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Friday, October 26, 2012

The Great Sages of India - Brahmins Vs Kshatriyas - Part 10

Throughout the history we can notice that the Brahmins and Kshatriyas have always shared a Love / Hate relationship with each other. 
  • Brahmins have always been under the protective cover of the rulers and even Lord Krishna says (Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.16.10), “The brahmanas, the cows, are defenseless creatures and they are my own body.
  • Kshatriyas have largely been patronizing the Brahmins for their wisdom, knowledge and austerity. But there are many instances where Brahmins and Kshatriyas have been at loggerheads like cats and dogs and when you read few stories filled with vengeance and violence it would send shivers through your spine.
  • Barring the story of Parasurama who belongs to the same Bhargava Clan, Brahmins have always been at the receiving end.
  • We read many instances of inter-caste marriages between Brahmins and Kshatriyas that were very prevalent those days and it should be noted that Brahmin men were allowed to marry ladies from the 3 castes (lowest class excluded) but Kshatirya men were not allowed to marry Brahmin ladies but can marry ladies from other 3 castes. I don't know the logic for this but this was the rule.
  • When Ravana's sister Soorpanaka asks Rama to marry her, Lord Rama rejects her saying, she is the daughter of grand son of Brahma who is a Brahmin and hence he cannot marry her. Poet Kambar uses a fantastic term to describe her "பூவிலோன் புதல்வன் மைந்தன் புதல்வன் புதல்வி..."
  • Sage Chavanar married Sukanya who is the daughter of King Saryathi. The kings were also very much happy in most of the instances to marry their daughter off to Sages like Chyavanar.
  • In Ramayana Seeta tells Lord Rama "Sukanya Chyavanam Yatha" meaning i shall be as dedicated Sukanya who was a loyal and dedicated wife to Sage Chyavana.
  • As i said in my introduction we need to recollect the sage and his wife together since the tapas, austerity and spiritual powers were shared by both and it was not a male dominated society. There are multiple stories about Sage Chyavanar and Sukanya which highlights Sukanya's loyalty and dedication to her husband.
Sage Chyavanar could foresee that this inter-caste marriage arrangement would lead to extreme hostilities between Brahmins and Kshatriyas and he tried his level best to avert this but he could not.

We will see this story in the next part.

Happy reading!

The Great Sages of India - Value of ONE Cow - part 9

Sage Chyavanar was once meditating under Ganges for many years continuously and one day he got caught in the fishing net of the local fishermen. The fishermen were shocked to see a Sage in meditation midst the catch and the Sage came out of his meditation.

The fishermen pleaded for the Sage's mercy and they told him that it was a mistake that he was fished out his meditation from deep waters. The Sage understood that it is not their mistake and he submitted himself to them and said,"I am your catch and you can sell me just like you would sell the fish". The fishermen did not know how to react and they ran to their king and told them the story.

The local king then was Nahusha, who was known for his governance and dharma. He came running to the Sage offering apologies for the inadvertent mistake of his people. Then a discussion starts between Sage Chayvanar and King Nahusha which is called as "Chayvana- Nahusha Samvadam".

King: Oh! Sage, please accept my apologies for the mistake of my men. Please tell me how can i be of help to you.
Sage: Never mind Nahusha. It is not their mistake and I belong to them now and they should see me like any other catch of theirs. You can buy me from them and set me free for me to continue my meditation.

Nahusha realized the embarrassing position he was put in. He was also scared to put a value for the Sage, so he requested the Sage to tell him what the value is so that he can pay that to the fishermen. The king thought that he would offer few thousand gold coins and buy out the sage from the fishermen. Just as he was thinking the Sage said:

Sage: Use your Buddhi (intelligence) and decide for yourself as to what my value is.
King: Can i value you and offer 100000 gold coins?

Sage: Please talk to your ministers and decide what my value is.
King: The king summoned most intelligent of his ministers and finally came to the Sage and said, Can i value you and offer 10,000,000 gold coins?

Sage: The sage neither agreed or disagreed but said, please talk to learned Brahmins  and decide what my value is.
King: By that time the word had spread and the crowd has started swelling around the place. After consulting the learned Brahmins, the king said, i can offer my entire kingdom for you Sage. Please accept my offer.

Sage: The sage neither agreed or disagreed but said, please talk to wise Sages in your country and decide what my value is.

The king for the first time realized that there is something of more value than his kingdom which he thought is the highest value that he can offer. Probably he understood the difference between his perception of value and the Sage's perception of value. As he was about to set off to his forest to meet wise Rishis, one Rishi was walking through the country at that time.

The King prostrated to the Rishi and explained him the problem and requested for a solution. The Rishi quipped just once sentence and walked away. What was the one liner that provided instant solution for this problematic question?

The Rishi's answer was "Gaurmoolyam Parikalpatam", meaning that just offer one Cow as the value for that Sage and free him from the fishermen. Sage Chyavanar accepted this happily and the issue was resolved.

