गणतंत्र दिवस 2021 और अराजकता

ब्रिगेडियर (डा.) जीवन राजपुरोहित

देश की सेहत ज़रा नासाज़ है।

कोरोना का कहर असर दिखा रहा है,

अर्थव्यवस्था को डरा रहा है,

उद्योग की गर्दन दबा रहा है,

जनमानस को डरा रहा है।

इस साल गणतंत्र दिवस ख़ास था, 

तैयारी पूरी थी, पर आने वाले नहीं थे, 

आगंतुक बहुत थे, पर पाबंदी भी थी।

कोरोना  की धाक इतनी कि,

बोरिस जॉनसन भी आने से मुकर गए।

दिल्ली रानी की तरह सजाई गई थी,

सुंदरता  चरमोत्कर्ष पर थी,

सुरक्षा का घेरा भी कवच मंडल की तरह था,

और दिलों की गरमी  पूरे देश में छाई थी।

उधर साज़िश की तैयारी में,

कौन थे वो  किसानों के भेष में,

बिल संशोधन के नाम पर, ना जाने क्या चाह रहे थे,

किसानों के विकास के नाम पर, लोकतंत्र को डरा रहे थे। 

सत्ताधारी थे या विरोधी, आवाज़ें उनकी बुलंद थीं, 

कुछ समझ नहीं आ रहा था कि,

दिन गणतंत्र दिवस था, या तांडव हैवानियत का।

किसानों का यह हाल, जो पिछले 70 साल में बदल नहीं पाया,

अब उन्हें यह एक बिल अखरने लगा,

संशोधन मंजूर नहीं, पूरे बिल को ही निरस्त करना चाह रहे थे।

किसानों के हाथों उन्हीं की, किस्मत को गर्दिश में झोंके जा रहे थे।

मान लिया, आपको बिल पर ऐतराज़ है, 

कुछ विषयों पर आप नाराज़ हैं।

राजनीति झलक रही, आपकी बातों और व्यवहार से,

फिर भी लोकतंत्र के नाते, आपसे बातचीत का सिलसिला शुरू हुआ।

सोचा था…

सामाजिक सोच झलकेगी,

 भारतीयता,  विश्वास और विकास में लक्षित होगी।

पर यह क्या?

गणतंत्र दिवस पर ही तिरंगे को बदरंग कर दिया,

देश और संविधान को अपमानित कर दिया।

विश्वास दिलाया था कि रैली शांतिपूर्ण होगी,

सभी मिलकर ट्रैक्टर रैली से अपना विरोध प्रकट करेंगे।

शांति दूत बन, किसानों का भला करेंगे,

राजनीति से हट, देशप्रेम से विकास करेंगे।

पर…

आपने तो विश्वासघात कर दिया,

देश में हिंसा फैला, सभी को हतप्रभ कर दिया।

किसानों के नाम पर, विकास और किसानी छोड़,

देश को  देश -विरोधी गतिविधियों से ही तोल दिया।

लगता है आप किसान नहीं, किसानों के भेष में हैवान हो,

किसानों के नाम पर राजनीति कवचित आडंबरी हो।

अगर वास्तव में आप देशप्रेमी हैं, 

देश के सच्चे किसान हैं,

देश पर आपको अभिमान है,

तो…

विरोध की जगह, प्रबोध को जगाओ,

विरोध में इतना धान उगाओ,

विकास में इतना ज्ञान और ध्यान लगाओ,

कि…

विश्वास का प्रकाश हो, सत्यता प्रमाणित हो,

और जो अब तक ना हो सका,

किसानों का जीवन-विकास पूर्ण हो।

और सरकार बाध्य हो, संशोधन की ओर अग्रसर हो।

आओ मिलकर प्रण करें,

तिरंगे की आन को, इसकी शान को, 

कोई छू ना पाए।

यह ना पूछें कि,

देश ने क्या दिया,

बस यही कहें-

मैंने देश के लिए क्या किया।

ये जो भी किसानों के वेश में,

शांति दूत बन किसानों का भला कर रहे।

राजपुरोहित चिंतित है,

ऐसी राजनीति निंदित है।

Brig JS Rajpurohit, Ph.D. Group Commander, Group HQ NCC, Gorakhpur (UP)

2020 की दस्तक की दास्तां….

डा. अपर्णा (धीर) खण्डेलवाल

उमंग से आए 2020 ने जब दस्तक दी…..

तब नवीन जीवन, नई उमंगों, नई उम्मीदों का सवेरा दिखा।

जनवरी से फरवरी तक सरकते-सरकते, एक नया सा जीव दिखाई पड़ा….

यह कैसा जीव था, जिसकी ना राह पता….ना मंज़िल।

जनजीवन कर दिया ठप, उगी यह कैसी किरण….

इंसानियत तो पहले से ही, बंद थी…..इंसान भी अब हुआ बंद।

मार्च-अप्रैल आते-आते घर बने पिंजरे….

और घुट रहे, पक्षी हुए आज़ाद।

Source of Image : https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/quick-take/making-a-circus-of-a-global-pandemic/article31141986.ece

घूमना-फिरना छोड़कर, खेल-खेल में सीखे कई नए अंदाज़….

ज़िंदगी की चुलबुलाहट को, करीब से समझा सब ने आज।

कई घरों में उजाला, तो कई घरों में अंधेरा दिखा….

कहीं दूर हुए दिल…करीब हुए, तो कहीं करीबी दिल…दूर हुए।

कई चेहरों पर मुस्कुराहट दिखी, तो कई चेहरों पर आंसू…..

कई घरों से किलकारियां सुनाई पड़ी, तो कई घरों से दहाड़े।

मई-जून की इस रफ्तार को, पकड़ा जुलाई-अगस्त ने……

त्योहारों की गूंज ने महकाए, कितने रास्ते।

ना चाहते हुए भी सजे बाज़ार, उमड़ी भीड़ भी….

पर ना थी अब वो रौनक, और ना था अब वो प्यार।

Source of Image : https://www.livemint.com/news/india/overcrowding-in-festive-season-pollution-causing-rise-in-cases-experts-11603982599374.html

मास्क लगाए उमड़ा था, जनसैलाब….

खौफ को गले लगाएं, पटरी पर सरक रहा था जीवन।

अब ना सावन के झूले थे, ना राखी की वो मिठास….

‘गणपति बप्पा मोरिया’ रह गया, बस बनकर घर की बात।

गरबे की वो धूम, दुर्गा का शक्तिमान स्वरूप…..

पंडालों की जगमगाहट से पहुंचा, virtual platform पर खूब।

डर को समेटे हुए, खुशियों को बिखेरते हुए….

बढ़ रहा था सितंबर-अक्टूबर।

दीयों की रोशनी लिए खड़ा था, दिवाली का त्यौहार…

शहनाइयों की गूंज लिए, सज रहा था नवंबर।

दिसंबर के आते ही, मन में खुशी की लहर फिर से दौड़ी….

