A Narration of Experiences of a Wife in Gurukul Life as Per Vedas in Contemporary Times

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– Mrs. Suvrata Vinod

I had been living a life of a modern career woman with a flourishing profession as a management consultant to many MNCs way back in 1990s. I got introduced to spirituality as a tool of Behavioual Science as is prevalent in our society today. I had a traumatic personal life with much confusion about customs and values. Destiny led me to a situation where I could jump to a new challenge of a ‘Life for Yajna’ (यज्ञार्थात् कर्मणोन्यत्र लोकोयं कर्मबन्धनः….Gita 3.9) rather than ‘Spirituality for Material progress’. Suddenly, I found myself learning and practising Vedic Life far removed from our familiar city life. A flood of some latent memories of Achara (Customary practices) came to me and I started understanding Spirituality not as a distant learning but something which I had left incomplete in some previous attempt due to some mischief or loss of patience (पूर्वाभ्यासेन तेनैव ह्रियते ह्यवशोपि सः…..Gita 6.44).

We were staying on the banks of River Narmada in Gujarat at that time. We had an Ashrama away from any village leave aside any town. We started with a purifying performance called ‘सर्वप्रायश्चित्तं’ in the presence of learned Brahmins of all the four Vedas. Our Guruji had taught my Pati our ancestral Shakha called Taittiriya Yajurveda. We now wanted to practise Karma Yoga as the Chosen Path.(लोकेस्मिन् द्विविधा निष्ठा पुरा प्रोक्ता मयानघ। ज्ञानयोगेन सांख्यानां कर्मयोगेन योगिनाम्। Gita 3.3) We decided to undertake a life of Grihastha with mandatory Panch Mahayajnya.(पंच वा एते महायज्ञाः..) Besides, we decided to share our learnings with whomsoever wishes to but in the prescribed fashion.

Two brahmacharins came to us for learning Veda. We had a small piece of land to cultivate and we bought a cow to complete our duties of fire worship etc. Narmada was 150 steps below and we chose not to have electricity, water-supply, road or telephone. We did keep a scooter to do a fortnightly visit to the nearest town Rajpipla.

Surya Argya

(Source of Image : http://gurukul.ashram.org/Home/A-Day-In-Gurukul)

The day starts early in the dark hours of pre-dawn. I would get up even before Acharya and Shishyas. I started with putting on the oil-lamp. Then I would visit the cow-shed to cleanup the cowdung. We will require this cowdung for making round-balls for preserving the household sacred-fire (गृह्याग्नि) incessantly. This practice is prevalent throughout the present day Vedics but I am told that this is just an Apad-dharma or contingency. They say, unknown to many practising Vedics, Vedas have no mention of using cowdung as fuel. [Footnote 1: Anyways, this is what we used till we shifted to Garhwal Himalayas. This part of the story will come in due course. But in short, over there we had an access to abundant dry firewood in the forest and a practise of keeping perpetual fire on logs of wood, without depleting the forest, by judicious cyclic usage.] After cleaning the cowshed, I would throw a bundle of dry fodder or green grass cut the previous evening from the fields to the cow as was the practise in Gujarat and come back to the hermitage. Meanwhile, Acharya would be sitting in the verandah surrounded by yawning young shishyas. They would be doing Pratah-smaranam. I also know the chants by everyday use but I never needed to learn them. प्रातरग्निं प्रातरिन्द्रँ हवामहे। प्रातर्मित्रावरुणा प्रातरश्विना। प्रातर्भगं पूषणं ब्रह्मणस्पतिम्। प्रातः सोममुत रुद्रँ हुवेम। They would be chanting this Sukta after their Apam-upasparshanam, splashing water on the face and sipping. He would ask them to drink cool water kept in the night in copper-vessel. And even I would drink some warm water. We used to go for bowels in woods at a distance and nearby for urination. [Footnote 2: Smritis have a detailed description of this मलनिर्मोचन. We admit that with the ever-shrinking space for human inhabitation, this is almost irrelevant now. But, Acharya tried to practise the prescribed way and he observes that the texts are very careful in maintaining hygiene and also respect the Mother Earth, Wind, Waters, Fire, Directions and Sun, all as Devata. This leads to a very healthy nature-friendly life, though we may find it cumbersome. We may envy their extravagant natural resources, the luxury of wild country-space.] This शौचमाचमनं is going on along with morning class of Veda-Avritti. This used to be hilarious or sometimes painful also for the young ones with all their sleepiness. They would be reciting with the Acharya doing Dhyanam or contemplation. This is the time which gives the best of insights into Past, Present and Future. Acharya would sit peacefully while I would dust the rooms and sprinkle water in the court-yard. I would draw Rangoli unless I am unfit in my natural menstrual cycle. Acharya told me an anecdote of how stupid and arrogant we are as the children of modern age. He once read a shloka ‘वैश्वदेवस्य यः कर्ता तस्य भार्या रजस्वला। भिक्षा तत्र न कर्तव्या यतिना हितमिच्छता।।‘ He construed it to mean: ‘He who is doing Vaishvadeva Homa, means his wife is unfit due to menses and hence Yati should avoid his house for Bhiksha, as it is certainly impure.’ He assumed due to unexposure to real practise that Vaishvadeva is to be done by the person who cooks. So naturally the wife would be ordinarily doing Vaishvadeva everyday. The day she is out, husband would cook and also perform Vaishvadeva. Now, along comes a Yati for Bhiksha and when he sees the husband doing Vaishvadeva, he understands the situation and walks away without having to be told the inside story! The readers are invited to share their interpretation as an exercise-problem to explain the importance of actual exposure to practises to interpret texts faithfully to the intention of the composer. We will answer the correct interpretation in the next issue. Acharya says, his Guruji in Kashi was ammused with this brilliant interpretation which was just false! Ofcourse he was crest-fallen and enlightened simultaneousely when the simple and elegant actual meaning was told by his Guruji.

This Rangoli is different for different clans. It also shows lots of innovations and adaptations. But the idea of fresh and pure household, fit for a ‘Life for Yajnya’ is what is common to all of them. This is our cultural unity in diversity in external form. We will keep sharing these little pieces, if the readers like it.