This is captured in Mahabharatha (13.51.27,28) as:
कीर्तनं श्रवणं दानं दर्शनं चापि पार्थिव।
गवां प्रशस्यते वीर सर्वपापहरं शिवम्।। 
गावो लक्ष्म्याः सदा मूलं गोषु पाप्मा न विद्यते।
अन्नमेव सदा गावो देवानां परमं हविः।।

"King, Cows are the most sacred among the universal creatures.
Even seeing them, talking about them, donating them can reduce your sins
Goddess Lakshmi is permanently residing in the cows
All the Devas are kept happy through the offerings from Cows"

Not just protection of the cow but praying Cows as mother goddess is deeply embedded in our culture. Should i say WAS part of our culture.

Today I can't express my emotions after i saw this film in you tube. I want you to watch this movie in the You tube and spare 30 minutes:

From being country which respected every living being and killing a cow was thought to be one of the worst crime you can commit, we are today among the top 5 exporters of meat / meat products. The government of the day encourages slaughter houses and gives concessions with tax payers money.

I shall write a separate article on the importance of Cow protection and how our future is inextricably linked to the welfare of cattle. But for now, let me stop this blog with a quote from MAHATMA GANDHI:
"If there is an option to choose between Independence and prevention of Cow Slaughter, I would choose the latter, for its protection shall open all means to achieve true independence."

And we did not know that Gandhi placed cow protection above India's independence.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Great Sages of India - Chyavana Prasava Lehyam - Part 8

The brilliant boy with so much radiance who protected his mother and burnt the demon  at the time of his birth is Sage Chyavanar. He is one of the most respected sages in the Bhrigu clan and his name in the pravara is mentioned as Chyaavana

It is told that he does Tapas for years together, which includes 12 years of Tapas under water at Prayag (at the junction of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati) and also some instances where termites build castles around him since he meditates unmoved in one place. He is also described as extremely skinny and looks very old, impatient, obstinate, quick to anger.

In one instance in a Yagna he invited "Ashwini Devas" for the Soma bana drink. Each Yagna is done with specific invitees and the offering in Yagna is given to only those invitees. Typically only Devas are invited and though technically being devas, "Ashwini Devas" are the lord of medicine to the mankind. Since Devas are immortal they do not require any medicine so they considered "Ashwini Devas" as inferior to them. The other reason why devas were against Ashwini brothers is interesting, "They kill plants and herbs to make medicines, though medicines save human life, they still kill the plants and hence they are not qualified in this divine gathering". Now this highlights that killing even a plant despite it saving lives are considered bad in certain section of the universe. Compare the type of crime we commit when we kill animals to satisfy our taste buds.

The devas objected to Sage Chyavanar that he cannot call Ashwini Devas for the yagna and offer them Soma Bana as it the right of "qualified" devas only. But the sage was obstinate and told them that it is his Yagna and he shall decide whom to invite and what to offer. Considering the spiritual powers of the Sage, the devas grudgingly agreed.

Ashwini Devas were treated well in the yagna by Chyavanar and were offered Soma bana drink. In return Ashwini Devas gave Sage Chyavanar a special medicine which shall remove his old age and bring back youth and virility to him.

This potion / medicine which was given to Sage Chyavanar by Ashwini Devas is called as Chyavana Prasava Lehyam now popularly called as "Chyavanprash" today.

The above story is documented part of our Vedas which are actually undated, yet it is dated at least 5000 years back even by skeptics. Now if that is so, we have a medical product in Ayurveda, to this date which delivers the same benefits.

I leave it to you whether to dismiss this as some story or mythology or accept that it could have been part of our remote past. Lets see more about Sage Chyavanar in the next post.

Happy reading!

The Great Sages of India... Bhargava Ganam ... Part 7

Apart from astrology and contribution to Vedas Sage Bhrigu also has contributions in Ayurveda, Bhriguvalli section in Taitropanishad, Sage Bhrigu - Bharadwaja samvadam in Maha Bharatha et al.

Agni as Sarva Pakshan (All consuming) :
One of the qualities of Agni (Fire), as we know today, is that it burns everything. In Vedas it is referred as Agni consuming / eating things. Can you believe that Agni once upon a time used to burn only things which were given as a part of Yagna and nothing otherwise? Sounds difficult to believe but there is a story to it, linked to Sage Bhrigu.

Sage Bhrigu was also married to Puloma (understandably he had many wives) who was very beautiful and a demon wanted to snatch her away from the Sage. Since the Sage was very powerful it was scared to do that and hence was waiting for the right time. Knowing the demon's intent the Sage used to keep Agni as the guard for his wife, if he has to go out of the ashram.

Once when the Sage went out with Agni as the guard, the demon entered the ashram and was trying to abduct Puloma. Agni could have prevented the demon but did not do it for whatever reason. At that time Puloma was pregnant and was about to deliver a baby. Just as the demon carried the pregnant Puloma from the ashram, the Sage returned and at the same time Puloma delivered a radiant baby boy which fell to the ground.

The radiance of the new born child just burnt the demon fully and saved his mother. Sage Bhrigu was so angry that he cursed Agni that you shall become Sarva Pakshan. This is a very demeaning curse for the devas since Agni was supposed to be pure and should consume only what is given as Havis in a yagna and nothing otherwise.

Since the Sage was very powerful and also angry at that time, even Lord Brahma (his father) could not pacify the Sage and reverse the curse. No doubt had there been no curse like this, we would have an Agni which is so different in its quality then we know today.

So a Sage who was in love with Agni and discovered him in water was also the one who cursed it to change its quality to burn everything instead of a selective few.

