Something seems awry. No, everything seems awry. Things are not going as planned. You have not been able to land the job you thought was meant just for you; you are facing problems in your relationships; and you are going through sudden bouts of sickness.
Somewhere deep down in the pit of your stomach you feel everything is falling apart, yet there’s no fault of yours. Slowly drowning in a cesspool of negativity, you discuss your situation with your peers who suggest something might be wrong with your stars. This gets you thinking. What is in store for me? Is this how it’s always going to be? What does the future hold for me?
No matter how beautiful or ugly our todays are, we are always driven by an innate curiosity to catch a glimpse of our tomorrows. The human mind yearns to know what the unknown future holds. To satiate this curiosity, man explored ways to peek into the future. But can something really help see the future? The answers to these questions and many others lie in the world of fortune-telling.
Fortune-telling has been practised by man for millennia. According to historians, it dates back to an era when history was not even recorded. It is said that it has its roots in folklore, having been associated with nomads and gypsies and practised by the Egyptians and the Chinese in as early as 4000 BC. Of the hundreds of methods of fortune-telling, the most popular ones include astrology, taromancy (cards), palmistry, numerology, parrot astrology, face reading, feng shui and clairvoyance among others.
Astrology—the study of the movements of celestial bodies—is one of the most widely practised methods of fortune-telling. According to ISKCON Chowpatty vice-president Gaur Gopal Das, astrology is an authentic science known as Jyotish Shastra in the Vedic literature. It is widely believed that the movement of celestial bodies has an influence on human affairs. Astrology also attempts to interpret the influence of these bodies on human affairs. “Astrology is purely based on mathematical calculations. It is basically numbers so the calculations are the same. What differs is the way these numbers are interpreted which mainly depends on the experience, expertise, and understanding of the person who interprets it,” explains Das. For instance, in stock market investments, the figures are the same but the forecast is based on the evaluation of the stockbroker. One might say the stocks will be up, another might say it is moderate and not worth it. The onus here is on the understanding and expertise of the stockbroker.
“One always has the freedom to choose what he wants to do and his destiny is based on these choices.”