– Sh. Anand Gaikwad
While I was studying Varāh Mihir’s “Brihat Samhitā” and participating in the exercise of validation of his Rain conception and Rain Delivery (RCRD) theory for Monsoon -2016; the basis of Yajña concept being incorporated in some of the Indian Festivals came to my mind as a realisation. I have been thinking about it ever since the publication of the report about this validation exercise in Asian Agri-History Journal 2018 Vol.22 (2), the International Quarterly Journal of Asian Agri- History Foundation. My association with late Ashwamedhayaji Shri Nanaji Kale for validation of Suvrushti Project and RCRD Theory for Monsoon 2016, was a wonderful experience for me; particularly for understanding the greatness of our Ṛśis in theorizing their observations of nature, environment, atmospheric order and the Cosmological System consisting of Sun, Moon, Planets and Nakṣatras. One marvels at the wisdom and expertise in interweaving these theories in social and cultural life for the common benefit of mankind.
All of us are familiar with the Indian Monsoon. The word Monsoon has its origin in Arabic word, ‘Mausam’ which means ‘season’. The word which was originally referred to wind reversals in the Arabian sea, has come to mean the whole range of the phenomena associated with the annual weather cycles in tropical and sub-tropical Asia, Australia and Africa. Therefore, the study of Monsoon weather patterns is of great importance for every Indian farmer, every student of Environmental Science and for that matter every Indian citizen, because Monsoon is the life-line of India. According to world climate patterns and regional geography of Asia and India, Monsoon climate patterns are characterized by large scale seasonal reversals of winds, giving very distinct seasons, ’Summer’ and ‘Winter’. In summer moist air is carried northwards from the Indian Ocean over the Indian sub-continent bringing rains. In winter, cool dry weather is carried southwards. Thus, the year gets divided into wet and dry seasons. In addition a short North-East Monsoon affects the south-east coastal states of India due to winds bringing moisture from Bay of Bengal. The Summer Monsoon arrives in southern India in late May or early June and gradually advances northwards and westwards reaching Jammu-Kashmir, Pakistan by early July. It begins to retreat from north western regions and Pakistan by September and withdraws from south India by November. This pattern of advancement and withdrawal gives Indian sub-continent its characteristic seasonal rainfall pattern which is called Indian Monsoon.
Our great Ṛśis and seers during Vedic Period and Post Vedic Period had studied these weather patterns and encapsulated their findings in scriptures like , “ Brihat Samhitā“ of Varāh Mihir, “Arthaśastra“ of Kautilya and “Kṛśi Parashar“ of Parashar. In addition to these examples of the Science of Rainfall Prediction and Rain Conception Signals, there are many ancient texts of Astrometerology of Vedic traditions like –Parashar Samhitā, Garg Samhitā, Kashyap Samhitā, Maghmala Samhitā, Narad Samhitā etc. which have been mentioned in the reports/ books published by Shri Yogiraj Ved Vidnyan Aśram, Barshi, Dist. Solapur Maharashtra, (Vedaśram) founded by late Ashwamedhayaji Shri Nanaji Kale mentioned above. Vedaśram carried out various experiments of, Suvrushti Projects and Validation of Varāh Mihir’s RCRD Theory by performing Somyāgas, Parjanya Yāgas for establishing scientifically the relationship between Yajñas, Agriculture, Environment and Rainfall.
Varāh Mihir’s Theory of Rain Conception and Rain Delivery ( RCRD):
Varāh Mihir in his, “Brihat Samhitā” gives his theory of Vṛśṭi Garbhadhārana (Rain conception) and Vṛśṭi Prasav (Rain delivery). Chapters 21 to 28 of this book are devoted to this subject-matter. Before laying down his theory, Varāh Mihir explains the importance of the knowledge of Rainfall Prediction, Rain Conception Signals and Rain Delivery at the beginning of chapter 21 entitled “Garbh Lakṣaṇam” (Pregnancy of clouds) in the first verse as follows:
अन्नम् जगत: प्राणा: प्रावृट्कालस्य चान्नमायत्तम् |
यस्मादत: परीक्ष्य: प्रावृट्काल: प्रयत्नेन् ||१||
Annam Jagataḥ Prāṇāḥ Prāvṛṭkālasya Chānnamāyattam I
Yasmādataḥ Parīkṣyaḥ Prāvṛṭkālaḥ Prayatnen II1II
It means that as the food is
life-giving and life-sustaining force to all living beings and the food is
dependent on rainfall (Monsoon) it should be observed, investigated and studied
carefully. In India only 35% of the cultivated land is an irrigated land, which
means that almost 65% is rain-fed area, which is entirely dependent upon
Monsoon. Hence farmer’s knowledge about Rain Conception Signals and Rainfall
Prediction is of great significance.
