Sunday, May 24, 2009

Jyotish Tutorial

People keep asking me about free resources on Internet where they can learn astrology. This blog has lots of astrology articles whereas related website provides all the necessary tools to create a horoscope. I have written tutorial but that is on KP System which is advanced system of astrology and can be slightly confusing for beginners. There are also plenty of free e-books available on Internet, but those as well not that well suited for beginners. As we know there are many resources on Internet, but it is difficult to find a systematic tutorial on Vedic astrology for beginners.

Having said that, Now-a-days, I generally recommend these two online tutorials to Jyotish enthusiasts -
Both the tutorials are from scribd, so can be downloaded in PDF format for later reference. The first tutorial based on KN Rao's PAC DARES methodology which is a nice way to explain some important Jyotish concept. The second tutorial is comprehensive enough to give a good start to a beginner.

I must tell here that there are too many systems in Vedic astrology and no tutorial and no book can cover them all. At the end of the day, an astrologer has to devise his own methodology which suits him most. These tutorials will just help you getting basics and you should refer to the e-books mentioned in the related article section to improvise your knowledge further.

Related Articles:
1. Astrology Tutorials by Astrologer Punit Pandey
2. Free Vedic Astrology E-Books
3. Krishnamurti Paddhati Tutorial
4. Vedic Astrology Books and Authors for Beginners

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Web.Bot 2012 - Best Method for Future Predictions or a Scam

Web.Bot project caught public attention when History channel telecasted a program on "end of the civilization in year 2012". Web.Bot predictions, being in line with previous predictions made by ancient "seers" and civilizations, caught public eyes quickly. Also unlike older methods of predictions, predictions are said to be based on search engine algorithms combined with natural language processing which makes it attractive for scientific brain. project claims to predict Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy, 9/11 attacks, present ecomomic crisis and many many more such events in advance.

For those of you who do not know, the web bot technology uses a system of spiders to crawl the Internet and search for keywords, much like a search engines like Google. In a simple language, crawling means going to a list of web locations in an automatated fashion by a software program. When a keyword is located, the bot program takes a snapshot of the text preceding and following the keyword. Though unlike search engine, this snapshot of text is sent to a central location and processed using some astrology-like algorithm known to the developers of project only. Based on the limited information available on Internet, the algorithm uses theories similar to I Ching (Chinese Astrology) combined with the physics theory of time. The idea is to tap into the "collective unconscious" of the universe by the use of Internet and using it for predictions.

From the ' project' website – “What becomes obvious when reading about the technology is that it sometimes reads a bit like the I Ching (the Chinese Book of Changes) because the technology doesn't come out and say "go look for a terrorist attack over there" What it does is gives phrases that would be associated with how people talk about an event, or more accurately, how they change their speech to reflect their thought processes because of an event (after). The web bot technology apparently taps in to an area of preconscious awareness.”

They claim to predict Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy, 9/11 and many such events in advance. It seems they also predicted end of the civilization in year 2012 on Hisotry channel that has given them popularity. Here I quote from their website -

The Global Consciousness Project registered what appears to have been a disturbance in "the force" or the regularly orderly operation of life associated with 9/11. Supposed "random" numbers generated all over the world appeared to become less random immediately prior to 9/11.

Is it possible to predict future with this kind of technology? Being a software engineer, having knowledge of astrology and IChing, and having knowledge of search engine web bots, I seriously doubt the whole theory. I have my reasons for that. 

Web.Bot predictions are primarily based on the assumption that ‘we know a little bit in advance’ about the future. In other words, suppose somebody is going to attack you, you will be ready to defend yourself few seconds before the first move made by the attacker. The physics' theory of time is stated behind the reasoning of theory of 'preconsciousness'. In other words, you consciousness tells you in advance that something is going to happen. The claims to gather that collective consciousness from the Internet and process using some inhouse developed software.

This theory has some serious flaws though. No doubt that the Internet is the best place (so far available to us) to gather “collective consciousness”. There are people participating in discussion forums, writing blogs and contributing to Internet in some way or another. That information is available for web crawler to crawl and interpret using their own formula.

There are no scientific proof available to support preconsciousness theory used by the project. Assuming that the preconsciousness theory is correct and we get some clues for future in advance, I wonder why they are seeing clues shaping only few months ahead of the event? Why they are not getting it in much advance time period, especially if we see from the universal perspective (on which time theory is based), 3 months seems to be a very small period. This suits to the astrologer, but I am not able to understand why it is suiting to the universe. Similar theory, like astrology, never claims that these start getting indication of an event just three months before the time. If 'preconsciousness' theory is based on the light speed and the theory of time, whatever be the prediction, a web bot should be able to see it only few seconds ahead of event and not months ahead.  

