Rohit Arya on The Sacred India Tarot, its design and the psychic danger of creating such a Power

In the History of Tarot only two people, Juliet Sharman Burke and I, Rohit Arya have created a Tarot deck with such special parameters. It was a highly creative, and  psychically, dangerous venture. An extract from The Sacred India Tarot Guidebook elucidates the process.

People in India do not understand the Tarot very well; it is too much work! Tarot exists currently as an agreeable variant on the old Hindu science of astrology or Jyothisha and it is in Jyothisha terms of discourse that most practitioners engage with it when they take it seriously. Since the percentage of kooks, overexcited and overenthusiastic New-Agers remains normal in India as the rest of the world, and they drive, with Jyothisha support, whatever interest is there in Tarot, it will be quite a while before serious interest is taken in the subject on its own terms. Given that both playing cards and gypsies originated in India, I am waiting for a similar claim where the Tarot is concerned. The previous sentence may even become the origin point for what will soon be a common notion in India. It is a depressing or hilarious thought; I am not quite sure which as yet.

My approach was to demonstrate the Universality of the Tarot Structure and how it is applicable in differing cultural contexts, because the underlying skeleton is the common psychological and spiritual heritage of Homo sapiens sapiens. Okay, call it Collective Unconscious and be done with it! The myths may differ superficially, or even dramatically, but if they are genuine myths they will always have relevance for, and resonance with, the Tarot.  Juliet Sharman Burke had previously done with Greek mythology what I have now done with Indian myth, found the co-relations in each suit to a story arc that fitted perfectly into the unfolding of both the inherent structure as well as individual meanings of each card in the suit.  This is, in a sense very difficult, which is probably why we are the only two people to attempt a Tarot pack with such parameters. You need a story that will hold up, {where authentic Tarot meanings are concerned, rather than making up your own, in which case it is somewhat easier} for 14 cards. The court cards have to be organically connected to the story playing out in the suit and each card in the suit has to naturally reflect a point in the original myth which is relevant to Tarot meaning and does not involve twisting up timeline sequences. It is an astonishing achievement in that sense; the very fact that there are only two of us who have successfully attempted it is enough proof of its extraordinary difficulty. Perhaps it will be different in future.

In another sense Sharman Burke and Yours Truly probably did not find it that difficult as we understand both Tarot and mythic structures. Then it was a matter of merely sifting through the vast resources of story until we found the authentic fit. The Major Arcana is actually easier in this respect as each card can stand alone and is not prisoner to narrative sequence. When we are dealing with the mythology of India, everybody here knows the stories more or less in the correct order and any attempts to jiggle things round for convenience would have been instantly spotted. Isolating the thread of Bheesma from within the Mahabharatham was probably the most difficult; the swords {arrows} are notoriously a headache and I suffered fully till I found it. The Buddha story was never in doubt; it practically selected itself for discs. The wands {staves} were somewhat of a trouble till I realized that the entire Ramayana is not required. So the three major story arcs of India were covered, the two epics and the life of Buddha. A poem for the cups {lotuses} would have been ideal as ancient Indian literature is primarily in verse. I had almost settled on Nala- Damayanthi from the Mahabharatham or Kalidasa’s play on Shakuntala and Dushyantha, when I had a brainwave and realized that the story of Shiva and Parvati was much more significant to India and packed more spiritual wallop as a choice for the lotuses.

Then I only had to wait for Jane to illustrate the cards before I could get down to writing them. That however is another story.  So I stress again – while the Sacred India Tarot does bring a meeting of minds between the yogic myths of India and the great Western Mystery of the Tarot, it is not part of the Great Python instinct.This was consciously and deliberately done, at least to begin with, and the karma is all mine.  Most Tarot packs and books have been based on European cultural imperatives, as they should be, even if they contain multicultural perspectives. This is perhaps the first time a person engaged with Tarot in terms of another culture, instead of reaching out from within the norms and parameters of the origin culture. For all the Egyptian and Norse and South Sea Islander and South American et al variations of Tarot packs were created by people within the European cultural inheritance. I was looking in from the outside.

