Countering COVID-19 with Agnihotra and Yajñopathy

(Editorial note: The information presented in this article from literature and personal practice provides food for thought, but perhaps more as a provocative theory of using ancient practices for modern environmental and medical problems. Scientific research to examine these ideas will be essential to apply such information for public good.)

-Sh. Anand Gaikwad

(….continued from previous article)

Vedic sciences have a proven tool/methodology for dealing with pollution problems, plagues and epidemics of all types particularly as a Preventive Care and that is Agnihotra and Yajñopathy (Homa Therapy) as a part of day to day life. Astrality of a field or area as also of the individuals can be improved with purification of Atmosphere. ‘Heal the Atmosphere and healed Atmosphere will heal you’ is the fundamental principle of healing by Vedic Sciences. Param Sadguru Shri Gajanan Maharaj narrated the essence of Satya Sanatana Dharma, i.e., panch sādhan mārg or fivefold path.  Take ‘Yajña, Dān, Tapa, Karma and Swādhyāya’, as your way of life and that is the eternal religion given by Vedas to the humanity.

The Bheshajya Yajña is a part of Vedic Yajña System and is to be performed during the transition period (Sandhi-kāl) of two seasons. Therefore three Bheshajya Yajñas are to be performed as, ’Nitya’ (Regular order) in a year. This is known as ‘Chaturmāsya Esti or Yajña. Change in seasons has impact on plant life, animal life and human life. We generally have cough, cold and fever (Flu-like symptoms) during this time. Therefore our great Sages made Bheshajya Yajña as a part of life. Shri Vasant V. Paranjpe has described ‘Bheshyajya Yajña’ as ‘Medicinal Yajñas’ in his book ‘Homa Therapy our Last Chance’.

Research on Agnihotra  and Yajñopathy

I would like to mention on Agnihotra and Yajñopathy to deal with COVID-19 at least as a Preventive Care (of course in addition to Govt. Guidelines about washing hands, keeping personal hygiene, social distancing, wearing mask in public etc.) and also at least one very relevant and important research study here, which probably may or may not be there  in the aforesaid compilation:

An interesting study of Shri Rahul Ravindran Nair, ‘Agnihotra : A Prototype of South Asian Traditional Medical Knowledge’ indicates as follows:

This study conceptualizes the principles of Agnihotra Yajña. The perusal of ancient and modern literature reveals that the functioning of the human body is impossible without maintaining an energetic continuum driven by sunlight. The seven major chakras existing over the spinal cord help to maintain this energetic continuum. Agnihotra Yajña is proposed to balance the chakra system as a whole by minimizing entropy. Offerings of natural elements to fire lit in a copper pyramid during Agnihotra liberate various volatile compounds having potent pharmacological actions. Attempts were made to enhance the efficacy of fumes by incorporating two to three pieces of coconut endosperm and ‘navadhānya’ (nine grains) to the conventional oblations. This investigation clearly demonstrates that the purpose behind the practice of Agnihotra Yajña is ‘letting incessant flow of energy (life) through our meridian lines and acupuncture points. The volatile organic compounds in smoke were analysed using gas chromatography and masspectrometry method …

… In addition to the ingredients tested, cow ghee is another important traditional ingredient that is poured into the fire. The fumes that are liberated during the combustion of ghee help to protect the respiratory system and facilitate the removal of blood clots and the bacterial infections in nasal passage lungs and veins. Hence daily exposure to this medicinal smoke should certainly have a favourable influence on the health of the mind and body of the person inhaling the fume. In addition, the potent antimicrobial action of the above identified compounds, purifies the air in the place where Agnihotra is performed……

…These electromagnetic waves, together with the chanting of Vedic hymns (unique sonic signals) have potential health benefits. The combustion of offerings in the Agnihotra pyramid is thought to increase PCE/Chi/Prana in the surrounding atmosphere and the intake of this increased quantum of PCE/Chi/Prana by breathing is thought to optimize the alignment of chakras and would certainly establish energy connections between the physical body and the electromagnetic body via the chakra system…..

..In the light of all the above facts, Agnihotra Yajña can be considered as a complementary medicine that removes the energy blocks in the meridians/nādis. In conclusion the ultimate purpose of practicing Agnihotra Yajña is to realize “Life” which means ‘letting incessant flow of energy’ through our body–mind system as any blockage in this flow would cause disharmony and chaos in the system, thus leading to poor health.”

Although the ingredients used and studied in Shri Nair’s experiment are different from the standardized ingredients used in daily Agnihotra as recommended by Param Sadguru; the results, observations and conclusions are important from the point of Yajñopathy for building immunity.

Practical recommendations

Agnihotra

Agnihotra’ as ‘Kāmdhenu’ not only give protective shield against COVID-19 as a preventive measure but also bring health, peace and prosperity to people performing Agnihotra by purifying the atmosphere.

The performance of Agnihotra at sunrise and sunset is a must as this Primary and Supreme Yajña through its Resonance Effect captures many ethers, electricities and subtle energies at sunrise and broadcasts them in the atmosphere for its purification.

While interpreting Rigvedic Surya Sūkta (Mandala 1 Hymn 115 and Mandala 10 Hymn 170) Shri Shyam Ghosh says, ‘The invisible electromagnetic waves of cosmic energy carry the properties of heat, light and sound which manifest when those come in contact with matter’. (Rigveda for Layman-Shatsukta Paridarshanam by Shyam Ghosh).

Article, ‘Corona Pandemic- Aspects and Perspectives’ refer to our active self-movement and our relation with the sun, i.e., our rhythmical system is connected with the sun and its course throughout the day. Agnihotra establishes connectivity between our biorhythm and the biorhythm of circadian cycle of sunrise and sunset and the subtle energies emanating from the sun are attracted even if you are confined to your house.

Yajñayopathy (Homa Therapy)

In addition to performing Agnihotra daily, I would recommend performing daily or from time to time ‘Tryambakam Homa’ for about fifteen minutes in which one is able to offer oblations with Tryambakam Mantra for about 108 times.

