’उस गुरु को प्रणाम है जो ब्रह्मा है, जो विष्णु है
और जो महेश्वर का रूप है। साक्षात् परमब्रह्म गुरु ही है।’ इसी तरह एक हिंदी दोहे
में कहा गया है कि-
गुरु गोविंद दोनों खड़े काके लागू पांव ।
बलिहारी गुरु आपने जिन गोविंद दियो बताए ॥
‘यदि गुरु और गोविन्द दोनो खडे हों तो किसके पैर छुएं ? मैं तो गुरु
की बलिहारी जाऊंगा जिन्होंने गोविन्द के बारे में बताया।’
वास्तव में गुरु ब्रह्म के समान हैं; कुछ माने में उससे भी बड़े हैं क्योंकि ज्ञान का रास्ता गुरु ही बताते हैं। वेद में तो साफ-साफ निर्देश है- मातृदेवो भव, पितृदेवो भव, आचार्यदेवो भव । ’माता, पिता और आचार्य का सम्मान करने वाले बनो’। संस्कृत के एक श्लोक में कहा गया है -’जो ज्ञान की शलाका से अज्ञान के अंधकार को दूर कर आंखों को खोल देता है, ऐसी श्री गुरु को प्रणाम है।’
हिंदू कैलेंडर के अनुसार प्रत्येक मास के अंतिम दिन पूर्णिमा की तिथि होती है इसे ही पूर्णमासी भी कहते हैं। यह पूर्णता की प्रतीक है। देखने की बात है कि लगभग सभी माह की पूर्णिमाएं किसी विशेष नाम से भी जानी जाती है -जैसे चैत्र मास की पूर्णिमा हनुमान जयंती, वैसाख मास की पूर्णिमा गंगा स्नान, श्रावण मास की पूर्णिमा रक्षाबंधन या श्रावणी, आश्विन मास की पूर्णिमा शरद पूर्णिमा । आषाढ़ मास की पूर्णिमा गुरुपूर्णिमा या व्यासपूर्णिमा के नाम से जानी जाती हैं ।
गुरुपूर्णिमा उन महर्षि व्यास के नाम पर है, जिन्होंने
चारों वेदों का व्यास किया था, पंचम वेद
महाभारत की रचना की थी और पुराणों का प्रणयन भी किया था। ये वेदव्यास के नाम से भी
जाने जाते हैं। महर्षि व्यास एक श्रेष्ठ गुरु के प्रतिनिधि हैं। विचारणीय है कि
कैसे गुरुपूर्णिमा का पवित्र दिन एक बहुत बड़ा दिन हो जाता है- गुरु की पूजन, वंदन और
विश्वास का दिन। माता-पिता के बाद यदि कोई पूजनीय माना गया है तो वह गुरु ही है।
वह हमें ज्ञान देता है जिससे हमारा व्यक्तित्व विकसित होता है। भारतीय संस्कृति
में ज्ञान की सर्वाधिक महत्ता है, इसीलिए समाज में गुरु का भी विशेष स्थान है। वैसे तो
प्रतिदिन गुरुवन्दन करणीय है, पर इसे
समारोहपूर्वक मनाने के लिए एक दिन पर्व के रूप में रखा गया है।
पिता और गुरु अपने पुत्र और शिष्य को सब कुछ दे देना चाहते
हैं । उससे पराजय की कामना करते हैं जिससे उनका यश हो। कभी पिता लोभवश कुछ अपने
पास बचा कर रख भी ले, परन्तु गुरु कभी भी कुछ भी ज्ञान अपने पास छुपा कर नहीं
रखना चाहते, सब कुछ निस्पृह भाव से शिष्य को दे देना चाहते हैं उसके
जीवन को विश्वास से परिपूर्ण करना चाहते हैं ।
गुरुपूर्णिमा मना कर हम अपने आदरणीय गुरुजनों को सादर स्मरण करते हैं और इस तरह् जीवन में ज्ञान की उपयोगिता को स्वीकार करते हैं। गुरुपूर्णिमा अप्रत्यक्ष रूप से उदात्त चरित्र, अनुशासित जीवन, और सम्यक ज्ञान की महिमा स्वीकार करने का दिन है – तस्मै श्री गुरवे नमः ।
Festivals during Māgh, Fālgun, Chaitra and Vaiśkha:
Mahāśivrātrī: This festival is celebrated on the 14th day of Kriśna Pakṣa in Māghmās. This is celebrated with great pomp and glory at twelve Jyotirlinga places i.e. Kedarnāth, Baidyanath, Kashi Vishwanath, Somnath, Mallikarjuna, Mahakaleshwar, Omkareshwar, Nageshwar, Ghrishneshwar, Tryambakeshwar, Bhimashankar, and Rameshwar. When the twelve Jyotirlingas come for discussion, I must mention their importance for Suvrushti Projects. “Suvrushti’ means ideal, adequate and well-distributed rainfall. The inspirational Research Paper which has been the basis of Suvrushti Pojects undertaken by Vedāśram; was the paper submitted by a primary teacher from Bihar in 1950 to our then President Dr. Rajendra Prasad. The summary findings of this research paper was that Twelve Jyotirlingas are the Holy Fire Places (nodal centres of Sacred Fires) which attract and accelerate the Monsoon Cycles in Bhārat Khand i.e. India. If a series of Somayāgas are performed during dry season (Rain Conception Period) at these twelve Jyotirlinga places, Bhārat Varsha will get Suvrushti-timely, adequate and well-distributed rainfall during wet season throughout the country. This theory and RCRD Theory of Varāh Mihir were validated during the Suvrushti Projects undertaken by Vedāśram in 2005-06 and 2015-16. The reports of these Suvrushti Projects have been published in Asian Agri-History Journal published by Asian Agri –History Foundation.
