One of the few philosophers who I identify with and have learned from is Bertrand Russell who came up with a pertinent point by stating that religion feeds on fear to gain from followers which is true in every sense of the word and a by-product of fear and religion can influence cultures. I have always been a non-believer in astrology, numerology, and palmistry and still am for the foreseeable future but am compelled to write because living in India, there is no shortage of coincidences and astrologers.
Astrologers are a dime a dozen but do have a foothold across the country and references can be found in a related field like Numerology across boundaries such as Egypt, Rome, China even Jewish mysticism like Kabballah.
Over the years, I was fortunate enough to come by instances of accomplished astrologers plying their trade by not only correctly predicting, giving guidelines, and being facilitators but charging decent amounts and making a living, no harm intended. One of my friend’s mother was an astute astrologer who was getting predictions right to a fault when she told me she had to lie to a particular family about an impending death because she did not want the family members to lose hope.
This got me thinking of the moral dilemma that accompanies such a profession which is similar to doctors keeping a distance from patients and relatives. To add to this, one of the major reasons I was able to complete my engineering is because I spent close to 3 years at my professor’s house because he was told by his priest that if he wanted to complete his doctorate, he would have to help out a student who was not able to complete his engineering.
There are times when belief transcends logic but I am not complaining. The most recent example I can quote is of an Aunt who came over a year back when I was in the doldrums both professionally and personally. She correctly predicted that there was nothing to worry about as far as I was concerned and that I would get hitched and would welcome happiness with arms wide open in the future. This blog is the reason because I met Aunty after a year to apprise her of my situation and contentment.
There is a clamour in official circles, government included, to incorporate Astrology as part of the curriculum or as independent courses themselves. A case in point is Baba Ramdev being an ambassador for the Haryana Government which shows the patronage being given to this diverse field.
Never been a fan of jewelry or accessories and that includes my engagement ring but a vast majority of my countrymen and women wear rings and stones to better equip themselves towards unforeseen circumstances and management.
My father is a big believer in being a Sikh and one of the first things that he did was that he got my “Kundli”(an approximation of the future by the astrologer at the time of the birth) made when I was born. There have been instances aplenty in Hindu households where prospective matches HAVE NOT happened because the “Kundlis” of the would be groom and the would be bride have not matched.
Even in Hardwar, some priests handle entire booklets or “khata” of every family tracing their roots back to the previous generations. I’d like to end by quoting a man I look up to, Nobel Laureate Shri Kailash Satyarthi who said, “There are hundreds of problems in India but millions of solutions”