ॐत्र्यंबकं यजामहे, सुगंधिंपुष्टिवर्धनम्।

उर्वारुकमिव बंधनान्मृत्योर्मुक्षीयमाSमृतात  स्वाहा।।

The oblations to be offered in the sacred fire will be that of pure Cow-ghee fortified and enriched with certain essential oils which have antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial, antispasmodic properties to deal with pathogenic bacteria and viruses of any type, therefore it is called as ‘Amrut Havi’, this is recommended by Dr. Kamal Narayan Arya, a Research Scientist of Ayurveda and Yajnyopathy. In ‘Panch Mahā Yajña Vidhi’, Swami Dayanand Sarswati said ‘this śloka not only gives beautiful description of Agnihotra but also prescribes guidelines for preparation of Havirdravya (Medicinal, Aromatic, Strength and Energy giving herbs/medicinal substances for giving offerings to the fire). He says:

अग्नये परमेश्वराय जलवायुशुद्धिकरणायच, होत्रं हवनं दानं यस्मिनकर्मणिक्रियते ‘तद्-अग्निहोत्रम्’ सुगन्धिपुष्टिमिष्टबुद्धिवृद्धिशौर्यबलकरैऱ्गुणर्युक्तानाम्द्रव्यांणांहोमकरणेन वायु-वृष्टिजलयो:शुद्धख्यापृथिवीस्थपदार्थानांसर्वेषांशुद्धवायुजलयोगादत्यन्तोत्तमतयासर्वेषांजीवानांपरमसुखंभवत्येव।अतस्तत्कर्मकर्तृणांजनानांतदुपकारतयाSत्यंतसुखलाभोभवतीश्वरप्रसन्नताचेत्येतददाद्यर्थम्अग्निहोत्रकरणम्।

Therefore in preparation of Havirdravya aromatic substances like Kesar, Kasturi, Ghee and Milk-like nutritious and strength–giving products, sweet things like jaggery, sugar, honey and medicinal herbs/plants like somalata, disease curing medicinal herbs/plants /substances be used. The following are the ingredients of this Havi:

Amrut Dhara (Divya Dhara)

This is a preparation of three ingredients i.e. Crystaline essence of Ajwain (Omum-Trychyspermum ammi), Pepper Mint (Mentha spicata), and Bhimseni Camphor (Cinemomum camphora).When all these three ingredients in crystal form are mixed together in a bottle automatically they get melted into a liquid form. It is anti-septic, anti-bacterial and head-ache and pain remover.

Cardamom Oil (Elettaria cardamomum)

Anti-spasmodic-muscular and respiratory spasms, muscle pulls and cramps, anti-bacterial, anti-mycotic, anti-viral, carminative activities. Used in  asthama, whooping cough  and as overall health-booster.

Clove Oil (Syzygium aromaticum)

Chemical constituents are iron, calcium ,potassium, phosphorous, vitamin A and C, minerals, compounds like eugenol, eugenol acetate etc. anaesthetic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative and anti-inflammatory.

Cinnamom Oil / Dalchini oil (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)

Number of compounds including cinnamaldehyde  which reduces inflammation, anti-bacterial, carminative, anti-microbial, antifungal; suppresses the growth of microorganisms including bacteria and fungi-good for cough, cold, constipation etc.

Malkangani Oil / Jyotishmati Oil (Celastrus paniculatus)

Helpful for concentration and memory-used in Divya MedhaVati. Steam inhalation for treating upper respiratory infections, cardiac tonic, diuretic in nature, low-BP, vigor and vitality.

Almond Oil  (Prunus dulcis  amygdalus )

High in anti-oxidants, vitamin E, protects cells from harmful substances/free radicals, maintains blood-sugar control and heart-health, acitic, formic, linolenic and palmatic acids

Ten ml. of each of the above six oils is to be added to half a kilo of pure Cow-ghee and this fortified cow-ghee is to be offered as oblations to the fire while chanting Tryambakam Mantra. Even if you light a lamp of this Goghrita (Cow-ghee) in your house it will give results; but performing Tryambakam Homa for fifteen to twenty minutes will be better, because the vibrations of Tryambakam Mantra will have the resonance effect for  creating a protective shield.

Ayurvedic Home Remedy

One more home remedy is preparation of a decoction (Kaḍā) as a preventive measure for COVID-19. This Kaḍā is made up of 7-10 fresh leaves of each of Adulsa (Adhatoda vassica), Parijat (Nyctanthes arbortristis), Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Bael (Aegle marmelos) and Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) with addition of approx. two grams of each of Black pepper (Piper nigrum), Peepali (Piper longum), Star spice, Sunthi (dry ginger powder),  Cinnamom  powder. Boil all these ingredients into 1.5 to 2 litres of water to make it as a one litre of Kaḍā and keep it bottled. You can prepare a hot drink of this Kaḍā by adding a table spoon of the preparation to one cup of tolerably hot water and take it with lemon and honey. You can sip this hot drink two-three times in a day. You can also add a table-spoon of this preparation to the vapourizer and inhale the vapours, whenever you have cough and cold or you are sneezing. Parijat has been found to be very useful in case of fever and joint pain in cases of Chickungunya. This Kaḍā will be helpful as a preventive measure as well as an immunity booster when combined with Agnihotra and Trambakam Homa.

Sh. Anand GaikwadKrishi Bhushan Sendriya  Sheti  M. S. & Retd. Executive Director/Company Secretary

What Modern Science, Anthroposophy and other Theories have to say about the Emergence and Existence of Corona Viruses?

-Sh. Anand Gaikwad

The Pandemic of new Corona virus SARS-Cov-2 or ‘COVID-19’ has caused unprecedented social, economic, cultural as also political consequences in the lives of people in almost all the counties of the world. At present there is a fierce race amongst all the countries for the search of vaccine/remedial measures for COVID-19, but so far the success seems to be far off, and in fact it is not clear that even after vaccines/therapeutic medicines are made available in sufficient quantities whether COVID-19 in its new form will not keep on returning? WHO has already indicated that, ‘Corona virus’ is going to stay and we will have to live with it, accept it and adapt our life-styles to its existence.

What the Science has learnt and is learning about Corona viruses.

Corona virus is a generic name for a virus that originates in an animal and gets transmitted to human beings. Dr. Sasi Kumar Menon, Associate Professor at Ruia College, Mumbai in his presentation entitled, ‘COVID-19: What has Science Learnt and is still Learning’, finds some similarities between SARS-CoV and COVID-19 and maintains that although Horseshoe bats are natural reservoirs of Corona viruses, there are different intermediary hosts through which they are transmitted to human beings. The slides of WHO Table and Intermediary Hosts from his presentation are given here.

