COVID prediction according to Vedic science?

Dear all,

As we know the whole world is facing a difficult situation now with COVID19. In the midst of this our faith in Christ and Bible may get sway. My dad is still a staunch Hindu. He just recently WhatsApp me a video where a 14-year old Hindu boy predicting world disasters back in 2019, in which he claimed Nov 2019 - April 2020, the whole world will face a big catastrophe. And now the video is going viral in India. Below is the link for the video. In that link, the boy also claimed that the only solution for this kind of problem is people must go back to the original world’s religion, Hinduism and Vedic scriptures.

I would appreciate apologetic feedback for this. What do you all think? @Lakshmismehta, since you were from a Hindu background, I am looking forward to hearing from you. You always give sound reasonable discussion. Oh yeah this is the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZyNhpqMIHY

Thank you,
Blessings,
Yuven

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@Yuvendran, Welcome back! It’s been a while since our last exchange on Connect. Thanks for your kind remarks. Interesting question! :slightly_smiling_face: I am aware of some astrological predictions regarding Covid through my family’s ISKCON connections but had no idea about this 14 year old boy, Abhigya Anand who also seems to be an ISKCON devotee. He is well-advanced in his understanding about several issues for his age and when I looked him up, I noticed he has even won awards as a child prodigy in India.

In the video link you sent, he claims that his predictions about a major disease to hit the world in April 2020 and some other predictions have come true, so astrology as he follows is a trustworthy scientific practice, proving the validity of vedic scriptures, the source of his astrology. His objective in making these predictions is to exhort people to turn back to God, whether as a Muslim, a Christian, or a Hindu, as he sees these coming crises per his predictions as a judgment from God for increased atheism. He views astrology as a divine warning, which when heeded by man will favorably alter man’s karmic debt, the influence of the universe on man and thereby the course or the magnitude of these predictions of dangers. He also says elsewhere, " Purity of food results in purity of the inner self"

I appreciate Abhigya’s boldness, his concern for faith in God and the vigor with which he seems to follow his own religion, but he is sincerely misguided. Firstly, if we affirm the Bible as Christians, we could no longer be guided by his prophecy as the Bible condemns astrology very strongly. Though Abhigya may have good intentions, the teaching he shares is not cohesive. The Bible condemns astrology as it will sway our hearts away from the God of the Bible. Whether astrology does that by predictions that control our daily decisions or by causing us to put our trust in our good works to alter karmic debt, to be acceptable unto God, it doesn’t matter.

Fulfillment of prophecy can be supportive evidence but not enough for our faith in God, we need more than that! We need to know that the God we trust is trustworthy. Christ proved his divinity through resurrection, not just fulfillment of old testament prophecy though important (John 2:19, 1 Cor 15:12-19). We can’t just believe a spirit’s teaching because of some supenatural powers, we need to test the legitimacy of the spirit’s claims to God. Here’s what Ravi Zacharias says about testing a worldview, “A worldview basically offers answers to four necessary questions: origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. In turn, these answers must be correspondingly true on particular questions and, as a whole, all answers put together must be coherent. Taking it a step further, the three tests for truth must be applied to any worldview: logical consistency, empirical adequacy, and experiential relevance. When submitted to these tests, the Christian message is utterly unique and meets the demand for truth”.

Abhigya says in another video that nobody can escape the law of karma. That’s precisely what Jesus offers, an escape from the law of karma! (Ps 103:10-14, John 3:17). This is another contradiction from Abhigya’s way of thinking, that we need to consider if we think his call for Christians to follow Christ is sincere. Jesus is unique in his offer of grace and forgiveness by being the perfect sacrifice of our sins, which Abhigya skips while seeming to acknowledge Christianity (but really just his version of christianity). Also, as opposed to what he believes, it’s not food but our sinful nature that needs to be transformed for us to attain purity in our inner self (Mt 15:11, Col 2:23), something that man can never achieve separated from God.

I didn’t even get into the topic of astrology, as it’s only a part of another whole system of vedic thinking, which this boy is advocating for. Even if someone’s predictions come true, only a true God can save us from our circumstances, whether in this life or eternity. Its sobering to read the words of prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah 47: 12-13
12“Stand now with your enchantments
And the multitude of your sorceries,
In which you have labored from your youth—
Perhaps you will be able to profit,
Perhaps you will prevail.
13You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels;
Let now the astrologers, the stargazers,
And the monthly prognosticators
Stand up and save you
From what shall come upon you.
14 Behold, they shall be as stubble,
The fire shall burn them;
They shall not deliver themselves
From the power of the flame;
It shall not be a coal to be warmed by,
Nor a fire to sit before!

