In the age of prevailing conflicts, confusions, emptiness, and meaninglessness, many leaders of all kinds and creeds-intellectuals, social scientists, physical scientists, theologians, and politicians have suddenly started preaching about the urgent need of harmony and love within this variegated world. The irony is that these words and concepts remain evasive and elusive to most of us. In the absence of real active participation (with mind, speech, and action) in the feast of harmony and love, the entire endeavor of leaders of all colors and creeds appears to be nothing more than a sonorous verbiage-an utter nominalism. Do we have an opportunity for such a feast of inviting harmony and unalloyed love? Yes we do! And that is what the Holi is all about.
The historical origin of Holi is still shrouded in mystery; however, many good indications place it in very remote times, all the way back when Bhagavan Krishna spent his miraculous and divine playful boyhood in Vrindavan, Braj-Bhoomi, India (more than 5000 years ago). Its current traditions and practices appear to have evolved from harmonizing of many dharmic, adhyatmic, social, and folk traditions.
The Holi celebration begins with a bonfire. The bonfire is started by collecting, from every house in the village, the accumulated trash, garbage, and waste. This clean-up act is the reminder of the necessity of cleaning all the physical, as well as mental, spaces where lots of polluting elements have grown out of our material nature, such as uncontrolled sensual desires, anger, delusion, hatred, violence, lust, and greed. People gather around the bonfire and make offerings that might include roasting ears of new, still green barley crops which are still in the fields (this act is a kind of Vedic Yagna), and sing and dance around the fire, with songs, including the chants written in local vernacular. After all, this is New Year’s Day; a day to welcome the most colorful, joyful spring season-the king of all seasons. This is the Holika-Dahan.
In the Braj-Bhoomi, Holi playing is a battle of divine love. Young wives of the village are ready to attack the best men of the village with their sticks. It is time for colors; the wet and dry, all kinds. Everyone has been transfigured; no one is recognizable; the whole Braj-Bhoomi appears to be in great social turmoil, chaos, craziness, and good humor–yet everyone is in a state of great joy. The erotic mood is in full swing, yet within the expanded bounds of ethical and moral norms. People are impersonating Shri Radha and Krishna; the roles have been reversed; the genders gone astray. This continues for a day or two, and then purification and restructuring starts by washing, cleaning up, and donning new clothes.
This is a new beginning. Everyone greets one another with a new promise of cooperation, support, and love for the rest of the year. Radha-Krishna Bhajans (devotional songs) go on with joyful celebrations, with intense divine passion and love (Bhakti Yoga), after all, the Holi of Krishna is no mere intellectual exercise; no mere theory of love, no mere academic play: rather it is Divine Lila that each one of us must actively participate in and play our respective sva-dharmic roles with great passion and joy.
The richness, variety, and beauty of Holi Colors are the metaphors for the colors and the moods of five basic elements of Prakriti (material Nature), the changing world, seasons, and mind-an aspect of Divine Shakti Maya. The new beginning, the adhyatmic renewal for a better future for all must start by smearing out and covering up all worldly, social and physical and mental distinctions and categories. The Holi celebration tends to transcend all the established differences and diversity of varna, caste, color, sex, age, wealth, power, and attitudes. The social destruction and renewal, world pollution and purification, smearing out the diversity to re-enact harmony and unity occur, not only on intellectual planes but it is played out physically and mentally by each and everyone with great joy. After all, it is Holi of Radha- Krishna-the feast of multidimensional harmony and divine love.
‘sataminnu sarado anti devahyatra nascakra jarasam tanunam
putraso yatra pitaro bhavanti mano madhyareerishatayurgantoh‘
“Oh you Gods! A lovely hundred years (Śarad seasons) stand before us with in the given span of lifetime. Kindly, do not trouble our mortal physical frame, until we reach to a certain age. The next generation can take charge and get ready to bear the responsibilities of becoming fathers in turn.”
Ramayana expressed a truth that death is natural to all beings while life and living is change. But if a being lives long breathing (svāsan) healthily then we consider him to be fortunate. In other words, if prāṇa-śakti is live, healthy, it is a blessing and the person would be able to witness many things for long time upon this Earth. Therefore, to grow into the stage of senior citizen for any being born on Earth is Fortunate. Here when Valmiki employed the word ‘Svāsa’ he seems to imply health, active life in the granted span of time. Svāsa is the prāṇa and when it is intact activity could be done with such vigour and enthusiasm. Further we have a prayer to Rudra ‘Prathamo Daivyo Bhishak’ (SYV 16 Ch). He needs to bless us long life followed by assurances of health and detachments of unwanted strings of responsibilities. This would help for all to subsist that period of life to go for gains like: friends, health, wealth, and above all sustained memory. In Camaka prasanga of Yajurveda, we have many articles of life programs enlisted. All of them are lending support for hope and optimistic aspirations for necessary comfort. Thereby our faculties and activity shall not be passive. In principle, we have asked for 35 optimistic desires and conditions to go safe with us until the end of being a senior citizen. There are hundreds of positive desires to stay and be fruitful to us in life. For example, one can see developments in various dimensions of life like, family, profession, contacts, religious and spiritual events and distinctions. Such long life leads to growth into being a ‘Śatāyuṣī’ (of hundred years). Right from the age eighty and more years of age, the person is styled as Śatāyuṣī and there are many āśirvāda mantras Veda and other scriptures to confirm health and peace in the life thereafter for the persons in. Prayer is unfailing measure of attainments being proved a Boon and Bonus.
As we are born and brought up as the child of the creator Prajāpati, Atharvaveda, lends a scope by confirming a blessings thus: to reach the old age. Kalidasa too has given the scheme of life:
Saisave abhysata vidyanam Yauvane vishayeshinam!
vardhake muni vruttinam yogenante tanu tyajam!!
