Science, Signs and the History of Time!

My late father was a child prodigy, a Gold Medalist in Mathematics, and a Geophysicist by profession. An extremely analytical and objective person, he was also an amateur Jyotishi (Vedic Astrologer). He would never predict anything for anyone but often people came to him from far and wide, just to seek advice. Whenever I’d ask him to teach me something he’d say, “There is a time for everything. When the time is right, Jyotish would come to you”.

In the late autumn of 2010 he took ill and told my Mom that she alone would have to stand by their children and that he wasn’t going to be around much longer. Six months later, he was gone. Not a day goes by without me regretting, for not having spent more time with him.

In January 2016, a Nobel Laureate of repute in Chemistry, made a statement to the effect that dismissed Astrology as BOGUS. What piqued my interest was that while my father, saw Mathematical patterns in all aspects of the universe, how could a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry find it to be a bogus field. Vedic Astrology is largely Mathematics. It has more books and far older ones than chemistry; some that even date back to several thousands of years. In the Vedic era, Jyotish Vidya (knowledge) was the highest form of education, given to the mature and responsible.

Something inside me caught fire that day.

I picked a Vedic Astrology book, from my late father’s humongous library, that same evening. Something I’d started several times earlier and could not continue after a few pages. This time was different though. I think this is what Papa meant. It was time. It started to make sense.

Eight odd months on, I have barely scratched the surface on Vedic Astrology, yet everything makes sense. It’s an ocean of sorts. Extremely detailed and methodical. Whereas the Western system of education begins with the knowledge of the external, the Indian system begins with knowledge of the self. I was fortunate enough to have been brought up in this environment and allowed to deep dive into a priceless pool of collective Vedic scripts. And time spent in the West gave me a broader perspective.

Knowledge of the self, revealed in mathematical abstractions and complex grids, is not on the menu for the curious bystander. It demands commitment, yielding rich dividends to the earnest seeker who can put in hours with unflinching sincerity, bordering on reverence.

Old questions resurfaced. I used to wonder why, when the whole system is changed to a metric system, why not ‘Time’ as well? Of all the things we measure everyday, Time is the most important one. Without Time, nothing would make sense. Or can it?

Think about it.

Time is one concept that connects us to the universe, in a measurable way.

The day begins with sunrise and ends with sunset. Then appear a Moon, Planets and the stars. While Maharishi Brighu (Vedic sage of Treta Yug) did document Uranus and Neptune, these Grahas were considered remote and unviable for Jyotish wisdom.

From ancient times, the Shani (Saturn) Temples in India have a place for the Navagrahas (nine planets) as well. These Navagrahas are Chandra (Moon), Mangal(Mars), Budhh (Mercury), Brihaspati (Jupiter), Shukra (Venus), Shani (Saturn), Surya(Sun) and the imaginary planets Rahu and Ketu. Now, the weekdays days are based on these seven physical Grahas. By Astronomy, Sun is a star and Moon a satellite. So it’s not arbitrarily picked. This is Astrological. The names of the days of a week are the names of the Grahas. The order is not the same as the astronomical order in the Solar System either. The order is determined by the speed of the Graha, relative to the observer. So Moon is the fastest, and Sun the slowest to complete a relative circle around the Earth, in a year.

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