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

-Dr. Raj Kumar

(continued from part-I)

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

 यावत्सञ्जायते किञ्चित्सत्वं स्थावरजङ्गमम् |
क्षेत्रक्षेत्रज्ञसंयोगात्तद्विद्धि भरतर्षभ || 26||

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

                                         (Bhagvatgita: Chapter Thirteen verse 26)

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

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

spirit

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

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

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

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

                                                                                                            (Rig Veda 1.164.45) 

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

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

References

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

– Dr. Raj Kumar

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Sound Frequencies + Vibration = Geometry

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

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

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

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

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

Table 1: Frequencies of brain waves

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

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

(to be continued…)

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

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

-Mr. Anand Gaikwad

(continued from previous article)

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

Components of Technology / Methodology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

‘Prajā’ in the Light of Vedic View

The whole human race is ‘Prajā’ is the notion of Vedic society as told by Black* Yajurveda’s Taittirῑya Samhitā verse 1.5.1.3 –

तस्मान्मानव्य: प्रजा उच्यन्ते 

Tasmānmānavyaḥprajāucyante

This ideology continues to Upaniśadhic literature and developed as ‘Eko’ham Bahusyāmῑ’ i.e. “I [Brahman (ब्रह्मन्/ब्रह्म)] am one; may I become many”. Thus, this whole world or human race is manifested from Brahman. Here Brahman is the ultimate reality or the eternal truth/knowledge or the universal power that pervades whole creation. In Puruśasūkta of Ṛgveda, Brahman is clearly stated as supreme and from Brahman classification of society into four varṇas is listed –

ब्राह्मणो अस्य मुखमासीद बाहू राजन्य: कृत।

ऊरू तदस्य यद्वैश्य: पद्भ्याम शूद्रो अजायत ।।

Brāhmaṇoasyamukhamāsῑdabāhūrājanyaḥkartaḥ

Ūrūtadasyayadavaiśyaḥpadbhyāṁśūdroajāyata 

It said that brahmin was born from the mouth, kṣatriya from the shoulders, vaiśya from the thighs and śūdra from the feet of the creator.”

(Ṛgveda 10.90.12)

Today the word ‘Prajā’ is majorly used for the fourth varṇa i.e. śūdra and these śūdras are comprising of OBC/SC/ST/Dalits whereas in Vedic view śūdras were born from the feet of Brahman. Symbolically feet represent the foundation. So, śūdras are the foundation of the society. It can be elaborated as anyone who lays the foundation of the society is known as ‘śūdra’. Laying down the foundation means to build up. In other words, one who builds up the society by providing his/her services to the society is known as ‘śūdra’. In this sense, all the service providers of society such as teachers, doctors, engineers, environmentalists, musicians, painters, agriculturists, dancers, economists, writers, architects etc can be called śūdras. With these service providers a society, a nation builds up and sustains forever.

From above annotation, śūdras i.e. ‘Prajā’ are revealed as the creators of society. The etymological meaning of word ‘Prajā’ is ‘Pra’ (Prefix) means intense and ‘Jan’ (root) means creative. The word ‘Brahmā (ब्रह्मा)’ develops from Sanskrit root “Bṛh” which means “to grow” or “to expand”. Though the term ‘Brahmā’** does not appear in Vedas it is more prominently mentioned as deity of creation (one of the trinity) in the post-Vedic-texts and Puranic mythologies. Hence, sometimes Vedic god ‘Prajāpati’ is identified as ‘Brahmā’ – the creator {Brahma is the Puranic heir of Vedic Hiranyagarbha, and Brahmanic Prajapati (https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-Brahma-Brahman-and-Brahmin)}. Because of this very similarity even in today’s society ‘the creators of society’ i.e. ‘Prajā’ address themselves as ‘Prajāpati’. Like ‘Prajāpati’, Vedic god ‘Vishwakarmā’ too is considered as the lord of creation. In modern era, since creative talents are perceived by ‘Prajā’ people, so they relate themselves with above mentioned Vedic gods such as potters use ‘Prajāpati’ and carpenters, blacksmiths, jewellers use ‘Vishwakarmā’ in their surnames in recognition of their traits with ‘Prajāpati’ and ‘Vishwakarmā’. Thus, there is no harm in calling ‘Prajā’ people as lord of the society, as long as they possess the creative qualities.