To be continued….

– Mrs. Suvrata Vinod, Anandavan Bhakta Samudaya, Institute of Advanced Studies in Veda and Science.

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Understanding The Tradition of Vedic Recitation (Part-II)

(Continued from Part-I)

-Dr. Soma Basu

1.4. The necessity of oral transmission –

We can see that the tradition of oral transmission from teacher to pupil, from early times to the present day is most important, since it is the only method recognized as authentic and authoritative as far as the preservation of the sacred texts is concerned. The breadth of outlook of the Vedic sages, our ancestors, was truly remarkable. Great care was taken to preserve the proper accentuation of the Vedic texts.

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(Source of Image : https://indroyc.com/2014/11/08/the-tradition-of-vedic-chanting/)

The practice of different modes of recitation or the method of instruction is emphatically necessary for the proper understanding and transmission of any kind of Vedic texts and ritual practices. Some peculiar but very useful devices have been applied from time immemorial, which is now practised even today by following traditional system of education.  Fortunately, a growing interest has been felt in recent years in the study of the Vedic recitation in the traditional manner particularly in some parts of India.

1.5  The importance of the ancillary texts – 

The texts (or lakṣaṇa granthas) which define the characteristics and describe the special features of Vedic texts are generally termed Veda-lakṣaṇa. These ancillary texts, the highly interesting field of traditional Indian learning, are of multifaceted importance. They are of ancillary nature and generally classified under Vedāṅga, a few of them more precisely under the Śikṣā, i.e., the texts on Phonetics or Śikṣā. They relate to the method of instruction and the practice of different modes of recitation, which are most important for a proper understanding and the study of the tradition of Vedic recitation. Such texts are not only interesting from the point of view of the preservation of Vedic texts but are also very instructive for an understanding of the various devices or methods of learning that were exclusively developed for this purpose and also for knowledge of the various aspects of the history of their proper transmission.  A mere performance in the proper way is believed to produce a spiritual effect irrespective of understanding the meaning of the texts recited.

Attempting for preservation of the sacred texts in a strictly oral tradition, not only the words but also their correct articulation led to an inquiry into the production of the sounds of speech. To attain the goal of perfect preservation of the sacred texts, a sound knowledge of pronunciation techniques is required. Towards the end of the Vedic period there were three branches of linguistic study, – phonetics (Śikṣā), etymology (Nirukta) and grammar (Vyākaraṇa), but their oldest systematical works have not survived. Phonetics was the basis for the other two branches namely, Nirukta and Vyākaraṇa. Grammar was linked up with the ritual duties of the priests.

The earliest mention of the Sūtra texts of Phonetics or Śikṣā is found in the Taittirīya Upaniṣad (1.2). They are as old as the Kalpa Sūtras and connected closely with the Saṃhitās of the Vedas, the R̥gveda Prātiśākhya being the oldest textbook of Vedic phonetics. The six chapters of Śikṣā are enumerated there as lessons on letters and their intonation, syllabic measures, i.e., quantity of the syllables and volume, melody and word combination.

1.6. Conclusion

The sources of Indian phonetics, the Śikṣā and Prātiśākhya

The history of the study of Indian grammatical traditions begins with the Śikṣā and Prātiśākhya. They are two main categories that constitute the sources of Indian phonetics. Śikṣā dealing with the science of phonetics of the Vedas occupies a very important position in the Lakṣaṇa for facilitating easy learning and memorization. They contain instructions on pronunciation, intonation, euphonic changes of sounds in word combinations, elongation of vowels etc. The holistic manner of recitation of the Saṃhitās is not itself actual works of grammar still they deal with subjects which belong to grammar. They bear the testimony to the fact that the texts of the Saṃhitās have been preserved without any change throughout all these centuries since the time of the Prātiśākhyas, the oldest being the R̥gveda Prātiśākhya, the most important text book of Vedic phonetics. The Vedic Saṃhitās are the work of phoneticians or grammarians as we get the stanzas in a complete grammatically analytic form.

– Dr. Soma Basu, Associate Professor, School of Vedic Studies, Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata

Understanding The Tradition of Vedic Recitation [Part-I]

SB Photo

-Dr. Soma Basu

1.1. The relevance of ancient Indian texts on Phonetics –

The purport or relevance of the ancient scriptures (Śāstras) on Phonetics is most modern considering their invaluable importance in the methodical phonetic procedure developed by them, which helped preserve the Vedas without the slightest variants in the most faithful way possible. The Vedas are the most ancient bulk of literature humanity has ever produced. They are not only scriptures, but also the fountainhead of Indian culture and human civilization. Actually, they are the treasure house of knowledge par excellence. They are the source of integral wisdom, science, tradition and culture of a remarkable civilization. They are oral compilations of distilled wisdom of cosmic knowledge survived from the time immemorial. We all know that the Veda has to be studied along with its six ancillary texts, i.e., the Vedāṅgas. They are the last treatises of Vedic literature. The Vedāṅga likely developed towards the end of the Vedic period, around of after the middle of the 1st millennium BCE, These auxiliary fields of Vedic studies emerged because the language of the Vedic texts composed centuries earlier grew too archaic to the people of that time.

ṣaḍaṅgo vedo’dhyeyo jñeyaś ca.

