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Faith and Dogma

By Kshitij Sharma, September 27, 2005

Over the last week, two conflicting points of view made me think and made me think really hard. First, there was a comment in my site’s guest book by GK ( which said how can I believe in Astrology being an engineer myself. And the other was an article in New York Times about how some people in USA think that schools should not just be teaching evolution in its classical sense, the way Darwin explained it, but also in the way it is described in Bible.Many of you would have already guessed where I am going with this. We all know that life started on this Earth in the form of a single celled organism called Amoeba. We all know that human beings descended from apes. We all somehow know. No doubt, there is reason behind it. The arguments presented by the paleontologists do look convincing. They may not be able to prove everything, but they do present their theories in a logical manner, in a manner in which things make sense. After we have bought these arguments, it is impossible to believe that evolution did not happen and the world was created just about 4000 years back.

On the other hand, I am a believer in Astrology, but I am hard pressed to call it a science. I cannot, for the love of God, explain how Astrology works. I do not know and cannot explain how planets influence our life. Do they do it through gravity, electricity, magnetism or what? I do not know. I have no idea why Earth is not one of the planets in our horoscope, even after being the most important planet that really influences us in all the ways.

Yet, I am amazed every time I meet a good astrologer and how she/he can read about my life just by looking at my horoscope. Astrologers do make good predictions. Sorry, I would like to correct that – Good astrologers make good predictions. Mr. Rangarao, the astrologers my parents talk to, is a very learned jyotishi. When my parents showed him my horoscope for the first time, he immediately commented that I was about to travel abroad and indeed I was in Chennai then, getting my H1-B stamped. He did tell my parents that I was going to come back to India and settle here. Instances like these make a believer out of each one of us even though we cannot explain them rationally.

Then who is right? No one ! The two sides – so called rationalists who abhor Astrology and leave no chance of maligning it and the self proclaimed religious leaders who think that myths and scriptures have answers to all the questions in the universe are being equally dogmatic. They do not want to even listen to what the other side has to say, let alone have a discussion. This is not good for knowledge.

There is a third category. These people keep an open mind and try to scrutinize religious scriptures as though they are real historical documents. They are the one trying to ascertain how Jesus really looked like, where exactly was Krishna’s Dwarka, when did Rama rule over India etc. How are we ever going to find out whether Vedas were really written during Sarasvati Valley Civilization if we do not keen an open mind?

What is the solution to this problem? The solution, ironically, lies only in faith. It lies in giving the people on the other side a chance to speak and believing that they could possibly be right.


  • Comment by Anonymous on October 4, 2005 at 12:25 pm

    Sharmaji, I need your help.

    My best friend is in trouble. I want to help her. Her birth details is 30-Apr-79/10:41 am/calcutta. She is doing her MBA and going through a very hard time. Could you please tell me if she will have a good career or not? Will she be able to get married to her boyfriend(1-apr-1979/8:05 PM/Calcutta)?

    She is so upset that she is thinking of commiting suicide. Please help. Amit, 9886797535,

  • Comment by Anonymous on October 14, 2005 at 9:32 pm

    The chart is loaded with rajayogas. Career is at 5 star level. So is family life and wealth. Troubles will vanish after another 2 years (the girl is undergoing the last phase of 7 1/2 year saturn run.)

  • Comment by Anonymous on October 24, 2005 at 1:27 pm

    Hi Sharma,

    very nice blogs also the charts in geosites. i am surprised and also nice to know that u have developed ur hobby into very informative and helpful stuff to others.

    Incidentally i to am s/w pro working in motorola. I had to browse to details on astro since my friend is in big problem with marriage. I have never believed in astro before but need has arisen now 😉

    Kindly get in touch with my id for me to give u further details.
    ur help will be of great help.
    Thanks for your time in advance.


  • Comment by Dave on November 11, 2005 at 4:13 pm

    Dear Mr. Sharmaji,
    Please go to and see the problems in the theory of evolution. More on the lecture series is also at, click on T-Rex.

  • Comment by DVS on January 25, 2006 at 7:01 pm

    For the non-believers:
    Astrology is an indicative science, no one can predict future but just indicate! Those non-believers actually do not understand the actual meaning of astrology.
    Events do not happen they exist, only the time frame of reference is different… guess whose theory? Does this sound like astrology, and more important… does it sound scientific?

  • Comment by Anonymous on June 4, 2006 at 4:21 pm

    Hi Kstitij

    Thanks a lot for your nice and rational thoughts. I would like to share my thoughts on both Astrology and Palmistry.

    To me both these are more of Statstics rather than exact sciences. Our great ancestors some how found a co-relation between human life and way planets move.

    I think they intially created a small sample space of few people and and then tried to predict life of each new person they came across and in the process they refined their model by adding this person to sample space thus creating a huge sample space which could be used to predict to some extent how a person lives based on his planetary positions

  • Comment by Krishna on August 30, 2006 at 3:37 pm


    We are all, probably with the exception of very few mahatmas, going through this cycle of endless births and deaths. What happens to me in this and future births is based on what I did in my past births. Likewise, what I do in this birth will influence the experiences that I will have to undergo in my future births.

    In our journey through births and deaths, the horoscope for each birth is the instrument panel or dash board which INDICATES the different events, circumstances and experiences that are likely to unfold in that birth.

    Just as by noting down the readings on the various instruments of the control panel, one can take the right decisions and steer the vehicle appropriately; by reading the horoscope, one can take remedial measures to ensure that the impact of adverse situations in life are minimised, if not in this birth, atleast in the future births to come.


