Here is an article published in Blackandwhite Oman about Dr Lakshmidasan
Conference of the souls
Dr Lakshmidasan Narayanan fondly thumbs through the Alchemist (*) by Paulo Coelho at a bookstore in Muscat. This is a book that has caught his imagination and each time someone mentions the book, or he gets to see it, read it, touch it, he feels a strange connection. There is something in the Alchemist that seems to be calling out to him; something that stirs in him a need, or a desire to follow a path or a certain course in his life…
“I think there is a strange calling in me whenever I see or read that book; I think I also have to take a similar path,” Dr Lakshmidasan says as he reluctantly, but very gently, places the book back on the store shelf.
As we sidle out of the store, he confesses: “I have a book in mind; not a similar idea or theme, but, whenever I speak of the Alchemist, my own story idea takes me by the hand, put lots of words in my mouth and lines after lines pour out on empty pages…
My story is about the soul – a conference of the souls!”
The idea itself is captivating and Dr Lakshmidasan, 48, is no stranger to fiction, or writing. He is a published author, and not of one or two novels, but 20. All in his native language (Malayalam) though.
Fact is stranger than fiction
And fact is stranger than fiction in Dr Lakshmidasan’s case. Although he is only touching the mid way of life, his multivarious achievements are not fully out into the public domain as yet. He is not just an author of 20 books – there is more to meet the eye as far as Dr Lakshmidasan is concerned. He is a walking, talking phenomenon of sorts. And it is not unwarranted praise. For what else can you call someone who is a professional celebrity astrologer, an astronomer, a tantrik, a priest, a vaastu and fengshui consultant, gemologist, numerologist, clairvoyant, lecturer, visiting professor, artist, orator and of course, an author and a poet?
And just recently, he has become a full-fledged lawyer.
Oh, he is also a multi-linguist. He can handle 26 languages, and some of them quiet fluently. “Of course, I need to brush them up a bit,” he says modestly.
Of this 26, he is adept in ancient Indian languages, state languages (Hindi, Urdu, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu etc) and regional (Tulu, Konkani, Badaga, Nepali etc), and foreign (English, Arabic, French, Sinhala, Malay, Indonesian, Thai, Divehi etc.)
And the other mind-blowing part is that he has, in a span of 26 years, obtained 55 degrees and 35 masters (post graduations), which in itself is a remarkable feat, worthy of getting into the record books. “I have one D.Litt , six doctorates, 35 masters, four bachelorettes, two PG diplomas and seven diplomas,” he says a trifle innocently. He does not even a blink an eye. The doctorates include Hindi – (universal life pattern in the diction of Ramayana works); Sanskrit (enhancement of learning abilities through the introduction of yoga in high school curriculum) etc.
He took his first degree (BA) in Malayalam in 1989 and his last degree was in 2015 (LLB). He did his post graduation between the years 1992 to 2013.
Strangely enough, more than celebrating his achievements and applauding the efforts, he was subjected to brickbats by some around him who thought that obtaining the 55 degrees and 35 PGs were a waste of time. “Some have chided me for wasting my time and putting in unwanted efforts to build this huge volume of degrees, plus learning new languages and authoring so many books.” Asked why would anyone bother when his efforts, or his sweat and blood, were paying rich dividends, he scratches his head, rather pensively. “I am yet to find an answer to that,” he said.
While there are some who finds this garnering of 55 degrees to be a preposterous attempt, there are others who dismisses such narrow views. What many forget is that this man, although not a teenager, is still not an old man. He is just touching 50 and he still has a long way to go to further prove his mettle.
What is there left to prove, one could rightly ask, but that is the crux of the story: Dr Lakshmidasan is today poised at a very crucial juncture. He has achieved his mid-years goals. There are more than an unusual bunch of achievements tucked in his belt. But, he has just come mid way. There is a whole new path before him. But, before we get there, a quick look at his astrological feats.
Dr Lakshmidasan, who hails originally from Payyanur, and currently settled in Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala is endowed with an unusual talent, which he has honed to near perfection by also taking a doctorate in it – astrology. The man lives and breathes astrology. Inducted to this science at a very young age, while he was just 14, he is today considered to be one of India’s topmost astrologer.
He has been practising astrology for the last 30 of his 48 years. Although he was interested in astrology, he first went into the line of teaching. For the first phase of his life, he was a teacher, then, he got into astrology, and today, while he still practices astrology, he is aiming for a career as a writer. In the meantime, during his tenure as a teacher, he also dabbled as a lecturer in colleges, did research and whilst going around as an astrologer, he also offered his services as a business adviser, visiting professor etc.
