- When and how you conceived SA, and how you went about putting it together. That it is an internet publication only is interesting, and that it goes out to all those countries is too.
SA: Thanks for this opportunity though we feel shy and a bit embarrassed that someone as senior like you is interviewing us, usually it is the other way around that is we love interviewing senior astrologers from the west and the east. In order to answer your query, well in India since 1895 there used to be a magazine called the Astrological Magazine in English done by a legendary astrologer called B Suryanarain Rao and it got closed down and was later revived in 1936 by Dr B V Raman, this magazine continued till 2007 and a lot of westerners wrote in that magazine so there was a great flow of knowledge. When this magazine closed down due to certain circumstances it hit me badly and I was speaking to one old astrologer by the name of Sundara Rajan, who has been writing in the Astrological Magazine since 1960s, he asked me to start a magazine and he offered to be the Editor. I flatly refused since I am not knowledgeable in the science, a young kid infact in the science, had no money, no other resources and no expertise in dealing with running a magazine. Infact I found the idea absurd and out of the blue, but he requested me to think it over, so for nearly 18 hours I thought about it intently, infact did not even eat much but kept on thinking that its time someone brought out the real astrology and fill the gap. Next day at around the same time I had previous chat with Mr Rajan, I called him up and said Lets do it. I did not even consult my chart whether I would be able to do it or I have the natal promise chart wise to do a magazine. Within 4 days I had contacted all the big astrologers of India and some of my friends in Vedic astrology in the west, all agreed so I was game. The only criteria was to publish ‘Only’ research articles and not the normal stuff that is produced in all magazines. After one week I spoke to Mr Rajan and he backed out being the editor due to his other engagements, knowing that he was a saintly man I understood that his main interest was now spirituality and not astrology. So I was left without an editor but since I had spoken to so many regarding the magazine I was forced to start the magazine. I knew the limitations of print magazine, once you write an article the next month no one can read your article, no one gets to see your wonderful research, forget 10 years down the line. Hence a digital magazine, that can survive even 200 years down the line. I see to it that this magazine is not just available on our server but worldwide servers so even after I die the articles will always be available, even after an author dies or his website closes down or his blog goes into oblivion on the internet, his articles would still be available somewhere.
- How many people do you have on your staff? The graphic design of SA is very Indian–how did you come up with that design?
SA: I feel shy replying to this query. When I started off I had 6 staff members but I made some foolish decisions of travelling around India and hunting old manuscripts and old astrologers so that knowledge comes out and this was a big expense, after 2 years I had to let go of the staff and now have just one staff member for 1 hour a day who takes care of the book shop orders. The rest it is me and the world wide volunteers of the magazine
- You carry articles ranging widely over the spectrum of astrological concerns, from a variety of perspectives–how did you come up with that concept?
SA: Very good question you have posed Robert. See over the years I have seen that astrology is a concept, for a concept to thrive & flourish the mind has to be open. If it’s too much open then confusion creeps in and Romantic & Abusively Creative astrology creeps in. But what I noticed is whether it is the west or the east, minds are closed, each of us are happy with the ‘I Am Happy In My Cave’ feeling but this restricts the growth of knowledge. Jupiter rules knowledge and wisdom here in Vedic Astrology and Jupiter is Ether element and for Ether element to blossom a mind with no biases is required.
I used to meet a lot of astrologers from all strata of life and I would share at the end of the meeting the knowledge of one astrologer to the other, what I observed that instantly many a times that knowledge would be rejected by the other astrologer, it was just a case of closed minds. Plus I found a lot of hatred to Western Astrology by Indian astrologers and vice versa, this is not good for a divine science like astrology hence I decided that Vedic Astrologers worldwide need to learn atleast a few things about Western astrology and vice versa, the whole process for me is not knowledge sharing but far more important which is opening up the Heart Center (or Chakra as Indians call it), once the heart center is opened trust me knowledge just flows, one does not even require a teacher, knowledge just flows, that’s how divine knowledge is. What I want to promote via this concept of the magazine is Lets Be More Civil and accept Western Astrology and vice versa (Indian Astrology), we need not accept everything in it but atleast lets give it an open ear, something will go into the subconscious and after some time it will pop out in the form of the astrology that we are doing in terms of an idea or a concept which is not related to the Western Astrology (in case you are doing Vedic Astrology). I don’t know if I have been able to explain the concept clearly, my English is not that good.
- Another question: Since you are in India where Vedic astrology prevails, how do you see incorporating both Western and Vedic? What are your thoughts about each? Some Vedic astrologers in the US say that Vedic is much more precise and much better able to predict coming events in a subject’s life. How do you see it?
SA: Let me clarify one thing that most do not know, in the 1940s thanks to Astrological Magazine of India and also Taraporewala Publishers, Mumbai a lot of Western Astrology books/knowledge came to India. Our yesteryear astrologers infact know more about Western Astrology than the modern generations of Vedic astrologers in India since somehow by chance they were more open minded. It’s a sad thing today that most astrologers in India reject Western astrology. I have met so many of the finest predictors and incidentally they are using both systems of astrology, western and vedic. Yes Robert, they are super fine predictors than the ones using just one system of astrology and it’s just about one’s ability to be able to synthesize both or selectively use both systems where and when it suits them. I myself cannot incorporate both since I have no teacher in Western astrology but I do not run the magazine via my whims and fancies or biases, I know that we all must learn Both Systems atleast to a certain extent. At the same time its important to study more diversified non traditional material like for e.g Edgar Cayce’s work on astrology. The clues he has given on Planets and Signs is amazing, if one uses it subtly one can make Super Fine predictions.
Coming to your question as to ones thoughts about each system, well most Vedic astrologers tend to think that Western astrology is only psychology oriented and Western astrologers think that Indian astrology is only event or negative event oriented, this is all false and superficial. First and foremost Western Astrology has so many streams and branches most of us in Vedic do not even know about it. It all needs to come out in the open in a common platform, there are many streams in Western astrology which are event plus exact date oriented and far more precise than Indian astrology, it would only stun the Vedic astrologer when he starts to learn the methods of western astrology.
As to your other query of what Vedic Astrologers in US feel that Indian astrology is far more precise, it’s just not true, yes Indian astrology can be easy once you understand it but if I do not want to create a sensation but what I have seen is that ‘Real Jyotish’ has not even come out in India in the open then how many years will it take for a US astrologer who is into Vedic astrology to learn the real Indian astrology. Its most unfortunate that whatever we know in India is so limited and even that is so badly taught in US, I have seen the courses in US and UK, it’s all corrupted and incomplete form of Indian Astrology. No real hardcore effort seems to have been made by any Western Vedic astrology organisation to even present the traditional form of Indian astrology but then one can’t blame the West or the Indians involved in those organisations. The True astrology has never come out from India, it’s all hidden and whatever has come out, only the most corrupted form is presented in the west in a nicely packaged format.
And, yes, I’d like to get your thoughts about worldwide astrology, including the scams run.
So maybe we could begin this dialogue by me asking when and how you
conceived SA. Reply to that question and we can proceed from there.