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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Predictions As a Science -5-

What factors influence the accuracy of this science?

When the social system was well organized based on triguna concept that understands and merges the micro and macrocosm, it was not difficult for some one to predict what could be the physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioral characteristics of a child that is born in that particular system of organization. It is not only the position of the stars (time and space) that influence our life. The life events are highly influenced by our basic nature. We have seen how much it depends on the strong impressions from the previous life (samskaras), the type of personality (‘guna’), the social structure and a strong will or self effort. We should not forget or ignore the basic character of the society in those days. If astrology has to predict with accuracy about how your business would flourish in the next few years, it depends on all these four factors i.e. your basic guna , the social structure, self effort and the time space interaction.

Why astrology is not accepted as a science today?

Human values such as sharing and caring, happiness and contentment were valued and respected in the spiritually oriented, moral society in ancient India where the science of astrology developed. An astrologer was expected to live a very strict life of austerity, selflessness and contentment so that he could tune to the higher laws of nature. An astrologer is expected to be like a saint not having any attachment to material aspects and to have absolute self control. A small little attraction can wrongly influence the predictions totally. This was another important parameter that ensured the accuracy of this science. Today’s society is simply revolving around money, materialism and selfishness. Every thing else including morality has taken the lowest berth in every walk of life including the so called future tellers. This has naturally changed the definitions of life events such as success, achievement, virtues and values of life.

I feel that with the changing of times and the social structure these sciences of predictions such as astrology or numerology, palmistry, etc should have been revised. But unfortunately we have not updated these sciences and hence they seem to have lost their reliability. Today we have landed in a state wherein these predictions appear to be not at all reliable that has made us discard this out of the arena of verifiable sciences.

In addition as I explained earlier, things were very rational and logical and based on evidences to start with but later on, as there were no experts who could explain these things rationally, it became a blind faith and dogma. Once it became a blind faith several meaningless things have crept into our day to day living that has created more fear than knowledge. The so called petty astrologers with very limited knowledge have taken advantage of the innocence of the people. I remember while I was working as engineer one of my senior colleagues was so much stuck to his blind faith and overwhelmed with the fear of the unknown that he would never sign the papers in rahukala (not so suitable time of day according to the position of the stars) however important it was. So we had to attach an almanac and check the time of presenting the papers to him to get his signature. This was not based on knowledge but he was threatened by the so called pundits that if you do not follow this meticulously it will cause calamities in the family and loss in business etc.

How do we use this science today?

First of all we need to understand that these predictions are only indicative of the possibility of some unexpected events of life and be prepared to face the difficulties if any with a proper mind set. It is clear that the accuracy of these mathematical calculations is good for phenomena that have already happened in the past. For predictions about the future this science provides the probability of an event. We can use it for planning our life just like you would plan your day’s schedule based on weather predictions. Let us consider this knowledge as precautions and not get lost in the fear of the unknown.

Some people are not only eager to know what is going to happen in the future but they also depend on it as if it is every thing and become lazy and complacent. For example, if an astrologer tells me that I will become a prime minister then the story does not end there. I need to continue to work my sweat out to fight the elections and do all the work needed to keep the image in the society. But this prediction makes me confident that I stand a good chance through my stars that I can pass the test and get there.

Is it important to know what is going to happen in future? How to use these predictions about the unfavorable or difficult events of our life without fear? There is a nice incident from Ramayana which is worth recollecting in this context.

After pregnant Seeta’s departure to forest there was grave silence all over Ayodhya and every one was feeling the big void. In that grave silence one day Lakshmana was walking in the garden and saw Sumantha, the minister sitting alone under the banyan tree lost n his thoughts. Lakshmana greets but there was no response from Sumantha who was lost in his own world. Suddenly Lakshmana heard Sumantha talking to himself, “oh lord, wonderful is your leela, (play). How strong is vidhileela (play of destiny)! We know what is going to happen yet we can’t avoid even the most distressful events of life and just have to accept and go through them! ”. Lakshmana shakes Samantha out of his state of deeply lost in mood and asks “what are you saying and about whom are you talking?” Samantha was surprised to see Lakshmana and replied, “I am talking about your great father”. “What is it”? Lakshmana asks. Sumantha says, “Your father knew that the separation from his son would kill him but he could not stop Rama from going to the forest.”! Surprised Lakshmana asks “how did he know and how do you know about it?” Sumantha in reply narrated the event of what he had seen when he was young and used to be the charioteer for Dasaratha. King Dasharatha, when he was young used to enjoy the sport of shooting an arrow by just listening to the sound of an animal in the forest (shabdabhedi vidya).On one such occasions he mistook the sound of water being filled into a pot in the river to the sound of a deer drinking water in the river and the most unfortunate event happened. The only son of a blind sage who had gone to fetch water to quench the thirst of his blind parents became the victim. On request by the dying child the shattered king takes water to the thirsty parents of the boy. The moment the parents knew that the king whose duty is to protect people killed their innocent son out of carelessness they cursed King Dasharatha that he will also die of separation from his beloved son and gave up their lives at once . Lakshmana became emotional and said, ‘why did you not tell me this? If I had known I would have stopped Rama from going to the forest’. Sumantha smiled and said “Your father who was such a great king and Rama such a wonderful person who is so wise could not do anything but to accept the ways of destiny .do you think you can have stopped them?” “What! Rama also knew about it, how?” Lakshmana asked in surprise. Sumantha replied, “Rama is so great that there is nothing that he does not know. He can see the past and the future with clarity”. “Lakshmana asks, “then did he also know that mother Seetha would be sent to forest”. Sumantha replied, “Yes”. Lakshmana asks “then why did he not stop that?” Sumantha “My dear Lakshmana, I just do not know. All that I know is that they are so great and I am so small a person that I only feel blessed that I am born in the times that such great persons are around!” and added “if you have any more questions go and ask your brother . I am too small a person to answer your doubts”.

