Astrology is one of India’s oldest traditions. Our modern texts on astrology are based on writings that date back to the medieval period. Many of the our modern astrological thoughts have been borrowed from various astrological beliefs — Vedic, Islamic, Greek and even Babylonian. Today what we know as Vedic astrology has influences from all these various strands. The evidence can be seen in many common structures and beliefs that form these different strands of astrology.
It is not clear whether it was always part of the Vedas or if it was added later. However, it has evolved over centuries with influences from various thoughts. It is this astrology that is followed by famous astrologers India. What has remained unchanged is our belief in astrology. While the world sees astrology and science at loggerheads, in India it has thrived in perfect harmony with the other. Many practitioners see no dichotomy. Instead some ardently believe that both compliment each other.
Western astrology is considered one of the oldest Astrological systems with its origin believed to be in 19th century BCE in Mesopotamia. Since then it has made its way across nations and continents, from Greece and Arab world to Western Europe. It was once studied seriously and has a long scholarly tradition. It also had a dedicated following among the members of Royal families in the Western world. As a subject it was often clubbed with other disciplines like alchemy, meteorology and medicine.
These were the frontiers of academia and science at the time. We find mention of astronomy in the works of classical writers like Geoffrey Chaucer, Dante Alighieri and William Shakespeare. It was a serious scholarly pursuit. The study of astrology started waning with the advent of scientific method. Astrology was found to be contrary and did not meet the standards of a verifiable scientific method. As a result, its academic study and perusal declined.
Astrology in India
Interestingly, science and astrology have not been at a similar loggerheads in India. Despite the fat that science has deep roots in India and even with its scientific advancement, astrology still finds many takers here. It is practiced and followed by millions in India today. A thriving community of astrologers practice in India. In fact, there are probably more astrologers here than the rest of the world put together. Some astrologers have practiced this as a profession, while for some it is an eagerly followed hobby.
There are also quite a few famous astrologers India. They are followed by the common people as well as the powerful and the famous. Politicians of all hues and ideologies seek appointment with astrologers to know which path they must follow. Film stars and sportsperson queue up similarly to know their fate. In fact, we see the common people meeting astrologers over small and big decisions — from fixing a marriage date to the inauguration of a store.
Why is astrology popular in India?
Long tradition: As mentioned above, astrology has a long and established tradition in India. Astrology was followed for many small and big occasions by everyone, making it part of a long-standing tradition. In many families there is also a tradition of a family astrologer. These astrologers are then followed by successive generations, making the tradition deeply ingrained. The same pattern can be seen amongst astrologers where this knowledge has been passed down the family tree.
Different outlook: Western astrology is typically non-fatalistic. Today it’s used only as a way of understanding zodiac symbols and one’s future as per zodiacs. It is rarely used for anything else. The followers also are content to simply read their horoscope in the newspaper. In contrast, the ideology here is very different. Astrology is seen as something akin to super science, as our attempt to understand our relationship with the cosmology and hence, relevant for any eventuality.
Powerful followers: Famous astrologers India have many powerful and well-known followers, from political leaders to showbiz celebrities. This has only led to its popularity among their followers. When people see such people follow their astrologers, they are further convinced of astrology potent powers.These followers keep astrology in the news. Other than the usual horoscopes found in papers all across the world, Indian astrologers also discuss national and world events, often making accurate predictions.