Omens contribute vital inputs in execution of elections or Muhurats. Omen seen, felt, heard or even visulised at the initiation of an activity, certainly foretells or forewarns about probable fate or result of the activity.
A knowledge of omens is considered an art or science amongst the Hindus generally, and there is a book in Telugu, translated from the Sanskrit, upon this subject. The three divisions of this book are palmistry (smudrikam), or the interpretation of spots on the body and of creases in the hands ; enquiry (prashnam), or divination tried by dipping the hand into the ” Ramayanam “; and omens. There is a class of people who are learned in omens and kindred subjects ; the chief of these are the astronomers or astrologers (jyotishka) who, as their name implies, are learned in the stars and occult matters.
Omens & portents (Shakun and Utpaats) form an important branch of Vedic astrology, which includes interpretation of dreams, status of living and non-living items in the environment, sounds produced by human & animals, portents, mode of pacification of adverse omens & portents. It acts as a guide in horary astrology or Prasna astrology; to clinch the issue when there is a stalemate or ambiguity. Forthcoming or future events cast their shadows before and it is the ingenuity and skill of the interpreters to decode or interpret omens accurately for their beneficial usage in their daily life.
Some scholars opine that an election clinched only on the basis of an omen, does not have lasting or long-term effects. Other scholars have opined that in the matter like analysing a theft, tracing a culprit or similar requirements, omen is to be given importance to resolve an ambiguity or confusion.
Scriptures on Hindu / Vedic electional (Muhurat) astrology have elaborated omens in detail for travel related elections. For example, on seeing an inauspicious omen, the person is advised to return (not to proceed with journey), and chant some remedial prayers or mantras several times as may be advised and then restart the journey. If inauspicious Shakun is again is seen, then he should return and chant the remedial prayers some more number of times as specified and may restart the journey. If the inauspicious omen is again observed for the third time while restarting the journey, the journey should be postponed or cancelled. Most of the sages and pandits agree on this. From such practices, we may comprehend the importance given to omens in elections. The deer must develop special faculty of interpretation of omen seen or heard or even visualised at the initiation of an activity, and use it efficaciously. In case of observation of adverse omen with high potency, execution of an election should be abandoned/ postponed. Sages and exponents have laid down rules to interpret omens, examine potency of an omen & timing of event based on omens.
Power or relative importance of an omen is studied or analysed based on its position with respect to the observer — front / back / left / right / higher & lower level etc; occurrence or finding of omen in a geographical direction such as East, South, West, North with respect to observer; timing, and speed of the omen; sound produced or heard, expression, location or place where it is observed and so on.
Following are some items and persons signifying auspicious or favourable; inauspicious or unfavourable omens. The list may not be exhaustive, but provides reasonable information. Omens and their interpretations may vary from place to place, country to country religion to religion or culture to culture.
ITEMS SIGNIFYING OMENS
AUSPICIOUS ITEMS: Following fifty items are auspicious items & seeing them is auspicious at all the times:
Curd, milk, rice, pot filled with water, ripe food, mustard, sandal, mirror, fresh green grass (Durva- a kind of grass), conch shell, meat, fish, soil (wet), a bright yellow pigment prepared from urine of cow ( Gorochan), cow dung, cow, honey, idol of god, Veena (a musical instrument), fruit, seat of king, flower, black items used to decorate eyes (Anjan / Kajal / Surma), ornaments, hand weapon, beetle leaves, conveyance, palanquin (Palki – man carried conveyance), a covered pot or box to keep medicine or wine (Sharavsanput) , flag, parasol (Chhatra), hand fan, clothes, lotus, Kakash (pot), glowing fire, elephant, goats, drums, device to control elephant (Ankush), tail of animal used to whisk flies (Chaamar), gems, gold, silver, copper, herd of tied animals or an animal whose legs are tied, medicine, drink, tree with fruit, fresh vegetables.
A sparkle without smoke, ash, fuel-wood-cow dug cake (Upla), rope, mud, device used to make powder by hammering action (Tilkuta), cotton, husk (Tush), bones, opened hair (untied hair), black item, iron, bark of a tree (Valkal), skin of a tree, black sesame (Til) or black pulse, stone, stool, snake, medicine, oil, raw sugar, boneless meat, empty or broken utensil, salt, dry grass, butter milk, wood, iron chain, rain & wind.
OMENS RELATED TO PERSONS
Sight of the following persons is auspicious: a king, happy Brahmin, prostitute, virgin girl, gentle person, well dressed person sitting on a horse or ox, a fair complexion lady in white dress & wearing white garland on her fore head; a pious Brahmin wearing white clothes-sandal & flowers-having properly fed & having received donations, reciting Mantras; a lady with a man or either of them having fruit in his or her hands- seen in front; a child saying something on his own; a beautiful person, person dressed in white clothes-wearing white garland, speaking sweetly if is found coming from front or right side during journey or at the time of entrance- it is an auspicious omen.
A person doing vomiting; hair-less or clean shaved head; having any body part severed; naked; untidy: body part oiled; ill; dirty; angry, drunkard; having long hair (Jatadhari); quarrelsome; having black complexion; opened hair; sitting on a camel / ass / buffalo; loudly weeping; eunuch; ascetic; a lady wearing black clothes & black garland on her fore-head; a lady having menstruation; pregnant woman.