Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Divinity and Divining: The Fluid in our Veins.

This blog is due to a string of unusual occurrences of what could have been unlikely events. It is centred on the experience of water divining and the way it became connected with a supra-emotional unity of blood ties.

The fluid in the water veins deep in the earth and those in the blood of our veins are a result of many thousand years of assimilation and change. We can expect the two veins to be connected only through these prehistory years of change which are way beyond our daily ambits of experience or residence times of memory; it perhaps reveal themselves only through the occult.

As a result, the blog could seem to be a bit personal and provincial, but, finally, it transcends, I think, parochial interests and underscores what would seem to be beyond a sophisticated scientific analysis. It concerns the divining of water; the very medium of our existence, of our lifestyles, of the blood in our veins, the very last drops that you seek to quench your dying thirst.

It is only to be expected that the divining of water has to be traced back to shamanic times when various life-experiences of sensitive people made them associate the various twitches and itches and fever of their bodies and the response of their senses to the presence/absence of different features of different forces in their environment.

The practice of dowsing seems to rise above the present practice of science and technology, which seems now to be concerned with more humdrum approaches required, say, for selling soap and soap operas or saas-bahu TV serials or in selling cricket IPL. The cold analytic minds of scholars or experimentalists, prejudiced by their self-styled superior logic and the requirement for commercial funding dismisses things, which are beyond their training and funding possibilities; just as a shaman or a tantric would perhaps dismiss as incomplete the conclusions of the scientist with equal illogic.

It is difficult to form a "baseline against which a diviner's performance may be compared" and controlled testing (see http://www.skepdic.com/dowsing.html) of a dowser’s performance has usually been considered to be negative as compared to a geologist’s or engineer’s performance. However even the most skeptic critic like Jim Enright would write “ … there may be some dowsers who have an intuitive, subconscious understanding of underground topography that permits them to choose a better spot than just a random guess; and they may even use a dowsing rod to confirm what their subconscious tells them. Even I would, I think, be able to make a guess about better and poorer places to bore on the basis of obvious superficial landscape features: don't drill at the top of a hill; look for a gentle valley with a large potential drainage area behind it, etc.

In an article (Consciousness and Cognition 12 (2003) 684–694) on “Voluntary Involuntariness” Wegner and Erskine begin with the questions “Can we intend not to intend? Try not to try? Voluntarily behave involuntarily?” They continue in their first paragraph “The capacity of the will to cancel itself may underlie phenomena in which people experience involuntariness for actions despite external indications that the action has arisen voluntarily.” The article concludes with the sentence “Mental control of thoughts about action can influence whether thoughts occur in mind relevant to the action, and so can create significant transformations in the experience of will.

I certainly would not understand the full implication of the last sentence but I could certainly voluntarily submit myself to an involuntary understanding.

This article is about one such individual dowser. It is about an experience which I, as a “scientist” deem to be, as far as the particular diviner is concerned, beyond the logic we have learnt and the system of proof that we require.

The blog will have basically three parts, the introduction of the diviner, the “proof” of this particular diviner’s clairvoyance, and some thoughts on the success of divining in particular and the way events that are beyond the range of modern human senses can still be perceived by the way events are determined, if not controlled.

We (‘we’ would always mean hereafter Lalitha and I, in this particular case it includes our children, although our dog, Bruno, could claim the hill-house to be exclusively his) have a house on the hills behind Varve gaon near Khed Shivapur, about 35 km from Pune on the Pune Bangalore highway, NH4. The land has been named by us as Amitaboni after my mother Amita and my father Aboni. This year, 2010, marks the passing of a hundred years of my father’s birth, on 1st of May, 2010. It seemed important to me, as the only surviving son, that I mark my father’s 100th anniversary of birth to formally christen the place as Amitaboni in the presence of family members in what should have been a joyous reunion of the entire family.

This was not to be.

We also wanted to add permanence to Amitaboni as a place where future generations from Amita and Aboni would be attracted to visit, stay and relax in an atmosphere worthy of my parents.