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(Source of Image : http://www.scvo.org.uk )

We often come across certain Vedic texts highlighting non-allowance of śūdras for formal education. I feel such meanings of Vedic texts are misinterpretations, and there is a need to have deeper study and understanding. ‘The Whole world as the manifestation of Brahman’ is referred by Vedas many times in different ways, hence how could Vedic hymns encourage discrimination among people? In our opinion, there could have been two categories of centres of education during Vedic era. One was based more on theoretical-knowledge-creation-learning system where primarily intellectuals got admitted for deeper basic research. For skill development the vocational or practical training centre was the other choice for applied knowledge and development. In modern times these would be similar to basic fields like science, economics, etc. for basic knowledge and professional courses like engineering, medical, business, etc. for applied knowledge.

According to popular quote–

जन्मना जायते शूद्र: संस्कारात द्विज उच्यते।

वेद पठनात भवेत् विप्र: ब्रह्म जानाति इति ब्राह्मण।।

JanmanāJāyateśūdraḥsanskārātdvijuchyate

Veda pathanātbhavetvipraḥ brahma janātiitibrahmaṇaḥ।।

“By birth one is a Śūdra (lower caste), by education or by reformation, one becomes a Dvija (higher caste), by study of the Vedas one becomes a Vipra, and one who knowns Brahma is a Brahmaṇa.”

It can be understood that everyone born with capability to be a skillful person. The creativeness of each individual sometimes developed by his own or sometimes by inheritance of the family tradition or sometimes one has to go to special school of training such as we have engineering or medical colleges with specialized streams. Like at present everyone cannot go to every school similarly in Vedic times there was a definite line of schools for various streams of knowledge. We should always look into the context Vedic hymns are referring to rather than arguing on the basis of biased explanations.

It is a perception that Brahamins were the ruling class and śūdras are the lower (fourth) class. Actually there is no ascending or descending order in taxonomy of four varṇas. In our opinion, it is completely a choice-based-system where a person either wants to pursue his practically inherited/acquired skills (as śūdra) or to carry out deeper research (as in case of a brahmin). It can be explained as one who is doing a field job or practice of his skill is a śūdra and one who is inclined to enhance his intellect is a brahmin. This is, what is defined in the statement by Lord Śṛῑ Kṛśṇā–

चातुर्वर्ण्यं मया सृष्टम गुणकर्मविभागशः

Cāturvarṇyaṁmayāsṛṣṭaṁguṇakarmavibhāgaśaḥ

I (Lord Śṛῑ Kṛśṇā) am the creator of the fourfold human society according to aptitude and profession (karma)”.

(Śṛῑmadbhagavadgῑtā 4.13)

and later Sanskrit texts –

न जात्या ब्रह्मणश्चात्र क्षत्रियो वैश्य एव न।

न शूद्रो न च वै मलेच्छो भेदिता गुणकर्मभि:।।

Na jātyābrahmaṇaścātrakṣatriyovaiśyaevana

Na śūdronacavaimlecchobheditāguṇakarmabhiḥ।।

“In this world nobody is brahmin, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra or mleccha by birth. Qualities and their deeds are responsible for these differences”.

(Śukranῑti 1.38)

The words ‘cāturvarṇyaṁ’ and ‘sṛṣṭaṁ’ are singular numbers, which testify that the four varṇas together constitute one singular society (https://sites.google.com/site/hindunew/dharma).  It can be said that Vedic sages didn’t narrate any kind of discrimination. Social unity and welfare were the only aim.

Above discussion is a hypothesis, for today’s society. If this system can be adapted then equitable society and social structure can be achieved. Inequality and social differences among the people can then be addressed.

Notes-

* The Yajurveda is broadly classified into two – the Kṛśṇā (loosely translated as black Yajurveda and the Śukla (loosely translated as white Yajurveda. The term “Kṛśṇā” implies ‘the un-arranged, unclear collection’ of verses in Yajurveda, in contrast to the “shukla” which implies the ‘well arranged, clear’  Yajurveda. 

** One should not be confused in the words Brahman and Brahmā. The Brahma(n) is a neuter gender word that ends in ‘ न्’. It is the Upanishadic (Vedantic) spiritual concept of oneness whereas the masculine gender word Brahmā is the four-headed Puranic character who is the creator among the Puranic Trinity concept. It can be said that Brahman is a divine concept of Hinduism and Brahmā  is one of Hindu Deity.

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

 

 

Vedic Culture Growing Popular Among Indian Diaspora

Vedic culture is still relevant and gradually becoming more popular among Indian diaspora, especially in the youth, said researchers and scholars at a seminar held in the national capital.

The World Association for Vedic Studies (WAVES International) and Wider Association for Vedic Studies (WAVES India) organised an event titled “Scientific Aspects of Vedic Knowledge” from December 16 to 18, where the importance of Vedic culture in the contemporary world was discussed.

