Do Krsna devotees need Astrology?


For your guidance, the scripture is your astrologer. He knows your future, he knows your past. So therefore you should consult, you should consult, for our guidance.
- Srila Prabhupada, Lecture, Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 20.125, Nov. 27, 1966

Srila Prabhupada said that we not try an be more of a paramhamsa than him.
Do devotees need to visit an ayurvedic doctor? But Lord Dhanvantari who is Lord Krsna's avatar as the master of the science of Ayurveda is Lord Krsna Himself so why not just worship Lord Krsna and all the benefits of ayurveda. This is not the judgment of the acaryas though the application of mundane logic makes it looks "reasonable". "Reason", i.e., tarka, the Mahabharata rejects when applied upon inconceivable subject matters, CC 2.9.195

Acintya means inconceivable. You cannot speculate how it is happening, how in the lotus flower there is so hard nail that immediately, within a second, it could kill a great demon like Hiranyakasipu. Therefore it is acintya. We cannot conceive. Acintya. And therefore Vedic instruction is acintya khalu ye bhava na tams tarkena yo jayet: "Do not apply your poor logic in the matters which is inconceivable by you." There is no logic that how lotus flower can grow nails. They say, "Mythology." Because they cannot conceive within their poor brain, they cannot accommodate how things happen like that, they say, "Mythology." Not mythology. It is fact, but it is inconceivable by you or us. It is not possible.

Gour Mohan De, Srila Prabhupada's father, who Srila Prabhupada called a pure devotee visited an astrologer.
An astrologer did a horoscope for the child, and the family was made jubilant by the auspicious reading. The astrologer made a specific prediction: When this child reached the age of seventy, he would cross the ocean, become a great exponent of religion, and open 108 temples.
A Child Sent by Krsna by Srila Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami, Dec 1, 1981 | Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami, Srila Prabhupada's Biography, Volume-16 Number-12)

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu consults an astrologer

"Please tell Me who I was in My previous birth," the Lord said. "Please tell Me by your astrological computations." Hearing the words of the Lord, the astrologer immediately began to calculate.
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....(Caitanya Caritāmṛta Ādi 17.104)

Astrology can tell what should be the profession of the child

Srila Prabhupada: According to the Vedic culture, immediately after a boy's birth astrologers should calculate what category he belongs to. Astrology can help if there is a first-class astrologer. Such an astrologer can tell what line a boy is coming from and how he should be trained. (Journey of Self Discovery, 7. Perspectives on Science and Philosophy, JSD 7.1: Plato: Goodness and Government, Plato: Goodness and Government)

Not just kings but ordinary people also consulted astrologers

So this astrological calculation were then; still there are. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, when Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam was written, it was five thousand years before. It is stated there that in the beginning of Kali-yuga, there will be buddha-avatāra, incarnation. Vabhisekha [?]. Vabhisekha means "there will appear." These are śāstra, these are astrological calculation, everything perfect. The other day, when I was discussed about Sanātana Goswami, how even an ordinary hotel keeper, he kept an astrologer who told the hotel keeper that "This man has got eight golden dollars." Just see. This is astrology. Even a thief could be conducted, guided by astrologer, and what to speak of others. So that was their system in India. So that example is being placed here by Lord Caitanya that the Veda, that is astrology for your guidance. For your guidance, the scripture is your astrologer. He knows your future, he knows your past. So therefore you should consult, you should consult, for our guidance.
Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.125 -- New York, November 27, 1966

Is astrology accepted by our Sampradaya's Acharyas?

Jaya-hari: Prabhupāda?, this morning you talked about astrology in your lecture. Is this accepted in the Vedic scripture and by the gurus?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Astrology means... That is also Vedic. Jyotir-veda. Jyotir-veda. That is also part of the Vedas. (break) The brāhmaṇas, they learn these three things: astrology and medicine. These two things. A brāhmaṇa is supposed to go to every householder's place, and he will inform, "Today is such-and-such tithi. The such-and-such thing should be done."
And if required, if somebody inquires about "Now I am going to that place. What will happen? Just find out the auspicious moment," so they will give him. Still it is current. It may be wrongly done or rightly, but the system is still there, astrologer. The king should be always accompanied by a first-class astrologer. (break) ...there is a whole street, both sides simply astrology. (break) ...good astrologers.

How to go beyond astrology?

Become a pure unalloyed devotee of Lord Krsna.

But we have heard Srila Prabhupada say, “Krsna consciousness is beyond astrology,” said Prabhupada. “If you surrender"
Do note, 'if you surrender'. Self deceptive iskcon devotees are quick to catch the "beyond astrology" part and not the "surrender" part. This is called self deception. And the only person who will be at a loss is you!

