By Khansaher Darasha Dosabhoy, F.T.S., Deputy-Collector at Sholapur. | Editor’s Note by H.P. Blavatsky
Insurance Companies Beware!
“I am already known to you as a Fellow of the Society and a subscriber to the THEOSOPHIST. While glancing over the February number, my eyes just now caught a foot-note at page 104, inviting opinion of “Hindu” gentlemen on the subject of prophetic horoscopes.
“Parsees have their nativity case and horoscopes drawn just as Hindus do. I, therefore, wish to have my own say on the subject, though it clashed with what Mr. Moorarji Gokuldass’ friends say. I, for my own part, have no more faith in these foretellers of futurity than the man in the moon, but my father was a staunch believer in predictions of horoscopes, so much so that when actually on his death-bed in 1869, he said he had consulted his horoscope and felt quite assured that there was no danger. Even up to the very last moment of consciousness, he stoutly maintained that he would live for four years more, as the astrologers had divined that he was to attain the age of 72 years. The old gentleman breathed his last the same night at the avowed age of 68 years.
“I have always found prophecies running in an opposite direction from that predicted, much less realized. While employed In Guzerat, I had many Khsatri Brahman friends, and I was induced by one to have my “Varsha Fal” (showing the conjunction of planets and their influence on the human body for each year of our supposed existence) prepared by an astrologer who could cast up constellations and prophesy futurity correctly. The fat remuneration asked for the trouble I paid, because I was convinced, at least at the time, that one or two very important events he had predicated had actually come to pass at stated periods. To be frank, I had rather a sinister object in view than aught I cared for my own “Varsh Fal.” I called and told the astrologer that I would make him a present of Rs. 5,000, if he could with certainty predict the death of any one I knew, and who he thought might die within five, ten or fifteen years. I at the same time warned him that I would be the first to see him hung, if death was caused by foul means. I also required him to pass an agreement to forfeit double the amount I had agreed to give him, provided death did not occur, during the period specified by him. I distinctly gave him to understand that I was going to insure the life of the party who demise he could foretell, and if his prediction was not fulfilled, he would be placed in an unpleasant position. The educated astrologer thought I was rather a tough customer, and I was not at all surprised when he candidly admitted that he or none else could do what I wished. I have since then been persistently putting the same question when any Joshees are recommended to me, and when the brag of their astrological powers. Here then is a change for Mr. Nana to get rich, if he can correctly forecast human destinies, and bad lookout for insurance companies.”
Editor’s Note.—Our esteemed Brother and correspondent was unlucky in his astrological researches, and that is all he can say. Because half-educated astronomers in one country may fail to correctly predict an eclipse, is it a reason why its inhabitants should decry astronomy and call it a visionary science? Besides the great neglect into which astrology has fallen during the last two centuries, it is a science far more difficult to master than the highest of mathematics; yet, notwithstanding all, we assert again that, whenever studied conscientiously, it proves the claims of its proficients correct. No more than Mr. Darasha Dosabhoy do we believe astrology capable of predicting every trifling event in our life, any accidental illness, joy or sorrow. It never claimed as much. The stars can predict (?) no more unforeseen events than a physician a broken leg to a patient who never stirs from his house. They show a lucky or unlucky life, but in general features, and no more. If our friend was unsuccessful with every astrologer he met, we know at least a dozen of well-educated men who were forced to believe in astrology as its predictions came to pass in every case. A large volume would be necessary to explain in detail the understanding of this ancient science, yet a few words may serve to correct one of the most glaring errors concerning it, not only current among the masses, but even among many who understand and practice astrology, namely, that the planets make us what we are, their good and evil aspects causing fortunate and unfortunate periods. Says a Professor of Astrology, W. H. Chaney:—“Take to the unphilosophical astrologer the horoscope of a boy born with Sagittarius rising, Jupiter in the same, on the ascendant, in exact trine to the Sun and Leo, with other favourable configurations, and instantly he would declare that the boy would become a great man, a Prince, a President—and so would I. But the astrologer might insist that all this good fortune was caused by the boy having been born under such fortunate aspects, whereas I should look beyond the birth for the cause, and should probably discover, that, before his conception, his parents had been away from each other for weeks or months, during which both lived a life of perfect chastity; that they were very harmonious, in excellent bodily health, their intellects clear, their minds cheerful, and their moral natures strong.”
The Egyptian episcope (“overseer”; our English word “Episcopal” is derived from the name of this ancient pagan stargazer) discovered that in the morning, shortly before sunrise, in June, he could see in the east the brightest fixed star in the heavens, and immediately after thus seeing the star the Nile would overflow. Having witnessed the phenomenon for many successive years, he laid it down as an axiom that this star indicated the overflow of the Nile, no one thinking of disputing him; for the cause should be traced to the melting of the snow in the mountains of Africa. Now, suppose someone—a sceptic—had heard of this idea of a star causing the Nile to overflow, what an opportunity it would have afforded for heaping scorn and ridicule upon the poor episcope? Yet the episcope would have continued to observe the same phenomena year after year; and being called “moon-struck,” a “fool,” etc., would not have changed his opinion in the least. Now all the hubbub on this point would arise from ignorance on the part of the sceptic just as nine-tenths of all the disputes and quarrels arise. Teach the man that the appearance of that star at a particular time and place in the heavens indicated, not caused the overflow of the Nile, and he would have ceased to call the episcope an idiot and liar.
The intelligent reader must now see the point at which we aim—namely, that in astrology the stars do not cause our good or bad luck, but simply indicate the same. A man must be a psychologist and a philosopher before he can become a perfect astrologer, and understand correctly the great Law of Universal Sympathy. Not only astrology but magnetism, theosophy and every occult science, especially that of attraction and repulsion, depend upon this law for their existence. Without having thoroughly studied the latter, astrology becomes a superstition.
The article “Stars and Numbers” which follows was written before we received the above letter. We draw our esteemed correspondent’s attention to it.