Dear osme family. I hope everyone is hale and hearty.
I have been told by many, many a times, to not share my problems with others, to not express, to keep it to myself. I have been told to be a closed book, to refrain from sharing my “secrets” with anyone. Because according to them it doesn’t help. However, it helps me lose the weight of the baggage I have been carrying and I want to share it, express it. People told me to keep it hush-hush about my mental health and not share it anywhere or to anyone because then what will people say.
Log kya kahenge. Log kya sochenge. But what they forget is Kuch toh log kahenge. Logon ka kaam hai kehna. My temperament doesn’t allow me to be a secretive person. Most of the times in my life I have been like an open book, using all my freedom, to express the matters of my heart. And I will do this again today. I will share my heart out. From now on, I want to make it a rule to be an open book because after this post I will have anyway nothing more to hide from the world. Nothing.
I want to write about one part of my life which I tried to keep hidden or if I failed to hide, it made me worried. I have suffered unimaginable mental agony all these years due to that. Words fail me to describe the suffering. I may be subject to judgements by the people and some may mock me, but I still have faith in this corner of the internet that all will be fine.
When I was in high school, just a month prior to when my board exams were to begun, I got fascinated by astrology, palm reading, etc. and I used to check online sites to validate my belief that I am someone special. I used to check free sites and my fickle mind distracted me from my studies. I wanted to believe that something Big, something miraculous will happen with my life. That I am going to be someone famous. I wanted to believe that and I sought validation in astrology.
Somewhere I read a prediction about me that ‘you will be in a post( in my career) below than your friend’ and I was so nervous reading that. It was my Geography exam that day and I went with some anxiety filled in my heart. I wanted to be at the top. I wanted to be the best. How can I be at a post below anyone! So when I read predictions , it validated my beliefs or it made me anxious, and when it made me pleasantly surprised or anxious I would check more places on the internet to counter-check if its true. It became a vicious cycle and I have been stuck in it for all these years until I learned astrology myself which also didn’t help me in anyway.
I have been to around 25-30 astrologers during these years. Bimaar ko vaidya pyaara meaning ‘to the sick, doctor is lovable.’ I wanted to believe that if this science is so advanced it should give me a path, it should guide me. I also wanted to believe that my wish to be well-known will come true.
Although everything was going fine, and I should not have taken that step, I again visited an astrologer a few days back. I went there because I thought I will be guided about my career and that I will get some direction in life. I was wrong. I should have learnt my lesson over all these years that astrologers can’t guide anyone or if they could they would have made their own lives better. Although, Varahmira said that there is no better boat than a horoscope to help a man cross over the sea of life, my experience of meeting so many astrologers is that they can’t guide you. I have not met a single astrologer who actually guided me or showed me the path that lay in front of me.
If your kundli is really strong, and you go to the astrologer and he praises you then you may love his predictions. Or your kundli can be weak and he is left with two options. He may sugarcoat things in which case he is not guiding you, or he can say things truthfully, which may instill fear in you. And more fear creeps in when things are said bluntly by astrologers. Also, there are so many astrologers but very few genuine and knowledgeable ones and you can’t easily differentiate. So, astrology is a dirty business in today’s world although I never question the validity of this vidya. So anyone who wants to find solutions to their problems through astrologers, I will suggest them to think twice.
I went to this astrologer because my therapist had suggested that the astrologer is really knowledgeable. I got inclined and I insisted him to make me meet him. He gave the address and I went to his home along with my mother. ‘Koi shabd nahi hai mere pas’ these were his first words when he saw my kundli. He said my kundli is very weak and that I will have to face a lot of struggles in my life and career. He said I will not succeed in government competitive exams and that I am better off in corporate. In just a few minutes he frightened the hell out of me but he said that his 60-70 percent predictions get true. Not all.
Now he is not the first astrologer I have been to. People predicted I will go to Cambridge. That never happened. One renowned astrologer predicted I will go abroad in next decade and do the work of building an ashram there. That same astrologer said I may have tendencies of homosexuality. I respect the LGBTQ community but I know that I am hundred percent straight. Some said I will go abroad for the time being in coming years. Some this some that. Some said good things, some really good things and some terrifying things sucking any remaining hope out of me. This astrologer took away the hope and filled my mind with doubt that whether I can achieve something or not? Can I crack some exams or get a good job? I was terrified hearing him. I was really upset for the last few days.
