Fictional Astrology

Astrology is an opinionated science. There is something to it, but it is not reliable. It is subject to interpretation and it is certainly fodder for quacks and manipulators. Yet we cannot totally ignore the influence of stars, so we view their influence as comforting or disquieting depending on the messages we get.

I have seen cannily accurate personal histories written about friends and relatives that described their lives in surprising detail. The astrologers picked pages out of a collection of supposedly ancient texts. I have seen written good and awful predictions come happily or horribly true. I have seen skeptics become believers and believers turn into cynics. But my strangest astrological experience has been with a prediction pertaining to a fictional character.

I was writing my first novel, The Pokhraj, and decided upon a date for the birth of its protagonist. I submitted the date and circumstances of birth to an astrologer in order to use the predictions in formulating my character’s personality and future. However, the horoscope did not arrive and my character evolved. So, I decided I would proceed writing and alter the horoscope if and when I received it or else I would make one up. After all, the work was fiction.

Much later I finally did get the requested horoscope and to my great surprise everything matched what I had already written.

See The Pokhraj, by Irina Gajjar

The Hindu Calendar

Excerpt from On Hinduism by Irina Gajjar

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In Hindu thought, God alone creates, sustains, and destroys time. God also has the power to expand and contract time. As time cannot be realized apart from God, God is time. Brahma’s sleep and wake cycles make time happen.

When Brahma sleeps, the universe ceases to be.
When He awakens, He recreates it.
Brahma’s day lasts a thousand ages and Brahma’s night lasts a thousand more.
Only the wise know this truth about Time. (Gita 8:17)

Hindu astronomical and astrological studies measure time differently for different worlds and differently again for God. Fine-tuned calculations show that ancient sages perceived our planet as part of a much bigger universe or universes or multiverses brought in and out of being by God.

Several parallel worlds exist with their own space-time on multiple planes. As humans we have just begun to skirt their edges but using our minds as vehicles and our calculations as fuel, we have been traveling throughout the universe for millennia.

Human time is limited. It is short. According to the ancient Hindu calendar, a human year consists of 360 days divided into twelve solar months or thirteen lunar months. The lunar months are divided into fortnights of about 14 days each that are composed of one waxing and one waning lunar cycle.

Two months make a season and three seasons a semester, or half a year. Two semesters add up to a year. An extra month added every third year reconciles the lunar calendar to the solar calendar.

Ancestral time is the time experienced by our ancestors who have moved on to other worlds and other dimensions. Their time lasts much longer than human time. A human fortnight consisting of approximately fourteen days equals one ancestral day. An ancestral year is 5,040 human days.

The lifespan of ancestors is one hundred of their years or 504,000 human days which equate to nearly one thousand four hundred human years. Time experienced in the worlds of gods and demons—superhuman powers endowed with divine and demonic characteristics—is even longer.

A human year, calculated as three hundred and sixty human days in the Hindu calendar, equals one day and night cycle for gods and demons. Thus, the one hundred year lifespan of deities and demons adds up to about thirty-six thousand human years.

Far greater than any other time is Brahma’s time which Hinduism reckons in kalpas or eons that in turn are composed of ages. Hindus have divided Brahma’s kalpas into four ages or yugas during which cosmic order has consistently deteriorated and human behavior worsened. The yugas become progressively shorter in duration.

The earliest yuga lasted over one million, seven hundred thousand years and the current yuga, known as the Kali Yuga which dawned about 3000 bce is expected to last for only 432,000 years. According to Hindu cosmology, Brahma undertook creation of the cosmos two kalpas ago. This works out to 8.64 billion years, several billion years less than the estimated age of the universe according to modern science.

The most recent scientific calculation estimates that the universe came into being after the big bang about 13.7 billion years ago give or take one hundred and twenty million years. Hinduism envisions Brahma’s existence in terms of billions and even trillions of years. It visualizes the scope of creation as infinite.

Modern science has not really spoken on how much longer the universe or world or our planet will last. Nor has it spoken on what its scope may be. It is reasonable to consider these two questions interlinked. The duration of the universe must depend on what it encompasses.

