Internet Forums By Sreeram Srinivas

In olden days, astrologers were a community amongst a particular caste i.e., Brahmins, difficult to see anyone from other communities.    The exchange of astrologer’s experiences was limited to the Brahmin Sabhas[1], where the honorary titles were given, exchanged for new ones, youngster given the chance to put their knowledge before other seniors and get accolades.    In away it served as perpetual system, till nature took its toll through ever changing time, bringing in groups, sycophancy, etc., leading to less knowledge exchanges and resulting in near death of this great subject.

India being karma bhoomi[2], blessed by Gods, continue to produce saints and sage throughout the history akin to a factory, inspite of losing the sacred texts, the subject continues to thrive and regenerate the lost texts through blessings of this saints & sages, bringing a renaissance and resurgence of this immortal subject.

Sri Yukteswar has kept alive the subject of astrology, an enlightened soul blessed by Sri Mahavatar Babaji himself, through his divine experience via his brief work “The Holy Science”.  Later the divine nature acting through messenger Sri B.V. Raman, single handedly elevated the subject through his remarkable predictions of World War and once again brought astrology to the limelight.  

There on, astrology went on through a quick renaissance, saw the emergence of great predictors like Sri C.S. Patel, Sri D.V. Subba Rao, Sri K.N. Rao and few Maharastrian astrologers, delving deep into the subject churning out volumes of knowledge to forefront, while carrying out their other daily activities in an era where they were devoid of any modern-day communication we enjoy today.   It is indeed a remarkable achievement and a blessing to note the bibliography of the books these eminent astrologers went through in their lifetime, in presenting pearls of wisdom on vedic astrology.   This was the golden period of Vedic Astrology in India.

The advent of internet in mid 1990’s, saw the global communication also the rise of pseudo astrologers.   The perils of globalization can also be felt in divine subject like astrology, where the image created by genuine astro-stalwarts has brought global attention to Vedic astrology & to its predictive powers.    The curiosity to learn about ones, future perspective has seen influx of western world to fulfill their knowledge quest with all its sincerity and probing mindsets. Who would ‘not’ like to assume the power of God for a moment when counseling an individual? And enjoy the fame it may bring upon? This created an opportunity to all lesser-known pseudo astrologers to promote themselves using the power of internet, as evident from innumerable astrology groups on the Yahoo portal.

The general capacity in an individual to face life and its travails stoically, going down and people looking for quick fix remedies adds another dimension to internet astrology as it is practiced today.

In an instant, a professional astrologer in a group known for its free readings confessed he had 25+ fake ids, which shocked me.    Getting this new wisdom, started to read mails carefully, surprised to find great similarities, in the language used by the query raiser and also the responder, which attracted new members to his professional fold!!

Inspired by this well-known astrologer, another perverted intelligent technocrat tried to do better than the professional astrologer by having email ID for each of United Nations registered member countries, as if participating in a sponsored resolution, he is used to flood a group with mails with almost identical subject.

In the internet astrology, the skill of the person behind the ID is unknown.  So about the querist, if he is a genuine poser.   What method or school of thought he belongs is also unknown.  In short, the credibility of querist and astrologer both is suspect.   It is generally observed on internet that the member(s) interest lies only in their horoscopes or their immediate family; they vanish subsequently without any feedback or gratitude.

In a well-known instance, the accuracy of predictions was beyond logics of astrology statistics, it was found that the query poser and predictor were in cozy relationship. Similar instances of a person advocating his/her astro_teacher is in divine communion with God, all querists should seek his advice, later to know that all email id’s belonged to the same person.   Possibly, he learnt the wrong lessons of web marketing or promotion.

There is a breed of inquisitive amateur astrologers, who chance on every birth data posted on internet and apply their newly acquired knowledge and intensely debating the analysis, later to realize that an intelligent internet savvy amateur, was using others hard work to trade with his clients and passing it as it owns, to chagrin of amateurs.

There is special group of internet “raiders” inspired by Angelia Jolie’s “Tomb Raiders” come up with “Help or Die” mails, obsessed with a their own problems, which are second to none, post it to every astrology group on internet, get feedback, then get confused, again post all advises or responses received to “cross” so that the astros fight themselves and filter out the best advice – an inspiration drawn from the American Idols, fortunately, the querist is the only sitting judge.

The expectations of a new querist on internet are very high, for them astrology gives the power to preview the future through the crystal gazing of “Discovery Video” and have insatiable appetite of querying

On a cursory look observe the number of real astros remain same, except each one now having their own groups and flourish; however, each group shows on average has 1,000+ members with majority of them questionable for being fake ids or a member joining with multiple avatars to safeguard his interests in event of being banned.

Astrology is better learnt through direct communication rather through internet reading.     Internet astrology groups or forums, are dominated by Indians, where ethics take back seat, self promotion is prime focus, omnipresence of Machiavellian sub-groups to browbeat any opposition voices, against preset astro_interests.

I once found a profound wisdom in visiting a family General Physician periodically is better than making one’s own decision to which & what medical specialist to visit, for a Physician would be a better poised to guide you to specialist for having known your body’s behavior or symptoms.

Similarly, sticking to a known astrologer and acting on his directions is better wisdom, unless you conclude him for cheating or going wrong consistently.

My advice to all new internet astrology entrants, including innocent western cousins, is that they guard themselves to above mentioned categorization based on real cases, beware of larger-than-life images on internet.

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