Sri M.S. Mehta: The Pattern of a Gentleman

Out, out the brief candle, was the astrological verdict, I said to myself, when I saw the horoscope sometime in the last week of March 2010 of late Shri M.S. Mehta. Born in 1932, the bell was tolling, that bell which beckons us all sometime or the other to shuffle off the mortal coil. 

Life’s journey has to end someday, some people’s sooner and of others’, later. But, we know as astrologers when people come to consult us, that an average Indian living in urban areas accumulates enough tensions causing, apart from some physical ailments which the pollution of our cities give us without any warning, a number of diseases, blood pressure, diabetes, heart ailment, kidney or liver trouble, etc. 

The dasha of Venus, the second lord for the purpose of this case and the antardasha of Jupiter, the seventh lord and the pratyantara dasha of Venus again – was the message these dashas conveyed, clear? (Venus and Jupiter are both maraka lords for Virgo lagna). I examined this event from other angles also. 

M.S. Mehta’s Natal Chart

Mehtaji did not meet me for a month nearly after the third week of March 2010, never talked on phone and only conveyed the message that in the absence of a servant at home, he could not leave his ailing wife alone in the house and come even to Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan to teach. Then came the message that he was ill, later that he was suffering from pneumonia and was in an intensive care unit. I lost hopes and told Col Gour who was with me on the stage on 11 April during our semi-annual astrology school convocation, that it was a very difficult period for Mehtaji. 

On 25 April, a Sunday when I was teaching a class in the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Shri R.C. Dadhwal and Shri Deepak Bisariaji conveyed the tragic message that Mehtaji was no more. We all left our classes and held a condolence. There ended an eighteen year old chapter of a sweet association with a gentleman teacher, Shri M.S.Mehta, who was my astrology student in 1992 and later, my colleague in the Institute of Astrology, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, New Delhi.

His astrological career reads like a rare fiction. He started learning astrology after his retirement from the Indian Foreign Service in which he held some important posts as ambassador in different countries, including the US. He had the retentivity of a young man of twenty though he had crossed sixty years when he joined our classes. In the final results of our examination he stood third and even got bronze medal. His old contemporaries in the same age group did not do well in the examination and most of them forgot astrology soon after passing examination. But Mehtaji had the zest of a young man to do research in astrology. He read the series of my articles “Planets take them across the seas’ and another in a souvenir, in which I revealed my research on foreign travels.

He expressed his desire to write a book on the subject since he had a large collection of the horoscopes of people who went abroad for various purposes, diplomatic assignments like members of I.F.S, for settling down, for medical treatment, for studies etc. He wrote what till day is the only and most brilliant book on this subject Planets and Travel Abroad. This book made his reputation and in a way, was an announcement in the world of astrologers that a new and brilliant researcher had arrived.

Then he went on writing more books like Ashtakvarga: Concept & Application, Analyzing Horoscope Through Modern Techniques (English & Hindi), and Varshaphal (Annual Horoscope). 

His Spirituality
Always impressive and heartening was his sense of gratitude towards those who taught him life’s beautiful lessons and also astrology, a surest sign of a spiritually sensitive and developed person, a samskara he was born with. Flickering in his eyes always but rarely expressed vociferously was his hatred for those who exhibited ingratitude towards their teachers or guru like persons or elders.

Then there was that distinctly expressed opinion about the national scene of corruption and falsehoods which could not be ignored in spite of the sickening political vaporings of politicians. The unfolding national disasters like Naxalism, terrorism, unemployment seemed to remain focused in his mind. That took him astrologically into his keener interest in mundane astrology on which he wrote what till days is the best book on the subject,Time Tested Technique of Mundane Astrology, which he co-authored with A. Radhika Rao. Because of his background of international politics and events, because of his service in foreign countries and academically, being a keen and good student of history, he looked into mundane events with historical insight always. 

He wrote many more books with his unquenchable thirst for more and more astrological exploration, knowledge and clear exposition of tested techniques, rejecting the opinions of shloka touting and sutra chopping astrologers failing to prove anything through research and advance predictions, that dwindling crowd of dementedly pedantic pretender scholars. Such robust mental attitude is rarely visible in a seventy years old man. He belonged to that rare breed of intellectuals. 

He had his own strong convictions like saying that after the partition of the country, we had sleepwalked into the commission of same blunders which led to the partition of the country and that all over the world multiculturalism was dead as it bred only racism and terrorism. He hated pseudo secularism as he always thought that we had a divisive culture of separateness which was lethal for the country. 

He had his own strong convictions like saying that after the partition of the country, we had sleepwalked into the commission of same blunders which led to the partition of the country and that all over the world multiculturalism was dead as it bred only racism and terrorism. He hated pseudo secularism as he always thought that we had a divisive culture of separateness which was lethal for the country. 

The years he spent in west Asia during his service career gave him some understanding of those countries and often he said that Saddam Hussein had done a lot of good to Iraq inspite of his anti-Shia, anti-Kurd policies. In his own way, he did say, nearly fifteen years ago, that in future there will be the fear of clash between oil rich countries, the religiously fundamentalist west Asia and the west. He was anticipating in a way what the world later came to know as the famous theory of clash of civilizations of Samuel Huntington.

Some years ago, his political analysis led him into an obsessive conclusion that Israel and USA will have to attack Iran which has not happened yet. Weaponization of space in which race USA is far ahead of other countries, makes an attack on Iran a distinct possibility now is what some analysts have already said. The space bomber is now a reality. 

I will miss Mehtaji’s insightful analysis of international situation with which he illumined many evenings of mine.

In the last five or six years of his life he got immersed more and more in the Vishnu Sahasranam, Narayana Kavacham, the Bhagavad Gita, Gayatri mantra and taking pilgrimages. He was exploring peace within himself, having developed deep detachment, true vairagya. He helped five poor students with his money without telling anyone, as his charities were true in spirit and never exhibitionistic. He never talked ill of anyone – rarest of spiritual qualities, and had a boisterous, guileless and ringing laughter.

I will miss all that and remember him as a true and honest friend, spiritual, intellectual, balanced and always truthful. 

About The Author


K.N. Rao is widely considered to be one of the foremost Vedic astrologers in the world today. He is the architect of a great astrological renaissance, and founder of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan school of astrology in New Delhi, India, the largest astrology school in the world with over 800 students and 25 teachers. He is also the editor of the quarterly magazine, Journal of Astrology, and author of more than twenty five books on Vedic astrology.


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