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The Science Of Astrology Or The Science Of The Self?

Astrology no doubt has a hold on many who like to know ahead their future. However it fails to allure to a person treading the spiritual path where he has to remain in the present. More so for a follower of Ramana Maharshi, for whom the sense of doership withers away like that of an old flower. One goes along with the natural flow of life with ease, with no intruding thoughts of the future.

The story of Sri Venkateswara Sarma, who was an astounding astrologer and who later followed the Ramana way, throws light on Bhagavan's central teaching.

Sri Venkateswara Sarma had exceptional skills in the Prasna system of astrology which involves expertise in Mathematics and the power of intuition in order to predict. The astrologer with just a little information from the questioner mentally prepares a horoscope and having studied it in a giffy, awaits prayerfully for the answer that springs forth from his intuition. It is said that Sri Venkateswara Sarma possessed extraordinary skill in this stem of Astrology.

To illustrate his precision, one Nagappa Chettiar once arrived at his house, when he was engaged in Puja. His wife reported the arrival of Nagappa Chettiar. Sri Venkateswara Sarma not wanting to have the visitor waiting and also his puja to be disturbed, told his wife, “Nagappa Chettiar has come for his lost diamond ring, thinking to be stolen by his servant. Please tell him that it is not stolen but lies at his backyard where there are some rows of plantain tree. At one side there are only two of them. If he searches under these trees, he will be able to find it. It had fallen off his finger while he was engaged in washing his clothes on the stone near by!"

Nagappa Chettiar, on returning back home, found the ring under the tree as predicted by Sri Venkateswara Sarma. Such was his precision and he was flocked by many that his career soared high.

It was when Sri Venkateswara Sarma's fame was at its peak that he heard about Bhagavan Ramana. Bhagavan's picture as it normally does, captivated his heart that he immediately set out to Thiruvannamalai, Arunachala to seek His blessings. On seeing Bhagavan for the first time, the very first look gave him a the feeling of renouncing everything that he held close to his heart. However his attraction to the science of Astrology alone prevailed, that he was confused and disturbed as to how to go about with it.

One day, some how, Sri Venkateswara Sastri mustered the courage and placed the doubt in front of Bhagavan Ramana, “Bhagavan, is not astrology the best and most accurate of all sciences?"

Bhagavan looked at him deeply and said slowly but very firmly , “The science of the Self is superior to all other sciences"

At that very instant, Sri Venkateswara Sastri shrug his attachment for the science of Astrology, that he loved so dearly and gave up a lucrative career that was fetching him immense wealth. His wife too supported him in his decision and the couple lived a life of utter poverty at the feet of Bhagavan Ramana.

Needless to say that to bask at His feet is the greatest blessing that can be showered, for its bound to bestow the ultimate wealth of inexhaustible peace !

Story first published: Monday, July 19, 2010, 17:48 [IST]