Indian history speaks about a famous mathematician and astrologer named Bhaskaracharya (1114-1185). He is often referred to as the greatest mathematician of medieval India. He is known for his treatises on Trigonometry, arithmetic, Algebra, mathematics of the planets, etc. Bhaskara's work on calculus, it is proven, predates Newton and Leibniz by half a millennium.
Now Bhaskara had a daughter named Lilavathi. As Bhaskara was a renowned astrologer, he studied Lilavathi’s horoscope himself and was aghast at finding out that she was destined to remain childless and unmarried- if she did marry, the marriage would not last. Hence, after a series of complex calculations, he came up with a time which countered this prediction- if the marriage was performed within the span of the calculated minutes, she would be blessed with a long and prosperous married life. So for the same, he made an elaborate sand clock, and told his daughter that she had to stand watch by it- when the sand reached a certain level, her beau had to tie the mangal sutra around her neck. The family waited and waited for the sand to reach the said level before dawn, but it never did. Indian marriages are usually conducted at day break, and when the sun rose, everybody knew something was wrong. On inspection it was found that a pearl from Lilavathi’s nose ring had fallen into the sand clock and had clogged the opening. The auspicious moment had passed..and Lilavathi remained unmarried all her life, devoting herself to mathematics and sciences.
Astrology, to those who follow it and practice it, is a science. Atleast in India. Any auspicious event is conducted taking into account the horoscopes of the parties involved. But the one occasion where astrology plays its most prominent and vital role is weddings. No Hindu wedding is conducted without proper analysis and matching of the horoscopes of the bride and the groom. Being in the middle of this drama, I was reading up on these. Here is what I found.
Any individual’s horoscope is drawn based on the day, date, place and time of his birth. The place and time play a vital role because the sun’s rays falling on the earth- after traversing and touching many planets- plays the most important role in shaping the person’s future. So the planetary positions at the time of your birth determine your birth star and your ruling planet, and when your ruling planet is ‘friends’ with the bigger planets (like, say, Saturn, for instance) that shape people’s destiny, you are in luck.
Now when you are getting married, one looks for 10 matchings between your horoscope and your probable-partner’s:
- Dinam- Ensures the husband and wife experience a healthy life with all comforts
- Ganam- Ensures a compatible sex life
- Yoni- Ensures mutual love between the couple
- Rasi- For continuation of lineage/children
- Rasiatipathy- Ensures similarity in thought processes
- Rajju- For longetivity of married life (life of the partners)
- Vedha- Wards off affliction- ensures a healthy married life
- Vasya- For attraction between the couples
- Mhendhram- Wellbeing of children-birth of intelligent, healthy kids
- Sthree Dheergam- Ensures that the husband can keep the wife happy
Somehow, each of these, I see, takes a dig at common problems that couples face today. Anyway, they say that 8 out of these 10 will suffice to make a good marriage.
The irony is, some marriages fail despite matching horoscopes. The answer to this is that the birth time might not have been recorded accurately. The birth time, I gather from our astrologer, is the time at which the baby cries its first cry.
Irony number 2 is what my friend Jen knocked into my head. Nobody other than us Hindus look at horoscopes. And it is not like the rest of the world is having a bad time out there!
Ah. Maybe ignorance IS bliss. How does one get into a marriage knowing it would not work?
Maybe getting into a marriage, with the mindset of ensuring it works out fine-with both parties making it work-is what is important.
Maybe it is ok to hand over the reins to fate and sit back and watch the show unfold.
All the answers ARE probably there- but maybe, just maybe, we better put our faith in God, rather than men.