One of the reasons why god men and women have great followings, particularly in India, is because many of them are good soothsayers and fortune-tellers, predicting a person’s future through palm or numerical readings. Some even claim that they possess the power to change the course of people’s impending negative outcome to positive ones, which include jobs and promotions, marriage prospects, foreign travel, fortune gains, family problems and what have you. And all in return for an offering in cash or kind! Many such soothsayers, playing on the anxiety and insecurity of vulnerable individuals, eventually end up erecting huge material empires, while they are supposedly spiritual masters offering divine benefits.
The reason many people run to such soothsayers is simply because as human beings we are not given the gift and power to know the future. And we not only want to control the future events of our life but we generally desire wealth, power and success.
Doris Day, the famous actress who died last month at the age of 97, in the Alfred Hitchcock film in 1956 serenaded the popular song, which, when heard with a spiritual disposition, can throw a wonderful light on how to avoid running to soothsayers. She sings, “When I was just a little girl I asked my mother, what will I be? Will I be pretty? Will I be rich? Here’s what she said to me; Que sera, sera — Whatever will be, will be — The future’s not ours to see — Que sera, sera — What will be, will be”. The stanzas of the song go further but always end with, “Whatever will be, will be, the future’s is not ours to see, Que sera sera, what will be will be”.
I believe it is people who do not have sufficient faith in a loving God that make a beeline to soothsayers. “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” says Jesus in the gospels while instructing them not to worry about material things. Again, “And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows”.
True, in times of difficulty it is not easy to trust God, so the temptation to look for an immediate solution. The spiritual path, however, teaches us to be patient and to abandon our life’s cares into God’s hands and by surrendering to him, trust him that as a loving father he would turn everything to our advantage. As the Bible says, “Commit your way to the Lord, trust in him, and he will act”.