Astrology and the Army man!!
The strength of a soldier is neither his muscle nor his mind. I believe, it is his ability to adapt! Because, for them, not just the death, even the life is quite uncertain!! Something with them is always changing. Either it is the type of residence that is changing or the school of his children or his place of posting or he is exchanging his old vehicle for a new one! And, if one is going through a bad phase, then, either his boss is changing or the boss of the boss is changing. The only constant in his life is his wife! That, unfortunately, does not change!! In their dictionary, “ C “ does not stand for ‘continuity’, it stands for ‘change’! Therefore, while all others have a personal doctor, personal tutor, personal trainer etc, men in the military have a personal astrologer as well. Predictions are difficult to make, specially of the future and more so of the army men! Sentinels of Peace generally have an astrologer at every place of their posting, primarily to predict in which direction they would move next!!
This dependence of the warriors, on the Jyothishya Shastra , is age old, perhaps from mythological days. Duryodhana, the Kaurava king, is believed to have sought the advice of Sahadeva while determining the auspicious timings for the Kurukshetra battle . The last of the Pandavas, Sahadeva, was said to be a great astrologer who prognosticated forthcoming events, including the outcome of the epic battle. He was known to have been bestowed upon this boon after he ate the little finger of the corpse of his father. In history too, we have a leaf from Vikramaditya’s court. Mihira was an “asthana jyothis” of the Magadh Kingdom. His encyclopedic knowledge of astrology and his mastery over associated subjects had made him a celebrated figure in the kingdom. He had predicted that the son of the king would die when he turned 18. Not just that, he had accurately predicted the date, time and place of death.
Though the King had full faith in Mihira, his astrologer, he took every precaution to protect and save his son. But on the predicted day, a boar killed the prince. When the news reached the King, he summoned Mihira to his court and told him “I am defeated, you have won, you have won.” The astrologer was as sad as the king, and he replied, “My Lord, I have not won. It is the science of astronomy and astrology that has won!” The king said, “Whatever it may be, my respected astrologer, I am convinced that your science is nothing but truth. And, for your mastery of the subject, I now confer upon you the Magadh kingdom’s greatest award, the emblem of the varaha (boar).” So, from that time, Mihira came to be known as Varahamihira. He was one of the revered “Navaratnas” of the kingdom. “There is no better boat than a horoscope to help a man cross over the sea of life”, Varahamihira often said.
The God’s own country, where I was a resident for nearly two years, has contributed considerably to the field of Vedic Astrology. Kerala Astrology is considered to be one of the oldest, most accurate and consistent forms of astrology in the world.Astrologers from the divine land are in great demand. As per the Kerala style of astrology, for making any prediction, one doesn’t require the time, place of birth of a person or a horoscope. Keralites do not do different things, they do things differently!!
While posted there, I regularly visited few of them, generally to check on their consistency, if not the correctness. My own observation of this tiny, but always in a state of turmoil, land is that there are three kinds of people here. First, the “fortune seekers”, they are usually seen circumambulating the sanctum sanctorums of historical temples that dot the cityscape. Second category of people are the “fortune sellers“. These are the lottery agents who are doing a roaring business roaming around the city. Third are the “ fortune tellers”, the astrologers who are prominent at every strategic location. One can find them at bus stops, railway stations, temples and at every other place. So, if any ‘fortune seeker’ wants to know whether the lottery ticket that he has bought from a ‘fortune seller’ will actually get him a fortune, he goes to a ‘fortune teller’. Kozhikode beach has high density of astrologers, at least ten of them at any point of time. I knew them all and all of them knew me.
When there, all of them had predicted that I was destined to be in the Army for 33 years but I left after 29. Not just that, many things that they had said that I was destined to do or not do have not come true. My worry today is not that the predictions have gone wrong but that my life is not going as per my destiny!!
Who said, “fate is inevitable”? Where is he??