केजिद्वदन्ती कार्तिक शुक्लान्तमतीत्य गर्भदिवसा: स्यु: |
न च तन्मतं बहुनां गर्गादीनां मतं वक्ष्ये II ५II
Kejidvadantī Kārtika Śuklāntamatītya Garbhadivasāḥ Syuḥ I
Na Cha Tanmataṁ Bahunāṁ Gargādināṁ Mataṁ Vakṣye II5II
Thus, some sages say that the days of pregnancy of clouds begins after the full moon of Kārtika month but the opinion is not shared by the majority. Therefore he further says:
मार्गशिर: सितपक्षप्रतिपत्प्रभृति क्षपाकरेआषाढाम् |
पूर्वा वा समुपगते गर्भाणां लक्षणं ज्ञेयम् ||६||
Mārgśiraḥ Sitpakṣapratipatbhṛti Kṣapākareāṣāḍhām I
Pūrvā Vā Samupagate Garbhāṇāṁ Lakṣaṇaṁ Jñeyam II 6 II
The symptoms of pregnancy of clouds are to be detected / observed when Moon transits Purvāśāḍha asterism commencing from the first day of Mārgaśirsya. Varāh Mihir’s prime RCRD Theory is stated in verse 7 :
यन्नक्षत्रमुपगते गर्भश्चंद्रे भावेत्स चन्द्रवशात् |
पन्चनवते दिनशते तत्रैव प्रसवमायाति || ७||
Yannakṣatramupagate Garbhaśchandre Bhāvetsa Chandravaśāt I
Panchanavate Dinśate Tatraiva Prasavmāyāti II7II
The rain-foetus formed during the Moon stay in a particular asterism (Nakṣatra) will be born 195 days (192 calendar days + or – one day ) later at the time when the Moon will be again in the same asterism according to the laws of her revolution (Moon Cycle). Thus, the RCRD Theory of Varāh Mihir in simple words is that rain conception takes place during dry period (Mārgaśir to Chaitra).The rain conception signals can be observed from the first day of Mārgaśir till Chaitra Māsa. The rain-foetus conceived during this period will give rain delivery after the gestation period of 195 days (approx. six and half months later) at the time of same asterism when the foetus was conceived. The various rain conception signals to be observed are given in other verses and depending on the rain conception signals observed the rain delivery after the gestation period of 195 days can be predicted . One can prepare a local calendar of rainfall prediction and validate the same with actual rainfall on those days. A farmer can plan his agricultural operations based on this local Agro-climatic calendar.
The relationship of Yajña with Agriculture and Environment :
When one reads the RCRD Theory of Varāh Mihir along with the gospel truth given in Bhagavadagītā Chapter 3 Śloka 14:
अन्नाद् भवन्ति भूतानि पर्ज्यन्यात् अन्नसंभव: |
यज्ञात् भवन्ति भूतानि पर्ज्यन्या: यज्ञ: कर्मसमुद्भव: ||३.१४||
Annād bhavanti bhutāni parjanyāt Annasambhavaḥ I
Yajñāt Bhavanti Bhutāni Parjyanyāḥ Yajñaḥ Karmasamudbhavaḥ II3.14 II
One leads to logical conclusion that Yajñas be performed during the dry period to facilitate rain conception and rain-foetus nourishment during the gestation period. This very concept has been incorporated in our festivals which are based on Yajña/ Havans starting from Durgā Navrātri in Aświn to Rāma Navmī in Chaitra and Akṣaya-Tṛtīyā in Vaiśākha. The deities worshipped are Ādi Śakti, Puruśa, Śiva, Agnī and Surya and the offerings are preparations of cereals and pulses of newly harvested crops. Our Ṛśis have interwoven these festivals which are based on ’Suryōpasana’ and ‘Agniupasana’ in our cultural system for celebration / participation by masses.
(to be continued…..)
–Sh. Anand Gaikwad, Krishi Bhushan Sendriya Sheti M. S. & Retd. Executive Director/Company Secretary