On the day of Mahāśivrātrī in the ceremonial pūjās, Devas are invited, Śiva is invited, Yajñā is performed. Offerings
are made with chants and devotional songs. Rudra Swahakars are performed at most of the places. At our Homa farm we
also organize” Rudra Swahakar “Yajñās” periodically but not necessarily on Mahāśivrātrī Day.
Holī: On the full moon day of Fālgun, Holī is celebrated throughout India. Holī has religious, philosophical, spiritual and seasonal significance. In India, the Agri-eco production system has basically two cropping patterns in a year i.e. Kharip crops and Rabbi crops. Kharip crops mature during Aświn-Kārtik (Oct. /Nov.) and Rabbi crops mature during Fālgun to Vaiśkha (Jan. to April). It is our Vedic tradition that new produce of crops is first offered to Agni Devatā and Sūrya Devatā which are the main sources of cosmic energy and then we start having it as food to nurture the life bio-energy within us. In Sanskrit the word ‘Holak’ means raw (just reaching maturity stage) cereals and grams roasted in bonfires of dry cow-dung patties, wood and grass stalks (remains from the fields). Holī as a colourful festival has significance in many ways. The first and foremost is the process of Yajñā. Holy Bonfires are lit and offerings of sweets and snacks prepared from new season’s crops are made to Agni Devatā and Sūrya Devatā. Incense sticks and lamps are lit and sacred fires, which represent success of good over evil, are circumambulated thrice with slow pouring of water from the containers. The next day is celebrated as “Dhulīvandana” where, ’Bhūmi’ or ‘Prithvī’ is recognized and appreciated. From Dhulīvandana to Rang Panchami it is celebrated as a colourful festival representing colours of spring flowers and nature’s beauty and bounty. It is a joyful festival of throwing on or smearing others with colours without any discrimination. In the bonfires, old furniture, dead wood, prunnings of trees and waste material of crops are burnt as and by way of “Holikā Dahan” for “Space Clearance” (discarding old and welcoming new).
From Puraṇas, one story which is
associated with “Holikā Dahan” is the story of Bhakta Pralhād and ‘Dhundha’ or ‘Holikā’ Hiranyakashyapu’s sister.
Holikā had a boon that she will not get
burnt in fire i.e. she had protection from fire. Hiranyakashyapu, the Rakṣasa was against the
worship of Lord Vishnu by his own son Pralhād. Since Bhakt Pralhād was not ready to give up
worship of Lord Vishnu, Hiranyakashyapu ordered that Pralhād be burnt alive. For that
purpose he made Holikā to take Pralhād in her lap and lit a big
fire. But with the grace of Lord Vishnu Pralhād was saved and Holikā got burnt into the fire,
thus representing the success of virtue over vice.
Jyotir bhaskar Jayant Salgaonkar, the founder and author of, “Kālnirṇaya Panchāng” (published in many Indian Languages) describes in his book, “Dharmbodh” a ‘Vrita’ or ’Anuṣṭān’ (practice) called “ Vanhi Vrita” which is related to Agnihotra / Yajñā. Vanhi Vrita is started on the 14th day of Fālgun Kriśna Pakṣa or one day prior to Fālgun Amāvasyā. On this day an idol of Agni made from any metal or five metals is worshipped and offered cow-ghee, til (sesame seeds) and sugar with mantra, “Agnaye Swaha!”. Agni is worshipped because Agni is the connecting link between man and Devatās like Indra, Varun, Ādi Śakti, Lord śiva and Vishnu. During Holī all elements i.e. Prithvī, Āp, Teja, Vāyu are worshipped and readiness is made for celebration of the fifth element,’ Ākāś’ on the following first day of Chaitra i.e.’ Gudi Padava’ by hoisting well decorated/adorned Gudis or flags pointing towards Ākāś’or Space, which is the mother of all other elements, for auguring well the “ New Year” as per Hindu Calendar.