The first requirement for this is water, we thought.
We require, above all,for the survival of trees that we plant … and for the shower and the bathtub that seems to be necessary for the modern IPL-image-fed younger generation. That requires a lot of water! The best environmentally friendly approach would have been to have harvested rain water. We did not do that.

Where do we get the water, especially in the summer months preceding the rains? High on the hill of the lonely goat-herd or lonely buffalo-herd or lonely cow-herd, there are also very lonely, dwarfed trees, stunted further by the requirements for firewood among the local inhabitants and the ever increasing migrant labour communities among displaced farmers.

The hill slopes are really barren in summer around our hill house (marked by red spot in the figure on the left of Fig 1, click to enlarge) compared to the green flat-lands around the hill. There is no sign of greenery indicative of water on these hills, which look very parched and often-times burnt in the early parts of the year.

Looking for water by sinking a bore-well here would naturally be considered to be quite foolish. The first water diviner we brought to the land, did not hesitate to reprimand us. However, this water diviner very grudgingly did find from his machine indications of half- to one-inch water (enough for daily cooking and bath, he said) at 300 feet depth.

The second water diviner was well known, more because he was the son of the divine Dharwad singer Bhimsen Joshi. The diviner (not more divine, perhaps) son divined with a copper tube and found water at roughly the same place as the first diviner, but at a convenient depth of 180 feet.

Actually, the spot they chose was the only place at which any bore-well machine could comfortably reach. There is a stream that flows down the hill (marked by a yellow line in the right of Fig 1, click to enlarge) and the only place that one could hope to strike water is at the junction of the stream and the kuccha “road” in the front of the plot.

Many professional diviners are committed to the convenience and availability of bore-well operators. They usually recommend spots which can be easily accessed by bore-well machines that are available for the day and they find water at depths for an optimized profit-loss scenario involving the operator and the client. This second diviner said that there was water that would easily be enough for bath and cooking every day (15-20 buckets, is what they actually meant). He recommended a four-and-a-half inch bore-well.

The operator was contacted, the machine came, the bore-well was drilled, water was poured into the bore-well while digging (for cooling, they said), and almost the same amount of water was recovered while boring at 180 feet. The operator announced a successful borwell. A pump was installed almost immediately and the bore-well water dried up within ten minutes of pumping.

We resisted attempts at announcing complete success of the bore-well by the purchase and installation of a pump. We counted the savings on our total financial losses and left it for another day.

We were told by our well-wishers in the bore-well trade that we should perhaps flush the bore-well again as we could always see considerable amount of water (by hearing the noise on throwing a pebble inside) at 100 feet even in summer. We decided to flush again.

We also decided to go down to 300 ft remembering the first diviner.

There was no sign of water to 260 feet and all we got was hard rock which seemed to be more than 150 feet thick. At 270 feet the rock seemed to become wet. At 280 feet the rock turned reddish and wet. At 290 feet water was gushing out. We could not proceed further because of the heavy pressure of water, (so we were told).

The bore-well was considered to be a definite success. A rope was tied to a submersible pump, a plastic tube was connected and water was pumped out the first time for more than four hours continuously. 5000 litres of water could be pumped out in a day for the next two years even in the middle of summer. We usually pumped once a week.

The success of the bore-well seemed to have got to the head of our garden help. He became a big man among his friends, became an alcoholic, did not look after our plants most of which died.
We sacked him.
One day, in revenge perhaps, he must have cut the rope that held the pump.
We could pull the pump up with the plastic pipe. We did not get to attach another rope, procrastinating to be penny-wise and pound-foolish.
There was a drought for three years.
The bore-well would give only 1000-3000 litre in summer per week eventually.
The pump got stuck in the bore-well when we thought we would get it out to clean it.
It could not be retrieved even with “expert” help. They only managed to damage the pumping system beyond repair.
The bore-well was abandoned.

We counted our losses again. It was sizeable.

The developers of our society, continued to ignore us when supplying water. Successive “garden helps” continued to play truant. My sources of funding from visits abroad after retirement had dried up. It was never much, in any case. Most of the 350 odd trees we planted had dried up. The house on the hill was less visited.

We now learn that the villagers call it “bhoot bungala”, the haunted house.

