Interview with Bangalore Sureshwara
by Marianne Jacuzzi
Marianne: It’s a great pleasure for me to meet you, Suresh, and a great privilege to interview you for the readers of the CVA Journal. As the son of the famous Vedic astrologer, Dr. B.V. Raman, you come from a family of astrologers. I understand your great grandfather was an astrologer for kings in India?
Suresh: It is a great pleasure to meet you, a Scholar well known and well versed in Vedic Astrology and spiritualism. It is also my privilege to be interviewed for the readers of CVA Journal. I just have humble knowledge that I will share with you. I am just an eternal student of Astrology My great grandfather was a very well-versed and well-known Astrologer and and was often consulted by Kings across the length and breadth of India. The British were ruling India at that time and were aware that not only Indian royalty but British royalty also consulted Indian Astrologers. Well known secret.
MJ: Can you tell me what it was like growing up in such an illustrious family of astrologers. What do you remember about the astrological practices of your grandfather and great-grandfather?
BS: My grandfather was very spiritually involved and soon father was attracted to helping great-grandfather (GGF) with his day-to-day detailed astrological calculations. Those were the days when today's "computers" had not taken birth and father became an expert "human" computer. Later my father was the first among the many learned astrological scholars in the modern era to encourage the introduction of computers and software in an astrological world that was waking up to the computers.
MJ: I understand that you began to study astrology under your father’s guidance and tutelage. Can you describe how that learning developed for you - as a young child into maturity?
BS: As a student, I started working with father as a part-time typist/stenographer when the regular staff member was on leave or vacation. Slowly, I picked up astrological/astronomical terminology and even started to understand the various technical terminology. I completed my high school at a prestigious Bangalore based European school and in the process was exposed to the best of the Indian traditions as well as to British-oriented European education. I completed my engineering undergraduate education at a prestigious college in Banagalore. I completed my Master's and Doctorate degrees in engineering in USA. I was always in touch with father and mother. Father encouraged me to start writing astrological and spiritual-based articles around the time I completed my post-graduate degrees in United States.
MJ: I’m curious about the cultural milieu in India at the time you were growing up. What was the role of astrology and astrologers in society?
BS: During the time I grew up in India, the end of the British rule was in process. But astrology and spiritualism, though not encouraged by the British, was slowly and surely becoming a part of India's present and future. I remember many Britishers were in correspondence and also in contact with my father, especially during the tail end of the world war. Father made many predictions that were encouraging and some challenging to the allied forces. His predictions were of significant interest to British rulers. Many Britishers did not consider themselves as merely "rulers" but were interested in learning Sanskrit and other Indian languages, and also getting to know Astrology, Hinduism, and various aspects of traditional Indian social life. Though they may not have openly expressed appreciation of India's heritage such as Vedic Astrology, yoga, etc., some of them were greatly impressed.
MJ: I understand you also had a career as an engineer. In what way did your knowledge of Vedic sciences, Jyotish in particular, influence that work?
BS: I am a devoted and a lifelong student of Vedic Astrology. I was involved in Mechanical, Structural, Construction, and Aerospace Engineering. I enjoyed teaching Astrology and Engineering as a labor of love and affections. Even today my passion in Astrology is research. I am glad that my research articles have been popular and well-received. My humble opinion is that everyone is a lifelong student. There is no end to learning and research; education is endless. Astrology is a deep subject, and scholars are needed to open up the subject for young people to penetrate the deep knowledge that is available to the world.
MJ: Which sacred texts of the Indian tradition do you feel are most important? What insights and truths do they have to teach us today?
BS: There are many Astrological scholars all over the world. They have written wonderful books and presented seminars and lectures. Young people who have passion for the subject have endless references. There are many great teachers. I feel the list is endless. My humble opinion includes Sri Bhagavad Gita, Sri Mahabharata and Sri Ramayana as valuable references. These are also spiritual references that astrologers need. If one looks carefully you will see many distinguished scholars on the subject.
MJ: In particular, your lectures and writings on the Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita, and Management for MBA classes fascinate me! What themes do you feel prospective business leaders most need to understand?
BS: My father, Dr. B.V. Raman, and great grandfather Professor Suryanarayan Rao have written books that one can consider invaluable Astrological texts/references. One's teacher/Guru may suggest textbooks that they have found very useful. It is important to talk with fellow astrologers in community.
MJ: Has the practice of Vedic astrology in India changed from how you remember it from your childhood? In what way?
BS: Like in every field of life that humans are engaged in, things have progressed in Astrology. Astrology is an indicative subject. It indicates that proper and adequate human effort is needed to fulfill the horoscopic indications. Dr. B.V. Raman kindly reminds us, Astrology is not deterministic but only indicative.
MJ: Since your engineering career took you to the USA which gave you first-hand experience of the West as well as India, what do you see for the future of Vedic astrology, both in India and West?
BS: I have found that Americans have passion when they develop interest in any field and they have done the same when it comes to Vedic Astrology. An excellent example is that our distinguished and famous colleague/friend Sri David Frawley (Sri Vamadeva Shastri Ji) who has been awarded one of India's Distinguished/Prestigious Awards.
MJ: What role has the CVA played in promotion of Vedic Sciences?
BS: The CVA is one of the national/international organizations known not only in USA and India but more importantly also known around the world for promoting Vedic Sciences. It has played an extraordinary role in the promotion of Vedic Sciences/ Vedic Astrology. Congratulations to the organization and its members worldwide. God Bless All. Thank you.
MJ: Thank you, Sureshwara. It’s been a great pleasure meeting you, and an inspiration to hear about your illustrious family and indeed your own work with Vedic Astrology. I feel too that the learning of this deep knowledge has no end, and it’s indeed a blessing to have great scholars like yourself lighting the way.