Although in case of COVID-19 the fatality percentage is less as compared to earlier Corona viruses, it is more fearsome; more contagious and fast spreading. Dr. Menon attributes reasons for origin of SARS–CoV and COVID-19 to China to its lucrative Wild Animal Market.

There are Wild Animal Breeding Farms and caged animals in market place that have close proximity with each other including human beings and thus Corona viruses are easily passed on to human beings. Dr. Menon makes an interesting question as to “Whom we should blame for CoVs, BATs or HUMAN Lifestyles?”

This is an irony that despite spending billions of dollars in R&D the Pharma Industry and Medical Profession have not come out with vaccines or effective medical treatments for Corona virus infections which have flu-like symptoms.

The Economic Times Magazine dated 15-21 March, 2020

Anthroposophical View

The Anthroposophical view of COVID-19 supports the view of animal torture as the cause of the spread of this virulent and intelligent virus differently. Shri Josef Graf in his article, ‘Corona virus – Meeting COVID-19 head on with Anthroposophy’. According to him, the origin of COVID-19 is likely due to the debasing of the general Astral Field of the area (and many of the inhabitants themselves) due to the suffering of animals. Massive Factory Farming in China has been degrading the quality of life for animals for a while now.

  • Both the Wuhan lab-work and the local animal meat market contained suffering animals and /or animal meat products.
  • Animal suffering lives in ‘mass meat and eggs’, etc. and is transferred into human Astral Bodies”

In another theory, he revealed that “whenever we have these modern pandemics, they have tended to originate wherever high-tech radiation has been a factor. In this case the first roll out of 5G-Technology is said to have taken place in Wuhan province. The Anthroposophic view is, The Corona pandemic affects humans, and evidently no animals are falling ill (although there may be some exceptions). It thus clearly indicates that it is related to the ‘I’ being. Prevention and cure must therefore also include the spiritual dimension alongside many other things.’

Nature’s Balancing Theory / Absolute’s Correction Theory

There is another theory for the emergence and existence of COVID-19, and that is the ‘Nature’s Balancing Theory’ or ‘Absolute’s Correction Theory’. Dr. Chand Bhardwaj (the Originator and Author of ‘Co-AIM Theory and Practice’, which very briefly means Co-relation theory of Attention, Information and Material) puts this theory as, ‘Jaisi Karani Vaisi Bharani’. Universal Cosmic Order is an intelligent and conscious design, where everything works in a set order. All Cosmic Creation is divine and all beings including animals and humans are three-in-one:

Soul = Attention – Outer expression of Creative Intelligence-connected to its origin Absolute;

Mind = Information of time (past and future events and experiences) -connected to Universal Mind;

Body = Material (elements) – Material body made out of the floating material like our earth and planets (Panchtatva).

The Absolute Creative Intelligence through its Universal Mind carries on the functions of regulation of the Universal Cosmic Order. The correction takes place as per Newton’s third law i.e. ‘Every action has an equal and opposite reaction’. The Absolute Intelligence and a capable force operate the Universal Mind to enforce the laws of Nature. The animal sufferings through their bodies and mind communicated to the Absolute as a Single Sensor of all senses, as well as Planet Earth’s devastations due to man-made pollution, witnessed by the omniscient Absolute/ Universal Mind; might have set in the correction process to teach a few lessons to the human species. Human beings are threatened by COVID-19 but all other beings and Nature are welcoming this change. Ecological balance and Atmospheric Order are getting set properly. Articles published on Vedic WAVES blog by Aparna (Dhir) Khandelwal, Brig J.S.Rajpurohit, and Raghava S. Boddupalli on this subject highlighting harmony with nature.

Also, quoting few lines of Vi Vienne  in Spain –

“The Earth whispered but you did not hear. The earth spoke but you did not listen. The Earth screamed but you turned her off…….And so I was born. I was not born to punish you. I was born to awaken you……The Earth cried out for help….massive flooding. But you did not listen…..Start caring about the Earth and all its creatures. Start believing in (your) Creator….Signed Corona Virus”

Vedic View

The wisdom of Vedas provides principles, values and guidelines for dealing with problems in life. Dis-harmonized life-styles in conflict with the nature and large scale man-made pollution are the main causes of human suffering and ill-health. Param  Sadguru  Shri  Gajanan  Maharaj said that so long as Agni Upāsana (Yajña) was in vogue Bhārat  Varsha was a rich and glorious country, but with its loss, the spread of slavery, poverty, diseases and epidemics have become rampant and beyond the control of man (हवन पुस्तिका, वेदविज्ञान अनुसंधान संस्था, सोलापुर). COVID-19 pandemic has made world re-examine interconnection between man and nature. ‘Yajña’ and ‘Yoga’ are the two basic concepts of Vedas and Vedic Sciences.

Sarvam Yajñayamayam Jagat

 The whole universe is the process of Yajña

The twin objectives of Yajña are: Vyashti Kalyan and Samashti Kalyan. Vedic Sciences have a lot more to offer for Samashti Kalyan and countering pandemics like COVID-19, but that would need another article to follow.

(to be continued…..)

Sh. Anand GaikwadKrishi Bhushan Sendriya  Sheti  M. S. & Retd. Executive Director/Company Secretary

‘कोरोना-अभिशाप’ : प्रकृति के लिए वरदान!

डा. अपर्णा (धीर) खण्डेलवाल

हमारे जीवन को सरल बनाने वाले औद्योगिकरणों एवं वैज्ञानिक सफलताओं ने कहीं न कहीं हमें प्रकृति से कोसों दूर कर दिया। आज हम हरे-भरे उद्यानों की छाया एवं मनोरम छवि, नदियों की तरंगपूर्ण शीतल लहरों की  कल्कलाहट, शुद्ध वायु, सूर्य की निर्मल पहली किरण से जगमगाते हुए आसमान की लालिमा, पक्षियों की चहचहाहट, भ्रमरों का गुंजन, तित्लियों के रंग-बिरंगे पंखों का फैलाव, फूलों की सुगन्ध, चांदनी रातें, टिमटिमाते हुए तारे आदि प्राकृतिक अनुभूतियों को छोड़ अत्यन्त व्यस्त जीवन जी रहे थे। इस जीवन में न तो प्रकृति के लिए समय था, न ही परिवार के लिए। समय था तो केवल चुनौतियों से भरे हुए अहंकार-पूर्ण जीवन के लिए। इन चुनौतियों को पूरा करने और लौकिक सुखों के उद्देश्य में मानव यह भूल गया कि वह अपनी लापरवाही से प्रकृति का अनजाने में कितना दोहन प्रतिदिन प्रतिक्षण किए ही जा रहा है। जिसके परिणाम स्वरूप आज हरियाली खत्म होती जा रही है, वायु में सांस नहीं लिया जा रहा, नदियों का जल पय नहीं रहा, अत्याधिक वर्षा भूस्खलन का कारण बन गई इत्यादि। इन्हीं सब चिन्ताओं से आज हमारे शरीर रोगग्रस्त हो रहे हैं।

