I have read a slightly different version of the story of Arjuna and the Bird’s eye. Yudhisthir, being the eldest one, was called by Guru Drona, and he asked him, “what do you see?” He replied, “Gurudev, I see a wooden bird on the tree, just below the tree, there is an anthill, if the bird falls from this height, it will disturb the anthill and will cause harm to those ants.”

Guru Drona smiles and says,” Son, you do not have the skills required to be an excellent archer, but you do possess the skills to be a good king. A good king, before taking any action, will think about the impact it will have on the general public, just like you thought about the ants before shooting the arrow”.

Then he calls other students, one by one, Arjuna sees only the eye of the bird, and Guru Drona asks him to shoot the arrow and he successfully hits the target. Guru Drona then explains, that to be excellent at archery, your ability to focus only on your target is of paramount importance.

One lesson I learnt from this version is that a true Guru can help you understand your inherent skills, the area where you should put efforts to maximize returns, and one who helps you be more self-aware, as you understand your strengths and weaknesses better, you live a more meaningful life.

Personality tests, and ‘know more about yourself’ quizzes have always fascinated me. My birthday is on the 4th of April, thus my zodiac sign is Aries. From a young age, I have read the basics of numerology, palmistry, and the Annual Forecast books by Shri Bejan Daruwalla. I would read the basic characteristics of each zodiac and find a few traits in me of the other signs as well.

Traits like childish, impulsive, protective about loved ones, etc like a typical Aries are a part of my personality. But that Aries are very bold and not too sensitive, is something I could not relate to. I have always been a sensitive person and cry easily! Something was missing in these zodiac descriptions and back then I had no idea about astrology/horoscope chart/kundali.

I was curious by nature, and also confused. The only clarity I had in life is what is the path I don’t want to choose, but what is that I do want to do, was not very obvious to me. I was desperately looking for Guru Drona, who could arrive and help me in understanding myself better. It was December 2013, when God answered my prayers in an unexpected, but effective way and a whole new world opened up for me.

A family friend visited us, a retired IPS officer, and his family. He had studied many books on Vedic Astrology and had experience in this field. He looked at our horoscopes and was telling us about our nature, I admit there were qualities that I never knew existed in me because that is how self-unaware I was at that time (now that I look back, I understand what he meant).

One thing he said looking at some planetary placements in my chart, that it is my self-doubt that became a barrier to achieving big dreams, else there are some really good placements in the chart. I enjoyed that session so much that I wanted to learn more about Vedic astrology. He suggested a book, and we purchased it, and reading that plus beginner videos on Youtube, helped me in starting this new journey. I would love to share some lessons I learned on this path:

1. Just like you have a sun sign, you have a moon sign, ascendant. There are 9 planets,12 houses, and 27 nakshatras, different planetary placements, that add a distinct flavour to your personality. You are way more complex and deep than you realize and thus self-discovery and self-improvement become an ongoing process.  

2. My friend who did her master’s in psychology would tell me that since this subject is about the human mind, many psychology students would start thinking that they have the symptoms of a mental disease that they are reading about, and I have experienced something similar happens with astrology, when you read about certain negative placements, you start applying it to your chart and start feeling anxious about it. To realize later, that every chart has both good and bad placements, when you become aware of the weak areas, like anger issues, procrastination, excessive daydreaming, deep-rooted fears, etc only then can you work on them. 

3. I had a phase where I wanted to know my life purpose through astrology and would watch a lot of youtube videos, related to it, many people(myself included) feel, they have some special mission and want someone to validate it for them, turns out except for great Saints and Avatars, who are aware what their purpose here is, we are here to settle our karma and evolve spiritually, also to grow more loving and compassionate. I have realized with time, my interests, priorities, and perceptions have changed, and to acknowledge where you are currently on your journey is your life purpose, one day at a time. “MEIN ZINDAGI KA SAATH NIBHATA CHALA GAYA” 

4. Astrology has made it extra clear to me that no two individuals are ever going to be the same, a lot of people know this but fail miserably when it comes to practical application, next time you find yourself arguing with people that your own point of view is the right one or there is a certain way to live life and how they are messing their life, Rethink! Makes it clear why Swamiji says,” Discover YOUR truth”, instead of “The Truth”.

5. Two years ago I read a book on Rahu Ketu, by Mr P Trivedi. It is one of my favourites and there I learnt an important lesson, he said the result of the planetary placement will depend on the evolutionary level of the soul. He explains how the same placement will work on a lower level as well as on a higher level.

For eg Venus working on a low level can lead to, excessive material desires, extramarital affairs, etc but on a higher level, Venus is a planet that shows unconditional love. The dreaded Saturn/Shani, when working on a higher level makes a person disciplined & patient; to achieve anything worthwhile in life you need perseverance and consistency, and Mr Shani will give you that energy. On an evolved stage he is a wise old teacher.

6. I am a fan of one of my relatives, her humility, optimism, maturity, etc are things I adore. She is a Scientist by profession, she is devoted to Guru/God and has an interest in astrology, tarot reading, crystals, etc, in my opinion, the perfect example of how people can blend the various facets in their personality, and why humans need not fit themselves in boxes or attach labels, because if you start exploring, there are so many things to be learnt and how well you integrate these contradicting aspects, will make for an interesting person.

I wanted to go through her birth chart, and I saw some tough placements too, given her happy persona, I wouldn’t have guessed that. We discussed her chart, and she told me, Rashmi I have built, a strong character, and happy personality only after overcoming the storms, it is a choice to either remain stuck in the lower energies or raise our vibration and live a more fulfilling life. I have also seen people stuck in lower energy, never wanting to explore some amazing possibilities their charts offer.

7. That is what a horoscope is, it shows various possibilities and potential an individual carries within him/her, but none of the Raj Yogas will work if YOU DON’T 😄And when a person has a strong will, backed with sincere efforts, there is no stopping them! Add Guru’s grace, and miracles await you.

8. I have used astrology more as a self-analysis tool, regarding the prediction part, the future is not set in stone, except for God/Saints, no one can predict the exact future, just like you carry an umbrella if you hear about rain prediction, if you get to know about a tough phase ahead, cling on to the Lord and he will carry you through, more books and videos on faith, is my personal trick. You can prepare for the rain, but still, you may get drenched, and similarly, life always has its own plans, flow with it, and like I said in another post, walk in faith and you’ll never walk alone.

9. At least for me, astrology has been a boon, it helped me channel my scattered energy into things that truly matter to me, I still don’t know the end goal or my grand life purpose, but my inner guidance helps me take the next step, and I am grateful for that! We carry certain vrittis/tendencies from our previous births, and the idea is to identify them, get rid of the negative ones, and enhance the good ones! Shri Paramahansa Yogananda explained it well in this quote! Thanks for reading!