Astrology

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Astrology (horà÷àstra) is the belief that the position of the planets and the stars in relation to each other has a significant influence on human character and destiny. This belief contradicts the most basic Buddhist doctrine that our character and destiny are the result of the sum total of our intentional thoughts, speech and actions, i.e. our kamma.

The Buddha said monks and nuns must not practice astrology or any other form of fortune-telling, all of which he called ‘base arts’ (Digha Nikaya 1. 8). In the Jataka he tells a story which highlights the foolishness of relying on astrological predictions (Jataka 1. 258). Logically, all astrological calculations up to 1930 must have been incorrect because they did not allow for the planet Pluto, which was only discovered in that year, and all calculations since 1930 must have also been incorrect because they did not account for the new planet discovered in 2005. Many people in Buddhist countries believe in astrology and monks commonly do astrological predictions.

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