Lakshmana runs to his brother who was sitting peacefully and narrated all that he heard from Sumantha and asks, “Rama, you knew that mother Seetha has to go to forest and you did not stop her, why?” Rama replied, “Lakshmana, it is not important to know what is going to happen and try to stop it. I know that we cannot stop destiny which is so strong. What is important is to be able accept and maintain equanimity, peace and tranquility, when such major events of life happen. This is the goal of life .This is spiritual growth. On the other hand generally what happens is that if we come to know what is going to happen and if we also know that you cannot do any thing we tend to suffer helplessly”.

Therefore let us understand the message of Rama to Lakshmana. ‘Instead of trying to waste our time by trying to find out what is there in future let us do what is good now and keep our poise in tact so that what ever the future brings us we will be able to face it calmly’. Let us not put our efforts to hear predictions and be carried away by the excitement of good events and anxiety and nervousness about the possible failures .We know that life has ups and downs. Therefore let us have spiritual growth of peace and calmness in the first place in our lives and not waste our precious time on this earth in searching for future tellers to find out what is going to happen.


Let us get back to where we started. Are the examples of child prodigies aberrations of nature? Are these phenomena accidents of nature? Is there something predictable about it? Is there a science that understands these phenomena? How relevant are these sciences today?

I hope you can now see how this science of predictions has a strong basis of unity of existence managed by a universal intelligence. Any event that appears to be an unusual phenomenon is not an accident or aberration of nature. It follows a higher law. This higher law works very efficiently when everything that is created in nature functions in tune with these laws. The accuracy and outcome of these predictions by the science of astrology depends on the following five factors (i) the basic instincts that we carry from our previous birth (ii) the time space interaction at the time of our birth (iii)the personality ( satva, rajas or tamas guna that predominates) which depends on the family in which we are born (iv) the social structure that provides the congenial environment and (v)the most important factor , the hard work that we need to put in to make these come true . We call these unseen factors as the play of destiny or bad luck or good luck. But what we have understood is that this destiny is predictable and has a wonderful mathematical science called astrology that worked effectively in Ancient India.

We as a human race, ignorant of these higher laws, have no right to tamper this. Let us grow out of the limited vision of creation. Let us adore this wonderful great universal principle that binds us together in this web of life. Let us appreciate and be happy with everything that we possess. This is divinity. Let us not go on tampering with nature in search of happiness. This is true spirituality.




To read the previous parts of the same article please click on:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:


Saturday, October 17, 2009


I was initially thinking of writing about the Goddess Lakshmi, who is the Goddess for Deepavali or popularly known as Divali. However, the situation in Prashanti has taken a sudden turn with Aunty Lakshmi becoming serious and we had to rush for oxygen and some painkillers etc. Almost a year ago, similar situation was there and that time she has come out of such situation showing us her great will power. All of us were hoping this time also she would be able to come out of woods.

Finally, the inevitable happened on 14th October the auspicious day of Ekadashi according to the Indian calendar before the midday plunging Prashanti into the gloom!

After several discussions among the family members and the elders, it was decided very rightly that the final resting would be done in Prashanti only on the next day at 10.00am.

Every one in Prashanti wants to do what is that he or she can do which gives her the happiness and satisfaction. Just to give an example our bhajan group sat throughout the night singing the most favourite bhajans keertanas of thyagaraja filling the air with an unusual divinity. A team of youngsters went round the forest of Prashanti to get necessary bamboo and other wood and with their own hands prepared a nice platform to carry her. Electrician was also fully busy to light the place because already through out the evening and all through the night people were pouring to pay her their respects.

When, she was being taken round the path some one was commenting the flower garland around her is heavier than her body! Her physical body is so small that even the garland was heavier! Her food is as it is very little and especially on the last few days, she would only eat two or three spoons of beaten rice and nothing more! I always used to wonder those two spoons of food is running the whole living system and in addition she was also very alert and clear in her thinking. Two days before while she wanted to get up from sleeping position when i offered her to lift her up into upright position supporting at the back she said how much I am becoming burden to all; even i need to depend upon you for sitting up. Her weight on my hand was only few grams. But i wondered this lady through out life she has only been doing for the others and never asked anybody to do any ting for her.

