|A leading astrological researcher, based in Hyderabad, India.|
Ram says: "Like every one else, I too am a traveller adrift in this journey of life, in the quest for the Truth. Circumstantially, I am a graduate in Mathematics and worked as a computer analyst programmer for 15 years before giving up all commercial activities to take up full time astrological research, which I have been doing for more than a decade now."
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The Gospel of Grandpa [part ten]
Man and Woman
Ram Ramakrishnan, our favourite astrological researcher, has been producing a remarkable series of astrological analyses of the nature of things. This ongoing series is seen through the eyes of two young Indian children, Munni and Chotu. Ram visits Grandpa and the children again to look at the innate relations of Man and Woman in the perspective of the precession of the equinoxes, a rather more cosmic timescale than that of one earthly lifetime.
Grandma was smouldering. Not physically but emotionally. Perhaps if one could have taken an infra-red picture of her, the physical smouldering too would have been noticeable. Grandma had always been an armchair women's activist. Any perceived indignity to women anywhere would set her mind and tongue afire. Grandpa had been at the receiving end of these fiery outbursts many a times though he would admit only to those where he had escaped unhurt. But his scathed and scalded psyche told its own tales!
The present cause of furore was a report in the newspaper that some political parties were opposed to a constitution amendment bill that would grant 30% reservation for women in being elected to the Indian Parliament. She had been overjoyed when in the previous month the Kuwaiti Parliament had endorsed and promulgated a law that allowed women to contest elections for the first time in that country. There was a windfall for all at home then in the form of wonderfully tasty sweet dishes based on unheard of recipes that grandma cooked up.
As usual grandpa attempted to soothe her, partly out of concern for her health and partly for his own self-preservation, saying that the world is slowly but surely moving towards gender equality. It will not be long, at least in geological and astronomical time frames, before one would find women being where they rightfully belong – a state equal to that of men. The children had been watching this little performance unobtrusively. Though grandma's anger was quelled by her husband's assurance – for she trusted his assessment of the world and its happenings, she had failed to understand the significance of the qualifying phrases that grandpa had used regarding the times frames. This however was not lost on the children. The moment grandpa went to his study they stormed into the room to confront him and demand an explanation. Grandpa was a bit tired after facing the heat, but he would never deny his grandchildren an explanation if it was within his understanding and which appeared reasonable. So the threesome sat by the window and grandpa began.
The earth hurtles along in space at about 67,000 miles per hour relative to the Sun. If one were to consider the solar system's movement around the galactic centre then the earth's speed is about 487,000 miles per hour. Its orientation towards other stars in its own galaxy and those in others – which themselves are moving at great speeds – is never the same. This is why astronomical entities provide a perfect set of variables to attempt to correlate happenings on earth. No point is ever the same in time-space in astronomical terms just as reality, as we see and understand it, is never the same.
This apparently endless time can be seen to be composed of many cycles – one within the other. The shortest of them that we all experience is the day – caused by earth's rotation around itself. Then we see the lunar phases constituting a lunar month cycle of about 29 days. The next higher cycle is the solar year cycle comprising 365.25 days approximately. Many realities can be seen to repeat themselves during these cycles. Then come the cycles identified by the orbits of Jupiter, Saturn and the outer planets. Beyond these cycles – in terms of the magnitude of time span – is the earth's precession cycle which is roughly 26,000 years.
The children had so far followed whatever grandpa explained, but at the word 'precession' they interrupted him and asked what that meant. Grandpa gave the analogy of a spinning top and said that the swinging circular motion of the top's axis is called precession. Likewise, the earth axis undergoes precession with the axis pointing to a different point in space every moment, a fraction of a second of arc though this difference may be. Today, the earth's axis in the northern direction roughly points to the Pole star, or Polaris. A few hundred years later there will be a different star in line with the North Pole. 26,000 years later Polaris would have returned as the Pole star. Precession of the earth's axis is about 1 degree every 72 years in a direction opposite to that of its rotation.
The most visible manifestations of the time-cycle attributed to the Sun are the seasons and the changing span of day and night. One or two days each year – between the 19th and 21st of March and between the 22nd and 24th of September – the length of day and night are exactly the same. These two days are referred to as the spring equinox and autumnal equinox respectively. The spring equinox is considered to be the beginning of a new year.
Precession causes a slow reorientation of the celestial objects in the background of the Sun at each spring equinox. This reorientation too happens at the rate of roughly 1 degree every 72 years and hence is not easily discernable during the course of one human life span. At this time, the Sun at spring equinox is about the 7th degree of Pisces and heading towards Aquarius, which it should reach in about 500 years. If the idea that the Sun's position in the zodiac at the beginning of a year imparts its characteristics upon the events of the year were to hold water, then it will be the Piscean characteristics that will hold sway now. One of the strong expressions of Piscean nature is orthodoxy and unwillingness to change. Aquarian nature is much more relaxed in these matters and more liberal.
But things do not change overnight. With the approach of the Aquarian age orthodoxy may slowly relent and with its advent, liberalism and the sense of considering all beings to be equal would slowly gain strength. But we in our present forms will not be around to see this welcome metamorphosis.
"But that is unfair," said the children, "if women have to wait for another 500 years to claim their rights."
"Yes it appears so," said grandpa, "but from another perspective, fairness, unfairness, orthodoxy, liberalism, etc., are all relative to the situation and, like beauty, depend upon the eyes of the beholder. Who knows, there may be a time when the Sun comes to a position in its approximately 26000 year cycle where women dominate men and heap atrocities upon them. So all complaints and applause, triumphs and tribulations even out during the cycle."
While the children sat ruminating on the explanations given by their grandpa, they heard their gardener curse his wife for a mistake that he himself often committed and the poor woman silently bearing this humiliation. The children found this utterly unreasonable, but at least they now had some cause that they could attribute such behaviour to, and the comforting thought that 500 years hence such things would not happen.