Jyotish Vachaspati R.G. Krishnan has been practicing Vedic Astrology for more than 50 years. His articles on this subject have appeared in India in Astrological Magazine, Times of India and Times of Astrology. In the USA, he has written for the Palani Panchang, a yearly almanac published in San Francisco since 1986, and for India Herald, a newspaper printed in Houston, Texas, where he currently lives. He is the author of two books–Vedic Astrology-Ashtaka Varga and Vedic Astrology-Stock Market Analysis–and produces e-books on his website (http:/www.anubazaar.com/rgkrishnan [http:/www.anubazaar.com/rgkrishnan/]) which target monthly stock market trends. While in Hawaii giving seminars at an Astrology convention in September of 2005, he spoke with the editors of Hinduism Today. To more fully understand his thoughts, readers who are unacquainted with the basics of Vedic Astrology might enjoy a fundamental presentation of the subject at http:/www.vedicastrology.com/vedicvswestern.htm [http:/www.vedicastrology.com/vedicvswestern.htm] or http:/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedic_astrology [http:/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedic_astrology].

What inspired you to use Vedic astrology in stock market analysis? Even before I moved to this country in 1989, I was asked by Mr. Devendra Trivedi, a distinguished astrologer living in Fremont, California, to write articles for his publication entitled Palani Panchang. He asked me if I had any ideas on interesting topics relevant to astrology but not generally published. I suggested the general concept of relating Vedic astrology to the economy in some practical way. He said that would be nice. So I gave it some thought and began doing what I am doing now: forecasting economic trends from the perspective of Vedic Astrology.

Can you explain how astrology can be used in understanding the bulls and the bears of Wall Street? The bullish signs are Aries, Taurus, Cancer, Leo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius and Pisces. When planets transit these signs, bullish trends are likely in the market. The bearish signs are Gemini, Virgo, Capricorn and Aquarius. When planets transit these signs, bearish trends can be expected.

Is your method of stock market analysis derived from an ancient system? Yes, the stock market is nothing but a group of people trading goods. Our classics on astrology, like the Brihad Samhita, talk about the direct influence of the planets on the trading of commodities, even 5,000 years ago. Back then, people were very serious about consulting astrology in basically what was then the stock market. There has always been this buying and selling of goods in the marketplace, and recorded history shows that Vedic astrology was always being utilized. So that makes it a time-tested system.

Were the Vedic texts referring to astrology ever available in some way to the public for everyday use in the market place? Were the Vedic texts referring to astrology ever available in some way to the public for everyday use in the market place? Actually, this ancient knowledge is embedded in Vedic verses in a cryptic way. For instance, one verse might state that when Saturn is conjunct Venus, married life is negatively affected. The principle behind this–that any malefic planet placed with a benefic will disrupt peace–is not spelled out or fully explained. This purposeful lack of technical detail protected the knowledge from those who lacked the intuition to sort out the deeper wisdom behind the words.

Can you talk about stock market trading using Vedic astrology as a practice of dharma? Yes, of course. A human being has to survive. Even if I perform charity, I must have money to give. I cannot give away money that I do not have. Many charitable organizations invest wisely in the stock market. Certainly, to make money righteously is not wrong, especially if a portion of it is used to help others. Using the principles of Vedic astrology can be of great benefit to people who want to make money for a good purpose. Of course, we should not be overly greedy and we should not break the law.

How would you draw up a chart for stock analysis? Country charts are to be made for the capital of the country. For India, we make it for New Delhi, and for USA, we make it for Washington, DC. The planetary locations will be the same in both the charts, but the ascendant will be different. On a new moon day, both Sun and Moon are in the same degree. For the USA, we make a chart for the date when the New Moon occurs in Washington, DC.

How do you analyze a chart for good market investment indicators? We look at the whole chart, but we especially analyze the second, fifth, ninth and eleventh houses. All of these houses directly affect the economy in a very fundamental way. There are other chart indications that also affect economy indirectly. For example, the chart for 2005 indicated a major natural calamity that would indirectly cause a major financial setback for the country. That was Hurricane Katrina. This is one of many ways that knowing a chart ahead of time can help us in facing disasters even before they occur.

With regard to the planets, there are certain key things that we can look for. For instance, we have seen that the planets Mercury and Venus always play a key role in the performance of the market. When these two planets are conjunct or close, market tendencies are bearish. If they are apart, they are bullish.

Next year, there will be an eclipse in the second house. That clearly means that the economy will not turn around as soon as some expect. An eclipse is always a negative indication in money matters. And the second house is the house of money.

Can you talk about Vedic astrology in general as a Hindu practice? From times immemorial, astrology has been a part of the Hindu way of life. In fact, most Hindu families won’t even begin any sort of important undertaking without first consulting astrology for an auspicious time. If they can’t find an auspicious date they just won’t start the activity. That’s how important Vedic astrology is to most Hindus. These auspicious times are sought for occasions like weddings, new shops opening, businesses beginning–that sort of thing. The belief is that if you start something in good timing, the prana (energy) of that activity will continue to flow smoothly.

What did you bring to this system that could be considered unique? Well, not too many people today are writing books on the stock market and astrology. Those who have written on astrology have covered different aspects. It is a vast subject.

Can you give some examples of your successes and failures in making money using your system? Before I wrote Vedic Astrology-Stock Market Analysis, I tested these principles for two years by observing the market on a day-to-day basis. Yet I must be clear that I do not invest myself. My aim is to show others how to do it. After I published the book, I got feedback from my students who said that my system was holding true.

Do you teach? I have a correspondence course. A hundred people have taken this course so far. Most of them live in the US. Some are Indians by birth. They have all done very well. I have conducted workshops under the aegis of the American Federation of Astrologers. I also give seminars.

Are you finding that Westerners studying Western astrology are willing to accept the principles of Vedic astrology? It’s more the person than the place. Certain people are drawn to the study no matter where they live. This can be observed right in the astrology. If, for instance, a person has Jupiter strongly placed in the ninth house, that person will be interested in the study of Vedic astrology, whether he was born in England or India. That’s just the way it is.

What challenges have you experienced in teaching this Hindu-based science to non-Hindus? Well yes, there have been some challenges but not that many, really. Some people here in this country are just believers. They just believe 100 percent. They don’t ask a lot of questions. They just absorb the information quickly. Others–especially Westerners who have been fully trained in Western astrology–ask a lot of really challenging questions like, “How come you say your system is sort of better than our system?” Of course, I try to explain the difference as best I can. But some end up studying with me and some don’t. One of my students completely turned around. Now he tells me, “This Vedic system is far superior to the Western system for the prediction of day-to-day events.”

What are your plans for the future? I intend to write a book on the commodity market. I am working on that right now. I am investigating gold, as well as other important commodities like oil, wheat, coffee and soybeans. These are all common products in the commodity market that should be of worldwide interest. I may be able to finish this book within the next two years.

Mr. Krishnan may be reached at jyotish@juno.com.