However … …

The story of the house on a hill is an important part of the continuing story of my life. It has mostly been unplanned. It is always remembered as extremely happy, especially when in retrospection mode, at imagined moments of stress. Most of this happiness must have been expressed in our genes (if you require a modern word for it) or what we have simply inherited from our forefathers, their karma and their dharma. As I had blogged before, I seem to share my father’s wish of ‘asking for sadness so that I could experience joy’.

The house looked so sad in late 2009 that we thought t was definitely time to experience more joy.

It was time to drill another bore-well … say, for the occasion of my father’s birth-centenary.
We could not find any bore-well operator in Pune. They were all busy.

There is a government geological surveyor in Pune; a Mr. V-----, who claimed to be fully scientific in his methodology for his water dowsing. He did not claim hundred per cent success, but he did claim a good reputation. Mr. V----- had surveyed for water for our housing society; he had found a spot where a car was not parked. The society drilled for water at that spot; the bore-well machine drilled till water came out of the well and then it went away. Water was pumped for half an hour or less, before the well permanently gave up.

One misses some times. Some miss many times.

We took Mr V----- to our farm house. He would charge Rs. 2000. He drove in his car with us to our farm house. He looked at the spot. Without doing any dowsing he decided that there was no harm in drilling next to the old bore-well. There would be as much chance as striking water, coming to the and diving was not necessary- He looked overhead where a power-line was hung. He decided that six-inch bore-well machine cannot drill there unless the power-line was removed. He chose a spot with his feet almost arbitrarily, where the machine could reach. He asked for and got Rs 1500 for the time spent. “I will use part of the money to influence the electricity board cable man to switch the power off when the drilling machine was operating” and he left. Mr. V----- ignored my SMS to him on how he was not being very honest about the amount of money he had taken without providing any service.

This was the beginning of the usual busy season for borewell machines. We had little success in locating another borewell operator even though we contacted many of them.

One of the more kindly bore-well operators gave me the name of an Amol who operated in the area near our farm house. We contacted Amol. He came promptly to the farm house. He saw the site of the old bore-well. He agreed that there was not likely to be any other place to drill. Amol had a six inch bore-well machine ready to drill the next day.

We had also concluded much earlier that we would strike water at the same place. Access to the land by any vehicle had been disturbed because of a a huge rainwater drain dug in front of our plot by the developers without courtesy or consent. We had spent considerable amount of money to make access to the land by a vehicle by installing two big cement pipes and covering them with soil.

Lalitha and I decided that maybe we should get a diviner before we started the drilling, just in case.

Amol said he had a “scientific” water diviner who charged Rs 3000 and he had another who divined with a lemon in his hand. The lemon man charged Rs 1800.
Amol probably got a 20% cut, I figured out.
Both have the same success rate, Amol said.
We opted for the lemon man.
Amol was not to be heard from for the next few days.

My mother had passed away on 22nd April in Pune and her ashes were immersed at the sangam of the rivers Bhima and Bhama nearby. We thought of visiting the sangam on that date, in case we did not hear from Amol.

We had hardly hit the road on 22nd April when Amol called us and said that the diviner would be at our farm house within the next hour. Can we be there?.

Taking it as a signal of my late mother’s preference we decided to go to the farm house, just for a taste of lemon divining if not anything else.
While I was figuring out the best way one would devise a method for divining for water with a lemon, and trying to remember the formula of citric acid and whether it was optically active or not --- who knows what an L- lemon would do to a D-diviner, for example ---we got a call from Amol to get some lemons.
I thought it strange since a diviner using a lemon should be carrying at least his own lemons.
What kind of lemons, I asked. Just lemons, Amol told me. Get whatever lemon.
Green or yellow? I insisted
Ripe lemons, the diviner informed Amol.

We picked up a few lemons and reached our farm house.

Amol and the diviner were sitting on our water tank at the boundary of our farm house. They have certainly stuck water, I thought. We gave them the lemons and went ahead to park the car.

By the time we had parked the car and went up to them, the water diviner was standing near the Australian accasia tree that the developer had planted to mark the boundary of our plot.

