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The Vedas are the storehouse of knowledge, both material and spiritual. But such knowledge aims at perfection of self-realization. In other words, the Vedas are the guides for the civilized man in every respect. Since human life is the opportunity to get free from all material miseries, it is properly guided by the knowledge of the Vedas, in the matters of both material needs and spiritual salvation. The specific intelligent class of men who were devoted particularly to the knowledge of the Vedas were called the vipras, or the graduates of the Vedic knowledge. There are different branches of knowledge in the Vedas, of whichastrology and pathology are two important branches necessary for the common man. So the intelligent men, generally known as the brāhmaṇas, took up all the different branches of Vedic knowledge to guide society. Even the department of military education (Dhanur-veda) was also taken up by such intelligent men, and the vipras were also teachers of this section of knowledge, as were Droṇācārya, Kṛpācārya, etc.
Kardama Muni wanted to have a wife of like disposition because a wife is necessary to assist in spiritual and material advancement. It is said that a wife yields the fulfillment of all desires in religion, economic development and sense gratification. If one has a nice wife, he is to be considered a most fortunate man. In astrology, a man is considered fortunate who has great wealth, very good sons or a very good wife. Of these three, one who has a very good wife is considered the most fortunate. Before marrying, one should select a wife of like disposition and not be enamored by so-called beauty or other attractive features for sense gratification. In the Bhāgavatam, Twelfth Canto, it is said that in the Kali-yuga marriage will be based on the consideration of sex life; as soon as there is deficiency in sex life, the question of divorce will arise.
The men of the higher classes—the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas and vaiśyas—do not beget children in the wombs of lower-class women. Therefore the custom in Vedic society is to examine the horoscopes of a girl and boy being considered for marriage to see whether their combination is suitable. Vedic astrology reveals whether one has been born in the vipra-varṇa, kṣatriya-varṇa, vaiśya-varṇa or śūdra-varṇa, according to the three qualities of material nature. This must be examined because a marriage between a boy of the vipra-varṇa and a girl of the śūdra-varṇa is incompatible; married life would be miserable for both husband and wife. Consequently a boy should marry a girl of the same category. Of course, this is trai-guṇya, a material calculation according to the Vedas, but if the boy and girl are devotees there need be no such considerations. A devotee is transcendental, and therefore in a marriage between devotees, the boy and girl form a very happy combination.
After vānaprastha life, having left home, one should travel to different places as a sannyāsī. Without bodily comforts and free from dependence on anyone with respect to bodily necessities, one should travel everywhere, wearing almost nothing or actually walking naked. Without association with ordinary human society, one should beg alms and always be satisfied in himself. One should be a friend to every living entity and be very peaceful in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. A sannyāsī should travel alone in this way, not caring for life or death, waiting for the time when he will leave his material body. He should not indulge in unnecessary books or adopt professions like astrology, nor should he try to become a great orator. He should also give up the path of unnecessary argument and should not depend on anyone under any circumstances. He should not try to allure people into becoming his disciples just so that the number of his disciples may increase. He should give up the habit of reading many books as a means of livelihood, and he should not attempt to increase the number of temples and maṭhas, or monasteries. When a sannyāsī thus becomes completely independent, peaceful and equipoised, he can select the destination he desires after death and follow the principles by which to reach that destination.
Those in this material world for material enjoyment should know that because their present position will cease to exist, they must be careful in how they act. This is also stated by Ṛṣabhadeva. Na sādhu manye yata ātmano 'yam asann api kleśada āsa dehaḥ (S.B.5:5:4). Although this body is temporary, as long as we have to live in this body we must suffer. Whether one has a short life or a long life, one must suffer the threefold miseries of material life. Therefore any gentleman, dhīra, must be interested in jyotiṣa, astrology.
Nanda Mahārāja was trying to take advantage of the opportunity afforded by Gargamuni's presence, for Gargamuni was a great authority in this knowledge of astrology, by which one can see the unseen events of past, present and future. It is the duty of a father to understand the astrological position of his children and do what is needed for their happiness. Now, taking advantage of the opportunity afforded by the presence of Gargamuni, Nanda Mahārāja suggested that Gargamuni prepare a horoscope for Nanda's two sons, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma.