2020 के दस्तक देने से पूर्व ही ‘कोरोना’ विश्वपटल पर धीरे-धीरे चुपके-चुपके पैर पसार रहा था। पहले चीन फिर यूरोपीय देश फिर समस्त विश्व का सिकंदर बना अमेरिका इसकी चपेट में आते जा रहे थे….. और फिर बारी आई अपने भारत की। अत्यन्त घातक यह ’कोरोना’ समस्त विश्व में कोहराम मचाकर लाखों की संख्या में मानव जाति को पीड़ित कर रहा है। यह स्थिति कहलाई जा रही है ’कोरोना-महामारी’। इस स्थिति पर नियंत्रण पाने के लिए अथवा उसके संक्रमण से सम्पूर्ण मानव-जाति को बचाने के लिए…….सभी देशों में धीरे-धीरे सम्पूर्ण बंद (lockdown) की स्थिति आ गई। देखते ही देखते देश-विदेश के समस्त बड़े-बड़े उद्योग, यातायात के साधन, लोक-व्यवहार, बाज़ार, उत्पादन, खरीद-बिक्री एक के बाद एक बंद होते चले गए। कोई इसे प्राकृतिक-आपदा कहने लगा तो कोई मानवीय त्रुटि। किसी का भी ध्यान प्रकृति के कायाकल्प की ओर नहीं जा रहा। सब ओर हाहाकार ही सुनाई पड़ता रहा। अगर हम ऐसा मान लें कि शायद प्रकृति हमारी व्यावहारिक ज़िन्दगी से थकने के कारण थोड़ा विराम लेना चाहती थी……तो शायद ’कोरोना-महामारी’ सहज लगने लगे।

वास्तव में प्रकृति केवल वही नहीं जो सम्पूर्ण ब्रह्माण्ड के चारों ओर आच्छादित है, जिसे हम ‘पर्यावरण’ के नाम से जानते हैं अपितु प्रकृति के दोनों रूप हमें जानने चाहिए – बाह्य प्रकृति और आन्तरिक प्रकृति। बाह्य प्रकृति में समुद्र-नदियाँ, पर्वत, वृक्ष-पौधे, वायु आते हैं। आन्तरिक प्रकृति में हमारे विचार आते हैं। दोनों प्रकृतियों को सहेज के रखना ही हमारा कर्तव्य है, तभी प्रकृति और हमारा आपसी संतुलन बना रहता है।

बाह्य प्रकृति –

प्रकृति के साथ सम्बन्ध की अनुभूति ही सिद्ध करती है, हमारा प्रकृति के प्रति स्वभाव। प्रकृति और मानव जीवन का सामञ्जस्य एवं संतुलन ही पर्यावरण का संरक्षण कहलाता है। इसका सबसे बड़ा उदाहरण अथर्ववेद (12.1.12) का मंत्र है-

माता भूमिः पुत्रोऽहं पृथिव्याः।

भूमि मेरी माता है और मैं भूमि का पुत्र (संतान) हूँ।

जब हम सम्पूर्ण पृथ्वी की ही कल्पना अपनी माँ के रूप में कर लेते हैं तो कभी भी पृथ्वी के अंगभूत उसके वृक्ष, नदियाँ, वायु, पर्वत आदि को प्रदूषित नहीं करते और उनके प्रति स्नेहमयी दृष्टि रखते हैं।

‘कोरोना-महामारी’ से पूर्व खानों की खुदाई; तेल, कोयले, लकड़ी जैसे ईंधनों की खपत, समुद्री जीव-जन्तुओं का जीवन, जंगलों की कटाई, दूषित नदियाँ, मांसाहार आदि प्रदूषण पर्यावरणविदों की गम्भीर चिन्ता के विषय थे। विश्व स्वास्थ्य संगठन जैसी संस्थाएँ प्रतिदिन प्रदूषण से होने वाली अनेक प्रकार की व्याधियों के रोकथाम एवं जागरूकता के लिए नए-नए चिकित्सीय दिशा-निर्देशों को निर्दिष्ट करता रहता था। 

अभिशाप बनकर आये इस ’कोरोना-काल’ में अर्थशास्त्री बाज़ार के उतार-चढ़ाव देखते रहे परन्तु चिरकाल से चोट खाई इस प्रकृति ने समस्त हानिकारक प्रदूषको में भारी गिरावट कर खुद को ही नया सा कर लिया।

नमामि गंगे’, ‘स्वच्छ वायु परियोजना’  एवं स्वच्छ भारत अभियान’  जैसी योजनाओं के चलने से भी जहाँ असर नहीं आ रहा था, वहीं इस ‘कोरोना-अभिशाप’ की गोद में छिपा था साफ आसमान, साफ नदियाँ, स्वच्छ वायु का वरदान (https://www.ndtv.com/news/view/ndtv/2216600/site=classic/?device=androidv2&showads=no)। कहने में अतिशयोक्ति न होगी कि ’कोरोना’ ने मानव को प्रकृति की नूतन छवि के दर्शन करा उनके परस्पर सम्बन्ध को और अधिक क़रीबी बनाया।

आन्तरिक प्रकृति –

व्यक्ति के सोच-विचार ही उसकी आन्तरिक प्रकृति की नींव है। मनुष्य के विचारों से ही उसका स्वभाव बनता है इसीलिए ‘कोरोना-काल’ में स्वयं को तनाव मुक्त करने के लिए तथा सद्विचार हेतु ‘ताली’ और ‘थाली’ की गूँज के साथ दियों की जगमगाहट दिखाई दी। वैदिक मंत्र ‘तन्मे मनः शिवसंकल्पमस्तु’ (वाजसनेयी संहिता 34) का सकारात्मक दृष्टिकोण भारत के प्रधानमंत्री जी ने कुछ इस प्रकार प्रकट किया-

