Updated: Sep 27
How an IIT grad went from being a statistical expert predicting from data-models to learning the most ancient life predicting subject that is Astrology.
(The Hindi version of this post is here)
I never wanted to become an astrologer.
In the ideal world, Astrology isn't much required frankly. In the ideal world, mind you.
That's how I used to think
An Astrologer is the one who gets up at 4 a.m. in the morning, recites mantras for two hours, has a ponytail, believes in God, sees clients for some dana (donation), and is poor.
Or an astrologer is the one who has a thriving practice in a five star hotel, practices larger-than-life-demeanor, advocates gemstones taking commissions on jewellary shops nearby, is jealous of other astrologers, flirts with clients of opposite gender, and takes advantage of the client in fear. And one day, when Universe was kind, Astrology happened to me.
I used to train students hard in theatre, this was 2003-2009. I was the director who would stay awake for 2 days straight and take the team to the winning championship by practicing uber-hard. You could say I had a gift to see what's good in my actors and also to see my clear goal. Then one day my heart started calling me a hypocrite - someone who has not trained thoroughly himself yet is training others vigorously. To act like a master and pretend is easy, teaching something gives power. And power corrupts. While I had not corrupted, my heart was saying something worthy: before training oneself well enough, I'm not ripe to actually train others.
But before that a story
I was a happy-go-lucky kid who would get just good enough grades and play most of the time. I would also paint, I was an artist in my bones. Then at 16 years of age, my parents took me to a tuition teacher fearing that I might not study enough to do something worthwhile in life. India was a strange land at that time, with only a coveted few making it to well reputed professions. That teacher had a gift: the old man would love his students genuinely with no agenda. In his love, I found a purpose to study. He awakened a fire in my belly to study mathematics. I would buy every book in the market and solve all questions possible, I would give excellent answers and toppers would come to ask me questions. My own self-image started to change to someone who is 'able', it was a wonderful time for a teenager kid who naively thought everything was possible. Then I cleared IIT-JEE, one of the three most difficult exams on the planet.
I studied Einstein theory of relativity on my own in exceitement in summers and thought naively that (at college), I would be learning and devising cool scientific theories. I couldn't be more wrong. At IIT I met with some of the best brains of my country, but also many who didn't have a purpose in life. Or, the ones whose sole purpose is to get good grades to go to the US somehow for a 'high paying job'. Money makes the world go round, I understand, but earning lots of it never inspired me truly. I felt disillusioned.
Pursuit of Art
Luckily, I stumbled into theatre and my inner-fire routed there with some good shows and training of sorts. I saw fame, recognition, and felt like a true purpose for a while. The Internet was starting to come up, so we would watch excellent movies of the west and train ourselves in techniques of method acting. We even made a full length feature film at college and also India's first viral video with a creative gang, it was a big thing then. Life was fun. Until inner shifts started to happen:
1. Somehow my inner drive to give my all-in into theatre/films fizzled out. Until then, I used to think that there is 'a passion given by God' and the path to God is to just play it on an infinite loop and that's it. अलग-अलग पथ बतलाते सब पर मैं यह बतलाता हूँ | राह पकड़ तू एक चला चल, पा जाएगा मधुशाला || (Translation: People suggests paths of various kinds but I tell you, you travel one and only path but go till the end. You will find the Lord there).
2. My own heart started to condemn me. It would say "Hemant, you yourself have not trained yourself rigorously. What makes you eligible to train others so well". I had buried dreams I had not fulfilled, songs of the soul that I have not sung.
Meditation, and Yearning.
I started Vipassana meditation in which you sit as much until you can't bear the pain anymore. I left a rich social life to only do four things: Do meditation, read scriptures, do the job dutifully to earn money, and train my body. I learnt Taekwondo and became a red belt in six years. On this path, I would wonder at the stories of the law of karma being played out so precisely. Like how Gautam Buddha would say to someone "In that life you did this, its effect would end on this month in that year." One of my own meditation mentors (a nun) once cautioned me against an unfortunate shake up that would come soon, and it came.
Life was good except I used to wonder "On earth, we create so many things using mathematics. Even we send rockets to the moon all due to the preciseness of the laws of the Universe. And God is creating events and so many things on Earth, there must be a mathematical fabric underneath also, I wonder what is that!"
My Jyotish Study
Then my dasa changed (dasa: a cosmic timing system that changes inside and outside of all things including yourself) which I didn't know at that time. The yearning to learn and read started to bother me very much. I started to get depressed, like an inner-sadness that I couldn't explain. I remember how I came to IIT to learn, and here I was in a business world getting to more money that has no end. So I read 200 books of many kinds, and stumbled into Jyotish accidently in 2014. And my fire broke loose. I quit my martial arts practice, left a tech-business, went back to consulting mode (to bring food on the table), and studied astrology like a moth to the flame.
Then one day it hit me. I calculated the date of an event and it happened. I was bedazzled. Not only was this study intellectually rewarding but it has practical implications. I realised that Astrology is a subject that resonates with me and I want to burn the midnight oil to become an expert in this field. I dropped some other pursuits I was dabbling in, and went straight into studying the subject as much as I could. Amidst some headaches and heartaches, It was beautiful. It made me alive.
I also was extremely lucky to be accepted to PJC, world's best Vedic Jyotish Parashara online Course on the planet. Some more teachers graced me with their teachings (Thank you Ganesh Sir, Narnauli Ji & Freedom Ji). I also had the great fortune to witness Pandit Sanjay Rath: who eats, drinks, and lives in Jyotish energy. I was awe-struck. The material that I started studying was like a moth to the flame. After getting some courage, thanks to my wife who cooperated, I realised I want to study Jyotish for the rest of my life, unless my sadhana fruitions up which I can't foresee.
My Small Jyotish Practice
In 2017 I started consulting people, for free. At the advice of two teachers, I started taking a fee in 2019. I launched my own small Jyotish consulting/teaching gig in 2020 during Covid. And here I am absolutely loving-privileged-honoured to learn and practice this fabulous field. I see only 3-5 horoscopes per week, as I'm able to do justice to the sacred work that way only. By assisting people who come to me for consultation, Grace is assisting me with overcoming my own life hurdles more. Some of my family problems have diminished or vanished since this work has begun. I feel more content. My connection with the high-command has increased vastly. I came to this planet with a karmic bag, this sacred work gives me the confidence that I will be going with a better bag of karma when my time is up. When we give our karmas as a gift to the Lord, He returns those back to us in the form of prosperity and a good destiny later - Such is the Law. My old dream to vigorously study something that also should have practical application came true. I got into a science, that is also an Art form. A subject that can be practiced so much that it gets into your bones but never can be fully mastered. A subject that tells about what Universe was and what it will be. I never wanted to become an astrologer but I'm so glad I became one. Peace.