The boy who fell on the ground and burnt the demon with his radiance was called Sage Chayavanar. We will discuss about him in the next post.

Happy reading!

PS: You may think what about fire resistant / retardant products which are fire proof. If you read the fine print of any of the fire proof products or for that matter fire extinguishers it says that it is a matter of time that it can resist, the maximum temperature it can resist, the strength of the fire, of course being a function of all the three.

The Great Sages of India - Bhargava Ganam - Part 6

Sage Bhrigu was created by Brahma from his skin and is the father of Sri Vatsa Gothra and his clan is called as Bhargava Ganam. We will start with this lineage. 5 Rishis form the pravara who are direct sons of each other starting from Sage Bhrigu, as 

Sage Bhrigu - Sage Chayavanar - Sage Aapnavar - Sage Auravar - Sage Jamadagni

All the five sages have significant contribution to our Sanatana Dharma and if Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita says "Maharishinaam Bhriguraham", meaning Sage Bhrigu is the superior of the rishis then there is nothing more required to praise his greatness.
  • Sage Bhrigu and his wife Khyadi gave birth to Goddess Maha Lakshmi and hence Sage Bhrigu is the father in law of Lord Vishnu. Goddess Lakshmi is called as "Bhargavi" daughter of Bhrigu.
  • Sage Bhrigu and Khyadi gave birth to Sage Sukrachariyar the Guru of Demons.
  • Khyadi was the daughter of Dakshan and hence Bhrigu is the Co-brother to Lord Shiva (Who married Sati - Dakshan's daughter), Co-brother to Sage Kashyapar (who married 13 daughters of Dakshan), Co-brother to Chandran (who married 27 daughters of Dakshan). Looks like Dakshan was a whole sale producer of good looking girls and every male at time in India should have wished that is father in-law is like Dakshan. :)
  • Lord Indra's daughter Jayanthi aka Kavya was married to Sukrachariyar and hence Lord Bhrigu was Sambandhi of Indra.
  • Bhrigu Samhita is the first treatise in the field of predictive Astrology written by Bhrigu.
Sage Bhrigu was also highly self-conceited at some point of time and his pride was removed by Lord Vishnu when the eye in sage's feet was destroyed. This is a well known story.

Fire from Water:
According to Vedas fire can be produced from different sources like Space, plants, trees, thick & dry shrubs, stones, forest, some medicines and also from water. Till our western science came up with the formula for water as H2O, they did not know that fire (Oxygen) is embedded in water and can be produced from it.

इमं विधन्तो अपां सधस्थे पशुं न नष्टं पदैरनु गमन |
गुहा चतन्तमुशिजो नमोभिरिछन्तो धीराभ्र्गवो.अविन्दन ||
imaṃ vidhanto apāṃ sadhasthe paśuṃ na naṣṭaṃ padairanu ghman |
ghuhā catantamuśijo namobhirichanto dhīrābhṛghavo.avindan ||
Worshipping, seeking him with adoration like some lost creature followed by its footprints,
Wise Bhrgus, yearning in their hearts, pursued him, and found him lurking where the floods are gathered.
The above Rig Mantra says that Sage Bhrigu, was the first person who discovered that fire can be produced from water. All the sages have significant relationship with fire and fire rituals. The above sloka states that just how a person who has lost his cattle would search around even tracing its footprint, Sage Bhrigu searched for fire in this universe and discovered it in water. Such was the Sage's love for fire that he even cursed and changed the quality of fire totally which we will see in the next section.

The above verse is dated 3000 BC even by the skeptics of Sanatana Dharma which is certainly 4500 years earlier than the western scientists told us that fire can be produced from water. Why should such wisdom be allowed die due to our ignorance and indifference? Think about it.

We will see more in the subsequent blogs...

Happy Reading!

The Great Sages of India - Vasudeva Kudumbam - Part 5

We all belong to a large Universal family, (Vasudeva Kudumbam) - not just the living beings in this planet but every animate and inanimate thing in this universe.
  • We will see that we all belong to lineages of one Sage or the other - Not just in India but across the planet.
  • All the Sages from which the lineages have originated are all sons of Lord Brahma. We will see that Brahma has created sons from his body, mind etc and hence we should be clear that we all belong to a large family in this universe and not just in planet earth. Remember, Sages are there as stars in the universe.
  • Lord Brahma is born from the navel of Lord Maha Vishnu. The lineage of the origin of this universe is linked to Lord Vishnu at the source. Hence the most apt name to call ourselves is "Vasudeva Kudumbam" (வசுதேவ குடும்பம்). 
  • Lets dwell a little in etymology. "Vas" means "Inside", "thing", "radiance" etc. Now we may think that all the three are different meanings and wonder how to reconcile it. But i want to emphasize that all the three are different attributes of the same thing. There is no word (not even vedas) that can explain "God" but can define only his attributes.
  • Let me explain it, "Vastu"(வஸ்து) means the "in-thing", that which is within everything, that which is radiant and of course this is the subtlest of all things. "Vaastu" (வாஸ்து), is the manifested gross material form of this Vastu, which is seen by the eye and which has a specific vibration depending upon its constituents viz the proportion of 5 elements.
  • "Vaastu Sastra", is the study of this vibration and its alignment to a harmonious living. Lord Vishnu is also called as "Vaastu Purusha", and all the animate and inanimate things have evolved from the 5 elements and the source of these 5 elements is the "Vastu".
  • Vasudevan is the Indwelling, radiant lord that is within every element of this universe and not just living beings in this planet. The correct pronunciation is Vasu and not Vaasu. Now you can also associate as to why god is also called as "Antaryami", who resides within us (Antar - Inside). 
So by the above logic the following can be understood:

1. The concept of "Aliens" does not really exist in Hinduism since everyone is related to each other, all of us belong to a large universal family and what is within me is what is within you.

