Though Americans like astrology with horoscope "forecasts" in practically every newspaper they don't seem to take it too seriously. So when they heard claims that Nancy Reagan's dependence on astrology to protect her husband reduces his effectiveness in the presidential office, they protested "Now, that's going too far!"
Although astrology is an authentic, and therefore credible, branch of Vedic knowledge, the accuracy of modern astrology can no doubt be debated. What's significant, though, is that the First Lady instinctively turned to a source of knowledge greater than her own for direction. The Vedic literature would have advised her to do the same.
Of course, learning from authorities is not a revolutionary concept; in our daily lives we routinely go to higher authorities to get knowledge form how to fix a flat tire to how to build a bridge. The world is filled with literature and educational institutions precisely for this reason.
The President of the United States also needs authoritative guidance, and he has many sources of knowledge available to him. Yet because the President's mistakes can have immense repercussions, what he really needs is an infallible source of knowledge.
That's difficult proposition. Infallible knowledge seems impossible to come by. The greatest thinkers and scientists throughout history haven't been able to agree on such basic points as how our personalities develop or how our minds function. And they are unable to give us conclusive knowledge on larger, universal issues, such as where we've come from, what (or who) set the universe and its laws into motion, and so on.
Yet unerring knowledge is available by approaching not just higher authorities, but the absolute authority: the creator, sustainer, and knower of everything, God, or Krsna.
Krsna is accepted as God by the Vedic literature, great saints, spiritual teachers, and authorities in the transcendental science. Because Hi is unlimited, His knowledge is supreme, and He is never illusioned. His instructions are given in Vedic literatures like the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, which are therefore perfect sources of information. Taking knowledge from Krsna solve the dilemma of conflicting views, erroneous information, and general confusion, and enables us to confidentially take on the weighty responsibility of guiding our own lives, or a whole nation's.
The Vedic literature is laden with explicit, practical knowledge about every field of life, including how to govern nations. Though you or the president might not find every intricate issue of your affairs addressed there, the principles of infallible knowledge can be used as solid guideposts for making the right decisions at every turn. It is simply a matter of applying the principle to our lives, and cleansing our hearts and minds.
So while getting the signals straight from the stars may be risky, Krsna's instruction through His devotees, saintly persons, and the Vedic literature will guide us safely and accurately, not only in scheduling auspicious times to carry out an activity, but in all our thoughts, speech, and behaviour, in political, social, and private life.
Relying heavily on this transcendental guidance, rather than merely on material guidance, will never reduce our effectiveness in political office or our ability to deal with any situation in this world. Rather, we will be fully equipped to guide ourselves and our dependents while here in this world, where we are in constant fear of misfortune and suffering. And we will be able to guide them far beyond the stars, to the safe, blissful shore of the spiritual world, which is full of transcendental, absolute knowledge. Now that's really going far, Mrs. Reagan.