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

Dr. Poonam Ghai

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

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

सुषारथिरश्वानिव यन्मनुष्यान्नेनीयतेऽभीशुभिर्वाजिन इव ।

हृत्प्रतिष्ठं यदजिरं जविष्ठं तन्मे मनः शिवसङ्कल्पमस्तु  34.6

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

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

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

जब आवे सन्तोष धन सब धन धूरि समान

(तुलसीदास)

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

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

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

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

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

कबिरा सोच न साचिये जो आगे कू होय।

सीस चढ़ाए पोटली ले जात न देख्या कोय।।

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

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

The Fortune of Being a Senior Citizen 

Dr. C.L. Prabhakar

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.”

Rigveda 1.89.9

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!!

Raghuvamsa 1.8

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!!

Raghuvamasa 1.7

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||

Hitopadesa

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 atmana atmanam naatmanam avasadayet

atmaivahyatmano bandhuh atmaiva ripuratmanah  !!

Bhagavadgītā 6.8

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’sBungalow 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’

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

 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.

Dr. C.L Prabhakar, Professor, Sanskrit & President, WAVES, Bangalore Chapter

Vedic Shield against Visible and Invisible Organisms

Dr. Raghava S. Boddupalli

Introduction

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

Homa oblations to control bacterial and fungal pathogens 

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

Microorganisms in Vedas

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

yō akṣyau parisarpati yō nāsē parisarpati

datāṃ yō madhyaṃ gacchati taṃ krimiṃ jaṃbhayāmasmi

AV 5-5-23(3)

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

utpurastātsūrya ēti viśvadṛṣṭō adṛṣṭahā

dṛṣṭāṃśca dnannadṛṣṭāṃśca sarvāśca pramṛṇākrimīn

AV 5-5-23(6)

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

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

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

sōmārudrā vi vṛhataṃ viṣūcīmamīvā yā nō gayamāvivēśa

ārē bādhēthāṃ nirṛtiṃ parācaiḥ kṛtaṃ cidēnaḥ pra mumuktamasmat

Yajurveda [TS 1-8-22(22)

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

adhyavōcadadhivaktā prathamō daivyō bhiṣak

ahīgśca sarvāṅjaṃbhayaṃthsarvāśca  yātudhānyaḥ

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

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

udgrābhaṃ ca nigrābhaṃ ca brahma dēvā avīvṛdhann

athā saptnāniṃdrāgnī mē viṣūcīnānvyasyatām

Yajurveda [TS 1-6-4]

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

Remedy for germs

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

Taittirīya Āraṇyaka [TA] 4-36

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

yā vyāghraṃ viṣūcikāubhauvṛkaṃcarakṣatiśyēnaṃ patatriṇaguṃ siguṃhamsēmaṃ pātvagumhasaḥ

Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa [TB] 2-6-1(5)

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

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

Prayer to Vayu and Prajapati

vātaṃ prāṇaṃ manasānvārabhāmahēprajāpatiṃ yō bhuvanasya gōpāḥsanōmṛtyōstrāyatāṃ pātvaguṃhasaḥjyōgjīvā jarāmaśīmahi

TB 3-7-7(2)

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

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

Cure for respiratory diseases

jarāyuja prathama usriyā vṛṣā vātābhrajā stanayannēti vṛṣṭyā

    sanō mṛḍāti tanvaṛujugō rujan ya ēkamōjastrēdhā vicakramē

AV 1-3-12(1)

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

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

añgē añgē śōciṣā śriśriyāṇaṃ namasyaṃta stvā haviṣā vidhēmal

      añkāṃtsamañkān haviṣā vidhēma yō agrabhīt parvāsyā grabhītā

AV 1-3-12(2)

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

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

Remedy through Cow-Urine

idamidvā u bhēṣajamidaṃ rudrasya bhēṣajam|

      yēnēṣumēkatējanāṃ śataślyāmapabravat

AV 6-12-57(1)

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

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

jālāṣēṇābhi ṣiñcata jālāṣēṇōpa siñcatal

      jālāṣamugraṃ bhēṣajaṃ tēna nō mṛḍa gīvasē

AV 6-12-57(2)

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

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

saṃ ca nō mayaśca nō mā ca naḥ kiṃ canāmamatl                    

        kṣmā rapō viśvaṃ nō astu bhēṣajaṃ sarvaṃ nō astu bhēṣajam

AV 6-12-57(3)

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

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

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

Conclusions

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

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

Modern Science Validates our Scriptures on Nutritive Value of Cow-Milk

Sh. I. K. Narang

Milk has been recognized as a complete food by nutritionists all over the world. It has all the ingredients and nutrients necessary for growth and maintenance of a healthy human body.  Modern science as well ancient Indian texts and scriptures are full of references eulogizing the virtues of milk as a complete food. Indian scriptures have described milk as the elixir of life or Amṛta.  