2. The concept of Ahimsa, Vegetarianism are easily explained in the above context. If you hurt, kill, or abuse some other living being for your pleasures then you are hurting yourself in the long run. It does not matter where the bodily pain is, the heart feels the ache and the eyes cry, so would it be, in the universal scheme of things the pain of hurting others would manifest in our hearts - may be with a time delay. This is the essence of Karmic theory and it applies to killing trees and plants too. We would see these in the subsequent chapters.

3. Any fight that claims that their faith is superior be it sectarian, religious or cultural is stupid and has either ignored or not understood the universal nature of relationships.

To sum up, if we can understand that:
  • this Universal Vision of being a single family without any aliens, 
  • if we can think of not few million years as the origin of the universe but recognize the cyclical nature of evolution and dissolution in billions of years, 
  • if we agree with the concept of divinity of soul and karmic theory and the unmanifested inter-connections between every living and non-living being, 
  • if we agree that we shall reap what we sow, and there is no way we can escape from this and this code is superior to even the trimurthis in Hinduism,
Only then we can appreciate the SANATANA DHARMA philosophy and its way of living. The quotes in Part 1 of this series are from some of the leaders, scientists and artists, who  
have understood this concept.

We will see glimpses of these Sages who gave us all this wisdom in the subsequent sections. May they guide us all with the right sense of purpose.

Happy reading!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Great Sages of India ..... Part 4

2. Pravara & Gotra:
One of the important questions to ask is how are we related to these Rishis? Are they relevant any more? If we were to be told that we are none other than one of the descendants to those great maharishis and not a lowly evil soul in this earth, would it not sound good and elevating? Actually all of us are.

Hindus when they fall on elders feet they are supposed to tell their Pravara, Gotra, Sutra and Sarma as a part of Abhivadaye, and this tracks their lineage. This needs to be told in every vedic ritual the individual performs. I am going to explain to the extent i understand and please validate this with someone more knowledge.

1. Pravara - Typically the person names 3 or 5 or 7 Rishis who lived in the remotest past and we form the lineage of those sages. There are only 49 Pravaras.
2. Gotra - This is the latest ancestor of a person whose name is associated with a lineage and is known for generations. Gotras are innumerable and are related Pravara. It is told that Gotras are based on 7 great sages and the details what i know are given below.
3. Sarma - Is the individual's name.

So typically Gotras and Pravaras should throw up an unique family or a DNA trait just like blood groups, but i don't think we are interested in that type of a research, because the education system we underwent or our current society does not encourage that type of study. Marriage within same Gotras are to be avoided as per the customs and I am not sure if there are any medical reasons which are validated. But this is what Khaps in north India are fighting for. There is a article i read that Gotras are all about the identity of the Y Chromosomes but have not seen any concrete study explaining that.

3. Our Obligation:
It is told that every individual who is born in this world are obligated and comes with debts to three people they are 1. Debt to Rishis (Sages) 2. Debt to Devas (Demigods) 3. Debt to Pitrus (Ancestors).

An individual pays back the debt to Rishis by gaining wisdom through learning vedas. But currently we are neither learning vedas nor know the ones who gave us this.

I am making a small attempt to highlight them to the extent i understand. This is neither authoritative nor comprehensive and should be viewed as a trigger to learn more.

There are 2 questions which i am prompting for you:

1. Is there a comprehensive study done on Gotras and Pravaras which i can go through?
You can try here. I like this site on their quality of work..

2. In the current way of life, why should we be bothered about all these Gotras or Pravaras which we don't understand clearly?
I can answer this in 2 parts. Per my introduction article there is a global recognition for our ancient and glorious past. You may say that I would take Yoga, Astronomy and science but leave out Yajnas, rituals, Dharmic rules etc. But I believe its a package and everything is part of the unified whole and cannot be separated. Its like means and ends. One without other is incomplete. So, what is invaluable cannot be lost, hence we need to learn this and preserve what we have.

For the second part of this answer, i wanted to quote Kanchi Periava, which registered with me very well. When someone asked him, why should we keep reciting slokas and mantras without understanding their full meaning for which Periava replied, A sloka like "Vinayagar Agaval" is a box of very high value diamonds and valuable gems inside but whose key is not available with you today. If you preserve the box, you can still avail those gems when you get the keys, but if you discard that box today, then you have lost it forever. So when sages have given us the wisdom and asked us to propitiate devas through Yagnas for a prosperous life, the attempt should be to understand the science behind or least we stick to it even if we don't understand the meaning.

I would like to add that it is our duty to pass on the knowledge in the same measure or in excess than what has been bequeathed to us from our parents. Strongly put, In the chain of generations, we don't have any right to decide what (part of vedic knowledge) to pass on and what to destroy and it becomes our responsibility to preserve the extent possible the wisdom that has come about for millions of years.