शुभं करोति कल्याणमारोग्यं धनसंपदा।

शत्रुबुद्धिविनाशाय दीपज्योतिर्नमोऽस्तुते॥

यही दर्शाता है कि ‘कोरोना’ को संकट नहीं अपितु उस अंधकार के रूप में माना गया है जिसके बाद सवेरा निश्चित है- ‘तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय। मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय’ (बृहदारण्यक उपनिषद् 1.3.28)। वैदिक विचारधारा से ओत-प्रोत भारत आपद-काल में यही सकारात्मक संदेश समस्त विश्व तक पहुंचा रहा है।

संगठित समाज और संयुक्त-परिवार-व्यवस्था ही वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् की नींव है। भारतीय सामाजिक व्यवस्था प्रारम्भ से ही इसकी सराहना करती है। वर्तमान ‘कोरोना-संक्रमण-काल’ के कारण सम्पूर्ण विश्व में चल रहे बंद (lockdown) ने समस्त विश्व को सामाजिक एकता एवं पारिवारिक सम्बन्धों में परस्पर सामंजस्य का पाठ पढ़ाया है। तनावपूर्ण वातावरण में परस्पर सौहार्द ही मानसिक बल प्रदान करता है, जिससे आत्मघाती अवसादों को नियंत्रित किया जा सकता है।

स्वयं को पहचानना अर्थात् अपनी क्षमताओं और कमज़ोरियों का ज्ञान परमावश्यक है। आज हम कहीं न कहीं आत्म-मूल्यांकन भूल चुके हैं। इस ‘कोरोना-संकट’ ने हम सभी को भागदौड़ से हटाकर ’स्वाध्याय’ के लिए प्रेरित किया है-

स्वाध्यायान्मा प्रमदः’ (तैत्तिरीय उपनिषद् 1.11.1)

सांसारिक क्रियाकलापों से परे आत्म-निहित साधना ही हमें योग और ध्यान की ओर ले जाती है- असंशयं महाबाहो मनो दुर्निग्रहं……वैराग्येण च गॄह्यते’ (गीता 6.35) | इस आपत्ति-काल ने ‘आत्मानुशासन’ भी सिखा दिया।

इस प्रकार ‘कोरोना’ ने बाह्य और आन्तरिक दोनों ही प्रकृतियों में नूतनता के दर्शन कराये हैं। ऐसा लगता है कि ‘कोरोना-काल’ के बाद विश्व में कई बदलाव दिखेंगे, यथा- पारिवारिक-सम्बन्धों में, पर्यावरण-संरक्षण के प्रति, आत्म-विश्लेषण में, तथा सकारात्मक ऊर्जा के रूप में।

हम जीवन के प्रति उदासीन हो रहे हैं पर

प्रकृति स्वयं को हमारे लिए पुनर्जीवित कर रही है……….

Dr. Aparna (Dhir) Khandelwal, Assistant Professor, School of Indic Studies, INADS, Dartmouth

Connecting with Mā Gangā

Ms. Neera Misra

Introduction

Gangā! The very name creates a sense of sanctity, devotion and reverence. It is the only flowing body of sacred waters whose history of origin through superhuman efforts, has been immortalized in legendary films and arts, and termed Gangā Avtaraṇa or even as Bhāgiratha Prayathna. We get a detailed description of Gangā Avtaraṇa  in Srimad Vālmīki Ramāyana.

कथं गङ्गावतरणं कथं तेषां जलक्रिया….॥ (बालकाण्ड, द्विचत्वारिंश सर्ग ६)

भगीरथस्तु राजर्षिर्धार्मिको…..राज्यं गङ्गावतरणे रत:॥ (वही, ११-१२)

(Source of Image : ‘Gangā Avtaraṇa गङ्गावतरण ‘ – A famous painting by Sh. Raja Ravi Verma

The water deity, identified with ‘makara’ at her feet, brings with it unique power of salvation from sins. It is the spiritual river that has defined Bhārata’s culture and civilization since time immemorial.

The Gangā occupies an unrivalled position among the rivers of the world. No other river is so closely identified with a country as the Gangā is with India’, says Jagmohan Mahajan in Gangā Observed (Foreign accounts of the river). ‘Cities and pilgrimage centers teeming with temples and shrines have sprung up all along its course (milestones in the history of the land and the growth of Indian civilization). The Gangetic plain has indeed been the pole towards which the political, economic and religious life of the country has gravitated’.  Gangā is much more.

‘पतित पावनी जीवनदायनी’ Mā Gangā is integral to us from birth to death. Its water is used at every ceremony for purification, as a charm to ward off evil spirits, sprinkled at weddings over the bride and bridegroom, and dropped into the mouths of the dying, and also serving as a medium for oath taking. Geographer Strabo calls it ‘the largest river’. The English traveller Thomas Coryat, who visited India from 1612 to 1617, has called it ‘the captains of all rivers in the world’.

Yet this water of life and death is not just a naturally existing river as perceived by many. Descending from the heavens as rain, she was created as a channel for human salvation with the vision of Solar Dynasty King Sagara and his five generations of descendants, a task finally accomplished by Bhāgiratha with the blessings of Lord Shiva. Gangā is not just flowing waters but divine waters endowed with unique properties for our ‘mokṣa’. Some scholars believe that our current understanding and approach to ‘river’ is based on European ideas and very different from what ancient seers of Bhārata conceived. Dilip da Cunha, in his book ‘The Invention of Rivers: Alexander’s Eye and Gangā’s Descent‘, (published 2018 November by the University of Pennsylvania) attributes the colonial understanding of river and banks, the separation of land and water, to be derivative from Alexander’s concept and ancient Greek cartography. He explains ‘Although Alexander the Great never saw the Ganges, he conceived of it as a flowing body of water, with sources, destinations, and banks that marked the separation of land from water. This Alexandrine view of the river, as per Dilip da Cunha ‘has been pursued and adopted across time and around the world.

Dilip da Cunha, indirectly agrees with the Vedic view that Gangā descended from heavens, when he argues that ‘the articulation of the river Ganges has placed it at odds with Gangā, a “rain terrain that does not conform to the line of separation, containment, and calibration that are the formalities of a river’ He explains  that ‘What we take to be natural features of the earth’s surface, according to da Cunha, are products of human design’, thus again authenticating the ‘itihāsa’ of Sagar and Bhāgiratha.

