A leading astrological researcher, based in Hyderabad, India.
"I was born a human
In the family of a Brahman
Childhood aspirations were a plenty
To become a yeoman, a swordsman, a bowman
And I dreaded perchance becoming
A conman, a doorman or a barman
Youth had its own delusions and dreamt
Of being an airman, a seaman or a showman
A few talents raised visions of life as a craftsman
Middle age found me slotted in a niche
And rose up the ladder to be a helmsman
But was otherwise essentially a layman
At times to frighten children, a bogeyman
Then astrology called... and I realized that
I was just a point of consciousness and no man
And this insight made me a new man
Glimpsing a realm that was
Beyond god and mammon
Now some call me a madman
While others believe I am a shaman
Being neither, I am just me, a man".
Astrologically, it is possible to plot a graph of the aspects of an individual's life as a function of time, which provides a relative picture of the rise and fall of the events and our reactions as time goes by. Ram Ramakrishnan argues in this episode that every life has its compensations and that every movement in this career, whether up or down, contains within itself the seed of its consequences, which begins to grow the moment any position is attained.
The men in blue – as the Indian cricket team members were fondly called by their compatriots, were embarking on a long tour of South Africa. The airport was packed with fans wanting to have a last minute glimpse of their favorite player. Grandpa and the children were there too, to meet grandpa's old friend and his granddaughter who were to have a brief stopover between their journey further south. After the preliminaries, they waded through the starry eyed crowd up to the cafeteria on the floor above to exchange news over mugs of hot coffee, which was a welcome thought in the chilly weather of a wet winter day.
There are any number of examples of inseparable things – lotus and water for one. It could perhaps be said that grandpa and astrological thought were another. For whenever a dialogue ensued with grandpa being one of the participants, it did not take long for the talk to veer towards and then revolve around astrological applications. It is not that grandpa was always able to put his point of view across convincingly. There were some who agreed with him, some others who made it appear that they were agreeable for lack of a better alternative and others who vehemently opposed it.
Whether or not grandpa prevailed, astrology appeared to – by the simple fact that it held centre-stage! This meeting was no exception and the scene was something quite similar and usual. Fortunately, grandpa's friend was reasonably open to all possibilities and his grand-daughter had imbibed this trait as well, a verity that became evident when she asked our grandpa whether he could provide any simple elucidation on topics more relevant to a student embarking on a career, from the astrological viewpoint. It was a habitual hand that went to the familiar beard to do the customary and inspirational sifting as grandpa's mind pondered over this question.
"The word 'career' in the noun form identifies the way of making one's living while when used as a verb it means to go swiftly," said grandpa. "Both forms however have reference to the path we take in life – one pointing to its direction and the other to the manner. Astrologically, it is possible to plot as a graph various aspects of an individual's life as a function of time, which provides a relative picture of the successive and continuous rise and fall of each of them. These graphs will seldom be in phase reinforcing the notion that every life has its compensations. It drives home the point that every position in life brings along with it the seed of its downfall, which germinates and begins to grow the moment that position is attained. What follows is only a matter of time." So saying grandpa opened his carry-bag to bring out his laptop. A few mouse clicks later a set of graphs appeared on the screen exactly as explained by grandpa.
"These graphs," said grandpa, "tell the life story of a person. It shows that an individual by birth is good at certain things and not so good in certain others. As life progresses, the expressions of these attributes fluctuate with time – now in bright sunshine perched at the top of a peak, now in the deep shadows trudging along a valley, but never stagnant. It brings out the one underlying truth – that change is the essence of life."
"This graph is drawn to a particular time-scale," explained grandpa. "It is possible to shorten the time-scale so that daily or hourly expressions of attributes could be plotted. In a way, we embark on a 'career' every day all our lives, which is an insignificant yet inevitable segment of our larger career in life."
“Can every individual's life be described this way?” asked the girl.
"Yes," said grandpa. "And that is the second truth. If the graphs can be described as representations of the ephemeral nature of triumphs and disasters, as a testimony to the incompleteness of a being, it underscores the fact that to be born is to be incomplete. This applies to everyone – from those considered exalted to those deemed lowly. Whether we admit it or not we are all siblings in existence."
"But surely," argued the not so convinced girl, "those who are selfless, care for and dedicate their lives to the welfare of humanity are better beings than those who don't." Grandpa's hand appeared to rise to his beard but stopped half way as his thoughts seemed to have outpaced it in the process of transforming themselves into an appropriate articulation.
"Whatever that anyone does," said grandpa, "is only to satisfy their respective individual aspirations. A 'selfless' man is essentially 'selfish' because being 'selfless' gives him happiness. When astrologically viewed too, it is possible to identify the characteristics of a person and classify them as being 'selfless' or 'selfish'. None of us have a choice of scripting our basic characteristics."
“Then what do 'we' do?” asked the perplexed girl.
“Everything and nothing – depending upon the point of view,” said grandpa. "The fact that our thoughts and action germinate from our brain, makes us their author and executor. But the fact that the results of those actions and where they lead us to, are computable astrologically, appears to show that the script isn't impromptu but pre-written."
"But truth can have only one face," countered the girl.
"Not necessarily," said grandpa. "It can have many – and perhaps that is the truth. And maybe the Real truth can be known only by the one who is complete and who paradoxically cannot exist – at least in our realm, because to be alive is a sure sign of incompleteness!"
It was over an hour now since the little group had trooped into the cafeteria. The steam from hot coffee mugs had long condensed into invisible droplets of water. The chillness of the atmosphere had begun to gnaw at the unexercised body parts of debaters. And it was time to conclude the meeting as well, for the departure of the flight that grandpa's friend and his grand-daughter were to board, had been announced. The end of a brief and routine goodbye ritual saw the duo walking into the entry door of the aerobridge leading them to the aircraft. At the entry point of a parallel aerobridge stood the Indian cricket team posing for a last minute photograph as they embarked upon yet another stage in their career.
Here ends this chapter of a continuing story. Read more from