like in the case of many popular astrological theories of the world, that two persons born within a couple of hours in nearby towns will have the same fortune, then that doctrine is lacking in completeness and inadequate for confident use in real-life. It fails the acid test of twins.

Prof. K. S. Krishnamurti conducted elaborate research upon the births of persons born in the same locality with an interval of 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, and so on. He concentrated the study upon the horoscopes of the twin births. He collected data regarding the time of birth of the twins, the various results enjoyed by them, and the time of such events.

While carrying out such research, he found that the general principles enunciated by our ancients and also those given out by the scholars of other countries could not be strictly adhered to and applied to one and all. It was evident and clear especially in twin births since the rule comes out correctly in the case of one and fails in that of the other as the result is diametrically opposite.

Many astrologers, who strictly follow the ancient rules of astrology, complain that there is no coherence, and clarity whereas confusion and contradiction do exist. A few twist the rules and astrology is useful to the astrologers alone. Therefore, both the students of astrology and the astrologers themselves have to honestly confess that there is no simple, correct, and convincing method that can be universally applied to one and all.

He evolved certain methods which are most convincing, very clear, and pin-pointing to the time of the event and explaining the nature of the event to the entire satisfaction of the querist and the astrologer. He found his method is much better and is useful to querists as the prediction comes out correctly.

He went on to publish his Padhdhati the truth which dawned in his mind to explain it well, illustrate it properly and deal with it exhaustively in a lucid manner.

Hindu Astrology and Western Astrology Differences

Some are under the wrong impression that westerners borrowed knowledge from the Hindu; some others say that the Hindus gained knowledge from the Chaldean, Hebrews, Greeks, and so on. Is the view correct?

The sages and the scholars in each country gazed at the stars thousands of years ago and they discovered the relation between the celestial phenomena and the terrestrial incidents. They established some methods to fix the position of planets in the Zodiac and the consequent effect on the animate and inanimate objects on the earth. Each followed certain methods to predict the events. If one has studied both the systems, one will declare that neither the Hindus borrowed from the Westerners nor vice-versa.

The method followed by either is different from the other. Let me explain a few points.

1. Zodiac

For both, the Zodiac is the pathway of the planets. But for the Westerners, the commencement of the Zodiac, i.e., Aries Zero degrees retrogrades at the rate of roughly 50.2388475 seconds every year, whereas for the Hindus, for astrological purposes the Zodiac commences always at a fixed point which is about 180 degrees from the Star Spica - Chithirai. The Zodiac of the Westerners is called Sayana Zodiac whereas that of the Hindus is called Nirayana Zodiac. Therefore, as years pass on, in about 485 years, it will be found that the Sign Aries-Mesha called by the Hindus will exactly coincide with Taurus-Rishaba by the Westerners. The portion of the Zodiac called by the Hindus as Taurus-Rishaba will be called by Westerners as Gemini-Mithuna and so on.

2. Mansions

Westerners have divided the Zodiac into 12 equal parts and call them Solar mansions or signs. So also, Hindus have divided it into 12 equal parts and call each division a Rasi. But there is a difference in the commencement of the signs as explained above. Therefore, the area covered by the signs followed by the Westerners and the Hindus is not the same.

3. Lunar Mansions

The Hindus have another method of dividing the Zodiacs. They have divided it into 27 equal parts and call them Lunar Mansions (constellations, asterism, nakshatras, or stars). The Hindus give great importance to this division. They have found that planets transitting in the same sign but different Nakshatras cause different effects. Just like each Rasi (or sign) is said to be ruled by a planet, so also the Hindus declare that each star is governed by a particular planet.

Aries (Mesha) is ruled by Mars (Sevvai)
Taurus (Rishaba) by Venus (Sukra)
Gemini (Mithuna) by Mercury (Budha)
Cancer (Kataka) by Moon (Chandra)
Leo (Simha) by Sun (Surya)
Virgo (Kanni) by Mercury (Budha)
Libra (Thula) by Venus (Sukra)
Scorpio (Vrichiga) by Mars (Sevvai)
Sagittarius (Dhanus) by Jupiter (Guru)
Capricorn (Makara) by Saturn (Sani)
Aquarius (Kumba) by Saturn (Sani)
Pisces (Meena) by Jupiter (Guru)

This is common to both Western and Hindu systems. But, after discovering Uranus and Neptune, the Westerners have allotted Aquarius (Kumba) to Uranus and Pisces (Meena) to Neptune. The Hindus did not include this allocation. As regards the Nakshatras, the first division commencing from Aries (Mesha) 0 Degrees is Aswini ruled by Kethu, the second is called Bharani governed by Venus; the third star is Karthikai ruled by Sun, the fourth Rohini lord of which is Moon and so on.