The Hindu vision is of a universe that expands and contracts in time and space, one that moves in and out of reality and in and out of consciousness, a universe that dissolves and regenerates itself, that is created by God and that is God. But God is more than the universe. God’s greatness is enormous but it can also be miniscule and even if the universe ceases to be, God does not. Thus, God and creation are as infinitesimal as they are infinite.

To Read More from On Hinduism, visit Irina’s Amazon Page or website.

 

 

Which Came First, The Chicken or The Egg?

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We human beings have always wondered about whether the chicken preceded the egg or vice versa. More seriously we wonder about what came before the big bang. But some scientists think the universe did not come from anything but merely appeared where it had not been apparent before.

If this is the case, than the whole universe is an illusion [Maya] rather than a reality as stated in Chapter 7, (verses 12 and 13) of the Bhagavad Gita. This fits with God’s description of Himself as the only reality.

But we cannot confuse the universe or even God, who would be the Truth that exists transcending the appearance and disappearance of the universe with occurrences within the universe of dimensions. Those occurrences are manifestations of karma.

Karma and Maya

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Karma is a philosophical principle. It maintains that our actions and intentions play a role in determining our destiny. While personal, our karma is intertwined with that of others.

Maya is a word rather than a principle. In Hinduism maya means illusion. The Gita describes maya as matter or “the field” which is not real because it is not eternal. In contrast, God or Truth is the described as “the knower of the field.” Thus, the entire world is maya.

To the extent that the universe is illusory, karma must also be a delusion. Yet those who seek to garner good karma hope to transcend existence and to attain eternal bliss.

Although I wonder how we can become eternal while acting in a temporal illusory world, I accept that this is possible as both the concept of karma and the meaning of maya are logical and give life focus.

See all Irina Gajjar’s books which one way or another consider these ideas.

 

 

One Spirit! One World! One Word!

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“One Spirit! One World! One Word!” is the mandate imposed upon our planet’s inhabitants in the futuristic sci fi novel New New York, 3000 Years Later. “One Spirit” requires humankind to accept that all people are equal in spirit. The meaning of spirit is undefined but this term represents purpose, nobility or humanity. “One World” mandates political unity. “One Word” mandates that everyone in the planet speak the same language.

Divisiveness is a crime in New New York.

Are equality and unity ever likely to prevail prevail on our planet? In the face of real or imagined threats from aliens, would humankind be more likely to foster equality or unity? Is our world likely to thrive or even survive absent these values into future millennia?

Zero

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The idea of zero as a number with a value rather than just a place holding symbol is of major significance in science and philosophy. The study of nothingness has expanded our knowledge of the universe and has enabled us to better imagine the unfathomable.

The rules governing the use of zero were first written in 628 AD in an Indian work entitled Brahmasputha Siddhanta, which translates as The Opening of the Universe. This book was about astronomy, but its author, Brahmagupta, devoted several chapters to mathematics.

The first three rules set out by Brahmagupta state:

The sum of zero and a negative number is zero.

The sum of zero and a positive number is positive.

The sum of zero and zero is zero.

Modern mathematics has a different spin on calculating the sum of zero and zero since zero is a value that has no value.

We use the expression “a zero to the left” to describe a total loser. But this characterization is probably wrong or at least unfair in view of the vast importance of nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Science, Religion and Politics

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Science, religion and politics make and break alliances and friendships. For better or for worse s humankind’s views on these things clash as often as they coalesce.

Some of us believe we have progressed whereas others like myself view human ideas and attitudes as cyclical rather than forward moving. I consider our humanity and intelligence to be independent of the improvements we have made in gadgetry, speed, communication and of our ability to interfere with nature.

I don’t believe human kind has become wiser or more enlightened over the millennia, centuries or decades. We just go round in circles. The more we know, the more we recognize how little we know about worlds and planes beyond our intellectual or physical reach or about our inner selves. We are not getting any kinder or gentler.

Nevertheless our beliefs matter because we matter. Human perceptions of worlds, universes and truth affect our behavior and interaction. They determine our values. They are the underpinnings of our beliefs, the foundation of our hypocrisies and the causes of our joys and sorrows.