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An aspect which was prioritised at the event was the presence and influence of Vedic culture among Indian diaspora. The speakers emphasised that the cultural events like music and dance have contributed a lot in keeping alive the Vedic culture.

Cultural activities are contributing a lot to keep the customs alive. In the Caribbean countries like the West Indies and Jamaica, the Indian-origin people are mostly from the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and they sing the folk music, this is how the customs are carried ahead,” Indrani Ramprasad, who is working as an independent researcher in Trinidad and Tobago, told IANS at the event.

Bal Ram Singh, organiser of the event and Professor at the School of Indic Studies, US, said that the Indian diaspora in the US is now gradually becoming aware of the existence of Vedic science and it is becoming popular among youths as well. “Lot of institutes and organisations like Chinamaya Mission, Ramakrishna Mission and even colleges have started organising Vedic classes in the US where the Vedic knowledge is being taught and the youths are showing interest to learn,” added Singh.

Not just the Indian diaspora, but the US people too are taking to the Vedic practices like Yoga, learning Vedas, and many are even opting for cremation instead of traditional burial.

Held at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, the event saw seminars, discussions and interactive sessions on numerous topics related to Vedic culture.

Sessions were held on Vedic culture’s influence and existence in the lives of modern youth, integration of modern medical and ancient Vedic perspectives on overcoming ageing, reconstructing the contemporary world with Vedic science, nano technology and the Vedic science, rain forest and global water challenges with Vedic science, and some other.

We tried to bring into limelight the importance of Vedic culture in modern science and that’s the reason we took the angle for this year’s seminar. People are not so aware of involvement of science and Vedic culture and the seminar is to bring in focus on this subject,” Singh said.

(The above picked up from the wire service- Indo Asian News Service. IANS.)

 

Children in Vedas

Dr. Shashi Tiwari, General Secretary, WAVES –India & Former Prof. of Sanskrit, Maitreyi College, University of Delhi

Great seers, thinkers, warriors, visionaries graced India from the very beginning. It can be assumed that they were bright from their childhood. It is true that narration of bright children is not done separately in abundance, but undoubtedly ancient Vedic literature is not without their mention.

Nachiketā

There is an inspirational story in the Kaṭha Upaniṣad about a little boy named Nachiketā. He was the son of Vājaśravā Uddālaka Ṛṣi who once organized a great sacrifice ‘yajn᷈a’ called ‘Sarvamedha’ to please the deities for accumulating good deeds. He announced that after the sacrifice, he would be donating the bulk of his wealth including cattle to learned Brāhmaṇas as dakṣiṇā. The sacrifice was duly performed, but when time came for the donation, Vājaśravā kept some healthy cattle for himself and his son; and in place of them tried to donate those that were old, infirm and yielded no milk. Nachiketā was observing this. He got disturbed to see the unholy act of his father. He realized that these gifts would have the opposite effect on his future goal. Being adolescent son, he was not able to stop him. So he asked his father with the intention to remind him the law of complete and pure charity. He said, “O Father! To whom you would gift me in charity?” This made Ṛṣi very angry, but he decided not to say anything. When Naciketā repeated the question thrice, Uddālaka lost his temper and said, “I give you to Yama, the Lord of Death.” Yama is the king of death and resides in yamapurī. Hearing this, Nachiketā went to Yama’s kingdom. He decided to obey his father’s command.  He firmly said to himself, ‘I should fulfill my father’s wish, even if it means leaving my home’. When Ṛṣi realized his mistake and tried to stop Naciketā, he did not stop. He reached Yama’s kingdom and was told by Yama’s guards that he had gone out for three days. Naciketā decided to wait at his doorstep till he returned. He waited for three days without food, water and shelter. When Yama returned and saw little Naciketā at his doorstep, he felt sorry for keeping a Brāhmaṇa boy waiting without any welcome or rest. Not welcoming a guest means just like committing a sin in Indian tradition.Yama was very pleased with the clear thinking and honesty of the young boy. He served Nachiketā with all honour and food, but even then he was not completely satisfied, so he said, “Dear child, I have offended you by keeping you waiting for three days. To wash my sin, I request you to ask for three boons.

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Naciketā declared, “My first wish is, when I return home, may my father welcome me lovingly. My second wish is to get that knowledge by which I can be worthy of living in the heaven. My third and last wish is to achieve Atmajn᷈ānam- knowledge of the ātman from you.” Yama granted the first two boons immediately and tried to convince Naciketā to give up his third desire for higher knowledge. Instead of that, he offered him long life, gold, pearls, coins, horses, elephants and even the happiness of Swarga – heaven.  “No, I do not wish for anything else,” replied Naciketā firmly. He described all worldly objects as perishable until Lord of Death is the ruler. Finally, Yama granted him the third boon too, and the courageous boy was enlightened with the knowledge of the ātman. Naciketā came to know about the soul, life and death in his early age. Finally, he went back to his father’s house and imparted the knowledge, he obtained from Yama, to many disciples.

