In recent times quite a plumber of Indians have been going to Europe, America and other parts of the world and readers will no doubt have heard from some of them their own impressions about the countries they happened o visit. However my trip to Europe and America could of more than casual interest because it no only fell to .y lot, as a humble exponent of astrology, to represent India at important conferences but also to tell the American people something about the greatness and scientific character of Indian astrology, our ancient cultural heritage and ways and values of life thus creating in the minds of a number of Americans interest in our ancient culture.
After the Conferences, I visited important places in America, giving lectures, addressing group meetings and holding discussions with persons eager to understand India and her culture in their true perspective.
One’s impressions about a country, its people and their ways of life are generally colored by one’s own way of looking at them. Thus one used to Western ways of life and habits may not perhaps find anything uncommon in many of the customs and habits of Americans whereas one used to Indian ways of life and thinking and with convictions rooted in Indian traditions may find several things uncommon and somewhat strange. Therefore my assessment of America and her way of life are bound to differ from the impressions gathered by other visitors.
Many Europeans and Americans have written about their experiences in India. But there are very few books written by Indians about their experiences in the West. To Indians, especially conservative Hindus who contemplate visiting the West, this book is bound to make a fascinating appeal. But to the Westerner, especially to the American, the description of the experiences of an Indian (the first Indian ever to speak in public on astrology in the West), as his deeply ingrained conceptions meet unaccustomed ways of life to which, however, astrology offers access as a common heritage, should prove of equality great interest.
I must express my grateful thanks to Dr. Hans A. Havemann a distinguished scientist, thinker and admirer of Indian culture and now Head of Institute of Technology, Aachen, M. Germany and Mr. Cyril Fagan, a great researcher and savant, now settled in U.S.A., for their excellent ‘Foreword’ and ‘Introduction’ respectively contributed to this book. They forcefully sum up the scope and object of this publication.
It’ is hoped that this book will help all those Indians, who wish to know something about the great American people and their country.
AFTER the first edition was published in 1969, I visited U.S.A., Europe, Japan, etc., in October 1970 with Mrs. Rajeswari Raman, alone in April 1971, and in October 1972 and with Mrs. Raman in May 1981 delivering lectures, addressing group-meetings and holding discussions with scientists and leading astrological savants. In fact the highlights of these visits were the opportunity given to me to deliver a lecture at the United Nations, New York; and successful demonstration--lectures by Mrs. Rajeswari Raman in Europe and America on Yoga, and the interest she was able to create in the medic of ladies in these countries for a correct appreciation of Yoga in the daily life of a woman.
The special features of this edition are:
(1) A new chapter on our 1981 visit giving details of our meeting with Swami Muktananda in,his Asram at South Falsburg, New York;
(2) Publishing in full two of my important lectures delivered at London on “Nadi Astrology” and The Techniques of Prediction”. These lectures will go a long way in enabling the reader to understand the significance of Nadi Astrology and the Shodasavagas.
How the average Western citizen reacts to Hindu Astrology and how Western astrologers have begun to appreciate the importance of Hindu Astrology, as compared to their own systems, have been clearly explained in these pages. It is a matter of gratification that it was possible for me to make the Western astrological savants conscious of the practical utility of the Hindu system.
It is my hope that my impressions recorded in these pages and the responses of the Western audience to my appeal for an objective consideration of Hindu Astrology will be viewed with indulgence by my esteemed readers, especially because of my frank assessment of the relative merits of the Hindu and the Western systems of Astrology and the values and ways of life.
I am thankful to UBS Publishers’ Distributors Ltd., New Delhi for bringing out this exhaustive edition attractively.
The quest for knowledge and for co-ordination of knowledge gained—a process which establishes understanding—is certainly one of the noblest qualities of humanity. And through the ages has been and still is the main spring for its development. It has led man to believe in a grand unity and oneness of the cosmos pervading all occurrences and establishing a harmonious relatedness not only on the purely terrestrial plane but throughout the universe and its heavens.
Astrology can be interpreted as the ceaselessly undertaken attempt based on the belief to correlate the heavenly bodies with events on this earth and thereby, to derive insight into their otherwise unexplainable courses thus, these bodies were individually bestowed with qualities. character and meaning, capable of entering into mutual relationships as they moved in their orbits. e.g., as planets around—as one thought—the earth. Eventually, the conception of relatedness was modified to an assumption of influences, if not of forces which were believed to determine destinies of all dimensions; the fate of the individual and the fate of nations as they write their history.
Once this relationship was held acceptable, it should then also become possible to predict from the stars future happenings more or less precisely and thus to approach one of the most intriguing problems of mankind: the shape of things to come.
It is not surprising that the most eminent minds have been attracted by this idea and have devoted their efforts to meet this challenge. Their findings were preserved and in many cases handed down across dividing expanses of time and distance—from the Mayans in America, the Egyptians, the Chileans, tile Hindus—from the dawn of history right to this century.
One country where these traditions are eminently alive permeating virtually all social layers and activities is India—as I have witnessed during many years of life there. The more profound aspects have in no small measure been influenced by the author Prof. B. V. Raman, who, through his Tune ASTROLOGICAL MAGAZINE and a proud number of books, has initiated a veritable renaissance of classical Hindu astrology. He is therefore uniquely qualified to convey Eastern astrological history and thought to the West, and to seek a meaningful confrontation. The transcript of his observations should arrest the attention of the reader from East and West alike especially where human reactions are revealed as deeply ingrained conceptions meet, during this mission, unaccustomed ways of life.