4. Day

The Hindus consider that a day commences only from the moment of the Sunrise in that locality and that it extends till the next sunrise in the same locality. If a child is born at 7:20 A.M. the sun rises only 7:40 A.M. to that locality on that day, then the child is said to have been born on the previous day. Suppose the Sun rises at 4:50 A.M. and a child is born at 5:10 A.M. the Hindus consider that it is born on the next day. They take the lord of the next for judgment and prediction. This is very important when the Hindus elect certain auspicious days to undertake any project.

Westerners do not attach so much value to the lord of the day. They follow only the date which changes at midnight.

5. Horoscope

While erecting a horoscope and offering predictions the Hindus attach much importance to the signs, houses, and Navamsa position of the planets. But, the Westerners attach importance to the signs and houses. They have no "Navamsa" chart at all.

6. The Houses i.e. Bhavas

Differ widely between Eastern and Western systems of calculation. Westerners calculate the houses from cusp to cusp, whereas the Hindus take the cusp as the midpoint of the House and call it the House Bhava.

7. Prediction - Ududasa

Vimshothari, Ashtothari, Kalachakra Dasa, etc., are the various Dasas advocated by the Hindu sages to predict events in one's life either to himself or to his relatives and others, with whom he or she has a transaction. The Westerners have no Dasa system at all.

8. Progression

There is no clear and exhaustive method of Progression given by the Hindu sages though it is simply mentioned by only one sage. Westerners follow this method to predict events in one's life and have advanced much in progression.

9. Transit

Westerners take the position of Sun in the Sayana chart to offer transit results. The Sayana position of the transiting planets is referred to as the position of the Sun at birth. But the Hindus take the Nirayana position of the transiting planets and refer to the radical Nirayana position of the Moon in the horoscope. Further, the Hindus give the results according to the Sign occupied by the transiting planets and not the Houses (or Bhavas) transited by them; but the Westerners take into consideration both the sign and the houses transited by the various planets.

10. Aspects

The Hindus believe that all planets aspect the 7th house whereas Saturn has special glance on the 3rd and 10th houses counted from the sign occupied by it; Jupiter aspects 5th and 9th houses from its position; Mars aspects 4th and 8th houses, counted from the sign it occupied.

But the aspects followed by the Westerners are calculated correctly. They call that the longitude between one planet and another planet or one planet and the cusp of one house if divisible by 22-1/2 the aspect is disharmonious, harmful, and adverse. Also, they say if the longitudinal distance among two planets or between one planet and the cusp of another house is divisible by 18 or 30 (except 90 and 150) is considered to harmonious, favorable, and advantageous. They do not count sign to sign, as Hindus do, but they take the exact relative position.

11. Parents

Westerners consider that the fourth house indicates father and the 10th house for mother. But the Hindus take the fourth house as the mother of the person and the 9th house as the father.

12. Strength

Hindus estimate the strength of the planets by Shadbala, etc., after laborious work whereas the method adopted by the Westerners is very simple and they do not have such calculation.

13 Ashtaka Varga

It is a method followed by the Hindus which is not known to the ancient astrologers of the West.

Thus, many instances can be given to show that each follows its system which differs much from the other.

Shortfall of Hindu and Western Astrology

Why both the methods are considered to be incomplete, on some occasions confusing and contradicting and not clear, needs no explanation. But one has to understand,

a. How to ascertain the favorable and unfavorable disposition of planets
b. What nature of results a planet indicates
c. The exact time when they will be experienced
d. To predict the different results enjoyed twins born in the same locality, but with an interval of few minutes even though the ascendant (Lagna) is in the same sign, the positions of planets in the Zodiac, in the sign and Navamsa chart, as well as the Dasa and Bhukti, are same. As per progression, the aspect among the planets will also be the same.

So, it would be a problem both for Hindus and Westerners

1) to estimate the longevity of each, as in some cases, either of the twins passes away early in infancy and the other lives along
2) one gets married, the other remains unmarried
3) one has sterling character whereas the other is always after the opposite sex
4) one has children the other has to adopt
5) one enters Government service, the other takes up business
6) one is a lawyer, the other is a surgeon, and so on.

The common aspects are the same mother, father, uncle, aunt, etc. But, the number of brothers and sisters will vary in those instances where one of the twins is a male and the other is a female.

Conclusion

Astrology can be declared a science, only when these differences can be explained properly, at least after knowing the results. It will be considered to be a perfect science if it is made easy and the students having the ardent desire, understand it thoroughly, apply it properly and offer correct predictions. Here came the need for research by Prof. K. S. Krishnamurti.

His research was successful. He discovered some truths. He started his is a system of astrology for his students and later wrote a two-volume book on KP Astrology which was reprinted into six volumes later on.

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Krish Murali Eswar
Master in Astrology, Vastu Sasthra, Kundalini Yoga, Kayakalpa Yoga

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