Which means from boyhood to 25 years, earn knowledge as much as possible. Learn arts and sciences as much as possible further. Growing young (25 to 50 years of age) one would enjoy the pleasures, acquisitions and stabilization for richness and sharing, etc. It is stage to gather wealth and properties and discharge responsibilities in many fronts. While at advanced age from fifty years and more; one has to live like a saint and finally with the practice of discipline of Yoga one to prepare to leave the body at the conclusion of living. Moreover, in old age practice the activities gravitating towards those activities of sages and saints and at end yoking the mind with the Absolute. Later evict the soul from body to attain Emancipation.
The motto of life need be, as Kalidasa continues to advise: whatever riches or wealth amassed, gift away at senior age. For a balanced safety, ‘talk judiciously’, eat fewer amounts of food for health. Thus, prepare for peaceful existence and exit.
Tyaagaya smbhrutarthanm Satyaya mita bhashinam!
yasase vijigeeshunam prajayai gruhamedhinam!!
Taittiriya Upanishad too exhorts the same in its section on Vedic Convocation (vedamanucyacaryo antevasinamanusasti…). In this manner, on the one hand, we can also follow the instructions provided by our great thinkers and on the other gain indications and measures done profusely from our scriptures for an aspirant course of life at old age.
Moreover, the set of four aims marked for people namely Dharma, Artha , Kāma and Mokṣa constitute as their pastimes. An urge is cultivated to make them fulfilled greatly. Also four āśramas (stages of life) are suggested to individuals keeping reverence to worldly life, past times and workable activities, which are – Bhrahmacarya, Gruhastha, Vānaprastha and sanyāsa. Vānaprastha considers as the high time to go up to Śatāyuṣī. It is a stage to elevate mind and adopt the spiritual practices like Yoga, worship, dhyāna, jāpa, prāṇāyāma and more for peace and complacency. When a person turn older, they have to attend personal upliftment which they could not attend during their age of storm. At advanced age it is necessary to turn to Vedanta and mingle with the divine interest. Yajurveda Chapter 18 opens with the mantra that one has to look for the divya vajas that uplifts the life. Divya vajas are the things that would be of utility, personal, impersonal and universal. This is the most crucial time as the parents are in at the edge of old age which is full of experiences of life and eager to enlighten their next generation.
Every day is precious, a gain and a bonus after certain senior age for everybody. Personal ego need at least be reduced and in its place the divine importance is to be installed. So, to live the age of any senior for long with health and peace one needs ‘śānti karmas’ religiously. They begin from Ṣaṣṭhi purti (60 years) of age and go up to Śatāyuṣī. Every decade, after sixty years all need śānti ceremonies. This involves invoking the blessings of elders, gods and the departed ancestors in the lineage on installment basis. Religious observances (tapas of convenient order) add to the effort of seniority.
The flow of time (Kāla) is like river which never turns back. The clock for a senior person is very important and so one has to be mindful. There is a suggestion that one has to do dharma –
Ajara amaravat prajnah vidyam artham ca sadhayet|
gruhita iva keseshu mrutyuna dharma macaretḥ||
The verse suggests in the course of life, vidyā and Artha need be earned as though mṛtyu is grasping hairs.
Āchārya Śankara says in one of his stotras advises- ‘please reduce the ego and pride everyday little by little to reach zero level (aharahar va garvam parityajyatam). When ego is removed scope for benefits would be at gain. Here, Śankara hints that it is in our hands to send away ego and negativity from us. Śṛi Kṛśṇa gave the importance to a fact that one should uplift by himself as self is all in all and never self be demeaned.
uddharet atmanaatmanam naatmanam avasadayet
atmaivahyatmano bandhuh atmaiva ripuratmanah !!
One has to help oneself to uplift. Never one should demean his own self. Self is the friend to self, but self is enemy to one’s own self. Kṛśṇa means here self-reliance is the formula of happiness and more so when people reach senior age. Relations usually neglect the requests.
Self is noble and personal too. Seniors are at the verge of evening walk of life, meaning exit remains closer. Realizing that, they should monitor their time with care and commitment. They must take assistance only when they should. Kṛśṇa said in the Bhagavadgītā that one should uplift oneself. Such instruction is a mark of wisdom to the people, more so at senior stage since children and relations grow busy in their own way.
When seniors practice Vedāntic way of life, realizing its worth in reality, then they would be near peace and in peace too. This piece will help happy ending, the conclusion of life on earth. For any senior individual, death without any hazels and life with no dependence is desirous.
These two are possible when we turn spiritual and revering the divine. This fortune is obtainable by Yoga, which includes dhyāna and accessories to them. Also, one should adopt the inclination of mind to vote for the sense of vairāgya. The awareness of the body, house and township, etc. need not be bothered at invariably. Truly speaking our body is a Traveller’s’ Bungalow taken for lease for a period. But while enjoying ‘be neutral and uncommitted’ like the lotus leaf in a pond (Padmapatra iva ambhasa). For this way of adopted living the mind is to be disciplined and that is possible through the instructions by a guru and practice of them regularly.
The constant prayer is:’ whatever advancement in age and wealth possessed should be prosperous and helpful owing to the effort which is the form of Yajña. One always need to remember the Upaniśadic truth:
‘mrutyorma amrutam gamaya’
move from material problems to ultimate pathway of spirituality and the immortality
When God’s grace subsists life of a senior is a FORTUNE and a true BONUS. It is so because Earth, the bhuloka, is the most beautiful loka of lokas. We have attestations given to us in the works of great sages, authors like Kalidasa, Bana and several others in the world Literature. Added to that there would be scope to wash off follies and sins in order to get higher planes of happiness and Nirvāṇa.
In a nutshell, to live a full period of Senior citizen as granted by the providence is a boon. It should be appropriately employed for personal and universal welfare by controlling emotions. Mind can be managed pleasant by studying relevant scriptures. He would have the scope to experience Bhoga, Bhāgya, Saubhāgya and Mokṣa.