अमृतं वै गवां क्षीरमित्याह त्रिदशाधिप:।

तस्माद् ददाति यो धेनुममृतं स प्रयच्छति॥

(Mahābhārata 65-46)

Similar reference which means ‘Cow-milk is Amṛta, It protects us (from disease). Therefore, if someone donates a cow, he actually donates the Amṛta.

Goshu priyamamrutam rakshmana

(ṚgVeda 1-71-9)

ṚgVeda in another Mantra (5-19-4) describes Cow-milk as the most desirable and likeable drink. There are several similar descriptions in other scriptures, which enumerate the health-providing, prophylactic and curative properties of milk. Milk has been described as a drink providing vitality, immunity, (the inner strength to fight diseases), a complete balanced diet, which gives ‘Subudhi’ or the right thinking power or wisdom. Charak has described milk as:

स्वादुशीतं मृदु स्निग्धं बहलं श्लक्ष्णपिच्छिलम्।

गुरू मन्दं प्रसन्नं च गव्यं दशगुणं पयः॥

(Charka-Samhita 27-217)

This describes the Organoleptic and nutritional properties of milk. It says Cow’s milk is tasteful, sweet, has a fine/subtle flavor, is dense, and contains good fat, but light, easily digestible, and not easily spoiled. It gives us tranquility and cheerfulness. Charka 27-214 states ‘kshiryojaskar pusam’ which means milk increases the vitality and Virility in man. Dhanvantri another ancient Indian physician has described cow’s milk is a desirable and preferred diet in all types of ailments and that its regular use protects the human body from Vātta, Pitta, Kafa. ‘Raj Nighantu’, another authoritative treatise on ‘Ayurveda’ also describes milk as Amṛta or Piyush. Similar properties of milk as provider of vitality and strength are –

यूयं गावो मेद्यथाम कृशं चिद्श्रीरं चित कृणुथाम सुप्रतीकम

भद्र गृहम कृणुथ भद्रवाचो बृहद वो उच्यते सुभासु

(Atharv Veda 4-21-6)

The Cow, through its milk, transforms a weak and sick person into an energetic person, provides vitality to those without it and by doing so, makes the family prosperous and respectable in the ‘civilized society’.

The curative value of cow milk in heart diseases and Jaundice like diseases (Hriday Rog and Pāndu Rog), milk from cows of red colour was considered to be the only remedy for this.  

अनु सुर्यमुदयतां हृदयोतो हरिमा च ते।

गो रोहितस्य वर्णेन तेन त्वा परिदध्मसि॥

(Atharv Veda 1-22-1)

Validation of the above claims by Modern Science:

What is for consideration here is whether Cow-milk has been compared with or described as ‘Amṛta’ only on sentimental/emotional or religious grounds or whether there is any description of certain specific qualities or properties of milk and milk products which enhance the longevity or vitality of life to the extent of making the regular consumer of milk a healthy person with a long life and help cure certain ailments.  Let  us therefore have a look at the findings of modern science to validate what our scriptures have stated.

 Source: National Institute of Nutrition – Hyderabad

In modern science Cow-milk occupies a special position among foods as it is an animal food that has a vegetarian connotation. The above table shows the various nutrients found in milk. All these make the milk a complete food. It carries almost all nutrients needed by any human being for growth and development be it children, adolescent, elderly people, pregnant and nursing mothers. It is considered as a protective food. Milk helps to balance human diet by supplementing good quality fat, protein, calcium and vitamins particularly, vitamin A, riboflavin, niacin and folic acid. In addition milk contains several bio-protective molecules that ensure health security to humans. Component wise discussion is given below:

