What is Vedic Astrology?
Mundane and Financial Astrology
An expansion of astrology from the personal to the global level is mundane (or political) astrology. This is a complex and enthralling system that uses various astrological methods to track the horoscopes of countries, institutions, and political leaders. On the Machiavellian side, astrology has been used to track business and political competitors, and to know their weak points and how to take advantage of them. I'll give you an example of this by recounting an anecdote from my own practice:
Several years ago (1980) when I was living in Manhattan, New York, some clients of mine wanted to do business with David Rockefeller, President of the Chase- Manhattan Bank. My clients had never met Mr. Rockefeller and knew practically nothing about him--what he liked or disliked, what were his quirks, what was the best way to approach him, or which of the men among my clients, if any, would get along well with him. Since they didn't have the financial resources of either the CIA or FBI, with which to create an in-depth dossier of Mr. Rockefeller, they approached me instead. The leader of the consortium asked if I could fill in their gaps of knowledge and reveal the essentials of this Mr. Rockefeller, in order to ensure a most successful first meeting with him.
I accepted the challenge. My only significant problem was to find out Mr. Rockefeller's birth data. First I called the NYC Public Library reference desk. They could not give me his birth data but did give me the telephone number of his private secretary at the Chase Manhattan Bank; this man was delightfully cooperative and supplied all the details I required. With that information I drew up his chart and made a report for my clients. They later told me that the information greatly helped them to assess Mr. Rockefeller and then formulate a plan for dealing with him.
So one can understand that a large volume of vital information can be derived from the few bits of information that are required to erect a horoscope. (Throughout history and up to modern times, the leaders of India have had court astrologers to help them form policy.)
A sub-branch of mundane astrology is financial (or stock market) astrology. The super-wealthy financier J.P. Morgan is reported to have said: "Astrology is not for millionaires -- it' s for billionaires." But the caveat is that there are many who claim ability to predict the market's fluctuations (that is, when the prices of oil or gold will go up or down), while their actual success rate remains unknown (one would have to take their word for it). This is not to say that there are no astrologers who can predict market fluctuations--just that one must be careful, especially when it comes to investing big money.
What most people, including some astrologers, don't realize is that the personal chart contains information about one's financial success or failure; therefore all the "hot tips" in the world will not help one whose karma is not to be wealthy in this life. Better than going to someone who claims to know how the market will turn, and then investing accordingly, is to consult a good astrologer to have one's own chart read, to see what economic opportunities reside in the future. If from one's chart it is seen that finance and fortune shine brightly, then one can safely invest in anything according to his inspiration, and most particularly in those items found via the chart to be lucky. If on the other hand destiny is against one, then no matter what he may do, his investment will go bad; it would be wiser in such situations not to gamble on the stock market. To illustrate, let me give an example from my days as an astrology student in India (1977-1983).
I was studying prasna (which will be explained later) in South India with my teacher Sashi Kant Jain. I was training under the supervision of Mr. Jain's fourth son (he had five astrologer sons), Surendra Kumar. One day a successful businessman came to us with a problem. (Let's call him "Mr. Patel.") Mr. Patel had somehow become involved in "playing the ponies" and had lost about 200,000 rupees (which in India at that time --1982 -- was not an insignificant sum). His plea to us was to help him win back his money. If he could recoup his losses, he would quit gambling. I told him that now he should just cut his losses by not playing anymore. "No!" He insisted that we use astrology to help him win back his money. On taking up his chart, it became very clear that he didn't have the necessary karma to win by gambling; so again I advised Mr. Patel to quit now and lose no more. But he wanted to proceed. Since he didn't like the advice I had given him, he went to my astrology teacher's second son, Chandru, who specialized in gambling- astrology.
Chandru had the ability to pick at least six winning horses from a total of eight races. He was so good that he himself didn't even bother to bet. Gamblers would come to see him, and Chandru would tell them which horses to bet on. Invariably they would win and then come back and give him a good percentage of the winnings. (He acquired many rupees in this way!)
Mr. Patel approached Chandru and apprised him of his problem. Chandru consoled him and gave the names of several horses to bet on at the races. Next day, Mr. Patel was about to wager on the horses that Chandru gave him, but at the last minute a wave of doubt overcame him and he chose different horses, none of which even placed. Needless to say, most of the horses Chandru picked won their races. Hopefully, now you understand what I meant by "unfortunate in gambling." But the story does not end there....
Chastened by this experience with Chandru, Mr. Patel came back to ask me to help him recoup his lost fortune. I tried to dissuade him, but he would not relent. We took up the prasna chart for the time he had approached us (my teacher and I); and upon examining it, I could see that at the next day of betting he would win but then again lose. What to do? Since he insisted on gambling to win back his money, I gave him the second best advice I could. (I had already given him the best advice, to quit.) I now advised him to bet 1000 rupees on the first race. After winning, which I knew he would, he should keep that original money aside and not touch it, but just play with his winnings. I told him this because I knew he would lose in the end; but that way, at least, he wouldn't lose the original 1000 rupees.
