Frank and generous talker, Dileep Narayan’s says he became an astrologer by default even as he draws a clientele from all walks of life and backgrounds.
With his yellow attire and colourful bead strings around his neck, Dileep Narayan or Guruji as he is fondly called, looks every bit the quintessential astrologer. But he qualifies this statement saying, “I am a healer who became an astrologer by default.” There is a reason why he dresses the way he does. (More on that later).
Born in Banaras to a family deeply into spirituality and the occults, Narayan was quite naturally drawn to it. His father, Jagdish Narayan, who dedicated his life to the Theosophical Society of India was influenced by people such as Colonel Henry Steel Olcott, co-founder of the Theosophy Society, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and Dr Annie Besant who founded the Theosophical Society of India. Growing up under that larger than life shadow of his father, Narayan calls himself a born theosophist.
So what is theosophy? “It is the only known scientific source to explore the occults, or knowledge which is secret, sacred and very complex,” explains Narayan. In the early days, theosophists conducted research on the Vedic mantras and questioned the rationale behind pujas, rituals or the impact of individual/group pujas. “In Theosophical Society there is a saying that all religions are equal and there is no religion higher than truth. That was their motto and the emblem is the Star of David, which translates to the fact that life comes to full circle. So in a way they worked hard to spread universal brotherhood.”
As a child, Narayan often accompanied his father to the annual conventions where people – spiritual dignitaries, renowned philosophers – from all over the world assembled. He remembers listening to J Krishnamurti, eminent philosopher of the time. He believed his father, by virtue of his practice and belief, attained sidhi (enlightenment) with the motto to serve others.
True enough, the doors to their house in Banaras aptly called ‘Sewa Sadan’ was opened 24 hours to anyone seeking help. “I participated with my father in conducting more than 200 funerals of those who had no one or no money.”
Every day at 4 am, it was his father’s routine to have his wash and recite his mantras piercing through the morning’s silence. Narayan listened to them from his bed and later started chanting the same from memory, sometimes with imperfections which were promptly corrected by his father. He also never missed accompanying his father to the Hindu temples and the theosophical society temples, where all rituals were performed.
But it was not his father alone who wielded influence on him. His mother, a religious woman, had connections with eminent people such as Pundit Gopinath Kaviraj Maharaj. Tantra scholar and philosopher. Narayan recalls him as a powerful tantric, “not someone with entangled hair and feisty temperament or eating dead bodies,” he laughs. “When we say Tantric we connect ourselves to that kind of image but it is not like that. On hot summer days we used to play in the house of Kaviraj Maharaj who we called Dadu. When we were tired and hungry from playing, Dadu would chant a mantra, stretch his arms up in the air and hand us fresh sweets,” he says.
Quite a surreal story but Narayan believes the world is made up of two types of people – believers and non-believers. He would not criticise non-believers, “because according to science exception is the law. I have never seen Vishnuji or any other Gods, it is only belief and I still believe. It is up to you to believe or not, it’s a personal matter.”
Narayan’s belief in the power of chanting was reaffirmed from the tender of age of four when he was struck by typhoid three times. “Those days there was no cure for it, we had to stop eating and take tetracycline for 21 days. That’s why it was called miyadi bukhar, periodic fever where the body slowly recovers after the period of 21 days. When I was hospitalised, my father used to put his hand on my head and chant. I felt his spirituality. I cannot prove it because it is an abstract thing. It is a matter of feeling just as you feel the Gita, the Guru Granth Saab.”
After his recovery, Narayan believes he became a bit different. “People use to come to my father with problems and I used to give solutions instinctively, intuitively. I started healing people by putting my hand on their head. People would come just to get their heads touched,” he says, adding, “It is nothing but faith. I don’t know what it was but people used to get OK and come back with more people. It will be not out of place to say I am born with some gift, a strong sense of perception, perhaps.”
It was then that Gopinath Kaviraj Maharaj took Narayan under his wings to further develop his powers. “My journey began this way,” says Narayan.
However, he did not pursue astrology or use these powers of healing at the beginning. He had to complete his education and find a job to stand on his feet. Eventually he paid heed to what his father always told him: do whatever you love, do not do anything under duress. So while he continued to work and dabble in business, his innate love for astrology kept him learning more about the subject.