After making predictions, Abhigya provides solutions that are in the best of mans’s wisdom, such as buying gold and getting religious, but that’s what Jesus came to deliver us from. Abhigya makes another prophecy of a world war around June-July this year. We will need to see if his prediction will pan out, but even if it does, we better be sure all the more of whom we are trusting for our security. Jesus’s kingdom is not here on earth but in heaven (John 18:36). I think that is the reason for Jesus to not focus on things of the present world - like herbal remedies, astrology, investment etc. but Jesus points us to eternal hope. We shouldn’t make decisions of eternal significance based on temporal matters. In the Bible, the prince of this world is not Jesus! When we look at the philosophy of karma and reincarnation, the foundational doctrine of vedic system, it answers evil from the point of view of differences at birth in this natural world, but not with eternity in view, where there is the possibility of evil being fully conquered as Jesus did.

If you want to critique his view of vedic astrology, I think we can look into some scientific issues with astrology. Here’s a short article by Hugh Ross to think about. https://believersweb.org/view.cfm?ID=555

Hopefully, these points provide some ideas for further discussion. Thanks Yuven! Hope you are safe and well during the Covid season. Blessings!

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@Lakshmismehta, would you say this is similar to the servant girl in Acts 16:16?

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@ALandis, I think fortune telling can open a person to a spirit of divination but isn’t necessary. This boy mentioned in one of his videos that he makes his predictions based on the principles laid out in Brihat Samhita. There definitely is a huge spiritual element as the teaching has a hold on masses. People tend to hang on to some spiritual experience they had. I know personally of a friend who came out of Krishna consciousness to Christ. As she read the Krishna Leela, she found herself being able to predict some things but on accepting Christ, she recounted feeling some spirit leave her physical body. I dont think we can say confidently anything about this particular situation and Acts 16:16.

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Wow, that’s incredible.

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This exposition has been very insightful. I think the above statement carries the most weight for me. As you have said, even if these predictions turn out to be accurate or we believe them to be so…what god will we trust to protect and provide for us concerning what is predicted?

@Lakshmismehta in reading your response and the scripture you referenced it occurred to me that knowledge of what is to come is a more critical element for me in those times when I am trusting in my ability and power to protect and provide for me from what is ahead.

I pray we all find that peace that comes from knowing our tomorrows and our eternity is in the Hand of the God who has proven Himself time and time again. May we all come to trust in His love and may God Bless us all in the Name of Christ Jesus.

Thank you for this @Yuven204, @Lakshmismehta

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@thewalk, thanks for your comments. I agree with you - " knowledge of what is to come is a more critical element for me in those times when I am trusting in my ability and power to protect and provide for me from what is ahead". Many of us are caught off guard by the Coronavirus and this pandemic is revealing the state of our hearts and priorities in life. When we believe prophecy in the Bible, it allows us to assess our priorities and misplaced trust before a crisis strikes us. Then when the crisis strikes us, we can endure it better with the strength of God. Prophecy helps us to not be caught off guard. (1 Thess 5:4-10) Thanks again! Be safe :slightly_smiling_face:

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@Lakshmismehta thank you for your detailed response. I am doing fine. How about you? I got occupied with applying for jobs, but now since COVID19 everything is being on hold and that sometimes creates fear. Doesn’t it feel weird why sometimes such predictions come true? I guess the prince of the current world is indeed Satan. I asked the same question, Dr. Ross (through Facebook) also on the same day I wrote this. He said his predictions are vague. I have also heard another pastor saying prediction is not necessarily prophecying! I do notice lately when reading the Bible, prophecying is always accompanied by a warning (or I would reminder) to repent.

It’s true we should look forward to the ultimate eternity with God. But I am still plagued by all the worldly events. It feels as if the whole world is meaningless. Also, I wonder what would have happened if Adam and Eve did not rebel against God. I acknowledge my struggle is making the connection between the brain and the heart.

Be safe all!

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You’re welcome @thewalk

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@Yuven204, thanks for your reply and for voicing some of the struggles that we are all feeling at this time in one form or another. It’s really difficult to face this situation with uncertainty in the job market soon after graduation with a doctorate degree as you are! I am so sorry Yuven. We may have the answers in our head, but its indeed very painful when we are faced directly with the struggles. May God provide the support, both intellectual and spiritual, at this time for you.

