Bickering about Money & Astrology

Teacher in primary school in northern Laos
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He says: “I want to buy your books and perhaps take your courses. Please tell me your astrological credentials qualifying you to be my teacher.”

I answer: I have no credentials outside what you can see and hear in my books, articles, videos, etc.

Him: Well who did you study with, who taught you? When did you start studying?

Me: As it says on my site, I began studying Vedic knowledge in 1990. It included astrology summarily and more deeply many principles on which astrology is based. I did not begin specifically studying astrology in this lifetime until 2007. I do not have one specific teacher, besides the paramatma who manifests through all people. I learned most of what I know by the mercy of paramatma (Supersoul) and the knowledge I acquired in past lifetimes.

Him: Thanks. I think I’ll  save my money and I’ll get a good teacher. If you studied Vedic knowledge then you should know the need of having a qualified guru.

Me: Please pursue the path you desire to pursue. No one can or should do otherwise. I have the most qualified Guru, Sri Srimad Dhanurdhara Swami Maharaja of the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya.

Him: I meant Jyotish Guru.

Me: As I said from the beginning I learned Jyotish mystically by the grace of Paramatma coming through my Gurudev. You place too much value on measurable and official credentials and relationships. I have studied the practical details of astrology with various astrologers, though none formally. As I said from the start, my “credentials” are what you can see and hear directly for yourself in my textbooks, articles, videos. etc. The proof is in the pudding.

Him:  In my research I have found that the best astrologers do not charge for their teaching but tend to be selective of their students. They are careful about keeping the tradition pure and not willing to compromise for a few bucks.

Me: Please find an astrologer who will teach you for free. You have my best wishes.

Him: But why are you selling Vedic knowledge? To sell Vedic knowledge (other than books) by teaching for money is loaded with negative karma both for the buyer and the seller.

Me: I am not “selling knowledge” so much as taking care of my basic need to survive. I have a wife and two children and we need to pay bills.

Him: One should earn money dharmicly. As Lopamudra said to Agastya when she wanted to have children and they were living as tapasvis in the forest, “Go and earn money in such a way that is within dharma.” What you are doing is not within dharma.

Me: To live as an astrologer is my best attempt to practice a more brahminical dharma. You are free to sit on your armchair and criticize me, but I am doing the best I personally can – and frankly I am not ashamed in the least, for it is my opinion that I am making an excellent and noble effort.

You claim that it is immoral and sinful for a teacher to be paid!? How absurd you are. In Vedic culture as in any other culture, teachers are amply paid. In Vedic culture the teacher takes “dakshin” from the student, there is nothing immoral about it. If I give you 16 hours of my life to teach you, you must reciprocate and care for your teacher. Certainly you do not imagine that this is antithetical to the Vedic way?

Him: That is a rationalization. Guru Dakshine is given at the end of the teaching and to the best of the ability of the student to a qualified guru. It is not a fee as you are doing.

Me: Meanwhile, the student lives in the gurus house, doing laundry, cleaning the house, collecting firewood, begging for food, etc. etc. That is the “Vedic” way. If you wish to come live in a small room I have downstairs, do our laundry, collect food for us to eat, clean our house, etc., etc. – I will be happy to teach you astrology and everything else you wish to know. And at the end of this teaching you may give me whatever dakshin donation you are able to give.

It is simpler to pay $400 for 8 classes or $800 for 16 classes. But, if you would like to be very “vedic” about it, I will accept your offer.

Closeup of Vishnu, seated in the lotus positio...
Image via Wikipedia
– Vic DiCara (Vraja Kishor das)
Only a spiritually uneducated person would think that Bhakti does not posses the power to bestow the final fruits of any and all other paths of spiritual development, Vedic and even non-vedic, and even spiritual or non-spiritual. Since Bhakti is the supreme yoga, the supreme goal, she can EASILY and effortlessly bestow any fruit of any path. Therefore only the uninformed would cling to an opinion that a bhakta with an initiation into shuddha-bhakti would not have access to all the final rewards of studying something simple and petty (in comparison to bhakti) like jyotisham. By the grace of the dust left over from the pinky toe of a footstep of Srimati Bhakti Devi, anyone can understand in a millisecond what it would take years and decades of dedicated and arduous study to understand via learning from a Jyotish Guru who is not a Vishnu Bhakta. Therefore only an ignorant person would insist that I must have a “Jyotish Guru.” All glories to bhakti devi.

4 thoughts on “Bickering about Money & Astrology

  1. dear vic ,

    that was a good one your last reply . even i am a student of astrology , and taken books from you. Regarding this guy i would say he is confused or must be disappointed by his current guru , where he has spent some money and not satisfied , poor guy . See its kaliyuga and i jokingly say you would find many guru – while it may be rahu masquerading like guru.

    By the way i really like your last answer and it should be prerogative of guru how much dakshina he takes from student .

    I also remember the story of EKLAVYA – who could not afford a guru like Dronacharya , But he made him a guru in his manas and did the study and its said He was even better than Arjuna .

    So its clear what is required is dedication and respect to guru you can make anybody guru , you can even make Rishi Parashar your guru and learn under his lotus feet(self study) , surely rishi would teach you .


    1. Thank you Prabhat. I agree that Parashara Muni is my guru. I only have access to this as a result of the kind teachers who have actually interacted with me in this lifetime. But to insist that one must have an official stamp of approval from some official credential source is ecclesiastic-think. It is putting the rubber-stamp in a more important position than the knowledge that stamp is supposed to be approving.

  2. Human body is the first divine deposit … everyone has to take care of his own body by feeding him and supply all his needs so he could stand up healthy and strong that his owner can work properly to give the good wisdom and the best effort and that what keeps him usful fruitful man.

    Children is the second special divine treasurship, their parents have the responsibilty to bring them to life and it is their responsiblty to keep them alive.

    Holding these two deposits is not easy and it is not free; so it is so logical to ask a fee for any work or any astrological reading , if he want to pay it in vedic way ( cleaning ,cooking , etc ) it’s even better because are not just take a wisdom from your teacher and not just serving your teacher, but it is even make you closer to him and to his family as well as it makes your learn to give from your heart without any conditions or selfishness you would learn to be humble and respectful to people private lives.

  3. in this day and age of kali-yuga,to even practice jyotish vidya is a blessing and grace obtained from many pious birth of past lives.the ability to write translate into english from samnskritham is by itself a feat.thank you so much,for propagating jyotish vidya around the globe.all glories to lord maheshwara lord brahmaa lord vishnu with their shakthi roopinis goddess parvathi goddess saraswathi goddess mahalakshmi.

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