The immensity of the endeavour was not clear at first and perhaps it was well, it could have led to hubris or paralysis. To have to take within a transforming alien energy {geographically, not mythically} and find resonances within my context, find the core of universal value and then translate it into a particular cultural sphere was difficult enough. Simultaneously I had to interpret and transmute the sympathetic harmonious vibrations of yoga spirituality into Tarot terms. This was a dangerous endeavour in psychic terms as there is no innate defence of familiarity and place, no historical, cultural or psychological immunities in engaging with such a foreign power. When I finally comprehended the sheer psychological peril in which I stood, I was glad this knowledge was not vouchsafed to me earlier. A complete mental breakdown was possible and only the fact that the Sacred India Tarot was working itself out through me seems to have saved me from catastrophe – though there was enough psychodrama and trauma to satisfy the most masochistic.

In Norse mythology, Wotan or Odin, the All-Father, inventor of the runes, had to give an eye as payment for drinking from the well of wisdom. This myth demonstrates the necessary price to pay for gaining single pointed vision, transformative wisdom, but had it been known that a Hanging Man scenario would play out for years the work may never have begun! Every single card left its imprint upon me, forced me to experience it, to assimilate it. This was unimaginably painful. But as was said in The Tempest, “There, sir, stop. Let us not burden our remembrances with a heaviness that’s gone.” It was also transporting, for the high points are to breathe elation. Without knowing it the organism had embarked upon tapasya, the searing fires of transformative experience that provide maturity, insight and wisdom. At the beginning I thought I was writing the book; by the end the book was communicating aspects of consciousness that had never been clearly articulated before. The first transformation of consciousness the Sacred India Tarot accomplished was of its author!
To accomplish this work is to have suffered much and lost even more. It is not a plea for sympathy; I do not regret anything. For the pain and suffering is transient; the work will endure.

More Information about the sacred India Tarot can be found at

Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath. He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five languages} the first book on tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}. He has also written A Gathering of Gods. He is the Editor of The Leadership Review, a corporate trainer, as well as an arts critic and cultural commentator. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga

Rohit Arya on The Secret of Arunachalam

Before I had actually been to the Sacred Hill of Arunachalam, I had been told it is akin to a magnet. Once it gets hold of your mind it never really leaves. Now I can testify to the truth of this. In one of my blog posts this month of December 2011 I had written about Samyama, how it awakened and what I have learnt about Arunachalam as a consequence. Yet I find that Samyama has deepened as a result of the contact with the Agni Lingam that is the Hill. I have had many new insights about Arunachalam, all of which may seem strange, and none of which I can prove per se. I do not wish to do so; I merely state herein what I have come to realize about Arunachalam. It may of use to other spiritual seekers, but I feel it is important to get all of this down on record. {Samyama is a peculiar ability of Yoga in that knowledge of a subject is vouchsafed to you when you put your attention upon the subject; sometime when your mind touches the subject or you view something, the knowledge about that surfaces in the mind. My blog post on Samyama has details} I am also avoiding all the usual mythology about the hill which is easily accessible. These are my insights from Samyama.

Arunachalam has been described in the Puranas as the oldest hill on earth. This is true. The one overwhelming experience about the Hill is that it is alive and immeasurably old. The earth is four and a half billion years old. The rocks in South India are unique in that they exist on perhaps the only place on the planet which was not under water at some time or other. Many of them are easily 450 million years old. The Arunachalam area however is dated at 2.6 billion years! Arunachalam is a giant crystal so as to speak and one of the properties of that substance, as yogis know, is that it can be infused with consciousness to a quite amazing degree. Mythologically the Hill was described to be originally made of diamond. In this case the Hill ‘awakened’ into a rudimentary consciousness, and since it was both stable and still it began to evolve at a clip that in yogic terms was quite rapid, though we are talking millions of years here. Not being an organic body sometimes has advantages for consciousness, as the traps and pitfalls of desire and karma acted upon are bypassed. Arunachalam in that sense is the first enlightened energy, not exactly being, on the planet.