लगने लगा, बस यही था 2020 का सिलसिला और कड़ी।

पीछे मुड़कर देखा, तो पता चला….

कितने अस्तित्व इस साल दफ़न हुए और कितने जले।

इस साल ना शादियों की धूम रही, ना रही बैंड बाजे की आवाज़….

ना जन्म का स्वागत हुआ, ना मरण का शोक।

Source of image : https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/sunday-times/covid-19-is-making-the-big-fat-indian-wedding-smaller-and-leaner-survey/articleshow/78850910.cms

होड़ थी, बस खुद को बचाने की… 

और इसी दौड़ में मिल गया समय खूब, खुद को समझने का।

निराशा से भरे इस साल ने दिखाए, जीने के अनेक नए रास्ते….

‘संतोष’ ही है असली वैभव, अच्छे जीवन के वास्ते।

दबे पांव आए, अनेक रूपों में अवतरित होते हुए 2020 ने…..

कई मायनों में अपने-पराए का भेद समझाया।

पटरी से उतर रहे जीवन को…..

फिर से पटरी पर ठहराया।

जो तो यह समझ पाए, उन्होंने खुशी से 2020 को अपनाया….

जो ना समझ पाए, उन्होंने गम से 2020 को गवाया।

कई संवेदनाओं को लिए, कई हौसलों को दिये जा रहा है 2020…..

समय की चौखट पर, दस्तक देने जा रहा है 2021

2020 की सीख को लिए निरंतर बढ़ रहे हैं हम….

गति जीवन की सदा निर्बाधित रहे, प्रार्थना करते हैं हम।

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

विश्व लॉक, जीवन अनलॉक

डॉ. धनंजय भंज

हम मानव विज्ञान का क्या-क्या कर बैठे।

हर साधन में संशाधन का विनाश कर बैठे।

समस्या से परे सिर्फ समाधान को ढूंढे।

बिन जल चातक जैसा बेसहारा हो बैठे ॥१॥

लॉकडाउन मेरे लिए तो नयी सोच का माध्यम बना।

विश्वकल्याण में जीवन समर्पित पीडितों के लिए संवेदना ॥

धन्य है सब भारतवासी जो बने रक्षक देवस्वरूप।

धन्य है मेरी भारतमाता परिवेश को दिया नया स्वरूप ॥२॥

जिन्दगी कभी निराश न थी, शराफतों से उसे गले लगाएं।

प्रकृति माँ की गोद में क्षणभर तो अपना समय लगाएं॥

खुशी के आंसू से भी तन-मन, अधिक उष्ण, अति गंभीर।

कुछ तो कमी कभी न थी, फिर भी जीवन क्यों अधीर?॥३॥

जिस नदी में माँ को पाया, उस गंगा को रौंद दिया।

जिस मिट्टी से लिया अनाज, उसे तो कब से कब्र दिया॥

विकास के नाम विनाश को, किस प्रकार से न्यौता दिया।

कालापानी सा एकान्तवास, जीवन को कुछ अर्थ दिया॥४॥

अब ना धूल, ना कहीं धुंआ, खेत-बागान भी सदा प्रफुल्लित।

गंगा यमुना की बात छोड़ों, समुद्र तट भी प्रसन्नचित्त॥

 शिल्प प्रतिष्ठान, उद्योग जगत, बस-रेल-जहाज कैसे शान्त।

 कोरोना ग्रास ही इन्सा को, सिखा गया क्या इन्सानीयत॥५॥

 परिवेश से प्रेम करें, नद-नदी तो सब अपने हैं।

 प्रकृति से प्यार करें, जीव जन्तु इसके अपने हैं॥

 दुखः के वक्त ये साथ हमारे,  इसी बात को समझाएं।

 परिजनों से दोस्ती जैसी, वैसे धरती को अपनाएं॥६॥

अब तो जाएगा कोरोना, खुल जाएंगे बन्धन सूत्र।

जीवन फिर से सिखलाएगा नैसर्गिक वातावरण-मन्त्र॥

आओ मिलाएं सब सुर, सबका हाथ, सबका मन।

अभी भी समय है  देर नहीं, परिवेश का करें जतन॥७॥

वैद्य-पुलिस-शासन-प्रशासन कोरोना वीर कहलाते।

पर्यावरण का रक्षक बनें, स्वयं को रक्षावीर बनाते॥

एकान्तवास में कवि-चित्रकार, नवीन  सोच से पुनः प्रबुद्ध।

किताबें बने, सिनेमा बनें, परिवेश के लिए हो समर्पित॥८॥

कोरोना लोकडाउन लाया, दिशाहीन गति जीवन लाया।

भूल समस्या सांसारिक सब प्रकृति शरण में बैठा पाया॥

है क्या जीवन? कैसे जीएं? यही बात संभवतः समझाया।

परों के लिए सोचने वाले, किसको-किसको अपनाया॥९॥

परमेश्वर की कृपा धरा में, पुनः संचरित नवजीवन।

प्रकृति प्रेमियों कागज बात, भूल में भी अब करो मनन॥

देश बचाओ, बचे सभ्यता, वसुधा बचे व प्राणिजगत।

नवोदय हो अस्तमित रवि, किरणे सदा हों दिव्य-अमृत॥१०॥

वेदों में निहित, चरक प्रणीत, शास्त्रोल्लिखित सार वर्णित।

आयुर्वेद, गीता, भगवत्-नीति-नियमों का हो पालन ॥

भूले बिसरे सनातनीय परम्परा, फिर बने सहारा।

जीवन बने मधुर, असीम परमत्व को करे मनन॥११॥ 

बाइबल-कुरान-गुरुग्रंथों से प्राप्त करें हम अमूल्य सुधा।

कोरोना-निरोधी अभियान, अब विश्वपटल में हो प्रतिष्ठा॥

सकल जीवन, चराचर हो, हो अथवा नद-वन-निर्झर।

अमृतवर्षा कण-कण में अधूरा  जीवन बने मुखरित॥१२॥

हे करुणेश्वर! करो करुणा, हे मानवजाति! करो यह प्रण।

प्रयासरत हो सफल बनें, कोरोना व्याधि से मिले जीवन॥

आत्म-मंथन से राह ढूंढना नि:सार प्रयास, बेकार खोज।

करुणामय की अपार कृपा से विश्वगुरु फिर भारत आज॥१३॥

विकार मन में अस्थिरता कोरोना जैसी अराजकता।

गुरु-ज्ञान से विश्वबंधुता यह पाठ सिखाए कोरोना॥

जाति-धर्म-व वर्ण भूलकर विश्वनियन्ता शरण में जाएं।

संकटकाल का करें निवारण न प्रयास सार्थक रुक जाए॥१४॥

जीवन क्या है? संघर्ष क्या है?अधूरा संघर्ष बिना जीवन।

कोरोना एक ज्वलंत दृष्टांत, मिटेगी बाधा – मिटेगा बंधन॥

उगेगा सूरज संभावनाओं का, आत्मनिर्भर राष्ट्र का विश्वास।

शिथिल अस्तमित शुष्क-शून्यता प्राण-वाक् अन्नमय वास॥१५॥

Dr. Dhananjaya Bhanja, Life Member, WAVES, India & Sub-Editor, Vishwasya Vrutant Newspaper. 

