The first of the seven disciples of Shiva, Maharshi Bhrigu is one of the Sapta Rishis. For the disciples, it was a normal daily routine to revolve around Shiva thrice and offer their devotion to him. Bhrigu, like other Rishis, was a strong devotee of Shiva. However, he was so into Shiva that he would ignore Shiva’s consort Parvati.
One day, Bhrigu thought, “I don’t want anything to do with Parvati. Why should I go around her? I will only go around Shiva.” So, every time he visited Parvati, he would only go around Shiva and asked Parvati to move aside. This made Parvati furious, and she would refuse to move aside. Bhrigu then turned himself into a bird and went around Shiva. Shiva took this situation into a light heart, while Parvati kept getting furious.
To know what he would do, Shiva placed Parvati on his lap, leaving no room for them. Then, Bhrigu turned himself into a bee and revolved around Shiva. The incident got Parvati even angrier. On the other hand, Shiva was amused and took it in a funny manner. He then pulled Shiva closer and made her a part of himself, just as if they were sitting as one. He became the Ardhanari. Bhrigu bore a hole and made sure that he would only go around Shiva. Parvati couldn’t control her anger and cursed him, “Your body should be decimated. You won’t be able to take a single step, forget about going around Shiva now.”
Bhrigu was then turned to bone and skin, losing all his muscles. He couldn’t stand. Shiva then interfered and said to Parvati that Bhrigu is a Rishi and a great devotee and that devotees are insane. He clarified that he wasn’t doing anything out of disrespect for Parvati, and if she had told him that she was also Shiva, he would have revolved around her too.
But even Shiva couldn’t do anything about the curse of his consort. Instead, as a solution, he gave Bhrigu a third leg to stand on.
Today, when you go to a few Shiva temples, you will find an image of a man with three legs. That leg was not just to stand up; it was through that leg he could perceive the three worlds. It then became a symbolic leg.
Gaining the perception of the three worlds, he wrote Bhrigu Samhita, which then was regarded as a map of how human beings will be until the solar system dies. He didn’t mean about individual human beings. Instead, he was talking about humanity in general – about how it will evolve, will do, the types of human beings that will be, and the situation there in the future.
Say you make a sketch of the movement of the wind. You would know how the wind moves depending on the location of high and low-pressure areas. Likewise, Bhrigu developed a map of human consciousness – the kind of womb a human being would move into, and what it will become of. He elaborated on this concept and even trained several about the map.
Any map would be difficult to read, and it requires training. Consider yourself reading an aeronautical map, it would rather be complex, talking about how planets are round, how it spins, how the time zones change. To someone who knows how to read it, it would only take two minutes to get into what is required. But without training, you can be lost on the map without gaining anything even if you spend days understanding it.
Understanding this need for training, Bhrigu taught people about the certain dimension of intuitiveness so that they could read it, as it was not completely logical. It’s not something that’s based on what’s already there. It is a map and a complex one, and it requires certain knowledge to interpret how situations can unfold. The interpretations might not always be hitting the right notes, as interpretations can be subjective. However, fundamental reading will be the same. For instance, a meteorologist can predict the rainfall, but may not be 100% accurate. Instead of raining at 2 pm, it can rain at 4 pm, or at a slightly different location. Someone else can predict it the other way, but it does lead to the same fundamentals. The only thing is that the dynamics of nature can change.
So, is everything predetermined?
It’s not that everything is fixed. Your destiny is based on your karma. Consider it to be software, where there are many processes and modules, and you function in a certain way. You have your inputs, which are your actions, and it is your software that processes it.
When some astrologer comes to you and says, “You will live for this many years,” that doesn’t necessarily mean you will live that year in this life. You might jump off the mountain the next moment. You should know that the physical body and the mental structures are something that you built, and it is something that you can destroy. But you cannot touch other aspects. This is exactly what the software is. The astrologers are reading your software.
Say you have software installed on a computer, but the computer crashes down. You can still pop in the hard drive into a new computer and run the software. So, even if your “computer” crashes down, you will eventually get a new “computer” with the same software. Here the computer is your physical body, and the software is your soul.
If the astrologers are genuine, then they can’t predict your future if you are on a spiritual path. Because it means that you don’t care about the nonsensical karma, and you want to go the way you want to go, regardless of what the society says, what your genes are, and what planet you are staying at. Being on a spiritual path means taking things and your own destiny into your own hands.
The answer to if everything is predetermined is, therefore, no. Not even death is predetermined. Everything is created by you. The only thing is that there are certain things that you unconsciously create that you can be unaware of. But you should know that you can also create it consciously – the whole motto of the spiritual process.