Happy reading!

7 Prime sages and Gotras:
1. Bhargava Ganam has 7 Gotras under Sage Bhrigu.
2. Angiras Ganam has 3 primary Gotras and 20 sub divisions under Sage Angiras
3. Athreya Ganam has 4 Gotras under Sage Atri
4. Vaishvamitra Ganam has 10 Gotras under Sage Vishvamitrar.
5. Kaashyapa Ganam has 5 Gotras under Sage Kashyapar
6. Vaashishta Ganam has 5 Gotras under Sage Vashishtar.
7. Agasthiya Ganam has 4 Gotras under Sage Agasthyar.

The Great Sages of India... Part 3

Part 2...

I would continue to make few points on the basics before i jump to the main section:

1. Semantics:

In Sanskrit a sage is popularly referred as Rishi, which is derived etymologically from the root Ris and there are two specific definitions which explain why they are called so.

  • "Rishati Jnanena Samsaraparam" - which means a Rishi is one who crosses the worldly life (Samsaraparam) through WISDOM (Jnana).
  • "Rishir darshanaat" - which means a Rishi is one who is a "seer". 

Theses divine souls are generally created by Lord Brahma when a "Kalpa" begins and some of the important things to highlight are:
  • They are immortals and have conquered to birth and death cycle. Most of them have lived for ages and you can hear about them in multiple stories of different periods. Kalpa refers to 4.3 billion years (1000 Chatur Yugas) and equals to half a day of Lord Brahma. We are in the Sveta varaha Kalpa which has started JUST 1.96 billions years ago only. (If some one is interested in this calculation please leave me a comment / mail).
  • The were mostly humble and never said that they are the creators for any of their works including mantras. They have always claimed themselves as "Drishtas" and this is a very important aspect of Hinduism. Vedas are believed to be breath of God and they are ever existent. Rishis who can tune themselves to that state can perceive these vibrations and they compose what they have perceived. So they are all Drishtas and never claimed to be Karthas (creators).
  • Whenever when we think of a Rishi we need to think of their wife too. This is not the case in most of the modern texts. A wife is a "SahdharmaCharini", who has equal representation in any persons life - be it austerity, tapas, good or bad things. Hence all the powers these Rishis have had is shared with their wives and hence their wives are as powerful as the Rishis. Alternatively it is also told that the divine powers of these Rishis are because of their wives since many of the vedic rituals have to be jointly performed by husband and wife. This is very aptly captured in the quote "Ardho va Esaatmano Yat Patni" meaning a better halves have equal right in performance of Yagna.
  • This means that Rishis mostly lived a married life and yet were divine souls within that nuptial framework. It can also be said, that they married since without their wife they would not have become what they were. This is again very nicely captured in "Ayajno va esa Patnikah" -  that there is not Yajna without wife.
  • Sukrtam va etani Jyotimsi yan Nakshatrani - This means that stars which we see are the light of the doers of pious deeds. The saptarishis in the great bear constellation is an example of this with 7 sages - Marichi, Vasishta, Angiras, Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha and Krutu. Some of the stars occur in pairs indicating their wives with them.
  • Practicing Vedic dharma was also prevalent among woman and there were atleast 27 woman seers listed in Rig Veda, some of them were Rishi patnis (wives). 
We would also notice that it was a prevalent custom for a Brahmin Rishi to marry a Kshatriya girl and take her as his wife. Inter-caste marriages with a FRAMEWORK were prevalent even at the highest levels. Hence we can infer that equal status to wife in married life and also in spiritual path were embedded in Hinduism from day one and what we see today as a male dominated society is a distortion.

Keeping the attention span in mind, let me continue the rest in the next blog...

Happy reading!

Examples of famous Rishis and Patnis:

1. Agastya - Lopamudra
2. Vasishta - Arundhati
3. Atri - Anusuya
4. Gautama - Ahalya
5. Bhrigu - Puloma
6. Shyavanar - Sukanya
7. Rishikar - Satyavathi
8. Jamadagni - Renuka Devi

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Great Sages of India.. Part 2

There are 2 civilizations that amaze me whenever I think of history as we know it and the current civilization's perception about their own history. The first is the Arabs who understandably had a glorious civilization during pre-Islamic era yet there is no trace of it which is systematically erased over a period of time.

The second is the Indian civilization which is known as Sanatana Dharma. Despite overwhelming evidence, historical monuments, stories, culture, rituals, global recognition and science we have degraded to a level that we are completely ignorant of our great past. In my point we are worse than the Arabs since they had a force which changed them with sword and blood, but we Indians seems to be losing it on our own in a war of attrition waged by the ignorance and western education. But these are only the tools but the war is fought by Indians on themselves. 

But I am not here to rue about the state of things or to say that this is how God has designed it and why worry. But I wanted to share some of the history that I read especially about the Great sages of India who lived since time immemorial and who did have conquered death and attained immortality.

This is going to be a series and I am not sure how many parts this is going to contain hence be prepared for the long haul. Some pointers:

1. The most potent "Gayatri mantra" is given by Sage Vishwamitra, who by birth was not a Brahmin and a Kshatriya. How many of us know his history and birth and even the fact that he is designed to be a Brahmin.