आत्म–शोधन और आत्म-नियन्त्रण ही है जीने की कला

Dr. Poonam Ghai

आज विज्ञान और टेक्नोलॉजी की तरक्की के कारण इतने संसाधन विकसित हो गये हैं कि मनुष्य के आराम, मनोरंजन और रहन-सहन के ढंग में बहुत परिवर्तन आ गया है। बिजली का उत्पादन कई गुना बढ़ गया है, लेकिन ह्रदय में अंधकार भी उतना ही बढ़ गया है। कभी चिन्तन करिए कि ऐसा क्यों हो रहा है? इसके पीछे हमारी विचारधारा, कुंठित और स्वार्थी सोच, धर्म-संस्कृति के लिए अत्यधिक संकुचित विचार और भी न जाने क्या-क्या कारण हैं। एक स्वस्थ, शालीन और सद्भावपूर्ण जीवन के लिये मानवता को क्या करना चाहिए ? इस पर विचार करने की ज़रूरत है। भौतिकवाद और सुविधावाद के युग में व्यक्ति-व्यक्ति से अलग हो गया है। यही सब विचार मनोविज्ञान की ओर हमें ले जाते हैं। हम जैसा सोचते हैं वैसे ही दृष्टि हमारी बनती है, वैसा ही जीवन हम जीने लगते हैं।

इस सत्य से कोई इन्कार नहीं कर सकता कि हमारे उत्कर्ष के प्रथम एवं महत्त्वपूर्ण साधन हैं – हमारी स्वस्थ और सक्षम ज्ञानेन्द्रियाँ। परन्तु इन्द्रियों का प्रवर्तक है- ‘मन’। मन शरीर का नयन और नियमन दोनों करता है। यदि मन शुद्ध और पवित्र बन जाये तो हमारे जीवन की धारा बदल जायेगी। वैदिक मन्त्रदृष्टा ऋषि इसी बात को यजुर्वेद के शिवसंकल्प सूक्त के माध्यम से कहते हैं –

सुषारथिरश्वानिव यन्मनुष्यान्नेनीयतेऽभीशुभिर्वाजिन इव ।

हृत्प्रतिष्ठं यदजिरं जविष्ठं तन्मे मनः शिवसङ्कल्पमस्तु  34.6

जो मन हर मनुष्य को इन्द्रियों के लगाम द्वारा उसी प्रकार घुमाता है, जिस प्रकार एक कुशल सारथी लगाम द्वारा रथ के वेगवान अश्वों को नियन्त्रित करता एवं उन्हें दौड़ाता है, आयु रहित (अजर) तथा अति वेगवान व प्राणियों के हृदय में स्थित मेरा वह मन शुभ संकल्प युक्त अर्थात सुंदर एवं पवित्र विचारों से युक्त हो।

Just as a good charioteer makes the horses run according to his commands so they go where he wants them too, so too the mind can guide a man towards his desire and by restraining animal instincts lead to that dweller in the heart who is immortal and free of turmoil, my mind may you have good intentions.

इसीलिए भारतीय सभ्यता एवं संस्कृति में कथित जीवन-दर्शन शाश्वत है, त्रैकालिक, सार्वजनीक, सार्वदेशिक माना जाता है। लेकिन वर्तमान में सब कुछ जानते समझते हुए भी एक होड़ मची हुई है, सब कुछ पा लेने की। इसी होड़ ने आज के हालात पैदा कर दिए हैं। हर समय असंतोष का जो भाव है उसी ने कुदरत के साथ छेड़छाड़ करने की हमारी प्रवृत्ति बना दी।

जब आवे सन्तोष धन सब धन धूरि समान

(तुलसीदास)

हर कोई आज कोरोना के डर के साये तले जीने को मजबूर है। हमारे देश भारत में 30 जनवरी को पहला मरीज कोरोना संक्रमित मिला था और 7 मई को यह आंकड़ा 50 हज़ार पर पहुंच गया और आज इन आंकड़ों के बारे में सोचकर भी भय लगता है और लगता है, कि जैसे हम कोई बहुत ही बुरा स्वप्न देख रहे हैं जो जल्दी टूटे और हम अपनी उसी दुनिया मे फिर से आ जाएं। इतने लोगों की बीमारी और मौत एक बार हर व्यक्ति को डरा अवश्य रही है, लेकिन डरने के बावजूद अभी भी हम अपनी कमियों को स्वीकारने के स्थान पर इन सारी परिस्थितियों के लिए अन्य चीज़ों पर दोषारोपण करने से चूक नहीं रहे। मानव जीवन भौतिक, आर्थिक, मानसिक और आध्यात्मिक स्तरों पर बार-बार चोट खाकर भी सबक नहीं ले रहा।  कोरोना वायरस के सामने हम निरुपाय हैं, हमारा विज्ञान और तकनीक भी असहाय हैं।

कोरोना महामारी ने मनोवैज्ञानिक रूप से हमें तोड़ा है और छोटी-छोटी सी घटनाओं का भी हम पर बहुत प्रभाव पड़ा है। मई महीने की घटना है, लॉकडाउन के कारण सभी में किसी तरह भी अपने घर पहुंचने की होड़ थी और कुछ मजदूर इसी आपाधापी में रेलवे की पटरियों पर पैदल ही चले जा रहे थे लेकिन होनी देखिए कि ट्रेन से कुचलकर मारे गए। इस हादसे के बारे में समाचार में बताया गया कि पटरियों पर मजदूर कट गए और चारों तरफ उनकी रोटियां जो रास्ते मे खाने के लिए वे ले जा रहे थे, बिखर गयीं यह घटना मन को व्यथित करती है कि सारी कहानी सिर्फ रोटी की ही होती है क्या? रोटी कमाने ही बेचारे यह लोग परदेस गए और इस आपदा के काल में रोटी के लिए ही चार पैसे कमाकर घर लौटना चाहते थे। लेकिन होनी इतनी प्रबल रही की रेलवे पटरियों पर उनके शरीर का तो अंत हुआ ही रोटी की कहानी भी खत्म हो गई।