Rāmnavamī Navrātra: This is celebrated as birth-day of Lord Rāma. In some parts of the country Yajñās like, “Vishnu Yāga” are performed.
Akśaya-Tritīya/Paraśurām Jayantī: Akśaya-Tritīya is supposed to be an auspicious day as per Hindu calendar. On this day also some Yajñās/ Homas are performed. Lord Paraśurām had initiated Param Sadguru Shri Gajanan Mahāraj of Akkalkot Maharashtra, to rejuvenate the Vedic Yajñā system and also the Vedic Way of Life. Followers of Param Sadguru Shri Gajanan Mahāraj perform Havans on this day while celebrating Paraśurām Jayantī.
Vedic Yajñā System and Festivals
based on the concept of Yajñā:
Vedic Yajñā System broadly consists of Yajñā performances during “Sandhi Kāl” or “Sankraman Kāl” as Nityakarmas for
restoration of atmospheric order, ecological and seasonal balance and ensuring
Suvrushti i.e. good, adequate and well–distributed
rains –“ निकामे निकामे न पर्जन्यो वर्षतु-“ “Nikame Nikame Nah ParjanyoVarśatu!”. Apart from these Yajñās there are various
Naimittik or Kāmya Yajñās which are prescribed in
Vedic system including Homas and Havans
which form part of Sixteen Hindu Sanskāras. The Yajñā System for ecological balance, good rains etc. consists
mainly of the following :
Agnihotra (Smārta/ Shrouta)— ‘ Nitya’ Daily at the time of sunrise and sunset as per circadian cycle.
Darshya-Poorna Māsya (Smārta/ Shrouta Eshti )— ‘Nitya’ Fortnightly on Full-Moon/ New Moon Day as per Moon Cycle.
Chaturmāsya Yāga (Shrouta Eshti )—‘Nitya’ during Sandhi Kāl i.e Transition Period of change in Seasons as per Cycle of Seasons. This is also called as Medicinal Homa for healing the Atmosphere.
Somayāgas– ‘Nitya’ during Sharad Ṛtu and during Vasant Ṛtu.” वसंते वसंते ज्योतिस्तोमेन यजत” –“ Vasante Vasante Jyotistomen Yajat!”.
Parjanya Yāga—‘Naimittik’- During Rainy Season when one or two Nakṣatras have gone dry and Bhūmi is “Vrishti Kāmu”, i.e, when the land is desirous of rains for sowing new crops (new life).
( Nitya = Regular , Naimittik = Occasional for specific purpose)
From the above it will be clear that
Agnihotra can be performed individually by anybody, however for performance of
Shrouta Yajñās, particularly so in case
of “Sapt Somayāgas”, you require Ritwijas well versed in all Vedas. Our
great Rishis had anticipated that if Shrouta Yajñā System gets dwindled or
out of practice for whatever reason at least the festivals based on Yajñā Concept will be celebrated by mass-participation; for the
purpose of keeping Atmospheric Order and Ecological Balance and also to
safeguard cultural traditions. Since Yajñās are related to
environmental protection, purification/ restoration of atmospheric order,
ecological balance and ensuring good rains during Monsoon Season it is
important to understand the relevance of Verse 28 and Verse 30 of Chapter 21 of
Rain-foetuses coming into being when
the Moon is in conjuction wih any of the aforesaid asterisms during the month
of Margaśirṣa, Pauṣya, Māgh, Fālguna, Chaitra and Vaiśakha; will yield rain after 195 days for 8,6,16,24,20
and 3 days respectively.
Thus celebration of and participation
in the festivals based on Yajñā concept by masses ensures
restoration of Atmospheric Order, Eco-Seasonal balance and good rains during
the rainy season. This is the great wisdom and sagacity of our Ṛṣis and Seers in
interweaving seamlessly the festivals based on Yajñā concept in our social and
cultural life. Therefore these festivals should be celebrated with proper
understanding of the Yajñā concept incorporated into
them and not simply by way of fun and frolic or introducing any pervert way of
celebration. The sanctity of Yajñā, Agni Devatā and Sūrya Devatā has to be kept in mind in
the joyful celebrations of these festivals.
Panditabhushan Sastri VS & Bhat MRV, “Varāh Mihir’s Brihat
Sanhita” With an English Translation and
Notes . V.B. Soobbiah & Sons Bangalore City.1946.
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:
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.
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 :
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 BhagavadagītāChapter 3 Śloka 14:
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