Astrology and Vaastu are super sciences, says IAS officer turned astrologer AB Shukla. Both complement each other as both form part of the Vedas and are therefore called Vedangas or “limbs of Veda,” Shukla told Vaastuyogam in an exclusive interview at the Indian Council of Astrological Sciences (ICAS) Ahmedabad chapter seminar recently.
Both are connected and are super sciences. Astrology should be studied as any modern subject in a University so that basics are learnt and interpretation Is holistic rather than randomly used s predictive principle. Such randomness give bad name to astrology. Done rightly it is revealing and marvellous. Like medicine you need to study astrology deeper to understand it. That’s why we have founded ICAS to teach these super sciences in scientific manner, Shukla says.
Astrologers have a reputation to maintain not unlike a doctor. Like a doctor defending his integrity in treating a patient or save his life an astrologer too cannot play with people’s beliefs as his integrity is at stake, Shukla says.
Astrology is more than mapping horoscopes. It teaches you to be one with Nature and the Cosmos. Let me explain. In 2004 there was tsunami in Andaman and there lives a tribe called Jarawa. When tsunami waves lashed, they went up as high as 30 ft high sweeping the entire island. This tribe lives with elephants, dogs and cats and when these animals began running towards the hills Jarawas believed that they animals have sensed danger. Jarawas survived the waves. Moral: Be close and understand nature. Nature is the best teacher. Precisely that is what astrology is teaching you and asking you to be one with nature, Shukla says.
Astrology is dismissed as Jyotisha and an astrologer is looked at with a prism different from the one we look at modernity. As a bureaucrat, Shukla, too faced criticisms for calling astrology a science. Yet he passionately defends his turf no matter what happens.
Is there a connection between Bhagavad Gita and astrology?
Certainly, there is. Bhagavad Gita, the Vedas, and the Upanishads, have an astrological angle apart from their immense spiritual content. Astrology is the sixth Vedanga and it helps understand these sacred works. For your information, other Vedangas are Siksha, Nirukta, Chandas, Kalpa and Vyakarana. These are usually taught to interpret the Vedas and Shastras but astrology is exceptional as it is called being the ‘eye of the Vedas.’ It gives insights into hidden meaning of these sacred scriptures. You would be surprised Gita carries astrological clues in its slokas.
Shukla is an optimist. Astrology will one day be institutionalized by the government, he hopes.
How did an IAS officer like him turn into an astrologer?
If astrology and Vaastu are super sciences do they go beyond empirical approach?
Certainly. Rishis of yore practised this art and studied the planetary influence. Theirs too was scientific observation. See, how many of our ancient temples have depicted earth as round long before western scientists knew about it. Rishis not only understood how earth is but even knew what speed it was spinning around the sun, says Shukla. Science is based on both deductive and inductive reasoning. So too astrological research. These are innately scientific studies. Bane of our orthodox pundits was getting resources to explore more of this ancient scientific branch. Time, we get some governmental support as study of these two super sciences need full support, says Shukla.
“I began as a non-believer. I believed my hard work would get me where I wanted to. But a family friend said I was destined to do something else. His words came true and that’s when I started reading about astrology. Two renowned astrologers like Pt Hardev Sharma Trivedi and Dr. BV Raman inspired me to learn astrology. I was getting the feel of the subject and realise half-baked attempts won’t do if I must claim that “I am an astrologer”. So, I went whole hog and that is what I am today,” Shukla says.