  1. Milk fat
  • The average cholesterol content in cow- milk is only 2.8 mg/g fat. Moreover, humans absorb 10-14% of dietary cholesterol, thus only 20-40 mg cholesterol will be absorbed from 50g of dietary milk fat. On the other hand, the body itself synthesizes cholesterol (1-4g daily) in much higher amounts than what is absorbed from the diet.
  • Milk fat has high proportion of short and medium-chain saturated fatty acids, which do not raise serum cholesterol levels. Experiments with volunteers have shown that cholesterol levels do not rise when as much as 2 litters of milk is consumed daily. On the contrary, the cholesterol level is reduced. It has been suggested that the regular intake of milk keeps blood vessels healthy.
  • Compared to other fats and oils, milk fat is easily digestible. The digestibility of milk fat is 99%. The excellent digestibility of milk fat is due to dispersion of fat globules in the aqueous phase of milk forming an emulsion. They are absorbed directly unlike other dietary fats that have to be emulsified by bile, pancreatic enzymes and intestinal lipases before they can pass through intestinal well. The easy digestibility of milk fat makes it a valuable dietary constituent in diseases of stomach, intestine, liver, gall bladder, kidney and disorders of fat digestion. Milk fat has a protective effect against human tooth decay.
  • Protective effect of milk fat against some types of cancer (colon, breast and skin) has recently been reported. A specific fatty acid (a cis-trans isomer of linoleic acid) has been identified in milk fat, which appears to be an inhibitor of cancerous growth.

2. Milk proteins

  • Milk proteins are rich in essential amino acids. The digestibility of milk proteins is rated higher (96%) much more than that of plant proteins (74-78%).
  • The milk proteins are useful in the diet of patients suffering from liver and gall bladder diseases, hyperlipidemia and diabetes. Patients with impaired kidney functions rely on protein with high BV for relieving strain on the excretory function of the kidney.
  • Modern medical science tells us that milk helps in curing uric acid problems and acidity conditions in stomach, treatment of inflammation of mucous lining of stomach and of stomach ulcers, preventing hyperacidity. This due to buffering effect of protein in milk.  Drinking milk is, therefore, advised in case of hyper acidity or peptic ulcer formation.  
  • Immunoglobulin, lactoferrin, lysozyme, lactoperoxidase and vitamin B12-binding protein have antimicrobial effect also. They not only act against the microorganisms in the intestine but also prevent the absorption of foreign proteins.
  • Lactoferrin is an iron binding glycoprotein that occurs in cow milk at a level of 0.2 mg/ml. It plays an important role in the resistance against intestinal infection, particularly Escherichia coli.
  • The milk proteins are used in slimming diets also.

3. Milk sugar

  • Lactose, the principal milk sugar, is slowly metabolised and therefore, a considerable portion of it passes into the large intestine where it promotes the growth of lactic acid producing bacteria. lactose promotes the utilization of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
  • The blood glucose does not rise rapidly on lactose diet.
  • Milk consumption, therefore, enables the diabetic person to obtain the biologically highly valuable milk proteins without running the risk of rise in blood glucose levels.

4. Minerals in Milk 

  • Milk and dairy products are the most important source of calcium in readily available form. A 250 ml serving of cow milk contains calcium equivalent to 60% of ICMR’s Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for adults. Incorporation of milk in the diet also improves the bioavailability of calcium from vegetable foods.
  • Recent research has shown that poor nutritional status with respect to calcium is related to diseases like osteoporosis, hypertension and colon cancer.
  • The hypertensive patients have shown significant reduction in blood pressure in response to increased calcium intake.
  • Introduction of increased dietary calcium through dairy products has been shown to reduce incidences in colon cancer and hyper-proliferation in the colonic mucosa in rodents.
  • Milk is rich in phosphorus that reduces urinary calcium excretion. Milk and most dairy products,  have a near 1:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio considered to be ideal for retention of calcium in the body

5. Rich source of vitamins

  • Milk is a rich source of vitamins not only in terms of their contents but also their better bioavailability.
  • Milk is one of the richest natural sources of riboflavin (vitamin B2). A 250 ml serving of cow milk contains riboflavin equivalent to 50% of the daily requirement of a pre-school child.
  • It is a very good source of niacin (Vitamin B3) though in small amounts. Indeed, milk is used as dietary ingredient for patient suffering from pellagra, a niacin deficiency disease.
  • For vegetarians, milk is sole natural source of vitamin B12, as this vitamin is present only in animal foods.
  • Milk is also a good source of folic acid. / Vitamin A.  

