How Fate Changed Its Course! (A Children’s Story)

The old man was a jyotish (astrologer), known to be infallible in his predictions. It was like he sneaked a peek at Brahma’s (creator’s) notes when he said what he said. People came from far and near with their horoscopes to consult him.

One day a poor daily-wage earning man came up to him: “Sir, I’m gasping for breath in the firm grip of dire poverty, deeply mired in loans taken from all possible sources. Further, there’re two daughters to be married off. Haven’t a clue how I’m going to see through it all. Could you kindly take a look at my horoscope, Sir, and suggest if there’s a way out for me?”

jyotish-research.com janam-kundali

The jyotish took the horoscope and gave it a quick look. Rolling his cowries, he became pensive.  Breaking the silence, he said: “My dear fellow, I’ve some important tasks to complete. Your horoscope needs a more closer look. Leave it with me for today and come back at this time tomorrow – I’ll have my reading ready for you.”

Agreeing to the suggestion, the man inquired if he had to pay now any fees in advance. The jyotish said it wasn’t necessary, he would collect upon completing the job.

On the man taking leave, the jyotish’s daughter came up to him: “Appa, why did you fob him off, the poor man?  Only a little while ago, you said you’ve finished the backlog and you’re free to receive new clients for the day.”

The jyotish explained his action: “Dear girl, you’re an astute observer. Actually the horoscope was very clear saying his life would end tonight itself. And there may be no time or means to perform prescribed pariharam (remedial measures). I didn’t have the heart to tell him.”

In the meanwhile the poor man was headed back home picking his way through the paddy fields. On the way, suddenly, dark clouds gathered overhead. Very soon, rain broke out accompanied by thunder and lightning. Hastening his strides to find some shelter, the man came upon an abandoned mandap (a pillared structure). In a corner away from the shower he set his bag down – a long piece of cloth with its edges bunched and tied together to form a kind of pouch, usually slung over the shoulder – containing grains of rice for his wife to cook; and himself rested on a dry slab of stone forming the floor of the mandap at its center.

In an hour, the rain let up somewhat and he was ready to go. When he lifted his bag, it came off light in his hand and…almost empty! It was then he noticed on the floor a huge swarm of ants, countless, had raided his pouch and made away with the grains. There was little he could do. With a wan smile, he poured out whatever was left also for the ants and stepped out. The dinner tonight would be without staple rice.

On the following day, he went at appointed time to meet the jyotish.

Seeing him the jyotish was dumbstruck. His predictions never failed. Did he make a mistake? He took out the horoscope and examined again it diligently. He had not erred in his reading. Then how?? This man of meagre means could have hardly performed in short time the parihaaram needed to counter what the fate had ordained.

What had happened…after their meeting the day before? The jyotish asked him. There wasn’t much eventful that had happened previous evening to account for. The jyotish however persisted until he got it all from the man.

He went back and checked his palm leaves – inscribed on them was the jyotisha shastra (science of astrology). As he read the relevant parts, it took awhile for the full import to sink in…so that was it!!

While it was comforting to know he wasn’t wrong after all, at the same time he was awash with shame over his lapse; for, it was clear to him now he had not advised his client appropriately.  The man had performed the pariharam quite inadvertently, no thanks to the jyotish. The shastra had set out the pariharam in this instance as: he should feed a hundred hungry mouths before the day’s sunset to hold off the certain death fated for him. The swarm of ants feasting on the rice grains had ensured it was done…in excess too. There was no stipulation in the shastra the mouths must be human! Something the jyotish had unfortunately overlooked and considered the pariharam to be undoable given the man’s finances and the time available to comply.

It was a second life for the man, the jyotish explained. In the time to come a big upswing in his fortunes was predicted for him; the jyotish also impressed upon him the need to be always charitable and kind to all in his life.

The jyotish did not collect any fees this time, atoning for his lapse.

 

End

 

More stories here on winning over Fate:

How Fate Was Overcome…

How Fate Was Outwitted… (a 5-part story)

 

 

 

 

Source: Adapted from Palani Mohan’s post in FB and jyotish-research.com

How Fate Was Overcome (A Children’s Story)

Rishi hotstar com

A rishi had come to the village en-route Kashi. No one in the village paid any attention to him.Their disregard enraged the rishi; he cursed the village would not have rains for ten years.

Aghast villagers fell at the rishi’s feet seeking forgiveness. They made an earnest request to the rishi to revoke his harsh punishment.

