Tens of millions of people visit astrologers for various reasons. Out of those millions, a few thousand email me every year. Often, they write to me when they are worried about something their astrologer has told them about the future. And, generally, the same fortune teller also tells them some upaya, remedy, like, “wear this stone” or “do this” or “do that” and the impending doom will be taken care of. Often (not always though), the prescribed remedy has monetary value too. This is where the astrologer profits.

If they charge you for giving you a remedy, they profit from it directly. If they tell you to do something where no money is involved, they gain from it indirectly by winning your trust. You think, this is a good astrologer. He has no vested interest, he stands to gain nothing from it. But, the truth is today he’s telling you a ‘free’ remedy, tomorrow he’ll tell you a paid one. Or, to you he’s giving a free amulet and he’ll charge the next reference client you will bring to this good fortune teller.

I’m not suggesting that all astrologers are out there to dupe you. On the contrary, there are many who are well-read, wise and intuitive. There are good ones too who genuinely believe in their systems of prediction. Unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily mean the system is genuine. Recently, a betrothed one wrote the following:

We consulted an astrologer for advise on our marriage and were told that both our birth charts indicated that we would have serious conflict and friction in our marriage unless we changed the date and the time zone of our wedding and also that my partner’s life could be in peril if we married and stayed in India after marriage. Please advise.

Before I tell you what I really think about this question and the astrologer, let me share a little story with you from a Hindu text.

Once upon a time, a certain master who was a great tapasvin, a rishi, with many powers, had a brilliant pupil who was only 10 years old. The master, who happened to be an accomplished astrologer too, checked his student’s chart and realized that he was destined to live only until the age of 12. Greatly disturbed, he set out to change the course of destiny.

Taking his student with him, he approached Brahma, the creator, urging him to grant a longer lifespan to the young student.
“I see your plight,” Brahma said. “He’s bright and can help mankind. But, my job is to create. We’ll have to implore Vishnu.”

With a view to help, Brahma accompanied them to see the blue god, Vishnu, who said that his role was only to sustain Creation and therefore, he couldn’t possibly add more years to the student’s life interfering with the wheel of time. He advised them to go to Shiva.

Both Brahma and Vishnu joined the teacher and his student to meet Shiva, the destroyer. The foremost yogin, Shiva, pondered over the matter and replied that his job was to merely destroy in accordance with the laws of nature and that it was not appropriate to use his power to stop the wheel of dharma. They advised the master to let nature unfold the way it was planning to.

The master, however, wouldn’t relent and requested that they accompany him so he could plead his case with the god of death. The holy trinity, the student and teacher, went to Dharmaraja — the god responsible for ensuring the death of each living being. Meanwhile, two years passed and the boy had turned 12. He dropped dead in the palace of Dharmaraja — in the presence of Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, his guru, and Dharmaraja himself.

The teacher was startled. “The most powerful gods are here,” he said. “How can my student die now in your presence?”

Dharmaraja looked up, as if examining the divine record of the pupil to ascertain the cause of death and shook his head in disbelief.

“What happened?” the teacher asked.
Dharmaraja said, “This boy of exceptional intelligence was destined to do great things. Indeed, it was beyond my power to capture him. For, he could only die when none other than Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, along with his teacher and the student himself, in flesh and bones, would all come together and visit me in my abode! It was impossible had you not looked into his chart.”

I hope you get the idea. Let’s gracefully accept some things and work on the others.

If there’s any way to change your destiny then it is by working on yourself. Everything falls into place then. Gems and stones, totems and trinkets, and what have you, cannot change the course of time. If your marriage is on the rocks then both partners have to work on it. If you are in debt then you’ve got to cut down your expenses and increase your income. Wearing a certain stone or pacifying a certain planet is not the answer if you ask me.

Besides, in the classical texts of astrology, there’s nothing called an ‘upaya’ or a ‘remedy’. Astrology is broadly categorized into two types: calculative astrology (ganit jyotish. IAST: gaṇita jyōtiṣa) and predictive astrology (phalit jyotish. IAST: phalita jyōtiṣa). 