Today that energy has coalesced into a being or divine form called Dakshinamurthi, the South facing Silent Teacher form of Shiva. It is instructive that South Indian Yogis have always found this form of Shiva easy to access: it hardly known in other parts of the country.   Arunachalam is a fully realized Master of Masters, with all the active chakras, and none of the human limitations. Just to make matters even more complex as human and divine Yogis were magnetically drawn to this most ancient and powerful Shiva Lingam they left their impress upon it. The Lingam means a sign, a signifier, in this case of Pure Auspicious Consciousness.{Later tantric byways made the lingam a synonym for the male organ but that is irrelevant here} The heart of the crystal mountain is the fire within the earth’s crust hence it’s obvious form as the Fire Tattva. The many yogis who left their impress here also realized the Masculine and Feminine concordance of the Divine, hence the hill is also an Ardhanarishwara lingam, half male half female, the West side supposedly the female side. The Akandashram cave on Arunachalam is also backed by a giant Ardhnarishwara yantra. But the Fire of the Hill is the light of illumination, the inner guru that is present in all, and is the infallible source of wisdom. The Fire is beyond comprehension, category or conclusions.
If Kailasha where Shiva resides, Aruanchalam is his ‘heart’ so as to speak. It is older than Kailasha that much is sure, but as I said earlier Kailasha seems to have emerged onto this reality from another dimension to speed up evolution in all planes, not just the visible one. I don’t know if this makes sense or not but I know exactly what the difference is between them, these two sacred Giris or mountains. Kailasha is the knowledge base, the potential, the possibilities, the catalyst, the future of consciousness as it evolves. Arunachalam is the Witness, the Fire, Kaala Agni Rudra, the First and the Last, the base of Being. Like I said, words fail. Many places claim to be the Omphalos, the Navel of the World and they are right for there is something of value at each of those sacred spots. But Arunachala,, Aruna – Achala , The Red-Unmoving, The Red-Unshakable, this is the ancient heart of the world.
There are approximately 1920 Siddha shrines, mostly invisible, all over the Hill and its periphery. Siddhas are beings who are greater than the gods, evolved to a stage that is beyond belief and they have left their energy signatures or ‘booster packets’ all over the place. Those who have the Adhikara, the karmic right, having earned it with sadhana, can access the energy. Entire spiritual lineages or paramparas can be reconstructed from Arunachalam. There are also many paramparas which have not yet begun, waiting for those with the Adhikara to discover them and put them to use in teaching – if they want to deal with the karma! While crisscrossing the hill there were several times when I felt the energy change distinctly. Since to be near the Hill is to get a perpetual blast of inrushing energy I did not think much of it but now, in Samyama, the realization dawns that they were places of karmic linkage with me, teachers and paramparas in alignment with me.
My parampara for this round is the Eight Spiritual Breaths but Samyama is teaching me that sometimes you have more than one option in your set of skills. Masters may choose to transmit a parampara which can then be taught to somebody else with greater Adhikara than the person first receiving the transmission. Weird but then Yogis have always been a law unto themselves!! The parampara can thus be revitalized. In my meditation I had received a Sanskrit saying “Shariram Parampara Vahanam” – the Body is the vehicle of transmission of Parampara. I now realize that a Parampara can also use you as a bus service till it gets to the person who has the Rnanubandhana and Adhikara to develop it or revive it! You may also receive input that you don’t use in this lifetime. Since the input is not to your mind but to your pranamaya kosha you will carry it easily across multiple lives till the need comes to utilize and access it. I think I was being given such input but I was too dense to see it at the time.
The Siddha shrines are all covered in the Girivallam, the sacred circuit round the hill. This is matter of great good fortune. To do puja for four hours is usually not possible but since the circuit takes four hours for most people, that is four hours of puja to an Agni Lingam right there. It is an immense achievement. As to the number 1920, why not a round 2000, all I have to say is that to evolve into being a Siddha is not easy even in a time frame of 2.6 billion years. Just 80 more to achieve the magic number of 2000, which will be an immense tipping point for humanity but as we are currently constituted it is not going to be easy or soon. The Hill always has a Master in residence, sometimes more, usually not embodied. But a Siddha is another level of reality or rather Unreality and not easy to come by. Even Arunachalam finds that particular miracle to be a slow possibility.
Dakshinamurthi Shiva is physically present here, under or near a miraculous Banyan tree which is visible and invisible according to receptivity. I have not been able to understand more at this stage. The hill is very traditional in outlook so vairagya, world weariness and renunciation is activated almost as a default. That has been the trend for a thousand years now and the Integral view of spiritualizing life in all aspects is an older, somewhat covered over aspect of the Hill. If you stick to it, you can access that layer. It must not be forgotten that almost all the Vedic rishis were family men with great roles to play in the world. The magnetic pull of the Hill is impossible to describe, it grabs hold of you and I finally understand the famous words of the Yoga Sutras Yoga Chitta Vriddhi Nirodaha – Yoga is the cessation of the modifications of the mind. An unbelievable quietude and stillness takes possession of the mind when Arunachalam is remembered. In my case it seems to be cleansing accumulated sorrow and grief over many rounds, the mind body organism is one mass of pain that is slowly leaving the being, replacing it with Presence. It is terrible, but it is great. Like the Sacred Hill you rely only on your Self.

Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath. He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five languages} the first book on tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}  published in the last quarter of 2011. He has also written A Gathering of Gods due at the same time. He is the Editor of The Leadership Review, a corporate trainer, as well as an arts critic and cultural commentator. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga

Rohit Arya on Samyama awakening, Ramana and Rathas

When I began Yoga I was all afire. Enthusiasm and unrealistic expectations competed with each other inside me. As experience was painfully accumulated, a sense of reality dawned. This was a long haul, and intellectual integrity was the most valuable climbing tool you had. It is one of the paradoxes of Yoga, part of its innately quirky humour, that it rewards its practitioners with no regard for effort or even simple natural justice. The more you strive, the more you stagnate. Newcomers zoom past bewildered, sometimes bitter, veterans. I do not know how it is with others but for me the point of breakthrough has almost inevitably been when I say – “I do not care anymore if the process is working, I will just do it and sit in meditation.” Of course at that point, which is usually a most inconvenient one in the matter of your outward daily life, breakthroughs start tumbling into your lap at an embarrassing rate!  Quite recently the power of Samyama activated within me. It has not stabilized completely, nor is it a continuous enduring process as it seems to be with the Masters, but in my own  Rohit style I have gained access to a remarkable aspect of consciousness.
Samyama is a facet of consciousness which the Zen masters of Japan know as “Focussed Attention”. Simply put, if you put your attention, your regard, your full focus, the entire power of mind and body upon a subject or thing, the knowledge about that is vouchsafed to you. {Scientists with their unflagging research practice Samyama unknowingly.} It explains how Masters are able to answer questions about subjects they know nothing about. It is not Omniscience, though very understandably it is confused with it.    When overly excitable disciples see their Master answer queries about things he could never have a clue about, the tendency to assign infallible knowledge to him {and by association themselves} is a pleasing conceit to the megalomania that lurks in all. It is just Samyama. The limitations of the process are many. If you do not care about the situation or thing under consideration, it works imperfectly or fails completely. So emotional strength plays a part, and in any case it is clearly understood that it is not a phenomenon of the mind, but of the entire body, the inner energy sheaths, though the mind reports the conclusions reached. I do not wish to give too many details and incite people into premature mental and physical strains. To be honest I never thought it was possible for me until quite recently when it began to leak into my consciousness so as to speak.
One of the pre-requisites it seems is stillness of mind. I am not at the level of no-thoughts at all. {Now in 2014 I am pleased to announce such is no longer the case!}Yet the mind has stilled, the constant racing of thoughts is an infrequent occurrence.  The cessation of internal chatter is bewildering at times so habituated was the organism to that. This has led to physical stillness increasing dramatically too. What was a jittery, shifting, restless annamaya kosha, the food sheath or body, has now become something that can sit three to four hours in stillness. Even in my daily interactions I get feedback that I sit quite disconcertingly still and the manner in which I pay attention to the person in front – or don’t, that still swings wildly, – is quite remarkable. These are external clues, which is why I lay stress upon them. But they seem to add up to some shift in the personal energy field which has made the activation of Samyama possible. It is not understanding or comprehension or even knowing though it encompasses all of these. It is pure Awareness, not quite rational, transcending it, infusing you with a certitude that you do not at all feel inclined to question though you get adequate confirmation later if you wish. It is Samyama.
Suddenly things became clear at a deeper level, insights surfaced that nothing in my knowledge or experience could explain. I knew, and knew it was right. It is not quite intuition, it is like asking for knowledge and suddenly it is at hand. Samyama is not just an internal process; what you need to know suddenly comes across your vision from multiple sources, you hear it, you deduce it from seemingly completed unrelated input. It is some sort of a-causal synchronicity at work.  Its parameters in my case were very clear; if I was not keenly interested in the subject it would not work. The point is I did not pursue this aspect of yoga, seek it or attempt to develop it once it activated. It was there, sometimes clear, sometimes murky, though nowadays I can consciously increase the likelihood of it. All of this seems remarkable but very soon I was aware of its mortifying drawbacks. Or perhaps that is a deduction from my still limited stage of evolution.
You begin to see things at a deeper level, true, but there is a karmic responsibility contingent with such insight. That might not be what you wish or are comfortable with. Where ignorance is bliss etc etc… I was listening very intensely on the phone to somebody I was in relationship with and loved madly. She was describing a meeting with an old friend after many years and suddenly I comprehended that she had cheated on me with him. Our next meeting, indeed our relationship, did not go well as you may imagine. When this activates within you, the end point of what people wish to communicate is clear except they take an inordinately long time to get there. I tended to jump to the conclusion and answer it which was regarded as both rude and vaguely frightening. I am learning to keep quiet now, but then the stillness takes over and I zone out the drone! Again sorry, I don’t mean to be intentionally rude.