1.2. The function of the auxiliary disciplines of the Vedas (Vedāṅgas) –

The necessity of the Vedas and precisely the limbs or auxiliary disciplines of the Vedas (Vedāṅgas) will never die out, in as much as these are the most dependable source to look up to for answers to many a query that invoke intricate exploration. Understanding Vedāṅgas is a pre-requisite to understanding the Veda. The function of the Śikṣā (i.e., the foremost of the six limbs – [The other five being Kalpa or ritual, Vyākaraa or grammar, Nirukta or etymology, Chandas or meter and Jyotia or astronomy.]) is to fix the parameters of Vedic words. Phonetics is most important in the case of the Vedic language; because we see that a mere change in sound leads to change in results and effect. The ancient Indian science of phonetics, which is taught so meticulously in the Śikṣā texts, is the ultimate knowledge discussed in such an ancient time regarding construction of sound and language for synthesis of ideas, in contrast to grammarians who developed rules for language deconstruction and understanding of ideas. We are astonished to know the content of the major treatises of this particular branch which are most relevant in today’s perspective since they analyze sound, vowels and consonants, rules of combination and pronunciation to assist clear understanding, to avoid mistakes and for resonance pleasing to the listener. The methodology found in the Śikṣā texts has been not just highly technical, it has strong aesthetic “sensuous, emotive” dimension, which foster thinking and intellectual skills in a participatory fashion. The reciter’s mind and body are engaged, making language and sound as an emotional performance. In theNāradīya Śikṣā, it has been expressed beautifully, –

Just as a tigress takes her cubs tightly in her teeth without hurting them, whilst fearing that she might drop them and injure them, so one should approach the individual syllables (2.8.31). (transl. by Annette Wilke and Oliver Moebus, (2011). Sound and Communication: An Aesthetic Cultural History of Sanskrit Hinduism. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-018159-3. [Source :Internet]

1.3. Some information –

1.3.1 From the ancient texts –

In the Atharvaveda (12.1.45), there is the unique realization janaṃ bibhratī bahudhā vivācasaṃ nānādharmānaṃ pr̥thithaukasam |

which means, “Let the earth, bearing in many places people of different speech, of diverse customs (-dharman) according to their homes…” [Trans. W. D. Whitney.  Atharvaveda Saṃhitā. Cambridge , Mass.1905 (1st Edition), MLBD : Delhi 1962, 1971, 1984 ( rpt.) Vol.8, p. 668.]

In the ancient texts like the Taittirīya Saṃhitā (2.4.12.1) and the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa (1.6.3.8) there is a well-known story narrated where it has been described how Tvaṣṭr̥ repeating the words ‘indraśatrur vardhasva’ in wrong accents caused the fire to be extinguished instead of inflaming it against Indra as he intended. The legend is all about how Tvaṣṭr̥ wanted to pronounce the word ‘indraśatruḥ’ (meaning ‘destroyer of Indra’) as a Tatpuruṣa compound (in which the last syllable of the compound has the udātta accent), while he actually pronounced the word as a Bahuvrīhi (meaning ‘whose killer would be Indra’), in which case the first word of the compound has the udātta accent (as in ‘indraśatrurḥ’) [P. V. Kane. History of Dharmaśāstra.  Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona, 1941. vol. II, pt. I, p. 347.]. Pāṇini says, ‘samāsasya’ (6.1.223) – samāsa-niṣpaṇṇa-śabdasya anta-svaraḥ udātto bhavati and ‘bahuvrīhau prakr̥tyā pūrvvapadam’ (6.2.1) – bahuvrīhi-samāse, udātta-svarita-yuktaṃ pūrvvapadaṃ prakr̥tyā bhavati… etc.

1.3.2  From the Bible –

The story of the Tower of Babel in the Book of Genesis (11:1-9) offers an explanation for the many different languages spoken on earth, though on the surface, otherwise it carries deeper meaning too. According to the story, all the descendants of Noah spoke a single language. They began to spread eastward as they increased in number. After finding a fertile area called Shinar they settled there and instead of setting up a society that fits God’s will, they decided to challenge His authority and build a city with a tower that could reach Heaven. They wanted the tower to be a proud monument to themselves and a symbol that would keep them united as a powerful people. However, God thought it otherwise. Unhappy he came down and looked at the city and watching the tower said, if as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other. (Genesis 11:6-7) God, recognizing their arrogance, regained control over them through a linguistic stratagem. Therefore, God made the people speak many different languages so as not to understand each other and work together on building the city and tower. He scattered the people around the world and the city was abandoned. After that incident, the number of languages increased through diversification, and people started to look for ways to communicate.

(to be continued…..)

Dr. Soma Basu, Associate Professor, School of Vedic Studies, Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata

सूर्य और सृष्टि

Mummy

– प्रो. माला रानी गुरु

ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यं

भर्गो देवस्यः धीमहि धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात्!!

“तेजस्वी, सर्वश्रेष्ठ, वंदनीय तीनों लोकों पृथ्वी, अंतरिक्ष और द्युलोक में विचरण करने वाले भगवान सूर्य हमारी बुद्धियों को सन्मार्ग में प्रेरित करें”

यह वैदिक मूलमंत्र समस्त जीवधारियों का आलम्बन है| इन महिमामंडित, मण्डलाकार, ज्योतिस्वरूप सूर्यदेव को बारम्बार नमस्कार हों| उनके इस सृष्टि और सृजन के प्रति, सभी के जीवनदान के प्रति अपनी कृतज्ञता प्रगट करने के लिए उत्तर-भारत में सूर्योपासना के लिए किया जाने वाला छठव्रत, बड़ी ही श्रध्दा से प्रत्येक वर्ष कार्तिक एवं चैत्र मास में संपन्न किया जाता हैं| अन्य प्रदेशों में भी सूर्य उपासना के विभिन्न प्रकार हैं|

समस्त वनस्पतियों फल-फूल-ईंख-अन्न-मिष्ठान से भगवान भास्कर को संध्या समय तथा प्रातःकाल सूर्योदय के समय श्रध्दापूर्वक अर्घ्य प्रदान किया जाता हैं| अस्त हों रहे अथवा उदय हों रहे सूर्य की आराधना निरन्तर चल रहे कालक्रम-समय को ही धोतित करता हैं| यह आराधना आडम्बर रहित जनसाधारण का महापर्व है| श्रध्दापूर्ण श्रद्धालु-जन इस प्रकार अर्घ्य प्रदान कर कृतज्ञता प्रकट करते हैं|

एहि सूर्य सहस्त्रांशो तेजो राशे: जगत्पते !

अनुकम्पय मां देवो गृहाणार्घ्यं  दिवाकर: !!

