AN OVERVIEW OF THE MALAYSIAN ASTROLOGICAL SOCIETY (MAS)

 By Christopher Philip John

This history is based on known documents and interviews with several members of the society.

THE INCEPTION OF THE MALAYSIAN ASTROLOGICAL SOCIETY

Originally known as the Malayan Astrological Society, the roots of this society can be traced to  Mr. Sabapathy Thirunavuk Arasu, a retired postmaster who was also a student of the distinguished Indian astrologer, Prof. K.S. Krishnamurthi.  It was Mr. Arasu who envisioned forming a registered astrological society.  With this in mind, Mr. Arasu made an announcement in local newspapers calling for a public meeting on the matter.  This meeting was convened on 22nd January 1966, and was attended by 75 men and women.  It was at this meeting that Mr. T. Sivapragasam was elected as President, while Mr. R.S.S. Maniam and Mr. Arasu were nominated as Vice President and Honorary Secretary respectively.

Mr. Sabapathy Thirunavuk Arasu

On 16th September 1972, a new society, the Malaysian Astrological Society was formed and registered in place of the original Malayan Astrological Society, as per the requirement from the Registrar of Societies.  Funds from the old society were transferred to the new society to enable operations.

The leadership and management of the society is vested in the President, Vice President, Honorary Treasurer, Honorary Secretary and other committee members. The past Presidents of the older and newer societies include:

  • Mr. T. Sivapragasam – President of Malayan Astrological Society (1966 to 1969)
  • Pundit N.K. Ponnampalam – President of Malayan Astrological Society (1970 to 1972)
  • Pundit N.K. Ponnampalam – President of Malaysian Astrological Society (1972 to 1990)
  • Y.B. Dato S.S. Subramaniam – President of Malaysian Astrological Society (1991)
  • Prof. K.S. Vincent – President of Malaysian Astrological Society (1992)
  • Mr. Ramanujam A/L Varadachari – President of Malaysian Astrological Society (1993 to 1999)
  • Dr. Arulampalam A/L A.S. Nagendram – President of Malaysian Astrological Society (1999 to June 2016)
  • Dato Vyran  Thangarajoo Raj (June 2016 to July 2018)
  • Sundar Kumar A/L Rattan Singh (July 2018 to present)

All office bearers serve a period of one term, whereupon they may stand again for an election.  In the past, elections were held during the society’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).  However in 2000, the society chose to switch to a Biennial General Meeting (BGM), which now puts elections at once every two years.

The society has had the good fortune to have distinguished Patrons such as the late Senator Tan Sri Datuk Dr. C. Sinnadurai and Y.B. Dato S.S. Subramaniam.

The society has been steadily increasing its membership over the years.  As of May, 2004, the membership stands at 201 life ordinary members and 34 ordinary members, with another 156 who may yet renew their ordinary membership. Note that membership is open to anyone 18 years old and above, irrespective of sex, creed or race.

PAST ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN BY MAS

The society has organized a number of activities over the many years of its existence to serve its members better:

1. Astrological Education

Astrological education has been the most important activity undertaken by the society.  Pundit N.K. Ponnampalam, Prof. K.S. Vincent, Mr. Sothivadivel and Dr. Arulampalam have all undertaken this noble endeavor. In some instances, astrological education was imparted from humble homes, and at other times at formal venues, such as the Vivekananda Ashram.  Dr. Arulampalam conducted his classes at the Geeta Ashram, and students were awarded the Jyothisha Ratna upon completion.

2. Talks  & Short Courses 

The society has also been heavily involved in organizing talks and short courses, to supplement formal education.  Many society members have done a great service to other members by sharing their knowledge and experience in this manner. 

The society has also invited guests from outside the society to address members.  Some of these Malaysian guests have given talks on different aspects of astrology, while some talks have been on other esoteric subjects such as crystals, feng shui, ayurveda, pranic energy and more.

There have also been talks and short courses given by foreign guests of the society.  Amongst these guests were;

  • Prof. K.S. Krishnamurthi, who honoured the Malayan Astrological Society by accepting an invitation to come to Malaysia in 1970.  Prof. Krishnamurthi taught the intricacies of stellar astrology to society members. He also addressed the Rotary Club, and met many local VIP’s during his visit. Mr. T. Sivapragasam awarded a Gold Medal to Prof.Krishnamurthi on behalf of the society on 29th June 1970.  The medal carried the title Sothida Mannan (King of Astrology).
  • Jane Coleman, an American astrologer from Hawaii, addressed the Malaysian Astrological Society in the mid-1980s.  She enlightened society members on Western astrology and gave many readings during her visit.
  • Guruji Sri P.V.K. Punneswara Rao Guru, Sri K. Babu Rao Garu, and Sri P.B. Phanindar who visited Malaysia in 1996.  These three distinguished guests were from the Universal Research Institute of Astro & Occult Sciences (URIAOS) in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India.  They taught society members at the Vivekananda Ashram and upon completion of the course, awarded members the title Jyothisha Visharda.
  • The esteemed Indian astrologer, Vidwan V. Lakshimanan visited Malaysia in December 2000.  During his stay, he conducted special classes on Predictive Astrology to society members.

INTERNATIONAL FORUMS

Only two members of the society are known to have given talks at an international level:

  • Founding member, Mr. S.T. Arasu addressed the Mc Gill Debating Union at Mc Gill University in Canada on astrology in 1972 in a series of lectures.  The subjects of his talks were The Origin of Astronomy and Astrology and the “Western and Hindu System of Astrology.

Mr. Arasu was also elected as the Honorary Vice President for Malaysia at the Directors meeting of the International Society for Astrological Research (ISAR), Inc. held in L’Esterel, Quebec, Canada in 1972. 

  • Dr. Riza Beg addressed the Indian Council of Astrological Sciences (ICAS) in Bangalore, India in 1983 on Counseling Astrology.

PUBLICATIONS

The Malaysian Astrological Society did reach out to the Malaysian public through a fortnightly column in The Sunday Mail called Astro Lore back in 1985.  Then President, Pundit N.K. Ponnampalam and then Secretary, Prof. K.S. Vincent wrote the articles. 

A four-page newsletter was also written at the time when Prof. K.S. Vincent was President.  The newsletter, which was distributed to society members, was temporarily halted when Prof. Vincent suddenly passed away.  It is hoped that this newsletter will continue the tradition begun back then.

Although the society has not published books or magazines under its own name, at least four society members are known to have published in a private capacity:

  • Mr. S.T. Arasu  published the book entitled The Star At Dawn.  This book was released to the Malaysian public around 7th April 1980.
  • Mr. Yashpaule published the book, Your Destiny And Scientific Hand Analysis in 1981.
  • Dr. Riza Beg wrote a series of columns under the pen name, Dr. Agnihotri.  These columns were entitled: Compute-a-forecast and appeared in Her World magazine. from1982 to 1984.

Dr. Riza  Beg also wrote a series of e-books in CD-ROM format.  One of these e-books was his own Millennium Ephemeris (1900 – 2100) which was made available for the worldwide market in February 2003.

  • Dr. P. Krishnamoorthy Iyer who published a yearly Vakiya Panchangam in English and Tamil, starting from 1996.

FUTURE VISIONS FOR THE SOCIETY

The future of the society depends very much on where the members wish to lead it, and where the stars decree that it be so.  It is conceivable that the society may one day have its own building and library, and will engage in publishing magazines and books, and in organizing international conferences, and more. Let us move the society forward in the interests of society members and nation.