यह सब देखकर भी हम लोग कुछ समझ नहीं पाते।  आज हमें कोरोना से बचने के लिए कुछ नियमों का पालन करने को कहा जाता है जो आज के हालातों में बचे रहने का एकमात्र उपाय है और यह हम सभी जान समझ रहे हैं लेकिन फिर भी इन हालातों से समझौता करने की जगह बहुत से लोग सरकार, व्यवस्था, समाज, अपने परिवार और यहां तक कि ईश्वर को भी कोसना नहीं छोड़ पा रहे। भगवान ने ऐसा क्यों किया? यही उनका प्रश्न होता है और यह कभी मनन किया किसी ने कि कुदरत, प्रकृति या ईश्वर भी शायद कुछ सन्तुलन करने के मूड में है अब। इतनी बेईमानी, भ्रष्टाचार, लूट-खसोट, बलात्कार और न जाने किन-किन बुराइयों से भरे हुए इस विश्व को जैसे एक सज़ा मिली है। अपनी लाइफ एन्जॉय करने का जो फंडा लोगों पर हावी हो गया था उसे आज के हालातों ने तोड़कर रख दिया है। रोज कहीं होटल में खाना या बाहर से मंगाकर खाना, घूमना फिरना सैर सपाटे, जश्न क्लब किटी-पार्टी सब पर काफी दिन रोक रही और अब भी अंकुश तो है ही। लम्बी सूची है उन चीजों की जिन पर आज नियंत्रण है लेकिन कोविड-19 से पहले यही चीजें ज़िन्दगी का हिस्सा हो गयी थीं। घर के खाने से दूर एक फोन पर खाना ऑर्डर होता था और होम डिलीवरी होती थी। उस खाने से शरीर को क्या नुकसान थे यह सोचने की फुर्सत ही किसको थी। दलील यह दी जाती थी कि ‘मैं तो बिना बाहर का खाए जी ही नहीं सकता / सकती’। ऐसे लोगों से पूछना चाहिए कि अब कैसे जी रहे हैं? कहने का मतलब वह हर काम जिसे हम सालों से करते आ रहे थे और उसे करने के पक्ष में अपनी बेसिर पैर की दलीलें देते थे, उन्हीं चीजों को आज जब हमसे छीन लिया गया है तो भी हम जी रहे हैं। कुदरत ने हमें अपनी राह पर चलने के लिए बहुत आगाह किया लेकिन हम आगाह होना तो दूर बल्कि और भी इन चीज़ों में संलिप्त होते गए तो कुदरत ने भी अपना करिश्मा दिखाया कि लो जिन चीजों के बिना तुम जी नहीं सकते थे अब देखो कैसे जिया जाता है?

अभी भी लोगों में बहुत सन्ताप और असंतोष की भावना है। सोचिये आज के समय में वे ही लोग ज़्यादा दुखी और परेशान हैं जो सिर्फ अपना देख रहे हैं। ‘स्व’ में रहने की आदत या मजबूरी ने ही हमें दुखी और व्यथित किया हुआ है। प्राचीन काल में हमारी संस्कृति ‘वसुधैवकुटुम्बकम्’ एवं ‘सर्वेभवन्तुसुखिनःसर्वे सन्तुनिरामयाः’ का उद्घोष करती थी। आज भारत की उसी जीवन-शैली को जन-जन की जीवन-शैली बनाना होगा।

वस्तुतः चुनौती से संघर्ष करने का अनुभव कराने वाले कोरोना महासंकट ने हमें सिखाया है कि केवल उपभोक्तावादी संस्कृति से अब जीवन नहीं चलेगा। उसमें आध्यात्मिक दृष्टि लानी ही होगी। अनुशासन से परिपूर्ण आत्म-शोधन और आत्म-नियन्त्रण ही इसकी नींव है। क्यों न हम ऐसा माने कि मानो कोरोना कोई शिव जी का गण है जो दुनिया की सारी बुराई का नाश कर हमें पुनः जीने की कला सिखाने के लिए भेजा गया है ताकि इस धरती पर मानव और प्रकृति के बीच सन्तुलन बना रहे। इससे न केवल हमारा मानसिक तनाव कम होगा और स्वस्थ रहकर हम कोरोना जैसी महामारियों से सदैव बचे रहेंगे। इस समय बहुत ज़्यादा भविष्य का सोचकर अपने को परेशान नहीं करना चाहिए। हम जियेंगे तो भविष्य भी रहेगा और हम तभी जी पाएंगे जब तन और मन से स्वस्थ होंगे।कबीरदास जी की बानी आज के माहौल में बहुत ही सटीक बैठती है-

कबिरा सोच न साचिये जो आगे कू होय।

सीस चढ़ाए पोटली ले जात न देख्या कोय।।

सच में सोचना किस बात का? सिर पर रखकर तो कुछ ले नहीं जाना है सब यहीं रह जाएगा।

Dr. Poonam Ghai, Associate Professor, Sanskrit, R.S.M (P.G.) College, Dhampur, Bijnor

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

“Tamaso Mā Jyotirgamaya”- Finding a Guru in Modern Times

– Dr. Aparna (Dhir) Khandelwal and Prof. Bal Ram Singh

Knowledge is a supreme reality that is not limited to experience, education, reasoning and practice. It is an awareness, or understanding of facts that helps in awakening the intellect of a person for making one wise, and use that wisdom (बुद्धि) to pursue naturally the purpose of life through चित्त, अहंकार (अस्तित्व), and महत (the supreme mind) according to the Sankhya Darśan. The mahat concept is the gateway to understanding the brahm (ब्रह्म), the ultimate seat of the knowledge. Thus, a journey of this kind requires training, practice, guidance, and ultimately the sākśātkār (साक्षात्कार) or darśan. An important individual who effectively guides in this journey is known as ‘Guru’. Since Vedic era the word ‘Guru’ is well recognised in various texts like Muṇdaka Upaniṣad (1.2.12), Śvetāśvetara Upaniṣad and Advayatāraka Upaniṣad.

Literally, ‘Guru’ word is constructed from two Sanskrit words, gu (गु) and ru (रु), gu (गु) means dark, ignorance, superficial, confusion, etc., depending on the context, and ru (रु) means to break, to remove, to end, deeper/heavier, or enlighten. Guru-Gītā, a Hindu scripture (Guru Gītā is a spiritual text originally constructed by Sage Vyasa, and narrated again in  the Sakanda Purāṇa where the nature of the guru and the guru/disciple relationship is described in the form of a dialogue between Śiva and Pārvatī). Śiva narrated the etymological derivation of the word ‘guru’ that is based on the syllables gu (गु) and ru (रु), and their meanings in different contexts. According to Wikipedia, there are different versions of Guru-Gita ranging in verses from 100 to 400. According to a Guru-Gita following verses are directly defining the term Guru. It is interesting to note that the primary meaning of the gu (गु) as dark and ru (रु) as the remover is retained to describe the concepts of the ślokas. –

गुकारश्चान्धकारो हि रुकारस्तेज उच्यते |

अज्ञानग्रासकं ब्रह्म गुरुरेव न संशयः||33||

‘गु’ शब्द का अर्थ है अंधकार (अज्ञान) और ‘रु’ शब्द का अर्थ है प्रकाश (ज्ञान) | अज्ञान को नष्ट करने वाला जो ब्रह्मरूप प्रकाश है, वह गुरु है | इसमें कोई संशय नहीं है |

 In this translation the physical reality of dark is removed by the physical element of light, and that is then metaphorically used to indicate that the guru removes the ignorance by eating it away (grāsakam), means destroying it permanently.

