Issues in Veda and Astrology

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Issues in Veda and Astrology
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Editorial Note

 

Rashtriya Veda Vidya Pratishthan organised a national Seminar on "Veda and Jyotisha" at New Delhi from 21st to 24th December, 1990. More than 100 scholars from different parts of India participated in this SeminarSahitya Academy also extended its cooperation to the Rashtriya Veda Vidya Pratishthansince Vedic literature constitutea major source of various streams of Indian literatureThe venue of the Seminar was the Seminar Hall of the Sahitya Academy. The Department of Astrology of Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan also extended cooperation to the Seminar and one full session of the Seminar was held at the premises of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan. Several participants presentewrittepapers, while others spoke extempore. The significance and dignity of the Seminawas heightened by the fact thait was inaugurated by DrB. V. Ramanwhile the Presidential address was delivered bthe Honourable Chief Justice of India, Shri Ranganath Mishra. It was also a matter of satisfaction that SmtRajeshvari Ramaalso participated in the Seminar and presented the viewof Reference of Yoga to thupliftment of women. At the Inaugural function, Shri Kireet Joshi the then Member SecretaryRashtriya Veda Vidya Partishthan gave the welcome addressShri Sudhakar Pandey, formerly Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), DrK.N. Rao, Vice-Chairman Rashtriya Sanskrit Santhan, and DrMandan Mishra, Vice-Chancellor, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth delivered special addresses at the inaugural function.


During the course of the Seminarimportant problems came ufodiscussion, and discussions were lively and stimulating. Is Astrologscience ? Why do astrological predictiongo wrong? What is the utility of Astrology for the modern man? What truths are contained in Bhrigu Samhita and Nadi literature ? What is the place of Astrology in Indian Culture ? What is the relationship between Astronomand Astrology ? What is the place of Panchanga in Astrology ? Is there need to standardise Panchanga ? These anseveral othequestions occupied the minds of the participants for four days, and yet the time wafound to be shortsince several participants did not get the time to present their views. The Valedictory address was deliverd bShri Subhash Kashyap, formerly Secretary-Generaof the Lok SabhaShri T.N. Chaturvdi and Dr. B. V. Raman alsspoke 'at the Valedictory function. DrIndranath Chaudhury, Secretary, Sahitya Academy also spoke.

 

The entire proceedingof the Seminar were tape-recordedThe originaidea was to bring out a volume consisting of all the written papers and extempore speeches as alsthe detailed discussions. However, fovarious reasons, the transcriptions from tape-recordings have been so defective that it is impossible to present any faithful version of the proceedings, except in regard to the papers and speeches which were presented in the written form. We have, thereforedecided to collecand present in this volumonly the texts of the written speeches and papers.

 

Last year, Rashtria Veda Vidya Prathisthan requested me to undertake the task of editing all the materials connected with the Seminar. Although I was extremely occupied with a number of other responsibilities, I could not refuse this request because, in my view, this Seminar had dealt with the issues of Astrology with scientific rigour and contributions made by various participants were truly of high order. There is a great need to remove mis-conceptions regarding astrology; there is also a need to collect emperical facts, on the basis of which the scientific nature of astrology can be demonstrated; there is also a need to· develop astrological science by investigating several issues on which sharp differences of opinion have persisted. I was very happy that the Prathisthan had consulted several Vedic and astrological scholars in the country while organising this Seminar, and I was personally impressed by the fact that the Pratishthan manifested a sincere aspiration to explore the relationship between Veda and Astrology without dogmatism and without any pre-conceived ideas and prejudices. For all these reasons, I felt happy to be associated with the Seminar, and when the task of editing the papers came to be assigned to me, I gladly accepted it.

 

I should like to record my gratefulness to the members of staff of the Pratisthan who have helped me in various aspects of the work of editing. In particular, I am thankful to Shri Kireet Joshi, former Member Secretary, of the Rashtriya Ved Vidya Prathisthan, who has actively been associated with me in my editorial work.

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