The rishi was not assuaged. He went away saying no living being on earth planet could undo the curse.

The villagers were sadly resigned to their fate.

The Lord in his heavens heard the rishi’s curse and reluctantly put away his conch – it would not be used for years now. It was always the sound of the conch that brought rains down on the parched planet.

It was then they noticed a farmer taking his bullocks and plow every morning to his paddy field. He would till the land for an hour and return home.

One day, an elder in the village accosted him: ‘Don’t you know the rishi’s curse? Or, you think the curse would be ineffectual?’

The farmer said: ‘No, I am aware of the curse and I also believe a rishi’s curse can never be false.’

‘Then, why are you doing this? If there are going to be no rains for ten years, what’s the point in tilling the land everyday?’

‘Well, it keeps the animals and me physically fit. It’s not just that – the real danger is: if we don’t, we might, through disuse, just forget how to till when the rain returns.’

The Lord in his heavens heard these words and was startled out of his repose. It could happen to him too. He too might forget how to use his conch. That would be nothing less than an anartham (disaster). So he took out his conch and blew his lungs out in a long blast.

And thus ended the dry spell, sending everyone into a dizzy.

No one knew it was all the industrious farmer’s doing, him included.

End

 

 
Source: Adapted from a ‘forward’ from Nithya and image from hotstar com

 

Life is what happens while you’re busy making plans

RIP www.clipartpanda com

A pretty woman was serving a life sentence in prison. Angry and resentful about her situation, she felt she had had enough; she would dare an escape risking capture and punishment rather than to live another year in prison.

Over the years she had become good friends with one of the prison caretakers.

His job, among others, was to bury those prisoners who died in a graveyard just outside the prison walls. When a prisoner died, the caretaker rang a bell, which was heard by everyone.

The caretaker then got the body and put it in a casket.

Next, he entered his office to fill out the death certificate before returning to the casket to nail the lid shut. Finally, he put the casket on a wagon to take it to the graveyard and bury it.

Knowing this routine, the woman devised an escape plan and shared it with the friendly caretaker. The next time the bell would ring when the woman was on her free time out of the cell. She would sneak into the dark room where the coffin was kept. She would slip into the coffin with the dead body while the caretaker was filling out the death certificate. When the caretaker returned, he would nail the lid shut and take the coffin outside the prison with the woman in the coffin along with the dead body. He would then bury the coffin.

The woman knew there would be enough air for her to breathe until later in the evening when the caretaker would return to the graveyard under the cover of darkness, dig up the coffin, open it, and set her free.

The caretaker was reluctant to go along with this plan, but since he and the woman had become good friends over the years, he agreed to do it. She assured him it was a foolproof plan.

The woman had to wait for several weeks before someone in the prison died.

It was break-time for her when she heard the death bell ring. She slowly walked down the hallway. She was nearly caught a couple of times. Her heart was beating fast. She opened the door to the darkened room where the coffin was kept. Quietly in the dark, she found the coffin that contained the dead body, carefully climbed into the coffin and pulled the lid shut to wait for the caretaker to come and nail the lid shut.

Soon she heard footsteps and the pounding of the hammer and nails. Even though she was very uncomfortable in the coffin, she knew that with each nail she was one step closer to freedom.

The coffin was lifted onto the wagon and taken outside to the graveyard. She could feel the coffin being lowered into the ground.

She didn’t make a sound as the coffin hit the bottom of the grave with a thud.

Finally she heard the dirt dropping onto the top of the wooden coffin, and she knew that it was only a matter of time until she would be free at last.

After several minutes of absolute silence, she began to laugh.

She was free! She was free!

She decided to light a match that she had thoughtfully carried with her, to find out who amongst her prison-mates had died.

To her horror, she discovered that she was lying next to the friendly caretaker.

A foolproof plan, it was, but fateproof?

End

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Source: Reblogged from Dec 12, edited from a piece from funonthenet.in. Image from clipartpanda.com.

A Black-Lettered Day

Yesterday – a day I suddenly lost a big piece of myself.

A day, I wish, had never dawned.

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A class-mate at school and a friend, a bond that lasted for over 50 years.

They say: “Friendship is the kind that doesn’t depend on a common situation, place or hobbies. A friend is one who loves you for being you, will worry about your problems, will help whenever he can without you asking him to, and will always care about what you are going through.”

He was all this and more.

Was I to him? I wish I could be surer.

