Monday, September 22, 2014

It’s in our stars


Mohan squarely put all the blame on the stars and planets for Dileep’s failures in business.  “Because Saturn is in line with Scorpio...” he mentioned a number of planets and constellations whose relative positions in the outer space allegedly caused the downfall in Dileep’s business.

Mohan, Dileep and I were classmates in the village primary school.  After the primary school we parted ways.  I went on to study in the city and eventually became a teacher.  Mohan dropped out of college and became an insurance agent.  He picked up some astrology from somewhere and used that knowledge to determine the ideal positions of buildings.  Vastu, people call it.  Mohan also claimed he could predict people’s future using astrology.  Dileep didn’t study much beyond the primary school and eventually took over his father’s shop in the village.

It was during one of my rare holidays in the village that Mohan and I visited Dileep in his shop.  There were many indications that Dileep wasn’t doing well: the building looked dilapidated, there weren’t very many items on the racks, and everything looked too shabby to attract customers.

Mohan’s Saturn and Scorpio seemed to boost up Dileep’s spirit and so I kept quiet.  It’s only when we came out of the shop and were walking along the almost deserted village road I asked Mohan, “Do you really think the stars and planets have anything to do with it all?”

“Well,” that’s all what he said.

“There are some 400 billion stars in our Milky Way alone,” I said.  “There are at least 170 billion galaxies each of which may have a similar number of stars.  They may all have planets and satellites just like our solar system.  That’s billions and billions of heavenly bodies.  Infinity.  That’s what the universe is.  It has its own rules and regulations.  Gravity and things like that.  But to assume that they afflict our poor Dileep’s tiny shop with their pulls and pushes is taking our infinitesimal ego a little too far into infinity.”

“Is your lecture over?” asked Mohan.

I stared at him.  “How many people in our village will understand anything of what you said?  How many can think beyond thousands, forget your billions and billions, let alone infinity.  Did you notice how Dileep’s face lit up when I put the entire blame on some stars and planets?  I gave him hope.  Now I’ll give him an action plan.  Some rituals and prayers.  Actually, these rituals and prayers are nothing.  They can’t affect any star or planet.  Nothing changes out there.  But many changes occur in Dileep’s mind.  He will think that the evil influences are leaving him.  He will begin to work with new enthusiasm.  Some changes in the shop.  New painting, new shelves, new articles... a new spirit.”

A few months later when I visited the village Dileep was doing much better.  The stars can make a difference!



14 comments:

  1. A psychological impact in the name of stars, a real scenario which most would face. A very good read and a must read for the believers of Jyotish.

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    1. Isn't all religion ultimately a kind of psychological exercise?

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  2. Sometimes a blind faith also causes a wonderful change..the spirit of the write-up is nice indeed...!

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    1. As we grow older and wiser (I hope), we learn to be less judgmental and more understanding.

      Secondly (and more importantly, perhaps), I'm beginning to realise that human life is impossible without some illusions and delusions like superstitions and religions.

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  3. Very correctly said Matheikal. Astrology indeed works on the principle of auto-suggestion which is an another pseudo-science

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    1. Another way of deluding oneself. Another drug. Painkiller?

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  4. The stars shone....The age long defence mechanism!

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    1. Good mechanism, Datta, for many. Ignorance can be bliss :)

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  5. A Must read for all who believe in Jyotish. A G+ for your post and have a Nice day. . . :)

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    1. Thank you. But no believer will be convinced by this, you know. Belief and science don't make good friends.

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  6. Some believe in God, some in the Great Central Blackhole. Yet, none of those will help you lift a feather from the floor unless you stoop yourself. You have hit the bull's eye with the stars!

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    1. Nice to have you here after a long time, Uma. Yes, charansparsh has its own merits :)

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  7. Is this placebo effect of medicine? By the way, if moon can have effect on tide pattern, is it totally inconceivable that stars may have some effect on living systems. May be effects have not been studied carefully. Glad to hear Dileep is working hard, whatever may be the reason.

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    1. The moon's impact on the earth's surface can be scientifically calculated, thanks to Newton. But such impacts depend a lot on the sheer size of the objects in question. When it comes to stars and human beings, the latter are plainly insignificant except for bulging egos perhaps.

      Yes, placebo has its place in medicine. Defence mechanisms are accepted in psychology. Faith plays its role in human life. I don't deny that.

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