It was a short journey and my first to Ujjain in Central India. The city of time itself. I was almost strolling when on the ghats of Shipra river I met a sage sitting alone but not alone. He looked strangely wild and attractive, focused. He was arranging his stones, picking them carefully as if they were beings and putting them in an unusual order, only after looking for many a seconds towards the sky. Curious, i had many questions to ask. And i did. This conversation was recorded thus and is presented like every story must.
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Q. What is your name?
Waah, Narayan! okay Narayan, Listen carefully. I will start from the start.
Vedas, India’s four ancient sacred book-length accumulations of living wisdom. The oldest literature in the history of mankind. Since the last standardisation of the vedas, dozens of centuries ago, these hymns have been flawlessly preserved, syllable for syllable and word for word, by their priestly keepers.
The hymns of the vedas were not composed by humans; they were perceived, or ‘seen,’ as embodiments of reality by inspired seers known as rishis. India has taught from time immemorial that the only true thing that exists in the universe, the ‘thing’ which is present before creation, animates all created beings so long as the cosmos exists, and remains after the end of the manifested universe, is that homogenous spirit which is beyond time, space and causation.
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The Vedic hymns are inspired expressions of this absolute reality as ‘seen’ by the rishis, and from these vedas all of India’s Vidyas(forms of living wisdom, Including Ayurveda and Jyotish) have sprung. Each Vidya is a goddess, a muse who must be patiently and tirelessly worshipped until a personal relationship between the student and the Vidya develops, a mutual relationship in which the one possesses the other. Then slowly the veil lifts and the understanding becomes clear. Only when you are possessed by the muse can you possess the wisdom.
Most of us know that the nine planets – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto – circle our sun. Though it is true that from the sun’s point of view that the earth is moving around the sun; but it is also true from the Earth’s point of view, from what we see in the sky, that the sun moves around the earth.
each of these planets rules one of the days of the week:
Sunday = ruled by the sun
Monday = ruled by the moon
Tuesday = rules by Mars
Wednesday = ruled by Mercury
Thursday = ruled by Jupiter
Friday = ruled by Venus
Saturday = ruled by Saturn
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Though the seven day week may or may not have been used in Vedic times in India, at some point it was cordially welcomed into Jyotish. Seven being numerologically important(seven notes of musical scale, seven colors in a rainbow, and Revelation’s seven Seals. Among other significations), seven planets suffice astrologers for centuries. Then at least 1500 years ago, two new heavenly bodies were palletised in India, one after another. These were Rahu and Ketu, the two lunar nodes, which are the points in the sky where the plane of the moon’s orbit around earth and the plane of the ecliptic (the plane of the earth’s orbit around sun) intersect.
Though they are neither visible nor corporeal, these nodes, which are the points where eclipses occur, influence us on earth nonetheless. The addition of Rahu and Ketu raised the number of planets to nine: the seven colours of the rainbow, sandwiched between the invisible-to-the-human-eye infrared and ultra violet. Nine being also the number of single digit integers in our base 10 calculating system, the nine planets represent, in numerological terms, the totality of possibilities in our universe.
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Over the course of centuries Indian astrologers have learned that, mythologically, the greatest, the most powerful, and the most dangerous of all the nine planets is Saturn.
It was at this point the battery of my voice recorder discharges, but he kept on speaking without any knowledge of it and he entered into a space where it took the form of a story. Because Saturn is most happy when there is a story to be passed on. Why then for a healthy life stories must be told, I learnt that day and we shall soon talk about it in another post.
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If today is the first time you have arrived on The Road to Nara, you are heartily welcome ~ Namaste
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I will take this opportunity to introduce you to About me and importantly;
As a co-traveller, my Ten Learnings from several years on the road, before you coarse on your own Road to Nara.
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If you would like to contribute to my travels, you can please do so here
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If you have anything to share, or feel like saying a hello, feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
To visit other long-term photographic works, please visit here.
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