I curse myself for not reaching him in those weeks.

It feels so unreal.

One more puncture in the bubble-wrap of life.

End
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Credits: ba-bamail.com for the quote.

Life is what happens while you’re busy making plans

rip inky2010

A pretty woman was serving a life sentence in prison. Angry and resentful about her situation, she felt she had had enough; she would dare an escape risking capture and punishment rather than to live another year in prison.

Over the years she had become good friends with one of the prison caretakers.

His job, among others, was to bury those prisoners who died in a graveyard just outside the prison walls. When a prisoner died, the caretaker rang a bell, which was heard by everyone.

The caretaker then got the body and put it in a casket.

Next, he entered his office to fill out the death certificate before returning to the casket to nail the lid shut. Finally, he put the casket on a wagon to take it to the graveyard and bury it.

Knowing this routine, the woman devised an escape plan and shared it with the friendly caretaker. The next time the bell would ring when the woman was on her free time out of the cell. She would sneak into the dark room where the coffin was kept. She would slip into the coffin with the dead body while the caretaker was filling out the death certificate. When the caretaker returned, he would nail the lid shut and take the coffin outside the prison with the woman in the coffin along with the dead body. He would then bury the coffin.

The woman knew there would be enough air for her to breathe until later in the evening when the caretaker would return to the graveyard under the cover of darkness, dig up the coffin, open it, and set her free.

The caretaker was reluctant to go along with this plan, but since he and the woman had become good friends over the years, he agreed to do it. She assured him it was a foolproof plan.

The woman had to wait for several weeks before someone in the prison died.

It was break-time for her when she heard the death bell ring. She slowly walked down the hallway. She was nearly caught a couple of times. Her heart was beating fast. She opened the door to the darkened room where the coffin was kept. Quietly in the dark, she found the coffin that contained the dead body, carefully climbed into the coffin and pulled the lid shut to wait for the caretaker to come and nail the lid shut.

Soon she heard footsteps and the pounding of the hammer and nails. Even though she was very uncomfortable in the coffin, she knew that with each nail she was one step closer to freedom.

The coffin was lifted onto the wagon and taken outside to the graveyard. She could feel the coffin being lowered into the ground.

She didn’t make a sound as the coffin hit the bottom of the grave with a thud.

Finally she heard the dirt dropping onto the top of the wooden coffin, and she knew that it was only a matter of time until she would be free at last.

After several minutes of absolute silence, she began to laugh.

She was free! She was free!

She decided to light a match that she had thoughtfully carried with her, to find out who amongst her prison-mates had died.

To her horror, she discovered that she was lying next to the friendly caretaker.

A foolproof plan, it was, but fateproof?

End

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Source: Edited from a piece from funonthenet.in. Image from openclipart.com.

The Guru Speaks

The morning paper carried a human interest story with a snapshot of the scene of the incident:

“…He sat in front of the temple all day and night. He never hassled anyone for alms. The mere sight of him tugged at the heart strings of the devotees and loosened up their purse strings. He had collected a pile of rags, empty bottles and a couple of aluminum plates to receive food. Whenever the temple trustees objected, he would move to a distance and was back in a few days.

One morning he did not get up from the pavement that was his bed. He had died in sleep.

The municipal authorities were called in to remove the body for whatever investigation and finally cremation.

When they cleared the rags, empty bottles and other worldly possessions, they also found a bundle.

It surprised everyone to find the bundle had a large amount of currency notes, folded and tucked haphazardly. The beggar’s wealth was inventoried on the spot and rechecked by a member of the public. It totaled up to a little over sixty two thousand rupees…”


The Sishya (disciple) read it aloud and commiserated: ‘How assiduously he must have collected the money, poor man. He had it all the time, but, miserable chap, he was not destined to enjoy while he was alive.’

The Guru smiled: ‘Well, I would think, he enjoyed doing what he was best at – begging. The money was not the act for him. He didn’t die a miserable man.’

End

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Source: Unfortunately I’m unable to presently recall the source for this piece. Credit for the image: openclipart (Gerard_G)

The Five Regrets of the Dying

This is reblogged from one of my favorite sites: ideachampions.com:

Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives.

She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom:

“When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently,” she says, “common themes surfaced again and again.”

The Five Regrets of the Dying:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

“This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.”

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

“This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

“Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.”

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

“This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”

End

It would be interesting to find out what would be this list with other cultures.

