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Jyotish Star of the Month

Arya Bhushan Shukla

By Vachaspati Christina Collins
Interview Date: 04/29/2017

Christina Collins: Thank you for interviewing with the Jyotish Star Mr. Shukla! We have a series of questions from our readers today, and I would like to begin with asking you how you came to study Jyotish or Vedic astrology? Is it in your family lineage?

Arya Bhushan Shukla: I started as non-believer but as I grew and observed that there were people in my village who could predict future to a good level of accuracy. I got interested in knowing this science and its basis in which these village Pundits were expert. This curiosity, over a period of time, changed in to belief in this divine science.

There have been some astrologers in my distant relations.

Christina: You worked in close association with the late Dr. B. V. Raman, and he appointed you as his successor as President of the ICAS (Indian Council of Astrological Sciences) when he stepped down, and you continue with that esteemed post, isn’t that correct?

A. B. Shukla: When Dr. Raman decided to step down, he chose the then COE, Mr. S. N. Kapoor as President and gave me the charge of Controller of Examination (COE). Later when Mr. Kapoor stepped down, I succeeded as President of ICAS.

Christina: You talk about basing your ICAS courses “on principles of constant quality, care, and outstanding results.” What kinds of actions is ICAS taking to deepen and further these goals, as inspired by the late Dr. B.V. Raman, the “Father of Modern Astrology?”

A. B. Shukla: When I started, I decided to standardize syllabus to meet the demand of present day need. Dr. Raman also desired this. Expectation of students has also changed today. In order to meet the changing demand, increased expectations and matching with the ICAS vision, the syllabus has been revised 2 to 3 times. The attempt is made to structure the syllabus and improve so that the subjects can taught in more structured and scientific manner.

We are also emphasizing more on research in different astrological fields. Students, completing Visharada course successfully, are motivated to join research classes which we call as “Post Visharada”. Almost all chapters of ICAS run Post Visharada classes. In these classes, students are taught advanced predictive techniques too.

Further, as the interest of the masses is growing in allied fields of astrology, we have started courses on Vastu and Palmistry. We have also decided to start a course on Nadi astrology too. A book on Nadi will be released by ICAS before start of the course. This is apart from a workshop already organized for faculty development on the subject.

That was about teaching but it is not enough. In order to ensure uniformity in teaching, ICAS is engaged in publishing books, like already told, that a book on Nadi is almost ready for publication. Apart from this, translation of classical literature on astrology is being taken up. You will find some more books hitting the shelves shortly. Some books which were published earlier by ICAS are also in the pipeline for revision.

Christina: That is wonderful and inspiring news! You mention on the ICAS website that “Meditation and simplicity are the key requirements to make (astrological) predictions.” What would you recommend to Western astrologers about adding spirituality to their astrological practice, both personally and publicly? Is there a path you follow that you would recommend?

A. B. Shukla: Meditation and simplicity are definitely paths towards Vaak Shudhdhi. The main reason for a prediction going wrong, apart from lack of knowledge, is attachment to worldly affairs. This prevents a person from broadening his horizon and remain biased on certain matters. I tell my students to follow path of simplicity to reach to a level of dry leaf where the wish of dry leaf and the God is same. That is Ashtavakra principle from Ashtavakra Gita 18.21 which I propagate. It says that he who is desireless, self-reliant, independent and free of bonds functions like a dry leaf blown away by the wind of causality. This helps observing the nature and enriching the prediction.

I insist upon my students to meditate preferably during midnight for at least 24 minutes. I can’t suggest a meditative technique like this as it can be done only on one to one basis.

Christina: As we are all becoming part of a global community, dealing with cultural diversity, what does ICAS leadership recommend in helping astrologers become competent in working with clients from different cultures and generations?

A. B. Shukla: Vedic astrology is based on philosophy of reincarnation and theory of karma. Theory of Karma if properly understood and propagated, will enable a more disciplined and responsible society. We in India have always believed in the concept that the whole world is part of one family (vasudev kutumbakam). An Astrologer can act as a true guide to the society.

Astrologers in ICAS are being taught about predictions based on place, time and religion (Desh, Kaal, Patra). This takes care of different cultures and generations.

Christina: Do you believe in nature and do you think nature can be used in prediction?

A. B. Shukla: I am a firm believer that nature always indicates an answer to any question put up at any instant. Only a keen detached observer can decipher the nature’s indication and I am sure that it can never fail. I have worked on this technique for last 20 years. This technique is known as – “Event Time Prediction” technique or ETP. I have been transferring this knowledge to students in ICAS for past few years. You will find a book on this shortly.

Christina: A book sounds wonderful, we will surely be looking forward to its publication.

You will be speaking once again in Pennsylvania this Month at the Jyotish Kumba Mela 2017 at the ashram and presenting many very interesting topics (and we encourage everyone to take advantage of the rare opportunity to study with you, I enjoyed very much meeting with you when you spoke in 2015, and was deeply impressed with your knowledge and your fantastic PowerPoint presentation! I so hope that this year they will be able to record your session for sale. And in the meantime, I encourage anyone able to attend this conference to take advantage of it! Tell us what is your favorite of the topics to teach?

