In the nature’s scheme of things, all men are shaped to husband any maiden, who in turn is endowed to become the wife of every man there is biologically speaking that is. But the marital selection by restriction, based on race, caste, creed etc. brought about a homogenous order for possible matrimonial harmony. Nonetheless, it put paid to the free leanings of the young hearts across those man-made boundaries (Sarat’s tragic tale of Devdas and Parvathi comes to mind) but despite its insensitivities towards the lovers, this social imposition, by and large, had been serving its marital cause rather well. But now, as the newly erected astrological hurdle, relatively speaking that is, in the form of matching the horoscopes for compatibility of the prospective couples in the Telugu marital course, I am familiar with (more or less same may be the case in the Indian panorama), is proving to be debilitating, its review seems overdue.
As a teen privy to the matchmaking in the sixties of the last century, I vouch for the fact that the hearsay about the bride’s family and the lure of the dowry, not necessarily in that order, that is apart from her ‘heard of’ looks, were the prime movers for setting the marital ball rolling. I was also an eyewitness to many instances of the groom’s father seeking the bride’s horoscope at the end of the bride-seeing (pellichupulu), to be used as a ruse to negate the proposal in case of a new-found disaffection on the ground. Nothing surprising about that as most of the marriages up to that generation, and even beyond for a while, were consanguine, solemnized, on many an occasion, by the elders’ word of honour, much before the groom and the bride came into being, never mind their horoscopes, as and when prepared.
Whatever, though astrology was the in thing in the puranic age for Maharshi Vasishtha had fixed the muhurtam for Rama’s coronation, that went askance any way, but Sage Vishwamitra bothered to match neither the horoscopes of Rama and Seetha nor that of Lakshmana and Urmila for their marital compatibility. Moreover, Janaka, the Wisest among the Kings of yore (Krishna in Bhagavad-Gita advised Arjuna to “Lead mankind in Janaka’s route / To moksha en route deeds selfless” (Ch 3, V20), did not deem fit to match his daughter Seetha’s horoscope with all those whom he had invited for her swayamvaram. That being the case, as our ancients, as well as our grandparents, while laying store in astrology as such gave no credence to matching the horoscopes of the prospective couples, it can be inferred that they either saw it as a futile exercise in our destiny-driven life or were unable to access the astrological tools to coordinate it with the marital hardware. However, strangely, with the advent of the computer science, the modern astrologers began to fancy that they could foresee the marital course of the referrals though with unforeseen consequences.
Things astrological have come to such a pass that only the ‘matched horoscopes’ have become the gate-passes for an entry into the arena of marital proposals that otherwise acquired a modern setting with progressive décor. Be that as it may, if only the astrological assurances have the final say in the matter, still one can celebrate the modern astrologers as the new ushers in the marital arena. However, in reality, while the well-meaning parents use the allegedly incompatible horoscopes as filters, the compatible ones too fail to catalyze the alliances on their own, which double jeopardy effectually makes these astrologers as bouncers. What is puzzling is that the ‘better aware’ modern youth too are invariably going through the astrological rigmarole that tends to extend the unwelcome lien on their bachelorhood or maidenhood as the case may be.
It is Havelock Ellis who said that for any boy or girl, in any given station of life, there can only be four matches to choose from, and as life would have it, they have to find one of them in the melee of the ever growing populace. Given the futility of pursuing the illusory path of speculative compatibility, it is imperative for the parents to revert to their ancestral route to try to find the first one out of the ‘matching four’ for their children in the flower of their youth and not past their prime. Besides, they cannot be oblivious to the fact that many astrologer-certified nuptial knots are being routinely untied in the divorce suits. It is also high time for all to note that the astrologers too have not factored in these empirical evidences in their predictions for they continue to draw the compatibility charts with their failed premises. Thus it is for the parents to ponder how they can stake their children’s marital prospects on such unfounded advices.
So, what’s the way out of this ticklish marital tangle?
Strange though it may seem, it’s astrological to start with if one believes in it, and all said and done, this exercise is for them only. Given that the planetary positions in the seventh house in one’s horoscope carries his or hers marital package, he, or she is bound to take that person as spouse who would unpack it to meet his or her destiny. So, even if one were inclined to marry someone who won’t enable him or her to meet his or her destiny that match wouldn’t fructify for one reason or the other. It’s thus; the blah-blah of astrological compatibility is just much ado about nothing. Hence, the unfounded parental fear of a mismatch sans their astrologer’s approval is unwarranted, and indeed their astrological belief must make the elders realize that their kin’s marital package can be unpacked only by that spouse who has the wherewithal for that. As for the youth, the sooner they extricate themselves from the astrologers’ compatibility quagmire the better it is for them as then and only then they would be able to marry in time to make the best of their destined life.