Anyways, before it’s too late…

Source: Grateful thanks to ideaschampion.com

The Jyothish (Astrologer) Who Failed To See His End Coming?

(Contd.)

Part 2

The Raja was holding court in the evening to discuss fresh avenues for collecting money from his subjects to finance the building of a new palace on a grand scale. His idea was to make his subjects pay a special levy for living in his kingdom and enjoying peace and prosperity. The minister and the other officials were aghast at this idea, but were at loss to make the Raja see reason.

Just when the Raja was planning to have his final say in the matter, there was a commotion outside the main doors of the Durbar Hall. Someone was trying to force himself in while the guards were stopping him at the doors. The Raja flew into a rage at this impertinence. He called out to the guards to bring the man in before him. When the man came into the view, everyone assembled in the Durbar Hall went pale in the face and stood up poised to make a dash for the doors. The King too froze in his tracks. For, the man was none other than the Jyothish who was thrown into a samadhi and burnt in the early hours of the day.

The Jyothish was quick to restore normalcy: ’My Lord, let no one have any fears. I’m no ghost. I’m the same man you had sent to the Heavens this morning. I’m grateful to you for arranging an extraordinary experience for me.’

The King finally found his tongue: ‘I don’t understand you. You went to the heavens above and came back alive?’

The others in the assembly overcome by this curiosity to watch this strange spectacle banished the thought of dashing for the nearest exit and settled back in their seats awaiting further developments.

‘Yes, my Lord, I have been to the Heavens by your mercy and now here I’m before you. And I’ve good news for you.’

‘This is unheard of, I must say. And what would the good news be?’

‘In the short stay, I met your parents and your dear brother.’

‘You did? This is incredible.’

‘Yes, I did. They’re quite happy out there. They were quite worried about your well-being. I assured them all is well with you, my Lord. They were mighty pleased to hear so. Your brother too.’

‘Yes, go on. What else did they tell you?’

‘Well, as I said they’re in no need for anything at all. They have everything with them. In fact they generously showered on me so many rare and expensive gifts before my return for bringing them the happy news of your well-being. Ah, now I remember

‘What’s it?’

‘They did tell me they have one unfulfilled wish. And only you can make good their wish.’

‘And what did they wish for?’

‘They are eager to see you even if for a short time. What more – they have even set aside a load of precious jewels to present you when you visit them. They requested me to carry it back for you. I said it would be more appropriate for them to hand it to you in person.’

’I would also love to. But how is it possible?’

‘Oh, my Lord, that’s easily done, just the way it happened for me.’

So the King ordered his minister to make arrangements overnight as before for him at a spot a little away from the Jyotish’s samadhi.

Following morning, in the early hours, before an assembly of his minister and other officials and also the general public that had collected, all watching in silence, the King entered the samadhi. At his bidding, the minister threw in a burning torch and sealed the lid. No shrieks could be heard though thick smoke leaked out of the samadhi sending the assembly into tears and coughing fits.

As an eerie silence descended on the samadhi, they turned their backs, slowly making their way homewards. The weary minister too headed back to resume his interrupted sleep. He knew he had a busy day ahead of him with the Rani and the Yuvaraj.

He suddenly remembered there was yet an unfinished job before he got under the blanket. He called out for the masons and generously recompensed them for a good job done – this time their job was a lot easier, the minister had specifically asked them not to cut an underground escape tunnel leading out from the samadhi.

End

Did the fiery end of the evil Raja sadden us? Though I can’t vividly recall the feelings of the moment, it seemed okay for the him to go.

Sources: Grateful thanks to parashara.com and tamilspider.com for the pictures. The picture here is of Pambatti Siddhar Jeeva Samadhi in Sankaran Koil, Tamilnadu. He was the last of the 18 siddhars (accomplished souls), believed to have lived in the 11th century and possessed siddhis or supernatural powers through rigorous meditation and other spiritual exercises (Wiki).

The Jyothish (Astrologer) Who Failed To See His End Coming?

Another of those grandma’s quaint stories we got for eating up our spinach:

Part 1

The Kingdom of Gagangiri was going through difficult times. The reining and enormously popular Raja suddenly passed away under suspicious circumstances. The colorless fly-on-the-wall brother of the dead Raja unexpectedly usurped the throne declaring himself as the successor with the backing of a section of the army. The Rani (queen) and the young Yuvaraja (prince) were forcibly confined to their living quarters.