The onset of menstruation, also known as menarche, is one of the most significant milestones in a woman’s life. Though the physiological aspects of menstruation are common across faiths, the social aspects vary. Many faiths across the world, celebrate the menarche in their own unique way.
Sanātan Dharma looks upon life as an opportunity to make all round efforts to realize God. With menarche, as ovulation begins, conception is now possible. From the perspective of Sanātan Dharma, conception is not just procreation. Conception is important because it gives a jīva an opportunity to take birth and make efforts to move towards Mokṣa. Celebration of menarche imparts a very positive perception of menstruation, and the inherent sense of responsibility towards moral conduct to the young girl.
How can women by avoiding cooking or touching food during menses benefit themselves and society?
Food and water are basic constituents that are absorbed and assimilated at the cellular level. That is why, it is very important that these two components be Sāttvik.During menses, the Raja subtle component in the woman increases. It gets transferred to the food through her touch, thus reducing its spiritual purity. This would affect the entire family adversely at the spiritual level. That is why scriptures advise menstruating women to keep away from cooking activities or touching food cooked for the family and store of water. This is similar to how we do not put salt in milk as this would alter the basic characteristic of the milk.
Subtle picture of food after being touched by a woman during menses
The true measure and analysis of what happens in the subtle (that which is beyond the comprehension of the five senses, mind and intellect) dimension can only be through the medium of the sixth sense. Refer to ‘Subtle picture of a woman during menses’ in the first part of this article. The following is a recreation of the subtle picture based on knowledge perceived by Mr. Nishad Deshmukh, a member of the spiritual research team of Maharshi Adhyatma Vishwavidyalay.
It is apparent from the subtle picture how and why the inherent Sattva component in the food is reduced after a menstruating woman touches it. As the food gets a covering of Raja-Tama and it gets charged with negative vibrations, divine energy (Śakti) and vital energy are unable to enter it. It is to prevent this loss of positivity in the food.
Universal aura scanner (UAS) of food and water before and after being touched by a woman during menses
In addition to the knowledge given in the scriptures and that perceived by seekers from our spiritual research team. A pilot study was conducted in the Spiritual Research Center of Maharshi Adhyatma Vishwavidyalay, Goa, on 5 lady subjects having menses using modern scientific equipment (UAS instrument) to study the effect of touch of a woman having menses on food and water. Refer to ‘Universal Aura Scanner study of a woman during menses’ from the first part of this article.
To begin with, we served food in a plate and water in a glass from the kitchen of the Āśram of Maharshi Adhyatma Vishwavidyalay for the first subject. Care was taken to ensure that the subject did not touch the food and water. We used the UAS to note the readings of the 2 types of negative energies and positive energy in both the food and water served to her. Then we asked the first subject with menses to touch the food in the plate and the glass of water. This contact was for a period of few seconds only. After she had touched the food and water, we repeated the above-mentioned UAS readings of both the food and water served to her. We repeated this for each of the remaining 4 subjects. Each subject was separately served the same food and water from the same kitchen. We then repeated the above experiment with the same subjects 15 days later, when the subjects were in their non-menses phase. The readings are given as under-
UAS readings for food and water touched by women in their non-menses period and during their menses
Conclusions of the experiment
Regarding subtle negative energies : It is our experience of the past 10 years with the Universal Aura Scanner that it is not uncommon to find subtle negative energies in inanimate objects or animate beings. This is because of the overwhelming rise in Raja-Tama in the present times. It is apparent form the above tables that both types of subtle negative energies were completely absent in food and water before being touched by the subjects during the experiments done in their non-menses period and also during their menses. This is because the food and water came from the kitchen of a highly Sāttvik Āśram, where many Saints reside and food is cooked entirely by seekers as their spiritual practice. However, subtle negative energies were found in very high proportion in both the food and water after the subjects touched them during their menses.
Regarding positive energy : It is our experience with UAS studies, that it is not necessary that positive energy be present in inanimate objects or animate beings. However, high positive energy was found in both food and water before the subjects touched them. The reason is the same as explained in the point above. This positive energy in both food and water increased when the seekers touched them during their non-menses period. This is a reflection of the high positive energy generated in them due to their spiritual practice. The exception to this was Subject no. 3, who is deeply affected by subtle negative energies. In her case, the positive energy was found to be marginally decreased after she touched the food and water. When these same seekers touched food and water from the same Āśram during their menses, the positivity in the food and water was completely wiped out in the case of 4 subjects and greatly reduced in the case of Subject no. 2. This study using a modern scientific equipment gives us an objective insight into the extent of detrimental effect of touching food and water by a woman during her menses.
That our sages perceived this more than 5000 years ago, before the advent of any kind of scientific measuring equipment bears ample testimony to their highly enlightened status! Not only this, they devised and implemented appropriate steps at basic day-to-day life activity level to prevent the adverse effect of menses from affecting the spiritual purity of the family.
How can women by refraining from spiritual activities such as pūjā or entering a temple during menses benefit themselves and society?
A woman will be Ashuchi (spiritually impure) during three (days and) nights (during menstruation).
साध्वाचारा न तावत्स्याद्रजो यावत्प्रवर्तते । (अङ्गिरसस्मृति३७)
Do not perform any spiritual activities like pūjā, visiting temple, etc. during menstruation.
Women being advised to refrain from spiritual activities during menses is perceived as discriminatory by the modern world. This is simply not so. Sanātan Dharma has prescribed this restriction from the perspective of preventing the woman from incurring harm at the spiritual level, which would affect her at the physical and mental level too. For being competent to perform spiritual activity, shaucha is required at the bodily, mind and prāṇa level. Just as strict hygiene is required to benefit from a surgical operation, so also shaucha is required to obtain benefit from spiritual activities.
Both men and women enter a state of ‘Ashaucha’at various times in their lives such as during birth or death in immediate family. Menses also bring about a state of ashaucha in a woman. How this happens at the level of various kośas is explained –
State of shaucha in women during menses
It is apparent from the above table how the woman becomes incompetent to perform spiritual activities as it is having adverse effect on her due to her ashaucha status during menses.
