Priya, my wife, often talks about a sparsely, but meticulously practised branch of astrology named ‘Naadi Josiyam’ (Naadi Astrology), practiced in Tamil Nadu. She and her mother had found peace in the past after visiting and consulting a genuine practictioner of Naadi astrology. Astrology is complicated science. Much of what we know about astrology is fake and hearsay. In reality, it takes a really knowledgeable and skilled practitioner to make reasonably good predictions. Most of these predictions really materialise. Still, I don’t believe in astrology. But after Priya told me multiple stories about Naadi Josiyam, I wanted the practice tried on me. I wanted to keep an open mind and look at the process as a science.
We went to the Naadi Josiyam centre at Tambaram, Chennai. From the crowd gathered there and the waiting list, it was immediately obvious how popular this place was.
All they wanted was my thumb impression. They didn’t ask for my name, date of birth or any other details. That done, we were free to return home, while they found out the ‘Naadi’ that would be specific to me, based on my thumb impression. Without delving too deep, there is always one ‘Naadi’ associated with a person’s life. It is possible that a person’s Naadi is not found and that his/her future cannot be predicted. But if found, the Naadi can describe the past and the present of the person accurately and make reasonable predictions about the future. The information related to each Naadi was written by Maharishi Ahastya on palm leaves using Tamil language and script.
During my next visit, the astrologer was ready with a set of Naadi leaves that could be associated with my thumb impression. One by one, he read the details listed on each Naadi leaf. The information was about my name, mother’s name, wife’s name, father’s name, my date of birth, etc. If the information was wrong, I was to say no and the astrologer would set that leaf aside and quickly move on to the next one. One of the leaves matched my details correctly. It got my name, father’s name, mother’s name, Priya’s name and my date of birth all correct. It also nailed the fact that my name is ‘Harikrishna’ instead of ‘Harikrishnan’. People in Tamil Nadu customarily end their names with an extra ‘n’ or ‘an’ suffix, but my name does not bear that ending. The leaf was specifically correct about that. With my Naadi found, it was time to find out my future. We were asked to visit again, when the astrologer would have details about my future written.
During the next visit, the astrologer read out the next 40 years of my future based on what Maharishi Ahastya had written for my Naadi some millenia ago. He then gave me a CD with the MP3 version of whatever he had read out, so that I could hear about my future anytime I wanted!
The fee for the entire process was really nominal. It had taken three commutes to Tambaram. But without doubt, the process was streamlined, methodical and possibly accurate. The process of Naadi Josiyam won my admiration as a scientific method.
Would I do it again?
Unfortunately, the answer is NO. The process was undoubtedly methodical and genuine. But I believe in the principle that a person creates his/her own future with deliberate action towards who he/she wants to be. Rather than seeking what my future holds, I would prefer spending time in creating systems and processes that take me towards the future I want. If it fails, I would responsibly take it as a failure in my process rather than blame some stars light years away or a leaf written millenia ago by a person unknown to me! For me, the prospect of knowing my future through astrology seems irrelevant and unbeneficial.
Let us take an example. If I had an exam 100 days from now and I were anxious about how I would perform, what should I do? Two choices: Study hard and consult Naadi Josiyam. Let us say that I consult Naadi Josiyam and it says that I would pass with flying colours. Should I stop studying, because my Naadi ‘predicts’ that I would pass? That would be complacence and blind belief. On the other hand, if I study hard and don’t consult Naadi Josiyam at all, would I pass? My systematic studies and daily improvement definitely increase my chances of passing. I’d be the driver of my future and wouldn’t need Naadi Josiyam to tell me that. What if the Naadi predicted failure and pointed to something external for the reason for failure? A crazy examiner, answer sheets catching fire in a university godown, university declaring a re-examination? Well, I have to put in my best effort and leave no stone unturned from my end as far as studies are concerned. I cannot control external factors and I cannot see how Naadi Josiyam can help. What if I do both? Study hard and consult Naadi Josiyam? From what I see, a good study system and a process of continuous improvement can deliver results and I don’t see how Naadi Josiyam is relevant. I’d rather study and revise my subjects more in the time it takes me to commute to the Naadi Josiyam centre and sit through their systems.
Would I want astrology banned?
No, I don’t belong to that extreme either. When I visited the centre, I saw people — distressed people — coming from hundreds of kilometres away and waiting for their turn to get a glimple into their future. Through difficult times, it was their hope. A hope to continue living for. A hope to work towards. A hope keeping them from resorting to drugs or alcohol to numb their pain. A hope for a better future. On the other hand, some people didn’t have rosy predictions. For such people, astrology was a sobering factor. A sobering against complacency. Against lethargy and inaction. Against a feeling of self-importance. Against an assumption that life is permanently smooth without bumps.
I see astrology as irrelevant with no contribution towards my growth, but it is definitely not evil and it seems to give perspective to those who are disillusioned and discouraged.
Life lessons from ‘Rangeela’ song
I would like to end this post with a memory from my childhood. Whenever I hear about someone consulting astrology, I am reminded of the very famous opening song from the 1995 hit Hindi movie Rangeela, especially the following four lines.
Maathe ya haathon pe
Chaand ya taaron pe
Kismat ko dhoonde par khud me kya hai yeh na jaane
Khud pe hi humko yakeen ho
Why do people seek to know their future from the lines of their forehead or palms,
in the alignment of the stars and the moon?
Why don’t they look into themselves and realise what they are capable of?
Just believe in yourself!