(According to the Jyotir-veda, or Vedic astrology, the auspicious birth moment is described as follows:) The moon was in Leo (the figure of the lion in the zodiac), Leo was the ascendant, several planets were strongly positioned, and the ṣaḍ-varga and aṣṭa-varga showed all-auspicious influences."
Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, who was previously a great astrologer, explains this verse as follows: The ṣaḍ-varga (six divisions) are technically called kṣetra, horā, drekkāṇa, navāṁśa, dvādaśāṁśa and triṁśāṁśa. According to Jyotir-vedic astrology, when the relationship between the planets and the rulers of these six divisions is determined, the auspiciousness of the moment of birth can be calculated. In the book named Bṛhaj-jātaka and other books there are directions for interpreting the movements of the stars and planets. One who knows the process of calculating the aṣṭa-varga (eight divisions) can predict auspicious and inauspicious events. This science is known especially by persons who are called horā-śāstra-vit, or those who know the astrological scriptures. On the strength of astrological calculations from the horā scriptures, Nīlāmbara Cakravartī, the grandfather of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, had ascertained the auspicious moment when the Lord would appear.
(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta------1:13:90------purport).
Brāhmaṇas generally used to become astrologers, Āyur-vedic physicians, teachers and priests. Although highly learned and respectable, such brāhmaṇas went from door to door to distribute their knowledge. A brāhmaṇa would first go to a householder's home to give information about the functions to be performed on a particular tithi, or date, but if there were sickness in the family, the family members would consult the brāhmaṇa as a physician, and the brāhmaṇa would give instruction and some medicine. Often, since the brāhmaṇas were expert in astrology, people would also be greatly inquisitive about their past, present and future.
(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta------1:17:103------purport).
Through astrology one can know past, present and future. Modern Western astrologers have no knowledge of the past or future, nor can they perfectly say anything about the present. Herein we find, however, that after hearing Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's order, the astrologer immediately began his calculations. This was not a facade: he actually knew how to ascertain one's past life through astrology. A still-existing treatise called the Bhṛgu-saṁhitā describes a system by which anyone can immediately get information about what he was in the past and what he is going to be in the future.
(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta------1:17:104------purport).
The Siddhas, the inhabitants of Siddhaloka (where all are born with fully developed mystic powers), and the Cāraṇas, the inhabitants of a similar planet, pray to Kṛṣṇa as follows: "My Lord Govinda, the goddess of learning is decorated with fourteen kinds of educational ornaments, her intelligence is all-pervading within the four departments of the Vedas, her attention is always on the lawbooks given by great sages like Manu, and she is appareled in six kinds of expert knowledge—namely Vedic evidence, grammar, astrology, rhetoric, vocabulary and logic. Her constant friends are the supplements of the Vedas, the Purāṇas, and she is decorated with the final conclusion of all education. And now she has acquired an opportunity to sit with You as a class friend in school, and she is now engaged in Your service."
(Nectar of Devotion).
When they arrived home, they spoke of the wonderful activities of the son of Nanda. When the gopīs and cowherd men all heard the story from the boys, they felt great happiness because naturally they loved Kṛṣṇa, and by hearing about His glories and victorious activities they became still more affectionate toward Him. Thinking that child Kṛṣṇa had been saved from the mouth of death, they looked upon His face with great love and affection. They were full of anxiety and could not turn their faces from the vision of Kṛṣṇa. The gopīs and the men began to converse amongst themselves about how wonderful it was that child Kṛṣṇa had been attacked in so many ways and so many times by so many demons, and yet the demons themselves had been killed and Kṛṣṇa had remained uninjured. They continued to converse amongst themselves about how so many great demons in such fierce bodies had attacked Kṛṣṇa to kill Him but, by the grace of Hari, had not been able to cause even a slight injury. Rather, they had died like small flies in a fire. Thus they remembered the words of Garga Muni, who had foretold, by dint of his vast knowledge of the Vedas and astrology, that this boy would be attacked by many demons. Now they were actually seeing that this was coming true, word for word.