1.The purpose of any spiritual activity like a pūjā or Yajña is to make the prāṇa to rise upwards. This activates the Kundalini and makes it to rise. During menses, apāna vāyu is activated which moves in the downward direction to bring about excretion of menstrual tissues. So there is a conflict at prāṇa level. This causes an imbalance of dośas (namely Vāta, Pitta, Kapha) as per Ayurveda. This affects the woman at various levels.
2.Every temple has an idol in which prāṇpratiśṭha of that particular deity principle has been done. This means the deity principle has been invoked in the Idol. Hence, it is a place of high spiritual energy (Śakti). Being in a temple causes the prāṇa to rise in upward direction.
As a consequence of the above points 1 and 2,
1.A menstruating woman, in whom the apāna vāyu is activated, would be adversely affected by the upward movement of prāṇa resulting from any spiritual activity. This may not necessarily be apparent in the first instance, but repeated exposure during menses would affect the woman seriously.
2.However, as the adverse effect of spiritual activity on a menstruating woman happens at a subtle level, it may not be apparent to her. This is similar to the fact that most people are not able to perceive the adverse subtle effect of non-vegetarian food on them. Even if the adverse effect is immediately experienced, the woman may not connect the distress to the spiritual ritual or visiting a temple.
3.The Energy generated from spiritual activities is also diluted due to the influence of high Raja in the menstruating woman. The temple, the temple at home, pūjā, Yajñas etc. are sources of spiritual energy and Sattva subtle component. We as individuals and collectively as society benefit and in a way highly dependent on this source of Sattva for our day-to-day as well as overall long term well-being and success. By polluting these sources of spiritual energy and Sattva with the Raja in a menstruating woman, we are effectively destroying our basic sources of spiritual well-being.
How can we benefit from the advice of scriptures in our present lifestyle?
It has been prescribed from the perspective of the well-being of the woman as well as society at large. However, it could be difficult to follow it in the modern setup with nuclear families, especially where both spouses work outside home. We can still benefit from the advice by understanding the underlying science with an open mind. Based on this understanding, we can see what all we can do to limit the effect of the increased Raja in the woman during menses.
(1) One sound option is to focus on chanting as per our religion of birth or ‘ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय।’ as much as possible during menses, especially during activities affecting the whole family like cooking. This sattvikta increasing measure is an efficient way of reducing the effect of Raja.
(2) It is best to refrain from going to the temples or participating in rituals. We can get the daily pūjā at home done by other family members.
(3) The effect of increased Raja emitted from the woman during menses in the premises can be reduced by sprinkling gomutra with tulsi leaf on all days of the menses and after the 5th day head bath of the woman with menses. For best results, use of gomutra of desi cows, not jersey ones, is recommended.
(4) Having a head bath on the fifth day of menses and adding a few drops of gomutra to the water used for bathing as well as washing the clothes and bedding helps remove the Raja present in the body of the woman and her clothes.
(5) Just as Raja increases in a woman during menses, Raja-Tama increases in both men and women with thoughts of anger, greed, jealousy, lust, laziness, etc. However, most are not aware of this as we are not able to perceive the subtle vibrations which come with regular spiritual practice. Menses is clearly apparent, hence, there is opportunity to take precautionary measures. Chanting as a form of spiritual practice is an effective way for both men and women to minimize the ill-effects of Raja-Tama in our lives from all sources – physical, mental and spiritual. If you cannot practice the whole, practice at least as much as you can.
The Shrimad Bhagawadgītā (2.40) advises-
नेहाभिक्रमनाशोऽस्ति प्रत्यवायो न विद्यते |
स्वल्पमप्यस्य धर्मस्य त्रायते महतो भयात् ||
In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.
(Acknowledgement : Menstruation Practices in Hinduism : What & Why? – A Talk by Nithin Sridhar)
(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.)
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:
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.
‘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.
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:
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.
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.
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 Gaikwad, Krishi Bhushan Sendriya Sheti M. S. & Retd. Executive Director/Company Secretary
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 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”
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 Kalyanand 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.
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 Agnihotrayajña 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].
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.
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.
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).
sanō mṛḍāti tanvaṛujugō rujan ya ēkamōjastrēdhā vicakramē॥
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.
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|
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॥
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.
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.
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.
Kṛṣṇa calls different names suitable to the context of the message, answers guidance, clarifications, assertions and more by suitable expressions appealing and awakening the need of the situation. Arjunā’s quest and doubts are removed saying that he will not be a killer and a sinner however. He would not be a sinner by fighting and defeating his own kith and kin even though he kills them. The names thus with which Arjunā was called by Kṛṣṇa are these: Internal evidence shows that Arjunā’s character is screened and real expectations are awakened in Him. Actually he shirked to fight gripped by Klaibya and Hrudaya-daurbalya. He got into the crisis of moha and loss of smṛti in respect of bounded duty as kśatriya.
Anagha : Pure. Sin free Arjunā is afraid that due to war fighting he would be sinner. Kṛṣṇa with this call assures he is not getting sin when he attends kśatriyadharma at that juncture.
Anasuya : Not having jealous normal.
Arjunā : White, pure clean slate ready to grasp and ready to be instructed rightful ways of action, opened for corrections.
Bharatasreshtha : Best among citizens of bharat the native land.
Bharatasattama : Strong enough among the citizens belonging to Bharat.
Bharatarshabhha : He belongs to Bharata clan and he thus Bharatas. He is best among such group of native men.
Bharata : He is native of Bharat. Here the love and commitment to the devotion of Bharat in securing the Dharma in the land. This name is used as addressal to Arjunā by Kṛṣṇa three times to awaken the rāṣtrabhakti in him.
Dehabhrtamvara : Best among all holding to the body and its nature and behavior.