  • Comment by Krishna on February 28, 2007 at 2:19 pm


    When it comes to Astrology, people have varied expectations. Astrologers (amatuer as well as professional) need to work very intelligently to manage these expectations.

    An example would explain this better. Consider a frequently asked question such as, “when will I get married?”. Nothing wrong with this question and what the astrologer does when faced with this question is to try and “time” the event by looking at the various methods, techniques and tools available, such as dasha / antardasha, transits, prasna, so on and so forth. Here, one has to make the assumption that the data is fairly accurate because we use this data in making detailed mathematical calculations and eventually arrive at a date or range of dates when the marriage is likely to occur. However, in this exercise, one frequently faces a situation wherein different techniques throw up different dates. So which one of these would be the best fit? At this point in time, usually, the astrologer’s “intuition” comes to play.

    The point here is that, we cannot entirely depend on results of mathematical calculations alone, whereas a question such as, “when will I get married?” expects such an answer that can be best arrived by mathematics. And even a very seasoned astrologer may occasionally give out date/s based on calculations topped by “intuition”. It may so happen that on the given date/s, the expected event may not occur. This will result in either (a) declaring the inefficiency of the astrologer or (b) more likely, to declare that astrology is just superstition and does not really work.

    So what should the astrologer do when faced with such a situation? Before this question is answered, consider another typical question. Wouldn’t it be easier if the question were to be, “how is my matrimonial life going to be?”. This is easier to answer in a satisfactory manner. Look at the condition of the 7th house, 7th lord, karaka Venus, etc., and give a general reading on the individual’s probable quality of married life.

    Whereas, on the surface, the difference between these two questions seems to be very obvious, the way these questions are framed are based on two different, fundamentally different, basic premises and expectations from Astrology. In the first question, the underlying expectation out of astrology is a very deterministic answer, something like, “you will get married on April 3rd, 2007”. Doesn’this go against the very basis of Astrology being a science that shows tendancies and possibilities rather than being a deterministic science. If every thing could be accurately predicted by computation, then there would be no free will at all for human being beings! On the other hand, the second question is only asking for possible situation of future married life and is more in line with what astrology truly has to offer, which are indications and tendancies.

    So, the responsibility of the clients’ expectations management lies squarely with the Astrologer. In this context, the shloka that is quoted on top of the first page of every issue of the Astrological MAgazine is very apt.

    Phalani grahacharena suchayanthi manishanah.
    Ko vakta taratamyasya tamekam vedasam vinaa.


  • Comment by bibhutibhushan on March 12, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    first of all i would like to tell you all, that i really appreciate your view points. but regarding astrology, i have certain things to say. i am intrigued by astrology and i love the mysticism which it unfurls at every bend of planetary positions and aspects and yogas. yet, some how after going through parasara, mantreswara, jaimini, varahamihir— i found something really very strange. if one goes through these scriptures one would definitely find that they offer more studies and insights into “NON-SUCCESS” than “SUCCESS”. I thought that I found more number of yogas, aspects and planetary postions which can ruin, devastate, destroy, annihilate a man’s hopes, his strength to survive, his desire to exist and the desire to succeed than yogas and planetary positions which offer hope and happiness, which can boost the will power of a man.I somehow think that just because these astrologers had some power (nobody except the Brahman can look into the seeds of time), they wanted to exert it on people and thereby gain control over them and thereby gain power themselves. And the only way to make people subjugate is to inject fear in them. A man who is not afraid of anything, cannot be bound and surely he would succeed in everything.
    I personally believe that if one can move forward with courage, ready to face whatever comes his way, and keep an unshakable trust in GOD, one can do anything. Sorrows, misfortunes, deaths, disasters are bound to happen. Nobody can stop it. There is no astrolger who can prevent them. They to some extent can predict it. But how one faces it shows his mettle, his real self. If in the Sunderbans a tiger attacks me, i don’t think i would have the time to consult my astrolger or think about my atmakaraka and arudha lagna,neechbhanga and gulika or my planetary transit. my first instinct would be to run and climb a tree. If then i remember that my mars is debilitated and if that that makes me shake, then i’ll fall off the tree and offer myself as a sweetmeat to the tiger. that would be really unfortunate, isn’t it?

  • Comment by k.h.shankaranarayana on December 18, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Why it should only be indicative? Even human beings developed with divine qualities can make it predictive,why not? ultimately the spirit of a humane being if docile, humble and wise exalts him to supernal, who is absolutely accouterd to prognosticate on anything.This is how man can be divine if he finds the spark of immanent divinity in him through intuitive means.Brilliant indeed.

  • Comment by k.h.shankaranarayana on December 18, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    k.h. shankaranarayana and k.h shankara are one and the same person.Because of needfulness of brevity elsewhere name is perforce curtailed down,otherwise they are same bodies,same mind and same souls.

  • Comment by sanjay kumar dey on March 22, 2015 at 12:06 am

    sharmaji namaste
    mera birth 17 august 1976 raat 12:30 baje hua (according to english calender 18 aug 1976 at 00:30 hrs. in shillong, meghalaya) i m facing lots of trouble in my marriage life from last one and half year. my wife don’t want to see my face, don’t want to stay with me and living separate in her father’s house along with children
    her DOB is 18/9/1981 after 9:00 am in Lanka, nagaon, assam. plz kindly tell me why i m facing such problems.
    thank you

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