2. Have you heard of a 100 year pregnancy that too it being sustained in the thighs? You don't have to be amazed if tomorrow our medical science says that we can sustain the pregnancy in thighs since this is documented several thousand years back.

3. Are you aware as to what is the origin of moon? How it came into being? Which sage created it and how?

4. Dabur Chyavanprash is a very popular brand, but do you know that the first "Chyavanaprakasa Lehyam" was created by whom, when, how and why?

Just this health product is sufficient to prove our history and it's content are true. My point is this. We can ignore them as mythology and these things never existed and are concocted stories, but let's do that after we read them. We need to be rational yet  ignorance can't be the path to rationality.

In this series I am going to start with Vedic Rishis and then take up Siddhars of India and then to the modern day sages who have lived and are living with us. This shall be an ongoing series...

Happy Reading!

The Great Sages of India - Introduction

(You may want to see this Video in Full screen and use the pause button to suit it to your speed of reading).

Our rich past and cultural heritage is globally known. But we never think of the sages behind this rich cultural heritage who left us so much wisdom and knowledge from time immemorial. Indian concept of time, age of the universe and historical events are not yet accepted by the western world and hence we being educated under Macaulay's system of education find it difficult to accept most of them.

Continued in the next part...

Happy reading!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dinosaurs could have been our pets just 2 millions years back...

Thanks to Steven Spielberg and Micheal Crichton for the Jurassic park in 1993, Dinosaurs which were the subjects only for Paleontologists and historians caught the attention of the larger public for the last 20 years.

When we talk about Dinosaurs, its sheer size and the projected ferocity comes and taunts everyone irrespective of your age. I wanted to pick two of the widely agreed facts and establish that these animals were nothing more than our pets at their times and that too just 2 million years ago. As a disclaimer let me state that I am neither a  paleontologist nor a historian nor an archaeologist. I am just connecting few dots and you can agree to disagree.

1. It is believed that Dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago and they probably existed between 200 million years to 65 million years ago. This is very widely accepted.

2. The height of the dinosaurs is pegged between 15 feet to 45 feet. While there are reports that there could have been 100ft+ tall dinosaurs but they are based some fragmented fossils and not very widely accepted. So I shall stick the 15 to 45 feet range for their height.

Now, lets look at whether we have data or theories on:

1. Whether there was Homo sapiens as a species during the above mentioned period?
2. If yes, what was the height of the human beings?

To my knowledge, Sanatana Dharma or today's Hinduism is the only philosophy which answers both the queries conclusively. Unless you believe in Hindu scriptures, it is difficult to accept these details but for the next 5 minutes, please read through the blog and you can ignore if that does not appeal to you.

You may know that as per Hindu scriptures the Yugas are divided as:

1. Satya Yuga - 17,28,000 years
2. Treta Yuga - 12,96,000 years
3. Dwapara Yuga - 8,64,000 years
4. Kali Yuga - 4,32,000 years

At the risk of repetition, let me quickly explain them. These 4 Yugas make 1 Maha yuga which is 4.32 million years. Scriptures say that the universe is a ever recurring cycle of this Maha yuga. The linear age of the universe is 155+ trillion years, which is composed of mulitple Maha Yugas. 1000 Maha Yugas (4.32 billion years) make half a day for Brahma and per vedas Brahma is 51 years old.

Interestingly it is said that based on the Yuga many things like endowed age of the individual, quality and abilities of all the species are fixed, that also includes the endowed height of a human being for the respective yugas.

Now lets get what is meant by endowed age and endowed height of a human being. Universe it is said follows a rhythm which is bound by a mathematical code and frankly the effort of sages for ages has been to uncover this code. But we do have few information like a flash in the pan without the basis of those being revealed. This is like, we don't know the mathematical equation but the answer to the equation is known. Much of the wisdom is lost and we are scratching what is left behind and losing that too very fast.

The other point i need to highlight is the endowed age for a human being is 120 years in Kali Yuga (1 year = 360 days) but it is also told that towards the end of Kali yuga (Kali is 432000 years and we have just completed 5114 years as of 2012), the age of the human being would reduce to 20 years. But we will focus on the general recommendation which is 120 years.

Like wise for each and every yuga the endowed height of the human beings is also stated. Lets see what those are:

1. Kali Yuga - 3.5 cubits - Just about 7 feet
2. Dwapara Yuga - 7 Cubits = 14 feet
3. Treta Yuga - 14 cubits = 28 feet
4. Krita Yuga - 21 cubits = 42 feet.

Please note a cubit is an ancient measurement and is widely seen in Christianity, Hinduism and also in Egyptian scriptures and it varies as follows:

1. As per Bible, each cubit is about 18 inches
2. As per Egyptian metrics it is about 20 inches.
3. As per Hindu scriptures we have 2 measures - Hasta as cubit which is 24 inches and the other is Muzham which is 24 angulas ie. 33 inches. I settled for 24 inches for the above values expressed in feet, which is lot closer to the Biblical and Egyptian values.

Now if you don't believe me you can see some discoveries of huge fossils including that of humans and also references in Bible which indicates such possibilities. 

So now, let me address both the questions:

1. If Dinosaurs were between between 15 feet to 45 feet and if human beings in Krita Yuga were 42 feet, then SIZE DID NOT MATTER. 