Dhananjaya : Victor in the battles and bring good booty after the war to the masters of his support. A war is called as dhana samsad.
Gudakesa : Victim of the influence of the senses. Loses control over senses and emotions ordinarily.
Kapidhvaja : Having Hanuman over his flag on the top of his chariot.
Kiriti : Known for victory always the kiritas, crowns of kings are unstable when he goes to fight while his kirita remains firm, success is sure.
Kurupraveena : Best among the people of the Kuru vamśa he is best.
Kurunandana : He is the son of Pāndu of the Kuru family. He would be delight to the Kuru family. He delights the Kurus with his exploits too.
Kurusresrehtha : He is eminent among the warriors of the Kuru dynasty.
Kurusattama : Better person among the Kuru People.
Kaunteya : Son of Kunti attached by sentiments, land and family.
Mahabahu : Strong shouldered symbolic to signify the irresistible strength in his bahus that wields weapons. So he can fight long in the war with out fatigue but with success usually.
Maasucah : Pure . cf., Kṛṣṇa assuring Arjunā that he would relieve him from sinning (Aham tvaam sarvapāpebhyo mokshaishyāmi 18.66) Kṛṣṇa ensures that war and success would not defile him at all. He is agree to get reward unaffected. Only once Kṛṣṇa complements thus like the calling Arjunā as Taata.
Manada : Provider of respect to the other recognizing their honour.
Paramtapa : He severs enemies and enhances their fear and defeats them.
Pandava : Belonging to the children of Pandu raja. He takes the name of his father who ruled the land in place of his brother Dhrutarashtra.
Pārtha : He is earthly and having all ordinary human qualities known for attachment and emotions. Also means a royal person.
Purusharshabha : He is best among Purushas, the Men , the warriors.
Savyasacee : Capable of fighting in the war with both hands with equal felicity. This is unique fame to Arjunā. He reached top in that skill in war.
Taata : Boy innocent and affectionate to elders. Affectionate calling only once the name is used by Kṛṣṇa. One who does well shall never fall and be a sinner.
All these names referring Arjunā and his capabilities and eminence as recognized by Kṛṣṇa go to screw up the mood and remove dispiritedness in him. All that gripped him temporarily. It is ‘nāma mahimā’; that appeal and awakening got ignited. That quality in the individual names addressed to Arjunā reminded the commitment he had at an hour of crisis when his participation was a keynote for protecting dharma. Therefore the action depends upon the kind of addresses made to the concerned individual to wake up and give up shiredness. Lord Kṛṣṇa had done this sensitively that Arjunā realized his duty.
These names when we reflect, we realize they speak the personal and impersonal antecedents and features latent in each other. It lends scope for improvement in the respective perspectives of personalities. When Kṛṣṇa’s names are seen they are suggestive that the Lord is human and divine but committed to make the human- a human caring dharma from their ends. Actually some of the features of them look common to all. Humans are placed in different circumstances and situations in life. They are marked by their Jāti, Varṇa, Deśa, kāla and such miscellaneous occasions. Gitā containing the words of Lord Kṛṣṇa resolve and action that is warranted is activated. Need be viewed that it is a text relevant for us. There is lot of appeal to conscience and nature. Arjunā is no different from us. We are like him only always facing doubts and fears of sin and follies.
There is scope for awakening and appeal for action. We can lead a life of fulfillment in case we get chance to have a learned person to counsel us. To be modern, we may cite Vivekananda who maintained a word of awakening thus : ‘Arise, Awake , Stop not until the goal is reached’. We are the servants of Rama-Kṛṣṇa. Here Kṛṣṇa signified by work and extra skill to accomplish the validity and establishment of dharma. We are all the children of immortality (amṛtasya putras vayam). We obtain Mukti. If the yogas 17 of the Gitā are understood and practiced, viṣāda vanishes. It is true. Viṣāda is the foundation of improvement. Birth is viṣāda (sorrow).
Gitā impresses reality and facts relevant in our own day to day circumstances. We have dialogues participated by Sanjaya and Dhṛtarāśtra to begin with. Therefore Bhagavadgitā is for Action, Vidura Niti is polity and Vishnu Sahasra Nāma Stotra is for peace and Sanat Sujatīyam is for relief and Liberation. These four portions of Mahābhārata are regarded as Gems (Ratnas) of Mahābhārata. A study of the names of Kesav-Arjunās remains a source for personality awareness and progress to move to perform destined action and stand an example to world.
Bhagavadgitā is Ever Fresh. It is ocean of Guidance. It provides hope and solace for the life issues to all at all ages. Bhagavadgitā is Mother extending grace and concern over people’s duty of paying attention to Dharma. Gitā is guide for spiritual sādhanā moves and sights. Therefore, there are several expressions praising Gitā and its eternal use. But the same is not availed for benefit for many. Keeping this in View many missions and associations came up to impress the value, validity of Gitā. It is said:
Gitā has to be well followed. What else is the use of other large amount of Sāśtras. This statement has come out from the mouth of Padmanābha Kṛṣṇa who is a teacher of teachers. This supports the Eternity of the value and validity of Gitā. Thus is the talk by Kṛṣṇa while Arjuna was sole recipient of the awakening set of yogas and instructions.
Gitā is the nectar of Advaita covering eighteen chapters disdaining
the material comfort only and the incidence of rebirth.
Wholly knowledge of yogas has come out to answer the Arjuna viśāda yoga. At chapter one, Arjuna expresses his fear of
sin and so refused to fight. But Kṛṣṇa comes up with Karma, Bhakti and Jñana yogas to instill courage and clear the doubts in him. He even
risked showing his Universal form when doubts and unfaith in talk lurked in the
mind of Arjuna. While this famous dialogue between Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna there are
addresals to Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna done by each mutually. That would be our enough effort
to draw message and appeal hidden in them. At the same time awaken the sense of
duty and right for execution. Kṛṣṇa says:
‘samvādamāvayoh jnāna yajñena’
Sanjaya said as he remembered the dialogue, he gets elated and happy. Further the dialogue is ‘adbhutaṁ’, ‘roma harshanaṁ’, ‘param guhyaṁ’ and ‘punyaṁ’. Sanjaya terms it as: one emerging out of significant dialogue of Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna and adds that he felt elated very much (18.75). The same could be experience to anyone who followed the dialogue with diligence.
