Just like Astrology, this Numerology or the bogus idea of changing the first letter of your name, number of letters in your name, adding new letters to your name (or names of your new venture, movie, TV serial etc) to bring ‘good luck’ has gained popularity in the last few years in India. It includes car numbers, house or telephone numbers and so on…
For example — the name of your new serial is going to be ‘Pagal’ (means ‘mad’ or eccentric). Your numerologist tells you your lucky number is 6. How do you make it? You change the name into ‘Ppagal’ or ‘Paggal’ . Isn’t it interesting? Now you are not just mad, you’re quite mad!
This practice caters to people’s craving to know, influence or improve their future. Soothsayers, horoscopewallahs of all kinds thrive because of this human weakness. In fact our lives are influenced or molded by so many myriads of factors –things, people and happenings– that there cannot be and there has never been any way of knowing, leave alone changing, one’s future. There can be no magic.
It would be wonderful if the Numerologists themselves explained how exactly their thing works. How anyone’s name can possibly affect the future, or the total of the digits of their dates of birth have anything to do with their good fortune? In fact, it is the claimant’s duty to explain and establish their claim. But they will not do so. On this ground anybody can claim anything. For example – I can say ‘God sent me a message that you would do better if you …’ or ‘I had a dream that you should name your child Gobardhan’. Who can stop me? I do not have to explain!
So, what all these people use is their common sense and their knowledge of human nature. Even astrologers do not read your palm-they try to read your mind and find out your weaknesses. I have faced the leading Astrologer/palmist of Bengal, Ms Jaya Ganguly, in a TV show and showed how to defeat these people. It also proved that they do not see the palm – they see your dress, attitude and listen to you. That’s another story.
In this era of cut-throat competition intensified by the global recession, people will do anything before going into a new venture. So these practices – Reiki, Vaastu, Stone-therapy, Numerology, Name-ology(!) and such are thriving. Try to understand that these practitioners themselves are struggling to make money by cheating people. Their best targets, let me tell you, are the -‘Moneyed Fools’. Why do they advertise and open chambers if they could predict or influence their own future?
These items are expensive and so are thriving in Mumbai, the finance capital of India and also the home of Bollywood. In Bengal, the middle class is happy with palmists and astrologers who come cheap, though they prescribe stones costing anything between 5000 to 50000 rupees depending on your pocket.
Anyway, to date I haven’t met anyone who could foretell the future. There is this challenge issued for the last 20 years -anybody who can prove accurately under fool-proof conditions the authenticity of Reiki, Vaastu, Astrology, Numerology etc will be paid Rs.20 lakhs as prize money. And also our organization – Science & Rationalists Association of India, will close down in such an instance. Many have tried, but found excuses to vanish at the last moment.