I remember him very vividly standing there. The sketch that I quickly made (Fig 2) is a rough approximation of the image I had formed.
I thought the diviner would start his divining with the lemons. I got ready with the camera to record the process of lemon-water-divining for posterity.
The diviner was standing still near the tree.
I asked him something like how he was going to start his divining. He had a stone placed near his feet. I thought he would smash the lemon with the stone and start the divining process.
He pointed with his index finger to a lemon placed between his feet.
“You will find water here at 300 feet”, he said very confidently, very matter-of-factly.
I was flabbergasted (stunned, astonished, flummoxed, swept away, surprised, rendered speechless, dumbfounded, amazed, astounded, shocked … all that Thesaurus said flummoxed could mean, even though one did not know the origin of the word).
The spot he had picked was not at all near the old bore well spot and was exactly at the centre of the two streams that marked the edges of our plot. No diviner had indicated that spot.
I did not hear anybody else say anything.
The lemon looked very golden and very snug between his bare feet.
The diviner looked apologetic and very modest and humble. “You will get two and a half inch of water in summer”. He said.
With that amount of water one can have profitable agricultural operations!
I looked at his feet more closely to see if there were any sign that indicated a recognition of water.

There was absolutely none.
I was flummoxed (stunned, stumped, baffled, bewildered, staggered, confounded, floored, as per Thesaurus)
The diviner had perfect feet. The only remarkable thing was the positioning of his two feet at nearly 45o relative to each other indicated nearly perfect health.
He looked a very simple man with no air of sophistication.
He had thick hair and features characteristic of the local people. He had a thin moustache. Indeed he had features (see inset of Fig 2) characteristic of the “king and his retinue” in Cave 10 at Ajanta (see discussion on Fig 6 of my blog on Bhuleshwar on the Hill: Interior” posted nearly a year ago). I thought he had spectacles, but Lalitha does not remember the spectacles.
Lalitha is convinced people in harmony with nature do not require artificial aids.
What more could I say?
What did you do with the lemon, I asked him.
The diviner continued in his semi/apologetic and matter-of-fact manner that this way of finding water is something he had noticed from his childhood. He had no explanation for it.
I did not look at Thesaurus to find out how I felt.

I took him to the old bore-well. He showed another spot slightly further away. This is the best spot for this region … but you will get only 5000 litres per day in summer here whereas the new spot that he had indicated would give more than double that. His estimate of the older bore-well was close to the mark when the older bore-well was new.
The diviner had no doubts … even though he was right.

The diviner’s name is Prashant Dumene. He is an Engineer by Profession.

We planned to finish drilling the bore-well by May 1 and dedicate the bore-well if it was successful to the 100th birth anniversary of my father, which was about a week later.

Amol did not see any problem with that. We fixed a date. Prashant said he would come and make the necessary propitious arrangements for the gods after we got the necessary material (coconuts, pot, camphor, kum kum, haldi, oil, wick for the lamp, incense sticks and a matchbox).

Before that the approach to the divine divined point had to be made. There was a big rainwater ditch which had to be filled. Conractors were quickly contracted, JCP machines (land excavators) were required to dig up the soil from around to do the filling and then the leveling, as per Amol’s specifications.

Getting a JCP in summer was a serious problem. Once word gets around that you are helpless, it is made sure that you are really helpless unless you pay a price for being helpless. We did that after resisting for a few exasperating days, and then working late in the night when JCP and tractors were available completing the work around midnight.

The bore-well machine was fixed for the day before my Father’s centenary.

I finished carving “Amitaboni” in Bengali on a log of wood we had bought for the purpose more than fifteen years ago.

The day came for the drilling. Lalitha came with her Sasnkrit vedic chants. I came with Tagore’s poems and a camera. We waited and waited. After much assurance we were finally informed in the evening that the machine had broken down and needed to be repaired … in three days at most.

We hoisted the Amitaboni log with a rope on the door to mark my father’s hundredth birthday and left for home.

The next few days were very exasperatingly spent on listening to the various ways a bore-well machine cannot come or cannot be repaured.