In the Gulf regions, he is mostly know for his ability in astrology. “Whatever I become, I will never veer away from astrology,” Dr Lakshmidasan vowed. “That, like my extensive studies and research, has been my base.”
Laying life bare
Look at my future, I plead Dr Lakshmidasan and he obliges without a murmur. He picks up some random cowrie shells from a small pouch, prays and flings them on the table. He moves them around and the gathers them up saying yes, you have problems, but they will go away. “This is the time,” he says. “You have to strike while the iron is hot!”
And he goes on and on as he unwraps my life, peeling each part like an onion’s various layers and laying bare my life before me.
What is this science, I wonder. But I do understand that it is an ability to look into the past, the present and the future and somehow interpret the signs there and unveil hitherto the hidden truth.
“It is a mixture,” Dr Lakshmidasan says sombrerely. “Astrology is a unique blend of spirituality and inborn intuition, a kind of third eye and of course, a science! Over the period of time, you also get the hang of it and like in anything, practice makes perfect,” he says. Dr Lakshmidasan has a Ph.D in astrology (MA rank holder in astrology). “So many sciences are involved in astrology, medical, anthropology, geography etc.,” he explains.
Predictions that matter
He had earlier predicted V. S. Achuthandan’s (former chief minister of Kerala) entry to the chief minister’s post (2006 to 2011) and most recently, he had predicted the victory of Pinarayi Vijayan in the recently concluded state polls and is confident that the current prime minister, Narendra Modi, will reign for nearly a decade. “Our prime minister has a yogam of a chakravarthi (emperor); he will not be replaced easily; he is going to last for a long time,” he said. But, Dr Lakshmidasan wished to steer clear of all such political statements as he says they attract controversies. He wants to keep himself away from controversies.
An effective guidance
But, was astrology a necessary part of our lives? “I think so,” he says. “It is an effective guidance in our lives and help us to reach our goals and climb over any obstacles – so, in that sense, all of us would need it!”
30 countries – over 100000 people
And, in his journeys around the world, visiting over 30 countries, he has managed to help so many people by either showing them a way around their problems, counselling them, giving them confidence and strength and pulling them out of the quagmires they have sunk into. “I think I must have been with over 100,000 people. I have helped people with business problems; family problems; problems revolving around their children; helped people with sicknesses, diseases and I have looked at the hands of various nationalities, Indians, Arabs, Omani, UAE nationals, Russians, Africans, Britishers, Americans – looked at big and small people,” he said adding that the combination of being a sanskrit (he has a Ph.D in that too) scholar and an astrologer was greatly helpful in many of the tough cases he undertook. “Plus, I have studied law and also have a post graduation (MA) in criminology and and an MSc in psychology and my extensive studies and research also helps greatly in my predictions and extending guidance.”
But, there are detractors to the science, he reveals. There are limitations in astrological pronouncements, but then there were many who came to test his prowess. “I recall a man who kept on harassing me and said that astrology was a sham, but when I took him aside and asked him if it was right that his parents were separated for the last 16 years, he was shocked. Then, there was an American lady and her friend who came, again, to test me. I just told the American lady that she was about to marry her 17th husband! All her doubts cleared after that!”
He recalls another time when he was taken to the vice chancellor of a prestigious university of Tamil Nadu. He was taken there by the profesor of astrology and another aspiring astrologer. They were asked to predict the fate of the vice chancellor. “The professor and the other man went on giving the usual predictions, but the vice chancellor was not impressed. He turned to me and asked me to predict. I told him very quietly that I had only one prediction: you are going to get the Padmashri in just a few days!” The vice chancellor almost fell off his seat. It was true.
Dr Lakshmidasan does harbour a desire to get into the Rajya Sabha as a member; perhaps become an advisor for the government because of his background in history, philosophy and theology. But, what he really wants to become is a writer – a universal one. “I want to be known as a writer and philosopher – no, not for name or fame or money. But I have created a foundation by garnering so much knowledge and it is only fair that I produce the final result of all my learnings – that is to engage in literary creation!”
And, when you want something, the whole universe conspires to make it happen!
(*) The Alchemist is a novel by Brazilian author, Paulo Coelho.
Originally written in Portuguese, it was first published in 1988. It has been translated into at least 67 languages as of October 2009. The Alchemist is an allegorical novel. It follows a young Andalusian shepherd in his journey to Egypt after having a recurring dream of finding treasure there.
The Alchemist is an international bestseller. Reports note that it has sold more than 65 million copies in 56 different languages, becoming one of the best-selling books in history and setting the Guinness World Record for being the most translated book by a living author.