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Excerpts from A Rishi Among Us: Preface

This is an excerpt from Andrea’s book, “A Rishi Among Us: Tales of Krishan Mantri”. A PDF version of the book is available in our store located here.

Mantriji, Omenology and Me

When I arrived in Toronto as a young girl, that first day at the airport I watched as an Indian man in a long white shirt came to my mother’s assistance when we were alone and desperate for help. Throughout my childhood, this kind man would return in dreams and reassure me with the words: “We meet again.”

by Danielle “Bhavya” Winter. www.followingthemoon.com

As a young woman raised by ‘five mothers’ (my mother, her sisters, my grandmother, and great-grandmother), each of whom taught me their wisdom and respect for nature in her forms as flowers, scents, food, and intuition, I knew that there are no coincidences in the observation of nature. This elemental wisdom was shared by Seers my ancestors would have knows as los Videntes. Los Videntes understand that the concept of omenology rests on a foundation of unusual phenomena.

Since a very young age I was filled with deep questions.

There was a deep restlessness within me that only a true bona fide Spiritual Master could cure. The many books, organized religious groups, and the esoteric cults I had investigated were just not providing my inner seeker of truth with any satisfaction. By the time I had reached the age of 21, I knew it was time for a serious teacher.

One Sunday afternoon, when I was 23, I ventured for the first time to an area of Gerrard Street East in Toronto known as Little India, along with my reluctant sister and a friend.

We stepped off the streetcar into another world, where scents of roasted corn with fresh lime and spicy garnishes filled the air, and dazzling window displays of colorfully dressed mannequins in shiny silk saris and flashy sequenced jewels sparkled in the mid-day light. The street was crowded with many different types of Indian folk; Punjabi men in lovely turbans, holding their kirpans, and women who floated in their Punjabi pants and long outfits with shawls covering their heads, exposing long blue-black hair neatly tied back. Children played alongside their siblings while their parents hustled in and out of grocery stores, buying bags of rice and grains, perhaps as offerings to their temples.

Standing on Gerrard Street that afternoon, I broadcast to God, the Universe, and my spirit guides to send me a sign that my Teacher was on his or her way. In that very moment— with my sister and friend as my witnesses—a large white owl swooped down right in front of me from the right to the left side of the street, so large, and extraordinarily out of place! A few pigeons flew frantically away as the white owl nested in between a storefront roof and the building’s secondfloor apartment. We stared in awe and appreciation for this great being before us. Several people around us stopped and watched as well, pointing and speaking loudly in Hindi. I was mesmerized and stood still in time. As I looked into the white owl’s eyes, I remembered Mantriji. “Go and find Mantriji!” My instinct demanded that I search for him.

I knew the owl was an omen. For thousands of years, every civilization has sought ways of understanding natural laws, the order of the universe, and its effect on humankind. Omens are observed around the table of mate, in ceremonies, in the kitchen, in the garden, and in one’s daily activities. Growing up with this language I immediately understood the meaning of encountering the white owl at the very moment I was begging for God to send me a teacher.

Omenology is a universal language of the natural order, a language only a few speak. To give a language to the unseen worlds is the mystery behind omenology. To interpret this language of mother nature, there is a relationship established between the seer, the seen, and the unseen worlds. Every culture speaks a version of this language based on the experiences of its ancestors, their culture, race, and creed. The women in my family speak this language as their mother tongue.

In India, omenology is referred to as nimitta, a fully scientific system of divination based on the observations of seers who have developed a sense of intuition and an ability to read signs and patterns in the present moment. Interpretation also depends on a seer’s level of consciousness, life experience, and state of mental health.

Among the tribes of women practicing earth sciences, interpretations of omens vary. For example, one might say that the white owl means a change about to come, another
interpret the owl as an omen of death itself, and another that deception is upon you. Some say that the change you are about to encounter will transform your life, and you will experience a state like death. The owl symbolizes the wisdom that one can attain after such a life-transforming event.

Each of these interpretations were true concerning my nimitta of seeing an owl while trying to find a life transforming teacher, one who would actually kill the ignorance that I was living in.

I sought a teacher who could incinerate my limited beliefs into life-changing transmutation!

Mantriji was my white owl of change, my whirlwind of clarity. Mantriji is like the owl that sees in the dark and guides one beyond the veil of deception and illusion. Like a wise old owl, he dispelled my darkness of ignorance with a torch of knowledge, just like Krishna did for Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Each satsanga was a combat of illusion and those mental and emotional blocks that stop each of us from reaching our own inner white owl. He knew the language of los Videntes because he is one, a master of nimitta who interpreted several omens daily, breaking many a spell under which I lived!

The Art of Omenology is found in the Brihat Samhita, an ancient text on astronomy and astrology. My love for the Vedas grows daily as I find the same language spoken by my mothers in these scriptures based on evidence. The Vedas offer a step-by-step process in the art of Divination not found in any other system, including a deep and comprehensive approach to divination, medicine, mysticism, numerology, sacred symbols, songs, prayers, and the magic arts.

I undertook the writing of this book in homage to my great and humble teacher, Mantriji, who shared his deep understanding of the vast shastras of India, including astrology
(jyotisha) and its branch of omenology. Along with Mantriji’s insights and teachings, I have shared the story of my journey before, during and after I sat at his feet for satsanga (spiritual community), along with my reflections, and those of my Guru-brothers and -sisters, of how Mantriji’s teachings have touched our lives.

This book celebrates and honours Mantriji, a humble teacher who has shared his knowledge, life force, talents and stories with many of us who sat at his feet for satsanga. My goal was to collect stories, insights, teachings, and inspirational thoughts about Mantriji. Along with my Guru-brothers and -sisters I share our personal stories about how his teachings have touched our lives. Through our stories and life lessons, I hope to share the benefit of his teachings.

-Andrea Olivera

This is an excerpt from Andrea’s book, “A Rishi Among Us: Tales of Krishan Mantri”. A PDF version of the book is available in our store located here.

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