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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



What the Stars Foretell

by T.N. Dhar 'Kundan'

These days all the leading journals and the daily News papers include a column from some well known astrologer giving a broad outline of the forthcoming events for all the stars. While the daily papers give this forecast on day to day basis, the journals and magazines provide forecasts for the entire month. In addition birthday forecasts also are provided. It is a matter of common sense that there are only twelve stars and, therefore, the entire mankind is to be divided into twelve groups, each group having a specific star sign. Naturally these forecasts cannot come true word for word for every single individual. These have necessarily to be taken as broad parameters of the events likely to follow as against forecasts emanating from a study of individual complete horoscopes showing the positioning of all the stars and their mutual interaction.

Some people do not believe in Astrology either because these forecasts have not come true in their case or they have not found a real astrologer and have got landed in the lap of some quack. I for one have full faith in this branch of learning as I consider it a well designed science. Three things are, however, essential in this regard to be kept in view. First and foremost the horoscope should be based on correct time, date and place of birth. Secondly the astrologer we consult should be an expert in this field not only a commercial money grabber. Thirdly it must be understood that one’s actions and deeds are capable of changing one’s destiny. After all what is destiny if not the result of past deeds and the stars are only indicators through their positioning and interactions. It is not for nothing that destiny in Sanskrit is also called ‘Karma-phala’ or the fruit of actions.

There is no doubt that Astrology is a science. It is closely connected with Astronomy. In India it is called ‘Jyotish’ and comprises two branches, ‘Siddhanta jyotish’ or Astronomy and ‘Phalit Jyotish’ or Astrology. The subject is so well developed that it forms one of the six recognized ‘Vedangas’ or the limbs of the Vedas, which means the ancillary literature of the Vedas. It is also a matter of common knowledge that this Science was learnt by the Arabs from ancient India and then carried first to their land with the name ‘Ilme najum’ or the knowledge of the stars and then onwards to Europe. The Astronomy deals with the entire solar system and galaxies, their positioning, movements and interactions. The Astrology details the effect of these stars and planets on human, plant and animal life. But we must not forget that we in India believe in ‘Karma’ theory, which lays down that our destiny is determined and formulated by the stock of past deeds no doubt but is subject to changes and alterations, for good or for bad, by the present deeds and actions.

Thus there are two types of forecasts, forecasts for the individuals based on their respective horoscope drawn on the basis of their time, date and place of birth and the broad outline of the forecasts in general, based on the positioning of the twelve main stars and their inter-relation at a particular period of time. The second type of forecast has necessarily to be sketchy, broad based and suggestive, rather than specific, detailed and clear as the first type should be and usually is found to be. The second type sometimes turns out to be funny as was experienced by me recently. The astrologer usually plays with the words in the brief forecast and instead of telling what is likely to happen, it says what we should or should not do. It is a command rather than a forecast, a directive rather than a fore warning. This reminds me of a famous joke about weather forecasts that cartoonists used to depict in olden days when our scientific instruments were not as sophisticated and accurate as they are now. Once there was a cartoon showing a man walking with an umbrella in rain by the side of the Weather Office and the board outside the office had this weather forecast written on it in bold letters, ‘it is raining’. This was saying the obvious. Sometimes there are similar obvious lines of forecast in our journals and newspapers, e.g. ‘you should be careful with your money or else you will lose it’, ‘do not trust any unknown person; you are liable to be duped’, etc. etc. In my case it was a different story altogether and an amusing one at that. I am a Piscean and it was forecast against my star as follows; ‘Your monkey brain will play tricks with you’, whatever that meant. I could hardly figure out what this forecast conveyed. I read it aloud to my family members and friends and all of them had a hearty laugh. I had been suffering from nerve pull in my right leg and thigh for some weeks and was under the treatment of an orthopedic doctor. Suddenly my ailment aggravated and I could not even stand erect and had to bend my back in order to ease the strain. I had to walk here and there in that position like a monkey. So it was not my brain that was to play a monkey but my body that turned into a monkey. Ah! What a forecast. Long live the astrologer concerned.

Later it was a neurologist who had to take the lead from this forecast. He examined me, had an MRI of my spine done, diagnosed my precise problem and treated me over a period of time. All the same I had to move like a monkey for over a week and thus proved the astrologer cent per cent right.

Man is a strange creature. He does what is in his powers and the rest which is out of his control he leaves to his stars. He forgets that destiny is nothing but fruit of actions and actions can move mountains. Suddenly he turns a fatalist and is engulfed by inertia. This is a retrograde situation not contemplated by our Rishis. This attitude sometimes becomes disastrous. To give an example I would quote a story published in a daily paper a few decades back. It was reported that a person working as a cashier in a firm at Darya Gunj in Delhi had committed suicide by lying down on a railway track. It transpired that a couple of weeks earlier he had consulted an astrologer with his horoscope. The astrologer had told him that he was going to die and that his family members would come down on to the street as beggars. Not realizing how he could make such a forecast just by seeing his horoscope alone and without consulting the horoscopes of other members, he believed in it and went on to take some action to avoid such a situation. All that he could think of was to embezzle a hefty sum of money from his company and make the future of his family secure. The theft came to the notice of his boss who filed a case with the police. Poor fellow lost the balance of his mind and took such a drastic step of losing his own life.

There is another feature, and a beautiful one at that, of the Science of astrology and that is the prescription of remedial and corrective measures. The knowledgeable astrologers suggest use of some specific gems, performance of some special type of worship called ‘Anushthan’ or chanting of certain ‘Mantras’ to either ward off the bad effects of some stars or to strengthen the good ones. These measures have two great virtues. Firstly these do show sizeable results and secondly they have a powerful effect on our thinking, psychology and the frame of mind. We feel prepared and dauntless to face the events and assured to come out of any difficulty unscathed. Naturally we take recourse to treatment and medicine if sickness is forecast and to other safeguards if any other peril is in offing. Indirectly, again we rely on ‘Karma’ or actions and not on fate as such, which is the fundamental teaching of our faith.         

T. N. Dhar Kundan's Articles


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