When finally the bore-well machine came to the land, the operator had one look and turned back saying that more soil had to be filled in the ditch and more soil removed from to make diviner’s spot accessible to the machine.

This required another JCP machine that we could not get no matter how hard we tried. It was getting deeper into summer and neither manual labour nor machine was available no matter how hard we tried.

My sisters were to arrive for a couple of days on 12th-14th of May specifically to celebrate the centenary at Amitaboni. Everything was in a state of disrepair at Amitaboni.

To make matters worse, we had hired painters to paint the windows and doors. They made more of a mess of things. Lalitha and I sat and scrubbed the floor, peeled old paint off the important doors and windows in front, and got them painted to our satisfaction juat on the night before my sisters were to come.

We had not yet found a JCP and Amol was yet to contact us.

We picked up our sisters from the railway station early at six a.m. on 12th morning. They had spent more than a day in the train and they surely wanted rest.

We had abandoned hopes of finishing the drilling before they left. We were quite depressed really.

On our way home from the station with our we got a call from Amol.
He had found a JCP operator on the road near our farm house!
The JCP was available only for an hour after seven in the morning. Amol’s bore-well machine was also available. We can finish drilling on that day.

We took it be an auspicious sign. We just thought of the happy coincidence that our parents’ surviving children were to be together on (at least for us) this important occasion when we will be drilling for water based on the feelings of a diviner who used a lemon!

My poor sisters could not have recovered from their strenuous trip at all. But they were game enough, encouraging enough, and curious enough to see the outcome of the lemon diviner’s divinition.

When we reached the land, it was already quite hot (it was more than 40 C in Pune that day), the sisters looked nice wearing their hats, the machine had already come (Fig 3, left) and was positioning itself at the spot marked by a crow-bar with what seems to be a gul-mohaR flower that may have been a offering from the operators to the machine (Fig 3 right, click to enlarge).

When you start digging for water based on lemon-divining one might as well go the whole way. Prashant had specified some way to do the rituals.
We got down to our worships (Fig 4, top, click to enlarge).
A coconut was broken and the pieces offered all around. Bruno was happy and grinning like what I think is the smile of a Cheshire cat.
The drilling machine was ready, with the new leaves of the silk-cotton tree and the clear blue sky dispelling all hints of dark clouds.

We waited for the machine to start.
There was a small hiccough when it started around noon. Because of the loose soil below, the 25 tonner machine expressed its discomfort by falling out of the support and tipping a bit. The positioning was done once again. By the time they finished adjusting the machine it was past 12-30 in the afternoon.

We were conscious about the inauspicious time which had to be avoided for starting any work. We had sneaked in a look at the calendar. The inauspicious time (rahu kalam) was between 11.00 and 12.30 for that day, Wednesday, 12th May 2010. My sister, Shaila, told me it was auspicious that the machine did not start because we would have started in rahu kalam otherwise. It turned out that the rahu kalam was between 12 and 13.30.

Now can we start?
It was necessary that we finish the drilling before sunset so that we can see the amount of water we struck or did not strike. We wanted to avoid our earlier experience where the operator recovered earlier water poured in ostensibly to cool the shafts. I was very tense that they would drag the process on.

The drilling started. It made a lot of noise. A lot of dust was kicked up. The first fifty feet was to be drilled to put in a casing so that loose soil would not fall in. That was standard procedure.

Considerable amount of fine, dry, smoke of white dust wafted towards us and tended to choke us. We were covered with this dust at 40oC in the afternoon. It was not the most pleasant place to sit around. We went up to the main part of the farm house to escape the dust as far as possible.

My sisters had another important work to do. This was to put up the amitaboni plaque on the front door. This they did happily (Fig 5, click to enlarge). It was to be one the happiest moments of our lives especially after the recent joint-family sundering events.
“Bliss was it at that noon to be alive … When native instinct seemed the most to assert her rights…”

Lalitha and I went back and forth monitoring the progress of the machine. They drilled the fifty feet required for the casing, and fitted the casing.

The operators would have to have lunch. That cannot be denied! They had already cooked their food. We went out for our lunch. When we came back the machine was still; the operators were sleeping under the shade of a sole tree.