This month I had the good fortune to finally see the great shore temples at Mamallpuram or Mahabalipuram near Chennai city. I also went with friends to the sacred hill of Arunachalam which is a Fire Tattva Lingam, and where Ramana Maharshi spent his entire life. The power of these sacred places seems to have sent my Samyama up a notch. At Mahabalipuram, for instance there is a beach with the so called five chariots or Pancha rathas, five stone structures over a thousand years old, nominally temples. Yet at first glance I saw the inner yogic story there. These five structures are visually separate, but they are not constructed, they are sculpted!! A huge boulder was somehow dragged to that beach and then hollowed out, after which the ‘temple’ was sculpted from the top down of the five freestanding blocks plus some spare rock left for a Nandi or vahana of Shiva. Only two of them are complete, the others are in various stages of possibility. But the real story was something beyond the standard gorgeousness of mythological carvings.
I have no evidence for what I am saying now. It is my understanding. I do not seek to persuade anybody. The whole complex seems to have been created by a very ambitious yogi who was seeking a concentrated energy field to do Tattva shuddhi or Great element internal purifications. Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Akasha or spirit are clearly represented there for those with the vision or the discrimination. Rock is a standard choice for temples as it can be infused with heightened energy and also retains the energy of yogic and other process that are conducted within it. The rock also serves to insulate the yogi from the scorching sand. Putting the temple on the blazing sands by the beach ensures the meditations could only be done post evening and for a couple of hours after sunrise. This is pure Tantra. I saw a whole lot more but it is not appropriate to reveal such stuff. If people are advanced enough they can see what is there to be seen. The complex is not fully energized, either because the money ran out which is plausible, or because the yogi who persuaded the royal patrons to spend so much money dropped his body before it was completed which is what I suspect happened. In fact I am sure of it, but evidence is impossible to come by.
At Arunachalam the sheer magnitude of what I was going to experience was never clear to me. After we did the ashram visits and hill clambering we went to the main temple in the town of Tiruvanmalai. Flames were flowing into me from my bare feet in the temple courtyard and no, it was not the heat, it had rained and we were mostly in shade. Just tremendous influx of energy because I had been cracked open by the visit to Sri Aurobindo’s samadhi  two days back and the Hill of Arunachalam itself. I tried to sit down inside the temple; the gushing intensity of flame was so strong the muladhara chakra could not endure it and I jumped up and stood within five seconds. But when I first saw Arunachalam, the thought arose, “This thing is alive, by God.” Later on I realized it was a mountain of quartz and as we were clambering up it to go to the caves were Ramana spent so many years in fearsome sadhana, Samyama activated again.
The hill of Arunachalm is a Being of colossal magnitude, a Master who has now attained divine status. It is regarded as a Fire lingam, the veritable essence of the Maha Tattva of Agni or fire element. All I know is that it is staggeringly old and has been enlightened for aeons. The Hill awakened and then slowly, agonizingly, evolved to Enlightenment and then began to radiate its power. A properly activated Shiva lingam is an energy being with all the chakras and powers, and none of the human limitations, of a Master. But Arunachalam is another scale altogether, only Kailasha is more powerful on this planet, but then it is doubtful if Kailasha is even from this plane of existence.  Words fail when confronted with such ancient power. I felt completely insignificant and was so conscious of my failings I did not even feel like steeping on the Hill, it seemed a very brazen, rude thing to do. That too is puffery; Arunachalam cannot be insulted by such as me so I went.  The previous evening my friends and I had gone on the Girivallam, the sacred circling of the mountain, a 15km trek by foot and the way the energy radiated off that incomprehensible thing will never be forgotten.
When we reached the Skandashrama I almost burst out laughing. For the entire spot for mediation was in front of a natural rock formation that was a  gigantic Ardhanarishvara yantra. Ramana spent years and years there mainlining the immense possibility of that rock. These are the oldest rocks in the world, some of them up to 400 million years old, and that yantra is also unbearably old. It is a calm yantra however, unlike the Devi rock yantra at the Hanamkonda Bhadrakali temple in Warrangal, which is much huger and far wilder. I sat outside the Skandashram, allowing the yantra I had recognized in Samyama do its work.  At the famous Virupaksha cave I began to ‘see’ again. Yogis require to be surrounded by Earth energy for some specific purposes. Rock caves provide the driest, coolest options, unlike earth pits which get moist as well as hot and then the water ruins the vibration of earth that is required. But Ramana was doing something else, something more ambitious, for there was a river flowing right behind, indeed touching the cave, and of course overhanging the cave, was a massive jut of rock which was a shaped like a fire triangle. Earth, water, fire corresponding to muladhara, svadhisthana and manipura chakras. Whatever he was doing it took him, even somebody so great as Ramana, seven years to accomplish. I mediated in the cave and slipped away so fast I had to come out instantly. My friends had only begun to mediate and would not have known what to do if I went into Samadhi as is my wont recently. For what this trip gave me, for what it taught me about Samyama, I remain grateful and joyful.
Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath. He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five languages} the first book on tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}  published in the last quarter of 2011. He has also written A Gathering of Gods due at the same time. He is the Editor of The Leadership Review, a corporate trainer, as well as an arts critic and cultural commentator. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga

Rohit Arya on Karma, Healing and Predictions

I had a long career as a ‘miracle worker’. Now it is over. After you get burned consistently your thick skull finally entertains the possibility the Universe is trying to tell you something. It was not called miracle working; I called it ‘manifesting; or ‘beaming energy’. I had begun Reiki, discovered a completely disconcerting talent for it, and progressed to such an extent that over the years I attained all the exalted grand panjandrum levels the Reiki crowd so love. More importantly my Reiki went to a level that very few people manage, it began to flow cold, – still does- like ice water from a Himalayan stream, and the healings that resulted were supernatural. I made a lot of money and got entangled into a lot of futile karmic bonds as a result of this, but the discovery of cold Reiki almost made the whole process worth it.
I did incredible things with healing, I see that today, what counts as bonafide miracles, and all I want to do today is kick my own silly ass. But healing was how I came to realize I could bend reality as it is understood, basically because it is imperfectly understood. All the healing and working as the editor of my Guru’s book on the Kundalini Shakti – she was not my guru then – caused the awakening of the Kundalini within myself. I began serious meditation and a spiritual process. My powers amplified and naturally I made an even bigger ass of myself doing ‘miracles.’ I once kept a vehicle going for nine kms, till we got to the destination, after the gear shaft came out in the hand of the person driving it. And unless you have seen urban Indian traffic you don’t know how bat-shit insane this was! This is the only example I will give, for good reasons. I know what I did, the people concerned know what I did, and disbelief is irrelevant
My Other great skill was in making predictions and advice … I remain very good at reading hands, very skilled at the I Ching and I am the only person in India who has written two books on the Tarot, apart from creating a deck based entirely on Indian mythology and Yoga. I also know, to some extent, the ancient Indian skill of Mukha Lakshanam, reading the signs of the face. In Tarot reading I am a god, modesty be dammed, especially as I do not read any more unless in dire circumstances. I got very, very good at these interventions, in seeing how things were going to play out, though I was somewhat of a Cassandra. This was a blessing; I did not know it then. My predictions seemed to be most potent in the long term where they were crushingly accurate. Of course I developed schandenfreude, a mean streak of “I told you so, but you did not listen, so suffer now!” Power in the hands of fools intoxicates and degenerates. I made a lot of money from the tarot too, but when the stream started thinning I could not comprehend the lessons it was seeking to communicate. This was not the proper use of the Tarot, which is a Yoga, a spiritual path, in its own right. To utilize it primarily for questions about money grubbing and relationship failure was to demean it and you don’t demean a dragon no matter how tolerant.
As my Yoga got stronger, I began to understand the sombre consequences of such meddling. Here are some of the lessons I learnt. When you do such things, a certain quality of people begin to cling to you, and the experience is akin to being embraced by a weepy sentimental octopus in a gas chamber. When we perform such actions, no matter what we feel or say, we have expectations of gratitude from the others. That is bound to be disappointed. People have no concept of the energy drain involved in doing such things and more importantly they do not care – they are only interested in their benefit.
If you do something remarkable once, you have to be remarkable all the time. When you display the truth of Somerset Maugham’s statement, “Only a mediocre person can be at his best all the time” they are disappointed and feel cheated. You can never satisfy expectations once you have made the blunder of miracle mongering. Siddhis, the inner energy powers, are the biggest temptation and flaw for a yogi. The people you perform miracles for, the karma between you and them is so imbalanced, it burns out and such relationships rarely survive. When you heal, when you intervene, when you fix things, you are actually starring in a spectacular heroic role in your mind, the hero, the saviour. It is complete idiocy.
