Thursday, November 13

The great sciences of India

Haven’t spoken about Mahabharata for quite a while now.

I’m both, enthralled and disgusted with the stories and the characters. There are some like Devavrata who was titled Bheeshma by the gods themselves for being impeccably righteous and ideal in every way, and there are some that only exist in the scheme of events so that they can curse offenders who interrupt (or bless relent-ers who allow) their sexual advances and processes. And this human desire breeds impartially in one and all - right from rishis to munis to kings to gods.

(Was the Kama Sutra written before, after, or simultaneously as this epic? Wonder which inspired the other...)

Nevertheless, the book is a pleasure to read. The vast array of personalities, their diverse roles and significance, the way they are crucial to the design and coherence... It’s nothing short of incredible. Anyone interested in the family tree? (More for my benefit than yours, to be frank). Don’t say I didn’t warn you.....
Santanu – a Kuru descendant, who fathers Bheeshma with Ganga, and then Chitrangada and Vichitraveerya with Satyavati.

Bheeshma is celibate, and the other two die before they can procreate. So, Vyas is called in to father Dhritarashtra with Ambika, Pandu with Ambalika, and Vidur with a maidservant (it wasn’t planned that way, but it happened).

Dhritarashtra marries Gandhari, who is daughter or Gandhar and sister of Shakuni. Gandhari gives birth to a 100 Kauravas and one daughter (in a grotesque, puke-worthy manner).

Pandu marries Kunti - initially called Pritha, daughter of the Yadava king Soora, and sister to Vasudeva (who marries Devaki, half-sister of Kansa, and then they give birth to Krishna, who grows up as son of Yashoda and Nanda, and brother to Balarama.)

Back to Kunti. She is adopted by uncle Kuntibhoj (and renamed Kunti), and she has Yudhishthira with Dharma deva, Bheema with Vayu deva and Arjuna with Indra. Prior to this, she has Karan with the Sun god, who she abandons coz she is unmarried.

Kunti’s unearthly lovers are invited coz Pandu can’t father their kids (he can’t do ding-dong else he’ll die as he is cursed.) The other wife, Madri, has Nakula and Sahadev with the Aswins, completing the 5 Pandava husband-gang for Draupadi.

Of course, each of the Pandavas has more wives and children in due course of time.

(... Seeing that I’ve confused you enough, lets move on with the crux of this post!)

The great sciences teach us great things (beyond polygamy and desire, I mean). And these sciences also affect our lives and existence.

Do you believe in astrology? I visited 2 pandits last weekend, both learned and religious. Amusingly, both gave diametrically opposite views about my stars and planet locations.

I don’t know whether I believe in this, but I sure find it fascinating. (Heard about that study conducted by Naralikar and others? They collected several kundlis and asked astrologers, palmists and others to identify which individuals were abnormal. Obviously, the study was shunned by the target group. The % accuracy was not very flattering either.)

You do know, I suppose, that the planets affect very scientific things like our temperament and blood group and so on. Which is why kundli-matching is a BIG thing in Indian culture, particularly important occasions like weddings and other new beginnings.

I’m not too informed about the how and why, but I sure know that most folks want to know more about themselves and their future. It’s good timepass if you don’t take it too seriously, and especially if you resist obsession. I have heard of people giving up all their wealth and peace coz they are busy looking at the stars and don’t notice what’s happening under their very noses.

Now this is freaky. I don’t know how to explain this, but I heard of this guy who was told to stay away from cars one day as it could be fatal. He bunked work, sat at home, cancelled all appointments and even gave his car away to the mechanic lest he be tempted to take off somewhere. There was a power-cut, and he walked into a room to search for a candle, slipped on his young son’s toy car, fell on his head and met instant death... Just like that...

No, I’m not kidding you.

(As you recover from that shock, I’ll run a few errands. Come back later!)

Stay safe!


Unknown said...

The last story about car death is great...
i have heard some stories similar to that.. my grandpa used to say that.. he was a good jyothishi(he never took money to read kundli).. i knew people say he is most of the time accurate..

dont know how he managed to do that... but its sad nobody inherited that art in my family :(

Princess said...

Its an amazing (and uncanny!) art, true...

Waise its fairly easy ;-) Jus pull a fren's hand and say... u suffer a lot in life, u do gud for all, but no1 returns, paisa tikta nahi hai ;-)

hehe... typical fundas all pandits say at commercial places. and charge 50-100 bux!!!

Lucky fellas!

Unknown said...

"You do know, I suppose, that the planets affect very scientific things like our temperament and blood group and so on. Which is why kundli-matching is a BIG thing in Indian culture, particularly important occasions like weddings and other new beginnings."

by these lines i came to the conclusion that u do believe in these things.. doesnt it contradict your statement above??

Biprashish said...

The story of the car at the end, confirms that there is more truth to astrology, kundli, palmstry & related subjects.They are a science in themselves.... its just that there are too many fakes around who mislead us. Here the death took place through a car accident only (metaphorically, to say the least).
I can recollect a similar parallel in our own Mahabharat itself..... the death fo King Parikshit(son of Abhimanyu)...bitten by a snake - Takshak... Destiny is beyond almost all....the mass & the mighty(there are rare instances where one has been able to change destiny as well).... whatever has to happen will happen.....
Frankly, the epic Mahabharat has captured any & every situation of life that one can think of & beyond. Everytime you read it, you will get at least one more facet of life in front of you to marvel. Each character in that epic has some learning for us to take.
Actually you inspire me to write on Mahabharat....maybe I shall do so....
just that am damned too lazy to do some research...

Sourav said...

I still don't believe in Palmistry, Astrology, etc. There are explanations to everything. One person knowing a few things about another would be able to predict a lot of things about that person if only he applies some logic and has some brains.

An astrologer says, "You would have a late marriage" to a girl's mother and that comes out true. How did he predict that? Let me tell you.

He knew that the girl was studying MBBS and that the girl was ambitious and that she wouldn't stop before doing her specialization in some field of medicine and by that time she would be about 28 years old and hence he said "Late marriage".

And the girl's mother tells everyone she knows how great the astrologer is.

That's all crap IMHO.

Keep writing. It's interesting to read to say the least and believe me it takes a lot to keep me interested. Kudos to you for doing such a good job of it. Cheers!!!

Princess said...

Thanks all... Really appreciate that you take the time out to read my blog and comment on the same... Hope to keep you all interested till kingdom come!!

Happy Children's Day :-)

Sibi said...

My Mom n Dad believe in astrolgy.So at times i have to accompany them to such places.Some times the jyothish says gud things,some times he says bad.But wat i believe is wateva is bound to happen will happen n wateva is not will never.Tas my take.Was nice sharing views.

sfauthor said...

Nice posting. Do you know about this edition of the Gita?

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