Let us enlist the names with which Arjuna called Kṛṣṇa at first. It is interesting to note that Acyuta is the constant address to open dialogue and conclude the dialogue. In 18th chapter of the Gitā, Kṛṣṇa is Hṛṣīkeśa althrough while Arjuna is ‘Pārtha’ and Gudākeśa just to differentiate the difference between the Narāyana and Nara, the Arjuna. They mean just opposites namely Kṛṣṇa has control of senses while Arjuna is with in the grip of senses. So only the introductory stanza goes thus: saying that Narāyan imparts the teachings to Pārtha at the crisis. This is knit together by Vyāsa, the Purana Muni in the mid point of the body of Mahābharata. The teaching amounts to Advaita and it is amṛta showered on the ambiguous mind of Arjuna. The amṛta-varśa dispelled the doubts and suspicions and superstitions from the mind of Arjuna. Arjuna is made very happy forgetting his mental status touched when Kṛṣṇa showed him the viśvarupadarśana (the universal Form imbibing any and everything of the creation), the final mode of solving the lurking rather impeding confusion in the mind. It is to clear the Vimudhatva in Arjuna who is liable for change and understanding resulting in right action. Kṛṣṇa said ‘Act as you please’
‘yathecchasi tathā kuru’
The decision was he was made to get rid of the cowardice, diffidence and moha. He got the light of truth and the real memory of Jāti and Kula Dharma became activated. He considered that he would not be sinner when Kṛṣṇa has done what he has to do in reality. It is to the show of the world outside. In essence the dialogue gave rise to appeal and awakening on either side to ignite right action. War was only solution for Kṣatriyas to resolve the Dharma. It is so because the ruling goes yato dharmah tato jayah(Mahābhārata). Success is always inclined at the reach of Dharma. Kṛṣṇa’s target was Dharma-samsthāpanānamely to establish Dharma only however. Lord Viṣṇu descends to set right the Right.
The names of Kṛṣṇa with which Arjuna addressed Kṛṣṇa look very
suggestive of his nature and powers. They stand to appeal to the Lord to guide
him relevantly. He is seen looking at Kṛṣṇa
in many angles, forms and ultimately as friend and God. In like manner, Kṛṣṇa
too looked upon Arjuna as a capable hero but disturbed momentarily at the sight
of the opposite Army that contained his kith and kin too. Basically Arjuna was gripped
by emotions and sentimental feelings.. That was a matter of viṣāda in him.
Now the respective names of Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna are taken to discussion
The meanings of the names get understood relevant to the addressals done by each other. It is the ‘nāma mahimā’ that kindles the sense of appeal and awakening. Besides that the personality traits, build of character and suitable action are suggested. The way name is called out supports the action warranted thereafter. Arjuna is looked upon more times as Pārtha meaning quite, materialistic and terrestrial. He seemed to be elevated to the sense of duty at that critical juncture as a warrior best and care for the duty of a kṣatriya.
Acyuta: this is the standard name to Kṛṣṇa at all times, meaning he never shakes nor looses courage and confidence. It is derived thus: ‘na cyutih, nasah yasya sah acyutah. In other words, all others in the creation are liable for ruin and disappearance. It is ‘cyuti’ meaning nasa. Finally Arjuna calls him Acyuta. Assenting to the appeal by Kṛṣṇa to war. He said ‘Naṣṭo mohaḥ smṛtirlabdhā tvatprasādānmayācyuta’ (18.73). All the way memory and extra love sentimental bothered Arjun althrough.
Ananta : Infinite. All in all, endless.
Apratima Prabhava : Matchless, valor and influence. Unfailing in plans and desires.
Arisudana : victor over enemies. Slays wicked enemies.
Adyah : He is erstwhile in existence before anyone. Kṛṣṇa is God who exits before anything came into the being.
Bhagavān : means possessor of all that characterizes of Bhaga. Bhaga implies ability in the features like creation, destruction etc. that belong to people and nature.
Bhutabhavanah : He thinks of the beings and attests their thinking and connectedly supportive.
Bhutesah : He is the leader of all beings irrespective the category known.
Devadeva : the leader of such Brilliant gods (the Viṣṇu). In a feeling of over joy Arjuna calls Kṛṣṇa at a stretch with several names especially when Kṛṣṇa showed his universal form (viśvarupa).
Devavarah : well elected and best of all the brilliant people like bright righteous people, gods etc.
Devesa : the commander of workers to make the good to happen.
Govinda : He makes the land and people happy. He is the custodian of Knowledge and Happiness.
Hṛṣīkeśa : Who has hold on Indriyas. They never drop down. They remain standardized and never swerving in the circumstances. Indriyanigraha is a great feat but it is natural to him.
Janārdana : means Protector of people indifferent to their differences and distinctions like sun and Moon. Janārdana is everybody’s protector. So, Arjuna calls Kṛṣṇa at right situation. Kṛṣṇa was promoting war with the Kauravas and kill them. As Janārdana it is sin prompting him to do pāpakarma. It was the suggestion to Kṛṣṇa when he called him thus.
Jagannivasa : though he is elsewhere fixed, he is not away from the creation and situations. Involved in the crisis and solution of the orders.
Jagatpate : He is lord of Jagat the combination of mobile and immobile objects in creation. He is inseparable and identical with all.
Kamala Patraksha : his eyes are beautiful as beautiful as the lotus flower. Here the looks are pleasant and attractive that fear is dispelled at his sight.