Prabhupāda: The chanting will be there, but you cannot expect that people will chant like Caitanya Mahāprabhu. They cannot even chant sixteen rounds—(chuckles) these rascals, they are going to be Caitanya Mahāprabhu. ( Room Conversation Varnasrama System Must Be Introduced -- February 14, 1977, Mayapura)

Astrology can detect disease difficult for medical science to detect

Prabhupada: No, no. That is calculation, calculation. This astrologer, this astrologer was a very big astrologer and when I was in service, Dr. Bose's laboratory, so Dr. Bose was treating one patient. He was vomiting blood. So he was treating as tuberculosis. Then he could not cure him after giving all medicine. Then he asked the astrologer, this astrologer who made my horoscope, "What is the matter? Panditji, can you tell?" So he calculated. He said, "You are making wrong treatment. He has got some sore in the throat. It is not heart." And he treated, he was cured.
Yasomatinandana: Vedic science is so perfect.
Prabhupada: Yes. He knew it.

About the donning of gemstones to help with astrological maladies

Srila Prabhupada is actually beyond astrology, yet as an uttama adhikari who is tasked with preaching and hence externally acting on the the madhayama adhikari platform he consults astrologers and wears the appropriate gems when need be.

Srila Prabhupada had asked us to consult an astrologer, regarding whether he should travel.  This afternoon, Yasodanandana Swami, Dr Sharma, and Bhakti Prema Swami each presented a report from a different astrologer.  I asked each to give his report separately, so that we could see how they agreed and differed.  Bhakti Prema's was useless, Dr Sharma's was fair, and Yasodanandana's seemed the most reliable.  All three agreed on one point: the next two months would be the most difficult of Srila Prabhupada's life, and traveling was to be avoided.  The astrologer Yasodanandana consulted recommended the wearing of a blue sapphire.  After hearing all the reports that forecast his future, His Divine Grace said, "So it is not hopeless.  At least for five weeks, keep me very carefully.  For the time being, no travel.  Secure this blue sapphire and chant Hare Krsna."
Biographies and Glorifications of Srila Prabhupada-TKG's Diary: Prabhupada's Final Days-July 30th-Tamala Krsna Goswami

“After lunch, Srila Prabhupada had me read again the astrologer’s report brought by Yasodanandana Maharaja.  Prabhupada found it to be quite accurate regarding his past.  For the future, it stated that Saturn was exerting a very bad influence, which could be counteracted by wearing a blue sapphire.  Abhirama contacted Guru-krpa Swami in Hong Kong, who was going to purchase one there or in Delhi.  Srila Prabhupada described the precaution to be taken with the valuable stone when it was purchased.  "It should never be allowed to pass into another’s hands."
Biographies and Glorifications of Srila Prabhupada-TKG's Diary: Prabhupada's Final Days-August 4th-Tamala Krsna Goswami

So Srila Prabhupada even know about the precautions to be taken while purchasing it. Thus there must be purity in act of purchasing the gem as well.

“This morning, Guru-krpa Maharaja arrived and immediately placed a blue sapphire ring on Srila Prabhupada’s right ring finger.  The mounting was made of white gold and was studded with diamonds.” Biographies and Glorifications of Srila Prabhupada-TKG's Diary: Prabhupada's Final Days-August 9th-Tamala Krsna Goswami
The sapphire ring was left on Srila Prabhupada’s body when it was put into samadhi on November 15 1977.

But what to tell those devotees under PMS, Prahlada Maharaj Syndrome who think themselves beyond Varnashrama practices?

This is our position. If you like, then you make progress. If you don’t like, that is your option. But we cannot make any compromise. We must present the sastra as it is." - (Srila Prabhupada, 1974/09/27,sb 1.2.19, Calcutta)
However the purpose of human life is Krishna bhakti. So astrology is never meant to replace the shuddha siddhanta only to compliment it in such a way that it amplifies the message of our previous acharyas and does not mute it. Thus I always encourage them to perform devotional service well and that see astrology as not something which is above Krsna-Bhakti. Thus if you see all vedic sciences, they start with the purusha sukta. This the tool to see all things and all Vedic sciences as an emanation from Lord Krsna and not separate from Him. However if you look at all karmis who engage in the study of any Vedic science they will skip the first chapter, which is the essence of it all. The essence being - how to see Lord Krsna in all acts. Without this all Vedic sciences become maya, meant to delude the conditioned soul further.