इस छठ पर्व में स्वयं सुर्योत्पन (जैसा की किवदंती है) शाकद्वीपीय ‘मग’ ब्राह्मणों का विशिष्ट महत्त्व है| ये वही समुदाय है, जिनके पूर्वजों को भगवान श्रीकृष्ण अपने पुत्र साम्ब के उपचार के लिए शाकद्वीप से भारत लेकर आये थे, और कालांतर में ये ब्राहमण समुदाय वैद्य के रूप में प्रतिष्ठित हुए| कहने का तात्पर्य है की सूर्य के किरणों की महता प्राचीनकाल से ही रोगनिवारक के रूप में स्थापित है|

हमारी संस्कृति की अनुपम ज्ञानप्रद श्रृंखला जो पूर्वकाल में शिष्यों तथा ऋषि पुत्रों की श्रवण और मनन परम्परा से आगे बढ़ी थी| श्रवण और मनन में श्लोक केवल शाब्दिक अर्थ ही नहीं बल्कि उसके उच्चारण और अनुकम्पन से किसी खास अर्थ या प्रयोजन निमित्त होता है| आर्य ऋषियों की श्रवण-मनन वाली ज्ञान परम्परा के धूमिल पड़ने के बाद, आधुनिक युग में यह श्रुश्रुत परम्परा क्रमशः लेखन एवं दृश्यज्ञान में परिवर्तित हो गयी| परन्तु नई पीढ़ी तकनीक की अंधी दौड़ में ज्ञान के आधुनिक प्रकल्पों में अग्रसरित है, और शाब्दिक अर्थ से इतर प्रभावों से अनभिग्य होती जा रही है| शब्द ज्ञान से इतर की समझ के लिए किसी के पास समय नहीं| परन्तु इस समृद्ध ज्ञान वैभव के विरासत अगली पीढियों तक पहुचे, जिससे वे सार्थक जीवन जी सके, भौतिकता के दुष्परिणामों से बच सके और अध्यात्म की ओर मुड सके, और हमारी आर्य परम्परा की विरासत को जान सके, इसके लिए चित्रात्मक अभिव्यक्ति एक ससक्त माध्यम हो सकता है| इसीलिए यहाँ आदिदेव, प्रत्यक्ष प्रमाण स्वरुप भगवान सूर्य की उपासना को चित्र के माध्यम से अभिव्यक्ति दी गई है|

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(Editor’s note – The author has painted this image. Her present work is themed at  Sanskrit literature from where she picked up the myriad colors which make her painting style vibrant and classy. )

“सूर्य और सृष्टि” शीर्षक वाला यह चित्र सूर्य-वन्दना को स्पष्ट कर रहा है| आकाश में दर्शित तीन मंद्लाकृति भूलोक, अन्तरिक्षलोक, तथा द्युलोक को प्रकाशित करने वाले सूर्य की महिमा को प्रकट कर रहा है| परमात्मास्वरुप सूर्यदेव पंच आदि तत्वो पृथ्वी, जल, अग्नि, वायु, और आकाश से सृष्टि का निर्माण करते हैं| इस सृष्टि के निर्माण में प्रकृति देवी के सहयोग से, छः ऋतुओं की शक्ति से नित-नूतन समस्त जड़चेतन जगत की सरंचना करते हैं|

चित्र में सात-स्त्रियों की जो आकृति है, उसमे प्रकृति देवी सहित छह ऋतुओं के व्यहार एवं प्रभाव को दर्शाया गया है| उनके बस्त्रों का रंग उस ऋतु विशेष की प्रकृति एवं कार्य का परिचायक है| चित्र में दायी ओर की प्रथम स्त्री वसंत ऋतु की परिचायक है, जिसका पीला वासंती वस्त्र पृथ्वी को पुष्पित एवं पल्लवित कर संसार को सृजन शक्ति के आनंद से भर देता है, तभी तो बसंत को ‘ऋतुराज’ भी कहा जाता है| दूसरी स्त्री ग्रीष्म ऋतु का प्रतीक है, जिसका लाल वस्त्र मौसम के परिताप को प्रकट करता है| ग्रीष्म ऋतु में पृथ्वी गर्म होकर सृजन की ओर प्रवृत होती है| तीसरी स्त्री स्वयं प्रकृति देवी है, जो सभी ऋतुओ को स्वयं के कार्य निष्पादन को प्रेरित करती है| चौथे स्थान पर हरे वस्त्र में हरियाली की प्रतीक वर्षा ऋतु है, जो ग्रीष्म के ताप से संतप्त प्रकृति और जनजीवन में सृजन शक्ति भर कर जीवन का श्रृंगार करती है| तदन्तर हलके नील वर्ण वाली पांचवी आकृति शरद ऋतु की है, जो नव सृजित वस्तुओं में जीवन का संचार कर संरक्षित रखती है| उसके बाद छठी और सातवी आकृति हेमंत और शिशिर की है, जो वस्तुओं और जीवन को संपुष्टि प्रदान कर परिपक्वता देती है, उसमें जीवनदायी रस का संचार करती हैं| इस प्रकार छह ऋतुएँ समस्त चराचर जगत में सृजन-स्थिति एवं परिपक्वता से सृष्टि का क्रमिक संपादन करती हैं|   

इस प्रकार सूर्यदेव ही अन्न-जल, वन-उपवन, पर्वत-झरने, जीव-जंतु-पक्षीगण, कीट-पतंग, मानवादि का निर्माण कर संपोषण करते हैं| इस चित्र में आदिपुरुष मनु और आदिस्त्री शतरूपा (हिन्दू मान्यतानुसार) सूर्य का वंदन करते हुए दिख रहे हैं| भारतीय आर्य परम्परा में ‘यज्ञ’ को विशेष महत्त्व मिला है| हवन कुण्ड से उठती अग्नि की लपटें आदि पंचतत्वों में से एक अग्नि तत्व के निर्देशित कर रही है| अग्नि जल की भी सृजक है और जल जीव-सृजन की प्रथम कड़ी है| इस प्रकार सूर्य ही सृष्टी के केंद्र में विराजमान हैं, ज्ञान-विज्ञान की धुरी हैं|