If we go by the relative height of human beings to Dinosaurs we may have to refine our understanding that Dinosaurs were not outliers in terms of their height and size but were just as proportionate as our dogs, cats and horses today. Even if this truth is known to the Paleontologists, this cannot be stated openly since Hollywood could not have excited us and made money. Also as human beings we need our dose of fascination and imagination to make our life interesting, Isn't?

2. Latest Krita Yuga was between 2.2 million years to 3.9 million years before.

Also the cyclical nature of Yugas is highlighted very often and we can draw a parallel to the cyclical nature of seasons in a year or day and night for a day.

I propose here the following:
  • Dinosaurs could have existed during Krita Yugas not as gigantic outliers but part of the overall ecosystem.
  • If this is so, then they existed just 2 million years before and not extinct 65 million years back. Also the scientists need not invent any meteor strikes that wiped this species to extinction but could agree that they underwent one of the many natural process of extinction.
  • Among Dinosaurs, experts say that there were quite a number of sub-species who were believed to be Vegetarians and not the ferocious man-eater types. Well, then these could have been our pets.
Any discovery of huge fossils which is dated 2-4 million years ago would probably prove this but till then I want to conclude this blog with 2 quotes of Edward De Bono..

"Everyone has the right to doubt everything as often as he pleases and the duty to do it at least once. No way of looking at things is too sacred to be reconsidered."


“If you never change your mind, why have one?” 

Happy Reading!

Ancient India's Time, Space measurements - Consolidated

There isn't much to explain about these charts. They are just for reference and provide a consolidated view on time and space measurements. You would note that the space measurements are split as Microscopic and Telescopic. Ironically both the measurements were used without those tools.

Other blogs that deal with similar topics are (Which i can remember now):

Happy Reading!

Breathing rhythm of King Dasarath, Lord Rama & Ravana.. An analysis

Currently we follow the Gregorian calender and divided our day into hours, minutes and seconds. I was impressed with the ancient time system we had in India and been voraciously reading multiple books and articles on them. I was always fascinated by the inter connectivity of various disciplines in ancient India. 

This article would highlight some of my understanding on the linkages of Time, Space and even Prana movements. I am deducing the breathing rhythm of King Dasarath, Lord Rama and Ravana based on these principles and also proposing as to what  should be God's design in every Yuga - especially from a breathing rhythm and endowed life perspective. This may sound wacky to you. But i did not promise anything less in my blog spot. :)

Please note this analysis and deduction is from my kitchen and i have not read this anywhere yet. If you have any objections to this, I am open to receive your counter logic.

Lets get the basics first.

  • Nazhigai (நாழிகை) in Tamil also known as Ghati in north India is actually 24 minutes.
  • Vinaadi (விநாடி) is actually 1/60th of Nazhigai and hence it is 24 seconds.
  • Nodi (நொடி) which is often mistaken as second is actually 1/60th of Vinaadi and hence it is 0.4 seconds.
60 Nodi = 1 Vinaadi
60 Vinaadi = 1 Nazhigai
60 Nazhigai / Ghati = 1 day

Why is Nazhigai / Ghati the most important measurement in ancient India? Before we address this lets quickly look at some other interesting cross connections.

As per Indian scriptures, each individual is blessed with total number of breaths as his life period. This is approximately a billion breath package (10 power 9). You can read more about it here

By design, we all have a budget of 21600 breaths a day. It is told that using your horoscope assuming the input details are right with respect time and day, the experienced astrologers can calculate your Pranic movement and its stoppage aka death using some formula. This aspect is not relevant for this article, yet it is highlighted here.

Now lets calculate how many Nazhigai is there in one year. Remember each year is 360 days and not 365.2425 days. I shall explain the reason later in a different blog as to why this is so.

1 day = 60 Ghati / Nazhigai
1 Year = 21600 Nazhigai.

Each year the earth revolves around the sun and one revolution makes 360 degrees. The same phenomenon is applicable in a day where the earth rotates around its axis.

Lets look at the day phenomenon first. Each day for one rotation covers 360 degrees in 24 hours. If we consider each breath as 1 degree, which is movement of Prana then 360 degrees is equal to 360 breaths. We complete 360 breaths in 24 minutes (24 hrs/60 and 21600/60) which is 1 Nazhigai. This means we can complete a full rotation of microcosm in about 24 minutes using our prana movement. Hence any japa or meditation done for a minimum 24 minutes if complete in itself. So, Nazhigai becomes the basic period / a fundamental building block for a complete microcosmic cycle.

Now lets look at how Breath, Space and time are integrated. 360 degrees which is a space measure is covered in 24 hours in a day and 360 days in a year.

360 Degrees = 24 hours
30 degrees = 2 hours (this is the duration of each Rasi / Zodiac in a day and covers 12 rasis in a day).
6 degrees = 1 Ghati / Nazhigai = 24 minutes.
1 degree = 4 minutes = 60 breaths.
And we have seen, 6 degrees = 1 Ghati = 360 breaths.

If you have got the depth of inter-connectivity between metrics you would be amazed. Let me try to emphasize this again. If i divide 1 day (24 hrs) by 60 it is 1 Nazhigai. If i divide 1 day (360 degrees) by 60 then it is 6 degrees and is 1 Nazhigai. So Nazhigai is a fundamental unit between time measurement in minutes / seconds / hours and space measurement in degrees.