गुकारश्चान्धकारस्तु रुकारस्तन्निरोधकृत् | 

अन्धकारविनाशित्वात् गुरुरित्यभिधीयते ||34||

‘गु’ कार अंधकार है और उसको दूर करनेवाल ‘रु’ कार है | अज्ञानरूपी अन्धकार को नष्ट करने के कारण ही गुरु कहलाते हैं |

Here the guru is presented as someone who does not allow the darkness to continue, in other words the guru destroys it. Implications are here that the guru is a dynamic personality who can spot, assess, and prevent the ignorance from continuing.

गुकारः प्रथमो वर्णो मायादि गुणभासकः |

रुकारोऽस्ति परं ब्रह्म मायाभ्रान्तिविमोचकम् ||36||

‘गुरु’ शब्द का प्रथम अक्षर ‘गु’ माया आदि गुणों का प्रकाशक है और दूसरा अक्षर ‘रु’ माया की भ्रान्ति से मुक्ति देनेवाला परब्रह्म है |

Here guru is projected as someone who removes confusion from the illusionary māyā. Two points worth noting are (1) gu (गु) here is presented as the promoter of illusion by highlighting its qualities or features; and (2) ru (रु) means not just a remover of the confusion from this illusion but doing this from the perspective of the parbrahm (परब्रह्म), meaning after attaining that status.

Thus, a guru is a very dynamic personality who can provide guidance to his/her disciple (शिष्य) under a variety of natural and artificial (illusionary) conditions of activities to develop wisdom and vivek in the pursuits of the ultimate goals of life.  

The attributes of guru have to be such that such a dynamism in developing the disciple is readily feasible. Some of those attributes are described under stanzas on ‘आचार्यलक्षणम्’ in Śukla Yajurveda’s Advayatāraka Upaniṣad (an ancient Sanskrit text on Yoga), as outlined below.

आचार्यो वेदसम्पन्नो विष्णुभक्तो विमत्सरः ।

योगज्ञो योगनिष्ठश्च सदा योगात्मकः शुचिः ॥14॥

A truly competent teacher is, armed with Vedic knowledge, a devotee of Viśṇu to mean that the guru has full knowledge of the causal world, free from envy/jealousy through the knowledge, devotion, and practice of yoga. This is important for a guru so that there is no envy with the disciple, providing total devotion to the guidance of the of the disciple.

गुरुभक्तिसमायुक्तः पुरुष्ज्ञो विशेषतः ।

एवं लक्षणसम्पन्नो गुरुरित्यभिधीयते ॥15॥

He should be devoted to his own guru, meaning continues to remain a śiṣya in practice, thus being able to develop the camaraderie with his own disciple, is particularly well versed with the knowledge of puruśa and prakriti, the source and expressive powers of the universe, He who possesses various types of  such virtues is designated as a guru.

गुशब्दस्त्वन्धकारः स्यात् रुशब्दस्तन्निरोधकः ।

अन्धकारनिरोधित्वात् गुरुरित्यभिधीयते ॥16॥

The syllable gu (signifies) darkness. The syllable ru (signifies) the destroyer of the darkness. By the reason of the ability to destroy darkness he is called a guru.

गुरुरेव परं ब्रह्म गुरुरेव परा गतिः ।

गुरुरेव परा विद्या गुरुरेव परायणं ॥17॥

The guru alone is the supreme absolute brahm. Guru alone is the supreme way. Guru alone is the master of parā (as opposed to only aparāvidyā. Guru alone is the supreme and last resort.

गुरुरेव परा काष्ठा गुरुरेव परं धनं ।

यस्मात्तदुपदेष्टाऽसौ तस्माद्गुरुतरो गुरुरिति ॥18॥

The guru alone is the limit of all knowledge. The guru alone is the ultimate wealth. He is the teacher of the non-dual reality. Therefore, he is the ultimate guru.

The tradition of spiritual relationship and mentoring, where teachings are transmitted from a guru to a disciple, is known as guruśiṣya paramparā. This guruśiṣya relationship has evolved in Indian tradition since Upaniṣad era where guru and śiṣya developed resonance of thoughts and then guru transmits his knowledge to the person who respectfully sits down near him with śraddhā, in the quest for knowledge. A guruśiṣya relationship are beyond age, gender, and battlefield, as the guru can be Yama to a teenage boy Naciketā, lord Kṛśṇa to warrier Arjuna, or sage Yājñavalkya to his own wife (Gārgī / Maitreyī).

The concept of guru and Guru Purṇimā is quite old, the oldest being celebrated as the birthday of Ved Vyāsa, on the day of Aṣāḍa Purṇimā. The latest revival of Guru Purṇimā festival was done by Mahatma Gandhi in honor of his spiritual guru, Rajchandra. In its true tradition a guru does not expect anything in return from a śiṣya, and performs the imparting of knowledge as a karmayoga.  

With time, people started observing guru as a mentor, counsellor, advisor, who inculcates values in his disciples by sharing knowledge and his own experiences, and who cares about the wellbeing of his disciples. A guru, however, in its true tradition will dedicate his/her life caring about disciples spiritually, and educating them in accordance with their nature. Thus, he is an inspirational source for the spiritual evolution of the disciple. The tradition of guru runs deep in India. The entire Sikhism concept is laid down based on the the teachings of Guru. Its main scripture is called Guru Granth Sahib and the words therein called Gurbaṇī.

In present society too, we have come across many such gurus. Like Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Swami Vivekānanda, Swami Dayānanda Saraswatī, His Holiness Dalai Lama for Buddhism, ISKCON founder A. C. Bhakti Vedanta Swami Prabhupada for Bhakti Yoga, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for Art of living, Radha Swami, Swami Rāmdev Bābā for Yoga, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi for Spirituality, and many others in such tradition. Their disciples usually refer to them as Gurudev! These spiritual leaders are kind of role models and sometimes preferred by people as an alternative to established religions to know more about divinity.

In olden days, the school or pāṭhśālā ran by guru was known as gurukula, later on in modern times they are called as āśrama, although the gurukula system of education is still in practice. Both of these are residential places of learning, without requiring any fees. Guru treats disciples or followers as part of their own family. In gurukula, students received complete knowledge of Vedic scriptures, philosophical-spiritual-medicinal-political, etc. along with various art forms, whereas in āśrama followers received spiritual preaching from their guru. Ultimately these are concentrated on such education that helps in revealing the purpose of life. While pursuing teaching or preaching, guru focuses on self-discipline among learners that result in inner perfection leading to liberation in the form of mokṣa.

Guruśiṣya tradition superficially still is observed in modern educational institutions, at least in traditional ones, where students in general pay respect to their teachers on occasions of Guru Purṇimā. Sometimes these occasions are observed in United States by Hindu groups, such as Vishwa Hindu Parishad America, and American teachers really appreciate such a devotion. The devotion to teachers, no matter where they are, is always beneficial to students, as śraddhā is critical for earning knowledge.