सूर्य की दिव्य शक्तियों की जानकारी हमें बहुत अल्प हैं| हमारी आर्य ऋषि परम्परा से प्राप्त ज्ञान का मंतव्य है कि ब्रह्मांड में अनेकानेक सूर्य और उनका सौरमंडल हैं|अनेकानेक ग्रह-नक्षत्र-निहारिका-उल्कायें, तारागण और आकाशगंगाए हैं, कुछ अज्ञात शून्य भी हैं, जो एक दिव्यप्रकाश स्वरुप से संचालित एवं नियंत्रित हैं| गणित और विज्ञान का “शुन्य” घटक भी संभवतः सुर्याकृति पर ही निर्धारित हैं| समस्त गणना विज्ञान शुन्य से प्रारम्भ होकर असीमित शून्यों तक के माप का सफ़र तय करती हैं, जिसकी अवधारणा पूर्ण रूप से भारतीय है| खगोलीय दुरी की व्याख्या भी प्रकाश वर्ष में की जाती है| अतः सूर्य के बिना आधुनिक विज्ञान के परिकल्पना दुरूह है|

अतः हम परमात्मा की कल्पना प्रत्यक्ष प्रमाणस्वरुप भगवान सूर्य में कर सकते हैं| विश्व के अनेकानेक देशो में, विभिन्न धर्मों में किसी न किसी रूप में सूर्य उपासना का रूप मिलता है| मानव तथा अन्य जीवधारियों को सूर्य की दिव्य शक्तियों की प्रतीती होती है, उसी प्रकार से जिस प्रकार वायु तथा जल की जीवनधारण क्षमता का अनुभव होता है| इस प्रकार सूर्य की दैवीय शक्तियों को नकारना अपनी वास्तविकता को नकारने के सदृश्य है|

ज्ञान जीवन की सार्थकता और आनंद को संपुष्टी करता है, अततः ज्ञान की ही सर्वत्र पूजा होती है इसीलिए ज्ञान का अन्वेषण तथा अर्चना अनिवार्य है| सद्यः जन्मा बालक जीवनदायनी दुग्धाहार के लिए स्वतः ही दुग्धधारा को ढूंढता है| जन्मदात्री माँ के अस्तित्व-बोध से रहित वह उस व्यक्तित्व (माँ) से अगाध प्रेम और श्रध्दा से जुड़ जाता है, जीवन पर्यंत यही जुडाव ही पूजा अर्चना है| निष्कर्षतः शाश्वत शक्ति जो सृष्टि का सृजन करती है, उसके प्रति प्रेम और श्रध्दा, पूजा और समर्पण स्वाभाविक ही है|

वेदों में सूर्य की विभिन्न शक्तियों का ज्ञान, अन्तरिक्ष के रहस्य, अग्नि, जल-पिंडो इत्यादि की अन्तरिक्ष में उपस्थिति का ज्ञान और विज्ञान प्रतीकात्मक शैली में उपलब्ध है, उदहारणस्वरुप ऋग्वेद के प्रथम मण्डल के सवितृ सूक्त 35 में हिरण्यस्तूप ऋषि के अनुसार इस कथन की पुष्टी हो रही है|

ति॒स्रो द्याव॑: सवि॒तुर्द्वा उ॒पस्थाँ॒ एका॑ य॒मस्य॒ भुव॑ने विरा॒षाट् ।

आ॒णिं न रथ्य॑म॒मृताधि॑ तस्थुरि॒ह ब्र॑वीतु॒ य उ॒ तच्चिके॑तत् ॥

सवितृ सूक्त ऋगवेद| मण्डल (1:35) मन्त्र 6

स्वर्ग से उपलक्षित प्रकाशमान लोक तीन हैं| उनमें से दो लोक सूर्य के समीप है अर्थात् दो लोक-भूलोक और द्युलोक सूर्य से प्रकाशित होते हैं| एक तीसरा लोक अन्तरिक्ष है जो यम के घर जाने वाले प्रेतों को सहन करता है अर्थात् मरने के बाद पुरुष अन्तरिक्ष के मार्ग से यम लोक को जाता है| जिस प्रकार रथ के अक्ष में डाली गई आणि (किल) से रथ अवस्थित रहता है, उसी प्रकार अमृत अर्थात चन्द्र, तारे आदि प्रकाशमान नक्षत्र अथवा जल उस सूर्य के समीप अवस्थित हो गये है, और इस प्रकार के सूर्य को जो मनुष्य जानता है, वही मनुष्य सूर्य की महिमा का वर्णन कर सकता है|

इस प्रकार वेदों उपनिषदों इत्यादि के मनन, अनुशीलन एवं वैज्ञानिक गवेषणा से अद्भुत खगोलीय तथ्यों की बृहद जानकारी को मानवोपयोगी बनाया जा सकता है| इन्हीं सब तथ्यों को चित्र के माध्यम से व्यक्त कर, युद्ध, अशांति और प्राकृतिक असंतुलन की विभीषिका को झेलती मानवता की कुछ त्राण मिल सके, इसका एक छोटा सा प्रयास किया गया है|    

प्रो. माला रानी गुरु, संस्कृत विभाग, राम कृष्ण महिला महाविद्यालय, गिरिडीह, झारखण्ड

Vibration: The Cause of Our Existence and its connection with Vedic Philosophy (Part-II)

-Dr. Raj Kumar

(continued from part-I)

The ancient Vedic text also provides ideas about this concept. According to Veda, the entire universe is a manifestation of Prakriti, which is nothing but Parabrahman or the Purush. The Purush is the manifestation of a vibration called Svara, a life force. I would like to refer to the Nachiketa’s story in which Yama gave a very realistic answer to the Nachiketa’s question. Yama said “perception of sense is bigger than sense, mind is bigger than perception, knowledge is bigger than mind, Atma is bigger than knowledge, undefined (avayakt) is bigger than the Atma, and Purush is bigger than avayakt (Kathopnishad).

 यावत्सञ्जायते किञ्चित्सत्वं स्थावरजङ्गमम् |
क्षेत्रक्षेत्रज्ञसंयोगात्तद्विद्धि भरतर्षभ || 26||

yāvat sañjāyate kiñchit sattva sthāvara-jagamam
k
hetra-khetrajña-sanyogāt tad viddhi bharatarhabha

                                         (Bhagvatgita: Chapter Thirteen verse 26)

In this shloka, Sri Krishna said to Arjuna —– “Wherever a being is born, whether unmoving or moving, knows that it is from the union between the field and the knower of the field. (Purusha is the knower of the field; Prakriti is the field).

