[INDOLOGY] Indian criticisms of astrology?

Martin Gansten martin.gansten at pbhome.se
Fri Feb 3 19:13:29 UTC 2017

Thank you, Walter, for these instances from the Mokṣopāya and for the 
reference to your paper, which I'll make sure to look up. As you say, 
the verses seem primarily to criticize the notion of fate or daiva, or 
at least of fate as more powerful than human effort. (Most astrologers 
would probably consider these to be straw-man arguments, but that's 
another matter.) The question they raise in my mind is whether the fate 
rejected by the author includes karma, as daiva is often equated with 
prārabdha-karma (/pūrvajanmakṛtaṃ karma tad daivam iti kathyate, 
/ityādi). Do we know?

Of course, from a radical non-dualist perspective, saṃsāra in its 
entirety, including cause and effect, karma and phala, etc, is illusory. 
Is that the perspective behind the Mokṣopāya's rejection of fate, or is 
the argument made on the level of 'conventional truth'? I am primarily 
interested in the latter: authors who argue that, for instance, karma is 
real, but astrology is false.

Thanks again,

Den 2017-02-03 kl. 18:17, skrev Walter Slaje:
> Dear Martin,
> consequential criticism of astrologers can be found in the context of 
> a general criticism directed against the power of fate (/daiva/) and 
> the believers in fate in the /Mokṣopāya/, chapters II.4-9.
> There, I am aware of two direct references to astrologers (see below), 
> but implicit criticism of daiva and °jñas is also palpable in the 
> /Mahābhārata/, see my paper “/Nāsti daive prabhutvam./Traces of 
> demythologisation in Indian Epic thought.” /Journal of Indian 
> Philosophy/ 26 (1998): 27-50.
> [...]

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