Naciketā as a brightest child of Vedic era inspires us to be kind to all creatures, to respect parents, to be strong-willed, to cross all obstacles with firm determination, to avoid worldly temptations, and to strive for eternal happiness.

 Satyakāma

Satyakāma Jābāla is mentioned in the Chāndogya Upaniṣad. Satyakāma in his childhood used to live in a small hut with his mother Jābālā. He had a strong wish to study, so, he desired to go out in search of a teacher ‘guru’ who would guide him in the path of self-realization, to achieve the goal of mystic life. He enquired about his Gotra from his mother. In fact he wanted to know the name of his father as in those days generally teachers accepted students only after knowing their family’s introduction.

So upon learning about her son’s wish to study, Jābālā told him, “O my Son! I don’t know your family name. I used to work earlier in many houses of different persons. I don’t know when I got pregnant. When asked by the Guru, tell him what I have told you”. Later Satyakāma left with her mother’s blessings. He reached to the āśrama of sage Gautama and requested him to make him his pupil. On seeing the boy, Ṛṣi Gautama asked him,Before I make you my pupil, I need to know about your family.” Satyakāma had no idea about his family except his mother. He said, “I asked it to my mother. She said: ‘Child, when you were born, I used to be very busy serving guests. I had no idea about your father. My name is Jābālā and your’s is Satyakāma. So call yourself Satyakāma Jābāla.” On hearing it, the Ṛṣi said with smile, “I admire you for saying the truth. I am sure you must be born of a noble gotra. I shall accept you as my student. Go and get me some samidhā. I shall initiate you in brahmacharya”. He then initiated him in meditation to calm down his mind and to experience his inner self which was like the vast ocean.The sage was pleased with his love for truth.

One day Gautama told him that before he could teach him, Satyakāma should take the herd of 400 weak cows of the āśrama and return only when it had multiplied to 1000. After that Gautama would impart him higher knowledge. Without uttering a single word, Satyakāma left with the cows. He took them to the forest. Satyakāma built an āśrama for himself in the forest and looked after the cows with loving care. All the time he carefully practiced the duties of a brahmacharī. He was no longer lonely and became friends with nature; every living creature became part of his family.

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After many years, the herd grew to 1000. Every cow was strong and healthy. It was time for Satyakāma to return to Gautama’s āśrama. All the gods and deities were happy with Satyakāma’s obedience and dedication to his guru. Along the way, he was blessed with knowledge by fire, a bull, a swan and a Sun bird. Now enlightened, Satyakāma reached the āśrama. Gautama saw the glow of enlightenment on his face. He was also very happy that Satyakāma had looked after the cows very well. He then accepted Satyakāma as his pupil and blessed him with Brahmavidyā. Guru said, “Brahmaivedamsarvam’ (Brahman is in everything). Brahman is realized by knowing yourself, at everywhere, in everything, and in every being. You are eternal and radiant because he is in you. This is Brahma-vidyā”. Satyakāma is regarded as an ideal of truth, dedication, obedience and true service to the guru in Vedic traditions.

Thus, Vedic ideals should be implanted in the early age to get strong foundation of character and intelligence for all human beings.

 

 

 

 

How to Integrate the Ancient Educational System with the Modern Educational System

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

The most important aspect of the ancient educational system was the “teacher” or “Guru”. The role and definition of Guru in ancient days was different from modern day spiritual Guru. The Guru was one who not only imparted his experimental and theoretical knowledge to his students; he was also responsible for spiritual and astral development of his students. Place of “Guru” is higher than God in ancient texts. According to Advyatarka Upaniśad (16th Verse) the definition of guru is as follows:

गुशब्दस्त्वन्धकारःस्यात्‌  रुशब्दस्तन्निरोधकः।
अन्धकारनिरोधित्वात्‌गुरुरित्यभिधीयते॥

Guśabdastvandhakāraḥ syāt ruśabdastannirodhakaḥ

Andhakāranirodhitvāt gururityabhidhῑyate।।

 Meaning: ‘Guru’ word is a mixture of two syllables – “Gu” means ignorance (andhakar or dark) and “Ru” (nirodh, or to remove) means to dispel or to restrict or to obstruct. The guru is seen as the one who “dispels the darkness of ignorance”. One must have faith in his Guru. No one can get happiness or achievements without having faith in his Guru. Ramcharitmānas also put “Guru” as a person who holds high esteem.