In the 4th century BC, Megasthenes came from Greece as ambassador to the court of Chandragupta Maurya, leaving the first detailed account of India by a foreign visitor. He noted that the Indians worshipped the rain-bringing Zeus (Indra), the Gangā River and local deities. The Arthashastra of Kautilya mentions that ‘during drought shall Indra, the Gangā, mountains and Mahakachha (sea or ocean) be worshipped. Textual references prove that the Gangā is actually channeled rainwater (Ṛgveda 1.32.11-12).

इन्द्रो यद् वॄत्रमवधीन्नदी….| (ॠग्वेद १.५२.२)

Mysterious purifying powers

Gangā that we revere is the very special living divine liquid energy with mysterious purifying properties. This unique and mystifying trait of the Gangā has intrigued modern scientists for long but till date none have succeeded in decoding the Gangā’s spiritual powers.

Mark Twain notes that a scientist named Mr. Henkin, who was employee of the government of Agra, concluded experiments to examine the water. He went to Banāras for his tests and took water from the mouths of the sewers where they empty into the river at the bathing-ghāts; Tests revealed that a cubic centimeter of it contained millions of germs; but at the end of six hours they were all dead. He then also caught a floating corpse, towed it to shore, “ … and from beside it he dipped up water that was swarming with cholera germs; at the end of six hours they were all dead’ writes J Mahajan (Virgo Publication, 1994). Repeatedly, he took pure well-water which was barren of animal life, and put into it a few cholera germs, they always began to propagate at once, and always within six hours they swarmed- and were numerable by millions upon millions.

Europeans wondered, as many of us still do, ‘how did they find out the water’s secret in those ancient ages? Had they germ-scientists then? We do not know. We only know that they had a civilization long before we emerged from savagery’ (Mark Twain: Following the Equator, 1897).

(Source of image : ‘Devprayāg’ where the Bhāgirathi joins Alakhnandā to form Gangā. Image courtsey by Sh. Abhay Mishra)

This most telling image from Devprayāg distinctly shows here two flowing water bodies of very different colors. It is pertinent to note that this is the sacred place of the ‘divine confluence’ (Devprayāg) of two rivers that join together, creating Gangā’s emergence as the single flow towards the plains. Also, that the chemical properties of such contrasting waters will be different is clear to even an ordinary person.

How does the mixture of two or more variant waters, flowing through mineral rich pristine areas, affect the final properties of the Gangā waters that have mysterious purifying qualities? Was this confluence natural or man-made? We know of Panchprayāg (five confluences) at Uttarākhand. Waters descend crossing through Vishnuprayāg (DhauliGangā-Alakhnandā), Nandprayāg (Alakhnandā-Nandākinī), Karnaprayāg (Alakhnandā-Pindar) and Rudraprayāg where Alakhnandā meets Mandakinī.

What is the significance of the name ‘Devprayāg’ as ancient seers named people or places with certain symbolic identifications? Where or what is the initial source of the mystical properties of Gangā waters? We know that – Gangā water is always sacred as germs do not develop in it. Gangā water is always pure. It has medicinal properties in it. This drinking water has divine traits as stated in ancient texts –

शं नो देवीरभिष्टय आपो भवन्तु पीतये शं योरभि स्रवन्तु न:। (ॠग्वेद १.९.४)

Germ free pure water is also mentioned –

यथोदकं शुद्धे शुद्धमासिक्तं तादृगेव भवति। (कठोपनिषद् २.१.१५)

It is notable that where the Gangā waters fall on Hemkunt as spring,  gold particles are found there. In several places in the Gangā valley there is a tradition to strain gold particles. This gold is called ‘Gangāye’ Periplus mentions this.

Gangā is called the ‘Das Pāpa Hara Devī’ as she provides solution for ten problems. Gangā Daśera is festival celebrated in recognition of Gangā’s power of washing away ten ‘Pāpa’ or sins (sin means problems). It is also mentioned by Bhojrāj (Rajmartand) [quoted in गङ्गा नदी : उद्भव एवं देवत्व – एक सांस्कृतिक यात्रा, presented by Prof. Deen Bandhu Pande, at Draupadi Dream Trust Gangā Conference, 6th Dec 2018, Delhi]. Was course of waters having divergent properties chartered to form the miracle water?

Rajnīkānt describes the ten traits of Gangā, by which it helps us keep away problems. These ten natural qualities of Gangā are –

1. शीतत्वम्, 2. स्वादुत्वम्,  3. स्वच्छत्वम् ,  4.  अत्यन्तरुचत्वम् , 5. पत्थ्यत्वम्, 6. पावनत्वम्  7. पापहारित्वम्,  8. तृष्णामोहध्वंसनत्वम् 9. दीपत्वम्, 10. प्रज्ञाधारित्वम्.

As the British interests in India increased, they also started exploring its natural resources. Gangā, Yamuna, Brahmaputra and other rivers originating from the Himalayas attracted their attention, during 1800s and early part of 1900s. British surveyors surveyed these rivers comprehensively, and Sir William Willcox, the Director General of Irrigation of India has, in his book, shows his understanding of high standards of ancient documentations. He writes that Indian ancient writers wrote about physical facts in a spiritual manner. Regarding the rivers he states that every flow which went southwards whether, big as the Bhagirathi or not, originally started as a canal and that these canals were lined out, dug and placed just at the distance that canals should be placed. Sir William Willcox reasons that Gangā or the River Bhāgirathī was a canal constructed by our ancient visionaries. The bringing of the Gangā from the heights of Meru to the plains of India would be the greatest accomplishment of engineering in India, or even in human history.

Divine water

What is the mystery of this Divine water?

Modern scientists are gradually realising the science of Ayurveda, Meditation, Yoga and even ‘ritual fasting, but will take many decades, if not centuries, to unlock all the secrets unearthed by our ancient seers. Knowledge of our Rishi’s came through centuries of penance by understanding and connecting with nature. They unravelled the depths of ‘vijñāna’ and planned for welfare of humanity.

The gospel of preventive medicine and science of life ‘Ayurveda’ is the ‘Charak Samhitā’ which means research by travelling to various parts of the land. It was not commercial exploitation as Vedic dharma is based on the principles of

सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु मा कश्चिद् दुःख भाग्भवेत्।।

Gangā too was channeled from heavenly waters for the welfare of mankind. It is the perfect blend of nature and culture for social engineering the welfare of a civilization that believed in divine nature of man, nature and all earthy beings.