Kṛṣṇa : He is the Attractor ‘aa karshati iti Kṛṣṇah’ He pulls attention of all towards him.
Kesava : connected to creation that comes out of Water. No creation is possible without water, the divine support. The first appearance of the Lord is in waters lying in restful state.
Kesinishudana : He killed another demon by name Kesi and this demon was a special kind of rākṣasa but a bhakta. His name he took in is fame.
Madhusudana : ‘Madhu’ is a Demon by name. The slayer of that demon is Kṛṣṇa. A queller of Evil and Negativity.
Mahabaaho : Strong shoulders meaning skilled in war and courage to face any inimical person or circumstances.
Mahatmā : Great soul able to get elevated outlook of his own self.
Paramesvara : There are many overlords, the leader and monitor of all of them to keep the work well organized.
Purushotthama : He is Puruṣa, one with the creation but ranks always high. Looked upon by people for help and suggestion. In Puruṣa sukta of RV Narāyana is Puruṣa.
Prabhu : He is one controlled by himself over his own being and actions.
Sarvesah : He is monitor of any and everything in the creation.
Sahasra bāhu : His strength is number with the thousand shoulders, hands. It bespeaks his war skill and never failing in exerting physical strength. Bahu is symbolic of power and potency.
Yādava : He belongs to the Yādava community, which is known for service to society.
Yogeśvarah : The teacher and mentor of Yoga that joins the individual to make him enhanced of powers and hope.
Varsheya : He belongs to the clan of Vrushni and it a natural identity to him as he is mānava avatara too besides divine inset in his personality.
Vāsudeva : Son of Vāsudeva.
Viśvamurti : He is figure of all. All forms are his own. He is in everybody.
Viśvesvara : He is overlord of the Universe and every object.
Viṣṇu : He is present any and everywhere all the three times.
Yogi : Focused person a Disciplinarian.
In all these names we notice the mention of power and ability and vested capacity in Kṛṣṇa that He would be good Guide par excellence. Further the names have special intonation with reference to his talk made to arjuna and arjuna responding in dialogue.
The article “Democracy
turns into DemoNOcracy!!” authored by Prof. Bal Ram Singh published on 22nd
May, 2019. The title itself of the article said a lot about Prof. Singh’s view.
According to Singh the purpose of the piece was not exactly to provide road map
and solutions, rather raise the consciousness of intellectuals towards the
problem. Therefore, VedicWAVES blog sought response from the readers of the
Readers were requested to
consider the following questions:
1. Whether readers are agree with the
2. What maybe the reason?
3. What can be done from Vedic view?
Below are the short responses received –
Prof. Girish Nath Jha, Dean, School of Sanskrit and Indic Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
Agree with your
observation. In fact, just yesterday I was wondering [if] someone [had] compiled
all the invectives used in this election. It would be a good linguistics resource
The reason why politicians
are using these into quickly to hone their message in a very short time. The
audience would perhaps remember these more than plain talk.
The Vedic way of
sound democratic ways is not possible today. The closest that we can go would
be to promote leadership with Tyāga and
general wellbeing of others as the guiding principles.
Dr. Pandita Indrani Rampersad, Trinidad and Tobago
I agree for a code of ethics for politicians on the campaign trail. Leaders should show restraint in speech and conduct. I found nothing wrong with the ‘termite’ metaphor because of what a termite does – it works silently from within and before you know it, your entire house falls down like a pack of cards. It is an appropriate metaphor for campaign rhetoric.
Political speech is not in the realm of religious or academic discourse. There is the element of ‘warring opponents’ – nothing wrong with that. However, while being feisty, the campaign rhetoric should aim not to injure and hurt the personhood of the ‘other’ – stick to the issues not personalities. The subtle, artistic, bringing down of your opponent with words is to be enjoyed as the art of debating. It should not descend into ridicule and slander.
Sumit Ganguly’s analysis is from a leftist perspective and nationalism for these folks is not a welcome concept. I disagree with their consistent recourse to demonization of minorities. It’s simply not true. Minorities in India have greater privileges and protections than many other parts of the world and are used by leftist activists seeking favours in foreign countries. Uplift of the economically disadvantaged is more pressing than identity politics in India. Chandra Bhan Prasad’s comment is puerile.
Criminalization in Indian politics is a real issue. Remove goondas and corruption.
India needs a vision to manage its great diversity and the socio-economic and spiritual development of its citizens. India is the spiritual capital of the world. A return to the principles of Rām Rājya is mandatory. Let the state provide the social and economic conditions for development so that people may actualize their highest goals of spirituality.
India has to be constantly vigilant about external cultural, economic and political forces that see it citizens as ideal consumers. India has to be constantly vigilant about the constant threat to its sovereignty, for near and far, especially its neighbours.
Dr. Raju Chidambaram, USA
Democracy is a basically good
concept, perhaps the second best one can have other than a Rāmraj led by a dhārmic monarch.
The problem is the Party system that
plagues all democracies. Cooperation (the Yajña spirit of Gīta) needed for
progress is not possible in a party-based democracy.
How do we enforce parties to
cooperate? Every two years in the US the election should be about the entire
House of Representatives. Instead of choosing individuals, the people should
decide “Has the House worked for the people in the last 2 years? If so, all of
them return for the next 2 years. If not none of them will be allowed to run
for re-election and every seat filled with a new comer”. Drastic idea, maybe,
but it might force all representatives to cooperate for the good of the country
in order to stay elected.
Sh.Rishi Pal Chauhan, Jiva Institute, Faridabad.
I agree with your
observations. Earlier social workers used to join politics. They not only used
to understand the culture of the nation but lived that in their day to day life.
Their life was for nation.
In seventies people
started keeping muscle man. In eighties muscle man started join politics. Now
people with money power and criminal record join politics.
There should be
basic qualification for a politician. He should submit his achievement about
the knowledge of the culture of India and the record of social work practically
achieved in his constituency He should submit his individual plan for five
years. There should be review of his work after every year. He or she did not
achieve as per the satisfaction of people he should get grading. There should
be basic qualification of voter also.