It was past three thirty in the afternoon when they resumed drilling. We were nervous, of course. The operator had nineteen shafts, each of which was sixteen feet long. The drill head was about four feet long. The maximum depth he could go to was about 308 feet. The diviner had said there would be water at 300 feet. We required going down to at least 320 feet. There was one defective shaft which could be used, Amol assured me.

Nobody knows what we get where.

We had experience of the earlier bore-well. There would be loose red soil around 180 feet. There would be hard rock thereafter. The rock would soften around 260 feet. Red rock would be found at 280 feet and copious amounts of water would be struck at 290. In the previous bore-well we could not go lower than 295 feet.

We waited. The drilling was going more or less to expectations. There was considerable amount of loose, slightly wet soil between 180 and 210 feet. The dusty clouds would start thereafter.

Since loose red soil persisted to 210 feet instead of the 180 feet in the earlier bore-well, one may expect water around 290-300 feet. We would have to dig the bore-well till 320 feet. We must use the 20th shaft, I insisted with Amol.

It took about fifteen minutes for each shaft to go in and five to ten minutes to add a shaft. Water was expected to be struck around eight-thirty to nine in the evening.

It became dark at 7.00 in the evening. We had to come down as there was no electricity to light our way down from the main house. Shaila waited mainly in the car. Lalitha and Buri (Sagorika, my younger sister) would go back and forth.

We had reached the eighteenth shaft. There was no sign of water at the start of the seventeenth shaft (~ 255 feet).

Amol started his preparations for withdrawing his machine. He had spoken to Prashant the diviner, he said. The diviner had told him that if there was loose red soil and if it was followed by hard rock till 300 feet then the drilling must be abandoned. There was no point of going further. That was the depth he could go to with the number of drill bits that he had, in any case.

I refused to accept this and insisted that drilling must go on and if necessary he must bring more shafts.

Ganesh, our help, who lived in the nearby village and had newly married was sitting and watching intently. He kept assuring me that we would strike water.

At the end of the seventeenth drill (~ 270 feet), when no water was still struck, and while the gloomy pall of dry dust pervaded the atmosphere, Ganesh must have left for home.

My sister Shaila was sitting in the car with her hands folded in prayer, looking very worried.

Buri had phoned her husband, Deb, and insisted that he stand on one feet and do appropriate penance for water. Shaila had passed on the news of probable imminent failure to Nimai, her husband. Nimai was cheering from there.

Lalitha was calm as usual. Buri still looked cheerful.

I was counting till 280 feet. That would be about half way down the eighteenth shaft.

Halfway down the eighteenth shaft dry dust still came out, although the soil that came out seemed to have softened.

I still had hopes.

A little later the fine dust stopped abruptly. One of the boys who helped in cleaning up the rock material that came out, ran up to the shaft, collected some of the material that was coming out and put it in my hand. It was muddy soil.

We had struck water. I spread the mud around my family, still not sure.

By the time we finished the eighteenth drill water was flowing out in a stream. We proclaimed victory of lemon divining.

Happiness had started flowing alongside. Two ladies flashed their V signs, Japanese style, while another preferred to give a thumb’s up sign. Buri’s husband, Deb, took some credit because he had just prayed for us, as instructed. Water was flowing (Fig 6 middle) in a sufficient “torrent” for us. The last ghostly images of that night of spraying, spurting, gushing water (Fig 6, right) lingers.

In the final analysis, it is not clear what benefit we have obtained or have given from this divined water. I remember that while the drilling was on, some chameleon and diverse lizards and birds who have made amitaboni their home seemed to be reprimanding me with their looks for all the unnatural dust and noise. I did feel guilty. After all, we had no business really to wrench water out from the earth in this manner.

On the other hand, we did manage to preserve some greenery. The amount of greenery in the picture on the left of Fig 3 is quite unusually substantial for the middle of May. May be we deserved some water as a gift for our efforts over the last ten years or so.

