FIJIANS FLOCK TO HEAR COMPUTER TELL FORTUNES

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Feb. 3) - It may be a sign of the times for the struggling township of Labasa but hundreds of people are turning up at the doorstep of a self-made guru to get their fortunes told.

Everyday, the Labasa Sangam Temple where Guruji Varadaraja operates is busier than a small town health clinic and people have to take numbers in order to see him.

With the little town plunging into recession, it may not be a surprise to see the large daily turnout as people go in search of destiny. Mostly, they want to have their palms read and want to know everything Varadaraja can tell them about their lives.

While fortune telling is not a new business in Labasa, what sets Varadaraja apart from most is that he uses a computer software called Parashar Hora Shastra to complement his predictions and although the service is done for free, people have to pay a small fee for the computer printouts.

"I have brought this program from India. I need people to tell me their date of birth, exact time of their birth and the place they were born. These facts need to be accurate," said Varadaraja

"I click on the system and there it is... people get to know all they want to know about their future and past."

"I work with people’s birth chart. People who come to me have to make sure that they provide me accurate information."

He studied Vedic Astrology in India and has mastered Indian astrology.

He says he could tell people when they were going to die.

"Yes, I can. I may not be able to tell them the exact day and time but I can indicate to them the time, they may be falling sick which could eventually lead to their death. I can provide some indication."

But, Varadarajadoes not feel comfortable telling people about their date with death.

"I normally do not like taking about death. I enjoy telling people about their ambitions, achievements, and characteristics and how their lives have been planned by the Creator."

"Those wanting to know about their life partners have to provide their partner’s date of birth and time of birth and place of birth. Such information can help decide on choosing permanent life partners."

"People can send emails to me and I will send their ‘future’ to them."

He said astrology had a place in every society and people of all religious backgrounds made use of it at one time or another.

"It is about the definite signs and how the planetary movements have impact on the lives of the people," he said.

"I have seen people of all races come to me. There is a craze among the people be they old or young, they all want to know their future. People can get know a bit on their past too, particularly for those who believe in reincarnation," said Varadaraja.

The Guruji prefers to provide his services to people mostly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

But he says, "I cannot do much. People come daily, so I see them."

The Guruji is head priest at the temple. He recites hymns for special prayers but most of his time spent telling people their future.

February 3, 2003

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