6. Enzymes :

A number of enzymes in milk are involved in the milk immune system. These are lactoperoxidase, xanthin oxidase and lysozyme. The lactoperoxidase-thiocyanate-system  destroys the harmful  microorganisms.

 It is because of these qualities of cow’s milk that cow has been treated as “Gau Mātā”, a provider of Amṛta, provider of health, wealth, prosperity, fame and respect. This also made the cow an object of worship and reverence. While praying for freedom and prosperity for nation, the Aryans, prayed for high yielding milk cows –

दोग्ध्री धेनु

(Yajurveda 22-22)

OUR ANCESTORS WERE DAIRY SCIENTISTS  :

This analysis is a pointer to believe that our Ṛṣis were Dairy Scientists They understood the:

  • The nutritive value of various components of milk & milk products
  • The Curative – preventive and therapeutic  properties of milk,
  • Therapeutic and Immunological  properties and extra-nutritional role of milk constituents
  • Immunological aspects of proteins

NEED FOR FURTHER RESEARCH

This   discussion provides a lead to further investigate and validate the claims like producing medicated milks and research in to medicinal effects of milk drawn from different colour cows through modern methods of diagnostic medicine.

Mr. I. K. Narang, Former Assistant Commissioner (Dairy Development) Government of India

Concept of Peace in Hinduism

– Prof. Shashi Tiwari, General Secretary, WAVES-India

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Prof. Tiwari is an eminent Vedic and Sanskrit scholar. Authored 27 books and honored with 15 academic awards including the most prestigious ‘Rastrapati Samman , 2015’. She is Former Professor of Sanskrit, Maitreyi College, University of Delhi

The religion that has come to be known as Hinduism is certainly the oldest and the most varied of all the great religions of the world. Hinduism calls itself the Sanatana Dharma, the eternal faith, because it is based not upon the teachings of a single preceptor, or on any one text but on the collective wisdom and inspiration of great seers and sages from the very dawn of Indian civilization. A variety of beliefs, customs, rites and philosophies have merged here from time to time. According to Hindu thought, Dharma is the first of the four goals because it is the most comprehensive and is valid throughout the life of a human being. It implies not only the religious and philosophical framework but a total world-view, including the scheme of right conduct under various circumstances. Hinduism seeks to look after the welfare of the entire humanity. Peace and non-violence are the virtues broadly accepted in Hinduism in the ancient texts and practice.

In Sanskrit the term shanti is used for peace. The word’s literary meaning is peaceful, non-violent, calm or undisturbed. It denotes abstention from mental and physical violence and disturbances. It is a virtue under which some sentiment is to be removed from the mind instead of generating some sentiment in the mind. It is to bring the refusal of violent feelings from mind and violent activities from the life.

The principles of peace are described variously in Hinduism. The Vedic rishis were spiritualists. They instructed a philosophy of non-difference of self and others. Hindu religion believes in the existence of God (Ishvar) everywhere, as an all-pervasive, self-effulgent energy and consciousness. This basic belief creates the attitude of sublime tolerance and acceptance toward others. All living beings are same and are from the same God so there should be a sense of equality and one should not harm or hurt others. For a peaceful coexistence, the Vedas visualize the key principles of synthesis and balance. The concept of shanti is established on these principles. Peace as a highest human value is interlinked with other values such as with truth, nonviolence, purity, friendliness, forgiveness, tolerance, and. Peaceful attitude is regarded the foundation of all morality.

Shri Krishna became Shantiduta i.e. messenger of peace in Mahabharata to teach the lesson of peace to the enemy, but finally supported Arjun to fight against the wicked enemy. So shanti can exist with the absence of non-violence too. In fact peace is to be performed on three levels – mind, speech, and action (manasa, vaca, karmana). Collective peace or wellbeing does not refer only to humanity, because animals and plants also come under its vision. It goes even further and stresses the well-being of all in the famous Shanti-Mantra of Yajurveda (36.17). Accordingly, shanti is a state of equilibrium which is needed for the proper existence of all and everyone in this universe.

(Presented at the meeting of Heavenly Culture World Peace Restoration of Light (HWPL), Seoul, Korea in association with World Alliance of Religions Peace Dialogue (WARP) at India International Centre, New Delhi, Sep. 1, 2015)