Debunked

Numerology And Other Rubbish

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…

numbers-in-the-bFor 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.

numbers-in-the-brainIn 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.

About the author

Prabir Ghosh

9 Comments

  • Yes, they do what is called a “cold reading” … more about what they perceive physcially and interpret …. no psychic ability.

    Keep up the good work.

  • as far as reiki is concerned, i guess u could atleast experiment or know about it and whether it works or not, with Dr. M J Pillai in thane and mumbai…although i’ve known him for a short time only as a student n cant/wont vouch for his ‘prowess’ n all, still, the person carries such an air of radicalness (if that can be the word) around him, that he cant really be just ignored. he’s a martial arts master with expertise in varma-shastra, yogasana and reiki, and a very maverick spiritual master…may be that would prove helpful…but just on a cautionary note i want to add, i termed him ‘maverick’ because he doesnt live his life according to all social and religious dogmas and etiquettes, which are really dual-natured…so approaching him with a ‘prove that to me’ attitude (or he coming to you, which can only be seen as an exaggeration of even imagination) wont be even an iota of help, and he wont simply care to ‘prove’ anything, coz he’s from the lineage of old-school masters who are rigid and strict while teaching n have a ‘devil may care’ attitude with a damn to the world around them……though i myself am not a theist or atheist (though rational i suppose), coz that would mean to trap my persona in that particular mould n then always bicker with the one holding opposite views, i sincerely believe in ‘experience’…what you experience becomes real for u…so, if u want to show a student how crystals are formed, u invite him/her to a ‘do-it-yourself’ physical experiment, whereby he experiences n then confirms the result, so similarly, when one wants to get a know-how about esoteric and spiritual disciplines which generally cant be understood physically in a test-lab sort of environment, it would be best if s/he would rather humbly put him/herself in the oven of experience to themselves get the knack of things not best grasped by gross physical senses (the fact due to which studies on them are mostly esoteric in nature; though its true that to learn something like engg or mbbs, etc eats away a chunk of years of our lives, n similarly, to practice n understand spiritual disciplines also takes away many years, the patience for which most of us lack, whereby, n so by the same token, even going about this biz of proving-disapproving also becomes useless though). the ‘come-on-prove-to-me-n-get-rewarded’ idea, thats why, garners fakes n frauds, coz who know about the heart of the matter, prefer to stay away from limelight, n those who skate on the surfaces, hog the limelight, n display their ‘acts’ on some aastha, or sanskaar, or become ‘sri sri 1000s’ godmen, or hasten to challenge rationalists in return, etc…
    so, a self-done experiment only is valuable, n trying someone else to prove something for us, be it anything, will always prove to be a futile exercise. we have umpteen daily instances in our lives to observe this fact…in the end, the decision lies with the individuals itself.
    thx…

    (pardon me for my short-form english)

  • I’m a former yoga teacher and have spent most of my life dedicated to spirituality and in recent years have rejected most everything I believed and “experienced” during that time … and there were many so called experiences over the course of 30 or more years. It would be easier if I could be a believer again, but there is no going back.

    You can convince yourself of almost anything if you allow yourself to be open to whatever comes along in the name of spirituality. Why should “spiritual” practices like reiki be given a pass … saying they can’t be subject to testing? Then it’s all up to the imagination and whatever you think you may have experienced.

    I’m suspicious of anyone making claims who refuses to be challenged or tested just because they live outside the norms, or they’re a master or whatever… what a cop out!

    I say No pass for New Age and ancient wisdom claims … too many varations in their beliefs… ever ask how many chakras there are? And what colors? It varies according to the group or school and they attribute it to us perceiving (imagining) it differently. It’s easy to make stuff up or accept what others believe … much harder, but neccessary to accept reality.

    I know there are believers that are less harmful than others and are open to science, but many gurus and new ager “healers” are doing a great deal of harm with their false claims and false hopes. They need to be exposed.

    • ditto, i agree to that, particularly to the last para…but with ‘living outside the norms’ what i meant to convey was that he’s just that kind of a person who doesnt believe in engaging himself with debates n experiments…u come, learn, experience for urself, n form ur own view(s); he wont ever go to any1 (infact, although a householder, he seldom ever attends any social functions, not even republic or independence days, to which i too agree quite a lot, the dubious n hilarious meaning of which is quite evident if we observe the current national/int’al scenario closely enough), but lambasting/accepting or denying vehemently/uncalled for propaganda, etc, n one quite literally gets physically punished for that…i am no supporter of him n rather posed many queries to him skeptically till the time i was under his tutelage, but since i saw the word ‘reiki’ in this article, i thought of mentioning about him…he’s from the school of kalaripayattu teachers, n thus no different from the strict ways of the art…even for learning reiki, its reqd for a pupil to 1st undergo a basic course in martial arts under him, n then he himself decides whether or not, or upto what level s/he should be taught about reiki…..the last time i met him was during a Q & A session that he holds on sundays, during which, though he seldom ever speaks about himself, he said that, since sometime, he has thought about the futility of attaching qualifications n titles, etc, alongwith one’s name, n hence refrained from doing so himself, n instructed all the pupil to not boast about the their master, neither in general public, nor amongst themselves, which i found amusing as well as quite meaningful at the same time…

      n as it is, neither being ‘open’ with reasoning in our pockets, nor being ‘narrow’ with sight stuffed in our bags would help any1. what the gullible ppl 2day should un’stand is that, whenever u see some1 (healer, guru, etc) tryin to give to provide u (read ‘sell u’) all the ‘divine’ speech n stuff, u should immediately assume an utmost cautious stance, coz as i said, those who’ve got the real moolah wont get their posters pasted around every corner, n those who dont have, constitute ‘the great circus’ ! though i myself am new to ‘metaphysicality’ of things n hence i keep an eagle’s vision for everything, my years of trng in martial arts n allied practices has led me to some minor experiences which compel me to probe further on cautiously till my life ends, whatever be the outcome, coz it may differ from person-to-person; ‘one man’s nectar can be other’s posion, n vice-versa’, which we as general ppl should try to understand…

  • Dear Prabir da,
    Have been your fan for a long time after reading “Aloukik noy Loukik”. How are you ? how is your son ? take care and please do reply
    Amit
    Bangladesh.

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