Sh. Lallan Prasad Pandey, Former Income Tax Officer, Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh
Yes I agree
with the observations made in the write up, given above.
I think that people
see the power politics an opportunity to make money and enjoy power as this was
of India has provisions and institutions for check and balance. But now a days
there needs to come forward the learned and right thinking people to observe
the conduct of Parliamentarians and issue public warnings of their
observations. Some proper learning courses may be conducted for new members.
डा राजकुमारी त्रिखा, पूर्व अध्यापिका, संस्कृत, मैत्रेयी महाविद्यालय, दिल्ली विश्वविद्यालय, दिल्ली
डॉक्टर बलराम सिंह ने बहुत सुंदर विश्लेषण करके भारतीय राजनीति की तस्वीर प्रस्तुत की है। यह सच है कि हमारे राजनेताओं ने इलेक्शन के दौरान अनेक प्रकार के आरोप-प्रत्यारोप एक दूसरे पर लगाए, जो कि हमारी संस्कृति और नैतिकता के विरुद्ध है ।
जहां तक अभिव्यक्ति की स्वतंत्रता का प्रश्न है , कुछ बोलने से पहले यह सोचना जरूरी है कि हमारी बातें नैतिकता के विरूद्ध न हों। हमें अपनी डेमोक्रेसी को डेमोनोक्रेसी बनने से रोकना होगा, जो कि गिरते हुए नैतिक स्तर के कारण लगभग असंभव सा लगता है। भ्रष्टाचार में आकंठ डूबी अधिकांश जनता और भ्रष्ट विरोधी पार्टियों से भरे हुए देश में डेमोक्रेसी फेल है। यहां तो समुचित और त्वरित दंड व्यवस्था, और सीमित राजतंत्र वाली ऐसी शासन पद्धति होनी चाहिये जैसी महाभारत में बताई गई है। वहां मंत्रिमंडल का कार्य था राज्य के हित को देखते हुए कानून, नियम बनाना और राजा का कार्य था उन कानूनों और नियमों को जनता में सख्ती से लागू करना। कानून के विरुद्ध आचरण करनेवाले को अपराधानुकूल निष्पक्ष दण्ड देना। यदि राजा अपने इस कार्य में असफल होता था, तो उसे गति सिंहासन से उतारा भी जा सकता था। यही उचित राजधर्म है। महाभारत में इसी व्यवस्था को आदर्श शासन पद्धति कहा गया है। परंतु दुख की बात है कि भ्रष्टाचारी जनता और विरोधी पार्टियों के रहते हुए इस तरह का परिवर्तन संभव प्रतीत नहीं होता। फिर भी ईश्वर से प्रार्थना है कि वह हमारे नेताओं को सद्बुद्धि दे और भारत को नैतिक दृष्टि से भी समृद्ध राष्ट्र बनायें।
Prof. R.P. Singh, Professor, Philosophy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
In Vedas, Asuras
were not demonized. Demonization started in the Purānas and Epics. Since then
it has been happening in one way or another. Britishers were called as mylekshas
(म्लेच्छ). There is a lack
public morality and predominance of civil society over the State. It will give
rise to the State to become authoritative. I appreciate the paper through and
First of all Sir, the content is mind
blowing and is the true scene of our prevailing so called democracy. I truly
agree with it. There’s no more the taste of democracy, instead every leader now
just puts each other’s name down which really gives a bad impression to
According to me the reason is
selfishness of political leaders. Now what has become the point that everyone
somehow or the other just wants the rule …politicians instead of serving
nation, they have developed the mentality of serving their pockets. Development
has become a faraway point. They just put each other’s name down to move ahead.
Lastly, according to me as in each n
every competition certain education is necessary, likewise it should be made
mandatory for politicians as well to be qualified because its education which
can mentality and bring in good leaders to the show!!
Sh.Yogendra Bhardwaj, Research Scholar, Sanskrit, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
Nice thought by you (Prof.Singh)
राजनीति में मतभेद होना संभव है, किन्तु मतभेद नहीं होना चाहिए। भारतीय संस्कृति में राजनीति के अंतर्गत ऐसी नीतियों के निर्धारण का मार्ग प्रशस्त होता है, जिसका अंतिम लक्ष्य “लोककल्याण” होता है।
Ms.Ami Shah, Corporate Legal Expert, Mumbai
Yes totally agree with the
observation… The demon of politics is clearly visible now… The status has
gone down significantly.
Today the scenario is such that they
want to win at any cost. Losing is not am option as their fake reputation is at
stake and for that they can go to any extent even if they gave to lose your
moral values. They attack at personal levels… They attack your family and
your morals. They attack at your weakest links. It has become a battle with no
rules, just win at any cost.
In my opinion the best way to improve the practice of democracy is to conduct elections every five year plus conducting voting out every year… This will be an added responsibility and fear of getting removed in the minds of those who are elected. They won’t take their positions for granted. Introducing e-voting system to implement this. Apart from this education is a must to improve the practice of democracy.
The responders are
unanimous in holding politicians responsible for the deterioration of the
discourse of democracy to demonocracy. The reasons range from selfishness, no
rules of engagements, criminalization of the politics, lack of public morality,
power politics and money, party-based democracy, and expedient short term
It is interesting that most of the readers feel that there should be some level of accountability and a provision to recall and/or the elected representatives for lack of progress on promises made. Education and training of politicians are needed, and perhaps principles of sacrifice for public good, following dhārmicprinciples need to be introduced and encouraged. The concept of Rāmrajya needs to be invoked.
We feel intellectuals
and policy makers need to look at the history of governance in India for
inspiration of a system that can serve India’s diverse population without
creating acrimony and divisiveness currently being practiced. It is important
to be willing to storm out of a system that is becoming detrimental to the
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.