So, this Purush uses his Prakriti to manifest five different vibrations which causes the production of five basic physical elements; Akasha (Ether), Tejas (energy), Vayu (forces/fields), Pritvhi (atomic elements), and Apah (fluid). Apart from these five basic physical elements, the universe is composed of four non-physical elements; space, time, mind and Atma (space is a non-physical element of panchmahabhuta). I will describe the Atma later in this article. For now, we would concentrate on space, time and mind.

spirit

The concept of the body chakra in the Vedic text is nothing but energy point. These energy points are also defined by their vibrational frequency. For example, Muladhara (Cervix) frequency is 261.6, 523.3, 1046.5, 2093, 4186 Hz and denoted by sound note C (https://www.booksfact.com/mantra-sastra/mantras-frequencies-heal-kill-transcend.html). Also, modern science showed us that the best way of communication is vibration, for example WiFi, radio telescope, satellite communication, etc. These technologies prove one very important point that locality (or nearness) is not an important requirement for communication, as hypothesized previously. The idea of locality illustrates that if anything moved it was because of the action of something else on it. However, the idea of non-locality suggests that distant systems can be connected differently—— in a totally new way—— in which distance does not matter (Shacklett and Gough, 1991; Massar and Pironio, 2012). When we talk about a locality effect, we are talking about space time. We know the cause and we can trace the mechanism of the signal. On the other hand, when we talk about non-locality cause and effect are not linked —we can know the cause, we can know the effect —but cause and effect are not linked in the space-time because there is no measurable signal (very weak signal) or mechanism, or in space-time they are separated. Now let’s examine if it is true for the system where space-time is concentrated, for example the human body. The human body is made of 70 to 100 trillion cells of many different types. These cells need to exist in harmony and require very effective cellular communication process. When there is noise, interference, and misinformation enter into this communication process, the human body suffers. The cellular communication is through either electromagnetic or chemical communication systems. So, it is the information which provides an instruction to the system to acquire some form, structure and direction. And this information comes from the manipulation of energy which gives power to move the system, connects different aspects of a system, and helps in communications. Therefore, good cellular communication is the key to successfully create a healthy human body. Probably that is the reason why mothers are advised to have a nice and conducive environment around her, avoid drinking or eating bad foods, listen good music and avoid particle radiation. Environmental input is very important to the fetus and developing the body for healthy evolution of body and brain. Dr. Francis Rene Van de Carr (Chief Obstetrics and Gynecology, St. Rose Hospital, Hayward, CA) has shown that there exists a developmental window of time during which wiring in the brain grows (from four months into the pregnancy until the three months after birth) and it is very sensitive to sensory input (Van de Carr, 1996; Gough, 1999). Sensory inputs include tactile patting, vibratory movement, and sounds from voice to music are needed to simulate heart beats. It also includes non-local inputs such as loving thoughts and feelings. Such sensory inputs are vibratory in nature and shown to increase growth rate, improve motor functions, enhance intelligence, and change the sense of self for life. So, one can hypothesize, at this point, that the initial input for the differentiation of cells in the human body is a non-local phenomenon. Another evidence of a non-local phenomenon comes from the concept of magnetic field. Magnetic field with electrical field creates an electromagnetic field (although the magnetic field itself can create an electric field and vice versa…..), which generates the non-local aspects of the reality. For example, we know that the earth has a magnetic field and life cannot exist without this, but in reality we never feel this. Can you imagine, we never feel the cause of our existence? Isn’t that interesting? The same way the Atma is the cause of our existence, which is the principle force of life representing the non-local aspects of our reality. Very often we connect Atma to the heart. Scientifically the magnetic flux density of heart is over 5000 times larger than that of the brain (Pearsall 1998; Clarke, 1994). Therefore, the Atma is also a non-local aspect of reality that retains patterns or forms beyond ordinary 3D space and time.

Various scriptures of Veda discussed that the universe created by sound or cosmic vibrations.

चत्वारि वाक् परिमिता पदानि तानि विदुर्ब्रह्माणा ये मनीषिण: गुहा त्रीणि निहिता….मनुष्या वदन्ति।

“catvari vak parimita padani tani vidur brahmana ye minishinah, guha trini nihita neengayanti turiyam vaco manushya vadanti” 

                                                                                                            (Rig Veda 1.164.45) 

Vak that exists in four forms; three are hidden and the fourth is what we speak. These four levels are Para Vak (the highest form of sound), Pashyanti (the sound vibration heard in the causal worlds), Madhyama (the sound as perceived in the subtle or Pranic world) and Vaikhari (the lowest sound). In other words, thinking with words is Vaikhari, with ideas is Madhyama, with spirituality is Pashyanti, and with truth, it is Para-Vak.

Thought itself is a vibratory energy, which creates everything around us. So, in conclusion, reality is not what you see. Reality is the manifestation of the rate of frequencies in which an object is vibrating. Even object, phenomenon, thought, emotions or mental state has its corresponding rate and mode of vibration. Since the universe is also made up of vibration at the deepest level, manipulation of vibration of thoughts can affect that too.

References

Carr, Van de, F. R. (1996). The Ins and Outs of Communication with a Preborn Baby. FMBR Video tapes.

Clark, J. (1994). “SQUIDs.” Scientific American, 271, 73 – 74.

Massar, S., and Pironio, S. (2012). Viewpoint: A closer connection between entanglement and nonlocality. Physics, 5, 56.

Gough, W. C. (1999). The cellular communication process and alternative modes of healing. Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine: An interdisciplinary journal of Energetic and informational interactions, 8, 56 – 60.

Shacklett, R. L. and Gough, W. C. (1991). The unification of mind and matter: A proposed Scientific Model. Foundation of Mind-Being Research, Technical Report.

Pearsall, P. (1998). The Heart’s Code: Tapping the wisdom and power of our heart energy. NY: Broadway Books.

– Dr. Raj Kumar, Assistant Professor, Institute of Advanced Sciences, Dartmouth, MA.