I somehow thought of amitaboni as Bhishma when he was dying. As is his wont, Krishna had played his role (always with a hidden good behind … perhaps) in deceiving Bhishma so that Arjuna could conquer him. As Bhishma was about to fall and die Arjuna would shoot arrows to make a bed and pillow … and when Bhishma would request for water Arjuna would shoot an arrow--- he put an arrow on the ‘gandiv’ bow, powered it with ‘varunastra’, and shot it into the ground --- into the earth to make a fountain of pure water which Bhishma would relish… .

What may not be well known is that Arjuna would shoot arrows through Bhishma’s body to make his bed and through his head to make his pillow!
One could wonder that Bhishma would have felt severe pain to get his bed and his pillow. The internet does not provide me with a description of Bhishma’s agony as he fell.

On the other hand the perception of pain is dependent on the way the mind is prepared. Bhishma had chosen the time to die and pain on that day could have been ignored by him or even felt.

The internet however provides us (see http://www.enotalone.com/article/14945.html) with numerous examples piercing iron rods or tridents through cheeks, and tongues, or hanging by hooks piercing through their backs without showing any discomfort or shedding any blood. Rarely do the participants later show any sign of such piercing. I have myself witnessed and photographed such events in various parts of India.

Maybe amitaboni also did not feel the pain as the machine bored through it. The good diviner gets his permission from the gods before divining and the striking of water for quenching the land’s thirst could have been similar to Arjuna’s piercing of the earth for the water that would quench Bhishma’ thirst-

In his book of 1920 “Science and Technology. Their common aims and methods.” F. W. Westaway, writes
That some men still have the " gift " of " water-divining " is an established fact, but no water-diviner is able to explain his power ; he makes his discovery as though he were merely a conscious automaton. … The power is not, of course, supernatural but supernormal, and seems to be an instinct inherited from ancestors whose actions were guided by instinct and not by reason. The power is thus a survival of a faculty prevailing before the evolution of the self-conscious mind."
Westway would then go on to make an interesting reasoning:
Although instinctive actions are consciously performed, they are performed without necessary knowledge of the relations between the means employed and the ends attained. And they are not accompanied by any form of self-consciousness, for a self-conscious creature could reason for itself, and in consequence would be liable to error, whereas animals do not seem to be thus liable.

VoilĂ !
The more sophisticated you try to become in your reasoning, the more prone to error you are!
I think I will agree with that.
It happens most in singles matches in Table Tennis, or Tennis or badminton. When you are playing spontaneously and enjoying the game you are doing well. But as soon as you become self conscious and think you could win and plan your game, you tend to lose!

Self-conscious important people rarely leave a good lasting impression on spontaneous people.

Once a man becomes sophisticated by being self-conscious, he loses consciously, certain native instincts that he has inherited.
He adopts consciously the fashion of the moment. It is the attitude of a courtesan.
After all, sophistication implies some sort of a falsification if one looks at the way the word has evolved.
Sophism: a fallacious argument, esp. one used deliberately to deceive
Sophist: a paid teacher of philosophy and rhetoric in ancient Greece associated in popular thought with moral skepticism and specious reasoning.
A person who reasons with clever but fallacious arguments
Sophistry: the use of fallacious arguments especially with intention of deceiving
Sophisticate: cause to become less simple or straightforward through education or experience;
talk or reason in an increasingly complex and educated manner;
mislead or corrupt by sophistry (e.g., …sophisticate the understanding and defile the heart)

The point to be made is that as long as one protects one’s self or tries to endear one’s self with sophistication one loses one’s natural sensitivity and a spontaneity that allows one to note changes in one’s environment.

We evolve spontaneously and all our logic/science is a post-facto analysis. Natural events happen anyway at the natural time, with natural consequences. Engineered events, being engineered, are planned and rarely spontaneous even if we think of the motivation behind the events which has all the genes, karma, and dharma. Engineered events, the so-called triumphs of mankind, are always polluting. It is so, even when we are de-polluting.

So why shouldn’t we accept the sensitivities of the non-sophisticated? Why should we use the sophism of our religions (read advertisements) to ignore spontaneous truths from instincts inherited over several thousands of generations of evolution?