The story goes back to several years – at least three generations. We don’t know nor we heard any thing about earlier generations, but what we heard is how unique was the life style of Venkatramaiah and his wife ‘Putta’ (every one used to call her by this name). Those days belonging to the middle class family they had a great combination of deep Indian culture and modern British knowledge of things like cleanliness, hygiene and knowledge of medicines and other things. They were complimentary to each other. He was generous to the people around and she was a great support to the women folk in their day to day problems. We heard stories like in the how disciplined the mother putta was and how generous father ventaramiah was! My sister who was staying in a house opposite to their house said that the best way of cooking of any food item, we have to learn it from Putta. The flower plants in their front garden were talk of that area. The ideas of healthy life they reflected even in the flower garden. Putta was so meticulous that their house was like a model house for every thing. They used to take every thing very seriously. As far as my knowledge goes the dedicated life of every member of this family can be traced to this divine couple Putta and Venkatramaiah

It is because of their Tapasya, god chose them to be the parents for three extraordinary children. The eldest is Ramarao engineer by training worked as lecturer in the local polytechnic college married to Lalitamma. Ramarao appeared very tough and hard from out side but people who knew them from near would know how soft and helping her was. As a lecturer, he would be ready to take all burdens of all his colleagues for any silly reason any time. He would make sure that all the students learn well and pass. On one occasion i went to his college with him twenty years after his retirement but I was surprised to see that all the staff members and the students touched his feet!

The youngest is another brilliant child Seshadri who received early training and education at home with an idea that he could learn better than in school. Finally, when he has to go to school they tested him to admit in which standard he proved that he became the youngest in the class, topping every year. Finally, when he finished his masters with distinction he gave his certificates to his father and left home to give his life in service to the nation in the beginning inspired by Gandhiji and later he joined RSS and rose to the top popularly known as HV Seshadri. He remained unmarried. His life is also a life dedication and learning. A prolific writer and king maker, respected by everyone in the field of politics. Once when Seshadri was being honoured by citizens of Karnataka in a big function in front of several thousands of people Ramarao, elder brother of Sesahdri went there to see the function. He was standing on the last row enjoying the whole scene and he did not claim to be in front. This is one small example of his simplicity.

Ramaraoji’s wife Lalithamma is another wonderful woman. I heard that God chooses to be born in the womb of most innocent. I do not know about the innocence of Mother Mary or Kausalya but the most innocent woman I have come across is Lalithamma. That is the reason their children are one better than the other is. Five children, brilliant academically but equally dedicated for the cause of humanity. Boys, Dr Nagendra and Dr Venkatram are engineers and girls Dr Nagarathna is a into general medicine and Yoga therapy, and her sisters, Dr Rama Phanniraja and Dr Uma Bannerjee and both into gynaecology are highly qualified doctors, what else you want your children to be. If you look at Lalithamma, you can say she only deserves such children. Lalithamma is living in Prashanti along with the family of Prashanti. Dr Nagendra is the Vice chancellor of the Yoga University and Dr Nagarathna is the dean of faculty of medicine and yoga division and medical director of VYASA.

After Ramarao the second one is daughter Lakshmi, very brilliant right from childhood. She wanted to become doctor to serve humanity. Her health in early childhood did not permit her to continue studies and she had to go to doctor’s office for the sake of her health, in the process, she herself became proficient in medical knowledge. What she wanted to become she accomplished in her brothers children. Remained unmarried, she felt that is a gift from god that she could spend all her life in the service activity and her dedication stands today as a Prashanti, which is the proof for her selfless work! Prashanti Kuteeram is her child and her spiritual sadhana.

Prashanti kuteeram stands for twin ideals one is its academic uniqueness and the other is the thrust and thirst for sadhana. If Dr Nagendra son of Lakshmi’s brother Ramarao is the person behind the academic achievement of Prashanti, the sadhana face of Prashanti is Lakshmi aunty. Until the last breath, her mind was on sadhana. The last dialogue I heard from her was about her concern for the students. She was enquiring for the feedback from the students whether the talk is sadhana oriented or not. The very next day, she is no more!

She had nothing to say about this is mine at the time of her death. Material possessions were almost nothing but her spiritual gain was unimaginable! One of the inmates of Prashanti has expressed this that her weight is reduced to that of a small child. Her life is an inspiration for many sadhakas. Swami visharadanandaji always used to say that one person whose every cell pours out spiritual sadhana is Lakshmi aunty.

Under the influence of Beloved Lakshmiji, Her brother Seshadriji, her brother Ramaraoji’s children Dr Nagendra Dr Nagarathna Dr Rama and Dr Uma and Dr Venkatram have happily given their services for the sake the spiritual culture and country! What can be greater achievement than this in ones life!

Some one asked her, ‘do you want to be liberated from this cycle of birth and death which is normally the concept of Indian thinking’, and she replied negative. Her wish is to come back again and again and will request god to give her more and more strength so that she can serve more and more people in her next life.

Therefore, this Deepavali festival is the offering of our prayers for her soul and our prayers to her to guide us from wherever she is and to inspire us from time to time