The common folks did not like the new Raja, his mode of succession, his disposition and his rule, but couldn’t do much about it. Instead of winning over his subjects, the Raja further alienated them by his unreasonable measures bordering further compounded by his stupidity. Taxes went up and minor infractions met with disproportionate harshness. Perhaps it was his way of ‘teaching them a lesson’ for not aligning with him yet. In private, people even wished for the neighboring King to mount an attack and depose the Raja.

One day news reached the Raja’s ears that a very well known Jyothish was in the city. He was summoned to the palace for a session with the Raja. He studied the Raja’s horoscope and his palm and fell silent.

The Raja ordered him to spell out his predictions.

‘My Lord, things don’t look too good for you in near times.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘Most people are not with you.’

‘I know that already. Tell me what else.’

‘There are plots underway to overthrow you.’

‘Who would be that? Can you get specific? I’ll have them hanged outside the palace within the next hour.’

‘It would serve no useful purpose.’

‘Why?’

‘My Lord, do what you may, you’ll not live to see the full-moon that’s tomorrow night.’

‘Are you sure?’

‘Yes, Sir. I’m certain. It’s all clearly indicated here. I’m known not to go wrong in my predictions.’

’So be it, Jyothish Shironmani (an expert of high order), I’ll do something about it. Meanwhile tell me what do the stars tell about your life?’

The Jyothish failed to detect the sudden sarcasm in the Raja’s words. He was not informed about the Raja’s unpredictable ways.

‘My Lord, I am destined to live into ripe old age.’

‘I’ll prove how wrong you are. You’ll not live to see the sun rise tomorrow. So much for your predictions.’

He ordered his minister to prepare overnight a samadhi (enclosure) packed with inflammable dry grass and an opening at the top through which the Jyothish would be dropped inside. The pyre would be lit and the opening would be sealed at the top. The Jyothish would die a horrible death by the fire.

The Jyothish’s pleas fell on deaf ears as he was dragged to the jail. Everyone in the royal court was shocked at this whimsical cruelty, but could not raise their voice.

A spot outside the palace was selected and the masons were brought in. The minister was personally at the site all night to oversee the construction. And, the samadhi was ready to the Raja’s specifications before dawn.

Though it was early hours, the Raja came down to witness first-hand the dispatch of the Jyothish. The minister welcomed the Raja at the site and assured him all arrangements were made just as the Raja had ordered.

The helpless and wailing Jyothish was brought from the jail. The minister spoke to him some final words of consolation, so it seemed, before lowering him into the samadhi. In a few minutes, a burning pandham (torch) was thrown inside and the opening closed.

In a few minutes, the gloating Raja saw thick smoke leaking out of the samadhi, clapped his hands in satisfaction; he called out for the masons, generously recompensed them for a good job done and went back to resume his interrupted sleep.

(To be contd.)

Do Pigs Get Cheered?

There was a farmer who collected horses. One day, he was fortunate to find a specimen of a rare Arabian breed for sale. The delighted farmer paid an arm and a leg to acquire the horse.

A month later, the horse became ill and he called the veterinarian. The vet examined the horse carefully and finally declared:

“Well, your horse has a virus. He must take this medicine for three days. I’ll come back on the third day and if he’s not better, we’re going to have to put him down.”

Nearby, the pig listened closely to their conversation.

The next day, the horse was given the medicine and left to recover.

The pig approached the horse and said:

“Buck up, my friend, or else they’re going to put you to sleep!”

On the second day, the horse was given the medicine and left to recover.

The pig came back and said:

“Come on buddy, gather up or else you’re going to die! Come on, I’ll help you. Let’s go! One, two, three…”

On the third day, they came to give him the medicine and the vet said to the anguished farmer:

“It’s mighty unfortunate. We’’re going to have to put him down tomorrow. Otherwise, the virus might spread and infect the other horses.”

After they left, the pig approached the horse and said:

“Listen pal, it’s now or never! Get up, come on! Have courage!

Come on! Get up! Get up! That’s it, slowly! Great!

Come on, one, two, three… Good, good.

Now faster, come on…. Fantastic! Run, run more! Yes! Yay! Yes! You did it, you’re a champion!!!”

All of a sudden, the farmer came back, saw the horse running in the field and began shouting:

“It’s nothing short of a miracle! My horse is cured. This deserves a party. Let’s kill the pig!!”

End

Are you beginning to relate it to what happens in your organization?

Source: IIA Forum