In 2012 I switched to using tropical coordinates for rāśi (“zodiac signs”) and sidereal coordinates for nakṣatra (“fixed stars”).
This was a bad career move.
I was known as a Vedic astrologer, and the masses think that the sidereal zodiac is synonymous with “Vedic astrology” – an intrinsic, inseparable part of it. So, by using tropical zodiac coordinates, I confused the heck out of people – and confusing stuff doesn’t sell.
Trying to clear up the confusion, I released a detailed article and video explaining that fundamental Vedic texts (like Sūrya Siddhānta and the astronomical portions of Purāṇas like Viṣṇu and Bhāgavata) very clearly define the zodiac as a tropical entity – in black and white, directly, and in no uncertain terms.
This was another bad career move.
Now people hated me for threatening to “destroy their sacred traditions.” Well, look guys, I’m not trying to destroy your sacred traditions. They’ve already been destroyed, the sacred-ness has already been lost in your traditions. If you think its impossible for traditions to lose their sancity, (A) you have to wonder about other “wonderful” Indian traditions like the untouchable-caste, forced “Satī” suicide for widows, and so on. And (B) you would have to ask yourself why Krishna himself acknowledges in the fourth chapter of Bhagavad-Gītā that traditions are constantly in the process of losing their sanctity, and he is always in the process of trying to restore it (“yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir…”).
Anyway, this is really ironic, since *I* am the one quoting the sacred tradition. I show people the Sūrya Siddhānta and the Purāṇas, which define the zodiac signs as divisions based on the solstices and equinoxes (i.e. “tropical”). I then invite anyone to show me any similar statement from a truly traditional Sanskrit text saying that the zodiac signs are divisions based on the stars (i.e. “sidereal”). So far, no one could do that. They point to a zillion statements that the stars and signs have fascinating and important relationships to one another, but no one so far has been able to show a single definition of the zodiac that contracts the Siddhānta’s and Purāṇas’ simple tropical definition. So, I stick to my position – the zodiac signs are tropical.
That’s the real tradition!
In addition to tradition, I appeal to logic. I show that the number, dimensions, rulers, elements, and modalities of the signs make perfect sense if they are based on the Sun’s relationship to the earth’s equator (i.e. “tropical”) but are completely arbitrary if they are based on the Sun’s relationship to stars (i.e. “sidereal”). None of my multitudes of opponents has been able to address this either.
With nothing sacred or logical to defend their traditions, they have no choice but to kick for the ad hominum groin – trying to slander and discredit me as charlatan, sleazy opportunist, money-grubber, and all-round “Corrupter of Astrology.”
OK, thank you. Good night. We can’t get any lower than this.
For the record…
Yes, I charge money for readings. Guess what? (A) Every major astrologer charges money. (B) Classical texts support the fact that an astrologer should not give readings for free. (C) I charge, by far, the least of any peer, and I also accept readings by donation, without fixed price.
Yes, I use “bad words.” Gosh golly gee. I use “bad” words because, (a) I used to be a hardcore punk, and (b) there is no such thing as “bad” words.
Words are words. Words express meaning. The effect of a word varies based on the context of its use and the frame-of-reference of the listener. There is no such thing as a “bad word” but there is bad use of words. When words are used to hurt others (like posting flaming fucking bullshit about me, hello), that’s when they are really “bad words.” The narrators of the Purāṇas and the authors of later works like Krishnadās Kavirāja and Prabhodānanda Sarasvatī often use extremely strong language in Sanskrit and Bengali. Strong language is not bad language. Hateful language is bad language.
Yes, I learned astrology very fast. I started intently studying it towards the end of 2007, and started practicing professionally towards the end of 2008. I’m sorry that I learned it faster and better than your gurus. One thing that helped is that I spent more than a dozen years studying sanskrit texts, and practicing bhakti-yoga. Another thing may be that I already studied in my previous lives. Can’t prove that, but one thing I can prove is “who cares.” Why should it matter how fast I learned astrology? What should matter is how well I learned astrology, which you can evaluate by watching my videos, reading my books and articles, etc.
Yes, I do not accept the status quo traditions. Sorry, that doesn’t automatically make me “heterodox” since the status quo tradition may very likely be heterodox.
Perhaps the most ridiculous of all the slander is the reprinting of a 2010 “interpretation” of my birth chart by an infuriated lady (now-deceased) who became livid with me for disagreeing with her. I mean really, should we use astrology as a way to insult one another? And should we consider an angry, insulted person capable of objective interpretation? Back in 2010 I replied to her “interpretations” here, and don’t want to waste time doing it again in 2015,(or updating it for the tropical zodiac).
If you don’t have an intellect you can listen to other people rant about me.
ॐ तत् सत्