When you say the world feels meaningless, it echoes of the words of the book of Ecclesiastes for me. Everything we work for or achieve can be taken away from us anytime. I had to come to terms with this in my own life in certain areas. What I try to focus on is that life is meaningful but its not in where we are placed and what we do, but in responding to life in such a way that God is magnified in our lives. We live with the knowledge that God loves us and is with us in everything. Anything can be taken away, we may lose our skills we worked for due to a disease, we may lose our assets to the stock market, we may end up being falsely accused, but nothing can separate us from the love of God. The fact that we are called to be God’s image bearers will never change. And that gives meaning that lasts. I too go through ups and downs in believing these biblical truths but God understands us. I only try to stay the course on which I started. I take comfort in the fact that God used his disciples despite several moments of weakness in faith as recorded in the gospels and God will finish the work He has started in us as He promises.

You also ask, why do some predictions come true? First of all, I doubt any of the other predictions come close to the prophecies made through the Spirit of God in precision and accuracy as in the Bible. I wonder if there are any good resources that have compared vedic predictions and biblical prophecy. I don’t know of anything yet. Secondly, I think the spirits behind fortune telling have been around on earth for a long time and they can make predictions based on some familiar knowledge of people and events. I think, in a way it’s similar to man’s statistical predictions but with the advantages that come from being part of the spiritual realm.

The questions you ask are big! I have only shared small aspects of the answer that I have held onto with the hope that it will give some encouragement. God bless you, Yuven.

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Thank you for your response and kind words.
I have heard in many of Ravi’s talks the following arguments given by Ravi to explain the exclusivity of the Judeo Christian worldview.

Are there any talks or books that he explained in detail with given examples. These words may be sound daunting to share with laypeople or even less educated. I am concerned about the logical consistency and want to bring a topic that is off from the main topic of this thread. It’s common to see arguments that NT contradicts in some passages. For example the feeding of the 5000. Seems like Mark is confused about this event. John, Luke & Matthew say that it happened in Bethsaida and then Jesus asked them to cross the lake and they landed at Gennesaret/ Capernaum. But in Mark, it doesn’t mention where the 5000 were fed, but Jesus asked the disciples to cross the lake & go to Bethsaida. It’s confusing that feeding happened in Bethsaida and they should cross the lake and go to Bethsaida? Sorry to bring a different topic in this thread.

I wish there could be a book that explains all these claimed discrepancies and gives a good argument. I believe, all the words of the Bible are inherent, sometimes it’s hard to seek an answer when we confronted to give reasons.

My pastor told me that in the old days, people accepted the Bible just like that. All these questions only recently came into our thinking mind. The Samaritan women just left everything when Jesus told everything about her and knew the He is the messiah. Maybe we are living in the 21st century where our mind is a questioning mind. Or maybe studying the Bible in its original language could give answers to these small details.

Yuven

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Hi @Yuven204, that’s a good question! You should be able to find some talks on the 1-2-3-4-5 Grid for analyzing worldviews by Ravi Zacharias online. I couldnt spot the exact one. Here’s the summary of the grid though:

One goal:

  • Truth

Two approaches to truth:

  • Correspondence
  • Coherence

Three tests for truth:

  • Logical consistency
  • Empirical adequacy
  • Experiential relevance

Four questions to answer:

  • Origin
  • Meaning
  • Morality
  • Destiny

Five disciplines to study:

  • Theology [God]
  • Metaphysics [reality]
  • Epistemology [know.]
  • Ethics [morality]
  • Anthropology [man]

The 3 tests for truth are to be applied to the 4 crucial questions. There are several books that can help us understand the different worldviews while touching on these points. Keeping the grid in mind while reading these books is helpful in solidifying our understanding. I have not actually come across any book that goes step by step in the same order as the grid as a workbook of sorts for worldview analysis. Here are a few books in the worldview category , (only some of which I have read), to consider reading:

  1. Jesus among other gods - Ravi Zacharias
  2. Jesus among secular gods - Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale
  3. Grand central question - Abdu Murray
  4. The universe next door - a basic worldview catalog - James Sire
  5. The compact guide to world religions - Dean Halverson

Your next concern was about Bible discrepancies-

Good news is there are such books! :slightly_smiling_face: One book that I recall, recommended in the Ask RZIM category for Bible contradictions is called, The Encyclopedia of Bible difficulties - Gleason Archer. Its more of a reference book that you can go to for each book of the bible. For the specific question you asked about the feeding of the 5000, I dont know if you have seen this video answering that very question. It has to do with translation of a word from the original language.

The list of books and the knowledge to be gained seem to have no end! I hope that doesn’t overwhelm you or discourage you as we know it’s the Holy Spirit who convicts hearts. The bible gives examples of evangelism of both simply witnessing out of an encounter with Christ and examples where Paul reasoned with the philosophers. In both cases though, the gospel was shared along with demonstration of the Spirit’s power. So I guess what we may need to seek after is the Holy Spirit’s continual filling and guidance.

This has become another long reply! I better stop here. Appreciate your questions!