 

 

Vibration: The Cause of Our Existence and its connection with Vedic Philosophy (Part-I)

– Dr. Raj Kumar

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” – Nicole Tesla

Evolution over time….. one of the most intriguing and central theme of biology….. the past is the defining feature to the present. Life on this earth is a combination of chance and necessity which define evolutionary process. Necessity is facilitated by physical forces, chemical reactions, and is driven by survival tendencies. On the other hand, chance is associated with uncertainty of things, and is driven by randomness characteristics of the universe. But one thing is for sure, that all these things are associated with physical and chemical tendencies of molecules floating around us.

If we want to understand the nature and evolution of this world, then we need to understand the fundamental basis of the existence of matter. It is well known that the world is made of matter, but we do not understand the fundamental basis of working of this material world. How the material world is created and how it maintains its perpetual motion are a few of fundamental questions. To study this we need to study the code —— the energy code, which is essentially made of light, sound, frequency and vibration. At the fundamental level, all forms of this code are the same.

At a first glance, frequency and vibration appear to be the same. People often use vibration and frequency interchangeably, but there is a difference between both terms. When you consider the flow of energy then you can see the difference. When something vibrates, then energy contracts towards the center point from which it first came out of. In case of oscillation, the energy expands away from the center point and, and one unit of contraction and expansion is frequency. So, how fast an energy unit contract (vibration) and expands (oscillation) will determine the frequency rate of all things. This process also determines the density levels of the matter in the material realm. As the frequency rate of matter increases or decreases, matter becomes lighter and less dense. Since our body is made of matter, it will also become lighter and less dense as our frequency increases.

tumblr_niqqdmiRlP1qjz43ho1_1280

(Source of Image : https://theawakenedstate.net/how-to-tune-your-own-frequency/)

 

In fact, the true state of reality is made from pattern of energy that flashes on and off frequency patterns that are perceived by our consciousness to give us the perception of time and the solidity of matter. In other words, matter behaves more like an illusion which is one of the conclusion of Indian ancient texts. However, the illusion should be taken seriously because it is a form of energy manifestation (in fact, it is the reality which we perceive). So, it is the frequency which gives matter its uniqueness and characteristics, and combination of frequency, vibration and oscillation are a further manifestation of geometries and structure. In my view, the best expression of illusion in Vedic text is the representation of the divine dance of Lord Shiva. The dance represents Shiva’s five activities (Panchakriya); Shrishti (creation), Sthiti (preservation), Samhara (destruction), Maya (illusion) and Moksha (salvation). There are three main essential significance of this divine dance; a) it is an image of rhythmic activities (vibration), which is the source of all movement in the universe, b) the purpose of this dance to make us aware of the illusionary characteristic of the world, and c) the place of happening is within us, whether it is the creation or destruction or illusion.

There is no solidity in the universe, it is just a manifestation of vibration. For example, a crystal structure is a collection of different bodies of the elements according to its particular vibrational frequency. One simple experiment can be set up with sand and tuning fork. Spread some sand over the head of a drum, then take a tuning fork and stick a note just above the drum. You will see the shifting of sand and acquiring a geometrical shape. Change into a different sound, the sand will shift to assume another geometrical feature. This is happening just because of the vibration that sound produces (Cynamatics experiments https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtiSCBXbHAg).

Sound Frequencies + Vibration = Geometry

Another complex example is the universe and the Big Bang theory. The universe is continually expanding as suggested by the Big Bang theory, which is again the manifestation of push-pull (contraction-expansion) effect of gravitational force. This is also gravitational vibration, which balances the gravity and levity between objects in the universe. So, the origin of the universe is nothing but the manifestation of vibration. In the QFT (Quantum Field Theory) approach, the photon field is created by a vibration of electrons. The vibrational energy generated by the photon field transport energy and momentum. It is well-known from the pair production concept that a photon can create an electron-positron pair. Two sets of vibrations are set up by this process….. one is consistent with an electron vibration and other is consistent with the antimatter electron or positron vibration. So, again the behavior of our fundamental particles is dependent on the vibrations. Even Higgs Boson (a fundamental particle with even parity and no spin; popularly known as God particle), which is responsible for interaction with particles and gives them their mass, is detectable when it starts vibrating. This particle is only detectable when the particle collision in high field is allowed, which caused the Higgs field to vibrate and make detection possible.

 तेजो यत्ते रूपं कल्याणतमं तत्ते पश्यामि योऽसावसौ पुरुषः सोऽहमस्मि ॥ Isha Upanishad Verse 16.

The light which is the fairest form, I see it. I am what he is.

Ancient Indian sages may have figured out this phenomenon which may have been esoterically connected to the Vedic education system that includes oral traditions/techniques to transfer knowledge from one generation to another. Although the characteristics of Vedic oral traditions/techniques is not in the scope of this article, I mentioned this here to make a point and connection.

In universe, everything is energy vibration and all the geometric shapes are due to these vibrations, including our consciousness (Brian Waves; Table 1).

Table 1: Frequencies of brain waves

Frequency Range Name Associated With
>40 Hz Gamma waves Higher mental activity, including perception, problem solving, fear, and consciousness
13 – 39 Hz Beta waves Active, busy or anxious thinking and active concentration, arousal, cognition, and or paranoia
7 – 13 Hz Alpha waves Relaxation (while awake), pre-sleep and pre-wake drowsiness, REM sleep, dreams
8 – 12 Hz Mu waves Mu rhythm, Sensorimotor rhythm
4 – 7 Hz Theta waves Deep meditation/relaxation, NREM sleep
<4 Hz Delta waves Deep dreamless sleep, loss of body awareness

All the stellar communications on earth and beyond are happening through vibration only. For example, the satellite radio offers an endless amount of stations all at once, and one can dial into any frequency they want. Just because one may turn to FM 88.7 Hz on the radio dial, it doesn’t mean that FM 90.1 Hz or AM 55.1 Hz doesn’t exist, it’s just that these particular frequencies were not resonating at one’s receiver, rather it is just that FM 88.7 Hz vibrates at the frequency that you prefer to vibrate on. Same thing in our perception of reality, we have a resonance of the things which we want to perceive, we want to vibrate on or say our perception wants to vibrate on….. it doesn’t mean the other things do not exist. Veda also developed this concept and mentioned that we are not the creator of the knowledge, we are just the transmitter, knowledge is available out (in the Akash tatva) there….. we need to resonate with those to get the sense of it. My biochemistry experience also substantiates this, the molecular interaction is not just a binding event, it is an event when molecules are in perfect rhythm of each other which allows them to come close, talk to each other and interact.