श्रद्धावान् लभते ज्ञानं तत्पर: संयतेन्द्रिय: |

ज्ञानं लब्ध्वा परां शान्तिमचिरेणाधिगच्छति || Bhagvadgita 4.39||

Those who are devoted and who are ready willing to control their mind and senses attain knowledge. Through such knowledge, they quickly attain everlasting supreme peace.

Thus, in Indian tradition the position of Guru is more or less same as Deva, the lord. One should be devoted to his Guru just like he is devoted to his Deva.  

यस्य देवे परा भक्तिः यथा देवे तथा गुरौ । Śvetāśvetara Upaniṣad 6.23

Will this system ever return, is it the right time for its return, can this system adapt to the modern time, can it compete with modern educational system, and will it be allowed in a time when education itself has become an over $6 trillion business? Only time will tell, but one thing is clear with forced adaptation during the Corona time, that the bluff of traditional system of institutional classroom has largely been called out! With the cost of education spiraling out of control at all levels throughout the world, the educational practices adapted during the Corona lockdown may in fact have provided the needed pause for pondering.

A trillion dollar question is whether gurus are ready to take their place! Let’s hope the answer would be YES by the next Guru Purṇimā!!

Worthy Gurus are absolutely needed!

– Dr. Aparna (Dhir) Khandelwal, Assistant Professor and Prof. Bal Ram Singh, Director, School of Indic Studies, INADS, Dartmouth, USA

Godliness, Strength and Grit

-Dr. Ravi P Bhatia

They said it was the Asian century

With economies booming

Democratic principles shining

Scholarship, education rising

We  see these aspects arising

The century only a fifth gone

Many efforts still to be done

Several years still remain

The optimist will refrain 

From disputing the current grain

The pessimist highlights the coming doom

When it will be darkness at noon

What about the ordinary citizen

The poor homeless migrant

Who has lost his status,

His livelihood in the COVID virus

S/He will not despair

They will stand up and share

Whatever little they have to spare

With the other homeless migrants

Who are their brotheren and sisteren

There are examples galore

Of their humanity and more

They pick the miserables from the street

Give them something to eat

They push them in their carts

Who thank them in their hearts

They ride their bicycles or walk

Covering long distances to their home

The families give hearty welcome

A newborn smiles to see her father home

As long as they are fit

And have strength and grit

They will not grieve

They will struggle but thrive

And show the world they are alive

Yes the Asian century belongs to these braves

And India’s Vedic thought adds to their  strength

Where do these braves get their strength

In India along the breadth and its length

A spirit of God head or Parmātmā pervades 

They say that they don’t love God

Rather it is God that loves them 

Blesses them, soaks them

In a  spirit of Divinity

Godliness and Unity

-Dr. Ravi P Bhatia, Former Senior Officer, University of Delhi

‘कोरोना की चाल’ से बदले-बदले ‘समाज के कदम’….!

डा. अपर्णा (धीर) खण्डेलवाल

हमेशा से ही खुद को स्वतंत्र समझने वाले मानव को….

आज, ‘परतंत्रता’ का एहसास दिला दिया इस कोरोना ने॥१॥

स्वच्छंद होकर भ्रमण करने वाली मानव-जाति को….

आज, ‘पिंजरे’ का एहसास दिला दिया इस कोरोना ने॥२॥

अपनी ‘Facevalue’ पर नाज़ करने वाले मनुष्यों के मुख पर….

आज, ‘Mask’ पहना दिया इस कोरोना ने॥३॥

‘मुख की सुंदरता’ से ‘मन की सुंदरता’ है बलवान….

आज, ‘ज्ञात’ करा दिया इस कोरोना ने॥४॥

सभी योनियों में उत्तम योनि होने के घमंड को….

आज, ‘चूर-चूर’ कर दिया इस कोरोना ने॥५॥

अपशब्द बोलने वाले व्यक्तियों के मुख को मानो…..

आज, ‘सी’ दिया इस कोरोना ने॥६॥

वायु को दूषित करने वाले इंसानों की नाक को…..

आज, ‘आवृत’ कर दिया इस कोरोना ने॥७॥

नदियों को मलिन करने वाले मनुष्यों को…..

आज, ‘पावन निर्मलता से दूर’ कर दिया इस करोना ने॥८॥

आकाश को धूमिल करने वालों के……

आज, ‘वाहनों और कारखानों को बंद’ करवा दिया इस कोरोना ने॥९॥

मां पृथ्वी को थूक कर गंदा करने वाले इंसान को…..

आज, ‘थूक’ से ही डरा दिया इस कोरोना ने॥१०॥

खोद-खोद कर पृथ्वी को चोट पहुंचा रहे मनुष्यों को…..

आज, ‘पृथ्वी की शोभनीयता से दूर’ कर दिया इस कोरोना ने॥११।

अपनों से दूर भाग रहे लोगों को…..

आज, ‘अपनों के क़रीब’ ला दिया इस कोरोना ने॥१२॥

‘Social-Networking’ करने वालों को…..

आज, ‘Social-Distancing का पाठ’ पढ़ा दिया इस कोरोना ने ॥१३॥

बाज़ार की गिरावट, मज़दूरों के मनोबल की ताकत, हुनर की पेशकश, ज़ायके की बहार…. ऐसी अनदेखी-अनसुनी कहानियों को….

आज, ‘सुना’ दिया इस कोरोना ने॥१४॥

मेल-जोल की इस दुनिया को…..

आज, ‘Virtual’ बना दिया इस कोरोना ने॥१५॥

चिकित्सकों – पुलिसकर्मियों – सफाई कर्त्ताओं को ‘Corona-Warriors’ तथा अध्यापकों को ‘Lockdown-Heros’….

आज, बना दिया इस कोरोना ने॥१६॥

महत्वाकांक्षाओं के पीछे भाग रहे इंसानों को…..

आज, ‘सांसारिक वस्तुओं की अस्थिरता’ को समझा दिया इस कोरोना ने॥१७॥

ईश्वर की खोज में निकलने वालों को…..

आज, ‘श्रद्धालुओं के दिलों में ईश्वर का वास’ दिखा दिया इस कोरोना ने॥१८॥

चीन से इटली, इटली से स्पेन, स्पेन से ब्राज़ील, ब्राज़ील से अमेरिका, अमेरिका से भारत और इस तरह कई शहर कई गांव घूमकर…..

बिना मतदान के आज, ‘चुनाव-जीतकर’ दिखा दिया इस कोरोना ने॥१९॥

प्राकृत्तिक आपदा कहें या मानवीय त्रुटि पर सच तो यह है…..