Narayan spent most of his time in the premises of the Theosophical Society. “I kept on learning, even from the different people I used to meet people in the conventions because there is not one person who knows everything. Astrology is such a vast knowledge that no one can claim to know everything. Neither can I say you are wrong because everything has multiple angles, it’s a matter of perspective. I never wanted to be an educated person but I wanted to immerse myself in this knowledge,” he says, adding, “Nowadays people go to study few months course of astrology but if you don’t have an internal power you cannot do anything.”
After the death of his father in 1984, Narayan left Banaras, went to Kanpur and from there moved to Bangalore. But by then he distanced himself from the Theosophical Society as it was allegedly getting embroiled in politics like any other organisation.
But it was in Bangalore, that Narayan’s journey as a healer and astrologer took a leap. One day after suffering a major heart attack, something phenomenal happened (he was 49, it was like getting a second lease of life). “Whatever I touched I could see everything. I took it as the signs of the universe telling me to stop everything I was doing and to use my knowledge to help people full time.” Once he started, there was a rush of crowd. People with all kinds of physical and mental ailments thronged his house.
“I did what I could. I used to heal them by touching. I could tell accidents etc.”, he says. But this foresight was something he was always blessed with from a very young age. Just that he did not pay attention to it because studies were important too. “I started healing people, there were some mantras for passing exams or getting through interviews and I became known especially among the engineering and medical college students. My gurus said don’t take money so I never took fees, if you take fees the vidya (knowledge) will disappear. I got busier and busier. The hall of our house was packed with food and people. If I had to go somewhere I was chauffeured around.”
That was also the time when Narayan discarded his normal clothing and took to the saffron/yellow lungi and shawl. From a fashionable baba he morphed into a different get up but something that he believes is comfortable. “I feel relaxed in this attire. There is no compulsion to wear this as I have not taken sanyas (life of renunciation), and I Iead a comfortable and active life. Besides, my knowledge will not be compromised by what I wear – a suit, a lungi or pyjama.”
What distinguishes Narayan in his profession is perhaps the ability to explain things scientifically. “My crusade is against blind faith. You should know what you are doing and the significance of it. All these witchcraft, voodoo, etc., is not good for anyone. Do the right thing just as the Vedas teach us.”
He believes his knowledge is to be shared for free and for the betterment of lives. Narayan advocates the power of the mantra. “Mantras are chanting of words which have got some power and spiritually designed. It is a scientific thing which in due course of time became spirituality. In physics you have read about resonance, that is, when two people or two sounds come together in different frequency. The point where they merge to make the sound bigger is resonance. So it is all wave theory, which has one formula that is v(velocity)=lambda(number of wavelength) and the neutron bomb is made on that formula. Science was developed from here. Vigya is spatial knowledge. Science started with astronomers and astrologers. Astronomy is a big thing and astrology is a part of astronomy,” he explains, adding, “You can fool some people for some time but you cannot fool them all the time. And if these don’t have any substance, trust me it would not have been carried on for thousands of years. Chanting is everywhere – in Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Hindus.”
How does reciting a mantra produce an effect? “Every mantra has a different wavelength. There are different patterns of chanting and they hammer the soul with the vibrations, the same fusion and fission that happens scientifically. In the process bad energy is killed and new energy starts. To prove it, to get command (sidh karna) or control over it, there is a time and so on. Mantra is vibration, it will never fade,” says Narayan.
Narayan asserts there is no crash course for astrology. For him, it is a knowledge he has inherited and accumulated from his father and other great teachers. Which is why he proudly states he does not own a visiting card because he does not have to hard sell what he knows, people come to him through word of mouth.
In Melbourne, Narayan’s draws his clientele from every ethnic background, about 50 a day. Since having arrived here in xxx, he has been healing people, some who come to him with limited time given by doctors, he says. Asked whether Australian clients believe in the mantras, he quips, “An Aspro cures everyone of a headache, you don’t get an Islamic Aspro or a Hindu Aspro. Similarly for mantras, it works for everyone.”
Interestingly, Australia is not a country he intended to settle down. But with both his children here and having suffered another massive heart attack here, he decided to extend his seva and do “something for the community”.
Astrology combining the occults is what Narayan professes. Now that his guru is no more, he declares himself his own guru but adds, “This knowledge of Tantra is something you don’t get in universities or something the government accredits you with. I still have to follow certain things to get the knowledge and retain the knowledge, which is my renewal.”
At the end of the day, Narayan derives happiness and satisfaction from his work. He even channels his sense of humour to his work: “Astrology is very informative, it is like Met department, if you know the thing, you can use it for the betterment of humanity, I am using that.”
By Indira Laisram