Calculative or computational astrology is a branch of astronomy and is primarily concerned with the movement of the planets and stars. Predictive astrology is about the impact of such movements on you as an individual. There are no ‘upayas’ or remedies. There is no such thing as ‘you do this or that then you could avoid such and such incident’. (I say this based on two things. One, there’s not a classical text on astrology that I haven’t read. And, two, for many years, I professionally practiced astrology.)

Does that mean you should discard every solution prescribed by an astrologer? I’m not saying there’s no truth to astrology. I’m only suggesting that remedies etc. are all fluff. Think of them as placebo. Use it only for your psychological advantage. It hasn’t anything else to offer.

And, let me tell you my simple principle. If anyone ever creates fear in you, be that person an expert astrologer, a religious authority, a preacher or swami etc., it’s a good time to abandon him or her. It is so easy to bank on fears. For your own good, if you wish to lead a life of freedom, don’t give anyone the right to instill fear in you. In any which way.

If you have read my memoir, then you would know what I really think about astrology. Let me sum it up for you, nevertheless: I never consulted astrology before taking any major or minor decisions in my life. Whether that was starting or naming a business, buying a house or moving to a new country, investing in a company or embarking on a new journey. I just did what suited my schedule. I only consult the lunar calendar for some of my spiritual practices to honor certain traditions.

If astrology could solve your problems, why would an astrologer’s life have any problems at all? Why would they fall ill or have wayward children? Why would they struggle financially or go through divorce? Something for you to think about.

Do you think that the world’s richest, most powerful people, the greatest minds, inventors, philosophers, scientists and entrepreneurs went around consulting astrologers or fortune tellers? Please wake up and look within yourself for all the answers. Take control of your time and act accordingly. That’s all that matters at the end of the day.

Have faith in yourself, in your God. Do the right thing, make the right choices, be compassionate and don’t give up. You won’t have to worry about astrology then. Instead, you’ll carve your way through adversity and obstacles like a river moves through earth and stones.

P.S. Happy Independence Day to fellow Indians at home and overseas. Vandē mātaram.

Editorial Note

The post above has given you an understanding of astrology and perhaps answered the most popular question — “Is astrology real?” Given the vastness of the field, the questions below offer a deeper look at the workings of different astrological aspects. Still wondering how astrology is a real science? Dive in!
How do I generate my birth chart for free?

Your birth chart, known as Vedic Kundli, is an imprint of your characteristics, strengths, and weakness revealed by planetary alignment at the time of birth. While one’s life is not dictated by it, Vedic Kundli can certainly be used as a guiding tool to make conscious decisions and face situations without losing our sanity of mind.

You may have asked yourself, “Is astrology real?” many a time! Our horoscope calculator offers you the answer because you learn not just to generate reports but also to understand the science behind such calculations. Click here to here to generate your birth chart for free.

Can anyone learn to be an astrologer?

I believe that astrology doesn’t really predict or change the course of your life. After studying all the major and classical texts on astrology, after learning and practicing it for years, I even turned my own horoscope to ashes. The only reason I had that courage was because I understood the art and (quasi) science of astrology.

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I feel it would do anyone good to know the theory and practice of astrology. Astrology is a vidya anyone should be able to learn and not be limited to a few astrologers, most of whom practice it for a living and therefore carry an inherent bias.

My view is if I can share with you the framework of astrology and remove the veil of mystique that surrounds it, you will then be empowered in unimaginable ways. The Truth of Astrology course does just that. Click here to learn more about it and get the answer to the question you may have been asking yourself – is astrology real?

Why is the astrological matching of horoscopes so important in an Indian marriage?

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Matching the horoscopes of the prospective groom and bride is an age-old practice in India. In the present times, though, I do not recommend making important decisions like marriage on the basis of horoscopes or Kundli matching. It doesn’t befit an educated or a spiritual person to make life-defining decisions based on astrological charts, in my humble view. Is astrology real enough that you would base your whole life around it?

If you are still looking to match a horoscope, however, I have provided you the necessary tool here so you don’t have to rely on any third person for this information and therefore, eliminate the chances of being misguided.


There were four members in a household. Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. A bill was overdue. Everybody thought Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it but Nobody did it.
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