Also are these clues provided by Internet is enough? The project is claiming success since 1990. That time there was very little community participation/ blogs/ discussion forums on Internet. From where this project was gathering information to predict that accurately that time? How that “collective human consciousness” was being gathered that time?

Also any branch of science takes some time to develop. Astrology took thousands of years before it come to the present shape and still developing. Similar to the development process of any science, astrology also requires hit and trials. The time taken by this theory to develop doesn’t look inline with the natural knowledge development process.

Then why a channel like History channel telecasting such a program on a hoax at very first place? History channel guys are the right people to answer this question, but I feel that History channel is not behaving responsibly in this case. After studying information available on Internet, it invites serious questions. The person behind the project is hidden and not disclosed his identity. Most of the sections of the website are taken down. The payments are taken using Paypal probably to maintain anonymity. There is no name of the company on the website. I wonder why they want to hide all this information.

I would also like people to read this post available on History channel’s discussion forum - This post also suggests that whole project is a hoax/scam and created to manipulate the stock market. It seems that the History channel is knowingly/ unknowingly playing in the hand of those manipulators which is very unfortunate. Please stay away from the project. 

When is the Next Solar Eclipse

[Update January 15th, 2010]: for information on Surya Grahan on 15th January 2010, please go here.

Eclipse has religious and astrological importance in our life. Hindu religion advises observing a different daily routine (din-charya) on the day of eclipse. Astrology, especially Mundane astrology (branch of astrology used to predict world affairs and world events, as opposed to individual's events), uses eclipse as one of the most important tools for predictions.

Generally we rely on Panchang for knowing the exact date and time of eclipse. I have talked about eclipse calculators available on Internet and now there is another very good tool named Wolfram announced that can help us in finding eclipse related information. Wolfram is a new search engine technology that uses natural language processing to give results of query which are more than just keywords and answers graphically. I'll not talk more about Wolfram because that is not purpose of this post, rather stick to our topic of getting date and time for the next eclipse.

You can go to and search for "Next Solar Eclipse" to get the details of the upcoming eclipse. You can also simply click on this link and it will show you the date and time of the next eclipse. It will not only show you the date and time of the eclipse but also other important information like duration, countries where visible, graphical view (see image above) etc. I am sure it will be a very useful tool for astrologers as well as general Indian public.

Of course, Wolfram is not limited just to finding eclipses and it can be used for many other scientific, mathematical and astronomical purposes. You can try out following queries as well (just click the link) -

1. Compute Next Lunar Eclipse
2. Compute Next Solor Eclipse
3. Compute the location of Venus on 17th May 2009

Just to save your time, here are the dates and times for upcoming eclipses given by Wolfram-

Next Lunar Eclipse
3:09 PM IST on Tuesday, July 7, 2009 (Note: this is Penumbral Lunar Eclipse and doesn't regarded as eclipse for astrological as well as religious purpose)

Next Solar Eclipse
8:05 AM IST on Wednesday July 22, 2009 (Starts: 6:23 AM, Maximum: 8:05 AM, End: 9:47 AM)

My Panchang (Chinta Haran) tells following information about the complete eclipse on 22nd July -

"There will be complete Solar Eclipse on 22nd July 2009, Hindu date - 'Shravan Krishna 30, Wednesday, Samvat 2066.' This eclipse will be visible throughout India. According to Indian Standard Time, the entry time of this Solar Eclipse will be 5:28 AM. Mean time for Solar Eclipse will be 6:23 AM and the exit time will be 10:42AM. This eclipse will be on Pushya Nakshatra and Cancer Sign (Karka Rashi)."

As we can see there is slight variation in the start, maximum and end time of my Panchang and Wolfram data. I cross checked with Nasa utility and found that my Panchang calculation is little more closer to the Nasa calculation than the Wolfram calculation. Still I believe that Wolfram calculation is good enough for most proposes, also graphical representation is something that can not be found anywhere else.

If time permits, I'll also write about the forecast for this solar eclipse for everybody. Please subscribe to this blog to keep updated and get articles in your email.

Related Articles
1. Solar Eclipse (Surya Grahan) Calculator
2. Lunar Eclipse (Chandra Grahan) Calculator
3. My articles on Mundane Astrology