When you perform an intervention like this you are interfering with karma. There was a karmic originating cause which manifested a situation as a response. That situation is causing trouble; by fixing it you merely remove the reaction. The karma that caused the first situation is still active, and it sends another packet of karma from your store across lifetimes, the sabija, and almost always the replacement karma is worse than the original karma! This is why healing is a blunder of enormous magnitude. As the healer, the reader, you interfered with the karma, you peeled back the veil which mercifully covered the process. Your responsibility is therefore great, as much as the person who asked for and participated in the intervention. Such things do not come without consequences, such abilities cannot be paid for only in money. In any case you cannot heal anybody, the best you can do is to help them integrate themselves. Once they become integral, the dis-ease also dis-appears.
The same principles apply in making predictions and suggesting pratiharams or remedies. But over time I began to see something even stronger manifest. So there is a situation and you do a reading of some sort, a “read the future, see what is in store and how can trouble be avoided” intervention. Well and good – or so it would seem. However …I began to comprehend something so much deeper it refused to be consciously acknowledged at first! It was so massive in scope, so prodigious in its implications, and so athwart my skills that I did not wish to acknowledge it, not really. The stunning realization was this. Once you foresee the consequences of a situation {or heal it} you are bound to that outcome – and there may be much better possibilities that you are therefore aborting!!! The head reels…I know. Karma operates in such peculiar fashion. What we call destiny, or Dridha – ‘fixed karma’ is also just one band of vibrational possibility. This aggregate of forces can be changed with Purushartha, or mindful effort, the application of Will, but if we venture into prediction, into foresight, we are, so as to speak, bound to that particular line of possibility. All other, greater, more desirable results get shut off. This is staggering. It is also completely inexorable. We have no choice but to accept what we have foreseen, though if we had not done that, and creatively responded to the situation we might have ended up with much more splendid outcomes. In fact, not to intervene, to heal, to read, is almost always the best option as it retains space for creative response, and that usually leads to optimal results. What we desire as outcomes is predicated upon our limited natures and expectations, whereas karma may have something transformative in store for us, which we impede with our unthinking actions.
When I could no longer deny the relentless nature of this process, my readings and healings dwindled almost to zero. Every intervention is now an interference with karmic possibility. There has to be very compelling reasons indeed for such impertinence and I no longer have the hardihood to rate myself so highly. Genuine healers, those with an unmistakable Vocation, in the grand old sense of the word, have enough karmic links – Rnanubandhana, the debt-bond – with those they heal. The rest of us are muddling ourselves up in karmic quicksand. It is very difficult to accept this, especially when you are supernaturally skilled at something, as I remain. It is Skill, not Vocation and the difference is critical. The humiliating realization is that such interventions are a loss of freedom and for a Yogi such a thing is an impossible affront. For you cannot accept or reject evolving circumstances and tailor a creative response anymore, you can only go by the parameters you have created by your own good intentioned meddling. Even your movement of energy, your every action, is then circumscribed by what you have anticipated. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” warns the old saw, and if not hell, at least long term ineffectualness is your lot when you do such things. I desist therefore, unless there is a clear internal command, an adesha, to intervene, but Shiva is merciful and such occasions are rare.

Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath. He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five languages} the first book on tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}  published in the last quarter of 2011. He has also written A Gathering of Gods due at the same time. He is the Editor of The Leadership Review, a corporate trainer, as well as an arts critic and cultural commentator. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga