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The Hall-Marks of New Systems of VA: Purushartha-based Continuity & Yuga-based Discontinuity

In the last two decades, such pioneering Jyotish Acharyas as Pandit Vamadeva Shastri [ 2, 3, 6 ] , and Prof. V. K. Choudhry [ 7, 12, 13, 16 ] [as well as probably some other learned Vedic astrologers, but of whom the author is not aware] have made their original contributions, in giving either a ‘Purushartha-based continuity‘ or a ‘Yuga-based dis-continuity‘ w.r.t. age-old interpretations and sutras and in this way, a vibrant new life has come to be infused into this ancient system of Vedic learning.

As in modern times, man has practically become a stranger to the spiritual spheres of Dharma & Moksha. Pandit Vamadeva Shastri, through the development of his spiritual system of Vedic astrology, has given us a good taste & feeling as to what Vedic astrology could possibly be like in these spiritual spheres – especially to such of those in the present materialistic age, whose destiny it has been to ‘cross-over’ against the prevailing current of our times, to the farther shores of Dharma & Moksha. This is what we would like to call ‘Purushartha-based continuity’, which implies an emphasis on the ancient spiritual-goals of Dharma & Moksha, rather than on the mundane goals of Artha & Kama – goals which have become beloved to man in the present materialistic age.

However, unable to resist the ‘downward gravitational pull’ exerted by the mother matrix of Hindu society which even at this hour is still very much under a profound debilitation; these spiritual systems of Vedic astrology could not develop that critical ‘escape velocity’, for breaking into the vast open spaces – to receive therein the blessings of analytical clarity and predictive accuracy, which clearly lie beyond the confines of traditional frameworks – as the revolutionary Systems Approach was fortunate enough to achieve.

On the other hand, taking into account the prevailing goals of Artha & Kama in the life of modern man world-wide, Prof. V.K. Choudhry, keeping the goals of self-consistency, predictive accuracy, analytical clarity, and the stringent ascertainment of planetary strengths, has made a significant and bold departure from traditional Vedic astrology, on the grounds that the present age [Yuga] is intrinsically certainly not as spiritual at all, as the ones to which the Vedic and the ancient Hindu societies belonged [ 7 ] . This called for a reformulation of the sutras of VA, as they now have to apply to the mundane spheres of Artha & Kama. This is what we should understand by ‘Yuga-based discontinuity’.

There are, as we may well imagine, very many specialized schools of Vedic astrology and I have mentioned only those Jyotish Acharyas, whose systems of Vedic astrology I had the good fortune to thoroughly study and assimilate. I believe that no scholar can stake a claim to be a practitioner of all the numerous systems and schools of Vedic astrology! He usually studies one or two schools of astrology and gains competence only in the domain of the chosen schools. Once he has covered this important ground, it becomes easy for him to see the demerits as well as the merits of any other system, of which he may not be a practitioner at all.