20 March 2005


Laila got up from her workstation, threw her wireless mouse onto the office wall 10 meters from her seat, cursed aloud, took a few steps out of her cubicle and kicked a seat in her way really hard. Bad way to vent anger; not familiar with kicking-styles she cracked her shin quite deeply. Pain, uncertainty and shame overwhelming she fell unconscious.

Her colleagues sympathized with her thinking it might be that she was also on the 'fired' list and this was her reaction. They also knew that she had lost all her savings recently in the stock market crash AND that 6 months ago her boyfriend left her.

In belief-rich countries (South East Asia and especially India), if we were to interview different people of their opinions on why people behave the way they are and why such things happen (like in the case of Laila) we would get a fantastic variety of replies:

  • A good handful of people will give occultism as explanation. It does establish its credibility to believers with its own evidences.
    • Vaasthu Pandit Sharmaji had predicted, seven months back, mental problems for Laila since the septic tank of her house was situated in the North-West corner of the plot
    • Also as per Feng-Shui the sharp corners within her house was inimical to her good luck
    • Laila was ignorant of the fact that a door-to-door broom seller, who was the first person she met in the morning, was a bad omen condensing an impending downfall
    • Baba Kalkiji, her neighbourhood tantric, confirmed that an evil spirit is after Laila. He foresaw this and had warned her; Exorcism was needed
    • Laila's boss, being generally superstitious, had participated in a Sudarshanahomam that very morning to vanquish all his enemies and to reflect back 'evil eyes'. To top it, Laila hated her boss and had voiced it many times.
    • One of Laila’s subordinates, Tarun, had cursed her when he gathered that she was getting all the credits for his hard work
    • As per astrology, a debilitated Saturn and moon in her natal chart. Moreover she is going through the worst dasa (period) of her life
    • Her palm also shows a line of terrible misfortune at this time of her life.
  • More people associated her case in religious terms. All religions asserts that this is as usual was a case of Divine intervention.
    • Mono-theistically oriented colleagues, Karim and Hannah, strongly asserted that it was God’s will for breaking a commandment
    • Hindu Vikram pointed the finger to a particular deity (in whose portfolio of responsibilities the kind of misfortune is listed) who needs to be propitiated. He also preached a karmic connection to the misfortune. “As you sow so shall you reap” therefore this incident is an effect of causes Laila affected in either past life or past actions in this life.
    • Local evangelist Dr. Ravi Moses had told her Jesus is the only way!
  • A few people attributed the case to nothing but pure rationalistic and logical reasons such as
    • Simple economics such as that the recession was imminent and therefore the stock market crashes, so Laila should have taken necessary precautions and not lose mental stability on this.
    • On sociological reasons as per Mrs. Anderson. “After all the effect of society on an individual is tremendous, it shapes one’s mind and attitude”
      • Upbringing and family background is paramount to the individual’s emotional makeup. Laila was a victim of parental abuse and therefore her violently reactive nature.
      • Positive and/or negative environment surrounding the individual. Laila lives in a tough neighbourhood even now.
    • A statistical matter as per colleague Joe. One in so-many individuals just had to encounter this problem.
    • A medical case
      • As per ayurvedic Dr. Vaidyaratnam, Laila has a dosha combination that makes her vulnerable to constipation(!) which in turn is the reason for her extreme reactions.
      • Her allopathic doctor blamed it all on Laila’s addiction on sleeping pills.
      • People like Deepak Chopra would give an holistic medicinal theory with an explanation on the basis that whole of cosmos has conspired for the situation
      • Psychologist Dr. Rampal ascertained that Laila was of a neurotic type and the misfortune(s) of these sort is an obvious result

While reading the above list, one would have preferred a reason over the the ‘nonsensical’ others. That choice is based on YOUR experiences, YOUR understanding, YOUR beliefs and YOUR conditionings.

 But, what if ALL of them are concurrent reasons for the misfortune?! Can ALL these reasoning tally at the same time?
I opine Yes; Because each of the above is only one perception to the working of nature. And we are blind and ignorant to the existence of other parallel forces.

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