In search of the ancestral temple; The new Astrologer scam to milk NRIs

Astrology is an accurate science and those who experienced it, will testify – though some religions prohibit it for its own survival. It is an open secret that Christians and Muslims form the majority clientele of Astrologers, than Hindus. But greed, the single most destructive human quality, always been a ruinous element for the survival of Astrology as an exact science. Astrology has been rejected by the scientific community, as science is yet to grow enough to understand its principles. But the growing popularity of Astrology, should be a good enough reason for the critics to take a second look at it. But it is conditional and Astrology is only as good as the Astrologer – the plentiness of bad apples a serious concern to contemplate.

The most crucial element that distinguishes the life of an Indian, fifty years back and now, is debt. With the introduction of ‘debt’ as a life enhancing risk which is a 20th century creation, hung our life on tenterhooks. Along with it, the confinement of the term ‘achievement’ to only materialistic success, turned the Indian society into an individualist one. To make it short, life became more and more riskier for everyone and that contributed to the popularity of Astrology. When people are worried about their future, naturally they turn to  an astrologer for guidance. Today people consult Astrologers for almost everything – when a child born, when not conceiving, to know about job prospects, education of children etc – to an extend that if someone gets a headache, an astrologer is consulted even before a doctor. The profession has become so lucrative that even IAS officers after retirement, make a career change and become Astrologers.

But this article is about a trend that is taking a very nasty turn as greedy astrologers make use to fill their coffers.

Though not a recent phenomenon –  when all astrologers advise their clients to find a temple owned by their ancestors, which is in decay now and ask to resurrect it as a solution for all their life’s problems , naturally questions should arise. It is always a difficult task to find such a temple based on pure guesswork and to pacify the deity that is angry for not being  worshiped.  The avaricious astrologers will suggest poojas to search and identify, which will cost Lakhs of rupees, depending on how deep the client’s pocket is . The not so greedy ones are actually affiliated to a Hindu organisation and works on a noble cause of resurrecting Hindu temples that are in decay or already demolished. The NRI client with the urgency, need and willingness becomes the victim of the scheme almost instantly.

In most parts of India, families used to have small temples at one corner of their  property dedicated to family deities, snakes, monkeys etc. In Kerala, Sarpa Kavu (meaning Abode of Snakes) is a traditional sacred space dedicated and inhabited by snakes, and the area usually contains a representation of Naga Raja (King of the Snakes) and other Naga Devatas (snake deities), where offerings and rites are performed during special ceremonies. When properties are subdivided, some of these traditional temples are either destroyed or deserted. Even Muslims who don’t believe in such worship, usually don’t destroy such places of worship for being cursed or punished by the deities. The new scam by the astrologers serves two purposes – the noble cause of resurrecting such temples and making huge money in the process. It has become so elaborate and widely used that almost every single NRI who approaches an Astrologer in India is suggested with such  remedial measures, as the only criteria is the assumption of a good bank balance and the willingness to spend.

Astrology can be used as a guiding light to prepare for the worst; at the same time, one should be vary of the pitfalls. Mind is a powerful element and is a solution for majority of our problems. The remedial measures in Astrology are actually meant for strengthening the mind to face the consequences, and they usually are not meant to solve any problems. Even modern science uses the possibilities of our mind to cure diseases and motivate a person to achieve the unthinkable. The Mantras suggested for reciting as a remedial measure in Astrology are doing exactly that. Making a person stronger to handle and face the challenge is the sole reason for the remedial measures suggested in Astrology. So next time, if an Astrologer in India suggests you to find your ancestral temple and resurrect it – do it only if you see a wider benefit for the community, else you are falling victim to the greed of the Astrologer and also being a pawn in a game played by a particular Hindu organisation.

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