Read my story "The Prediction," about an astrologer's prediction about the last days of the Rana regime of Nepal.This story is to be published in the journal Himalaya in November 2013, published out of Yale University.
This story is based on a small snippet of an anecdote told to me by my father--who does not believe in astrology, but was goaded into sharing this historical story with me after I pestered him with miraculous stories of astrological predictions which had come true, in my own experience. Our family of Joshis ("Jyotish" means astrologer) were astrologers in the Royal Court of Nepal. This tradition was discontinued in my grandfather's generation. The young astrologer in this story, however, is not from our family. He is thought to have come from outside Kathmandu.
The astrologer was a pleasant young man, with worn down cloth shoes and a dust-coloured set of clothes. Mohan Shamsher was surprised. He had expected someone older, someone more comma…
The spiritual heart of Hinduism is deeply
entwined with eco-consciousness. It is no surprise therefore to find out that
trees are central to the daily worship and evocations of the divine. The kalpavrikshya, or wish-fulfilling tree, is one of the three valuable treasures
that appeared during the churning of the oceans, according to Vedic scriptures.
The other was Kamadhenu, the wish-fulfilling cow which fulfilled a supplicant’s
every desire. The churning of the oceans or samudra manthan was a contest that took place between the gods and the demons in
their search for amrita, the nectar of
immortality. Indra, the lord of the heavens, claimed this divine tree as soon
as it appeared, and took it to his abode. Some scriptures describe the kalpavrikshya as a metaphor for the Milky Way in the sky. The night-flowering
jasmine, or parijat tree, is one of the many
trees on this material realm associated with the kalpavrikshya. In my own