In April 2020, I was very much clear that now I will do the work of Mission Tirhutipur by staying in the village. However, I had no specific plan to earn the money for the sake of my livelihood. The conscious mind was poking me to set up some business in the village on a priority basis. But the subconscious mind was inhibiting me to pay any attention to the business. It was insisting to work for Mission Tirhutipur only without any care for money. The conscious mind wanted me to walk safely along the beach, while the subconscious mind was urging me to go into the infinite expanse of the ocean and find something new. In the midst of all this, I got the flash of an old question that people used to ask me in my childhood “What will you become son when you grow up?” It is one of the most common questions which every child has to face – Beta Bade ho kar kya banoge?”
In the context of Mission Tirhutipur, this question arose again. When I started looking for the answer with the help of books, my wife said sarcastically, “Old age is about to come, and still, you could not decide what to do.” She was right in her own way, but if David Epstein, the author of the ‘Range’, is to be believed, then the best age to decide a career is middle age. In this connection, I also read the book by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans – ‘Designing your life’. These books cleared some mist. I was amused when my younger son asked me to read ‘The Power of Myth’ by Joseph Campbell. Instead of reading, I listened to his talks which were quite revealing. At one point, he referred to the three goals of Hindu life – sat-chitta-anand and declared that it is easiest to identify anand i.e. bliss. In his opinion, if someone pursues the path of bliss (anand), he/she is most likely to attain sat (truth) and chitta (consciousness). This thought of Campbell literally moved me.
While thinking and planning on the issue of my career, I realized how big a challenge the career selection has become for today’s children and youth. This challenge is becoming more severe with the speed at which our socio-economic environment is changing. There was a time when the career of the people was decided by society. Till some time ago, parents of the children used to do this work. But now the children themselves are deciding what their career will be. In my opinion, this is not an ideal condition. We can’t expect children to have the maturity and knowledge that is required to make an appropriate career decision.
Until recently, there were few choices in the name of career, but today there are thousands. Most children and young people often have no idea what would be the best career for them given their nature and circumstances. Children and young people who are aware of such options have another problem. Renowned psychologist Barry Schwartz explains this very well in his book- ‘The Paradox of Choice – Why More is Less’. He says that the multitude of options does not solve the problem, but only aggravates it. It not only decreases the ability of a person to make the right choice but also drags him/her into many new problems like anxiety and self-doubt.
Modern scholars helped me a lot to understand the different dimensions of a career, but something was still missing. In such a situation, I thought why not check the astrology. I wanted to know the logic behind astrological predictions, especially in the context of my career. For this, I talked to some astrologers but did not get satisfaction. I realized that unless I myself knew some basics of astrology, no meaningful discussion on the subject was possible. After this, on the advice of one of my astrologer friends Abhayji, I immediately ordered three books – Phaldeepika – Dr. Gopesh Kumar Ojha, Laghu Parashari – Dr. Sureshchandra Mishra, Jyotish aur Career – Acharya Vivekshree Kaushik. Along with reading these books, I also watched some related videos on YouTube.
Next few weeks, I immersed myself in Astrology. I freely applied the newly acquired knowledge on the horoscopes of myself and other members of my family. Slowly the secrets began to unfold. I saw that I am a scorpion ascendant. My moon is sitting in the Karmabhava with a force of 12 degrees and it is aspected by Sun from 4th house and the Guru from 2nd house. Apart from this, I saw many more things in my horoscope. I do not want to say that I became an astrologer after reading three books, but I can safely say that now the language of astrology is not foreign to me. I got to know myself better. “Son, what will you become when you grow up?” I do not know the answer to this question even today, but astrology has definitely told me that ultimately it will be my subconscious mind (मन) that will rule my Karma.
As a result of the exercise, I did on the question of career; I decided that Career Selection of the rural youth will be a subject where Mission Tirhutipur will put his efforts on a priority basis. We would like to develop a process in which astrology will be used in harmony with psychological, social, and academic tools to decide the career of children. By the time children reach the age of 15 years, they should have a considered opinion of their career. They should not be left alone to pick up the options on a random basis.
As far as I am concerned, I have decided not to engage in any personal business, independent of Mission Tirhutipur. Otherwise, the same old problem of cognitive dissonance will re-emerge. This decision is supported by two points. First, I feel that within a year, I will no longer be compelled to earn money for my livelihood as both my sons will be able to take up their responsibilities on their own. Second, since I will live in the village with my joint family, I will be able to survive there with almost zero income. If any small amount of money is needed for personal expenses, I am sure that I will easily earn it on the basis of my media background and writing skills.
Vimal Kumar Singh
Convener, Mission Tirhutipur