How to Read Omens

1.14.1

Sūta said:

Jiṣṇu [Arjuna – “The Triumphant”] went to Dvārakā to see his relatives and find out what Kṛṣṇa (whose glories are purifying) was doing.

2

When he had not returned after a few months, the leader of the Kurus [Yudhiṣṭhira] observed many different omens of ill fortune.

3

A terrible fate was foretold in unseasonal weather, and by people adopting cruel ways marked by anger, greed, and deceit.

4

Cheating and duplicity polluted the behavior of protectors: fathers, mothers, well-wishers and brothers. Husbands and wives quarreled.

5

Many very bad omens indicated that the time had come for humanity to drift away. Seeing so many immoral and base deeds driven by greed and the like, the King spoke to his younger brother.

These are not so much “omens” in general, as they are omens specifically that Kali-Yuga had begun, the age in which the glory of humanity fades and drifts away. This in turn indicates that Kṛṣṇa was no longer on Earth.

6

Yudhiṣṭhira said:

Jiṣṇu [Arjuna – “The Triumphant”] went to Dvārakā to see his relatives and find out what Kṛṣṇa (whose glories are purifying) was doing.

7

Bhīmasena, it is now seven months since he went. I have no information about why he has not returned.

8

Maybe it is what the Sage of Gods [Nārada] told us: The time has come for the All-Attractive to dissolve the manifestation of himself and his expansions?

9

By his kindness we got our wealth, power, wives and our very lives, and our kingdom and subjects; vanquishing our enemies.

10

O Lion of Men, look at the ill signs in the sky, on the earth, and in ourselves. These are signs of imminent danger, fear, and bewilderment.

11

My left thigh, eye, and arm quiver again and again. My heart palpitates fearsomely. These are signs of ill fortune.

Repeated twitching on the left side of the male body portends ill fortune. I have heard that for women it is the right side which is inauspicious. The opposite sides for each gender portend good fortune.

12

This she-jackal howls at the rising sun, with fire in her mouth. Brother, this dog barks and growls at me without fear!

When things happen out of order, or opposite of their normal behavior, it portends ill-fortune. By this general template, all sorts of events in the world can be interpreted. Wolves and the like are supposed to howl at the moon, not the sun. While so doing the rising sun appeared like flames coming from the jackal’s mouth – making it more pronounced as an ill omen. A dog should be submissive to powerful humans, but here a dog was fearlessly growling angrily and barking in the face of the powerful King.

13

Auspicious and less auspicious animals pass me with their left side. O Lion of Men, my horses weep when they see me.

This “passing” means to encircle. It is auspicious to be encircled in a clockwise motion. To be circled counterclockwise (which occurs when the encircling person keeps you on their left) is inauspicious.

14

There is a dead dove like a messenger of death. Owls and their rivals, the crows, shriek disturbingly as if they are trying to dissolve the entire world.

Auspicious (gentle) birds fell to ill, and inauspicious (harsh) birds prospered.

15

Thick fog and smoke encircles all directions. The earth and her hills tremble. Thunder and lightning comes without clouds.

These are more serious and rare omens.

16

The blasting wind cuts us. The dust raised creates darkness. Blood rains from the clouds making everything look like a disaster-area.

“Blood rain” arises when red dust mixes with the falling rain. It is a terrible and rare omen.

17

Look! The Sun has lost its glow. The planets war with one another in the sky. Ghosts possess people, who howl as if they were on fire!

The Sun loses its glow during an eclipse. The planets war with one another when they occupy the same location in the sky (currently we measure it as the same zodiac degree).

18

Streams, rivers and ponds are polluted, as are our minds. Oil will not catch fire. What fate is about to befall us!?

19

Calves do not suck the teat, and their mothers do not give milk. The bulls do not play in the fields. They simply stand with tears streaming down their face.

20

Deities seem to cry and perspire like they want to leave their temples. The beauty and happiness of these cities, villages, towns, gardens, hills, and cottages is ruined. What horrors will we see!?

21

I believe that these terrible upheavals are omens that the Earth, who bore the beautiful footprints of the All-Attractive, is now dispossessed and her fortune destroyed.

Yudhiṣṭhira now gives a dire interpretation of these severe omens: “The earth was blessed with the greatest fortune. She bore the beautiful footprints of the All-Attractive. All these horrible signs can only indicate that the earth has been cast into the deepest despair over the loss and destruction of her greatest treasure. Śrī Kṛṣṇa is no longer on Earth.”

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About Vraja Kishor

My official sites are: (bhakti-yoga) http://vrajakishor.com (astrology) http://www.vicdicara.com View all posts by Vraja Kishor

5 responses to “How to Read Omens

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