आज, सबको ‘उलझा दिया’ इस कोरोना ने…….’उलझा दिया’ इस कोरोना ने॥२०॥

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

Vedic Shield against Visible and Invisible Organisms

Dr. Raghava S. Boddupalli

Introduction

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses, including some that cause the common cold to some that cause major diseases such as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). In December 2019, the pandemic outbreak of a novel ‘Coronavirus disease’ (COVID-2019), later termed as SARS-CoV-2, is potentially fatal and a highly contagious disease. Given that in absence of a definitive COVID-19 treatment and the presence of asymptomatic carriers, the conventional intervention measures to curb the rate of infection and deaths are highly challenging. This novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. Respiratory involvement, presenting as mild flu like illness to potentially lethal acute respiratory distress syndrome or fulminant pneumonia resembling that of SARS-CoV is the dominant clinical manifestation of COVID-19. Like other respiratory tract infections, pre-existing comorbidities are reported to enhance vulnerability to COVID-19 patients. Although the pathophysiology of SARS-CoV-2  is not  well  studied  yet,  existing  evidences  suggest likely  resemblances  to  other  SARS-CoVs’ infection; the  acute  lung  injury  resulting  from  aggressive  inflammation  triggered  by  viral replication. People with compromised immune systems, the very old and young and those with diagnosed heart and lung conditions are most at risk of developing complications if they contract an infection like this. While currently there is no cure for this, we can work with our mind and body through natural remedies to greatly strengthen our immune system. If our immune system is strong, then we can fight and prevent any infection.

Homa oblations to control bacterial and fungal pathogens 

According to Vedic scholars, the combination of the powerful energy of the fire and the Vedic mantras/liturgy creates extremely auspicious and purifying vibrations that are beneficial to the people attending yajña or hōma. The homa-ājya that is used in the yajñas is made only from the cow’s milk. Research reports indicate that the cow-ghee contains many essential nutrients, anti-oxidants and saturated fatty acids. These reports provided experimental evidence that the cow-ghee is having anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. The practice of Agnihotra and placing havan (fire offerings) purifies the house and the outside environment. A scientific report states that homa is an effective method to reduce the fungal spores load in small office or room. As per the experiments conducted, the homa fire smoke has the potency to kill fungal spores. In another study, it is experimentally shown that the medicinal smoke emanated by burning wood (samidha) and a mixture of odoriferous and medicinal herbs has the ability to effectively reduce pathogenic bacteria in the air. Another report conceptualizes the principle of Agnihotra yajña as having potent pharmacological action. The anti-viral property of the homa needs to be experimented and tested.

Microorganisms in Vedas

The word krimi occurs in the Vedas for different macroscopic and microscopic creatures. Right from germs like bacteria, viruses and others, various insects like kīṭa, pataṃga are referred as krimi. There are two types of krimis viz., dṛṣta (visible / macroscopic) and adṛṣta (invisible / microscopic) were described in Atharvaveda (AV) as an entire hymn [5-5-23].

yō akṣyau parisarpati yō nāsē parisarpati

datāṃ yō madhyaṃ gacchati taṃ krimiṃ jaṃbhayāmasmi

AV 5-5-23(3)

नेत्रों में घूमने वाले, नाक के नथुने में घूमने वाले तथा दाँत में रहने वाले कृमियों को हम नष्ट करते हैं।

utpurastātsūrya ēti viśvadṛṣṭō adṛṣṭahā

dṛṣṭāṃśca dnannadṛṣṭāṃśca sarvāśca pramṛṇākrimīn

AV 5-5-23(6)

सब प्राणियों के लिए दर्शनीय सूर्य अदृश्य कीटों को नष्ट करते हैं। वे दृश्य, अदृश्य सब प्रकाश के कृमियों को मारते हुए पूर्व से उदय हो रहे हैं।

We pray that both the worms (krimi) that we can see, and that we see not, be destroyed. These two categories encompass nearly all krimi (microbes / pathogens). According to their origin and habitat they are categorized as praṇyaśrayī and anyasthānaśrayī. Different śārīrika, mānasika and ādhyātmika vyādhis were thought to be originated from these krimis. These harmful and debilitating (puṣtināṣaka) organisms are recognized by various names based on troubles/sufferings they produce. Sun and fire (agni) were described as internal source of treatment (krimi cikitsa). Today, science also confirms these facts that early morning ultraviolet light rays emanating from sun can be used for various krimijanya-vyādhis. Apart from this, various treatment modalities by using various natural resources, herbal drugs, mineral drugs, fumigation, cleansing (mārjan-prōkṣaṇa) and hymns are described for krimi and diseases caused by them in Yajurveda and Atharvaveda.

Prayer to Soma (god of medicinal herbs), Rudra (primordial doctor) and other deities

sōmārudrā vi vṛhataṃ viṣūcīmamīvā yā nō gayamāvivēśa

ārē bādhēthāṃ nirṛtiṃ parācaiḥ kṛtaṃ cidēnaḥ pra mumuktamasmat

Yajurveda [TS 1-8-22(22)

Oh Soma (god of medicinal herbs) and Rudra! Enter our homes and eradicate morbidity. Drive away and trouble the unfavorable disease from afar. You will remove from us the sin (which is in the form of disease) that is stuck to our bodies.

adhyavōcadadhivaktā prathamō daivyō bhiṣak

ahīgśca sarvāṅjaṃbhayaṃthsarvāśca  yātudhānyaḥ

Yajurveda [TS 4-5-1(2), MS 16-5]

The first anuvaka of Namakaṁ in Śrī Rudram is not only chanted for all-round development of the community as well as the well-being of the chanter, but will also provide protective shield (kavaca) against the visible and invisible enemies like virulent fevers, fatal disorders, absolution from evil stars and bad karma.

udgrābhaṃ ca nigrābhaṃ ca brahma dēvā avīvṛdhann

athā saptnāniṃdrāgnī mē viṣūcīnānvyasyatām

Yajurveda [TS 1-6-4]

Brahma and other devatas improved the two-fold nature (udgrābha and nigrābha) of the ladle, increasing its prosperity. Using this, Indra and Agni drove away and destroyed cholera.

Remedy for germs

atriṇā tvā krimē hanmikaṇvēna jamadaggnināviśvāvasōrbhrahmaṇā hataḥkriṃīṇāguṃ rājāapyēṣāgsthapatir hataḥ।  athō mātāthō pitāathō sthūrā athō kṣudrāḥathō kṛṣṇā athō śvētāḥathō āśātikā hataḥśvētābhi ssaha sarvē hataḥ

Taittirīya Āraṇyaka [TA] 4-36

O Germ! I kill you with the mantra revealed by the ṛṣis Atri, Kaṇva and Jamadagni. The leader of the germs was killed by the mantra revealed by Visvavasu, a Gandharva. The other germ leaders were also killed. The mother and father of the germs were destroyed. All types of germs – big and small, black and white were killed. Moreover, the germs in the bodies of animals like cows and horses were also killed. We offer the havis in the hōma, in the yajñaśāla. Similarly, through this mantra, we keep the enemies, in the tooth of Yama. We can listen to the crushing sound of the enemies, while they are killed.

yā vyāghraṃ viṣūcikāubhauvṛkaṃcarakṣatiśyēnaṃ patatriṇaguṃ siguṃhamsēmaṃ pātvagumhasaḥ

Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa [TB] 2-6-1(5)

व्याधियों को दूर करने वाली विषूचिका यजमान की उसी प्रकार रक्षा करें जिस प्रकार व्याघ्र, वृक, सिंह और पक्षी को जरण दोष नहीं होता।

This mantra implores the deity of cholera, viṣūcikā, to protect the sacrificer from distress in the same way that the tiger, wolf, winged hawk and the lion are protected or spared.

