A leading astrological researcher based in Hyderabad, India, Ram says: "Like every one else, I too am a traveller adrift in this journey of life, in the quest for the Truth. Circumstantially, I am a graduate in Mathematics and worked as a computer analyst programmer for 15 years before giving up all commercial activities to take up full time astrological research, which I have been doing for over a decade now."
The Gospel of Grandpa [part 18] To Be, or to Become
In this latest installment of the Gospel of Grandpa, Ram Ramakrishnan, astrological researcher and thinker of deep questions, examines the eternal question of the nature of being and becoming.
It was a reunion of sorts. Grandpa was meeting his cousin after many decades. Except for his cousin's wife he had not even met the other members of that family that consisted of his son and daughter-in-law and two grand children about the age of Munni and Chotu. As it always is when strangers meet for the first time, there was a bit of apprehensive quietness in the air as each person was trying to assess the wavelengths of the others, to identify an appropriate platform to initiate a sustainable dialogue. The musical proficiency of the grandson who was slightly older than Munni and grandpa's astrological research studies provided two automatic subjects of interest in this collective endeavour. Being the younger and a guest as well, the grandson soon became the cynosure of the little gathering and he was asked for a demonstration of his expertise. What started as a means of dialogue initiation soon transformed into a divine experience!
They were seated under the peepal tree with the mild evening sunlight playing hide and seek with the natural carpet of soft grass under its boughs. The setting was perfect and so were the boy's voice and his involved recital of a Meera bhajan. Time stood still. It continued to do so for a while even after the boy had concluded rendition for the sensation and the inaudible but detectable reverberations lingered until it slowly and softly melted away into the peaceful surroundings. Everyone present there in their own way wondered what manner of expression could describe this ecstatic and exhilarating state.
Grandpa's cousin brought everyone back from their wakeful personal reveries by beginning to narrate Meerabai's life story emphasizing upon her sense of complete surrender to God and accepting everything that happened as His doing and command, even when some of them apparently appeared to adversely affect her. There is always this difference of opinion between those who say that one has to evolve to higher levels of awareness, that the primary purpose of life is such a pursuit and prescribe any number of do's and don'ts towards achieving it, and those like Meerabai or the Sufi mystics who emphasize unconditional acceptance of everything. If the former can be described as
the attempt 'to become' then the latter can be expressed as the state 'to be'. The champions of each bent of thought would claim that their perception is superior to the other, but in the opinion of grandpa's cousin, they were both the same but appeared to be different depending upon the reference of observation. While non-mystics look upon mystics 'to have become', mystics look upon themselves and the world around 'to be'! What was grandpa's astrological assessment of this phenomenon, he asked.
Grandpa replied that the opinion about astrology too can be broadly divided into two apparently conflicting but essentially identical view points. They too appear to differ due to the variance in their reference planes. In the realm that is parallel to the state of 'to be' astrology can be said to provide a grand canvas on which one can see existence (or time if we may call it so) painted in all its intricate designs and the viewer peruses it, accepting it for what it is. From this perspective, astrology also underscores its seeming irrelevance.
Conversely, in the domain where the notion of 'becoming' holds sway,
astrology is looked upon as a tool to aid this quest. It may sound paradoxical, but it isn't because the fact that such a notional domain exists will be found to be painted in the allegorical canvas of the complimentary domain!
"Logical thought is not everyone's cup of tea", said grandma. Though she agreed in totality with grandpa's view, she preferred to bedeck the idea in a more tender and poignant attire. She said that in the sphere of awareness that was referred to as 'to become', an individual's equations with objects around were dictated by self-interest while in the other realm the 'self' was all encompassing and all distinctions were obliterated. If the expression of the self in the first instance could be referred to as complimentary emotions of love and hate, in the larger unlimited sphere it will be Love that embraces both without distinction.
Grandpa, his cousin and the older members of the gathering concurred. The youngsters, though lacking the vocabulary and diction to give vent to their thoughts as their elders did, understood in their own way what was being discussed. But grandpa said that despite all these exchanges, it makes nobody the wiser or less prudent. We are all functions of time and regardless of our convictions we will only do what we ought to at the appointed times. We are bounded and boundless concurrently, whether we realize it or not! Unknown to them the time had come for all to have another rendezvous with bliss. There was a unanimous call directed at the young vocalist for an encore. And time stood still yet again . . .
Here ends this chapter of a continuing story. Read more from