[INDOLOGY] Indian criticisms of astrology?

Martin Gansten martin.gansten at pbhome.se
Sat Feb 4 07:55:28 UTC 2017

Thank you for the clarifications, Walter.

> daiva is the result of past actions (/pūrva karman/). Past actions are 
> ultimately past efforts (/pauruṣa/). As efforts, past and present 
> efforts do not differ in their nature. As they do not differ, it is 
> possible to conquer the results of past actions by stronger 
> counteractive measures (/para-pauruṣa/) of today. Therefore, past 
> karma can be overcome by human effort. It is not inescapable. It 
> cannot be  predicted by daivajñas as they cannot know the efforts a 
> human might or might not be willing to take. For, it is a matter of 
> free will, and that is also a matter where the whole topic becomes 
> really interesting.

The opinion of the author of the MU seems to differ only by degree from 
the general consensus of Indian astrologers, then: he claims that /all 
/effects of past action may be counteracted by present action; they say 
that /some /effects (/adṛḍha-karman/) may be so counteracted, while 
others (/dṛḍha-karman/) are too powerful and therefore must take effect. 
Both operate within a framework of karma theory.

In the case of a person who is not willing to make any great effort to 
change his 'fate', then, I suppose our author would agree that the 
person's actions from previous lives will largely determine his present 
one. The question that I am really after is this: would he then accept 
the celestial mechanics studied and interpreted by astrologers as 
accurately reflecting such /karma-phala/? But perhaps that is not a 
topic that comes up in the MU.

Best wishes,

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