My Encounters with Astrology

First up, let me make my stand very clear here. As much as I want to believe that I have no faith in Astrology and that none of my decisions are influenced by it, I concede otherwise, but only to the extent of acknowledging the existence of the science. I wouldn’t particularly be making every decision of my life based on astrology. Now having said that, I am going to tell you about  a few recent instances wherein I have had a brush with astrology without ever actually intending to do so myself.

Recently, in the month of January, my parents had been to visit this astrologer near my home and were very impressed with his knowledge and analysis. He was apparently able to describe very accurately a lot of things of mine and my parents’ past, which particularly impressed my mom. Hence, she inevitably asked him about my future prospects, (onsidering the fact that during January, I was going through one of the worst phases of my life.), especially regards my education. To this, the astrologer assured my mom that I was going through a bad phase of my life and that I would face better times from the month of February. Sure enough, I quit my job in February due to poor health, which I was not complaining about as I was not particularly excited about the job, and in fact consider it as a good thing that happened to me. Then more importantly, I got an admit to do Masters in Imperial College London, one of the most prestigious universities in the world, about which I was extremely happy about. So yes, what the astrologer said did indeed come true. And looking at this, my mom strongly recommended the astrologer to her sister who has a son and a daughter appearing for their 12th and 10th board exams respectively. The astrologer again accurately described the characters of both the children and that again impressed my aunt too. And so there was this inevitable question asked to the astrologer by my aunt about the education of her two children and this is where I guess the situation hit the roof! To the specific question about how my cousin will fare in the highly competitive IIT-JEE exam, the astrologer, after some consultations with the horoscopes, confidently declared, “Your son has to work HARD to crack the IIT-JEE!!!!!!”

WTF???I mean WTF???OF COURSE he has to work hard to crack the IIT-JEE!! As soon as I heard this, I was rolling on the floor laughing away big time! And when I told this to my cousin, even he couldn’t control himself. And to learn that our mothers paid a whopping 3000 bucks to hear the astrologer tell them exactly what they already knew was nowhere near sensible. I never forgave my mom for that and dont miss a single opportunity to mock her about the issue. But that aside, I did some deep ruminations myself about this whole thing and with my cousin. I was trying to explain to him that astrology is still true as it is able to describe very clearly the things of the past and to some extent the future as well. I told him about my own case and about a few others as well. What he replied to that made a lot of sense. He said,”Astrology may indeed be true and may actually be able to exactly describe the events of the past or tell us when the times are going to improve or deteriorate for anyone. But then, whats the point? Astrology doesn’t need to tell us about our own pasts and irrespective of whether an astrologer says so, good times or bad times are going to happen anyway. So whats exactly the point of astrology?” I strongly believe what he said made a lot of sense. But perhaps one line of argument in favor of astrology would be that if one accepts that there is truth to it, then one can possibly take the help of astrology in making some key decisions in life- which of course is not mandatory. But again, I also strongly believe that it is upto the discretion of each and every person whether they choose to follow an astrologer’s advice or go by their own instincts.

Now that was one part of the story. Here is the other part which got me more directly involved. One of my very close friends since a long time is going through a very bad patch of her life. Same old story: she likes a guy since 5 years and he likes her as well, they have been into a serious relationship and plan to get married. But he is from a different caste so her parents are strenuously opposed to this marriage. And so in order to prove their compatibility, my friend went to an astrologer (a different one) to determine whether their horoscopes matched properly. That astrologer assured her in strong and confident ways that though it was not a perfect match, there never is one and that their horoscopes were as close to perfect as usually seen. Buoyed by this information, my friend decided to confront her dad (who incidentally gives a lot of weight to horoscope compatibility) and told him that if she was able to establish the compatibility of the horoscopes, would he then reconsider his stand on the marriage. He replied in the positive and due to which, she confidently took him and her mom to the same astrologer she had met before. Now here is the twist. When she asked the same astrologer about the compatibility in front of her parents, this astrologer dude did a complete U-Turn! He began to describe the compatibility of the two horoscopes as next to disastrous to all involved and that especially the guy’s horoscope is so defective that nothing can be made to set it right! Needless to say, my friend was speechless, and with good reason. She could not really get herself to even ask him why he was saying just the oppositte. Hell, all she could ask was even if she didn’t marry that guy, would he still be under threat and to which the astrologer, again confidently replied in the affirmative!! And here is the best part: That astrologer himself declared that he is not lying and that if he is lying 3 generations of his family are going to be cursed. The irony is that this astrologer dude isn’t married in the first place!!!

And so that evening I met her and she cried in helplessness while I was running out of options to make her see that its not the end of the world. As much as I couldn’t see why this astrologer dude had to do such a thing, I really didn’t consider that what he said was final and binding. So I suggested that I would take their horoscopes to my astrologer (the one I mentioned previously) and get his opinion as it would be a neutral one. And so when I went to see this astrologer, (I was personally meeting him for the first time) I found him to be a genuinely knowledgeable man who had a very long history of astrology in his family. And so he clearly explained to me what needs to be checked and what it should read in order for proper compatibility. He found that the horoscopes were compatible in all the basic parameters and that even though the guy’s horoscope was inherently defective, he said it could be rectified with certain rituals. He asked to see them both the next day and so they went there by themselves to consult him. That evening, I found my friend to be very excited and genuinely happy and smiling all the time because the astrologer had assured them that in spite of all the opposition in the family, things would eventually get settled and that their horoscopes were compatible enough to lead a happy marriage- as long as the guy did a certain ritual to correct some defects. I found that reasonable and was happy for my friend that her relationship was back on track. Now again, here is another twist. The guy is not exactly a believer in astrology and didn’t make the effort to get in touch with the astrologer about the pooja he had to do in spite of the fact that the astrologer had given him 2 specific dates. Both dates passed and my friend began to feel very bad. So much so, she began to have second thoughts on her relationship with the guy. Her line of thinking was that if he does not show his committment in something as important as this, how will he be after marriage? She even went to the extent of telling me it was all over between them and that she was ok about it. As much as I knew that was only a temporary phase and not the end of it all, I was also concerned about when the guy would eventually start the pooja. Last I heard, he was still yet to finalize the dates.

Now here is my problem. If for whatever reason, the relationship breaks- be it for genuine or not so genuine reasons-I dont think I can sleep peacefully. The knowledge that I was directly involved at the beginning of it all is not exactly a comforting one. I really don’t see myself rationalizing my way out of this if something were to go wrong. And it would feel like hell if it actually did. So I am praying that this get settled soon and in the positive way. But again, fundamentally speaking, I come back to what I said earlier. It is not about whether astrology is really indeed true or not. It is about whether you believe in it or not. Thats it.

I just hope I get to sleep peacefully.