What is Vedic Astrology?

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Q. Does he recommend wearing jewels?

If so, then maybe you should look elsewhere. Recommending and selling gems as an astrological remedial measure has become one of the biggest scams in the astrological world. (Many astrologers get sizable kick-backs from jewelers if they steer a client to them. ) The theory is that if some planet in your chart is giving you trouble, then, to mitigate the effect, you should wear the appropriate gem that will appease that planet. This is a bogus idea, unsupported by any authority in astrology--neither Brghu, Parasara, Varaha Mihira, etc. Gems do have power, and the scriptures speak of the good and bad effects of gems, but never in astrological terms. The fallacy is in thinking that by wearing a particular gem one will neutralize all the negative karma associated with the corresponding planet. But planets are not causal agents; they merely indicate where troubles in life originate, they don't cause trouble. In its portfolio, a planet has countless items including gems, trees, herbs, metals, fruits, flowers, directions, etc. By the above theory, a person should be able to neutralize negative planetary effect by utilizing any or all of the items associated with the planet, many of which are much cheaper than costly jewels. If a person is having problems with a weak Sun in his chart, for example, the theorized remedy is to simply plant a thorny tree (ruled by the Sun) in his yard, to help boost the solar energy. 

Classical astrological texts do give remedial measures, but they do not include wearing jewels. In his book, Brhat Parasara Hora Sastra, Parasara Muni has explained the perfect method for alleviating afflictions indicated by planets, and that is by the sincere worship of God. He writes that the planets are created by Krsna, and that each planet is a manifestation of a particular avatar of Krsna. So if a planet is signifying problems in one's life, then he should worship the particular avatar who controls that planet. The avatars and corresponding planets are as follows:

Graha Avatara
Sun Rama
Moon Krsna
Mars Narasimhadeva
Mercury Budha
Jupiter Vamanadeva
Venus Parasaruram
Sani Kurma
Rahu Varaha
Ketu Matsya

Actual remedial measures include fasting, chanting of mantras, worship of the cow, giving in charity, performing various sacrifices, etc. In relation to the appropriate avatar, this is a highly effective method. (By this is meant that the type of remedial measure will be different according to the situation and planets in question.) 

Prescribing of gems for astrological remedial purposes is fallacious at best, or at worst, even harmful. It is fallacious because there is no classical scriptural authority to confirm the use of gems for such purposes. And besides, where do gems get their powers, if not from Krsna (God)? Then there is the expense. To get actually good effects from gems, one must use only the very best quality, which in the case of jewels like ruby, diamond, emerald, blue sapphire, and cat's eye, cost a small fortune. Or, if the stones are inexpensive, that means they are flawed, chipped, discolored, and in many ways unsuitable for therapeutic use. In fact, the scriptures say that they will create negative effect. So unless you are willing and able to pay $20,000 for a two-carat "pigeon blood" ruby, don't bother. Better to spend your money, time, and energy for worshipping Krsna or one of His avatars.

It may seem that I have contradicted myself by saying that gems have powers, but I have not. All items under the jurisdiction of a planet have some effect. For example, a poorly placed Sun or Mars conjoined with Saturn could give indigestion, because of Saturn's suppressing the heat represented by these planets. A gem- prescribing astrologer would direct the subject to wear a ruby or red coral, to increase the power of Sun or Mars, respectively. But actually no such benefit would result. There might be some other benefit associated with these gems, as mentioned in Garuda Purana or Brhat-samhita, but not the improvement of digestion. A much simpler, effective, and inexpensive prescription would be to take more ginger, or chilies and hot spices, in one's food, eat only foods that are hot in temperature, avoid cold foods, etc. These are practical measures to counteract the cold effect of Saturn. And to effect Sun and Mars on the astrological level one could, if his health was bad enough to warrant the extra effort, worship Sri Rama or Sri Nrsimhadeva in a prescribed manner as recommended by the learned astrologer.