(to be continued…)

– Dr. Raj Kumar, Assistant Professor, Institute of Advanced Sciences, Dartmouth, MA.

Homa Organic Farming for Sustainability and Climate Change Adaptation (Part-II)

-Mr. Anand Gaikwad

(continued from previous article)

For environmental balance and rain induction/cloud formation, the techniques mentioned in ancient Vedic sciences i.e. performance of yajñas are of great importance.

Components of Technology / Methodology

Fully integrated organic farming practices, i.e., components of livestock, biogas slurry, composting of biomass and animal manure, practicing biodiversity, intercropping, rotation of crops etc.

Creation of Resonance Point – Installation of Agnihotra/Trambakam Hut for receiving and broadcasting subtle energies from sun and moon cycles.

Bovine is Divine –  Full and complete integration of cow family with the farm.

Performance of AgnihotraIn Agnihotra the substances used are cow dung cakes, cow ghee, rice, dry–wooden sticks of certain trees, medicinal herbs etc that helps in cleansing of Biosphere. The agronomic practices of performing Agnihotra/Medicinal Homas as fumigation techniques are essential components of Vedic Agriculture or “Homa Farming”.

Biogas Slurry – Enrichment and enhancement of Biogas slurry with effective micro–nutrients/Homa ash/Panchgavya for soil health and Rhizosphere Management.

Panchgavya/Kunapajala – An elixir prepared by using five products of cow i.e. cowdung, cow urine, milk, curd and ghee plus some other ingredients. This works as a nourishing elixir for soil and useful in Rhizosphere and Biosphere Management of the farm.

Cosmic influence of Planets on Plant life –  Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy is that plants grow not only through the fertility of the soil but also with support from cosmos – the rhythms of the sun, moon, planets and wider constellations of the Zodiac. According to Biodynamic principles, the four parts of the plants i.e. root, stem, leaves, flower and fruits correspond to the four classic elements of nature. The Sap inside the plants flow upward or downward according to ascending or descending moon cycle. According to Vedic Sciences, all objects, substances and life patterns in the universe are made from Panchmahabhutas. In “Vrikshyaayurveda of Parashara (By N. N. Sarkar and Roma Sarkar) it is stated that Plants have consciousness and feelings. As a part of plant physiology the text records a concept relating to the transport system inside the plant. The vascular circulating system consists of Syandani and Sira. Of these, Syandani performs the function of transporting elementary fluid (Panchbhautik Rasa) from earth (soil) with the help of roots. Through Sira the fluid circulates both in the inward and outward directions. The rasa is to be conceived (according to Sankhya Darshana of ancient philosophy) right from the basic invisible matter. This rasa nourishes the plant organs with all the derivations of five “Panchmahabhautik elements” viz. “Khsiti (earth)”, “Aap (water)”, “Tej (Solar/Agni)”, “Vayu (air)” and “Aakash (space)”.

Just as Biodynamic farming, Homa organic farming is based on yajñas and Life Bio-energy forces, whose main source is the energy from the sun. This Cosmic energy we call it as “Prana-tatva” or “Pranic energy”. In following the principle य॒ज्ञेन॑ कल्पतां प्रा॒णो य॒ज्ञेन॑ कल्पताम्-अपा॒नो य॒ज्ञेन॑ कल्पतां॒ व्या॒नो य॒ज्ञेन॑ कल्पतां॒ चक्षु॑र्-य॒ज्ञेन॑ कल्पता॒ग्॒ श्रोत्रं॑ य॒ज्ञेन॑ कल्पतां॒ मनो॑ य॒ज्ञेन॑ कल्पतां॒ वाग्-य॒ज्ञेन॑ कल्पताम्-आ॒त्मा य॒ज्ञेन॑ कल्पतां य॒ज्ञो य॒ज्ञेन॑ कल्पताम् ॥ as mentioned in Rudram Chamakam (10).

The most important thing about this agricultural methodology which is based on Vedic Sciences is that it recognizes the forces of “Aakash (space)” the fifth element i.e. the subtle energies of both light and sound (Nad-brahma) to enhance the Cosmic influence of planets on plants. Aakash is the mother of all other elements and “Nad” or “Sound” is its most omnipotent and subtlest force, which has capacity to reach Cosmos of Twenty-seven Constellations. Shri Vasant Paranjape in his book “Homa Therapy – our Last Chance” says “when these specific mantras are uttered at the specific times of sunrise/sunset “RESONANCE” takes place in the pyramid.  The most powerful effect is with the word “SWAHA”. It is the Resonance which heals.” This is how plant plagues and epidemics go away. Resonance plays vital part in natural phenomena.  He further says “when Mantras are done in conjunction with Homa fires the vibrations from mantras become locked up in the ash and therefore ash becomes more powerful under this method to heal atmosphere and create conducive Biosphere for healthy growth of plants and animal life.”

Nakshatra-wise rain-forecast and performance of Homas according to astronomical positions of constellations for attracting influence of cosmic forces on plants / animals and for rain-induction is the area of research that leads to preparation of location based specific agro-climatic calendar. This will be another dimension of Homa farming. Additionally, it is also proposed to study the effect of ashes from Samidhas of Yajñyiya Vrikshas used during Havans. The relationship of Agnihotra/Yajñas, environment and Agriculture are explained in the following diagram:diagram

Thus, these practices based on Vedic Sciences and recommended in texts like “Vruksha Ayurveda of Parashar, Kashyapiya Krishi Sukti, Brihit Samhita by Varah Mihir” are helpful in Biosphere Management for healthy plant / animal life and human life.

-Mr. Anand Gaikwad, Krishi Bhushan Sendriya  Sheti  M. S. & Retd. Executive Director/Company Secretary