However, in East and West, life poses identical fundamental problems for the individual as also for social entities and thus the appeal of astrology is universal. It can therefore serve as common ground for mutual understanding and thus as a bridge and a connecting link between East and West. It is this cause which the author serves and which should assure him of our compliments and good wishes.
he opening chapters of recorded history find the people of the world scattered in groups all over the face of the globe. To protect themselves and their acquiSiti01S from the in-roads of alien groups they formed themselves into nations and chose the strong men among them to be their chieftains. In course of time some nations prospered better than others, which made their neighbors envious and various. This inevitably led to war and pillage:
and the chieftain of the victorious nation was proclaimed ruler or king of the conquered land, whose people were enslaved.
But in those far-out days groups of people and even nations were isolated and out of touch with the rest of humanity. So, in the ensuing years, they developed a language, customs and Government of their own and the units of humanity that composed the nation. being small and petty in themselves, identified themselves with their people as a whole or their ruler, taking strength and finding protection in such identification, thus isolating themselves still further from the rest of humanity. Then with the advance of now1edge the powerful nations sent their equipped armies over the world subduing those not so endowed arid colonized their land.
But now the pendulum is swinging in the opposite direction, and the people of the oppressed lands are lampooning for total independence and the eviction of the 5ettlers and so the world is being broken up into a multitude of smaller nations, each at other’s throat; and this fractionalization of the people of the world into self- contained groups goes on in space causing greater conflict with mounting sorrow and despair. But this is a retrogressive step and a fatal one. The advance of science has become so great in all directions that isolation is impossible and independence impractical; for we are rapidly becoming almost totally dependent on one another. Modern means of travel is speedily destroying the practical worth of frontiers, while the camera and other scientific apparatus are laying bear the most guarded of national secrets. In every respect the people of the world are becoming vulnerable to one another. Isolation and separatism are things of the past. All attempts to restore or preserve national languages. customs, culture and the glories of ancient times, is doomed to complete failure, for we are now on the threshold of the Aquarian Age, when the whole relationship of the human race will undergo a profound revolutionary change. In a little over 400 years hence, the vernal equinoctial point will slip backward into the tail-end of the constellation Aquarius, when the much-heralded Aquarian Age will technically commence: but its shadow is already upon us.
In the coming age, nations, separate communities, tribes, sovereign governments, monarchies, republics, national frontiers and customs, barriers and, in fact, everything and every institution that divides man from man will be things of the past; for all the people of the world, irrespective of race or ,color, will be just one big happy family ; speaking one language and intermarrying one another. National, political and religious labels, which now sever the world into contain a camps, such as American, Indian, Russian, rite, Genial, French, Communist, Capitalist, Ceriman, Hindi, Moslem and so forth will vanish. The hierarchical class and caste systems will be no more: and colour barrier will cease to exist. In such a society there will obviously be no need for armies or armaments of any description. These delightful states of affairs will not he brought about by conquest: but by a complete psychological revolution taking place in the consciousness of all individuals, and which, most appropriately, will originate in India the home of spiritual tluoresceflce.
Today the intellect has developed out of all proportion to the heart, so that we have become intellectually top-heavy: but our hearts are withered. But in the Aquarian Age the heart will again begin to function and more arid intellectualization will give place to compassion, love, ecstasy. beauty and humility. As astrologers, we know that the Sun is the symbol of the Atman. the self, the ‘I’, the ‘Me’ and the ‘Mine’ and the world today is fundamentally motivated by a concern for self—the only devil that exists -- with its self-isolating process and search for security and self-glory at the expense of the rest of mankind and which is the prime cause of antagonism and war. But in Aquarius the Sun is debilitated, and so the emphasis on self will vanish to give place to an abiding concern for others; for love and self cannot co-exist. Where one is, the other is not. Thrice holy is he who is in a state of love, for he walks with Reality, which knows neither centre nor boundary.
Most fitting is it that Sri Bangalore Venkata Raman, the distinguished scholar, author and editor of Ti-is ASTPOLOGICAL MAGAZINE and, himself, a most worthy scion of Aquarius, should leave his beloved Bangalore and fly to Atherica. When Uranus was exactly in conjunction with his natal Sun in his Varshaphal for that year, to expound to the rapt audiences, who attended the many lectures arranged for him in the principal cities of the United States of America, the astrological lore and culture of ancient Aryavarta. Such a venture has no parallel in the annals of Hindu civilization, It would have been unthinkable a century ago. By this unique act—consciously or unconsciously—Prof. Raman quickened the advent of the Aquarian Age and for this he deserves well of those wh9 desire, above all things, peace on earth and good-will total human beings.
In the following pages, Prof. B. V. Raman re\earls himself, as an unusually keen observer, with an we’re for the historical. His detailed descriptions of his trasels, of the cities and places he has visited and the customs and social mores of the people, present a vivid picture of the American scene, which will long tarry in one’s memory.
For one steeped in Eastern Jyotisha (astrology), his grasp of the details and problems of Western astrology is astonishing but it is feared he is a little too tolerant of its frailties and inconsistencies. Yet, as a true child of Aquarius. he freely. admits that the East has as much to learn from the West ; as the West has from the East.
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