Astrology is a branch of human knowledge which is used for prediction and counseling purposes as any predictive science and psychology system is made use of without any religious label clinging to them.
One of the favorite branches of predictive astrology in India, particularly in northern India, is known as Tajak or annual horoscopy (also known as Varshapala). P.S. Shastri has written in his book, Text Book of Scientific Hindu Astrology, that "Dr. B.V. Raman's Varshapala follows the Tajak system as developed by Neelakantha and Keshava. This is evidently an import from Tazhakistan (Mongolia). The yogas have Arabic names and the aspects are those accepted by Western astrology."
At Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (K.N. Rao's school of astrology in New Delhi) we teach Tajak. No one has ever said that by learning the Tajak system of astrology they have got Islamised! If learning astrology is saffronisation (becoming a Hindu), then will Hindu students who study allopathy, which has come from Christian countries, become Christians?
One of our students in our two-year course was Sri M.K. Kaw, who was the Secretary of HRD (Human Resource Development - a Government position). Sri Kaw saw, during his study, students from all Hindu castes, and a Muslim teacher, the late Sri Z. Ansari teach his class in Hindu astrology along with another Christian teacher, Sri E.S. Isaac. One of our students, who did brilliantly in both the first and second year course is Kamar Wahid Naqvi, a Muslim from Varanasi, who contributed an excellent article on Mughal (Arab) Emperor Jahangir's patronage and strong belief in astrology based on an undisputed historical document,Jahangir Nama.
I have gone to USA five times between 1993 and 1995 and to Russia also five times between 1998 and 2002 to teach astrology to Christians in both countries. None of them got "saffonised." They have fallen in love with Hindu astrology because it is brilliantly predictive.
reprinted with permission