On a yearly note:
360 degrees = 360 days
30 degrees = 30 days. This is duration of each rasi / zodiac and hence 12 zodiacs in a year of duration 30 days.
This also means Sun moves 1 day / day and covers 30 degrees per month and sun moves from one zodiac to another every month.

You may know that the Yugas are divided as:

1. Satya Yuga - 17,28,000 years
2. Treta Yuga - 12,96,000 years
3. Dwapara Yuga - 8,64,000 years
4. Kali Yuga - 4,32,000 years

All the four Yugas put together is 43,20,000 years which is a Maha yuga (this is 10 times the Kali Yuga).

Lets see the relation between Yuga and the number 21600. Keep it in mind that 21600 is the factor for number of breaths in a day and also number of Nazhigais / Ghatis in a year. The formula for linkages between Yuga and 21600 is as follows:

Satya Yuga = 21600 * 80
Treta Yuga = 21600*60
Dwapara Yuga = 21600*40
Kali Yuga = 21600*20
Maha Yuga = 21600*200

It is a well known fact through our Yogic scriptures that sages used to suspend their breathe during deep meditative stages. This means that it isn't a big deal to live for 43,200 years if we regulate our breath to 60 breaths a day. This means one breath per Ghati / Nazhigai (24 minutes). This can be quickly dismissed as mythological but lets look at some aspects of it.

Now lets work back and analyze the breathing patterns of historical characters.

It is told in Raghuvamsa by the great poet Kalidasa that 42 kings of Surya dynasty in which King Dasarath and Lord Rama came ruled for approximately 3 million years. This is Satya and Treta yuga put together - 3024000 years to be precise.

It is told that King Dasaratha (Lord Rama's father)  lived for 60000 years and this means his breathing rhythm was just 1.8 breaths per hour / as against our 900. Alternatively we take 4 seconds for a breath and King Dasarath did it one in 33.33 minutes.

It is told, Lord Rama lived for 11000 years and this means his breathing rhythm was averaging approximately 10 an hour. I am sure the rhythm shot up during the 14 years in forest. :). Alternatively we take 4 seconds for a breath and Lord Rama did it one in 6.11 minutes.

I want to pause for a minute and highlight some "very intelligent" Hindu species in the net who date Lord Rama's date of birth in somewhere around 5000 BC. They have done it using some stupid astrological software which itself is as half baked as the researchers. Lord Rama lived in Treta Yuga which is 8,80,000 years (864000 years of Dwapara Yuga and ~5000 years of Kali yuga which is past and Rama has lived for 11000 years hence it should be 880000 years) before for sure. I shall write about this later in a different blog, but it is probably sufficient to say I trash all such nonsense, which does not pass through scriptural validation.

Coming back, you can deduce that the rest of the 40 solar dynasty kings including Manu lived for 73825 years on an average. And they averaged one breath every 41 minutes. This is across Satya and Treta Yuga.

It is told that Demon King Ravana got a boon to live for 30 million days. This means he lived for 83333.33 years. Hence his boon enabled a breathing rhythm with an average of just 1.3 breaths per hour or one breath in every 46.3 minutes.

Now I am proposing my analysis as to how God's design is for the breathing rhythm and default / endowed age based on every Yuga. Again there is no basis or book where i read or heard this. Just take this for what it is worth. This rhythm is the ideal design for determining the age of the individual during that Yuga and is an average.

I want you to recollect that our breathing rhythm by design in Kali yuga is 4 seconds for 1 breath and hence we should live an endowed life of 120 years. (Each year of 360 days). You can convert it into current Gregorian calender of 365.2425 days/ year if you want. Below is my analysis for every Yuga.

Kali Yuga - 4 Seconds / Breath, 360 breaths / nazhigai and endowed life is 120 years.
Dwapara Yuga - 40 Seconds / Breath, 36 breaths / nazhigai and endowed life is 1200 years.
Treta Yuga - 400 seconds / breath, 3.6 breath / nazhigai and an endowed life of 12000 years.
Satya Yuga - 4000 seconds / breath, 0.36 breath / nazhigai and an endowed life of 120000 years.

Per Vedic scriptures, Jiva - our life is linked to Prana and some say that Prana is Jiva. But the correct interpretation as per my understanding is Jiva is the witness to the movements of Prana. Movement of Prana is called our worldly life and this leads to identification of ourselves to the gross body. 

If the movement of Prana is controlled through suitable techniques (Pranayama - btw, this is not the one that is taught in posh yoga studios now a days) then it is told that the Prana snaps its pseudo-identification with gross body, material world and realizes Jiva and its inseparability with Brahman. 

Irrespective of what our mental state is, the supreme order in the universe is well tied into mathematical formula and this universal rhythm is called as Seelam (சீலம்) in Tamil. Einstein argued for the same and very famously quipped that "God does not place dice".

In the next blog let me present the integrated time and space calculations we mastered since time immemorial. Anyone can reject these as mythological but can some one LOGICALLY refute the science of breath management proposed by Sage Patanjali and that is present in our Vedas?

If you find it difficult to assimilate the math in this article, then ignore it and hit your bed with the thought that our ancestors were smarter than us than we have been told in all our text books.

So, whats your breathing rhythm?

Happy reading!