To dispel the darkness and gloom brought by coronavirus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called upon the 1.3 billion people of the country to light a diya or a candle or shine a light from any source like a torch or a mobile phone for nine minutes at 9 pm on April 5.
The “superpower of light” will unite the nation in fight against corona, he said. “We must defeat the deep darkness of the crisis by spreading the glory of light in all four directions,” the PM said, as he called for common resolve. Opposition leaders are certainly not impressed, terming Modi’s appeal to light candles as a “gimmick”, saying that at a time when the PM should have come out with concrete measures to arrest the economic slide and re-start the engines of economic growth, he preferred to fall back on symbolism.
However, astrologers and Vedic practitioners have given a thumbs up to Modi’s efforts.
They claim that what Modi is planning to do is like a collective yagna, specifically deep (lamp) yagna where the participants light a diya to send a message of positivity to the universe, as PM Modi said – “to challenge the darkness spread by the coronavirus crisis, introducing it to the power of light.”
Mumbai-based astrologer Shastri Niranjan Shukla, who accurately predicted the return of Modi-led government in 2019, down to the number of seats, says what the PM is exhorting the people to do is akin to a deep yagna. “You can call it a gimmick but sometimes these kinds of things are necessary and intrinsic to effective leadership. There is a lot of power in fire and sound,” he says.
According to Shukla, ancient Indian texts are replete with instances of sages and kings performing yagnas to destroy demons and slay negativity since the Vedic times. “Modi’s call invoked the sound energy on Janata curfew on March 22. The vibrations produced by beating of thaalis and taalis were like the ‘brahma naad’ that drives the enemies away. Fire or agni is a symbol of cheerfulness and positivity and that is what needed in the prevailing atmosphere of gloom, and fear. The fighting spirit of people needs to be awakened and message of positive power has to go out to the Universe,” says the astrologer, who is originally from Ahmedabad, and believed to have been consulted by Modi and Amit Shah on occasions.
Waxing eloquent about imagery of fire, he says that agni is considered as “Ishwar ka mukh” (the mouth of the God). So, during havans and yagnas, whatever you put into the fire, is believed to be an offering to God. “It is also believed to be God’s witness (sakshi) and vehicle (wahan),” he explains.
Based on planetary positions, Shukla is of the view that the spread of Covid-19 will start slowing down after April 14 and the situation would have improved considerably by May 14. Jaipur-based Vedic practitioner Manish Grover agrees with his reading of the stars. He says that the adverse circumstances because of Coronavirus will substantially improve after April 15, around which time some kind of medical breakthrough to treat it is expected.
Both the astrologers also foresee PM Modi emerging stronger from the crisis. “Modi ji will earn worldwide respect for himself and also for the country by his handling of the crisis and also showcasing it. He will emerge as the nirvirodh vijeta (indisputable winner),” Grover says. He also believes that all the dates and time that Modi has chosen – be it for Janata Curfew or lighting of diyas – seem to have been influenced by astrology.
Astrologer and well-known Tarot card reader Ma Prem Ritambhara calls it a good thing that will unite the country and create a positive energy field.