|A leading astrological researcher, based in Hyderabad, India.|
Ram says: "Like every one else, I too am a traveller adrift in this journey of life, in the quest for the Truth. Circumstantially, I am a graduate in Mathematics and worked as a computer analyst programmer for 15 years before giving up all commercial activities to take up full time astrological research, which I have been doing for more than a decade now."
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The Gospel of Grandpa [part five]
the ebb and flow of life
During its progress, a river at times encounters a large depression that apparently seems to ebb its flow. This deception is largely due to the rate of passage being much slower at any given point in this situation due to the larger area and depth of flow. Thoughts too exhibit a similar illusory propensity. They seem to dwell for a while upon a particular theme before continuing their meandering ways. Ram continues the story of Grandpa and his grandchildren in their exploration of the meaning of life.
A sniff, a snigger, a snort or a sneeze makes front page headlines. Its echoes are heard around the world for many days. Particularly if it happens to be the president of the US of A that is making it. A shrill cry of agony of a mendicant carries no further than the mouth of the originator. That is the way of the world. It has been so and it will be so, always.
It was in a reflective mood initiated by such thoughts, that grandpa and his friend began their roughly-once-a-month or sometimes-more-frequent tête-à-tête. Grandpa's friend lived a few miles away from where they did. He loved long walks in the country side and would saunter down to grandpa's dwelling some afternoon. It was difficult to say what made him come - the interesting discussions with grandpa or the excellently tasty snacks made by his daughter-in-law that went with it. The children too were part of this regular little congregation. And they enjoyed it. It was fascinating to observe, investigate and analyze the flow of conversation as it wound its way around and across many a topic.
The Flow of the River
They associated this with the flow of a river as it started from its point of origin, now rushing down a slope, now meandering around a hill, but there being always something interesting and fascinating on the banks every moment along the way.
The stimulus for beginning that day's dialogue was provided by a newspaper article that said that the US Secretary of State designate Condoleeza Rice had inadvertently referred to the US President George Bush as 'my husband'. Knowing Condoleeza Rice's nature, nothing was read into this slip-of-the-tongue by any and all concerned. The two friends veered from the initial somber thought of how the trivialities associated with the powerful is given much and undue weight while genuine difficulties of ordinary people never get spoken about, to how often all of us face this situation where there is wide divergence between a thought in the mind and its spoken expression. They recounted many such instances that they could remember and found that such divergences are often funny, sometimes embarrassing, sporadically destructive and occasionally helpful.
During its progress, a river at times encounters a large depression that apparently seems to ebb its flow. This deception is largely due to the rate of passage being much slower at any given point in this situation due to the larger area and depth of flow. Thoughts too exhibit a similar illusory propensity. They seem to dwell for a while upon a particular theme before continuing their meandering ways. The depth to dwell is provided by the interest, knowledge and perspective of the person and in case of a dialogue, in such attributes that are shared between the persons conversing.
Grandpa's friend's pet hound and constant companion in his walking jaunts, a lanky dapper of dog he was, provided a gateway to one such thoughtful depression with his antics. Monty, as he was called, had been casting furtive looks at the snacks on the little table between the conversationalists who, immersed as they were in their exchanges, paid no heed to his aspirations. The children however, were watching Monty, and moved by his entreating eyes and impressed by his obedience gave him a few pieces of freshly baked biscuits. Was he overjoyed! His tail wouldn't stop wagging and he expressed his gratitude and eternal friendship by licking the children all over.
Destiny and the Dog
This spectacle reminded grandpa's friend of his visit to a practitioner of Horary Astrology sometime ago during one of his trips to the city. As required by this branch of study, the astrologer had cast a chart for the moment of the query and come up with detailed answers to the query made. One such detail referred to Monty and the color of his fur. This was quite an amazing fact that the astrologer could fathom from the query chart that the person making the query had a pet, which was a dog and which possessed fur of a particular color. Grandpa's friend's impression towards astrology and its practitioners was that, the subject was only partly a science and that a lot depended upon the power of intuition of the practitioner to make correct predictions. He nevertheless had no comment to make on the seeming disparity between the opinions about whatever is astrologically discerned about the past and those projected and predicted for the future. While one is taken to be a fact, the other is looked upon only as a possible scenario that is capable of being challenged and changed.
Grandpa's perspective of astrological analysis was based on a slightly different thought and he shared this with his friend. The children, who were by now attuned to their grandpa's path, direction and manner of thought, expected what he had to say and yet were all ears and concentration with Monty too keeping company. Perhaps, he understood all this too. Who knows? He looked upon astrological analysis as a tool to tap into Time and its ever changing and ever different but already written story. Intuition to him was only a faculty that some possessed to tap in with or without the additional aid of astrological analysis. The advent, presence and disappearance of this faculty in people can also be marked and computed from their individual charts. The phenomenon of apparently accidental divergence between a thought and its verbal articulation was not really accidental. A person adept at astrology cannot always make correct surmises. Even if it were to be so, its articulation need not convey the thought that originated in the person's mind. All this happens towards arriving at definite and specific milestones written in the storyline, because everything in nature - including humans - lives within and is governed by the bounds of Time.
Talking philosophy has the strength to keep people interested in it to forget the world around. But hunger is stronger. The bowls full of snacks that the children's mother had made had long disappeared. What with Monty too joining the party! Hunger gnawed at the contemplative revelers. All thoughts of philosophy were quickly and unceremoniously cast aside and a speedy retreat was made to prepare and face the onslaught of the stronger contender. Grandpa's friend said goodbye and walked back to his abode at a brisk pace with Monty in tow.
A shooting star appeared in the sky briefly and faded. The remnants of the meteorite having burnt up during its descent through the earth's atmosphere sped down towards their rendezvous with the earth's surface at the appointed place and appointed time.
Here ends this chapter of the continuing story. Read the next chapter of the Gospel of Grandpa