Interview with Jai Dixit (July 25, 2008)
I've had the privilege of conducting a small interview with our own Mrs.Wendy. Here I present it for your reading pleasure with her due permission.
Question: How and when did you develop an interest with Jyotish?
Mrs Wendy: It was sometime during April 1988, a few moths after I'd returned to Australia from Africa, that I was first drawn to study Western astrology.
Shortly after this I met Pundit Navaratnam who gave me my first ever jyotish reading.
He was impressed with my horoscope and offered to be my mentor.
After only a couple of lessons with Punditji I heard about the new "Maharishi Jyotish Course" and quickly enrolled in the first block. This was held in-residence at a Jesuit monastery in the Adelaide hills. Whilst on this course I had an amazing experience where I was introduced to the grahas on a deeply personal level. They, Budha and Kuja in particular, kept me company in my small room throughout the night and I got to know their natures very well. The grahas themselves have been my primary guides, leading me always to the right teaching at the right time...whenever some knowledge was required it was effortlessly obtained by the grace of the grahas.
Question: Does your family appreciate the value Jyotish has for mankind or they are not interested in this science and think its all mambo-jambo?
Mrs Wendy: My husband has always been a great support in everything I do. In fact he was told some years before we met (by an old teacup reader in Africa) that he would marry me and move to Australia, and that I would be a well-known astrologer. So this has been no real surprise to him. The rest of my family, although supportive generally, are not particularly interested in astrology.
Question: Can you tell us more about your Guruji and your experience of learning Jyotish from him?
Mrs Wendy: My Guru, of course, is Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. I was initiated in 1975 and he was the center point of my life for the next 20+ years. I went to Switzerland in 75/76 to train as a (TM) teacher, but the separation from my young children was too hard to bear and I returned home before the course even began. As for learning Jyotish from him this was explained earlier. BTW the Maharishi Jyotish Course is no longer available to the general public...this has been the case for some years, I believe.
Question: Since Jyotish is considered a part of Vedanga and prescribes Japa, pooja of Vedic Gods and demi-gods do you think Jyotish will able to reach out to more people outside India as outside India is predominantly Christian/Islamic ?
Mrs Wendy: True knowledge as we find in the Vedas is, like the Sun, available to all, Hindu and non-Hindu alike. God does not discriminate! Sectarianism is born of ignorance of the nature of our true self hidden beneath the facade of individuality.
Question: Can you please tell us more about your experience with the Grahas at a personal
Mrs Wendy: I'm sure we're all familiar with the concept of God as the true "Self" residing within us all; "I and my father are One", said Christ. This is simply an affirmation of the teachings of Vedanta which proclaim; "You are the truth of everything which is one and non dual". We're not separate from God, nor are we separate from the Universe...
However, this oneness does not preclude the concept of a personal God nor the individual personalities of the grahas. So, I might say that it was the individual personalities of the grahas that made themselves known to me that night.
I remember Kuja (Mars) for instance being in a very mischievous mood.
I remember also feeling heat when he was close to me.
Who can really say if they came during my sleep or if I was actually awake the whole night, but either way it was as real (to me) then as this is now, talking to you.
Question: Did you also get to learn and follow the prescribed Vedic rituals like pooja,rituals etc?
Mrs Wendy: Of course, due to my involvement with Maharishi, I've participated regularly in the puja's to Gurudev. I also participate in Christian rituals such as Mass and find no contradiction in this. Both are valid...whether I'm offering thanks to Gurudev or remembering Christ's sacrifice (yajna) during Mass. The contradiction exists only in the minds of sectarian fundamentalists (prevalent in all religions unfortunately) who have not yet fully realised the truth that all is one...they may speak this truth, but few have realised it!
Question: Where do you think Jyotish is heading in this dark age of Kali especially with numerous Ayanamshas, paramparas and each Jyotish school claiming to be the most accurate school ? For a neophyte it can be too confusing and a deterrent to study Jyotish.
Mrs Wendy: The confusion lies within us! As astrologers it shouldn't be too difficult to understand that everyone is unique...some are led to this teaching or that teaching; some are drawn to wrong teaching, some to false gurus and so forth. But this is simply the manifestation of individual karma...it's the blessing of the grahas that sets our feet on the path of right knowledge.
Question: The non-Indian community of the world today has accepted Vedic
sciences Yoga and Ayurveda as life savers and the intellectual elitists
all over the world are practicing them. But Jyotish has a long way to go
outside of India. Is it because of the perception of Western astrology
which is usually tied to newspapers offering predictions based on Sun
signs as entertainment?
Mrs Wendy: Jyotish, like religion, is not for everyone in this dark age of Kali and many there are, both in India and the West, who's interest remains on the level of tabloid predictions. But even so, these people are searching for answers to the predicaments they find themselves in, otherwise they wouldn't bother even to read the newspaper predictions. People in all walks of life; of all ethnic backgrounds are searching for answers to why they suffer in life.
I must disagree with your assumption that those in the West who are drawn to the Vedic sciences are intellectual elitists. Westerners are no different in this regard to other cultures...intellectual elitism is not confined to any one race or culture. If jyotish has taught me nothing else it's taught me not to be judgemental!
Question: Can you please comment on the usage of gem-stone as remedial measure? Some Jyotishis claim there is no mention of wearing gemstones as remedial measure in any of the available Astro-Shastras.
Mrs Wendy: The following quotes from JyotishVidya Website make it quite clear that the use of gems as remedial measures has been an authentic tradition for thousands of years. My Guru (MMY) has also taught me this. What is not mentioned in these ancient treatises is the use of substitute gems (uparatnas). When the question was asked about the use of substitute gems, Maharishi's emphatic reply was; "You know the difference, and so do the grahas".
In the "Garuda Puranam," chap. 68, verse 17 it is stated by Sri Suta
"Pure, flawless gems have auspicious powers which can protect one from demons, snakes, poisons, diseases, sinful reactions, and other dangers, while flawed stones have the opposite affect."
And from the ancient "Agni Puranam" chap. 246, slokas 7 & 8:
"A gem free from all impurities and radiating its characteristic internal
lustre should be looked upon as an escort of good luck; A gem which is
cracked, fissured, devoid of lustre, or appearing rough or sandy, should
not be used at all."
And again in the chapters of Sri Garuda Puranam, we find this quote on
rubies by Sri Suta Goswami:
"A ruby, although genuine, should not be worn if it has strong color
banding, excessive inclusions within like numerous internal cracks, a
sandy appearance, a rough surface, or is dull and lustreless. Anyone
using such a flawed ruby, even out of ignorance, will suffer from
disease, or loss of fortune."