Prayer to Vayu and Prajapati

vātaṃ prāṇaṃ manasānvārabhāmahēprajāpatiṃ yō bhuvanasya gōpāḥsanōmṛtyōstrāyatāṃ pātvaguṃhasaḥjyōgjīvā jarāmaśīmahi

TB 3-7-7(2)

प्राण रूपी वायु और प्रजापति जो इस भुवन के स्वामी है। वे हमारे मन से मृत्यु के भय को हटाये। हम चिरकाल तक जीवन जीये अर्थात् वृद्धावस्था तक ।

It is a prayer for vāyu (custodian of vital air – prāṇaṃ) and Prajāpati, who is the creator and protector of the universe (bhuvanās) – heaven, earth, and hell – (bhuvanasya gōpāḥ) and the people living in them. They relieve us from the attack of mṛtyu (dangers and untimely unhappy occurences) as well as from the sins (aguṃhasaḥ). These may be carried on by the jīva even to the next birth. We have to mark the definite hope expressed in the expression: ‘jyogjīvā jarāmaśīmahi’. This desire is also mentioned as prayer to Sun God in Śaura sūkta. As there are many uncertainties in one’s life, there no guarantee in reaching old age. From birth to death, many mayantarayas (mṛtyu) occur. Hence, they need to be curbed periodically. When this mantra is performed as japa, surely the deities under prayer shall focus this care on the devotees. They promote health and save us from death and distress (Prabhakar, C.L., Veda Nada Sarit, 27(228), April 2020).  

Cure for respiratory diseases

jarāyuja prathama usriyā vṛṣā vātābhrajā stanayannēti vṛṣṭyā

    sanō mṛḍāti tanvaṛujugō rujan ya ēkamōjastrēdhā vicakramē

AV 1-3-12(1)

जरायु से उत्पन्न जगत् से पूर्व सृष्टि में सबसे प्रथम उत्पन्न वायु के समान शीघ्रगामी और अनंत बल संपन्न सूर्य मेघों  को गर्जाते हुए वर्षा के साथ आते हैं। वे सूर्य हमें त्रिदोष जनित रोगों से मुक्त कर। वे सीधे चलने वाले सूर्य जो एक होकर भी तीन प्रकार से प्रकाशित होते हैं, हमारे शरीर को सुख दें।

We pray the Sun, who shines strong even through the heavy clouds and rain, and provide comfort to our body by curing many diseases.

añgē añgē śōciṣā śriśriyāṇaṃ namasyaṃta stvā haviṣā vidhēmal

      añkāṃtsamañkān haviṣā vidhēma yō agrabhīt parvāsyā grabhītā

AV 1-3-12(2)

प्रत्येक अवयवों में अपनी दीप्ति रूप से व्याप्त हे सूर्य! हम स्तुति, हवि आदि से आपको पूजते हैं। आपके समीपवर्ती देवताओं को भी हवि द्वारा सेवा करते हैं। रोगों से ग्रसित इस पुरुष की रोग निवृत्ति के लिए हम आपको पूजते हैं।

In this mantra, salutations are offered to the Sun, who pervades in full brilliance in all creatures. Oblations are offered to the Sun, His followers and other deities to cure us all from the virulent diseases and viral fevers which affect our body.

Remedy through Cow-Urine

idamidvā u bhēṣajamidaṃ rudrasya bhēṣajam|

      yēnēṣumēkatējanāṃ śataślyāmapabravat

AV 6-12-57(1)

इस रोग को दूर करने वाली औषधि को मैं करूंगा यह रुद्र की औषधि अंत काल में सबको रुलाती है। इसका शिव ने प्रयोग किया था।

To cure wrana i.e., all diseases the medicines made available by Rudra are indeed the only cures. According to Monier Williams, wrana stands for wound, sore, ulcer, abscess, tumors, cancer, boil, scar, cicatrix, cracks etc.

jālāṣēṇābhi ṣiñcata jālāṣēṇōpa siñcatal

      jālāṣamugraṃ bhēṣajaṃ tēna nō mṛḍa gīvasē

AV 6-12-57(2)

हे परिचारको! तुम गोमूत्र के फेन जल से घाव को धोओ, यह रोग को दूर करने में श्रेष्ठ है। हे रुद्र! इस औषधि से हमको सुख दो।

The body parts affected by disease and nearest to the disease parts should be thoroughly washed with the mixture of cow urine (gō-mutra) and activated water. This is the most potent remedy blessed by Rudra for giving healthy life to us for the treatment of these diseases.

saṃ ca nō mayaśca nō mā ca naḥ kiṃ canāmamatl                    

        kṣmā rapō viśvaṃ nō astu bhēṣajaṃ sarvaṃ nō astu bhēṣajam

AV 6-12-57(3)

हे देव! हमको सुख मिले हमारे पशु-मनुष्य रोग-ग्रस्त न हों और पाप का नाश हो। संपूर्ण विश्व और उनके श्रेष्ठ कर्म हमारे लिए औषधि के समान हों।

Let there be health for us, peace for us, pleasure for us, let nothing cause injury and harm to us, let all diseases be banished, let all the objects in this world be promoters of our health.

The above mentioned three Atharvaveda mantras [11-13] describe how the urine of cow can be used in treating against unicellular amoeba-like organisms (Vedas call them creatures without mouths). Use of the cow urine is suggested as a mixture with vigorously stirred – foaming water – activated water, similar to the making of homeopathic and bio-dynamic preparations. Research reports indicate that the cow urine has antimicrobial activities and particularly on fugal pathogens. As of now, there is no published report with regard to the measures to fight the virus by using cow urine. It is time to investigate the effectiveness of cow urine against even the coronavirus.

Conclusions

It is unfortunate that now-a-days, humans are facing many diseases. The outbreak of coronavirus has been detected a few months ago. Ishvara being our real inspiration has given us the knowledge of four Vedas to destroy illusion and solve all kinds of problems, including those of medical science. Many fatal infections can be destroyed by performance of yajñas and yāgyās. When we obey the Vedic principles, diseases are either destroyed from its roots or do not even generate. Vedic mantras state that agnihotra purifies food grains, water, and bestows mental and physical strength so that people can enjoy prosperous life. Veda mantras have the ability to drive away the health hazards and sādhana is important for siddhi

Dr. Raghava S. Boddupalli, Institute of Sanskrit and Vedic Studies (ISVS)