A. B. Shukla: It’s difficult to say which topic is my favorite. Still, I enjoy teaching few techniques which I have worked upon in past 25 to 30 years like Event Time Prediction technique, Centre Point of Past Life etc.

I also prefer to work on Gita and Upanishads to draw astrological principles. Vyakta/Avyakta (manifested and unmanifested part of horoscope) astrology is one such example. Rationales of some astrological principles which are not available these days, I have been able to search these rationales in Bhagwat Gita and Upanishads. Special aspects of JUP, MARS and SAT could be cited as one such example

Christina: Thank you so much for interviewing with us today, and for the great service you provide for the astrological community!

Arya Bhushan Shukla Biography:

Mr. A.B. Shukla, IAS (Retd.) is one of the initial members of ICAS. His close association with Dr..B.V.Raman, the founder President of ICAS, helped him in understanding astrology as para-vidya. On directions of Dr. Raman, he took over the charge of Controller of Examinations of ICAS in 1996. He succeeded in conducting examination countrywide on stipulated examination schedule.

He was elevated to the post of President during Annual General Meeting held at Chennai in 2008. He has vast experience of working in the field of Administration, Law, Legal aid, Social service, Vigilance and of course Astrology.

He has been a faculty in Delhi chapter and taking Post Visharda classes for
many years. He is a versatile speaker, most often preferring to speak extempore not only to his students comprising bureaucrats, doctors, engineers, bankers, and industrialists but to other selected audience as well. His selection of theme, its treatment and lucidity of exposition not only keeps audience spellbound but also helps them in understanding themselves and the complexities of the world around them in a scientific way. He offers stunning new ideas, in abundance, of fields-from astrology to spiritual sciences-as well as relation of science to religion and philosophy of mind. He has guided a number of students for research in the field of Vaastu, Spiritual astrology, Remedial Measures and predictions based on nature, apart from other usual areas of predictive astrology.

He is a firm believer of the fact that nature forewarns or indicates every event that takes place around us. One needs to decode these indications. Meditation and simplicity are the key requirements to make such predictions. He blends astrology with spirituality to make his students understand hidden principles of birth, sustenance and destruction of life that is useful in predictive astrology.

He has close association with the heads of almost all the Hindu religious Heads (Shankaracharyas and other revered saints) of India and regular interactions with them helps him in understanding Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagwat Gita and other scriptures better and makes him an exponent of life, religion and astrology. He is also known for his in depth understanding of other religions like Islam, Christianity, Jainism, and Sikhism etc. He keeps interacting with heads of these religions too. This also makes him a prolific speaker on astrology while blending it with philosophy and religion.

His understanding of other religions makes him an expert in the field of remedial astrology. People of all regions have been benefited with his virtuous advice. He has decoded the shlokas of Gita and other such scriptures, for astrological meanings and using them as remedial measures.

Jagadguru Shankracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham blessed him by conferring on him title of Jyotish Ratna and lovingly calling him Jyotish Shukla. ICAS has also conferred highest title of Jyotish Martand on him. He is also honored with Jyotish Bhushan, Jyotish Vachaspati and Jyotish Bhanu. The council of Vedic Astrology of America has conferred upon him the title of Jyotish Brihaspati in 2014.

A. B. Shukla
President
ICAS
Arsha Vidya Gurukulam
http://jyotish.com/conference/2016-international-jyotish-kumbha-mela/

Christina Collins Biography:

Christina CollinsChristina Collins, Jyotish Visharada, CVA, Jyotish Kovid, ICAS and CVA, Jyotish Vachaspati, ICAS, Jyotish Medha Pragya, ICAS and Jyotish Mahasagara from Raman and Rajeshwari Foundation 2013, is a third generation Astrologer specializing in the Vedic system. She received her honorary titles from the late Dr. B.V. Raman, former President of the ICAS (Indian Council for Astrological Sciences) in New Delhi and Bangalore, India, from CVA (Council for Vedic Astrology, USA), from the ICAS in Bangalore, from the Raman and Rajeshwari Foundation in 2013 and the Jyotish Navaratna from ACVA (American College for Vedic Astrology) in 2014.

From1997 to 2012, she was the first and sole American woman to be honored by the highly held title of Jyotish Vachaspati (Jyotish - the light bearer and Vachaspati - the one who speaks the truth and whose predictions come true. (In
Sanskrit, Vac = speech and Brihaspati is a name of Jupiter the planet of wisdom and truth. Her most recent honor from India, the Jyotish Medha Pragya title, means that consciousness has merged with Jyotish.

As a founding member, she currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American College of Vedic Astrology (ACVA online), and was former Editor of the ACVA News. President of Celestial Resource (The Timing Coach) she serves corporate and private clients from students to celebrities. For the Jyotish Star you can reach her in Boulder CO at editor@jyotishstar.com, and for consultations: jyotish@indra.com:

Christina's Consultation Contact information:

Christina Collins, J.K., J.V.
Editor in Chief The Jyotish Star
Lafayette, (Boulder County) CO, USA
web site: http://www.christinacollinsastrology.com
email: jyotish@indra.com
phone: 303-665-9996

See my interview on YouTube by Lissa Coffey

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