I was crying. I was not feeling normal. But now I am fine all thanks to the inspiration I derive from Swamiji. I have accepted Life again. We will counter it as it comes. We will fight it when the needs be, we will embrace it when the needs be; ever detached from the outcomes of our karma.
In 2015, there was a pooja held in my paternal home. Several Brahmins were invited to do the pooja. It was a two day occurrence. At the end of the second evening, there was a food stall arranged there on the roof and I was enjoying a sattvik paneer meal. I was called downstairs and there he was. The purohit who told both me and my mother something that stuck me then and remained with me forever. His statements were, “ye koi sadharan balak nahi hai” ( He is no ordinary boy). I felt good hearing that and it validated my self-belief that I can be someone special. I never knew it would become a mental disease in me and cause me much anxiety of which I will explain in coming paras.
Last year I met that purohit again and I reminded him what he had said to me. But his reply was vague not remembering anything he had said. Now this was not the first or last time I heard such statements. Once my tuition teacher checked my naadi and he said something similar. That I am someone special. This also remained etched in my memory. One astrologer said I am capable of sitting in Vyasa gaddi(the chair of Vyasa). There is a Doli parampara in Hilly regions and one of the the persons who lifted the Doli said that I came in his dream. We had faith in him then and it felt like a big deal that I came in the dream of that person. So like that, I kept hunting down people and methods to heal myself. I went to all kinds of people and all kinds of people came to me and all said different things.
Once, when I was in college one day my friend blurted “an astrologer has told me that I am going to be in a very high position” and to give reply to that I said ,”Oh and one pandit has told me that I am someone extraordinary.” I also told the same thing to some other people but then this chronic and disastrous anxiety engulfed me that I have told a secret which was not supposed to be told to people, and now that prediction of me becoming an extraordinary person will fail because of the belief that if people know it won’t happen. I lived and breathed this anxiety for many years. I got paranoid. I dropped a year, but could not study due to this, and other such anxieties in my head. It was one of the main reasons behind my chronic anxiety and deteriorated mental health.
A mind full of desires can breed trouble. I was over-ambitious. I went to seek answers to life forgetting that Life is a mystery and no one especially the astrologers or pandits have answers to that. I did a mistake and I kept repeating it for years. I kept visiting astrology sites and astrologers. And they say you can’t expect a different result if you keep doing the same mistake. My recent visit to the astrologer has made my heart a little parched. But I will not repeat the same mistake. I have faith in myself and Sri Hari.
In a way going to that astrologer was beneficial too. I now have no imagined threats and I feel I have nothing to lose. I have neither belief or disbelief in anything said by all these people for me. I will let life unfold and take its own course and be surrendered to Bhagwaan. I have to start and build my life from scratch. Mai kya leke aya tha aur kya leke jaunga. All I want is a happy and content life now. Nothing else.
They say that a true Guru’s identity is one in whose presence all your questions dissolve or you get answers to your questions. When I went to Sri Badrika Ashram for the first time, in the first evening of my stay there, Swamiji was giving discourse on Bhagvad Gita. I don’t remember his exact words but he said something in the lines of, ‘If you can surrender the desire for name and fame, that is true surrender to God.’ I had got my answer that day itself.
I have to surrender my desire to be famous, to be well-known. Its okay being ordinary. Its okay not being at the top. I don’t want to think myself or have desire to be special anymore. It can be harmful for anyone to think they are the chosen people. We are all puppets in the hands of situations. The puppet-master called Life has plans for everyone. And who knows, perhaps the steel of determination can win over the threat of Fate.
I don’t know how much I was able to convey what I wanted to, but sharing all this has been blissful and now I am in bliss. The dirt of jealousy, envy, insecurity and fear got washed away with this post because now finally a big weight has lifted-off of my shoulders. Now I just want to be in the sharan of Swamiji. This was a major pending step towards my healing. I think I can now think straight and move out of imaginative fears for I have nothing to lose. I have said everything I wanted to and now I can regain my inner freedom. Thank you for giving your precious time for reading this piece.
Jai Sri Hari🙏