Predicting the future is quite a lucrative profession in India. Future can be told by reading the lines on the palm, the fore head, the face or a piece of paper that was made looking at the position of the stars and planet at the time of one’s birth. Every initiative must have the approval of a jyotish, the man who understands the language of the stars, in order to make sure that the stars are on our side.
The most respected and highly trusted are the jyotish who makes ones birth charts when one is born. These charts show the positioning of the stars when we were born. And according to the positions of these stars we come to know our future. It is this birth chart – kundali, which is consulted when a marriage is being arranged. In the Indian system of arranged marriages, marriage brokers approach a prospective client’s family with the kundali (horoscope) of the prospective bride or groom along with a picture of the person. The family jyotish, is then given the task of comparing the two kundali’s and predicting if the man and woman are compatible and if the marriage will be a successful one. It is only if these results seem satisfactory to the family that the boy and girl actually meet each other. Horoscopes and the position of the stars are also used to predict immediate future. Just like marriages, new ventures in business and important family decisions etc are taken after consulting the jyotish.
Jyotishi is done according to the Hindu calander for birth dates etc. And it is an ancient art which has somehow survived time. Face reading and palmistry are also similar arts but do not involve complicated charts and the knowledge of stars. Nomads are usually associated with these, although it is considered an art form of some stature. Another nomadic culture is the talking parrot. A man travels around with a box of cards and a parrot. Whoever wishes to know their future must simply sit in front of the parrot with all the cards laid out in front of him. The parrot looks at the person and then picks up one of the cards and hands it to its master. These cards are said to unveil the future.
Newer methods of predicting the future are becoming more and more popular these days. Numerology is one such example. Yet the older methods are still highly respected and most people swear by them.