Sometimes I imagine myself with a sword, fighting my enemies bravely. I don’t care if I die or survive, but it is the adrenalin of a fight that matters.
Let me tell you, it surprises me. I like to shoot from other people’s shoulders. I hate squabbles. I cannot even kill a cockroach without my entire being crawling in disgust! I cannot say a firm no to anyone. Even if I muster the courage to do but the other party insists, I say something vague and then slink away, hoping that they understand it’s a no. I am scared of the dark and the ghosts!
To hold a sword and cut another being into two or many pieces? How can I muster such courage to dream myself to be like that?
Why, of course, the secret lies in my past! I must have been a warrior princess in one of my births and the current image of me with the sword on horseback must be a deep impression in my soul!
How do I find out, now? I wish The Department of Rebirths also maintained a searchable database on Google to enable us dig it up. The Facebook apps on this are very disappointing.
But closer home, options exist to dig up our past…births. In Tamil Nadu, Vaitheeswaran Temple is renowned for getting rid of maladies. But it is also known for palm leaf astrology. If your palm leaf is discovered based on your thumb print then they can tell you about your past lives, the present, and what is in store for you in the future.
The first time I heard of it was when my father got his read. A soft-natured person who defers to most decisions taken by my mother except when his bullish temper is roused occasionally, he was told he was a king from one of the south Indian kingdoms, had two wives and – just like many kings with multiple wives – had to side-line the prince regent to pass the throne on to a son born of the second wife. What a delightful story! I was fascinated. He was apparently reborn for this one sin as otherwise he was a candidate to reach the feet of the Lord and escape the life-death cycle.
Now tell me, can anyone not want to know what they were, especially when they thought they could have been Rani Jhansi or something equivalent, in a past birth? But now, the hurdle was my mother. A clear-headed person, who believes stars have a say but not in getting an advance notice on what they have to say. She frowns at my father’s penchant to consult astrologers, that too for inconsequential things such as your past birth. She is like a non-reader who frowns on people who read novels!
So my father and I dug up a local palm leaf astrologer in Chennai when I was barely 18, and when mother went out on some more fruitful purpose, we stole to this address quietly. The whole process of discovering your palm leaf is fascinating. If nothing else, at least for this you should get yours read. With just a thumbprint, they bring out several palm leaves that match the print – ha, forensic science! Then they read out the details of your current life. Only if all the details match do you say, bingo, that’s the one! Once you have identified your leaf, they reconfirm by telling you your date of birth (as per the Indian calendar), the star and your age at the time of the reading. This is just the index. Once all these details match, they bring out your full volume! It’s a humbling experience, when you realise that your life’s course has been written already and you are merely tracing the path.
So having found mine, they read out my general future and asked for Rs. 100/-! Well, this was 1992. The life is divided into different kaands (headings). For each kaand I had to pay Rs 100/-. I was too embarrassed to tell my dad that all I wanted was to know my unverifiable past for what seemed like a princely sum. So I shook my head and we slunk back home without revealing the details of where we had been to my mom.
The second time, Art of Living introduced Past Life Regression and, of course, I was ready! My second born was barely a year, but I deposited him with my in-laws and went for a journey into my past. It was a rainy day and by the time I reached my 30th year in the reverse journey, I wanted to use the rest room very badly. I couldn’t even remember what the most important event in my life was when I was 27! I got married that year, by the way. How was I going to remember 10, 5, 1 years? By the time I touched 0, my mind was in a desperate land.
A crow cawed. The lady gently asked, “You were not born yet, where were you.”
“A crow,” I said confidently.
“You are done,” she said and sent me off. It was such a personal failure! And what made it worse was that my husband had had flashes of what could have been his past life!!
So I persuaded him to go to Vaitheeshwaran temple again. The astrologers, without understanding my unstated needs, said it was enough to read his as it would reveal mine. “Will it reveal my past life?” I wanted to ask. But the hesitant me withheld the query. Yes, they told my husband his past, some of which corroborated with his flashes during the Past Life Regression, and they told him why he was born now. But some of the other things they mentioned left a bad taste in our mouth – as if all they wanted was to extract money for penance. So we decided to leave without getting mine read.
Yes, friends, my past life remains in the dark. But now I think – am I an avatar born only to help my husband get salvation!
By the way, a friend of mine too does past life regression under Californian Clinical Hypnotherapy. When I told her about wanting to satiate my curiosity, she gently told me, “Just like you don’t go to a surgeon and ask him to cut you up for a lark, don’t travel back unless you have an insurmountable problem.”
Now my problem is finding that insurmountable problem. Till I do that, the past doesn’t want me visiting her. Too scared of me, maybe!