After Prashant Dumene had indicated the spot where he had divined the water and after I saw how quickly he had walked across various regions and he had hesitated at various spots, I had asked him on what considerations or feeling he divines water. Prashant had said that he feels very hot and heavy when he finds water. The lemon cools him down. That is why, I supposed, he wanted more lemons to be brought on that first diving day!

I had tried to argue with Prashant about the folds and subsidences in the hills and how one may expect to find water in the natural cracks along which rain-water would form a stream in the rainy season. Prashant said that one does not get water from a single stream. The water reservoir is not stagnant. Two running streams will have to meet and the bore is drilled at that point for getting the maximum amount of water. His ability is based on finding that running stream of underground water.

After the drilling was over and I became more curious about the divining of water, I came across a book on “The Divining Rod: An Experimental and Psychological Investigation 1926” William Barrett and Theodore Besterman write on a Mr. Tompkins about whose divining capacity in the 1920s one “cannot speak too highly …both as regards his finding water and the satisfactory way he has carried out the work”. They continued “If Tomkins had restricted himself to the practice of his art nothing but praise could be given to him, and he could be allowed to rest contentedly on the laurels he has well earned….Unfortunately Tomkins has fallen into that trap for dowsers, the attempt to explain what he does… his notions are absurd.
Mr. Barrett and Mr. Besterman were obviously from the sophisticated class.
They continued the description of Mr. Tompkins. “He believes that underground water always flows in streams; that these streams if traced far enough, converge to a “head”; and that this head is the proper place for sinking a well. His own perception of the water he ascribes to the magical “electricity”… My theory was the result of many years of careful study and practice…”
B and B quote Tomkins as saying “The moment I cross a stratum of water I feel a sort of bracing sensation, which presses up my legs, back, and shoulders, and down the arms to the twig; when I get off the water course I feel the loss of this power till I cross the water again. When I get over the exact spot the (divining) twig revolves over and over, and I am powerless to keep it still.” It is perhaps something akin to this “bracing sensation” that Prakash Dumene would feel strongly. He did not require a diving rod to amplify such sensations. B. Tompkins himself had written a book, the last edition of which is “Springs of Water” in 1925.
Where do the guiding hand of our forefathers and ancestors come in?
Was all this foreseen in their living alive days and do the continue to guide us in their “living dead” days that some would like to believe persists after their death as long as we remember them, I do not have any reason to believe that this is true. At this stage of my life I could like to believe that this should be true.

The coming and going of my father from his life is somewhat strange.
My father was very happy that he was born in the year of the Halley’s comet as he anticipated that he would go with the Halley’s comet citing his most favorite (after Wodehouse) English Author, Mark Twain ("I was born with Halley’s Comet and expect to die on its return"). His last words, as he struggled down the slopes of Garhwal before his death in the Himalayas, expressed his happiness seeing a particular rare plant before. His last thoughts (probably sadly) must have been “I am dying as I thought I would” when he passed away on 4th June 1986. Halley had returned punctually that year … probably for the last time having thought to have disintegrated in the early 1990s.

We often wondered what it was in Mark Twain, or my father, that they should trumpet their connection with Halley’s Comet, so repeatedly and so triumphantly! What indeed was the “scientific” basis for their confidence? We will never know if we are thinking of a logical rationale for it.

On searching the internet I found one J. Allen Hynek who was born on May 1 1910 (same day as my father) and died on April 27 1986 (forty days before my father in the same year). Hynek was one of the pioneers on UFO research and coined the phrase “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (CE-III - a sighting of actual UFO occupants, i.e. aliens).

My father must have been the least sophisticated of these three who bear some facial resemblance (Fig 7, Twain, Aboni and Hynek). It would not make my father a saint. He could have been a worthy Shaman though, as he was always spontaneous.

My greatest emotions during these water diving days did not come because of the water in the veins of the earth of amitaboni. It came from the inherited feeling of the bonding blood in the veins of us remaining siblings.

We did not need to communicate with each other using the spoken word. We siblings rarely did. But all of us children of Amita and Aboni and Amita and Aboni bonded spontaneously on that divine day at amitaboni.

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