Written by Sri Swami Chandrashekarendra
Where can you discover water? Where does ground water occur? Or
where do streams flow inside the earth? By what signs on the surface do
you make out the presence of water underground? How are perfumes
manufactured? What are the right measurements for a house? These
questions are discussed in the samhita-skandha of Jyotisa. Also omens
"Sakuna" is one thing, "nimitta" quite another. "Sakuna" literally means
bird: only signs connected with birds come under the category of
"Sakuna". All things in this world are interrelated: all happenings are
linked to one another. If we know the precise scale and manner in which
events are woven together, we would be able to know everything.
Everything in this world occurs according to the will of the One Being
according to a precise system. So with reference to one we can know all
others. Palmistry, "arudam" (a method of divination), astrology, all are
What does a bird flying from right to left indicate? What is foretold by
chirping of such and such a bird? Question like these belong to the
sakuna-sastra. "Nimitta" means omen. "Nimittani ca pasyami viparitani
Kesava" says Arjuna to Krsna before the start of the battle of
He uses the right word "nimitta" while we use the word "sakuna"
carelessly. When a cat crosses our path it is an omen; when an eagle
above us it is a sakuna.
To go back to Arjuna, the Lord tells Arjuna: "Nimittamatram bhava
Savyasacin". This is in answer to Arjuna telling Krsna, lamenting, that
sinful to kill one's enemies [or one's kin]. Says Krishna: "I have
resolved to slay them in this battle. So they are already as good as
It is I who will kill them. You are a mere tool." (Nimittamatram bhava).
A nimitta does not produce any result on its own. It points to the
that has already been ordained by some other factor - or, in other
it merely indicates the fruits of our past karma.