The tradition of consulting astrologers has always been an integral part of our social and cultural life for centuries. Even today, many people still continue to believe in the astrological findings and consult astrologers whenever they feel inadequate in their efforts to pursue their dreams. Besides, we also consult astrologers when a child is born or when a person has died to see what the future holds for him/her. This practice and the belief it generates gives us a psychological comfort and satisfaction. The astrologers believe that the movements and positions of the stars and planets significantly influence the way we think and act. The predictions are therefore derived from the careful observation of the movement and position of those celestial bodies in our solar system. In the modern era of advanced science and technology that promote logical thinking and reasoning, it sounds like a fairy-tale to believe that our life can be predicted when we do not even know what will happen to us the next moment.
If what my late father had told me was true, I think the power of astrology should be acknowledged. According to my father, a great astrologer from Nepal who was popularly known as Kancha Jogi had come to our house exactly three days after I was born. During those days, it seems people were allowed to freely move to and from neighboring India and Nepal. So Kancha Jogi used to visit our village frequently. My father used to tell me that it was such a good coincidence that Kancha Jogi had come at the right time to prepare my astrological profile which is usually done during the baby-shower ceremony three days after being born.
While preparing my astrological profile (Ketsi), it seems he said to my father: “Oh, this child was actually supposed to be born blind, but due to the little merit he had accumulated in his past life, he has been now born with sight. However, an extra care must be given when he reaches the age of 9. If he manages to pass that hurdle successfully, he will be a happy person for the rest of his life.”
It seems my fate was already decided when I was born. My early childhood was full of fun and joy. I was able to see and play with other kids in the village without any hindrance. But I think God always had a scheduled plan to execute what I was destined to get through. The dark era of my life began to creep in as I lost all my siblings and my mother. By the time I was four, I was alone with my father: no siblings and no mother. While my mother had died due to tuberculosis, all my brothers and sisters had died under mysterious circumstances. Then soon afterwards my father married a cousin-sister of my late mother to take care of me. She gave me a younger brother and an elder half-sister after moving into our family. She too passed away when I was eight. As I began to get closer to my foreseen doomsday, things really began to fall apart in my life. My father became an alcoholic and hardly stayed home. Most of the time, I and my younger brother were left at the care of my elder half-sister who was just about three years older than me. I soon completed my 8th birthday although I could never celebrate it and stepped into the most crucial phase of my life as predicted by the astrologer. By that time, my father had forgotten what the astrologer had warned him about me. He was in his own world: boozing and picking quarrels with people in the neighbourhood. Meanwhile, my eyes began to itch and swell with continuous irritation and pain. I was living with my father in Tashila under Wangdue Phodrang Dzongkhag at the time helping him in the production of charcoals. Gradually, the eyeballs began to swell dangerously and I began to lose my sight. Suffocated by the inability to see clearly, I groped my way through the snow-covered path to consult a local shaman one early morning. My father had not come home the previous night and he was not there when I left home. The shaman performed a ritual but coincidentally that further aggravated the situation and I got bedridden with unbearable pain in the eyes. Then finally one morning, I woke up to a completely different world. I could see people and the surrounding trees only as shadows. I could no longer recognize them. That was the last day I could see the world. I am amazed that what my astrologer had predicted eventually came true.
When I look back on my life now, I am still wondering if I could have been saved from that tragic twist of fate had my father taken the astrologer’s warning seriously and taken appropriate measures to take care of me as I transitioned into the supposedly crucial phase of my life. But as we always believe, I think the kind of fate we are born with cannot be changed. Since I was destined to become blind at the age of 9, I think everything around me began to go awry to make the conditions just favourable for things to happen as they are predicted to happen. Because of this, I am sometimes compelled to believe in astrology.