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Sri Lanka 2015 Presidential Election, Where Incumbent Rajapaka Lost, Also Highlighted Futility Of Sri Lankan Astrology & Mumbo Jumbo.

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by Anura Guruge


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Sri Lanka president concedes defeat.

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Yes, I will admit it upfront. The fiercest detractors of anything are those that once were its most ardent supporters. Very true. Yes, I for a large part of my life, well into my 30s, totally subscribed to Sri Lankan astrology — though I had renounced the ‘dirty string’ mumbo jumbo when I was 18 at the same time I gave up on Buddhism. And given my very strong streak of fastidiousness, which I possessed since I was very small, I had always refused, with the appropriate tantrums when necessary, to wear one (or more) of those copper or gold amulets. You can clearly see one, circled in red, inside the bigger red circle, on the ex-presidents wrists. Well most normal people wear them, on a dirty string, around their neck. I always thought they were UNCLEAN. I guess because whenever I saw one it would be around the neck of a sweaty ol’ man — even if it was a beloved uncle. Actually I have an aversion to anything (other than people’s hands) around my neck. [That is a good thing. Given that I do like gold around my wrist it could have been an expensive hobby if I was also into necklaces.]

horoscope

This is basically what your personal horoscope scroll looks like. This one is unrolled. It is wrapped into a tight roll, about 4″ across. This one is also new. With use they get dark with the oils from your palm. They also get frayed.

Anyway, I really believed in Sri Lankan astrology. I even made believers out of a number of westerners and for that I apologize. I was in error. I had no choice. I grew up immersed in astrology as I was in Buddhism. Even my name, ‘Anura’, was given to me through astrological beliefs. When you are born they take your birth time. That is given to an astrologer who casts your horoscope. Yes, it has some star charts but also a commentary. It is transcribed on to a piece of cured palm leaf (kind of like papyrus). It is rolled into a scroll for easy storage. Everybody in Ceylon, at least if you are Sinhalese, had one. So this is cast within a few days of your birth. The astrologer then tells your father the first letter of the name that should be given to you — based on what it said on the horoscope. My letter was ‘A’. Rest is history.

Astrologers will read your horoscope. Yes, like the president we too had a trusted family astrologer and yes, you may go through a few either because they retire, die or you hear of a better one. The family astrologer had read my mother’s horoscope, unbeknownst to her (and that is common), at the behest of her younger sister, in June of 1992. The astrologer is said to said that it was a bad period, a so called ‘death period’ and that if my mother managed to live through the next 3 months, she would be ‘OK’ for the next 10 to 12 years. She was not sick at the time. Just had Parkinson’s. But she died, unexpectedly, without any warning, in her sleep, on August 21, 1992. As far as the family was concerned the astrologer was vindicated. I thought it was coincidence.

Well, to be fair, all those that took part in this election appear to believe in astrology and the Buddhist ‘dirty string’ mumbo jumbo — and the gold amulet superstition.

Rajapaksa who lost put a LOT of faith in astrology and the mumbo jumbo. Look at his wrist. This is a 65 year old man, the Head of 21 Million people. He has his wrist wrapped in dirty strings because he thinks they will bring him good luck? What is this 768? Well he called the election because his astrologers told him he can’t lose. Well that should teach him. Yes, they will now come up with other mumbo jumbo to explain the loss rather than admitting that they are but charlatans.

Yes, I will talk more about astrology in coming days. This gives me a focal point around which to talk.

Yes, I am embarrassed, that I believed in it. I believed in it INDEPENDENT of religion. That is why I stopped wearing the dirty strings. That is Buddhism. I rationalized astrology as a BIG, HUGE indexed database, with the positions of the stars serving as the pointers to access the data. Yes, I had managed to rationalize that. But, as with religion, once I really started questioning it I gave up on it fast.

But today is a great day. A victory for reason. Superstition, astrology, mumbo jumbo and unhygienic gold amulets got a licking. Here is to reason.


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About Anura Guruge

See 'The Blogger' on my https://nhlifefree.com/ blog.

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