Gangā Mā is a marvelous gift of visionary King Sagara, dedicated efforts of his 60,000 population and sons Anshumān, Dilipa and especially Bhāgiratha, who is immortalized through Bhāgirathī river which joins Alakhnandā at Devprayāg, to finally form the Gangā we know.

Since time immemorial Mother Gangā is flowing through our heartlands and we use her pure waters for all our holy rituals. But in this auspicious Śrāvan māsa we pay special tribute to the heavenly Divine Gangā. People travel for days, covering thousands of miles up the mountains to bring the freshest waters of Gangā river to pour on Lord Shiva, thanking him for blessing us by bringing Mā Gangā to us mortals. It is like a thanksgiving celebration, so integral to our sanskriti.

Jai Mā Gange!

Om Namay Shivāye!

Ms. Neera Misra, Independent scholar on Vedic and Mahābhārata Heritage, Chairperson-Trustee Draupadi Dream Trust

वासन्ती पर्व ’होली’

 – डॉ. शशि तिवारी

guj

हमारी कृषि-व्यवस्था दो भागों में बँटी है―(1) वैशाखी, (2) कार्तिकी। इसी को क्रमश: वासन्ती और शारदीय फसलें कहते हैं। फाल्गुन पूर्णमासी वासन्ती फसल का आरम्भ है। होली पर्व का एक प्राचीन नाम ’वासन्ती नवसस्येष्ट’ है। यह मूलतया वसन्त ऋतु में नये अनाजों से किये जाने वाले यज्ञ कर्म (इष्टि) का नाम है। हमारी वैदिक परम्परा है कि  नवान्न को सर्वप्रथम अग्निदेव को समर्पित करते हैं, तत्पश्चात् स्वयं भोग करते हैं। वसन्त ऋतु में चना, मटर, अरहर एवं जौ आदि अनेक अन्न पक चुकते हैं। अत: उनको देवों को समर्पित करते हैं। चारों वर्ण परस्पर मिलकर इस विशाल यज्ञ को सम्पन्न करते हैं। आहुति देते हैं और परिक्रमा करतॆ हैं, यह यज्ञ की प्रक्रिया ही है।

संस्कॄत की परिभाषा ’तृणाग्निं भ्रष्टार्धपक्वशमी धान्य: होलक:’ के अनुसार तिनके की अग्नि में भुने हुए अधपके धान्य (फली वाले अन्न) को होलक कहते हैं। होली शब्द होलक से बना है। इसी कारण इस पर्व को ’होली’ या ’होलिकोत्सव’ कहते है। होली नवान्न वर्ष का प्रतीक है। लॊग प्रतिवर्ष सामूहिक रूप से होली जलाते हैं।

holi

(Source of Image : httpswww.jansatta.comlifestyleholi-2018)

ऋतुओं का सन्धिकाल रोग उत्पन्न करता हैं । होली का समय हेमन्त और बसन्त ऋतु का योग है। रोग-निवारण के लिए यज्ञ उत्तम साधन है। अत: होली जलने का संबन्ध फसलों के साथ-साथ ऋतु-परिवर्तन से भी है।

एक पौराणिक कथा होली जलाने को भगवान् से जोडती है―होलिका हिरण्यकश्यपु नामक राक्षस की बहिन थी। उसे यह वरदान था कि वह आग में नहीं जलेगी। हिरण्यकश्यपु का प्रह्लाद नाम का बालक पुत्र था जो विष्णु की पूजा करता था। पर हिरण्यकश्यपु पुत्र को रोकता था कि “तू विष्णु की  पूजा न कर मेरी पूजा किया कर“। जब वह नहीं माना तो हिरण्यकश्यपु ने होलिका को आदेश दिया कि वह प्रह्लाद को आग में लेकर बैठ जाये। होलिका प्रह्लाद को गोद में लेकर आग में बैठ गई,  वह जल गई और प्रह्लाद बच गया। तब से प्रह्लाद, होलिका तथा विष्णु की कथा की स्मृति में होली का त्यौहार मनाया जाता है l

होली उत्सव एवं यज्ञ का सांस्कृतिक प्रतीक है। स्वयं को प्रकॄति से जोड़ने का पर्व है।

आप सभी को इस उत्सव की हार्दिक शुभकामनायें।

डॉ. शशि तिवारी,अध्यक्ष, वेव्स -भारत 

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|

sun

(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

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

 

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

Brief Resume-page-001

– Sh. Anand Gaikwad

The methodology of organic farming, “Chaitanya Krishi” based on Vedic Sciences (Homa organic farming) was adapted and got further evolved by the farm situated on the bank of river Barvi and situated in the village known as Dahagaon, Tal. Kalyan, Dist. Thane, Maharashtra State. Organic farming has started on this farm since 1998. In July 2010, a Resonance Point for performance of Agnihotra was established and since then the methodology of Homa organic farming i.e. “Chaitanya Krishi” based on Vedic agricultural sciences/Vedic Parampara or Indian Traditional Agricultural Heritage has been undertaken for scientific development. In August 2014, the Maharashtra State Government has recognized the owner (Shri Anand Gaikwad) of this farm with a prestigious award “Krishi Bhushan Sendriya Sheti-2013” for Organic Farming.

After establishment of Resonance Point, for performing Agnihotra and other Yajnas, in July 2010, the development of this methodology on a scientific basis have undertaken on this farm. A fusion of Biodynamic farming practices (like use of BD 500, BD 501, preparation of BD compost, CPP etc) and Homa farming can bring the best from both to deal with the problems of pollution and for improvement in the soil health and vitality of food. In agriculture the two spheres which need judicious management are, “Biosphere” and “Rhizosphere” and the methodology of this working, which has been evolved and is getting further developed at this farm, seems to offer sound agronomic practices for restoration of balance in natural resources, health of the soil and for sustainable agriculture.

The salient features of this methodology are given in this technical note.

Fundamental Principles :

  • Holistic approach for production of food.
  • Holistic Resource Management for sustainable agriculture.
  • Rhizosphere and Biosphere Management with organic farming practices for improvement in soil health, healthy plant life, animal life and human life.

