Astrology: Science or a sham?
This question is as debated as the existence of god and evolution versus creationism.
Those who believe in astrology, hail it as the ultimate guiding light in their life. It is not hard to find people who wear certain gems, wear particular colours and will fast on certain special days.
Tanushree, a botany consultant with AIIMS, vouches for astrology as a science. She says, "If you are aware of your correct time of birth, then soothsaying can work wonders for you". She also recommends gem therapy and allied sciences (such as gems, horoscopes, fruit astrology, tarot reading) for a better life.
But non-believers trash this claim as baseless. "Astrology talks about a few, chosen planets but why doesn't it talk about other planets that have existed since forever? Don't they affect our lives?" they argue.
Science or no science, astrology has guided humans since ancient times. Every civilisation and every possible religion has some mention of stars and their impact on our lives.
Many of the older generation however, do not trust practitioners. They feel duped by the so-called astro 'experts' and feel that this is an easy way of minting money.
However, things seem to be the different with Gen-Y. The so-called hip-hop generation believes in astrology and follows soothsaying to the core.
Diwaker Garg 24, who is currently pursuing MBA, is influenced by astrology. He believes in numerology ardently and reads the daily predictions religiously. He wears colours that are recommended for him and prefers to avoid certain tasks if his horoscope says so.
Incidentally, Gen-Y flocks to astro experts in large numbers. Mumbai-based Astrologer Lara Shah says that most youngsters come to her to seek advice on career, love and marriage. What do other people ask her? She elaborates: "Some people ask me for a permanent solution for their problems; others enquire about gem therapy or yantra-mantra remedies. But I only suggest Holistic Healing. I recommend spiritual healing methods such as yoga and even Vaastu."
Things seem to be looking up for astrologers as well. The Govt has even recognised it as a course.
Youngsters also seem to be pepped up about the course. Many of them see a future in this practice. Astrologer Reeta Shanker says astrology is an emerging career option.
Lara Shah believes that astrology is a science. She is also happy with the fact that the Govt has now recognised it as a course of study. She adds that astrology has four different ways of predicting the future, but these methods have their own limitations.
Of all the allied sciences, astrology seems to be most popular. Studies like numerology, Vaastu, Feng Shui and Tarot have less following. Tarot is popular in Mumbai but Delhites have a different tale for this. Neha Jain, currently pursuing her graduation degree from Delhi, doesn't seem to be convinced by Tarot. "One has to pick cards from a deck of 78 pictures. Every picture symbolises something but it won't necessarily answer your query. It's just like gambling," she says. Her friends too share a similar response.