Guru ke vacana pratῑti na jehῑ  Sapanehu sugama na sukha sidhi tehῑ

māta pitā guru prabhu ke vāṇῑ  vinahi vichār kariha subh jāṇῑ।।

(Bālakānda)

Ancient Indian education is also to be understood as being ultimately the outcome of the Indian theory of knowledge as part of the corresponding scheme of life and values. Moral education was a perennial aim of Vedic education. The principles of Vedic education have been a source of inspiration to all the educational system of the world.

The modern education system in India is established by British, primarily introduced by Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay in 1830s, and later by Wood’s Magna Carta of Indian education in 1854. Teaching was confined to the class rooms and connection with the nature was broken, and also the close relationship between student and teacher was lost. Modern education is based on western system of text books and examination. There are primarily two motives of introducing textbooks culture in India; a) to stop producing new knowledge and make students think that they are mere consumers of the knowledge which the textbook writer wants to convey, b) reducing teacher’s authority on knowledge. Teachers lost the right of deciding what to teach and how to teach. They also follow the matter given in a text books. Examination was introduced to our education system so that students are limited to learn only those things which are supposed to be covered in the exam, not the complete things. This practice eventually narrows the area of knowledge. To pass exam students just memorize the content, without understanding, just to clear the exam.

National leaders, social reformers, and educated people alarmed by the erosion of educational system which also leads to the erosion of Indian culture. Organizations like Brahma Samaj (Raja Ram Mohan Roy), Prarthana Samaj (Atmaram Panduranga), Arya Samaj (Swami Dayanand), and Ram Krishna Mission (Swami Vivekanand), interpreted rationally and advised people to remain firmly rooted to the Indian culture and not get swayed away by the glamour and materialism of alien culture. Swami Vivekanand said, “Each nation like each individual has a theme in this life, which is its centre, the principle note, around which every other note comes to form the harmony. If any nation attempts to throw off its national vitality, the direction, which has become its own through the transmission of centuries, nation dies.

At present, we have lost the root of morality in modern education. There is no sense of discipline, behavior is irresponsible, less decision making ability and too much influence of materialistic mode of life among the students and teachers of our time. Alienation of modern generations from their roots and culture alarmed Gandhiji and he said, “My real education began after I had forgotten all that I had learned at school”. There is no doubt that modern education has given to India the key to the treasures of scientific and modern democratic thought. It is the west that has led the world in advancement in technology and science. It also opened the doors for liberal and rational thinking. It widened the mental horizons of the Indian intelligentsia during last two centuries. But somehow it got derailed and makes mind just a store-house of knowledge and discourage creative thinking. For building an ideal education system for today, we need an amalgamation of eastern culture and western methods which promotes liberal thinking and advancement in science and technology for the future.

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Although there is wide gap of education between ancient Indian education and modern education system, there is enough room where both can be integrated in theory and practice. Some prime elements are as follows: a) more preference should be given to character, truth, non-violence, spiritualism rather than wealth and materialism. b) The sense of discipline and cordial relation between teacher and students. For this, the teacher should enforce fair practices, presenting themselves as a respectful, create a culture of integrity in their classrooms, and show genuine interests in their students. Students should impart discipline, preservance, honesty, and good social values. c) Manan (meditation) and Nididhyananna (realization) techinques should be imparted in education to helps student in self motivation and concentration. d) “Simple living and High Thinking” should be the motive of student life. e) Education should be given to make student self sufficient. Education should include project based natural learning, individual and group accountability, challenging environment, collaborative learning, critical thinking, communication and research skills. After education students should be able to lead a sustainable life and encourage their neighbourhood and friends to have the same. f) Education system should be such that it not only preserves but spreads the culture, which should be amalgamation of social practices, traditional beliefs, and daily activities (should not include karamkānda or superstitious beliefs and traditions). g) It should infuse a sense of responsibility and social values. And h) the teacher should encourage self motivation in their students to inculcate responsibility and focus towards getting true knowledge, not to just become literate.

The ultimate aim of education should not be to fulfill the desires of life in the world, but for complete realization of self to achieve complete liberation, and Vedic education trained students to be truthful. It is important to remember that those who pursue the path of truth are never defeated.

सत्यमेवजयतेनानृतं सत्येनपन्थाविततोदेवयानः।
येनाक्रमन्त्यृषयोह्याप्तकामा यत्रतत्सत्यस्यपरमंनिधानम्॥

Satyameva jayate nānṛtaṁ Satyena panthā vitato devayānaḥ

yenākramantyṛṣayo hyāptakāmā yatra tat satyasya paramaṁ nidhānam।।  

(Mundaka Upaniśad 3-1-6 )