Panchsheel for development of organic farming :

Acharya Vinoba Bhave’s definition of Agriculture is as under:

शेती एक सांस्कृतिक नवनिर्माण करणारी सृजनशील जीवनशैली आहे. आनंददायी कल्याणकारी संस्कृती आहे. (केवळ) धंदा नाही धर्म आहे.

Agriculture is the basis of creating permanent social order and civilization. Ecological duty of a human being is to return to nature or basically to soil that which belongs to it i.e. – biomass to earth and fruit and produce to the man. This is either through cattle to complete the nature’s cycle or by making compost and returning it back to the soil to create humus.

सुस्था भवन्तु कृषकाः धनधान्यसमन्विताःकृषिपराशर

susthā bhavantu kṛṣakāḥ dhanadhānyasamanvitāḥ – kṛṣiparāśara

“Let the farmer be happy, healthy and wealthy”

Holistic approach for production of wholesome nutrient food – Healthy Soil – Healthy Food – Healthy Life “So long as one feeds on food from unhealthy soil, the spirit will lack the stamina to free itself from the prison of body” – Rudolf Steiner, Father of Bio-dynamic Farming.

कृषिः यज्ञेन कल्पताम्। प्राणो यज्ञेन कल्पताम्। यज्ञो यज्ञेन कल्पताम्।

kṛṣi yajñena kalpatām | prāo yajñena kalpatām | yajño yajñena kalpatām |

Dev-yajñas and Bhut-yajñas should be performed by landholder for agriculture and environment (Kashyapiya Krishi Sukti).

The gospel truth about creating and keeping ecological balance through Yajña is given in Bhagvadgīta (3.14) which states as under:

अन्नाद् भवन्ति भूतानि पर्जन्यादन्नसम्भवः।

यज्ञात् भवन्ति पर्जन्यः यज्ञः कर्मसमुद्भवः॥

annād bhavanti bhūtāni parjanyādannasambhava |

yajñāt bhavanti parjanya yajña karmasamudbhava ||

Simply stated in proper order, it would mean:

यज्ञात् भवन्ति पर्जन्यः yajñāt bhavanti parjanya (due to yajña it rains)

पर्जन्यादन्नसम्भवः parjanyādannasambhava (rains produce food)

अन्नाद् भवन्ति annād bhavanti bhūtāni (all living beings survive on food)

agnihotra

(Source of Image: https://agnihotra.pl/en/agnihotra/)

In respect of cloud formation and Rain Induction Techniques mentioned in Śatapatha Brāhmana of Śukla Yajurveda are as follows:

अग्नेर्वै धूमः जायते agnervai dhūma jāyate {Agni/ yajña creates Water Vapours (aerosol nano particles)}

धूमात् अभ्रम् dhūmāt abhram {Water vapours (aerosol nanoparticles ) form clouds}

अभ्रात् वृष्टिः abhrāt vṛṣṭi[Clouds give rains]

“Heal the atmosphere and healed atmosphere heals you”, “Agnihotra is the basic Homa for all Homa fire practices given in the ancient Vedic Sciences of bio-energy, psychotherapy, medicine, agriculture biogenetics, climate engineering and interplanetary communication”  (Shri Vasant Paranjape in, “Homa Therapy our Last Chance”). The positive effects of Agnihotra are an outcome of simultaneous functioning of many subtle scientific principles such as, effect of chanting of specific sounds on the atmosphere and mind, energies emanating from the pyramid-shape, nutritional effect of burning of medicinal ingredients and the effects of bio-rhythms of sun, moon and natural phenomena. It provides the foundation for healthy life: fresh air, clean water, healthy soil, vital organic food and a peaceful atmosphere. It is the need of the hour and a simple solution to our global crisis that anyone can apply – Agnihotra is a simplified Dev-yajña. 

(to be continued…..)

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

Environmental Sustainability & Cow-Protection in Vedas

-Mr. Subodh Kumar, Director, Maharshi Dayanand Gosamwardhan Kendra, Delhi.

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Mr. Subodh Kumar started his career with Engineering, worked with industries for over 45 years. For the last more than 15 years he is devoting full time to issues relating to Indian Cows-Nutrition-Organic-Agriculture and study of Vedas. Maharshi Dayanand Gosamwardhan Kendra, Delhi is non-profit organization where Mr. Kumar giving voluntary free service & dedicating in developing and maintaining Indian breeds of cows.

Cow has been held in great esteem as sacred not be killed by Hindus following Vedic tradition. The belief that cow is a sacred animal is not a mere religious belief but it is supported by modern science on environmental sustainability and food security for survival of humans on this Earth. It is very significant to know that cow-protection is important for scientific sustainable environment considerations, prevention of global warming and climate change, and also for food security of human life on this planet. To portray cow protection with religion is a totally misplaced view in modern world. 

There is a misconception among the western educated dairy scholars in India that cows are important for the milk they produce. Far from it, according to Rigveda (6.48.13) cows enable entire agriculture to feed the world while milk happens to be of minor significance. In USA according to researches of Prof. William Albrecht of Missouri University, in 1920s, ‘Only healthy soil produces healthy food that is good for health’. According to Prof. Albrecht for soil remediation through restoring its micro-components, all cattle and human waste have to be recycled. One could readily consult the book entitled Soil Fertility and Animal Health by William A. Albrecht for further verification.

Dr. Albert Howard, a British scientist, was posted to India in 1905 to ‘teach’ Indians the ‘Modern Agriculture’. After spending more than 30 years in India, he came to the conclusion that cow based agriculture being practiced in India is the healthiest form of Agriculture. He called it ‘Organic Agriculture’. On return to UK he started ‘Soil Association’ in UK, the first Organic certification agency in the world, and was subsequently joined by Rodale to promote it in the USA {https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regenerative_agriculture}. To this important agriculture information, the latest researches of Allan Savory in last 50 years have added a new dimension. According to Allan Savory intensive cow grazing mimics the ancient climate sustainability to sequester carbon dioxide in the soil to reduce green house gases and prevent climate change and global warming {https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Savory}. As a matter of interest Rigveda (6.47.20) specifically mentions importance of cows for reclaiming wastelands and maintaining green cover. It also confirms that cows should have free access to forests for grazing and maintaining soil fertility.images

Indian climate is unique in the world because it enables agriculture throughout the year.  Agriculture soil in India thus needs a constant supply of cowdung to keep it fertile and healthy. That made cow sacred for Indians in the first place. From prehistoric times nobody in India could even dream of cow slaughter.