I'll give an example of the efficacy of sage Parasara's methods of dealing with the negative karma represented by the planets: Once, while I was visiting some astrologers in South India, a gentleman came to us with a serious problem concerning his aunt who lived in Bombay. Apparently she had a wrong-headed landlord who wanted to evict her from the apartment in which she had lived for many years; and she was neither financially or physically able to search for another apartment. What should she do in order to keep the apartment? After examining the chart of the woman and doing a prasna, the senior astrologer suggested a remedy: a yantra (talisman) should be made and special tantric mantras invoked into it. It should then be placed under the doormat of the landlord. When the landlord would step over the yantra, his mind would become changed. (In performing prasna there are ways to determine if a particular remedy will work. On applying the test, it was found that the yantra would not work.) Other remedies were suggested, including wearing jewels and making a special fire sacrifice, gathering the resulting ashes, and mailing them in an envelope to the landlord. On opening the envelope, the landlord would necessarily spill some ash on himself, and by the power of the sacrifice his mind would change. But all of these various potential remedies failed the test and so were abandoned.  

Finally, after seeing the failure of the other astrologers, I offered a suggestion based on Parasara's advice. I reasoned that since the problem indicated in the chart was caused by Saturn, the prescribed solution was to worship Kurmadeva, the avatar of Krsna associated with Saturn. My recommendation tested perfectly--the best possible combination, indicating the infallibility of the solution. But what happened next both surprised and disappointed me. Even after having passed the test with flying colors, my suggestion was rejected. Very dubious reasons were given; then I understood that had my suggestion been followed, the astrologer--who was also a tantric--would make no profit. The aunt needed only to worship Kurmadeva on her own; she wouldn't need to buy a gem from the astrologer, or have him perform an expensive fire sacrifice or make a costly yantra. So the astrologer kept trying to find other more complex, self-serving ways to help the lady.  

Q. Does he sell jewels? 

Worse than the astrologer who recommends gems is the one who sells them too. He who only recommends gems may merely be ignorant of philosophy and advanced astrological theory, whereas the one who also sells jewels is often a total scam artist out to swindle credulous people who have misplaced their faith in him. Often such crooked astrologers work in cahoots with a jewelry store. In fact, tantric astrologers started this misleading practice, and jewelers support it. Low-level tantrics began this to deviate persons from worshiping God; and jewelers support it because it increases their business.  

In India, particularly in a tantric-center like Bengal, if one enters a jewelry store, therein he will likely notice many small offices full of palmists and astrologers who read charts for a modest fee and then recommend an expensive stone to counteract troubling planetary influences. The customer buys the gem from the shop, and the astrologer gets a commission. If the astrologer both recommends and sells the jewel, he makes a sizable profit.  

I know of a few so-called astrologers of very limited talent who specialize in reading innocent persons' charts, saying all kinds of ominous things to scare the heebee-jeebees out of them, then calming and assuring the client that all will be fine if he just wears a ruby or pearl or some other stone. Of course, it just so happens that he has some gems with him (usually inexpensive and of low quality), which he is willing to sacrifice for a handsome price to this now-relieved sucker--relieved of money as well as anxiety.  

My main complaint is that in a mercenary and mercantile way simply motivated by profit an astrologer will sell or recommend a gem without even knowing if it will work as he claims it will.

Before moving on to the next point I would like to clarify that some gems do have potency and wearing them would be useful but not in the sense of a remedial measure but rather as a postive addition to your lifestyle. In some rare instance they may perhaps be useful as a remedial measure (in all my years of experience this has only happened less than 10 times). The point is that it must be ascertained through Prasna that that particular remedial measure, whether it be gem stone or whatever, must be guaranteed to work. This can only be found out by using techniques from Prasna before trying the remedial measure. My main complaint is that in a mercenary and mercantile way simply motivated by profit an astrologer will sell or recommend a gem without even knowing if it will work as he claims it will. I seldom recommend jewels, not because I am against them but because when ever I have tested to see if a gem will decrease the problem I very seldom get a positive answer. I have nothing to gain on this point, unlike those who sell or recommend jewels.

Lesson: Don't trust any astrologer or palmist who sells jewels. They are more likely interested in increasing their bank balance than in truly helping you. Click on the following link to find out more about legitimate forms of remedial measures.

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