Two days later he came back with a very sad face. He had followed my advice, taken the 1000 rupees, bet, and won big! He had put the original money aside and played only with the winnings and had continued to win! By this time he was overcome with betting fever, and so at the last race he calculated that if he bet all his money, including the 1000 rupees, he would be able to recoup his losses from previous days. He therefore bet all the money...and lost.
After this debacle he no longer came to Chandru or myself for advice, nor would I have given him anymore. What was the use? But eventually, after losing about 400,000 rupees, Mr. Patel finally realized the wisdom of my first advice and thereby quit gambling. If he had listened to me initially, he would have saved himself 200,000 rupees.
While this example is not about stock markets per se, nevertheless day trading, commodities, and other short-term investments are very high-risk endeavors and are in every way like gambling, especially for the uninitiated. What this example illustrates is that no matter how determined one may be to win at gambling (or market speculating)--even through astrology--he will not be successful if it is not his destiny to acquire money in that way.
Another example is of a man who was actually a broker in the stock market business. From his chart I could see that he had tremendous insight into the trade, but because of a slight flaw in his horoscope he would be unsuccessful no matter what he did. For example, he would tell his broker to do something and there would be some confusion, and so the deal would fall through. He was practically in tears, because he was doing all the right things and picking all the right stocks yet never realizing any success.
Another stockbroker client of mine had the knack to always pick winners and do things right. He was so successful that he eventually quit to enroll in medical school, his true aspiration. To pay for his schooling he would do a market trade or two and reap piles of cash. His chart showed that he would be fortunate in such endeavors.
One final example of business and astrology: In 1990 Doctor M called me . He wanted to buy a small hospital and set up a special clinic. To do so he would have to borrow $900,000. He had already consulted another astrologer who told him to proceed, but Dr. M wanted a second opinion. I studied his birth chart, and also used prasna (explained later), and concluded that it would not be a good idea for him to buy the hospital; because later he would have financial troubles and then this huge debt would be a serious problem for him. After hearing my response, he told me that both his banker and accountant also thought it was a bad idea. In 1994, with the downturn in the California economy and the revolution that is still going on in the health-care industry, he was very happy to not owe $900,000.
Dr. M recently (1999) called me and said that at the time of his original consultation with me, he had followed one piece of advice but ignored another. The first had concerned the loan discussed above, but he had ignored advice regarding a potential business partner. I had warned that the potential partner was not trustworthy, and therefore would cause much trouble. Dr. M told me that he had stubbornly ignored my advice (we had just met) but that the future had proved me right. In 1998 Dr. M had to file suit against his former partner, because it was discovered that he had been stealing millions of dollars over the years. Now, for over the past ten years of our relationship, Dr. M has come to rely on my advice for making business decisions. He has had at least 250 consultations with me. Throughout that time only once was my advice wrong, for which I offered him a refund but which he refused, saying, "You have been right so often. Even we doctors in our medical practice don't have such success rate. We don't give refunds if we go wrong--why should you?" Since we are now on the subject of medicine, this leads us to our next topic:
Another derivative of natal astrology is medical astrology. While much medical information can be acquired through natal astrology and prasna, i.e. probable times of sickness, susceptibility to certain diseases, weak constitution, proneness to accidents, exposure to venereal disease, when to perform surgery or give medicine, choosing a physician, etc., medical astrology is actually strictly the domain of Ayurvedic physicians, who have the natural opportunity to thoroughly study so many medical cases.
Medical astrology is the full-blown investigation and diagnosis of medical problems via astrology. It was once very much in vogue. Even today in India, Ayurvedic doctors are urged to study astrology. But the difficulty is that to properly practice medical astrology one must be a qualified physician. It is a valuable tool of the astrologer-physician, but few astrologers fall into this category.
Unless the astrologer is also highly trained in medicine, he should limit his medical advice and refer the patient to a health professional. And likewise in other spheres--such as law, financial planning, and marriage counseling--the astrologer does his part, then refers the seeker to the appropriate specialist to continue to pursue the problem. It is not expected that the astrologer should be an expert in all fields. He should be very knowledgeable, but he should know his own limitations; and for the sake of his client's benefit, he should refer him to proper sources of help when needed, rather than venture outside of his field of expertise.
Medical astrology is a conglomerate of many branches of astrological knowledge, and we shall mention the medical uses of other branches when appropriate. As has already been mentioned, from the natal chart the general health of the individual can be determined, periods of stress and disease can be seen, etc.